Season Eight Premiere. The Night's Watch regroups. Bran delivers dire news. A long-awaited reunion takes place. Dany, Jon, and Tyrion head for Winterfell.
EXT. WALL BREACH - DAY
The ARMY OF THE DEAD streams through the breach in the Wall. Amongst the countless foot soldiers are GIANTS, MAMMOTHS, POLAR BEARS, and DIREWOLVES. WHITE WALKERS ride through the ranks on dead horses.
Overhead, VISERION circles like a vulture, the NIGHT KING mounted on his back. Viserion lets out a chilling screech that echoes out across the realms of men.
EXT. WALL SOUTHERN FACE - DAY
A band of surviving WILDLINGS and NW BROTHERS climb painstakingly down the southern side of the Wall with ropes and ice picks, some distance away from the breach. TORMUND and BERIC DONDARRION are among them.
Below them, the last of the army of the dead makes its way through the breach.
EXT. BASE OF THE WALL - EVENING
Tormund and Beric are slumped with their backs against the base of the Wall, exhausted, breathing hard. They stare southward as they struggle to catch their breath.
Their POV: the army of the dead grows distant as it moves south, away from us.
With a grunt, Tormund heaves himself to his feet. He holds out a hand and helps Beric up.
They turn and gaze at the devastation where Eastwatch once stood. It's a tragic, lingering shot, taking in jagged shards of ice, crumbled stone, and the frozen bodies of men lying broken where they had fallen from great height.
Tormund turns and looks at the band of survivors -- a meager pack of a dozen or so.
Tormund turns his gaze west, inland, away from the sea.
We find my people.
He pulls his parka tighter around himself and starts walking west. The Eastwatch survivors follow him, trudging through the snow.
Beric hangs back for a moment. He takes a step south, away from the Wall, and peers into the distance toward the Night King and his army. Then turns and follows Tormund.
EXT. DANY'S CAMP - EVENING
Rows of military tents stand in various stages of being pitched. It's a huge, sprawling campground, with Targaryen and Stark banners visible throughout.
A large command tent dominates, decked out in Targaryen colors. Nearby, DOTHRAKI RIDERS unsaddle their horses, while UNSULLIED huddle miserably around a campfire. They have thick woolen cloaks pulled around themselves, but look rather frozen all the same.
JON (SOUND ADVANCE)
Another day's march should do it.
INT. TARGARYEN COMMAND TENT - EVENING
JON SNOW looks down at a map of the North, one gloved hand resting near Winterfell.
TYRION LANNISTER and DAENERYS TARGARYEN stand nearby.
[N.B.: None of the people present are yet aware that the Wall has been breached.]
They are expecting us, yes?
Aye. My sisters and brother will be waiting with my bannermen.
I look forward to meeting them.
A pause, Jon considering.
You will. But for the first audience, I think it's best if it's Northerners only.
Dany gives him a quizzical look.
They know of our alliance, do they not?
They do. But they'll have... questions. They'll speak more freely if it's just me.
Very well. I'll meet your people after you've laid their concerns to rest.
You best rehearse what you're going to say.
Jon nods and exits the tent. Dany waits until he is out of earshot, then:
Northmen are proud. Jon will have his work cut out for him.
He's their king, isn't he?
He was named king. He has no birthright. To maintain his position, he needs to re-earn their trust every day. It is his primary weakness. But it's also his strength.
A pause, Dany considering that.
You do think the Northern lords will accept me?
Yes, eventually. It helps that you are bringing them an enormous army in their hour of need. Just give them time.
Tyrion walks over to a small table, where there's a pitcher of wine and some goblets.
Some initial skepticism is to be expected. After all, Starks and Targaryens do make strange bedfellows.
Dany shoots him a suspicious look, noting his word choice.
When were you planning to tell me?
When I require your counsel.
This isn't just a personal matter. You're a queen. He... was a king, before he bent the knee to you. Another matter I wish you'd been punctual in sharing with me. Though I suppose that would have spoiled the thrill of finding out in the Dragonpit, at the same time as Cersei.
A pause. Dany looks away guiltily. Tyrion watches her, and a sadness briefly comes into his eyes. Then it's back to business:
(handing her wine)
You're rulers. Anything you do together is politics, whether you think of it that way or not. I'm here, ostensibly, to advise you on matters of politics.
So what do you advise?
If he's anything like his father, he's going to ask you to marry him soon.
Dany avoids eye contact.
Oh. He already has. Wonderful. How did you respond?
Marriage is a powerful political tool. Marrying Jon Snow would do much to appease these Northern lords. It would do much to soften the blow of learning that their king has bent the knee.
But. It can only be used once. If you marry him, it closes the door of possibility.
And what other possibilities do you have in mind?
Euron Greyjoy, for example.
A pause. Dany stares coldly at Tyrion.
Euron Greyjoy murdered my allies, and you want me to marry him?
I'm not fond of him either.
(takes a drink)
I don't want you to marry Euron Greyjoy. I don't want you to marry anyone, at the moment. I want you to leave open the possibility. At least in their minds.
INT. JON'S TENT - EVENING
ARYA STARK is waiting inside a large tent of Stark colors.
Jon walks in, absorbed in thought, not paying attention. Arya turns and looks up.
By her movement, Jon suddenly becomes aware that some unexpected stranger is in his tent. He starts backward in alarm and draws his sword in defense.
Jon, it's me. It's Arya.
Arya nods, eyes shining. A long, meaningful pause as the long-lost Stark siblings stare at each other. Finally:
Jon tosses Longclaw aside. Arya runs to him and jumps into his arms. They share a huge embrace. We get to savor the moment for a long while.
Finally they break apart. Jon looks Arya over, grinning happily.
How did you get in here?
I'm quick. And quiet.
I think my heart stopped.
You need better guards.
Jon laughs, then holds his forearm up to show her how his fingers are trembling.
Look how badly I'm shaking.
I thought you'd be waiting at Winterfell.
I had to come see you. Just you. Not surrounded by bannermen and nonsense.
I've missed you.
I've missed you too.
They hug again. When they break apart, Jon turns Arya slightly to get a better look at Needle, hanging at her side. He beams.
I hear you're a great fighter now.
I hear you're King in the North.
Not anymore, I'm not.
Mm. Sansa told me you'd bent the knee to Daenerys Targaryen.
(taking a breath)
She pledged all her forces to our cause, (before I even--)
You don't have to explain. Not to me. I don't care what Sansa thinks.
Jon pauses, rather touched, then smiles.
I'm impressed neither of you has killed the other yet.
We came close.
Jon chuckles, then his grin fades a bit as he sees her expression.
Arya avoids his eyes.
Arya. We can't fight a (war amongst ourselves--)
I know. I know. It was Littlefinger. But we were smarter than him in the end.
And what's Littlefinger doing now?
I cut his throat.
Jon double-takes, surprised and slightly disturbed.
Just like that?
Sansa sentenced him first.
There's a pause as Jon regards Arya, searchingly and a little sadly.
What's happened to you since you left home?
What a question. Arya stares back at him, a glimmer of vulnerability becoming visible on her face.
INT. TARGARYEN COMMAND TENT - EVENING
Jon and Arya walk into the Targaryen command tent together. Dany and Tyrion are still there, and JORAH MORMONT now too.
(Dany looks up)
May I present my sister? Lady Arya of House Stark.
Dany and Arya regard each other with interest.
I've heard much about you, Lady Arya.
Is it true you ride a dragon into battle?
Jon glances at Dany in mild embarrassment, but Dany is charmed rather than offended by Arya's directness.
It is. Would you like to see?
...can you carry other people on your dragon?
When there's a need.
A boy king surrendered the Vale of Arryn to Visenya Targaryen, in exchange for a ride on her dragon's back.
Jon shoots Dany a "don't get any ideas" look.
Visenya was a great warrior. She had a Valyrian steel sword called Dark Sister.
Dany smiles. She likes this girl.
A RAVEN bursts into the tent, startling everyone, interrupting the moment.
It flaps around the room, then lands on Jon's shoulder, cawing. Strangely, its scroll is held in its beak, rather than tied to its leg.
Jon looks at the others, perplexed, then reaches up toward the bird. The raven stuffs the scroll into his hand, then flaps down to perch on the table. It caws up at him.
How did this bird find us in the field?
(to the raven)
The raven caws again, as though in reply. Arya sees the others staring at her like she's crazy.
My brother's a... warg. He can enter the minds of animals and control them.
I knew a wildling with this power.
(to the raven, intrigued)
Bran, is this really you?
The raven pecks hard at the hand holding the scroll, making Jon flinch. Jon holds the scroll up and reads it aloud.
"Jon, this is your brother, Bran. I warged this raven to bring you this message."
Jon looks at Tyrion.
Well, fuck me.
Jon resumes reading.
"The Night King..."
He freezes in horror. He reads the rest of the scroll in silence, his expression growing increasingly alarmed.
What is it?
Jon fumbles for a chair and sits down on it, staring down at the scroll. He looks up at the raven, wide-eyed. The raven caws at him.
They've breached the Wall.
A stunned silence.
They have Viserion.
It takes a moment for Dany to realize what he means. Then her face slowly transforms into a mask of horror and grief.
Jon sees that. But he has neither the right words nor the time for proper condolences.
When you flew from Dragonstone to save us, for how long were you flying?
Dany blinks, still reeling, but gathers herself.
Jon looks at the map, eyes flitting as he does some approximations in his head. He grimaces.
He could hit Winterfell in the morning if he wants to.
Jon looks down at the scroll in his hand.
Bran says the army appears to be marching for Last Hearth. And the Night King is traveling alongside them on his dragon.
Why would he stay with his army when he could fly ahead and burn everyone?
Jon lowers the scroll. The gears are turning in his head as he works it out.
He doesn't want to burn us.
Everyone looks at him.
If he burns us, we can't march in his army. He'll march to Last Hearth, use his dragon to blast a hole in their walls, then let his army do the rest.
This is according to your... magic bird brother. What if he's wrong?
He's not wrong.
How do you know?
I know him. He's eight thousand years old. He has patience.
He won't hit us tomorrow. He won't hit us for weeks.
Jon pulls the map toward himself.
He'll hit Last Hearth. Then swing east and hit Karhold. He'll hit every village along the way, slaughter every living thing, and swell the ranks of his army. Then he'll hit us at Winterfell. His dragon and his whole army together.
We need to hit him first.
Jon shakes his head, grimacing.
We can't save the castles. Not if he has a dragon.
I have two.
If you fly to meet him, you'll tire your dragons. We need them well-fed and well-rested, if they're to fight him. We go to Winterfell, and we prepare.
We're just going to sit here and wait for him?
A pause as Jon thinks.
We can't save the castles. But maybe we can save the people.
He looks at Dany. An idea forms between them.
I can send my Dothraki out with all the horses. I'll have them rescue as many of the common people as they can, and bring them to Winterfell for protection.
How do we convince villagers to trust Dothraki? They're intimidating, to say the least. They don't even speak the common tongue.
I'll go with them.
Everyone looks at Jorah.
I speak Dothraki. And I'm a Northerner too.
Not to them. You've been out of the country for too long. The people don't know you.
I'll go with him.
Jon goes very still. He looks at Arya with a look of deep fear and dread.
I'm a Stark. The people will come to Winterfell if I ask them to.
Jon stares and says nothing.
Jon, it has to be me. Bran's crippled, Sansa's running Winterfell, and you're needed here.
Jon says nothing.
I'm a fighter, and we're at war.
This is very difficult for Jon. But he finally assents.
Take Ghost with you.
Arya nods and starts to leave.
She stops. Jon walks to her.
Don't try to fight them. There's a hundred thousand or more in that army. If you get any hint that they're nearby, you ride back to Winterfell as fast as you can. Ser Jorah went beyond the Wall with me, he'll know when it's time. Promise me?
Arya nods. They hug. Jon gives Jorah a look, catching his eye over Arya's shoulder, silently imploring him to keep Arya safe. Jorah nods.
Jon and Arya break apart. Jorah shares a gaze with Dany. She comes up to him and gives him a hug. Jorah stares at her as she pulls away and looks up at him.
I shall expect you at Winterfell, afterward.
Yes, your grace.
He and Arya linger for half a beat, then exit together. Jorah calls out in Dothraki, his voice fading with distance as he walks away.
(to the raven)
Bran, could you carry a message to Last Hearth and Karhold?
The raven caws.
Tell them what's coming for them. Tell them to flee for Winterfell. Tell them to bring nothing but the clothes on their backs.
The raven caws again and flies away. Jon looks at Dany.
We need to get to Winterfell.
(walking toward the exit)
I'll call Drogon.
(looking back at him)
I've sent all the horses away, with your sister.
Oh. Now he gets it.
A dragon's cry echoes out as we cut to:
EXT. WINTERFELL LANDSCAPE - LATER
Winterfell is visible in the distance.
DROGON's elongated evening shadow rushes across the snow-covered ground. RHAEGAL follows after him.
Dany, Jon, and Tyrion are mounted on Drogon's back, along with DAVOS SEAWORTH and MISSANDEI.
Arya is on horseback, riding in the same direction, along with Jorah and the entire DOTHRAKI HORDE. She stops and looks up in awe as the dragons fly over her at close range.
EXT. WINTERFELL - BATTLEMENTS - EVENING
SANSA STARK stands on Winterfell's battlement wall, looking out at something, wearing a look of fearful amazement.
Sansa's POV: Drogon and Rhaegal are fast approaching.
Drogon passes huge and dark over her head like a jet plane, his shadow skimming over Sansa and the Winterfell walls. Sansa turns as he flies over her, her gaze following the dragon as he comes in for a landing.
EXT. WINTERFELL - BROKEN TOWER - EVENING
The two dragons land in the snow-covered lawn outside the Broken Tower. They stretch and roar, as we pull out into a majestic aerial view of Winterfell, reverberating with the echoes of dragon-song.