This week, we watched as Elizabeth and Margaret did their best to keep their families safe and in charge — all while Lord Warwick tried to do the same.
When Warwick (James Frain) was refused help in slaying King Edward and putting his brother, George, on the throne, Warwick agreed to release Edward. Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson), though relieved to have her husband back, was still furious with George and Warwick for murdering her brother and father. She wanted revenge. Edward (Max Irons) did the opposite, though. He wanted peace in his lands, so instead of seeking an eye for an eye, he loaded up his brother and Warwick with more lands and titles. He even promised that his eldest daughter could be married into their family. Elizabeth was not pleased and knew she'd have to take matters into her own hands.
As forgiving as Edward was being, it wasn't enough to appease Warwick, who was still on the warpath. He convinced Edward that Margaret d'Anjou was staging an uprising and that Edward must ride out to fight. Warwick, though, was just trying to draw out Edward so he could kill him during the heat of battle.
To help add to the confusion and numbers, Warwick wrangled Jasper Tudor, who pulled Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale) into the mix. If Warwick killed Edward, George would become king. Jasper and Margaret knew George (David Oakes) wouldn't last long, though, and that next in line would be Margaret's son, Henry. They still needed more men, so Margaret used her devious mind and barbed tongue to convince her little brother, Richard, that if he rolled into battle to help Warwick, it would be Richard with the crown on his head.
Once on the battlefield, however, Richard discovered the truth. He ran to Edward and told him of Warwick's plan. The move cost Richard his life, but it also saved Edward. Warwick, George, Isabel and all had to flee — and fast. Knowing nowhere else to go, they boarded a ship and headed for Calais.
Madder than ever, Elizabeth worked her magic to try to keep them all down. As Margaret rode for young Henry and Warwick and his band of familiar misfits floated toward France, Elizabeth conjured up a storm. It was during that storm that Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) went into labor, and while being tossed about by the waves on the sea, she was forced to have her sister Anne reach in to reposition the quasi-royal baby. When the storm clouds passed, Isabel and George's baby was dead, Margaret had a son who barely knew her and Elizabeth was reigning supreme — for the moment.
What can we learn from these ladies all vying for the throne? Quite a bit, actually. Here's how they weathered the storm.
Elizabeth has spent years catering to her handsome husband, and for the most part, he's done everything possible to make her happy. However, he wouldn't seek revenge for Warwick's part in killing Elizabeth's father and brother. Sometimes gentle goading (and even hissy fits) can only get you so far. As we saw from Elizabeth this week, sometimes you have to go about things on your own.
Hence, we saw Anne Neville attending to the queen in her dressing room. This was awful for Anne for a number of reasons. Most importantly, the Neville girls clearly think they're above serving anyone — especially Elizabeth. As we watched Anne help Her Royal Highness from her dress, we saw another factor in Liz's demands. Isabel is married, but Anne is still innocent and unattached. It must have been emotionally hard to see two people so incredibly in love (since she can't have that and also because their love is ruining her life). Plus, innocent Anne no doubt felt incredibly awkward being privy to the king and queen's most passionate moments.
Margaret Beaufort will do anything to get her young son on the throne. That includes lying to her husband and putting her baby brother in danger.
First and foremost, she's obviously in love with Jasper Tudor. History lesson: Jasper is actually her brother-in-law (due to her first marriage) and Henry's uncle. No one is entirely sure if they had an affair when Margaret's first husband was still alive, but she's definitely keen on him now. She may be married to Henry Stafford, but her heart belongs to the Lancastrian Jasper. Together, they're a nearly unstoppable duo. Will their love keep him alive, though? On the flip side are the lies she's told to her current husband — and to her brother. One is already dead because of her lies. Will Stafford be next?
Margaret does a lot of praying for the things she wants in life and love, but at the end of the day, her scheming always seems to make things fall apart. We're all for empowering yourself and doing whatever you can to get what you want/need, but just make sure it doesn't harm others — as in the case of the impaled brother.
In the words of the most royally English men on the planet, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."
No one seems to be more aware of that than Queen Elizabeth and her mother. They'll do anything possible to get what works best for them — like when they used witchcraft to win Elizabeth's place beside Edward on the dais.
This week, we watched them use witchcraft two more times. First, they re-created the spell with the strings and the water. Elizabeth pulled a silver baby's spoon from the river with the name "Edward" engraved on it. She was having the boy she so desperately needed.
Then, when Warwick and his family were sailing for Calais, Elizabeth conjured up a holy hell of a storm. Margaret d'Anjou refused to let them into the gates of Calais and even went so far as to fire upon their boat. By the end of the ride, not only had Isabel lost her baby, but a wedge had been driven between Isabel and George, and Warwick had no safe harbor to protect him from Edward's fury. Her magic had worked, but for how long? Remember, karma is a b****.
If you'll notice, though, none of the women fighting for the throne are solely independent women. Even as they turned from their husbands, they didn't exactly take matters into their own hands.
Witchcraft (Elizabeth), Daddy (Isabel) and God (Margaret) can only get you so far, girls. To find out their fate, tune in to The White Queen on STARZ at 9e/9p on Saturday.
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