The battle is one and Edward sits on the throne, and yet it is only Act III… What events will unfold that further complicate this endless War?
Two hunters prepare to stalk a herd of deer when they see a man coming. This man is the deposed King Henry. He talks to himself about his dismal state, being pushed out of his own kingdom. The hunters consider grabbing Henry, but decide to wait and hear what else he has to say. Henry then catches the audience up on what his happening. Margaret has gone to France to get aid for Henry. However, Warwick has also gone to France to procure a royal bride for Edward. Henry is concerned for his wife’s success because Warwick is a great orator and makes fine arguments. He also acknowledges that the Queen is excellent at pulling on the emotional heartstrings of those she seeks to persuade. Henry paints a captivating picture of Warwick offering strength and alliance to the French King on one side, while Margaret begs for help on the left.
When Henry is done with his exposition, the hunters approach him and ask who he is because he speaks like he is a King. Henry gives vague answers about being a King in his heart and asserts that even the common man can talk of Kings. The hunters aren’t buying it and recognize him as Henry and place him under arrest because of their oath to King Edward. Henry mildly attempts to argue that they swore and oath to him first, but an oath is an oath, so he goes with them.
Here we have Edward IV’s guide to wooing ladies. A young widow comes to court to ask the King to restore her husband’s land to her and her three sons. He died at the battle of Saint Alban’s, fighting for the Yorkist cause, and so the Queen seized his lands. Edward pretty much decides right away that he will grant her request, but since he thinks she’s hot stuff, he wants to flirt a little first.
He begins his approach by asking her a lot of questions. Does she have kids? Would she do anything for her kids? But, would she do anything for her kids? When she replies that she would do anything for her children, Edward says he will grant her request if she completes a task for him. This task is to “love the King”. She says that’s easy because of course she loves her King. Edward explains that he wants her to LOVE him (wink, wink, nod toward trousers). She is taken aback, like most women would be and says no. She asserts that it is a no even if it means losing her husband’s lands.
Edward, realizing he may have misstepped, asks if she would be his Queen. She says she’s not good enough to be his Queen, but too good to be his mistress. He says he intends to have her one way or another. Now, Edward turns to his brothers, who have been listening and making snide comments on the side, and ask what they think. They think he’ll get bored with her. He grants her request.
A messenger tells them that Henry is captured and brought to the gate. Edward tells him to make sure Henry gets sent to the Tower and that he will go meet the men that captured him. Everyone leaves but Richard, so he can make his first super villain plot speech.
Richard laments how many people stand between him and the throne, even when none of them have kids. He expresses how he wishes to remove these obstacles from his path to power. Of course, he may not need the power if could have some sweet, sweet lady love. He explains that his mother must have done some horrible things to have him so deformed, and so he must be a sneaky person and get the power he so desperately desires.
Meanwhile in France…
Margaret enters King Louis’ (spelled Lewis) court with her son and the Earl of Oxford. Louis asks her why she is so melancholy and asks her to sit by him. She explains that Henry, and by extension her, have been stripped of their kingdom and titles and forced to flee their own kingdom. Louis says he will see what he can do to help. She urges him to provide immediate aid because with every passing moment her enemies grow stronger. Plus, Warwick is walking in to the room.
Warwick tells the King that he has been sent by Edward to ask for the King’s sister’s, Lady Bona’s hand in marriage to solidify a French/English alliance. Queen Margaret begs them not to fall for Warwick’s lies. Oxford jumps in and him and Warwick argue a bit about who is a better loyal subject. King Louis shushes everyone and tells Margaret and Oxford to step aside and let him hear out Warwick. Warwick successfully convinces Louis that the King truly loves Lady Bona and will honor an alliance. Louis asks Lady Bona what she thinks. She said she can go either way, but in an aside expresses her desire to marry Edward. The King agrees to the marriage and asks Margaret to be witness to the agreement (which is a little rude honestly).
Then, in an act of hilarious timing, a bunch of letters arrive. The Queen is happy, Warwick sad, and Louis mad because they all found out the Edward went and married the widow Grey from the last scene. Warwick decides right then and there that he is no longer on Edward’s side. He cites all the reasons he should have hated the Yorks in the first place and begs forgiveness from Margaret. She accepts his apology and they all decide to march on Edward and take back the crown for Henry. There is some suggestion that George, Edward’s brother and the Duke of Clarence, may also join their side. To solidify his loyalty to Henry and Queen Margaret, Warwick offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to the Prince. He accepts and they all set off to England.