TV series Review : The Hollow Crown (2012) – Henry V

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Rating: 4/5

Let me clarify one thing before I proceed with my review, for I am a big fan of Hiddleston. Thus, you shall find this post inclined to his side or let’s just say I favor him too much. I downloaded The Hollow Crown Series BBC with the thought that it will be more or less like ‘Game of Thrones’. I was indeed wrong. I started with Richard the second which has been thoroughly analyzed by my good friend, ruby.  In Malaysia, in case any of you guys wonder, we did not learn much English literature especially the classic one. We learnt it but not heavily like some of you guys did. We learnt sonnet 18, the road not taken, the prisoner of Zenda, Robinson Crusoe and some other poems and stories that I could not recalled. When I watched The Hollow Crown, there is an online English dictionary right in my hand. Whenever I found some words that i don’t know, I clicked the pause button and search for its meaning. I did it the entire time when I watch this series. Yet, I am still confused with thee, thou, thy and so many that came from the old English.


Right after 1 episode of Richard the Second is finished, the rest of the 3 episodes unravel the story of young prince Henry the IV and The King, Henry V. The King Henry the IV is posrtrayed by Jeremy Irons. Jeremy Irons, played king in this series. Nobody would doubt him. He’s bloody good. He even hooked me to watch all 4 seasons of ‘The Borgias’ because his depiction as a Pope, Father, Husband and even Lover in that series is fucking amazing. He does not need any review to convince you guys that he’s good. He already is. What I curious most is how Tom Hiddleston (My Sweet Hiddleston) to pull off as a king. That’s what driven me to download the entire series. For the 2 episode of King Henry the IV, Hiddleston appears as a rebellious and good for nothing kind of prince. His sight is always absent in the castle as he always hanging out with his lowly friends. He spent most of his time in the brothel and always appeared drunk surrounds by people who enjoyed his company.

The Mischievous and troublesome Prince Harry


The reasonable and wise King Henry V
The reasonable and wise King Henry V

However, Behold ladies and gentlemen, for this drunkard prince will soon change to be the most gracious, wise and pious king. When his father died, he soon banished all of his friends before his eyes and accepted that being king is more than putting that crown on the head. He transformed himself to a much mature person and leaving his past life behind. In the last episode of King Henry the V, the war broke out between France and England. He led his army to war and won the battle. He then married Katherine, Princess of France though they spoke different language at that time. However, He died at the young age which is at 35 years old due to the dysentery illness.

My favorite scenes in this series:


1) When Prince Harry delivered some sort of monologue at his father’s bed side. At that time, he thought he was already too late and his father already died in that chamber. He then took the crown from King Henry the IV , walked to the throne and wore it. He then cried  while sitting on the throne. That was just renders you speechless. You know that he will make a good king when he himself realized that along with the crown, comes such a big burdens and responsibilities to be held. He knew the effect of the crown did drive his father to be sick.

 The prince:“Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow, being so troublesome a bedfellow? O’ majesty, When thou dost pinch thy bearer thou dost sit like a rich armour worn in the heat of day, that scalds with safety.  My gracious lord, My father. By his gates of breath, there lies a downy feather which stirs not. This sleep is sound indeed, this is a sleep that from this golden rigol hath divorced so many english kings. Thy due from me is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood, Which nature, love and filial tenderness. Shall, o dear father, pay the plenteously. My due from thee is this imperial crown which god shall guard and put the world’s whole strength into one giant arm, it shall not force this lineal honour from me”.


2) The dramatic scene before King Henry IV died right in the Prince Harry’s arm.

Prince Harry: I never thought to hear you speaking again

King Henry IV: Thy wish was father, Harry to that thought. I stay to long by thee, i weary thee. What dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair that thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours before thy hour be ripe? o foolish youth! Thou seekst the honours that overwhelm thee. Could thou not forbear me half an hour? Then get thee gone, dig my grave thyself. Bid the merry bells ring to thine ear that thou art crowned not that i am dead. Pluck down my officers, break my decrees for no the time is come to mock at form. Harry the fifth is crowned. Up Vanity! Down royal state! All you sage counsellor, Hence! and to the english court assemble now from every region, apes of idleness. Now neighbor confines purge you of your scum. Have you a ruffian that would swear, drink, dance, revel the night, murder, and commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways? Be happy, he will trouble you no more. England shall give him office, honor, might, for the fifth Harry from curbed license pluck the muzzle of restraint and the wild dog shall flesh his tooth on every innocent. O my poor kingdom, sick with civil blows when that my care could not withhold thy riots, What wilt thou do when riot is thy care? O thou wilt become a wilderness again, peopled with wolves, thy old inhabitants.

Prince Harry: O, pardon me, my liege.

King Henry IV: Wherefore did you take away the crown?

Prince Harry: God witness with me when i found no course of breath within your majesty how cold it struck my heart. I spake unto this crown as having sense and thus upbraided it: “the care on thee depending hath fed upon the body of my father. Therefore, thou best of gold art worst of gold. other less fine in carat is more precious, but thou most fine, more honoured, most renowned, has eat thy beared up. thus my most royal liege, accusing it, i put it on my head to try with it, as with an enemy that had before my face murdered my father.

King Henry IV: O my son, God put it in thy mind to take it hence that thou mightst win the more thy father’s love, pleading so wisely in excuse of it. Come hither harry, sit thou down by my side. And hear, i think the very latest counsel that i ever shall breathe. God knows my son, by what by paths and indirect crooked ways, i met this crown. For all my reign hath been but as a scene acting that argument but now my death changes the mood. For what in me was purchased fall upon thee in more fairer sort. Yet though thou standest more sure than i could do thou art not  firm enough, since griefs are green. And all my  friends, which thou must make thy friends, Have but their stings and teeth newly taken out, by whose fell working i was first advanced and by whose power i well might lodge a fear tp be again displaced. Therefore my Harry, be it thy course to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels. That actions, hence borned out, may waste the memory of the former times. How i came by this crown, O god forgive, and grant it may with thee in true peace live.

The scene when Falstaff begged the king to recognize him.

3) The scene he took the approach to banish his friends from his past before his eyes. Yes, it was cruel indeed. However, how will his people respect and believe in his kingship if he let them (his past friends) linger around him.

Falsttaff: God save thy grace, King Hal. (Hal is his nick name among his old friends). My royal Hal.The Heavens thee guard a king most a royal imp of fame! God save thee my sweet boy!

King Henry V: My lord chief justice, speak to that vain man.

Lord Chief Justice: Have you your wits? know you what tis’ speak?

Falstaff: My king! My Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!

 King Henry V: I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers. How ill white hairs become a fool and jester. Ive long dreamed of such a kind of man, so surfeit-swelled, so old and so profane but being awaked, i do despise my dream. Make less thy body hence and more thy grace. Leave gormandizing, know the grave doth gape for thee thrice wider than for other men. Reply not to me with a fool born jest! Presume not that i am the thing i was. For god doth know, so shall the world perceive that i have turned away my former self. so will i those that kept me company. When thou dost hear i am as i have been, approach me and thou shalt be as thou wast, the tutor and the feeder of my riots. Till then i banish thee on pain of death as i have done the rest of my misleaders, not to come near our person by ten mile. For competenc of life, i will allow you, the lack of means enforce you not to evil. And as we hear you do reform yourselves, we will according to your strenghts and qualities, give you advancement. Be it your charge my lord, to see performed the tenor of our word.


4) When he shook hands with his countrymen, talked to them like friends and raise their spirit to face the french army. He even motivated some of his soldiers to not lose faith and erase their doubts for his great cause.

 King Henry V: Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more! or close the wall up with our english dead! In peace, theres nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humilty. But when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger. Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood. Disguise fair nature with hard favor’d rage. Now set the teeth and strecth the nostril wide. Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit to his full height. On, On, You noblest english.

Oh, god.

5) When He flirted with France Princess, Katherine and proposed her to be his wife. Oh my god, I giggled and I swore if someone saw me in that state, they would slap me right away. That scene is effing sweet. Katherine spoke to him in a broken English and King Henry V charmed her with the broken French too. Henry the fifth said that he’s really not that good in wooing a girl like his predecessor and he would make merely a plain king. If I was Katherine, and at that time considering if Henry the fifth look just like Tom Hiddleston, I will gladly take him as my husband. I will do it without any hesitation.

King Henry V: By Mine honour, in true english, i love thee, Kate. By which honour i dare not swear thou lovest me. Yet my blood begins to flatter me thou dost, not withstanding the poor and untampering effect of my visage.

I really like how Tom Hiddleston looked somewhat manlier with his beard. 🙂

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