The Tudors

historical fiction television series

The Tudors (2007–2010) is a television series, airing on Showtime, about the life and romances of the young King Henry VIII.


King Henry: You think you know a story, but you only know how it ends. To get to the heart of the story, you have to go back to the beginning.

Season 1


In Cold Blood [1.1]

Queen Katherine: Though I love Your Majesty and I'm loyal to you, in every way, I cannot disguise my distress and unhappiness.
King Henry VIII: Well, you're going to have to.

King Henry: Tell me about King Francis, Sir Thomas.
Thomas Boleyn: He's 23 years old.
King Henry: Is he tall?
Thomas Boleyn: Yes. But ill proportioned.
King Henry: What about his legs? Are his calves strong like mine?
Thomas Boleyn: Your Majesty no one has calves like yours.
King Henry: Is he handsome?
Thomas Boleyn: Some people might think so. He certainly thinks so himself.
King Henry: He's vain?!
Thomas Boleyn: Your Majesty... he's French!

Thomas More: As a humanist I have an abhorrence of war. It's an activity fit only for beasts yet practiced by no kind of beasts so constantly as by man.
King Henry: As a humanist I share your opinion. As a King, I'm forced to disagree.
Thomas More: Spoken like a lawyer.
King Henry: You should know, you taught me.
Thomas More: Not well enough it seems.

Thomas More: Do you really think we should go to war?
Cardinal Wolsey: I think we should try to do as the King wants us to do.
Thomas More: What if the King doesn't know what's in his best interests?
Cardinal Wolsey: Then we should help him decide.

King Henry: [to Thomas More] Why is Henry V remembered? Because he endowed Universities? Built Alms houses for the destitute? No. He is remembered because he won the Battle of Agincourt. 3,000 English bowman against 60,000 French. The flower of French chivalry destroyed in 4 hours. That victory made him famous Thomas. It made him immortal!

Simply Henry [1.2]

Thomas Boleyn: There's something deep and dangerous in you, Anne, those eyes of yours are like dark hooks for the soul.

Cardinal Wolsey: Thomas, let me give you a little advice. If you want to keep the love of a prince, this is what you must do: You must be prepared to give him the thing you most care for, in all the world.
Thomas More: The thing I care for most is my integrity.

Cardinal Wolsey: What did Lord Buckingham say about the King?
Thomas Boleyn: He told me he has a greater claim to the throne and that, as His Majesty has no male heir and will have none but he, Buckingham will succeed to the throne, but he also told me once that he has considered bringing that eventuality forward more quickly.
Cardinal Wolsey: In what way?
Thomas Boleyn: By assassinating His Majesty.

King Francis: Do you see that young woman over there? Dressed in purple and gold?
King Henry VIII: Yes.
King Francis: Her name is Mary Boleyn, the daughter of your ambassador, with her sister Anne. I call Mary my English mare, because I ride her so often.

Henry has challenged King Francis to a wrestling match. Henry loses
King Henry VIII: I will not sign! Tell Francis I will not sign the treaty!
Thomas More: All right! If you want the world to know that the King of England is easily changeable, shallow, intemperate, incapable of keeping his word! Then of course I will go and tell them. After all, I am merely Your Majesty's humble servant!

Wolsey, Wolsey, Wolsey! [1.3]

Emperor Charles: Together we shall invade France and bring to an end the adventures of that libertine monarch, King Francis.
King Henry VIII: That would make me very happy.
Emperor Charles: It will also make you King of France.

Thomas Wyatt: Well, do you like it?
Anne Boleyn: Should I like something that accuses me of being cruel?
Thomas Wyatt: But you are cruel Mistress Anne.
Anne Boleyn: Am I? You have no claim on me Master Wyatt.
Thomas Wyatt: I have the same claim as every other lover to whom their heart has been freely given.
Anne Boleyn: [to Master Wyatt] You are a poet as I am a woman. Poets and women are always free with their hearts, are they not?
Thomas Wyatt:No

Thomas More: There's only one way to reach the King's ear, and that is through the good offices of Cardinal Wolsey.
Spanish envoy: We heard some rumors, Mr More, that the cardinal advocates the French interests.
Thomas More: Only when he considers them to be in ours.

William Cornish: [in a play] You give us no choice but to attack and breach your defenses!
Lady Unkindness: No knight shall ever breach mine.
William Cornish: Lady, Desire overcomes all.

King Henry VIII: [to Wolsey] What we lack in men, we can more than make up for in ships. We are in an island race, Cardinal. We have the best and bravest sailors in the world. I will have the greatest navy.
Thomas Wolsey: Ships are expensive, your Majesty.
Henry VIII: My father was a clever man, your Eminence. A shrewd man. A businessman. He left me a great deal of money, your Eminence. I intend to spend it!

His Majesty, The King [1.4]

Charles Brandon: Your highness must be looking forward with great anticipation to your wedding? I hear the king was a great horseman... in his time. And famous for his beautiful mistresses.
Princess Margaret: Don't tease me. I don't like it.
Charles Brandon: Will you like it when an old man tries to make love to you?
Princess Margaret: Your grace goes too far. Already.
Charles Brandon: Gospel says the truth will make you free.
Princess Margaret: Now you are blasphemous!

Thomas Boleyn: [to Norfolk] There will come a point when the King's belief in his minister will hang in the balance and then, Your Grace, we shall drop our truth into the scales... and the scales will fall.

King Henry VIII: Mister Wyatt.
Thomas Wyatt: Your Majesty.
King Henry: I hear you're a poet.
Thomas Wyatt: I write poems, I don't know how to be "a poet".
King Henry: I've read some, I like them.
Thomas Wyatt: My Lord, I don't know what to say.
King Henry: [whispers in Wyatt's ear] Were you in love with Anne Boleyn?
Thomas Wyatt: I...
King Henry: Cardinal Wolsey tells me you were once engaged.
Thomas Wyatt: No, that's not true.
King Henry: Did you love her?
Thomas Wyatt: Lady Anne is so beautiful, it is the duty of every man to love her. Of course I loved her, but from a distance. Personally, I have a wife.

Cardinal Wolsey: We have a new visitor at court, Princess Marguerite of Nevarre. I was saying to myself yesterday, I found her a very beautiful young woman with a very sweet and yielding disposition, She confessed to great admiration for Your Majesty. Should I, arrange ...?
King Henry: Yes! Yes, do it.

Cardinal Wolsey: Well, at least our alliance with the emperor is popular, although sometimes I ask myself why that should be so.
King Henry: Because he's not French!
Cardinal Wolsey: Quite.

King Henry: Perhaps you don't understand. But i can't sleep. I can hardly breathe, for thinking of you. Your image is before my eyes every waking second. I almost believe that I would sacrifice my kingdom for an hour in your arms... I beg you, name some place that we can meet, and when... where I an show you truly an affection which is beyond a common affection. Written with the hand of your servant, Henry.

Arise, My Lord [1.5]

Cardinal Wolsey: [regarding Henry's desired divorce] It is my considered opinion that we should apply to His Holiness, Pope Clement, for a ruling on this matter. Since he loves Your Majesty, I'm certain he will rule in your favor.
King Henry VIII: Oh, I hope so. I certainly do hope so, for your sake.

King Henry: How dare you look at me! I am your Lord and Master, not your brother! You are both banished from court. You will relinquish your London houses. You will remove yourself from my sight. Do you understand?
Princess Margaret: Yes... Your Majesty.
King Henry: And Margaret...
Princess Margaret: What?
King Henry: I have yet to decide whether to make your bedmate a head shorter.

Thomas More: Katherine of Aragon is not only a great queen and the daughter of great kings, she is also immensely popular throughout the whole of the country. God forbid that the king should abandon her just to ease his own conscience. I don't think the English people would ever forgive him!

King Henry: Anne, I want to say something to you. If it pleases you to be my true loyal mistress and friend, to give yourself up to me body and soul, I promise, I'll take you as my only mistress. I won't have a thought or an affection for anyone else.

True Love [1.6]

King Henry VIII: [about Brandon] Look, I don't mean he is banished forever. Just as long as he breathes.

Thomas Tallis: I'm going away.
William Compton: You're going away, why?
Thomas Tallis: Cardinal Wolsey is going to France. He invited me to go with him. With other musicians.
William Compton: Must you go?
Thomas Tallis: You know very well that an invitation from a cardinal is like an invitation from a king. We little people must put our hands into the fire if invited to.

Anne Boleyn: Forgive me, I spoke of things I should not.
King Henry VIII: No, no, I give you leave that we may always speak freely with each other, honestly, openly and with a true heart. For me, that is the true definition of love.

Cardinal Wolsey: Lady Anne, what are you doing here?
Anne Boleyn: I have an audience with His Majesty?
Cardinal Wolsey: What would a silly girl like you have to say to a king?

Norfolk: Well, the King is plainly in love with you. Don't you see, niece... It makes a man, any man... extremely vulnerable.
Thomas Boleyn: How do you like your charge, sweetheart?
Anne Boleyn: I... At first, I confess, I did not like it so much. I did not care for the King, but now, I... Now I...
Norfolk: Anne, it would be wise for you not to be fooled by your own masquerade. It is your duty to use his love to our advantage in supplanting Wolsey.
Thomas Boleyn: The Cardinal stands between us... and everything. And it is now in your power to do him a great hurt, and we expect you to do so.

Message to the Emperor [1.7]

Cardinal Wolsey: Why should the pope favor the emperor, who has caused him nothing but misery, over the king of England, who has never caused him any harm at all?
Edward Fox: The trouble is, your Eminence, the swords of the king of England are much further away than the swords of the emperor. Diplomacy is nearly always settled by such proximity.
Cardinal Wolsey: Spoken like a true lawyer.

Queen Katherine: [about Anne Boleyn] And your fear of The Sweat is greater than your infatuation with your mistress?
King Henry VIII: Katherine, she is not my mistress. I do not sleep with her. Not whilst you and I are still married.

King Henry: Ah! Your Excellence, allow me to introduce...
French Ambassador: Is this not Mademoiselle Anne? Enchanté. His Eminence, Cardinal Wolsey, has told me all about you, but he did not tell me how beautiful you are. For a Frenchman, that is almost a crime.
Anne Boleyn: (smiles, answering in French) But Frenchmen tell all ladies that they are beautiful- that is also a crime, is it not? I have a gift for you.
French Ambassador: For me?
Anne Boleyn: For you, Monsieur, absolutely. (George Boleyn leads over a large wolfhound) This dog is very fast (the Ambassador sticks his hand out to pet it and it growls)... and very formidable.
French Ambassador: (in English) What's his name?
Anne Boleyn: Wolsey. (Henry laughs)

Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: Someone told me taking infusions was the worst thing.
King Henry: Trust me. It will make you feel sick, but it's better than the sickness it prevents.

Truth and Justice [1.8]

Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: Margaret, you and I must stay in the king's good graces or we are nothing. Let him marry who he wishes.
Princess Margaret: That was always your philosophy, wasn't it Charles? So very cynical. Is that why you keep company with that devil Boleyn?
Charles Brandon: You liked him enough once, when he helped us back to court... Or were you just being cynical?
Princess Margaret: I didn't see all of his game. Now I do. I despise him.
Charles Brandon: So do I. But I hate Wolsey more. It's a marriage of expedience.
Princess Margaret: Rather like ours.
Charles Brandon: No, I loved you.
Princess Margaret: You don't know the meaning of the word, Charles. You can love, perhaps for a year, a month, a day, even for an hour. And in that hour I do believe you love as well and deeply... as any man. But after that hour, you love not! You love another, and then another. Your love is most generous where it is most hurtful.

Cardinal Campeggio: I have received a petition from the dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk and Lord Boleyn, saying the divorce has an overwhelming support of the people of England.
Thomas More: As Your Eminence would quickly discover if he stepped outside these doors and saw the people, that is a manifest lie. On the contrary, the people love their queen and they have every reason to do so.

Cardinal Wolsey: Your Majesty, I beg that you yield to the King's will.
Queen Katherine: And what is his will?
Cardinal Wolsey: As His Eminence proposes, that you join a religious community of your choosing and take a vow of perpetual chastity.
Queen Katherine: You speak to me of chastity. Have you not a mistress and two children, Your Eminence?

King Henry VIII: For a while, I shall have to share Katherine's table, and sometimes her bed.
Anne Boleyn: Her bed!
King Henry: It's nothing. My lawyers have just advised me that to do otherwise might risk counter-suits. I could be seen to be acting against her conjugal rights.
Anne Boleyn: You think it's nothing, to go back to bed with your wife?
King Henry: What do you think is going to happen?
Anne Boleyn: What usually happens.

Cardinal Wolsey: [to Cardinal Campeggio] Let me make certain things plain to you. If you do not grant the King his divorce, papal authority in England will be annihilated. You should remember, the greater part of Germany has already become estranged from Rome, the same thing could happen here. It would mean the total ruin of the kingdom.

Look to God First [1.9]

King Henry VIII: I hear you've been unwell? Is it true?
Cardinal Wolsey: Majesty, when was I ever unwell enough not to serve you?
King Henry: That's what I thought.

Queen Katherine: Have you no kind things to say?
King Henry: Kind?
Queen Katherine: To your wife, the mother of your child. You treat me so unkindly and in public neglect me.
King Henry: Katherine, you must accept the inevitable. The weight of academic opinion is against us. We were never legally man and wife. And the court will decide in my and if the court does not decide in my favor, I shall denounce the pope as a heretic and marry whom I please.

Cardinal Wolsey: Try to discover by subtle means, through his agents, if the emperor is prepared to support his aunt by use of force.
Thomas More: You think he might invade England in support of the queen?
Cardinal Wolsey: I don't think anything, but I imagine everything. And what I imagine causes me great pain, Thomas- great pain.

Thomas Cromwell: (smiles) Lady Anne.
Anne Boleyn: Master Cromwell. Do you... do you have a message from the King?
Thomas Cromwell: ...I think we understand each other. A mutual friend- a Mr. Fish, now living in exile in Holland- has sent me a gift for you. (hands her a book)
Anne Boleyn: What is it, Master Cromwell?
Thomas Cromwell: "The Obedience of the Christian Man"... by William Tyndale. It contains many good criticisms of the Papacy; you'll find it most illuminating. But, always and ever, be cautious as to whom you show this. You must know it would be accounted heresy even to possess it. And, Wolsey is still keen enough to prosecute heretics, as we are called... who embrace the true religion.
Anne Boleyn: I will. And God bless you, Master Cromwell.

Queen Katherine: I know also your malice against my nephew, the Emperor. You hate him like a scorpion. And why? Because he would not satisfy your ambition and make you pope by force.
Cardinal Wolsey: Madam, you should never presume...
Queen Katherine: My only satisfaction is that in frustrating you I hasten your fall from the King's good graces, an outcome I desire above all others.

The Death of Wolsey [1.10]

Anne Boleyn:You know I sometimes wish that all Spaniards were at the bottom of the sea.
Lady in Waiting: Mistress Boleyn, you should not abuse the Queen's honor with such language!
Anne Boleyn: I care nothing for Katherine. I would rather see her hanged than acknowledge her as my mistress!

Charles Brandon: Your Majesty must forgive me...

Knivert: Aren't you supposed to be running the country?
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: I leave that to Norfolk. He's had more practice. And in any case, meetings with ambassadors - infinitely tedious. They're all liars, hypocrites and middle-aged men.
Knivert: Would you prefer them to be women?
Charles Brandon: My friend, if all ambassadors were beautiful women I'd be serving my country day and night.

King Henry VIII: Have I made you unhappy?
Anne Boleyn: No, I would only be unhappy if you ever stopped loving me.
King Henry: London would have to melt into the Thames first.

Queen Katherine: I had always fancied that the King, after pursuing his course for some time, would turn away, would hear to his conscience and change his purpose, as he has done so often before. I believed with all my heart that he would return to reason, but now, I ...
Ambassador Chapuys: Madame, I pray you, don't give way.
Queen Katherine: No excellency, I shall never give way.

Thomas Cromwell: Sir Thomas, I notice you allow yourself none of the trappings of your great office.
Thomas More: I'm not so vain as to display its power, Master Cromwell, but I'll tell you this, I fully intend to use it.

Season 2


Everything Is Beautiful [2.1]

Cardinal Campeggio: [regarding a letter Henry VIII has sent demanding an annulment] He uses some intemperate language, Holiness, claiming that "Never was a prince so poorly treated by a Pope"
Pope Paul III: He meant my predecessor, and to be fair, he has a point. Clement was a terrible procrastinator. Although it was terribly wrong for some to dig up his dead body, stab it, and drag it through the street, I can well understand their sentiments; he was never popular.

Tears of Blood [2.2]


Anne Boleyn: Here is a book of prophecy [looking at the cards laid out by a Papal agent] This is the King- this is the Queen- and this is myself... with my head cut off.

Archbishop William Warham: (concerning the bill the King intends to put before Parliament) Mr. Cromwell, this does not strike me as an attack against the abuses of the clergy (coughs) but rather, an attack upon our very faith (coughs again) and upon the faith of our ancestors!
Thomas Cromwell: (coldly) That is your judgement, Your Grace; it is not mine. Neither is it the King's.

Anne Boleyn: Now, my love, let me conceive... and we will have a son.

Checkmate [2.3]

Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: I'm going to have to attend on the king and that bitch of his at her coronation! What didWolsey used to call her? "The Black Crow".
Catherine Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk: Can you not plead some indisposition?
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: I could, even though the king has made me high constable for the day, but if I did, His Majesty would remove my head. And then, I should be genuinely indisposed!
Catherine Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk: [flirtingly] Very well. So keep your head. It's a pretty head in any case, and I don't want to lose it either. [serious] But store up your knowledge and your anger. Don't act impulsively; it's always a mistake. But one day, with others so disposed, use them both...and if you can, bring her down, and destroy her.

Anne Boleyn is going into labor
King Henry VIII: I want jousts, carnivals and banquets organized in honor of the birth of my son. I have not yet decided whether to call him Henry or Edward! I've asked the French Ambassador to hold him at the font during his christening. If he drops him, it's war!

The Act of Succession [2.4]

Henry VIII: [speaking while holding his newborn daughter] Who knows, Mistress Byran? Perhaps, one day this little girl will preside over empires.

Thomas Cromwell: Majesty, I have just heard that the Pope intends to make Reverend Fisher a cardinal. [Henry laughes coldly at this] Apparently, he has already dispatched a cardinal's hat.
Henry VIII: Then Fisher will have to wear it upon his shoulders, for by the time it gets here, he won't have a head to put it on!

Thomas Cromwell: It is rumored that, perhaps, you have a great sympathy for the Dowager Princess Catherine of Aragon.
Charles Brandon: Don't you?
Thomas Cromwell: (pause) Actually, I do. I'm not heartless, whatever some people think- quite the contrary. (pause) But...I serve the King. (pause) The King intends to emplace the succession in the children he will have with Queen Anne Boleyn. A bill is to be put before Parliament- he wants to know if it will have your support. (pause, as Charles considers his position)

Willaim Brereton: (watching Anne dance with Henry) I could still do it. I could find a way to poison her.
Imperial Ambassador Eustace Chapuys: No.
William Brereton: But, I thought that was-
Eustace Chapuys: It would be blamed on my master. At the moment, he doesn't need that; he has a war with the Turks to contend with.
William Brereton: But, why should anyone ever know?
Eustace Chapuys: Don't be stupid, Brereton. They would find you and torture you, and you would tell them everything.
William Brereton: No I wouldn't. I'd die a martyr's death.
Eustace Chapuys: (smirks) You've never even seen a man being tortured, have you? (pause) You understand? You don't act alone.

[Thomas More arrives at the Chancellor's office, now held by Thomas Cromwell]

Page: Sir Thomas More. (Cromwell looks up and smiles)
Thomas Cromwell: Sir Thomas. (rises)
Thomas More: Mr. Secretary.
Thomas Cromwell: Please be seated. This is- er- quite an informal occasion. (picks up a pitcher) A little ale, perhaps?
Thomas More: (stiffly) No, thank you.

[He sits. Cromwell pauses, then sets the pitcher down and sits across from him]

Thomas Cromwell: (smiles and shakes his head)... I'm sure we both know the object that has brought us together. It is very widely rumored, Sir Thomas, that you will refuse to take the Oath of Succession. Now, I say this to you very openly and sincerely, that I wish no harm to come to a great man who has, for years, enjoyed and deserved His Majesty's good graces. I would rather lose my own son, than to see any hurt come to you. (More smiles slightly) May I ask your opinion of the King's new marriage?
Thomas More: (bluntly) I have no opinion. I neither murmur at it, nor dispute upon it. I never did- never will.
Thomas Cromwell: Then, what of His Majesty's claim to supremacy over the Church of England?
Thomas More: (nods thoughtfully) Mmm... I was... unsure about this matter. (pause) Until I re-read His Majesty's own pamphlet, the Assertio Septum Sacramentorum. (Cromwell frowns inquiringly) In fact, I, um, have a copy of it here. (sets the pamphlet on Cromwell's desk) Of course, in the pamphlet, the King asserts the divine origin of the Papacy. The Pope's supremacy descends directly from the Rock of Saint Peter. I think you'll find His Majesty's arguments are as... persuasive and powerful now, as they were when he first wrote them.

[Cromwell smiles and nods at the deftness of More's argument, but then his expression turns grim and he looks More directly in the eye]

Thomas Cromwell:... Will you take the Oath? I need hardly remind you of the consequences of not doing so.
Thomas More: (quietly, coldly) Mr. Secretary, I am the King's loyal subject. I say no harm, I think no harm- but I wish everybody good. And, if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith- then, I long not to live. (stands to leave)
Thomas Cromwell: (exasperated) Sir Thomas. You should know that the King himself has no mind to coerce you. He simply asks that you relent- and condescend to his request that you take the Oath.
Thomas More: (turns back)... Mr. Cromwell, please impart to the King my utter faithfulness, truthfulness and loyalty to him. (leaves)

His Majesty's Pleasure [2.5]

Pope Paul III:(reading a letter from William Brereton to Cardinal Campeggio) Our English friend writes that "the Lady is not to have a child, after all." He also says "The King has already been unfaithful to her, but all of this may mean nothing, considering the changeable nature of the King, and the craft of the Lady, who well knows how to manage him." (tosses the letter across his desk and sighs in disbelief) You and I, Campeggio, have done well to avoid the craft of women. Celibacy is an immense relief.

(Pope Paul III has discovered Michelangelo swearing drunkenly at the men working on the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo staggers behind the curtain, notices the Pope staring at him, shrugs with impatience, and walks away. Cardinal Campeggio comes up behind the Pope)

Cardinal Campeggio: ...Holy Father?
Pope Paul III: Do you know who that was? (the Cardinal shakes his head) Michelangelo Di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.
Cardinal Campeggio: Michelangelo?! That was him?!
Pope Paul III: That was him. We forgive him, because he is a genius... whatever that means.

Upon hearing that Parliament has passed a "treason act" making failure to swear the Oath of Supremacy a crime punishable by death
Catherine of Aragon: Poor Fisher. He was a lion in my defense. Now he will die ashamed and alone in a prison cell.

The Definition of Love [2.6]


[Cromwell is hosting Archbishop Cranmer and his wife for dinner at his house]

Thomas Cromwell: What a pleasure to have both you and your lovely wife to sup with, Your Grace.
Katerina Cranmer: So, tell me- you are suppressing some religious houses?
Thomas Cromwell: I am starting to, yes.
Katerina Cranmer: Und what else?
Thomas Cromwell: I am intending to abolish almost all the Holy Days of the Lord's service- and, during the harvest. (scoffs) These enforced holidays- they damage the country's economy, stop vital works! (the Cranmers nod in agreement) And, in fact, they also impoverish workers!
Katerina Cranmer: Und the priests?
Thomas Cranmer: As far as the clergy are concerned, we mean to issue a set of injunctions, requiring them to preach the Supremacy. There will also be an injunction requiring parents and employers to teach their children and servants the Lord's Prayer, Creed and the Ten Commandments in English, rather than Latin.
Thomas Cromwell: And all clerics will be put on notice to attack the superstitious cults surrounding images and relics. They will be told it will profit more upon their souls to bestow upon the poor and the needy, what they currently waste on relics.
Katerina Cranmer: (shrugs, nods) That's... very good, gentlemen. (Cranmer and Cromwell smile, pleased) But, allow me to chide you. I don't think that you are going far enough, or fast enough.
Thomas Cromwell: (glances at Cranmer, surprised)... Your wife is a great radical, Thomas.
Thomas Cranmer: She is - and, illegal. (he and Cromwell chuckle and toast) Two reasons to hide her.
Katerina Cranmer: (glances away, irritated) Being carried around in a box does not make you laugh.
Thomas Cranmer: (hastily) My dear, I am sorry about that-
Katerina Cranmer: I'm not your dear- I'm nobody's dear. I'm a woman, und I demand equal respect for my ideas! For me, the practices of the Catholic Church are evil! The way people are kept in total ignorance und made to feel guilty about their own bodies und their own thoughts- and even worse, the idea that the rich can buy a plot in Heaven for their souls!
Thomas Cromwell: (startled) Well, I agree with you! The Catholic Church is corrupted- it's irredeemable!
Katerina Cranmer: Then you should smash und destroy it- utterly, totally und without pity. That is my advice to you, Mr. Cromwell. (Cromwell stares at her, intrigued; she turns back to her husband and stands up, smirking) Now, you can put me back in my box.

[After Anne reveals her paranoia of Henry having an affair]
Henry VIII: That's enough!
Anne Boleyn: No, you told me that we would always be truthful with one another! You said it was the definition of love!
Henry VIII: Then here's the truth. You must shut your eyes and endure [contemptuous] like your betters have done before you!
Anne Boleyn: [angrily] How can you say that to me!? Don't you know I love you a thousand times more than Catherine ever did!?
Henry VIII: [stands up, furious] AND DON'T YOU KNOW THAT I CAN DRAG YOU DOWN AS QUICKLY AS I RAISED YOU!? T'is lucky you have your bed already, madam, because if you did not, I would not give it to you again! [moves to leave, but stops, changing the subject to the arranged marriage of Princess Elizabeth to a French prince] Francis won't accept the betrothal.
Anne Boleyn: Why?
Henry VIII: [angrily] Why do you think!? Because he, and the Pope, and the Emperor ALL AGREE she is a bastard, and you are not my wife!

Matters of State [2.7]


Anne Boleyn: [smiling after hearing the news of Katherine of Aragon's death] Now I am indeed Queen.

Lady in Waiting [2.8]

Sir Henry Norris: I was married before and, I must confess, I rather like the liberty of not being married again!
Henry VIII: [laughs] I can understand that!

[King Henry was horribly wounded and rendered unconscious in a jousting accident. Cromwell has declared a state of emergency and is effectively running the country for the moment as he prepares a bill naming Elizabeth as Queen in the event of Henry's death. As she is a minor, her maternal grandfather, Thomas Boleyn, would be designated Lord Protector and her mother Anne as Regent]

Thomas Cromwell: I am also preparing for an emergency session of Parliament-
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire: Bah! Kings had no need of Parliament in the old days!
Thomas Cromwell: (coldly, not looking up from his paperwork) These are not the old days, my Lord.

In a room where Henry lays out cold; the Boleyns are watching and waiting
George Boleyn{to his father}: You know, I cannot think whether it would be a bad thing, or a good thing, if he died. For as Lord Protector, you would be ipso facto King of England.

The Act of Treason [2.9]

[Thomas Cromwell is interrogating Lady Margaret Sheldon regarding Queen Anne's infidelity, and has extracted a list of her supposed lovers, save one]
Thomas Cromwell: And!? [he slams his fist on a table] AND!?
Margaret Sheldon: [sobbing] I saw her hugging and kissing her brother!
Thomas Cromwell: [surprised] Her brother!?

[At a later interrogation of Lady Rochford]
Thomas Cromwell: Do you believe this to be true?
Lady Rochford: I believe that is true, yes. [Cromwell walks over and looks her in the eye]
Thomas Cromwell: [skeptical] You believe that your husband committed incest with the queen!?
[Lady Rochford looks at Cromwell with a sly smile. Cromwell looks confused, then returns the smile; the pair understand each other perfectly]

Henry VIII: What of the others!?
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: Smeaton, Brereton, Norris and George Boleyn have been found guilty, and are to be executed tomorrow.
Henry VIII: You know what Cromwell told me? He told me she'd had to do with over a hundred men. A hundred fucking men, Charles! [angrily] You know what? My daughter, Mary, owes God a great deal for escaping the hands of that poisoning whore! Oh she planned to have her poisoned, Charles, it's true. Just like she poisoned Catherine. We have proof. And her baby. Her baby was deformed; did you know that, Charles!? [Brandon shakes his head] So how could it have been mine!? Perhaps Elizabeth isn't even mine! That fucking bitch! [Henry breaks down in tears as Brandon tries to comfort him]

[In Thomas Wyatt's cell]
Thomas Cromwell: The Queen was tried yesterday at Westminster Hall. She pleaded not guilty to all charges against her, but the evidence being overwhelming...she was sentenced to death, either by burning or decapitation according to the King's pleasure.
Thomas Wyatt: [fighting back tears] And her accomplices? What of us?
Thomas Cromwell: Smeaton, Brereton, Norris and George Boleyn, all guilty as charged.
Thomas Wyatt: Thomas, what about me? Am I to be tried too?
Thomas Cromwell: No. We found no evidence against you. You're to be released...eventually. [Cromwell leaves the cell]
Thomas Wyatt: [tearfully] BUT I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO'S GUILTY!

Destiny and Fortune [2.10]

Charles Brandon enters the jail cell of his nemesis, Thomas Boleyn
Thomas Boleyn: Am I...Am I to be tried?
Charles Brandon: No, you are to be released.
Thomas Boleyn smiles but tries to conceal his glee by covering his mouth with his hand
Charles Brandon: But...Your Majesty commands that since you no longer have his trust and affection; that you are to be stripped forthwith of all your official purses and titles. You will no longer serve under the Privy Council, you will relinquish the role of Lord Privy Seal and all its privileges. His Majesty also desires that you leave court and that you never show yourself in his presence again on pain of death.
Thomas Boleyn: So I am to keep my Earldom?
Charles is so outraged by such a nonchalant attitude that he throws aside the table, grabs Boleyn by his shirt and slams him against the wall
Charles Brandon: Did you watch your son die?! What about your daughter, will you watch her suffer? Will you watch her die?! Tell me, Boleyn, was it all worth it?!

Anne Boleyn: Good Christian people, I have come here to die according to the law and thus yield myself to the will of the King, my Lord. And if ever in my life I did offend the King's grace, then surely with my death I do now atone. I pray and beseech you all to pray for the life of the King, my sovereign Lord and yours who is one of the best princes of the Earth, who has always treated me so well. Where for I submit to death a goodwill, humbly asking for pardon from all the world. If anyone should take up my case, I ask them only to judge it kindly. [her tearful attendants take off her cloak and jewelry; she gives them a weak smile]
French Executioner: (kneels before Anne) Madam... forgive me, for what I must do.
Anne Boleyn: Gladly. And here is your purse. (hands him a pouch with payment for the beheading) Thus I take my leave of the world and of you.
Thomas Wyatt: (in tears at the back of the crowd) Bless you.
Anne Boleyn: I heartily desire all of you to pray for me. [she kneels; the onlookers begin to kneel and pray for her, led by Archbishop Cranmer; eventually, even Charles Brandon, reluctantly, does so]
Anne Boleyn: (glancing fearfully at the executioner) Jesus Christ receive my soul, oh Lord, God have pity on my soul. Jesus Christ receive my soul, oh Lord, God have pity on my soul. Jesus Christ receive my soul, Oh Lord God have pity on my soul. Jesus Christ receive my soul, oh Lord, God have pity on my soul, to Lord Christ I commend myself. To Christ I commend myself...
French Executioner: Boy! Fetch my sword! [Anne glances reflexively to the right. Behind her, the executioner swiftly draws his broadsword from beneath a burlap sack, and raises it to swing]

Season 3


Civil Unrest [3.1]

Henry VIII: When I was five, my mother and I were taken across London, into the Tower. There was a rebellion against my father; the Cornish rebels were actually at the city walls! And inside, everything was panic, fear. We had no news of the royal army, or of my father. My mother tried to remain calm, but she was terrified. So was I. I was sure we were both going to be killed.

Henry VIII: [talking to Thomas Cromwell, trying to disguise the fact he is in agony from his leg wound] I've dispatched Suffolk with the royal army. If need be, I will dispatch a second army to destroy the rebels.
Thomas Cromwell: Yes, Majesty.
Henry VIII: Unless they disperse, and send 100 of their ringleaders to the Duke of Suffolk with halters around their necks, then he has our permission to burn and destroy all their goods, and make a fearful example of them to all our subjects.
Thomas Cromwell: Yes, Majesty.
Henry VIII: If still they do not submit, Mr. Cromwell, then I promise the utter destruction of them, their wives and their children. Do you understand me? I will destroy them all...[he looks up and glares at Cromwell] And then I'll destroy you, Cromwell!

The Northern Uprising [3.2]

Lord Mayor of London: Your Grace.
Charles Brandon: My lord, I was promised artillery when I arrived here, but I don't see any guns!
Lord Mayor of London: Your Grace, we have guns, but we have not been able to find enough horses or drays to transport them.
Charles Brandon: [angered] Perhaps you don't understand. I'm about the King's most urgent business. And if you cannot commandeer enough horses for his Majesty's use, then how can you call yourself Mayor of London!?
Lord Mayor of London: Your Grace, I did not want to cause a panic by forcing people to part with their horses and drays!
Charles Brandon: [furious] IDIOT! I charge you, personally, to find enough horses within two days, and bring the guns on after our army, or God help me, I will hold you to account! With any luck, Mr. Mayor, I will afterwards have the chance to see you DISEMBOWELLED AT TYBURN!
Francis Bryan: Your Majesty's life is far too precious to be put at risk against such a common rabble. Of course, if you choose to go, you'd be like a lion among wolves.
King Henry: Sir Francis, I don't require you to flatter me.

Dissension and Punishment [3.3]


The Death of a Queen [3.4]


Henry VIII: (to Jane Seymour) Don't go. Just because you have done everything that you have promised, don't leave me. You are the milk of human kindness, the light in my dark, dark world. Without you, life is a desert, a howling wilderness. (looks up) Please, God, in Your mercy, don't take her away from me! My son needs his mother, and I need my Queen!

Problems in the Reformation [3.5]

Henry VIII: [at the tomb of Jane Seymour] One day I shall lie beside you again, I promise and we shall sleep together for eternity.
Henry VIII: "I miss her Will. I miss her so much."
Will The Fool: "I know....But this too shall pass. Why go on dwelling in darkness?"

Search for a New Queen [3.6]

Henry VIII: [talking angrily to Charles Brandon] That's what you want, isn't it Charles? An Imperial wedding like my father arranged for me, just like Wolsey always wanted a French one! Everyone has plans and what I want doesn't matter! Oh the Poles have plans; people are always talking about that little boy in the Tower and poor old Lady Salisbury, but let me tell you, they have Plantagenet blood in their veins! And my father, my father told me "If you leave so much as a sapling in the ground, one day it will grow into a tree!" And that little boy in the Tower will have forty thousand troops flocking to his banner, and YOU will be the sucker!
Charles Brandon: Tell Sir Francis to double the guards around the Princess Mary and defend her with their life- for if the King dies, some will be for the boy, others for her.


Princess Mary Tudor: [to the Spanish Ambassador on Thomas Cromwell] I am more convinced than ever that he is the agent of Satan. If I could, I would strip him from the King's side- and burn him.

Protestant Anne of Cleves [3.7]


[A page comes into Cromwell's office and leaves some papers on his desk. He notices a bowl containing several pears; seeing no one around, he hesitantly grabs one, but as he turns he notices Cromwell kneeling in prayer in a corner]

Page: (startled and terrified, hastily puts the pear back) My Lord! (after a moment, Cromwell glances up at him) I- I'm sorry, Lord Cromwell, I didn't see you. I...
Thomas Cromwell: (stands) I was talking to God.
Page: (frowns)... But, surely, Sir, you have to go to church for that?
Thomas Cromwell: (stares at him in disbelief)... Do you understand nothing of our reforms? God is not just in church, He is... everywhere. (steps toward him) We do not need priests to speak for us, we can... speak to Him ourselves- and, He will listen. There is no need for bells, and books, and candles. All you need... is your soul. (smiles momentarily) Now go away, and think. (the page starts to leave) Wait. (the page stops, Cromwell offers him the pear.)

The Undoing of Cromwell [3.8]


Season 4


Moment of Nostalgia [4.1]

Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: I have a moment of nostalgia now and then... even for my enemies. I understand that Thomas Boleyn died recently.
Eustace Chapuys: (dryly) Yes, and the only mourners at that funeral were the ghosts of his children.

Charles Brandon: And, now that you are back at Court, what are you intentions?
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey: To surpass the achievements of my father and grandfather.
Charles Brandon:... That is very ambitious.
Surrey: (shrugs) I am a Howard, Your Grace- it is expected of me, and always has been. And I will not fail.

Sister [4.2]

King Henry VIII: Does the Duchess love you any better, Charles?
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: She seems to but only for the sake of appearances.
King Henry VIII: [sighs] How can I help you, Charles?
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: Well, when she consents to make love with me again, strike a medal to commemorate it.
King Henry VIII: [talking to his advisors] My Lords, I assure you I am not content. I have relied upon you to inform and counsel me, and yet I am the most deceived. I have trusted and favoured all of you, and I have formed a sinister opinion that most of you are liars and flatterers who look only to your own profits. I know what you are planning, and if God gives me the strength, I will see to it that none of your projects ever succeed! [sadly] I mourn Cromwell's death. [His advisors looks shocked] Yes, I mourn him! I mourn him, now that I perceive that my counsellors, by light pretext and by false accusations, made me put to death the most...faithful servant I ever had.

Something For You [4.3]


King Henry VIII: (to his daughter, Elizabeth) Without knowledge, life is not worth having.

Natural Ally [4.4]

Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: (hallucinating during illness as he sees Lord Darcy) You're dead!!
Lord Darcy: Yes, but not at rest.

Bottom Of The Pot [4.5]


(while imprisoned in the Tower of London for adultery and treason)

Jailer: Do you want a confessor?
Katherine Howard: No. I have spoken to God so rarely, I do not think he would know who I was.

Katherine Howard: I have come here to die. I die a Queen, but I would rather die the wife of Culpeper. Life is very beautiful.

You Have My Permission [4.6]

Princess Mary: Tell me what is happening in Court. Is the King thinking of marrying again?
Ambassador Bishop Chapuys: There is a new law enacted. It requires that any lady the king may marry must, on pain of death, disclose any charge of sexual misconduct that might be brought against her. Frankly, my lady, this lowers the field. The ladies at court are how you say... not exactly known for their virtue.

Catherine Parr: (about her first husband) It was not a happy marriage, Your Majesty.
King Henry VIII: Do you think such a thing exists?
Catherine Parr: Yes, I believe that with all my heart and soul.

Sixth and the Final Wife [4.7]

King Henry VIII: Your Grace, I will appoint you commander of the armies if you have the will and the stomach for the fight.
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: Majesty, I can only thank God for the chance to win honor and glory in the field. What man would not prefer to die with a sword in his hand and a cry in his throat rather than in a bed in England.

Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: The King does not just want France back but all his honor and his youth as well. In that, he is like me.

As It Should Be [4.8]

King Henry VIII: (angry at his physicians) These men are not sick from the phlox but from cowardice, and I will not send cowards home. They will either fight or I'll hang them by the wayside! You get them from their sickbeds back into that trench or you'll find yourself a head shorter!

Brigitte Rousselot: What are you thinking?
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: That I was dead and am alive again.

Secrets of the Heart [4.9]


[At Parliament December 24,1545 ]

King Henry VIII: My well-beloved commons, I come here today to speak with you to set forth my mind and the secrets of my heart. There should be perfect love and concord in this realm but instead there is discord and dissension in every place. What love and charity is there amongst the clergy when one calls the other heretic and anabaptist, and the other calls him papist and hypocrite? Are these tokens of charity amongst you? Are these the signs of fraternal love? The people look for light, and you bring them darkness. And as for the laity, you are not clean of malice and envy. For you slander and rebuke priests and bishops. You take it upon yourself to judge the clergy by the sole light of your fantastical opinions and vain expositions. Although you are permitted to read holy scripture, you must understand that it is under license, and only to inform your conscience, not to dispute and make scripture. I gave you the Bible in your own tongue, but I am sorry to see that that most precious jewel, the word of God, has been disputed, rhymed, sung, and jangled in every ale house and every tavern in this realm. I, whom God has appointed His vicar here, will see these divisions extinct and those enormities corrected, or God should account me an unprofitable servant. Therefore, be of charity with one another, like brother and brother. Love, dread, and serve God, to which I, as your supreme head and sovereign lord exhort and require you. And I doubt not but that love and affinity which I spoke of at the beginning shall never be dissolved or broken between us.

Earl of Surrey: What we must first decide is how best to approach Windsor, and in what manner to overcome the guards who surround the Prince and so remove him... For be there no doubt, gentlemen, he who possesses the heir to the throne will very soon possess the throne itself.

Death of a Monarchy [4.10]

Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: I think your faction is engaged in a fight to the death with Bishop Gardiner and his.
Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford: [nods] I will not hide the truth from you, Your Grace. The King's infirmity, and the youth of my nephew, make the question of succession urgent. The stakes could not possibly be higher.
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: And you desire to know, I assume, on which side of the argument I belong?
Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford: Your Grace, whether you will it or not, you carry a great weight of confidence and influence with the King and everyone knows that. But fewer people know that your wife the Duchess and my wife Anne, together with the Queen are as close on matters of religion as it is possible to be, and this close affinity has emboldened me now to approach Your Grace.
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: [angrily] Surely, your wife has told you that the Duchess and I are estranged, thus her affinities are not necessarily my own, and you do me a great disservice to assume that they are! [Hertford looks taken aback by his anger]
Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford: Your Grace, forgive me-
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: I do forgive you...I forgive you even for hounding poor, proud Surrey to his death, for it was his fault. [Hertford again looks taken aback] But as to religion, I have never read the Gospels and never shall. I am sure they enlighten you, but I prefer them to remain mysterious. And as to the promise of a better world, I can only say that England was merry before, and all things considered, I'd put all things were as they used to be, in times past.
Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford: [disappointed] Your Grace, if I do not have your support, may I ask if you will act against me?
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk: I'm not sure if this is any answer, my Lord Hertford, but I've always been drawn to a phrase used by the French peasants: "Praise the God of all, drink the wine, and let the world be the world".

King Henry VIII: In these last days Your Grace, I have been thinking a great deal about loss. What loss Your Grace, is to man most irrecoverable?
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: His virtue.
King Henry VIII: No, for by his actions, he may redeem his virtue.
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: Then his honor.
King Henry VIII: No, for again he may find the means to recover it. Even if some man recovers his fortune he is lost.
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk: Then I cannot say, Your Majesty.
King Henry VIII: Time,Your Grace. Of all losses, time is the most irrecuperable, for it could never be redeemed.

(while Henry is sitting down and having his portrait done by Hans Holbein, he spots the ghost of his first wife, Katherine of Aragon)

King Henry VIII: What are you doing here?
Katherine of Aragon: I have come to see my daughter. Why should that surprise you, Henry? [Mary walks in and stands next to Katherine] You have not always been kind to her. I have wept so often to see her alone, abandoned by her father.
King Henry VIII: Is that why you have come back ,Katherine? To chide me, for all that I am not?
Katherine of Aragon: She ought to be a long time married by now, she ought to have her own children.
King Henry VIII: (weakly) Go away. Shade. Go away, Katherine.
Katherine of Aragon: You have sent me away before,though I loved you. But I was still your wife in God's eyes- and still am. (both Katherine of Aragon and Mary disappear)

(as Henry is about to take a drink,he spots the ghost of his second wife, Anne Boleyn)

King Henry VIII: Why are you here?
Anne Boleyn: To see my daughter. She was the only pure thing in my life and in my life I neglected her, since she was only a girl and I wanted so much to give you a son but now I am so proud of her. Fiercely proud! She is so clever and [Elizabeth appears next to Anne] though she is like me in so many ways, she is not intemperate as I was. You must be proud of her too, Henry?
King Henry VIII: I am. I am very proud of her and I know how clever she is. And I wish that I could love her more, but from time to time she reminds me of you and what you did to me.
Anne Boleyn: I did nothing to you .(walks towards him) I was innocent. All the accusations against me were false. I thought you knew. Poor Katherine Howard, she lies in the cold ground next to me. Poor child. It was not her fault either . But we were like two moths drawn to the flame- and burned. (Anne walks away; Henry is visibly resisting tears)
King Henry VIII: Anne, please, don't! (Anne and Elizabeth disappear)

(as Henry walks away from the Throne room, he hears the voice of his late third wife, Jane Seymour)

Jane Seymour: How is my son?
King Henry VIII: Jane. (he walks towards Jane) He is well. I have taken all care of him, sweet Jane. And soon he will be King.
Jane Seymour: My poor boy. My poor child!
King Henry VIII: No! He is the most beloved! (Edward appears next to Jane, attempts to walk toward Henry, but is gently halted by Jane) He is my special boy!
Jane Seymour: He will die young.
King Henry VIII: No! No!
Jane Seymour: Poor child, you expected too much of him! He was only a boy, kings too are made of clay and God forbid you locked him away from the world like your father did with you!
King Henry VIII: No!
Jane Seymour:Don't you understand?! You have killed him!
King Henry VIII: No! (turns away and starts to cry while Jane and Edward walk away)


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