Starz’s ‘Becoming Elizabeth’ is a historical drama that follows the young years of Queen Elizabeth I. While her reign has been the topic of numerous films and TV shows, none of them has explored the years before she became the queen. In this show, we see Elizabeth as a teenager, whose life is upturned after the death of her father. The first episode introduces us to the characters who have a stake in the game of controlling the throne. By the end, it becomes clear that no one is as they seem, even if they might look well-intentioned. With the complicated placement of every character and their proximity to the throne, the road ahead is going to be very difficult for her. Here’s what the ending of the first episode means for Elizabeth’s story in the future.
Becoming Elizabeth Episode 1 Recap
King Henry VIII is dead. He has left behind three children, Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward, all from different mothers. His fourth wife, Catherine, is childless, and she is having an affair with Thomas Seymour. Edward VI, being the only male heir, becomes the king. He is only nine years old, which means that everyone in the court wants to bring him under their wing so that they can wield more power, almost equal to that of the monarch.
While Thomas plans to find the best way to propose his and Catherine’s wedding to the new king, his brother has already made his move. Edward Seymour doesn’t take much time to isolate Edward VI and have himself announced the Lord Protector. Because the king is just a child, all the decisions would practically be made by Edward Seymour, which doesn’t sit so well with Thomas.
Meanwhile, Mary is approached by the Spanish ambassador, who advises her to make a move toward the throne with their backing. Elizabeth is invited to live with Catherine at Chelsea Manor, where she meets Thomas. His charming personality leaves her besotted, and she even starts considering marrying him. By the end of the episode, however, she realizes that there is much more to Thomas behind his cheerful and endearing persona. A game is being played, and she is just another piece that everyone wants to control.
Becoming Elizabeth Episode 1 Ending: Is Thomas in Love with Elizabeth?
The episode begins with the king’s death, and by the end of it, the power play by the people in the court is in full swing. Everyone wants to have as much sway as they can over the ruler of the country, and are ready to go to any lengths. One such person is Thomas Seymour.
Thomas’s sister, Jane, had married Henry VIII, and he wanted to use it to his advantage as much as possible. He had always eyed the princesses, hoping to marry one of them and uplift his status in the court as well as have a closer personal standing with the king. After Henry’s death, his and Jane’s son Edward took to the throne, which complicated the matters a little bit. By then, Thomas had also been indulging in an affair with Catherine Parr, Henry’s fourth wife.
It had been made clear to him, especially by his brother who acts as Lord Protector to the young king, that they were not meant to marry a princess. So, Thomas goes for the next closest thing that would help elevate his position. He’d always been in the good books of Edward. So, he knew that even though everyone else might oppose it, Edward will not be as averse to the idea of the marriage between “the only mother he’s ever known” and his favorite uncle.
While Thomas gets what he wanted, he also finds himself getting close to Elizabeth, who is completely smitten with him. Even though he knows that any prospects of marriage between them are gone, he still finds it an excellent opportunity to have a pawn in the game, the one he can influence more easily. His attraction toward her does have some truth to it, as we see in the scene during the party where they have an intimate conversation. But he has to keep her at an arms-length, lest it creates problems for him with Catherine and the king.
From the looks of it, whether or not Thomas is in love with Elizabeth, he will continue to flirt with her. Keeping a hold over her is important because you never know when which piece may come in handy. Speaking of chess pieces, Thomas has another pawn with the name of Jane Grey. Another young girl whose life he wants to manipulate to serve his own purpose, Jane is being considered Edward’s prospective wife.
If his matchmaking works and Edward is married to Jane, Thomas will have the ear of both the king and the queen. To ensure the success of his plan, he finds it best to bring Jane to live at Chelsea Manor, where Catherine already has Elizabeth living with them. This close proximity with the two girls allows Thomas an edge that no one else has. What remains to be seen is how well he uses his pieces and how the game eventually turns out for him.
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