On an allied topic to the repetition of the Herod story in the tales of King Arthur, Universalis notes that scholars sometimes make a similar argument for two early figures. "The prophets Elijah and Elisha are a bit of an embarrassment," they note, because they have not only such similar names but reputed miracles that are often so similar in character that scholars argue there is really one story here that somehow got divided in two in the record, rather than two lives more or less accurately recounted.
Since this is the feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury, they note a similar coincidence:
A learned and worldly man called Thomas, a close and trusted friend of King Henry, is appointed by the king to a high office where he is expected to be loyal... Thomas suffers an interior conversion and resolves to follow his conscience, God's voice within him [which] leads to a conflict with the king, who feels betrayed by his trusted friend....A fair argument! Sometimes the rhymes are in history itself, and not just in our stories about our history.
Are we talking about Henry II of England and Thomas à Becket? Or Henry VIII of England and Thomas More?