Carlos, Rey Emperador: Episode 2 Review


Do you know that awkward situation when your parents decide to move to a new house and you have to endure the unfairness of your older siblings choosing the biggest rooms for themselves just because they happen to be older than you so they get to choose first? Well, that is exactly what happened in the second episode of Carlos, Rey Emperador, entitled ‘My Big Bro Stole my Bedroom’. I guess.


Spanish Court

Oh, so many things happened this week in the Spanish court! You have three main storylines: Carlos and Fernando, Carlos and Germana and Carlos and stupid Chièvres –I really don’t like the man.

carlosfernandoCarlos, being the nice 17-year-old boy that he is, decided to spend some quality time with his little brother, especially because Fernando is quite pissed at him for ruining his pretence of being king and taking his bedroom without even asking if there was anyone sleeping in there! Usually, when you anger your brother like that in the 16th century, there is only one thing to do to calm things down: hunting, the Renaissance equivalent of playing FIFA. And it does work, I believe, at least for a while. Fernando falls into the river, Carlos saves him, Fernando shares a few memories of the late king Fernando (we miss you, Rodolfo Sancho). By the way, the entire scene was filmed with actual snow! They thought it was going to be a warm day and they had to endure that freezing hell. So kudos to the actors for filming those scenes completely wet under the snow. Brrrrr.

But let me tell you how Carlos warms himself up: by getting in bed with his step-grandmother Germana. Yikes! Not that strange, anyway, if we consider that when Carlos arrived in Spain he didn’t speak Spanish, so Germana, knowing French like he did, was one of the few who could talk to him. Bastard Chièvres pushes her away, but trust a horny teenager to move heaven and earth to find the woman he loves. It felt a bit like The Graduate, even though Germana was only 29 years old back then. And in case you are wondering, no, it won’t end well: Carlos had to marry her off to some dude to hush the rumours of their relationship. And then she got immensely fat, apparently. I have no physical evidence of this, but it’s true.


“What have the Flemings ever done for us?”

Aaaand then we get to the Chièvres part of the story. As Carlos has just arrived and sworn all he has to swear and all, it is time for the parliament assembly (is that the name they had back then? Not sure). All Chièvres wants is to get money from the nobles to finance this and the other (not important yet, I might mention it in future reviews), which angers some of them, especially Juan de Padilla, who, let me tell you in advance, started the War of the Communities against all these “foreigners”, something that got him killed. I don’t know, whenever he and his angry friends got together, all I could think was how much they reminded me of the People’s Front of Judea.

Nevertheless, Carlos gets angry at Chièvres for doing things behind his back, especially when he names his own nephew, a teenager who lives in Flanders, Archbishop of Toledo, the most important position after the king himself –don’t forget the last three men who had this position, Carrillo, Mendoza and Cisneros. In the end, Carlos makes a very sad decision, which is to send his brother Fernando to Flanders to stop the People’s Front of Judea from brainwashing him, as he rightly tells him. Well, at least he was honest with him! So much sadness.


French Court

carlosborbonluisasaboyaThis week we had a bit less of François’s bedroom affairs and a bit more of his mother’s personal war against the Duke of Bourbon. You see, after the death of the duke’s wife, Louise of Savoy considered herself entitled to inherit, by proximity of blood, the Duchy of Auvergne and many other things that the duke’s wife had given to him right before she died. While it is true that she did propose to him to solve the dispute, it is uncertain whether she was actually in love with him or not. If you saw the episode, now you know that he was even angrier than he was in the premiere. It’s only a matter of time before he says ‘au revoir’ to France and makes himself worthy in Spain.



Not much happened. Diego de Velázquez played a dirty trick on Hernán Cortés so that he couldn’t go to the expedition that he had been preparing for months. I just hope we get to see some more action soon, because I am very interested in this plotline.

Next week: we finally enter the world of the Portuguese and English courts!

After every episode, they show a making off with details about the filming and explanations about the characters. Here’s the one for episode 2.

Categories: Spanish Historical Fiction, Television | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Carlos, Rey Emperador: Episode 2 Review

  1. Thank you so much! My Spanish is limited so I had to guess what was going on half of the time. Keep this up please 😊

  2. Ladymadchan

    Thank you so much for the review 🙂 I’m gonna be keeping up with your reviews until DramaFever hopefully announces that they will sub the series. It’s interesting to hear that they featured the relationship between Carlos and Germana. i wasn’t sure that they would be going there since they seem to promote Carlos and Isabella as the OTP of the series (and it helps that Carlos was generally a faithful husband unlike his grandfather Ferdinand). Kudos to them for going for the authenticity.

    I still have a hard time believing that wise Margaret of Burgundy didn’t see to it that her nephew Carlos learned Castillian when he was clearly his mother’s heir from a very young age. Such a huge oversight. But I guess it happened IRL so you can’t argue with it.

  3. Heather

    Don’t know if they will show it but apparently Gemma had a baby girl a year after Carlos came to court. In her will, she named the child as Infanta so it’s safe to assume that he was the dad. Couldn’t find more about the girl but she was a girl-so in the 16th century not too important. :/

    • Virginia Cerezo

      Yes, she did! And she called her Isabel! They will definitely show it, as it was an important event. My guess is it will be featured on the third or fourth episode 🙂

      • Heather

        Isabel?! Hmm. That’s interesting. I Wiuld have thought she’d never want to hear that name again since she had lived under her shadow for so long.

        Totally OT- but I’m going to see a movie at the Latino Film Festival called La Isla Minima and was wondering if you heard about it. Apparently it’s kind of like True Detective if it took place in 1980 Spain. It won Goya awards last year.

      • Virginia Cerezo

        I have indeed! It was very popular in Spain and was widely praised by critics

  4. Woah, Carlos hooks up with Queen Germana! I didn’t see that coming! :O Well, I hope Carlos’s step-grandson/brother Fernando doesn’t stay in Flanders too long, I will miss him! Try not to give us too many spoilers, I like not knowing what’s going to happen next. Being an American, I have been fed on the English Tudor saga since birth, but know next to nothing about the Spanish court (except what happened on “Isabel”).

    I am very confused about what’s happening at the French court (blame it on google translated subtitles). What is Louise of Savoy’s claim on the Duke of Bourbon’s inheritance when his wife left everything to him in her will? Didn’t King François just take all his goodies away from him? Tsk tsk, these dictators! No wonder there was a French Revolution.

    I can’t wait to see if Protestantism gains any ground at all in Spain. They already kicked the Jews and Muslims out, so I don’t think they were very tolerant there (I’m expecting the Spanish Inquisition).

    I watched some of those “making of” episodes. They really worked hard on this production. I assume everything is historically accurate. I hope I get to see some of those awesome triangular ladies hats that were missing from “Reign” and “The Tudors”.

    • Virginia Cerezo

      Louise’s mother was the sister of the Duke of Bourbon. Thid duke had a daugther, Suzanne, who married a man called Charles. Louise thought that, as the closest relative upon Suzanne’s death, the titled and lands belonged to her because there were no male heird to claim it. That’s why she gets mad when Suzanne leaves everything to her husband (who was also a Bourbon relative, but more distant). Then again, being the king”s mum helped :p

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