Long live Mary, Queen of Scots — until her head gets chopped off.
For the series finale of Reign, which airs Friday night, creator Laurie McCarthy has always planned on showing Mary’s (Adelaide Kane) death. It was just a question of when and how.
“We didn’t know when the series finale was going to happen, which season it was going to happen, but I always knew it would be her death,” McCarthy tells Yahoo TV. “Because she died significantly later in her life than the age that we met her and the age that Adelaide Kane is, we knew that we would be doing a time jump.”
History spoiler alert: Mary died in 1587, two decades after she was forced to abdicate the throne to her infant son, James. She fled south, to England, for protection, but Queen Elizabeth I was wary of her royal cousin’s claim to her own throne and kept her locked up for most of that time. Eventually, Mary was found guilty of plotting against Elizabeth and had her head chopped off.
“Mary and Elizabeth both couldn’t survive, not in that day and age. It was incredibly hard for a woman in power,” McCarthy notes.
Fans hoping for a momentous meeting between the two queens may be disappointed, though. McCarthy reminds us that they never met in real life.
“Elizabeth knew that at some point she might have to kill Mary,” she explains. “She didn’t want to know her or like her or have compassion for her.”
And while Mary’s ending has always been written into the books, events along the way will play out with Reign’s own take. Mary’s husband, Darnley, dies, but how much will Mary know about the circumstances?
The series finale will also wrap up — or at least, tease — the futures of the other queens, Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) and Catherine de Medici (Megan Follows).
“To me that was one of the most interesting things about the project — there was a time when three women ruled such an enormous part of the globe,” McCarthy said. “And to happen when it happened, at that time, is just incredible to me.”
The Reign series finale airs Friday, June 16 at 9 p.m. on The CW.
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