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  • Cromwell managing to manipulate Henry by not manipulating him. He stands by his opposition to war in France when Henry takes him to task over it, then offers reasonable modifications to any future strategy. Henry remarks that Cromwell's reputation is bad, and Cromwell replies that his Majesty can form his own opinion, encouraging Henry to do just that.
  • His Breaking Speech to Harry Percy, who is loudly insisting that he was precontracted to Anne Boleyn. Yes, Harry Percy has an army, but he also has debts. And Cromwell knows all of his creditors, and he can have them call in those debts all at once. With no more money, Percy can't pay his soldiers. If he has no soldiers, he can't hold the northern border, and if he can't do that, Henry will take away the earldom of Northumberland to put in someone who can. After that, of course, Harry will be free to marry Anne Boleyn and live in a hovel, wearing homespun, skinning and jointing their own rabbits for the stewpot. A To the Pain speech without any thread of physical torture.
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  • Faced with a raging Henry, Cromwell politely excuses himself and strolls off, a move almost suicidal in its audacity. He then subtly threatens George Boleyn for directing the king to do so. Later, when Henry gives him compliments and suggests a friendly trip together as a sort-of apology for the above moment, Cromwell lets him keep talking rather than kowtowing or seeming grateful that the king isn't angry, and only relents when Henry openly calls Cromwell his right hand. After smiling to show that Henry's forgiven (just a smile, no expression of gratitude or anything,) the first thing he does is tell the king that they won't be able to take that trip as Henry will be busy, to which Henry agrees. The fact that he lets Henry know in no uncertain terms that he has wronged Cromwell and he's not going to just pretend it didn't happen is amazing in itself, but the fact that Henry keeps stumbling through his sort-of apology rather than getting angry again show that Cromwell really is as indispensable as he claims he is.
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  • A villainous version by Thomas More in his defiance towards Henry and the British parliament, refusing to the end to sign the Oath of Supremacy that makes Henry head of the C of E. This is after months of not only Cromwell attempting to persuade and strongarm him into signing, but his own family too.
    "I have all the general councils of the Church, stretching back for a thousand years!"
  • Cromwell's instant knife reflexes when William Stafford accidentally sneaks up on him are quite impressive, given that Cromwell is in the midst of an Almost Kiss with Mary Boleyn.

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Book

  • Jane Seymour might be genuinely kind, but she's not stupid. When she does start to accept Henry's presents of money, she squirrels it all away because she knows better than to assume it will last. Then she starts to subtly but surely compel her brothers to actually speak to her with respect rather than a thing to be traded.

Series

  • Episode 1 ends with a painter at Cromwell's house asking if he should paint out Wolsey's coat of arms now that Wolsey's been stripped of his post and exiled to York. Cromwell's response, as the main theme swells:
    "No. Paint it again. Paint it brighter."
  • Cromwell reviving Henry by thumping him repeatedly on the chest after a jousting accident, single-handedly saving the king and averting a succession crisis and civil war.
  • A beautifully understated moment comes when Anne is arrogantly giving Cromwell yet another command that Cromwell isn't really comfortable about carrying out. While complying with this one, Cromwell excuses himself with a bow and a polite "That will be all, Your Majesty?"... but his tone of voice makes it impossible to tell if there really is a question mark on the end of that sentence, and he then leaves without waiting for her answer. A perfect example of Cromwell sending clear signals that he is no mere Yes-Man while avoiding any open insolence or defiance that could get his head chopped off.
  • Episode 3 opens with James Bainham being tortured by Thomas More for his heretical views (i.e., he's a Protestant). Cromwell gets him freed through Anne's influence and having him recant, but before the episode ends Bainham returns to a church, Tyndale's English Bible in hand, and begins to read aloud. He knows it will get him executed and his hands are shaking as he stands in the pew, but he does it anyway.

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