"I've tried to run from the fire that burns me... but wherever I turn, there the fire still is" -Sir Thomas Wyatt on his love for Anne Boleyn
Sir Thomas Wyatt was a poet and satirist who served on Henry's Privy Council in Season Two thanks to his patronage by the Boleyn family and Thomas Cromwell. Wyatt was apparently a former fiance and lover of Anne Boleyn, though the actual depth of their relationship remains very unclear; Anne has clearly moved on by the time of her relationship with King Henry, whereas Wyatt (much as he denies it) is still in love with her throughout the series. He is, ironically, the only scapegoat in the accusations of adultery against Queen Anne to be released, and watches Anne's beheading from the back of the crowd, sobbing in grief. He is played by actor Jaime Thomas King.
Season OneEditWyatt is first shown in episode 1.03 at Hever Castle, the Boleyn family home, reading some of his latest poems to Anne. Anne likes his work, but rebuffs his affections, since he is now married (though he wants to get the marriage annulled so that he can be with Anne). She says that, as a poet, he is always free with his affections, and that she is unwilling to engage in such an open relationship. Wyatt accuses her of being cruel and asks if she loves someone else, but Anne sharply warns him he is not to speak of her or ask after her again. Anne's motivations for this are unclear; she is being used as a pawn by her father and uncle to gain the King's favor, while she herself is uncertain of her own feelings for the King, but she may have been warning Wyatt off for his own sake, as Henry is an extremely jealous man. In future episodes, she is polite when encountering Wyatt (who shows her necessary deference, since she is now Henry's mistress and later Queen) but never shows him any indication of affection, as she has since fallen in love with Henry.
King Henry meets with Wyatt in episode 1.04, complimenting him on his literary work, and asks after his supposed love- and former engagement- with Anne. Wyatt is careful to say he loved Anne from a distance, but Henry is still suspicious and jealous, and has Wyatt sent on a diplomatic mission to France to keep him out of the way.
While he is in France, Wyatt begins working with bisexual master composer Thomas Tallis, attempting to combine their words in the perfect song/poem. Tallis enjoys Wyatt's company, but seems amused and slightly exasperated with his continued pining for Anne, who is clearly the subject of much of Wyatt's work. Wyatt later remarks to Tallis on Anne, "For what it's worth, I did fuck her" but Tallis smiles and shakes his head, clearly not believing him; they also disagree on matters of patronage, with Tallis telling Wyatt he should 'be his own man'. At the end of the season, Wyatt finds unexpected patronage from Anne's brother and father, Thomas and George Boleyn, as well as Thomas Cromwell; however, this is likely for the purpose of keeping him under control, so that he does not say something dangerous about Anne or her family. He also plays an unexpected role in bringing about the doom of Cardinal Wolsey, as he hires an informant who learns that Wolsey is conspiring with Catherine of Aragon to return to power; Wyatt relays this knowledge to Cromwell and Henry, who have Wolsey arrested for treason.
Season TwoEditBy the start of Season two, Thomas Wyatt is now a minor diplomat (for unexplained reasons), and has started patronizing musicians and artists in his own right. One of these is his friend, violinist and dancing master Mark Smeaton, who is secretly homosexual; Wyatt soon shows jealousy when Anne Boleyn strikes up an immediate friendship with Smeaton, but the two men remain friends and confidants. Despite his continued, unrequited love for Anne, Wyatt understands- and shares- the downcast air of much of the court now that the beloved Queen Catherine of Aragon is in exile. He visits her household several times to deliver messages from the King, and forms an attraction with one of Catherine's handmaidens, Elizabeth, eventually sleeping with her. However, it is still Anne he dreams of.
In episode 2.03, Thomas Wyatt is made a member of the Privy Council, much to his own surprise; he writes a satire on the subject. George Boleyn soon grows annoyed with Wyatt's bold literary humor- sometimes directed at him- and warns him "If I were you, I'd be more careful about poking fun at people who have the power to hurt you." In early parts of Season Two, he is shown working to strengthen the Reformation alongside other council members such as Cromwell, George Boleyn and Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer. Wyatt wonders aloud, however, if it is a concern that Henry is amassing such absolute and unchecked power through the dissolution of the monasteries; Cromwell warns him that he should be careful of what he says.
In episode 2.05, Elizabeth tries to plead with Wyatt to intervene to King Henry or Thomas Cromwell on Catherine's behalf. However, Thomas reluctantly refuses, as he still truly loves Anne- despite the fact that she is now married to Henry and has a child with him. Anne, for her part, seems perturbed by Wyatt's continued presence in her court, and in 2.04 she rebukes her ladies-in-waiting when she finds them giggling over some of his poetry (which, unknown to them but known to Anne, refers to her). She tells them they ought to read the Protestant bible instead, but later sets the poetry book on a shelf instead of throwing it out. When Catherine dies in episode 2.07, Elizabeth is so consumed with grief that she hangs herself; Wyatt is visibly shaken and remorseful when he finds her body, and her death becomes the subject of his next poetic work.
Thomas Wyatt is arrested in episode 2.09 along with various scapegoats, including Mark Smeaton and George Boleyn, when Cromwell brings an accusation of adultery and incest against Queen Anne. Although Anne has not shown any affection towards him at court- and indeed, sublty humiliated him on several occasions- her past connection with Wyatt has been brought up to the King more than once. Henry's best friend, Charles Brandon, had accused Anne of having had sex with Wyatt many times out of wedlock in episode 2.02. The two of them clearly had a deep relationship at one point, but it is never truly confirmed to the audience as having been sexual, although it is certainly implied. Wyatt, who suspected that Anne's downfall was coming (having seen her lose all the King's favor) does not resist arrest, and simply continues writing his poetry while imprisoned in the Tower.Unlike the other accused men, however, Cromwell does not see a convincing case behind Wyatt's 'involvement', since Wyatt has never been seen near her chambers and seldom spoke to her at court. Also, Cromwell has no wish to see Wyatt killed, as Wyatt is no threat to him and, in fact, was previously his friend. He visits Wyatt in 2.10 and tells him that, although Anne and the others are sentenced to death, Wyatt is to be released. Distraught, Wyatt cries out as Cromwell leaves, "But I'm the only one who's guilty!" Anne glimpses Wyatt at the back of the crowd before her execution; he is slumped against the wall, sobbing in despair at her demise. He mouths "Bless you" and she nods to him briefly.
Wyatt was released (most likely due to his friendship with Cromwell) and resumed his poetic career after Anne was executed; he is often credited for bringing the sonnet to prominence in English literature. However, none of his work was actually published during his lifetime; the first book featuring any of his poetry was published 15 years after his death. Wyatt remained a minor ambassador at Henry's court until his death in 1542.
Although Cromwell had arrested him during the investigation against Anne Boleyn, Wyatt did not hold a grudge against him, and was actually one of the few who mourned when Cromwell met his own downfall several years later. Oddly enough, Wyatt's son, Thomas Wyatt the Younger, is best known for his leadership in a failed Protestant rebellion against the pro-Catholic Mary I, in support of Anne's daughter Elizabeth.
Historically, Wyatt's relationship with Elizabeth Darrell was much longer than depicted in The Tudors; he actually sired three children with her and left her property in his will (in the series she commits suicide after the death of Catherine of Aragon, an act which greatly affects Wyatt). However, Wyatt's relationship with Elizabeth did not begin until 1537, the year after Anne's death.
- Thomas Wyatt: " 'And, will you leave me, thus... say no... say no'... do you like it?"
- Anne Boleyn: (laughs) "Should I like something that accuses me of being cruel?"
- Thomas Wyatt: "Do you love another, is that it?"
- Anne Boleyn: "Never ask after me- and never, if you value your life, speak of me to others. Do you understand?" (walks away)
- Thomas Wyatt: "Have you no pity?!"
- Thomas Wyatt: "But, tell me, Tallis- was I wrong to accept Mr. Cromwell's patronage?"
- Thomas Tallis: (pause) "Yes, I think so. You should be your own man."
- Thomas Wyatt: "Don't be a fool, Tallis- none of us little people will get anywhere without the support of a great man."
- Thomas Tallis: (skeptically) "You think Mr. Cromwell is a great man?"
- Thomas Wyatt: "No, I think he's a coming man. You'll see, in a year or two, mark my words..." (they glance at the royal table as they hear Anne Boleyn laughing with Henry) "For what it's worth, I did fuck her." (Wyatt leaves, Tallis smiles and shakes his head)
- "Mark, there's an old French saying: a court without ladies is like a garden without flowers."
- Thomas Wyatt: (observing Cromwell' printed pamphlets in support of Henry's Royal Supremacy) "You are to be congratulated on your new... enterprise, Mr. Secretary."
- Thomas Cromwell: "Thank you, Mr. Wyatt." (smiles)
- Thomas Wyatt: "But... Does it not concern you... that the King has taken unto himself... an absolute power, which no law can check or counter?"
- Thomas Cromwell: (warningly)"...Is not that which pleases the King... the law?"
- Thomas Wyatt: (pause) Mr. Secretary, I meant no-"
- Thomas Cromwell: "I like you, Mr. Wyatt- I enjoy your company. But... you have a reputation. You gamble, and you whore, and you sail close to the wind. (pause) God forbid you should be blown against the rocks."
- Thomas Wyatt: (desparingly, learning Anne Boleyn is to die) "Thomas, what about me?...Am I to be tried?"
- Thomas Cromwell: "...No. We found no evidence against you. You'll be released... eventually." (leaves)
- Thomas Wyatt: (in tears) "But I'm the only one who's guilty!"
- "'Bless You." (whispered to Anne Boleyn at her execution)
- These Bloody Days: (written in honor of Anne Boleyn, during her trial and fall from power)
"These Bloody Days have broken my heart,
My lust, my youth, did then depart
For your wit alone, many men would bemoan
And since it is so, many still cry aloud:
'It is a great loss, that you are dead and cold.'
The time you had above your poor degree
The fall, whereof your friends may well bemoan
A rotten twig, upon so high a tree
Has slipped your hold, and you are dead and gone.
These Bloody Days have broken my heart,
My lust, my youth, did then depart
And blind desire of ambitious souls
Who haste to climb, seeks to revert
And about the throne, the thunder rolls."