Terrified servants debate who gets to serve the Queen today, and the chosen one is Rahima. The lowly Rahima makes her way through the corridor through the taunts of guards, who seem equally terrified of the Queen. Well, Catherine, dressed in ominous black, is not quite as terrifying as others made her out to be.
Catherine can relate to the servant girl – having been raised in a convent after being orphaned. Catherine tells the story of her rise to Rahima. From the deaths of her parents to being raised by nuns and then being plucked from obscurity to marry the second son of the King of France. It’s all told in a rather humourous fashion, with Catherine herself addressing the camera. We get a little The Princess Diaries moment as Catherine is transformed into a future Princess, though slightly on the ridiculous side as Catherine can barely walk.
But Catherine and Henry hit it off, and after some more intense negotiating, the wedding goes ahead as planned. Catherine meets Diane de Poitiers, who also happens to be a cousin of hers, who tells her to be bold on the wedding night. What happens next is some kind of circus as half the court gathers around the marital bed. After some hesitation, Catherine decides to climb on top of Henry to get the deed done. Unfortunately, this leads to a snipe from his father and quite possibly ruins Catherine and Henry’s precarious relationship.
An angry Catherine later storms to Henry’s room – only to find him in the arms of Diane de Poitiers. The scene is set.
And beautifully set it is. From the costumes – not quite historical but magnificent and over the top – to the castles – the real ones Catherine would have known – to the music – angsty but with a beat. But let’s not pretend that we’re making a documentary here. The first episode is fun with a touch of history. I can’t wait to see more.
The Serpent Queen is available now on STARZ and Amazon Prime. You can sign up here for Amazon Prime.