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The Tudors: Season 02 ()

Savvy students of English history, especially the Tudor-period reign of Henry VIII, know exactly where this saga is headed in its second season. As the Catholic church and Pope Paul III (Peter O'Toole) strive to take charge of the "great matter" of the king's annulment from Katherine of Aragon (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) succeeds in having himself declared supreme head of the church and clergy of England. At home, Henry selects an obscure cleric (Hans Matheson) to be his personal chaplain, and an attempt is made on the life of Bishop Fisher (Bosco Hogan). Amid all this religious turmoil, a royally peeved Henry demands to know if his clergymen are loyal to him or whether their allegiances lie with the pope in Rome. Even Sir Thomas More (Jeremy Northam), whose fealty was unquestionable, sees the need to resign his post as chancellor and withdraw from public life. With More gone, Henry appoints lawyer Thomas Cromwell (James Frain) the new chancellor. Tired of waiting for a determination on his marital status, the king weds a pregnant Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer) in a secret ceremony. When word reaches the pope, he condemns Henry's behavior and threatens him with excommunication. In response, the king commands his subjects to swear an oath of "allegiance and recognition of the king's supremacy" to both church and state. A number of clerics and government officials refuse to accept such an order-among them More and Bishop Fisher, who are charged with treason and imprisoned. After Henry's womanizing ways are brought to the attention of Anne, she not only arranges for his next mistress, but gives her blessing to the illicit affair. It could be mere capitulation, or she could be sticking her neck out a bit too far. Ray Stackhouse, Rovi Hide synopsis

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