The White Queen finale review

The White Queen finale review | Everybody do the Humpty Hump

Published by jamdog on 18th August, 2013.

The White Queen finale review

BBC One/Starz

How best to rule? Isn’t that what The White Queen has been about – how best to play the Game of Thrones? Too authoritarian and the peasants revolt, too liberal and they take the piss. King Edward‘s land-for-traitors policy wasn’t quite the winner he anticipated and he never quite managed to unite the country before his death.  The Princes in the Tower are missing presumed dead. Author Philippa Gregory has gone with the conspiracy theory that Richard, the youngest child, was switched with some commoner and lived to not rule another day. No one really knows who killed those two nauses in the tower – Edward and the pleb. It could have been Lady Margaret Chinbeast, it could have been Lady Anne Neville (she’s the favourite as events unfold here). It’s all so bare complicated.

Future rhyming slang Richard the Third seems to be exonerated of the infanticide Shakespeare places at his door which is not to say that he gets an easy ride. He was very cocky about putting a baby in his wife which was foolhardy at best. With mediaeval infant mortality being what it is not to mention the firstborn curse floating around, exhibiting hubris is the kind of fate tempting Richard can ill afford and when the delivery comes baby Edward arrives as cold and lifeless as Gareth Aveyard‘s Twitter feed. “Deadward more like!” says a court wag and Richard has to stifle a giggle despite himself. So Humpy the Turd no longer has an heir and Margaret Chinbeast advises her son and rival to the throne Henry Tudor that this might be a particularly splendid time to kill Richard and end the York line for good. He’s inclined to agree.

When the delivery comes baby Edward arrives as cold and lifeless as Gareth Aveyard’s Twitter feed. “Deadward more like!” says a court wag and Richard has to stifle a giggle despite himself.

Meanwhile as Richard’s plain Jane wife gets consumption his niece Princess Elizabeth has blossomed into a particularly fine piece of tail, something that does not go unnoticed in the royal court. “Am I not young and fair?” her comely visage seems to say, “Yes! And I’m a grotesque BOCFOC and future car park tenant – wanna make out and continue the York line?” Richard’s busted mug seems to respond. Her mother seems surprisingly OK with it so why should we care? One theory is that, with Elizabeth betrothed to Henry Tudor – the King’s outrageous flirting (and maybe worse) is all to make his enemy a laughing stock. Mrs Humpy the Turd dies to pave the way for any potential wedding between King Nunc and his neice. Is it on? Yeah, it’s on.

“Am I not young and fair?” her comely visage seems to say “Yes! And I’m a grotesque BOCFOC and future car park tenant – wanna make out?” his busted mug seems to respond.

And that’s how we get to The Battle of Bosworth Field – it’s for Elizabeth, England and all the marbles. King Richard rides with his crown on his head so Henry Tudor can see him, a flamboyant piece of showboating for one so dour. Sir William Stanley, who rolls with a rugged crew, will decide the battle by choosing a side and has been steadfast in not declaring during the buildup even when Richard kidnapped his son in an attempt to force his hand. Nice poker face, Stanley.

After some exciting to-and-fro it’s Richard who takes the battle to Henry, looking to snuff the pretender out himself. He skewers the standard-bearer and quickly has Henry in his sights. It’s not looking good for the young Tudor – untested in battle and pursued by a three-post ment – but his men surround him and Richard’s thrust is parried for now.

All of a sudden Stanley’s army sound the horns and they’ve picked a side: Tudor. Now it’s Richard who looks exposed. Sir Percival Turdwell stands steadfast while the Lancastrians hack him to death much like the Black Knight in The Holy Grail. Richard’s followers offer him a horse and a chance to GTFO but the Humpy King is not having it. He’ll stay there and go out slugging. He dies like a twat to be vilified, rehabilitated and generally patronised for the next several centuries.

Richard’s followers offer him a horse and a chance to GTFO but the Humpy King is not having it. He’ll stay there and go out slugging. He dies like a twat to be vilified, rehabilitated and generally patronised for the next several centuries.

So it’s Henry Tudor, probably the weakest of all the claims to succession, who ends up on the throne at the end with pretty Elizabeth his new Queen.  Lady Margaret Chinbeast showed us that through steadfastness, prayer and killing innocent children in their sleep you could get your thick son on the throne with a tidy wife beside him. Truly she was a beacon of hope in a dark time.

Lady Margaret Chinbeast showed us that through steadfastness, prayer and killing innocent children in their sleep you could get your thick son on the throne with a tidy wife beside him. Truly she was a beacon of hope in a dark time.

As for The White Queen it’s been consistently strong in making the politics of the War of the Roses personal. It’s less batshit than The Tudors, less dull than The Boregias and has less Blowseph Whines than Camelot. It’s not quite The Pillars of the Earth but Rebecca Ferguson and Aneurin Barnard in particular impress with their performances. Gregory gets criticised for a lack of historical accuracy in her books but so what if Edward IV wasn’t a surfer dude with a pole dancing mistress? The truth is barely more ridiculous and we’re mostly here for the body count and the intrigue and no one’s telling me we didn’t get them.

The verdict: Bosworth Field was a false flag.

Marks out of 10: 7.5

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