The Tudors

Jeremy Northam as Thomas More (thanks to Gill)

Well, it’s been a week now without any review or anything else… Shame on me for that one.

Todays review is about one of my favorite TV series ever: The Tudors. I have to admit that I haven’t seen the complete series yet, but all of the episodes starring JN. WARNING: This article contains spoilers!

I started watching this series, because I had heard of it and was quite interested in how they would have managed to portray King Henry VIII and his time. I was a bit skeptical, but the actors and the settings really convinced me of the high quality of this piece of art. It is quite hard to write a review about a whole series, so I’ll just stick to the character of Thomas More, who will be the most interesting one for those reading this article right now.­čÖé

Thomas More is one of the more quiet and thoughtful characters, whereas Henry is portrayed as a young man following his temper, desire and lust. The one desire Thomas More has is to build a new world, where every human being is treated (more or less) equally. Both characters fit perfectly together as a student and his teacher. Henry really appreciates the advises More gives him. And therefore makes him his Lord Chancellor (long story cut short).

That’s the point where the viewer starts to figure out how More must have felt: happy about being able to change something, torn between loyalty to King Henry and loyalty to his own ideas and beliefs. JN once again manages it to show a broad range of feelings that the viewer can empathize with. After fighting the Lutherans he is suppossed to swear an oath on the King, which would take him far away from his own beliefs. The viewer understands, yes, he/she feels the inner conflict of More whether to swear the oath or not. He finally decides to refuse. On the one hand the recipient hates him for doing so, becaus he/she knows something bad is going to happen. On the other hand the recipient loves him for doing so, because he seems to be the only character to stand for his beliefs and to actually have a backbone.

Henry, although truly ‘loving’ More as an advisor and friend, sentences More to death for high treason giving him the chance to change his mind while being imprisoned. But More doesn’t. And Jeremy Northam translates Mores feelings most perfectly onto the screen. Still torn – now between living by swearing an ‘wrong’ oath and dying for his own beliefs. The portrayal of Mores last days is probably the best I’ve seen in a Drama TV series so far. The sorrow, the strong belief and his dignity is played so well, that I even had tears in my eyes seeing Thomas More defending himself in front of the high court and finally seeing him die for high treason.

If I would have to grade JN’s performance, it’d get a 10 out of 10. The whole series’d get 8 out of 10.

2 thoughts on “The Tudors”

  1. Ich war schon vor den “Tudors” an der historischen Figur Morus interssiert und h├Ątte f├╝r alle, denen es ├Ąhnlich geht, einen genialen Buchtipp: von Joseph Bernhart, ‘Thomas Morus’, 1979 im Konrad-Verlag erschienen erz├Ąhlt die Semi-Biographie im Romanstil die umfassende Lebens- und Leidensgeschichte dieses gro├čartigen Humanisten. Dem Autor gelingt es, von More`s Geistesgr├Â├če und Menschlichkeit, seinen ├ängste einerseits und seinem lebendigen Glauben andererseits mitrei├čen, emotional aber auch sachlich fundiert zu erz├Ąhlen.
    Ach ja, Jeremy Northam in “The Tudors” als Thomas More: eine Rolle, wie auf den Leib geschneidert! Ich habe die 1. und 2 Staffel (die mit JN) als UK-Import weil ich einfach nicht auf Mr. Northam`s speeches im Originalton verzichten m├Âchte! Er spielt einfach fantastisch, seine Szenen mit Sam Neill als Kardinal Wolsey geh├Âren zu den besten. Aber auch die restlichen Akteure liefern ordentliche Leistungen ab: Maria Doyle Kennedy als Queen Kathrine of Aragon, oder James Frain als Thomas Cromwell und einige mehr. Und die Kost├╝me sind eine wahre Pracht, die Ausstattung und das Film-Set gefallen mir sehr gut! Klar, teilweise wurden die geschichten Fakten schon sehr frei ausgelegt und “Sex Sells” gilt vor allem f├╝r die Figur King Henry VIII (Jonatham Rhys Meyers) aber es ist eine mitrei├čende Serie (soweit ich sie eben kenne), die vielleicht so manchen Geschichtsmuffel bekehrt.
    Vielen Dank f├╝r die Rezension, Sarah! :-))))

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