The Most Delightful Deleted Scene in Wolf Hall


I told you earlier that I always assign actors to characters when I read. I don’t necessarily know why I do that, maybe to create some familiarity, but I do it. And, it’s not a secret that I dreamed of Damian Lewis as Henry VIII while I was reading Wolf Hall. Damian Lewis being cast as Henry was a dream coming true for me.

Anyhow, as I dreamed about Damian Lewis as Henry VIII, I had a few favorite scenes from the books that I really wanted to see in the mini-series. And most of them have made it to the series, but my MOST favorite scene that I talked about earlier here didn’t. I mean, I know every single scene cannot make it into the series, and my favorite scene is not really central to the story, but I was still disappointed a little.

But then… My partner-in-crime Bookworm gave me the good news! The Wolf Hall DVD had that particular scene as a “deleted scene.”


Let me give you the background for the scene and then let’s enjoy the scene altogether 🙂


We first go back to Episode 2: Entirely Beloved. Henry and Thomas are practicing archery. Henry is in a cheerful mood, and offers to visit the Cromwell house Austin Friars on a Sunday.

Then we go to Episode 4: The Devil’s Spit. Just after Thomas More’s execution, Cromwell falls ill. He has high fever for days. It’s most probably a real fever he has but I really thought it could be some psychological fever hitting Thomas when he very openly sees what happens to people that fall from Henry’s grace — Exhibit A was Wolsey and Exhibit B is More and it’s even worse. Anyhow, we know our Thomas is a fighter and he fights his way out of the fever… And, when he finally gets out of bed, we see him dictating to Rafe about King’s progress in summer. “Before Bromham, add another. Early September. 5 days. Wolf Hall.”

Now… between these two scenes… Henry finally visits Cromwell in his home. The King pays a visit to his recovering advisor. He’s extremely tender with Cromwell, the first words he says are “You sit… And give me no argument… for once.”

source: BBC
source: BBC

Let’s have it first from Mantel’s wonderful pen and then see the deleted scene!

“The ladies of the house, Mercy and his sister-in-law Johane are decked out like Walsingham madonnas on a feast day. They curtsy low, and Henry sways above them, informally attired, jacket of the silver brocade, vast gold chain across his chest, his fists flashing with Indian emeralds. He has not wholly mastered the family relationships, for which no one can blame him.

“Master Secretary’s sister?” he says to Johane. “No, forgive me. I remember now that you lost your sister Bet at the same time my own lovely sister died.”

It is such a simple, human sentence, coming from a king; at the mention of their most recent loss, tears well into the eyes of the two women, and, Henry, turning to one, then the other, with a careful forefinger dots them from their cheeks, and makes them smile. The little brides Alice and Jo he whirls up into the air as if they were butterflies, and kisses them on the mouth, saying he wishes he had known them when he was a boy. The sad truth is, do you notice, Master Secretary, the older one gets, the lovelier the girls?”

Haha, I don’t know about the girls, your Majesty, but you get lovelier by the second  🙂 I simply love this Henry, relaxed and tender, on a light-hearted house visit, hanging out with his friend and his family, flirting with the ladies, and having a real good time… He is a human being. He lost his sister exactly like Cromwell, a “common man” by birth, and he is also aging exactly like him. And, in this particular scene, he’s OK with that 🙂

Long live the King!

source: BBC
source: BBC


Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

11 thoughts on “The Most Delightful Deleted Scene in Wolf Hall”

  1. LOL…that grin in the last picture. It is a lovely deleted scene. I was quite delighted to see it and glad to know its inclusion (on the dvd) doubtless brought a smile to your face.

  2. It brought me the BIGGEST smile! I loved that scene so much when I read the book, because it brings us such a human Henry, but I understand it is not very central to story and could not make it to the final cut. There should be several deleted scenes, but there should be a reason why the mini-series creators chose this one as one to put on DVD, right? 😀

  3. Very nice, but I get so nervous for everyone around because the Royals have a way of changing their moods so fast you wonder if it is just the quiet before the storm. When the King is all touchy-freely, it makes me very nervous.

    1. They are all nervous, aren’t they? Henry is, in fact, in his best mood and maybe even wants to hang out with this family – he rarely has the opportunity after all… but I am with you, Angela, that they are all relieved when he leaves without an incident 🙂

    1. I think they need to finish the episode in 60 mins time, so some material is left out in the editing room. I love this scene very much personally but it is not really central to the storyline – that’s probably why it was left out. Totally agree, Iza, the King loves to kiss 🙂

  4. That is a great scene, but when they showed it here in the US I don’t think it was deleted since I remember watching it. Is that common? For scenes to be deleted/added when a show is broadcast here in the US? I so wish I could watch most of the BBC shows when the are shown in the UK. We get everything late here, and the quality of TV is so much better in the UK.

    1. Hi Lisa, I am also in the US – no it wasn’t shown on the PBS run, maybe you saw it on YouTube or something? And I am completely with you that I could watch most BBC shows when shown in the UK – BBC is amazing, they produce top notch programming!

  5. You are right! Now that I think about it, I did see that scene on the PBS Masterpiece website. What an amazing series! So well done! I wish the BBC had a streaming service to watch their programming. I’d certainly pay for that! Seems the only series they show at the same time is Doctor Who ( and I’m so happy they do!)

    1. Yes! Now I remember, too; they posted them for promotion – lovely scene, it was my fav from the book so I was very happy to see it even as a deleted scene 🙂 Totally agree about BBC – I’d happily pay as well!

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