February 17, 2018
Winterfell braces for attack.
Ext. Winterfell landscape - day
The KHALASAR has arrived at Winterfell. Their vast numbers fan out across the wide landscape, funneling in toward the castle.
Ext. Winterfell courtyard - dAY
JON SNOW emerges from the godswood and makes his way to Winterfell's main courtyard. It's full of chaos and noise. DOTHRAKI RIDERS roam about on horseback like they own the place, taking in the unfamiliar sights with curiosity. A growing crowd of rescued VILLAGERS stands huddled together -- exhausted, cold, and shell-shocked. Across the courtyard, SANSA STARK stands in the epicenter of activity, giving orders to SERVANTS, ushering villagers in various directions. She looks harried but competent.
Jon stops just inside the open gates, looking out as riders stream in past him on either side. Jon's eyes flit searchingly over each rider as they enter.
Finally the person he'd been looking for rides in: ARYA STARK, with THE HOUND on her flank.
Arya dismounts. She looks like she's been through an ordeal, as indeed she has. A STABLEBOY hurries up, and Arya gives her horse over to him. Then she turns, and sees Jon.
Jon goes to her. They embrace each other tightly.
I saw them.
Jon closes his eyes and squeezes her closer.
The sound of nervous horses makes him look up. He freezes in surprise.
...is that Nymeria?
Arya turns to look, breaking out of the hug. NYMERIA is standing some distance outside the gates, sniffing the air warily as she peers in at the courtyard. The horses shy away from her as their riders try to urge them into the castle.
Jon walks toward her, with Arya at his side. Nymeria's ears go flat as she sees him approaching -- she bares her teeth to warn him not to come closer. He stops. Arya goes to her.
Girl, easy. Don't you remember Jon?
Gone a bit wild, hasn't she.
Arya nods. Nymeria sniffs Arya carefully, picking up Jon's scent on her clothes.
After a long cautious moment, Nymeria seems grudgingly satisfied. She turns and lopes away, heading for the wolfswood.
She has her own wolf pack now. Hundreds of them.
Ghost must have been happy to see her.
Arya goes still. She looks up at Jon with pain in her eyes. He sees the look and realizes something terrible must have happened.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Jon stares at her.
We were attacked. And Ghost...
Arya has difficulty continuing, but Jon understands. He absorbs the news with quiet grief.
Jon is quiet for another beat, looking out into the moorlands beyond Winterfell. Then he collects himself.
Arya shakes her head.
He did what he had to. He was a good boy. Now come on. Let's get you inside.
He puts an arm around her, and together they set off through the courtyard, heading for the Great Keep.
The Hound by now has dismounted as well, and relinquished his horse. He watches Arya as she walks away with Jon.
You still watch over her.
He turns to see BRIENNE walking up to him. The sight does not appear to enthuse him. He returns his gaze to where it had been -- away from her.
What do you want?
I have something for you.
The Hound gives her a glance, full of suspicion.
You don't look excited.
The last gift you gave me was a broken leg.
It's not a gift.
She produces a sheathed sword from within her cloak.
It's a loan. Until the fighting is over.
The Hound looks at the sword in her hands, frowning quizzically. He takes it from her, then pulls it a few inches out of its sheath.
His eyes widen. We go into closeup and see the distinctive ripple of Valyrian steel in its blade, and the Tarly huntsman on its hilt.
It's called Heartsbane. The family blade of House Tarly. The Warden of the North asked me to recommend someone for it.
Because you'll use it to protect her.
The Hound looks at her, then back at the sword. He draws Heartsbane fully from the sheath and hefts it in his hand, feeling out its weight and balance.
The Hound doesn't generally smile, as a rule, but that almost looks like a smile.
Always wanted me some Valyrian steel.
She gives him a nod, and an almost-smile of her own. Then turns and walks away. The Hound watches her go, briefly, then returns to admiring Heartsbane.
Elsewhere in the courtyard, JORAH MORMONT rides in, the SMALL GIRL asleep in the saddle in front of him. A SERVANT WOMAN comes up to him, and he carefully hands the girl down. As he dismounts, DAENERYS TARGARYEN approaches him from across the courtyard.
You've returned to me.
Jorah turns at the sound of her voice. He kneels before her.
I promised I would, your grace.
Dany smiles and raises him back up to his feet. Jorah looks at her with a grim expression in his eyes.
They're close, your grace. Three days' march, perhaps two.
You saw them?
And you saw...
She trails off, her voice constricting, but Jorah understands.
The Night King has him. Just as we were told. I saw them flying overhead.
Pain comes over Dany's face. Jorah gazes at her, grimacing sympathetically.
I will destroy him for this. I swear by all the gods. I will see his body shatter and his armies burn.
You must see Viserion destroyed as well, khaleesi.
A sadness comes into her eyes, tempering her rage.
Do we have a plan?
Dany gives him a look. She begins walking, nodding to indicate that he should follow her.
You're not going to like it.
Ext. winterfell battlements - moments later
Jorah stands with Dany upon the walls of Winterfell. They gaze up at DROGON flying overhead.
You're oddly quiet.
Experience has taught me that you are not one to be dissuaded from danger. Least of all by me.
Only a dragon can defeat another dragon.
You'll be flying alone into the most dangerous part of the battle.
I won't be alone.
I'll have a crew of archers. The finest in the North.
Your grace, listen to me.
It has to be me.
The Dothraki are far more capable as mounted archers than any Northman.
Dany looks up in surprise. This is not the objection she had expected.
Westerosi archers are trained to stand behind a shield wall and shoot standing up. Dothraki begin shooting from horseback as soon as they are old enough to walk. They can shoot a pigeon out of the air at full gallop.
He takes a step toward her, his gaze intent.
Allow me to choose a crew to ride with you into battle. I know the men, I've ridden with them. Run a mounted trial of them against your Northern archers, if you are not convinced.
Dany is looking pleasantly surprised, and intrigued by the idea.
And allow me to ride with you as well.
Dany's eyes meet Jorah's. He takes a knee before her, gazing earnestly up at her.
I would die for you, khaleesi. You know that. Don't ask me to stay behind while you risk your life up there. Let me fight beside you.
Dany finds herself unexpectedly overcome with emotion. She hangs onto her queenly composure with difficulty, as she returns Jorah's gaze.
Int. Crypt - lyanna's statue - day
So this is your mother.
Jon nods. He and Arya gaze up at Lyanna's statue together.
Father never talked about her.
The two women he never talked about: his sister, and my mother. And I never put two and two together.
And you were never a bastard.
Sansa must feel like an idiot.
You're very forgiving.
I'm very tired. Where you find the strength to be angry all the time is what I want to know.
That makes her smile, despite everything. Then the smile fades as she grows pensive.
She would've married Joffrey. Even after father...
If the Lannisters had told her to, she would've walked into that sept, and she would've said the words.
She wouldn't have had a choice.
Everyone has a choice. Even prisoners. They can always choose death.
Jon gives her a glance.
Do you think she should have?
But I would have.
Jon looks at her.
I would have never said the words. I would have died before I said the words.
I would have never survived what Sansa survived.
We're surviving together now.
They smile at each other.
Jon looks up again at his mother's statue.
Wish I knew what she was like.
Father did tell me something about her, once.
He looks at her in surprise.
Arya shakes her head, trying to pull up the full memory.
I was being a shit about something or other.
You'll have to be more specific.
Arya hits him on the ear.
That hurt a lot!
Sorry. I thought you would dodge.
I thought you would... not hit so hard. Seven Hells, Arya.
So next time you'll dodge?
Jon glowers at her, still holding his ear.
So you were being a shit about something?
I was angry. Father was trying to talk me down. He was starting to lose patience, just a little, so I said something mean. I don't remember what exactly. I wanted to make him yell, but instead he laughed.
That just made me more angry. "Why are you laughing?" I said. "It's not funny!"
He said: "I'm sorry. I'm not laughing at you. You just reminded me of my sister then, is all."
Jon looks at Arya.
I asked him what she was like. He said: "She was a bit like you. Wild and stubborn and brave. And -- occasionally -- very, very annoying."
Jon is staring at Arya -- his favorite sibling -- with a poignant expression on his face. Then he looks up at Lyanna's statue.
You're telling me that my dead mother was a little shit like you?
Arya takes a swipe at him. This time, Jon dodges it.
Jon glares at her, but fails to completely keep the fondness from his face.
EXT. CRYPT ENTRANCEWAY - LATER
Arya emerges alone from the darkness of the crypt stairwell. She puts her torch into a bracket on the wall.
Arya looks up. She sees GENDRY--
The sheer shock drives her explosively backward, away from him, her body reacting to the sudden adrenaline before her mind fully processes what she's seeing. Her dagger materializes in her hand, unthinkingly. She stares at him, eyes wide, face pale, backed up against the far wall in a taut defensive posture.
I... are you alright?
Arya doesn't speak, nor hardly seems to be breathing. She's staring at him like he's a ghost.
It's me. Gendry. Don't you remember?
I shouldn't argue with m'lady, but I don't think I am.
Arya stares. The dagger starts to come down as she slowly recovers from her shock.
Gendry gives her a smile, a pained and bittersweet thing.
I don't... how...
She starts to move toward him. Gendry backs up a step and she stops, confused.
Somewhere private, maybe?
Int. Winterfell store room - MOMENTS LATER
Arya ushers Gendry into a deserted store room. He speaks as she comes in after him and locks the door behind them.
Ser Davos let slip that you were here, when he fetched me.
Gendry ducks around ropes of hanging sausages and takes a seat on a crate, amidst sacks of potatoes and onions.
He doesn't know that I knew you. None of them do.
Arya is still hovering near the door, staring at Gendry like she doesn't quite trust that he's real.
Why didn't you tell them?
Gendry heaves a sigh and gives Arya a long, searching look. She looks back at him, waiting for his reply, a bit puzzled by his reticence.
You really have no idea, do you? How terrifying you are.
A flush of sullen pain creeps up Arya's face, and Gendry hurries to clarify:
Not... you in particular. All of you. Highborns.
We all learn, from the time we're little. Don't speak to them unless spoken to. Keep your eyes down. Call them m'lord, call them m'lady. Never insult them. And anything can insult them. One wrong word, one wrong look, and you're dead.
Don't speak to them, don't look at them, don't be friends with them.
Why did you come here?
Gendry regards her in silence for a long beat.
I found out why the Lannisters wanted me.
Don't change the subject.
I'm a son of King Robert's. His bastard son.
This is very much news to Arya. She gapes at him.
Maybe... maybe that doesn't change anything. I tried to forget it, tried to keep my head down like I'd always done. Like a mouse hoping the cats wouldn't notice me.
He stares pensively at the floor, with the thousand-yard stare of fraught memory.
You remember Harrenhal.
It's not a question.
Every day, they came, and we'd stare at our feet, trying to be invisible. And every day, they killed us just the same.
Gendry stares at the floor a moment longer, remembering, then lifts his gaze to Arya's face. He looks her steadily in the eyes from across the store room.
I'll be honest with you. I don't know how to do this. How to be one of you. But here's something I do know: I'm tired of being a mouse. I want to fight. It's like you said.
Tears have been welling up in Arya's eyes, and now they spill over.
She moves forward suddenly. Gendry stands up to meet her, and they come together in a crushing embrace.
Int. Winterfell armoury - day
My place is beside the Stark girls.
Brienne is walking through the armoury with JAIME LANNISTER. Around them, WORKERS bustle around, racking dragonglass spears, axes, and other weapons.
I'm just saying, we could really use you on the walls.
You have half the North to man the walls.
And not one of them is half as good as you.
I see. It's my legendary fighting prowess that you're so reluctant to be parted from.
Are you accusing me of sentimentality?
Are you denying it?
Jaime opens his mouth, but his customary easy retort fails to materialize. He stops walking and glowers at her instead. Brienne tries and fails to suppress a smile. They're standing in a relatively isolated corner of the armoury now, away from the main bustle of activity.
Luckily for you.
Lucky? It's like trying to fend off a starving bear.
And you hate every moment of it, is that what you're saying?
He narrows his eyes petulantly. A loaded moment passes between them.
He pulls her into a storage closet, crowded with baskets of dragonglass. He closes the door, presses her against it, and kisses her passionately.
ext. Godswood - EVENING
The fading evening light slants through the red leaves of the heart tree. BRAN STARK sits beneath it, his eyes warg white.
Sansa stands nearby, pacing slightly and rubbing her arms for warmth. She looks like she's been waiting for some time.
Finally, Bran returns to himself. He sees Sansa.
I brought you some food.
Sansa picks up a tray from the ground, bearing a covered dish wrapped in cloths to keep it warm. She sets it down across the armrests of his wheeled chair. Bran begins eating, robotically.
It's getting dark.
(off Bran's non-reaction)
You should come inside.
I need to stay here.
You haven't been sleeping enough.
He's very close now. I need to watch him. I need to be ready for him.
You've already done everything you can to prepare us. We know they're close. We're as ready as we'll ever be.
Bran just continues eating. Sansa crouches down in front of him.
Please, Bran. Winterfell could come under attack any day now, (and when it does--)
Winterfell doesn't matter.
Sansa is shocked, and hurt.
...how can you say that?
The Night King doesn't want Winterfell. He wants the dragons. I have to help the dragons, when it's time.
I've been getting stronger. And this is where I'm strongest.
He turns his head as he says that, gazing at the heart tree's red face, as Sansa watches with disquiet.