Henry the Eighth Goes to Counseling

In the last few months, I've watched both The Tudors and The Other Boleyn girl. And if there's a lesson I've learned from it (other than they sure weren't burdened by underpants), it's:

Never, Ever Go to the King's Court. You'll live longer.

I also learned a little bit about Henry the Eighth's personal problems. And that got me thinking about what the discussion would be like if our boy Henry Tudor had had the chance to talk to a psychologist regularly.

This is that conversation, as read from the perspective of Henry's Ye Olde Royal Therapist, Mrs. Harker... (If you don't want to read the transcript, you can listen to the brand new version with sound here--


Mrs. Harker: So, Henry... how's the week treated you?...

Oh... You beheaded another one, huh? Catherine Howard... Um... (hesitant, trying to sound casual) Why'd ya do that, Henry?

Stepping out on you, you say?... With her secretary? Yeah, I know. Story as old as the Bible. Or, um, HR, right?

You know, I can't help but notice, Henry... Since you've been coming to me, this seems to be the, er, second wife you've beheaded.

And, frankly, your other three marriages really didn't go all that well, either. I mean, a couple of annulments, a banishment or two... Plus, last year, didn't you behead the guy who set you up with Anne of Cleves?

Oh-- you say you'd specifically told him 'no horse-faces' on your eMonarchy personality profile?

That's strange, Henry, I'd heard Anne had a really dishy miniature portrait. Heard that was some hot stuff! I mean everyone was saying, 'Lookit the wimple on that girl!' (laughs nervously)

No, huh?... (clears throat)...

Well, I could be just talking out of my hat, Henry, but it's looking like you might have some... um... intimacy issues here.

What's that? Well, it's just you've married three wives in eight years, and beheaded two of 'em. Plus, um... you offed your brother-in-law, your match-maker, and exiled your daughter to Scotland.

Well, it's just, see... that kind of behavior keeps people at arm's length, is what I'm saying.

Yes, when you kill them and put their heads on pikes outside your window, that tends to... distance people...

Yes, I know, it's a funny angle of the human psyche.

Well, maybe we'll touch on that again later; we don't have a lot of time today.

How have you been doing with the weight loss program you were starting last time we talked?...

Ah. You did okay through Thursday, but then binged out and ate an entire boar yourself, huh?

Yes, I know, those pig knuckles are addictive! Okay, Henry, well, we all make mistakes. Just remember what we said about moderation. You can have some ham, but just don't go whole-hog on it.

Do you think the guilt about binging might not have pushed you over the edge with Cathy and the secretary?..

Well, maybe consider that and we'll discuss it next session.

Now, one more thing I wanted to touch on before we go. We'd left off last time talking about how you were worried you didn't have a legitimate male heir, and you suspected all the courtiers were talking about you behind your back, calling you 'King Floppy-Arrow.'

Now, do you still think they're saying that?

Oh... Now you think they're also calling you His Royal Hugeness? And Fatty-Fat McThroney?

See, Henry, I think you might just be projecting, here. You're feeling overweight and impotent, and as a result, you think that everyone--

What? Um, yes. I can see the heads on pikes from here... No, I don't need to see them more closely.

Aw, Henry. I'm so disappointed in you. This is exactly what I was talking about regarding the intimacy issues. Threats? Deflecting? (sigh)

Look, we're just about out of time anyway. So I want you to take this week and think about your reaction back there.

You have to love yourself first, Henry. You ponder on that and I'll see you next week...

I hope.


ReformingGeek said...

Ha Ha! Floppy-Arrow. I love it.

Another good one. Silly, confused Henry. Sounds like my cat.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

Poor, old King Floppy-Arrow. He insisted he was at least King Henry the thirteenth-sixteenths, but his dissatisfied wives kept telling everybody he just the eighth. He was one of the few Kings to suffer from penis envy, and with tragic results. Sad.

The Mother said...

Does make you happy that we don't have an absolute monarch here, doesn't it?

(And books/movies that intentionally muck with history REALLY piss me off)

Marvel Goose said...

I kept hearing the Chad Mitchell Trio's version of "Anne Boleyn" as I read this. (even I am too young to remember the original Rudy Vallee version from the '30's)

"One Night She Caught King Henry he was in the canteen bar.

He said, 'are you Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn or Catherine Parr? For how the sweet Saint Mary Anne can I know who you are?

With your head tucked underneath your arm.'"


Jenn Thorson said...

Reforming Geek- Don't forget Angry and a Bit Violent Henry. Those are the parts to watch out for. :)

Mike- Former history major, eh? :)

The Mother- I actually like looking at where movies and books stray from the actual believed history, and why. Don't get me started on Richard III! :)

Marvel- Heh, I was not aware of that particular tune-- thanks for sharing it with us here! (You have a lovely singing voice.)

Skye said...

Oh my, now that was funny! Thanks Jenn :)

By the way, I have a mission for you over at my blog should you be interested in accepting :)

jay said...

Haha! Yes, indeedy, that King Hal needed some serious psychotherapy did he not?

"King Floppy Arrow"! LOL!

Shirley said...

Then, Henery marries Mrs. Harker who was widowed by Jonathan Harker who had a run in with a bunch of vampires and vamped out.

No one ever mentiond Henery was visiting Mrs. Harker at night. Henery marries Mrs. Harker and of course no children were born of this marriage.

He was going to keep her around but she vamped out and he had to ax her so in the end nothing was solved and Henery continued his killing spree.

Not to upstage that was my first thought when I saw the name Mrs. Harker. :) :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Skye- Oooh. I will have to pop by later in the weekend, as I will be going off to pick up a friend who's visiting the long weekend. (Just so you know I'm not ignoring you!!)

Jay- I suspect the mental problems of so much of the royal folk involved too much inter-marriage among families. :)

Shirley- I do believe you have a small Bram Stoker's Dracula addiction. It's that Keanu... :)

Shirley said...

Lol! Good memory. :)

Anonymous said...

I think poor ol' Henry wasn't given enough ice cream cones as a child. Or perhaps that's the problem... he was just given the cone and no ice cream? Now that would be far crueler than any beheading...

Jenn Thorson said...

Tony- Or taken into battle too early as a child? Or... :)