Poldark: What Elizabeth's return from the dead means for George Warleggan

Poldark Cast

Elizabeth Warleggan may have died in series 4 but her return in series 5 could have a huge impact on her widowed husband George

Poldark finally returned to our screens on Sunday, July 14th after an agonising year-long wait and the BBC drama has brought along a new batch of plotting and intrigue for us all to enjoy. 

Series 5 picks up pretty much where series 4 left off in 2018. The first episode offers up plenty to get our teeth stuck into as Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) is recruited by an old army colleague to spring him out of jail, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) is left in charge of the Poldark household back in Cornwall and the grieving George Warleggan (Jack Farthing), who lost his wife Elizabeth (Heida Reed) at the end of series 4 looks to have an unfortunate few episodes ahead.

While it's Ross who expectedly takes centre-stage in the episode, it's the melancholic George Warleggan who offered up the most alarming moments of the series 5 return as his wife, despite her death, appears before him during the episode in an unexpected 'return' from beyond the grave. It would appear that not all is well with the widower George.

What happened to Elizabeth Warleggan?

The last time we saw Elizabeth was in her final few moments in series 4 as she succumbed to gangrene and passed away. 

Elizabeth has been the source of controversy among the characters of Poldark, most of it stems from her relationship with Ross Poldark and marriage to George Warleggan. 

Shortly before Elizabeth and George married, she and Ross conceived a child, in a scene many were uncomfortable with as it verged on rape according to some viewers. To throw people off the scent that the baby was, in fact, Polark's she 'accidentally' fell down the stairs to bring about a premature birth for her son Valentine, to make it seems as though he was actually George's son.

Over the next few years, several people remark that young Valentine looks far more like Ross Poldark than George Warleggan, leading Elizabeth's husband to have suspicions over the true origins of the boy. 

In series 4, Elizabeth falls pregnant again, this time actually with George's child. However, speculation over Valentine's true parentage still persists so she seeks the help of a doctor in order to bring about early labour once again to cover her's and Polark's tracks.

It works and baby Ursula is born a month early but Elizabeth is much less fortunate and contracts gangrene from the medicine she was given which eventually lead her to die at the end of series 4. 

Poldark George And Elizabeth Warleggan

Why did she appear in the series 5 return?

In the closing scene of series 5's first episode, we join George as he sees his wife sat opposite him at the dining table. However, his father who joins him in the room sees no one. 

It's quite clear that what George sees is a hallucination of his late wife and that she hasn't mysteriously returned from the dead.

What does it mean for George?

Seeing apparitions of his late-wife is not a good sign for George who has been hit hard by her death. 

It would appear that his grief is all-consuming, so much so that he's being driven insane. It's not been an easy ride for George whose son isn't actually his and whose daughter's birth caused the death of his wife.

Due to the rumours of Valentine's parentage, George has grown apart from 'his' son and now this bout of what we can only assume is insanity is not a good sign for his newborn daughter Ursula either. 

If these visions persist, Valentine and Ursula might have to cope with even less than one parent.

Episode 2 of Poldark's 5th series will air on BBC One on Sunday, July 21st and it should be a cracker.

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