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This article is about the Reign character Henry II you may be looking for the Historical figure Henry II.
Henry II
Biographical Information
  • King of France
  • Catholicism
  • Deceased
Cause of Death
  • Infection from jousting accident
Killed By
Relationship Information
Portrayed By
First Appearance
Last Appearance

Don't you recognize your own father?
Henry's ghost to Francis in Drawn and Quartered

Henry II of France (French: Henri II) was the King of France. He was the husband of Catherine, and the father of Francis, Sebastian, Elisabeth, Claude, Charles, Henry III and twins: Emone and Henrietta. He was the father-in-law of Mary Stuart, Kenna, and Philip II.

Henry was determined to get his hands on England and have his son and daughter-in-law rule over the three nations. He eventually spiraled into madness and he was then willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve this goal, whether it be crossing lines or not. He got it in his head that he had to kill Francis and wed Mary so that he could have all three kingdoms to himself. His family quickly realized that it would not be safe for the nation to have a mad king and that they had to kill him. After a few failed plots against him that drove him even further into madness. During The Joust, Francis in disguise battled his father and gave him an injury that gave him an infection eventually killing him in Slaughter of Innocence.

Henry later returned as a ghost in Mercy.

He was portrayed by Canadian actor Alan van Sprang

Henry was a member of the House of Valois.

Early LifeEdit

Henry was born the second son of the previous king. His father was captured by the Spanish in his childhood and Henry and his older brother, the Dauphin Francis, went to meet him on a supposed brief visit. When Henry ran to greet his father, his father ran past Henry and Francis and jumped into another boat, leaving the boys behind with the Spanish as hostages in his place. Whilst captive of the Spanish, Henry and Francis were beaten and starved. When Francis was eighteen Henry poisoned his water during a tennis match, killing him, in order to gain the throne.

Throughout ReignEdit

Season OneEdit

Henry and Catherine 1

Henry with Catherine and Francis.

In the Pilot, King Henry prepares to join Catherine in celebrating the wedding of their daughter Elisabeth when Francis pops up and Henry tells him that his wedding won't happen until he says so. Henry is also seen making out with Kenna for the first time.

In Snakes in the Garden, Catherine and Henry are discussing Charles’, Francis’ younger brother, future wedding to Madeleine, who is French as well so they would not have to worry about her loyalties. Later, Henry questions Catherine on why she did not inform him when she found out Colin was still alive, and that he should be notified of these things immediately, regardless if he is with his mistress or not, day or night. Henry seems mistrustful of Catherine, and her interactions with Nostradamus.

Francis and Henry

Francis and Henry

Francis is showing something other than disdain for Mary in his father’s presence for the first time, brings his concerns about the English to Henry’s attention. Henry doesn’t care, is intent to keep Mary in France to use as a weapon when he sees fit. After Francis mentions ending the engagement and sending her back to Scotland, he learns that Mary’s mother does not want her back without a king as a husband and an army to potentially use. Henry calls Francis out on his intentions, questioning his worry about someone he doesn’t want to marry.

Henry visits Kenna’s rooms with the man she was with earlier. He asks if he would be willing to marry Kenna, no questions asked, if he had the blessing of his king. When he agrees, and is sent on his way, Henry informs Kenna that her prospects expands when she is in the King’s favor. He then pulls her into a kiss and tells her to think about his offer.

In Kissed, when hearing of England making its move on Scotland’s border, Mary demands that King Henry send companies to Scotland’s defense. The King however has no intention of actually helping out, since the potential loss of those companies could send a message to France’s enemies that they’re weak.

At the ball, Nostradamus warns Catherine that the vision means that the cost of war will soon find its way inside the castle walls, and this terrifies the Queen. However, Henry isn't nearly as convinced of the seer’s power, and so he forces him to tell the fortunes of Mary and her ladies-in-waiting.

Francis and henry

Francis blackmailing Henry.

King Henry continues to rebuff his sexual advances towards Kenna but she begs for more time to consider. Later, Henry and Francis have a sparring duel and wager toward the outcome: if Henry wins, Francis will stop bothering him about helping Mary; if Francis wins, Henry will provide military support to Scotland. Francis wins, yet Henry refuses to honor his word, saying that it’s the job of a king to make many promises. Francis learns that Henry has been messing around with Kenna and essentially blackmails him into helping Scotland by threatening to reveal the affair to both Catherine and Diane. Surprisingly, instead of being furious with his son, Henry overjoyed that Francis is showing the sort of cutthroat attitude he feels a King should have, and so he agrees to have Francis send the fastest ride in the realm to signal the ships to set sail for Scotland. The fastest rider is Bash and the decision to send him on the errand places him directly in harm’s way, since they’re all unaware that English forces are already present. The next day, Bash returns wounded, having been the person in Nostradamus’ vision. His life hanging in the balance, Bash reveals that by the time he got to the ships, the English were already on the attack, obliterating their forces. Francis begs his forgiveness for putting him in danger, an act that sends Henry into a furor, saying that a king never apologizes. He tells Francis that he can’t ever hope to rule with his emotions, and it’s a lesson Francis takes to heart.

69936 KennaHenry

Henry watching Kenna.

In Hearts and Minds, Henry re enters negotiations for the wedding of Mary and Francis after she, Francis and Bash save Simon the English Envoy from being executed.

In A Chill in the Air, Henry does not appear in this episode but has asked Kenna to become his official mistress. He is in Paris, going to see Diane.

In Chosen, Henry and Kenna get into a small spat over Diane coming back to court and why he won't change the tiles. Later, Henry still ends up in Diane's bed that night.

In Left Behind, he is dealing with a peasant uprising, thus leaving him absent.

In Fated, he announces his plan to have Mary and Francis married, so that Mary would also take her claim on the English throne, as the English Queen is on her deathbed.

In For King and Country, as the guards caught Mary and Sebastian, he threatens to kill Bash if Mary doesn't take her claim on the English throne. As Mary decides to take her claim only if she marries Bash, Henry is forced to legitimize him. He says he shall leave for Rome.

In Sacrifice, he is in Rome trying to negotiate Sebastian's legitimization.  The legitimization plan fails and Mary is tricked into rushing in marriage to Francis.

Queen Catherine and King Henry8

Henry and Catherine clean up the Duchess.

In Inquisition, Henry accuses Queen Catherine of adultery, and they get into a heated discussion about their marriage which reveals that Henry had a huge role in the breakdown of their marriage. The Royal couple eventually melt into each other's arms again, and make love which leaves Henry with doubts about killing his wife; however when he discovers that Catherine had an affair with his friend Richard and had a child. Catherine is convicted of adultery and sent to the tower to await her death.

Reign Episode 1 13-The Consummation Promotional Photos (5) 595 slogo

Henry attending Francis and Mary's wedding.

In The Consummation, Henry pardons Catherine for the wedding of their son, Francis, and Mary.

In Dirty Laundry, King Henry accidentally causes the death of Archduchess Cecelia sister of the visiting Archduke Ferdinand of Bohemia, and asks his Queen of all people to help him cover up her death as there is no one at court who is better at this than his wife. This seems to bring them closer together and he tries to kiss her but she backs away from him.

In The Darkness, King Henry is showing early signs of being ill, Kenna finds a woman dead in Henry's chambers and asks Catherine to help her as she is scared for her life. Catherine tries to help Henry as she is becoming worried about him, but he rejects her help telling her that this will remain a secret between them.

Reign - Episode 1.16 - Monsters - Promotional Photos (6) FULL

Henry forces Bash and Kenna to marry.

In Monsters, Henry's illness becomes more obvious after a servant named Penelope wins "Queen of the Bean" and Henry becomes obsessed with her. Henry and Penelope poison Catherine after she tells Henry that Catherine threatened to kill her if she didn't kill Henry first.

In Liege Lord, Henry is showing further signs of illness so much so that Catherine is having all important matters diverted to her so that she can look after France without alerting the country to her husband's illness.

In No Exit, Henry finally gets rid of Penelope after a visiting Bishop condemns his behavior, and Henry collapses in his Queen's arms and realizes that he is going to need her if he is going to survive.

In Toy Soldiers, Henry's illness is reaching an all time high, as he caters to his mistress, Penelope, who pretends to be pregnant with his child in order to attempt to get back in his good graces.


Henry's announcement of Mary Tudor is dead.

In Long Live The King, Henry is becoming increasingly irrational as he is inspired by Francis leading the successful taking of Calais to immediately seize the throne of England now that Mary Tudor is dead. Francis tries to delay his father leading to Henry's feeling that his son is unsuited for conquest so he must kill Francis, marry his daughter in law Mary, and take England with her by her side.

Henry's final moments.

In Slaughter of Innocence, Henry is becoming more mad by the minute leading to Queen Catherine, Francis, and Mary to plan a coup. At the Joust to celebrate the victory at Calais, Mary arrives wearing the English Seal. He is impressed by her decision and is inspired to take a turn at the celebratory joust himself, but Henry's opponent is Francis who changed places with the original jouster. Francis mortally wounds Henry by putting his lance through the face shield. On his deathbed, Henry makes his Queen promise to befriend Diane, and they confess their true love for each other as the loves of their lives. Then Henry confesses to Francis that he poisoned his younger brother, and warns him not to betray those he loves. Henry then dies leaving Francis as King and Catherine as the Dowager Queen Consort of France.

Season TwoEdit

In Drawn and Quartered, Henry possessed a wet nurse to talk with Francis, calling him a usurper.

In Coronation Henry again possesses Caroline when he is summoned by The Summoner to do so. He tells Francis that he should have known that it wasn't Lord Montgomery that killed him but Francis. Due to the different riding style and the fact that Francis had been plotting a lot before his death. He states that he doesn't know why he hasn't risen but is still stuck.

In Mercy Henry's ghost pays an erotic visit to his sleeping Queen in her chambers. Catherine is more than a little confused as to how her dead husband could be in her room; however Henry tells her that their twins found him, and that she shouldn't feel guilty about Claude. Catherine begins to protest only to be silenced by her husband's kiss, which is so passionate that she clearly can't resist him. Henry tells Catherine that he needs her to please say that she wants him back, to which Catherine replies that she does indeed want him back. The couple reignites their passion as they begin making love.

In Getaway Catherine and Henry are in her chambers; having a seemingly romantic moment while she mixes something on the table. Henry comments that he's missed the was she mixes garlic and arsenic, while Catherine laughs happily and informs her husband that he will exhaust himself if he keeps flattering her. Henry says that death has made him lovesick, and while it's cold in the dark his wife is down right toasty. In response to the protests about poisoning their daughter, Henry replies by saying that the twins were their children also, and since he'll be spending eternity with them he takes their wish for vengeance into consideration. Catherine goes on the defense for her daughter saying that Claude was only 5 when she killed the twins, that she didn't know right from wrong, and that God must take these things into consideration. Henry says that while he doesn't doubt that his daughter will go to heaven, she will get more mercy from God than the twins. Later Henry watches with the twins as Catherine has a tender moment with their daughter.

In Banished,


Henry is headstrong, stubborn, and does not appreciate people undermining his authority as royalty. He appears to be a bit of a hedonist, having 2 mistresses and a wife. Despite this, he seems to be really caring toward his children, even more toward his first-born and bastard son Sebastian. Henry is extremely greedy and power-hungry, his constant obsession with expanding the Kingdom of France is a major conflict between him and the other characters.  

Physical AppearanceEdit

Henry was tall and muscular built man in his early forties. He has a shaved head, however his hair would be dark brown if it wasn't shaved and brown stubble beard. He had brown eyes and pale skin. Being the king of France he always wore his crown and was rarely seen without it. He also wore the most lavish clothing, as king wanting to display his wealth and power.


Diane de PoitiersEdit

Henry and Diane

Diane was Henry's official mistress. They first met when they were teenagers and continued to have an affair regardless of the fact that he was married to Catherine. Years after Diane gave birth to Henry's first child, an illegitimate son named Sebastian. Not long after Mary's return to court Henry decided that he wanted to have an affair with one of her ladies Kenna. Diane actually helped him out not feeling threatened of her position with him as his official mistress. (See Henry and Diane)


Reign s1 e3

Kenna was Henry's mistress for a while in the series. They began having a physically drawn relationship. Little did Kenna know he never had the intention of only being with her he was still seeing Diane behind her back. Not long after Kenna noticed that Henry began acting diferently when he wanted to have a threesome and then strangled the other girl to death. She then started to become frightened around Henry and no longer wanted to be with him. Since he had promised to find her a suitor and didn't want Bash to go after Mary he forced the two of them to be married. Although after he had them married Henry continued to try and sleep with Kenna. (See Kenna and Henry)



Penelope was one of Henry's short term mistresses. They first met when Penelope won the Bean Queen contest and became Queen for a day. Henry thinking she was beautiful decided to hook up with her. Since he had already begun spiralling into madness he continued treat Penelope as his Queen long past the intended one day time period. He however eventually got bored of her and she was sent back to her regular life. No longer being his mistress Penelope lied to Henry telling him she was pregnant as a last shot to regain what she had a taste of.

Catherine de' MediciEdit

King and Country - 21 Catherine n Henry

Catherine was Henry's wife before he passed away. They first met when they were teenagers, eventually getting married at 14 in an arranged marriage. They have multiple children together including Francis, Elisabeth, Claude, Charles and Henry III. They had a loving relationship at the beginning of their marriage but that quickly changed as Henry began having an affair with Diane and Catherine with Richard. They rekindled their romances for a while in Inquisition when they both admitted to each other that they still felt love for each other. That was short lived however. (See Henry and Catherine)


Consummation 46 Sebastian n King Henry

Although Sebastian is a bastard, he was always Henry's preferred son. until midway trough season one both of them always got along well since their was no competition between them because Bash isn't his heir. However when Bash tried to be legitimized and wed Mary to protect his brother but failed. Thus almost risking Henry England he exiled Bash. When Bash returned from exile his father didn't give him a warm welcome. Instead forced him to wed Kenna to solve two problems. Although he let Bash return to court his father was already spiralling into madness and they never really reconciled their relationship. (See Henry and Sebastian)



Francis is Henry's eldest legitimate child and son. They had a strained relationship mostly because of the fact that Francis was Henry's heir and because he is closer to his mother. Henry always saw him as his usurper instead of his heir causing Henry to be weary around him. When Henry spiralled into madness he hatched the idea to kill Francis and wed Mary. Although at first Francis was reluctant to kill his father he eventually realised that it wasn't safe for France to have a mad king any longer. So he not only jumped on board with the idea but he executed his father himself during The Joust. He later visited his Henry when he was on his death bed and felt alot of grief and guilt over what he had done. (See Francis and Henry)



  • Henry is a masculine given name from the Germanic name Heimirich which meant "home ruler", composed of the elements heim "home" and ric "power, ruler". It was later commonly spelled Heinrich, with the spelling altered due to the influence of other Germanic names like Haganrich, in which the first element is hagan "enclosure".


  • The name "Henry" is of Germanic origin derived from "Heimirich" that means "home ruler".
  • King Henry II became very close to Diane de Poitiers before his wedding to Queen Catherine, and their affair officially began the very next year; and they stayed that way for 25 years until his death.
  • The plot Henry had in the show to take England and put his daughter in law Mary on the throne is historically true: When Francis and Mary wed, Henry intended that the couple would rule France, Scotland, and England. This became more of an issue after Queen Mary I died, because Henry and his Catholic advisors saw Elizabeth I unfit to rule because of her supposed illegitimacy.
  • It was believed that Sebastian was his favorite child, however he threatened to kill him multiple times, in For King and CountryThe Consummation, and Monsters.
  • In Inquisition, he admitted he was once in love with Catherine.
  • Historically Henry had 3 other mistresses by whom he had children: Philippa Duci had a daughter: Diane, Duchess d'Angoulême, Lady Janet Stewart had son: Henri d'Angoulême, and Nicole de Savigny who also had a son: Henri de Saint-Rémy.
  • Historically Henry ruled France for 12 years.
  • He died at the age of 40.
    • When Henry took part in the joust, the Royal court was celebrating the proxy marriage of his daughter Elisabeth to Phillip II.
    • The sport of jousting fell into decline due to his tragic death (Historically).
  • In reality, Henry was not a tyrant, or cold or cruel, and he was much more affectionate with his legitimate children than Catherine was. *Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor once complained that Henry was not as warlike as his father, Francois I.
    • Henry hated the House of Habsburg, particularly Spain, much more than he ever hated England since he was a child hostage for nearly four years of Charles V.
  • King Henry's madness is revealed in Monsters.
  • He has a sexual appetite and has sexual relationships with Kenna, Penelope, and some other woman.
  • His death on the show is historically accurate as Henry died from wounds suffered by a jouster named Lord Montgomery.
  • Henry was the second main character to die,the first beimg Aylee.
  • It was revealed in Banished that Henry was involved in the deaths of his twins with Catherine, by luring the nanny away from her post so he could sleep with her.


Henry II has a photo gallery.

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