The final episode of this fantastic series starts with Anne served up on a table, appetites of all her enemies at the ready, and Cromwell at the head of the table brandishing the knife. It’s Cromwell’s vision of himself and the metaphor for what he’s about to do to the Queen. Thus the episode “Master of Phantoms” starts with the masterful Cromwell ushering us into the final movement of this riveting and memorable drama, colored in broad strokes by a pervasive sense of inevitability and doom.
The conceit with which Mantel started Cromwell’s mission within Henry’s court, that posse of gentlemen dramatizing leading beloved Worsley into hell, is now going to come to a head. That posse is going to get what’s coming to them, in a sequence of events perhaps a bit too convenient, but compelling nonetheless. Continue reading “Master of Prophecies, Master of Phantoms, Master of Fate”
Music evokes emotions and memories in all of us. It can stir up the urge to flee a room if the piece of music evokes bad memories. It can get us bouncing up and down as we enjoy ourselves or it can relax us. Following on from Damian and Damianista, it’s my turn to do Desert Island Discs.
Song 1 – ‘It’s my life’ by Bon Jovi
This song is Charlie Crews. It is loud and outspoken as he is. It demands your attention. Charlie Crews loses 12 years of his life through wrongful imprisonment for the triple homicide of his best friend, his (best friend’s) wife and one of the couple’s children. Constance Griffiths eventually arrived on the scene several years into his sentence to take up his case. She manages to have his conviction quashed and Charlie once again walks the streets of LA as a free man…and a Detective of the LAPD. Charlie is determined, despite the terms of his release, it should be mentioned, on catching those who actually killed his best friend and family. He leaves everything financial in his life to his right hand former cell mate and accountant, Ted. Charlie faces all of the problems that come with the fact that the outside world had moved on, whilst his daily life for 12 years consisted of having the crap beat out of him and not really going anywhere or developing as a person. Laterally, Ted and Constance’s presence in Charlie’s life as he approached the end of his prison hell will have helped him, but Charlie shows the mark prison left on him as he has no problem ruffling the feathers of anyone who gets in his way on the outside. The sort of people that most people would be terrified of defying or facing up to. Charlie quite likes going against what is seen as the natural order. In fact, the more feathers he ruffles the happier Charlie seems. Though admittedly all those women might help too…
We earlier discussed here the authenticity of the costumes in Wolf Hall as well as how much the series costume designer Joanna Eatwell values Hans Holbein the Younger’s work in achieving this authenticity.
It turns out Eatwell digged into the paintings of Holbein for research. From Lucy Worsley’s interview with Eatwell:
‘He’s a genius – all the information is in his paintings,’ she says.
‘He not only painted members of the court, he also painted merchants and even some of Henry’s courtiers and staff, so we have a complete cross-section which is incredibly important for a piece like this.’
Eatwell argues, in an audio interview with the BBC Academy, Holbein is a “master in his craft” and his paintings are realistic but also propaganda. The paintings make a statement about the person in the painting — she calls it the “photoshop” of the times.
Don’t you just love when history comes in a nice convenient story arc? Wolf Hall, episode 5 is the climax leading up to the denouement of the stories told in Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies. We all know how this is going to end, yet, here we are still watching, rapt, captivated by a fascinating story of a fascinating time told and performed impeccably by the best ensemble cast imaginable.
In this episode, titled “Crows”, we see leonine Henry’s frustrations coming to a head and wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing Cromwell being shown his place in the realm. And we see Anne slowly and painfully getting prepared to be escorted to the gallows. Continue reading “Murder of Crows”