Series review (ENG version)White Rabbit
The Reign







  •                          The Reign is an American historical romantic drama television series following the early exploits of Mary, Queen of Scots. The series created by Stephanie Sengupta and Laurie Mccarthy, premiered on October 17,2013 on The CW, and concluded after four seasons on June 16,2017. 







                             The story begins with Mary Stuart, queen of Scots, who was engaged to Francis, the next king of France, since they were six. The death of her father, King James V, cause her Scottish throne since she was only 5 days old. Leaving Scotland in the hand of the regent, Queen Mary of Guise, to spent childhood in French court under the protection of King Henry II the Valois. Mary and Elizabeth are related distantly, the same bloodline makes Mary also has the right on English throne. To the eyes of Elizabeth and her subjects, Mary is the threat to her rule, as long as Mary is still alive, she always will be. 


                           Apart from fighting for her country during the time of war as England troops surround Scotland border, Mary also has to fight the war within the French court. Catherine de' Medici, queen of France, believes that Mary will be the cause of Francis's death according to Nostradamus prophecy. In order to protect Francis, Catherine has to eliminate Mary from the French court before she fulfills the prophecy. 






                             First arrival, Mary is just an innocent girl. She has yet never seen how far the brutal of political war could be. Since the wedding between tho nations hasn't set the date just yet, this loophole guides the way for other countries that wish to invalid Scotland to try tempted Mary to wed them instead. During the darkest hour, Mary seeks help from King Henry to send the troops to Scotland. The father refused to do as he was asked, but the son could not risk the fate of his future wife's hometown. In the behalf of Prince Francis, some of French's troops are send to Scotland border to protect the invasion from England. That was the first time Francis reaching out to help his queen, Mary, before any help in the future come afterward. 


                            The series shows their love evolution. Since the beginning when Francis first sees Mary after so many years she was raised by the nun. Even none of them say a word, I can see the love sparkling in their eyes. Yes they may fight, disagree, or lost, but in the end, they will always come back for each other - always. 










    " This is not a coronation for a king."

    " It's for a king and queen."



                             To love and to cherish, in sickness and in health. The coronation is their promise to fight whatever it is to come side by side. The bonding between two nations. From this day, Scotland shall have the protection of house Valois and their kings behind her. No country can invade Scotland again. For if they do, not only they shall face the wrath of king Francis - but also the anger of queen Mary Stuart. 


                             So many things happen beforehand, too much sorrow to grieve, too many love and lost. The way to step up to the throne has never been easy. Being king and queen doesn't mean you can have everything. It happens in the other way around. The path to gain power has never been satisfactory. There is a political game pattern to follow. Somehow the subject doesn't take order from you. It's you who must obey to the need of your subjects. Mary and Francis are lucky to wed with love. And if any queen thinks she can have more than a political marriage, she is mistaken. Forasmuch - love is irrelevant.




                           
    ( Mary Stuart and Catherine de' medici )



                             Despite their endless argument, Mary and Catherine finally learn how to cope with each other. It's amazing how two people who always hate one another will become an alliance in the end. From the greatest threat in the French court, Catherine reaching out to help Mary in difficult times again and again. Until she loves Mary as one of her child. And for some reason, Catherine sees a part of herself in Mary. 


                             Death, love and prophecy, those are among the very few things life cannot avoided. Mary maybe or maybe not the cause of Francis's death. But Catherine knows Mary would never wanted it to happen. She loves her son as much as she does. Punishing Mary will not bring Francis back to life. Insofar, Mary's heart has broken into million pieces as same as Catherine when Francis's time has come. 


                             The most important part of being a parent means, whatever choice your child may takes, it will be their life of chosen. And you have to let them go. As same as the way Catherine lets Francis loves Mary and wed her. Even when he knows love may cost his life. He is willing to spend his life however long by her side in any case. When the time comes, as it always does, you can chose either mourn for it ends or embrace for once it happened. 


    Moreover...






    It is time that we move forward on our own, as queen of separate nations. 

    - Catherine De' Medici 








                             The death of Francis leaves Mary as a widow with no power. She is no longer the queen of France. This is an accomplished convenience for England to invade Scotland once more. To protect the crown, Mary has to go back to her hometown to reclaim her throne. As queen Elizabeth grown power day by day - more and more the fate of Scotland is at stake. In 1565 Mary got married with her cousin Henry Stewart, Earl of Darnley. The wedding wasn't for love, only for the power. His bloodline is what Mary could be used against the English throne. 
     


    ( Mary and Darnley wedding )


                             But the ruthless ambitious of Darnley doesn't stop through. Even he is the husband of Scotland's queen but the right to dominate the throne remains to Mary herself. Additionally, Darnley wants the crown matrimonial. To rule Scotland as a king if anything should ever happen to Mary. For the sake of his life, for if Mary has a son, that child exist is to solely replace him. Threatening his wife and the queen even though Mary is carrying his child. Furthermore where's Mary knows the conspire Darnley has been planing all along with the protestant noble to rise against her.  In 1566 Darnley viciously murdered David Rizzio, Mary's Italian secretary, just a few months before she gives birth to his son James. He and a small group of Scottish noble accuses Mary for having an affair with Lord Bothwell. Fortunately he was on the move before they can get to him. Bothwell barely escaped. Rizzio didn't. 

                             Perhaps the most dangerous enemy may not be England as she always has feared. As the war that took place within the royal court took away all the life she ever cared about.  Accusing her committed the crime she has nothing to do with. Throughout the time, the only crime Mary ever committed is that she is a woman who wears a crown. 








                             Before long after Rizzio, Darnley was found death mysterious at his place. The witness gave testimony to John Knox that it was the work of the queen and lord Bothwell. The punishment for him is exile from the castle, arrest and hold captive until his death. While queen Mary is force to abdicated the throne to her infant son in July 1567. Subsequently executed in February 1587, on charge of attempt assassinating Queen Elizabeth. As a consequence, her son Jame VI of Scotland, is name as Elizabeth's successor. Jame, the first of his name. Ending decade of bloodshed between two countries. United Scotland and England as one at last. 



    Long may she reign





                           









  • The mistake was mine for taking that we could have more than a political marriage.
    - Mary Stuart 



    The English did this to me. To punish me for daring to love who I want
    - Queen Elizabeth I




                             Even Mary and Elizabeth are the queen of two separate nations, but there are a lot of things they share in common. Neither of them could make the choices of their own. They were chain to bend and it won't stop until they are broken. As I said before, being king and queen doesn't means you can have the life like you want. Standing at the top of the mountain makes the queen easily target. If she wishes to be protected, it may cost all that she has. Struggling between for the greater good of the country or the pride to bow to no man. No one would care how sorrow she's been grieve, how bitter her tears tasted, how agony she's been screamed. 


                             As a queen, vulnerable is forbidden. She can cry as loud as she wishes at night but when the sun rise, it's time to put on the armor. Show no mercy and execute one village to stop the rise against the throne from another ten.  


                             Willingly or not, the subjects shall have what they want. Their ambitious to the power is limitless. And if the queen stands on their way, the queen will be remove. Even just  for a scram of a bread, worthy. When I was young I always wanted to be a princess. To wear a crown, rule the country, marry the charming prince and having a happily ever after. No sooner had i realized - the life of a kitchen maid is thousand times greater than the chance of the hundred queens. After finishing all four seasons, I'm no longer wish to be anything more than an ordinary villagers. Let the queen fight the war with the enemy by her side. For that I can wed the man my heart desire.






                             Enlarge the moment, even just for one second. Ten life times, thousand life times, still too short for those who needed it. All the time Mary and Francis has was never be enough. The first wedding was for love. Let the young queen enjoy the sweetness under the stars. Before she has to wed another for the good of her throne. Marring Darnley only gives her the stability of Scottish throne for a briefly moment. Insofar as Darnley ambitious is unstoppable. In her life time, queen Mary may wed more then once, but the wed with love as all the wed should have been only happened one time. We all know which it was. As the show tells the different perfectly clear. 








                             The reign is a series that will bring you back in the time, as the story happens century ago. But the very first feelings I have is quite the opposite. Everything seems to be modern, the decoration of the castle, the set, especially the costume. Their fashion is to die for. I would give whatever it takes to wear one of those fancy gown running around in french court pretending I'm queen Mary for ten minutes. Never once they use the same costume. Every dress every detail change in every episode. One thing I can assure is that their fashion will never ever let you down. If you would like to give it a try but you don't like political war that's okay. Watching all the ladies in the castle changing their clothes, worth your time already. Plus, the soundtrack is absolute delightful. 





                           At some moment Mary might annoyed you. You are going to frustrate about why she did what she did. She annoyed me sometimes too. The only reason I continue watching is because it would be irritable to leave the reign hanging since I put a lot of my time for it. So why not stand until the end. 


                             
                             I've learnt so much from the reign. Vocabulary, law, politic, traditional, history, , popularity, etc. And there are a lot more to find out if I re-watch it again. (Which I will) Beforehand I was the last person on earth who would care about other nation history. I didn't care mine so why should I care for another. The honest answer of why I watched the reign since the first place is because I'm so into the war. The reign is a perfect answer. Both love and war at the same time. At the first couple episodes I haven't realized it was based on true history. Until episode 6-7 maybe, that's when I finally knew. I'm watching the history of three nations. From an ignorance step up to finishing all the episode of the reign within a few months and about to watch the tudors next, I would never imagine.








                        The reign wasn't just about Mary and Francis. It's also about the love of Mary's ladies. There are four of them. Their love story wasn't any less pain than hers. The competition to be the king consort. Marrying a suitor to help family from destitution. Secretly having a feeling for the court enemy. Force to wed a man who is old enough to be a father. Betray by the cousin for the jealously they have. Oh believe me, there are so much drama to find out. An endless stories at the age of king and queen. 


                         When the last episode has come, I could not felt anything else but relieve. Suddenly the feeling of the mountain on my chest was gone. So tired of everything. I'm speaking in a behalf of queen Mary. Her whole life was all about fighting the war she could not defeated. If only she was born as a man, everything would have been easier. The punishment for born as a woman with a crown on her head is condemn to death. Mary has paid the price with her head. But it was quiet and peaceful. Furthermore - Mary is reunited with Francis in the end.






    Long live the queen

                              


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