There is a slow, quiet and nonetheless inevitable shifting of allegiances as King Henry’s health begins to fade. Factions are forming at court as thoughts turn towards a successor. Some see Prince Edward, Henry’s son by Jane Seymour, as his natural heir while others, notably Bishop Gardner, are determined to restore a Catholic to the throne in the person of Princess Mary.
Gardiner orders an arrest warrant issued for Queen Catherine on grounds of heresy. However, when Lord Chancellor Risley and his men come to arrest the Queen believing they’re carrying out the King’s orders, they are brutally rebuffed by Henry.
Hearing that Charles Brandon is very ill, the King summons his old friend to court. It is to be their last encounter, and Henry is greatly shaken at the loss of his longest and most loyal ally. Realizing his own death is now imminent, Henry retreats more and more into himself.