Barnet

5. Apr, 2014

EXT. HIGHGATE - NORTH OF THE CITY OF LONDON.
King Edward partially armoured, beautiful, a clear contrast to King Henry VI, leads the procession of his army, Richard riding alongside him, out of the city, which can be seen in the background as the camera rises.
NARRATION
Once more in possession of the capital,  King Edward, brother Richard at his side,
King Henry in tow, rode out of London to where his one time friend and ally ...
In the procession is a heavily guarded carriage carrying the pathetic figure of King Henry, who, not knowing where he is, waves at the onlookers, thinking he is on a progress. None return the gesture.
EXT. BARNET - WARWICK’S LINES - AFTERNOON.
Warwick stands alone in front of his troops, staring into the middle distance.
NARRATION
...Warwick refusing reconciliation waited. Just north of the city, close to the town of Barnet, the Earl, called King Maker, stood to once more make, or break, a king.

WIDE ANGLE: The army of the Earl, spread across the road.

The soldiers are settling in for the night, lighting fires, cooking, polishing armour. The Earl shrugs off his torpor, and begins to wander amongst the army, appearing cheerful. JOHN DE VERE, EARL OF OXFORD, 29 years old, a soldier to his fingertips, joins him.

WARWICK
Well Oxford? Ready?
OXFORD
The Earl of Exeter and I are as ready as we can be not knowing the enemies strength.
WARWICK
Odd, but it still seems strange to hear Edward of York called enemy.
EXETER
When even his own brother George calls him so?

Warwick turns to look at the figures of Clarence and his own brother John Neville, standing a little way off, also staring over the army towards the south.

WARWICK
(start as voice over shot of John Neville and Clarence)
As does my own brother John, but he is not convincing. Look, gentlemen. My brother and my son in law standing together as friends, fighting together come the morning.
Warwick turns back, sighs.
WARWICK
There is a scent of betrayal on the evening breeze.

The camera floats away from him and rapidly drifts across the gap between the lines until it settles on..

EXT. BARNET - THE ST ALBANS ROAD - EVENING.
Richard, King Edward, Hastings, Rivers, and John Howard,  approach the bottom of a rise in front of, and between, them and Warwick’s placements, to a position where they can survey the terrain without being seen.

KING EDWARD
Once it is dark move the troops as close as possible. If the enemy fire their cannons do not reply. And tell the men to stay as quiet as they can all night. ALL night, gentlemen. No fires. No talking.

Richard doesn’t move when the king turns back down the slope towards his men. King Edward noticing, stops, walks back to Richard and puts his arm around his brother’s shoulders.

KING EDWARD
What is it Richard? Nerves?

CLOSE TELEPHOTO SHOT Clarence’s tent behind Warwick’s line.

RICHARD
(looking across just able to see Clarence’s tent.)
No, Ned. But there is something I must do first.

The King is curious. He looks about, but doesn’t see what Richard does so, unenlightened, leaves Richard.

KING EDWARD
See you later then little brother.

Richard, alone, disappears over the hill into the encroaching darkness.

EXT. WARWICKS ARMY - EVENING.
Clarence’s huge Black Bull insignia, hangs over a large white tent. Warwick and his brother John, Marquess Montague, along with Clarence, wander up to the tent. Clarence smiles at the other two men and lifts the tent flap to invite them in. Warwick shakes his head and takes his arm.

RICHARD WARWICK
Do not drink too much tonight George. We need clear heads come the morning.

JOHN NEVILLE, MARQUESS MONTAGUE
My brother speaks true, even if he asks you to abstain on the night we need it most to strengthen our resolve.

GEORGE CLARENCE
Good night, dear cousins, both. Sleep as well as you can.

WARWICK
You too George.
MONTAGUE
Good night coz.

INT. CLARENCE'S TENT - EVENING.
Clarence ducks inside the tent. It is large and luxurious. In the shadows a figure is sitting. George does not notice and pours himself a cup of wine. As he sips at it the shadow speaks.

RICHARD
Not good to have a hangover when the fighting begins, George.

Clarence jumps with surprise and spills the wine.

GEORGE CLARENCE
(whispers nervously)
Damn it Richard! What are you doing here?

RICHARD
Come to try and bring you to your senses.

A breeze suddenly blows against the tent and the cloth flaps wildly.

RICHARD
“He that troubleth his own House shall inherit the wind”.   So said Solomon the wise.

Clarence stares at his brother who holds the look for a moment, then slowly breaks into a smile.
                                                   CUT TO:

EXT. PORT OF BRISTOL. - EVENING.
A ship flying the fleur-de-lys arms of France on its sails pulls in along the dock side.

SUPERIMPOSE TITLE:
                   THE PORT OF BRISTOL
                     WESTERN ENGLAND
                                        FADE OUT TITLE

Anne Neville climbs demurely up onto the deck and moves  behind Queen Margaret and her son Prince Edward who, both looking slightly ridiculous in full armour and large, ostentatious crowns, stand at the ship’s rail, staring at the group of men waiting to meet them on the shore.

QUEEN MARGARET
Good. Somerset is here.

CLOSE: Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, handsome, rugged, at 31, chief Lancastrian general, stands on the dock in front of a group of armed men.

The Queen and her son march down the gangplank onto the quay, and Somerset throws himself to his knees in front of them, head bowed. The Queen calls him to his feet while looking about behind him.

QUEEN MARGARET
You may rise, Edmund.

Queen Margaret is searching the group of soldiers and the landscape beyond for something, or somebody. She does not look at Somerset when she finally addresses him

QUEEN MARGARET
Where, my lord Somerset, is the King?

Somerset is briefly confused, then realises who she is talking about. He gets back up onto his feet.

SOMERSET
When the usurper York captured the capital, King Henry was still in the Tower, where Warwick had placed him. I imagine he is now a prisoner there. I have no other information.

QUEEN MARGARET
Your plans then, my lord?

He glances with surprise at Anne Neville disembarking from the ship and approaching his group.

SOMERSET
I have forces mustered near Salisbury, your grace. We should join them and await news from the Lady Anne’s father...

He turns towards Anne Neville who moves up next to Prince Edward, who does not spare her a glance.

SOMERSET
...the Earl of Warwick, who we expect to meet with us there.

Seeing Anne is being ignored, he turns back to speak directly to Queen Margaret.

SOMERSET
We must march into Wales to join with Jasper Tudor and your Welsh allies. We will then have a large enough army to challenge the usurper.

ANNE
(interrupting)
Where are my sister and her husband, my lord?

QUEEN MARGARET
(ignores the impertinence)
Yes, Edmund. Answer the Princess of Wales. Where is the Duke of Clarence?
                                                     CUT TO:

EXT. BARNET - THE ROYAL ARMY CAMP. EVENING
Crouched in a circle on the ground, King Edward and Hastings are deep in conversation with John Lord Howard, the King’s other general, who scratches positions in the dirt in front of him.  They do not react to the sound of two figures approaching in the fading light.

Richard appears and takes a place next to his brother. The King only glances at him.

KING EDWARD
Glad you could make it, Richard. Where have you been? Never mind. You can tell me later.

He turns back to Howard.

KING EDWARD
Howard, my brother Gloucester will take his men up on the right in an hour, as soon as it is dark.
(Over his shoulder)
That alright with you Richard?

RICHARD
Fine, but there is something more urgent for you to attend to.

King Edward is surprised, but doesn’t turn.

CLOSE: Opposite the King, John Howard’s mouth falls open when he sees the face of Richard’s companion.

KING EDWARD
What could be more important at this time?

GEORGE CLARENCE
Perhaps your brother George, begging his king and brother for forgiveness.

All but the King, Richard, and Howard, jump to their feet in astonishment at the figure of Clarence standing there in the fading light. Clarence falls to his knees and drops his head. The King stands, puts his hands on his hips, and  towering over him, stares down at his brother.

KING EDWARD
It is granted.

He turns back and sits down by Richard.

KING EDWARD
Under cover of night we will form up our lines. Quietly, gentlemen. I say it again. Richard will have the vanguard to the right. Hastings, you to the left and the rear.

Hastings rejoins the King and sits back by his side, nodding his agreement, but amazed at his casualness.

KING EDWARD
I shall take the centre. George, come,
(he beckons Clarence over)
take a seat. You will be in the centre, with me, where I can keep my eye on you.

This time he reaches out and pulls Clarence to him in a hug.

Both laugh, and Richard and the others look relieved.
KING EDWARD
Of course, if your men do not appear on time...

GEORGE CLARENCE
(uneasily)
They received their instructions about an hour ago, and are in the process of moving round Warwicks flank. They should soon appear on the road from the west.

Richard gets up and moves round to his brothers, and puts his arm around George. He smiles at the King, who joins them in a closer brotherly embrace.
                                                        CUT:
EXT. BARNET - NIGHT.

CLOSE: Richard comes into shot looking furtively from side to side. As he signals behind him we pull back to see him leading his troops closer to Warwick’s position.

Hedges cross the fields and mask the men from the enemy. Disciplined, making hardly a sound, they creep closer to the other camp.

Richard reaches his goal position and signalss his men to settle down. They sink quietly to the ground, and curl up in their cloaks as best they can on the grass, looking like mounds of earth, shadows. From across the fields the voices of Warwick’s men can be heard.

CAMERA RISES TO HIGH ANGLE. We see the camp fires of Warwick’s troops, so near. A mist rolls up to settle over both armies.

EXT. BARNET - WARWICK’S LINE - NIGHT
The Earl of Warwick, his brother Montague, and his generals, John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter, are straining to see into the mist, but their frustration shows.

WARWICK
Where are they Exeter?

EXETER
Out there somewhere, Richard.

WARWICK
But where, Henry? How far away?

MONTAGUE
Let’s send some fire across, brother, and see what we hit!
Warwick smiles.

WARWICK
Oxford? What do you think?

OXFORD
Go ahead, but you know my feelings for these new weapons.

Montague runs off.

CLOSE: Cannons fire. Nervous soldiers jump back out of range, staring into the dark to see if they’ve hit anything.

EXT. THE KING’S ARMY - NIGHT.
In the King’s army men trying to settle to grab some sleep nervously watch the cannon balls fly clear over their heads.

CLOSE: Richard, Ratcliffe and Lovel sit, backs against a hedge. They too watch the trajectory of the cannons.

RICHARD
(whispering)
You see now why I do not yet trust artillery.
Lovel laughs, stopping as another ball sails way over their heads. Richard recognises the laughter as hollow.

RICHARD
First battle nerves, Frank?

He pulls his cloak round his shoulders.

RICHARD
Shall we talk about it? Or try and get some rest?

Lovel shrugs, settles into his cloak, says nothing.

RICHARD
Just keep vigil for the dawn then?

Ratcliffe smiles a grim smile. All three sink into a companionable silence, looking out over the troops lying in the misty field, towards where they think Warwick might be.
                                                  FADE OUT:
EXT. BARNET - MORNING - RICHARD’S POSITION
Early morning. Through a series of mixes, a thin sunlight tries to break through the fog, but without success. The day gives up and settles into a cold greyness.
Richard paces slowly back and forth surveying the area.

POV: A milky opacity is all he can see.

CLOSE: Lovel stirs, having slipped into sleep during the night. He shakes a dozing Ratcliffe, and together they join Richard. Their armour is damp, Lovel starts wiping his with a cloth. Ratcliffe steps forward of Richard, peers into the fog, looks up at the sky.

RATCLIFFE
When will we see the dawn?

RICHARD
This IS the dawn.

Ratcliffe and Lovel look at each other, raise their eyebrows and shrug shoulders.
Around them men who have also just woken munch on cold meat and prepare themselves for battle, armour goes on, weapons are checked, prayers are said, anxious looks are made in the direction of the sounds emanating from Warwick’s force.

EXT. BARNET - MORNING - WARWICK’S LINE
CLOSE: Warwick, already in his armour, as is his brother Montague.

WARWICK
Where is my son in law Clarence?

MONTAGUE
His tent was empty when I looked in on him, his men nowhere to be found. I fear he has taken them over to York.

Warwick lets loose a cry of frustration.

WARWICK
Then we must do without him!

They clasp each other in a brotherly hug, then, trying to look confident, Montague moves off, at one point looking across towards the Yorkist lines with a look of regret, before, sighing, he gets on with the task in hand, issuing orders, overseeing the preparations of his men.

Oxford and Exeter appear at Warwick’s side.

OXFORD
My men are in position Richard, on the right flank. We shall move as soon as we hear the trumpet call from the enemy.

EXETER
But a lot will be guesswork in this fog, John.
WARWICK
Watch your colours well then, Henry. Positions gentlemen.

Exeter nods, and he and Oxford in turn each grasp Warwick’s arm before moving to their positions, Oxford to Warwick’s right, Exeter to his left.

They melt into the fog.

CLOSE: Oxford moves along his lines, checking on his men. Men are busy around them, sergeants getting the men into battle lines.  

WIDE TOP SHOT: Shows the positions of the two forces, the extent of the mist, and the problems it is causing both armies. The camera suddenly and rapidly dives towards the King’s army.

EXT. KING EDWARD’S ARMY - DAY
Richard moves along his well ordered front line, getting the men into position. He does not realise he is mirroring Oxford’s movements.

ANGLES: The mist comes in waves, but never dissipates enough to see the other side clearly, although sounds of armies preparing for battle drift across through the mist. Warwick’s cannons begin to fire again, and again they overshoot. Richard looks up into the sky and smiles grimly, before disappearing into the mist.

SUPERIMPOSE TITLE:
                         BARNET
                     APRIL 14TH 1471
                                                FADE TITLE:

Out of the mist into
Along the front line the word is passed along to the King from Richard. Howard stands by the king.

JOHN LORD HOWARD
Gloucester’s in position and ready sire.

King Edward nods, raises an arm and trumpets sound. At the same moment his cannons fire.

CLOSE: Warwick’s cannons boom in reply. One canon ball is followed across the field through the mist to land a few yards in front of Richard, where it rolls to a standstill at his feet.

CLOSE: Richard smiles down at the ineffectual shot, raises his arm to order his archers to fire a salvo. Camera follows the arrows back across the field.

CLOSE: Warwicks trumpets reply to King Edward’s and he leads his men forward.

CLOSE: King Edward’s banner is raised above his head as, on foot, he leads his men towards the enemy.

TOP SHOT LOOKING DOWN: Warwick’s men and the King’s meet in the middle ground between the two forces where the mist is thin.

ANGLES: As they clash, serious blows are exchanged.

CLOSE: Richard getting no answer to his salvo, orders his men to advance into the fog.

They creep forwards through the mist. The soldiers see nothing but the whiteness.

CLOSE: Richard calls a halt as a cry goes up. He edges slowly forward with Lovel and Ratcliffe and his three squires, to find they have reached the edge of a steep slope.

Beneath the edge of the hill the soldier whose cry was heard clings desperately onto the tree stump that broke his fall. Ratcliffe kneels and carefully leans out to grab his arm. Two of the squires hold his legs as he slowly pulls the man up to safety.

Richard orders him to the back.

RICHARD
Recover yourself behind the lines.

The soldier, though breathing heavily, shakes his head.

SOLDIER
With your grace’s permission I would rather stay in the line. After that fall I imagine little else will scare me today!

Richard agrees, patting the man on his back.

The noise of fighting can be heard from his left. But Richard can see only the whiteness of the fog.
                                                     CUT TO
EXT. THE CENTRE OF THE BATTLE.
Intense, brutal fighting. An axe slams into a man’s skull; a sword slices off an arm; a pike skewers a man in the guts. In the middle of the action, King Edward, bloody, hacks away at the Lancastrians soldiers, felling one with a single blow of his sword, twisting quickly round to stab another who had managed to get close. Clarence fights near his brother, over compensating with savage bravery to prove himself again.

Close by, John Howard and his son Thomas are also in the thick of the fighting.
                                                      CUT TO

EXT. RICHARD’S POSITION.
On the edge of the slope Richard realises he has outflanked the enemy.  

RICHARD
We’ve overshot the mark lads!
Wheel the line round to the left!

His captains rapidly redeploy the men.

Camera shoots up into air at an angle, twists to show the movement of the troops then drops down again.  

CLOSE: Richard signals his men forward.

They charge into the fog and clash with Exeter’s men. There is confusion in the surprised Lancastrian line. Then realising what has happened, heavy fighting begins.

CLOSE: Richard swings his battle axe about his head, his sword in the other hand stabbing. He displays no nerves, as on both sides enemies fall bloodily at his feet. He steps over the bodies to push forward the attack.

Ratcliffe and Lovel fight close by his side, alongside Richard’s squires, THOMAS PARR, CHRISTOFER WORSLEY, and THOMAS HUDDLESTON, men all older than the 17 years old Duke Richard they have sworn to protect.

CLOSE: A soldier lunges at Richard with a poleaxe. Richard deflects the blow, but it glances off his armour, sliding down to find a gap between the joints, and cuts into his arm. He winces and twists away. The attacker lunges at him again. Richard jumps back to miss the point of the axe. Ratcliffe intervenes and strikes the man dead, almost severing his head. A wall of steel appears around Richard, his squires and soldiers protecting him as he wraps a kerchief round his wounded arm.

RICHARD
I’m all right lads. We must press the attack. On!

He pushes forwards again.

ANGLES: Richard swings his axe again as out of the mist behind him a giant appears heading in his direction.
One of the squires, Thomas Parr, fighting close by, intercepts the giant but is cut down, calling out a warning to his lord, who turns to see what is happening. The sight of his squire felled shocks Richard, but he recovers quickly, and steadies himself for the attack.

His other two squires position themselves to protect him, so all three are ready when the giant Lancastrian crashes into them.

Richard swings his axe and embeds it in the man’s leg. He goes down screaming, his sword slashing up at Richard. Richard parries the blow, pulling back his axe, but it glances off his armour to cut into the same place in his arm as the first wound.
Richard jumps back, swings around and smashes his axe into the wounded man’s neck. The giant screams again, squire Thomas Huddleston stabs his sword into the man’s chest, and he goes down silent.

SQUIRE THOMAS HUDDLESTON
My lord! Your wound!

CLOSE: Richard is already on the ground with squire Thomas Parr who first intercepted the attack. Thomas is alive, but dying. Richard takes his head in his lap and removes the man’s helmet. He sighs when he sees the face of his friend, who tries hard to speak.

SQUIRE THOMAS PARR
You are wounded, sire. Leave me. I am in God’s hands now. Go and win the battle, my lord.

RICHARD
You saved my life, Thomas. God will not forget you. Nor will I.

The squire coughs, smiles, shakes, and dies.

Richard lays Thomas’ head down on the ground, closes his eyes, and covers his face.

As he pushes himself back up, one of the other squires wraps a cloth around Richard’s arm to stop the bleeding. Richard nods his thanks, and pulling his axe out of the dead giant signals to his two remaining squires, lets out a cry, and together they charge again into the fight.

ANGLES: The fighting intensifies. The outcome is in doubt.

CLOSE: Both Richard and Exeter, intercut, in their different positions show their anxiety.

CLOSE: Exeter grabs one of his squires.

EXETER
Send to the Earl. He must send us reinforcements. Gloucester is stronger than I expected.

The man runs off to the rear of Exeter’s force. We run with him, catching glimpses of the fighting through the fog as he passes along the back of the battle.

ANGLES: Montague in the thick of the fighting of the vanguard, King Edward and Clarence on the opposing side. It is bloody and brutal. Limbs are hacked off, arteries spurt blood, bright red against the mist.

EXT. WARWICK’S POSITION.
Essex’s squire finds the Earl of Warwick behind his vanguard, leaning on his bloody sword, breathing heavily as he takes a brief rest. The man shouts loudly at the Earl above the noise of battle.

SQUIRE
My Lord Warwick! My lord of Exeter is hard pressed by Gloucester. He begs for more troops!

Warwick nods agreement, and turns to issue orders.

EXT. RICHARD’S POSITION
CLOSE: Richard swings away at the enemy, his armour, battle axe and sword, all streaked in blood and gore. He and his men seem to be making ground.

ANGLES: Warwick’s reinforcements arrive to strengthen Exeter’s line and they charge directly into the fray.

Richard’s men find themselves being forced back.

CLOSE: Richard shouts to Ratcliffe.

RICHARD
Richard! Run to the king and tell him how hard pressed we are! He must spare us some men!  

TOP SHOT: The three areas of fighting, mist separating and surrounding them. Richard and Essex on the right, King Edward and Clarence against Montague with Warwick in the centre, Hastings and Oxford to the left.
                                          FAST ZOOM DOWN TO
EXT. OXFORD’S POSITION
There is confusion in the fog.

CLOSE: Oxford, like Richard before him, realises he is out of position.

OXFORD
We’ve marched out of position in the fog! Swing the men round to the left!

Hurriedly his men obey.

TOP SHOT: The forces have been swung around by 90 degrees.
Oxford’s men rush forward into the fog.

OXFORD
Attack!

They crash into the side of Hastings wing.

ANGLES: Hastings men, not expecting it, panic, begin to turn and flee, chased by some of Oxford’s men out of the edge of the fog towards the town.

EXT. EDGE OF BATTLE.
Three of Hastings Yorkists grab their horses and, jumping on their backs, kick their mounts into a gallop and ride away shouting.

SOLDIERS
The day is lost! The day is lost! Flee for your lives!

They ride hard south towards London.

EXT. KING EDWARD’S POSITION.
Back in the centre of the fighting King Edward's men are held together by the King, encouraging them while fighting and killing almost madly. His banner of a sun with streams waves above him in the mist. Clarence still fights hard at his brother’s side.

The king, bloody and breathing hard, steps back to take a brief rest as Ratcliffe suddenly arrives, sliding to his knees before him.

RATCLIFFE
Your grace! Your brother Gloucester is holding the line, but Exeter has been reinforced by fresh troops. Your brother begs for support!

KING EDWARD
I cannot spare the men!
Tell him to hold as best he can.

SHOCK CUT TO CLOSE UP RICHARD
Richard turns to his men and calls loudly

RICHARD
We will hold! Will we not men?

Those close enough to hear him let out a cheer.

ANGLES: Richard leads a fierce bloody counter attack, and after a short while manages to reverse the battle and Exeter’s men start to fall back.

CLOSE: Hastings Black Bull’s head banner.

Move rapidly down the banner to Hastings who has rallied his deserting and demoralised men, and is striking back as hard as he can now at Montagu.

CLOSE: Montague’s banner of the star and streams.

Move down fast to Montague fighting hard. Zoom up to

TOP SHOT FROM ABOVE: Hastings men begin to give way. Zoom across and down to King Edward’s position where though fighting is still fierce, the King takes a moment to try to see how Hastings is doing. Move up from the King to his banner above of the Sun and stars. Move back up and across to where Hastings men are giving way to Montague’s, when Oxford, with a battalion of horsemen, appears out of the fog behind Montague.

Oxford’s men see Montague’s banner through the fog and mistake it for the king’s banner of a sun and streams.

OXFORD MEN
York’s banner! PLANTAGENET! Attack!

Montague’s men turn at this new noise and strike defensive positions. Mistaking them for the Yorkist rear Oxford’s men charge into Montague’s rear and hack and slash at them.

ANGLES: Montague sees Oxford’s badges on the attackers.

MONTAGUE
Treason! Treason!

He swings about in a panic. Looking left and right, trying to see clearly.

MONTAGUE
Betrayed! Betrayed!

ANGLES: His men hearing his shouts turn and start to flee.

One of Oxford’s men, not recognising him, rides up behind him and slashes down at him with his sword. Montague goes down on his knees. He lifts his helm, a shocked expression on his face. Suddenly another horseman rides up behind him and smashes his axe down into Montague’s neck. His head flies off, eyes staring startled up at the sky.

Through a gap in the fog one of the soldiers recognises Oxford’s banner. He grabs hold of a sergeant and tries to stop him running.

SOLDIER
It's a star, not a sun! The Earl of Oxford's banner, not King Edward’s! See, we’re being reinforced, not betrayed!

SERGEANT
(almost knocked over by another running soldier)
It's too late lad! Save yourself! Run!

He drags the soldier with him, and together they join the growing number of fleeing men.

EXT. KING’S POSITION
A soldier runs up to the King.

SOLDIER
Montague is dead your grace! His men are fleeing the field!
King Edward lets out a whoop of joy, shouts a command, and pushes his forces forwards to smash into the centre of Warwick’s army.

ANGLES: More fierce fighting as Warwick’s forces begin to collapse.

EXT. RICHARD’S POSITION
ANGLES: Richard discovers the fighting has pushed his troops to the edge of a hill. Some of his men, forced down the slope but struggle their way back up.

Suddenly the mist swirls.

Exeter’s men see the chaos behind them and begin to give way.

CLOSE: Richard signals his trumpeters.

RICHARD
Forward! Push the attack forward! It is our moment! Now!

Exeter’s men crumble under the attack, and the Duke, pushing himself forward, finds himself face to face with a figure he takes for a mad axe man. But before he has the chance to defend himself the mad man, Richard, Duke of Gloucester ,has lifted his battle axe into the air, and slammed it down through the Duke’s helmet into his head. Essex crumbles like a felled tree.

SLOW MOTION: On seeing their lord killed, first one of his men turns and runs, then another, then more turn and run, throwing weapons away as they go.

Richard, standing over the dead body of Essex, is joined by Ratcliffe and Lovel, and his two surviving squires. All watch the rout they have brought about.

EXT. BEHIND WARWICK’S POSITION.
CLOSE: Warwick stands behind the lines. He is bloody, exhausted. He pulls off his helmet, and looks to right and left. He sees Exeter’s men fleeing.

Some of Montague’s men still fight manfully, not far in front of where he stands. But out of nowhere comes another group of Hastings men.

Warwick finally turns and, with three squires, runs towards the trees where his horses are tethered.

WARWICK
Time to make good our escape gentlemen.

Out of the mist behind him as he runs off, the giant figure of the King strides forward, watching Warwick disappear into the fog.

CLOSE: Warwick lumbers towards the trees, Yorkist pursuers gaining on him...

He reaches the horses and manages to mount his, but his squires are overtaken by the Yorkists and cut down. Two soldiers, wearing Clarence’s livery, reach Warwick, and drag him off his horse. He tries to fight them off but fails. They smash him to the ground, and brutally stab him to death.

King Edward strides up and stops the butchery.

KING EDWARD
Leave him! Dead is dead!

He looks sadly down at the bloody corpse. From behind him there is a cry of joy and sudden cheers and he turns to see his youngest brother appearing through the fog. King Edward breaks into a huge grin.

Richard strides up to his brother who takes him in a bear hug of affection and relief.

CLOSE: As Richard breaks from the king’s embrace he sees Warwick’s dead body. He slowly walks up to it, crosses himself and kneels, his sword now supporting his exhausted frame.

RICHARD
Poor Anne. Poor Isabel.

Lovel has followed him and without turning Richard addresses him.

RICHARD
Find me something to cover him with Frank.

Lovel turns, but one of Richard’s squires hands him a cloak. Richard takes it, says a silent farewell and covers the body.
He begins to push himself up. Unsteady on his legs he takes Lovel’s arm. He tries to laugh, but fails.

RICHARD
Well Frank. We made it through alive then!

They hug each other, then Richard turns and walks back across to his brother. The King puts his arm round his shoulder.

RICHARD
A hard days work Ned, and not yet ten of the clock. Will we see the sun today?

The King notices the bloody rag wrapped round his brothers arm.

KING EDWARD
You’re wounded Richard?

RICHARD
Only a scratch Ned, though I lost one of my squires. He saved my life at the cost of his own. Thomas Parr of Kendall. He was but 19 years old....

Then Richard, relieved that the fear and the fighting is over and he is still alive, leans on his brother and the smile drops from his face. Suddenly aware he is covered with the filth and blood of other men, and that the blood on him may well also be that of his dead squire, he cannot stop himself and throws up onto King Edward before the King can get out of the way.

After the initial shock, King Edward remembers something from his past, and laughs. Then showing his concern and love for his brother, Edward takes Richard’s shoulders and lowers him gently to his knees, and kneeling with him, uses his kerchief to clean his brother’s face.

KING EDWARD
(softly so only Richard can hear)
All soldiers reach this moment at some point in their lives, Dickon. You’ve remembered you are simply human, and passed the limit of physical and emotional endurance. For a short moment you cannot bear the burden to your soul of what you have actually done.

As they get back to their feet Clarence marches up to join them, bloody but laughing.

CLARENCE
What have you done Richard? What a mess!

Richard wipes his mouth and straightens himself up, as the king shoots an angry glare at Clarence.

KING EDWARD
(turning to Richard)
Ignore him Richard. After your conduct in the field today, you may do whatever you wish.
(Softly, in confidence)
Just try and miss me next time though!
(Loudly for all to hear)
Your bravery today Richard, Duke of Gloucester, has saved the House of York.

RICHARD
Then I must remember to aid the family of the man who saved my life today.

George joins them and puts his arms around his brothers, and the three of them hug and laugh together.