Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are other claimants to the throne, Plantagenet of York and Somerset of Lancaster, whose factions will ultimately cause the Wars of the Roses. Ignorant of the schisms Henry tries to unite them in the Hundred Years War, capturing Joan of Arc, before he marries Margaret of Anjou to unite England and France, but there is no dowry, angering the court. Margaret finds the pious Henry a dull husband and embarks upon an affair with Somerset as well as crossing Gloucester's wife Eleanor. When Gloucester is arrested for alleged treason because of Eleanor Henry is too feeble to prevent his death or the country slipping into civil war.