Destiny and Fortune

As Anne Boleyn awaits her death, which is painfully delayed by the executioner's late arrival, Henry visits Jane Seymour and asks for her hand in marriage. Declaring his marriage to Anne null and void means that their daughter Elizabeth becomes illegitimate and is no longer in line to the throne, clearing the way for a legitimate heir to come from his marriage with Jane; meanwhile, Lady Mary, delighted at Anne's fall, hopes she will soon be reconciled with her father. George Boleyn and the other men that are supposedly Anne's lovers have been put to death, while Earl Thomas Boleyn is expelled from court in permanent disgrace. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer is still Anne's loyal ally, but he can do nothing for her except protect her daughter and take her final confession, in which she firmly maintains that she was never unfaithful to Henry. Despite the roles they played in bringing Anne and her family down, both Charles Brandon and Cromwell show some remorse, feeling that death is too harsh a punishment for her. The season ends as Anne loses her head, going to her death with great dignity and surprising sympathy from the onlookers and the executioner. Henry, on the other hand, breakfasts in splendor on a swan and looks forward to his oncoming third marriage, completely indifferent to the death of his second queen.

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