The White Queen

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 39
  2. Negative: 3 out of 39

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User Reviews

  1. Nov 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This overly and unnecessarily melodramatic treatment of the compelling history of the War of the Roses is watchable, but choppy. It forces acceleration through critical historical events with little or no consideration of their worth simply to drive the characters through the plot, and it frequently suggests facts as true that are in fact based on conjuncture and myth. For example, the ludicrous contention that Elizabeth Woodville's youngest son Richard was NOT in the tower with his brother ("The Princes in the Tower") is pure myth and widely regarded as scandalously bad history. Yet this anachronism is boldly pursued to set up a later claim that the younger Richard is the rightful king during a plot against Henry Tudor. Also, the unseemly forthcoming suggestion that Elizabeth of York is pregnant with Richard III's child (thus suggesting that King Henry VIII is Richard III's heir) is preposterous. So don't rely on this presentation as a substitute for your history class paper.

    It is also terribly over stylized. If you want a less melodramatic, literarily accomplished, equally liberal ahistorical treatment of the War of the Roses, get it from a better source: Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, & 3, and Richard III by William Shakespeare.
  2. Sep 6, 2013
    The White Queen is probably more engrossing for the British viewer with a firmer historical perspective on the era. That being said, it is well paced and engaging.

Awards & Rankings


Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Aug 12, 2013
    There are many powerful scenes in The White Queen, moments that illustrate time and again how a woman's body was both her greatest tool and her inevitable prison; a man could control his fate by mind or sword, a woman can do it only by proxy. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by the misty, swampy lands of generic medievalness.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Aug 12, 2013
    Each of them [actresses Rebecca Ferguson, Faye Marsay and Amanda Hale] stabs backs and pops bodice buttons with the necessary élan while keeping a straight face at The White Queen’s putative moral, which is that arranged marriages are corrupt and evil, while those born of attempted rape, self-mutilation and suicide are sacred and empowering.
  3. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Aug 9, 2013
    The White Queen is gauzier than “The Tudors,” and it contains more overacting; but it scratches the same itch.