John: A knife! He's got a knife!

Eleanor of Aquitaine: 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 of Aquitaine: 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.

Richard: [the sons - in the dungeon - think they hear Henry approach] He's here. He'll get no satisfaction out of me. He isn't going to see me beg.

Geoffrey: My you chivalric fool... as if the way one fell down mattered.

Richard: When the fall is all there is, it matters.

Henry II: I marvel at you after all these years. Still like a democratic drawbridge: going down for everybody.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: At my age there's not much traffic anymore.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I adored you. I still do.

Henry II: Of all the lies you've told, that is the most terrible.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I know. That's why I've saved it up until now.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: [to her jewelry] I'd hang you from the nipples, but you'd shock the children.

Henry II: Now hear me, boy...

Philip II: I am a king - I am no man's "boy"!

Henry II: A king? Because you put your ass on purple cushions?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: What would you have me do? Give out? Give up? Give in?

Henry II: Give me a little peace.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A little? Why so modest? How about eternal peace? Now there's a thought.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: In a world where carpenters get resurrected, everything is possible.

John: Poor John. Who says poor John? Don't everybody sob at once! My God, if I went up in flames there's not a living soul who'd pee on me to put the fire out!

Richard: Let's strike a flint and see.

Geoffrey: I know. You know I know. I know you know I know. We know Henry knows, and Henry knows we know it.


Geoffrey: We're a knowledgeable family.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: 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 of Aquitaine: Let him? I'd push him through the nursery door.

Henry II: You're not that cruel.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Don't fret. We'll wait until you're dead to do it.

Henry II: Eleanor, what do you want?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: 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.

Henry II: Well, I'm off.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: To Rome?

Henry II: That's where they keep the Pope!

Eleanor of Aquitaine: What family doesn't have its ups and downs?

Henry II: Well, what shall we hang... the holly, or each other?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: 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 of Aquitaine: 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?

Henry II: The day those stout hearts band together is the day that pigs get wings.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: There'll be pork in the treetops come morning.

Geoffrey: [to John] If you're a prince, there's hope for every ape in Africa.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: [after Henry tells Eleanor he wants their marriage annulled] Out Eleanor... in Alais. Why?

Henry II: A new wife, wife, will bear me sons.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: That is the single thing of which I would have thought you had enough.

Henry II: I haven't kept the Great Bitch in the keep for ten years out of passionate attachment.

[last lines]

Henry II: I hope we never die.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: So do I.

Henry II: Do you think there's any chance of it?

Henry II: It's heavy... Oh Eleanor, you've brought me my tombstone! You spoil me!

Henry II: How was your crossing? Did the Channel part for you?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: It went flat when I told it to. I didn't think to ask for more.

Henry II: I've snapped and plotted all my life. There's no other way to be alive, king, and fifty all at once.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Henry.

Henry II: Madam.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Did you ever love me?

Henry II: No.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Good. That will make this pleasanter.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Henry?

Henry II: Hmmm?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I have a confession.

Henry II: Yes?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I don't much like our children!

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!

Eleanor of Aquitaine: How dear of you to let me out of jail.

Henry II: It's only for the holidays.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I love you.

Richard: You love nothing. You're incomplete. The human parts of you are missing. You're as dead as you are deadly.

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.

[to his sons]

Henry II: 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!

[storms out the corridor, turns and looks back]

Henry II: My boys are gone.

[he starts unsteadily down the corridor]

Henry II: I've lost my boys.

[he stops, glares towards the Deity]

Henry II: You dare to damn me, do You? Well, I damn you back.

[like a biblical figure, shaking his fist to the sky]


[moving blindly down the corridor again]

Henry II: My boys are gone. I've lost my boys. Oh, Jesus, all my boys...

[collapses, weeping on the stairs]

[Gazing into a mirror]

Eleanor of Aquitaine: My, what a lovely girl. How could her king have left her?

Henry II: I have an offer for you, my dear.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: 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 of Aquitaine: [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.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: You don't dare go!

Henry II: Say that again at noon, you'll say it to my horse's ass! Lamb, I'll be rid of you by Easter: you can count your reign in days!

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.

Henry II: We're in the cellar and you're going back to prison and my life is wasted and we've lost each other... and you're smiling.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: It's the way I register despair. There's everything in life but hope.

Henry II: We're both alive... and for all I know that's what hope is.

Henry II: The Vexin's mine.

Philip II: By what authority?

Henry II: It's got my troops all over it; that makes it mine.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Henry's bed is Henry's province. He can people it with sheep for all I care, which on occasion he has done.

Henry II: Rosamund's been dead for seven years...

Eleanor of Aquitaine: ...two months and eighteen days. I never liked her much.

Henry II: You count the days?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I made the numbers up.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: And that's to be the king.

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 of Aquitaine: How nice for you.

Geoffrey: It's not as nice as being king.

Henry II: We've made you Duke of Brittany, is that so little?

Geoffrey: No one ever thinks of crown and mentions Geoff, why is that?

Henry II: Isn't being chancellor power enough?

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.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: [to her husband, Henry II] I wonder... do you ever wonder... if I slept with your father.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: [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 of Aquitaine: 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 of Aquitaine: We're jungle creatures, Henry, and the dark is all around us. See them? In the corners, you can see the eyes.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Oh Henry, we mangled every thing we touch.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I adored you.

Henry II: Never!

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I still do.

Henry II: More Brandy wine? They were boiling it in Ireland before the snakes left!

Henry II: I want no women in my life.

Alais: You're tired.

Henry II: I could have conquered Europe - all of it - but I had women in my life.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: 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 of Aquitaine: [to Alais] You'll make a lovely bride, I wonder if I'll cry.

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.

Henry II: The sky is pocked with stars. What eyes the wise men must have had to see a new one in so many.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: You look fit. War agrees with you. I keep informed; I follow all your slaughters from a distance. Do sit down.

Richard: Is this an audience... a good night hug with kisses... or an ambush?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Let's hope it's a reunion.

Henry II: I want to reach a settlement. I left you with too little earlier,

Philip II: Yes, nothing is too little.

Richard: You're so deceitful you can't ask for water when you're thirsty. We could tangle spiders in the webs you weave.

Richard: I never heard a corpse complain of how it got so cold.

John: [rushing in] What's wrong? What's happened?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Richard's getting married.

John: Getting married? Now? He's getting married *now*?

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I never cease to marvel at the quickness of your mind.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: [to the King] If you're broken it's because you're fragile.

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: We're off to Rome to see the Pope.

Alais: He's excommunicated you again?

Henry II: No, he's going to set me free.

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 of Aquitaine: 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 of Aquitaine: 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 of Aquitaine: 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.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: You're not an assassin.

Richard: Look again.

John: I thought I'd come and gloat a little.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Mother's tired. Come stick pins tomorrow morning; I'll be more responsive.

John: It's no fun goading anyone tonight.

Richard: I am a constant soldier, a sometime poet, and I will be king.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: I am locked up with my sons. What mother does not dream of that?

Richard: You haven't said you loved me.

Philip II: When the time comes.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: [to Richard] Love me, little lamb, or leave me.

Richard: You loved me!

Philip II: Never!

Geoffrey: You don't think of me much.

Henry II: Much? I don't think of you at all

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!

John: You stink. You're a stinker and you stink.

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.

Alais: Henry, I can't be your mistress if I'm married to your son.

Henry II: Why can't you? Johnny wouldn't mind.

[first lines]

Henry II: Come for me!

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Go on!

[Henry has a knife to John's throat and freezes. A terrified Eleanor looks on but speaks... ]

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Execute him. They're assassins aren't they? This was treason, wasn't it? You gave them life, you take it.

[Henry lets John go and throws down the knife]

Henry II: Who's to say this is monstrous. I'm the king, I call it just.

[Henry draws his sword and brandishes it over his sons]

Henry II: And therefore, I, Henry, by the grace of God, king of the English, Lord of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Count Anjou, Brittany, Poitou, Anjou and Normandy, Maine, Gascony and Aquitaine. Sentence you death, done this Christmas day in Chinon in God's year, 1183.

[Henry raises the sword above and unflinching Richard. He brings it down, flat side strikes Richard's shoulder, leaving him unharmed. Drops the sword]

Henry II: Surely that's not what I intended. Children, children... we're all we have. Go on, I'm done. I'm finished with you. You and I are finished.

[Geoffrey and John run out, Richard follows slowly]

Eleanor of Aquitaine: You spare the rod you'll spoil those boys.

Henry II: I couldn't do it, Eleanor.

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Nobody thought you could.