King Henry II

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King Henry II

The Lion in Winter

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About Him

Living… in a castle in Anjou, France. It was difficult for Henry to live there in the beginning but he’s since settled in. He feels he’s seen the world enough. He keeps the queen in a tower close by. They find the arrangement to be quite accommodating.

Profession… king, in search of the rightful heir to his throne. As he explains, “The young king died in summer, and I haven't named an heir. The queen knows I want John on the throne, and I know she wants Richard. We are very frank about it.” John would take the throne if Henry didn't give it to him. It's not simply a matter of preference. There are factors, wars, and wages to be considered.

Interests… making a deal with the queen to gain control of Aquitane. The only way to get what he wants may be to give Richard the throne. Only then will the queen give Henry Aquitane.

Relationship Status… at a crossroads as he contemplates taking a new wife. As he understands it, “A new wife will bear me sons. That is the single thing of which I would have thought I'd had enough but I want a son. One could populate a country town with country girls who've borne me sons.” But Alais is the one he wants. Eleanor's love has become little more than an unwanted leash.

Challenge… overcoming King Philip II's efforts to undermine him. Philip always sought to humiliate Henry. He always thought himself better, and is constantly trying to plot against him. Now he's won the loyalty of his sons and if he does have a son with Alais, Philip will ensure he is killed.

Personality… regal, cold, and passionate. Henry is a driven man who has worked very hard as a king to ensure his control and reign. He will fiercely put down anyone who talks back to him, and this sometimes makes him seem callous, but it’s all the part of being a good king. As he puts it, “I’ve snapped and plotted all my life. There’s no other way to be king, alive, and 50 all at once.”

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