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Preview: Wolf Hall – Episode Five

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell.

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell.

In the penultimate episode of the series, Henry VIII is now made Supreme Head of the Church of England, finally cutting off all ties with the Papacy in Rome. However, these plans do not suit everyone, and the Holy Roman Emperor and the Imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, make their opinions heard that they do not recognise Henry’s new title or his divorce of Catherine of Aragon.

The year is 1536, which turns out to be a thoroughly eventful year at Henry’s court. Catherine’s health begins to decline and wishes to see her daughter, Mary, after being forcibly separated from her for so long. Cromwell, sympathising with the once-Queen Consort, goes to visit Catherine, and attempts to persuade Henry to permit Chapuys to visit her. Henry instantly refuses, arguing that until the Holy Roman Emperor recognises Anne as his legitimate Queen, then he will not allow it.

After giving birth to a girl in 1533, knowing that she desperately needs to give birth to a boy soon, Anne falls pregnant again. However, during this time, Henry begins to take an interest in Jane Seymour. Her family notices this, and so calls on Cromwell to aid them in their relations with Henry.

Anne is all too aware of Cromwell’s liaisons with the Seymour family, and therefore reinstates her position on Cromwell, reminding him that it was her who put him in the position he is in today.

Crows sees Henry participate in a jousting tournament. Yet, as Tudor-fans will know, this particular tournament nearly leaves The King dead, and with only two daughters to succeed him. The court begins to panic at the prospect of Henry dying without securing the throne, and Anne miscarries from the shock at the news that he could die.

Tensions now arise between Anne and Henry. The King convinces himself that she has tricked him into marrying her and is threat to his position. With this in mind, Henry announces that he needs to marry again, and it is Cromwell who is given the task to deliver this devastating news.

Crows will be broadcast on Wednesday 18th February at 9pm on BBC Two. It will be available to watch online shortly after.

This episode was adapted by Peter Straughan, directed by Peter Kosminsky and produced by Mark Pybus.

You can read more about Wolf Hall and take a look at the behind the scenes action on the set of the series here.

Photo credit: BBC/Company Productions Ltd

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