Homeland star Damian Lewis returns as King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall season 3 – first look

Are you ready for the third and final season of Wolf Hall? The final season, based on the third novel in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, has concluded filming – and the first look images look incredible. 

The new snaps reveal the cast for the latest season, including Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell, Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII, Kate Phillips as Jane Seymour, Lilit Lesser as Princess Mary, The Crown actor Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Wolsey, Succession’s Harriet Walter as Lady Margaret Pole, The Queen’s Gambit star Harry Melling as Thomas Wriothesley, Game of Thrones actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Rafe Sadler, Harry Potter’s Timothy Spall as the Duke of Norfolk and more. 

So what can we expect from season three? The synopsis reads: “May, 1536. Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, is dead. As the axe drops, Thomas Cromwell emerges from the bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.

“Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, has no great family to back him, and no private army. Navigating the moral complexities that accompany the exercise of power in this brutal and bloody time, Cromwell is caught between his desire to do what is right and his instinct to survive. But in the wake of Henry VIII having executed his queen, no one is safe.

© Nick Briggs

“Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows. The inevitable question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?”

© Nick Briggs

The story will follow the final four years of Oliver Cromwell’s life, completing his journey to becoming the most feared and influential man in Henry VIII’s court – and we can’t wait. The six-part season airdate will be revealed in due course – so watch this space! 

The final season will be bittersweet following the death of the novel’s author, Hilary Mantel, who passed away aged 70 in 2022 after suffering from a stroke. She was full of praise for the show, telling The Guardian: “It’s illuminating, exciting, yet also curious, to see how my imagination matched theirs. Particularly with characters where there is no portrait, where my books had to conjure them from thin air: how would they appear? … Every face seems to me one that Holbein would recognise, even if he didn’t paint it.”

© Nick Briggs

She added that she was impressed by “the concision and coherence of the storytelling, in the originality of the interpretations, in the break from the romantic cliches of the genre: in the wit and style and heart”. 

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