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I enjoyed your analysis of 'The Tudors' with the exception of your appraisal of Jonathan Rhys-Meyer's Henry. I would concede that he does have quite a few shouting scenes (although they are never gratuitous in my opinion). I have followed the series from the start mainly due to the power and presence of JRM which comes to a roaring (hehe) crescendo in the second season. Rhys-Meyers manages to personify the all-consuming ego of an autocratic king at the height of his power. It's that expectation of unquestioning obedience that is so incredibly fascinating, both the effect on the person that enjoys said power and those close to him (I would like to especially mention Henry Cavill's Charles Brandon and the aforementioned Dormer's Anne Boleyn).

Season two also shows the JRM' ability in layering the character of Henry in my two favorite scenes, firstly when he stops at a submerged fountain, silently stares at it and climbs of his saddle. He carelessly leaves his entire court looking after him in confusion as he enters the water and disappears beneath the surface. When he emerges he says: 'Behold, I am reborn'. Like Napoleon crowning himself emperor he baptizes himself by his own hand.

In the final episode as Anne Boleyn awaits her execution Henry is shown being awakened by a herd of swans in his palace gardens and is later seen contemplating them almost appreciatively. In the final scene Henry is being served an elaborate meal (not 77-courses, but still) with the king's household marching stately through opulent corridors carrying a sedan ensconced dish which is revealed to be said swan (baked into a pie). JRM's expression as he voraciously devours the graceful avian is a masterpiece of acting. His face, the applause from his entourage as beauty is consumed is a superb metaphor.

I urge everyone who have written of Jonathan Rhys-Meyer to re-visit said scenes and truly look at the face of Henry VIII.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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