Transcript #2: A Knight's Tale
Excitement, romance and friendship in European sport - in the 14th century
A Knight's Tale, Příběh rytíře, Ritter aus Leidenschaft, Corazón de Caballero, Ritarin tarina, Chevalier, Il destino di un cavaliere, Lovagregény, Obłędny rycerz, Coração de Cavaleiro, История рыцаря, Прича о витезу, En riddares historia, Şövalye, Історія лицаря, 狂野武士
A Knight's Tale is fun, fast-moving and intelligent. A story of friendship, adventure and love, it's historically accurate in some places but very 21st century in others. It was written and directed by Brian Helgeland in 2001 and it stars Heath Ledger (William Thatcher), Mark Addy (Roland), Alan Tudyk (Wat), Paul Bettany (Geoffrey Chaucer), Shannyn Sossamon (Jocelyn), Laura Fraser (Kate the farrier), Rufus Sewell (Count Adhemar of Anjou).
Levels: Intermediate to Mastery (B1 to C2)
Welcome to the transcript!
“In medieval times a sport arose, embraced by noble and peasant fans alike, although only noble knights could compete. The sport was jousting.“
“For one of these knights, an over-the-hill former champion, it was the end. But for his peasant squire, William, it was merely the beginning.”
THE FIRST JOUST
SCENE - BESIDE A STREAM IN FLANDERS, NEAR THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS. A KNIGHT IN FULL ARMOUR IS SITTING AGAINST A TREE. TWO SQUIRES ARE LOOKING AT HIM.
ROLAND. Shall we help him?
WILLIAM. Well, he has to be in the lists in two minutes; two minutes or forfeit.
ROLAND. Lend us those.
WILLIAM. Right .... left.
ROLAND. Thank you ....................... dead.
[A THIRD SQUIRE ARRIVES]
WAT. Three scores to none after two lances! All Sir Ector needs to do is not fall off his horse and we've won.
ROLAND. He's dead.
WAT. What do you mean, dead?
ROLAND. The spark of his life is smothered in sh*te. His spirit is gone but his stench remains. Does that answer your question?
WAT. No, no, no, no, no ... he sleeps, rouse him! We're minutes from victory. I haven't eaten in three days!
WILLIAM. None of us have, Wat.
ROLAND. We need to fetch a priest.
WAT. No, he's not dead! Wake up! Come on, huh? Come on! You manky git ...
[A HERALD ARRIVES ON HORSEBACK]
HERALD. Ho, squire. Sir Ector must report at once or forfeit the match.
ROLAND. Oh, he's…….
WILLIAM. He's on his way.
[BEHIND THEM, WAT IS KICKING SIR ECTOR'S BODY]
WAT. You….. aargh….. three days! I haven't eaten in three days! Three days! What're you doing….. I'll do you…. I'll kill you….
WILLIAM. I'll ride in his place.
[TO WAT] Strip his armour, I'm riding in his place.
WAT. ….you worthless….
WILLIAM. Wat, stop kicking him! Calm down, I'm riding in his place. Help me, please.
ROLAND. What's your name, William? I'm asking you, William Thatcher, to answer me with your name. It's not Sir William, it's not Count or Duke or Earl William, it's certainly not King William.
WILLIAM. I'm aware of that.
ROLAND. You have to be of noble birth to compete.
WILLIAM. A detail. The landscape is food. Do you want to eat or don't you?
ROLAND. If the nobles find out who you are, there'll be the devil to pay.
WILLIAM. Then pray that they don't!
SCENE - ENTERING THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS
MUSIC – “WE WILL ROCK YOU” BY QUEEN.
WILLIAM IS ON THE HORSE, IN FULL ARMOUR. ROLAND. IS LEADING THE HORSE, WAT IS WALKING BESIDE THE HORSE, CARRYING A LANCE. WILLIAM 'S HELMET IS STILL OPEN
WAT. Come on, we're late!
SCENE - INSIDE THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS
THE ADMINISTRATOR'S STAND.
KING OF ARMS. The score stands at three lances to none, in favour of Sir Ector. Lord Philip of Aragon, stand you ready? Sir Ector, stand you ready?
WILLIAM. Of course. I have tilted against Sir Ector many times, you know.
WAT. In practice lists as his target. You were never allowed to strike him.
WILLIAM. Badger me not with details.
ROLAND. Landscape, then ... stay on the horse. He needs three points to beat you so a broken lance won't win it for him. He has to knock you off the horse.
WILLIAM. I know how to score, Roland…. and I've waited my whole life for this moment.
WAT. You've waited your whole life for Sir Ector to sh*te himself to death?
[THE JOUST STARTS]
ROLAND. Get it in the cradle, get it in the cradle.
WAT. Get it in the cradle!
[WILLIAM IS HIT ON THE HEAD BY THE OTHER KNIGHT'S LANCE, BUT STAYS ON HIS HORSE.]
ROLAND. Are you all right?
WAT. We won!
WAT. We won!
ROLAND. William! William! Get off me. William, can you hear me William?
WAT. We won!
ROLAND. He's breathing! He's breathing! He's breathing!
SCENE - THE PRIZE-GIVING CEREMONY AT THE END OF THE TOURNAMENT
THE LORD AND HIS HERALD ARE WAITING TO GIVE WILLIAM. THE PRIZE. (IT'S A FEATHER MADE OF GOLD, ON AN ORNAMENTAL CUSHION)
THE LORD. Sir Ector.
HERALD. Sir Ector, remove your helmet.
WILLIAM. My lord, I'm afraid the final blow of the lance has bent it onto my head.
WAT. He says the final blow of the ....
HERALD. I present your champion, my lord.
SCENE - A COUNTRY ROAD OUTSIDE THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS.
ROLAND IS SELLING THE PRIZE TO A MERCHANT, WILLIAM IS JUGGLING WITH A STONE, WAT IS WAITING.
MERCHANT. No, ten.
ROLAND. Very good. Cheers!
ROLAND. Fifteen silver florins. He didn't want that (HE THROWS THE CUSHION AT WAT). That's five for William, five for Wat, five for Roland, who's going straight home to England.
WILLIAM. We could do this.
ROLAND. Do it? We've done it boy, that's silver in your hand.
WILLIAM. No, I mean we can do this. We can be champions. Give us your coins. Now come on, give me your coins. Right, right now ..... that's one for you, and one for you, which leaves thirteen. That's thirteen for training and outfitting. Now the tournament in Rouen is in a month from now. In one month we could split a prize bigger than this one. In one month we could be on our way to glory and riches none of us ever dreamed of.
ROLAND. In one month we could be laid in a ditch with Sir Ector. I don't want glory and riches, William, I just want to go home.
WAT. Tansy cakes with peppermint cream. Dilled veal balls with squash fritters. I'll take my five now!
[WILLIAM WALKS OFF WITH THE MONEY]
ROLAND. Oy .....!!
WAT. Oy .....!!
WAT. Wait up, you're going the wrong way!
ROLAND. But you can't even joust!
WILLIAM. Well, most of it is the guts to take a blow, to strike one. Guts I have, and technique, I have a month to learn that. Besides, the sword ... Name a man better with the sword than I.
WAT. In the practice ring.
ROLAND. You're not of noble birth!
[THEY STOP BESIDE A GALLOWS WITH A DEAD CRIMINAL HANGING FROM IT]
WILLIAM. Well, so ... we lie. How did the nobles become noble in the first place, huh? They took it at the tip of a sword. I'll do it with a lance!
WAT. A blunted lance.
WILLIAM. Oh, no matter what. A man can change his stars. And I won't spend the rest of my life as nothing.
ROLAND. (GESTURES AT THE DEAD CRIMINAL) That is nothing, and nothing is right where glory will take you.
WAT. We're the sons of peasants. Glory and riches and stars are beyond our grasp, but a full stomach, that dream can come true.
WILLIAM. If you can take your coins, go to England, eat cake; but if you can't, you come with me ......... you see, money doesn't matter .....[WAT AND ROLAND JUMP ON HIM].......enough!!
[THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES. WAT BITES WILLIAM'S HAND]
WAT. Do you see how hungry I am? Do you?
WILLIAM. Damn your stomach, Wat. Roland, please ....... with thirteen silver pieces, three men can change their stars.
ROLAND. God love you, William.
WILLIAM. I know, I know, no-one else will.
THE TRAINING CAMP
SCENE - A TRAINING GROUND IN THE WOODS. TILTING PRACTICE. WILLIAM IS ON HORSEBACK WITH A LANCE, TRYING TO HIT A POPINJAY (Note: A popinjay is a wooden target on the end of a horizontal pole, which pivots in the middle and has a sack of sand on the other end.)
[WILLIAM MISSES THE POPINJAY]
WAT. I think he's getting worse.
ROLAND. He is getting worse.
[WILLIAM HITS THE POPINJAY WITH HIS SHOULDER. THE SACK OF SAND KNOCKS HIM OFF THE HORSE.]
SCENE - A TRAINING CAMP AT A CAVE IN THE WOODS. WILLIAM,, ROLAND AND WAT ARE FIGHTING WITH WOODEN SWORDS
SCENE - A TRAINING CAMP IN THE WOODS. TILTING PRACTICE. WILLIAM IS ON HORSEBACK WITH A LANCE, WHILE WAT HOLDS A SHIELD UP IN THE AIR AS A TARGET. HE IS TERRIFIED.
WAT. Glory and riches …. glory and riches….
[HE PANICS AND DROPS THE SHIELD ON ROLAND 'S FOOT]
WAT. You see how dangerous it is!
SCENE - A TRAINING CAMP IN THE WOODS. TILTING PRACTICE. WILLIAM , WITH HIS LANCE, IS IN A CART PULLED BY ROLAND AND WAT.
WILLIAM. Come on Roland, faster, faster.
WAT. You missed it.
ROLAND. You've done it dozens of times.
WILLIAM. Well, I guess that means we should do it again. Come on, come on ponies.
ROLAND. Fong him!
SCENE - A TRAINING CAMP IN THE WOODS. TILTING PRACTICE. WILLIAM, WITH A LANCE, IS IN A BOAT ON A SMALL RIVER BEING PULLED BY ROLAND AND WAT
ROLAND. Faster .... balance!
WILLIAM. No, slower, keep it steady!
WILLIAM. Aha, got it, look, I got it, I got it.
WILLIAMFALLS INTO THE RIVER AND DISAPPEARS UNDERWATER. WAt AND ROLAND WAIT, LAUGHING. WILLIAM IS STILL UNDERWATER. THEY STOP LAUGHING.
ROLAND. Any minute now ..................
SCENE - A TRAINING CAMP IN THE WOODS. WILLIAM , ROLAND AND WAT ARE FIGHTING WITH WOODEN SWORDS
SCENE - A TRAINING CAMP IN THE WOODS. WILLIAM IS ON HORSEBACK WITH A LANCE, TILTING AT THE POPINJAY. HE HITS IT FOUR TIMES
ROLAND. That's better!
THEY MEET GEOFFREY CHAUCER
SCENE - A COUNTRY ROAD. WILLIAM IS RIDING THE HORSE, ROLAND AND WAT ARE WALKING
WAT. It's my turn to ride.
WILLIAM. No, we haven't reached the mile marker yet, and I'm not sure you should. Suppose we pass another knight. How would it look if my squire rode while I walked?
WAT. I don't give a witch's kiss. It's my turn, it's my turn.
ROLAND. Hey, hey, hey, look, maybe nobody should be riding. The horse is not what he used to be, and we need him, right?
WILLIAM. Fine, fine, fine.
[A NAKED MAN WALKS PAST]
NAKED MAN Morning! Morning!
WILLIAM. Oy, sir…..
WILLIAM. What are you doing?
NAKED MAN Er, trudging. You know, trudging? To trudge? To trudge : the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in his life except the impulse to simply soldier on.
WILLIAM. Were you robbed?
NAKED MAN Interesting question, actually. Yes, and at the same time a huge, resounding NO. It's more a sort of involuntary vow of poverty, really. But you know, on the brighter side, trudging does represent pride; pride, resolve and faith in the good Lord Almighty, please Christ rescue me from my current tribula ...OW... tions.
ROLAND. Who are you?
NAKED MAN Lilium inter spinos, the lily among the thorns. Geoffrey Chaucer's the name, writing's the game. Chaucer? Geoffrey Chaucer? The writer?
ROLAND. A what?
GEOFFREY. A what?!? A writer! You know, I write, with ink and parchment! For a penny I'll scribble you anything you want, from summonses to decrees, edicts, warrants, patents of nobility .... I've even been known to jot down a poem or two if the Muse descends. You've probably read my book, the Book of the Duchess? Fine, well, it was allegorical.
ROLAND. (NOT UNDERSTANDING) Well, we won't hold that against you. That's for each man to decide for himself.
WILLIAM. Did you say patents of nobility?
GEOFFREY. Yes, that's right, I did. And you gentlemen are?
WILLIAM. Well, I am Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein from Gelderland, and these are my faithful squires, Delves of Dodgington and Falhurst of Crewe.
GEOFFREY. I'm Richard the Lionheart, pleased to meet you. No, wait a minute, I'm Charlemagne, no, I'm Saint John the Baptist.
[WILLIAM DRAWS HIS DAGGER AND HOLDS IT TO GEOFFREY 'S THROAT]
WILLIAM. All right, hold your tongue, sir, or lose it.
GEOFFREY. Now, you see, that, I do believe, Sir Ulrich.
WILLIAM. Thank you…. Geoff.
ROLAND. Have you any more to say, Master Nude, or having failed your test, may we be on our way?
[THEY START TO WALK AWAY, LEAVING GEOFFREY SITTING BY THE ROAD]
GEOFFREY. Oh, you're off to the tournament, are you?
WAT. This is the road to Rouen, isn't it?
GEOFFREY. Oh, you know that really remains to be seen [NOTE: this is a little joke on the expression “the road to ruin”]. You see, they're limiting the field at Rouen. Noble birth must be established for four generations on either side of the family. Patents of nobility must be provided.
[HE GRINS. THEY STOP AND LOOK AT HIM]
GEOFFREY. Listen, clothe me, shoe me, for God's sake feed me, let me ride that horse a bit and you'll have your patents.
WILLIAM. Aaah…hmm. Patents of nobility….
ROLAND. We need them. We need them.
WAT. Look, let me handle it ...
ROLAND. Be nice!
WAT. Nice ... nice .... nice, alright, betray us, and I will fong you until your insides are out, your outsides are in, your entrails will become your extrails, I will wreak ... all your .... pain! Lots of pain!
SCENE - THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS, ROUEN
AT THE ADMINISTRATOR'S STAND
GEOFFREY. May I present my lord Ulrich, whose mother's father was Shilhard von Rechburg, son of the Duke Guelph of Saxony, son of Ghibellines, son of Wendish the fourth Earl of Brunswick, the same Wendish who inherited the fief of Lundburg ...
KING OF ARMS That'll do, herald, six generations is more than enough. Show me the patents ...... indicate to me in which events shall your lord Ulrich compete .... he will first meet Roger, Lord Mortimer.
GEOFFREY. Thank you very much.
WILLIAM MEETS JOCELYN FOR THE FIRST TIME
SCENE - WILLIAM AND GEOFFREY ARE WALKING INSIDE THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS, ROUEN
WILLIAM. I can't believe it, you did it, Chaucer! I have to thank you, I didn't think we had a chance.
GEOFFREY. My pleasure, William. Now, if you don't mind, I think I'll stick around and see how things turn out.
WILLIAM. Act as my herald, and you'll receive a share of the winnings.
GEOFFREY. Done. And now, if you don't mind, I've got to see a man about a dog.
[WILLIAM RIDES SLOWLY THROUGH THE TOWN, SINGING.]
WILLIAM. “Walking out from Cheapside, my fortunes for to seek,
I passed along the River Thames, its waters did they reek,
‘Twas there I met a pretty lass, she said her name was Nell ...”
Bell or hell rhymes with Nell ....
[WILLIAM. SEES AND FOLLOWS A BEAUTIFUL GIRL]
WILLIAM. Would you speak to me?
GIRL Ah, to speak ...... but sir, my sex are marked by their silence.
WILLIAM. Oh, I would hear you speak if it cost me my ears.
GIRL That is well, for I do not want silence in my life.
WILLIAM. Tell me your name!
GIRL Would you care if I were ugly?
WILLIAM. Why yes! I mean no ... I mean if .....
BISHOP You desecrate the house of God!
[WILLIAM REALISES THAT HE HAS RIDDEN HIS HORSE INTO ROUEN CATHEDRAL]
WILLIAM. Oh .... oh!! ... Tell me your name, woman!
GIRL And what would you do with my name, Sir Hunter? Call me a fox, for that is all I am to you.
WILLIAM. Oh, then a fox you shall be, until I find your name, my foxy lady!
[WILLIAM LEAVES, THE GIRL GIGGLES WITH HER MAIDSERVANT]
GIRL He's a handsome hunter, I'll give him that.
BISHOP Does this not shock you, ladies?
GIRL Certainly, my lord. I just ... I only laugh just to keep from weeping.
BISHOP Beauty is such a curse. Pray your years come swiftly, pray your beauty fades that you may better serve God.
GIRL Oh, and I do, my lord. I pray for it all the time. Why, God, did you curse me with this face?
BISHOP God's will has a purpose but we may not know it.
HE GIVES HER HIS RING TO KISS
GIRL Oh, that is lovely!
BISHOP Credo in unum deum, patrem omnipotentem ...
[NOTE: “I believe in one God, father almighty”. This is the start of the Credo, part of the choral mass of a Catholic church service]
WILLIAM'S FIRST VICTORY
SCENE - BACK INSIDE THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS, ROUEN
WILLIAM IS TILTING. HE BREAKS HIS LANCE ON THE OTHER KNIGHT'S SHOULDER.
HERALD Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein defeats Roger, Lord Mortimer, one lance to none.
WILLIAM. Easy boys, they're likely to think it's the first time I've broken a lance.
WAT. But it is, Will, it is!
WILLIAM. Sir Ulrich's broken thousands of lances.
ROLAND. Well, come on, master of a thousand lances, you're due in the sword ring in two minutes.
WILLIAM. My armour's loose! Sh*te, if they come overhead I can't block.
ROLAND. Well, there's nothing for it now, we're overdue in the sword ring as we speak.
WILLIAM. It was a mistake to do two events, I don't have time to breathe. I should withdraw from the sword.
WAT. But the sword is by far what you're best at.
WILLIAM. The prizes are bigger in the joust. The prestige as well.
[A FAT MAN STOPS WILLIAM ]
FAT MAN Ulrich von Lichtenstein?
FAT MAN I'm Simon the Summoner.
WILLIAM. And I'm overdue at the sword ring.
SIMON I must detain you on behalf of your herald.
SCENE - INSIDE A BUILDING. GEOFFREY CHAUCER IS NAKED AGAIN. A THIN MAN IS PLAYING WITH A KNIFE AND WATCHING.
WILLIAM. You were never robbed, were you.
GEOFFREY. Look, I have a gambling problem. I can't help myself. These people will quite literally take the clothes off your back.
WILLIAM. What do you expect us to do about it?
THIN MAN. He assured us that you, his liege, would pay us.
WILLIAM. And who are you?
THIN MAN. Peter, a humble pardoner and purveyor of religious relics.
WILLIAM. How much does he owe you?
SIMON. Ten gold florins.
WAT. You manky git!
WILLIAM. Wat, let him go!
WILLIAM. What would you do to him, if I were to refuse?
SIMON. We, on behalf of the Lord God, will take it from his flesh, so that he may understand that gambling is a sin.
GEOFFREY. Oh, come on, please Will ..... please will you help me, Sir Ulrich. I promise you won't regret it.
WILLIAM. I don't have the money.
WILLIAM. Release him, and for God's sake give him back his clothes, and you'll get it.
SCENE - WALKING TOGETHER TOWARDS THE SWORD RING
WILLIAM. You lied.
GEOFFREY. Yes, yes, I lied, I'm a writer, I give the truth scope. Behold, my lord Ulrich von Lichtenstein, son of ...
OFFICIAL. Too late.
GEOFFREY. Excuse me?
OFFICIAL. Too late, he's been announced.
OFFICIAL. Ten blows by sword, Sir Ulrich to receive first.
[SWORD FIGHT COMPETITION]
BIG KNIGHT. Raaagh!
ROLAND. Look out!
GEOFFREY. Stop letting him hit you!
WAT. Oh shut up!
OFFICIAL. Two strikes for Sir Walter Loring.
OFFICIAL. Sir Ulrich to strike.
ROLAND. Now it's your turn, man, come on Ulrich!
GEOFFREY. Hit him with your sword!
WAT. Yeah! Yeah!
WAT. Yeah! Yeah!
WAT. I taught him that, that's me, that's me!
OFFICIAL. Sir Ulrich prevails, five strikes to two.
CROWD Hooray! Hooray!
[SONG - “TAKIN' CARE OF BUSINESS” BY BACHMAN TURNER OVERDRIVE]
ROLAND. You've done, it, you're the champion!
WILLIAM. Of the sword.
ROLAND. That's why we're standing here, isn't it? Come on, to the lists!
GEOFFREY. Do you want to touch him? Do you want to touch him?
SCENE – THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS. WILLIAM. IS JOUSTING. BOTH KNIGHTS BREAK THEIR LANCES. WILLIAM'S ARMOUR SPLITS ACROSS THE CHEST
WILLIAM. We should have saved our last penny for the blacksmith .....
THEY MEET KATE THE FARRIERESS
SCENE - ARMOURER'S WORKSHOPS NEAR THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS
WILLIAM. No, I can't pay you now but I promise I will ...
BLACKSMITH. No! Money!
WILLIAM. Excuse me ...
SMITH #2. Cash first, no promises. Baah, go on!
WILLIAM. Excuse me, sir.
SMITH #3. You might try the farrieress.
WILLIAM. A woman?
SMITH # 3. Beggars cannot be choosers, my lord.
WILLIAM. Thank you. Excuse me!
WILLIAM. And I can't joust with broken armour.
FARRIERESS. Your problem, not mine. Each drop of this sweat has a price on it.
WILLIAM. Well, just as well, they told me I was daft for even asking.
WILLIAM. Oh, the other armourers.
FARRIERESS. Did they say I couldn't do it because I'm a woman?
WILLIAM. No, they said you were great with horseshoes but sh*te with armour. The fact that you were a woman wasn't even mentioned.
WILLIAM MEETS ADHEMAR
SCENE - THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS, ROUEN
THE BEAUTIFUL GIRL FROM THE CHURCH IS SITTING IN THE STANDS, WITH HER MAIDSERVANT.
VENDOR. Cat's meat, hot wine! ......Cat's meat, hot wine!......... Cat's meat, hot wine!
KNIGHT #1. Ladies, I will win this tournament for you.
KNIGHT #2. Nay, I will win it for you.
[ADHEMAR'S HERALD, GERMAINE, APPROACHES THE GIRL]
GERMAINE. My lady, may I present Count Adhemar, winner of the joust in Florence and high champion at Saint Emilion.
ADHEMAR. All such moments forgotten, when standing before the most beautiful woman in Christendom.
GIRL. Do you only pretend to fight, Count Adhemar? Or do you wage real war as well?
ADHEMAR. I am leader of the Free Companies. My army is in southern France, for the moment.
[OUT IN THE LISTS]
WILLIAM. Geoff, it's my lady!
GEOFFREY. Oh Jesu, William, you aim too high.
WILLIAM. Oh, if there's another way to aim, I don't know it.
WILLIAM. What shall I say to her?
[BACK IN THE STANDS]
ADHEMAR. What do you think of the joust?
GIRL. It's very abrupt, and I'm afraid I don't understand the rules.
ADHEMAR. Then I shall educate you. A match is three lances. One point is awarded for breaking a lance on a man between waist and neck; two points for breaking on the helmet. It's difficult. The helmet sweeps back, most blows glance off leaving the lance unbroken. Three points for bearing a rider to the ground. Also, should you bear a rider to the ground, you win his horse.
GIRL. And do men die in the joust?
ADHEMAR. The lances' points are tipped with coronals. This blunts them. Of course, accidents happen. I myself, Jocelyn, have never been unhorsed.
JOCELYN. Nor have I.
[WILLIAM RIDES UP]
WILLIAM. Your name, lady! I still need to hear it.
JOCELYN. Sir Hunter, you persist.
WILLIAM. Or perhaps angels have no names, only beautiful faces.
ADHEMAR. And you are?
WILLIAM. Well, I am, um ...
ADHEMAR. You've forgotten? Or your name is Sir Um?
WILLIAM. Ulrich von Lichtenstein, from Gelderland.
ADHEMAR. Oh, I'd forget as well, what a mouthful. Your armour, sir.
WILLIAM. What about it?
ADHEMAR. How stylish of you to joust in an antique. You'll start a new fashion if you win. My grandfather will be able to wear his in public again. And a shield, how quaint.
ADHEMAR. Some of these poor country knights ... little better than peasants.
[OUT IN THE LISTS]
HERALD. …..the second son of Sir Wallace Percival; third earl of Warwick. My lords, my ladies, it is with honour I introduce my liege, Sir Thomas Colville.
GEOFFREY. You're good! You're very good! My lords, my ladies .... and everybody else here not sitting on a cushion! Today, today, you find yourselves equals ... for you are all equally blessed ... for I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure of introducing to you a knight sired by knights, a knight who can trace his lineage back beyond Charlemagne.
GEOFFREY. Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week!
ROLAND. Well, that was different.
GEOFFREY. Well, it's time we celebrated our differences.
ROLAND. Just, maybe, not in public.
WAT. You…… you….
GEOFFREY. Yes, master Falhurst, I'm well aware a good fonging is on the way.
WAT. Oh yeah, oh, yeah.
GEOFFREY. Now, I got their attention, you go and win their hearts.
SCENE - IN THE LISTS DURING WILLIAM'S THREE JOUSTS WITH COLVILLE
GEOFFREY. Very good!
WILLIAM. Was she watching? Geoff!
WILLIAM. Did she see me?
GEOFFREY. Yeah, she saw you.
WILLIAM. Did she see me take the hit?
GEOFFREY. Yeah, she saw you take the hit.
WILLIAM. Well, was she concerned?
GEOFFREY. It was dreadful, her eyes welled up, it was awful.
SCENE - BACK IN THE STANDS
ADHEMAR. Colville has perfect technique, but I've never seen him before.
GERMAINE. Nor I. But this Lichtenstein. His technique is rudimentary; his style, non-existent. Still, he's fearless.
JOCELYN. Fearless ... how so?
ADHEMAR. The slit in a helmet's visor is narrow but still, splinters can penetrate it. Most knights raise their chins at the last instant. You lose sight of your opponent, but you protect your eyes. This Ulrich doesn't.
JOCELYN. He keeps his eye on the target. A true hunter.
SCENE - OUT IN THE LISTS. COLVILLE TALKING WITH WILLIAM
COLVILLE. Sir Ulrich, euuh, I'm through. But, um, I've never not finished before. I wish to keep my honour intact.
[WILLIAM NODS. ON THE NEXT ROUND, THEY RIDE PAST EACH OTHER SLOWLY AND SALUTE]
SCENE - BACK IN THE STANDS
GERMAINE. A draw. And Colville is hurt.
ADHEMAR. Colville withdraws, Ulrich advances. Why didn't Ulrich finish him?
JOCELYN. He shows mercy.
ADHEMAR. Then he shows his weakness. That's all mercy is.
SCENE - NIGHT, WILLIAM. & ROLAND. TALKING IN THEIR TENT
ROLAND. For the love of victory, William, go to sleep.
WILLIAM. I can't. Love has given me wings, so I must fly. I can't explain it, she makes me feel like a poet.
ROLAND. Well, you may feel like a poet but you sound like an idiot. You don't even know her name.
WILLIAM. Her name .... her name is Aphrodite, Calypso, Venus, take your pick.
ROLAND. Women weaken the heart. Without your heart, you cannot win.
WILLIAM. But her eyes ...
WAT[WAKES UP SUDDENLY] Urghh, aargh, tansy cakes!
SCENE - JOCELYN'S CHAMBER
MAID. Count Adhemar sends word. He says he will win this tournament for you.
JOCELYN. He's won many tournaments. He wins them for himself and for his own honour, so it's nothing to say that he wins them for me.
MAID. He wishes to speak to you again.
JOCELYN. Not to hear a word I say. Adhemar wants his women silent.
MAID. Would you have Sir Ulrich win this tournament for you?
JOCELYN. No! And he is the only knight that has not promised to do so. Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein ... I would have him win my heart ...
WILLIAM LOSES TO ADHEMAR
THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS, ROUEN
COUNT ADHEMAR RIDES IN, WATCHED BY WILLIAM, ROLAND. AND WAT.
HE HAS A VERY ELEGANT HORSE.
CROWD. Adhemar, Adhemar, Adhemar
WAT. Oh, lovely.
WILLIAM. Count Adhemar. I don't think I've ever seen him lose.
ROLAND. No, but defeat him and you'll see at first hand.
[GEOFFREY ARRIVES WITH JOCELYN'S MAID]
GEOFFREY. My liege! Sir Ulrich! Christiana.
[SHE HOLDS OUT A SCARF TO WILLIAM. ]
CHRISTIANA. My lady bids you wear this token.
WILLIAM. Of course!
CHRISTIANA. She also said to tell you, her name is Jocelyn.
GEOFFREY. Au revoir.
CHRISTIANA. Au revoir.
WILLIAM. Oh, Jocelyn.
[WILLIAM AND ADHEMAR TILT, AND AFTERWARDS:]
WILLIAM. I can't breathe!
[ADHEMAR'S SQUIRE PULLS A LARGE WOODEN SPLINTER OUT OF HIS CHEST.]
ADHEMAR. No style whatsoever, but neither has an anvil.
WILLIAM. He hits like a hammer, it's amazing.
ROLAND. But not perfect. He aims high on your chest. Roll your shoulder back when you strike. His blow may glance to the right.
WILLIAM. Oh, if he strikes me on the right. If he strikes to the left I'll be obliterated!
ROLAND. I didn't say it wasn't a gamble.
WILLIAMAND ADHEMAR TILT; WILLIAM'S HELMET IS KNOCKED OFF AND HE IS DAZED.
FLASHBACK TO WILLIAM 'S CHILDHOOD, WATCHING KNIGHTS RIDE THROUGH THE STREETS OF LONDON.
FATHER. William! William! William! William, here! Come on, come here!
[HE HELPS WILLIAM. CLIMB UP ONTO THE STOCKS, WHERE HE HAS A GOOD VIEW.]
WILLIAM. Some day I'll be a knight.
PRISONER. A thatcher's son? A knight? You might as well try to change the stars!
WILLIAM. Can it be done, father? Can a man change the stars?
FATHER. Yes, William. If he believes enough, a man can do anything.
SCENE - BACK IN THE TOURNAMENT GROUNDS IN ROUEN. WILLIAM. IS STILL ON HIS HORSE BUT ALMOST UNCONSCIOUS. ADHEMAR PICKS UP JOCELYN'S SCARF, WHICH IS ON THE GROUND.
ROLAND. Come here….
ADHEMAR. Gain more bearing, Ulrich. See me again when you're worthy.
WAT. I'll fong you and the whole of your…….
GEOFFREY. [KNOCKING WAT TO THE GROUND] Well done, my lord. Well done.
WAT. [TO GEOFFREY. ] You bast**d!
GEOFFREY. [TO WAT] Go and see to Ulrich. Go and see to Ulrich. Well done, my lord, noble victory.
ADHEMAR. My lady, I believe this is yours.
SCENE - THE PRIZE-GIVING CEREMONY AT ROUEN:
KING OF ARMS. For long spear on foot, Pandolfo Malatesta.
For sword on foot, Ulrich von Lichtenstein.
And finally, for the mounted joust and tournament champion, Adhemar, count of Anjou.
I present to you - your champions.
WILLIAM. Next time I face you, Count Adhemar, you will look up at me from the flat of your back.
ADHEMAR. Please. You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.
ROLAND. Keep winning the sword, and we'll be rich.
WILLIAM. I won't compete in the sword again.
GEOFFREY. It's your best event!
WILLIAM. No, it's tournament champion or nothing at all.
SCENE – THE TENTS AFTER THE JOUST.
SIMON THE SUMMONER AND PETER THE PARDONER ARE WAITING FOR THEIR GOLD.
WILLIAM. Ten florins. That should do.
SIMON. It's “sixes and sevens” tonight, Chaucer. Do you feel lucky?
PETER. Do you wear enough clothes?
GEOFFREY. Go on, begone, I'm done with you… except to exact my revenge.
SIMON. Hmmm, what on earth could you possibly do to us?
GEOFFREY. I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every last pimple, every last character flaw. I was naked for a day. You will be naked for eternity.
SIMON. I have a feeling we shall meet again.
WILLIAM. Here farrieress, take what we owe you.
FARRIERESS. That armour you wear – it wasn't made for you, was it?
WILLIAM. So what of it?
FARRIERESS. I could make such armour you wouldn't even know you wore it.
WILLIAM. And how much would that cost me?
FARRIERESS. Just take me as far as Paris.
WILLIAM. We travel alone. Take your gold and go.
WILLIAM. Get what you can for that. The rest of us will pack camp.
WAT. Why are we leaving so soon?
WILLIAM. The tournament at Lagny-sur-Marne starts in a week. If we leave now, we can walk most of the way and save the horse.
GEOFFREY. No, you have to go the banquet tonight, you have to dance, you have to make an appearance.
WILLIAM. Oh, and have Adhemar laugh at me again? No!
[CHRISTIANA ARRIVES. WILLIAM DOESN'T SEE HER AT FIRST.]
CHRISTIANA. My lady would know the colour of your lord's tunic tonight.
ROLAND. His tunic…?
CHRISTIANA. Yes, so that she can dress to match him.
GEOFFREY. We regret to inform your lady that we won't actually be attending….
WILLIAM. Herald! Don't answer questions you don't know the answer to!
GEOFFREY. Absolutely, my lord.
WILLIAM. Squire, answer her. What colour is my tunic tonight?
ROLAND. Er, green. Trimmed in a kind of pale ……green…. er….. with wooden toggles.
CHRISTIANA. I will tell my lady. [SHE CURTSEYS AND LEAVES]
WILLIAM. Oh, this is a disaster.
ROLAND. No, it'll tunic up quite nicely. Give us your dagger, Wat.
WILLIAM. That's not the disaster, Roland. I don't know how to dance.
LEARNING TO DANCE
SCENE – A BARN, WHERE WILLIAM IS LEARNING TO DANCE WITH WAT, UNDER INSTRUCTION FROM GEOFFREY. ROLAND WATCHES WHILE MAKING A TUNIC FROM PART OF THEIR TENT.
GEOFFREY. And one, and two, and three, and four, and your hand should alight like a birdy on a branch. And one, two and three and four and Wat doesn't lead, he follows like a girl.
[WAT HITS GEOFFREY IN THE FACE]
GEOFFREY. And one, and two, and twirly twirly twirly, and one, and two, and you're still getting it wrong. And one and two and three and four, you can hit me all day because you punch like a what?
ROLAND. A girl!
WAT. That's enough of that! I…..he starts it every time…
WILLIAM. Get back from this….quiet…. you know he's touchy…
WAT. ….I'm doing this for you!
[THE FARRIERESS COMES INTO THE BARN, LOOKS AT THEM, RAISES HER EYEBROWS AND WHISTLES]
GEOFFREY. Oh, and you can do better, can you?
FARRIERESS. Of course I can.
WILLIAM. Good. Why don't you show us, then.
ROLAND. If I'm going to all this effort, you'd best learn to dance. Now ask her nicely.
WILLIAM. I'm sorry, Kate. I was wondering if you would care to show us how to dance.
WAT& WILLIAM. Please.
SCENE – THE SAME PLACE, BUT IT IS NOW EVENING
KATE. And one, and two, three, four, five, six, seven – change partners, and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven – polonaise, and one…. You're not going to wear your hair like that, are you?
WILLIAM. Is there another way?