The Tudors: Season 2 - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tudors: Season 2 (2008)



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Critic Consensus: While the second season of The Tudors is certainly as gorgeous as the first, both in its cinematography and its able, handsome cast, the unremarkable script reveals only minor improvements in storytelling.


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Savvy students of English history, especially the Tudor-period reign of Henry VIII, know exactly where this saga is headed in its second season. But that doesn't make it any less interesting to watch . 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 s upreme 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.


Jonathan Rhys Meyers
as King Henry VIII
Henry Cavill
as Charles Brandon
Natalie Dormer
as Anne Boleyn
Maria Doyle Kennedy
as Katherine of Aragon
Nick Dunning
as Thomas Boleyn
Jeremy Northam
as Sir Thomas More
James Frain
as Thomas Cromwell
Perdita Weeks
as Mary Boleyn
Sam Neill
as Cardinal Wolsey
Callum Blue
as Knivert
Kristen Holdenreid
as William Compton
Henry Czerny
as Duke of Norfolk
David Alpay
as Mark Smeaton
Padraic Delaney
as George Boleyn
Bosco Hogan
as Bishop Fisher
John Kavanagh
as Campeggio
Peter O'Toole
as Pope Paul III
Catherine Byrne
as Alice More
Jamie Thomas King
as Thomas Wyatt
Hans Matheson
as Thomas Cranmer
Gemma Reeves
as Margaret More
Anita Briem
as Jane Seymour
Gabrielle Anwar
as Princess Margaret
Sarah Bolger
as Princess Mary
James Gilbert
as William Brereton
Krystin Pellerin
as Elizabeth Darrell
Philip O'Sullivan
as Archbishop Warnham
Laura Jane Laughlin
as Madge Sheldon
Bill O'Cleirigh
as John More
Guy Carleton
as Chamberlain
Serena Brabazon
as Nan Saville
Michael Grennell
as Sir George Throckmorton
Emmanuel Leconte
as King Francis
Gordon Sterne
as Bishop Tunstall
Damian Kearney
as William Webbe
Barry John O'Connor
as William Pennington
Andrea Lowe
as Lady Eleanor Luke
Aaron Monaghan
as Ringleader
Julia Wakeham
as Katharina Prue
Rebekah Wainwright
as Catherine Brandon
Luke Hayden
as Headsman
Jane Brennan
as Lady Margaret Bryan
Robert Seehan
as Apprentice
James McHale
as Michelangelo
Rod Hallett
as Sir Richard Rich
Tony McKenna
as Pope's Secretary
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Critic Reviews for The Tudors: Season 2

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (12)

The acting, led by Rhys Meyers, is solid. The costumes and production are good and the dialogue is smooth.

March 30, 2008 | Full Review…

The sexy, sudsy historical drama returns without missing a beat.

March 30, 2008 | Full Review…

Equally entertaining second season

March 30, 2008 | Full Review…

This pretty bit of history will remain utterly forgettable.

March 30, 2008 | Full Review…

The main problem with this historical epic is that the performances of Rhys Meyers and of Natalie Dormer, who plays the king's controversial consort, Anne Boleyn, are flat, predictable and uninspired.

March 30, 2008 | Full Review…

Henry and Anne nag and harp and tongue each other. It's like asking us to root for a particularly vapid reality TV couple.

March 30, 2008 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

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