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Season Four Episode
Hanging Swords
Season 4, Episode 7
Hanging Swords
Air date March 31, 2017
Written by Chris Atwood
Kamran Pasha
Directed by Lee Rose
<font-family:Trajan Pro;font color="white">Episode Guide
Love & Death


Uncharted Waters
"I will not be remembered as the queen that drew first blood."
Queen Elizabeth


Mary Learns of Elizabeth's Attempt to Stop Her Marriage
When Darnley gets a surprise visitor, his marriage to Mary hangs in the balance. Elizabeth learns her attempt to stop Mary backfired. Meanwhile, Catherine and Narcisse find King Charles and must convince him to return to the castle.


In England, Elizabeth is mad at having set sight upon the dead body of an assassin, not Darnley. She views the marriage between him and Mary as an act of aggression, but since she cannot invade Scotland without reason, she asks her new ambassador to find her a reason.

In Scotland, Mary takes Greer into a place in the forest where she would like to elope with Darnley. Sadly, she knows she can't, because their wedding is a political event.

In France, Narcisse informs Catherine that Leeza is already drafting an abdication letter to King Charles. Leeza's guards are combing the countryside to find Charles, while Narcisse and Catherine set out to get to him first.

James is angry with Mary for taking his lands and giving them to Darnley. Mary argues that she had no choice, as Darnley being given a Scottish title is a requirement for their marriage, but she promises to compensate him.

Darnley confronts his mother about her forging a letter to end his relationship with Keira, who is staying at an inn until Darnley decided what to do. His mother tells him that there is no decision to be made. He will end his dalliance with Keira if he doesn't want to lose everything.

In order to lift Gideon's spirits and make Agatha's last days as fun as possible, Elizabeth invites Agatha to 'play queen' with her.

Mary summons Darnley and hands him the deed to his new estates. He seems to value the gesture, especially given what Mary had to sacrifice to get it, but also lets a cryptic comment about his sacrifices slip.

Catherine and Narcisse find Charles living with a family at a farm in Meaux. Over a plate of soup, Catherine pleads with Charles to return to court, but he is resistant to the idea. He has found love and peace in the rural environment he is currently living in.

James once again warns Mary about Darnley's true character.

Keira goes to Darnley and seduces him back into bed with her, despite him trying to resist her at first.

As Catherine and Narcisse watch Charles play with the family's kids, Catherine realises that Charles is happier here than she has ever seen him, but Narcisse warns her not to let that distract her from what they came to do. Just then, they are approached by a girl named Nicole whom Charles has gotten close to and who turns out to just the person to convince Charles to return to court.

While being tucked into bed, Agatha asks Elizabeth if Mary has ever hurt her. While Elizabeth says no, she admits that she will attack her if necessary. When she leaves Agatha's room, her ambassor approaches her with a justifiable reason to attack Scotland: a border skirmish in which English blood was drawn. Elizabeth then orders for the troops to be put into position.

Mary lets James know that she is in the process of getting him a port owned by a man named Lord Bothwell. Much to Mary's surprise, though, James reveals that he already knows Bothwell - and what he's doing instead of being ill at home like he claimed he was.

Mary and James ride to the village where Mary goes to a tavern to find Bothwell, while James is briefed in on suspicious activity by one his guards. Upon following the trail, he walks in on Darnley sleeping with Keira. He runs out, but is followed by Darnley, who convinces him to keep his secret.


Lord Narcisse: We have a problem.
Queen Catherine: If you're referring to the fact that Charles hasn't been seen in weeks and he gave his crown to a peasant, we don't have a "problem," Narcisse. We have a disaster.

Lord Narcisse: Perhaps Charles would respond better to a strong, male authority figure.
Queen Catherine: But in the absence of such a man, I'll settle for you.

Queen Mary: Darnley is a better man than you think.
James Stuart: Really? Who told you that? Darnley?

Lord Darnley: You forged a letter to end my relationship with Keira, how could you do this?!
Lady Lennox: It wasn't easy, I paid a fortune.

Queen Catherine: You are King of France, and your sister, the Queen of Spain, is using your absence to threaten the sovereignty of our nation.
King Charles: Listen to yourself. You don't even care that I, your son, am alive, well and happy.
Queen Catherine: Alive and well and King of France.
King Charles: Only if I choose to return to court, which I don't.
Lord Narcisse: ...Perhaps we should all.. stop talking before this delicious soup gets cold.

Lord Narcisse: Looks like the King's been using his hands to work more than just the earth. No wonder he's better.

King Charles: Being King of France is a duty I was born to. I accept who I am and I will not abdicate.
Lord Narcisse: Spoken like France's one true king.
Queen Leeza: Or a well-coached puppet.

King Charles: I'm saying that I, Charles de Valois, King of France, am a Protestant.

(re: Charles converting to protestantism)
Queen Catherine: This is your fault.
Lord Narcisse: I should have your entire family burned at the stake.

King Charles: I will not lie about my beliefs. Not to the Queen of Spain or anyone.

Queen Elizabeth: I will not be remembered as the queen that drew first blood.

Queen Mary: You will be my husband in name only. And we will never be happy. And I will never forgive you.


Death Toll [2][3]
- Agatha Blackburn


Historical Notes[]

  • Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley's son was born 19 June 1566, a full year after their marriage.
  • The real was named James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, born in 1534.
  • Mary Beaton's aunt, Janet Beaton was mistress to Lord Bothwell, who become Mary Stuart's 3rd husband.
  • There was another Lord Bothwell but his name was John Ramsay, 1st Lord Bothwell and he died in 1513, at age 51. 48 years earlier. John Ramsay has a 'friendly' relationship with King James III of Scotland, his son King James IV and Henry VII of England
  • Elizabeth brought up when her sister, Mary Tudor locked her in The Tower of London.
  • Elizabeth stated her father wanted little to do with her after her mother's beheading
    • Princess Elizabeth was declared a bastard after her mother, Anne Boleyn was beheaded when she was 3. She only saw her father Henry VIII 2 or 3 times a year.
  • Lord Darnley father, Lord Lennox, was brought up.
    • When the Parliament of Scotland rejected the Greenwich treaty, Lord Lennox changed sides and supported King Henry VIII of England's military efforts to secure a marriage. After the defeat of his supporters at the Battle of Glasgow Muir, Lennox fled once more to England.
  • King Charles IX never had a mistress named 'Nicole' however he did have a mistress named Marie Touchet, who would be 16 at the time and was born a farm girl before coming to French Court.
  • Queen Leeza mentioned getting the Pope involved in France's affair, that would be Pope Paul IV.



  • Credit Order
Actor Character
Adelaide Kane Queen Mary
Megan Follows Queen Catherine
Rachel Skarsten Queen Elizabeth
Celina Sinden Greer Castleroy
Craig Parker Lord Narcisse
Ben Geurens Gideon Blackburn
Dan Jeannotte James Stuart
Spencer MacPherson King Charles
Will Kemp Lord Darnley
Guest Staring
Adam Croasdell Lord Bothwell  
Anastasia Phillips Queen Leeza
Ann Pirvu Nicole Touchet  
Nola Augustson Lady Lennox
Philip Riccio Ambassador Richards
Sara Garcia Lady Keira
Macy Drouin Agatha Blackburn
Character debut
Speaking debut
Episode debut