April 7, 2018
The dead press on.
EXT. WOLFSWOOD - DAY
Fire fills our vision.
Pulling out, we see Rhaegal flying overhead with Jon on his back. DAENERYS TARGARYEN swoops past him on DROGON.
On the ground, wights move through a snow-covered forest. They are sparsely distributed, and their cover is thick. Trees burst into flame as Dany blasts them from above. A few wights fall, burning as they deanimate. But the rest scatter away from the fire, melting into the shadows beneath snow-laden trees.
Dany and Jon cruise low over the forest, trying to see through the foliage, picking off wights a few at a time. It's apparent that the effort is slow-going and difficult.
EXT. WOLFSWOOD CLEARING - NIGHT KING MOMENT
The NIGHT KING stands motionless in a clearing, gazing steadily up and out at something.
Night King's POV: the dragons are still small with distance. But growing larger and closer.
The Night King's face is a mask of cool patience. He holds an ice blade ready in his hands, waiting for the dragons to come into range.
EXT. WOLFSWOOD - JON MOMENT
A cacophony of cawing ravens flies past Jon and makes him look up from the ground. He sees Dany flying ahead of him, and -- beyond her -- a storm gathering.
EXT. WOLFSWOOD - DANY MOMENT
Dany is focused on the hunt below, not registering the way the air around her is growing thicker and more opaque with blowing snow.
Jon appears suddenly and cuts her off. Drogon growls his annoyance as he pulls up sharply and dodges to avoid a collision with Rhaegal.
(shouting over the wind)
What are you doing?
We have to turn back!
Dany stares at him.
The Night King is close, and we can't see!
Dany looks around, realizing now how dark and stormy the air has become.
She looks down at the wight-infested forest, visibly frustrated. But she knows he's right.
She banks Drogon around and heads back the way they came, abandoning the hunt. Jon follows after her on Rhaegal.
EXT. WOLFSWOOD CLEARING - NIGHT KING MOMENT
The Night King watches as the dragons fly away.
INT. WINTERFELL GREAT HALL - DAY
How many did you burn?
Dany and Jon are debriefing with TYRION LANNISTER, JAIME LANNISTER, and Bran. A large map of Westeros lays spread out upon a table.
Not many. A few hundred, perhaps.
Let's never do that again.
Dany shoots him a look, ruffled by his impertinence.
I don't recall asking your permission.
Your grace permitted me to live so that I could advise you on how to win this war. Permit me to advise you.
Dany reluctantly concedes the point. Jaime continues.
A well-defended castle can hold off thousands of dead. But if the Night King takes another dragon, no castle is safe. You need to be more careful. We have to prevent the dragons from falling into his hands at any cost.
Which way were they headed?
Jon shakes his head doubtfully.
East, and west, and south, all at once.
Jaime frowns down at the map. He's silent for a long time. Jon watches his face as Jaime thinks.
I can't predict an enemy I don't understand. Where did they come from? What do they want?
They came from men.
Everyone looks at Bran.
The Night King was once a man. Then the Children of the Forest put a shard of dragonglass into his heart.
And that made him into a White Walker?
It wasn't the dragonglass that made him what he is. It was the Children's anger. They were at war, and losing. And so, as they pushed the dragonglass into the Night King's heart, they wished for him to kill all men.
Everyone takes a moment to process this bit of lore.
They did the same to Uncle Benjen, after he was stabbed by a Walker. Only with him, they wished for him to remain himself, and help the living.
Jon absorbs that. He stares down at the map.
If you wanted to kill as many people as you could, what would you do? Where would you go?
Jaime frowns down at the map.
I'd go wherever there are people. Unarmed and unsuspecting, ideally. As many as possible...
His voice trails off. His face freezes. He stares at a point on the map with dawning horror.
Jon glances up at Jaime's face, noting his expression, then follows his gaze.
We go close on the map: King's Landing.
EXT. KING'S LANDING LANDSCAPE - DAY
A wide landscape perspective shows us King's Landing in the distance.
EXT. GOLDROAD - LEFFORD'S ENCAMPMENT - DAY
A sea of pitched tents flutters just off the Goldroad, with King's Landing visible in the far background, about a day's ride away. Between the rows of tents, horses and soldiers move about, decked out in the red garb of a Westerlands army.
LORD LEFFORD (SOUND ADVANCE)
It seems we've suffered a failure of communication, your grace. I do apologize.
INT. LEFFORD'S COMMAND TENT - DAY
LORD LEO LEFFORD and CERSEI LANNISTER sit facing each other in Lefford's command tent. THE MOUNTAIN stands silent guard at Cersei's shoulder.
You will not play coy with me, my lord. You knew your orders. You knowingly disobeyed them.
I took your wishes into advisement, your grace. However, in light of new information, I deemed an alternate course to be more prudent.
Lefford holds her gaze, uncowed by the threat in her tone.
My castellan received a raven from the castle of Last Hearth, in the North. It seems this army of dead men is rather more than a fiction.
According to our enemies.
According to a man that my own maester knows and trusts.
Lefford is confident in his knowledge. Cersei's FUD is powerless now, and she knows it. It pisses her off, but she keeps her composure.
Assuming this army is everything this man says it is. The entire kingdom of the North still stands between us and them.
And if that kingdom falls? What then? What happens when the dead come south?
Your grace, my children and grandchildren are at the Golden Tooth. My duty compels me home. I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.
He stands and starts to leave.
Don't you walk away from me.
The Mountain takes a step toward Lefford, his hand on his sword. Lefford stops, casts the Mountain a glance, and looks to Cersei. She rises to her feet.
I am your queen. You will not leave until you are dismissed.
If Lefford feels cowed by the admonishment, he does not show it in his face. He holds her in a cool, calculating, expressionless gaze, saying nothing.
I respected your father, your grace. He was harsh, but he was also clever. He wielded strength with confidence, and understood his weaknesses with clarity.
With all due respect, your grace, you are not Tywin. Cut me down, by all means, and hope that the men outside see the wisdom of your choices.
The lords of the Westerlands are sworn to me.
The lords of the Westerlands are going home. You cannot stop us from leaving.
I have the Golden Company. Euron Greyjoy is collecting them for me as we speak. Soon they will cross the Narrow Sea to kill my enemies. Walk away from me, and they will kill you first.
Even backed into a corner as she is, Cersei's force of personality comes through in her voice. Her eyes are full of deadly promise.
Lefford gazes back at her appraisingly.
With respect, your grace, I'll take my chances with the Golden Company.
He turns on his heel and exits the tent, as Cersei watches.