The Palace of Versailles is packed full of schemers, plotters, rulers, lovers and manipulators as the BBC2 drama arrives back on our screens for its third and final series.
Old favourites are set to return (King Louis, of course, and his brother Philippe) but there are also some newcomers at the Palace.
As Versailles continues this Monday at 9pm on BBC2, here’s everyone you need to know about, and where you’ve seen them before…
George Blagden plays King Louis XIV
Who is King Louis XIV? Louis XIV is at the heart of Versailles, having decided to make his entire court up sticks and move to a lavish new palace outside Paris. In series two we see this ruthless monarch trying to consolidate his power, but as more and more nobles flock to Versailles, has he created a beautiful monster that he can’t control?
Where have I seen him before? George Blagden played Athelstan in Vikings, and Grantaire in Les Misérables. Recently he appeared in the Black Mirror episode Hang the DJ, as Lenny.
Alexander Vlahos plays Prince Philippe
Who is Prince Philippe? Monsieur Philippe d’Orléans is Louis’ little brother, but their relationship is not without friction. In series one, the King had an affair with Philippe’s wife Henriette, and the two frequently clashed over personal and public matters. Philippe is also a formidable soldier and a leader on the battlefield – a sore point with his brother.
Philippe was raised as a girl to prevent him from overshadowing the future king. He still enjoys cross-dressing and will let himself be dominated by his long-term lover, the Chevalier de Lorraine. After the death of his first wife, he remarried in series two to Princess Palatine.
Where have I seen him before? Alexander Vlahos gained a huge fan following when he starred in Merlin. He’s also played Private Keenan in Privates, and Tom Evans in The Indian Doctor.
Elisa Lasowski plays Marie-Thérèse
Who is Marie-Thérèse? Marie-Thérèse is King Louis’ Queen. She doesn’t appreciate being sidelined in favour of his mistresses, but she has little choice in the matter. Docile and pious, she is an isolated figure at court – but will the arrival of Leopold change things for her in series three?
Where have I seen Elisa Lasowski before? Elisa Lasowski popped up briefly in Game of Thrones as Mirelle. She’s the girl with the mouse’s tail approaching the bejewelled-astronaut-skull in David Bowie’s music video for Blackstar (yes, really) and she played Nadzia in Line of Duty back in 2012.
Evan Williams plays Chevalier
Who is Chevalier? Chevalier de Lorraine is the longtime lover of the King’s brother, Philippe.
Where have I seen Evan Williams before? Evan Williams played Luke in the TV series Awkward, and Baxter McNab in Baxter.
Rory Keenan plays Leopold
Who is Leopold? Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I arrives in Versailles as a guest after losing the Franco-Dutch War of 1672-78 to France.
Where have I seen Rory Keenan before? The Irish actor has primarily worked on the stage, but his screen roles include Bilibin in War & Peace, Eric Dunbar in Striking Out, and Donal in Peaky Blinders.
Tygh Runyan plays Fabien Marchal
Who is Fabien Marchal? Fabien Marchal is the chief of Louis’ Stasi-style police force and is an entirely fictional character (though his job may have existed). Louis only has to say “take care of it” and Fabien will make his problem go away. Often that means torture and gruesome murder, both of which Fabien excels at.
Where have I seen Tygh Runyan before? Tygh Runyan is a veteran supporting actor. His CV includes credits in Stargate Universe, Comforting Skin, Road to Nowhere and The Brother. He’s also the lead guitarist in Canadian indie pop band The Awkward Stage.
Jessica Clark plays Princess Palatine
Who is Princess Palatine? Princess Palatine joined in series two. The German princess was chosen to marry Philippe, and it turned out to be a surprisingly good match – despite Philippe’s lack of interest in women.
“Do you know what, I think it is actually a happy marriage,” Vlahos told RadioTimes.com. “I mean, apart from the fact that he’s been forced to marry her for political reasons, on Louis’ behalf, they actually grow to like each other and have a very fond affection towards each other.”
Where have I seen Jessica Clark before? Jessica Clark is a relative newcomer to TV. She has previously played Lena Roy in Doctors, and a graduate student in Silent Witness.