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“Reign” teaches French history

posted Jan 30, 2018, 9:54 AM by Rachel Ward

“Reign”, a TV series available on Netflix, is based off of the history of King Francis of France and Mary, Queen of Scotland. As Francis was crowned King in 1559, Mary became Queen of France for a year until Francis’ death in 1560. The series was put together by Stephanie SenGupta and Laurie McCarthy and premiered on October 17, 2013, and seasons 1-4 are currently available. The show goes through a series of events that show the struggles and history of Mary, Queen of Scots, as she travels to France to marry Prince Francis.

As soon as Mary arrives at the French court, the nobles see her as a threat. Mary is faced with nobles attempting to take her life; even Prince Francis’ mother, Katherine De’ Medici, attempted this. Mary and Francis share an attraction to one another, but Sebastian, otherwise known as Bash, an illegitimate brother of Francis, comes between the Queen and the Prince. After Katherine explained a prophecy given by Nostradamus, the castle’s physician, that the marriage between Mary and Francis would end up with Francis’ death, Mary is driven into Bash’s arms, leaving Francis angered and heartbroken. At this, Nostradamus’ vision alters, which results in Mary leaving Bash for Francis, whom she loved all along. After Mary receives a threat from the English Queen Elizabeth, her cousin, that she is capable of taking the throne, she marries Francis, who eventually dies in Season 3 of an ear infection.

After becoming widowed she tries to return to Scotland, her home country, but her country has turned against her rule due to her being a Catholic Queen; while she was away at French Court, her country converted to Protestant beliefs and no longer accepts her as their Queen. Mary eventually marries her cousin Lord Darnley and their marriage was miserable for her, so she attempted to murder him for kidnapping their son, James. Mary was caught by Queen Elizabeth, was imprisoned and eventually was beheaded due to her crimes against her husband.

I think this TV series was good. There are some inconsistencies with the actual historical aspects and events, but the major points are made and the show is still beneficial. I really liked this series as a whole and would recommend it to anyone, as long as they don’t mind not having a happy ending. This show is good for educational uses, especially if you are in World History learning about this era of time. I give this series a rating of 5 out of 5 Cardinal heads.



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