When George R.R. Martin wrote A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of epic fantasy novels better known as Game of Thrones, he apparently used the Plantagenets as his inspiration. Anyone who has seen the TV show Game of Thrones would be able to therefore gleam a little insight in to one of the most infamous families in British history.
Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty – The Plantagenets is just out on DVD courtesy of RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn Label, following its airing of Channel 5. Hosted by Dan Jones, this four part series is compelling viewing. Jones brings a youthful and contemporary voice to a history stemming from the darkness and chaos that was the Middle Ages. A time of extreme violence and betrayal.
For more than three hundred years The Plantagenets ruled England from around 1154 when Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine, although it was Henry III, grandson of Henry II and Eleanor who is thought of as the first King of House Plantagenet. Their rule continued through to 1485 when Richard III was defeated at The Battle of Bosworth Field.
Starting with the treachery that left Henry II betrayed by his own wife and children, the audience journeys through time an become a witness to the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket. Then Henry III’s relationship with Simon de Monfort is delved into as it disintegrates ad collapses, resulting in a bloody civil war. This is followed by the invasion of England by Isabella, Edward II’s wife and her lover, who murders the King in a vicious and violent manner. The series culminates in the tale of Richard II, one of the most notoriously nasty Kings in British History!
During their reign the country saw betrayal, murder and war, including both The Hundred Years War and The War of the Roses. Jones brings those some three hundred years to life as he explores one of the most turbulent times in our history, along side a docu drama element that really helps to illustrate the point he is making.
The whole series is a pleasure to watch and captivates the viewer propelling them into the very heart of the British Monarchy during the Middle Ages.
Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty – The Plantagenets
- Certificate: TBC
- Release Date: 2nd February 2015
- Running Time: 240 mins approx.
- RRP: £17.99