Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Which is better? The White Queen, second half of the season

So, I viewed most of the second half of the series, read the book, The Kingmaker's Daughter (review featured soon), and then watched the last episode of the series. As I said before, a part of me wants to re-read The White Queen, then re-watch The White Queen to see how much of all three books are used in the series.

Anyway, back to reviewing the second half of the season of The White Queen! So, after Margaret of Anjou is defeated, the romance of Richard and Anne come into play. I really like how Richard is depicted throughout the show, and how complicated he is. What I like about PG and about this show is that all the characters are not all good or all evil. They all make choices. They all have aspirations and desires, and they choose just how far they will go to achieve their goals.

So, PG has the series, The Cousins' War, and tells the War of the Roses through women's eyes, but the real star of the series is Richard III. Does he want to be King Regent to his nephew Edward? Did he or didn't he kill the Princes in the Tower? Does he or doesn't he love Anne Warwick? What is his end game with Princess Elizabeth? We never quite know where we stand with him. Throughout the series, he is clever, and he plays the long game with finally sleeping with Princess Elizabeth.

Which, by the way, is pretty skeevy and creepy. I've read a lot of criticism over that shipping and PG's writing of the pairing. Apparently the real story of King Henry and Queen Elizabeth of York is a beautiful romantic story and PG decided to go in another direction with an incestous relationship instead. I haven't read The White Princess yet to accurately judge the future relationship between Henry and Elizabeth.

Now, I didn't notice this before I read the book, but after I read The Kingmaker's Daughter, I noticed that for the show, they made Anne much more aggressive. I think it was to push things along, and most of PG's books are in first person and the reader is privy to their inner thoughts. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I'm not sure how else to move the story along, so they most likely made the right choice.

They also made Princess Elizabeth much more aggressive as well. I remember in The Red Queen where Princess Elizabeth goes to live with Margaret Beaufort. Margaret comments that she is demure and she makes the right choices at all times, the makings of a real Queen, and I remember in The Kingmaker's Daughter is also graceful and demure as well. Princess Elizabeth in the show yells at Margaret and runs off to see Richard. Its to move the show along but the unfazed Elizabeth is what I was fascinated with.

I've read reviews on The White Queen, specifically the period clothing and the lack of "no teeth" and grime. To be honest, do we really need realistic historical fiction? We all know those times were dirty, cold and violent... I don't want to be reminded of it while I watch TV. "Reign" clothing is almost all historically inaccurate and it'ts great. The key is, to know that it's accurate and that it's intentional.

I also think that if one wanted to watch historically accurate shows, The White Queen would not be it. Philippa Gregory's books are centered around women's stories, and more than the chronological events that occurred, she focuses on character relationship and evolution. The White Queen does that  very well.

There are rumors about The White Princess in the works, but we'll see if that comes to fruition. I'm a fan of PG, so hopefully it comes about! There is enough media surrounding Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn. Bring on the other royals!

So, which is better? I think it's a good adaptation of 3 books (!!!) and they got really good actors for the show, but I have to say... the books are better! They have much more content, 1st person perspective is invaluable and the nuances are also very fun. The actors are cute in the show and the smexy times are fun... but The White Queen, the TV show, is not as good as The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter books.

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