The BEST Episodes of The Tudors

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Feb 5, 2020

Network: Showtime

The Tudors presents the rarely dramatized, tumultuous early years of King Henry VIII’s nearly 40-year omnipotent reign (1509-1547) of England. In addition to his famous female consorts, a 20+ year marriage to Catherine of Aragon and the infamous dalliance with Anne Boleyn, the series delves into Henry’s most notable political relationship and the deconstruction of the Roman Catholic Church in England.

Destiny and Fortune

#1 - Destiny and Fortune

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Jun 1, 2008

Queen Anne is imprisoned in the Tower, awaiting her execution. The king granted her wish for a special executioner, but he is delayed and the execution has to be postponed. King Henry proposes to Jane Seymour now that his marriage to Anne has been declared null and void. He hopes she will gave him a legitimate, male heir.

star 8.01
1,012 votes
Directors: Jon Amiel
Writers: Michael Hirst
Death of a Monarchy

#2 - Death of a Monarchy

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired Jun 20, 2010

Finale - Henry’s thoughts turn to his own mortality with the news that his long-time friend and sometimes foe King Francis, and his unshakable soldier Charles Brandon, are each dying. As he faces death, Henry encounters the ghosts of his former wives who each get a chance to confront him. Hans Holbein paints a last, iconic portrait of the Tudor King.

star 7.89
1,397 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
The Death of Wolsey

#3 - The Death of Wolsey

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Jun 3, 2007

Cardinal Wolsey is down but not yet out. Although exiled, he tries to gather last-minute support from his old enemy, Queen Katherine. She hesitantly agrees to his plan, as she finds herself in a situation similar to that of the fallen Cardinal. But their plot is intercepted by the King's new advisors and Wolsey must pay the ultimate price.

star 7.88
1,197 votes
Writers: Michael Hirst
The Death of a Queen

#4 - The Death of a Queen

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 26, 2009

The leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace uprising are put to death, but Brandon is disturbed by the cruelty and mercilessness of the suppression; Henry celebrates the birth of a son but his joy is short-lived as Queen Jane dies within days.

star 7.66
1,155 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
True Love

#5 - True Love

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired May 6, 2007

As King Henry gains in confidence, his displeasure with the way the Catholic church handles his request for an annulment of his marriage to Katherine of Aragon grows. As a result, Cardinal Wolsey's position is weakening, leaving him vulnerable to his enemies.

star 7.63
1,232 votes
Directors: Brian Kirk
Writers: Michael Hirst
Look to God First

#6 - Look to God First

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired May 27, 2007

Cardinal Wolsey's fall is quick and pitiless. Stripped of office and authority, he is banished from the court and sent far from his much-beloved King. His unlikely successor is Sir Thomas More, a man unlike the overbearing Wolsey in every way but one...his loyalty to Henry.

star 7.63
1,366 votes
Writers: Michael Hirst
The Undoing of Cromwell

#7 - The Undoing of Cromwell

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired May 24, 2009

Henry moves swiftly to annul his loveless marriage to Anne of Cleves, and beds a new mistress, 17-year-old Katherine Howard; Princess Mary falls in love with Duke Philip of Bavaria; Cromwell's fall from favor is sudden and dramatic.

star 7.62
1,073 votes
Directors: Jeremy Podeswa
Writers: Michael Hirst
His Majesty's Pleasure

#8 - His Majesty's Pleasure

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Apr 27, 2008

Attempts to legitimise the King's marriage and increase his power hit unmovable obstacles as Sir Thomas More and Bishop Fisher insist that only God can be head of the church. Imprisoned in the Tower of London they face likely execution unless they take the Oath of Allegiance. Meanwhile Henry's wandering eye continues to roam.

star 7.58
1,087 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
The Act of Treason

#9 - The Act of Treason

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired May 25, 2008

Anne has lost a son and with it her last chance at a lasting marriage with Henry. The King's affections are shifting anyway: the Seymour family are awarded rooms at court and seem likely to replace the Boleyns as royal favourites. Several in the court begin to move against Anne who is accused of adultery. Arrests are made of suspected lovers and of Anne herself. All, including the Queen, are sentenced to death.

star 7.56
1,088 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
His Majesty, The King

#10 - His Majesty, The King

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 22, 2007

As a reward for his denunciation of Martin Luther, the Pope christens Henry “Defender of the Faith,” but a brush with death causes the king to seek a solution to his lack of an heir. Princess Margaret marries the decrepit King of Portugal reluctantly, but the union is short-lived; Henry's desire for Anne Boleyn intensifies when Anne goes home to her family estate.

star 7.56
1,399 votes
Directors: Steve Shill
Writers: Michael Hirst
The Northern Uprising

#11 - The Northern Uprising

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 12, 2009

The uproar over the king's break with the Catholic Church turns into a full-blown rebellion that comes to be known as "The Pilgrimage of Grace." Immobilized by an old jousting injury, Henry sends Charles Brandon to deal with the uprising and focuses his attention on the Lady Ursula Misseldon.

star 7.55
1,158 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
Lady in Waiting

#12 - Lady in Waiting

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired May 18, 2008

At Henry's command Jane Seymour is made a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn, to the discomfort and suspicion of the Queen. When Henry is seriously injured in a jousting match all thoughts turn to who might succeed him. There will be far-reaching consequences if Anne's pregnancy does not deliver a healthy son.

star 7.54
982 votes
Directors: Dearbhla Walsh
Writers: Michael Hirst
Message to the Emperor

#13 - Message to the Emperor

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired May 13, 2007

England's population is suffering, both from a lack of food and from a lethal plague called 'The Sweats'. As a result, King Henry feels depressed and not his usual, confident self. He starts having doubts about the future and his ability to rule the country. Fortunately for him, a change is coming up.

star 7.54
1,277 votes
Directors: Alison Maclean
Writers: Michael Hirst
As it Should Be

#14 - As it Should Be

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Jun 6, 2010

The siege of Boulogne is a long, expensive and difficult military campaign that is finally won by Henry’s troops at great financial and human cost. Rejuvenated, Henry rejects the idea of marching on to further conquests, preferring to return to England in triumph.

star 7.54
1,433 votes
Directors: Jeremy Podeswa
Writers: Michael Hirst
Secrets of the Heart

#15 - Secrets of the Heart

Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Jun 13, 2010

Henry VIII’s health is on the slide: the recent siege of Boulogne has taken its toll on his aging body and his ulcerous leg is constantly in pain. Bishop Gardiner and the Catholic Church are once again in the ascendant at court but, tired of conflict, Henry demonstrates little enthusiasm for the ambitious Bishop’s accusation that Catherine Parr is a heretic.

star 7.53
1,474 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
Natural Ally

#16 - Natural Ally

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired May 2, 2010

Rejuvenated by his tour of the north of England, Henry feels a new man and longs after his new Queen; unaware that her affections are diverted elsewhere. Katherine’s past begins to catch up as an old liaison comes looking for a job threatening to reveal all about their sexual history. Someone beats him to it when an anonymous letter is sent to the King containing accusations of adultery. Although unconvinced of the rumor, Henry confines Katherine to her apartments pending a thorough investigation.

star 7.53
1,485 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
Sixth and the Final Wife

#17 - Sixth and the Final Wife

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired May 23, 2010

Henry marries Catherine Parr - his sixth and final wife. A loving step-mother and compassionate companion, Catherine is liked and respected by all at court save the Catholic Bishop Gardiner who suspects her to be a heretic. Henry prepares to invade France.

star 7.52
1,383 votes
Directors: Jeremy Podeswa
Writers: Michael Hirst
Something for You

#18 - Something for You

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 25, 2010

Buoyed by the happiness that a young wife brings an aging man, Henry is noticeably more tolerant and forgiving than he once was. Such goodwill is well appreciated by the peasants of the North who gratefully accept Henry’s forgiveness for the Pilgrimage of Grace revolt, during a Royal visit. But the King’s benevolence may yet be tested by his new Queen: Katherine Howard has submitted to seduction by the young and handsome Thomas Culpepper.

star 7.52
1,417 votes
Directors: Dearbhla Walsh
Writers: Michael Hirst
Truth and Justice

#19 - Truth and Justice

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired May 20, 2007

A papal envoy has come to discuss the annulment of the King's marriage to Katherine of Aragon, as requested by the King. The outcome of these discussions will determine Cardinal Wolsey's future career as well as the King's romance with Anne Boleyn. These discussions will also influence the nature of the relationship between England and Rome.

star 7.51
1,182 votes
Directors: Alison Maclean
Writers: Michael Hirst
Dissention and Punishment

#20 - Dissention and Punishment

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 19, 2009

Henry reconciles with his estranged daughters Mary and Elizabeth in time for the Christmas holidays, but betrays and brutally suppresses the rebellion against him after making conciliatory promises to the uprising's leaders.

star 7.51
1,121 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
Sister

#21 - Sister

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 18, 2010

Thomas Culpepper - Henry VIII’s newest servant - continues to make eyes at his King’s young bride, Katherine Howard. Her servant suggests seduction. While the King shows his age by going to bed early during the Christmas celebration the young but not so innocent members of his court party on.

star 7.50
1,525 votes
Directors: Dearbhla Walsh
Writers: Michael Hirst
Moment of Nostalgia

#22 - Moment of Nostalgia

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 11, 2010

A long hot summer, thirty years into the reign of King Henry VIII, and well into middle age, Henry takes his fifth wife, Katherine Howard. The Queen's "low background" combined with her youth and beauty, arouses a lusty familiarity in certain members of King Henry's court most notably his handsome young servant Thomas Culpepper.

star 7.50
1,673 votes
Directors: Dearbhla Walsh
Writers: Michael Hirst
Arise, My Lord

#23 - Arise, My Lord

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Apr 29, 2007

Henry is shocked when he learns that his ally, Emperor Charles V of Spain, has released France's King Francis I from prison. He's equally surprised when Anne Boleyn turns him down after offering to make her his sole mistress.

star 7.49
1,358 votes
Directors: Brian Kirk
Writers: Michael Hirst
Bottom of the Pot

#24 - Bottom of the Pot

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired May 9, 2010

Lord Hertford’s investigation into allegations of the Queen’s infidelities moves with speed. Deeply upset by revelations of his beloved young wife’s sexual past, Henry weeps. But once adultery is uncovered, his response is swift and decisive.

star 7.47
1,605 votes
Directors: Ciaran Donnelly
Writers: Michael Hirst
Matters of State

#25 - Matters of State

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired May 11, 2008

The English Reformation is in full swing. Queen Anne suffers from nightmares and feels threatened by Katherine and her daughter. Henry pays an unplanned visit to an old friend, Sir John Seymour, father of Jane Seymour.

star 7.46
1,132 votes
Directors: Dearbhla Walsh
Writers: Michael Hirst