Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty

2014, History  -  180 min Leave a Comment
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Whether you're a Game of Thrones fan or just an ancient history buff, you're sure to be enthralled by Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty, an epic four-part documentary steeped in carnage, deception and betrayal.

The film recalls the events that built and shaped the 331-year reign of the Plantagenets, a dynasty that ushered Britain from the Middle Ages into a modern global power. Their ascendancy was marked by a near superhuman show of force, but their legacy was often threatened by an all too human thirst for vengeance.

The first section of the film takes place during the years 1154 - 1189. Henry II, the founder of the dynasty who was first crowned king at the age of 20, was obsessed with claiming and exerting unprecedented control over the country's governance, including the ever powerful English Church. These efforts culminated in the murder of his most trusted friend - Archbishop Thomas Becket - as well as a treacherous betrayal by his own wife and children.

Part two of the series details another close relationship gone sour. Henry III, the fourth Plantagenet king, and fanatical French knight Simon de Montfort, were once inseparable and viewed their friendship as an essential component to achieving individual success. Jealousy and power plays led to the disintegration of their trust, and ultimately spawned a costly civil war.

The third chapter deals with Edward II, an ineffectual ruler whose narrow-minded need for revenge led his kingdom to ruin. In a twisted act of betrayal similar to what befell Henry II, Edward's wife was instrumental in facilitating the king's downfall.

Finally, the docu-series concludes with a portrait of one of the country's most notorious and savage rulers, Richard II, who first ascended to the throne at the age of 10. Once again, a theme of revenge took center stage throughout Richard's rule, and eventually served as the prelude to his imprisonment and death.

Featuring beautifully rendered reenactments and insightful commentary from acclaimed historian Dan Jones, Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty brings one of the most enthralling chapters of English history to startling life. It's a bold and adventurous narrative that few fictional works can match.