As The Tudors finishes Season Two, wife number two is gone and Henry moves on.
There was much foreshadowing in this episode as Anne Boleyn has been sentenced to death and awaits her execution in the Tower of London.
It all begins with the cleaning of the sword. Anne, unlike others who met their death at the end of an ax, will be beheaded by a sword swung by an expert executioner from Dover.
Then it’s the pair of swans. Henry eyes them numerous times swimming in the garden pool. These must symbolize his relationship with Anne.
Within a day’s time, as Anne is prepared for her execution, her marriage to Henry is declared null and void and Princess Elizabeth is declared a bastard. At one point you see everyone making way for the Princess Elizabeth as she heads to breakfast. By dinner time, Lady Elizabeth is being told by a lady-in-waiting to, "hush or I will hit you."
In her last confession, Anne declares that she had never been unfaithful to her husband. Except for admitting to be jealous of him, she swears she did sin against him in any other way. While at first she seems content with revealing this, she then hopes it will get someone to intervene and she will be saved. It’s a last desperation, but it will not work.
In so many ways, Henry has moved on. He asks John Seymour for his daughter’s hand in marriage. When Jane asks that Lady Mary be brought back into the picture after she and Henry are wed, he tells her he doesn’t want her to be affected by things that were before. And when he kisses her, John Seymour notes,"Everything will change for her. That kiss is her destiny and her fortune." His son points out that it will change for them as well.
Anne’s execution is delayed because the executioner is slow in coming from Dover. The king is not pleased with it. He takes Cromwell by the throat and tells him to order someone else to do the task, "or by God’s blood you will join her!" As soon as Cromwell exits the king’s chambers, Henry comes out and says, "I said, postpone it."
(If we didn’t see Henry’s craziness before, we are definitely seeing it now.)
Come nine o’clock the next morning, Anne is lead to the scaffold. After a brief, final speech to the "good Christian people," she pays her executioner his 20 pounds and accepts her fate.
When all is said and done, the king sits for dinner. His meal: the swan. The woman he was once passionately in love with is now gone.
He may be reborn by his own belief, but moving forward, one of the ladies-in-waiting described it the best by saying that the world is a slippery place. And in King Henry VIII’s 1536 England, it is.