Mary & George – S01E02 – The Hunt | Transcript

Mary wants to boot out King James' favorite, Sir Somerset; in order for her son George to get the chance to attract the king, she asks for an audience with Queen Anne.

Mary & George
Season 1 – Episode 2
Episode title: The Hunt
Created by D. C. Moore
Based on The King’s Assassin by Benjamin Woolley
Starring Julianne Moore, Nicholas Galitzine, Tony Curran, Laurie Davidson, Trine Dyrholm, Nicola Walker
Original release date: March 5, 2024

Plot: Mary asks George to cover up John’s strangling of one of the servant’s pet dogs, but he is not convincing. Mary and George continue vying for King James’ attentions while also strategising a bride for John with the daughter of Sir Edward Coke, both to little success. Mary devises a plan with Sir David and Queen Anne, who despise the Earl of Somerset, to bring George front and centre at the king’s court. Though George is knighted and joins the king’s favoured men, the Earl of Somerset senses the plans to oust him and warns George to be wary. Mary begins visiting a local prostitute, Sandie, with a secret past. On a hunt with the king and his men, George is pushed off his horse by the Earl of Somerset but survives, rescued by King James. At the end of the hunt, the king excuses the Earl of Somerset and has George kill the wounded stag. That night, George and King James consummate their relationship. Mary and Sandie poison and kill Sir David, who had learned of Mary’s forged identity.

* * *

XANDER: Lady Villiers, I’m sorry about your husband’s death.

And, I’m afraid, the estate is bankrupt.

There’s only one option. Marry again?

Sir Thomas Compton? Afraid so. You? Your next wife.

GEORGE: Where are we? France.

‘Own your body.’

Have you found me a wife? I think we aim higher.

So… are you ready for His Majesty or not?

If we tread right, George, he’ll be yours.


(SOFTLY) Ours.


(CHATTER, LAUGHTER) May I help you, sir?

Make you happy and glad all over for a shilling?

Wrong tree, bark… and all that.

Fine, two shillings, then. Why’d the price double?


Men want a quick pump and a squirt in any old warm pit, but women want the real thing, done in no rush, as a matter.

Twice the care, twice the rate.

Market forces. Don’t blame me, I’m just a powerless cog. Are you a specialist?


Why pay for a fruit so easy to pluck,

whenever you like for free?

You’re the one in a fucking brothel, love.

I’m just here to meet someone. Well, he can watch for his shilling.

He may need your services, but I do not.

No, but I’d say you need something, love. And what’s that? My need?

I’ve seen enough half-souls in my days.

Worn down by Mistress Time.

Those who never feel

full of heart, and.

I see you.

If I were you…

I would avoid the prunes.

Why suggest this place, Sir David?

Because I don’t trust my servants.

Or yours. Or… fucking anybody’s.

And this is a locals’ venue. Are you certain?

Oh, no, that’s my man Wearstrap.

Low, base fellow.

But he could wrestle a bear to death. What’s so secret to discuss?

His Majesty is at Newmarket soon for the races.

And pretty boys always turn up, trying to lure the King.

But only I know the route.

George will have an open road to be seen.

That’s your plan? Stand by the road like a pretty piece of meat?

Somerset has had the King basically locked up.

This is a rare excursion and opportunity.

Let us avoid another violent disaster.

The King took his side against Somerset, as did the Queen.

The Queen detests Somerset, so that was no surprise.

But the King not siding with his lover? George got lucky.

Why does the Queen hate Somerset?

Well, you met him. But the Queen also hates me… and all men.

Especially those the King… favours.

Maybe George’s

girlish qualities appeal to her?

WOMAN: More prunes? Thanks.

Anyway… Newmarket.

Are you in? Or not?

Never on time is he, His Maj?

Bet you thought you were being clever,

avoiding the crowds on the High Street?

But, not the only one with the idea

are ya, sweet?

No, we get all the Peacock Petes here

when the King visits for the gee-gees.

All hoping his eyes, or lower, will wander.

I’m just here on business.

What’s your business, sir?

Are you hammer or anvil?

Shovel or bucket? Or both?

I’m going to punch you in both of your eyes.

I don’t mind, I like it rough.

As long as we cuddle after. Mm.

Though, I can pay. A bit. I’m not for hire.

You’d bend over for the King. His body’s no better than mine.

Well, he’s the King.

And you are what, exactly?



The King already has his honeypot slot.


Aim lower.


Do you know how the King and his boy met?

See, young Somerset broke his leg at a joust.

The King took pity on him. That was that.

Let me pity you, son. I don’t need your pity.

Once he sees me, he will bring me into his court, I know it.

I’m not like them.

(CROWD SHOUTS)Your Majesty! Well, we’ll see, won’t we, love?

Your Majesty! Your Majesty!

James! Your Majesty!



LAURA: Please, Master John?


Thank you, Miss Ashcattle.

Jenny. MARY: So?

So whoever told you the road was clear, don’t trust them again.

I’ve missed you, George.

Will you hunt with me?

Just us.

So what are we hunting?

John is not well.

Hasn’t left his bed in days.

Is that Miss Ashcattle’s hound?

I found him this morning.

A man’s hands choked him, I’d say.

And you think it was John?

Maybe it attacked him first? Hm, possible.

But it was a docile thing, for all its yapping.

If this body is found

and dug up by man or fox, people will know it was John.

His wounds. His moods. The servants talk.

Other houses talk. It’s a pet dog.

I don’t think- We are on the edge of something.

Who marries John if this is known? Who marries John, anyway?

Sir Edward Coke, the Chief Justice,

is looking for a soft, delicate man

to wed his young daughter.


Delicate? John is both, in his heart.

Who does not have some violence in theirs?

I thought our focus was the King.

John needs a future too.

What happens to him if I die, or you?

Why I wrote to Sir Edward

that he may visit.

Now, won’t you help your brother?

It will involve a lie.

And to lie well, you must believe it too.

What lies have you told?

None, ever.


Now shoot.

For John.


What’s that, Master George?

As I was hunting

he came out of nowhere.

Before I knew it…

It was a

a terrible accident.

It was all my fault, really.

I know you loved him like a son.

I hope you can forgive me.

Adam’s not fresh dead.

Wound’s wrong.

Not enough blood, Master George.

I’m telling you the truth.


You can tell your little story all over, son.

I’ll tell no other.

But do not piss up my back and tell me it rains.

Tell this to my Lady.

I’m too old.

And I’ve seen too much.

Any more news from your friend?

What next? I dive into the Thames, hope the King jumps in after me?

No, none yet. He’s the slow sort. He can afford to be.

More pressing to us

will John behave today?

I don’t know.

He speaks so little. Well, maybe that’s for the best.

Leave Sir Edward to me.

Not like that. I know the sort.

Wants a young man to look up to him.

Paternally, Mother. Whatever works.

Is that her?

She looks so frail.

Ugh! Don’t worry.

I’m sure Frances Coke is a tough little blooming flower.

Her mother is, at least.

Lady Hatton, they call her.

Her first husband, Lord Hatton, died and left her all his Estate.

She kept the dead man’s money. And his name.

How humiliating for Coke.

You two, stop your gossiping.

Sorry. Just excited for dinner, Daddy.

Yes. It will be a glorious night of wit, wisdom and absolute frolics.

A wonderful home.

I thank my husband for that.

A wonderful daughter, you have.

And you have your John. Mm.

He’s quiet tonight. He prefers to savour his food.

I like a man of reserve.

Too many loud, raucous sorts, these days.

A curse of my generation.

Many feel the need to strut around like a Peacock Pete.

Yes, the young have lost their way. I won’t comment on womenfolk.

They’ve always mystified me.

(LAUGHTER) Oh, I’m sure.

Speaking of the, uh… feminine, and not to reminisce, but

we had a golden age under Elizabeth.

GEORGE: What was she like?

Perhaps it was her

celibacy? Her unspoilt heart.

Living only to rule, and.

I admit, I was more in favour then,

in her Court, than I am in the current.

Just because Elizabeth never shared a bed,

or admitted to

why must she be touted as some Magic-Hymened Saviour

of all mankind? But she was our saviour.

Against the Spanish Armada.

Ireland’s insurgents. The French.

Any bloody filthy Catholic, come to that.

And would’ve done that if she’d eased on to the odd coil of flesh.

Coil of flesh?

Whatever nomenclature you prefer.

I mean, is King James really any worse?

Because his favourite pursuits are to hunt and to fuck.

Uh… Perhaps we change the subject?

There are young, unspoilt minds and bodies here we must protect.

Aren’t we here for the exact opposite fucking purpose?

What do you mean?

The point of this dinner is to consider sacrificing.

Frances’s body and mind, to a union with… him.

Clarify your position. I mean

how dare you pretend he is good enough for her?

And you want my inheritance to pay the dowry?

I-I would rather strangle her dead.


It would be a kindness. This is why I never listen to him.

Does she mean me? Yes.

Thank goodness I don’t rely on his money to do


What an ever-closing prison that would be.

Scrabbling for coins,

position, favour, like some, um


Shall we go? I think we shall. Come.

You haven’t heard my son speak. Oh, do I need to?

Been like it since birth, hasn’t he?

The cord around his neck, inside you,

strangled any sense from the lad.

And it isn’t just him, is it?

A whole dark brood, the lot of you.

Starting with her. What sort of Lady is she?

I hear rumours

nothing of the sort.

And I might just believe them.

And then there’s the sodomite son with the… with the gallows eyes,

who thinks his shaft and taint the very centre of the Earth.

Those other fucking two. Jesus Christ.

I mean, one might stab you to death and eat the remains,

and the other would vapid and bore you to an early death.

And then there’s poor Sir Thomas, who has no idea who is in his bed.

What did I get wrong?

Girl. With me, if you would.



I cannot apologise enough.

No, you cannot… Sir Edward.

(DOOR CLOSES) (EXHALES) I need a drink.

Peacocks are my friend, aren’t they?


Good friends.

Now finish your food, John.

Keep up your strength.

I didn’t mean to… hurt him.

We were playing and he got so loud.

I know.

We all get away from ourselves sometimes.

All of us.

How is he?

What does ‘gallows eyes’ mean?

Don’t waste another second’s thought on that hateful cunt.

How will the King ever see me again?


A better question

how do you stand out in a very cluttered field?

If he saw me dance, he’d remember.

Perhaps we should take a trip together.

To London.

Move things along.

We need be less like the hound,

and more like sweet John.

Let us seize what should be fucking ours.


She’s back. Change your mind?

Mm… no, not yet. Well, you know where I am.

And if you don’t like it here, I’ve got my own place.

Not to brag, but I do. Mm.

A fine specimen there. Well done.

Who’s that? A local artisan.

I ordered house prunes.

Dig in. He cannot digest them.

I hate them.

Is this… a brothel?

He’s quick, isn’t he? He’s catching up.

And why bring him today? I am here.

Younger men rule nations, empires. Our Majesty did.

And George learns more every day.

It’s more us. We need better use his gifts.

I hear that. But how?

Get me a moment with the Queen.

I told you, she hates me. How do I… The Queen?

She hates Somerset more.

She may hate you, but let her hold her nose as you explain

that this is the chance to replace Somerset in the King’s bed.

And risk death when Somerset finds out? You are mad and wild.

Oh, possibly. But I’ve lived a sane, tame life

waiting for change, and it does not come.

Unless you grab opportunity by the hand,

and never let go.


Your Majesty.

The private scheduling conversation we discussed?

Now might be the time.

Your Majesty, I am honoured to be in your presence.

Do you know how many compliments I receive

on a full average day? Enough?

Nervous? Sufficiently so, yes.

Your late husband was of a noble house of long standing.

But what of yours?

The Beaumonts… I know less.

A good family of a long line.

So George’s blood is pure?

There have been others suggested to eclipse Somerset.

But can you control him, your George?

He is subject to my rule.

Is he a worthy knight?



And how would this work?

I imagine you have given that some thought.

I might have.

‘George need be centre stage

‘where he cannot be unseen.’





‘After, find somewhere private

‘for His Majesty to meet my boy.

‘Perhaps with the excuse to see your young Prince Charles.

‘Pretend he’s sick and wants his father’s care?’

JAMES: What’s the matter? He’s not feeling well.

‘Somewhere Somerset will not care to follow.

‘Let your husband see my George

‘to be knighted.’

I think it’s time for a new member in your bedchamber.



Sir George.

‘And from that close position

‘give the King whatever he wants.

‘Of course, Somerset will resist.’

Out! All of you!

‘But if I’ve taught him anything’ (GROANS)

‘George knows how to endure.’


QUEEN: ‘And what will you do during all this?’

‘With everything in motion, I will

‘busy myself somehow.’



You were followed, love.

Are you certain? I… I thought.

Already bringing trouble to my door. Should I go?

Well, you’re here now.

And if we let every strange wandering man ruin our day…

(SOFTLY) Have you ever been with a girl a girl before?

Bodies are just bodies.


That’s more than two shillings.

I expect more.

There’s only so much that buys you.

In here, in this room… who’s in charge?

You are.







You are like the plague.

Or an unwanted morning stiffness.

Always there, however much you bash it away.

He wouldn’t have dared ennoble you if I’d been there.

But you weren’t.


And where is the King?

Readying for today’s hunt.

Hunting excites him more than


Even more than you?


Tell me, are you a hunter?

Mm-hm. Mm.

Well, know this

the stags are in rut out there.

Liable to attack

rather than flee.

So do be careful

today, on the hunt.

Not only plagues and passions end our days.

How long have you lived in England?

Never ask me anything like that again.

My past is mine.

Instead, you should address your present.

Speaking of which, he’s still out there, that man.

Pretending to be idle, but he’s not.

Who are you?

I’m a simple wife and mother.


I’m trying to advance my son.

With the King. In his household.


Fuck. Yes.

Well, if he wanted you dead or beaten,

he would have done it last night.

No, he wants something else.



I’d imagine you have a few.

So, if I were you…

I would clean house before he burns it all to the dirty fucking ground.

I was told to clean my house.

Looks like you need do the same, no?

Who did this?

A paragon of evil appeared.

Told me I must tell him all I know of you.

I… refused.


I was more compliant, and I…

Go on.

In my fear and pain

told him what you had burnt.

Its contents. Its significance.

So he had me write out a signed statement.



JAMES: Is anyone else too full of anticipation to dine?

GEORGE: I often consume more when I’m enthused…

Your Majesty.

Consume too much and your horse might throw you off,

as too great a load. (LAUGHTER)

Well, younger men can eat more without becoming bloated.

Do you not find that, my Lord, the older you get?



Sit down. No malice was sought or.

Am I a topic of amusement to you? Every last one of you?

No, you are the most serious thing in the entire history of the world.

To me and all here. In aeternum.

Tell me, can you hunt as well as you dance?


Oh, you speak French?

I tried to teach the Earl of Somerset once,

but he’s much more stone than sponge.



Well… I love to hunt.

Some mock me for it, I know.

Say I should spend more time in London at the business of state.

But what is a more natural state than this?

It is Eden.

But be a careful, Adam.

We lost a boy recently.

Fell from his steed. Tragedy.





There! MAN: Gee-up! Ya!


Stag’s likely to double back, we must hem him in.

Ya! Ya!



Giddy up!

Circle him! Circle him! Give him here!

He’s not going anywhere. (STAG GRUNTS)


He pushed you?

No. It was my own fault.

Poor riding.

Are you protecting his honour or yours?

Or perhaps mine?

Some say gallantry and all human dignity died under my reign.

They whisper it,

but I hear them.

You’re living proof that they lie.



Since when do we go back for fallen riders?

Do you really want to lecture us today on morality and protocol?

He fell of his own fucking- He says just the same. But enough.

He’s in pain.

(STAG GROANS) It is his time.




MAN: Now, this

is wintergreen.

It’s a herb

to reduce the swelling.

It’s costly to use quite so much,

but the King told me, ‘Spare no expense.’ So…

I am lucky.

Yes, well, don’t get too cosy.

Did you hear about the servant boy who died?

Someone sabotaged his saddle

after the King and he rode together.

And that ‘someone’

has men everywhere.


Who is yours, the girl?

My Wearstrap.

And what is this… venue?

A, uh… bolthole, so to speak, sir.

Prunes, boys?

Go on.

Make them feel comfortable, these… good men.

Here you go. Right.

Um… Shouldn’t we be drinking?

To celebrate your boy and his

successful hunt?

Yes. Let’s go for a drink.

Discuss our future together.

Somerset is furious, losing the first round of a fight.

George realised the King was tired of fighting.

Wanted what he first had with Somerset

a young lover to pity, an injured bird to tend to.

The battle isn’t over.

Somerset still shares the King’s bed.

However we can help George from here, we must.

However… However?

From here on, let us guide George.

You’ve done your bit, now let us.


As you may know, Wearstrap has been busy.

Helped us discover your poor, dead drunk of a husband

took a shine to you when you were some lowly girl in service.

And, profligate as he was, paid for papers to be forged,

proving you a Beaumont and of good birth, when you are neither.

(CHUCKLES) You are no Lady.

You’re barely a woman, really.

Either of you.

You have evidence?

I do.

And it’s safe, somewhere you will never find it.

Don’t care to try.


I am at your mercy, then? Ah.


And George? Uh… (COUGHS)



Feeling thirsty? What’s she talking about?

You should avoid prunes in a brothel, apparently.

They drug them.

Just enough to make it easier to part men from their money.

But it’s fairly simple to up the dose.

If you know a sailor or three. You… perfidious harlot.

I have powerful friends.



Take me. Bury me.

I want to forget who I am.

I am nothing but your subject.



Did you ever see a man perish before?

‘I have.’

‘It’s never pretty, is it?’


Something I want to protect my son from.

(MUFFLED CHEERING) ‘The true barbarism of the world.’





♪ Cauterise your youth

♪ Here’s an uncomfortable truth

♪ If I wanna get on

♪ Then make the past gone

♪ Whispers said

♪ I’m friends with the dead

♪ There’s a light

♪ But I want to be sad

♪ I just want to be sad

♪ Bless your little scars ♪


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