Thursday, November 7, 2013

The second season of “Isabel” has begun

The life of Isabel I of Castile, from 1479 to 1492. 

This scene recreates the Capitulation of Grandada, as painted by Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz in 1882.


Spain’s big hit television show is back on the air (and the internet). The last season of Isabel followed her from her early teen years to her ascent to the throne of Castile in 1474 at age 23. The second season will cover her fight to keep the throne, reconquer Spain from the Moors, reign as an equal with her husband, expel the Jews, and send Columbus to find a western route to the Indies. To the delight of fans, some scenes have been filmed inside the Alhambra.

A third season is planned. It’s also available in the UK with English subtitles, according to

Isabel and Fernando were reigning when Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo prepared his version of Amadis of Gaul, and his prologue praises their leadership. He fought in the initial campaigns to capture Granada, and they made him a knight for his service. According to the show, which is well researched, Isabel enjoyed chivalry novels.

In a wink to history, the show has recreated a famous painting depicting King Boabdil’s surrender of the city of Granada to Isabel and Fernando. You can learn more about the surrender and see the painting here:

This 51-second scene from the show recreating the painting may give you an idea of why the series has won such a large following. You can watch with the following link, and if you don’t speak Spanish, here’s a translation:  

King Boabdil prepares dismount and bow to King Fernando and Queen Isabel.
Fernando: “You are the sovereign of Granada. You should not bow to us.”
Boabdil rides forward and hands Fernando a key: “Take the key to my city, and take those of us who are in it. We are yours.”
Fernando takes the key and hands it to Isabel: “My lady.” 
Isabel: “Glory is more pleasing when one has suffered so much to achieve it.”


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