Edward Bluemel as Lord Guildford Dudley in My Lady Jane
(Prime Video)

‘My Lady Jane’ Has Given Us a New Fictional Man To Swoon Over

Have you come across the fan edits of Jane (Emily Bader) and Guildford (Edward Bluemel) from Prime Video’s newest series My Lady Jane, or are you not chronically online? 

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Spoilers ahead for My Lady Jane season 1!

My Lady Jane puts an interesting spin on history and characters that didn’t even have much to do in Lady Jane’s story. The show gives us Jane Grey, a new feminist heroine we can root for. But what makes Lord Guildford Dudley so swoon-worthy and perfect for her? Let’s break it down.

Who was Lord Guildford Dudley in history?

History books will tell you that Lord Guildford Dudley was the younger son of King Edward VI’s chief minister, Lord John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and a decent guy. When Lady Jane was named the king’s successor to the British throne, she was hesitant, but her husband Guildford, along with their families, convinced her to accept. He strongly desired to be called king once his wife was queen, and when this didn’t happen, he was advised by his mother, the Duchess, to move out of the castle and stop sleeping with his wife!

Lord Guildford was executed an hour before Jane, as she watched from the window of the Tower of London, where they were both imprisoned for high treason.

Who is Lord Guildford Dudley in the show My Lady Jane?

Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley face each other with knives in their hands in My Lady Jane
(Prime Video)

Apologies to Jane for eyeing her man, but Edward Bluemel’s portrayal of Lord Guildford Dudley has given the romantasy book girlies and rom-com fans a new fictional man to swoon over! (Read our review) Guildford is everything you’d want in a romance lead—he’s a reformed rake, he looks smokin’, he can flirt, he can banter, he’s an ally, and he’s a good—neigh (see what I did there?)—a great kisser. Cherry on top? Our man has a title too.

The way his character is introduced in the story is a fun twist in itself—he is the handsome stranger that Jane spots in a bar full of Ethians while she’s running away from her mother who has fixed her wedding to a pompous-sounding Lord Guildford Dudley. It’s only on the night of their wedding that Jane finds out, the stranger from the bar she fell in lust-at-first-sight with is Lord Guildford Dudley, and he is going to be her husband. Talk about a marriage of convenience trope!

Despite Jane’s subterfuge, the wedding goes through. At first, Jane thinks Guildford is simply annoying. The next morning, Jane finds out that Guildford is also an Ethian. The fact that he turns into a horse every morning and turns back into human at night, and that he cannot control his transformation like other Ethians, was kept from Jane and her family by the Dudleys. On a honeymoon that they’re compelled to go on to keep up pretenses, Guildford tells Jane that he married her because she was intelligent and hoped she could cure him of being an Ethian.

And thus, despite the palpable sexual attraction between the two and their growing friendship, Jane decides not to consummate their marriage and focus on the cure. She tries to dig deeper into his past, specifically to the first time he transformed, which is tied to the painful memory of his mother’s death. Guildford refuses to talk about it, but Jane puts piece by piece together from Rupert, the stables groom, and Stan, Guildford’s brother.

Lord Guildford Dudley as husband to Queen Jane on My Lady Jane?

Edward Bluemel as Guildford Dudley and Emily Bader as Jane Grey in My Lady Jane
(Prime Video)

After Jane becomes queen, it gets harder for Guildford to keep his secret but he tries to be a supportive husband. Despite his father’s machinations, Guildford harbours no desire to be named King. The guy just wants to get cured (and have sex with his wife) because yep, he has fallen for her and wants to be there for her in these difficult times. It’s also not a stretch to think that he believes he is not worthy of love as an Ethian, because his own father hid him away when he found out.

When Jane, already shaken from the attack on her by Mary, is threatened by her mother who finds out about Guildford, she goes over to the stables where Guildford is, and the two finally give into their desire for each other. This might’ve further solidified Guildford’s desperation to be cured so he can be with Jane fully.

Unfortunately, their happiness is short-lived. At the banquet where Jane invites the Ethians to mingle with the royal court, she confesses to Guildford that there is no cure for his Ethianism. An upset Guildford leaves with a fellow Ethian who promises him a cure, but soon finds out that his companion plans to sell him out to die. 

Guildford Dudley and Jane Grey arrested for treason in the Queen's court in My Lady Jane

Guildford escapes to get back to Jane, who has been dethroned and put in house arrest by Queen Mary after Jane abolished the Division Laws. Guildford sneaks into her chambers and asks her to run away with him. Jane is ecstatic that he is alive, but refuses to escape because the Queen has her family.

At Jane’s trial, she’s able to dispel the charges of treason against her, until Queen Mary brings forth Rupert (the groom), who reveals Guildford is an Ethian, as the latter transforms right in front of everyone. Both Jane and Guildford are sentenced to death on the count of marriage being forbidden between Verities and Ethians. While Jane is imprisoned in the Tower of London, Guildford is in Seymour’s secret prison for Ethians, where they’re used by the Chancellor for all sorts of shady things. His father and brother arrive to save him, but he gets captured again.

On execution day, Guildford is to be burnt at the stake, but not before he can watch Jane get beheaded. Luckily, the very alive King Edward is able to rally the Ethians to save Jane. They swoop in, Susannah frees Jane, who then swashbuckles through a crowd to rescue Guildford! When it looks like they’re both going to burn, Guildford asks Jane to save herself but she refuses to leave, and tells him that she loves him! Guildford is finally able to overcome his mental block and transform at will into a horse. Jane then rides away to freedom!

What’s in store for Guildford if there’s a My Lady Jane Season 2?

Emily Bader as Jane Grey rides away on a horse through a crowd in My Lady Jane

In the season 1 finale, once the two lovers escape Guildford is all set to start his and wifey Jane’s life together, far, far away from London. But Jane tells him that she needs to go back since her country, her people, and her family need her. Guildford, only the best husband ever, agrees, and the two gallop back home.

If a My Lady Jane season 2 it does happen, it will be interesting to see what Lord Guildford does next. Now that he can control his transformation, he and Jane don’t have to be apart, and he can more actively help her in her cause of canceling Division laws in the country and bringing peace.  

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.