Mustafa’s mother is doing some witchcraft incantations, and her maidservant enters shocked saying what are you doing Sultanim, you had repented and said you wouldn’t do witchcraft anymore, I beg you. Halime responds that while she could not protect her elder son, she will protect Mustafa no matter what it takes and what happens.
Anastasia finally sees the portrait of her and Ahmed asks her if she likes it, and if she likes seeing it here. She is angry and he says well it was in Safiye Sultan’s room and then and she says oh it was in her room, you liked it and then they brought me for you! What am I? Am I goat or an olive or an egg (basically some kind of item) for someone to bring me to you? He says that he had no idea that Safiye sultan herself sent for her as a gift to him. She responds that she is not a gift - she is a human being. That she has a family like he does. She says she thought when she first saw him that he was a good person, but now she knows he is just a tyrannical king. She says she will run away and he will see and he replies that no one can run away from this place.
His mother arrives and she informs him that Halime has run away with her son.
The girls see Anastasia return and Cennet tells them look at her the first day she came and she got to go to Halvet. She tells Mahfiruze to help set up her room.
Ahmet asks his mother how can they have run away and the Dervish says the ports are being watched, and they will be found. Handan says oh no what if they get into our enemies hands, or the hands of the Celali revolters. Ahmet tells her to calm down everything she says is catastrophic. Then he orders Dervish to bring them to him.
Outside Handan says to Dervish that basically she is worried after everything she doesn’t want to lose her son and Dervish says I have made a promise to you and myself don’t worry. Then there is a power struggle moment with the aghas and the Dervish where he says I am not just a bostancibasi , I am the right arm of the sultan and I want to know who has heard what who has seen what in the harem!
Meanwhile the son of the leader of the Celali traitors says once they get Halime and the shehzade, they will escape by way of sea and his companion says what is the end outcome of all this? The son answers that basically they will all become a powerful force and march on the Capitol and take Ahmet’s head.
Anastasia is having her own room set up and Mahfiruze asks her why she’s so grumpy, she has such a nice room, nice clothing she’ll get gifts jewels, and Anastasia responds you can have it all if you wish, I just want paper…I want to write to my family so they will at least know I am okay. She asks Mahfiruze if she does not have a family, and Mahfiruze responds that the pasha and his wife who brought her up and sent her as a gift to the palace, she is very grateful to them. Anastasia says your own family, your mother, father, siblings? Mahfiruze says she does not know, she was so small, their faces don’t even come to mind and that her home is now the harem. She prays every night to have the Sultan take her into his arms, so that she may have a male child and Anastasia says and you even pray for it! And Mahfiruze asks her and what did you do? As if you did not get into his arms last night and perhaps even pregnant. She says no, this is impossible because we did not have halvet happen…mahfirzue is beside herself in happiness when she hears this.
Safiye has found out about Halime’s escape and is angry and asks for Nasuh Agha and then Ahmet and his mother arrive. Safiye says I heard that halime the snake has kidnapped our grandchild. Safiye says leave us alone so we can figure out the problem. Ahmet says what has happened and Safiye says perhaps someone has whispered in her ear about the fetva you asked for from the shaykh ul islam. Handan says then the person who helped her must have been someone opposed to the shehzades execution…and then she adds to safiye – oh but you are also opposed to it…
Safiye says that our own sultan of the seven regions had given his order against the execution, so how dare you say this?!
Meanwhile someone asks mahfiruze why she is so happy now, or did they make her Anastasia’s personal cariye. Anastasia arrives and now everyone finds out that Anastasia has not had halvet with Ahmet and that Mahfiruze told her so. Meanwhile there is interrogation about who could have helped Halime escape. They ask the girls to say anything they know. No one speaks up, even though Anastasia remembers seeing Halime and her children runing away by sneaking behind the trap door.
Some pashas are standing and wonder why so many men are summoned with swords. Reyhan Agha informs the pasha that the Sultan awaits their presence.
One of them comments basically that the Sultanas must have something to do with it, as they rule the throne now.
The normal Giray brother hears the commotion of the search for Halime and her son.
Safiye has gone to speak to nasuh agha and tells him to hurry up and try to find the shehzade because if he lands in the hands of enemies it will be bad, or if something should happen to him, it will be worse for the dynasty. Nasuh says but if we find him and hand him to the sultan he will have him killed. Safiye says you just find him first, we will talk about the rest later.
The creepy Giray (shahin) brother is skinning and stuffing the lion when his brother enters and creepy asks his brother where he disappeared early in the morning and the normal Giray asks him if he heard about Halime sultans running away. Shahin says they will find them and perhaps “you will be made the han of the Cirim throne.” His brother is worried and asks what the heck is he doing, is he going to bargain with the Sultan? Shahin says that why not, the Ottomans have kept those who have come from Cengiz Khan’s line as puppets in their hands (used us), why should we not? Why should we not play with them? His brother asks, fine say they play along, why would they give me the throne shahin? According to the rules the throne is your right. Shahin says I have other fordimable dreams…formidable dreams. When the time comes you shall come to know.
Anastasya explains her encounter with Shehzade Mustafa and says yes he was eating chestnuts and I did not know he was a prince, and a woman came…I don’t know where she is, her name was…(she cannot pronounce it properly, she says Nemese?) And the agha says yes, she means Menekse, she is also missing! They must have run together. Reyhan agha tells her that if she is tricking him, he will dump her in a sack and throw her into the sea.
There is training of the more skilled and higher ranking men in the courtyard and we see the younger “acemis” beginners checking in with an official who is saying whether they are fit to stay or not., if they have been curcumsices, what they’re Muslim names are etc. The guy Anastasia met named Andro is asked what he is called now, and he says “Iskender” after Alexander the Great. He is told he is accepted.
Cennet catches Anastasia and asks her what she is doing and if she was following her and Anastasia says she followed her because she wants something from her, she wrote to her family and she just said she is alive, nothing bad in the letter. Cennet says, I don’t know what you wrote – you must forget your family, you are not writing to them – it is forbidden. Anastasia says like you being with a man is forbidden? She gets slapped and Anastasya says, I know I am precious here…I was brought especially for the Sultan. I will tell him everything and he will stop you. Cennet says, well your words would be against mine…Anastasia says then what are you afraid of? Don’t be afraid…I am not your enemy, I wish to be your friend. Cennet laughs and Anastasya says help me, send this to my family, that is all.
There is a speech by the Janissary agha, telling them this is the Janissary barracks, and that from now on this is your home, and your family are your brothers around you. We call this the Er Meydan (can translate to soldier square/arena)– on this side is are the butcher and kitchens, and on the other side our Tekke “lodge” . There are many rules, but I will tell you the most important for now – RUNNING. Get in line hurry up. They are going to race. He points up to a minaret and says, over there is the place we pray – the Orta Cami. And then he says and this is the heart of our barracks, our Pir’s relic from the Sultan – a cauldron is hung here (there is a tradition behind this cauldron, significant to the culture of the janissary wing of the army. We cook our food here. Hu! Soon you will go to your rooms, but for now, you must first run! You will run as fast as you can, whoever’s hat passes is the head! They run and Iskender is pushed but throws his hat across. Another boy says he has won but Iskender says no, I did, you cheated! They are silenced and they say that Iskender has won and he can choose his bed, but Davut the other guy complains and the agha says listen carefully Davut, what had I said? Whoevers hat passes the line…an acemi can run fast, be strong, etc. but there is something more important than those things that an acemi must posses and that is intelligence! Go to your rooms, tomorrow you will get new clothes. The boys size each other up as they walk away to their room. Once there, Iskender is approached by another boy who says who are you? Andro asks why are you asking…The guy says from my villiage Boromir? who was said to be your father, I knew him!…and his son Andro I knew well and you are not him! Andro says, you have confused me with someone else. The guy insists saying or are you a bastard child? If you are, you cannot be in the barraks, it is prohibited, they will throw you out! Andro says, for this reason you will tell no one because….you do not want to be thrown out of the barracks do you? (basically he threatened him)
One Janissary agha asks the Zulfikar, if he has heard about the icnicent and that the soldiers are unhappy. Zuflikar agha responds if it is about the culus wage - special gratuity wage given by a sultan to his men upon ascension of the throne. it is okay I am not worried, there is money on its way from Egypt and soon they will receive wages. But the other agha says that is another issue, I am talking about the fact that the sultan’s brother Sh. Mustafa has been missing for days.
Dervish tells Ahmet that they have brought a fortuneteller woman who used to see Halime hatun before to him. Ahmet meets with her asks where her brother is and where halime is hiding She asks to take his hand and she says don’t worry the shehzade will return but when she does says I see dark shadows and black clouds hovering over your throne…but the shehzade shall return..one day – for the purpose of sitting over you for this throne, he shall return. She is sent away, but her words bother Ahmet. Dervish tells him not to trust her words. Let anyone say what they want, do what they want. Only God takes account and He has written your destiny. Ahmet asks what that is written and Dervish says a glorious future, and with Gods permission we shall strike away the dark clouds.
Meanwhile Halime is informed that the pasha has informed her her will come to retrieve her and she says tell him we are ready. Meanwhile Reyhan agha is watching.
The children are summoned and she tells him they will be leaving and there is an army waiting for him and that they will return to the palace, as soon as they get rid of his Azrael – his brother Ahmet.
Safiye summons Anastasia asking what her and Ahmet did that night since the halvet wasn’t done, because the matter is not to fall in love, but to have progeny, and she says they chatted and then they fell asleep after, and she says oh it seems my grandson is smitten. Then Anastasia says please you went from Venetian Sofia TO Osmanli Safiye…do you not miss your family. She says I believe in fate and my fate was this. Anastasia says the girls don’t remember their parents but I remember. Send me home. Safiye says, of course a bird whose wings are cut will still wish to fly. I accept, you were born free, you had a home, I accept. But what did you do to earn all that? Nothing. You now have a chance in front of you – something very few humans have the chance for. You can have a new home, a new family.
Halime and her children are running away but some men chase her and finally she is faced with Shaheen Giray who slaps her and guards come to take them away. The also catch the Pasha who helped her.
In the palace, Shaheen tells Ahmet, I heard no matter how much people tried to hide it, that the Shehzade ran away. Dervish says don’t worry sooner or later we will find them. Shaheen says, you are late. You should have found him the day he was lost – it is a matter of the Dynasty…but I found him , his family and the Pasha who helped them. Halime is brought in and he yells saying who are you to kidnap a shehzade and Mustafa cries and she says, you spared his life, but you changed and Ahmet says all this is your fault. She says I ran because I heard you hanged your mind. Ahmet orders them thrown in prison.
Anastasia asks what is happening and why this is happening she is told to be quiet and Cennet is asked if this is how she trains the girls.
Outside, the pasha is executed. Safiye sultan in the tower is asked by the agha what about the matter of the sehzahde, the agha suggests he can go talk to the Sheykh isince the Sultan would not be able to do anything without explicit permission from the sheikh.
Shahin is congratulated and Shaheen says that their families have always been friends. Ahmet tells him to come visit him with his brother. A guardsteps forward says he is a soldier, saying his men wish to ask something. Ahmet asks what his subjects want and the man says, they await their gratuity wages, customary aside from their wages, it is a gift given from the Sultan on ascension to the throne. Ahmet asks Zulfikar if the janissaries are also unhappy. Zulfikar says it is true the men are awaiting this gift also, but for the Janissaries, the most precious thing is the word given by the Sultan, and it is enough for them (as in there is no complaint). Ahmet says tell my subjects do not be unhappy because the treasury from Egypt is on its way. The pasha says in a few weeks it shall arrive and the same day the gifts will be distributed.
Handan is speaking to her son and says the matter must be done (exection) safiye stands there waiting. Safiye says you know my personal opinion, the execution is not suitable because there is no other shehzade in case something happens to you. Ahmet says yes you are afraid if something happens to me what shall happen. Safiye says according to the rules of the state, we must take every precaution for every possible situation. She tells him wait if anything, just wait until a cariye of yours has a child, everyone will then stop (trying to use the shehzade) because you’d have a son of your own. Safiye says she says what she had to, and the rest is up to him and Ahmet says whatever the mufti says, it doesn’t matter for the stability of the empire I must do it.
The shaykh is brought a gift with the agha saying our sultana wants your good prayers. Another agha enters and of course this looks suspiscious as if the shaykh is being bought. He is not, but it looks it. The agha talks to him about what will happen to which the shaykh says the time is for a decision.
Handan says that they must do something about Ahmet and that she should send up Anastasia to see her she wishes to talk to her.
The dervish finds Ahmet planting jasmine flowers for Anastasia and Dervish says she must make you happy you smile when you speak her name and Ahmet says actually she is very rebellious – she is angry at everuone especially me. The fetva has arrived amd Ahmet finds out that the shaykh has ruled that the execution is not permissible (in the state, the shaykh is above the Sultan so he can rule on something this way and the sultan would follow his ruling.) But now the other pasha approaches Ahmet and tells him the shaykh did not give the ruling from his free will (hinting that Safiye pressured him).
Anastasia is in front of Handan and asks how many Valides are there? She finds out she is Ahmet’s mother. Handan says how dare you take his name? You are not above the other girls, even if you were brought specifically. She says I wanted to see who my son likes, but she has no qualities – she is young and mannerless. She sends her away and tells them to prepare Mahfiruze for Ahmet.
Ahmet approached the sheikh and tells him if he was going to send word to safiye and Dervish says how dare you go against the Sultan’s wish. The sheikh says, I have consulted other scholars and they all agree with my decision – you have no child, if something were to happen to you, the state would fall into disarray. Ahmet replies, the state is me- I am the state – and tells him that he wants him to sit down and sign the fetva or else he will relieve him of his rank, it is up to him. The Seykh responds you can override my decision according to our laws if it is necessary. Ahmet says I don’t need to learn our rules from you.
Safiye visits Halime in the dungeon and she says I wish we sent you here years ago and you wouldn’t be the reason for your son’s downfall. Halime asks what would you have done? Safiye says don’t speak as if you don’t know – when my son came to the throne, among those in the coffins was my youngest. Halime says you didn’t have power back then, but now no one can question you…please I beg you, help us. Safiye says everyone has some misfortune…it is written for them. Do you know who became a misfortune for this innocent boy? You are. Halime says you cannot fool me, you are heartless, you have no conscience, and you only wish to use my son against Ahmet, this is why you want him to remain alive! This is why!
Safiye goes to Ahmet, who is reading from a book “whoever becomes the Sultan, it is permissible if necessary for the stability of the state to execute his brothers.”
Ahmet blames her for the fetva saying she has gone against the rules and also her Sultan and her punishment is obvious. Safiye says it is better to die than to hear words like this from her own progeny. He says he no longer wants her in his palace. She should prepare because she is being exiled. She says, you may silence me, but can you silence your conscience? Don’t be content with the devil beside you who makes you do this, when it is gone, you wil be alone with your regret, you will see your brothers innocent face everywhere you look. You have 2 choicces – one of mercy, one of cruelty. But do not forget once a person becomes cruel, they will always be cruel.
Food is brought for Mustafa but he wants chesnuts and his mother begs them to bring some for him.
Ahmet and Anastasia both recall their night together. She says if he comes close shell bite him and that he lied to her called himself Bahti. He says I didn’t lie, it is my penname when I write poetry. He speaks to her in Italian and shows her the Suleymanname.
Meanwhile, she pulls out a paper – it is a map where she shows her home to him. She says her mother is Greek, her father Venetian and her grandmother on her fathers side, Greek and that her father is a merchant and that he knows everyone. He asks about his lands, and says you are Sultan, so give an order let me return to my home? Please. He says, God wanted you to come here, so no one can change that. She begs, sned me to my home. He says no its impossible, this is your home. She asks if he will forcibly keep her here, he said, I would rather you remain by your will. Then she tries to throw an apple, he jokingly says I will ask the guards to take your head, didn’t they tell you I eat little girls hearts? They laugh and then she says “You know the thing you call halvet” he says do not worry, nothing will happen without wish, I will wait for you when you are ready.
We see he has given her the page. Meanwhile, she notices mahfiruze is preparing. Se says she will make him happy and hopefully in the morning she’ll have a baby. Anastia says you? She replies the hunkar especially asked for her. The other girl says do not be jealous, there is no jealousy here, it is like this. Anastasia says she is not jealous and she won’t be like that, she will return home.
Mahfiruze says to Ahmet, she cannot get Ahmet him of her mind. Later proof of the consummation of halvet is brought before Handan who says she prays a child comes of it. Ahmet finds Mahfiruze looking at the portrait of Anastasiya, and he tells mahfiruze afterwards to leave. She is visibly upset when she enters the place where the cariyes sleep and Anastasia sees she has returned early and is upset.
Meanwhile the acemis have to wake up and the youngest kid says he is sorry , his name is Hassan from Kayser and the agha asks how he will become a Janissary the kid says “by your grace” and they laugh and he says no laughing, and says to Andro, you are responsible for your brothers. The Er Meydan (the arena) the janissaries practice and train and the boys see from above in awe and eagerness, thinking this is what they will be doing. But haha, nope, they get to go help in the kitchen.
The agha says come to will come to the important lesson, let’s go. They go to the kitchens were the food is made. They are introduced to their teacher. He looks at them and tells them that he is responsible for their eating, drinking, lessons, manners, upbringing. He shows the famous cauldron and says anyone who eats from under it are brothers. He asks who their leader is, Andro steps forward. One of them says, oh so we’ll cook like women? I didn’t come all this way for this. The teacher says you insolent kid, all of you walk ahead!
Safiye’s daughter has come to ask her mother how can she be exiled. Safiye says it is Handan’s work making her grandchild go against her. Her daughter says Handan is after power, but you are so powerful, your shadow is enough.
In the harem Mahfiruze is bragging saying pass out sweets, and the girls gather to gossip about how Ahmet is. Mahfiruze lies saying she left in the morning, and Cennet yells because Safiye has come.
The girls witness the tension between Safiye and Handan, who says I came to visit you, and Safiye says oh if you came for my prayers, but Handan says, yes on the day I see you off (say goodbye), and then yes certainly I will, ask for your blessing. As you know, (she announces this) my son has exiled you…soon you are going to the palace of tears. I have asked special preparations to be made for you. Safiye says I am glad you did that for me. (I think she adds , seeing your joy ____ finding themselves in the remainder of their lives in the palace of tears…(this part was hard to hear she doesn’t say some of the words clearly)
Anastasia asks what the palace of tears is and Cennet says it is the old Palace, the Sultanas are sent there, or anyone else for that matter who is exiled, or who loses their power go there. Some hatuns can be married (not sultanas, but girls who are sent) but others get lost among the cold stone walls… And they sit and weep all day long. This is why it is called Palace of tears.
The Janissaries are cooking, the acemi are helping and the teacher tells them about brotherhood on the fields. Andro asks the young boy Hassan how he learned to talk so much, he says how are you Muslim, it is forbidden for children from Muslim family enter the corps, he says I came from Christian family but thank God I am now Muslim.
Mahfrizue admires her gifts and she stares at Anastasia and tells her to come over who comes over and help her pack her things. Anastasia says do it yourself, Mahfiruze says I helped you, Anastasia says I am not you, I don’t do things I don’t want to do, and I saw you last night you returned quickly. She cried last night. Mahfiruze says she is lying and that she actually came in the morning. Anastasia says lets tell Cennet kalfa lets see what she says. Mahfiruze says she’s just jealous, the hunkar would not even look at this one’s face. Anastais says I would not look at him, he is a tyrannical Sultan – bringng girls here, killing his brother – a barbarian! Mahfiruze slaps her and they fight. They are stopped and Handan calls them to her. She takes Mahfiruze’s side who says Anastasia started it and she sends Anastasia away to the dungeons – no food no water.
Anastasia is taken down and Golge gives her a torch.
Fahriye, Safiyes daughter talks to Ahmet saying I heard about the exile of my mother. Ahmet says he did not want to do that. Shaheen Giray tells Ahmet that he has personally stuffed the lion for him. Mehmet Giray lies and says he has never met Fahriye, but clearly he has.
Fahriye Sultan and the Giray brother are in love and they are exchanging letters.
Meanwhile, halime has brought her son chestnuts and is allowed to visit him.
Ahmet recalls the words of the fortuneteller, he tells Dervish to inform the executioners that the matter must be concluded tonight, ahead of the night prayer.
Fahriye reads the letter, basically they are in love and she tells him it is the last letter for now, but she orders him to be patient, not to go back on their love, she loves him too, he says I will never forget you etc.
And then Ahmet enters his room and sees the lion, and then the painting of Anastasia with the lamb beside it and then he asks for the agha, to remove the lion out of the room and to call for Anastasia.
Anastasia is passing out on the floor of the dungeon, thinking of her parents, of the letter she wrote to them, saying that if she never returns, death will be a savior for her but then she finds herself looking into Ahmet’s face who has brought her to the secret terrace. She wakes, they hug, but there is a storm and a drop of rain on his face, and suddenly the call to prayer awakens his conscience… he sees his older brother in his mind. He is caught between his decision and his conscience.
Basically the executioners are ready and about to do it, but Ahmet runs off and stops them and hugs his brother. Halime is greatful. He tells Halime, she has one more chance - one wrong misstep and it will be over net time. She tries to praise him and thank him but he pulls his kaftan away from her.
Ahmet returns to find Anastasia in his room. She asks him what is the matter, why did he run off and where to? They sit together on the bed, and he says I couldn’t kill my brother and she sets her head on his shoulder and falls asleep in peace., he continues talking saying stop thinking about going back home, it will all become a bad memory one day (it will all pass) because your destiny is to be with me…in this palace by my side because your destiny is to be here with me. But she has fallen asleep.
Safiye has ordered coins to be counted from her own wealth for the sipahis (soldiers) and Janissaries so that “Ahmet can see the consequences of trying to exile me.”
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