“The War of the Thrones”, power struggles at the French court

“At the court of France, the Sun King has just slipped away after seventy-two years of reign”, launches comedian Bruno Solo at the start of the third of six episodes of War of thrones, broadcast Thursday, December 23 on France 5. In Versailles we shout “Long live King Louis XV! “. Problem: the new sovereign is still only a child.

→ READ. Louis XIV gives birth to France

A regency is thus announced, creating tensions within the royal family. Rivalry grew between the potential regents: the bastard son of Louis XIV, his grandson the King of Spain and his nephew Philippe d’Orléans. The latter was victorious and had to manage a France ruined by the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714).

If the first two episodes (available in replay on France.tv) of this fifth season of War of thrones focused on the last years of the reign of Louis XIV, the next four address his complex legacy after his death in 1715. A French history that allows us to analyze the power games between the great families reigning in Europe in the 18th century. Before marrying Marie Leszczynska of Poland, the young Louis XV had been engaged to Marie-Anne-Victoire of Spain, only four years old, to seal the recent peace between these two nations.

Bruno Solo, funny and passionate

The intrigues and twists detailed here are dense, especially with regard to military and diplomatic issues. But documentary fiction works in large part thanks to Bruno Solo, at the same time pedagogue, funny and passionate. As for the very many scenes played by actors, they allow the spectators to become attached to the characters. Legends are examined with a magnifying glass (such as the incestuous relations of Philippe d’Orléans with his daughter), in particular with the writings of historians summoned by the presenter. These episodes mirror the entire documentary series: entertaining, precise and informative.

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