Queen Elinor, widow of Henry II, is King John’s mother. History’s Eleanor of Aquitaine, she is an old and decrepit woman still in full possession of her senses.
She is much stronger-willed (and more intelligent) than her son; she is also still quite capable of flirting with her newly-discovered grandson, the Bastard. She is John’s chief counselor, and fully aware that his claim to the throne is less than strong. Adept at diplomacy, she believes it is a better solution than war, and quickly sees the benefit of Hubert’s suggestion that Blanch and Lewis marry. Her reputation is not good, possibly with good reason: she may have forged a will to allow John to succeed to the throne, and may also distract Arthur specifically so that John can entice Hubert into murdering the boy. Living mostly in France, she is John’s chief information-gatherer about the preparations for war, and her death leaves him ill-informed about the coming French invasion.