The saga of the royal kingdoms of England, France and Scotland with queens Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary known as The CW’s Reign is coming to a close with its series finale airing Friday, June 16.
I have enjoyed watching Reign since it’s premiere on October 17, 2013. It is a brilliantly written historical drama based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots (played by Adelaide Kane). Throughout the series run, viewers have met characters both real and fictional that played a key part in the Scottish queen’s life. As with many movies and television series based on the life of a real person, changes in facts are expected for dramatic purposes. But when a series is entertaining while making viewers interested in learning more about the person in which it is based, that says a lot for the project. I’ve heard fans of Reign were curious to learn more about the Queen of Scotland since the show’s debut.
Reign’s fourth and final season focused on royal and political intrigue as Queen Mary and her cousin, Queen Elizabeth engaged in a fight for their kingdoms. The fourth season also introduced new characters that helped to push the narrative along. One of these new characters is Nicole (played by Ann Pirvu). Introduced in Episode 7 titled “Hanging Swords,” we see that Nicole comes from a family of humble means. King Charles’ (Spencer MacPherson) fragile mental state causes him to run away from the castle where he takes refuge with Nicole and her family. However, his mother Catherine and Lord Narcisse (Craig Parker) track him down. Realizing the influence the girl Nicole has on her son, Catherine asks her to convince Charles to return to the palace. The Queen Mother invites Nicole to come along and promises rewards for her and her family. Nicole accepts. She soon realizes that she fancies Narcisse instead of Charles. But he doesn’t return her feelings, Nicole is a means to an end to keep Charles in line.
When King Charles’ younger brother Henri (Nick Slater) returns to court after fighting the Turks, he pursues Nicole as well. Although it starts out as a scheme to “one-up” his older brother, Henri soon develops feelings for the beautiful Nicole and admits his love. But by now, Charles has asked Nicole to be his wife and future queen.
Actress Ann Pirvu has done an excellent job in making Nicole a young woman to admire. She wants a better life for herself but is not the standard “gold digger” that often graces the poor girl/rich guy stories. Nicole wants love and respect more than money. She doesn’t just want to be the king’s (or any other man’s) plaything. She values all she has to offer a man; not just her looks and body but also her intelligence. Pirvu has been very active on social media responding to questions on her character and the show during her live tweeting during the episodes. She finds Nicole a challenging character and appreciates the opportunity to play her. Ann Pirvu has mentioned in tweet responses how she’s had discussions with the Reign writers regarding Nicole’s motivations. I think these discussions have strengthen the character and Pirvu’s performances. The Reign writers have written a multi-layered character and the perfect actress was cast to play her.
So as Reign draws to a close, thank you Ann Pirvu for bringing Nicole to life and being a part of the series.
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