The BBC One/Starz period drama has already made its debut in the U.K., but those of us on this side of the pond won't see The White Queen until it debuts on Starz in August. We're still in the promotional stage of the series' existence, which is why we're looking at the new official key art for the drama, which is adapted from Philippa Gregory's best-selling novels, based on England's War of the Roses. The story focuses on the three women who laid claim to the throne. Among them, Elizabeth Woodville (The White Queen), Margaret Beaufort (The Red Queen) and Anne Neville (The Kingmaker's Daughter.)
The new poster shows us Rebecca Ferguson as the White Queen, clutching a sword so tightly that her hand is bleeding. Her face is set with determination, next to the words "Men go to battle. Women wage war."
The new poster follows the release of the intense trailer for the series, which focuses on the rivaling females in the story. In addition to Ferguson, the series stars Max Irons, Janet McTeer, James Frain and Amanda Hale. The novels on which the series is based are told from the perspectives of the three different women involved in this rivalry for the throne, but the title and the poster indicate that Elizabeth Woodville will be at the center of this story.
While the men fought and killed on the battlefield in their quest for power, these three women used whatever means possible to wage war on their enemies who stood in their way and threatened their claim.
The story is set before the Tudor dynasty ruled England, when a war was ravaging the country over who was the rightful king (Westeros can relate). There are two sides of the same family feuding, the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Master manipulator Lord Warwick has managed to secure the throne for House of York's young heir Edward IV, which may be how he earned - or at the very least, maintained - his reputation as "The Kingmaker." Elizabeth Woodville is the beautiful commoner for whom Edward falls, which results in Warwick's plan to control the throne crumbling. And that leads to a violent, high-stakes struggle for the crown between Elizabeth, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville. Beaufort is a Lancastrian, while Anne is Warwick's daughter.
The Guardian describes the series as "a strange take on the War of the Roses," while The Independent complains about the lack of dragons and says the series is "considerably less historically plausible than Game of Thrones, despite being based on real events". Perhaps the drama's connection to actual events is hurting it, as Game of Thrones fans don't seem to be complaining about the historical implausibility of that adaptation. Then again, Game of Thrones is a work of fiction. And it has dragons.
Check out the trailer for The White Queen below, and catch the premiere of the series when it debuts on August 10 on Starz.