The Tudors second series came to its bloody end in a remarkably good and arty episode. A pair of nonchalant mute swans held Henry VIII in thrall while croaking ravens serenaded Anne Boleyn in the Tower, in a reversal of the usual white/black moral symbolism. Then I realised why it was so good. Henry, as incarnated by the ludicrously cast Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, hardly appeared as we lived through Anne’s delayed death moves. I recall another episode that was equally as good in this series: the one where Henry lay concussed on a tressle for most of the time following a jousting accident; therefore out of critical harm's way.
A Henry VIII-free third series can only be hoped for as women in fine costume suddenly disappear into an unseen royal hell-hole. Henry as a rumour strikes me as sensible. Rhys-Meyers can only strike two types of pose: come-to-bed and go-to-block. The actual Henry was an iridiscent demon full of tricks: Kenneth Branagh might have pulled it off (on stilts).
We discovered why Henry was in thrall to the swans. Swan pie anyone?