Prince John: A knife! He's got a knife!
Eleanor: Of course he has a knife, he always has a knife, we all have knives! It's 1183 and we're barbarians! How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war: not history's forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government, nor any other thing. We are the killers. We breed wars. We carry it like syphilis inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten. For the love of God, can't we love one another just a little - that's how peace begins. We have so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities, my children. We could change the world.
Eleanor: I even made poor Louis take me on Crusade. How's that for blasphemy. I dressed my maids as Amazons and rode bare-breasted halfway to Damascus. Louis had a seizure and I damn near died of windburn... but the troops were dazzled.
Eleanor: [to her jewelry] I'd hang you from the nipples, but you'd shock the children.
Eleanor: In a world where carpenters get resurrected, everything is possible.
Eleanor: And when you die, which is regrettable but necessary, what will happen to frail Alais and her pruny prince? You can't think Richard's going to wait for your grotesque to grow.
Henry II: You wouldn't let him do a thing like that.
Eleanor: Let him? I'd push him through the nursery door.
Henry II: You're not that cruel.
Eleanor: Don't fret. We'll wait until you're dead to do it.
Henry II: Eleanor, what do you want?
Eleanor: Just what you want, a king for a son. You can make more, I can't. You think I want to disappear? One son is all I've got, and you can blot him out and call me cruel? For these ten years you've lived with everything I've lost, and loved another woman through it all, and I am cruel? I could peel you like a pear and God himself would call it justice!
Henry II: There's no sense asking if the air is good if there's nothing else to breathe.
Eleanor: What family doesn't have its ups and downs?
Henry II: Well, what shall we hang... the holly, or each other?
Eleanor: He had a mind like Aristotle and a form like mortal sin.
Henry II: What is this? I'm not mouldering. My paint's not peeling off. I'm good for years.
Eleanor: How many years? Suppose I hold you back for one. I can. It's possible. Suppose your first son dies, ours did. It's possible. Suppose you're daughtered next, we were. That too is possible. How old is daddy then? What kind of spindly, ricket-ridden, milky, wizened, dim-eyed, gammy-handed, limpy line of things will you beget?
[to Prince John]
Prince Geoffrey: If you're a prince, there's hope for every ape in Africa.
Henry II: I haven't kept the Great Bitch in the keep for ten years out of passionate attachment.
Henry II: It's heavy... Oh Eleanor, you've brought me my tombstone! You spoil me!
Henry II: I've snapped and plotted all my life. There's no other way to be alive, king, and fifty all at once.
Henry II: Oh God, but I do love being king!
Henry II: I found out the way your mind works and the kind of man you are. I know your plans and expectations - you've burbled every bit of strategy you've got. I know exactly what you will do, and exactly what you won't, and I've told you exactly nothing. To these aged eyes, boy, that's what winning looks like!
Henry II: I'm villifying you for God's sake - pay attention!
[Gazing into a mirror]
Eleanor: My, what a lovely girl. How could her king have left her?
Henry II: I have an offer for you, my dear.
Eleanor: A deal? A deal? I give the richest province on the continent to John for what? You tell me, mastermind, for what?
Henry II: Your freedom.
Eleanor: [softly] Oh.
Henry II: Once Johnny gets the Aquitaine, you're free, I'll let you out. Think. On the loose in London, winters in Provence, impromptu trips to visit Richard anywhere he's killing people. All that for a signature.
Henry II: My life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. Henry Fitz-Empress, first Plantagenet, a king at twenty-one, the ablest soldier of an able time. He led men well, he cared for justice when he could and ruled, for thirty years, a state as great as Charlemagne's. He married out of love, a woman out of legend. Not in Alexandria, or Rome, or Camelot has there been such a queen. She bore him many children. But no sons. King Henry had no sons. He had three whiskered things but he disowned them.
Henry II: [to his sons] You're not mine! We're not connected! I deny you! None of you will get my crown, I leave you nothing and I wish you plague! May all your children breach and die!
Henry II: [storms out the corridor, turns and looks back] My Boys are gone.
Henry II: [he starts unsteadily down the corridor] I've lost my boys.
Henry II: [he stops, glares towards the Deity] You dare to damn me, do You? Well, I damn you back.
Henry II: [like a biblical figure, shaking his fist to the sky] GODDAMN YOU!
Henry II: [moving blindly down the corridor again] My boys are gone. I've lost my boys. Oh, Jesus, all my boys...
[collapses, weeping on the stairs]
Henry II: [Henry brings candles into the dungeon] What we do in dungeons needs the shades of day. I stole the candles from the chapel. Jesus won't begrudge them and the chaplain works for me.
Eleanor: And that's to be the king.
Prince Geoffrey: And I'm to be his Chancellor. Has he told you? John will rule the country, while I run it. That is to say he gets to spend the taxes that I raise.
Eleanor: How nice for you.
Prince Geoffrey: It's not as nice as being king.
Henry II: We've made you Duke of Brittany, is that so little?
Prince Geoffrey: No one ever thinks of crown and mentions Geoff, why is that?
Henry II: Isn't being chancellor power enough?
Prince Geoffrey: It's not the power I feel deprived of; it's the mention I miss. There's no affection for me here; you wouldn't think I'd want that, would you?
Philip II: "What If" is a game for scholars.
Henry II: Who's to say it's monstrous? I'm the King. I call it just. Therefore, I, Henry, by the Grace of God King of the English, Lord of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, Count of Anjou, Brittany, Poitou and Normandy, Maine, Gascony, and Aquitaine, do sentence you to death. Done this Christmas Day at Chinon in God's year eleven eighty-three.
Eleanor: [to her husband, Henry II] I wonder... do you ever wonder... if I slept with your father.
Eleanor: [to John] Hush dear, mother's fighting.
Henry II: In my time I've known contessas, milkmaids, courtesans and novices, whores, gypsies, jades, and little boys, but nowhere in God's western world have I found anyone to love but you.
Eleanor: Her eyes in certain light were violet, and all her teeth were even. That's a rare, fair feature: even teeth. She smiled to excess, but she chewed with real distinction.
Eleanor: We're jungle creatures, Henry, and the dark is all around us. See them? In the corners, you can see the eyes.
Eleanor: Oh Henry, we mangled every thing we touch.
Henry II: More Brandy wine? They were boiling it in Ireland before the snakes left!
Eleanor: If you're broken it's because you're brittle... I've lost you, and I can't ever have you back.
Henry II: My finest angle. It's on all the coins.
Eleanor: [to Alais] You'll make a lovely bride, I wonder if I'll cry.
Henry II: The sky is pocked with stars. What eyes the wise men must have had to see a new one in so many.
Prince Richard: You're so deceitful you can't ask for water when you're thirsty. We could tangle spiders in the webs you weave.
Prince Richard: I never heard a corpse complain of how it got so cold.
Philip II: A king like you has policy prepared on everything. well, what's the official line on sodomy? How stands the Crown on boys who do with boys?
Henry II: Richard finds his way into so many legends; let's hear yours and see how it compares.
Philip II: Well, he found me first when I was 15. We were hunting; it was nearly dark; my horse fell; I was thrown. I woke to Richard touching me. He asked me if I loved him: 'Philip, do you love me?' And I told him yes. Do you know why I told him yes? So that one day I could tell you all about it. You cannot imagine what that 'yes' cost. Imagine snuggling to a chancred whore, and bending back your lips into something like a smile saying, 'Yes, I love you, and I find you...
Philip II: ...beautiful.' I don't know how I did it.
Eleanor: [to the king] If you're broken it's because you're fragile.
Princess Alais: Kings, queens, knights everywhere you look and I'm the only pawn. I haven't got a thing to lose - that makes me dangerous.
Henry II: When the king is off his ass, nobody sleeps!
Henry II: I'm 50 now. Good God, boy, I'm the oldest man I know! I've got a decade on the pope!
Henry II: Geoffrey: There's a masterpiece. He isn't flesh: he's a device. He's wheels and gears. And Johnny: Was his latest treason your idea? I've caught him lying, and I've said, 'he's young.' I've found him cheating, and I've said, 'he's just a boy.' I've watched him steal and whore and whip his servants, and he's not a child; he's the man we made him.
Eleanor: Don't share John with me. He's your accomplishment.
Henry II: And Richard's yours. How could you send him off to deal with Philip?
Eleanor: I was tired. I was busy. They were friends.
Henry II: Eleanor, he was the best, and from the cradle on you cradled him. I never had a chance.
Eleanor: Well, that's the way deals are made. We've got him if we want him. He'll sell us all, you know... but only if he thinks we think he won't.
Prince Richard: I am a constant soldier, a sometime poet, and I will be king.
Eleanor: I am locked up with my sons. What mother does not dream of that?
Eleanor: [to Richard] Love me, little lamb, or leave me.
Prince Richard: So! The royal corkscrew finds ME twisted?
Henry II: When I bellow, bellow back.
Henry II: Where's a priest? Somebody fetch me a priest! YOU! Fetch me a bishop!
Prince John: You stink. You're a stinker and you stink.
Prince Richard: I don't care what you offer Philip; I don't care what plans you make. I'll have the Aquitaine, and Alais, and the crown. I'll not give-up one to get the other; I won't trade-off Alais or the Aquitaine *to that walking pustule*! No, your loving son will not.
Henry II: Come for me!