Louis persuades Philippe to kill their father together so they can both have a clean slate. Fabien knows Louis has killed the prisoner and deduces the truth about the Man in the Iron Mask. He's had enough of Louis' cruelty, refuses his orders, and leaves Versailles for good.
Having crushed the Protestants and thwarted Leto, Louis feels invincible. But his family and France are divided and Fabien is on the loose. What of the future? What will be his legacy? Louis summons the Dauphin in order to show him how to be a king.
Louis and Philippe visit the midwife who attended the birth of their secret brother, only to discover that their brother died young. So the burning question remains: who is the Man in the Iron Mask? Meanwhile, Fabien tracks down the fugitives, Sophie and Eleanor. Instead of killing them as the king ordered, his conscience and love for Sophie force him to let them go.
Louis is plunged into an existential crisis. He and Philippe are haunted by the burning question: what to do with the prisoner? While Philippe wants to send him to the colonies, Louis knows there is only one option: to kill him. Meanwhile, the seeds of discord are growing on the streets of Paris.
Maintenon returns to the palace with renewed vigour and encourages Louis to step up his plans - and to impose restrictions on the Protestants. Chevalier stands up for Delphine, but Maintenon sacks him. Guillaume is compromised and recants his faith to secure a lucrative contract and save the family business, but his sister Jeanne is horrified - has he just sold his soul to the dream of Versailles? Louis wants to undermine Leopold in Vienna and makes a secret deal with Barek, the Ottoman envoy.
After the tragedy of Marie-Therese's death, Louis changes tactics. He plans to marry Philippe's daughter to King Charles and plots with the Ottomans to attack Austria. But he finds a new adversary in the papal envoy Leto, who has come to attend Marie-Therese's funeral.
Ignoring his brother's doubts, Philippe pursues his investigation into the Man in the Iron Mask, not knowing that the Vatican has sent a spy, Di Marco, to Versailles to keep an eye on Philippe. Meanwhile, in Maintenon's absence, Louis becomes increasingly impetuous. He begins to suspect that there may have been something between Marie-Therese and Leopold, and has her confined to quarters.
Fabien arrests townsfolk in reprisal for the attack on Colbert. Jeanne pleads with Louis for their release, but to no avail. Bastien wants his son back and kidnaps Fabien in response. Maintenon confronts Louis about his promiscuity and he's forced to admit that he's hurt her.
Louis celebrates victory in war by welcoming defeated Emperor Leopold with his niece, Eleanor. Louis plans to expand his empire, but Leopold has plans of his own and he seduces Marie-Therese; are his feelings real, or does he have an ulterior motive? Louis dislikes having Protestants in the palace, but Madame de Maintenon convinces him they are no threat - although prominent Protestant Delphine foresees trouble.
Louis and Leopold begin the battle over the ultimate prize: Spain. The Spanish King Charles is not expected to live long and both men claim its empire. Leopold persuades Marie-Therese to help marry his niece Eleanor to Charles, the queen's brother. Louis foils the plot by insisting that Eleanor stay at Versailles.
Louis XIV learns the names of the nobles who purchased the poisons, but a last fatal batch reaches the palace, and humiliated Madame de Montespan has a plan for it. Facing a flaming death, brazen Madame Agathe predicts doom for the King and his royal line, while Sophie is torn emotionally, and traitorous Thomas realises Philippe is only acting affectionately to feed him misinformation.
Realising he is less than godlike, Louis XIV receives advice from pious Madame Scarron - but can the king truly humble himself? Desperate, Madame de Montespan is persuaded a dark ritual will reverse her fall from grace. Ordered to initiate intimacy with traitorous Thomas, Philippe finds himself forced to mask the motive from Chevalier to prevent an expected brutal response.
Resolutions are tested as Louis XIV returns to Versailles, vowing to purify his private life, while Madame de Montespan hopes to cement her place in his heart. The feelings of Philippe for Chevalier are rocked by an unexpected depth of concern for Princess Palatine, who shows symptoms of possible poisoning. Meanwhile, Fabien Marchal faces a personal appeal to review his refusal to return.
Secret discussions and unexpected close encounters occur through the court and beyond as a weary Louis XIV is offered an opportunity to change the course of his conflict with William of Orange. However, it is a face from the King's past that brings his mental crisis to a climax. Tensions increase as mistrustful Madame de Montespan suspects her devout friend Madame Scarron also has feelings for Louis.
William of Orange 'tempts' the king to take the field against his Dutch army, so Queen Marie-Therese takes charge while Louis XIV is away at war - banning debauchery in the process. The visiting Sultan of Bijapur refuses to let a vital treaty signing sully the hands of the Queen, so pressure is placed on Philippe to step into his brother's shoes for the occasion. Meanwhile, Madame de Montespan seeks to lead innocent potential rival Isabelle astray with sinister intent.
King Louis XIV's continued insomnia makes him increasingly volatile, meaning Marchal's loyalty counts for nothing following his failure to prove the worst poisonings were solely the work of his now-dead suspect. Claudine continues to investigate the mystery toxin, while Sophie seeks a solution to her situation - a marriage not just loveless, but cruel. Meanwhile, devout Father Pascal dares to reveal to Louis what Madame de Montespan attempted.
King Louis XIV makes plans to send an army into the Netherlands, and Philippe oversees troops training with a new weapon - leaving his new bride at a loose end while the palace is fumigated. Cynical Madame de Montespan already despairing of her ailing newborn daughter's likely future, tackles the Catholic Church in the form of Father Pascal. Meanwhile, Chevalier incites a fight, envious of the attentions Philippe is paying to the King's chronicler Thomas Beaumont.
Princess Palatine gets a cold reception in the bed of her new husband Philippe following their marriage celebration. Meanwhile, young Sophie learns her destiny lies in an even crueller match - by order of King Louis. Elsewhere, Bontemps spots misbehaviour that suggests a new prime suspect for the poisonings to Marchal, and a remark by medic Claudine echoing an earlier comment, clarifies the case.
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