Reign is a historical drama show that revolves around the life of the Queen of Scots. Season one depicts the life of Queen Mary Stuart during her teenage years, and the audience sees an interesting take on the life of the former monarch.

According to showrunner Laurie McCarthy, the production team prioritises fictionalised storylines with only a vague connection to real-life events. It endeavours to depict an entertaining take on the queen’s life, mixing fantasy and history as opposed to focusing on historical facts.

The show’s characters are put in hypothetical situations rooted in the pre-Renaissance era. Reign has been very successful overall, with the audience reporting an affinity with the genuine nature of the characters as they are depicted.


Reign is a historical drama that focuses on the life of Mary Stuart, a young woman who goes on to step into her role as Mary, Queen of Scots. She became the Queen of Scotland when she was just 6 days old. The show looks at the early life of this figure, where she is portrayed as a headstrong teenager.

Despite her stubborn nature, she is passionate and poised when faced with a sudden rise of power in her kingdom. Mary goes to the royal court in France after being sent away from her place of hiding, and meets her betrothed, Prince Francis. Despite the initial bond between the two, there seems to be a lot of politics and power in play.

Despite their difficulties, Mary and Francis are eventually united, but Francis refuses to settle down. Part of these issues stem from Francis having his own history with Scotland. He also has personal problems to resolve, including an illegitimate birth.

Overall, this ongoing conflict leads to a love triangle as Mary feels betrayed. She eventually attracts the attention of Bash, Francis’ half brother and the king’s bastard son. With dark forces trying to sabotage their relationship, a number of turbulent scenes unfold as subsequent seasons air.

Cast and characters

The main character in this series is Mary, Queen of Scots, who is played by Adelaide Kane. Other primary cast members include Catherine de’ Medici who is played by Megan Follows and Sebastian de Poitiers as portrayed by Torrance Coombs.

In the supporting cast, names include Jenessa Grant, Celina Sinden, Caitlin Stasey and Anna Popplewell. Meanwhile, Henry II is played by Alan van Sprang. Reviews describe him as playing a poignant and strong character whose personality rings true compared to the original French king.

Filming locations 

Some of the most notable filming locations for this series include Tullamore, Charleville Castle, Leinster and various parts of Europe. The show primarily depicts both France and Scotland, with settings including lavish castles.


The show was first announced by the CW and marketed as a creative retelling of the story of Mary, Queen of Scots. The show is led by Stephanie Sengupta and Laurie McCarthy, with CBS Studio Center in charge of the production. One of the biggest reasons Mary Stuart was chosen as the subject of this series is simply the fact that her life history is considered by many to be intriguing.

The plot was initially created by Brad Silberling, along with Sengupta and McCarty. Eventually, Sengupta left the production team and McCarty took over as the sole showrunner of the show. Adelaide Kane joined the team in February 2013, helping to contribute to the shows’ huge success.

Episodes and reception 

The show received widespread critical acclaim. Unfortunately, its popularity dwindled significantly when one of the main characters was killed. Fans and critics believe that it was a turning point of the show, but it led to the show going downhill. Possibly as a direct consequence, the show only went on for one more season before ending.

One of the biggest talking points relating to this show is the use of fiction over historical fact. Fans are divided in this regard. While many are fond of the fictional take on this historical figure, others have indicated that they would have preferred the show to stay true to the life of Queen Mary.

Despite its flaws, Reign is a popular show and it still draws in millions of viewers for its four seasons. At the time of writing, there will not be a season 5 going forward and the CW has canceled the show until further notice.

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