The death of Henry I in 1135 should have seen the accession of England's first queen, his daughter Matilda, but instead the throne is snatched by his favourite nephew Stephen. At first things go well for Stephen, but a few mistakes later and he finds himself caught in a civil war with Matilda in a period often known as the Anarchy. Who will triumph in this period of protracted siege warfare, and will anyone be worthy of the Rex Factor?
The death of Rufus in 1100 sees the accession of a rather more sober character in his younger brother, Henry I. Although Henry's more than capable of holding his own in battle he proves the benefit of brain over brawn and rules over the Anglo-Norman realm with great success, bringing a touch of intellectualism to the court. In case that all sounds a bit dull, Henry's long reign also has time for scandal and tragedy so there's plenty to get your teeth into!