Queen Isabella is the cold-blooded and ruthless mother of King Edward III and one of the main villains in the live action television show World Without End. She is portrayed by Aure Atika and is based off of a real-life English monarch of the same name.
Queen Isabella first appears in the series premiere, having recently attained victory over her husband Edward II, whose crown she promptly passes down to her son Edward III. Pursuing a romantic affair with Roger Mortimer, it is later learned that the two had Edward II murdered in his prison cell, and then attempted to cover it up. However they were unable to prevent one of Isabella's former knights, Sir Thomas frome escaping with a parchment that contains evidence of Isabella and Roger's scheme. Though they eventually reclaim the letter and then attempt to burn it to conceal the truth, Edward III discovers the letter and with it as evidence places Roger under arrest. He then has him hanged on the spot, leaving Isabela devastated. She subsequently declares revenge on the city Sir Thomas has fled to, Kingsbridge, and over the next several years goes out of her way to inflict suffering upon the city, first by taxing them harshly. She also simultaneously tricks her son into going to war with France, a conflict he had initially wished to avoid. Her brutal taxation of Kingsbridge eventually comes to the point where the town must abandon it's attempts to rebuild it's bridge to keep paying the taxes, even though without a bridge the town is doomed. This is precisely what Isabella is counting on.
Following the death of her granddaughter, Queen Isabella returns from an exile she had previously been sent on to mourn alongside her estranged son. She also reveals that she does not have long to live, but manages to at last make peace with her son, saying that he was the one thing she added to the world that she was proud of. Unfortunately, Isabella remains somewhat vindictive, and is easily manipulated by Ralph Fitzgerald and Petranilla to further their own agendas. And upon learning that her former husband is in fact still alive and has been living in Kingsbridge all along as Sir Thomas, Isabella is enraged and urges her son to kill him to maintain his power, also finally giving Isabella a perfect opportunity to berid herself of the hated Kingsbridge.
In the end though, while Edward slays his father, he chooses to spare Kingsbridge from destruction. If Isabella has any anger towards her son for doing this, she doesn't show it, the two only sharing one last silent look before leaving Kingsbridge behind.
Personality and Traits
Queen Isabella is shown to be an extremely cold-blooded and stoic individual, who clearly knows (or thinks) that she is superior to almost everyone around her. She rarely shows any genuine care or concern for anyone with one of the few exceptions being her lover, who she was truly saddened to see be killed. Though she made her son the new king of England, there is little if any evidence to suggest that Isabella has any true love for him, as she is not above manipulating him to achieve her own goals and the two's relationship is typically shown to be dispassionate and sometimes outright hateful. Following Roger's death she blames the entirety of Kingsbridge for his execution and vows to make them all suffer for their "affront", suggesting she is an incredibly vengeful individual who will go to any lengths to take what she feels is sufficient vengeance for perceived slights.
Notably for all of her lack of love concerning her son Edward, Isabella does apprently have some level of fondness for her granddaughter, as she returned from exile to mourn her death. She also here finally shows some genuine feelings for her son, and ultimately comes off as more sympathetic than before. Unfortunately though, vindictive elements of her personality remain, which ironically cause her to become a victim of manipulation. Her hatred for both her husband and Kingsbridge also linger, and in the end Isabella decies to try and raze the entire city to the ground, completely heedless to the consequences.