The White Queen," which is based on the turmoil that unfolded in 15th-century England, before the Tudor dynasty. In this exclusive look at the series, the cast shares their characters' thoughts and motivations — and it's clear that no one's willing to forfeit their mission without a fight.
The gorgeous, young, and brave Edward IV (Max Irons) is crowned king of England, due in no small part to his cousin, the manipulative Lord Warwick (James Frain), who believes he's pulling all the strings. But when starry-eyed Edward falls hard for and proposes to Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson) — a stunning Lancastrian plebeian — Warwick's plans to control England through Edward are thwarted bigtime.
"Edward changes the power balance of Europe overnight and without even telling Warwick," Frain says. Well, we're pretty sure that when Warwick calls Elizabeth "a roadside strumpet" to Edward's face, he's not helping matters.
"Edward was so different than any other king. He was very much like a young guy," Irons says. "He was an incredibly accomplished king but also a human being to his very core," he added, which is probably why Edward opted to follow his heart against all logic. "There was a mystique to her — the way she stood her ground with the king. It was hypnotic for him. It's love, and it's lust, and it's magic, and it's all-consuming," Irons dishes.
As fabulous as that sounds, it wasn't all magic for the kingdom. "Everybody had trouble with the bond between Edward and Elizabeth. So it's rather Romeo and Juliet," says Philippa Gregory, author of "The Cousins' War" novels on which "The White Queen" is based. And while the kingdom isn't thrilled, no one is less thrilled than Warwick, who feels intensely betrayed. "All bets are off," as Frain puts it. And just like that, the high-stakes War of the Roses is underway.
To watch the battle for love and power unfold, tune in to "The White Queen" on Saturdays at 9 PM on Starz.