I’m sure brutally killing Richard of York will have no represcussions for King Henry or the Queen…
Edward and Richard are wondering how their father fared in the battle, assuring themselves that he is alive because of how proudly and bravely York walked toward Clifford (they pretty clearly did not see the rest of what happened). Just then they notice that the rising sun became three sons before melding back in to one. Edward believes the vision foretells that the three remaining sons of York should come together and “overshine the Earth”. Richard makes a sex joke.
Then, a messenger breaks the news that Richard, Duke of York, was viciously killed by the Queen and Clifford after being taunted by the Queen. Richard and Edward emphatically describe their grief. Edward swearing he will never experience joy again, and Richard swearing vengeance on Clifford.
Warwick and the Marquess of Montague enter and the two sons tell them of York’s death. Warwick is saddened by the new especially since he brings his own dismal report. When he received the message in London that the Queen marched on York, he gathered his army and brought the King along to intercept the Queen at Saint Alban’s. He wasn’t quite sure exactly how they lost: the King was indifferent to their success, or the men heard about the Queen’s earlier success, or Clifford was just too fearsome. Whatever the reason, his army was just not very good and Warwick was unable to rally his men with arguments for the justness of their cause or promises of wealth and glory. Everyone fled. The King went to the Queen and Warwick fled north with Norfolk and Edward and Richard’s brother, George to join them and prepare for another fight.
Edward and Richard are surprised to hear that Norfolk and their brother are present since they are not actually in this scene. They are six miles off with the soldiers. George was sent back from Burgundy with soldiers to help with the war. Richard raises concerns about how they will fair when the great Warwick fled from a battle. Warwick, a little taken aback, swears that with the help he has gathered and their remaining army, they will be victorious. They will hold the King to the oath he swore and have Edward crowned King. Richard rejoices at hearing “the great Warwick” speak again. Edward swears to Warwick that should he fall, Edward will fall with him.
A messenger comes with word that the Queen is coming and Norfolk needs them.
The Queen welcomes Henry to York and points out the Duke of York’s head. She hopes it will bring the King joy, which of course it doesn’t because Henry is a sensitive soul. He begs forgiveness because he didn’t want to break his vow. Clifford, I imagine with an eye roll, tells the King that he is being silly. That York challenged his throne and stole it from Henry’s own son. He points out that it is against nature for a parent to sacrifice their child to avoid war, especially when they are the ones being attacked.
Henry concedes that Clifford made some good points. However, Henry believes it would be better to leave his son with his virtuous deeds, referring to his oath. He skips over the part where he just disinherited his son while making that oath, but still… good deeds.
The Queen tells Henry to make his son a knight. He does and so now the Prince is Sir Prince Edward? Prince Sir Edward? His Royal Highness Sir Edward? Who knows.
Anyway, a messenger comes in and tells them that Warwick’s army is coming to back the Duke of York, Edward. Clifford suggests that maybe the King should leave because Margaret seems to do better without him. He refuses in a very non-aggressive manner. Northumberland and the Prince encourage him to be there, but to be a warrior about it.
Edward busts in a demands the King yield the crown to him. The Queen laughs at him. Edward contends that the King made him heir through his oath, but the Queen (who really wears the
pants crown) made him reverse that decision. Clifford jumps in that a son should succeed his father to the throne. Richard jumps in to say that he can’t stand Clifford. They throw some insults back and forth until Richard asks if they can start fighting now.
Warwick asks them to yield one more time. The Queen points out that Warwick fled their last battle. He goes “Yeah, but today is your turn to flee.” Clifford points out that he said that last time, but he still fled. Warwick says it wasn’t Clifford’s valor that made him flee and Northumberland chides that Warwick’s manhood won’t make him stay. Richard asks Northumberland to break the parley so he can get to stabbing Clifford, “the child-killer.” Clifford asks Richard if he thinks his father was a child. Richard points out the Clifford killed his little (but older) brother.
Now King Henry asks if he can talk. Queen says he can only talk if he disagrees with Edward and his men. The King says he’s king and he can say what he wants. Clifford doesn’t think he can solve this problem with words, so he should just be quiet, so the all continue arguing without Henry. Richard wants to fight. Edward wants his crown. The Prince and the Queen think that’s dumb. That is when Edward speaks one of the most truthful things I have read thus far. He says that his family would have stayed quiet, if the Queen hadn’t tried to spoil the forward motion of their family. George pops in real quick to hype up his family and the battle starts.
Warwick sits down in exhaustion. Edward stumbles in with George shortly behind him. They all express their despair over losing the battle. This is when Richard comes in and gets them all pumped up to go back into battle. They all swear to go down fighting in a blaze of glory. They charge back on to the field.
Richard and Clifford are ready to face off. They barely start what was sure to be an amazing exchange of manliness, when Warwick enters and Clifford flees. Richard says the Clifford is his to kill.
The King sits at the edge of the battle lamenting his current state, watching each side fight it out. He wishes he could have been born a common sheperd rather than a King.
Just then, a young man enters with a freshly killed body. He removes the helmet and discovers it was his own father. As the son mourns, Henry wishes for an end to the war. Then an older man enters with another kill. Guess who he killed? That’s right his own son. He mourns and Henry wishes again that the war would end. The two men wonder what they will tell their mother/wife before they take the bodies away. Henry expresses that his grief is ten times worse because he mourns all his subjects (I personally somehow doubt that).
The Prince and Queen come in to beg Henry to flee with them, which his does.
Clifford is mortally wounded. He laments how Henry allowed for his enemies to succeed and thus cause Clifford’s death. He faints. Edward, Richard, George, Warwick, and Montague enter. They wonder where Clifford is when the rest of the army is fleeing. Conveniently, Clifford moans one last time before dying. Edward asks after the poor soul that died and wishes mercy for him. Richard, seeing it’s Clifford, tells Edward not to wish well for his soul. They decide to replace their father’s head with Clifford’s. They taunt dead Clifford for a while until Warwick points out that they should probably get to coronating Edward now that his enemies are scattered. Also, Edward should probably marry a nice French girl. Edward thanks Warwick for his counsel and promises to heed Warwick’s words even when he is King. He makes Richard Duke of Gloucester and George Duke of Clarence. Richard asks to be Clarence because Gloucester is too much. Warwick tells him he’s being silly.