While we believe there are many Queens in S2 of A Discovery of Witches, from Goody Alsop to Diana herself, there’s only one woman who holds the actual crown: Queen Elizabeth. Played by Barbara Marten, the presence of this powerful woman set against the fantastical world of S2, brings a human touch not often seen in depictions of royalty.
Below, we’ll explore how the show brought this historic icon to life, including a little history of the real life woman behind the character. We’ll discuss how the show leveraged her to move its story forward, and what Diana likely had to learn in order to meet her in Epi3.
So Who Was the Real Queen Elizabeth?
The real Queen Elizabeth was the last of five monarchs from the House of Tudor (if you ask me, the Tudor period is definitely one we should all geek out on). Queen Elizabeth had multiple names. Sometimes she was called Virgin Queen (she was known for her chastity), sometimes called Gloriana, and sometimes called Good Queen Bess.
She was the daughter of Henry VII. Unfortunately, she lost her mother to one of his infamous beheadings at only two years old. No wonder she’s got a tough face and thick skin. Queen Elizabeth was a London woman born in Greenwich, and she eventually died in Richmond just south in sunny Surrey. She reigned during a truly historic time for England, when they stepped up their global role in arts, politics, and the economy. This time period was named the Elizabethan age with thanks to Queen Elizabeth herself.
The Reimagining of Queen Elizabeth in Season 2
In S2, Queen Elizabeth is another character wonderfully reimagined. She plays an important role in pushing the story forward, revealing a thing or two about Matthew Roydon, when we learn that she uses him as a spy and an advisor. She is a force to be reckoned with, holding major power over Matthew—and she’s not afraid to put it to use when she needs to. She keeps an eagle eye on his movements, making sure he won’t flee from her again.
She, like most people of this time period, are not enchanted by Diana. In fact, the Queen would prefer Matthew only has one woman in his life—and that’s her.
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