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The Favourite Analysis: Themes of Power & Manipulation

The Who & The What #011

The Favourite Analysis: Themes of Power & Manipulation

Watch my The Favourite analysis in this deep-dive video essay, which explores the screenplay’s character development as well as themes of power and manipulation.

The Favourite Analysis Anne and Sarah

The Favourite is a comedy-drama set in early 18th-century England, which tells the tale of a new servant arriving at Queen Anne’s palace, which throws the power structures off balance as she gradually endears herself with the frail monarch.

The story primarily focuses on the relationships between Queen Anne, Abigail and Sarah Marlborough.

The triangle they form creates fertile ground for conflict. In other words, a power struggle between a triad introduces a whole other dimension to typical relationship dynamics, which stretches far beyond a simple conflict between protagonist and antagonist.

The effect of the triad is heightened by the fact that characters are forced to make moral choices whilst exercising willfulness and intentionality as their agendas clash with each other.

This sparks conflict, which in turn reveals the character’s insecurities, flaws and poor decision-making, all while they keep secrets from each other.

The Favourite Analysis Abigail

The use of power and manipulation is a tool the writers use to fuel all of this in a manner that is relevant and applicable to the story world they are in.

The character development throughout the screenplay is particularly noteworthy as the plot moves forward in a manner that is inherently tied to the characters within the script. 

Overall, The Favourite’s themes of power and manipulation are perfectly executed, providing a compelling look at the consequences of using such strategies to pursue one’s goals.

The Favourite Analysis Queen Anne flawed characters

The video essay above is a must-watch if you want to see The Favourite analysis from a professional screenplay consultant.

Learn how the story’s theme is interwoven through the primary characters to grasp a broader understanding of the screenwriting craft.

Also, to check out the rest of my video essay series, click the button below.

Nick Fore Script Doctor / Script Consultant

Nick Fore is an experienced script consultant who reads screenplays for the British Film Institute.


He has written comprehensive coverage on over 1,000 scripts and has helped screenwriters get their work into development with production companies such as Imagine Entertainment and Screen Ireland. 

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