Starz newest period drama tells the story of Elizabeth of York and her marriage to Henry VII, King of England. The White Princess is based on Philippa Gregory's best selling novel and, although it's rooted in history, it offers a unique glimpse at life in a Tudor court through a female perspective. Premiering this Sunday on Starz, The White Princess comes as an anticipated sequel to BBC's The White Queen — which tells the story of Elizabeth of York's mother and the beginning of the War of the Roses.
If you've only heard about #TheWhitePrincess, but don't know if it's your cup 'o tea, allow me to list five great reasons why you won't regret watching this 8-episode miniseries.
1. It's On Starz
This might not seem like a strong enough reason to start this list, but it most definitely is (bear with me here!). In recent years, Starz has quickly raised the production stakes for period drama series. Starz has been the home of Spartacus, Da Vinci's Demons, Black Sails and Outlander — all huge successes, both in the genre and on TV in general. Plus, Starz has done an amazing job adapting a novel for TV, remaining ever faithful to the original source material — as well as maintaining some historical accuracy. So if you've heard of Philippa Gregory's book, or even read it, then rest assured The White Princess will not disappoint.
2. It Draws From the Same History As 'Game Of Thrones'
Game of Thrones author, George R. R. Martin, has drawn inspiration from several historical moments to create his fascinating tale of Westeros. If you're a 'Thronie' yourself, you might have heard that the Lannisters and the Starks were heavily based on the English Lancaster and York families from the 1400s. The White Princess is simply a less fantasy-oriented adaptation from the war those two families fought back in the day: the War of the Roses. So, who knows, maybe while you enjoy The White Princess you might get some insight on how the Lannisters and Starks came to be in #GameofThrones.
3. It's All About Girl-Power
The White Princess is set in a time from which very little is known about the political — or even personal — views of women. Back in medieval times, society was (much more) patriarchal, and the women were banned to the sidelines of history, their stories never to be told. What Philippa Gregory does in her novels — and what showrunner Emma Frost stuck to for The White Princess — is to take some bits and pieces of information about women in that period and try to imagine how they would interact with historical events. Thus, The White Princess mainly focuses on the female characters' perspective of what life was like in England in the 1400s, the power struggles between Yorks and Lancasters and how much influence Elizabeth of York actually had in shaping the character of her husband, King Henry VII.
4. It Makes History Fun
As is the case with most period dramas on TV, The White Princess does its best to be historically accurate, while dabbing in a bit of fiction from time to time. Nevertheless, the story is centered on real life historical characters and events, which makes the idea of sitting in front of the screen and learning a bit about the good ol' days much more entertaining. Besides Elizabeth of York and her King Henry VII, The White Princess features Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort — the queen's and king's mothers, respectively. In a time when women had little to no power, these two women changed the course of history by marrying their children and ending a war.
5. It's A Miniseries
I understand the passion to follow a certain TV series year after year (believe me, I follow quite a few!), but sometimes it's nice to be able to enjoy a carefully produced series for a limited amount of time. The White Princess comes with no strings attached; it's an 8-episode miniseries that will tell a story and nothing more. Of course, history carried on after the War of the Roses, but you shouldn't expect any particular cliffhangers with The White Princess. It's all about Elizabeth, her marriage and the outcome of that political alliance so, when the eighth episode fades out, you'll be good to go on obsessing about something new.
More on #PeriodDrama:
- History-Based TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch Right Now - Part 1
- History-Based TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch Right Now - Part 2
- 'Vikings' Season 5: All You Need To Know
After years waiting for a sequel to Philippa Gregory's first novels adaptation, it's nice to see The White Princess has found a perfect home on Starz. It also doesn't hurt that the first series writer and showrunner, Emma Frost, decided to come back for seconds and finish telling this story. As a history buff, I can't recommend The White Princess enough, but I'm sure you'll enjoy it even if history isn't really your thing. There's blood and war, love and hate, power and surrender in just the right amount to keep you entertained for eight hours. Then, if you do watch it and discover a passion for history and period dramas, there are many more great series to binge out there!
Will you be watching The White Princess?