Kenna in Reign left during the second season finale, after Caitlin Stasey asked the producers to write her character off the show.
The CW network is known for creating fantasy and Sci-Fi themed television series such as Reign. The premise of the series is, “Mary, Queen of Scots, faces political and sexual intrigue in the treacherous world of the French court” and it first premiered in 2013.
For the first two seasons of the series, one of the fan-favourite characters was one of Queen Mary’s ladies-in-waiting, Kenna. She was a complex and compelling character whose story arc developed well from season one to season two.
Kenna was one of the first main characters to leave the series in 2015. She left during the season finale as Caitlin Stasey asked to be written off the series.
Why did Reign end?
Reign had a four-season run between 2013 and 2017.
Despite the fact that the story was inspired by the life and times of Mary, Queen of Scots, The CW series did not stick to the actual historical events precisely. Instead, the series merged some historical moments with tropes that are more common in soap operas, and the result was a compelling watch.
However, it seems that by the fourth season, the show had dropped so much in viewership numbers and popularity, that The CW decided not to renew it for a fifth season. This announcement was made while the cast and crew were shooting the fourth season, hence, some of the characters’ story arcs were never aptly concluded.
Reign: Kenna’s character and exit
Kenna, in the story, was one of the queen’s four ladies-in-waiting. She made her first appearance in the first episode of the series, alongside the other ladies-in-waiting; Greer , Aylee, and Lola.
Throughout the seasons she was part of the series, Kenna was best described as a spitfire character.
Initially perceived as quiet, viewers quickly learned that Kenna was ambitious and knew what she wanted, which was to marry into a life of luxury and not servitude. Throughout her appearances, we learned that she was loyal, but she also had tunnel vision, which sometimes made her selfish.
This characterisation was exploited in season two, as the story worked on writing her out of her series.
At first, Kenna was the King of France’s official mistress. However, after their second break-up, the king forced Kenna to marry his illegitimate but favourite son, Sebastian. Their marriage came to an end when Sebastian discovered that Kenna was pregnant with General Renaude’s child.
After the end of her marriage in the season two finale, she decided to go to Sweden where she would have her baby. But while she was on her way, she met King George II of Imereti, and she convinced him that she would visit him after helping her sister’s baby.
Implication of Kenna’ exit
Kenna’s exit in Reign aimed to give the character a fitting and happy story ending.
When she left the French Court, it was under a dark cloud, as she was set to give birth out of wedlock, a shame which would have tarnished her reputation and dignity forever. Hence, she decided to leave and have the baby in Sweden.
But through meeting King George II of Imereti, viewers were assured that she had found the next man she would be romantically involved with to improve her social standing. Moreover, she suggested that she did not plan to give the child up as initially planned, but would keep the baby.
Inspiration for Reign’s Kenna
The inspiration for the character of Lady Kenna and the ladies-in-waiting is believed to be the historical figures known as The Four Marys. These were Mary, the Queen of Scots’ four ladies-in-waiting, who all shared the name Mary.
In the series, though, they were given different names to make it easier to differentiate between the characters. Lady Kenna’s characterisation is believed to have referenced Lusty Mary from The Four Marys. Which makes sense, considering her story arc in the series.
Why did Caitlin Stasey leave Reign?
Caitlin Stasey apparently left Reign amicably. This is as the actress was alleged to have informed the producers of the series prior to season two that she wanted to be written off the story in order to pursue other career opportunities.
She left the show in 2015 and went on to be part of three productions in the same year, including a short film titled Matthew E. White: Vision, and the television series, Please Like Me, where she returned to playing Claire, who first appeared in the series in 2013.
Since then, Stasey has worked on other film and television projects. Her upcoming project is a film called Smile, expected to be released this year.