World Without End “Part 2: A Crown Tested” Review
Part 2 opens in Kingsbridge and we see the casualties from the bridge collapse taken to the cathedral and the date 1333 flashes on the screen. One quick not here, the last episode never gave the date as 1333. The last date shown in part 1 was 1327. According to this episode the witch trial and bridge collapse from part 1 takes place in 1333. OK, back to the show…
The story is much better this week; filled with action, backstabbing and political intrigue. The characters are more fully developed and we learn who to love and who to hate. Of course from the first episode we already know that Petranilla is one to hate. And this week she just solidifies that position. And then there’s Godwyn and like Waleran before him he is not a godly man. Watching this show makes me wonder if Follett thinks there are any pious men in the church. He certainly doesn’t portray them that way in his books.
Petranilla is up to her old tricks, this time poisoning her own brother, to advance the career of Godwyn. And for his part Godwyn resorts to murder, arson and declaring his cousin a witch to get what he wants.
The story line involving Wulfric and Gwenda, or Gwender as he calls her, is developing nicely. Is anyone else thinking the same thing about her baby? Is Wulfric or Ralph the father?
Ralph and Merthin are as opposite as brothers can be. Ralph will stop at nothing and resorts to murder and rape. And just when you think he will be dealt justice, the King rides in and saves him. Well,not him specifically but prisoners in general.
And then we have Caris and Merthin. They share the same fate as Aliena and Jack from Pillars of the Earth. Merthin is a descendant of Jack’s, maybe it runs in the family. Just when you think they will be together and live happily ever after events unfold that change their fate. As the episode wraps Merthin is on his way to Italy to learn from the master builders and Caris takes the vows and enters the nunnery. Doesn’t seem like they will be getting together anytime soon.
History: Real vs. Reelz
How did this episode hold up to history? There are a few historical mistakes in this episode. First we see King Edward III playing checkers with his daughter in 1333. However Edwards first child was born in 1330, it was a son, the illustrious Edward, the Black Prince. His first daughter was born in 1332. The young girl playing checkers with Edward was much older than his actual daughter.
During the same scene the young girl stabs the map and it begins to ‘bleed’ convincing Edward that he is the true heir to France. Edward came to that conclusion on his own and without his mothers trickery but it happened closer to 1337 not 1333. In fact in 1333 Edward was embroiled in a conflict with Scotland. The famous Battle of Halidon Hill took place in July 1333 and established the supremacy of the English longbow on the battlefield.
One of the most glaring differences between the show and history is Queen Isabella. In World Without End she is one of the main antagonists and I don’t see that changing over the course of the remaining two parts. During this episode she is seen tricking the King into attack France, sitting next to the King and issuing new taxes, and accompanying the King on the battlefield.
In reality the Queen lost all power when King Edward III seized and executed Mortimer. When Edward seized Mortimer he also had his mother, Queen Isabella, placed under house arrest. In 1332 the Queen moved to Castle Rising in Norfolk. Isabella was not present in Edward’s court and held no power. However, even while living under house arrest she drew an annual income of £4,000 and was called upon during the Hundred Years’ War to negotiate with Charles II of Navarre. But to be clear she had no active role in Edward’s court and most certainly didn’t sit at Edward’s right hand barking orders at the noblemen.
This episode was much better than the last and left me wanting more. What happens with Caris and Merthin? Does Ralph enter King Edward’s army and survive? Will Godwyn win out over the nunnery? We will see in the next 2 parts.
What are your thoughts on World Without End? Love it? Hate it? Tell us in the comments below.
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