The Green Knight (2021) Movie Script

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...
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.
Christ is born.
Christ is born indeed.
Where are you going?
To church!
My boots. Hello, Agnes.
Where are my boots?
You a knight yet?
You a knight yet?
Not yet. Better hurry up.
I"ve got time.
I"ve got lots of time.
Hey! Essel.
Hey, slow down. Essel: Hurry up!
Let"s just stay here. Come
on. Let"s just stay here.
Get up. Man: No.
I"m not ready yet.
I"m not ready.
Merry Christmas, gryngelot.
Where have you been?
At mass.
You, at mass? Gawain: Yeah.
All night?
Well, where are your boots?
Where are...
You do smell like
you"ve been at mass.
What, have you been
drinking the sacrament all night?
I love you, mother.
You are not dressed.
I"ve got no guts
for merriment this year.
But it"s Christmas.
There"ll be more christmases,
more feasts, more glad tidings.
You go, make merry.
And tell me what you see.
Bring young gawain here.
The king would speak with you.
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?
Good to see you, gawain.
Good to have one"s
family by one"s side.
One"s blood.
Surely your knights have
spilled enough blood
in your name
to bind them closer
to you than I.
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...
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.
I have none to tell, king.
You have none to tell yet.
Look around you, young gawain.
What do you see?
I see legends.
Do not take your place
amongst them idly.
So who else then...
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
By your hands.
You have lain those same
hands upon our Saxon brethren,
who now in your shadow
bow their heads
like babes.
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.
What have thee?
Who can regale me and my queen
with some myth
or canto
of thine own purport?
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.
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?
Help. Queen.
This challenge is thine own?
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.
I will do it.
I will meet him.
I will meet thee.
You understand this challenge?
I do.
I think I do.
Remember, it is only a game.
I need a sword.
I need... I need a sword.
Have at me, green knight.
Make a move
or I shall make mine.
What is this?
A trick?
Stand up and face me!
What do you expect me to do?
Have courage.
Very well.
Very well.
You laid down your challenge.
I accepted it and
I accept it still.
Never forget what happened here
upon this Christmas day!
One year hence...
What did it feel like?
What did it feel
like when you...
Like cutting a melon in two.
And what does that feel like?
Like nothing.
Were you afraid?
Are you just saying that?
I am here, and he is not.
The king lent me his sword,
did you know that?
You held it?
Well, I did more than hold it.
Behold, brave sir gawain,
chopper of heads...
severer of melons,
who cannot...
get it up.
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.
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!
But his mother"s a witch.
I"ve been waiting for you.
Did you not hear me calling?
My tooth hurts.
Another year
nearly gone already.
Have you thought
what you will do
when Christmas comes?
Was it not just a game?
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.
You have mud on your face.
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.
Are you really going to go?
Should I?
I like your head better
where it is.
I gave my word.
I made a covenant.
This is how silly men perish.
Or how brave men become great.
Why greatness?
Why is goodness not enough?
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.
Gawain! Gawain!
I"ve got a sword!
Gawain! Great tide.
Good luck!
Good luck, gawain!
Do you still fancy me?
Do I make you happy?
Even though I"m
here and you"re there?
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.
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."
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.
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!
They all came here!
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.
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.
To where?
I go north.
North, oh!
North is a direction, all right.
Just north?
To the green chapel.
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.
The stream is yonder?
It"s this way.
Past the field,
where the forest meets.
I will seek it out.
My thanks to you.
My thanks to you.
Come on.
Are my directions not
worth anything to you?
My thanks.
I said, are my directions
not worth anything to you?
I mean, a knight like you
could spare a wretch like me
just a small,
small act of kindness.
Here. A kindness.
Northlike. See?
Thank you.
Remember the stream.
I will.
"Cause it gets tricky."
Here you go, boy.
That"s a good boy.
Good boy.
Come on. Let"s go.
Hello, there.
Now, now.
Please. Thief 1: Yeah, please?
Please. Please.
Please! Thief 2: Please!
Please. Thief 2: Please!
Please! Please! Please! Please!
"Tweren"t enough.
Just "tweren"t enough.
Hey, hey,
hey! Where you off to, huh?
Where you off to?
A knightly quest?
I"m not a knight.
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.
Well, you look
like one. Thief 1: Aye.
Smells like a knight.
Oh... please...
Oh. Oh!
Just tell me,
then. Is there really a chapel?
You"re in it.
Whoa! Watch it.
Let me hold that.
It suits me.
This suits me, huh?
You rest your bones,
my brave little knight.
I"ll finish your quest for you.
I"ll finish it good.
Hey! Where are you going?
Hey! Scavenger: Hyah!
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.
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?
I"m headed home.
And you"ve lost your way?
I"ve lost something as well.
Will you help me find it?
What are you doing?
I was just... Do not touch me.
A knight should know better.
What is your name, my lady?
I"m called winifred.
You heard of me?
What is it I"m looking for?
My head.
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?
A lord came seeking shelter,
like thee.
Perhaps he was thee.
Was he? Gawain: No.
You certain?
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.
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?
My lady.
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.
Well, come on in if you want.
Hey! Hey!
Which direction are you headed?
Might a weary traverse
the valley on your shoulder?
Easy now, easy.
Who are you? Have no fear.
You"re among friends. Where are
my clothes?
Shh. Easy.
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.
And here is our friend, my lady,
fresh from his slumbers.
And here, friend,
is your breakfast
to replenish your strength.
Surely, you will need it.
Why is that?
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.
Perhaps you think that
I am something I"m not.
Such as what?
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.
Nonsense. Don"t you know?
The green chapel is not far.
Do you know of it?
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.
What did you find?
I never knew so many
books even existed.
Have you... Have
you read them all?
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.
Why Don"t you take one with you?
I couldn"t.
Oh, but it is nearly Christmas.
This one"s for you.
I thank you.
Should not a knight offer
a lady a kiss in thanks?
Will you sit for me?
Sit for you?
For a portrait.
Ah. I"ve had my
portrait made already.
Not by me.
"Ant love is to myn herte gon"
"with one spere so kene..."
Hold very still.
"Nyht ant day
my blod hit drynkes"
"myn herte deth me tene."
That"s a very queer painting.
What"s that?
It"s a token.
For what? For good luck?
For love?
Surely a knight
knows something of love.
I Don"t.
Look what I have brought you!
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?
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.
But green is the color of earth,
of living things, of life.
And of rot.Yes.
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.
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.
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.
And what do you hope to gain
from facing all of this...
This hue?
Are you asking me?
That is why a knight
does what he does.
And this is what
you want most in life?
To be a knight.
No, honor.
You are not
very good with questions.
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?
Oh, I wish
I could see the new you.
But perhaps we will
miss our old friend
and our fun and our games.
My lady... Shh.
Why did you not come
to my chambers yesterday?
I couldn"t.
You couldn"t?
No, but...
But you wanted to.
And now?
I would that I could, but...
But... it isn"t right.
Isn"t right.
Do you believe in magic?
In witchcraft.
Do you believe in it?
Yes. I do.
It is all around us.
I have a gift for you.
Where did you get that?
I made it.
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?
You want it? Huh.
Do you want it?
Then tell me.
It"s okay, tell me.
I want it.
I want it.
I want it.
Then take it.
Go on, take it. Take it.
You are no knight.
Where are you going?
I must make my appointment.
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?
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.
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.
Farewell, sir gawain.
And happy Christmas!
If you come back by this way again,
we shall be gone!
Why do you stop me?
I cannot tarry.
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?
The spell about your
waist says otherwise.
This is just a dirty rag.
Leave it here, then.
It was a gift.
No need for gifts
where you are headed.
Come, come home.
Come home with me.
I never asked for
your company anyway!
You came.
Good sir, is it Christmas?
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, one strike
as good as you gave.
Sir, you flinch.
I know.
I know.
Did I show signs of fear
when our positions
were reversed?
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.
Give me a moment.
Are you ready?
Are you ready?
Then I shall get to hacking.
Wait! Wait.
Is this...
really all there is?
Is that... Is this...
What else ought there be?
No! No. I"m sorry.
I cannot. I"m sorry.
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
Hold, hold my hand dear love
hold, hold my hand
cold, cold the night has grown
no coin to ease my want
Bloom, bloom sweet Lily flower
the brown bird
trills its melody
bloom, bloom sweet Lily flower
I go to see Saint Mary
Sing thy song, ole, ole, ole
now the child he come
Ye lie in joy and wickedness
Sing thy song, ole, ole, ole
sing thy song ole, ole, ole
There. Now I"m ready.
I"m ready now.
Well done,
my brave knight.
Off with your head.
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
be merry, sweet lord
on this yules day