illustration by Scott Benson

illustration by Scott Benson

Enjoy Scene Four of The Green Knight Chronicles, a tale of Coat of Arms‘ favorite paladin!

Each of our bulletins will feature a segment of this script. When the story ends, Coat of Arms will bring the story to the silver screen for your viewing pleasure.

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SCENE FOUR: Fernando’s Grand Pitch

by Clara Lehmann

INT. PALACE – DINING CHAMBER
King Archibold and Princess Meroe eat at a table set for four.  Two settings rest empty. The King is obviously in a bad mood. Without a word, he grimaces and flippantly taps his glass for more wine. A servant scurries to fulfill his request. Princess Meroe shrugs with distaste.

PRINCESS MEROE
(sarcastically)
It’s a bit early for “juice,” Father.

King Archibold grunts, lifts his glass, drinks, and smacks his lips together in defiance.

PRINCESS MEROE
(shoving her plate of food away)
You insist on four at our table when you know we are only two.   They have been dead for years and still you won’t…

KING ARCHIBOLD
(slamming his glass down on the table)
Stop!

Just as he yells, a servant (LEO) enters the dining room.

LEO
Ahem, Your Majesty?

KING ARCHIBOLD
WHAT? I thought I told you not to interrupt our meals.

LEO
I know, Your Highness. But, there is a small man with a mustache here to see you.

King Archibold begins to wave him away in disinterest.

LEO
Sir, the little man with the mustache says he has procured a knight and has a solution for the dragon.

KING ARCHIBOLD
(laughing)
He does, does he. Well, is his mustache particularly distinguished? Like this?!?!

Suddenly, King Archibold pulls out a flash card depicting the “IMPERIAL” mustache. LEO points his finger, scrunches is eyebrows, and begins to respond.  KING ARCHIBOLD interrupts.

KING ARCHIBOLD
Or perhaps, this little man’s stature is deceptive and he’s a true brute. Then, I’m certain he’d sculpt his mustache into every cowboys’ favorite, the “Walrus.”

The king holds up the WALRUS mustache.

PRINCESS MEROE
(annoyed)
Really? You had those mustache flash cards at the ready?

KING ARCHIBOLD
(ignoring the Princess)
No, no, no, one of my personal favorites is the “Fu-Manchu,” unfortunately for me…

The King winks and holds the FU MANCHU card up to his face, wiggles his nose, tosses the card and strokes his own FU MANCHU while wickedly grinning.

KING ARCHIBOLD
…it’s gotten a bad rap.

Moving on, he speedily displays several other mustaches (much to the dismay of his daughter), including the HANDLEBAR, the DALI, the BOXCAR, the PENCIL, the COPSTASH, etc. LEO raises his hand, but again, he is ignored as the King slumps back into his chair, crosses his legs, and motions to LEO with his glass.

KING ARCHIBOLD
Show them in.

LEO opens the door. A LOUD BANG, lots of SHUFFLING, and GRUNTS can be heard outside the DINING CHAMBER. As Fernando enters, he struggles with an armful of scrolls. He trips over the tail of one and in so doing, drops two scrolls. One rolls open across the floor to Princess Meroe’s feet. She retrieves the scroll and hands it to Fernando. Fernando looks up and camera reveals a CU on his mustache, the HORSESHOE.

The king rolls his eyes.

KING ARCHIBOLD
(slapping the table)
The “Horseshoe.” I should have guessed.

Fernando looks confused.

PRINCESS MEROE
May I offer you something to eat or drink?

FERNANDO
(stumbling toward the two empty seats)
You knew we were coming!

KING ARCHIBOLD
Of course not! Those seats are for…

PRINCESS MEROE
(interrupting her father and pouring Fernando a cup of tea)
…for visitors.  Please, sit down.

Fernando sits and struggles to find space on the table to set his scrolls. The princess beckons Leo to make room. King Archibold swipes his wine glass from the Leo’s reach.

PRINCESS MEROE
(assisting Fernando with his scrolls)
Where is your companion? Leo told us you were working with a knight.

FERNANDO
Yes, well, I will get to that presently, Señorita Meroe.

CUT TO:

INT. PALACE – HALLWAY
The Green Knight sits on a bench in the hallway. Looking gigantic on the tiny bench, he twiddles his thumbs impatiently. Bored, he cranes his neck to hear the conversation in the dining chamber. Hearing only mumbling, he proceeds to lean closer to the door. His shifting weight causes the small bench to splinter and collapse with a CRASH.

CUT TO:

INT. PALACE – DINING ROOM
The CRASH from the hallway startles the king and princess. Fernando ignores the noise and rolls a very long scroll down the table. As the scroll flaps open, its tail nearly hits the king in the face.

FERNANDO
Oh pardon me, King Archi. These are the royal historian’s drawings. As you can see, he depicted our dragon problem quite well.

CU on the scrolls of “maps and diagrams.” The illustrations animate as we focus on a banner hanging in the town square that reads, “Happy Birthday to our FUTURE King Thebes.”

FERNANDO V.O.
The village was bustling in preparation for Prince Thebes’s 18th birthday and his coronation as our new king.

EXT. SCROLLS – MAP OF PALACE LABYRINTH
Moving across the scroll, Queen Candace is depicted. She places the sleeping infant, Princess Meroe, in her cradle. She joins Prince Thebes and they walk through the Palace gardens. The queen gathers flowers and Prince Thebes continues into the garden’s labyrinth of flowers, trees, and rocks. As the queen picks a bouquet, she hears her son shriek from within the labyrinth. She drops the bouquet and sprints to his aid.

FERNANDO V.O.
While exploring the palace’s great labyrinth, our fine prince was struck down.

INT. PALACE – DINING CHAMBER
Bored and agitated the king repetitively drops his forehead on table and waves his hand toward Fernando in an effort to speed him along.

KING ARCHIBOLD
We know this story, peasant.

PRINCESS MEROE
(firmly)
Continue.

FERNANDO
Our queen discovered her son, slain within the labyrinth.

EXT. SCROLLS – GARDEN
A dragon stands over the motionless prince. The queen gasps as she enters the labyrinth and sees her son beneath the dragon.

FERNANDO V.O.
She was too late. Or perhaps, a bit too early. She too was attacked by the dragon.

The dragon strikes at the queen. She shields herself as we cut to King Archibold holding the baby, Princess Meroe. He cries as the guards carry away the bodies of his wife and son.

EXT. SCROLLS – VILLAGE
The scroll includes depictions of the dragon flying over the village and spewing fire across the rooftops.

FERNANDO V.O.
For many years since that fateful day, this beast has attacked our village. Without mercy. Without discrimination.

EXT. SCROLLS – MEADOW NEAR VILLAGE

Sliding left, an artist (the HISTORIAN) is drawing himself drawing in a meadow drawing himself drawing in a meadow near the village.

FERNANDO V.O.
Even our royal historian, the fine artist who created these scrolls, couldn’t escape the dragon.

The dragon swoops down and plucks the historian from his seat. SCREAMING, he continues to try to finish his drawing, but the scroll falls from his grasp into the meadow.

CUT TO:

INT PALACE – HALLWAY
The Knight has pieced the bench back together in a gnarly way. He stands back to review his work as it collapses again. Dismayed, he gives up and begins looking around the room. He observes a suit of armor sitting in the corner. He points his fingers like guns at the suit, winks, and clicks from the side of his mouth.

A servant enters and catches the knight shaking hands with the armor. At the moment, the suit of armor begins to fall apart. The knight catches the pieces and replaces them gently. The servant shakes her head, rolls her eyes, and exits.

CUT TO:

INT. PALACE – DINING CHAMBER

FERNANDO
I’ve taken over the illustrations, as you may or may not notice, from here on out. And no offense to the historian, but I’ve added some spice to MY drawings. I think you’ll really enjoy this part.

The scroll includes depictions of Fernando eating okra, Fernando eating a burrito, BURRITO eating a burrito, Fernando having a pint while Burrito drinks some water.

FERNANDO V.O.
Here, I was recording some of the everyday.  You know…for posterity.  I love okra. And burritos. That’s mi burro, Burrito. He loves burritos too.

Fernando grins ear to ear. The king and princess stare at Fernando unamused.

FERNANDO
But let me get to the point.

KING ARCHIBOLD
Please do.

FERNANDO
I traveled a great distance to retrieve a superior knight, famed for his skills with the dragon.

Returning to the scrolls, we see ‘selfie-style’ illustrations of Burrito and Fernando grinning in front of the Naihcalappa Mountains, frightened near the Green Knight’s cavern lair, and looking tipsy outside The Pickled Beet.

CUT TO:

INT. PALACE – HALLWAY
The knight walks down the hallway with his hands clasped behind his back and hums to himself. He inspects tapestries on the wall. Each tells a story of the kingdom and are signed by “Meroe.” The knight inspects one tapestry of the labyrinth garden where a cradle embellished with dragons is nestled among the maze of flowers, vines, and trees. He admires it more carefully and is startled when Fernando tugs at his arm.

FERNANDO
We’re ready.

The knight inspects the tapestry once more then follows Fernando into the DINING CHAMBERS.

KING ARCHIBOLD
(as the Knight enters) At last. We’ve been listening to this chap ad nauseam. I hope you have something worthwhile to share with us.

As the knight enters he bumps his head on the light fixture and causes a chair to topple over.

KING ARCHIBOLD
You are rather large aren’t you.

GREEN KNIGHT
Well, no, it’s just that your village is very small.

KING ARCHIBALD
(LAUGHING)
Touché. Sit down. Leo get him a proper chair, won’t you.

LEO scrambles over with a heavy chair that is a bit larger than the rest. The Knight carefully and stiffly sits.

PRINCESS MEROE
So, Fernando has been explaining that you have a plan for our dragon problem?

GREEN KNIGHT
I do.

PRINCESS MEROE
Well???

GREEN KNIGHT
Madam, it’s an industry secret. You wouldn’t give away the patterns for your tapestries, would you?

PRINCESS MEROE
What ever do you mean?

GREEN KNIGHT
I noticed your artwork in the hallway while I was waiting for quite some time… (glares at Fernando)
…Many of your tapestries are quite intricate and the designs are very unique.

PRINCESS MEROE
Thank you.

GREEN KNIGHT
I’m sure you wouldn’t just let anyone copy those, would you?

PRINCESS MEROE
No, but I’m the princess.

Fernando is helping himself to the plates of food that have been set aside by Leo. He shovels some eggs into his mouth, stuffs grapes into his pocket, places some bread in his knapsack, and gulps down a glass of wine.

GREEN KNIGHT
Well, Your Highness, I’m a knight. And I’ve spent many years perfecting my craft, as you have your weaving.

KING ARCHIBOLD
If you won’t tell us how you will take care of this problem, how can we be sure you will deliver?

The knight shift uncomfortably in the chair. It SQUEAKS and GROANS.

FERNANDO
(his mouth full) You don’t have to worry. Your money will be well spent.

KING ARCHIBOLD
I will not finance another hair-brained solution until I see proof. Many others before the two of you have “pitched solutions” as you say. And I might add, many of them were…let’s just say they were far more prepared. They, too, all failed miserably.

FERNANDO
But my dear King, the Green Knight is not like the others. Just look at him.

The Knight leans on the chair’s armrest. The armrest strains under his weight and crumples inward slightly.

KING ARCHIBOLD
Regardless, I will only pay for results. If you succeed, you shall get your reward. If not, you get nothing.

FERNANDO
But, King Archi, please. We can…

The knight continues to struggle with the chair. He is stuck.

KING ARCHIBOLD
It’s Archibold. And that’s it. Leave us.

Leo proceeds to push Fernando and the Green Knight toward the exit. Fernando quickly and awkwardly gathers the scrolls and the knight walks haunched over stuck in the chair.

FERNANDO
Thank you, Your Majesty.
(nodding)
Princess Meroe, gracias!

Princess Meroe nods back to Fernando.

GREEN KNIGHT
(as he’s escorted toward the door)
Sorry about the chair.

GREEN KNIGHT
(grinning and popping his head around the door one last time)
And the little bench outside.

The king and princess stare blankly as they are finally left alone in the room. They return to their breakfast when they hear a CRASH in the hallway.

GREEN KNIGHT (o.s.)
(yelling)
And the vase near the window.

CUT TO BLACK.

TEXT
To be continued…

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