September 30, 2018
Euron gives orders. Arya oversees an evacuation. Jon declares who he is.
EXT. Narrow sea - THE SILENCE - DAY
THEON GREYJOY floats facedown in the sea.
A rope loops around his body and tugs him toward the Silence. On deck, EURON'S MEN pull in concert and drag Theon limp and dripping up the side of the hull.
EURON GREYJOY stands at the rail, staring out to sea.
Euron'S POV: Yara's ship is growing small with distance.
[N.B.: Yara is sailing west, away from Euron's fleet, which is traveling east to Essos.]
There's no hint of Euron's usual glee. He is pissed. He turns away from the railing with cold murder in his eyes.
Two of the men grab Theon by his armpits and pull him up and over the railing. They lay him faceup upon the wooden deck.
Euron walks up, crouches down, and inspects the sodden wound in Theon's neck. It's deep, and obviously mortal. The color is gone from Theon's face, and his pale eyes gaze out at nothing.
Euron grimaces in frustration. He wants to hurt Theon, but his nephew is beyond anyone's punishment now.
He looks up at his torn main sail. A few of his crew are taking it down off the main yard for repair.
MARON VOLMARK appears at Euron's side and looks at him expectantly.
Take command of our three fastest ships. Load them with extra provisions and equip them with catapults. My niece is sailing west. Go sink her for me, won't you?
A slow smile spreads across Maron's face. This is going to be fun.
She can't run forever, captain.
Maron departs. The two Ironborn who had dragged Theon aboard catch Euron's eye.
What should we do with him?
Euron looks down at his dead nephew.
Only proper burial for an Ironborn is at sea. To be sunk beneath the waves.
A beat, then a faint smirk betrays a flicker of Euron's usual sadism.
String him up into the rigging for the birds.
Euron walks away. The two Ironborn look at each other, and for a fleeting half-second, something akin to reluctance passes between them.
They bend down and take hold of Theon's arms. His head falls back as they lift, stretching open the gash in his throat. We linger on Theon's blank-eyed face as the two men drag his dead body toward the mast. We hear the sound of seabirds crying out...
EXT. NORTHERN VILLAGE - day
...which gives way to the crying of RAVENS. A flock of them are winging their way through a Northern village. Now and then, one of their eyes go white, showing that Bran is warging them.
As the ravens fly past, we see ARYA STARK riding through the village, with GHOST following close on the heels of her horse.
All around her, NORTHERN VILLAGERS are packing up and leaving, looking variously fearful, confused, and grim. There's already a column of them heading for Winterfell, moving in the opposite direction as Arya. The stronger ones are on foot, some pulling handcarts. The weaker ones -- elderly, children, pregnant women -- are being loaded up onto horseback.
THE HOUND picks up a SMALL BOY and passes him up to a DOTHRAKI RIDER, who settles the child in front of him in the saddle. The little boy stares up at the rider with wide-eyed fascination.
There's a lot of noise -- horses whickering, babies wailing, chickens clucking, voices talking over each other in English and Dothraki.
JORAH MORMONT's voice rises up through the noise, speaking urgently in Dothraki. Arya turns her head.
She sees some kind of argument going on between several DOTHRAKI RIDERS and an ELDERLY COUPLE, who are standing just outside the door of a wooden hut. Jorah is attempting to mediate in Dothraki.
Arya rides up to them, with Ghost at her side.
What's the problem here?
These two don't want to go, my lady.
The OLD MAN and OLD WOMAN look plaintively at Arya.
Do you know who I am?
His eyes flit nervously to the direwolf at her side.
You are... m'lady Stark. Of Winterfell.
And do you understand what Winterfell is commanding you to do?
M'lady, please, we've lived in this village all our lives. We built this hut ourselves. Please, we'd like to stay.
If you stay here, you'll die.
Then, m'lady, we'll die.
You mistake me. You don't have my permission to die.
They stare back at her.
If you die, the Night King raises you for his army and sends you to attack Winterfell. You're coming with us.
Another anguished beat.
Or, if you insist, I can cut your throats now and burn down your hut with you inside of it. One way or another, I am not leaving you behind.
She puts her hand on the hilt of her dagger. Ghost walks up closer, gazing at the old couple with his blood red eyes.
They hesitate a moment longer, then trudge defeatedly toward the Dothraki riders, with tears in their eyes. Arya looks on as they are scooped up onto horseback.
She turns away, and her tough facade cracks for a moment. She looks around, the horror of the situation reflected on her face.
More Dothraki shouts. Arya looks and sees another altercation with another cluster of VILLAGERS. She urges her horse toward them.
What's the problem here?
INT. WINTERFELL GREAT HALL - day
My sister Arya is riding north.
The Great Hall is packed with people. JON SNOW is holding court amongst them. Sitting behind him at the high table are SANSA STARK, BRAN STARK, DAVOS SEAWORTH, DAENERYS TARGARYEN, TYRION LANNISTER, and MISSANDEI.
NORTHERN GUARDSMEN stand at attention along one wall. UNSULLIED stand at attention along the opposite wall, GREY WORM among them.
She's gathering up all the common people and sending them here for protection. We've received word from Last Hearth and Karhold that their households are on their way as well.
Winterfell is about to become very crowded. Many of you will be sharing much closer quarters than you are used to. I ask that you remember: when the attack comes, every person we're able to fit inside these walls is one less dead soldier that you'll need to fight.
There's lots of head-nodding and "aye"-ing and supportive table-pounding.
While we're preparing for new arrivals, we need to prepare the castle for attack. We need to build a defensive perimeter. We need to build weapons. We need to organize our fighting men and women.
More supportive head-nodding throughout all that.
I am assigning command of Winterfell's defense to Ser Jaime Lannister.
This statement is a lot less popular. An incredulous clamor goes up as Northerners exclaim and shake their heads in consternation and alarm.
But among them, BRIENNE is pleasantly surprised and heartened. JAIME LANNISTER catches her eye from across the room and gives her a shrug and a wry smile.
Jon raises his voice commandingly to cut through the uproar.
I know as well as any of you, that there is bad blood between the Lannisters and the North. Many of you have lost people you love to the Lannisters. I have lost people I love to the Lannisters. That's all in the past now.
People are shaking their heads in disagreement. Jon gestures at Bran, sitting behind him at the high table.
If anyone in this world has reason to mistrust him, it's my brother. But Bran has looked into Ser Jaime's past. He has confirmed the truth of his words. Ser Jaime is our ally now. Bran trusts him, and I trust Bran.
People continue to look skeptical, glaring suspiciously at Jaime. Jaime is eyeing the hostile Northerners with a grim expression. This is going to be a tough job.
Yesterday's wars don't matter now. We all die together if this castle falls. The dead will be upon us in a fortnight, and Ser Jaime is the most experienced commander among us. You will all obey him, or you will answer to me. You might not enjoy it, but we are at war, and these are my orders.
My lord, I must speak against this. Winterfell belongs to House Stark. This is your castle to defend.
Sansa stands up before Jon can respond.
This is my castle to defend, Lord Glover.
The noise goes quiet as everyone looks to Sansa. Jon turns and gives her an intent, watchful look. He is not entirely certain if she's about to support him or undermine him. Sansa glances at him, then addresses the room.
As Lady of Winterfell, I accept the appointment of Ser Jaime as acting commander of the Winterfell garrison, as recommended to me by the Warden of the North.
She nails Jon with a significant look at that last part. More murmuring starts up, but it's much quieter and less vociferous this time. Jon gives Sansa a grateful look. She smiles, with just a hint of "you owe me for that."
That is your right, of course, my lady. But might I ask how the Warden of the North will be occupied, if he is not organizing the defense of the North?
Dany stands up to speak.
His queen has asked him to perform a different task, for the protection of the realm.
Everyone looks at her. Sansa is watching Dany very intently. Dany looks out over the crowd, at the sea of wary Northern faces. She meets Grey Worm's eyes for a moment, then takes a breath and gathers herself for something big.
I have two dragons, my lords. I have asked Jon Snow to attempt a bond with the dragon Rhaegal, so that we might better defend the realm during this battle, and in battles yet to come.
There's a confused silence in the hall. Davos frowns and casts a perplexed look at Jon, who is watching Dany.
Your grace... I beg your forgiveness, but I must ask: why him?
A loaded silence follows Glover's question. Jon meets eyes with Tyrion, then Sansa, then shares a long gaze with Dany. He slowly turns to face the hall. He looks out over his confused bannermen and prepares to cross the point of no return.
You all know me as Ned Stark's bastard son. It's how I have known myself, my entire life.
Two nights ago, I came to learn the truth. I am the son of his sister -- Lyanna Stark of Winterfell -- and Rhaegar Targaryen, whom she had willingly married in secret.
There is total, utter silence. Then a deafening uproar as everyone starts talking at once.
(shouting to be heard)
I have discussed this matter--
Jon shuts his mouth, realizing that being heard is hopeless in the current clamor. Sansa is still watching Dany. Davos looks gob-smacked. Jaime catches Tyrion's eye and gives him a bewildered look: "did you know about this??" Tyrion responds with a sardonic shrug: "crazy, right?"
Jon waits for the noise to die down a bit before trying again. It takes a while.
I have discussed this matter with Queen Daenerys. I have discussed this matter with Lady Sansa. We are all in agreement that our understandings with each other remain unchanged.
I continue to support Daenerys Targaryen as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. I will continue to obey, serve, and defend her as I had sworn. With the consent of the Northern houses, I will continue to serve as Warden of the North for as long as it pleases our queen.
Are there any questions?
There is still a great deal of noise, of people talking to their neighbors. LORD ROYCE stands up to speak.
How do you know this to be true?
Samwell Tarly discovered proof of their marriage at the Citadel. High Septon Maynard annulled Prince Rhaegar's marriage to Elia Martell and remarried him to Lyanna Stark. He wrote about it in his private diary.
Heads turn toward SAMWELL TARLY, who sits watching Jon from the audience. LORD MANDERLY stands up next.
My lord, I knew Ned Stark. He was the most honest man I ever met. If this is true, why would he name you his bastard?
King Robert would have killed me if he hadn't.
Murmuring as people absorb that statement.
Glover speaks up next.
Your grace, by the laws of inheritance, you are the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
This is true.
Dany looks at Jon.
But none of you seemed to care about the laws of inheritance when you named a bastard your king. It didn't matter then. It doesn't matter now.
You were all here when I bent the knee to our queen. You all remember my reasons. Birthright was not one of those reasons.
The murmuring grows louder. It's clear that the room is still agitated and not quite ready to look at things so simply. Dany, Tyrion, and Missandei exchange tense looks. Grey Worm's hand tightens ever so slightly on his spear.
Jon looks around, then speaks out in a voice of power and formality, bringing a sudden hush to the loud murmur.
All of you here in this hall, I want you to bear witness to my words now. I am the trueborn son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lady Lyanna Stark. I am the last heir to the dragon kings.
I hereby reject all birthrights to the throne my ancestor forged, in perpetuity.
This radical statement sends a silent shockwave through the crowd, and the quiet somehow deepens, as though everyone has stopped moving and breathing at once. Everyone is staring at Jon. Dany is rapt. Tyrion is wearing an "oh damn" expression, as is Sansa. Davos is frowning.
Upon her merits, I declare our queen to be Daenerys Targaryen, first of her name. I declare that any conspiracy against that state of affairs shall be treason. Be you my friend or my foe, you will respect these words, or you will face Northern justice at my hands.
Silence in the hall.
Are there any more questions?
The silence hangs.
Finally LYANNA MORMONT stands up.
I'm not "your grace."
Forgive me... my lord.
What is your true name?
A short, loaded beat.
Murmuring in the hall.
My lord, "Snow" is a bastard name.
It's the name my father gave me. My real father.
INT. JON'S OFFICE - LATER
Tyrion made you do that.
Davos stands before Jon, who is sitting at his table.
Jon gives Davos a wary look, noting his advisor's agitation.
Tyrion doesn't make me do anything.
No? So that little announcement was your idea?
He advised me, and I found his advice wise.
I thought I was your Hand.
You're not my "Hand," because I'm not a king.
But you could be.
Jon gives him a warning look.
(soft but dangerous)
If your ambition is to advise a king, you need to find someone else to advise.
This isn't about my ambition. Stannis was the one true king. But now the Baratheons are gone, (and the Targaryens--)
This isn't about Baratheons and Targaryens and royal dynasties! Hang the dynasty. This is about what's best for the realm. Daenerys has the will, she has the strength, and she has experience.
Remember when we rode to White Harbor together? You do realize that was the first time I set foot in a city? In any city? King's Landing alone has more people than the entire North.
My father was the greatest man I ever knew, and when he rode south--
You are more than Ned Stark ever was! And you wouldn't be walking into that viper's nest of a Small Council.
No? And what do you suppose I would be walking into, if I betray my queen?
Who said anything about betraying her? Did you even try to convince her to support your claim? Before her Hand got to you?
You would have supporters. You wouldn't be Ned Stark. You wouldn't be some... hapless outsider, you would be king!
Any experience you lack can be compensated for. You could attract the best minds in Westeros for your Small Council. You would have your brother to protect you against lies and treachery.
You would be the greatest king to sit that throne in a hundred years. And it's yours, by right, if you would just take it!
Jon hasn't moved or changed expression at all during Davos' speech, and the ringing silence has an ominous quality. Davos takes an apprehensive breath, as though he already knows he's overstepped.
Say that again. To anyone. And it will be one of the last things you ever say.
Davos looks hurt.
I appreciate all you've done for me, Ser Davos. I know I wouldn't be standing here if it weren't for you. I appreciate your counsel, I appreciate your loyalty.
But my decision is final, and if you are truly loyal to me, you will not undermine my choice, through words or otherwise. Such words are dangerous. Do you understand?
A long beat. Davos isn't happy about this. He pulls out a chair from his side of Jon's table and sits down heavily. He looks at Jon for a long while.
You're sure? You're really sure? This is what you truly want?
Davos gazes at him shrewdly. Then concedes defeat.
Alright, then. I can respect that.
You can respect that. But you don't agree.
I really shouldn't comment. I'm told it's a capital offense to have opinions on the succession.
Jon gives him a pained smile and sits back down as well.
I'm not going to behead you for an opinion.
I seem to recall otherwise.
That wasn't an opinion.
He hits Davos with a stern look as he says that.
You're smart enough to know the difference. And if you're not, you shouldn't be advising me anyway.
You're right. I overstepped. I won't do it again without your consent.
Davos gives Jon an apologetic look. Jon nods his forgiveness.
Will you permit me to make some idle observations? Fully accepting that you won't change your mind?
Jon eyes him carefully. He nods.
I haven't known you as long as some. But unlike the others, I wasn't born into highborn society.
A certain outsider status gives a man a healthy perspective on the whole nonsense. Helps him see things. I know you understand what I mean, because you have it too.
Jon looks up at Davos.
You always say that you never wanted any of this. And people believe it. They love you for it. I think even you believe it, because you've been playing the shadow game your whole life, and now it's simply the way you are. You don't even realize you're playing it.
Jon narrows his eyes uneasily.
Highborns are sensitive folk, we both know. They don't appreciate the likes of us getting... beyond our station. Men like us learn to move in their world without offending them. We learn to be modest and unthreatening, we learn to keep our heads down.
But tell me... were you a happy child, growing up the Bastard of Winterfell?
Jon is silent.
No? Why not? You had a loving family. You had all the comforts of highborn life, with none of the burdens. I can tell you, every poor wretch on my street growing up would have thought they'd died and gone to the Seventh Heaven if they'd woken up into your life. So why weren't you happy?
The silence hangs for a long beat as they each watch the other.
You seem like you want to tell me.
You were unhappy, because you wanted to be more than what you were. You've always wanted more. But it was never proper for you to want it. The highborns would've never approved. Am I wrong?
He's not wrong.
You couldn't get what you wanted the highborn way. So you found other ways.
And what is it that I wanted?
I've shared company with enough powerful people by now to know that what you've built doesn't happen by accident. Maybe you've buried it so deep that you've forgotten. But you've wanted to be king since you were old enough to want anything.
Jon stares at Davos, who just looks back at him calmly and knowingly.
You don't have to be king, Jon. But you don't have to play the shadow game either, not anymore. You're a Targaryen now. That changes everything. You can play the highborns at their own game. Do you understand?
Jon stares and says nothing.