The second episode of STARZ’s The White Queen reinforces my belief that becoming a queen would just be too much work. All of the plotting, overthrowing, and the need to have sons ASAP? It sounds exhausting.
Let’s bitch it out…
In one of the few scenes that does not involve a wedding, ‘The Price Of Power’ opens with Elizabeth’s (Rebecca Ferguson) coronation. This is an event filled with gorgeous costumes, grand scenery, and dirty backstabbing looks from Warwick the Kingmaker (James Frain), who still does not approve of her as queen.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s family is working overtime to ensure their safety and security within the kingdom. This includes marrying off every family member they can think of to highborn Yorkists and serving as trusted advisors to the King so that when it comes time to appoint a new Treasurer and Admiral of the fleet, he chooses Elizabeth’s father and brother. In a great scene, Elizabeth’s father (Robert Pugh) ensures that his own daughters, not Warwick’s, are the ones to follow Elizabeth into her coronation and be seen as part of her inner circle. Savvy move.
Elizabeth also gives birth to her first child with Edward…a girl. Kudos to Edward (Max Irons) for looking genuinely happy with the little baby girl when the whole kingdom knows this increases his chances at being seen as illegitimate and being overthrown.
Warwick captures the previous King (Henry) and presents him to Edward as a peace offering in an effort to get back in his good graces after Warwick makes deals behind Edward’s back. In return, Warwick asks for his daughters to be married to Edward’s brothers to seal their power within the royal family. After “consulting” with his queen (i.e. Elizabeth telling him no), Edward declines the request.
Now comes a three year time jump (because, you know, pacing) which shows Warwick marrying off his daughter Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) to Edward’s younger brother, George (David Oakes) against the King’s orders. He also amasses an army to go against the King – after all, he is a Kingmaker. When one King pisses him off, he can always make another (George, conveniently now part of his immediate family).
Warwick captures King Edward and executes Elizabeth’s father and brother. Which is a shame, because her dad was pretty awesome. Elizabeth vows revenge after the murder of her family so mom Jacquetta (Janet McTeer), being a witch and all, teaches her how to make a supernatural Burn Book to curse everyone she wants dead. Um sure…why not?
- When Isabel asks her sister if she will be loved the way the King loves the Queen, you just know it’s not going to end well for her. I know the wedding night is perfunctory to get a male heir but come on George, you can’t even kiss her on the lips? Isabel as a character is a very interesting mix of naïve and politically savvy. She tells her sister early in the episode that any marriage they have “must get ourselves into the line of succession” but then expresses her shock when finding out her father didn’t organize her marriage for her own happiness, but rather to overthrow the King
- We also learn more about Lady Margaret de Beaufort (Amanda Hale). Her son – Henry Tudor! – is of the many Lancastrians whose titles are being stripped by King Edward. The title is redistributed rather casually, when Edward rewards his brother with it after his hawk wins a hunt. Lady Margaret is a religious zealot with political aspirations for her son, and let’s be honest, a little bit cray-cray. But once we meet her mother, who flat out says “I do not care if you are happy,” and we see she’s been in love with one man her whole life, and her mother knew but married her off to another instead, we feel some sympathy for her. Lady Margaret is a woman scorned, with God on her side, trying to get vengeance for her son…so she should be a force to be reckoned with down the line
- Warwick: “I have no time for a queen who tries to rule her husband, and rule England through him. There’s no need for scheming women” Someone’s on the wrong series!
That’s it for me. What did you think of the second episode? Are things gelling a bit more? Are you feeling better about Elizabeth and Edward’s relationship? How hissable is Warwick? And what kind of trouble will Lady Margaret stir up moving forward? Comment away below
The White Queen airs Saturdays at 9pm EST on STARZ