The Green Knight

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The Green Knight
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IMDb: 6.6
It's a snowy Christmas morning in the kingdom  and Essel, a worker at the bawdy house,   wakes up her client Gawain with a bucket of  cold water. When Gawain realizes he overslept,   he rushes out of the building because he needs to  get ready for the big Christmas banquet his uncle   the king will be throwing later. When he arrives  at the castle, Gawain tells his mother he was in   church all night, but she doesn't believe him.  Gawain notices his mother isn't dressed for the   party and she explains she hasn't got the guts  for it this year, but she wants him to go and   have fun. As soon as Gawain leaves, his mother  meets with her maids and she blindfolds her eyes   to begin a special ritual during which she writes  a letter with a green seal on it. At the party,   the king invites Gawain to sit next to him  because he's family. The king wants to hear   some stories from him but Gawain doesn't have  any, so the queen tells them he'll get his own   stories when he becomes a legendary knight like  those at the table. This means a lot to Gawain   because he's always wanted to be a knight. While  Gawain's mother burns the letter she wrote and   the ashes make a sprout appear, the king begins  giving a speech, only to be suddenly interrupted   by a tree-like person known as the Green Knight.  The knight presents a letter with a green seal,   and when the queen breaks that seal, she becomes  possessed by the Green Knight and begins reading   the letter with his voice. The Green Knight wants  to play a Christmas game in which one of the   king's warriors tries to land a blow against him.  If that man succeeds, he'll win the Green Knight's   axe, but he also must go to the Green Chapel a  year from now to allow the Green Knight to return   the same blow. When the queen finishes reading  the letter, it lights itself on fire, and the   queen falls down with dizziness. The king's too  old to accept the challenge and he invites any of   his knights to do it, Gawain comes forward ready  to prove himself. He doesn't have a sword though,   so the king gives him his own, reminding Gawain  that it's just a game. Gawain is ready to fight,   but the Green Knight shocks him by putting down  his axe on the floor, which causes moss to appear   on the stones. Then the Green Knight kneels and  offers his neck, so Gawain lowers his sword,   causing the knight to lose his head. Gawain thinks  it's all over, but as soon as he turns around,   the Green Knight rises and picks up his head,  which reminds Gawain he must come to see him in   a year. Then the Green Knight leaves, and after  a moment of awkward silence, everyone celebrates   Gawain's victory. Gawain returns the sword to the  king and puts the axe away while his mother falls   to her knees, tired but pleased with herself.  Almost a year later, the story of Gawain's   victory is told to the kids through a puppet show,  and they show the ending of the second meeting as   rather tragic for their hero. Essel teases Gawain  for becoming a legend in town and Gawain hates it,   but he still accepts to pose for a very bright  portrait. In the evening when Gawain goes to   the local tavern, the drunkards talk of the Green  Knight story, but they also mention a rumor about   Gawain's mother being a witch, so Gawain beats  him up for his insolence. When he returns home,   he's surprised to see the king is there with his  mother. The king reminds Gawain that Christmas is   around the corner, and when Gawain reminds him  he said it was a game, the king points out it's   still incomplete. Gawain doesn't believe  the Green Knight will be waiting for him,   but the king gently caresses Gawain's face and  tells him to go anyway. When the first snow falls,   preparations for Gawain's trip begin. The  queen and king take a shield to the church to   be blessed, the axe is retrieved from its box, and  Gawain's mother makes a special green girdle with   a rune hidden inside. Essel doesn't want Gawain to  leave, but Gawain explains he gave his word. When   Gawain is about to leave, his mother gives him  the girdle and asks him to wear it all the time   because it'll protect him from any harm. Gawain  travels alone and only stops to camp at night,   and to feel less lonely, he grabs the bell Essel  gifted him and thinks about their last chat. Essel   had admitted to having feelings for him and asked  him to make her his lady, but Gawain disappointed   her by not giving her an answer. The next day,  Gawain reaches a crossroads intersection and   chooses a path by instinct. He begins to cross the  woods and notices a fox running nearby, there's   also a body against a tree. Moments later, Gawain  ends up on an abandoned battlefield. There he   finds a young scavenger who explains he's looking  for his brothers' bodies. When Gawain mentions the   green chapel, the boy gives directions and asks  for a reward, so Gawain tosses a coin at him.   Gawain stops by the stream to let his horse dress  then takes the path through the forest that the   scavenger mentioned, but after a few steps in, he  ends up cornered by two thieves. They grab him and   hold him down to present him to the scavenger, who  reveals leading him here was a plan to rob him.   The boy teases Gawain with his knife and takes the  girdle before the other two thieves tie him up,   leaving him on the ground while they go through  his things. The scavenger breaks the shield,   and when he finds the axe, he's so impressed that  he takes it away on the horse as his companions   follow him, leaving the other things behind. A  few moments after the thieves are gone, a skeleton   appears on Gawain's spot, but this is actually  a vision he's having of his own death. Refusing   to die in such a pathetic way, Gawain drags his  body through the ground like a worm and reaches   for his sword, which he uses to cut off the ropes  but also accidentally hurts him in the process.   Once he gets back his things, Gawain runs through  the forest and gets lost. By the time night falls,   he finds a lake, and he's shocked to see an  abandoned house near the water. Gawain enters   the building and finds it empty, so he decides  to sleep comfortably on the bed. Moments later,   he's woken up by Winifred, who wants to know why  he's taken her bed. Gawain apologizes and explains   he's a traveler that lost his way, causing  Winifred to mention she's lost something too. She   creeps Gawain out when she begins to move because  she floats instead of walking, making Gawain   assume she's some kind of spirit. When they make  it outside, Winifred explains that a lord came   to her house and try to take advantage of her,  but because she resisted, he killed her, and now   her head is at the bottom of the lake. Winifred  would like Gawain to retrieve her head, and when   he wonders what he'd get as a reward, Winifred  expresses confusion at the request. Gawain   decides to do the right thing and jumps into the  lake, where he begins hearing voices calling for   him. Suddenly the water turns red and Gawain  finds the skull, so he quickly takes it before   going back to the surface. Winifred is gone, but  the fox is there again, only to leave after it   confirms Gawain is fine. With the skull in hand,  Gawain returns to the bedroom and finds Winifred's   skeleton on the bed, which causes the skull to  become her actual head. Gawain drops it in shock   and hears Winifred tell him that the Green Knight  is someone he knows before picking it up again,   causing it to turn back into a skull. Then Gawain  reunites the skull with its body on the bed, and   at that moment the sun raises, revealing the Green  Knight's axe waiting for him in the room. Gawain   continues his journey on foot carrying the weight  of the axe. The fox seems to be following him,   and when Gawain stops at a cave to rest, the fox  tries to enter it. At first Gawain tries to scare   it away, but since the fox insists, Gawain lets  him share the cave with him. The next morning,   the two of them begin traveling side by side.  After a few hours of walking, they reach the top   of a hill and Gawain trips, causing him to roll  down to the bottom and almost lose Essel's bell.   Later, Gawain is so hungry that he eats the first  mushrooms he finds, but they make him throw up and   hallucinate that his hand is covered by moss.  Suddenly Gawain hears some thunder rumbling in   the distance, and when looks up, he sees a creepy  person staring at him from afar. The next day,   Gawain and the fox keep on walking until the  ground starts to shake, and that's how they   find a group of giants emerging from behind the  hills. Gawain immediately runs to them and asks   to ride on their shoulders, but when one of the  giants tries to pick him up, the fox growls at   them to keep them away. The giants respond by  letting out a high-pitched noise and moving on,   so Gawain and fox take the opposite road. Hours  later, Gawain is so tired that he falls to the   ground, not sure he can continue. Fortunately the  fox finds a castle nearby, which inspires Gawain   to stand up and run to the doors to ask for help  because he passes out. The next morning Gawain   wakes up on a beautiful bed while someone touches  his forehead. At first he thinks it's his mother,   but after blinking he discovers it's the lord of  the castle. The lord's a fan of Gawain's story and   tells him not to worry because it's still December  21st, meaning he has time to rest. Then the lord   takes Gawain to have breakfast and introduces him  to his mother, who has the eyes blindfolded, and   his lady, who shocks Gawain because she looks just  like Essel. Gawain kisses her hand and turns down   her invitation to stay a few days because he has  to arrive at the chapel soon. The lord corrects   him and explains the green chapel is only a few  hours from the castle, so Gawain can stay and rest   properly for a few days to then leave on Christmas  morning. Gawain accepts to stay and wanders around   the castle, where he discovers the fox depicted  in the paintings. He also finds a huge library and   learns the lady has read all the books, she's  also written a few of them. As a token of her   appreciation, she gifts Gawain a gift and asks for  a kiss, but Gawain only kisses her cheek. Then the   lady asks Gawain to sit for her so she can paint  him, and using a trick of light, the lady creates   a very eerie portrait of Gawain upside down while  he sits in the next room. When she finally shows   him the final product, the lady notices the bell  Gawain carries around his neck and asks if it   was a gift from a loved one, but since he says  no, she breaks the string and steals the bell.   Sometime later, the lord comes back from hunting  and gifts Gawain the deer he killed. Both men go   back inside to have a drink and the lord surprises  Gawain by promising he'll gift him his best hunt   every day, however in return Gawain must give  him anything he receives from the castle. Gawain   doesn't understand how there can be something  that doesn't belong to the lord already, but   the lord just says the castle works in mysterious  ways. The lady cuts in to discuss the Green Knight   and how the greens of nature always find a way  to grow back. While the lady continues to play   with her cards, the lord asks what Gawain wishes  to gain from this whole deal, so Gawain explains   he wants enough honor to finally become a knight.  When Gawain goes to get ready for bed, he receives   a visit from the mother, who touches his face and  her own chest before leaving with no explanation.   The next morning, Gawain wakes up to discover  the lady has been watching him sleep. She comes   closer to touch Gawain and wonders why he didn't  come to her bedroom last night, Gawain explains   he wanted to but didn't do it because it wasn't  right. Then the lady asks Gawain if he believes   in magic and reveals she has the green girdle, she  even knows that it's enchanted to protect whoever   wears it. Suddenly the lady climbs on the bed and  begins getting frisky with Gawain, asking him to   take the girdle from her as she helps him finish.  Once he does, the lady lets him keep the girdle,   but she also leaves his own seed on his hand as  she points out he's no knight. After she leaves,   Gawain is shocked to discover the mother has been  standing there all along. Tired of these games,   Gawain decides to leave. In the forest, he finds  the lord, who can tell Gawain received something   from the castle. In order to take it back, he  kisses Gawain to make up for what he did with the   lady. Gawain pushes his hand away and announces  he's living, so the lord opens his bag and reveals   his latest hunt: it's the fox, who thankfully  is still alive. After a few hours of walking,   Gawain and the fox finds a stream surrounded by an  orange fog. There's a boat on the water, but when   Gawain tries to approach it, the fox growls at him  to stop him. Gawain is confused by this attitude   until the fox suddenly reveals it can talk and  warns Gawain that there's no happy ending ahead   of him. The fox thinks Gawain should return  home, so Gawain swings his axe at it to scare   the animal away for not being supportive. Gawain  takes the boat down the steam and only comes back   to land when he finds a road marked by a cross.  It only takes him a few minutes on foot to reach   the chapel, and inside he finds the Green Knight  sitting at the altar, but he's asleep. Gawain sits   in front of him and after putting down the axe,  he waits. On Christmas morning, the Green Knight   finally awakes. He grabs the axe and announces  they'll finish the game, for which Gawain must   kneel to receive the same blow he threw last  year. Gawain kneels as asked but when the Green   Knight raises his axe, Gawain's so scared that  he flinches. The Knight teases him for it since   he had a whole year to be ready for this moment,  thus Gawain takes a moment to gather courage and   asks him to try again. The Green Knight raises his  axe once more, but Gawain still can't help himself   and moves away. He wonders if the game truly is  just this, and when the Green Knight confirms,   Gawain kneels again, only to move away when  the axe comes for him. Refusing to die so soon,   Gawain runs away, and as he crosses the forest  he's surprised to find his horse. Sometime later,   Gawain returns to the city and reunites with his  mother, who immediately takes care of his wounds.   Afterward Gawain visits Essel, who is sad to  see her bell is gone. The two of them get frisky   together, but Gawain never takes off the girdle.  A few days later, Gawain is called to the castle   because the king doesn't have much time left. With  the last of his strength, the king finally knights   Gawain and gifts him his precious sword. After  the king's death, Gawain becomes the new monarch,   which seems to have been his mother's plan all  along. Nine months later, Essel gives birth to   Gawain's son. Gawain still doesn't marry her  though, he just shows up to pick up the baby,   and he leaves after leaving some money for  the bawdy house without caring about leaving   a devastated Essel behind. A year later, Gawain  marries a noblewoman, and on their wedding night,   he doesn't allow her to take off his girdle. They  fulfill their marital duties, but Gawain doesn't   find them as satisfying as it was with Essel.  Years pass and the kingdom gets involved in a   war. Gawain decides to start training his child  as a knight, but by the time the boy as soon as   the boy becomes of age, he dies in battle. The  consequences of this war change the citizen's   opinions of Gawain and he becomes a hated leader  that gets stones thrown at. Essel hates him even   more now because her son is dead, but at least  the queen gives birth to a new heir. A few years   later, the castle is under siege, and Gawain is  abandoned by everyone, including his own wife and   his mother. Alone with the eerie painting that has  been hung straight, Gawain finally takes off his   girdle, which he has never taken off before. This  causes his head to fall and the crown rolls away.   Suddenly Gawain blinks and finds himself in the  chapel again, it turns out all he saw had been a   vision showing him the future he'd get if he runs  away. The Green Knight raises his axe but Gawain   asks for a moment to take off the girdle, which  should leave him vulnerable. Now Gawain can say   he's ready for real, and the Green Knight gently  caresses his face, congratulating him for finally   being brave and keeping his word. Afterward the  Green Knight tells him "now, off with your head".
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