What to remember from The Serpent Queen season 1 ahead of the season 2 premiere

Oh my majesty! The Serpent Queen season 2 premieres Friday, July 12, 2024 on Starz. Here's what happened in the first season to make sure you're prepped for what comes next.
Courtesy: Starz
Courtesy: Starz /

Oh my majesty! The Serpent Queen season 2 is almost upon us and I definitely can't wait to see what comes next for the one and only Catherine de' Medici. The first season left off with the queen regent finally getting the power she's always deserved after many trials and tribulations. And I'm sure the second season has more in store for her.

The second season sees Charles IX now of appropriate age to assume power, after Catherine has been governing. We can expect more Guises vs. Bourbons, increased tensions between Catholics and Protestants, and Edith (who we met a young version of in season 1) now seen as a "prophet" with many loyal supporters. The tensions of course might be the advantage Queen Elizabeth needs in England.

Will Catherine be able to control it all? We'll find out soon with season 2 premiering Friday, July 12 on Starz. But before we see what comes next, let's take a look back at what happened in The Serpent Queen season 1 to prep us for season 2!

Samantha Morton as Catherine in The Serpent Queen season 1 on Starz
Courtesy: Starz /

Patience is a virtue

Catherine is basically used as a pawn and taken by her uncle Pope Clement VII to marry King Francis' son, Prince Henry, who is second in line. She actually falls in love with her husband, but he's already enraptured with his mistress Diane de Poitiers. And after years of not being able to conceive, eventually Catherine and Henry are able to have children.

Henry eventually becomes king and adds Catherine to his privy council. Fed up with her limited control and Henry listening to Diane more than her, Henry dies following a jousting accident, initially set up by Catherine. This leads her to finally be able to banish his mistress from court. But she returns. More on that below! Though through it all, at the end she does end up getting what she wants.

Samantha Morton as Catherine in The Serpent Queen season 1 on Starz
Courtesy: Starz /

The ultimate scheme

The serpent queen really does know what she's doing when it comes to scheming. We see that now it's her chance to gain control, and she tries to do so with a fake kidnapping plot of her son Francis II, who is now king and married to Mary, Queen of Scots. Catherine made a deal with Antoine and Louis Bourbon to "kidnap" him, but turns on them. When Montmorency shows up, she stabs him and tells Antoine to run to a farmhouse under her protection.

Louis is found and taken to prison where he'll be beheaded. Now, everyone is where Catherine wants them to be. She tricks Mary into cutting off one of Louis' fingers to convince Antoine that she has his brother in prison. Catherine wants to be regent but needs Antoine, who is next in line to be regent, and Francis to sign that Catherine can take on the role after the king dies because the one next in line is Catherine's young son Charles IX.

Speaking of, Francis is dying of consumption and his mother tells him she can give him an opiate to hurry his death along so he can be out of pain. But of course, she needs his signature first and makes sure to get it.

Antoine is still a tough nut to crack, but in barges Montmorency who is still alive after Catherine stabbed him and also knows her kidnapping plot. So this could go very wrong for her. Thankfully, he believes she's going to be able to run France much better than the Bourbons and Guises, and gets Antoine to sign the regency to her.

Samantha Morton as Catherine in The Serpent Queen season 1 on Starz
Courtesy: Starz /

Bow down to your queen

Rahima asks Catherine if she killed her husband and son for power, but Catherine says it was for freedom. And so, Rahima agrees to help Catherine get rid of super-Catholic Mary, who if she took power would continue her harsh and bloody rampage against Protestants. Thanks to a fake seal she gets from Ruggeri, Mary is tricked into believing Queen Elizabeth I of England is going to help her get rid of Catherine. When she arrives in Scotland, she realizes it was all a trick.

The season ends with the Bourbon brothers still alive but seething, the Guise brothers - Charles and Francois - not happy that their plan to get Montmorency as regent didn't work, Diane surprisingly being invited to Charles IX's coronation, Catherine now in power, and Rahima getting a title and land for her loyalty to her her queen. We were also introduced to a young Edith through Montmorency, who will have a bigger role to play in season 2.

The Serpent Queen season 2 premieres Friday, July 12, 2024 with the first two episodes on Starz.

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