The Ethians Explained In My Lady Jane: Powers & Verity Breakdown

By Richard Nebens Posted:
My Lady Jane family

After My Lady Jane's debut on Amazon Prime Video, the Ethians (along with their powers) and the Verity have viewers enthralled and seeking more information.

Adapted by Gemma Burgess and Meredith Glynn, My Lady Jane is an adaptation of a novel series telling a historical reimagining of the life of the Nine Days Queen, Lady Jane Grey.

Partially based on real people, this series changes their personalities and sets the story in a world filled with magic, dividing the population into two unique groups.

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My Lady Jane's Ethians & Verity Explained

Edward Bluemel Lord Guildford Dudley in human and horse form in My Lady Jane
Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video's My Lady Jane series brings an interesting combination of characters to the forefront with two groups of people known as the Ethians and the Verity.

The Ethians are a special class of people in this universe, as they have a magical ability to transform into magical creatures. Examples of different animals include dogs, horses, and hawks

While most Ethians can change between their human and animal forms at will, there are a few exceptions who have no choice over the transition. The main exception is Edward Bluemel's Lord Guildford Dudley, who is a man by day and a horse by night.

Also not up to the Ethians is what specific animal they change into, as confirmed by the show's narrator. According to Cynthia Hand's original book, there seems to be a genetic component for some specific Ethian forms based on family ties and bloodlines.

Even if the specific animal is not genetic the way it is in the book, the show confirms the ability is passed down genetically and can also skip generations. 

Ethian's first change is triggered by hormones or stress, meaning many turn for the first time during puberty.

Meanwhile, those in the Verity (known as Verites) have no magical abilities whatsoever, including the ability to change into animals. This makes them ordinary humans.

The series jokingly pretends Jane may be able to perform magic with certain incantations, but that is quickly dispelled when the narrator confirms this is not "that kind of show." This appears to indicate the Verities possess no magic abilities whatsoever.

What the Ethians & Verity Stand For

The Verities teach their children that the Ethians were sent by Satan from hell to disrupt and ruin the Verities' way of life, setting up a natural and easy conflict between the two factions.

Essentially, the Ethians are considered a myth early in the series before Jane's maid, Susannah, turns into a hawk to avoid capture after they flee together.

Jane's mother chastises her for hiding an Ethian, reminding her of how the shapeshifters are viewed in society. Famous historical figure Henry VIII was even an Ethian in this story, transforming into a lion, and his rule marked the only time his people were safe.

This period of Tudor history (the 1500s) is known for its passionate battles and wars between Catholics and Protestants. The battle between the Ethians and Verity represents a similar fight, but it is infused with magic and mythical creatures.

For a more modern comparison, the dynamic essentially serves as an allegory for racial discrimination — a theme that is unfortunately all too present in the present day. It parallels other marginalized groups in the 21st century, making it relevant for viewers even though it is a period piece.

My Lady Jane is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.