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YMMV: The Tudors

  • Crosses the Line Twice: Getting Cromwell sentenced to death on trumped up charges was fine, plus about what you'd expect for political enemies in the show, but it was probably not in very good taste to get his executioner drunk to the point where decapitating him took five hits of the axe.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Anne Boleyn and arguably Thomas Cromwell. Mary isn't quite at their level, but has plenty of fans too.
  • Hollywood Homely: Anne of Cleves as played by Joss Stone. "Looks like a horse"? Okay-then.
    • Probably the point: Anne of Cleves was considered quite attractive by most people who weren't Henry, and if you look at the portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger, she even looks a bit like Joss Stone. Hence it being about how irrationally temperamental Henry was rather than about her actual attractiveness. In real life, it's quite likely that Henry was more interested by then in pursuing the 16 year old Catherine Howard, and so needed an out from the marriage.
  • Ho Yay/Yaoi Guys: The composer Thomas Tallis and William Compton. Later, George Boleyn and Mark Smeaton.
    • Bury Your Gays: During the Season 2 finale, George Boleyn and Mark Smeaton are accused of treason/sleeping with Anne Boleyn and are executed.
    • It's strongly hinted that Katherine Howard and her friend engaged in lesbian sex at some point in the past.
  • Les Yay: Slightly hinted between Queen Katherine Howard and her old friend, Joan Bulmer.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Thomas Cromwell. Critics agree, James Frain is one of the best things on the show. He will be missed. Apparently Henry, doing his typical later reflection, would agree (about Cromwell that is. I don't think the real Henry knew Frain).
    • Cardinal Wolsey was no slouch when it came to some magnificent bastardy on his party playing the political games of court and European politics like a pro. His later downfall from Henry's favor is made more tragic because it was largely to outside circumstances than anything he did aside from taking the pension from the French that is.
    • Edward Seymour shows flashes of this. So does his wife: especially in the last few episodes. Which is appropriate; historically Edward and Anne Seymour were quite the power couple, but apparently there is no such thing as a functional marriage on this show, hence Anne having two on-screen affairs.
  • Moral Event Horizon: After seeing Thomas Culpepper rape a game keeper's wife and then kill her husband when the man tried to bring him to justice, with no remorse and instead a tad of annoyance what's coming to him can't come soon enough.
  • Narm:
    • The siege of Boulogne, due to a combination of dodgy CGI and even dodgier French accents.
    • Jonathan Rhys Meyers' attempt at acting like an old man in the last two episodes, which largely consists of a hoarse voice about on par with Christian Bale's Batman, and random pauses that come off more like he's having trouble remembering his lines.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Will Sommers shows up in one episode (played by David Bradley) to cheer Henry up after Jane Seymour dies.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Anne Boleyn. When she first appeared she was hated by most of the fans (for just being Anne Boleyn and a lot of biased history writers paint her out as the villain) but quickly grew into the perhaps most beloved character on the show (at least in its first two seasons). When she met her demise a lot of fans said they didn't want to watch anymore now that she was gone.
    • Mary Tudor also arrived with a lot of negative historical baggage but her portrayal as a seriously flawed yet very sympathetic character won viewers over. At the end of the show many fans were expressing disappointment that they wouldn't get to see Sarah Bolger's take on Queen Mary.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • In one episode Henry passes a poor woodsman on the road and casually confiscates his wife for the night. The wife in question is Katie McGrath, who was working in the wardrobe department at the time, and is now currently starring as Morgana on Merlin.
    • Charles Brandon is now Superman in Man of Steel.
    • Henry's elder daughter Mary is Sleeping Beauty on Once Upon a Time and her suitor in the Season 3 finale is Captain Hook.
    • Francis Bryan lost the eye patch and got promoted to the king of France.
      • Which makes it entirely possible that the actor's two characters met in Real Life, although his Reign character would have almost certainly been a child at the time.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Why was the woman three queens back executed? (on the show, at least.) That's right, for adultery. And what happened to the men who were accused of being her lovers? They were executed too, right again! So, explain to is it a good idea to have mad passionate sex with your lord and master's new trophy wife, and vice versa with the staff?
    • Also Katherine Parr, a bit. Appointing the guy who was just stripped of his bishop's role for suspected heresy as your chaplain is a bit of a risk, as her sister points out.
  • What The Hell Casting Agency?: An initial reaction to hearing Joss Stone would be playing Anne of Cleves, casting a singer with no previous acting experience in a difficult part that also involves speaking with a foreign accent sounds like a recipe for disaster. As it turned out, she was very good. Although one still wonders why she was cast as the wife Henry deemed too ugly for him to be able to procreate with. She was initially supposed to play Jane Seymour but had to drop out due to scheduling conflict. (Although, courtiers writing after Henry's death apparently said that Anne of Cleaves was the most beautiful of Henry's wives and some people think that Henry became impotent at this point due to weight gain and blamed Anne.)
  • The Woobie:
    • Katherine of Aragon. Her daughter too.
    • Anne of Cleves, until Henry divorced her. Then she became the happiest (as well as luckiest) of his wives.
    • Suffolk in Season 3 turns into an Anti-Villain after Henry and Cromwell's ruthlessness becomes too much for him. He's haunted by his actions against the northern rebels, his wife miscarries a child, and even him gaining some last minute happiness with a mistress doesn't alter his Woobie status.

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