“The Great” is a historical comedy-drama series about the reign of Catherine the Great, which never promised historical accuracy. As it approaches Season 3, showrunner Tony McNamara is taking even more liberties with historical facts. The hit series stars Elle Fanning as Catherine and Nicholas Hoult as her husband, Peter III, who initially seemed to be the series antagonist. However, in Season 2, Peter fell in love with his wife, and to the surprise of many, Catherine returned his feelings. Season 3’s 10 episodes will air on May 12, and audiences are eager to know if the couple, guilty of trying to kill each other once, will find happiness, which their real-life counterparts never did.
The Great Season 3: Characters and Cast Details
|Elle Fanning||Empress Catherine the Great|
|Nicholas Hoult||Emperor Peter III|
|Sebastian de Souza||Leo|
Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great
Empress Catherine, played by Fanning, has retained two traits during all the challenges of ruling Russia: her rosy cheeks and her relentless, extremely naive optimism. After removing her irresponsible and insensitive husband, Peter, from the throne, Catherine set out to win the hearts of her court and the people, but she faced resistance from Russia’s hidebound customs and suspicion of outsiders and women. Peter fell in love with his wife and set out to win her heart, eventually succeeding, but his past behavior left a mark on Catherine’s relationship. Her attempts to bond with the peasant population and improve their lives are met with equal suspicion. Catherine’s dreams of progress, raising her son, Paul, and trying to mend her marriage to Peter will be challenging.
Nicholas Hoult as Peter III
In the beginning, it was almost impossible to see Peter III, the Emperor of Russia, as anything but a spoiled, incompetent, overgrown child. He sleeps with anyone, burns down Catherine’s school for women, and kills people on a whim, all the while chatting pompously about empty trivialities. Yet, just as he grows on Catherine, Peter is quickly becoming a fan favorite. His sudden admiration and devotion to his ambitious wife was a turning point for the show. In Season 3, Peter is committed to mending his marriage, despite Catherine imprisoning all his allies and trying to kill him. While his wife struggles with ruling the country, Peter often finds himself at loose ends. He takes up many hobbies, but with too much time on his hands, his boredom and court machinations could turn him against the woman he loves.
Phoebe Fox as Marial
Marial, played by Phoebe Fox, is Catherine’s lady-in-waiting and confidant. She serves as the voice of reason to Catherine’s impulsive and idealistic character. Marial is witty, cynical, and not afraid to speak her mind, making her an integral part of Catherine’s entourage. In Season 3, Marial faces a significant change in circumstances, which could put her loyalty to the test.
Sacha Dhawan as Orlo
Sacha Dhawan plays Orlo, one of Peter’s closest allies, who frequently challenges Catherine’s authority. He’s a talented orator, and his political ambitions make him a fierce opponent. In Season 3, Orlo’s loyalty is tested when Peter turns against him, and Catherine imprisons him. He must decide where his allegiances lie.
Adam Godley as Archbishop
Adam Godley plays the Archbishop, a pompous, self-important figure who uses his power to advance his interests and ambitions. He’s a master of manipulation, and his influence over Peter makes him a dangerous adversary for Catherine. In Season 3, he’ll continue to meddle in the affairs of the court, trying to maintain his power and position.
Gwilym Lee as Grigor
Grigor is Catherine’s loyal right-hand man and head of her military. Though he’s initially a bit of a stoic stereotype, Grigor becomes one of the show’s most fascinating characters, largely due to Lee’s portrayal. He’s intensely loyal to Catherine, but also fiercely pragmatic. He’s constantly reminding her of the realities of running a country, even if it’s not what she wants to hear. In Season 3, he’ll continue to be a valuable ally to Catherine, though she may not always appreciate his pragmatic advice. Lee is best known for playing Brian May in Bohemian Rhapsody, and has also appeared in shows like Midsomer Murders and Jamestown.
Sacha Dhawan as Orlo
Orlo is one of Peter’s closest advisors and a general in the Russian army. He’s also one of the show’s most complex characters. On the one hand, he’s fiercely loyal to Peter, and willing to do whatever it takes to protect him, even if that means betraying Catherine. On the other hand, he’s clearly a smart and capable leader in his own right, and often seems to be chafing under Peter’s leadership. Dhawan is a British actor best known for his roles in shows like Iron Fist and Doctor Who.
Phoebe Fox as Marial
From her first appearance in the series, Marial is the splash of cold water dousing Catherine’s over-romantic dreams. In Season 1, Marial was a disgraced noblewoman who Catherine was forced to take on as a lady-in-waiting. But as the series progressed, Marial became one of Catherine’s closest confidants, and a key player in Catherine’s efforts to rule Russia. In Season 3, Marial is still struggling to find her place in the world, now that she’s no longer a noblewoman, but not quite a commoner either. Fox is a British actress best known for her roles in shows like The Hollow Crown and The Woman in White.
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In conclusion, while The Great may not be historically accurate, it’s an incredibly entertaining and well-acted series that’s worth watching for anyone who enjoys period dramas with a twist of irreverence. With Season 3 promising even more drama and romance, it’s sure to be a wild ride.