Henry VI: The Winter King

A King from upstart usurper to renaissance monarch to Machiavellian schemer. (ROYAL HISTORY)
Stuart Elliott
DocumentarySpecial Interest
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Giulia Clark
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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3.9 out of 5 stars

76 global ratings

  1. 49% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 20% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 13% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

LaurieReviewed in the United States on December 19, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsA Unique King
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It could have been longer and more detailed -- possibly stretching to 3 hours or even 5. Pity it had to end! Henry VII is somewhat of a shadowy figure to many. He's known as a miser and paranoiac, mainly. This documentary holds its own with a Simon Schama production and in some ways, surpasses it. Penn is a clear and incisive presenter. His passion for his subject shines through. I don't care much for reenactments. I loved visiting the crucial spots where the action took place, with Penn as a riveting tour guide. I had no idea that so many 1000s of written records of British reigns had survived to present day. Touring the record archives, the number of scrolls made my eyes bug out. Back to Henry VII, I've often wondered what motivated him to challenge Richard III's rule and how he managed to be such a strong leader for so long, with no prior experience or training. This documentary gives just a hint. I may check out Penn's book to get the rest.
34 people found this helpful
AlReviewed in the United States on November 28, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsThis was genuinely good
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While the narrator and writer is a little dorky, you get used to his serious-face relatively quickly, and the cameraman was a genius. Honestly, even the graphics were pretty above average. I greatly enjoyed the fact that this wasn't yet another interview-reliant retelling of history with a bunch of stuffy old men talking about their research. Instead, it takes you through the sources directly, showing off the physical records and places of importance while telling the story of Henry VII. For anyone who has any interest at all in the Tudor dynasty, or history in general, really, I'd totally recommend it.
32 people found this helpful
Michael EspositoReviewed in the United States on December 2, 2017
4.0 out of 5 starsDocumentary on a budget successful
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MRE 2017.12.01: This is a good, low-budget, documentary that speeds through Henry VII's reign, starting with his landing on the beach in Wales, and ending at his death. Being only an hour long, they could only touch on key points, and had to leave out all of Henry's youth (which you can sort of get a view of in the mini-series The White Queen). Having little money, there were almost no reenactments, as, say with a David Starkey documentary. Fields, like Bosworth's, are shown and an audio track of war sounds is played. But, even with the cursory review of Henry's life and the lack of funds, this is a good documentary--ideal for someone who knows nothing of Henry VII.
24 people found this helpful
Random StankfootReviewed in the United States on December 11, 2017
4.0 out of 5 starsThis was very well done and I liked it a lot
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This was very well done and I liked it a lot, history nerd that I am. I took off 1 star, however, because, as another reviewer pointed out, it would have been much better if it had been about 30 minutes longer and covered more of his life. Specifically, what I'd like to have seen more of was an explanation of his first 28 years in a bit greater depth. More about his origins, how/why he ended up in France, etc.

The actor who played Tywin Lannister would be a perfect choice to play an older HVII. Actually, HVII and Tywin Lannister remind me of each other- the shrewd ruthless dynasty-builders.
13 people found this helpful
JamesReviewed in the United States on August 6, 2020
4.0 out of 5 starsThe Solidarity of England under King Henry VII
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I enjoyed the Story telling and the explanation that Henry by bloodline is an illegitimate King of England. Unless he secretly escaped the elimination of the Lancaster's. This video awakened desire to research history to find the missing link between Henry and the Lancaster Family. Something tells me Henry may be Bastard child to a previous noble Family. However, I am thinking of the rolled out family tree that describes him related to a servant hat managed the Chamber Pot. My English History professor did tell of Henry coming from Welsh Nobility to Challenge Richard for the Sovereignty of King of England and he did prevail. However Kingship is only maintained by the loyalty of your subjects. This story telling paints a Dictator Kingship that used Extortion, laws and threats to maintain title of KIng. I desire to research to find the percentage of devoted subjects King HenryVII retained willfully without threats. I took a star off the rating because this documentary left out a subject I wrote about pertaining to Henry's Law shortly after his Victory over Richard. Prior to Henry lords, dukes ect.. put a crest on trhe uniforms of the men they recruited to be loyal to their service. Henry instituted a law requiring all lords to use the crest of the Kingship and declare recruitment for his Kingship. penalties were incurred for not following this standard. This action is not entirely extortion or threat; consequently, it was visionary to strengthen to solidarity of one England prepared to defend its realm.
2 people found this helpful
Pri-59280Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsVery pleasantly surprised!
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What a great use of time. Great documentary.
The Winter King ... For me the obscure King.
I've always had a fondness for history. And growing up in England - I had plenty of content to learn in school.
I clearly remember covering the Tudor period, but the curriculum conveniently skipped Henry VII as almost a footnote. Basically ending the Plantagenet era with the death of Richard III and skipping straight to Henry VIII.
So - this documentary apart from be exceptionally well researched and produced was, for me anyway, very enlightening.
Well worth watching.
3 people found this helpful
APeperReviewed in the United States on February 6, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful Documentary
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I thoroughly enjoyed watching this documentary. It's clear they were on a budget but I do not feel as though it lacked anything. I've long been fascinated with Henry VII and this was a nice, straight-to-the-point, documentary on his life and times. I loved seeing all the locations where Henry had once been and the narrator did a wonderful job explaining everything. I wouldn't say this is a complete look at Henry VII but it's a great primer for future research and reading on a fascinating figure from British history.
9 people found this helpful
lawyeraauReviewed in the United States on June 12, 2019
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This was a mildly interesting documentary of King Henry VII. If one is an aficionado of the Tudors, however, in all likelihood this documentary will not provide much new information. I, myself, learned nothing new, but I did get to see a few artifacts, such as gold coins or sovereigns minted during the reign of King Henry VII. The narrator of this documentary is the author of the book, "Henry VII: The Winter King", and this documentary prompted me to buy the book, if only to see if I could learn something new about this monarch.

The documentary had no reenactments. It is a straight narration interspersed with illustrative artififacts and places, including bewildering shots of modern day London, which served as an annoying distraction. Still, those with a fondness for Tudor history will derive some enjoyment from this documentary, despite its shortcomings.
One person found this helpful
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