Reign CW Wiki
Reign CW Wiki

Liege Lord is the seventeenth episode of Season One and it attracted 1.23 millions viewers on its original airing.


MARY MAKES A FATEFUL DECISION — When Mary learns of a secret clause in her marriage contract that her mother, Marie de Guise and Queen Catherine orchestrated, Mary and Francis embark on a dangerous plan to turn Scotland against her mother – and Mary gets her first taste of power as the Queen of Scots. Henry, Bash, Greer, Lola and Kenna also appear.


The episode opens in the chambers of the newly married Lady Kenna and Bash. Kenna is sitting at her dressing table fixing her makeup with Bash’s shaving mirror which is proving to be of no use to her. The Lady asks why she couldn’t stay in her own chambers to which her husband replies that the reason is because they are married; however Kenna is still not thrilled about being married to King Henry’s bastard when he promised her a husband with a title, but Bash has the title of “Master of Horse and Hunt”…which Henry made up. The couple expresses their joint displeasure as Kenna was expecting to marry at least a Duke, and Bash is now married to a beautiful woman who was notorious for sleeping with his father despite her being of noble birth. Kenna and Bash further discuss that while her relationship with Henry is in the past the point is that Henry enjoys the privileges of kingship and Kenna enjoys whatever her relationship brought her. Kenna says it sounds like she’s the most self centered woman in France and Bash says that he hasn’t met all the women in France so he can’t say that; however Kenna says that while she cares about herself Bash cares about Mary, and while she’s not jealous a love like that could destroy both of their lives. Bash says that since Mary is now wed that their relationship is in the past but he sees Kenna’s point, he also points out that since they are married before King and God until death and while he may not love her, that they should at least start liking each other.

In the throne room there is lots of merriment as Mary and Francis are opening an immense number of wedding gifts, and it’s a great surprise to them as they’ve been married for some months now; however Francis comments that his mother told him that for her wedding gifts were still pouring in a year later. The crowd cheers and claps as they open a new bridle for their new horse in the stables, then Henry walks up to Francis and suggests that he use it on his wife to keep her in hand. The crowd and Penelope laughs, Francis laughs nervously as he calls for the musicians to begin playing, takes Mary’s hand to dance, and begins to discuss Henry’s increasing madness which so far has gone unnoticed by the court. Francis says that his father is ill and while there is no trace of poison something is wrong, and his father needs compassion and time to recover. Mary asks “What if he doesn’t recover?” Francis replies that his mother is doing her best to have all important matters diverted from the King’s attention to hers so she can run the country behind Henry’s back and hide from the world how sick her husband is, because lately he has become infatuated by Penelope and barely notices his affairs of state; so the Queen of France running things may be a blessing in disguise.

Elsewhere in the castle Greer and Lola are walking and talking Lord Julian. Lola thinks he is just charming as they have been spending a lot of time together: riding, walking and he taught her how to skate. Lola also says that for a man looking for a wife Lord Julian’s been very slow about it and since she will start showing anytime now she is thinking that perhaps he’s not the right one or that she doesn’t please him. Greer suggests that he maybe needs a push as they walk to the throne room where the merriment is still going on, and Lola says that he will get a push. Lola walks in the room and right up to Lord Julian who comments on her beauty, and she comments on the lovely night and music which prompts him to ask her to dance. While they dance they talk about: being well matched, how Lola feels fortunate to be his in a world where husbands tend to be tyrants, how Lord Julian is kind, rich, titled, and patient, how his last two wives died in childbirth blood and pain and he won’t go through that again which is why he decided never to have children. Lola is a bit shocked by this as she hasn’t told him about her pregnancy yet; however Julian continues saying that he doesn’t need heirs, and that his bloodline will continue with his brothers. Lola starts to tell him about how children come generally come with marriage, but he stops her as he gets down on one knee and asks her to marry him…Lola isn’t sure what to say at first but she says “yes” as Julian gets up to kiss her, and then announce their engagement to the entire room. There is applause for the happy couple as Kenna and Greer go to hug Lola while Mary looks on.

Suddenly someone bumps into Mary spilling a drink on her dress, and it turns out to be Charlotte who is one of Queen Catherine’s Ladies in Waiting. Charlotte tells Mary that there is something she should know, and as they walk in the hall Mary is reluctant to believe anything that Charlotte has to say, because she knows of her service to the Queen. Charlotte tells Mary that she is part of an elite group of ladies called the “Flying Squad”, that their job is to sleep with important Noblemen to gain information and report back to the Queen, and that this is the reason she knows so much, not the servant’s gossip. Mary says that she’s sure that Charlotte and the others are well rewarded for making love to men and then betraying them; however Charlotte says that while they are well rewarded this time Queen Catherine has overstepped because she asked her to seduce King Henry in order to remove him from Penelope’s influence and have him be engaged with someone the Queen could control. Mary says that this would be quite a notch on her belt to be with the most powerful man in France, but Charlotte says that Henry is the most dangerous man in France as she has been briefed all too well by the Queen, and she will not go anywhere near a mad King. Mary asks if she told Catherine no, but Charlotte comments that the Queen does not respond well to refusal, and she must leave France quickly. Charlotte then asks Mary to arrange her departure and find her sanctuary in Scotland, but Mary asks what’s in it for her as Charlotte says that she has information vital to her safety and Scotland’s.

Mary walks back into the party and asks Greer where Francis is as she needs him badly, but Greer says that Francis has gone to the stables to see the new horse. Then Mary goes and has a mysterious conversation with Bash while a curious Greer watches, and after a few minutes Mary leave with Bash hot on her heels as Kenna watches looking worried. Outside the castle Bash and Mary are at a carriage with Charlotte, but as she goes to get in Mary stops her to find out what she knows. Charlotte says that there was a secret clause in Mary and Francis’ wedding contract which promises that if Mary dies without an heir then Scotland will belong to France. Mary inquires as to just how Charlotte knows this, and she admits that she was ordered to sleep with a Bishop to see if he was up to amending the contracts, Charlotte then get into the carriage and as she leaves warns Mary to be careful, because without an heir she is worth more dead than alive.

Francis and Mary enter his chambers discussing the secret clause, and Francis says that this is exactly the sort of trick that his family would pull. Mary says that the contracts seemed to go on forever with some of the pages in Latin; Francis says that the clause was probably well hidden, and he intends to go to his mother and demand to know if it’s true, as well as what the hell his parents think they are doing. Mary thinks that the King and Queen were seeking some type of insurance, because she was not cooperating with taking the throne of England and if she doesn’t provide an heir…Francis completes her thought by saying that in this case there would be a sword hanging over her. Worse still if Mary is not named the English Queen’s successor then Henry can cut his losses, kill Mary, and use Scotland as a staging area to invade England. Mary realizes that if Henry can’t use her to get England while she is alive, then he’ll use her dead, and she begs Francis not to tell his mother just yet because she doesn’t want the Queen to know that they know about the clause and what it means. Mary also says that they need to find out if Charlotte was telling the truth or if she just concocted a story to get herself out of France; Francis says that they need to get their hands on the contract because it’s the only way to find out if Charlotte was telling the truth. Henry keeps his important papers in his chambers, and Francis knows that the guards won’t let him or Mary in without a good reason. However Mary says that she knows of one person the guards will let in.

Immediately Mary is seen with Kenna walking down the hall telling her that she needs to find a special paper that just happens to be located in Henry’s chambers. Kenna at once has looks of fear coming across her face as she tells Mary that the King has lost his mind, she’d be taking her life into her hand, and she’s a married woman who made a promise to her husband Bash. Mary tells Kenna that she understands and if Kenna can’t do it then she won’t press her, but she needs to know what she is looking for. Mary then proceeds to tell Kenna about the secret clause Henry and Catherine put in her marriage contract, that they have betrayed the alliance and that the clause gives their Scotland to France if Mary dies without an heir which will cause Scotland to lose its freedom. Kenna says that this cannot happen and they must do something as she and Mary hug.

Kenna is immediately seen walking to King Henry’s chambers and tells the guards that he asked her to wait for him…the guards let her in and she sets to work finding the marriage contract. Kenna manages to find the key, unlock a trunk, find the contract, stuff it in her dress and then lock it seconds before Henry enters the room, and looks pleasantly surprised to see his former mistress in his chambers. Henry walks up to her and says that he knows why Kenna is there, as he grabs her and implies that she missed him as he tries to kiss her.

Francis enters Mary’s chambers and she has a copy of their marriage contract without her signature, so there’s no telling where the original is. Francis apologizes to his wife as she has been betrayed, and that the contract is nothing but a license to murder whenever it’s convenient; however Mary says that it’s not just a threat to her but to her country because the alliance was supposed to strengthen Scotland against England, and turn it into a sellout. Mary begins to talk about writing her mother to inform her of what’s going on, but Francis says that she hasn’t just been betrayed by his family; also her mother’s advisors spent hours going over the marriage contracts, and Francis reveals that he has learned about a large payment that went to Marie de Guise for services rendered the crown on their wedding day. Mary looks very bothered by this as Francis tells her that Marie was desperate for money to prop her rule and she thought the clause was an easy way to go about it, that Mary would conceive an heir, live a long happy life and never know anything about it. Francis takes his wife’s face in his hands and tells her that they will have a son in time; while Mary knows this she also knows that her mother and Francis’ parents are all in on this and that there’s no one they can bring this matter to, because neither will move to change anything. However Mary as points out things might change if both sets of parents were forced to do so, and she points out that her mother is under immense pressure from the Protestants who would love to oust her and see Scotland under Protestant rule, so what if they knew she sold out her country for money? Francis comments that Scotland would be ripped into frenzy, and that Marie would have to deny this and say that she would never do such a thing, then take her copy of the contract and burn it; however Mary points out that when France sees Scotland baying for French blood…Francis finishes her thought by saying that the other side would be forced to do the same thing. Francis further says that his father is obsessed with England and won’t waste troops on a senseless war with Scotland, while his mother will know that this is no time for a war especially with a mad King leading the army.

The couple agrees that if this plan works then his parents will have to burn the evidence as if the contract never existed, and that Marie enemies will handle everything when the news reaches Scotland. Francis asks Mary if she’s sure she wants to go through with the plan as she will be setting her mother up for a very hard time; to which Mary replies that her mother shouldn’t have deceived her as she is the Queen of Scotland not the Queen of Marie de Guise, so her first duty is to her country and not her mother. Francis says that the hard part will be getting the word out of France, because his mother will be suspicious of letters to Scottish Protestants, so Mary suggests having a party.

The scene comes up on the throne room which is bursting with merriment as the room is full of Scotsmen having a very good time. Mary stands in the middle of the room in a plaid gown watching the fun happily when Queen Catherine walks up to her dressed in a beautiful red gown. The Queen asks Mary if she had to invite quite so many Scots, and Mary replies that this was an act of diplomacy as she wants her countrymen to know that France doesn’t have all of her attention. Queen Catherine asks Mary if she has seen her lady Charlotte who has come up missing, but before Mary can say anything the Queen continues by saying that someone came and told her that they saw Charlotte talking with Mary. Mary smiles but says nothing as Queen Catherine further says that her ladies can be temperamental at times, act like disgruntled servants who get turned out for breaking the crockery, and blame their mistress as they tell lying tales. Mary says that Charlotte only spoke to apologize for spilling her drink on her, and that she will bear the Queen’s warning in mind if she should happen to speak with her. Mary walks away while Catherine looks as if she suspects Mary was lying to her. Mary goes to Francis and says that if his mother knows or even suspects what’s going on that she could do anything; however Francis puts his wife at ease by says that his mother is only irritated because they’ve invited every Scot within a hundred miles of French Court. Mary tells Francis about Lord Mackenzie who is making a deal with the French military and providing wool for the uniforms; but Francis points out that anyone could go to Marie de Guise and demand money in exchange for silence. However Mary is confident as Mackenzie fought a war with her father, but Francis isn’t sure that Mackenzie will risk his wealth and angering the French crown to which Mary replies that they will find out. There is clapping as the Scots finish a successful sword dance.

Queen Catherine is walking up to the thrones as “queen” Penelope boldly steps in front of her. The Queen just stares at her as Penelope brags that Henry is adding diamonds to “her” crown and asks Catherine if she thinks a royal crown suits her. The Queen replies “Of course Your Majesty, it makes your head look smaller almost back to normal size.” Penelope doesn’t like this comment and shows it on her face as she walks away. When the Queen turns to walk away a Scotsmen walks up behind her and says: “You’re the saucy one aren’t you?” Catherine stops dead in her tracks and replies: “I beg your pardon…saucy?” The Scotsman tells the confused Queen not to be offended as it’s the sauce that makes food worth eating and women like her that make life worth living. Queen Catherine’s face shows that she really can’t believe that this Scotsman is actually flirting with her! She tells him that he’s outrageous and turns to walk away, but he grabs her hand and says “Oh don’t take yourself away from me beauty.” Catherine can’t believe that he is actually putting his hands on the Queen of France as she replies “Do you know who I am?” The Scotsman says that he can guess, and from her beautiful gown suggests that she’s a Lady in Waiting as she’s too well dressed to be anything else, he further deduces that from the Fleur de leis on her bracelets she serves the Queen of France, and from the tone of her conversation it seems she is out of favor with the “Queen”. Catherine is so stunned and confused by what’s happening that she is literally speechless: this man is flirting with her, holding her hand, and massaging her arm; however she smiles and without revealing who she is really replies “You’re right, I do serve the Queen of France.”

Elsewhere in the castle King Henry joins Bash and asks him how married life is treating him, and Bash says it’s as well as can be expected. Henry talks about his affair with Kenna, and how she could teach bash a few things; Bash is curious as to why Henry called Kenna to his chambers, to which Henry replies that as the King’s son Kenna is his gift to Bash. Back at the party Francis gives a message to Lord Mackenzie telling him that his Queen wishes to see just him; however Mackenzie says that his men like to stick close. In another room Francis joins Mary as Lord Mackenzie inquires as to why he and his men are there; Mary says that the men fought alongside her father and asks what that was like. Lord Mackenzie says it was hell on earth, and insults Mary by insinuating that she doesn’t care about Scotland since she has been living in the safety of France; Francis touches his sword prepared to kill him, but Mary stop him and tells of the secret clause that was in the marriage contract on her wedding day which gives Scotland to France if she dies without an heir and she cannot let this happen. Lord Mackenzie asks Mary if she would defy her own mother, she replies that she would defy the devil himself if he tried to buy and sell her country, and she will not risk Scotland’s freedom; Lord Mackenzie and his men place their swords at Mary’s feet as he kisses her hand and says that they have waited a long time for her to rise. Francis tells Mary that she has gotten her first taste of power as a Queen and it’s a great power if she can keep it.

Back at the party Liam is continuing to flirt with Queen Catherine, and enjoys wine with her on a balcony; he asks her if she enjoys privacy because she is afraid for her reputation, Catherine asks Liam if he has ever been to French Court he replies that he has not and that he returns to Paris with Lord Mackenzie then home to Scotland. Liam further asks the Queen if she has ever been to Scotland, but she says that she hasn’t because her duty doesn’t allow her to leave France; Liam says that she can’t leave the “Queen of France” as Catherine hints as to who she really is by replying that the Queen’s company is tedious and she will never really escape her; then she asks Liam to tell her about Scotland which he does until he gets in the Queen’s face and the two share a passionate kiss.

Later back in Bash and Kenna’s chambers, Bash questions his new wife about being in Henry’s chambers and Kenna insists that she didn’t sleep with him; however Bash doesn’t believe her. Kenna then admits that she went there to get something for Mary and that while Bash may think her shallow she actually does give a damn about her country and further says that when Henry caught her she couldn’t say why she was really there and his very touch makes her ill. Bash apologizes, but Kenna feels that while Bash may be her husband that he will never be the light to her that he was for Mary, and that their marriage is based on nothing. In Lola’s chambers, her new fiancé Lord Julian joins her and Lola admits that she is pregnant with another man’s child; Julian is shocked and figures out that the pregnancy is why Mary pushed them together so quickly, he then asks who the father is. However Lola will not say, because she doesn’t want him to know the couple then share a moment and Julian says that he won’t asks about her past if she doesn’t ask about his, and the couple happily agree to go ahead with their wedding plans.

In Queen Catherine’s chambers she and Liam have just finished having sex, but he is worried about being found in the Queen’s chambers and being executed. Catherine says that where ever the Queen is she is already quite satisfied; she then gets out of bed and goes to put on her robe, Liam is shocked that not only did she know exactly where the robe was, but it fits her perfectly, and she knew exactly where to find the hairbrush. Liam can’t believe it as he finally figures out that the beautiful woman he has just slept with is the real life Queen of France; Catherine points out that this is quite perceptive of him as Liam realizes that bowing would be pointless. Catherine is not mad as he has shown his willingness to serve her quite sufficiently during the past hour; however she advises for his own safety to keep this to himself, not that anyone would believe him. Liam inquires as to why she didn’t tell him before; Catherine asks if he knew she was a Queen would he have gone through with it, he replies that he would have indeed because she is the most intriguing woman he has met in France. Liam then tells her about the meeting between Mary and Lord Mackenzie; a short time later Catherine is dressed in her gown and frantically going through her private papers apparently searching for the marriage contract, but she cannot find it and deduces that Mary knows.

At a brothel the Scotsmen are enjoying the ladies of the night when a pack of French soldiers enters the room and kills everyone including Lord Mackenzie, then the entire place is set on fire destroying all the evidence; however back at the castle a guard enters Queen Catherine’s private study and tells her that the job is done, meaning that she was behind the massacre at the brothel. The Queen then says that she’s sure the whores were happy to service men like him, but when he asks her what she means she tells him to get out, she then sits at her desk and puts her head in her hands worried about what she has just done as well as her husband. The next morning a guard opens the door to Catherine’s room and lets in a very angry Mary who has heard about what happened; before Catherine can say a word Mary walks up to her and slaps her across her face. The Queen waves off her guard then offers her condolences for the loss of Mary’s countrymen, and explains that the massacre was not lightly done, was a matter of royal business, that France cannot risk war with Scotland over the contract and with Henry ill she doesn’t have time to calm down 2 countries. Mary is shocked and can’t believe that Catherine killed a dozen men because she couldn’t be bothered with the extra trouble, and says that she will never forgive her; however Catherine counters by asking if Mary will ever forgive herself, and welcomes Mary to being a ruling Queen as men will trust her and die. The Queen further says that these men may be the first but they won’t be the last because that’s that way being a Queen works, with Mary being a beautiful young Queen men are going to throw themselves into the fire for her, shoulder risks they should never take, that in time she will get used to it, and that the only other option is to pull the covers over her head and give up. Mary’s eyes are filling with tears as she turns and leaves; Francis comes across her and comforts her as she sobs in his arms.

In the throne room King Henry is with Penelope walking towards the thrones, when suddenly he sees the ghost of his dead brother. Henry is stunned as Kenna and Greer look on, and then Henry walks over to the ladies, sits down next to Kenna and puts his head in her lap as he says that her presence is soothing to him. Kenna is clearly uncomfortable, but then Bash comes to her rescue and mentions that Penelope will get jealous; Henry gets up and walks back to the thrones. Bash takes Kenna’s and the couple leave as they discuss that Bash didn’t come looking for Mary, but he was worried about Kenna because she is not safe in the castle, and he will always defend her because she is his wife.

In Catherine’s chambers, she is signing some kind of letter which she hands to Francis as he says that he’s surprised that she’s allowing the bodies of her victim to be returned to Scotland. Catherine says that since the men died in a fire their families deserve the chance to bury their loved ones; Mary bursts into the room before the guard can announce her, Catherine hopes that Mary will not make a habit out of barging into her room as one day she might be indecent. However Mary is in no mood for games and asks for the contract, but Catherine tells Mary that she has lost and to take it with grace, Mary insists that the Queen will give it to her when she hears what she has to say; Catherine says that there is nothing Mary can say considering she can stop her from getting word of the contract to Scotland.

Francis is shocked as Mary then threatens to spread the news of Henry’s illness, that the House of Valois is ripe to topple, and that every dissatisfied Noble will pounce on this chance; Catherine realizes that Mary is talking about civil war, that every Noble with a grudge against her husband will be outside their castle gates, that they will fight them and each other, and that Mary wouldn’t do it as it would destroy France. Mary says that while Catherine is Queen of France, she is Queen of Scotland; Catherine says that Mary wouldn’t harm Francis, but Mary replies that Francis is welcome to be her Consort just has she is his and this seems only fair; however Catherine says that if she thought for a second that Mary was serious she wouldn’t leave the room alive. Mary then says that she has sent 3 riders out, and unless they hear from her then they will deliver letters to 2 Dukes and the Vatican, leading to the knowledge that France is open for the taking. Catherine asks her son if Mary is bluffing, and Francis says that Mary is Queen of Scots and he wouldn’t like to guess what she would do; Mary says that Catherine killed 12 of her countrymen, and to look in her eyes and tell her that she is bluffing. Catherine looks into Mary’s eyes, goes and gets the original contract with Mary’s signature, Mary tells her to burn it, and Catherine burns the contract in the candle on her desk.

Later that night in their chambers Francis tells Mary that the bluff she pulled on his mother was amazing; however Mary reveals that she was not joking at all as she did indeed send out 3 riders, Francis thinks she did it just to deceive his mother and asks if she would ever send riders off with dangerous messages that could destroy France, and he is shocked when she admits that she did exactly this. Mary says that while she is going to be Queen of France one day, France has Francis and his mother to protect their country’s welfare; however Scotland only has Mary and if it every comes to choosing between their countries then she will choose hers in whatever way necessary. Francis is left is complete shock and disbelief as the couple settle into bed for the night.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]





  • The Party For Scots takes place.
  • Mary discovers the existence of a secret clause tied to her marriage, in which Scotland will belong to France if she dies childless.
  • As seen in the webclip, Catherine still hasn't got her crown back from Penelope.

See Also[]