Season 1 Episode 3 (Rise of the Fifth Sun)

Draft Treatment by Jeronimo Bertran

WGAW# 1926380
Date: 4/9/18


Rafael is now 12 years old and continues his training with Solís.  Solís takes out rock fragments like the ones he collected before and Rafael grinds them and mixes them together.  Solís then ignites the mixed powder and it goes up in flames.  Solís has just shown Rafael how to make black powder.  Rafael is excited and runs to tell his father about it.  His father tells him that he wants him to have something.  He turns his back to Rafael and grabs the Bible from among his things.  Rafael immediately begins to complain that all his father wants is for him to read the Bible, when Francisco puts the Bible to one side and picks up a medallion that was under it.

Francisco turns to look at Rafael and sees behind him a jaguar, crouching low, silently approaching with its eyes fixed on Rafael and ready to attack.  Francisco drops the medallion and runs towards Rafael, the jaguar sees Francisco running towards them and jumps to him and with one swift bite, pierces Francisco’s skull and kills him.  The jaguar turns to Rafael as he begins to walk back.  Rafael falls back and as the jaguar is about to leap toward him, Thiago runs in and attacks the jaguar.  Thiago and the jaguar fight for a moment until the jaguar exits the shelter with Thiago chasing behind.  Rafael goes to his father and kneels in front of him and begins to cry.  Outside the shelter, a dog’s yelp is heard.  Rafael looks in fear at the entrance of the shelter as shadows approach.  It is Solís who runs in, grabs Rafael and they both run into the jungle.


Solís and Rafael run past the creek, always looking back to see if the jaguar is chasing them.  Suddenly an atlatl spear flies towards them from inside the jungle and is impaled into Solís’ chest.  He falls to the ground with blood dripping from his mouth.  He tries to pull out the spear but is too weak.  Rafael kneels next to him crying not knowing what to do.  Rafael pulls the spear from Solis’ chest.  Solís is dying. 

Warriors from the same tribe that captured Pedro and Adolfo approach them from the jungle.  We can see that there are others from a different tribe secretly watching from the other side of the jungle.  Solís holds Rafael’s hand.  He tells him that it is time for him to meet his God and to leave him there and run.  Rafael refuses to leave and tells Solís that he hates this God.  Solís dies.

Rafael is enraged.  As the warriors approach Rafael to capture him, he grabs the spear and skillfully fights off several warriors using the spear as a quarterstaff.  The tribe that is secretly watching is led by a strong native named Tabscoob.  He is impressed with the young Rafael’s fighting skills.

After fighting off the first few warriors, one of them runs towards Rafael with his weapon drawn.  Rafael stabs the warriors head with the spear and kills him.  Rafael realizes he has just killed a man and pauses for a second.  The other warriors take advantage of this and subdue Rafael before Tabscoob and his men jump out, kill all the warriors and rescue Rafael.  Rafael is brought to Tabscoob who extends his hand and motions Rafael to follow them.  Rafael goes into the jungle with Tabscoob and his men.


Tabscoob arrives into the village with the group of warriors and with Rafael.  A few men and women come out to greet their leader Tabscoob and are very curious about the boy with white skin.  Tabscoob speaks with some of the men who motion Rafael to follow them.  Rafael follows into a home with wattle-and-daub plastered walls and thatched roof.


Inside the house there is a bed.  One of the men motion Rafael to lay on the bed.  A woman comes in carrying a pot with water which she gives to Rafael.  He drinks and after a few moments they all leave leaving Rafael alone.  Rafael lays down on the bed, tired and not knowing what to do.  He begins remembering the events of the previous day where he lost the only two people he had known for the last four years.  He is now alone in this world.  He begins crying and closes his eyes while lying on the bed.


Rafael wakes up to the face of a 3-year-old Mayan boy who is observing him in his sleep.  When Rafael opens his eyes the little boy smiles.  The boy’s mother, Yatzil, comes into the room carrying some clothes.  The boy immediately comes to his mother, grabs her leg and points to Rafael.  Yatzil is followed by two 13-year-old slave girls.  She motions Rafael for him to follow.  Rafael gets up and follows Yatzil into the next room.  The room has plastered stone walls and a domed roof no more than six feet above the floor.  In the center there is a tub with hot water.  There is an arched opening in the wall where hot coals and stones from a fire outside are raked inside the house through a channel.  The coals produce steam inside the room.

The two slave girls follow inside the room and undress Rafael.  Yatzil motions him to get inside the tub.  Rafael does so, and the two slave girls begin pouring water on his head.  After that, Yatzil gives the clothing she is carrying to the two girls and they dress Rafael in a loin cloth and a skirt.  Rafael is completely lost and can’t seem to take in everything that has happened. 

One of the 13-year-old slave girls helping to dress Rafael smiles at him.  Rafael appreciates a friendly face.  The girl, trying to communicate with Rafael, puts her hand on her chest and repeats her name a few times.  Her name is Malinalli.  She then puts her hand on Rafael’s chest to ask what his name is.  Rafael understands and tell her his name.  Malinalli repeats his name.  Rafael nods and Malinalli smiles.  The young boy is standing next to Malinalli.  Malinalli puts her hand on his chest and tells Rafael that his name is Ohtli.  Rafael repeats both names.  The little boy smiles.


Once Rafael is dressed, he is brought outside before Tabscoob.  There are several warriors and wise men with Tabscoob and all the villagers are watching.  Tabscoob instructs one of the warriors to hand Rafael a stick.  Rafael holds the stick that is handed to him.  A young warrior approaches him with his own stick.  Tabscoob motions to Rafael to fight the warrior.  Tabscoob wants to show the others Rafael’s fighting skills.

The Mayan warrior, who is at least three years older and a lot stronger than Rafael, approaches with his stick ready to fight.  Rafael raises the stick and positions his feet the way Solís has taught him.  He then visualizes the circles and angles with respect to his opponent the way he has learned.  The warrior runs towards Rafael who calmly looks at him coming in slow motion while he calculates his movements and strokes, all based on the mathematics learned from Solís.  With one quick spin, Rafael disarms the warrior and with the same movement hits him on the back of his legs making him fly on the air and fall on his back.  The warrior can’t get up.

Tabscoob smiles proudly.  Everyone else is impressed with Rafael’s skill.  Malinalli smiles and Ohtli laughs out loud.

Tabscoob approaches Rafael and hands him a macuahuitl, a wooden club with obsidian blades that resembles a sword.  He tells Raphael the name of the weapon and signals that it is for him to keep.  Rafael grabs the macuahuitl and studies it.  Tabscoob goes into a house and most of the villagers disperse.  Rafael walks towards the beach with his weapon and draws a circle on the sand with it.  He begins training with the weapon the same way he had done with Solís. 

Malinalli and Ohtli approach from a distance and sit down to watch his training.


Diego Velázquez is meeting with several of his advisors including Hugo de Cáceres.  Pedro de Alvarado is also with them.   Hernán Cortés comes into the room and Velázquez asks him to join them.  Velázquez explains to Hernán that Francisco Hernández de Córdoba discovered new land to the west of Hispaniola and though they got nothing out of the expedition, he did bring back word of a land rich in gold and silver, and people wearing clothes.  He explains that he is putting together an expedition consisting of four vessels and two hundred men to explore these new territories.

Hernán is excited and immediately offers his services to lead the expedition.  Velázquez looks at Hugo de Cáceres and then informs Hernán that they have decided to give the expedition to his nephew Juan de Grijalva.  Hernán is disappointed and argues that this is what he has always dreamed of and that, with all due respect, he believes that he can achieve better results than Grijalva and that he would have Alvarado as one of his captains. 

Hugo de Cáceres interrupts him and tells him that the decision has been made and that actually Alvarado will be one of the captain’s in Grijalva’s ships.  Alvarado feels awful for Hernán but is unable to say anything.  Cortés is furious.


A small commission of Aztecs, lead by a terrifying warrior, arrive at a Mayan Village.  They are greeted by the cacique of the village and his family with respect and fear.  The cacique has one 13-year-old son and two daughters, seven and twelve years old.  The Aztec warrior tells the cacique that they have come to collect the tribute to the empire.   The cacique has his son and his daughter bring out tropical feathers and animal products.  The Aztec warrior is clearly not happy with the tribute.  The cacique begins to give excuses as to why they have not been able to collect more.   The warrior motions the rest of the Aztec warriors to go into the man’s house.  They come out with several items.

The warriors then forcefully take the cacique’s oldest children.  The warrior tells the cacique that they are taking his son prisoner for sacrifice and that they are taking his oldest daughter as a slave.  He warns him that they will return in six months to collect the tribute and hints that his 7-year-old daughter would be a very good slave for him.  The commission leaves.


We now see 15-year-old Rafael continue his training using a macuahuitl as a sword.  16-year-old Malinalli approaches him and asks him if he wants something to eat.  Rafael can now speak Mayan and is able to communicate with her.  Malinalli is attracted to Rafael who, although thin like most of the warriors, has grown strong.  Rafael doesn’t seem to notice Malinalli although he considers her his best friend.

As Rafael is wiping off his sweat, he sees at the distance Tabscoob welcoming the commission of Aztecs.  Tabscoob’s men bring out warrior costumes and shields, tropical feathers and animal products and they hand them over to the Aztecs.  Rafael asks Malinalli about those men who seem to come every 12 months to collect items from Tabscoob.

Malinalli explains to Rafael that the men are part of the Triple Alliance and that all regions were forced to pay tribute to them.  If payment is not made, they will come and slave Tabscoob and others and will confiscate property.  Malinalli tells Rafael that the Aztec people are their enemy.  She seems to have strong feelings against the Aztecs.

Ohtli, now seven years old, comes running.  Rafael, who is very fund of the boy, picks him up and throws him up in the air and catches him.  Ohtli is having a great time and Malinalli smiles.


Moctezuma’s dreamer, Meztli, is seen sleeping on his bed.  He begins to dream.  A comet can be seen in the sky.  As the comet gets closer in his dream, Meztli begins to move in fear and begins to sweat.  The comet is now a huge ball of fire that falls on the beautiful city of Tenochtitlan.  The water on the lake around the city begins to boil.


Water is boiling on a large pot over wood fire in the kitchen.  Yolotli is in the kitchen cooking with the help of two female servants.   One of the servants is on the ground grinding corn on a metlatl.  14-year-old Citlalin comes into the kitchen carrying bark from a Jonote tree.  She is carrying so much bark that her head cannot be seen.  She drops the bark on the boiling water and with a big stick stirs it. 

After some time, Citlalin takes the bark out of the water and begins separating it into fine strips.  By this time, Yolotl is beginning to prepare tamales and one of the servants is making tortillas.

Citlalin starts laying the bark strips on a table in different patterns and, using a stone, begins flattening the bark into a thin rectangle.  By the time she finishes flattening the bark, dinner is ready.


Tlazopilli and his son Ichtaca are sitting at the table while the women are preparing dinner.  Ichtaca tells his father that he learned in school about twins and that everyone bullied him.   Ichtaca complains about his sister being different and that everyone tells him she should have been slayed when she was born.  Tlazopilli who is aware that Citlalin is different, has great love and admiration for her.  He warns his son that it is against the Aztec law to complain and that it would one day lead him to his death.

Ichtaca argues that by not sending her back to the gods when she was born they risked the entire family and questions why they are always hiding the mark of the star with a tail on her shoulder.  Tlazopilli has had enough of his son’s argument and angrily asks him what makes him think that she was the one that had to be slayed.  He tells Ichtaca that the first one born was her sister and so, he is the one that should have been sent back to the gods.  Ichtaca remains silent.

Yolotli, Citlalin and the two servants come into the room carrying dinner. 

After dinner, Citlalin returns to her bark paper.  The paper is now dry, and she begins painting on it with colors.  She paints a jaguar.


Quetzalcoatl is shown furious.  The first world, known as the Jaguar Sun, is ruled by Tezcatlipoca, and is populated by a race of giants.  These giants are stupid and eat acorns.  Tezcatlipoca’s sun is black, giving off only half as much light as the others.  Quetzalcoatl, enraged, knocks down Tezcatlipoca with a club.  Upon falling to the ground, Tezcatlipoca turns into a giant jaguar and eats the world and everyone on it.


Just like Quetzalcoatl watched the stupid giants eating acorns, we now see Cortés looking at Spanish men eating like pigs.  He dislikes what he sees and looks to the horizon thinking that there is a better world away from here.  Gonzalo de Umbría comes running towards him and informs him that Alvarado has returned.  Cortés gets up quickly and follows Gonzalo.


Cortés and Gonzalo enter the room.  Several men are gathered and seem excited.  Pedro de Alvarado sees Cortés come in and goes to greet him.  They both embrace.

On the table there are samples of gold objects Alvarado has brought back including a small hollow idol made of gold, a piece like a gold medallion, with several stones set in it and a helmet made of gold with two horns a black hair.   Velázquez is very excited examining the items.

Velázquez asks Alvarado where Grijalva and the other ships are.   Alvarado explains that Grijalva had sent him back as punishment.  During the expedition they had heard of much greater riches inland and Alvarado had decided to captain his ship down a river to explore further but Grijalva did not want to explore further.  Alvarado tells Velázquez that Grijalva is unwilling to plant a colony in that country because it is heavily populated and warlike.

Velázquez is furious and tells everyone that a new expedition to populate and discover must be organized, with at least 10 ships and 500 men.   Hugo de Cáceres suggest they wait for Grijalva to return so that he can head the new expedition.  Velázquez does not agree.  He is not happy with Alvarado’s report on Grijalva. 

Alvarado suggests that Cortés could lead the new expedition.  Velázquez is thinking about it.  Cortés assures Velázquez that he will not regret it.  Gonzalo also suggests that he thinks Cortés would be great heading the expedition and that he would go with them as a pilot.

Velázquez appoints Cortés Captain-General of the new expedition to populate and discover.  Hugo de Cáceres is not happy but decides not to question Velázquez.

Velázquez, tells Cortés that he will provide him with two or three ships.  Cortés will have to find the money for other vessels, and indeed for everything else.  Cortés accepts the commission.  But the instruction itself, as opposed to the preamble of populating and discovering, envisage a journey of discovery and modest trading.  The principal purpose of the expedition is to serve God.  Blasphemy and sleeping with native women is, therefore, not allowed.   Cortés is to send back a ship as soon as possible with news; as well as any gold or other treasure obtained. 

Cortés, Gonzalo and Alvarado leave the office and celebrate the news together.  Gonzalo reminds Cortés that they must move fast before Velázquez changes his mind.   Cortés charges Pedro de Alvarado with gathering recruits from the inland estates of Cuba.


Rafael sees Ohtli next to the river playing with a toy.  He comes closer.  Ohtli is playing with a colorful cup-and-ball.  Rafael is very intrigued with the toy as he has never seen something like it.  Ohtli is very good at it.  While playing, Ohtli makes fun of Rafael by telling him that Malinalli had told him that when Rafael arrived, he could not speak Mayan.  Rafael teases Ohtli by telling him that, from what he remembers, when he arrived, neither could he.  Ohtli argues that that doesn’t count.

Ohtli hands the toy to Rafael who tells him that it looks easy.  Ohtli watches Rafael try and try again to play with the toy unsuccessfully.  Ohtli begins laughing at Rafael who is trying very hard to get the ball in the stick.  Ohtli turns away just before Rafael introduces the ball.  Rafael gets excited and Ohtli tells him that he didn’t see it.  Rafael is disappointed.

Ohtli tells Rafael that he has to go home to see his father.  Rafael returns the toy to Ohtli who tells him to keep it as it seems Rafael needs more practice than himself.  Ohtli asks Rafael to go with him to his house.  Rafael tells Ohtli that he has never actually met his father, Ikal, and that he is afraid to meet the father top spiritual medicine man.  Ohtli show off that he must be 100 times braver than Rafael as he sees his father every day.  Rafael agrees to come with Ohtli to his house.


Ohtli and Rafael arrive at Ohtli’s house.  Yatzil asks Rafael how he is doing.  Rafael is nervous to meet Ikal.  He follows Ohtli into the room where Ikal is sitting on the floor, with his back to them, in front of a small fire with several pots.  There is smoke in the air and the room is filled with different idols and leaves from different plants.   Ikal is engaged in meditation.  Ohtli signals Rafael to walk in and he goes around.  Ikal’s faces is painted in blue and he is wearing a headpiece with feathers and what seems to be snake skin.  His eyes are closed as he continues reciting prayers.

Without opening his eyes, Ikal stops his prayers abruptly as if noticing Rafael’s presence and slowly tells him that he is hiding something.  Rafael is very scared and has no idea what Ikal is talking about.  Ikal opens his eyes and looks at Rafael.  Ikal tells him that he is hiding something from himself and that dreams should never be oppressed as they tell us our future as well as our past.

Ikal puts some leaves inside one of the pots in the fire.  He stirs it, serves it in a cup and hands it to Rafael motioning for him to drink it.  Rafael, hesitant, drinks the tea while Ikal says a prayer over him nine times.  Almost immediately, he begins to sweat, and his vision becomes blurry.    He begins to hallucinate and starts to see visions of his memories.


Rafael is having vision of what happened 11 years earlier.   4-year-old Rafael and his parents Francisco and Inés are dining in a public place.   They are a loving family and are having a wonderful time together talking about their plans and giving attention to Rafael.  For dinner, they are offered pork.  Francisco starts eating but Inés does not fancy the dish and passes.  The man in charge of the restaurant comes over and asks her if she doesn’t eat pork.  Inés tells the man politely that she does, but doesn’t feel like eating the dish today.

The man goes out of the establishment.  Inés and Francisco continue to have their dinner when three men approach them followed by the man who served them.  The three men start asking Inés questions.  Francisco asks for an explanation but his is told to keep quiet.  The men identify themselves as officers for the Spanish Inquisition and tell them that they will take Inés with them for questioning in suspicion of being a Jew.  Francisco can’t do anything to stop them and Inés is taken by the men, leaving Francisco with young Rafael.

The memories shift to a trial where a judge declares that Inés has been found guilty and is sentenced to be burned at the stake.

The night of the execution, Inés is allowed to say good-bye to Rafael which is what Rafael had remembered in his dreams.  Rafael cries and complains about wanting to be with her, but his mother is serene and asks Rafael to go in peace and not to blame anyone as she would be in a better place always looking after him.


Rafael wakes up from his dream and begins crying.  He suddenly realizes why his father had been so afraid of Rafael not following the Bible.  Francisco was afraid that his son would suffer the same fate as his wife.  Ikal can sense Rafael’s pain and puts his hand on his head.  Ohtli comes closer and hugs Rafael.


Tlazopilli arrives at the council with Citlalin.  He asks her to sit down while he meets with other noblemen.  Citlalín sits down and takes out her amate paper and some colors and continues her painting.  On the top of her paper, she begins painting a large star with a tail of light.  As she is doing this, Mextli walks by and notices the girl’s painting.  He goes inside the palace.

After a moment, Moctezuma comes in followed by Mextli.  Everyone quiets down and make the due reverences.  Moctezuma calls out for Tlazopilli.  Tlazopilli approaches the emperor.  Moctezuma asks him what his deformed daughter’s name is.  Tlazopilli is afraid of where this is going and tells the emperor that her name is Citlalin.  Moctezuma tells Citlalin to approach him, refers to her as daughter of Xolotl and demands to see her drawing.  She is very afraid.  Slowly Citlalin approaches Moctezuma with the paper in her hand and with her head down as to not look at the emperor.

Trembling, she hands him the paper.  Moctezuma looks at the drawing and tells Tlazopilli that he wants her to be with him as his scribe.  Tlazopilli feels relieved but worried that, being close to the emperor, he might see the birthmark.  Moctezuma leaves and Citlalin goes to her father.

Citlalin tells her father that she must go and that she will see him back home.  Tlazopilli agrees.


Citlalin is seen secretly walking towards a field.  Necalli, who is now 32 years old, greets her.  Citlalin tells Necalli that the Emperor has asked her to be his scribe.  Necalli is worried and tells Citlalin that she must be very careful and hands her a macuahuitl.   We can see that Necalli is teaching Citlalin the ways of the warriors and from her skills, that they have been doing this for some time.


Rafael is sitting next to the river thinking.  Malinalli approaches him and tells him she hasn’t seen him in days.  Rafael responds that he has been thinking about his mother.  Malinalli tells Rafael that she prefers not to think about hers.  Rafael asks her why but Malinalli responds that it is not the time to talk about that. 

Malinalli tells Rafael that she is sad because rains will soon come.  Rafael looks up to the sky and sees no clouds.  He tells Malinalli that it doesn’t look like it will rain.  Malinalli seems confident that it will.  Rafael asks Malinalli why she would be sad if rains come.  Malinalli responds that she will miss Ohtli.  Rafael demands Malinalli to explain to him what she means.  Malinalli explains that many years ago, Ohtli was selected to be sacrificed to the rain god Chaac.  Rafael is in shock. 


Rafael runs into the village as they are preparing for a celebration and asks to speak with Tabscoob.  He is allowed to come before him.  Rafael respectfully asks Tabscoob to spare Ohtli’s life.  Tabscoob gets furious and screams at Rafael for disrespecting the gods.  He tells Rafael that if sacrifices were not supplied, rain would not come, their crops would not flourish, and diseases caused by Chaac, would infest the village.  He tells his guards to get him out and not allow him to come close to the village until after the celebration.  If he is seen in the village they must kill him immediately.


Rafael runs to Ikal’s house looking for Ohtli.  He is no longer there but Ikal is in his room getting ready to leave.  Rafael runs in and asks Ikal how is it that he is allowing this to happen.  He tells him that he is a powerful man and that Tabscoob would listen to him.  Ikal tells Rafael that although he is saddened that Ohtli will no longer be with them in this world, that his tears will become the water that the village need.  That it was an honor for them that Ohtli will provide this to their people and that he would enter the place where only the bravest warriors enter after death.

Rafael doesn’t understand.  He tells Ikal that Ohtli is brave and no tears will come out of him.  Ikal assures him that tears would be shed by his son.   Rafael tells Ikal that if he doesn’t stop this he will be murdering his own son.  Ikal stops to think about it.

Rafael leaves in desperation trying to see Ohtli for the last time.


Rafael is not allowed to come into the village.  The sacrifice of Ohtli is being prepared.  Ikal arrives and stands next to Tabscoob.  Ohtli is brought by two priests in front of a very high cenote.  Just like Rafael had said, Ohlti is not crying.  Tabscoob tells the priests that Chaac required the tears of the young as part of the sacrifice.

The priests make Ohtli cry during their way to the sacrifice by using a sharp knife to make cuts on Ohtli’s arms and legs.  With every cut, is seems like Ikal is about to stop the sacrifice.   Ohtli is placed on a stone in front of the cenote.

In the meantime, Rafael walks to the beach in desperation and anger. 

The priest makes one last cut on Ohtli’s arm and he begins to cry in pain.  The priest raises his knife.  Ikal is watching.  The knife comes down on Ohtli’s chest and the priest extracts his heart.  Ikal closes his eyes.

Rafael is at the beach kneeling and crying with Ohtli’s toy on his hands.

Ohtli’s lifeless body is thrown into the cenote.  When his body hits the water, Rafael at the beach looks up to the sky crying and it begins to rain.