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Pope Clement VII is Bishop of Rome and Head of the Catholic Church during Season One of The Tudors.  Actor Ian McElhinney portrays him in a small but key role, he is likely since recognized for his role on Game of Thrones.

The real Pope Clement VII[]

Born Giulio de' Medici; 26 May 1478 – 25 September 1534) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 November 1523 to his death on 25 September 1534.

Clement's problems were exacerbated by underestimating King Henry's contentious divorce, willingness to overturn Catholic doctrine, resulting in England breaking away from the Catholic Church; and in 1527, souring relations with Emperor Charles V, leading to the violent Sack of Rome, during which Clement was imprisoned. After escaping confinement in the Castel Sant'Angelo, Clement—with few economic, military, or political options remaining—compromised the Church's and Italy's independence by allying with his former jailor, Charles V.

Season One[]

Episodes 1.07 Cardinal Wolsey sends 2 agents Mr. Gardener and Mr. Fox with a letter to the exiled Pope asking for him to make a favorable decision on Henry's 'Great Matter' but Clement instead brings up the problem of Anne Boleyn. Questions if she was already pregnant. The 2 men try to convince him of all her virtues. Also having brought legal proof, of the king's argument for divorce. When it seemed that still may not be enough for Pope Clement, as Wolsey suggested, the men state how if the king can not find the answers he needs through the church, they warn the pope that the king will look outside of the church.  

Coming back with an answer for the 2 men to bring back to England, Clement states he can not make a judgment here or today in regards to the king's case. Not dismissing the matter completely, nested sends his legate, Cardinal Campeggio, to form a court with Wolsey to hear the evidence and make a final decision in England.

Physical Appearance[]


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