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Season One of The Tudors began in 2007. It chronicles the life of the infamous King of England, Henry VIII, and takes place in the sixteenth century- focusing on his relationship with his unpopular Chief Minister Cardinal Wolsey, his newfound romance with Anne Boleyn, and his desire to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in order to secure his dynasty.


One Chronicles the period of Henry VIII's reign in which his effectiveness as King is tested by international conflicts as well as political intrigue in his own court. Cardinal Wolsey plays a major part in the series, acting as Henry's trusted advisor.

In Episode 1, Wolsey persuades his King to keep the peace with France and the two Kings meet at Calais to agree a pact of friendship, while the pressure of fathering a male heir compels him to question his marriage to his Queen, Katherine of Aragon. He also has a string of affairs and, in Episode 2, fathers an illegitimate son with his mistress, Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount, who is also one of Queen Katherine's ladies-in waiting (the son, Henry FitzRoy, later dies).

Anne Boleyn catches Henry's eye — she has been attending the French court — and she is encouraged by her father and uncle to seduce the King, though she also falls in love with Henry as the season unfolds. Her shrewd refusal to his open invitation to become his mistress unless he will marry her pushes him to use Cardinal Wolsey to take action against the Queen, the King instructing his trusted advisor to get papal dispensation for his divorce on the grounds that his wife did indeed consummate her marriage to his brother, Arthur. In Episode 6, Wolsey's increasingly desperate efforts to persuade the Catholic Church to grant a royal divorce, primarily as a result of Emperor Charles V's influence over the Pope as Katherine's nephew, starts to weaken his position.

In Episode 7, the mysterious sweating sickness arrives in England, killing both the high-born and low-born, and Henry, who is terrified of catching the plague, secludes himself with his herbal medicines in the deep countryside away from court. Anne Boleyn contracts the illness but recovers. A papal envoy finally lands on English shores to decide on the annulment and, at the end of a specially convened session at which both Henry and Katherine are initially present, eventually decides in favor of Katherine. Cardinal Wolsey is stripped of his office, in Episode 9, and banished to York, where he pleads with the King to restore him to office. Sir Thomas More, Henry's devotedly loyal friend, is chosen as his successor.

In the final episode (Episode 10), Cardinal Wolsey makes one last desperate attempt to save himself by allying himself with his old enemy, Queen Katherine, but their plot is discovered and Wolsey kills himself during his internment in the Tower of London after saying a brief prayer apologizing for his sins, but asking no forgiveness for them.

A promotional shot for The Tudors, Season One. Left to right, at the table: Anthony Knivert, Princess Margaret Tudor, Queen Catherine of Aragon, King Henry VIII, Charles Brandon. Behind, left to right: Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More, Anne Boleyn


1.01 - In Cold Blood

1.02 - Simply Henry

1.03 - Wolsey, Wolsey, Wolsey!

1.04 - His Majesty, The King

1.05 - Arise, My Lord

1.06 - True Love

1.07 - Message to the Emperor

1.08 - Truth and Justice

1.09 - Look to God First

1.10 - The Death Of Wolsey


Jonathan Rhys Meyers - King Henry VIII

Sam Neil - Cardinal Wolsey

Natalie Dormer - Anne Boleyn

Henry Cavill - Charles Brandon

Maria Doyle Kennedy - Queen Catherine of Aragon

Nick Dunning - Lord Thomas Boleyn

Henry Czerny - Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk

Callum Blue - Sir Anthony Knivert

Jeremy Northam - Sir Thomas More

Gabrielle Anwar- Princess Margaret Tudor

James Frain - Thomas Cromwell

Jamie Thomas King - Thomas Wyatt

Anthony Brophy - Ambassador Chapuys

Padraic Delaney - George Boleyn

Bosco Hogan - Bishop John Fisher

Kris Holden-Ried - Sir William Compton

Steve Waddington - Duke of Buckingham

Cast members from Season One (left to right): Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Henry, Sam Neill as Cardinal Wolsey, Maria Doyle Kennedy as Catherine of Aragon, Gabrielle Anwar as Princess Margaret and James Frain as Thomas Cromwell

Character Deaths in Season One[]

Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham (Simply Henry)

Cardinal Wolsey (episode 1.10)

William Compton (episode 1.07)

Henry FitzRoy, Duke of Richmond(episode 1.05)

Princess Margaret Tudor (episode 1.09)

King of Portugal (episode 1.04)