Episode 2.10

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Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn - S2E10
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Season: 2

Original Air Date: June 1, 2008

: Michael Hirst

Director: Jon Amiel

Name of Episode:
Destiny and Fortune

Special Guests:


Endings and beginnings. As Anne Boleyn awaits her death, painfully delayed by the executioner's late arrival, Henry visits Jane Seymour and asks for her hand in marriage. Declaring his marriage to Anne null and void means that their daughter Elizabeth becomes illegitimate and is no longer in line to the throne - clearing the way for a legitimate heir to come from his marriage with Jane. Henry begins this momentous event with a magnificent breakfast at which is served a dish reserved for the English King alone: an exquisite swan pie.

Full Recap

The episode starts with someone uncovering and cleaning a sword. A black cloth is thrown over the sword and a candle is blown out. The date is shown: May 18th, 1536.
A man on horseback is galloping through a fog as the scene switches to Queen Anne, captive in the Tower, praying. King Henry is shown, lying in bed but awake. He sighs as he looks at the window.
Charles Brandon and his wife Catherine are shown asleep as well, as their son crawls into the bed between them.
In the pond, two swans move gracefully over the water and Henry watches them from the window.
The choir, which we heard since the start of the episode is shown, each member holding a candle with Henry standing in front of them. He looks at them, seems to want to silence them, reconsiders and then does shout out "Enough" before storming out.
Princess Elizabeth is shown walking into a dining room full of people as Queen Anne's servant line up for a visitor. It's Sir William Kingston, who informs Anne that she is not to be burnt but will be executed by decapitation. The King has granted her plea for a special executioner who is on his way from Dover. Anne asks him when she is to die and he tells her: "At nine o'clock." She asks that Archbishop Cranmer be sent to her to hear her confession and administer Holy Communion.
Henry is dictating a letter to the emperor to Thomas Cromwell. He wants them to unite against the king of France. Looking out of the window, Henry sees the two swans again.
Archbishop Cranmer asks Sir William Kingston about Queen Anne and he tells him she is reconciled with death. Cranmer tells Anne that her marriage to Henry has been declared null and void. The reason for this was her close relationship to another woman known carnally by the king, Anne's sister Mary. This means that Elizabeth is to be declared a bastard. She asks the constable to stay as she makes her confession to Archbishop Cranmer.
The Lady Mary is praying as she receives a visit from Ambassador Chapuys. She asks him whether the harlot is dead and he tell her she will be dead before very long. They discuss whether Elizabeth will be made a bastard and they discuss Jane Seymour, who it seems is also a Catholic and plans to restore Mary to the line of succession.
Henry is lying on his bed, fully dressed, when he suddenly orders a page to order the men to ready the horses.
Anne is preparing for the execution and someone reads from the Bible. Pearls are sown on her dress and she dons a pearl necklace. At the same time, Jane Seymour is also dressing up, in a much more festive mood. Sir William Kingston informs Anne that the executioner is delayed and her execution is postponed till 12 o'clock.
Charles Brandon is watching his son, Edward, playing around with a sword and knocking down candles with it. When he shouts his son's name, the boy looks at his dad and attacks him with his sword. Charles plays dead but then tells his son a sword a not a toy. Edward asks his dad whether he has ever killed someone and Charles honestly replies that he has, in battle. Edward tells him he wants to see someone die and asks whether he can go with his dad to the execution.
Thomas Cromwell is considering the costs of the execution while the executioner is seen walking next to his lame horse.
Henry asks Thomas Cromwell whether it is done and Cromwell explains that the executioner is delayed and the execution has to be delayed again. Henry suggests using the man who executed the others and Cromwell reminds him of his promise. Henry rants about why he should keep his promise to this *****. When Cromwell reminds him it was a public promise, Henry pushes him against the wall, threatens him with a dagger and tells him he wants it over with. As Cromwell walks off to get another executioner, Henry shouts after him: "Postpone it!"
Kingston informs Anne that the execution is put off until nine o'clock the next morning. Her resolve is weakening; she feels that perhaps the king is testing her.
The king rides to the house of Sir John Seymour and has an extensive and happy meal with Sir John, Jane and Edward. Henry explains to Sir John that the Privy Council have urged him to marry again, in the hope of a legitimate heir. Henry announces that everyone will travel by barge to Hampton Court where their betrothal will be announced.
At Lady Elizabeth's home, all her furniture and fancy furnishings are removed. Her governess tells one of her ladies in waiting that Cromwell ordered Lady Elizabeth's accounts to be settled, Elizabeth pays for Anne's imprisonment. Elizabeth also hears her say that she is no longer a princess but a bastard.
Henry and Jane walk through the garden and he asks her what she would like to talk about. She tells him that she would like to see him reinstate his daughter, Princess Mary, as heir apparent. He tells her she should advance her own children and that he wants a new beginning, a renaissance.
Anne, still awaiting her execution tells her three ladies about her time at the court of Margaret of Austria. The next day, a peacock wanders around the scaffold that is being cleaned as Charles Brandon walks past on his way to visit Thomas Boleyn. He informs Thomas that he is to be released but stripped of all his duties. He is also banished from court on pain of death. From the window, Anne watches her father walk away. He does not even wave back at her.
Henry is out riding and stops at a large pond with a fountain. He asks his servant whether they know what it is and he tells them: "It's the fountain of youth." He then walks into the pool, goes under water and when he comes up again he tell them: "Look, I am reborn."
Sir William Kingston welcomes the executioner and admires his sword. The executioner explains the procedure.
At night, Anne is kneeling and praying and we see her as a young girl looking at a sundial. Her dad picks her up and spins her around. Fade to black.
Friday May 19th, 1536.
Henry wakes up and walks around outside, looking at the swans again.
Sir Williams Kingston asks Anne and her ladies to follow him. He presents her with a purse from the king. It contains 20 pounds and should be used to pay the headsman for his services and to give as alms to the poor.
Cromwell is seen praying, his feelings in turmoil.
Anne walks through the crowds to the scaffold and Thomas Wyatt watches from a distance. Charles Brandon and his son are also there as is Archbishop Cranmer. Anne addresses the people, telling them to judge her case kindly. Her coat is removed and she puts on a small white cap as she removes her jewellery. The executioner or headsman asks her for forgiveness for what he must do and she gives it, gladly. Anne asks the people to pray for her and as she kneels, so does the Archbishop and people follow his example. She prays out loud and even Charles Brandon kneels. The executioner shouts at the bird and as Anne is distracted, he strikes with his sword. One last image from her childhood of her and her dad and then fade to black.
Henry is presented with an ornate breakfast. A priest blesses the food and then the cover is removed. It is a stuffed swan. Henry breaks off one of the wings and eats the bird using his hands.

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Unanswered Questions

  • What do the swans represent: The end of Henry's relationship with Anne or the beginning of a life with Jane?

Best Moments

  • Anne's final confession to Cranmer as Master Kingston sits in as witness.
Episode 2.10 - The Tudors Wiki

  • Anne's speech before the moment of her death.
Anne-Execution Speech

  • The executioner revealing how he will make Anne's execution painless and swift and Kingston's reaction to his plan.
Jean Rombaud played by Anatove Taubman

  • Cranmer's obvious pain and discomfort at hearing Anne proclaim her innocence before God.
Episode 2.10 - The Tudors Wiki

  • Henry admiring the two beautiful swans throughout the episode (they mate for life), only to devour one in a gluttonous manner.
Henry looks at the swans . . . again
Henry digs into the swan

Anne's execution

Best Quotes

  • Sir William Kingston-"My Lady, I can now tell you that the King has decreed that you will not be burned but suffer a quicker death by decapitation. In his mercy, the King has also acceded to your plea to use the services of the executioner of Calais who is even now on his way here from Dover."

  • Thomas Cranmer -'My Lady, I am obliged to tell you that your marriage to the King has been declared null and void.'
  • Anne Boleyn -'On what grounds?'
  • Thomas Cranmer -'On the grounds of your close, and forbidden, degree of affinity to another woman known carnally by the King.'
  • Anne Boleyn -'My sister.'

  • Thomas Cranmer-" Elizabeth is to be declared a bastard."

  • Anne Boleyn -" I confess my innocence before God. I solemnly swear, on the damnation of my soul, that I have never been unfaithful to my Lord and husband, nor ever offended with my body against him. I do not say that I have always borne towards him the humility which I owed him, considering his kindness and the great honor he showed me and the great respect he always paid me. I admit, too, that I have often taken it into my head to be jealous of him. But God knows, and is my witness, I have not sinned against him in any other way. Think not I say this in the hope to prolong my life. God has taught me how to die and He will strengthen my faith. As for my brother and those others who were unjustly condemned, I would willingly have suffered many deaths to deliver them. But since it pleases the King, I will willingly accompany them in death, with this assurance: that I shall lead an endless life with them in peace."

  • Princess Mary Tudor -" Is it done? Is the harlot dead?"

  • Chapuys -" Yes Princess, the brat is now a bastard."

  • Lady Bryan-"The world is a slippery place, my Lady. If you would take my advice, for what it's worth, find a rich man to marry who is too stupid to know anything about politics. Then, perhaps, unless you die in childbirth, which is likely, or the plague, which is almost inevitable, then you'll be happy."

  • Thomas Boleyn -'Am I...Am I to be tried?'
  • Charles Brandon -'No,you are to be released.But Your Majesty commands that since you no longer have his trust and affection;that you are to be stripped forthwith of all your official purses and titles.You will no longer serve under the Privy Council,you will relinquish the role of Lord Privy Seal and all it's privileges.His Majesty also desires that you leave Court and that you never show yourself in his presence again on pain of death.
  • Thomas Boleyn -'So I am to keep my Earldom?'
  • Charles Brandon - "Did you watch your son die? What about your daughter? Will you watch her suffer? Will you watch her die? Tell me, Boleyn, was it all worth it?"

  • Jane Seymour -"I would like to talk about your daughter, Mary. When I am Queen, I should hope to see her reinstated as heir apparent."

  • John Seymour: "Everything will change for her. That kiss is her destiny and her fortune."
  • Edward Seymour: "....And ours."

  • Anne Boleyn (speech before death)-"Good Christian People, I have come here to die according to the law, and thus yield myself to the will of the king, my lord. And if in my life I ever did offend the king’s grace, then surely with my death, I do now atone. I pray and beseech you all to pray for the life of the king, my sovereign lord and yours, who is one of the best princes on the face of the earth, who has always treated me so well. Wherefore, I submit to death with a good will, humbly asking pardon of all the world. If anyone should take up my case, I ask them only to judge it kindly. Thus I take my leave of the world, and of you. And I heartily desire you all to pray for me."

  • The Executioner-'Forgive me, madam, for what I must do'


  • Both Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were granted "private" executions inside the walls of the Tower of London complex. There were still, from various estimates, between several hundred to several thousand witnesses to their deaths, but common people and foreigners (like ambassadors) were kept out. Eric Ives estimates around 1,000 spectators were at Anne's beheading, including the Lord mayor & aldermen of London & 'certain of the best' craftsmen of London, Charles Brandon, Henry Fitzroy & Thomas Cromwell.

  • The music that the choir sings before Henry yells at them to be quiet is also used in the birth scene in "The pillars of the earth"
  • If you look at the priest walking to the table when Elizabeth is eating - he looks as if he is wearing a "dog collar". If so Priests (both Catholic and Protestant) didn't wear this until the 1840s.
For even more photos
click this link: Anne Boleyn Season 2 photo gallery - downfall & execution

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Episode 2.10 - The Tudors Wiki
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Anne & Cranmer
Episode 2.10 - The Tudors Wiki
Episode 2.10 - The Tudors Wiki




Episode 2.10 - The Tudors Wiki

Episode 2.10 - The Tudors Wiki
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