October 14, 2018
Yara leads her men. Jaime discusses dragons. Tyrion makes a proposal.
EXT. NARROW SEA - maron's fleet - night
Three ships sail in formation, with Maron's ship on point. On their sails, the golden kraken glints faintly in the starlight.
We crane down to the ship sailing on Maron's starboard flank. Warm light emanates from its portholes, along with the sounds of laughter and raucous singing.
Ext. Starboard ship - prow - night
ROGIN SALT-BEARD -- an Ironborn raider -- stands duty, gazing forward over the sea from the prow. Merrymaking continues to be heard in the background from below deck.
Rogin is joined by LUCAS CODD -- another Ironborn raider.
You can still see her?
Aye. We're gaining on her.
That surprises Lucas, a little. He follows Rogin's gaze. In the distance, the faint glow of a ship's lanterns can be seen upon the sea.
Rogin smirks in affirmation.
We'll be catching up to her in a day or two, looks to me.
And here we'd brought food and ale for a year.
Better get drinking, then, aye?
They laugh. Rogin thumps Lucas on the shoulder.
Be a good lad and take this watch.
Rogin departs before he can protest, leaving Lucas standing at the prow. We follow Rogin below decks as he goes to join the revelry.
Int. Starboard ship - below decks - night
The atmosphere is confident and boisterous. Ale flows freely as the men eat, drink, and boast. TORWOLD BROWNTOOTH raises a mug of ale in greeting as Rogin joins them.
So much for a fast ship, eh? And here I thought we'd have some sport!
He takes a swig of ale.
I say, instead of sinking her outright, we board her, and put them all to the sword.
You're stupid when you're drunk, you know that?
We outnumber them three to one! More, I would bet.
And our catapults outnumber theirs a dozen to nothing.
Where's your sense of fun? Besides, think how happy Euron will be, when we bring back her body. He could string her up right next to her brother. Ha!
He takes another swig of ale.
Maybe Maron will let us have some fun with her, before we kill her.
Rogin laughs at him and pours himself some ale.
Go swim over and ask him, then.
EXT. STARBOARD SHIP - PROW - NIGHT
Lucas stands at the prow where Rogin had left him. He looks a little bored, staring out over the sea while his crewmates have fun without him.
His POV: the lights are closer than before, bobbing up and down on the waves.
As he looks out at them, a frown comes over his face. He straightens his posture and squints at them. Something is not quite right...
He draws out a spyglass for a closer look.
Ext. Narrow sea - ship lanterns - night
A cluster of rowboats bob on the waves, each bearing a number of ship lanterns. The boats are loosely tethered together to stop them from drifting apart. They are unmanned, abandoned.
EXT. STARBOARD SHIP - PROW - NIGHT
Lucas slowly lowers his spyglass. Oh shit.
We crane backward away from him until we are viewing the ship from some distance behind, from the POV of...
EXT. YARA'S SHIP - NIGHT
Yara Motherfucking Greyjoy, standing on the deck of her ship, preparing to ruin this guy's night.
No lights are shining anywhere on her ship -- they are sailing by starlight and gumption. Yara's Ironborn are massed behind her, weapons drawn, eerily silent in their stealth, yet clearly amped up to kill and die.
EXT. STARBOARD SHIP - main deck - NIGHT
The alarm has been raised, and there is commotion on deck now. Men crank the catapults and lock them in their ready-to-fire positions. Others ready melee weapons, or frantically scan the sea searching for Yara's ship. One man blows a war horn across the water, alerting Maron's ship to the crisis.
They've finally spotted Yara's ship, coming after them from behind. The captain of the vessel barks orders at the crew.
STARBOARD SHIP CAPTAIN
Bear away! Bring the catapults around!
The catapults are facing forward -- the wrong way. We watch one of the catapult teams grunt and struggle as they rotate it around to face the stern--
Out of nowhere, a flaming catapult projectile lands right in their midst, obliterating the catapult team and smashing a big hole in the deck. Men scream as they fall.
Confusion and chaos. The captain rushes to the railing, bewildered, just in time to see more flaming projectiles arcing toward them...
...from Maron's ship.
The flaming light of the projectiles grows closer and brighter, reflecting off the captain's shocked face--
EXT. YARA'S SHIP - NIGHT
Yara's POV: Maron's ship is firing projectiles at both of the ships on its flanks. The sounds of impacts and screaming carry over the water as the two secondary ships are reduced to burning driftwood.
What are they doing?
Whatever is going on, it seems to be a positive development for them, but fuck if Yara knows.
ext. Maron's ship - Maron moment
Maron's ship sails toward us, flanked by the listing wreckages of its erstwhile companion ships.
Maron stands at the bow, gazing calmly at Yara's ship as he coasts up to within shouting distance. Before him, a white flag of truce flutters from the prow.
(shouting across the water)
ext. YARA'S SHIP - Yara MOMENT
Yara stares at Maron. She's not sure if his salutation is sincere or mocking, and she is still very confused by what just happened.
Ext. Maron'S SHIP - maRON MOMENT
Permission to come aboard for parley?
Ext. YARA'S SHIP - yarA MOMENT
Well, isn't this interesting.
Int. YARA'S SHIP - below deck - LATER
I know you.
Yara and Maron sit across from each other at a table.
You hit me harder than anyone.
I did. I was known for it.
Do you think Euron would have trusted me if I'd gone easy on you?
Yara eyes him warily. That makes a lot of sense, actually, but there is still much that doesn't.
You declared for him. At the Kingsmoot. You shouted his name and called him king.
Aye. You going to have a cry about it?
Yara says nothing.
He was right, you know. Your father was a terrible king.
I know that.
It didn't stop you from staking your claim on his name.
His plan was better than yours, too. The dragon queen would've made for a strong ally.
And then I got to her first.
Euron ranted on about how your father kept leading us into wars we couldn't win. Then he goes and declares war against her.
He shakes his head: "how's that for hypocrisy?"
I saw those fuckers flying over King's Landing. We're Ironborn. Our strength comes from the sea. You can't outsail a dragon.
So you've come to join the winning side.
You sank your own men tonight.
What is dead may never die.
Had to be done. There are a thousand ships in the Iron Fleet. All of them will burn if Euron remains king, and our people with them. What's the loss of two ships, against all that?
I chose Euron's most loyal men to crew them, best as I could tell. Brave men, all of them. But not smart men.
And you're a smart man?
I'm not the only one. We all saw those beasts flying over Blackwater Bay. Euron cuts the tongue out of anyone who lets it show. So we hold our treasonous thoughts in silence.
Yara is eyeing Maron with interest. His story is making more and more sense.
You would follow me then? You would sail for me, fight for me, name me your queen?
Don't go asking me to curtsy and kiss your hand. I fight for the Ironborn and the Drowned God.
As do I.
Now you have two ships.
And my ally has two dragons.
And what do you intend to do with them?
Yara shares a gaze with her new loyalist.
I will take what is mine.
Ext. WiNTERFELL - BROKEN TOWER - NIGHT
A LARGE BULL lies dead in the snow, its flesh seared dark. An enormous set of teeth enters frame and tears at it. Rhaegal opens the bull's abdomen, and its steaming entrails spill out, darkening the snow with blood.
A respectful distance away, Jon sits on a bench and watches the dragon eat.
So, you're a Targaryen.
Jon looks up and sees Jaime approaching.
Sorry about killing your grandfather.
Jon gives a wry snort, and goes back to watching Rhaegal.
That grandfather burned alive my other grandfather.
A beat as Jaime mentally fact-checks what Jon just said. He makes an interested face.
So he did.
Brienne told me he would've burned King's Landing.
It's good that you killed him.
Jaime looks at Jon, who is still looking at Rhaegal. Something subtle but very poignant comes into Jaime's expression... Jaime who has been reviled as an oathbreaker ever since that act.
That wasn't Ned Stark's attitude.
Aye, well. My father always took that sort of oath very literally.
You keep calling him your father. Rhaegar Targaryen was your father.
He would have been. If my father's best friend hadn't killed him.
Jaime eyes him.
Does that make you angry?
What's the point. Won't bring him back. Won't change anything. In a different life, aye, Rhaegar Targaryen would've been my father. In this life?
I have Rhaegar's name, and I have his blood. Everything else I have is Ned Stark's.
Jaime leans forward and squints at Jon, until Jon turns to look at him.
He hid you right under our noses. But I see it now.
Jon looks back at him quizzically.
You look like him. A bit. Rhaegar, I mean.
You knew him?
I was Kingsguard to his father, of course I knew him.
Bit of a bore, to be honest. Like you. Sad all the time.
Oh, it's a hard life, being the crown prince. Heir to the throne, gifted at everything, beautiful, beloved by all...
He watched his father go mad, for one thing. Supposedly, when Rhaegar was a boy, the Mad King was quite different.
This dragon is named for him, isn't it?
You think you'll be able to ride it?
I don't know.
You don't look optimistic.
We don't have much time.
I need to be honest with you. We're working night and day on the scorpions, but they're a last resort, at best. If the Night King's dragon makes it to our walls, we'll have a few seconds to shoot before it destroys them. And the odds are not good.
What are you thinking?
Do you trust me, Jon Snow?
Does that make me a fool?
I almost got myself killed by coming here, until I was rescued by the word of a boy I once pushed out a window. Who's the fool?
Jon looks back at him expressionlessly.
I shouldn't joke about Bran. I'm sorry.
Jon just keeps looking at him.
...for pushing your brother out a window.
Do you think you'll ever forgive me?
But I do trust you, strangely enough.
Jaime makes a "fair enough" face.
I wish there were a better way. But I can't think of one, and I've been thinking of little else. When the dead arrive, we need Daenerys to fly out and meet the Night King in battle. Alone, away from the castle. And you, if you manage to get anywhere with this one.
I promise I'm not just trying to get the both of you killed. It's a risk...
...but we have to take it.
A beat, both of them staring at Rhaegal.
I'll leave you to it then.
Jaime departs, leaving Jon alone with his dragon. The bull carcass is nearly stripped bare now. Rhaegal crunches at the bones.
Jon slowly stands up and takes a few steps toward him. Rhaegal turns his head and snarls at Jon, warning him away from his kill. Jon freezes, then backs off.
This is going to be a lot of work.
There you are.
Jon turns to see a different Lannister approaching him now through the snow. Tyrion's eyes are on Rhaegal, watching the dragon with a sort of envious reverence.
Getting in touch with your Targaryen side, I see.
Too soon to say.
You think this one lets just anyone walk up and pet him like a puppy?
Jon doesn't answer. Rhaegal returns to his meal, and Jon returns to his dragon-watching bench.
You did well, this morning.
That was the last thing we needed right now.
It was necessary. But yes, such matters are often distracting.
I threatened to kill my friends.
That gets a look from Tyrion. He looks a bit sorry for Jon, but also a bit impressed.
You know. There exists an extremely obvious solution to this problem.
A loaded silence.
What are you talking about?
Do I have to spell it out for you?
...do you not know the words, or...
Do I have to spell it out for you? She's my aunt!
And what of it?
...what of it?
You're overthinking this. A marriage is a strategic alliance. Nothing more. Say the words, unite your claims, and put this issue to rest. Why is that so difficult?
Jon looks away.
(answering his own question)
You still love her, don't you.
Jon casts him a dark look.
Don't look at me that way. You think I'm going to judge you?
Tyrion sits down next to Jon.
We don't choose whom we love.
It's not right.
Tyrion gives him a pitying look.
And what about your friends conspiring against the woman you love. Is that right?
They won't conspire.
You're missing the point.
Jon looks at him.
I know it would be... complicated... for you, personally. But ruling is all about putting aside your personal feelings and doing what's best for the realm.
And this is what's best for the realm? A sham marriage.
Sham marriages have forged more peace than any other single technique.
Jon sighs and looks away again.
I know you have a lot on your mind right now. You don't have to decide now. Just keep an open mind, won't you?
Jon says nothing.
Anyway. In the meantime, you've just made "Snow" a very fashionable name. Ironic, for someone so hung up on Northern morals. Northerners will be having bastards left and right now.
Tyrion smiles at his own joke. Jon doesn't look amused.
Intriguing choice. You cast aside your namesake -- the greatest conqueror who ever lived -- in favor of a lowly bastard name. But I suppose there is a sort of strength in modesty.
Tyrion gets up and starts to walk away.
Tyrion stops and looks back.
You think I call myself "Jon Snow" out of modesty?
Tyrion frowns. He's not quite sure where Jon's going with this, which is rare for Tyrion.
If I'm to take you at your word, it's out of respect for Ned Stark.
Where are we?
Where are we?
Tyrion sighs. He can tell Jon is trying to make some kind of Point at him, so he decides to play along.
And where is Winterfell?
In the North.
Aye. In the North.
Jon stands up slowly.
You're the political mind. But you're not from here. Let me offer you a free bit of Northern wisdom.
He walks closer and stands looking down at Tyrion.
"Aegon Targaryen" has no power in the North. "Jon Snow" is a bastard, aye. But he's a Northern bastard. He has more power here than a thousand dragon princes. That's who I need to be right now. You understand me?
Tyrion says nothing, but he's eyeing Jon with shrewd fascination.
Rhaegal rumbles and stretches his wings, interrupting the moment. The bull carcass is gone now. Rhaegal snuffles in the bloodied snow, licks his chops, and turns toward them.
Jon takes a steadying breath, and moves slowly toward the dragon, hand outstretched. Tyrion watches him with rapt attention.
Rhaegal approaches and noses at Jon, like a horse sniffing hopefully for a hidden apple. Finding nothing, he tries Tyrion, nearly pushing him over as he sniffs insistently for treats. Tyrion gives Jon a sheepish look as he rubs Rhaegal's snout, trying to stay on his feet.
Coming up empty a second time, Rhaegal snorts, turns his back, and takes flight.
Tyrion and Jon stand side-by-side, watching in quiet awe as the dragon climbs into the air. Their clothing whips in the wind of Rhaegal's wingbeats.
Jon turns to look at Tyrion once more, as the wind settles down.
Do me a favor, and don't speak so loudly of my "namesake."
He walks away. Tyrion watches him go, then turns his gaze upward again toward the soaring dragon, as Rhaegal's cries echo in the cold winter air.
END OF EPISODE 804
Annotated S08E04 commentary available on Patreon <3