Reign's Alan van Sprang on King Henry's Dark Turn: 'He's Ready to Break People'

Reign King HenryReign‘s King Henry has seen better days, both in the bedroom and at Court, and tonight’s episode (The CW, 9/8c) will further his journey to complete self-destruction.

RELATED | Reign‘s Anna Popplewell on Lola’s Pregnancy, Time Jumps and ‘Exciting’ Bash News

Alan van Sprang spoke with TVLine about Henry’s current ailment, his ever-changing relationship with Catherine and the possibility that he might not live to see Season 2.

TVLINE | Henry seems to be getting crazier by the week. Will that madness eventually take him over completely?
He doesn’t think he’s nuts at all. He’s always had God in his life, but he’s being reborn in a way. And after the episode where he awoke to the crucifix above his bed, he’s found complete clarity — which means world domination. He knows who he has to step on to get there and what he has to do, so everything makes sense now. Manipulating people, killing people, it doesn’t matter who it is. He’s ready to break people. Everyone else in Court, his kids and wife, think he’s nuts. And something is wrong with him, though I don’t know what that is. We’ve almost finished the season, and I don’t know what’s wrong with him.

TVLINE | He gave a big speech about not letting anyone else control him. Who should be most fearful of his wrath?
The entire Court, really, France in general. As he tries to move forward, Scotland and England will also be affected, but no one more than his own family. He’s not letting anyone stand in his way. He originally established “Team Frary.” He wanted the two of them together, but if that’s not working out, he’s going to try to establish another way to get to England and Scotland. It’s killing the Court.

TVLINE | He’s also had some killer bedroom scenes lately. Will there be more?
What’s going on in inside his bedroom is symbolic of what’s going on around him at Court. For the entire season, I’ve had these moments: “You have to sleep with this girl. Now you have to sleep with this girl.” I’d been privy to that already, having done The Tudors, and I understood that that’s what kings did. But it’s really taken a turn as of late, which has been great as an actor, to be able to portray this obsession he has.

Reign King HenryTVLINE | Henry’s relationships with Catherine and Kenna have always fascinated me. How will they change moving forward?
Well, that I can’t say, but his relationship with Catherine changed massively once … that girl fell out the window. Catherine is now Henry’s crutch, someone he needs to confide in. He needs her to answer questions for him. All of a sudden, people are dying around him and he can’t solve the problem on his own; he knows that Catherine can. She’s absolutely the person she needs in his life. As for Kenna, his job is still to find her a nobleman so she can stay in Court and he can continue having his way with her.

TVLINE | History tells us Henry didn’t live a long life. How worried should we be about him?
I have no idea. When I signed on, both Toby [Regbo] and myself sat down with the producers and said, “We know that, historically, we’re both donezo at some point.” But, honestly, everyone in the show dies. It just depends on the direction they want to go in, and how quickly they want history to move along. We’ll have to see next season how everybody’s doing. … I guess they would let us know at some point and give us notice, but no one’s given me the death stare yet.

Reign fans, are you enjoying watching Henry lose his mind? Do you think his days are numbered? Drop  comment with your theories below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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20 Comments
  1. Laur says:

    I like to refer to Henry and Catherine as older medieval Chuck and Blair. ;)

  2. L says:

    Historically he really should die soon though… would like to get to the Francis as king era.

    • Sasha says:

      Although obviously that doesn’t last long. So basically the longer Henry lives the long Francis lives and the I think people who are all about Francis would prefer that.

      • Alice says:

        They had a clever line in one of the episodes about how history would never need to know about ____- whatever had happened, I think it involved the guy from England. But the device made it possible to deviate wildly from history without consequence. It makes me wonder if that conceit- that what Reign portrays is what history forgot- is how they are going to get around Francis’ upcoming demise. Maybe what history recorded as his death was actually some Nostradamus/pagan voodoo part of a plot. It would certainly add to the drama if for the rest of the series if Francis was alive- but had to hide his identity and never become king, watching Bash move in on his lady…

        • l says:

          Well I think the line you refer to was to allow them to sneak in non historical stuff… but I think they have to stick to the historical record for the big stuff… Henry dies, Francis becomes king, he dies, Mary moves back to Scotland… You can certainly stretch that stuff out because a tv season can take as much or as little “real time” as necessary.. but assuming the show lasts for awhile, moving the setting from France to Scotland in season Three (for example) does give them a chance to reset things.

          • Ally Oop says:

            What I like is the title which leaves the show open to explore multiple royal settings. At some point, the show can switch to Scotland while also showing what’s going on with Catherine and her other sons who become the subsequent kings of France, and maybe even show what’s going on in England. I think there’s so much possibilities for the show to expand.

  3. Maki says:

    These last couple of weeks I’m growing to like Henry more and more and his last interactions with Catherine were groundbreaking. Eventually he dies while hunting, could see him get killed by one of his Kids or Kenna.

  4. dude says:

    Having seen this week’s episode all I can say is in terms of Henry: Things are about to get batsh-t crazy.

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    • Ellen bell says:

      Henry was wounded in a jousting tournament by Gabriel de Montgomery Captain of his Scottish Guard and the wound got infected and he died on 7-10-1559. His son Franchise became King, but only for 17 months as he died of an ear condition called syncope. He was born in 1544 and died at age 16 in 1560.

  6. Ellen bell says:

    Sorry I put that Francise died of syncope which is fainting. He is said to have died from Mastoid it is.

  7. huh says:

    What I’m wondering (in regards to keeping it historically accurate) is if they get that far, are they going to keep to the idea that she ends up marrying and having children with her first cousin. I get that It was royalty and everything but still, they created an entire character just so there could be a love triangle, perhaps they will change that to second cousin to lower the ick facter. (this is the CW, not HBO).

    • lilu says:

      In real life Mary met her other two husbands in France so there is a possibility that they might show at least for several episodes her other two future choices if they don’t want want to show Scotland.

    • Ally Oop says:

      I think there is possibility for Bash to go to Scotland with Mary one day. There were always rumours she had a secret love. Perhaps Bash can be it in this series…

  8. ChrisGa says:

    This show is such a great guilty pleasure. And on a totally shallow note, I’d hate to see them kill off Henry because AVS is the hottest man on the show and one of the hottest on TV. Just sayin’……

  9. Gerry says:

    Don’t want to see Francis die, I know he will have to, but hope they drag that out, so we see more of Mary and him. He was and is really her true love, Bash was there, but she knew.