The Pillars of the Earth (miniseries)

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The Pillars of the Earth is an eight-part 2010 TV miniseries, adapted from Ken Follett's novel of the same name, about the building of a cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge, England in the middle of the 12th century

Quotes[edit]

Episode 1: Anarchy[edit]

Lord Stephen: There's Gloucester.
Archbishop: The king's bastard? He will never inherit.
Lord Stephen: There's the king's legitimate daughter, Maud.
Archbishop: A child. And female.
Lord Stephen: Then, I suppose, there's me. But I'm only the king's nephew.
Archbishop: And... grandson of William the Conqueror. This shipwreck puts you in direct line to the throne, my good Stephen, which we will support when the time comes. Since, unlike the king, you hold the Church in high esteem.

Archbishop: There are whispers. The shipwreck was quite convenient.
Waleran: Rumours born of jealousy, Your Eminence. What happened was ordained by God. It's to the Church's benefit that no one survived.

Lord Stephen: The grandson of William the Conqueror takes precedence over a bastard.
Lord Gloucester: The king's bastard, whom he loves as much as the son who drowned. How fortunate you weren't on that ship, Stephen.
Lord Stephen: [Unsheathes his sword] I have no pretensions to the throne.
Lord Gloucester: [Unsheathes his sword] Ah, but the Church behind you does.
[They swordfight until Lord Gloucester has Lord Stephen at his mercy]
Lord Gloucester: And with you and the Pope in power, think how the people will suffer!

Francis: Maud, supported by Gloucester and Earl Bartholomew, is secretly raising an army against Stephen to regain the throne. Stephen must know of their treachery. But if word came from me, Gloucester would have me hanged.
Philip: You're asking me to do this? I'd never get an audience.
Francis: Your bishop would. If Maud wins, the Church will be the loser. Politically, we must back Stephen.
Philip: But I don't believe in politics, Francis. I believe in the will of God.
Francis: It's the Church's will, Philip. Second to God, remember?

Waleran: So becoming Prior of Kingsbridge would satisfy your ambition? Well, be direct, Philip. As the bishop's representative I can sway the election. If that's what you want from me, say so.
Philip: [Chuckles] Yes.
Waleran: Good, good. But politics is a bargain between beggars. When the bishop dies here, the monks here elect the new one.
Philip: So if you make me prior, I, when the time comes, make you bishop?

Episode 2: Master Builder[edit]

Philip: It's gone, smashed. We're finished. You can't rebuild a cathedral without its relic.
Cuthbert: A skull's a skull, Philip. We don't even know it was his.
Philip: What about the miracles?
Cuthbert: I've been praying to that skull for years to save my poor sister from the street. Useless!
Philip: It does take belief, too.
Cuthbert: Yes, but what if people believe another skull is his? One from the ossuary. There's thousands. And who's to say the monk whose head we choose isn't a saint?
Philip: Because that would be a lie!
Cuthbert: Not a lie, a... a leavening, a means to an end. And the end is God's glory.

Philip: What makes you think there'll even be a new church?
Tom Builder: Because I will build it. You house us, you feed us and I will defer payment. This may be the Devil's work, but it was God that sent you a master builder.

Tom Builder: I want you to make a statue of St. Adolphus.
Jack: Me? I've never worked in stone.
Tom Builder: That's not true. I saw the carvings you did in the cave. I think you'll manage.
Jack: I wouldn't know where to start.
Tom Builder: Take your time. Experiment. Listen.
Jack: To what?
Tom Builder: To the stone.

Waleran: You really want to rebuild your church, huh?
Philip: Yes, Father, I do. The cathedral is God's shadow over history, Father. We... we live in a world that is striving for order, which is art, which is learning, which is people creating something that will bring God's heart into their community, that will survive wars and famine, that will survive history.
Waleran: I thought I was ambitious.

Earl Bartholomew: My freedom is not for sale.

King Stephen: My loyal subject, Percy Hamleigh, is the Earl of Shiring. He shall have the castle and all arable lands and low-lying pastures. All other farmlands, I give to... the Priory of Kingsbridge for the building of the new cathedral.
Philip: And the quarry?
King Stephen: Goes to the Hamleighs. But you may take what stones you need.
Philip: [Surprised that the terms he agreed on with Regan Hamleigh are altered] But... but that's not...
King Stephen: Enough. My decision stands.

Episode 3: Redemption[edit]

King Stephen: We are pleased to announce that with the events of this day, all opposition to our rightful rule is extinguished. Maud and Gloucester's army has been put to flight and there are now only loyal men in England!
[Crowd cheers]
Percy Hamleigh: I didn't know they were defeated. Is this recent?
Regan Hamleigh: He tells the peasants what they need to hear.

Richard: I won't fight for Stephen. He's our father's worst enemy!
Aliena: And the only man who can give you back your title.
Richard: I won't ride into battle alongside William and his henchmen! I'll kill them first!
Aliena: It's easier to kill someone if you're standing beside them rather than against them. Look at me, Richard. Our enemies have made us strong.

Remigius: He should be using skilled labour, not monks stolen from prayer.
Philip: Work is prayer, Brother. In the meantime, I am going to Winchester Market to sell the fleece from our flock. This will bring in money which will allow us to hire workers. Tom is going to Shiring quarry to make arrangements for harvesting the stone. This will serve as our true beginning and our schedule shall be counted from then. Anything else?
Remigius: Forgive me. I was expressing...
Philip: You were expressing your own prideful ignorance.

Waleran: God is on your side.
King Stephen: Then why hasn't He put Maud and her bastard brother down? They're approaching Lincoln now. If they take that city, they'll effectively cut my kingdom in half. Why does God continually turn His back upon my cause?
Waleran: I cannot answer for God, but perhaps it is not you who displeases Him. There are others in your kingdom.
King Stephen: Others? Name them.
Waleran: There is a prior in Kingsbridge. You met him once.

Jack: Love's not a contest, Martha.
Martha: Then why is there always something to be won or lost?

Episode 4: Battlefield[edit]

Regan Hamleigh: William is being held back, but not by some anonymous knight. He's nearly 25 years old. He needs to marry and give us grandchildren.
Percy Hamleigh: There are plenty of women who'd have him.
Regan Hamleigh: None of sufficient nobility, my love. And if he can't marry a title, he shall have to inherit one.
Percy Hamleigh: Are you suggesting that I retire and give him mine?
Regan Hamleigh: [Laughs] I know you'd never agree to that.
Percy Hamleigh: Not in my prime, I wouldn't! [Regan is bleeding him] There, that's quite enough, my dear.
Regan Hamleigh: You drink too much, Percy. Your tongue's too loose.
Percy Hamleigh: I fear you've cut too deep.
Regan Hamleigh: No, my sweet. [Percy struggles for his life] Not deep enough.
[Regan kills him]

William: I'm the earl! I'm the rightful earl! Richard lost that claim when his father lost his head!
Waleran: Getting soldiers is all the king cares about. Raise an army to finish Maud, he'll give you whatever you want.
Regan Hamleigh: Easily said, but where do we get the means to do it? The market at Kingsbridge sucks the money out of Shiring. Kingsbridge gets the rents, the taxes, business...
Waleran: Close the market.
Regan Hamleigh: How? The king has licensed it!
Waleran: Oh yes. Unfortunately, he has.
Regan Hamleigh: What?
Waleran: If I close the market for you, will you close the quarry for me?

Regan Hamleigh: The only way to close the quarry involves bloodshed. Innocent lives shall be lost. My son shall burn in hell for your sins.
Waleran: That's why you've been a reluctant enforcer, William?
William: Mother's always been afraid of fire. But the fires of hell are eternal.
Waleran: [Grabbing his bible and cross] On your knees. Are you sorry for all the lives taken by your sword in the past and in the future?
William: Oh yes.
Waleran: Ego te absolvo. Do what you must.

Waleran: It's forbidden to run a market without a license from the king.
Philip: But we have a license.
Waleran: May I see it?
Philip: (Searches for it, frustrated] Ah, it's been stolen.
Waleran: The Sheriff has no record of it.
Philip: Then he's a liar.
Waleran: I think you are the liar, Philip. As of next month, the market moves to Shiring.

Ellen: [About Jack] He's not dead. I would know it if he were dead. He can't be dead. I don't allow him to be dead. I dreamed this would happen and I didn't stop it. [Sobbing] Why? It makes no bloody sense!
Tom Builder: It doesn't have to make sense. This is part of God's plan and...
Ellen: God's plan? If God has a plan, it's not working out very well, is it?

Episode 5: Legacy[edit]

Waleran: If you wish Maud to make your son Earl of Shiring, I need to successfully trade Stephen with Gloucester.
Regan Hamleigh: I'll contribute to the ransom fee, if that's your concern.
Waleran: No, my concern is Stephen. If he is redeemed, will the war continue?
Regan Hamleigh: Undoubtedly.
Waleran: Therefore Queen Maud may not rule for long and then, whose side are we on?
Regan Hamleigh: We need to play both sides.
Waleran: Oh, I intend to do that as negotiator, but your position is not as flexible.
Regan Hamleigh: You will have to intercede for us.
Waleran: You presume our position is that of equals. I need you to serve me, not command me.
Regan Hamleigh: What would Your Eminence have me do? Whatever your wish, I am happy to obey.
Waleran: I wish to be made Archbishop of Canterbury once Stephen regains his throne. The current one will have to be removed, of course.

Philip: How did I come here?
Father Francis: I told the executioner that, as the Queen's secretary, I would answer for your innocence.
Philip: But I thought you supported Stephen?
Father Francis: Shush! He's as self-serving as his predecessor. I've become a politician, Philip. I serve who best serves me.

Philip: You're a new man, Jack. A Lazarus.
Jack: I'm sure I stink like Lazarus. You must have died too from the look of you.
Philip: Nearly. God has further plans for me. For you too, I suspect.
Jack: What plans?
Philip: What do you remember of the last 3 days? Did you pray?
Jack: I was laying with the dead. I suppose I don't remember. I dreamt, though. I remember that.
Philip: What of?
Jack: Of Aliena.

Tom Builder: I won't see this church completed.
Alfred: Da?
Tom Builder: Nor will you, Alfred. Nor you, Jack, most likely. I may see it roofed. You might see the interior well on its way. But it might be 50 years before it's finished, which is why I teach you. That's why you must never stop learning even after I'm gone.
Alfred: Learn from who?
Tom Builder: From your pupils. Your younger masters, they might find new ways to perfection.

Alfred: [after Philip says that either Alfred or Jack must leave after they fought and destroyed part of the cathedral] He's an apprentice! I'm a master stonemason. Send him away, Da, not me! I'm your real son! If Ma was alive, this wouldn't even be a choice! We were a team once, remember? I was supposed to be your successor!
Tom Builder: Alfred, you'll have to pay a fine for the damage caused. One month's wages.
Alfred: A month?
Tom Builder: Doubt the prior would accept any less. Could you leave us for a moment.
Alfred: Da!
Tom Builder: Go... before I double it. I'm sorry, Jack.
Jack: Why me?
Tom Builder: I pleaded with Philip, but he wouldn't soften.
Jack: This is my life.
Tom Builder: He's my son.
Jack: I'm your son too. You said it.
Tom Builder: You're the one that Philip will miss. You know, Alfred... he's competent. But you're brilliant. Now, in a week or a month, the Prior will see his mistake.
Jack: [Crying] And if he doesn't? You wouldn't even have a job if it weren't for me.
Tom Builder: That's enough.
Jack: Do you hear what I'm saying? I burned it down. I burned the old cathedral so that you would have work.
Tom Builder: God forgive you then. Get out. Get out!

Episode 6: Witchcraft[edit]

Aliena: William Hamleigh burned it down and murdered Tom. He tried to burn me too, but Alfred put out the flames.
Richard: He should hang for this!
Aliena: Who will arrest him? There is no king. There is no queen. There is no law in this land!

Alfred: I want to replace him. I'm a master builder. Father gave me his tools. I know the site and the plans.
Philip: You don't have the experience.
Alfred: Neither did he when you hired him. I have his ambition. And I have his skill. The men listen to me, and I'm willing to learn.
Philip: I need to pray on this, Alfred.
Alfred: No, you need to think of the future.

Alfred: I want to vault the cathedral in stone.
Philip: That's impossible. Tom said that wood is the only material...
Alfred: Wood is cheaper, yes, but it can burn. That's how you lost the first cathedral.
Philip: Will the walls take the weight?
Alfred: Yeah, we can reinforce them. I know more about stone than he ever did.
Philip: It will cost more and take longer.
Alfred: But it will last forever. That's the point, isn't it?

Regan Hamleigh: Whom do you hate the most?
William: Aliena. She didn't die in the fire like I wanted her to.
Regan Hamleigh: And what would you do to her?
William: Have my way with her again and again until she does die.
Regan Hamleigh: And so you shall. And whom do you love the most?
William: You.
Regan Hamleigh: And what would you do to me?

King Stephen: I'm told it was your idea to substitute the farm boy with Eustace, by the way. Oh, I suppose I should be grateful.
Waleran: God inspired me, Your Majesty.
King Stephen: He speaks to me directly now. He appeared to me in prison and told me in no uncertain terms that the sinking of the White Ship was part of his plan.
Waleran: It was a terrible tragedy, Sire, but it made you king. God's plans twist at times, but always end up in the greater good.
King Stephen: Quite.

Episode 7: New Beginnings[edit]

Jack: Abbot Suger, forgive me. I... I want to learn here. The walls are so high, how do they bear their weight?
Abbot Suger: You know Euclid, the father of geometry?
Jack: No, non.
Abbot Suger: Then you know nothing.

Waleran: You look lost. Of course, you are. No longer prior, your dream demolished, you must sometimes think God is punishing you for your sins, your willful pride.
Philip: Yes.
Waleran: In recompense for not naming me archbishop, the king has agreed to send me as his representative to Rome. And I'll need a trustworthy man to handle diocesan affairs in my absences. And you were the first and to be frank, the only man I could think of.
Philip: I... I don't think I'm...
Waleran: I'm not finished. When I advance as... I hope one day to do... perhaps you will take my place. As Bishop of Kingsbridge, you could build your cathedral, punish the Hamleighs, do whatever you want. Until then, I simply ask for honest diligence and obedience in all things.
Philip: In all good things.
Waleran: Of course.

Jack: Aliena!
[They kiss]
Aliena: [Crying] Is it really you?
Jack: [Smiling] Yes.
Aliena: I followed your work.
Jack: You left Alfred?
[Aliena uncovers the baby]
Jack: He's mine? [Aliena smiles. Jack cries] He's mine. [Aliena nods]
Aliena: [Putting the baby in his arms] He won't break.
Jack: Aliena, he's beautiful. What's his name?
Aliena: I haven't chosen one yet. Shall we call him Jack?
Jack: No. No. No, Jack's the father I never knew. Let's name him after the father I did know.
Aliena: Tom.
Jack: Tom.

Philip: Your offer took me unawares. And you were right. I've never... I've never felt so lost. Satan tempted Christ at his weakest: after 40 days without food or water. I haven't Christ's strength to resist, Eminence, but... but you... you do not have Satan's cunning. You have taught me, you see. Politics may be a bargain between beggars but compromise between good and evil is never possible. God's work does not blend with power or greed. Your moral mortar is corrupt. And the walls of your church will crumble and the roof will fall. And you and everyone who worships with you will be crushed. I would sooner live out the rest of my days feeding pigs at the monastery than feeding your ravenous ambition.
Waleran: You're damned.

Waleran: The miracles, are they real?
Remigius: Who's to say? Cripples walk, the dying are revived, but witchcraft does the same. One thing is certain. More and more pilgrims come every day giving money for the cathedral. That's the greatest miracle of all.

Episode 8: The Work of Angels[edit]

Jack: A storm is coming. I'll go check the cathedral for cracks. You should take Tom back before he gets wet.
Aliena: God forbid anything should happen to your precious cathedral.
Jack: What did you say?
Aliena: I said cathedral first, family second.
Jack: That's not true. It's my work.
Aliena: It's your life, Jack.

Remigius: I was in love once. Love is a terrible thing. I know, it struck me dead.
Ellen: Did she die?
Remigius: He hanged himself. And I found him. I loved him and he loved me. How could it be a sin? But I confessed and my confessor made me denounce him to the others. And after he took his life, my confessor made me fix things so that I would never be able to sin like that again.
Ellen: Is your confessor still alive?
Remigius: Oh yes.
Ellen: You should denounce him to the Church.
Remigius: He is the Church.

Jack: I've been an ass and an idiot.
Philip: Well, if that's a sin, we'll all burn in hell. What about?
Jack: Aliena, the roof, everything that is important in my life.
Philip: What you said this morning was right. You're right, you're not Tom. You're Jack, which is something much better. Tom was a dreamer with enough faith to give his dreams weight, but you... you have an exceptional gift. And you have determination instead of faith. We all need faith, Jack. It makes it easier for God to help us. And Aliena believes in you more than you do.
[Jack scoffs]
Philip: How much faith do you have in her?
Jack: What do you mean, Prior?
Philip: She left an hour ago with Richard and an army of men to retake Shiring.

William Hamleigh: [furious, following his deposing as Earl of Shiring] She betrayed me! My own wife!
Waleran: If you kick a dog, it may someday bite you. Your mother never learned that and now she burns in eternal fire.
William Hamleigh: Nonsense! She's in Heaven, kneeling before the throne of God!
Waleran: She's in Hell, William, and rumour has it you put her there.
William Hamleigh: [afraid] What can I do? I'll build a chapel in exchange for her salvation.
Waleran: Too late for that. All you can do is save yourself now.
William Hamleigh: How?! I'll do anything! [Waleran raises an eyebrow] This isn't fair!
Waleran: No, it isn't. Very little in this life is fair when the forces of evil are strong...and make no mistake about it, it's the Devil we're fighting and the scores are even.

Waleran: Citizens of Kingsbridge... you have brought the wrath of God upon yourselves. You harbour liars, witches, sodomites and thieves.
Jack: And unholy priests! Because of your treachery, England has been steeped in blood for 16 years. Soldiers have died, wives mourned, sons grown fatherless into manhood and then gone themselves to fight and to die. This town has been burned, its citizens slaughtered... and yet, still we survive. We build a cathedral like none has ever seen before in praise of God and our abilities and our faith in some peaceful tomorrow. And in spite of you, Waleran Bigod, the people of Kingsbridge will find that peace.

Philip: When we began work on the Kingsbridge Cathedral, King Stephen was newly crowned and the Princess Maud fled to France with her newborn son, Henry. For years, England was torn by war and great suffering. King Stephen is since dead and Maud's son now rules as King Henry II of England. Now we have peace and hope for a bright tomorrow. And for these gifts and our beautiful church, I thank God, our king, the people of Kingsbridge and several generations of tireless workers. But the cathedral is not finished and nor will it ever be. just as human perfection is something we all strive for and can never attain, so this church will forever be changing, growing, crumbling at times... an ongoing legacy of our feeble efforts to touch God. A cathedral, my friends, is... is neither stone nor statues nor even a place of prayer. It is... a continuum of creation... beautiful work that, pray God, will never end.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]