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The 28-year-old King of France travels to Versailles after the Fronde revolt, in order to build the world’s most opulent palace.
Louis' younger brother Philippe is a free spirit, an effeminate dandy and ferocious warrior.
A Sister of King Charles II of England, Henriette is the wife of Philippe and the mistress of King Louis.
Originally from Spain, the Queen is an isolated character, using what others mistake for ignorance to hide her most intimate secrets.
Chevalier, Philippe’s male lover. Handsome as he is toxic. Petty and manipulative, he is the perfect conspirator.
The warm and friendly valet of Versailles. A rich man who sleeps each night at the foot of his master’s bed.
Versailles is the mirror image of Louis. As the king’s power grows, so does the palace. But as the season begins, Louis is still haunted by nightmares. The kid- napping of his son, and the death of Henriette keep him awake and prevent him from finding peace. Yet he should be feeling satisfied: his palace is admired by the entire world, he shares his bed with the most beautiful woman in France, the nobility is behind him, and he is ready to invade Holland... But, much like his new palace, there is still much work to be done behind the beautiful façade. Cracks begin to show. Louis is trapped in the labyrinth of Versailles and is trying to escape from its Minotaur. Consumed by his ego and growing paranoia, the king is losing his way, blinded by his work, and by the eyes of Madame de Montespan... And it is women who will comfort him in his internal battle, even though Montespan appears to be pulling him towards the darkness and hastening his demise.
Philippe has not forgiven Louis for Henriette’s death, and has decided to remain in Saint-Cloud, far from Versailles and his brother. But it’s a different story for Louis. He needs Philippe close by, and he must see him married once again: the choice of wife is a major political decision that will enable him to forge new alliances in the war against Holland. So he lures Philippe to Versailles by returning his lover to him, the Chevalier de Lorraine, who he had sent into exile in Italy. Philippe knows that, as is tradition, he has no choice but to accept the woman that Louis will choose for him. A woman who could not be further from the late Henriette: the larger-than-life Liselotte, Princess Palatine. Against all expec-tations, a bond develops between Philippe and Liselotte. But just as the knight had demonstrated with Henriette, his jealousy knows no bounds.
Marie-Thérèse is forced to suffer daily humiliation inflicted upon her by Montespan, the new “Queen of Versailles” and Louis’ favorite. She cannot bear to see her rival flaunting her rounded belly and catching everyone’s eye, especially that of the king. Nor can she tolerate the decadent atmosphere that has taken over the court and diverted the nobility from the path of morality and religion. In the hope of returning order to the chaos, she calls upon Father Pascal, her confessor and confidante. She also approaches Madame Scarron, who she can sense has a positive influence on the king.
After winning the king’s affections, Madame de Montespan gets a taste for power and is determined to keep it. She flatters the king, fulfilling his sexual desires, and making him the envy of all. Her influence on Louis grows and spreads to his political decisions. She becomes the de facto “Queen of Versailles”. But no matter how ambitious and calculating she may be, Madame de Montespan is actually a vulnerable and terrified woman. She has seen what happens to favorites the king grows tired of. She knows that if the king’s favor should wane, the court would become a merciless den of predators. She is prepared to do anything to keep the affection of Louis, with whom she is hopelessly in love: even sell her soul to the devil.
Having returned from a long exile in Italy, the Chevalier de Lorraine is the same as ever: flamboyant and mischievous; an incorrigible party-goer, possessive lover and rival of anyone who gets too close to Philippe. Initially flustered by the freshness and spontaneity of Princess Palatine, he becomes irritated by the bond that she develops with Philippe, and decides to make her pay. He takes cruel pleasure in humiliating her and mocking her “rustic” manners and lack of femininity. To boost his energy, the knight immerses himself in the potions and drugs circulating the court. He spots the opportunity for a lucrative...and destructive business.
Fabien uses Sophie to infiltrate the parlors of Versailles. As the poisonings increase, he relies on her to feed back to him private discussions and shameful admissions...Forced, by order of the king, to marry the Duke of Cassel, she discovers, at her own expense, the cruelty of life in the court of Versailles. When Palatine arrives, Sophie takes up the role of companion to Monsieur’s wife. A genuine friendship develops between the two young women: both of whom find themselves trapped in a marriage not of their choosing. But, although Palatine hopes that her marriage may one day blossom, Sophie knows that, for her, there is no hope of that... and decides to free herself, whatever the cost...
Louis' faithful servant has a ringside view of Madame de Montespan’s growing influence over the king and the court, and finds himself torn between his desire to protect Louis and his mission to obey him at all times. His friendship with the king will be put in jeopardy...
Murders and poisonings plague the court, the enemy is everywhere, anonymous, and unstoppable. The king himself begins to doubt the ability of his chief of police to put a stop to the crimes. Fabien sees that the court is rotting from within. He uses Sophie as a spy in the parlors, and concludes, like Bontemps, that Madame de Montespan’s influence on the king is growing. During his enquiry into the poisonings, he approaches Claudine, the king’s doctor.
In her home nearby the palace, Madame Agathe receives noble guests, seeking her aid to win back a lover’s heart, rid themselves of an embarrassing husband or unwanted rival. She is an expert in divination and in concocting potions and poisons. She is an elegant, mysterious and very professional woman, especially when it comes to building her business and winning the loyalty of her clients. But she can become terrifying and ice cold, and is afraid of nothing and no one.
Liselotte is a young, 19-year-old German princess, forced to leave her country and loved ones to marry Philippe and seal the alliance between France and the Palatinate. Despite her tender age, she is a force of nature who loves nothing more than riding horses, hunting, and eating. Extremely candid and natural, she has no interest in religion or etiquette. She is a free, iconoclastic spirit, who speaks her mind...But as strong and stubborn as she may be, she remains a young and isolated woman, a stranger in the court, and suffers the indifference of her husband and the repeated humiliation of the Chevalier de Lorraine.