December 30, 2018
Jorah serves. Jon and Dany prepare.
EXT. NORTHERN COUNTRYSIDE - DAY
We fade up on a desolate Northern landscape, where the forest meets the moorlands. It's brooding and atmospheric, like the backdrop of an Edwin Landseer painting.
In the distance, the air grows murky as a cold front pushes slowly toward the camera -- a frigid breath of swirling snow and dark foreboding. We don't see the White Walkers or their army, but the soundtrack and cinematography tell us they are close, somewhere unseen within the approaching gloom.
Overhead, the sound of ravens can be heard, distantly at first, then louder and closer.
ExT. NORTHERN COUNTRYSIDE - hare moment
The ravens' flapping shadows skim over the snow-covered ground as they caw overhead. A snow hare pokes its face out of the heather and hovers nervously -- nose twitching, ears quivering, all senses stretched taut.
Ext. NORTHERN COUNTRYSIDE - migration moment
A series of shots shows the wild animals of the land fleeing anxiously from some unseen threat. Rabbits, foxes, deer, mice, wolves... predator and prey alike leave their dens and run, heedless of each other's presence. It's unnatural, unsettling -- a mass-migration of disparate species, their unease palpable in their movements.
Ext. winter sky - geese moment
A flock of geese fly overhead, honking cacophonously. We focus in on an individual goose--
Abruptly, an arrow drills it from below. With a scream, the goose collapses like a broken kite and falls from the sky. More arrows perforate the air, scattering the flock.
EXT. lonely hills countryside - cONTINUOUS
DOTHRAKI RIDERS fire arrows from horseback as they canter across a snow-covered landscape. Dead geese thump to the ground to the sound of frantic honking overhead.
The terrain is different here. Low grassy hummocks and rocky hills rise from the heath. The khalasar's innumerable riders flow between the outcrops like water.
JORAH MORMONT rides in their midst, a Dothraki recurve bow in hand. He trots up to a fallen goose, swings down, and collects his prize, tying the dead bird to his saddle.
Won't be long now.
Jorah looks up to see THE HOUND riding up. He's scanning the northern horizon with a dour expression. Jorah looks too.
I think you're right. The next village will likely be our last.
Jorah mounts up again and falls in beside the Hound as they ride.
Why does anyone live up in these frozen fucking hills? What are these people even doing here?
I could ask the same of you.
You're here to protect her, aren't you.
He nods at ARYA STARK, riding ahead of them, out of earshot.
That one doesn't need protecting anymore.
Yet here you are.
The Hound snorts.
(two can play this game)
And you're here to get away from the sound of her brother fucking your queen.
Jorah looks away.
It's not working, is it. You close your eyes, and all you can see is that pretty little bastard putting his pretty little cock inside your pretty little woman.
She's not my woman.
Your truest words.
My queen commanded me to save these people. I'm here because she wills it.
Got tired of you mooning about, did she?
I'm right for this mission. I'm a Northerner. I know this land. I speak Dothraki.
That's all very convenient. How do you say "lovesick cunt fool" in Dothraki?
Jorah doesn't answer. We stay with him, watching his face as the Hound continues:
You're, what, twice her age? More? A disgraced knight pining after a queen. Fucking hopeless. And now he's with her.
Jorah says nothing.
You can't even bring yourself to hate him. Does that make it better or worse?
Jorah says nothing.
Why do you bother?
Idiot. You'll never have her.
I don't fight for the hope of having her. I fight to serve.
You're a fucking romantic. I've always hated romantics.
Jorah just smiles.
EXT. WINTERFELL - BROKEN TOWER - DAY
DAENERYS TARGARYEN is feeding RHAEGAL whole roasted chickens from a sack. He takes them eagerly. Each chicken is like a single dog treat to him.
JON SNOW is standing where Rhaegal's wing meets his body, watching the dragon eat. He turns his gaze up to where a rider would sit, takes a breath, and hoists himself up.
Rhaegal turns his head and looks at Jon, growling slightly in annoyance. Dany soothes him and distracts him with another chicken. Rhaegal takes the chicken in his teeth, and Jon climbs onward up to his shoulders.
Moving tentatively, Jon maneuvers himself into a riding posture, trying to imitate how he's seen Dany do it. He looks out toward the horizon.
For one beautiful, heroic moment, we drink in the image of Jon sitting tall on his dragon's back.
Then Rhaegal starts to complain again. He wiggles his shoulders. Jon grabs onto his spikes to hang on. Dany tries to quiet him, but Rhaegal shakes again, like a dog, harder this time. Jon makes a valiant effort to stay on, but finally loses his seat. He rolls down Rhaegal's wing, and takes a hard fall onto the ground.
She runs over to him.
Are you alright?
Jon has had all the wind knocked out of him, but he nods and waves her away when she tries to help him up. He rolls to his knees and rests there with his hands on the ground. Finally, he recovers his breath enough to speak.
What am I doing wrong?
Nothing. You just need more time.
That's the one thing we don't have.
You're making progress.
Jon is skeptical.
You are. Nobody alive has done what you just did, except me.
"Progress" won't help us against the Night King. Either I can ride him, or I can't. And if I can't...
There's still me.
I don't want you alone up there.
Dany's eyes go sad. She misses Jon. He notices her silence and looks up at her.
Dany quickly buries the feeling, returning her focus to practical matters.
I won't be alone. Jaime ran trials and picked out your best archers. They'll be with me on Drogon.
It's not enough.
It's what we have.
Jon can't think of anything else to say. He picks himself up and goes over to Rhaegal. Rhaegal pokes Jon with his snout, snuffling hopefully for treats. Jon rubs Rhaegal's face with his hand, frowning pensively.