Mary & George – S01E05 – The Golden City | Transcript

England is in trouble because Sir Walter Raleigh has attacked Spanish troops in South America; as a diplomatic newcomer at the English court, George gets caught between the fronts.

Mary & George
Season 1 – Episode 5
Episode title: The Golden City
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: As Mary gains more power, her marriage with Sir Thomas breaks down. Diego, Count of Gondomar, arrives to tell King James of an attack by the English, led by Sir Walter Raleigh, on the Spanish in Guiana, defying a standing peace treaty. George, inserting himself into the king’s political affairs, is invited to sit on the Privy Council but oversteps his bounds in its meeting with Raleigh, naively believing his sympathetic tales of war and gold. With Queen Anne ill, Prince Charles’ bitterness compounds. Sir Francis reveals to George that Mary and Sandie murdered Sir David. As King James attempts to juggle his people’s favour and peace with Spain, the public turn against him for not hailing Raleigh as a national hero. Sir Francis and Diego prove to George that Raleigh is a warmonger keen on conflict between England and Spain, hoping George can influence the king to stop him. Mary attempts to arrange marriage between George and the wealthy Katherine, and, though he initially refuses, confident in a long-standing relationship with the king, Katherine convinces him she won’t stand in his way and the two sleep together. Sandie assists Frances, who has been having an affair, in an abortion and confronts Mary about refusing to admit to John’s madness. John is put in an asylum. George comes face to face with the harsh realities of his influence when King James orders Raleigh to be executed. Mary realises she is losing hold on her power over George.

* * *

I’ve raised six boys… And three girls.

Not a single one is like any of yours.

What is it that you have against my mother?

She’s not the woman you think she is.

Prunes, boys?

Everything’s a ceaseless fight.

But I vow to you, as I battle, you will rise.

She’s so unhappy.

I’ll find you a wife next.

Can you control him? Your George?

He is subject to my rule.

Will you learn, under me?

I would love to.

I’m so proud of my boys.

What could possibly stop us now?




Compensation. Excuse me the fucking whore needs money…


I miss the English girls.

So, when we going home then, sir?

When I say.

That’s a nice, er

nice-looking weapon, that, Sir.

It was my son’s.

Right. Do you no wanna get home

before the Spaniards get to the King

and tell him what we done? The Spanish can say what they want.

What you gonna say?

When you do get home.

Because you can’t tell the truth, can you?

That you ordered us to attack before we were over-run.

Then fled to the jungle like fucking cowards,

the Spaniards picking us off one by one.


So, what I’m wondering is…

How much is it worth

to a man of my loyalty,

to not let the real truth be known?

How much do you want…


All that you can give…

I will take, Sir.






The King really bought you this new house?

So that I might be in London more.

Near His Majesty, and George, and the happy couple.

No wonder he’s skint.

Shame. Barely see you at my manor as it is, love.

Hmm. Are you lonely?

Yeah, well, more frustrated. And you, my dear?

I plough on.


I hear whispers the King is making you a Countess.

No need to whisper. Shout it out.

Will you share your new title?

I thought you understood our agreement.

You won’t share your wealth with me, so why should I share what I

attain with you?

Now I know how a woman feels.

How does it feel? Honestly?


And then there’s your other girl.

Once a maid, now dressed like a bloody… Lady-in-Waiting.

Please stop gabbing on. You’re boring me. Am I?

You’re fucking her, aren’t ya?

This whole family belongs in Sodom.

I don’t fancy another move.


Hmm! Hello everyone.


I’m not a good man. Never pretended I were.

But compared to you and your grubby brood, I’m a fucking pious saint.

Go home, Sir Thomas. You’re drunk.

Am I?

How could I not be?

If I ever see one single member of your family or staff

on my land, I’ll shoot to kill.

Just like father.

But alive. Sort of.

Poor man.

Was all that a joke? No.

Please continue

and paint over Sir Thomas.

And George

step back a bit.

I think I’m alright here, Mother.

♪ RAMAEU: “Danse du Grand Calumet” ♪



(CROWD) Bravo!


If I stumble and splat, Charles, you better be ready!

Now, where… where… where is my boy?

Here is our brilliant son, sire! Ah, there you are!

Are you ready, my Prince, to rule, if I fall?

R-ready is-is such a…

I mean how can one

f… five letter word

capture how one may or may not

at some future time…

Be or not… be

able… Is that an answer, father?

Nearly, aye.

But enough of succession.

We’re here to celebrate our new

our new Countess of Buckingham.

(CROWD WHOOPS) Step forward,

Mary girl, if you

if you would.

I would, Your Majesty. And I thank you.

I am not deserving of this honour.

But if it honours you to accept it, I do so, graciously.

Isn’t she good?

Now, everyone:

Smash your fat little palms

for the great star of our firmament!

(APPLAUSE) Countess Villiers!

Where is your husband, Countess?

Marital concerns? Oh, not for me, your Majesty. You?

No, I think George is very good for James.

He’s happier. Mostly.

Who’s this?

Miss Brookes. My Lady-In-Waiting.

Your Majesty. I am esteemed.

Oh, so she talks?

I can. I often shouldn’t.

Your highness.

Excuse me, ladies.

A strange fever descends on me.

My boy Charles says that when I’m ill, bad things happen.

So be careful, Countess. You and all your good family.

What are we allowed to be, but our children’s keepers?


Countess Buckingham. Miss Brookes.

Enjoying yourself?

How many fucking rules does this break, me being here?

They slit bigger throats for far less.

Well, we live by my rules, now.


May I say thank you, Countess,

for inviting me and my father today.

My pleasure, Lady Manners.

More hers.

Katherine’s very happy to ogle George.

She has since he was about five! They grew up together.


Come here to me. Why is the father staring at you like

you shat in his best blue hat? The Earl of Rutland

is a close family friend of my late husband. He never liked me. Or George.

But he couldn’t not come tonight, as I asked the King to invite him personally.

Not for his company. Mm-mm.






WHISPERING: WE’re leaving.

Come on.

You want some?(THEY LAUGH)

I could wet your lips until I die.


Gondomar’s here I told him to go away in very clear Anglo-Saxon

but he’s not fluent. Says it’s urgent.

His English is better than mine.

Your Majesty, George. Gondomar’s arrived.

We know. I just said that.


Ah, fuck it.

I’ll see him. Alone?

Or with company, Sire?

I’m crushingly pissed company.

You two stand either side of me in case I fall over.

I’m half joking.

What about me?

Bacon and Egg are old hands, so they’I hold mine.

I could… hold your hand?

No, you hold the feast alive until I return.

And keep it fun, lad, eh? Come.

Did his slap paralyse you? Follow them. Insist you join.

He told me no. What, do I just barge in?

If I could go for you, I would.

The King desires to be led in all things.

Let him know you’re not just for his bed.

Sometimes he needs his space.

To miss me.

Love is knowing when. No.

Love is knowing when to dominate.

When he arrives at Plymouth, bring him to London to be interrogated.

I understand what you’re saying, but I think we have to be very

careful how we d…

(APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS) What did I say, laddie?

Did mother send you?

Leave the lad be. Maybe he’s lost.

The Marquess of Buckingham?

Though every day you seem to have a new title. I struggle to keep up.

Are you Earl, Viscount,

Master of the Horse, or… Marquess is right.

As well you know, Diego.

Diego Sarmiento de Acuna, first Count of Gondomar.

The King calls me Diego.

Men who don’t like me call me Gondomar. You choose.

It’s a pleasure to meet you then, Diego.

What were you discussing, before I…?

There has been an act of war.

Allegedly, Diego.

Where? Here?

No, no. In Guiana.


Not quite. Guiana’s a bit further.

The New World. Very far south of Virginia.

Show you on a map, later.

The new battleground for us, alas.

What happened?

Without provocation, an English force attacked Spanish troops.

Led by a man we told you to keep here in the Tower.

Who once plotted treason against His Majesty.


Sir Walter Raleigh, George. You know him, yes?

In school we used to dress up as him and hunt for treasure.

Have we not grown up since?

Raleigh arrives at Plymouth any day.

Arrest him, Sire.

Then have him executed.

He has broken a sacred treaty between our countries.

We don’t know Raleigh’s account. Maybe he says he was attacked first.

Whatever he says, we support him.

The very idea that the state would slay him on the say of some.


Sir Edward, please.

Yes, don’t get carried away. Apologies, Your Majesty

Raleigh is a hero to many. Not just our children.

No, Diego. We hear you.

But Raleigh’s side must be heard first.

Punish him,

or I cannot pacify my nation.

I pray you and your good people choose right.

Did I say the wrong thing?


No, you still have much to learn.


But I did say I would teach you, my love, didn’t I?

Why don’t you begin to sit on the Privy Council with me, hmm?

Learn from your King.

Is my boy behaving, sire?

Let us dance. I will follow your every perfect step.

Come. In a moment, Your Majesty.

I told you he wants to be led.

Only because he can’t fucking dance.

Don’t call me boy in front of him again. I mean it.

It was affectionate.

And before you dance with The King, speak to Rutland.

Don’t flirt. Just show him respect.

Why? You might marry his Katherine.

Katherine is weird, and dull? Yes, but he’s rich and rich.

Indulge me. And him. It’s for your own good.

The King is waiting for me.

Lord Rutland, always a joy.

I watched them closely.

Watched who?

‘Your eldest boy. I followed him, and her.

I found only John in their room.

Clawing at the walls like a crazed animal.

Said he heard Frances screaming from the next room.

Wanted to save her.

But Frances was not screaming in pain.’


Boy! Whoa.

Raleigh allows men like Sir Edward

to dream of some glorious past under Elizabeth,

conquering strange lands across the seas.

Does Coke or fucking anyone care that Raleigh plotted sedition

against me when I first came to England?

I was eleven then.

Don’t say that.

I was too merciful to execute the fucker,

so Raleigh got all those years in the Tower

writing his stories of El Dorado and all that shite.

You think Raleigh made it up?

What, you don’t?

Who wouldn’t want to believe that story?

Conquering worlds? Untold riches.

But who knows? I don’t. That’s exactly right.

Not to have a fixed position whether he lies or not.

Now, my Privy Council must always be seen to be fair.



Shall we?

Spectacular threads.

Piss off, Bacon.

Really. You’re unrivalled.

Now. I’d rather be hunting or anywhere.

But the witness has been brought to us, yes?

So, uh, let’s see the man. (DOOR OPENING)

Your Majesty.

The Marquess of Buckingham.

Gentleman. Greetings.

Yes, well. Sit. Please.

Should I not be wearing shackles?

Well, you’re not under arrest. Yet.

Where is my legal counsel?

This is not a trial. It’s merely a pursuit of answers.

And please cease asking questions. That is not your part.


What do we seek to know?

The… the truth of what happened in Guiana.

Yes, clarify for us: Did you attack the Spanish without provocation

and in negation of a long-held treaty of peace

we hold with their nation?


It is more than a treaty.

It is a sacrament of peace that keeps us all safe.

And that is your defence? ‘No’?


Is my word not enough?

In a word: No.

We were attacked first. By Spain.

We fired back.

What more do you want?

To be persuaded. That’s all, Sir Walter.

I have another question.

Did you in fact lose your only son

in their senseless, cowardly attack?


It’s true.

He was about your age, my boy.

Less handsome than you.

But no less loved or adored.

My pole star.

Well, that is unfortunate.

But might we keep merely to facts.

If you wish, Your Majesty. May I approach the table?

Now, I know some of you may deride the existence of El Dorado.

But just before all this horror,

we saw evidence that we were close.

What evidence?

Every river or brook we passed in the jungle

carried golden flakes.

Speckled arteries to the heart of it all

a shimmering city of gold

built by a lost ancient peoples

that England will find,

and win.

And one of your longest serving men

killed himself, is that right?

A Captain who’d served with me

took his own life in shame.

Put a knife to his own heart.

He was the best of men.

A dear friend.

Why shame, if your men were fired at first, as you said?

For not saving my son from savagess,


You lost a lot in Guiana, didn’t you?

Everything. Now…

I know some fathers treat their boys

like foreigners, or borrowed dogs.

But my boy, he was by my heel from his first breath.

He learnt from me the true cost of valour.

That the conquest of the Earth is not a pretty thing up close.

Many in this country forget that.

I know. My son knew.

And that is why, with his last breath, he begged

that I never give up my search.

So it will be found, that golden city, when I return.

Return? You’re not serious, man?

Don’t let my boy’s death be in vain.

It won’t.

You will return.



What did you say?

Even if El Dorado isn’t real, he still…

It’s not about fucking That.

STAMMERING: I was trying to be fair.

I said “seen to be fair!”


Every fucking time.

James, I’m sorry. Just calm down. What did I fucking say?

For once in your fucking life- Just calm down.

Just fucking listen to what I fucking do!

Just fucking once! Fuck!

(PANTING) Out. James…

Out! I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Fuck off, you useless cunt.

I didn’t mean to…


Did you make him angry?

He’ll, er, calm down.


May… maybe you’re right? In an hour

he’ll come out and kiss you all over whatever you do.

However much you hurt him.

You’re all he loves.

He loves you too, Charles.

He really does.

Talk… talk about me with him, do you?

No. Probably not even once.

And call me…

Your Highness.

Remember that.


Your Highness.

And he does talk about you. All the time.

It’s too late for lies, George.

Mother might be dying,

and he hasn’t even asked how she is.

You’re his family now.

Is there anything you won’t




Thank you for coming.

I wanted to come to ask your permission for my son and his wife

to return home. John misses me.

My Charles is like that.

Take your son back home and embrace him.

Thank you, Your Majesty. Always.

But I called you here to discuss your other boy.

George? Yeah.

Speaking up for Raleigh.

Listen to the fireworks.

London is happy.

Raleigh’s freedom counts for the English.

You’re an admirer of Sir Walter?

I privately campaigned for his release from the Tower.

Raleigh is a hero.

George did very well.

But your son must be careful.

Why, Your Majesty?

James hates to contradict his lovers in public.

It is why he let George’s decision stand.

But he will feel emasculated.

As Somerset used to make him feel.

And we both know what happened to Somerset.

Yes, I will make sure he is careful with the King.

Although I sometimes wish I could speak more to His Majesty myself.

It is strange: One moment, he praises me, offers me gifts

and honours, and the next, he cannot see me. Or does not wish to.

I am a ghost. Or less.

James was brought up by men.

In a world of men.

He only understands men.

He had no mother. Or sister.

Women do not really matter to him.

Not even his Queen.

Your only hope with James

is your son, George.



Oh dear.

You weren’t there. How could I be?

The King hides his wisdom well beneath his indulgence.

But he is wise.

What’s your point?

Is there one? Of course there is

I’m speaking.

The King was dancing a sly Scots jig

between English pride and Spanish anger.

And you tread on his toes. So what would you have me do?

Have Raleigh hung?

No. Do nothing now.

(SIGHS) At least the Queen’s happy. We might use that.

I was supposed to be the one leading him.

Yes, but patiently, with me.

Now: Rutland was put out that you ignored him at the feast.

So go to him, on your knees-Why?

That you might marry Katherine while the King’s still yours

and the dowry vast. I have given you everything,

and still you try to milk every last drop.

Why not have more? Everyone else does!

He is still mine! He will forever be mine. So fuck Rutland.

Fuck Katherine. And fuck y-Don’t say it.

And fuck you.

Don’t worry, John, they’ll heal.

Will I? Yes.

Of course you will.

I met a boy.

More than met, I’d guess.

His father is a Baron. I could marry him.

After George weds Katherine, you’ll be able to afford the dowry.

He’s of a great line. They fought at Agincourt.

Doesn’t mean they won. Anyway, George is not getting married.

So your Baron’s son will have to wait.

I thought you were sorting all that?

Katherine’s so excited. George will be hers.

Your brother will not play. Then fucking make him. I fucking tried.

I liked my wedding.

All the bells.

Maybe I could help you with George?

I could use some help.

I know Katy so well, and her stubborn father.

And there are things that can be done, aren’t there?

If you want a thing enough.



Come back to me with a plan.

Good girl.

Where would you like her?

Anywhere far from John. I don’t want him upset again.

He was upset long before me.

Don’t you think you made that worse? I tried to be a wife to him.

In all the ways one can. None of them interest him.

Try harder. Don’t merrily cuckold him in the palace.

I think you need some rest, love. No, she needs to listen.

Or what? My mother will not talk to me.

I’ll not talk to my father. My husband cannot be a husband.

So set me free or slit my throat.

Or I’ll take what joy I can, as I can

and merrily cuckold your son

in every palace from here to fucking Russia.



You hold so much more power than you know.

What power? Exactly.

Your mother kept you in the dark, hidden from yourself.


For once just speak plainly and say what you mean.

This is hard to share.

Tell me!

Mary has a lover.

Once a working prostitute, now a…

Well, still a whore but with slightly better clothes.

Miss Brookes?

The two of them killed a man.

Poisoned him and another who lived.

Why would I believe a fucking word that you say?

Because you already know in yourself what she’s capable of.

Why tell me now? Because you’re ready.

To fly alone.


Who else knows? Not a soul.

Some information’s too precious to spill

it spoils with air.

You won’t tell the King?

I like you, George.

You might just save us.

And the King has much bigger concerns.

Treason, for a start.

The Queen doesn’t get it, of course.

She believes every word Raleigh ever wrote.

Raleigh would never overthrow the King.

He tried before. Why not again?

The Queen loves Raleigh the myth…

But she hasn’t seen the real man. Come.

And I took my boy’s dagger,

and I found the very same Catholic fiend that shot my boy…

MEN: Yeah! ..And stuck him in his eye.


His squeals and screams could be heard all the way in Madrid.

(LAUGHTER AND CHEERS) That’s not what he said to us.

And his begging tears as…

He changes his story depending on who he’s telling it to.

What is this? We pretend to have our squabbles,

but just like our King, Diego just wants peace.

Raleigh won’t be happy until Spain and England are at war.

My biggest regret?

Is that I did not cut off his head,

bring it to you all as a message:

No more unanswered English dead.

(MEN SHOUT WTIH HIM) No more unanswered English dead!

End this. The King will listen to you.

Have him detained. Punished.

As long as Raleigh is free and lives, we’re all at risk.

He’s a warmonger.

This is not my fight. That’s exactly what it is.

We need you. You were born for this.

I’ve interfered enough, Francis.

Once more, George.

Just the once.

While Raleigh breathes, war is inevitable.

Miss Ashcattle. Master George. My Lady’s not in.

I know. I waited until she’d left.

And it’s Marquess of Buckingham.

Oh. Sorry.

You better come in, your Marquess-ness.

John wrote. Said that he’d hurt himself.

Said that I should come and visit. How bad is it?



Hand me the plank of wood. This is a big mistake.

What the fuck!


What is going on?

If you and I spend the night together, and everyone knows,

my father will have no choice but agree to our marriage

and pay my dowry. Or it’s a terrible scandal.

John’s letter said he wasn’t well

Susan can copy his hand. It was her idea.

Her and your dear mother.

Now. To pass the time.

Shall we play?

My mother and sister trap us and you act like it’s nothing.

But they didn’t trap me, did they?

This is the nearest I’ll get to a choice for my life.

You, or some ogre my father chooses. You.

I am not marrying you, Katy.

Well, you’ll have some time to think about that, won’t you, George-y?

What does it… do?

It flushes you free of the thing.

I could have the child… instead.

Is that what you want?


Everyone would know.

Well then, I think you’ve made your choice.

What happens now?

You drink it and wait.

I would say the waiting is the hardest part, but

by God, it’s not.


It’s gonna be OK, pet. It’s gonna feel like you’re gonna die.

But you’ll live.

Do I have to? (SHE WEEPS)


So who will you wed, if not me?

Someone just as beautiful as you?

I think they’d be very possessive and jealous. Whereas I…

I know who you are.

I would let you be a lover.

To me, sometimes, and the rest of the time… whoever you want.

So why give all that up? Your freedom?

Says the woman who helped imprison me.

Ironies aside, I am the only one offering you independence, George.

Yours, and Little George’s. And little Katy can’t wait to meet him.

I will not be caged.

You won’t be in shackles, George.

Unless you want to try that?


Alright, that was funny.

See? You can have fun with me.

You need more than laughter, Katie.


Well, I’m also very fertile.

So I will give you an heir.

How else will you hold on to all you win, Marquess George?

She’ll kill herself.

Frances. Don’t be dramatic.

I know a girl’s misery.

She’ll get over it.

Let her go. Or I’ll go. You don’t mean that.

Stop pretending that John is not what he is.

Your words and your will, they only change so much.

I disagree, Miss Brookes.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Your perfect place?

Where would you get better?

In the trees.

Feathers and leaves.

Do you know everyone jokes about you?

How Raleigh played you in the Privy Council?

Shut up, Katy.

Used you to outflank the King. Again. With his golden bullshit.

Raleigh has a big mouth, that is all.

And you fell right in.

I was trying to be fair to his loss.

I know.

You’re a good man.

Too good.

I wouldn’t say that.

So, what are you, then?

Perhaps it’s time to decide?

That door is strong, but so are you.

I want a choice with my path. And I choose George.

But I want you to have your choice, too.

So what will it be?

Or do you need you mother to make to make your choice for you?


Where is she?

My Lady left. Arrangements to make.

Do you want to see Master John, or not?

While you still can, son.

Wait. What?

Where’s he going?

Epping. What my Lady’s arranging.

Some asylum in the forest.

Just until he’s himself, again. No.

No, she’s just fucking trying to get rid of him, and I won’t let her.

Don’t worry. You’re not going anywhere.

I’ll miss you, John.

I’m George.

You’re John.

Am I?

Is this your new bed?

It’s my old floor for my old back.

One of the many things giving up on me.

(DOOR SHUTS) Have you forgiven me yet?

Well, at least you made the people merry.

Though if I see, hear, or smell another fucking firework I’ll weep.

Pass me that pillow.



I see you doing it.

Keeping everyone happy.

Doing whatever they say.

Whatever they advise you.

Well, there’s value in duty in care.

But what about those who are not dutiful

to you? To me?

What do you want done, George?

Put your head on my chest.

I’ll not be seduced You’re not unforgiven and I am in no mood.

I’m not aroused.

You’re always aroused!


Come on.

You smell of sweat, and grind. What have you been up to? Or up?


Be quiet.

Listen to my heart

as you listen to your own.

This is very silly.

Look… what do I listen for, exactly? Chest hair?

Your own thoughts.

Ignore Gondomar.



Your wife.


What do you think should really be done with Raleigh?

He’s free now.

It’s over, boy.

That is up to you, Your Majesty.

You are the King.

You have always wanted peace with Spain.

What does your heart say will bring it?

What fate does Raleigh deserve?


If only my people could see me up close.

But still.

I thank God he brought me out into the light to die.

What have I to do with Kings?

I have only to do with God.

I have lived a sinful life.

All places of wickedness and vice I have gone when called to go.

God forgives me for my sins,

for following gold and glory

as others refuse to dare.

I will take my leave of you.

To Heaven

my palace.

What does thou fear, man?

Strike, man!






What did your son do?

He will not listen to me.

You promised me you could control your son!

That you would make sure he was careful.

But he is as fickle as the King.

Raleigh was the protector of our faith.

If I die, who will defend our honour now?

My husband?

Your son?

You and your boy may as well have put the gallows’ axe

to my own throat.

Your Majesty, please forgive me.

Get out! Please…

Get out!

I need to pray.


I told you to be patient. And today you kill a man.

It was the King’s decision.

Raleigh is a terrorist.

A warmonger. And are you a man of peace?

Shut your filthy mouth, bitch. Shut up!

Tell me something. Does she pay you?

What sort of question is that?

One with a disgusting answer.

Are you above such things?

You never paid, or took pay for your body?

Didn’t you buy everything with it?

Or is that just me?

Goodbye, Mother.

Good day to you, girls.

Lovely weather for it.

I’ll fucking kill him.

Which one?


BACON: The riots have started already.

They’ll burn themselves out in a few days.

Spain will reward you greatly for this.

I didn’t do it for Spain.

Or gold. I didn’t

didn’t do anything.

James did.


That’s the story we shall tell. And keep telling.

Good boy.

So what now?

If George does not bend?



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