The Tudors

Season 1 Episode 2

Simply Henry

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 08, 2007 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
208 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Henry and the court go to the summit to sign the treaty with France. Tensions are understandably high, and tempers of both kings flare up more than once. Meanwhile, Henry takes on a new mistress named Mary Boleyn. He soon tires of her and her father summons her sister Anne to court and tells her to find a way to keep the king's interest.moreless

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  • Simply Henry

    Simply Henry was a superb episode of The Tudors. I enjoyed watching this episode because it brings a fresh perspective to this time period. Though it may not be 100% historically accurate, this series is very entertaining and gives viewers a taste of the good life in England during this period. I really enjoy the way the story is unfolding. There was a lot of character and plot development in this episode. Lord Buckingham got caught in his schemes and now has paid the price. I enjoy watching the character driven scenes. I look forward to watching the next episode of The Tudors!!!!!!!moreless
  • The love-hate relationship between England and France is explored as, behind closed doors, things are not as they seem.

    Again, not the strongest of episodes, however, this is clearly the path that this series will be taking. The show is now getting into the swing of things, with the performances starting to shine and the plot becoming darker.

    Notable this episode is Jeremy Northam who plays the king's unlikely best friend, Sir Thomas More. Northam is outstanding in this role and brings a sense of class and dignity to the show.

    Nick Dunning as Boleyn has a very creepy presence about him, and rightly so - this is the man who basically sold off both his daughters to the king for power and stature. His relationship with Anne is beautifully acted out to be as unconventional as we would all imagine it to be.

    Maria Doyle Kennedy is stunning as Queen Katherine. Although we all know the story, it is hard to believe this dignified and charming woman ended up how she did - Doyle Kennedy is a fantastic foe for Anne Boleyn, the two inhabit completely different ends of the spectrum and clever casting creates the necessary tension.

    The episode continues to follow the love-hate relationship between England and France. This is to become a constant theme throughout the show as the king's make and break friendship over all matter of trivial things. Cardinal Wolsey's role as a double agent already shows itself, and there is clearly only trouble to come.

    Clearly a most interesting show, this series is proving to be harder work than I expected, but I find it worth the effort.moreless
  • Henry and goes to the summit to sign the treaty with France. Henry takes on a new mistress named Mary Boleyn, but soon tires of her and her father summons her sister Anne to court and tells her to find a way to keep the king's interest.moreless

    I feel as though the point of the story just gets lost. The show starts off with getting your attention, but somewhere in the middle they lose sight of the objective. The plot is not the backbone of this show. The performance of Maria Doyle Kennedy, playing Queen Kathrine is by far better than the rest of the performances. I know it is not the point, however, if writers, directors, and producers are going to doing something over a historical figure, please make it as go along with history. It bothers me a little when I look something up and it is not portrayed as to how it was. A few of the characters are just so plain, so ordinary, no interest. The writing was not at its best.moreless
  • What to say...

    Maybe the episode is just too long or... it feels for second episode on row that on one point the story just gets lost. The beginning is catching and really attracts to view, but somewhere on middle, when some things have done and ended, they just are back on the beginning, trying to find what to do next. The story seems not to be the strongest part of this serie. The costumes are. They are still gorgeous. Also the tragic we have - The performance of the actress playing Cathrine is still at the top of the others, but we see much better performances on this episode than on last. But there are still many things I do not like - first the way the events do not follow the history. I understand it is not the point, sometimes but... it just bothers me a little. And some characters are so plain, so black and white, with no interest. Again, the writing is not the best.moreless
  • The story of Henry VIII.

    With Thomas More's encouragement, King Henry prepares to meet King Francis of France and sign Cardinal Wolsey's peace treaty. Henry had promised the hand of his daughter, Princess Mary, to the Dauphin of France, which caused strife between Henry and his queen, Katherine of Aragon. In France, Thomas Boleyn maneuvers his elder daughter Mary into Henry's bed in an effort to secure favours for the family. The Duke of Buckingham plots against the King, claiming a better right to the throne than Henry Tudor. But his purpose is betrayed by Thomas Boleyn. Katherine of Aragon continues to pray to the Virgin Mary to give her a live, healthy son, but Henry wrestles with the theological problem of having married his brother's wife, and questions whether his lack of sons could be God's punishment. There is much celebration as Lady Elizabeth Blount gives birth to Henry's illegitimate son, to Katherine's pain.moreless
Ruta Gedmintas

Ruta Gedmintas

Lady Blount

Guest Star

Barry McGovern

Barry McGovern

Bishop Bonnivet

Guest Star

Gerry O'Brien

Gerry O'Brien


Guest Star

Gabriella Wright

Gabriella Wright

Queen Claude

Recurring Role

Blathnaid Mckeown

Blathnaid Mckeown

Princess Mary

Recurring Role

Joe van Moyland

Joe van Moyland

Thomas Tallis

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Goof: King Henry VIII celebrates the birth of his son firing a flintlock musket; however, it was not invented until 1630, a century later.

    • Goof: Just minutes after Henry Fitzroy is born, he is held up and the baby's navel has already healed instead of looking recently cut after the birth.

    • Goof: While Anne Boleyn is talking to her father, he is holding a hawk. It is actually a Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) of American origin, which wasn't known in England in the 16th century.

    • In this episode Elizabeth Blount gives birth to the king's son on New Year's Eve. In fact the boy was born on June 15.

    • At the summit meeting, when Mary is meeting her future husband she gets up on the table and then it shows Wolsey saying "Princess Mary" and switches back to her getting back up on the table, which appears to be the same shot it showed before. Actually in the first shot, she's climbing up onto the chair placed at the end of the table. When the camera switches back she's stepping from the chair onto the table.

    • Continuity Error: When the Duke of Buckingham is being executed, Knivert pulls his hands from the chopping block and holds them out of the side, but in the very next shot you can see his hands still gripping the block.

    • Continuity Error: When the Duke of Buckingham is arrested the fur collar on his cloak goes from laying flat on his back to flipped up around his neck between shots.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Knivert: What bet will you lay?
      Charles Brandon: Go, Henry!
      William Compton: Two kings, two queens and a fool...
      Knivert: Who's the fool?
      William Compton: I don't know yet, but it's a full house...

    • Princess Mary: Are you the Dauphin of France?
      Prince Henri Philip: Oui.
      Princess Mary: Then I want to kiss you.

    • 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 Henry (to the Duke of Buckingham): Your Grace overwhelms me, your words touch me. They are the greatest gifts, greater than any riches.

    • King Francis: Do you see that young woman over there? Dressed in purple and gold?
      King Henry: 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.

    • 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!

    • 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.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode is rated TV-MA for violence and adult content.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Germany: June 7, 2008 on ProSieben
      Greece: June 19, 2008 on Mega
      Switzerland: December 16, 2009 on SF1
      Spain: July 15, 2010 on TVE-1
      Slovakia: January 7, 2011 on Doma


    • "The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli is a book that was originally called De Principatibus (About Principalities). It was written in 1513, but was published only in 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. It is considered one of the classics about political machinations and intrigue.