This is an unofficial fan-generated spec script, transcribed from the completed TV episode. Posted April 10, 2019.
Season Seven Premiere. Jon Snow organizes the defense of the North. Cersei tries to even the odds. Samwell discovers crucial information. Daenerys comes home.
Int. the twins - feast hall - day
WALDER FREY sits at the high table of his castle's feast hall, his eyes darting as he scans the room. It's crowded with men, and noisy with the babble of voices.
Walder bangs his goblet against the table, and the room goes quiet.
You're wondering why I brought you all here. After all, we just had a feast. Since when does old Walder give us two feasts in a single fortnight?
Appreciative laughter from the crowd.
Well, it's no good being lord of the Riverlands if you can't celebrate with your family. That's what I say!
The men pound the tables and cry "Yes!" and "Hear! Hear!"
Walder signals to the SERVING GIRLS who are waiting quietly in the periphery, holding pitchers of wine. They begin moving among the tables.
I've gathered every Frey who means a damn thing, so I can tell you my plans for this great House, now that winter has come. But first: a toast!
The Freys send up an eager chorus of ayes. They hold out their goblets for the serving girls to fill.
No more of that Dornish horse piss! This is the finest Arbor gold. Proper wine, for proper heroes!
Another cheer. Walder lifts his goblet.
Walder lifts his goblet to his lips, but does not drink. His eyes scan the crowd keenly, watching as all the Frey men drink deeply. A smile plays around Walder's lips. Perfect.
At his side, Walder's young wife KITTY FREY lifts her own goblet to her lips.
Not you. I'm not wasting good wine on a damn woman.
She stops, looking up at him with timid eyes. She meekly sets her wine back down, undrunk.
(to the room)
Maybe I'm not the most pleasant man. I'll admit it. But I'm proud of you lot. You're my family. The men who helped me slaughter the Starks at the Red Wedding.
They cheer loudly at that. Oh, how they cheer.
Yes, yes. Cheer! Brave men, all of you. Butchered a woman pregnant with her babe. Cut the throat of a mother of five. Slaughtered your guests after inviting them into your home.
The cheers have died out, replaced by a confused, uneasy quiet. Kitty glances up at Walder, puzzled.
But you didn't slaughter every one of the Starks.
Some of the men are beginning to cough.
No, no. That was your mistake. You should have ripped them all out, root and stem.
The coughing escalates to choking and hacking as Walder continues speaking. Some of the men are coughing up blood.
Leave one wolf alive, and the sheep are never safe.
All around the hall, men are collapsing to the ground, coughing violently and bleeding from their mouths. Those of stronger constitution watch in terrified bewilderment as their family members fall and die all around them, before succumbing themselves.
Walder watches the bloodbath with serene self-satisfaction. The hall is noisy with the death throes of House Frey.
Before long, it's over, and a horrible silence prevails. One of the serving girls stares at the carnage in uncomprehending horror. She slowly turns her bewildered gaze up toward Walder, still standing calmly at the high table.
With one hand, Walder grasps the skin under his jaw. He gives it a tug, pulls up and away--
--and reveals himself to be ARYA STARK.
Arya surveys her handiwork with total dispassion. She turns to face Kitty Frey.
When people ask you what happened here, tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey.
The poor woman is too frightened and confused to do anything but stare.
Arya turns away from her, stepping around the corpses as she calmly walks down the length of the hall. She takes her time, soaking in the sight of her dead enemies. They are slumped on the tables and sprawled on the floor. It's a sight reminiscent of the Red Wedding that took place in this very hall.
As she exits the hall, Arya allows the hint of a smile to come over her face.
END OF COLD OPEN
EXT. north of the wall - tundra landscape - DAY
We open on a barren, tundra-like landscape.
In the distance, a storm front appears and pushes toward the camera -- a low ominous cloud of mist and swirling snow.
Within this storm, the NIGHT KING slowly becomes visible, riding toward us on a dead horse.
Visibility worsens as the blizzard overtakes us. As the Night King draws close, more WHITE WALKERS emerge from the storm haze. And behind them, a horde of WIGHTS.
The wights stream past us on either side, moving slowly but inexorably -- countless numbers of them.
Then something much larger emerges into view: a WIGHT GIANT. Its heavy footfalls thud ominously against the ground as it lumbers toward us.
As it draws close, we see the ARMY OF THE DEAD spread out behind it in an unending sea of wight soldiers, with more wight giants dotted here and there like tall mushrooms poking out of a field. The first wight giant walks right up to us, bringing us a terrifying closeup of its half-rotted face, its bright blue eyes glowing eerily in its sockets.
Ext. Castle black tunnel, north side of the wall - day
Cut from a closeup of the wight giant's face to a closeup of BRAN STARK's face. His eyes are warg white.
Bran returns to himself, to the sound of rattling chains, as the Wall's outer gate is slowly lifted.
MEERA REED stands in front of Bran's sledge. The heavy gate slowly rises up to reveal Castle Black's tunnel.
DOLOROUS EDD emerges from the tunnel to meet them, accompanied by a contingent of NIGHT'S WATCHMEN. Edd halts at the mouth of the tunnel, casting a wary eye over these strangely-garbed strangers.
I'm Meera Reed, daughter of Howland Reed. This is Brandon Stark, son of Ned Stark.
Meera is freezing, and beyond exhausted, but she holds her voice steady as she speaks.
Edd is still wary.
How do I know that's true?
Bran lifts his head and fixes Edd with an omniscient stare.
You were at the Fist of the First Men. You were at Hardhome.
Edd finds this quite disconcerting.
You've seen the Army of the Dead. You've seen the Night King. He's coming for us. For all of us.
Edd stares at Bran. How does this strange boy know all this?
He doesn't know what to make of it. But letting them in seems like the right thing to do.
(to his men)
Ay, come on. Let's get them inside.
Two Night's Watchmen come forward and take up the ropes of Bran's sledge. They pull Bran into the tunnel, with Meera following alongside them.
Edd lingers for a moment more. He takes a few steps out and stares into the ominous lands beyond the Wall.
Finally, he turns and retreats into the tunnel. The heavy gate rumbles as it slowly lowers itself back down.
Int. Winterfell great hall - day
JON SNOW is holding court, standing at the high table with SANSA STARK and DAVOS SEAWORTH sitting alongside him.
I want every Northern maester to scour their records for any mention of dragonglass. Dragonglass kills White Walkers, it's more valuable to us now than gold. We need to find it, we need to mine it, we need to make weapons from it.
The hall is crowded with people, including LORD GLOVER, LYANNA MORMONT, BRIENNE, PODRICK PAYNE, TORMUND, LITTLEFINGER, LORD MANDERLY, LORD ROYCE, ALYS KARSTARK, NED UMBER and the rest of the NORTHERN BANNERMEN -- everyone of importance who is currently present at Winterfell. They all listen intently as Jon speaks.
Everyone aged ten to sixty will drill daily with spears, pikes, bow and arrow.
It's about time we taught these boys of summer how to fight.
A murmur of agreement throughout the hall.
Not just the boys.
Brienne looks up at Jon from her seat in the hall.
We can't defend the North if only half the population is fighting.
You expect me to put a spear in my granddaughter's hand?
Lyanna Mormont stands up before Jon can answer.
I don't plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be small, Lord Glover, and I might be a girl. But I am every bit as much a Northerner as you.
Indeed you are, my lady, no one is (questioning that--)
And I don't need your permission to defend the North.
We'll begin training every man, woman, boy, and girl on Bear Island.
A clamor of agreement affirms young Lady Mormont's words. Glover gives her a respectful nod.
While we're preparing for attack, we need to shore up our defenses. The only thing standing between us and the Army of the Dead is the Wall, and the Wall hasn't been properly manned in centuries.
I'm not the king of the Free Folk.
Tormund looks up at that, meeting Jon's gaze.
But if we're going to survive this winter together...
You want us to man the castles for you?
Aye. The last time we saw the Night King was at Hardhome. The closest castle to Hardhome is Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.
Then that's where I'll go.
(to the lords bannermen)
Looks like we're the Night's Watch now.
Glover does not miss the provocative mocking tone in this wildling's voice. But he manages a strained smile.
Now if they breach the Wall, the first two castles in their path are Last Hearth and Karhold.
The Umbers and the Karstarks betrayed the North! Their castles should be torn down with not a stone left standing.
(before Jon can speak)
The castles committed no crimes. And we need every fortress we have for the war to come.
We should give the Last Hearth and Karhold to new families -- loyal families who supported us against Ramsay.
The hall likes this idea, by the sound of it.
The Umbers and the Karstarks have fought beside the Starks for centuries. They've kept faith for generation after generation.
And then they broke faith.
Littlefinger gets a sly look on his face as Jon and Sansa argue.
I'm not going to strip these families of their ancestral homes because of the crimes of a few reckless sons, I--
So there's no punishment for treason, and no reward for loyalty?
Silence. Brienne and Davos look at their respective Starks, then avert their gaze. They can both tell that this is not good.
Jon is holding Sansa in an iron gaze, making her marinate in the awkwardness of her impertinence. When he finally speaks, it's in a tone we haven't quite heard from him before.
The punishment for treason is death. Smalljon Umber died on the field of battle. Harold Karstark died on the field of battle.
They died fighting for Ramsay. Give the castles to the families of the men who died fighting for you.
A loud groundswell of support goes up in the hall, in response to Sansa's rhetoric.
Littlefinger smiles. He's liking Sansa's spunk in this argument. And he's liking how awkward this has made things for Jon.
It's clear that the room has gotten away from our King in the North. The lords nod to each other as the noise dies down, as though Sansa's words have decided the matter.
Jon takes a moment to collect himself for a speech.
When I was Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, I executed men who betrayed me. I executed men who refused to follow orders. My father always said the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword, and I have tried to live by those words.
Jon is gathering steam now, and his voice rings with authority.
But I will not punish a son for his father's sins. And I will not take a family home away from a family it has belonged to for centuries.
That is my decision. And my decision is final.
Jon nails Sansa with a pointed look.
They stare each other down for a moment, then Sansa backs down with a sigh of frustration. Jon has pulled rank on her.
Young Ned Umber rises timidly from his seat and into view. He is very much a child, and a frightened one at that.
Alys Karstark likewise reveals herself in the crowd. She is a bit older than Ned, but still little more than a child.
Jon gestures for them to come toward him. They oblige haltingly, painfully conscious of the judging eyes upon them. Alys does her best to hold her head up high.
For centuries our families fought side by side on the battlefield. I ask you to pledge your loyalty, once again, to House Stark. To serve as our bannermen, and come to our aid whenever called upon.
Ned and Alys stare up at him, then solemnly draw their swords and kneel.
Yesterday's wars don't matter anymore. The North needs to band together. All the living North. Will you stand beside me Ned and Alys, now and always?
NED & ALYS
Now and always.
The bannermen fill the hall with their applause and appreciation, stirred by Jon's speech and by the sight of these young heirs swearing renewed fealty to their king.
Sansa does not join in. She looks frustrated and downcast.
Littlefinger notices, and smiles.
Ext. Winterfell walkways - later
You are my sister, but I am king now.
Jon and Sansa are walking together along Winterfell's covered walkways. It's clear that Jon is not pleased with Sansa, nor she with him.
Will you start wearing a crown?
When you question my decisions in front of the other lords and ladies, you undermine me.
So I can't question your decisions anymore?
Of course you can, (but just--)
Joffrey never let anyone question his authority. Do you think he was a good king?
This is a line too far. Jon stops walking, making Sansa stop too.
Do you think I'm Joffrey?
Sansa can see that she's offended him. She's still frustrated herself, but she swallows her pride to try a more conciliatory approach.
You're as far from Joffrey as anyone I've ever met.
You're good at this, you know.
(off Jon's skepticism)
You are. They respect you, they really do, but (you have to--)
Jon laughs humorlessly, and Sansa stops.
Why are you laughing?
What did father used to say? Everything before the word "but" is horseshit.
He resumes walking. Sansa keeps pace with him.
He never said that to me.
No, he never cursed in front of his girls.
Because he was trying to protect us. He never wanted us to see how dirty the world really is. But father couldn't protect me, and neither can you. Stop trying.
Alright, I'll stop trying to protect you, and you stop trying to undermine me.
I'm not trying to undermine you!
She makes him stop.
You have to be smarter than father. You need to be smarter than Robb. I loved them, I miss them, but they made stupid mistakes, and they both lost their heads for it.
And how should I be smarter? By listening to you?
This is wearing on her.
Would that be so terrible?
Before Jon can respond, MAESTER WOLKAN walks up to them with a raven scroll.
A raven from King's Landing, your grace.
He hands Jon the scroll, bows, and departs.
Jon reads aloud to Sansa.
Cersei of House Lannister, first of her name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, protector of the Seven Kingdoms.
What does she want?
Come to King's Landing, bend the knee, or suffer the fate of all traitors.
You've been so consumed with the enemy to the north, you've forgotten about the one to the south.
I'm consumed with the Night King because I've seen him. And believe me, you'd think of little else if you had too.
We still have a Wall between us and the Night King. There's nothing between us and Cersei.
There's a thousand miles between us and Cersei. Winter is here. The Lannisters are a southern army. They've never ranged this far north.
You're the military man, but I know her. If you're her enemy, she'll never stop until she's destroyed you. Everyone who's ever crossed her, she's found a way to murder.
Jon eyes his sister appraisingly.
You almost sound as if you admire her.
Sansa looks away.
I learned a great deal from her.
She gazes out at nothing in particular, remembering those fraught lessons from her time in King's Landing.
INT. RED KEEP - MAP ROOM - day
Speak of the devil: CERSEI LANNISTER paces the floor of a small courtyard, on which a colored map of Westeros has been beautifully painted. Cersei looks down upon it -- a queen surveying her lands.
In the corner, an ARTISAN PAINTER is finishing up some coastlines in the kingdom of the North. Cersei stops and watches him work.
Walking past, JAIME LANNISTER stops, then comes over to see what's going on.
The painter looks up at the sound of his approach. He meets Jaime's eyes, then puts away his brushes and departs to give the Lannister siblings some privacy.
What is this?
It's what we've been waiting for our whole lives. It's what father trained us for, whether he knew it or not.
He knew it. Made me memorize every damn city, town, lake, forest, and mountain.
It's ours now, we just have to take it.
She turns to face him.
You've been quiet since you came home. Are you angry with me?
No. Not angry.
Are you afraid of me?
A much trickier question.
Should I be?
The barest hint of vulnerability shows itself through Cersei's calm exterior. She's not entirely sure, herself.
She changes the subject.
Daenerys Targaryen has chosen Tyrion to be her Hand. Right now they're sailing across the Narrow Sea, hoping to take back her father's throne. Our little brother. The one you love so much. The one you set free. The one who murdered our father and our firstborn son. Now he stands beside our enemies and gives them counsel.
Cersei is a master of the guilt trip, and this speech has its desired effect on Jaime.
He's out there somewhere at the head of an armada. Where will they land?
Jaime glances down at the map. It takes him hardly any time to answer the question, with confidence:
He walks to stand over it.
They have deepwater ports for the ships. Stannis left the castle unoccupied, and that's where she was born.
Enemies to the east.
Cersei turns and walks south on the map to stand over Dorne.
Enemies to the south. Ellaria Sand and her brood of bitches.
She walks to stand over Highgarden in the Reach.
Enemies to the west. Olenna, the old cunt. Another traitor.
She walks northward.
Enemies to the north. Ned Stark's bastard has been named King in the North, and that murdering whore Sansa stands beside him.
Enemies everywhere, we're surrounded by traitors. You're in command of the Lannister army now, how do we proceed?
Winter is here. We can't win a war if we can't feed our men and our horses. The Tyrells have the grain, the Tyrells have the livestock.
Will the Tyrell bannermen stand alongside a Dothraki horde, and Unsullied slave soldiers?
If they think Daenerys will win. No one wants to fight on the losing side. Right now, we look like the losing side.
Cersei does not like this pronouncement.
I'm the queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Three kingdoms, at best. I'm not sure you understand how much danger we're in.
I understand we're in a war for survival. I understand whoever loses dies. I understand whoever wins could launch a dynasty that lasts a thousand years.
A dynasty, for whom? Our children are dead. We're the last of us.
A dynasty for us, then.
Jaime had expected her to show more emotion at the mention of their children's deaths.
We never talked about Tommen.
Cersei holds his gaze for a beat, then walks away from him, brusquely.
There's nothing to say.
Our baby boy killed himself!
He betrayed me. He betrayed us both.
Jaime can't believe she's saying this.
Should we spend our days mourning the dead? Mother, father, and all our children?
I loved them, I did. But they're ashes now, and we're still flesh and blood. We're the last Lannisters. The last ones who count.
She turns away from him. Jaime looks at the back of her head in frustration, then turns again toward the map.
Even Lannisters can't survive without allies. Where are our allies now? You saw what happened to Walder Frey and his family.
I heard. How could we ever trust a man like that?
We couldn't. He was a useless old coward, but the Freys supported us. Now they're all dead. Whoever killed them is no friend of ours. We need allies. Stronger, better allies. We can't win this war alone.
Do you think I listened to father for forty years and learned nothing?
Ext. blackwater bay - day
Euron's fleet sails toward us over the waters of Blackwater Bay. It's an impressive armada, with the golden kraken rippling on a thousand black sails.
Leading the way, Euron's flagship cuts commandingly through the water. It sails past us as we track along its length, the camera swinging around to reveal King's Landing ahead in the near distance.
EXT. RED KEEP DOCKSIDE - concurrent
The Greyjoys. You invited the Greyjoys to King's Landing.
Jaime and Cersei stand looking out at the Iron Fleet, sailing toward them. Cersei's QUEENSGUARD stand silent guard nearby.
Not all of them.
Well, it looks like all of them.
I invited Euron Greyjoy, the new king of the Iron Islands. You said yourself we needed stronger, better allies. There you are.
How are they better allies? How are they different from the Freys? They both broke their promises and murdered their former friends as soon as it suited them.
Well, so does everyone, when it suits them. Unlike the Freys, they have ships. And they're good at killing.
They're not good at anything. I know the Ironborn. They're bitter, angry little people. All they know how to do is steal things they can't build or grow themselves.
Euron Greyjoy didn't come here for that.
Oh? What did he come here for?
Cersei holds his gaze with smug dispassion.
She walks away from him, as Jaime absorbs that.
Int. Red keep throne room - day
The moment I was chosen lord of the Iron Islands, they turned on me. Their own uncle.
EURON GREYJOY stands before Cersei in the throne room. She sits upon the Iron Throne, with Jaime at her side. Her Queensguard stand at attention around the throne, and LANNISTER GUARDSMEN line the room.
They stole my best ships and ran. Sailed them right across the world and gave them to the dragon queen, so she could bring her armies here. To attack you.
It's nothing compared to the treason you suffered at the hands of a family member, from what I hear. But still. It bothers me. Murdering them would make me feel a lot better. And since it appears that all our treasonous family members are fighting for the same side, I thought we rightful monarchs could murder them together.
Euron moves toward Cersei, stepping up toward the Iron Throne, but is halted in his tracks by the Mountain, who takes a warning step toward him.
You're not a rightful monarch, though, are you?
Euron smiles winningly at the Mountain and backs down off the steps. The Mountain returns to his position.
The Greyjoys rebelled against the Throne for the right to be monarchs, but as I recall, you were soundly defeated. Come to mention it, weren't you the one who started that rebellion by sailing to Casterly Rock and burning the Lannister fleet?
Jaime casts Cersei a pointed look as he says this, hoping to remind her what kind of scumbag she is dealing with. Euron himself seems unperturbed by this speech -- indeed, he seems to find the story amusingly nostalgic.
You certainly caught us there. Very smart move on your part. Of course, we all made it to the Iron Islands anyway. I was there.
I remember very well. I saw you. I'd heard so much talk. "The best in the world, no one can stop him." I didn't believe it, to be honest. But I must say, when you rushed through the breach and started cutting people down...
He puts one foot on the steps, with a pointed look at the Mountain, and leans toward Jaime with a look of sincere admiration.
It was glorious. Like a dance.
Jaime finds Euron's flattery deeply unsettling.
The people I was cutting down were your own kin.
The place was getting crowded. I enjoyed watching it, I truly did.
(I don't like you)
And I enjoyed killing Greyjoys.
A good thing for me. If you hadn't crushed us, I wouldn't have gone into exile. And if I hadn't done that, I wouldn't be the greatest captain on the fourteen seas.
That's not the most humble.
Euron smiles at her.
You're not humble. You're the queen of a great nation. You don't care about the Iron Islands. They're nothing but rocks and bird shit and a lot of very unattractive people.
The Iron Fleet, on the other hand. That's something else entirely. It's the greatest armada Westeros has ever seen. With the Iron Fleet, you'll own the seas.
Cersei can't help but crack a smile. Jaime is not pleased to see this.
You can defeat the invaders in the east, and the pretenders in the north and south.
What do you want in return?
Euron turns up the charm.
Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to grow up and marry the most beautiful woman in the world. So here I am. With a thousand ships. And two good hands.
That last bit was a cheap nut shot at Jaime, and it lands.
Euron looks very pleased with himself, confident in the unrefuseability of his offer.
I decline your proposal.
Euron was not expecting that. Jaime gives him a look: HA.
You're not trustworthy. You've broken promises to allies before, and murdered them at the nearest opportunity.
Euron regains his equilibrium, with an air of: well, that's fair.
You murdered your own brother.
You should try it. Feels wonderful.
Jaime's about had it with this punk.
I don't expect you to trust me outright. You need proof of my honest intentions. In my experience, the surest way to a woman's heart is with a gift. A priceless gift. I won't return to King's Landing until I have that for you.
Euron nods to her, turns, and strides out of the throne room, all brass balls and swagger.
Cersei watches him go with a power-hungry glint in her eye. Jaime watches her watch him, with a look that says: you can't be serious.
Int. Citadel main library - day
A lavish shot of the Citadel library transitions us into SAMWELL TARLY's storyline. We pan lovingly down the library's many levels, illuminated by sunbeams -- a work of stunning set porn.
Finally we pan down to see our hero toiling along between the bookshelves on the ground level, pushing a cart laden with books. His drudgery stands in stark contrast to the majesty of his surroundings.
With a heavy thump, Sam shelves a dusty tome. Then another. Then another. The wheels of his cart squeak unglamorously as he trundles along.
Int. Citadel INFIRMARY - DAY
More squeaky wheels as Sam pushes his cart, this time through the hospital ward, full of BEDRIDDEN PATIENTS.
Sam reaches underneath one of the beds and retrieves the bedpan, which is full of human waste. The MAN ON THE BED wheezes feebly and lets out a wet fart. It sounds like the fart of a man with sick-person diarrhea.
Sam gags as he carries the soiled bedpan to his cart.
Int. Citadel privy - day
Sam is now emptying the bedpans into a privy that will make viewers glad that smell-o-vision has not yet been invented. He pours out the sloppy brown diarrhea, trying not to lose his lunch in the process.
Int. Citadel washroom - day
Sam scrubs out the soiled bedpans with grim determination.
Int. Citadel MAIN LIBRARY - day
An exhausted-looking Sam walks among the bookshelves, with a stack of books in his arms. An ELDER SCHOLAR adds a heavy book to his stack as he walks past him, not even bothering to acknowledge Sam with a glance as he does.
Int. Citadel mess hall - day
The MAESTERS and MAESTERS-IN-TRAINING dine together at long tables. Sam moves among the tables, ladling out servings of unappetizing brown slop. It looks disconcertingly similar to the servings of diarrhea that Sam had poured into the privy earlier.
Int. CITADEL MAIN LIBRARY - day
Sam is once again shelving books in the libary. As he does, he gazes longingly at the restricted section of the library, locked away from him behind a metal gate.
Int. Citadel inFIRMARY - DAY
Sam pulls yet more disgusting bedpans out from under yet more beds. The diarrhea sloshes graphically.
Int. CitADEL MESS HALL - day
Brown slop is ladled into Sam's dish.
Int. CitaDEL PRIVY - day
Brown slop is poured into a privy.
Int. CITADEL MAIN LIBRARY - DAY
More dreary book-shelving.
Int. CitADEL PRIVY - DAY
More dreary bedpan-cleaning.
Int. CitaDEL MESS HALL - day
More brown slop. We start to lose track of what's food and what's excrement, as we continue cutting rapidly through the horrible dreariness that is Samwell Tarly's life at the Citadel.
Int. Citadel - various locations - day
The sequence continues on a bit too long.
Int. Citadel maiN LIBRARY - day
Sam rests a moment after shelving yet another load of books.
Inevitably, his eye is drawn once more toward the restricted area.
Sam stares. The key to defeating the White Walkers could be somewhere behind those bars. He walks slowly up to the metal gate, peering between the iron bars like a forlorn prisoner. He tries the gate, but it is securely locked.
Thick books sit open, out of reach, taunting Sam with their forbidden knowledge.
The clinking of a chain alerts Sam to a maester's approaching footsteps. He hurriedly turns away from the gate, pretending to be shelving a book.
The maester squeezes past Sam, hardly sparing him a glance. He's carrying a key in his hands and opens the locked gate. Sam looks on, trying to be inconspicuous as he watches the maester lock the gate behind himself.
Int. Citadel anatomy lab - day
Sam is assisting ARCHMAESTER EBROSE in performing an autopsy. The archmaester is elbow deep in the cadaver of an old man.
Ah, Maester Weyland. A drinker's liver if ever I saw one.
Ebrose pulls the offending organ free and plops it into Sam's gloved hands.
The archmaester continues holding forth as Sam obliges.
The triumph of transitory pleasures. Mankind's curse.
Archmaester, I was wondering--
What's the weight?
(steadies the scales)
A hundred and forty-seven.
Ebrose notes that in a blood-smudged laboratory notebook. He returns to his autopsy, which continues to claim the lion's share of his attention as Sam speaks.
I was wondering if you'd considered my proposition.
I don't remember your proposition.
I asked you if, in light of what I'd seen in the North, if I could have access to the restricted area of the library.
That area is reserved for maesters. Are you a maester?
Not a very strong proposition, is it?
Before Sam can protest, Ebrose plops Maester Weyland's stringy, blood-soaked heart into Sam's hands. Sam gives him a look, but Ebrose is too preoccupied to notice.
Sam dutifully moves to the scales, but he is not giving up without a fight.
Archmaester, with respect, I've seen them. The Army of the Dead. The White Walkers.
Ebrose finally looks up from his work, honoring Sam with a bit of actual attention.
I was sent here to learn how to defeat them. Everyone in the Citadel, those who will even talk to me, they all doubt the Walkers ever existed in the first place.
Everyone in the Citadel doubts everything. It's their job.
Ebrose returns to his work. Sam looks crestfallen.
But the tales of the Long Night can't be pure fabrication.
Sam looks up, a glimmer of hope in his eyes.
Too many similarities from unconnected sources.
Sources in the restricted area?
The very same. And the simplest explanation for your grating obsession with the White Walkers is that you're telling the truth, and that you saw what you say you saw.
Sam can hardly believe that someone actually believes him.
So... you believe me?
(note of impatience)
You'll finish weighing that heart?
That makes you the only person south of the Twins who does.
We're not like the people south of the Twins. And we're not like the people north of the Twins.
Sam is listening.
In the Citadel, we lead different lives, for different reasons. We are this world's memory, Samwell Tarly. Without us, men would be little better than dogs. Don't remember any meal but the last, can't see forward to any but the next. And every time you leave the house and shut the door, they howl like you're gone forever.
When Robert's Rebellion was raging, people thought the end was near. The end of the Targaryen dynasty -- how will we survive?
When Aegon Targaryen turned his eye westward and flew his dragons to Blackwater Rush -- the end is near, how will we survive?
And thousands of years before that, during the Long Night, we can forgive them for thinking it truly was the end, but it wasn't. None of it was.
The Wall has stood through it all. And every winter that ever came has ended.
Sam can think of nothing to say to this. Ebrose gives him a nod: Q.E.D.
He shuts his laboratory notebook with a thump and gestures at the cadaver on the autopsy table.
Be a good lad. Clean this up.
He leaves without a further word, leaving Sam alone with the dead.
Int. CITADEL INFIRMARY - night
Sam rolls his cart between the rows of beds once again. Patients snore gently as they sleep.
He parks the cart. Then creeps softly to the bedside of a sleeping maester. A ring of keys lays atop the bedside table. Sam steals them.
Int. CitADEL MAIN LIBRARY - night
Sam unlocks the gate to the restricted area of the library, an empty cloth bag slung from one shoulder.
Squinting at the titles in the dim light, he selects a few volumes and stuffs them into his bag.
Ext. Winterfell courtyard - day
PODRICK PAYNE is training in the Winterfell courtyard with BRIENNE. She is not a gentle teacher.
(scoring a hit)
Pod grimaces to himself and turns to face her once again.
Another flurry of sparring swords. Pod is putting all his heart into the exercise, but it's not enough. Brienne deals him another blow.
Pod growls in frustration. They square up again. This time, Brienne catches sight of TORMUND, sidling up behind Pod toward her. He leers at her appreciatively.
In Brienne's distraction, Pod scores a hit on her. She gives him a look: oh, now you're in for it.
She deals him an ass-whooping that demonstrates how much she had been holding back, this whole time. Pod goes sprawling into a clump of snow.
You're a lucky man.
Tormund grins at his lady love. Brienne looks away: this fucking weirdo.
Ext. WinteRFELL WALKWAYS - continuous
Sansa has been watching this exercise from the covered walkway. She watches as Pod picks himself back up, and as Tormund continues grinning guilelessly at Brienne, undeterred by her lack of reciprocated enthusiasm.
I've heard she beat the Hound in single combat.
Littlefinger sidles up to join Sansa at the rail. Sansa is not excited for his company, though she masks her displeasure under a stoic deadpan.
She's a very impressive woman.
What do you want, Lord Baelish?
He reads the coolness in her tone but, like Tormund, is undeterred.
I want you to be happy. I want you to be safe.
I am safe. I'm at home, surrounded by friends. I have Brienne to protect me from anyone who would harm me.
In the courtyard below, Brienne gives Tormund some curt shutdown that we can't hear, and walks away from him.
What about happy?
Sansa's silence is deafening.
Why aren't you happy? What do you want that you do not have?
At the moment: peace and quiet.
The sound of footsteps steps on whatever clever thing Littlefinger might have said in response. Brienne is walking up the wooden stairs to join Sansa on the walkway.
Littlefinger opens his mouth--
No need to seize the last word, Lord Baelish. I'll assume it was something clever.
Brienne stops in front of them. She gives Littlefinger a look.
He leaves, walking past Brienne on his way to the stairs. Brienne side-eyes him with distaste.
Once he is out of earshot:
Why is he still here?
We need his men. Without the Vale, Ramsay Bolton would still hold this castle.
Littlefinger saved us.
It's true, though Sansa doesn't like it.
Brienne nods her understanding, of both the truth in the statement and Sansa's distaste of it. She watches Littlefinger from above as he walks away across the Winterfell courtyard, where she had sparred with Pod moments before.
He wants something.
I know exactly what he wants.
Brienne looks at Sansa, her gaze uneasy.
Ext. Riverlands - KINGSROAD - day
Arya rides her horse south through the Riverlands. She hears the sound of singing -- faint at first, then louder as she rides closer to its source.
He rode through the streets of the city,
Down from his hill on high.
O'er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles,
He rode to a woman's sigh.
Now the source of the singing becomes visible through the trees. A GROUP OF SOLDIERS have made camp beside the road, and one of them is regaling the others with a song -- SYMON SILVERTONGUE. Arya eyes them warily as she rides.
For she was his secret treasure,
She was his shame and his bliss.
And a chain and a keep are nothing,
Compared to a woman's kiss.
The rest of the group joins in for the final verse, and now we finally get a good look at them. From their equipment and weaponry, it is clear that they are Lannister soldiers
For hands of gold are always cold,
But a woman's hands are warm!
For hands of gold are always cold,
But a woman's hands are warm!
The singing dies out as they notice Arya. A woman riding alone is an unusual sight, and they all fall quiet as they stare up at her.
It's a pretty song. I've never heard it before.
It's a new one.
One of the soldiers -- DOBBER -- speaks up in a friendly voice.
Are you hungry? We've got some rabbit.
Arya is indeed hungry, but she is also cautious.
I don't want to steal your food.
A different soldier answers -- REYSEN.
Well, you're not stealing, we're offering.
(off her hesitation)
Come on. It's going to be a cold night.
Arya hesitates a moment longer, then gives in. She dismounts from her horse and ties it to a tree, as the soldiers watch her with curious, friendly eyes.
Arya is still wary as she moves toward their fire. These men serve the Lannisters -- her enemies.
You heading south?
The other soldiers chuckle sympathetically.
Not so bad, is it?
Depends on your taste, I guess. If you like your streets covered in shit and pig's blood, it's the town for you.
More laughter. As the soldiers continue talking, Arya clocks the group's swords, leaning against nearby logs and rocks, mentally planning how best to kill these guys if she needs to.
All my life I wanted to see the Red Keep. The Sept of Baelor. The Dragonpit. Then, when I finally make it, they wouldn't let me within a mile of the Red Keep. The Sept of Baelor is blown to hell. And the Dragonpit is a damn ruin.
The people who live there... they'd skin you alive if they could make two coppers off your hide.
Worst place in the world.
What are you doing in the Riverlands?
There's been some trouble with the Freys up at the Twins, so we're part of the army that's been sent to keep the peace.
Arya absorbs that. These men have no idea that the young woman they're looking at is the sole cause of that very trouble.
Dobber hands her a roasted rabbit on a spit.
Here you go. Guests first.
Oh no, I couldn't. You don't have enough.
My mother always told me to be kind to strangers, and strangers will be kind to you.
Somehow this poor man's simple sweetness gets to her, hardened killer though she be. It's going to be a lot harder to kill him now.
She breaks eye contact and tears a chunk of meat from the rabbit. She chews it appreciatively.
You're a long way from home. I'm sure you've had some adventures though.
She hands the rabbit off to Reysen.
Yeah. Endless adventures. They'll be singing about us for a thousand years.
The men chuckle at the joke.
The truth is, when we left home we couldn't wait to get away. But now we've been gone a while, we can't wait to get home.
He takes a bite of the rabbit.
I just think about my dad out there on his boat all alone. I ought to be out there with him.
My wife's just had our first baby.
Boy or girl?
Oh, who knows? You think soldiers get ravens with news from home?
The soldiers share a friendly chuckle at her naïveté.
I hope it's a girl.
This surprises Arya.
Girls take care of their papas when their papas grow old. Boys just go off to fight in someone else's wars.
Arya feels a pang of guilt. She's highborn, and it's her wars that these sweet commoners are being sent to fight.
Are you old enough to drink?
He offers her a wineskin. Arya pulls the cork and takes a swig. She's surprised at how good it is, and it shows in her face. Dobber is pleased to see it.
It's blackberry wine. I made it myself.
It's really good.
The soldier smiles, flattered by the compliment.
So why's a nice girl on her own heading to King's Landing?
Arya takes another swig of wine for courage.
I'm going to kill the queen.
The men fall deadly silent. They stare at her and at each other. The tension hangs in the air for a beat.
Then they all burst out laughing. Arya joins in before long. A joke, yes. A great joke and not at all a real thing that she is absolutely going to do.
Beneath her carefree laughter, Arya is carefully studying their faces, to double-check that they really do think she's joking.
They do. Looks like she won't have to massacre them after all.
EXT. RIVERLANDS - road near mortimer's FARMHOUSE - DAY
Bad night to be outdoors.
THOROS, THE HOUND, BERIC, and their band of BROTHERHOOD MEN ride through a blowing snowstorm. A different group of travelers, in a different part of the Riverlands.
You've got real powerful magic to figure that out. Did the Lord of Light whisper that in your ear?
"It's snowing, Thoros. It's windy. It's gonna be a cold night."
You're a grouchy old bear, aren't you, Clegane. You want some rum?
Don't like that shit, it's too sweet.
Why are you always in such a foul mood?
Beric halts his horse, and the rest of the group halts with him.
This seems like a good place to spend the night.
The Hound follows Beric's gaze to a farmhouse -- the same farmhouse where he and Arya had once been the guests of Mortimer the Farmer and his young daughter Sally, in 403. Hospitable people, whom the Hound subsequently robbed of their silver.
The Hound does not want to enter that farmhouse.
These people don't want us here.
Seems deserted to me. No livestock, no smoke coming from the chimney.
Beric urges his horse forward. Thoros follows, along with the rest of the Brotherhood men.
The Hound really does not want to enter that farmhouse. But he allows his horse to follow the rest.
EXT. Just outside the FARMHOUSE - DAY
The men are reining up. The Hound really really does not want to enter this farmhouse.
I don't like the look of it.
Thoros has already dismounted and tied his horse up. He gives the Hound a quizzical look.
For a big hard man, you scare easy.
I'll tell you what doesn't scare me. Bald cocksuckers like you. You think you're fooling anyone with that top knot?
Thoros looks more amused than anything by the Hound's insults.
Come on. Maybe they've got some ale hidden away.
INT. FARMHOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
The men crowd into the farmhouse, glad to be out of the wind. They begin searching the place for anything useful.
See if there's a larder. They always leave something behind.
The men spread out, searching for any food. Thoros enters, followed by the Hound.
Immediately, the Hound's eyes go to something in the corner.
Hound's POV: two dessicated corpses are holding each other on the bed. One adult-sized. One child-sized. They've been dead for some time, and the remains are mostly skeletal.
Slowly, the Hound walks up close, staring down at them.
Beric enters last and shuts the door behind him. He looks around, sees the Hound staring down at the bodies, and walks up to join him. He notes the Hound's expression.
How do you think it ended for them?
The girl died in her father's arms. Both of them covered in blood, and a knife at their feet. I'd say they were starving. And rather than let his little girl suffer, he ended it for both of them.
Doesn't matter now.
No. Doesn't matter now.
They sit down, their bodies made heavy by hard travel and the tragedy of human mortality. The Hound pulls out a bit of jerky and takes a moody bite.
Thoros is working on lighting a fire in the fireplace.
I've known you a long time, Dondarrion.
Aye. I think the first time we met was at that tournament--
And I always thought you were dull as dirt.
You're not bad. I don't hate you. Don't like you. But you're not bad.
Coming from the Hound, this is tantamount to a declaration of undying friendship.
Thank you, Clegane. That warms the heart.
But there's nothing special about you.
You're right about that.
So why does the Lord of Light keep bringing you back?
Beric looks up. He's not smiling anymore.
I've met better men than you. And they've been hanged from crossbeams, or beheaded, or just shat themselves to death in a field somewhere. None of them came back. So why you?
You think I don't ask myself that? Every hour of every day? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? What does the Lord see in me?
I don't know. I don't understand our Lord.
I don't know what He wants from me. I only know that He wants me alive.
If he's so all-powerful, why doesn't he just tell you what the fuck he wants?
Beric doesn't have a good answer for that.
Come over here.
Thoros is crouching by the fire, staring into the flames. The Hound doesn't budge. Thoros looks at him.
Come right. The fire won't bite.
(off the Hound's look)
I want to show you something.
It's my fucking luck I end up with a band of fire worshippers.
Aye. Almost seems like divine justice.
There is no divine justice, you dumb cunt. If there was, you'd be dead. And that girl would be alive.
He leaves Beric with that thought as he stands up to finally move near the fire. But not too near.
What do you want?
Look into the flames.
I don't want to look in the damn flames.
You saw me bring him back from the dead after you cut him down. Don't you want to know what gave me the power?
I keep asking, and no one wants to tell me.
We can't tell you. Only the fire can tell you.
Thoros looks away from the Hound and stares into the fire.
The Hound is just not getting his way with anything, today.
Slowly, begrudgingly, he moves closer to the fire and looks down into the flame.
What do you see?
(this is bullshit)
Fine. Whatever. The Hound looks again.
Hound's POV: the fire dances and flickers.
What do you see?
The Hound stares. His expression slowly changes.
Beric looks up, listening intently.
A wall of ice.
It's where the Wall meets the sea. There's a castle there.
The logs crack apart from their own heat, sending a shower of sparks upward. The Hound flinches out of reflex, but he's so transfixed by now that he forgets to be scared.
There's a mountain. Looks like an arrowhead. The dead are marching past.
Beric stands up, on high alert now.
The Hound is not easy to rattle. But he's never seen anything like this before.
Thousands of them.
Beric comes up beside the Hound.
Do you believe me now, Clegane?
For once in his smartass life, the Hound is utterly speechless.
Do you believe we're here for a reason?
The fire crackles and dances.
INT. FARMHOUSE - later that night
Thoros wakes up to a strange sound coming from outside.
This is ominous on principle. Thoros grabs his sword from where it's leaning against the wall, in its scabbard.
EXT. JUST OUTSIDE THE FARMHOUSE - night
Drawn sword in one hand, a lit lantern in the other, Thoros creeps warily around the corner of the farmhouse, toward the noise.
We can hear the sounds more clearly now. The grainy thud of a shovel being slammed into hard ground. And a man grunting with exertion.
Thoros lowers his sword.
What the hell are you doing, Clegane?
Thoros' POV: the Hound is digging a trench into the ground. It's hard going. The bodies of Mortimer and Sally lay on the cold ground nearby, shrouded in cloth.
Burying the dead.
He puts his shovel down. Then goes to the bodies and carefully lifts up the smaller one. He lays her gently down into the hole he's dug.
You knew these people.
He lifts Mortimer up and lays him down in the grave, next to his daughter. Then picks up his shovel once more and begins covering the bodies in dirt.
Thoros puts down his sword and lantern, finds a second shovel, and comes over to help. He looks at the Hound with new eyes -- the man is more sentimental than he'd been letting on.
The two men work together to bury the dead, silent except for the sounds of their exertion.
The task finished, they stand looking down at the fresh grave, leaning on their shovels.
We ask the Father to judge us with mercy.
Thoros is watching the Hound with interest.
We ask the Mother to...
Fuck it, I don't remember the rest.
Thoros looks down. The Hound's gruff exterior is cracking in earnest now.
I'm sorry you're dead. You deserved better. Both of you.
The Hound lets his shovel drop to the ground and walks heavily back toward the farmhouse, as Thoros watches.
Ext. Oldtown - night
A wide exterior shot establishes us in Oldtown. The Citadel's lighthouse fire flickers high above in its tower.
Int. Oldtown - Sam's quarters - night
Sam sits poring over a book. Nearby, GILLY plays with LITTLE SAM on the bed. He's four years old now, and laughs as they play.
Gilly looks up at Sam, noting his obvious exhaustion.
You should really sleep, Sam.
The dead don't.
Fair point. Gilly comes and joins him in solidarity, holding one of the books. She can't read nearly as well as Sam, but she is nothing if not game.
"Legends of the Long Night"
The Targaryens used dragonglass to decorate their weapons, without even knowing what the First Men used it for.
Sam heaves a weary sigh and pages through his book, skimming each page with his eyes.
He pauses on a page with a map of Dragonstone Island. His tired expression changes as he realizes what he's looking at.
What is it?
It's a map of Dragonstone. The Targaryens built their first stronghold there when they invaded Westeros.
He shows Gilly the page. Gilly points at something on the map.
A mountain of it. Beneath the ground. Stannis told me, but I didn't think...
This is huge. The excitement of the discovery breaks through Sam's exhaustion.
This is important. Jon needs to know.
Sam reaches for a quill and begins writing the letter immediately.
Int. Citadel - quarantine ward - day
Sam wheels a cart down a long corridor, which is lined along one side with cells for the infectious. He is collecting used food dishes from an opening in each locked door, handling them carefully with gloved hands.
From Sam's manner, and from the sounds coming from some of the cells, we can tell that these patients are very sick. He moves down the corridor toward us, collecting a dish from each door.
As he approaches the door nearest us, a hand shoots out of the opening, jump-scaring him badly. Sam recoils away from the diseased stranger that he cannot see.
Has she come yet?
Sam is severely shaken, but he recovers his wits enough to speak.
The dragon queen. Daenerys Stormborn.
I haven't heard anything.
Sam's POV: the stranger's arm is still extended out the opening in the door. Its skin is grotesquely disfigured with greyscale.
Realizing that no further news is forthcoming, the stranger pulls his arm back in.
Just before Sam closes up the food opening, we catch a glimpse of the man's silhouette: JORAH MORMONT.
Ext. Sea, just off the dragonstone coast - day
DAENERYS TARGARYEN is gazing intently out at something. The sails of her armada are visible behind her -- red dragons on black.
Dany's POV: we are sailing over the sea toward Dragonstone Island. Toward home.
Sitting alongside Dany are TYRION LANNISTER, MISSANDEI, GREY WORM, and VARYS. Dany stands at the bow of their rowboat, like George Washington crossing the Delaware. UNSULLIED pull at the oars, bringing them closer and closer to shore.
DROGON, RHAEGAL, and VISERION sweep low over Dany's head, crying out in excitement.
Dany's POV: the three dragons soar over Dragonstone Island -- over its beaches, cliffs, and castle. It's an awe-inducing sight, reminiscent of Aegon and his sisters arriving at this very island, over three hundred years ago.
The significance of this moment is written all over Dany's face.
Ext. Dragonstone island - beach - momENTS LATER
The rowboat has landed upon Dragonstone's sandy beach. Dany climbs out and onto solid ground.
She walks slowly up the beach, soaking it all in. The others hang back a little, allowing Dany her moment.
Dany's boots leave footprints in the damp sand. She walks until she is in the shadow of Dragonstone's cliffs. Then slowly lowers herself to one knee.
She reaches a hand down and slowly presses her bare palm against the ground. A simple gesture, but full of history-changing implications.
She lifts her hand away, leaving a handprint. She rubs the damp sand between her fingers.
Dany lifts her gaze and stares up at her home castle.
She stands, and resumes walking. Her contingent follows after her.
EXT. Dragon gate
Dany approaches a great iron gate, just up from the beach. The gate is flanked by huge stone dragon's heads.
Dany halts, staring up at it. Two of her Unsullied continue past her and push upon the gate's massive doors.
The doors swing slowly open, revealing a long winding stone stairway, and beyond it -- the castle of Dragonstone.
Dany gazes up at it for a long, poignant moment. It's her birthplace, her stronghold, her home.
She walks up and through the gate.
Ext. Stairway to dragonstone castle
Dany's group make their way up the stairs. The castle's distinctive angular towers loom over them majestically.
Int. Dragonstone entranceway
The castle feels dim inside, after the bright sunlight outside.
As they make their way through the corridors, Dany comes upon one of Stannis' old flaming heart banners, faded and dusty. She pauses and looks up at it. Then reaches out, gives it a hard yank, and watches as it slumps to the floor.
She leaves the banner in a heap and walks toward a set of tall ornate doors. Her Unsullied open the doors, revealing Dragonstone's impressive audience chamber.
INT. DRAGONSTONE audience chamber - conTINUOUS
The Dragonstone lord's seat stares at us from the far end of the audience chamber. It's not the Iron Throne, but it is quite grand in its own right, hewn from the raw living rock that the island itself is made of. Shafts of light illuminate it from the audience chamber's tall narrow windows. It is a seat fit for a king. Or a khaleesi.
Dany walks down the length of the audience chamber, giving us an opportunity for some wonderful set porn in the process. Tyrion, Missandei, Varys, and Grey Worm follow her in.
As Dany approaches the lord's seat, Missandei hangs back and puts out a hand to stop Grey Worm from following, silently telling him to give their queen some space.
Dany ascends the steps to her throne and gazes at it.
Her eyeline shifts. She continues past the lord's seat and passes through a door opening off the audience chamber.
Int. Dragonstone - map room
The great table that Aegon had commissioned dominates this room. A layer of dust covers the carved continent, but it is still a work of art.
Dany walks slowly up the length of the table, running her fingers over its coastlines -- the land she was meant to rule. Her fingers leave trails in the dust.
Tyrion follows after her in solemn silence, gazing up at the carved dragon reliefs that decorate the walls of this room.
Finally, Dany stops at the far end of the table and turns, casting her gaze over the entirety of her rightful realm. Tyrion joins her there. They look at each other.
Shall we begin?
END OF EPISODE 701
If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy S08E01 - "FEALTY", the first episode of a realistic script-format fanfic for Season 8