'Mary & George' creator says finale is 'true to the spirit' of the story despite diverging from history

Nicholas Galitzine, Tony Curran, and Julianne Moore in the finale of "Mary & George."
Tony Curran in "Mary & George."Rory Mulvey/Starz
  • Warning: This article contains spoilers for the finale of "Mary & George," which aired on May 17.

  • Creator D.C. Moore told BI there were "different ideas" for how to end the series.

  • He said that the ending is "true to the spirit" of the story despite diverging from history.

"Mary & George" ends the way it feels it was always destined to, with the relationship between King James I (Tony Curran) and George Villiers (Nicholas Galitzine) souring and the two turning on each other.

Across seven episodes, the Starz series has told the fascinating true story of how a mother and son schemed and seduced their way to the very top of society in 17th-century Britain.

As audiences see in the finale, Mary Villiers (Julianne Moore) has transformed into the Countess of Buckingham, and her son, George, the 1st Duke of Buckingham, has reaped the benefits of being King James I's constant companion.

But towards the end of the series, George's life and legacy lay in the balance after he betrays the monarch by using his position to encourage a full-blown war with Spain.

George will, as the aging, ailing King orders, be stripped of his titles and hanged for treason.

Fortunately for George, the only people who witness this are himself and his mother.

After James collapses and is hurried back to his countryside estate, they concoct a plan to make sure these orders aren't acted out.

The ending used is 'true to the spirit of how Mary and George lived their lives'

Moore, who co-wrote the finale with Laura Grace, told Business Insider that for him, the ending was "true to the spirit" of Mary and George's lives — despite the fact that it diverges from history.

The royal's official cause of death at age 58 in 1625 was listed as a stroke and an attack of dysentery, complicated by a disease such as malaria or typhus, per BBC History Magazine.

According to Moore, different endings were floated but ultimately scrapped in favor of an ending that embodied the push-and-pull relationships of the figures.

Nicholas Galitzine as George Villiers in the finale of "Mary & George."
Nicholas Galitzine as George Villiers in "Mary & George."Rory Mulvey/Starz

"We did experiment with different ideas, but it felt more and more inevitable to end it this way. Because I think if you look at the real history, what is true then you see that James was a king of peace, and George bought war," he said.

"In the killing of James, I feel like he's killing peace," he added.

Moore and his cowriter didn't come up with the idea entirely themselves, though.

They took some inspiration from Benjamin Woolley's historical biography, "The King's Assassin: The Secret Plot to Murder James I," on which the series is based.

Woolley posited in the book that Mary and George were by the king's bedside as he recovered from a bout of malaria-like fever.

Also in the room was James's son and heir, Charles, whom Woolley theorized had colluded with George to kill his father to ensure his ascendancy to the throne.

"No one was in that room other than those three people," Moore said. "There is some level of dramatic license that we've taken, but for me, it feels very true to the spirit of how Mary and George lived their lives."

As the series depicts, once Charles became king, George retained his powerful position in court until he himself was assassinated in 1628, at age 35.

"We're dancing around the history. There is some creation on our side but I think also we're not that far from the truth," Moore added.

The finale of "Mary & George" is now streaming on Starz.

Read the original article on Business Insider