Watch The Hollow Crown

These stunning adaptations tell the story of three kings, Richard II, Henry IV & Henry V and their battle for survival. Shakespeare's epic yet intimate plays are filmed in the visually breathtaking landscape and architecture of the period. Starring Ben Winshaw, Tom Hiddleston & Jeremy Irons, these rich films feature some of Shakespeare's most memorable and powerful language.

PBS
2 Seasons, 13 Episodes
June 29, 2012
Drama
8.4/10
Cast: Anton Lesser, Simon Russell Beale, Tom Georgeson, John Mackay
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The Hollow Crown Full Episode Guide

  • At Westminster, Richard speaks about his deformity, the evil plots he has laid, and the decadence at court. George, brother to Richard and the King, is arrested during a birthday feast for Prince Edward and is led away to the Tower. King Edward is taken ill and collapses at the end of the feast. Richard arranges for George's murder in the Tower London. King Edward makes one last effort to end family disputes but Richard interrupts with the news of George's death. After the death of Edward IV Richard starts to take control. Rivers and Grey are executed for treason and Prince Edward and Prince Richard are sent to the Tower for safekeeping. After a council meeting Hastings is also executed. Buckingham persuades the citizens of London to plead with Richard to take up the throne. Richard is crowned at Westminster Abbey with Anne as his Queen. Unrewarded for his efforts, Buckingham distances himself from Richard and his regime. Now without the support of his main henchman Richard III hires Tyrell to murder the Princes in the Tower. The Duke of Richmond and his supporters join forces to seize the crown and overthrow Richard. In his underground quarters at Westminster, Richard becomes isolated and paranoid. He takes Stanley's son hostage and arranges for the murder of Anne. Richard is forced to lead his army to confront Richmond at Bosworth Field. Buckingham is executed for desertion. Stanley joins forces with Richmond and Richard's army is outnumbered. Richmond delivers the fatal blow to Richard in single combat and Richmond is crowned Henry VII. The Houses of York & Lancaster are united, the white rose with the red.

  • At Westminster, Richard speaks about his deformity, the evil plots he has laid, and the decadence at court. George, brother to Richard and the King, is arrested during a birthday feast for Prince Edward and is led away to the Tower. King Edward is taken ill and collapses at the end of the feast. Richard arranges for George's murder in the Tower London. King Edward makes one last effort to end family disputes but Richard interrupts with the news of George's death. After the death of Edward IV Richard starts to take control. Rivers and Grey are executed for treason and Prince Edward and Prince Richard are sent to the Tower for safekeeping. After a council meeting Hastings is also executed. Buckingham persuades the citizens of London to plead with Richard to take up the throne. Richard is crowned at Westminster Abbey with Anne as his Queen. Unrewarded for his efforts, Buckingham distances himself from Richard and his regime. Now without the support of his main henchman Richard III hires Tyrell to murder the Princes in the Tower. The Duke of Richmond and his supporters join forces to seize the crown and overthrow Richard. In his underground quarters at Westminster, Richard becomes isolated and paranoid. He takes Stanley's son hostage and arranges for the murder of Anne. Richard is forced to lead his army to confront Richmond at Bosworth Field. Buckingham is executed for desertion. Stanley joins forces with Richmond and Richard's army is outnumbered. Richmond delivers the fatal blow to Richard in single combat and Richmond is crowned Henry VII. The Houses of York & Lancaster are united, the white rose with the red.

  • After the Battle of St Alban's Plantagenet and the Yorkists ride to London to claim the throne. Henry negotiates to keep the Crown for his lifetime but agrees to disinherit his son, Prince Edward. Margaret is outraged and attacks Plantagenet at his house, slaughtering the Duke and his youngest son Edmund. Elder brothers, Edward, George & Richard, escape and swear to avenge the murders, and destruction of their house. The Yorkists are victorious at the Battle of Towton and Plantagenet's eldest son is crowned Edward IV. Henry VI is imprisoned in the Tower and Margaret escapes to France with her son Prince Edward. Warwick travels to the French Court to find Edward a bride. Word arrives that Edward is already betrothed to Elizabeth Woodville. Enraged, Warwick switches sides and joins the House of Lancaster. Together with Margaret and the French King, Warwick forms an alliance to place Henry back on the throne. George, Edward IV's brother, joins with Warwick after failing to secure a good marriage or advance at Court. George returns to the Yorkist cause moments before the Battle of Tewkesbury. The Lancastrians are defeated and Warwick is killed. In the aftermath of battle Richard slays Prince Edward in front of a distraught Margaret. Richard returns to London and murders the former king Henry in his cell. The Court of Edward IV congregates for the christening of a new heir to the throne. The Yorkist dynasty seems secure.

  • After the Battle of St Alban's Plantagenet and the Yorkists ride to London to claim the throne. Henry negotiates to keep the Crown for his lifetime but agrees to disinherit his son, Prince Edward. Margaret is outraged and attacks Plantagenet at his house, slaughtering the Duke and his youngest son Edmund. Elder brothers, Edward, George & Richard, escape and swear to avenge the murders, and destruction of their house. The Yorkists are victorious at the Battle of Towton and Plantagenet's eldest son is crowned Edward IV. Henry VI is imprisoned in the Tower and Margaret escapes to France with her son Prince Edward. Warwick travels to the French Court to find Edward a bride. Word arrives that Edward is already betrothed to Elizabeth Woodville. Enraged, Warwick switches sides and joins the House of Lancaster. Together with Margaret and the French King, Warwick forms an alliance to place Henry back on the throne. George, Edward IV's brother, joins with Warwick after failing to secure a good marriage or advance at Court. George returns to the Yorkist cause moments before the Battle of Tewkesbury. The Lancastrians are defeated and Warwick is killed. In the aftermath of battle Richard slays Prince Edward in front of a distraught Margaret. Richard returns to London and murders the former king Henry in his cell. The Court of Edward IV congregates for the christening of a new heir to the throne. The Yorkist dynasty seems secure.

  • Against the backdrop of Wars in France the English nobility quarrel. News of the English defeat at Orleans reaches the Duke of Gloucester and other nobles. After the funeral of Henry V, his son, the infant Henry VI, is proclaimed King. Seventeen years later Henry sits on the throne whilst the rivalries at Court continue. After Rouen falls to the French, Plantagenet, Exeter and Talbot pledge to recapture the city from the Dauphin. Battle commences and the French, led by Joan of Arc, defeat the English. The valiant English commander Talbot, and his son, John are killed. Warwick and Somerset arrive too late for the battle but join forces with the survivors and retake Rouen. Somerset captures and woos Margaret of Anjou as a potential bride for Henry VI. Plantagenet takes Joan of Arc prisoner and orders for her to be burnt at the stake. Despite Gloucester's protests Margaret is introduced to the Court as Henry's queen. Margaret complains that Eleanor, Gloucester's wife, behaves like an empress. Eleanor is then banished and warns Gloucester that he is in great danger. Gloucester is accused of high treason and is murdered at the Tower of London whilst Somerset and Margaret make love in the Palace. Henry banishes Somerset and Suffolk after Gloucester is found dead. Plantagenet is incensed when Margaret is able to bully Henry into reversing the sentence. Plantagenet makes a claim for the throne and the Houses of York and Lancaster are now in open opposition.

  • Against the backdrop of Wars in France the English nobility quarrel. News of the English defeat at Orleans reaches the Duke of Gloucester and other nobles. After the funeral of Henry V, his son, the infant Henry VI, is proclaimed King. Seventeen years later Henry sits on the throne whilst the rivalries at Court continue. After Rouen falls to the French, Plantagenet, Exeter and Talbot pledge to recapture the city from the Dauphin. Battle commences and the French, led by Joan of Arc, defeat the English. The valiant English commander Talbot, and his son, John are killed. Warwick and Somerset arrive too late for the battle but join forces with the survivors and retake Rouen. Somerset captures and woos Margaret of Anjou as a potential bride for Henry VI. Plantagenet takes Joan of Arc prisoner and orders for her to be burnt at the stake. Despite Gloucester's protests Margaret is introduced to the Court as Henry's queen. Margaret complains that Eleanor, Gloucester's wife, behaves like an empress. Eleanor is then banished and warns Gloucester that he is in great danger. Gloucester is accused of high treason and is murdered at the Tower of London whilst Somerset and Margaret make love in the Palace. Henry banishes Somerset and Suffolk after Gloucester is found dead. Plantagenet is incensed when Margaret is able to bully Henry into reversing the sentence. Plantagenet makes a claim for the throne and the Houses of York and Lancaster are now in open opposition.

  • From executive producer Sam Mendes comes The Hollow Crown, stunning adaptations of four of Shakespeare's most treasured plays featuring all-star casts. Prince Hal's (The Avengers' Tom Hiddleston) journey continues in Henry V. Recently crowned King, he has scarcely settled onto the throne when the French ambassador brings a challenge to his rule. Inspired by his courtiers Exeter and York, Henry swears that he will answer the French with all force. The stage is set for all-out war, and the young ruler must overcome incredible odds and self-doubt to win the day. A Focus World presentation.

  • From executive producer Sam Mendes comes The Hollow Crown, stunning adaptations of four of Shakespeare's most treasured plays featuring all-star casts. Prince Hal's (The Avengers' Tom Hiddleston) journey continues in Henry V. Recently crowned King, he has scarcely settled onto the throne when the French ambassador brings a challenge to his rule. Inspired by his courtiers Exeter and York, Henry swears that he will answer the French with all force. The stage is set for all-out war, and the young ruler must overcome incredible odds and self-doubt to win the day. A Focus World presentation.

  • From executive producer Sam Mendes comes The Hollow Crown, stunning adaptations of four of Shakespeare's most treasured plays featuring all-star casts. In Henry IV, Part 1, King Henry IV (Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons) sees his reign marred by uprisings led by young Harry Hotspur and undercut by the impulsive, irresponsible actions of his son Prince Hal (Tom Hiddleston of The Avengers). As the stakes get even higher, both sides converge in the epic battle of Shrewsbury.

  • From executive producer Sam Mendes comes The Hollow Crown, stunning adaptations of four of Shakespeare's most treasured plays featuring all-star casts. In Henry IV, Part 1, King Henry IV (Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons) sees his reign marred by uprisings led by young Harry Hotspur and undercut by the impulsive, irresponsible actions of his son Prince Hal (Tom Hiddleston of The Avengers). As the stakes get even higher, both sides converge in the epic battle of Shrewsbury.

  • From executive producer Sam Mendes, King Richard II tells the classic story of murder and revenge that led to the fall of England's royal family.

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