This Showtime drama focuses on the early years of King Henry VIII's nearly 40-year reign (1509-1547) of England. The series looks at Henry's famous female companions like Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn and delves into his relationships with important figures like Sir Thomas More, Cardinal Wolsey (head of the Catholic Church of England during its break with Rome) and Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who was Henry's best friend and unofficial adviser.
Max von Sydow
Alan Van Sprang
Henry defeats a political foe but faces his mortality; the ghosts of Henry's queens appear.
Accusations of heresy are made against the queen; Lord Surrey faces the ultimate penalty.
One of Henry's officers engineers a sudden victory; the king's health is weakened; Brandon returns from France.
Henry marries Catherine Parr; Catherine stabilizes Henry's household.
Henry restores his daughters to the royal succession and forges an unexpected political alliance.
Henry is devastated to learn of Catherine's infidelities and banishes her from court.
The king's warm welcome in the North reinvigorates him; the queen's former lover threatens blackmail.
Henry forgives the citizens of the North for their rebellion; Catherine begins an affair with Culpeper.
Henry feels his age during Christmas celebrations; Lord Surrey takes aim at the Seymour clan.
King Henry marries his fifth wife, inspiring jealousy in a trusted courtier.
Henry moves to annul his marriage to Anne of Cleves and beds a new mistress; Princess Mary falls in love with Duke Philip of Bavaria; Cromwell falls from favor.
France and Spain, with backing from Rome, align against England; Henry agrees to a marriage with Anne of Cleves.
Cromwell schemes to secure the Reformation by finding Henry a Protestant wife; Henry's wounded leg turns life-threatening.
Henry remains in seclusion; enemies of the crown use the king's absence to their advantage; Cromwell is disturbed when Henry does not resist the new church's similarities to Roman Catholicism.
The leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace are executed; Brandon is disturbed by the mercilessness; Henry celebrates the birth of a son.
Henry reconciles with Mary and Elizabeth in time for Christmas; Henry makes promises to the leaders of the uprising.
The Pilgrimage of Grace begins in earnest; Henry dispatches Brandon to deal with the uprising; bedridden Henry takes a new mistress.
Henry marries his third wife, Jane Seymour, hoping for a male heir; subjects rebel against Henry's crusade against Roman Catholicism.
Anne awaits her fate in the tower; Henry proposes to Jane Seymour; Elizabeth is removed from the line of succession.
Anne's fall from grace is swift and complete; Henry accepts Cromwell's charges against Anne.
Anne's resurgence of popularity at court is short-lived; Jane replaces Anne in Henry's affections; Anne's hysteria causes complications; Henry attempts to renew his alliance with Charles.
Queen of Scotland Mary Stuart travels to France with four ladies-in-waiting to secure her politically strategic engagement to the king's son, Prince Francis. Mary and Francis share a mutual attraction, even though he has reservations about the wisdom of an alliance with Scotland. Complicating issues is Bash, Francis' illegitimate half-brother whom Mary finds herself drawn to in spite of herself. The French Court is also full of less romantic challenges for Mary, who finds her engagement -- and life -- threatened until she finds an ally in a mysterious shrouded guide. With all that she faces, Mary rallies, readying herself to rule and trying to find a balance between the demands of her country and those of her heart.
The Borgias, led by patriarch Rodrigo, are a family of outsiders from Spain who try to take over control of Renaissance-era Italy. Through the use of bribery, extortion and torture, Rodrigo rises up the ranks to become pope. Two of Rodrigo's children are used as pawns by being married off to members of rival families at a young age. Vanozza, Rodrigo's long-time mistress and mother of his children, and Giulia Farnese battle for the elder Borgia's affections. The story of the Borgias has inspired such works as Machiavelli's political treatise "The Prince" and Mario Puzo's "The Godfather."
War ravages England in 1464 during a blood feud between the House of York and the House of Lancaster over who is the country's true king. Young Edward IV, heir to the House of York, is crowned king with help from master manipulator Lord Warwick, known as "The Kingmaker," who has a plan to control the throne. But that plan comes crashing down when Edward falls in love with Lancastrian commoner Elizabeth Woodville. A violent struggle for the crown ensues between Woodville, adversary Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville, a pawn in her father's power game.