The scene I’m talking about involved the Earl of Warwick and his family, along with King Edward’s brother George, escaping to France after he and Warwick plotted against the king. Elizabeth wants vengeance for the deaths of her father and brother at Warwick’s hands, so she uses the magic she inherited from her mother to summon a storm that roars across the English Channel and batters Warwick’s ship. This ends with some tragic consequences (which I won’t reveal here), but I absolutely loved the fact that the cause of the storm was Elizabeth and her arcane talents. It was a perfect use of fantasy within historical fiction.
I write historical fantasy so I’m a bit biased, but a little magic sprinkled believably into a historical setting can create an ideal blend. It provides a treat for viewers (and readers) who grew up on Tolkien and other fantasy greats, while preserving all the real-world facts and details that makes historical fiction so wonderful. I tend to prefer fantasy set it the real world – especially in the medieval or ancient eras – to the made up worlds common to fantasy fiction. There are of course some exceptions – Westeros of GRRM’s A Game of Thrones being one example – but it takes an extremely talented author to invent a world that I find more intriguing than our own Middle Ages or Classical times. So to me, a show like The White Queen provides a perfect mix.
But I am curious as to your view? Do you mind a little magic mixed with your historical fiction? And how effectively do you think it’s being used in The White Queen?