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Tearjerker / Mary, Queen of Scots (2018)

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  • While visiting a newborn foal in the stables, Elizabeth briefly holds a cloak against her stomach as she looks at her shadow on the ground, giving the impression she's pregnant. She smiles for a moment, before her face falls and she drops the cloak. Elizabeth longs for a loving husband and children of her own, but her position as queen and duty to her country prevents her from achieving this dream (and she indeed never gets her wish, dying unmarried and childless).
    • It becomes an even greater tearjerker when you learn that historians believe that Elizabeth was physiologically traumatised, not by her father’s execution of her mother (something she wouldn’t remember, having been two years old at the time) as one would expect, but rather by Thomas Seymour who not only sexually assaulted her at age thirteen but also plotted to marry her after his wife, Katherine Parr, died from perpetual fever and dragged her name into a plot he hatched to kidnap her younger brother King Edward VI so that he could marry her, thus causing her to almost be executed; as well as the uprisings that used her name as a rallying cry that took place after her elder sister Queen Mary I made the unpopular decision to marry King Philip II of Spain, once again causing her to face possible execution. After all that nonsense, is it a surprise that Elizabeth I may have been afraid of marriage after going through such traumatic experiences?
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  • David Rizzio's murder, combined with Nightmare Fuel. One moment, he, Mary and her ladies are all happily playing cards together; the next, Darnley and a number of Mary's courtiers burst into the room and try to seize him. Mary and her ladies attempt to shield him, with a terrified Rizzio clinging to Mary and pleading with her to help him. However, the plotters simply stab him in the back before one of them holds a knife to Mary's pregnant belly, leaving her with little choice. She and her ladies can then only watch in horror as their friend is brutally stabbed over and over, still begging Mary to save him until he's too badly wounded to talk. Darnley's father forces him to strike the final blow despite his great reluctance and Mary's pleas, and she's then left sobbing over Rizzio's corpse and staring in disbelief at the assassins. Despite being Queen of Scotland, even she was left utterly powerless to protect her friend from being murdered by her subjects in her own bedroom. And to make it worse, all of this actually happened in real life.
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  • Bothwell's betrayal of Mary. All through the film, he has been Mary's only consistent ally and loyal friend. She has known him since childhood and trusts him completely, which makes his betrayal of her all the more shocking and distressing. He plots behind Mary's back to have her husband murdered and lets the people pin the blame on her, separates her from her son and then tells her that if she doesn't marry him he'll let the mob have her the next time the people rebel against her. And to make matters worse, all of it was for nothing anyway, because he doesn't end up becoming king as he'd intended.
  • Elizabeth's meeting with Mary, from both ends. Elizabeth clearly empathises with Mary and wants to help her, but due to the political climate she genuinely cannot do much but offer her asylum in England. Mary then throws this back in her face, accusing her of betraying her, which clearly hits a nerve with Elizabeth. Mary, meanwhile, has more or less hit rock-bottom; she's been married against her will to a man she thought her friend, forced out of her own country which she wants nothing but the best for, separated from her son and her last hope is Elizabeth, who then tells her that she can't do anything to help her besides give her shelter. Mary then spends the rest of her life under house arrest before being executed for plotting to kill Elizabeth (with the implication being she felt driven to do it out of desperation to reclaim her throne and see her son again).


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