‘The White Queen’ Reviews: Is It The Next ‘Game Of Thrones’?

Sun, August 11, 2013 12:44pm EST by 25 Comments
The White Queen Reviews
Courtesy of Starz

Starz is making waves with its new TV series ‘The White Queen,’ a 10-part show about the battle for a throne. Sound familiar? The new show definitely takes a few cues from the massively popular ‘Game of Thrones,’ but could it actually be better?

Everyone loves medieval dramas, right? That’s the theory that Starz is driving on with their newest show (in conjuction with BBC), The White Queen. Set in 15th century Great Britain, the show adds fierce drama to the already sensational War of the Roses, a 30-year-long feud between rival factions for the British throne. Shows like The Tudors, and to some degree Game of Thrones, found success with this model and form, so is The White Queen the next huge TV hit? See what the critics thought!

‘The White Queen’ Reviews

New York Times

The White Queen cries out to be compared with the HBO series, not to mention the long line of feature films centered on the British monarchy. And in those comparisons it earns a “not as” rating in virtually all subcategories: Its characters are not as interesting; its story is not as layered; its dialogue is not as sharp; its sex is not as adventurous; its actors are, with a few exceptions, not as compelling.

Variety

The White Queen is one of the more handsome and polished imports the premium service has offered. It’s just when set alongside the most impressive hours to cross the Pond that this elaborate game of thrones begins to look a little bit like a pretender.

Los Angeles Times

Shoveling three novels and 30 years of very confusing history into even 10 hourlong episodes requires that The White Queen become a series of vignettes rather than a cohesive narrative, a “greatest hits of the Wars of the Roses,” as it were. Years collapse into minutes, intricate policy is condensed into cardboard personalities, and the characters are swiftly categorized as good or evil.

The Boston Globe

You should choose to watch the show, if you are a fan of this kind of lusty royal romp. The White Queen is gauzier than The Tudors, and it contains more overacting; but it scratches the same itch. As a lover of most British period dramas, from the classier-than-thou ones to the cheese, I devoured the nine episodes that Starz sent for review. There were moments when I rolled my eyes — Amanda Hale, as the mother of young Henry Tudor, looks as if she is going to explode with ill intent. Really, her performance could be transposed into a Mel Brooks spoof. And the king’s brother Richard (Anuerin Barnard) is oddly dolled up to look like Edward Scissorhands. But overall, I managed to get a nice medieval royal buzz.

The Washington Post

A suggestion on how to watch The White Queen, an elaborate costume drama on Starz: Don’t think too much. It’s tempting to scour for historical inaccuracies and scribble down notes to keep track of the tangled English lineage. (So he’s talking about Richard, Edward’s brother, not Richard, Elizabeth’s son. Why are there so many Margarets?) Instead, revel in the gorgeous costumes, impressive scenery and the epic story of a feuding family so complicated that it makes your own look blissfully normal by comparison.

So we may not have a transcendent period drama on our hands, but it sounds like we might have one worth watching! Especially if you like back-stabbing and royal drama. What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Will you tune into The White Queen when it premieres on Starz on August 11 at 8 p.m.? Let us know!

WATCH: ‘The White Queen’ Trailer

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Becki

Posted at 3:52 PM on February 25, 2014  

I absolutely love the show to. Even my husband was hooked after watching it. They need to bring it back for 2nd season. I believe it will catch on. Now people seen the first and loved it.

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Marie

Posted at 7:41 AM on October 23, 2013  

Absolutely LOVED it and so wish there was a sequel!

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Jackie Lorenz

Posted at 4:34 PM on October 5, 2013  

I’m so upset they aren’t making a season 2 :( This was such a great new show !!!

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Terry Roberts

Posted at 10:11 AM on October 8, 2013  

Well, it’s real history. The reign following the end of the series was somewhat stable. Ish. That might not make for as good of a TV show as the Wars of the Roses or the reign of Henry VIII or Elizabeth I. If you really want to see what happens next, Netflix has a disc-only show from the 70s called The Shadow of the Tower. Roberta Gellis wrote a novel you can find for cheap on Amazon called The Dragon and the Rose. Also, if you want to read a 5-star novel (very readable) about the period of time involved in The White Queen, read The Sunne in Splendor by Sharon Kay Penman.

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Lara lagle

Posted at 5:30 PM on September 8, 2013  

I love it and can’t wait for the next episode amazing!

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Kristina Sumpter

Posted at 1:59 AM on September 5, 2013  

I love it and want more!

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Alice

Posted at 7:01 PM on August 31, 2013  

I’ve really enjoyed The White Queen, and also wish there were more episodes!

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Jeremy

Posted at 6:13 AM on August 31, 2013  

Please more episodes!

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c

Posted at 12:59 PM on August 27, 2013  

I love it and I am totally addicted! I just wish there were more than 10 episodes!

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Terry Roberts

Posted at 2:23 PM on August 26, 2013  

Any journalist writing that this is copied from Game of Thrones needs to do more research. The Game of Thrones books (Song of Ice and Fire) were based on the true history of the Wars of the Roses with a dash of fantasy thrown in. The White Queen is based on true history of the Wars of the Roses and, three episodes in, I’m impressed with how much true history they’ve crammed in there and how few untruths they’ve put in (with the exception, of course, of the witchcraft stuff. I don’t understand historical fiction authors using that stuff). If it seems reminiscent of GoT, it’s because GoT is BASED on this history. I’ve enjoyed the show very much.

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dramaqueen242

Posted at 7:31 PM on August 26, 2013  

I agree. I Love the White Queen and I am totally addicted. This is the true War of the Roses and Game of Thrones (which I loved in the first season – on John Crow!) has become boring. The White Queen is compelling and moving and it all really happened!

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ollie

Posted at 9:57 PM on August 19, 2013  

It reminds me of a Hallmark channel movie. Really disappointed.

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Jordan222

Posted at 10:35 PM on August 18, 2013  

It’s “Game of Thrones” for women, not to say some girls don’t like Game of Thrones (the cool ones do…lol) it trades action and suspense for “oh the king loves me!!!! And I’m just a poor little rich girl, I must be as special as my mum said I was” but in an English accent. Throw in some boobs so the boyfriends can make it through an hour ( lets be honest even the nice ones are 6th graders at heart) and everyone will just forget she’s marrying the guy that tried to rape her in the first episode. Remember that everyone? When she fell madly in love with her would be rapest? In 15 min.

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Queen

Posted at 1:16 PM on August 14, 2013  

Honestly, the show seems decent but I think Starz is just trying to find fame and success by producing a show that is similar to Game of Thrones. I mean, a bunch of royals fighting for the throne? Having read both The White Queen and A Game of Thrones, I found the former to be quite a slow read and dull while the latter was very intriguing. Overall, I think I’ll stick to Game of Thrones.

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@Knemesis78

Posted at 7:01 AM on August 12, 2013  

To be fair; it’s not borrowing anything from GoT; this is actual British history!….I guess folks in the USA can’t really identify with that. Awesome show, fantastic acting, and best of all, there’s been over 600 years of spoilers! Lol!

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Jordan222

Posted at 10:49 PM on August 18, 2013  

If by British history you mean adapted from a three series book that was loosely based on a 30 year plauge out break that has no basis in reality whatsoever- then yes it is history. Did you hear of all those 600 years of spoilers while you were soaking up all that CULTURE?, my dear…

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Jordan222

Posted at 11:45 PM on August 18, 2013  

Other than their names, most everything is what the writer “thought sounded right”. The dates, places they lived, are not fiction but not accurate either, the show even omits some people entirely and creates them when needed. Its kinda like history fan fiction.

 
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Terry Roberts

Posted at 2:20 PM on August 26, 2013  

What are you talking about??? This is absolutely based on real history (aside from the hints that witchcraft works, etc.) I’ve seen the first three episodes and it’s a fair (condensed) version of what really happened. It’s not about a plague outbreak. It’s about series of wars that began with Henry IV stealing the throne and ended with Henry VII securing it. Game of Thrones was inspired by this real-life conflict. The main characters are all real people and the events are essentially true. I’ve read about this period pretty extensively for an amateur and I’m happy with how true-to-life it is, again, with the glaring exception of the witchcraft stuff.

 
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MARY

Posted at 12:44 AM on October 13, 2013  

THANKS Terry Roberts for clearing that up for miss Jordan222. HISTORY, yes (with exception of the witchcraft)!! Based on three different books, yes! Could the books be based on history?!?!!!! The White Queen is great!!!! I have enjoyed and look forward to watching the White Queen. I only wished it would come out with a second season. That would be amazing!!! Of course it’s not Game of Thorne b/c well it’s The White Queen. Everybody has there own opinions and personal preferences and I have rather enjoyed watching this past 9 episodes and I can’t wait to see what’s to come next week.

 
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Surila Fay

Posted at 6:21 PM on August 11, 2013  

I’ve enjoyed high school productions more…better acting, better direction and editing this was one boring show

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@Knemesis78

Posted at 6:59 AM on August 12, 2013  

Seriously? I mean, REALLY? By the look of it, you should burn your TV, sit in a dark room, alone for the rest of your days. This, my dear is CULTURE, and you’re uneducated and vile at best.

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Jordan222

Posted at 10:40 PM on August 18, 2013  

Yea, this non-historical TV show is defiantly CULTURE, in all caps too. You must go to so many museums, when your not at all those high society balls and what not.

 
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abe

Posted at 1:21 PM on August 11, 2013  

…………..Wait & See.

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stick

Posted at 12:46 AM on August 18, 2013  

stick

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Kim Reecr

Posted at 1:50 PM on September 23, 2013  

I agree really enjoy the white queen. Its not as richly enhanced as “the tudors”. But I fell in love with the British Monarchy with the Tudors and knew of the story but “the white queen” has brought to life some of the history behind those infamous Tudors. If ppl stop making comparisons and just watch it. I feel it would be more enjoyable. The characters aren’t going to be as layered and compeling as the tudors (the storyline isn’t there) but its very informative and entertaining. I really don’t understand the comparison to the game of thrones other than “fighting for the throne aspect” but they aren’t really comparable.

 
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