October 30, 2020
Bran keeps watch.
INT. CRYPT - NED'S STATUE - DAY
Ned Stark's statue stands a silent watch in the Winterfell crypt, grasping its replica of Ice.
Arya kneels in front of him, lighting candles much as Sansa had done in 504. Her enduring grief is understated as she looks up into her father's stone face.
Continuing on down the row, she stops in front of Rickon's tomb, next to Ned's. Rickon has a statue of his own by now, with a stone Shaggydog at his side. Arya drips wax onto the stone plinth beneath their feet, sets fresh candles down, and lights them. The flames cast flickering shadows up onto Rickon's youthful stone features.
Arya gazes into his face for a quiet moment. Against her will, her eyes are pulled onward to the next tomb. This one is empty, quietly waiting for a Stark of its own.
Arya stares into the patient blackness.
EXT. GODSWOOD - HEART TREE - LATER
Bran sits in his usual spot beneath the heart tree, eyes warg white. Arya paces restlessly nearby. Snow falls thickly all around them.
Arya breathes on her hands to warm them. She's been waiting for some time.
Finally, Bran returns to himself.
Arya leans down and gives him a wordless hug.
How is Jon?
He took King's Landing.
I know that already. How is he now?
(off Bran's silence)
You don't know, do you?
How can you not know? All day long, you sit under this tree, (having your visions--)
Yes. I've been getting much stronger. I can roam farther, see more clearly...
What if Jon needs help?
You wanted to go with him.
Arya tries to hide her disquiet.
He said no, and you quarreled.
Don't talk about that.
Bran looks away, obliging.
What do you even do all day?
I see our Uncle Benjen, stabbed in the heart with dragonglass, ageless like the Night King. I see the Mad King, telling his pyromancer to "burn them all."
The Mad King died years and years ago. Why are you wasting time on him?
The visions want to be seen.
(re: Mad King)
He didn't expect to die. He expected to survive the burning of King's Landing.
You need to be watching Jon.
Her tone brooks no dissent. Bran looks up at her, inscrutable as ever.
EXT. BLACKWATER BAY - IRON FLEET SHIP - DAY
Jon and Tyrion stand aboard a ship, looking ahead to King's Landing. Behind them, the ship is loaded with yet more Golden Company soldiers. It's still snowing, a bit heavier now.
Overhead, ravens cry out.
EXT. BLACKWATER BAY - RAVENS MOMENT
We go close on the RAVENS, riding the ship's air wake. Their eyes flash white as Bran flits from bird to bird.
EXT. KING'S LANDING DOCKS - DAY
Jon and Tyrion disembark. The ravens land on the docks, cawing noisily.
EXT. KING'S LANDING DOCKS - RAVEN/DOG MOMENT
One of the ravens flaps to a landing, perched atop a bollard. Its eyes go white, briefly. It casts an intelligent, beady gaze along the docks.
Bran's raven POV: A STRAY DOG paws at a heap of fishing nets and lobster traps, sniffing intently for scraps.
Bran wargs the dog. It instantly stops its single-minded hunt as its irises disappear, and then return. It lifts its head, ears perked and alert.
EXT. KING'S LANDING DOCKS - JON/TYRION MOMENT
Jon and Tyrion walk together along the docks, accompanied by Golden Company soldiers, as snow continues to fall over King's Landing. The Bran-dog follows after them, discreetly.
Something catches Tyrion's eye. He stops, staring, as Jon continues on.
EXT. KING'S LANDING DOCKS - BRONN'S SORTING LINE
Bronn stands watching as his City Watch officers work the sorting line, still snaking endlessly up the street from the docks. The scene is noisy with activity as citizens are ushered this way and that. Bronn's eyes flit appraisingly -- a silently judging Quality Control.
Bronn turns to see Tyrion walking toward him. Tyrion looks upon his old friend with bemused fondness.
Everything old is new again.
The "lord" bit's new.
As is much of your City Watch, it would appear.
Tyrion's appraising gaze has moved to the growing force of conscripts. They shuffle along, awkwardly clutching their dragonglass spears, looking variously nervous, resentful, and resignedly stoic.
Tyrion is chagrined, but not really surprised. His eyes move to a nearby heap of confiscated belongings.
And these goods -- generous donations to the war effort from our faithful citizens?
I've told you before. You care too much what people think of you.
It's called "diplomacy," and it happens to be my particular talent.
Well, go on then.
Tyrion gives him a quizzical look.
What do they think of you?
Tyrion gazes pensively at the evacuees and conscripts.
They've been ousted from their homes, stripped of their belongings. Separated from loved ones, whom they might never see again. I assume they're not content.
Tyrion's eyes move to the wight positioned near the sorting line, shrieking and attacking futilely through the bars of its cage.
By now, they've all heard about what's coming for them. Some of them are disturbed, some are skeptical, some are on the edge of panic. Their feelings toward their new rulers are similarly varied. Some of them are comforted by the show of strength, some are waiting for the other shoe to fall. I expect many are too beaten down to care anymore who's on the throne.
Well, of course I make it look easy.
"Some people feel one way, some people feel another way." You're betting on every possible horse and calling yourself a seer for picking the winner.
You'd be surprised. Many people in my position fall prey to the assumption that their people are all of one mind.
Many people in your position have goat shit for brains.
You tell me then. What do the common folk think of their new queen?
So far, her most popular act is murdering their former queen.
That brings about a shift in mood -- Tyrion is suddenly somber.
We didn't murder Cersei.
Even Bronn can tell that he spoke too flippantly.
Cersei was... it's a lucky thing she's dead. Sorry -- you know it's true. I never would have returned to this city if she were alive.
But I did like Jaime.
Coming from Bronn, this is tantamount to heartfelt condolences, and Tyrion receives it as such.
Truth be told, I'm surprised you're helping our cause even with my sister dead. Perhaps your sellsword's heart isn't so black as you'd like me to assume?
(shrugging it off)
Terms were generous.
We're facing a very grim fight. You're risking your life to protect the innocent. All the gold in Westeros means nothing to a dead man.
And it means plenty to a living man with a fast ship.
He nods his head to direct Tyrion's attention to a sleek ship with tall masts, docked nearby.
Fresh from her maiden voyage. Still smells like pitch.
It's comforting to know that some things stay the same.
Bronn refuses to give in to the subtle guilt trip.
You took this city without struggle, thanks to me. I don't intend to die here with you if this fight goes tits up. The ship was part of the deal -- gift from Varys.
Tyrion is saddened by the lack of solidarity, but understanding -- he doesn't bother to retort.
The camera cranes up from their conversation to gaze up at the Red Keep, visible through a haze of falling snow upon its seaside cliff.
INT. RED KEEP - CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THRONE ROOM - DAY
Varys walks through empty echoing hallways like a ghost of King's Landing Past.
He stops just inside the entrance to the throne room and stops, taking in the scene.
INT. BLASTED-OUT THRONE ROOM - CONTINUOUS
The Iron Throne sits at the epicenter of a disaster scene, blackened by fire. The once-beautiful ceiling is a shattered ruin, open to the sky, with snowflakes softly falling. Varys gazes up at the throne with a look that is part somber, part nostalgic.
What are you doing here?
Varys starts as the Hound materializes at his elbow. He composes himself.
Sandor Clegane. I wouldn't have thought to find you lingering at a scene like this.
I have a missing brother to find.
You shouldn't be here alone.
A betting man might say he burned away with the contents of this room.
You'd like to think so, wouldn't you?
He shakes his head, scowling.
No. Fire would've left remains. I found these, near the throne.
The Hound takes a bag from his belt, which turns out to contain Jaime's golden hand and Cersei's crown -- warped and fire-damaged, but still very much recognizable. Varys takes them, turning them contemplatively in his hands.
But I didn't find any monstrous huge armor lying about. He escaped. I can feel it. Besides, I was here. Jaime made Cersei send away her Hand and all her Queensguard. I watched my brother leaving out these doors.
The Hound broods on his missing brother and his unfinished business therewith. But Varys is staring fixedly at Cersei's twisted crown, his face betraying an uncomfortable, slow-dawning realization.
You say Cersei sent away her Hand?
EXT. CONSCRIPT TRAINING YARD, FENCE - LATER
Qyburn is alive then? And unaccounted-for?
I'm afraid we must assume so, for the time being. Along with the Mountain.
Varys stands with Tyrion and Bronn, just outside the fence of a makeshift training yard near the docks. Jon is in with the conscripts, helping them train. Bran-dog has been watching Jon, laying in the shade within earshot of Tyrion, Bronn, and Varys. He lifts his head from his paws and turns, ears perked, listening to their conversation.
Tyrion grimaces in annoyance at Varys' news.
I do hate loose ends. Where do you suppose he's gone?
I have regretfully few insights into this man. My little birds in this city stopped answering to me, shortly before Cersei's ascension to the throne.
We'll have to search for them another way, then.
Bronn, you wouldn't happen to know where I could find a large force of King's Landing natives whom we could direct to our bidding?
(cut the crap)
What do you want?
Search parties. Assign your men according to the neighborhoods they know best. Offer a generous reward for finding Qyburn or the Mountain, or for any information that leads to their apprehension.
Close on Bran-dog, processing what he has just heard.
Ext. GodSWOOD - HEART TREE - concuRRENT
We transition from the dog's uncannily intelligent eyes to Bran's human eyes, warg white, as he sits beneath the heart tree. From here, we transition to:
INT. ReD KEEP THRONE ROOM - bran's greensight
Human Bran stands in the Red Keep throne room. Not the blasted-out, fire-blackened throne room of the present day. The gleaming, intact throne room of the recent past. The Iron Throne rears up commandingly within frame, but Bran's eyes are elsewhere. He watches:
Jaime holding Cersei in his arms, tenderly, the two of them lying face-to-face on the stone floor. We watch again as Jaime kisses her dead face and closes his eyes for the last time.
And now the wildfire erupts in a violent billowing explosion, which this time we get to watch in tragic gorgeous detail from the inside.
Bran lifts his gaze, untouched and uncannily still. He walks slowly through the raging flames, down the Iron Throne steps, down toward the smoke-obscured doors, to find out what happened to Qyburn.
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