The Green Knight (2021) – Transcript

A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
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The Green Knight

The film stars Dev Patel as Gawain, a nephew of King Arthur, who sets out on a journey to test his courage and face the Green Knight. Based on the 14th-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

* * *

WOMAN: (WHISPERING) Look, see a world that holds more wonders than any since the Earth was born.

And of all who reigned o’er, none had renown like the boy who pulled sword from stone.

But this is not that king…

(HOARSELY) …nor is this his song.

Let me tell you instead a new tale.

I’ll lay it down as I’ve heard it told.

Its letters sent, its history pressed, of an adventure brave and bold.

Forever set, in heart, in stone, like all great myths of old.

(FLAME ROARING)

(CHURCH BELL TOLLING)

(GOAT BLEATING)

(UNSETTLING MUSIC PLAYING)

(GOOSE HONKING)

(CHURCH BELL CONTINUES TOLLING)

(CATTLE LOWING)

(UNSETTLING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(DUCK QUACKS)

(INDISTINCT SHOUTING IN DISTANCE)

(DUCKS QUACKING)

(MAN SHOUTING INDISTINCTLY IN DISTANCE)

(LUTE MUSIC PLAYING)

(MUSIC STOPS)

(GASPING)

Christ is born.

(BUCKET CLATTERS)

Christ is born indeed.

(WOMAN LAUGHS)

(MUFFLED LAUGHTER)

(LAUGHTER AND INDISTINCT CHATTER)

MAN: Where are you going?

WOMAN: To church!

MAN: Why?

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

My boots. Hello, Agnes.

Where are my boots?

WOMAN 2: You a knight yet?

MAN: What?

You a knight yet?

Not yet.

Better hurry up.

MAN: (PANTING) I’ve got time.

I’ve got lots of time.

Hey! Essel.

Hey, slow down.

ESSEL: Hurry up!

MAN: Essel.

Essel.

Let’s just stay here. Come on. Let’s just stay here.

Get up.

MAN: No.

I’m not ready yet.

(PANTING)

I’m not ready.

Merry Christmas, Gryngelot.

(CHURCH BELLS TOLLING IN DISTANCE)

(SOFT WHISTLING)

(CHUCKLES)

(CHURCH BELLS CONTINUE TOLLING)

(BELLS TOLLING STOPS)

(PANTING)

WOMAN: Where have you been?

GAWAIN: At Mass.

WOMAN: You, at Mass?

GAWAIN: Yeah.

WOMAN: All night?

Yes.

WOMAN: Well, where are your boots?

GAWAIN: What?

WOMAN: Where are…

(KISSES)

You do smell like you’ve been at Mass.

What, have you been drinking the sacrament all night?

GAWAIN: I love you, Mother.

(GRUNTS)

(SIGHING)

(GENTLE STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

You are not dressed.

I’ve got no guts for merriment this year.

But it’s Christmas.

MOTHER: There’ll be more Christmases, more feasts, more glad tidings.

You go, make merry.

And tell me what you see.

(FESTIVE STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(WOMAN SINGING IN MEDIEVAL LANGUAGE)

(DOOR OPENING)

(WOMAN CONTINUES SINGING)

(SONG ENDS)

(EERIE MUSIC PLAYING)

(PENSIVE CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(INAUDIBLE)

(PENSIVE CHORAL MUSIC CONTINUES)

(MUFFLED LAUGHTER)

Bring young Gawain here.

(SOFTLY) The king would speak with you.

(LIGHT MEDIEVAL MUSIC PLAYING)

Where is thy mother?

She was not feeling herself, my lord.

Then come. Sit here, besides us.

Besides me and my queen.

That is not my place.

No. Let it be, today.

Its owner is away.

Who knows when he will return?

Please.

Good to see you, Gawain.

Good to have one’s family by one’s side.

One’s blood.

(CHUCKLES LIGHTLY)

Surely your knights have spilled enough blood in your name to bind them closer to you than I.

KING: True.

But you are my sister’s boy, queefed from her womb.

They are not.

I look out upon my friends here today and I see…

songs…

no muse could ever sing or dream of.

But I turn to thee and I see what?

I recognize but I do not know thee.

I say this not in reproach, but regret that I have never asked you to sit at my side before this day or upon my knee when thy was newborn.

But now it is Christmas, and I wish to build bridges.

So before we make merry…

you make for me a gift.

You tell me a tale of yourself, so that I might know thee.

(SOFT STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

I have none to tell, King.

QUEEN: Yet.

You have none to tell yet.

GAWAIN: Yet.

Look around you, young Gawain.

What do you see?

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

I see legends.

Do not take your place amongst them idly.

KING: Hmm.

So who else then…

hmm?

Friends…

Brothers…

(SOFTLY) Brothers…

Brothers and…

sisters all.

…sisters all.

I thank thee for breaking bread with me this blessed day.

And it is blessed… for out my window this morn I looked, and I saw a land shaped… by your hands.

(DRAMATIC CHORAL MUSIC PLAYS)

You have lain those same hands upon our Saxon brethren, who now in your shadow bow their heads like babes.

Peace, peace you have brought to your kingdom, so it is in peace that I…

I now say to you… that I… I am the luckiest here today… because I am amongst thee.

I am amongst thee.

So before we celebrate the birth of our Christ, let us honor one of our own who has done great things in His name.

So a tale, or…

Or a show perhaps.

(THUNDER CRASHES)

What have thee?

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

Who can regale me and my queen with some myth or canto of thine own purport?

(WIND WHISTLING)

(FIRE CRACKLING)

(OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYS)

Hold.

(TENSE MUSIC PLAYING)

(HORSE GRUNTS)

(HORSE GRUNTS)

(INHALES DEEPLY)

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

DISTORTED MALE VOICE: Oh, Greatest Of Kings, indulge me in this friendly Christmas game.

Let whichever of your knights is boldest of blood and wildest of heart step forth, take up arms, and try with honor to land a blow against me.

Whomsoever nicks me shall lay claim to this, my arm.

It’s glory and riches shall be thine.

But…

thy champ must bind himself to this:

Should he land a blow, then one year and Yuletide hence, he must seek me out yonder, to the Green Chapel six nights to the North.

He shall find me there and bend the knee and let me strike him in return.

Be it a scratch on the cheek or a cut on the throat, I will return what was given to me, and then in trust and friendship we shall part.

Who, then, who is willing to engage with me?

(ALL EXCLAIM)

Help. Queen.

(HORSE SNORTING)

This challenge is thine own?

(RUSTLING)

Though my will longs to leap across this table and meet thee, my body will not follow.

Surely there is one amongst us here who will meet this knight on his terms.

GAWAIN: I will do it.

I will meet him.

I will meet thee.

You understand this challenge?

GAWAIN: I do.

I think I do.

(WHISPERS) Remember, it is only a game.

(RUSTLING)

I need a sword.

I need… I need a sword.

KING: Gawain. (GRUNTS)

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

(HEAVY FOOTSTEPS)

(RUSTLING)

(TENSE MUSIC PLAYING)

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

Have at me, Green Knight.

(PENSIVE MUSIC PLAYING)

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

Make a move or I shall make mine.

(SCOFFS)

What is this?

A trick?

Stand up and face me!

(BREATHING SHAKILY)

What do you expect me to do?

(WHISPERING) Have courage.

(RUSTLING)

Very well.

Very well.

You laid down your challenge.

(BREATHING SHAKILY)

I accepted it and I accept it still.

Never forget what happened here upon this Christmas Day!

(GRUNTS)

(SOFT UNSETTLING MUSIC PLAYING)

(RUSTLING)

(HEAVY FOOTSTEPS)

(SLOW DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYING)

One year hence…

(LAUGHING MANIACALLY)

(CONTINUES LAUGHING MANIACALLY)

(NEIGHING)

(DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYING)

(CONTINUES LAUGHING MANIACALLY)

(SLOW TENSE MUSIC PLAYING)

(CHEERING)

(SLOW TENSE MUSIC CONTINUES)

(MUSIC ENDS IN FLOURISH)

(CROWD LAUGHING)

(CHILDREN GASPING)

(SOFT EERIE MUSIC PLAYING)

ESSEL: What did it feel like?

What did it feel like when you…

Like cutting a melon in two.

And what does that feel like?

GAWAIN: Like nothing.

(CHILDREN LAUGHING)

Were you afraid?

No.

Are you just saying that?

GAWAIN: I am here, and he is not.

(WHEEL RATTLING)

The king lent me his sword, did you know that?

You held it?

Well, I did more than hold it.

(ESSEL LAUGHING)

Behold, Brave Sir Gawain, chopper of heads…

(CHUCKLES)

…severer of melons, who cannot…

(WHISPERS) …get it up.

(CHUCKLES)

(PENSIVE STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

(MUG THUDS)

(LAUGHING)

(MEDIEVAL MUSIC PLAYING)

You’re Gawain, aren’t you?

Nah, you must be mistaken.

No, no, you’re him.

You’re always here. Always about.

Scarcely leave upright most nights.

But not on Christmas.

(MUSIC STOPS)

Have you heard?

This boy slew the Green Knight.

With his own axe, he lopped off the giant’s head, and now he drinks with us!

(ALL CHEERING)

MAN: But his mother’s a witch.

(ALL LAUGHING)

(CROWD LAUGHING AND EXCLAIMING)

(CROWD LAUGHING AND CHATTERING)

(LAUGHTER AND CHATTER SUBSIDE)

(SIGHS)

Rise.

(STERNLY) Rise.

Sit.

I’ve been waiting for you.

Did you not hear me calling?

(KING GRUNTS)

(SOFT CRUNCH)

(GRUNTS IN PAIN)

My tooth hurts.

Another year nearly gone already.

Have you thought what you will do when Christmas comes?

Was it not just a game?

Perhaps.

But it is not complete.

You truly believe he’s sitting in a chapel, counting the hours, whiling away the year waiting for me to come?

Well, I do not know.

You will tell me.

You must seek him out.

And if death awaits me?

Oh, I do not know of any man who has not marched up to greet death before his time.

Why are you holding me to this light?

Is it wrong to want greatness for you?

I fear I am not meant for greatness.

Mm.

(WATER TRICKLES)

(SOFT STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

You have mud on your face.

(SOFT STRING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(WHEEL RATTLING)

(LIGHT MUSIC PLAYING)

(SOMBER STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(CHORUS SINGING)

(WOMEN CHANTING INDISTINCTLY)

(CHANTING CONTINUES)

(PRIEST PRAYING IN LATIN)

(CHANTING CONTINUES)

(PRIEST CONTINUES PRAYING)

QUEEN: (IN ENGLISH) May the Blessed Virgin keep your five fingers strong, your five senses sharp.

May her five joys inspire you.

The five wounds of her son give you fervor.

And the five virtues of a knight light your way.

Keep thy covenant, young Gawain.

And if God smiles on thee, then hurry thee back.

Thy seat besides us waits.

(BLOWS SOFTLY)

ESSEL: Are you really going to go?

Should I?

I like your head better where it is.

GAWAIN: I gave my word. I made a covenant.

This is how silly men perish.

GAWAIN: Or how brave men become great.

ESSEL: Why greatness?

Why is goodness not enough?

(ETHEREAL CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

MOTHER: Take this now.

Wear it about your waist as you go.

And if you wear it still when you return…

Will I return?

When you return, you will come with your head held high.

I promise, you will not come to harm.

And, boy… My boy… do not waste this.

(MUSIC ENDS IN FLOURISH)

KID: Gawain! Gawain!

I’ve got a sword!

KID 2: Gawain! Great tide.

Good luck!

Good luck, Gawain!

(SHEEP BLEATING)

(SHEPHERD SHOUTING COMMANDS)

(JINGLING)

ESSEL: Do you still fancy me?

Do I make you happy?

GAWAIN: Yes.

ESSEL: Even though I’m here and you’re there?

GAWAIN: Yes.

(TREE THUDS)

ESSEL: What will you say if I asked you to make me your lady?

A lady?

Your lady.

I could give you more gold than any lady has.

(SCOFFS) I already have your gold.

What if I wanted to sit by your side and… take your hand and… have your ear?

What will you say to that?

“Why, yes, Essel.

“I’d like that very much.

“You may have my ear and my hand and heart.

“And I will be king and you my queen.

“You’ll be my lady…

“and I’ll be your man.”

(THUNDER RUMBLES DISTANTLY)

(JINGLING)

(CAGE CREAKING)

(INSECTS CHIRPING SOFTLY)

(HORSE GALLOPING)

(HORSE SNORTING)

(SOMBER STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(WIND GUSTING)

(BIRDS CAWING IN DISTANCE)

Who are you?

Just a traveler, friend.

You look like a knight.

Just passing through.

Ah. I take it you’ll want some of the shares, so, huh?

Of what?

All of this!

Why weren’t they buried?

All dead. All dead.

No one to bury ’em.

Though you know, nature will do its trick.

She’ll suck ’em in and tuck ’em tight.

(GRUNTS)

Eh, in saying that, I do have two brothers out here somewhere.

And they marched off. They never came home.

You know, if it weren’t for my ma, I would’ve been here. I would’ve been here!

I would’ve been here too!

(BIRD CAWING DISTANTLY)

They all came here! (LAUGHS)

(SIGHS)

Though I’d have lasted longer.

The king, they say…

They say the king, he killed 960 all on his lonesome.

Nine hundred, eh?

Uh-huh.

Now, if it was me, I’da stayed upright long enough to take my shot.

(EXCLAIMS)

That’s a nice axe you got.

You do some fighting with that axe?

Here and there.

Here?

Only there.

Here, I’m just passing through.

SCAVENGER: To where?

GAWAIN: I go North.

North, oh!

North is a direction, all right.

Just North?

To the Green Chapel.

(GASPS)

Oh!

Do you know of it?

The Green Chapel, eh?

There’s a stream yonder.

It runs Northlike.

I mean, if I’ve… If I’ve got my bearing.

Yeah, yeah, it runs Northlike.

But if you follow that for a day and a half, you’ll come to a chapel.

At least I think it’s a chapel.

It’s, uh… It’s, uh, yeah, it’s…

It’s not green on the whole, but I mean, it’s definitely greenish, with the moss and the, uh… the rot and ruins, but perhaps it’s what you seek.

GAWAIN: The stream is yonder?

SCAVENGER: Mmm-hmm.

It’s this way.

Past the field, where the forest meets.

GAWAIN: I will seek it out. My thanks to you.

SCAVENGER: My thanks to you.

GAWAIN: Come on.

SCAVENGER: Are my directions not worth anything to you?

GAWAIN: My thanks.

I said, are my directions not worth anything to you?

(SOFT EERIE MUSIC PLAYING)

I mean, a knight like you could spare a wretch like me just a small, small act of kindness.

(METALLIC JINGLING)

Here. A kindness.

Oh!

Wait.

(BLOWS)

Northlike. See?

Thank you.

Remember the stream.

GAWAIN: I will.

‘Cause it gets tricky.

Here you go, boy.

That’s a good boy.

Good boy.

(HORSE NICKERS)

Come on. Let’s go.

(ANIMAL HOWLING IN DISTANCE)

Hello, there.

Hello.

(HORSE SNORTING)

Now, now.

(HORSE WHINNIES)

(GRUNTS)

(ALL GRUNTING)

Please.

THIEF 1: Yeah, please?

Please. Please. Please!

THIEF 2: Please!

THIEF 1: Please.

THIEF 2: Please!

(GRUNTING)

(MOCKINGLY) Please! Please! Please! Please!

THIEF 1: Please.

(GAWAIN PANTING)

SCAVENGER: Oh.

Oh.

‘Tweren’t enough. Just ’tweren’t enough.

(GAWAIN GRUNTING)

Hey, hey, hey! Where you off to, huh?

Where you off to? A knightly quest?

I’m not a knight. (PANTING)

But you said you were.

I never said that. You said that.

I never said I was a knight.

But are you?

No! No, I’m not.

Oh. Hmm.

Well, you look like one.

THIEF 1: Aye.

(SNIFFS) Smells like a knight.

(TENSE MUSIC PLAYING)

(SHUSHING)

Oh…

Please…

(CHUCKLES) Yeah.

Oh. Oh!

(BLADE SWISHES)

Ah.

Whoa!

Whoo!

Yeah! (LAUGHS)

(THIEVES LAUGH)

Just tell me, then. Is there really a chapel?

You’re in it.

(OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYS)

(SCREAMS)

(MUFFLED SHOUTING)

(CONTINUES SHOUTING)

SCAVENGER: Whoa! Watch it.

THIEF 3: Let me hold that.

(YELPS)

SCAVENGER: It suits me.

This suits me, huh?

(MUFFLED GRUNT)

(MUFFLED SHOUTING)

You rest your bones, my brave little knight.

(GRUNTS)

I’ll finish your quest for you.

I’ll finish it good.

(HORSE WHINNYING)

(GRUNTING)

THIEF 3: Hey! Where are you going?

Hey!

SCAVENGER: Hyah!

(TREES RUSTLING)

(BIRD CAWING IN DISTANCE)

(BIRDS CHIRPING)

(FLIES BUZZING)

(BIRD CAWING DISTANTLY)

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(LOW UNSETTLING MUSIC PLAYING)

(BIRD CAWING)

(UNSETTLING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(BIRD CALLING)

(MUSIC INTENSIFYING)

(MUSIC STOPS)

(PERCUSSION MUSIC PLAYING)

(GRUNTING)

(CHORUS SINGING)

(YELLS)

(GRUNTING)

(PERCUSSION MUSIC CONTINUES)

Gryngelot!

(CHORUS SINGING)

(PANTING)

(UNSETTLING MUSIC PLAYING)

(MUSIC STOPS)

(DOOR OPENS)

(DOOR CREAKS SOFTLY)

(SOFT CREAKING)

(WINGS FLUTTERING)

(CREAKING)

Hello.

(GENTLE MUSIC PLAYING)

(MUSIC FADES)

WOMAN: What are you doing in my bed?

What are you doing in my bed?

I’m very sorry. I… I did not see you.

I thought there was no one about.

I did not mean to offend thee.

Wait.

Did my father send for you?

No. He did not.

I do not know your father.

I am just a lost traveler, seeking rest for the night, but I will leave forthwith.

Where are you going?

Home.

I’m headed home.

And you’ve lost your way?

Yes.

I’ve lost something as well.

(OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYS)

Will you help me find it?

What are you doing?

I was just…

Do not touch me.

A knight should know better.

(MELLOW STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

GAWAIN: What is your name, my lady?

I’m called Winifred.

You heard of me?

GAWAIN: No.

There.

GAWAIN: What is it I’m looking for?

WINIFRED: My head.

GAWAIN: Your head is on your neck, my lady.

No. It is not.

It might look like it is, but it is not.

It is in the spring.

Well, how did it happen to get there?

WINIFRED: A lord came seeking shelter, like thee.

Perhaps he was thee.

Was he?

GAWAIN: No.

WINIFRED: You certain?

GAWAIN: Yes.

WINIFRED: This lord sought to lay with me.

I fought him off, but he returned in the night and broke down my door.

I tried to flee, but he cut off my head.

He threw it in the spring, and now, try as I might, I cannot get at it.

My lady…

My lady.

Are you real, or are you a spirit?

What is the difference?

I just need my head.

As will I before the year is out.

(SOMBER STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

If I go in there and find it, what would you offer me in exchange?

Why would you ask me that?

Why would you ever ask me that?

(SOFT CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYS)

(SOMBER CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

WINIFRED AND KING: Gawain…

(SOMBER CHORAL MUSIC CONTINUES)

(GASPING)

(PANTING)

My lady.

(SOFT STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(WHISPERING) Now I can see thee.

And I will strike thee down with every care I have for thee.

The Green Knight is someone you know.

(LIGHT CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(DARK ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(GAWAIN GRUNTING)

(STONES STRIKING)

(SHIVERING)

(BLOWS)

(GRUNTS)

(FOX GRUNTS SOFTLY)

Well, come on in if you want.

(GENTLE STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(SIGHS)

(SNIFFLES)

(WIND WHISTLING)

(JINGLING)

(GRUNTS)

(PANTING)

(CHUCKLES)

(SHIVERING)

(SNIFFS)

(FOX WHINING)

(SNIFFLES)

(GRUNTS, PANTING)

(GAGS)

(VOMITS)

(COUGHING)

(PANTING HEAVILY)

(GASPING)

(THUNDER RUMBLES)

(THUNDER CRASHING)

(GENTLE ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(SOPRANO SINGING)

(THUNDER CONTINUES CRASHING)

(RUSTLING)

(THUNDER CRASHING)

(SOPRANO CONTINUES SINGING)

(SOPRANO CONTINUES SINGING)

(HEAVY THUD)

(EARTH CRUMBLING)

(HEAVY FOOTFALLS)

(SOPRANO CONTINUES SINGING)

(PANTING)

(ECHOING) Hey! Hey!

Which direction are you headed?

Might a weary traverse the valley on your shoulder?

(SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)

(FOX GROWLING)

(HOWLING)

(BREATHES DEEPLY)

(VOCALIZING IN HIGH-PITCH)

(VOICES VOCALIZING)

(VOCALIZING CONTINUES)

(RATTLING)

(VOCALIZING CONTINUES DISTANTLY)

(THUNDER CRASHES)

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(GENTLE STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(THUNDER CONTINUES RUMBLING)

(FOX GRUNTS)

(GENTLE STRING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(CHORUS SINGING INDISTINCTLY)

MAN: Friend!

Welcome!

(GROANS)

(WOMAN HUMMING SOFTLY)

(MAN SINGING INDISTINCTLY)

(SINGING CONTINUES)

(GASPING)

Easy now, easy.

Who are you?

Have no fear.

You’re among friends.

Where are my clothes?

Shh. Easy.

Wha…

What day is it?

It is December the 21st.

Oh, fear not, Sir Gawain.

You’ve only slept through the night.

How do you know my name?

I know more than just your name.

You must eat.

See, upon the new year, I travel to the West.

Came you one week hence and an empty home greet you.

Till then, though, I will hunt.

I will hunt, you shall rest and we shall both be all the better for it.

Ah.

And here is our friend, my lady, fresh from his slumbers.

(ENCHANTING STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(KISSES)

(GRUNTS) And here, friend, is your breakfast to replenish your strength.

Surely, you will need it.

GAWAIN: Why is that?

(LADY CHUCKLES)

Because you are brave, Sir Gawain, come to face the Green Knight.

I dare say every table in this land has heard of you and sung your song.

Sir Gawain, the finest and most virtuous knight, seeking his destiny across these lands.

GAWAIN: Perhaps you think that I am something I’m not.

Such as what? (CHUCKLES)

How long will you stay with us?

I must make my appointment by Christmas.

I will eat and give thanks and then take my leave.

LORD: Nonsense. Don’t you know?

The Green Chapel is not far.

GAWAIN: Do you know of it?

LORD: You are very nearly there.

It’s down the river, not one day’s journey.

Are you certain it is that close?

You are at the end of your quest, Gawain.

A little sooner than you expected, perhaps.

But such is the case for us all.

Here is what will happen.

On Christmas morn, we will send you on your way.

And by nightfall,

you will be at the doorway of your destiny.

So stay a while. Rest.

And make yourself content.

(HORSES GALLOPING DISTANTLY)

(DOGS BARKING)

(OPERATIC MUSIC PLAYING)

LADY: What did you find?

I never knew so many books even existed.

Have you… Have you read them all?

Yes.

All of them I’ve read.

Some I’ve written, some I’ve copied.

They’re tales I’ve heard, songs that have been sung to me.

I write them down and sometimes…

Don’t tell anyone this.

Sometimes when I see room for improvements…

I make them.

Do you like books?

Yes.

Well…

Why don’t you take one with you?

GAWAIN: I couldn’t.

Oh, but it is nearly Christmas.

Here.

This one’s for you.

I thank you.

Should not a knight offer a lady a kiss in thanks?

(CHUCKLES SOFTLY)

Will you sit for me?

Sit for you?

For a portrait.

Ah. I’ve had my portrait made already.

Not by me.

(SOMBER STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

GAWAIN: “Ant love is to myn herte gon

“With one spere so kene…”

Hold very still.

GAWAIN: “Nyht ant day my blod hit drynkes

“Myn herte deth me tene.”

(SOMBER STRING MUSIC CONTINUES)

That’s a very queer painting.

What’s that?

GAWAIN: What?

This.

It’s a token.

For what? For good luck?

For love?

No.

LADY: Surely a knight knows something of love.

I don’t.

Truly?

(JINGLING)

(OPERATIC MUSIC PLAYING)

LORD: Gawain!

Look what I have brought you!

(LAUGHS)

(GRUNTS)

When I dispersed of him, I thought what a gift!

What a gift for my new friend.

What shall I do with it?

Well, take it with you for your journey.

I thought you said it was not far.

I mean your journey home, after.

Let us make a promise to each other.

I hunt tomorrow and the day after.

Whatever the forest offers me, I will bring you home the best.

And you give me in turn whatever you might receive here.

What might I receive here that is not already yours?

Who knows?

This house is full of strange things.

But then again, I see things everywhere that bear no logic.

Have you ever seen a hawk kill a horse?

Just swoop down and…

Phew. It’s terrible.

Every man should see it at least once.

But that is the world.

And the world is fit for all manner of mysteries.

A man’s home, though, should be safe from all that.

One wall joined with another, line and plumb.

Good, strong walls, and a fire within.

Why is he green, do you think?

The knight?

Yes.

Was he born that way?

Perhaps it is the color of his blood when he blushes.

But why green?

Why not blue or red?

Because he is not of this earth.

LADY: But green is the color of earth, of living things, of life.

And of rot.

Yes.

Yes.

(LADY CHUCKLES SOFTLY)

We deck our halls with it and dye our linens.

But should it come creeping up the cobbles, we scrub it out, fast as we can.

When it blooms beneath our skin, we bleed it out.

And when we, together all, find that our reach has exceeded our grasp, we cut it down, we stamp it out, we spread ourselves atop it and smother it beneath our bellies, but it comes back.

It does not dally, nor does it wait to plot or conspire.

Pull it out by the roots one day and then next, there it is, creeping in around the edges.

Whilst we’re off looking for red, in comes green.

Red is the color of lust, but green is what lust leaves behind, in heart, in womb.

Green is what is left when ardor fades, when passion dies, when we die, too.

(BIRDS CHIRPING DISTANTLY)

When you go, your footprints will fill with grass.

Moss shall cover your tombstone, and as the sun rises, green shall spread over all, in all its shades and hues.

(THUNDER RUMBLES)

This verdigris will overtake your swords and your coins and your battlements and, try as you might, all you hold dear will succumb to it.

Your skin, your bones.

Your virtue.

(WIND WHISTLING)

And what do you hope to gain from facing all of this… this hue?

Honor?

Are you asking me?

No.

Hmm.

Honor.

That is why a knight does what he does.

And this is what you want most in life?

To be a knight.

No, honor.

(CHUCKLING) You are not very good with questions.

(SCOFFS)

It is part of the life I want.

And this is all it takes for that part to be had?

You’ll do this one thing, you return home a changed man, an honorable man? Just like that?

Yes.

Hmm.

(SIGHING) Oh, I wish I could see the new you.

But perhaps we will miss our old friend and our fun and our games. (CHUCKLES)

(GENTLE STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYS)

(ETHEREAL CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(HORSES GALLOPING FAINTLY)

My lady…

Shh.

Why did you not come to my chambers yesterday?

GAWAIN: I couldn’t.

You couldn’t?

No, but…

But you wanted to.

Yes.

And now?

I would that I could, but…

But…

It isn’t right.

LADY: Hmm.

Isn’t right.

No.

(WHISPERS) Do you believe in magic?

What?

In witchcraft. Do you believe in it?

Yes. I do.

It is all around us.

I have a gift for you.

(GAWAIN BREATHES SHAKILY)

Where did you get that?

I made it.

(GAWAIN BREATHES HEAVILY)

There’s an enchantment sewn into its threads.

Wear it and you will never be struck down.

By what?

By man, or spirit, or any other implements.

I promise, you will not come to harm… as long as it is about your waist.

Do you mean it?

Yes.

(BREATHING SHAKILY)

You want it? Huh.

Do you want it?

Yes.

Then tell me.

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

It’s okay, tell me.

I want it.

I want it.

I want it.

Good.

(GAWAIN PANTING)

Then take it.

Go on, take it. Take it.

(GAWAIN GRUNTS)

(GAWAIN PANTING)

(BIRDS CHIRPING)

You are no knight.

(FOOTSTEPS RECEDING)

(EERIE MUSIC PLAYING)

(GASPS)

(UNSETTLING MUSIC PLAYING)

(GRUNTS)

(UNSETTLING MUSIC CONTINUES)

LORD: Gawain!

Where are you going?

I must make my appointment.

LORD: Oh, on your own, after all?

What of our game?

I don’t want your games, or your gifts, or your kindness.

Are you certain there is nothing you wish to give me?

(SIGHS) There is something.

There is something.

And I think I can take it from you.

Unhand me and let us go our ways.

Very well.

Very well.

Gawain!

I… (CHUCKLES)

I caught this poor fellow in a trap this morning.

I was going to give him to you, but I suppose we should leave him to nature.

(LORD GRUNTS)

Farewell, Sir Gawain.

And happy Christmas!

If you come back by this way again, we shall be gone!

(FOX GRUNTS)

(FOX GROWLING)

(SNARLING)

Why do you stop me?

(SNARLS)

I cannot tarry.

FOX: Go that way and your doom is at hand.

You will find no mercy. No happy end.

What witchcraft is this?

No witchcraft.

He you seek is as wild as I, but knows no measure.

I know what I face.

If any man truly knew, he would bear his shame happily and turn away, head held high, to end his song as he saw fit.

His secret would be safe with me.

Are you this man?

No.

The spell about your waist says otherwise.

This is just a dirty rag.

FOX: Leave it here, then.

GAWAIN: It was a gift.

No need for gifts where you are headed.

Come, come home.

Come home with me.

(GAWAIN GRUNTS)

I never asked for your company anyway!

(SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC PLAYING)

(DRAMATIC CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(DRAMATIC CHORAL MUSIC CONTINUES)

(MUSIC STOPS)

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

(LEAVES RUSTLING)

(SOFT THUD)

(LOUD HEARTBEAT)

(HEARTBEAT SLOWING)

(HEARTBEAT FADES)

(WIND BLOWING)

(LEAVES RUSTLING)

(WATER FLOWING NEARBY)

(WOOD CREAKING)

(CREAKING CONTINUES)

(BIRDS CHIRPING)

(WOOD CREAKING)

(CREAKING CONTINUES)

You came.

Good sir, is it Christmas?

Yes.

(WOOD CREAKING)

(HEAVY FOOTSTEPS)

(BIRDS FLUTTERING AWAY)

Do you recall where you cut me?

I do.

And have you come to see that blow returned?

I have.

Then kneel, and we shall complete our game.

Now?

Aye.

Now, one strike as good as you gave.

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

(GRUNTS SOFTLY)

Sir, you flinch.

(PANTING) I know.

I know. (SNIFFLES)

Did I show signs of fear when our positions were reversed?

(BREATHES SHAKILY)

I’m not so confident as thee.

You have had a year to find courage.

One year or a hundred, it wouldn’t make a difference.

(SNIFFLES, GRUNTS)

Give me a moment.

(PANTING)

(RAPID HEARTBEAT)

Are you ready?

(HEARTBEAT QUICKENING)

Are you ready?

Yes.

Then I shall get to hacking.

Wait! Wait. (GASPING)

Is this… (PANTING)

…really all there is?

Is that… Is this…

What else ought there be?

(DARK CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(YELPS) No! No. I’m sorry.

I cannot. I’m sorry.

(ORCHESTRAL FOLK MUSIC PLAYING)

(WOMAN SINGING IN MEDIEVAL LANGUAGE)

(GAWAIN GASPING)

(HORSE GRUNTING SOFTLY)

(GENTLE FOLK MUSIC PLAYING)

MAN: ♪ Bloom, bloom Sweet lily flower

♪ The brown bird Sings its melody

♪ Bloom, bloom Sweet lily flower

♪ I go to see Saint Mary

♪ Hold, hold my hand in yours

♪ Hold, hold my hand

♪ Cold, cold the night Has grown

♪ No coin to pay the fare

MOTHER: Shh.

(GENTLE FOLK MUSIC CONTINUES)

MAN: ♪ Hold, hold my hand Dear love

♪ Hold, hold my hand

♪ Cold, cold the night Has grown

♪ No coin to ease my want

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

♪ Bloom, bloom Sweet lily flower

♪ The brown bird Trills its melody

♪ Bloom, bloom Sweet lily flower

♪ I go to see Saint Mary ♪

(GRUNTS SOFTLY)

(PANTS)

(KING GRUNTS)

(BREATHES SHAKILY)

(SOFT STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(KING GROANS)

(SOFT STRING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(KING GRUNTS WEAKLY)

(SOFT STRING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(KING GRUNTS)

(SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING)

(FEMALE SINGER SINGING IN MEDIEVAL LANGUAGE)

(IN ENGLISH) ♪ Sing thy song, ole, ole, ole

(WOMAN CRYING)

FEMALE SINGER: ♪ Now the child he come

(CRYING IN PAIN)

(WAILS)

(GASPING AND GROANING)

(FEMALE SINGER CONTINUES SINGING)

♪ Ye lie in joy and wickedness

(FEMALE SINGER SINGS IN MEDIEVAL LANGUAGE)

(IN ENGLISH) ♪ Sing thy song, ole, ole, ole

♪ Sing thy song Ole, ole, ole ♪

(SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING)

(GASPS)

(BABY GURGLING)

(BABY CRYING)

(ESSEL CRYING)

(ESSEL AND BABY CONTINUE CRYING)

(CONTINUES CRYING)

(WAILING)

(HEAVENLY CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(ENCHANTING STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(HEAVENLY CHORAL MUSIC CONTINUES)

(CRACKS)

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

(CLATTERING)

(RUMBLING AND EXPLOSIONS)

(BOY GASPING)

(GAWAIN BREATHES SHAKILY)

(WINCES)

(BOY GASPS SOFTLY)

(PENSIVE CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(CROWD JEERING)

(CROWD EXCLAIMING)

(INDISTINCT SHOUTING)

(SWORD UNSHEATHES)

(SWORD SWISHES)

(MAN GROANS)

(SOMBER STRING MUSIC PLAYING)

(INAUDIBLE MURMURING)

(SOMBER STRING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(YOUNG QUEEN HUMMING)

(CONTINUES HUMMING)

(FIRE ROARING IN DISTANCE)

(SWORDS CLASHING IN DISTANCE)

(MEN SHOUTING DISTANTLY)

(FLAME ROARING)

(UNSETTLING MUSIC PLAYING)

(DISTANT CLAMORING)

(HEAVY THUD)

(THUDDING CONTINUES)

(THUDDING)

(DOOR THUDS)

(UNSETTLING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(DOOR CONTINUES THUDDING)

(MUSIC RISING)

(DOOR CONTINUES THUDDING)

(MUSIC ENDS IN FLOURISH)

(SIGHS)

(EERIE CHORAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(SQUELCHING)

(GASPING SOFTLY)

(SOFT RUSTLING)

(MUSIC FADES)

(BIRDS CHIRPING)

Wait.

Wait. (BREATHING HEAVILY)

There. Now I’m ready.

I’m ready now.

Well done, my brave knight.

Now…

Off with your head.

(BELL DINGS)

(BIRDS CHIRPING)

(GENTLE MEDIEVAL MUSIC PLAYING)

WOMAN: (SINGING) ♪ Be merry, sweet Lord

♪ On this yules day

♪ A briar come with me and fly

♪ Be merry, sweet Lord On giving me thine gift

♪ I swear that I’m free now With rubies so swift

♪ Be merry, sweet Lord And beg pardon me

♪ Pleasure and treasure And soft melody

♪ Be merry, sweet Lord Thank God thousand time

♪ Feast up and go now And be the sweet cream

♪ Be merry, sweet Lord Me sweet achen licht

(SINGING IN MEDIEVAL LANGUAGE)

(IN ENGLISH) ♪ Be merry, sweet Lord On this yules day

(SINGING IN MEDIEVAL LANGUAGE)

(SONG ENDS)

(GENTLE ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(SOPRANO SINGING)

(SONG ENDS)

(DARK ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(CHORUS HARMONIZING)

(MUSIC ENDS)

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