The Hollow Crown (2012– )
7 user 2 critic

Henry IV, Part 2 

Not Rated | | Drama, History | Episode aired 4 October 2013
Northumberland swears revenge for his son's death and gathers his allies to fight the ailing king. Meanwhile, the Lord Chief Justice having rebuked Falstaff for being a bad influence on Hal... See full summary »


Richard Eyre


Richard Eyre (screenplay), William Shakespeare (play)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alun Armstrong ... Northumberland
Will Attenborough ... Gloucester
Conrad Asquith Conrad Asquith ... Bracy
David Bamber ... Shallow
Simon Russell Beale ... Falstaff
Pip Carter Pip Carter ... Gower
Ian Conningham ... Peto
Tom Cornish Tom Cornish ... Feeble
Niamh Cusack ... Lady Northumberland
David Dawson ... Poins
Drew Dillon Drew Dillon ... Drawer
Michelle Dockery ... Kate Percy
Justin Edwards ... Fang
Henry Faber Henry Faber ... Lancaster
Richard Frame Richard Frame ... Snare


Northumberland swears revenge for his son's death and gathers his allies to fight the ailing king. Meanwhile, the Lord Chief Justice having rebuked Falstaff for being a bad influence on Hal, charges him to recruit an army on Henry's behalf. After brawling with the truculent Pistol, Falstaff prepares to leave his lover, Doll Tearsheet, criticizing Hal to her, unaware that the prince is eaves-dropping. Falstaff assembles a motley crew from Justice Shallow but Henry's cousin Westmoreland arrests the rebel leaders after duping them into a truce. Hal, assuming his father is dead, dons the crown and is berated by the dying king but they reconcile as Henry's last gesture is to crown his son. Hal accedes to the throne as Henry V but, now aware he must put frivolity aside, banishes Falstaff as his first act as ruler. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Latin | English

Release Date:

4 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Niamh Cusack is Jeremy Irons sister in law See more »


Follows The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

No uneasiness in any way
3 August 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Of the two parts of 'Henry IV' (as said already the play is in two parts so that it's performed in 'The Hollow Crown' as two parts is correct), the second part is the better one of the two in my opinion. Do like both parts very much, and their mix of comedy and drama are wonderfully done. The momentum at times is perhaps stronger in Part 1 but have always found the comedy funnier and the drama more poignant in Part 2.

Both parts are performed brilliantly in 'The Hollow Crown' series, a must see to get acquainted with the historical Shakespeare plays, which are very much accessible to younger audiences/generations and to see productions/performances of them. Although the first part is a little higher rated, and this is partly because of the play itself to me the second part is even better for pretty much the same reasons as the play, on top of that the story and characters are meatier this time round as well and there is more going on. See the 1979 BBC production too, one of the best ones of that more than worthwhile if uneven series (the BBC Television Shakespeare one, which started from 1978 with a just slightly above average 'Romeo and Juliet' and finished in 1985 with an excellent 'Titus Andronicus') of all Shakespeare's plays, but consider this better.

Cannot find fault with the production values. The photography could easily pass for that for a film, this was not a made for television look here. A lot of homework was done in the settings and costumes, making them as detailed and evocative as possible and succeeding extremely well on both counts. There are no issues with the music fitting or being appropriate. Never found it intrusive while still having the right amount of beauty and intensity, better than the music for a lot of films in recent years.

Richard Eyre's direction is remarkable and very thoughtful, doing well in opening up the drama instead of being too much of a filmed play and including no excessive or distasteful touches. There is nothing overblown or static with the battle scenes, while the comedy is at its best hilarious and the drama genuinely moving. Especially good with the stage direction is the relationship between Hal and Falstaff (his role more crucial and plot advancing in the second part), which has a lot of depth and succeeds in not being too focused on the comedic or too focused on the tragic. Of the individual scenes, Henry's final scene really stood out and brought tears to my eyes. Act 3 Scene 2 agreed also excels in bringing out the necessary pathos.

Again, the performances are uniformly excellent and for the same reasons as in the first part. Tom Hiddleston brings tremendous charisma and energy to Hal, one of my favourite roles of his (in both parts) and do think he is better and more consistent in 'Henry IV' personally than in 'Henry V'. Simon Russell Beale is a very larger than life Falstaff in how he is made up and in interpretation, he looks as if he was enjoying himself and found myself enjoying him enormously here too. Jeremy Irons has more screen time here and his material is meatier than in Part 1, his anguished portrayal is one of true nobility and poignant power and plays enormously to his strengths as an actor, not enough of his recent roles show his strengths but his Henry is one of the best examples of those that do. David Bamber is a major bonus too as Shallow, and Alun Armstrong can do no wrong.

Overall, absolutely outstanding. 10/10

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