Season 2 of REIGN introduced the star-crossed romance of Mary, Queen of Scots () and Louis Conde ( ), Prince of the Bourbans in France. Their romance blossomed out of the most terrifying circumstances, after Louis helped Mary track down and killed her attackers. But once Francis (Toby Regbo) extended his blessing to Mary’s desire to look for love and companionship outside of their political union, Mary and Conde’s passion was hot and furious, if not as discreet as hoped. But like all passions that erupt from a burning fire, it burnt a bit too bright and it died down all too soon once the harsh realities of their precarious political positions intervened. Fate demanded that either Louis’ die for his betrayal of his king or that he flee and seek the protection of another kingdom, which Louis did and married Queen Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten). Marrying France’s greatest enemy may have save Louis’ life for a time, but it ultimately made him a man marked for death and it crushed any remaining hopes of the love between Louis and Mary.
At the recent CBS Summer Soiree event, starsand talked about what Season 3 holds in store for their characters Queen Mary and Prince Louis and the ramifications of their tortured romance.
Mary had a tumultuous year and yet, in the end, she end up on top in many ways and with Francis by her side, which had fans cheering. So what can we look forward to in Season 3 for Mary, especially now that there are three queens on the board with Queen Elizabeth having made her appearance?
ADELAIDE: I am very excited. I am excited to have another lady on board. Somebody new to ask to come out to dinner with me. It’s going to be good, and with any luck I’ll have a little bit more time off and I’ll actually be able to make my yoga classes. It will be nice to play with my cat instead of just dragging him to work. So I’m excited to see what they do with Elizabeth.
One of the exciting things is when we get to see Mary and Catherine (Megan Follows) at odds. We’d love to see more of that.
ADELAIDE: I’m going to miss out face-to-face sass contests. There’s no one left for me to sass, except for maybe Francis. Hopefully, Toby and I have some more bickering scenes.
Greer (Celina Sinden) is going to be back at French Court. That may not be quite sass scenes, but hopefully that will be fun for Mary too.
ADELAIDE: Maybe she’ll get sassy with Princess Claude (Rose Williams). That would be some good sass.
And Mary will be navigating the cat fights.
ADELAIDE: Exactly! That’s always good fun.
Your co-star Torrance always likes to stir things up and he teased that there still could be something between Bash and Mary.
ADELAIDE: (Laughs) Oh, my lord — Mash is forever alive. He is a bit of a sh*t-stirring, that one. He is a demon. You can’t believe a word he says.
Torrance’s thinking is that Bash is biding his time ’cause Francis’ days are numbered and maybe Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland) let him in on something about that vision of Francis dying.
ADELAIDE: Very true. Who knows?
So it could be in the realm of possibility now with Kenna (Caitlin Stasey) now off who knows where.
ADELAIDE: Kenna is not in the castle at present and has gone off to give birth to an illegitimate love child.
At this point, would Mary want to welcome Kenna back or is she thinking that Kenna may have gone to far having slept with a man hanged for treason?
ADELAIDE: I don’t think so. Mary is a very loyal friend. Let’s be real: if she can tolerate Lola (Anna Popplewell) in the house with her husband’s child, I think she’s going to be cool with Kenna coming back to the castle once she’s popped out that baby.
I’m really surprised that Mary has forced Lola to marry and move out sooner.
ADELAIDE: You know what? Mary’s not worried about it. She’s just not worried. She’s not stressing about Lola. She’s got Lola in her sights and if she steps wrong, I think she’ll be quick to put that royal foot down. But I think she is quite happy to let Lola find her own way.
Has Mary slammed the door on the romance with Conde?
ADELAIDE: (Laughs) I can’t tell you that!
It kind of seemed like her actions in the finale that she kind of did.
ADELAIDE: She did stab him. So I think she might be done with that. But she did let him live, which is an ambiguous choice to make. I think Catherine would have watched him bleed and probably would have stuck the knife in a couple more times to be sure the job was done. But Mary is not Catherine, so we’ll see.
Another person we are surprised to see still alive is, of course, Narcisse (Craig Parker). I thought for sure Mary would have put him expeditiously to rest at some point last season.
ADELAIDE: I know. I don’t know why she hasn’t killed him either. I guess I just love having Craig around. We’ve got such a good group. The thought of anybody leaving makes my heart pound. I don’t want anyone to go. Mostly because I’m the only who can’t and if they all abandon me, I’ll be all alone and by myself! (Laughs) So none of them are allowed to leave. They have to stay with me to the bitter end.
You’ve had this conversation with Toby, of course.
ADELAIDE: Well . . . I mean, Francis has to die, unfortunately. It’s coming. Otherwise, the story can’t progress. But, hopefully, not for a while.
Mary and Francis are getting their moment to kind of bask in their marriage again. That has to feel pretty good.
ADELAIDE: Yeah, but I feel like they are going to be really sadistic about it and just as Francis and Mary are at their happiest, they are going to kill him. It will be just devastating. It will be happy, happy, joy, joy, Mary’s pregnant again, then he dies and she miscarries. That’s my prediction.
That would be awful!
ADELAIDE: (Laughs) But they do that though. They love building your hopes up and then just devastating you. It’s like the M.O. for our show: everything is happy and wonderful, then everything sucks. Destroying everything you love.
The other thing that has been brewing under Mary’s nose is all the pagan stuff, like Bash brought Delphine into the court who is some kind of pagan ritualist or witch.
ADELAIDE: What is it with Bash and crazy witches?! I mean, he definitely has a type. Keep in mind, he’s totally not phased by any of this. He’s like, “Blood magic — oh god, another one.”
But you’d think Mary would suddenly take an interest in these things as they have an affect on her kingdom and possibly her life.
ADELAIDE: I don’t think she buys into it. She doesn’t believe in it. So she’s like, “Stop killing chickens. I’ll see you in church on Sunday.” I don’t think she’s worried. She’s like, “Whatever. You’ll burn in Hell, but that’s cool.”
Also in her realm of possibilities is Claude. Claude is a little wild child out there. Would Mary want to have Claude and Leith (Jonathan Keltz) hook-up or would Mary be like, “Hell no, that’s not happening — over my dead body”?
ADELAIDE: You know, I think she would like to see Claude settled down and little bit less of a problem; and if anyone can handle her, like Leith has certainly dealt with strong women before and he’s a soldier, so she might like, “Good, get her squared away. Greer tossed you aside and wants to be an independent business woman.” Plus, Mary wants to keep Greer and her gaggle of spies of her own ends. Mary just wants the people in her life to be happy — however they need to be happy. And having Claude settled, would be great. Mary not having to worry about Claude being kidnapped on a jaunt to Paris, would be super.
Louis, as we last saw, was riding far, far away from that castle.
SEAN: As quickly as he can! He’s getting out by the skin of his teeth there. I don’t think he should linger around for love anymore. That was a warning sign and he went, “Maybe I’ve got to kind of bail here.”
Is there hope that we will see Louis in Season 3, or is your contract done and you’re moving on?
SEAN: There’s a mixture of things. I have had so much fun on the show. Contracts are contracts and both sides fight for whatever they entail. But as I’ve told everyone, I’ve had so much fun on this. The people are so wonderful. Why wouldn’t I want to work on it? I’m going to leave it up to the imagination [of the writers] whether and where Conde appears. Seemingly he would appear with Elizabeth (Rachel Skarsten) and Catherine (Megan Follows) in England.
He could join his wife Elizabeth finally.
SEAN: (Laughs) I don’t think she’s entirely interested in marrying. But I think they all now might share a mutual hatred for Mary, Queen of Scots. So Louis might jump on their bandwagon, thinking, “Actually, that kind of sucked. That hurt.”
Conde could actually work with Catherine this next season?
SEAN: Me and Megan were talking about how wonderful it would be because we never got to play together. Megan is directing a bit next season, and the few scenes that we had last season were quite big family scenes and so emotional and so much fun. So we just kind of want to work together more — like one line that just sling at each other and just be as bitchy at each other as we possibly can. Megan is so glorious when you watch her work. She’s so incredibly brilliant and totally spontaneous. All I want to do, going forward, is if I get to work with her more, it would be great.
Do you think the romance between Conde and Mary is completely over?
SEAN: True love never fades. I think. (Laughs) I think it might be more one-sided than the other.
But Mary tried to kill him.
SEAN: I know, but there’s thinks that aren’t in the show that were originally that gives a bigger picture than what the audience gets because we have to trim it down and fit it into this slot. But Mary opened up to him in a very different way. I think there was a massive misconstruing or miscommunication about the whole Conde-Mary relationship after the rape that occurred. Conde wasn’t in any way at fault for it, and he went out of his way to kill the men that did it. But people picked up on it as someone taking advantage of a woman at her lowliest point — and we were all incredibly adamant that was not the case. It never gets computed. But it wasn’t a soft topic, that issue. It was a candid conversation between both sides. We needed to understand what the reasoning for it was to play it. It was certainly not the case that Conde was opportunistic. He loved her for 6-7 episodes before that happened, and not only that, but he had done everything for Francis and Mary. So it was a weird miscommunication that irked me slightly because Conde was not taking advantage of a rape victim. That is not what the show is about. Mary became an empowered woman from that. In fact, something a man should do for a woman who has been hurt like that is show how loved she is, regardless. She was totally loved by Francis, but the relationship was so fractured, she couldn’t see that, and he loved her dearly. So he was patient, he was totally understanding about how it was not the right time for them. But for Conde and Mary, it was.
It’s tricky to portray that kind of story.
SEAN: Obviously, I didn’t do a good enough job at what I was trying to portray. People were adamant that Conde had taken advantage of her and I think that that was unfair. Though he went crazy in the end and seemed kind of mental — which was a lot fun, crazy and loud, right?
I always had a sense that after Conde met Mary and fell in love that everything he did was out of love. It became a matter of survival towards the end of the season, but even then he was willing to put aside his own survival to protect Mary.
SEAN: What was interesting for him, that I didn’t entirely know from the beginning, was he went from being that candid, open, caring person that was actually telling his brother and his rival family to go away. He should be a Bourbon and he’s going, “These people are good people,” which is treason to them, what a terrible thing to say to the Bourbons. Like he’s siding with the people who are ruling the country that they should be ruling. And he’s like, “Don’t worry, guys.” And they’re like, “No, don’t change sides.” But he did do that and he pretended he was Protestant. He stood up as a Protestant, just for them — just so Mary would see the bigger person in him and because he cared about the people not being persecuted for the wrong reason. So he was an honorable man. But towards the end, it was like being a caged animal. The way I always described it: Conde had a choice — to lose his head or put a crown on it. And that was it, ultimately. That was succinct enough to understand his position. So any time it felt like this was far out for Conde, and Megan had to understand this as well, this is a world of realms: if you kill another man, it’s yours. Millions of people under you tutelage, under your regime. It’s a crazy, powerful world. Why wouldn’t you go, “Oh, instead of losing my head, I might as well take what I feel is rightfully mine anyways?” So that was a lot of fun to play. It was pretty far out.
Do you think he now sees himself as the King of England, or is he just a man on the run?
SEAN: As it turns out, it wasn’t written, but we talked about it. Conde is very aware of Elizabeth and her hold on him wouldn’t have been so bad if Francis hadn’t issued a warrant for him. Like if Francis wasn’t going to cut his head off, then Elizabeth wouldn’t have gained the cards in her hand. But it was the only choice for him at that point. Conde is aware that marriages are alliances and there is a scene with Francis, where he said, “Elizabeth has no interest in me. She seeks me for my realm. I’ve never even met her.” So he wasn’t particularly interested and I think if you see them next season together, you’ll very much see it because it’s not the safest of marriages.
I’d like to see those scenes of them together. Sounds enticing!
SEAN: Me and Rachel have talked about it. We think it would be a lot of fun. So I hope so too.
To see if both Mary and Conde can move past their ill-fated romance and their now opposing political thrones, and if we get a glimpse of Conde and his marriage with Elizabeth, be on look for all new episodes of REIGN when it returns its third season coming Fall 2015 on Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. on the CW.