Queen Esther (2020) - full transcript

Set in the opulent yet perilous Persian Empire, Esther's ordinary life changed forever when she was taken through the palace doors, entering a new world of royalty and risk.

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Because what you are about to see

is my story.

"In the days when King Xerxes
was seated on the throne,

"the Persian Empire stretched
from India to Ethiopia.

"Eager to display his splendor,

"the young king threw an extravagant feast
at his magnificent palace



"for everyone
in the imperial city of Susa."

These are days for celebration.
Serve the royal wine.

Cyrus the Great conquered this land
and liberated our nation.

Now, one generation later, we feast
in the grandest city in the world.

Susa! Susa!

But not all is well tonight,
for an old enemy lurks on the horizon.

So the time has finally come.

I will overtake that rebellious
shining jewel across the sea.

The Greeks will bow to Persia.

Hatach.

Summon the queen.
And you make sure she wears her crown.

Queen Vashti was the most
beautiful woman in the land.

Her family had worn the crown
from generation to generation.

She was descended from true royalty
and everyone knew it.



- No.
- Pardon me, my queen?

It's undignified. I will not be
part of that indulgent spectacle.

If he thinks he can prove his nobility
by commanding me to appear,

my husband is mistaken.

But he is the king.

He is the son of a stable boy.
I am a true queen.

The empire
was prepared for victory.

King Xerxes was prepared
to seal his legacy.

But no one was prepared
for what happened next.

My subjects, I give you my queen, Vashti.

Where is she? Where is my wife?

She says she's not coming.

Your Majesty.

All people throughout your land
must follow your commands

Even the queen

How could she?

This could spread like a disease

Women doing as they please

Think of the trouble they could bring

She will pay for this.

She's wronged not only you

But the entire nation too

I'm afraid we must do something

Vashti's fate hung in the balance.
Persian law was clear.

Whatever the King decreed
could never be changed.

Scribes. Summon the scribes.

Princes of Persia speak.
What is your counsel?

Issue this decree.

All Persian wives...

All women of Persia
are to give honor to their husbands.

They must comply

And because she disobeyed,
the crown will be taken from Vashti.

Let it be done once and for all

Everybody knows that pride
comes before the fall

Take him to the gallows.

Hail Xerxes, King of Kings and...

Lord of Lords

This is where our story begins.

By order of the King

"That all Persian wives
give honor to their husbands."

"That Vashti be banished
from the presence of the King."

"And let her crown be given
to a more worthy woman."

Long live Xerxes

Hadassah?
Hadassah, what are you doing here?

- I went to the King's market.
- You what?

I thought I could get something
special for Sabbath. Look at this.

That does smell nice,
but I don't want you wandering around

with all these vagabonds in town
for the King's festival.

- Hello, beautiful.
- Keep walking.

Especially with your face uncovered.
Now, what is all this?

- Some of it's for Abigail.
- You bought her groceries last week.

She's alone, Mordecai.

Not with us living next door.
She eats like a queen.

He defends the widows and orphans,

he loves even the strangers
living among us.

- He gives them food and clothes.
- You're an excellent student.

And you're an excellent teacher.
- Now get going.

- Shalom, cousin.
- Shalom. And cover that face.

She's growing up quickly, Mordecai.

Have you started looking
for a husband for her yet?

We need to get back to work.

She could have her pick
of any man in Susa.

She's not going to marry
any man in Susa, Levi.

She's going to marry
a fine young Hebrew boy.

- Who?
- I'll decide who, Eli.

- When?
- I'll decide when.

She isn't one of your ledgers, Mordecai.
It isn't that simple.

You don't think I know that? I know that.

She was six years old
when she came to live with me.

Things were simple then. I ate, she ate.

I slept, she slept.

I talked, she listened.

- Now things are...
- Complicated?

- Women are.
- Listen. God gave her to me, not you.

- I'll seek his guidance, not yours.
- Is Mordecai here?

- I can't get anything done.
- I have the ledger from the gate.

Any chance you could
take a look at it for me?

Amir, I manage your personal finances,
not the empire's.

Okay. Just one favor then.

I keep going over it, but between
the festival and the coming war...

- I'll see what I can do.
- Yes, I'll pick it up tomorrow.

Tomorrow's the Sabbath.

Oh, right. Your traditions.

- You can pick it up first of the week.
- Ah, yes.

You're the best accountant in the city.

When are you going to come
and work for me at the gate?

Work for this king?

- Never.
- Never say never.

- Never.

Your stubbornness is going to be
the death of you, Mordecai. Goodbye.

There she is. Talk to her.

I can't. I can't do it.

Hey, what is the worst that could happen?

She could talk back.

She's coming. Come on. Go.

Good Habbath, Sadaffa.

You mean "Good Sabbath", Caleb?

- Oh! She knows my name.
- She does.

I've decided to call you honey.

Why's that?

- Because you draw the flies.

Hello, Abigail.

I got this for you from the King's market.

I told you I don't need charity.

But I have always wanted something
from the King's market.

Ooh. Your cousin won't like this.

Mordecai is more thoughtful
than people think.

He hides it well.

- I have a little something for you too.

No, Ruthie, come back here. Oh!

Apparently the whole neighborhood
is glad you're home.

We got to get her out of there
before Mordecai returns.

Come on in.

Hello, Ruthie.

- What a sweet girl.
- Mmm-hmm.

She loves you, Hadassah.

Ruthie loves everybody.

Not true.

She never runs to Mordecai.

Oh, this is doing well.

You put ashes in the soil like I told you.

- They seem to be working.
- Hmm.

Ashes bring life.

It reminds me of the hadass trees
that grow all over Israel.

So beautiful.

Strong, too.

Mmm... Your parents
named you well. Hadassah.

Now, listen. They placed you
in Mordecai's care to raise you.

But God placed you next door to me
so I can help out

where your mother no longer can.

So... Here.

I love it.

I wore it the day I married Samuel.

And the day is coming for Mordecai
to find you a proper husband.

Oh, well, he hasn't
really talked about it.

It's going to take
a very special man to marry you.

Abigail, I don't think...

We'll just hang this up right here
behind these other things

as a subtle reminder to help him.

It's what I always did with Samuel,
and it always worked.

What is that dog doing in my house?

Leaving. Oh...

Come here, Ruthie.

Oh, let's get you away

from that grumpy old man. Hmm.

Thank you for the groceries, honey.

Say goodbye to Mordecai. Oh!

I know he scares me, too.

Good Sabbath.

What a day.

You heard about the latest decree?

Everyone was talking about it at market.

Clearly, this king doesn't understand
anything when it comes to marriage.

When the time comes
for you to get married...

Yes.

The sun is going down.
Sabbath is about to begin.

- Um, I'll get the challah bread.
- I'll get the oil lamp.

As the prophet Isaiah said,

"I will make you a light
to guide the nations..."

"And you will bring my salvation
to the ends of the earth."

And here we sit at the ends of the earth.

Wait.

I know that you won't
live with me forever.

But how am I supposed to find
a young man worthy of you?

- Your parents trusted me.
- They were right to trust you.

- Be still and know he is God.
- ... he is God.

You're an excellent student, Hadassah.
His word is a lamp unto your feet.

- Hide it deep in your heart.
- I will.

Promise me you'll always
remember who you are.

I promise.

We should pray.

O Lord, we bless your name

What is so urgent
that it can't wait until tomorrow?

Xerxes wants Vashti back.

- Oh, no.
- I knew it.

- I knew this would happen.
- Well, the law cannot be changed.

You should never have
suggested her removal.

It doesn't matter.
Xerxes will blame all of us.

I have a plan.

Haven't you caused enough trouble already?

My wife won't even let me
back in the house.

My wife is obeying me.
She's just not talking to me.

- Another decree?
- Just read.

We are to gather the most beautiful women

from across the empire
for Xerxes to choose from?

No Persian king has ever
chosen a queen like this.

- He'll love the idea.
- What man wouldn't?

This isn't the Persian way.

No. Would you want your daughter
taken for the King's harem?

As the King's subjects,
they already belong to him.

What does the empire lose
if a few young women do their duty?

This will appease the King
and protect our positions in court.

Where do I sign?

Thanks to us, Xerxes will have
a beautiful new bride.

And some nobody is about to be very lucky.

- Come. There's no time to waste.
- Well, he won't be getting my daughter.

I don't think you have
anything to worry about.

- I am the King.
- You requested more wine, my lord.

Why didn't she just come to me?
Mother would have obeyed.

She may not have liked it,
but she would have done it.

- She respected Father.
- You may go.

It was the princes' idea
to get rid of her, not mine.

They're coming to see you.

Tonight?

Tell them to wait in the court.

She was so beautiful, Hatach.
Proud, stubborn.

But I thought I could trust her.

You will find a queen worthy
to stand at your side, Your Majesty.

If she exists.

Who am I that you notice me?

Who am I that you care for me?

You made every star tonight

With a plan for every light

On the threshold of something new

Help me to trust in you

Heavens move and seasons change

So it's time I do same

So with hope

A little fear

I will be still and know

You're here

I look up

And know

You're here

- Where is she?
- What is this? You can't just...

Oh, good. They're not here yet.

- They should be here soon.
- What is going on?

- Haven't you heard the latest decree?
- No. There's a new decree every day.

Is everything all right?

Everyone thinks they can just
burst into our home...

Mordecai, for once just listen.

By order of the King...

"Let all beautiful, unmarried women
throughout the empire

"be brought to the King's palace."

"Let them be placed in the King's harem."

"Let the one who pleases the King most
be made queen instead of Vashti."

Long live Xerxes

- No.
- He made it the law, Mordecai.

They are taking them
whether they want to go or not.

- He can't do this.
- He's the king.

- He can do whatever he wants.
- If they see Hadassah...

- Mordecai?
Out.

- Get out. All of you. Out.
- All right.

- Pack your things. We're leaving.
- There isn't enough time.

Then we'll hide everything that's yours.
We won't let them find you.

I knew this would happen.

I knew one day something
like this would happen.

Mordecai.
- We should have moved back to Jerusalem.

We should have left
when we had the chance.

Mordecai.

This godless city
is no place for the people of Jehovah.

- Mordecai.
- Hadassah.

- We need to pray.
- You're right.

- Is God going to let this happen?
- I don't know.

Why are we wasting time in this district?
The King doesn't want a filthy Jew.

- Get out of here.
- We're just following orders.

And trust me.
A beautiful girl lives there.

Excuse me.
I think you have the wrong house.

It's just a grumpy old bachelor
that lives there.

Quiet.

See if she's in there.

Oh! You startled me.
I was just heading out to work.

- Where is she?
- I don't know what you're talking about.

Where's your daughter?
- I don't have a daughter.

Search it.

- You won't find anything.
- Careful, Jew.

Some of us remember the old days
when your kind were still slaves.

- You don't belong in this city.
- And you don't belong in my home.

There's nothing in here.
It looks like it's just him.

See? I told you.

One more word
and I'll have you flogged.

Wait.

- I found this.
- I've never seen that before in my life.

It's mine. The veil is mine.

- No, Ruthie. Come back.
- Quiet, woman.

Well, well, well.
Look what the dog found.

- Bring her out.
- Don't touch her.

- You're all filthy liars.
- Mordecai.

How could anyone forget a face like that?

Please.
- Take her.

No, Mordecai...
- I beg you, please.

- You can't do this.
Mordecai.

Lord, you can't let this happen.

- I have to help her.
- No, Mordecai.

- Mordecai, you can't.
- I have to do something.

You'll be killed.
You saw how they still treat us.

The Hebrew girls
don't stand a chance in there.

- Then they must never know.
Mordecai.

Take her in. Take her in.

- Wait. Not you.
- Hadassah.

- Hadassah, where are you?
- Mordecai, I'm over here.

What is the matter with you?
Are you all right, Esther?

- Esther...
- She's over there. Go, go.

- He's back. Stop him.
- No. Wait.

- Wait. You have no right to take...
- Get out of my way.

Please.

Hadassah, you can't tell anyone
you're a Hebrew.

- Why?
- It's the only way we can keep you safe.

- No one can know.
- But it's who I am.

There are people
in this world who hate us.

- Promise me you won't tell anyone.
- I promise.

That's it. I've had enough.

- You and your daughter...
- She's not my daughter.

- You there, what is your name?
- Esther.

- Her name is Esther.
Esther.

Hmm.

She's the last one for today.
Take her in. We'll begin again tomorrow.

I can't...
- Go.

Oh, Hadassah!

Remember who you are

I can't believe we're here.
- I heard the King is really handsome.

Well, I heard he has a terrible temper.
Remember what happened to Vashti?

Well, she was a fool.

The King needs someone
who knows how to be queen.

- Is that you?
- They had to drag her in by her hair.

- Stop crying.

- What's your name?
- Leah.

I can't do this.
I have to get out of here.

Leah, no.

No. No. Please.
Help me. Let me go.

Release her.

These women are property of the King.
What is this about?

- I don't belong here.
- Most of you don't. Why?

- I'm a Hebrew.
- A Jew? Well, that explains it.

I don't want her anywhere near me.

Silence!

The gods have assured victory.
The time is right, Your Majesty.

The immortals are assembling
and we'll be ready to leave tonight.

Those rebels will mourn
the day they refused to submit to me.

What is this?

Bow.

These are the chosen young women
from Susa, Your Majesty. For the contest.

- More will be arriving in the weeks ahead.
- Well done, Master Hegai.

It looks like you have
something to work with.

- Don't you agree, generals?
- The battle awaits, Your Majesty.

I am truly looking forward
to my victorious return. Come, generals.

Take them to be purified,
and have them dressed for the baths.

- No time to waste.
- Right, ladies. That way. Single file.

Not the one the King noticed.
- Wait here.

Master Hegai, what is to be done
with the Jewish girl?

The King won't choose
a Hebrew for a queen.

Make her a handmaiden to the others.

- They'll destroy her.
- No.

It's the best I can do.

And as for you...

- I'm sorry. I didn't mean to.
- What's your name?

Hada...

Esther.

My name is Esther.

Esther. You're named for the stars.

Let's see if you continue to outshine
the others. Take her.

So we begin.

My son, you must defend your kingdom.

But pride was your father's downfall.
He sought battle where there was none.

The last time he left for Greece
was the last time I saw him alive.

- I am not my father.
Remember who you are, Xerxes.

Legacy

Dynasty

Royalty, destiny, victory

Fulfill your destiny

Seal your legacy

Remember who we are

Who you are

Generations have gone before you

My prideful son

The crown must still be won

I still see her
as that small child

It had been days since she had last smiled

Eyes full of questions and frozen tears

She knew that death

Had stolen precious years

But I took her

In my arms to protect her

To keep her safe from harm
but I failed her

So you must save her now

Because I don't know how

- Mordecai, I got your letter.
- Amir, did anyone follow you?

- I don't believe so. What is this about?
- I need your help, Amir.

There was a young woman who was taken
into the palace today

who doesn't belong there.

What are you talking about?

You're the highest official
at the King's Gate.

I thought maybe you could find
a way to get her released.

Released? Those girls
are property of the King.

- People are not property.
- We are all subjects of the King.

She doesn't belong with him.

Listen. I thought you asked me here
to finally accept the job at the gate.

We could be arrested
for even discussing it.

- There is nothing you can do.
- I refuse to accept that.

Can you at least check on her for me?
Let me know how she is.

No. It's forbidden, Mordecai.

Whoever she is, she belongs to the King.

Just accept that
and things will get easier.

I don't want things to get easier.

I want them to be right.

I'm sorry, Mordecai. Good night.

Lord, why are you allowing this?

Help me, please.

Who are you?

I... I'm Ezra. I live upstairs.

I'm sorry about what happened today.

You're never here this late.

But I saw that your lamp was burning and
I figured that you probably haven't eaten.

So I stopped by the market on the way home
from the palace to get something to eat.

The palace?

- So, here.
- Palace? I've had enough of the palace.

- What? Oh...
- Get out. Get out. Get out. Get out.

Lord, there has to be a way to get to her.
You need to show me.

Goat cheese, lamb, challah bread?
That boy's a Hebrew.

Come back. Come back. Come back.

Where did he... You.
I need to talk to you.

- Wait there. I'll come to you.

A Hebrew who works in the palace
right above my head the whole time.

So many stairs.
I should've had you come to me.

- Open the door. It's Mordecai.
- I know.

- Let me in.
- Please don't hurt me.

- I just want to ask you a question.
- Hey.

- Oh... You work for the palace?
- I don't want any trouble.

- Do you work for the palace?
- Yes.

For the King, actually.
I'm one of his scribes.

The King?

- Are you a Hebrew?
- I'm in the tribe.

Good. I need your help.
When do you go back?

I work every day.
Except Sabbath, of course.

A man of faith. That's important.

I just need you
to check on someone for me.

Is she in the harem?

- Yes.
- No.

She's one of us. She doesn't deserve this.

It's too much of a risk. I'm sorry.

"He who knows the good he ought to do
and doesn't do it is guilty."

Are you trying to use scripture...

- It's written right there.
- That's because I wrote it.

I'm transcribing the scriptures.

"He who knows the good he ought to do
and doesn't do it is guilty."

Looks good to me.

- Her name is...
- Esther. Her Persian name is Esther.

- What does it mean?
- Star. But in Hebrew, it means...

- Hidden.
- Ah. Yes.

Oh, Lord. All right, I'll do it.

- I mean I'll try. I'll try.
- Oh! Thank you.

I'm sorry. What did you say your name was?

My name is Ezra. It means help.

Thank you, Lord.

We'll scrub off the past

Till they're clean

One future is meant for a queen

Look one last time

And say goodbye to who you see

Say hello

To what we know you're meant to be

A reflection of perfection
a lovely figure and complexion

No objection to correction
you must be Persia's own reflection

Welcome to the Oasis.

Over the next 12 months,
I will break you down,

then build you back up,
like soldiers preparing for war.

Now, let's see who among you is worth it.

Beauty is pain
beauty is strain

Beauty is hurry up and wait

- Be still
- A lady is grace

- Be still and know
- A lady saves face

A lady knows her place

Congratulations. Those of you
remaining will continue on.

A scalding bath
perfume for their skin

Eat to sustain but don't get too thin

A kiss of sun to keep them fair

And do something with their nails
and their hair

You're not working as hard as the others.

- I am doing the best I can.
- And it's effortless.

I'm giving you special beauty treatments
of gold and myrrh

and a diet of the choicest foods.

You'll also be assigned
personal handmaidens. Now go.

- Can one of them be Leah?
- The Jewish girl?

You're not like the others.
I'll see to it.

Oh, Mordecai, you need to stop
coming by the palace every day.

Well, what's the latest news?

She's under the charge of a man
named Hegai.

- Hegai?
- And apparently, Esther is his favorite.

- Oh, of course she is.
- That's good, right?

- I want to hear from her, Ezra.
- What? No. You're crazy.

The palace guards
have the entire wing blocked off.

- It'd be easier to walk to the Red Sea.
- So it's possible.

- Argh!
- Go. Go, go, go.

A connection, good impression

will be the key to your election

Your projection, his perception
must be Persia's own reflection

In six months, look at what you've become.

Moving forward, you should reflect
your new identity. Choose wisely.

How to make him see me?
Bow with your knees

- Be still
Stand out from the crowd

Always say please

- Be still and know
- Eyes down, chin up

- Be the last thing that he sees
Be quiet, never loud

- It's not a time for weakness
A queen is true

- No more tears to shed
It could be you

Could I really wear the crown
upon my head?

If you're Persia
through and through

Take them.

Why did you choose a veil?

This reminded me of home.

- You miss your home, don't you?
- Very much.

I will allow you to send one message home.

Master Hegai, it isn't allowed.

She may not have chosen a crown,
but a crown just might choose her.

Shaashgaz, summon a trustworthy scribe.

Mordecai.
Mordecai, you're not gonna believe this.

I have a letter and it's from her.
It's from her.

The time is now

An obsession with progression
will surely keep you from rejection

To show you how

With each section and inspection
we steered you in the right direction

We broke you down

A connection, good impression
will be the key to your election

To wear the crown

Your projection, his perception
you must be Persia's own reflection

My dear Mordecai, I miss you.

I present Caspara, keeper of treasure.

I am praying the Lord
will bring us back together.

Adrina, the burning flame.

I am safe, and so is our secret.

Anya, full of grace.

I remember what you taught me.

Avaley, a lovely songbird.

That God knows
the plans he has for us.

Pari, playful spirit.

Plans for a hope and a future.

Yasmin, the seductive flower.

I love you, Mordecai.

And Esther.

I remember who I am.

My rising star.

Your Hadassah.

Oh, my dear girl.

Thank you, Lord.

It is time. You are ready for His Majesty.

I can hear them cheering

- A picture of royalty
- He will love what he sees

- Daughter of this country
- It's all been for this moment

- A queen is born, not trained
You are who

And where you're meant to be

What is this about?

- The King is returning.
- What?

The Spartans are stronger than we assumed.
We're losing the war.

How is he taking it?

How do you think?
He's executed his generals.

He whipped the sea when his fleet sank,

and he burned the city
of Athens to the ground.

So, not well.

- He's going mad.
- And he'll be coming to us for answers.

We need to turn the tide
back in our favor.

We need someone that the King
will listen to.

- Send for Governor Haman.
- Governor Haman? But...

He's the wealthiest and most powerful
governor in the empire.

And there's a reason for that.
What if he comes with a cost?

Our lives are at stake.

It's a risk worth taking.
Gather the others.

Mordecai.

Where are you going at this hour?

- To the gate, if you must know.
- Why? Surely they're closed.

I'm getting a job at the gate.

- You're going to work for the King?
- It's the only way I can be near her.

- He's returning.
- Oh, no. Hadassah.

He's losing the war, and that tyrant
will be more dangerous than ever.

And my Hadassah will be led to him
like a lamb to the slaughter.

Why is the Lord allowing all of this
to happen?

- I ask him that same question every day.

But I can't sit by and do nothing.
I'm afraid for her, Abigail.

I need to speak with Amir right away.

Unorganized barbarians.

A small collection of states
that fight among themselves.

An easy opponent.

You were wrong.
The Greeks were ready for us.

- I'm sorry that the generals...
- The generals have been dealt with.

- But what do I do with you?
- Your Majesty...

Did I extend my scepter to you?
You made me look like a fool.

Sit.

So, counsel me, princes of Persia.

- How do I restore the dignity of my reign?
- Raise taxes.

- That usually works.
- Quiet.

If it pleases the King,

we have sent for one of the most
successful governors among the provinces.

His territory is thriving.

He's strong, cunning
and his pockets run deep with gold.

You have my attention.

He was once a trusted advisor
of your father's.

- Really? What's his name?
- Governor Haman.

Bring him to me.

And I don't need to remind you
how high the stakes are, Memucan.

And now, perhaps a bit of distraction.

Master Hegai has been preparing

the choicest young ladies
of the empire for you.

I almost forgot.

Hatach, tell Master Hegai to bring
the most promising candidate.

For all our sakes.

Lady Esther?
The indigo dye for your nails is ready.

- Thank you, Leah.
- She gets everything.

Well, Master Hegai knows Esther
needs all the help she can get.

Esther, aren't you going
to defend yourself?

Oh, she won't. She never disagrees.

You know, it may work for Hegai,
but it won't appeal to the King.

There's plenty of dye.
I could share it with all of you.

- No, no, no. No. It's all yours.

Hmm.

Go ahead.

Jew, paint Lady Esther's nails.

Look at what you did.

You fool.
- You pushed me.

Silence.

No. It will take weeks
to remove this from your skin.

- Who's responsible?
- The Jewish girl did it.

They can't be trusted with anything.

I don't believe she's the one
who can't be trusted.

The King has returned.
We begin the process tonight.

You will each choose an item
to take with you.

Something to help him remember you.
Yasmin, make your selection.

- I'm going now?
- Yes.

And unfortunately for you,
the King is not in the best of spirits.

Very well.

- That belongs to Esther.
- She won't be needing it.

In fact, the King
won't be meeting any of you.

The rest of you, prepare yourselves.

I have a feeling
you will be meeting the King.

Leah, would you please see to our Esther?

I'll wait

I'll wait on you

I'll hope

I'll hope in you

From the depths I cry to you

You are, you are my light

I'll walk by faith and not by sight

Why does it feel so dark tonight?

I can't help but question

Could this be your intention?

But I'll listen

And wait

I'll wait

So with hope

And with fear

I'll be still and know

Chariots, horses, wine skins?

Peacock feathers?
I hate this. I hate this.

I'm here to be close to Hadassah,
and I haven't seen or heard a single word.

I can't take it anymore.

Lord, I'm going. Unless you tell me
you need me and I cannot leave, I'm done.

Mordecai, I need you. You cannot leave.

Amir, there's nothing more I can do.

Between this disaster of a war
and the King's spending,

this empire's facing financial ruin.

Not for long. He's called for
one of the wealthiest governors

to come help assess the situation.

A lot of good that'll do.

Mordecai, we keep our opinions
to ourselves.

Besides, the King has
other things on his mind.

I heard Master Hegai is
sending his most promising candidate

to the King this evening.

Amir, I'm not interested in... Wait.
What did you say?

- The girls for the contest.
- What's her name?

Her name? I have no idea.
But Hegai calls her his rising star.

Perfect timing. Tonight is
the festival of lights, after all.

Give me that ledger, Amir. I'll have it
ready for you first thing in the morning.

- But I thought tomorrow was your Sabbath.
- First of the week then.

- Good night, Amir.
- Good night.

Hadassah. My Hadassah.

Well, the wait was worth it.
What did you choose to take with you?

Nothing yet. I wanted to ask you first.

You're the only one who has.

A harp? It's beautiful. Thank you.

I think you have everything you need.

I'm scared.

It's the darkest night of the year.

I can't think of a better time
for my star to rise.

You may enter.

There is another threat to my crown.
Rebellions are everywhere.

And you and Teresh,
my most trusted bodyguards,

have done nothing to eliminate the threat.

If you would just listen
to the generals...

What did you say?

- If you would just...
- Your safety is our top priority, my king.

You can trust us.

Stand outside my door tonight.
I need to be alone.

Bigthan. Teresh.
Tell Hatach to bring more wine.

Another one.
What do you have to say for yourself?

- Speak.
- I can leave if you wish.

You're already here.

What are you hiding?
Remove your veil so I can see you.

Hmm.

You're beautiful.
And different from the others.

They like to make themselves known.

Well, I would offer you some wine,
but there is no wine in my chamber.

- I've sent for Hatach, Your Majesty.
- I am surrounded by fools.

And all I want is some peace.

Who taught you to play?

My father. He could do anything.

So could mine.

The city looks beautiful
under the starlight.

I've always loved the stars.

Come. Take a look.

- It's a perfect night for the festival.
- Are those the gardens?

Yes. My father took
great pride in his gardens,

but they've been neglected
ever since he died.

My mother loved to garden.
She died when I was very young.

- It's not easy feeling alone, is it?
- No, it isn't.

But that's why I love the stars.
They remind me that we're never alone.

Huh.

Then maybe we should get a better view.

- I would have picked the first one.
- Why can't he just choose one?

We all know Xerxes
can't make a good decision.

He treats us like handmaids while he keeps
running our country into the dust.

Maybe he won't for much longer.
I have a plan.

Ha!

How did I almost forget?

Open sky, softly lit

Just a taste of being free

Is the sweetest gift to me

I feel you

I know you're here

How did I almost forget?

Kings are strong, confident

A taste of who I used to be

Is life coming back to me?

I feel it

I know it's near

Underneath the starlight

Anything's possible

Everything's beautiful

Hope is dawning tonight

A new start

In my heart

At the threshold of something new

Light is breaking

Light is breaking through

Underneath the starlight

Anything's possible

Everything's beautiful

Hope is dawning tonight

A new start

Master Hegai, prepare the crown.

I have made my choice.

It is time for a royal celebration.

And so it was,
in the tenth year of his reign,

King Xerxes placed the royal crown
on my head.

I give you Queen Esther.

King Xerxes invited
the greatest nobles

from the farthest reaches
of Persia to attend.

He relieved taxes
and gave gifts with royal generosity.

The Lord had set everything in place.

The renowned satrap of Sidon,
head of the house of Hammedatha.

Lord Governor Haman and his wife,
Lady Zeresh.

Governor Haman, I've been expecting you.

I present your queen, Esther.

I trust that you will serve me
as well as you served my father.

Trust me when I say

we stand at the threshold
of a greater Persia.

A snake had entered the garden.

What are we doing here?

The King gave Hadassah this garden
as a wedding gift.

Some gift.
I really don't think we should be here.

The Queen of Persia.

Why is the Lord allowing this?
How will she ever survive it?

She's stronger than you think.

She's kept her most
important secret so far.

- Yes, but if the King ever finds out...
- Can we talk about this somewhere else?

Out here.

Oh, no.
- We'll be alone.

Mordecai, let's get out of here.

Does it have to be tonight?
We promised.

- It can't wait any longer.
- All right. I just thought that maybe...

- What was that?
- Nothing.

No one comes to these gardens anymore.
Calm down, Bigthan.

It's not every day
we kill the King, Teresh.

You kill the King. I stand guard as usual.

- Why does it have to be me?
- Because the lot fell to you.

We've been through this before.

The poisoned dagger
is behind the bed, near the window.

Now, let's get this over with.

We have to do it
- I can't do it

We've already been paid so get to it

When he goes to bed
think of what they said

We're better off if he's dead

Can't ignore anymore
went back on what he swore

Lost the war
and what for?

- Now he's married a common...
Can this be true?

We can do it
we have to do it

We've already been paid

- So get to it
- What can I do?

When he goes to bed
think of what they said

We're better off if he's dead

- Take the knife
- Take his life

And if she's there

Kill his wife

- Let's go.
- No, no, no.

Lord, I have to do something.

Excuse me. Excuse me.

Do you know what time it is?

Who are you
and what are you doing out here?

- I need to see the Queen.
- You can't see the Queen.

Even I can't see the Queen.

Now, quiet down and leave
or I'll call the palace guards.

Yes. No. Not the palace guards.
Oh, who were those men?

I suggest you leave
while I give you the chance.

- Master Hegai, what is going on out here?
- Master Hegai?

- Hegai, the star is in trouble.
- The star? What is this about?

I just overheard two men plotting
to kill the King and possibly his wife.

- My Esther.
- My Esther.

How did you know her?

Well, let's just say
I once received a letter from the harem.

Go on.

These two men are planning
to murder Xerxes tonight.

It's two men who are very close to him.

- Who?
- I can't remember.

What do you mean, you can't remember?

Well, these Persian names
are very confusing.

- Can you remember anything?
- Oh, Lord, you have to help me.

It started with... A bird?

Bird. B. B. Bigthan.

- Bigthan and Teresh?
- Yes.

They're the King's bodyguards.

They're the King's assassins.
We need to tell Esther.

We can't. But I know someone who can.

Shaashgaz, get the Jewish girl, Leah.
And keep this between us.

Now, tell me again from the beginning.

They have to do it
they're gonna do it

They've already been paid to get to it

When he goes to bed
this what they said

We're better off if he's dead

Take a knife
take his life

And if she's there, kill his wife

- Are you sure?
- Yes. Hegai sent me here immediately.

And Mordecai? Is he safe?

- The man from the gate? Yes.
- Oh, good.

- I have to warn my husband.
- No. No, you can't.

You could be killed if you go
in there unsummoned.

He'll be killed if I don't.

See if Bigthan and Teresh
are on the loggia.

I'll go with you.

Your Highness.

What are you doing out of your chamber
at this hour?

- I need to see the King.
- You can't see the King.

Even I can't see the King
unless he summons me.

- They're coming.
- Who?

Come to my chamber.

We're better off if he's dead

- If you're right
- Then they might

We have to move tonight

We need to get word to someone
who can see the King.

Lord Haman.

The King has been
meeting with him every night.

- Can we trust him?
- Can we afford not to?

I'll distract Teresh.
You get word to Lord Haman.

Teresh. Teresh.
It's such an unusually dark night.

Would you kindly see me
back to my chamber?

- It will only take a moment.
- Of course, Your Highness.

Where's the King? Is it too late?

Teresh. Teresh.
Teresh, the King is not here.

We have to find him.

King Xerxes.

Your Majesty.

Master Hegai? Lord Haman?
What's going on here?

- Who are you?
- I'm Mordecai. I work at the gate.

Your Majesty,
I'm here on behalf of the Queen.

- The Queen?
- She sent for me to protect you.

Protect me?

She has a message for you,
if you will allow her to give it.

Esther?

If it pleases the King

This man named Mordecai

The worker from your gate

As he was passing by

He heard them plan your fate

There's a knife they keep
underneath your bed

While you were asleep, they were...

If it weren't for Mordecai, you'd be dead

- What are their names?
- Bigthan and Teresh.

You liar.
- What?

Guards, seize them.

- My closest defenders.
She's lying.

- The Queen is lying.
- Teresh.

I found this under your bed, my son.
It's laced with poison.

I've never seen
that before in my life.

You traitors.

You dare betray your king?

I trusted you
I gave you everything

Scribes.

It fills me with disgust

You shouldn't have to question
who to trust

Take this down.

Mordecai told my wife
write down he saved my life

Haman, too
I trust you

I will reward those who are

Faithful, loyal, grateful

Take them to the gallows.

It's time for things to change

In Persia

We stand at the dawn of a new day
in Persia, a day that demands loyalty.

To ensure the success of my reign,
one man will stand by my side.

Your first imperial prime minister,

Grand Vizier Haman, the Agagite.

No! An Agagite?

An Agagite? Lord, this can't be.
This can't be happening.

Have you heard the latest news?

Well, look who it is,
back from the palace.

Ezra needs to hear this.

- Hear what?
- What I'm about to tell you.

- Oh, ho. Hey.

- Ezra.
- What is going on?

Governor Haman has been promoted.

- But you're the one who saved the King.
- Who's Governor Haman?

He is our new prime minister.

- Prime minister?
- And he's an Agagite.

An Agagite?

Xerxes will only have
one man giving him counsel.

- And that man is a self-declared...
- Agagite.

- The prime minister is an...
Agagite.

We know.

He could have said he was from the west,
an Amalekite even.

But he wants to be known as an Agagite.
A direct descendant of the enemies of God.

No Persian king would allow
anything to happen to us.

Cyrus freed the Jews. Xerxes' father
helped to rebuild Jerusalem.

Is there reason for concern?
Haman is only an adviser.

- He's his only adviser.
- I just came from the palace.

Haman has ordered that anyone who works
for the empire must bow in his presence.

- He wants to be king.
- He wants to be worshipped.

- The King agreed?
- Yes.

Mordecai, that means
you're going to have to...

Bow.
- We worship the Lord alone.

Now, it's not worth causing trouble.

- You just need to keep your head down.
- From evil men come evil deeds.

It's best to obey the law.

You're creating danger
that isn't even there.

I won't let it happen again.

Generation to generation

The echo rings

Our history of blood and kings

We turned our back on the Lord

Even after he set us free
and parted the sea

Through miles of sand and sun

He showed us who to be
so the world could see

He taught us how to pierce the dark
and shine

But soon enough the enemy came from behind

They stole and they murdered
who they could find

The Amalekites promised God's people
safe passage through their land.

But they broke that promise.

They attacked from behind, killing women,
children, the sick and the old.

The weakest of God's people.
The Lord said...

I will wipe out the Amalekites
from under heaven.

Time passed
the people wanted a king

The Lord sounded a call
to a man named Saul

He was meant to rule with light
but he let the shadows fall

He lost it all

He feared men but he didn't fear the Lord

He loved the things of this world
and lived by the sword

The cost was greater than we could afford

After generations of brutal attacks,
the Lord commanded King Saul...

Go. Attack the Amalekites.

Destroy everyone and everything
owned by them.

But Saul disobeyed.
He kept the best of what they had.

And he kept their king, Agag, alive.

The spirit of the Lord left Saul that day,

and he was tortured in his spirit
till his dying day.

The descendants of Agag are the Agagites.

Haman is descended from King Agag.

I am descended from King Saul.

The blood of kings
flows through our veins,

and the Lord has allowed
this ancient enemy to rise again.

Make no mistake, God has a plan.

There is an enemy, and we have a choice.

A choice
we must make to obey

Flows through time until it makes a way

So I will stand for what is right

God still says let there be light

A new day

A new way

The rules have changed, rearranged
but we still have to play

A new time

A new crime

The price is high
say goodbye to what's left of your pride

A choice we must make
to bend or break

It's all at stake
will you bend or break?

- We are certain
- Someone will not bend

- What will happen?
- The fool could meet his end

Who is it?

He's not even Persian

Mordecai?

Nowhere to run
he is done

But it's only begun

The shadow
- We all must sacrifice

Of the gallows
- I don't have a price

If you refuse you will lose

This is no time to choose

You must bow to him.

A choice we must make
to bend or break

It's all at stake
will you bend or break?

The Lord is with me
I will not be afraid

- He will guide me on my way
- A choice we must make

He is for me
I will choose this day

It is him I will obey

It's not too late to compromise
one would even call it wise

No room for defiance
make the right alliance

Mordecai, you're going to
get us all in trouble.

Why won't you just bow to him?

- I won't.
- Why?

- Because...
- Why?

- Because I'm a Jew.
- Tell Haman.

A secret is worth
its weight in gold

Crowded shadows can be sold

We all stand to profit
by filling Haman's pocket

Susa never felt so cold

Mordecai, what are you doing?

This is only the beginning

Compromise is just like sinning

In the end, you won't be winning

Now is the time to bow
don't think about how, just bow

Bend the knee
don't ask questions

It could be too hard a lesson
bow, bow, bow

- You only stand to lose
- I will not be afraid

If you refuse

You only stand to lose
if you refuse

Bow

So, it's because you're a Jew.

And you're an Agagite.

Yes. It's important
to remember who we are.

Bow to me. It's the law.

I worship the Lord alone.

Come, princes.

I have never seen
such insubordination, such...

- Obstinance.
- It was bold.

- It was brazen.
- It was dangerous.

Mordecai.

Mordecai.

Mordecai.

Zeresh.
- Yes, my love.

- Bring the lots.
- As you wish.

My husband, what are you doing?

- He will be punished.
- Absolutely.

The King will not deny
Mordecai's execution.

Mordecai alone isn't enough.
Other Jews will follow his example.

They must be dealt with.

Are you suggesting that we kill all Jews?

- But, Grand Vizier...
- Zeresh, the dice.

- What are they for?
- I know what I'm going to do.

- I just need to know when.
- The King will never agree to this.

Xerxes is like clay in my hands.

But Persian kings
have always supported them.

Then he must never know it is the Jews.

Now, stand with me
or meet the same fate as those dogs.

Do it.

He may be prepared to die

But it's not only his life that I demand

Roll the dice

Royal blood flows through my veins

Their blood will flow and rain
at my command

Roll the dice

- For the month, for the day
- It's time those Hebrews pay

- For the month, for the day
- For generations of decay

Roll the dice

- I try to follow you with each step
- Roll the dice

I try to keep my eyes straight ahead

But I wonder
am I willing to die?

God, why?

Roll the dice

O Lord, I bless your name

Your promises remain

Creator, our savior...

Please light my

- Lady Atossa.
- Have you seen my son?

No. He hasn't summoned me in weeks.
He only sees Grand Vizier Haman.

- He's even forgotten you.
- Is something wrong?

The King of Persia
needs more than a single counselor.

If his father could see him now, well...

- I'm sorry for disturbing you.
- I wish there was something I could do.

So do I. But keep praying.
Perhaps your God will help.

The gods have spoken.

The time they choose is the 13th of Adar.

On the 13th of Adar
they'll run but won't get far

- On the 13th of Adar
- None shall be spared

On the 13th of Adar

I will wipe them out and blot their name

From under every star

You placed every star tonight

With a plan for every light

Why does it feel so dark tonight?

Who can stand against me?

I have come to steal, kill and destroy

Avenge my legacy

On that day, they will pay

Let darkness guide me on my way

Grand Vizier Haman.

- I understand you wanted to see me.
Your Majesty.

Welcome to the Hall of Chronicles.

My father built this library
to hold our records.

Everything that happens in this empire is
recorded and secured within these walls.

It's a place to remind
kings of our history.

Yes, it's important
to remember our history.

So, more good news, Haman?
I look forward to your reports.

Unfortunately, there is a problem
rising in the empire.

A problem?

I have everything in place
to take care of it.

- I just need your approval.
- What is it?

A possible rebellion.

Go on.

There's a people
throughout your land

They follow their own commands

They don't obey the King

They can't do this.

They spread like a disease
hoard their gold as they please

Think of the trouble they could bring

They will pay for this.

They say they're set apart

But there's rebellion in their hearts

I'm afraid we must do something

Who are they?

Does it matter?

Mercy could be seen as weakness

While they live, you should be sleepless

All I need is your ring

How many are there?

- Thousands.
- Thousands?

- What will it cost?
- Nothing.

I will pay 10.000 pieces of silver
into the treasury

if you will allow me
to take care of this for you.

I know they've overthrown kings
in the past.

You take this ring
and use it to destroy them.

Whatever you seal with this
cannot be changed.

- I trust you, Haman.
- I will take care of everything.

Generation to generation

The echo rings

Our history of blood

And kings

By order of the Grand Vizier...

Hear this. On the 13th day
of the month of Adar...

All Jews throughout the Persian Empire...

Young, old, women and children...

Are sentenced to death.

- Sealed by His Royal Majesty...

Xerxes, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

No!

- Mordecai, what do we do?
- We cover ourselves in sackcloth and ash.

We humble ourselves
before the Lord our God.

Yes, ashes bring life.

Oh, Lord, you led
our people through oceans.

You made giants fall.
You shut the mouth of the roaring lions.

Shut your mouth, Mordecai,
before you make things worse.

Make a way to save us
from the enemy again.

Forgive us, Lord. Save us.

Mordecai, I just came from the palace.
Haman is behind it all.

Of course he is.
He's finishing what his ancestors started.

He offered the King
750.000 pounds of silver so it can happen.

That's a year's worth of income
for the empire.

He's bought us, paid to have us killed.

That's not all. The citizens of Persia
are called to carry out the murders.

They're marking every Hebrew home
throughout the empire,

and anyone who kills a Jew
gets to keep our possessions.

- Greed will win them over.
- He's turning the world against us.

But the Persian kings,
they've always protected us.

- Why is the King allowing this to happen?
- Haman never told Xerxes it was us.

What? What do you mean?

Haman never told Xerxes
it was the Jews he wanted to kill.

Someone has to tell him.
Someone has to go to the King and...

- None of us can see the King.
- It doesn't matter.

Xerxes won't change his mind.
He has nothing to lose.

Lord, make a way.

- Are you Mordecai from the gate?
- I am.

My name is Hatach.
I have been sent by the Queen.

- The Queen?
Hadassah.

She is concerned for your safety.

She wants you to remove your sackcloth
and wear this.

I won't.

And what should I tell her
is the reason for all of this?

- She doesn't know?
- Mordecai, she could be the way.

No.

Mordecai, she could go to the King
and plead for our lives.

I don't want her in danger.

If the King finds out his wife
is one of us...

She was never supposed
to be there in the first place.

Mordecai, what if she was
meant to be there all along?

Haman the Agagite
the one who holds the ring

Plotted late last night

Now it's law
sealed by the King

The young and the old
the near and the far

Every Jew in the empire will be killed

Hadassah.

Tell him who you are

He asked that you go to the King
and plead for the lives of your people.

- Your people?
I can't.

Xerxes hasn't called for me in 30 days.
He doesn't love me like he used to.

Your Highness, if you approach the King
without being summoned

and he does not extend
his scepter to you...

I'll be killed.

This Mordecai does not know
what he is asking.

He does.

Oh, Mordecai.

Hadassah.

All I ever wanted was to keep you safe.

I did the best that I could.

But you have always been
in the Lord's hands.

Deliverance will come for God's people.
God has a plan.

There is an enemy.
And right now you have a choice.

Who knows?

Perhaps you were made queen
for such a time as this.

Generation to generation

The call is high

If I die, I die

Will you ask our people to fast
and pray to the Lord for three days?

My servants and I will do the same.

Then I will go to the King.

Hadassah, be still and know.

He is God.

Your word is a lamp unto my feet

Your word is a light unto my path

I'll walk in your ways
for all of my days

Though I may not have many left

Your word is like sweetness in my mouth

Your word is like honey on my lips

I still taste your goodness
long for your presence

Let me rest in your midst

Our eyes are open

Our hearts are broken

Take these ashes
fan them into flame

Forgive us, Father

Your sons and daughters

We're fighting doubt
and crying out your name

Your word is a lamp unto my feet

Your word is a light unto my path

I'll walk in your ways for all of my days

Though I may not have many left

A choice we must make to obey

Generation

Flows through time

Until it makes a way

- Our hearts are burning
- Your word is a lamp

- We are returning
- Your word is a light

To your will
try to be still in all things

- You have the power
- I'll follow your ways

- In this dark hour
- For all of my days

You are the King of Kings

So help her stand

For what is right

God still says let there be light

Be still

Be still

Be still

Be still

Be still and...

No.

What is this?

I have a request.
- She was not summoned.

My king.

My life is in your hands.

Guards. Princes.

Bow to your queen.

Esther, what is your request?

I would give you anything,
even up to half of my kingdom.

Will you and Grand Vizier Haman
come to a banquet I've prepared today?

A banquet? That's what
you risked your life to ask for?

- Yes. I have something I need to ask you.
- My Esther, you are full of surprises.

Hatach, summon Grand Vizier Haman.
We have a feast to attend.

Leah. Hegai.

If it pleases the King,
and if I have found favor in your sight,

please grant me my life
and spare my people.

Grant me my life, spare my people.

And by the way, the person you trust the
most in the entire world is behind it all.

- It's going to be fine.
- Don't forget this.

Thank you.

Your Majesty. Grand Vizier Haman.

- I am so grateful...
Your Highness.

It's an honor to be invited to
this charming, intimate feast.

What is the occasion?

My queen risked her life to ask us
here today. She has a request.

What could a beautiful young queen
living in the shadow

of your greatness possibly need?

I would give her anything.
Up to half my kingdom.

- Really?
- Go on, Esther. Make your request.

Please, sit. I thought we could begin
with some of your favorites.

Now...

- If it pleases the King...
- Esther, will you play something for us?

She played for me
the first night we met, Haman.

That was when
you captured my heart, Esther.

- Your Majesty, I...
- You play well, Your Highness.

But how about something more lively?

Hatach, add some musicians.

- Your Majesty...
Now, isn't that better?

I wanted to ask you if...

This is what I need
both of you at my side

- Your friend in word and deed
- My bride

- It's time to celebrate
- I feel relief in sight

No need to moderate tonight

What is your request?

My request

If it pleases the King

I think he'll have another drink.

Pomegranate walnut stew
eggplant and tomato, too

Our kitchens only serve the best
herring with some lemon zest

Lamb with fenugreek and thyme
roasted with a hint of lime

And of course the wine

More wine

- There's something else we need
- What did we have that time?

Was it a leg of steed?

Sublime

- Are there dancers here?
- None that I've prepared

It always brings him cheer

You there.

Thank you for the invitation

Well, you are prime minister
of this nation

- I'm here to serve the King
- So am I, his queen

We can work for him together

Your Majesty

This is my request

Another bottle. Serve the best.

Women for your every taste
dance and sway with covered face

Guitars, sitars, tambourines
it's a feast fit for a queen

Nothing Persian is as fine
ages beautifully with time

As, of course, the wine

More wine.

More wine

Entertainment is our skill

Every need will be fulfilled
here we cannot...

Be still.

Your Majesty.

My request
if it pleases the King...

- Oh!

Hatach, tend to His Majesty.
See that he gets back to his chamber.

What? Wait. Wait.

Esther, what was your request?

Um...

Will you come to another banquet
I've prepared tomorrow? The both of you.

Then I will make my request.

Your Highness.

Perhaps it would be better
if you made your requests known to me.

Is there anything I can do for you?

You've done enough.

But please, it is very important to me
that you are here tomorrow.

It will be my honor, Your Highness.

Get up and bow,

you dog.

So be it.

Come, princes.

She didn't do it.

She failed us. She failed us all.

- You don't know that.
- It's over, Mordecai.

- She broke her word.
- No. Not my Hadassah.

- Something must have gone wrong.
- What do we do?

We keep praying.

I didn't do it
I tried to do it

There was no time, and I knew it
everything was planned

I don't understand

And now they're coming back
for another feast tomorrow.

- What will you do differently tomorrow?
- I don't know.

Was I wrong?

Just stay strong
you're right where you belong

I wear the King's ring.

My pockets overflow with wealth
and so does my household.

I have 10 sons

and all of it means nothing
while that arrogant Jew lives.

He's one man, Haman.
You're letting this Mordecai...

Don't mention that name again.

I want it wiped
from the face of the earth.

- He'll be dead in a few months.
- Why can't you just kill him now, Father?

Yes, Father. We can build our own gallows.

- Hang him on it for everyone to see.
- You can make an example of him.

Your son is right.
You have the favor of the King.

You could go to him now and ask
for the death of... That Jew tonight.

The gods have
already selected the proper time.

- Don't test them, Haman.
- I don't fear the gods, Zeresh.

The stars are painting
an uncertain picture of the future.

- Enough!

Why can't you be more like the Queen?
She knows how to keep quiet.

If I kept quiet,
you wouldn't be where you are.

- Do what you will.
- Aridai, gather your brothers.

You're going to build a gallows tonight.
Raise it high.

Make sure I can see it from my window.

First thing tomorrow morning,
I will go to Xerxes

and ask for the death of Mordecai.

Is it unraveling?
the life we've built

The web we've spun
the blood we've spilt

It's not a time for weakness
no more tears to shed

I may not have her sweetness
but I'll take strength instead

I pray to the lights

For power and vision

I pray to the night

To unveil what's hidden

We're running out of time

Give me a sign

We've spent so many years
behind these walls

She held my hand through every fall

I always lived like
you were something from the past

But she reminds me
that our faith was built to last

Look at the stars
they remind us to be still

You seem so far
draw her closer to your will

You know their names
you know their number in the sky

Each one in place
O Lord, please lift up her eyes

We're running out of time
give her a sign

I have done everything
to raise and guide this king

No price I didn't pay
but he has lost his way

I can't be what he needs

Someone must intercede
something must be done

If you're listening

Save my son

Look at the stars
they remind us to be still

You seem so far
draw her closer to your will

You know their names
you know their number in the sky

Each one in place
O Lord, please lift up her eyes

He's running out of time

We're running out of time

- Give me a...
Give her a...

Give him a sign

Guards! Guards! Guards!

- What is it?
- What's going on?

- They're trying to kill me.
- Who?

Bigthan, Teresh.

Your Majesty, Bigthan and Teresh
were executed years ago.

- No, no.
- They were hung on the gallows.

It was ordered by you
and recorded in the royal chronicles.

- You were dreaming.
- What?

- Shall I send for some wine?
- No. No, Hatach. No.

I want to see it.
- What?

Bring me the chronicles
from that night. Go!

Lord, what do I do?

I feel so alone.

Little Hadassah
come sit at the wheel

See how I shape the vessel
touch and feel

Work with what you can
when it resists your hands

Your heart is like clay
that God loves very much

You're so beautiful, Hadassah

Make sure it bends
and molds beneath his touch

You must be brave, my darling

He always has a plan

You can trust his hand

Stay planted

In his love

And you will grow in sunshine and snow

Be still and know he is God

And you are his

I still hear your voices echo in my heart

What I wouldn't give
to go back to the start

You told me to be brave

But praying didn't save you

My God

I can't hear you

My God

I can't see you

I'm tired of feeling alone

I just want to go back home

Hadassah, it's time.

But where you lead

I'll go

It is recorded that the poison dagger
was found in the King's chamber

for the purpose
of assassinating King Xerxes.

Bigthan and Teresh were found
to be the guilty parties.

Yes, yes. This is what I was looking for.
Haman discovered their plot.

No, Your Majesty. It says here
the plot was discovered by Mordecai.

Mordecai? Who is Mordecai?

Mordecai who works at the palace gate,
Your Majesty.

Haman assisted the Queen
in delivering the news

and was promoted to grand vizier.

The guilty parties were
then hung on the gallows.

What about this Mordecai?
What was done for him?

Nothing. I suppose
he went back to work at the gate.

Nothing? The man saved my life
and I gave him nothing.

Loyalty must be rewarded.
I need to fix this now.

Your Majesty, there's a request
to see you in the outer court.

- Who is it?
- Grand Vizier Haman.

Oh, Haman. Perfect. He'll know what to do.

If it pleases the King,

and if I have found favor in your sight,
there is a man named Mordecai

who is disloyal
and traitorous to the empire.

And who I'd like to,
with your permission...

Grand Vizier Haman,
you are just the man I wanted to see.

Your Majesty.
If it pleases the King...

What should be done for a man
that pleases the King?

What?

A man who the King would delight to honor.

A man that has saved this empire
and preserved my throne.

Your Majesty, I'm humbled
by the sentiment...

It should be bold.

- You've already been so generous...
- Extravagant.

You've already bestowed
the highest honor...

He should be treated
with the respect he deserves,

with the respect of the throne itself.

Grand Vizier,
what should be done for this man?

Well, he could be dressed
in one of your robes,

and wear one of your crowns
and be placed on your own horse.

And then he could be paraded
throughout the city

by your highest official, proclaiming,

"This is what is done for the man
that the King delights to honor."

Yes. Oh, this is a good gift.
It's the best gift I could possibly give.

- Yes. Yes, it is.
Then it's settled.

Go and do all of this
for Mordecai at the gate.

What?

While you, Grand Vizier Haman,
will carry this out to the entire city.

Don't you miss a single street.

Uh...

- What?
Thank you, Haman.

You always have the best ideas.

Oh, was there something
you wanted to ask me?

- What?
- Another time then.

Yes, Your Majesty.

We can't believe
what we are seeing

Are we dreaming?
What's the meaning of this display?

This is what is done
for the man who pleases the King.

We can't believe
what we are hearing

No one cheering or jeering
we don't know what to say

It's turning the tide

Beginning with this ride

He cheated and lied

That snake tried to get ahead
but now he is behind

- Everything is ready.
- Did you get the challah bread?

- Yes. And the lamb.
- Good.

- Oh, what about the lanterns?
- They're in place.

The garden looks beautiful.

Thank you. Remember,
you and Hatach are allowed.

And only the most trusted servants.
Will you send for Hegai?

He's on his way now.

- Thank you, Leah.
- Queen Esther, is that Haman?

Is that Mordecai?

Reversal of men

Controversial
he didn't break or bend

Flipped on his head

We can't help but wonder
who is gonna end up dead

The higher the stakes

The risk grows with each step you take

He may have felt tall

- Everybody knows that pride
- Everybody knows that pride

Everybody knows that pride
comes before the fall

That was a sign.
A sign that the Lord is still with us.

We need to keep going.

Queen Esther, you made a lovely selection.
You will look radiant in this color.

Thank you, Hegai.
You were an excellent teacher.

I just want it all to be perfect.

Your Highness, if I may...

It isn't perfection
that gives you favor with the King.

It's... It's a strength
that comes from deep within you.

I know I'm never alone, Hegai.

"Do not fear, for I am with you.
Do not be discouraged. I am your God."

I will strengthen you and help you.

What kind of God does that for his people?

The kind that loves us enough to save us.

He was wearing the King's robes,

being paraded around the city
on the King's horse.

As a man who most pleases...

I was there, wasn't I? It changes nothing.

It's a bad omen. A sign from his god.

- Don't mention his god, Zeresh.
- You're making a grave mistake.

I've been learning more,

and the Hebrew God is unlike anything
I have ever seen.

He showed Mordecai that he is with him,

that he is with all of his people,
and you have already begun to fall.

- Zeresh.
- Grand Vizier.

- What?
- The Queen requests your presence.

Oh, yes.

The Queen. When I return home,
everything will continue as before.

Those people will be destroyed
and their god will be forgotten.

This is unbelievable.

This garden hasn't looked this good
since my father died.

In fact, it's never looked this good.

Your Majesty. Grand Vizier Haman.

- I'm glad you could join us.
- Thank you, Your Highness.

Your Majesty,
may I speak with you about...

Oh, this color is magnificent.
What do you call this tree?

The hadass tree.
They grow all over the western territory.

- My mother grew one here in Susa.
- Your Majesty.

- Magnificent. Don't you agree, Haman?
- Yes, yes. It's very pink.

- Your Majesty, the man from the gate...
- Prime Minister, may I offer you a drink?

Yes. Yes, of course, Your Highness.

- Thank you.
- Oh, this smells wonderful.

I've never seen food like this.
You are full of surprises, my queen.

Your Majesty, the man from the gate
that you honored this morning...

- Oh! Mordecai?
Yes. Him.

- I have a request regarding...
- More wine, Grand Vizier?

- No. No, thank you.
- Oh, oh. Let me help you with that.

- Don't touch me.
- My apologies.

Speaking of requests,
what is yours, Esther?

I already told you I would give you
anything. Up to half my kingdom.

Now, as I was saying,
this man from the gate...

I do have a request, Your Majesty,

and I will make it now.

Good. Go on, Esther.

If I have found favor in your sight,

and if it pleases you,
my request is for my life.

You already have your life.

My request is for my life
and the lives of my people.

I don't understand.

We have been sold to be destroyed,
killed and annihilated.

- Oh, no.
Go on.

If we were merely sold as slaves,
I wouldn't have brought this to you.

But there would still
be hope for my people.

- But we are all to be killed.
- Who would threaten my wife?

Who would dare do such a thing?

- Oh, no.
- Who?

A foe and an enemy. This wicked man.

- Oh, no.
- Haman.

- What? What?
- I didn't know.

Please, please, Your Majesty,
if I had only known...

The people you asked for, the ones I gave
you my ring to punish, who were they?

- The Hebrews.
- The Hebrews are no threat to me.

- Esther, are you a...
- A Jew?

- Yes.
Is there no one I can trust?

Please. Please, Your Majesty,
if I had only known...

- I need to be alone.
- I was trying to protect you.

That man from the gate refused to bow.

But to you. Not the King.

- He's a dangerous radical.
- That dangerous radical raised me.

Oh...

You are full of surprises.

Do you realize what you've done?

You and your little secret
have compromised

everything the King has worked for.

And he doesn't deal well with lies.

I want you to leave. Now.

- No.
- I am your queen.

You are a Jew.

And the law says that you are
to be killed, and nothing can change that.

But if you help me
regain favor in his sight,

I will make sure you are spared.

- I am the Lord's and he will defend me.
- So beautiful.

It's a shame you ended up
in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Plead on my behalf,
and we will both be saved.

Let me go.

Take your hands off my queen.
I trusted you.

I gave you everything

Guards.

So this is who you are

A traitor, liar, snake
return my ring

Take him now

I was only trying to eliminate the threat.

Do you know what you've done?

My grandfather freed
the Hebrews from slavery,

and now it's my hand
that signs for their deaths

and the death of my queen.

I can take care of everything.

- No.
- You need me.

I see the game you're playing

You have undone everything I've built

You've been betraying

Legacy, dynasty

Royalty, destiny, honesty

I will take your advice one last time
and remove the threat permanently.

- What should we do with him?
Your Majesty, if I may...

He instructed

And constructed

A stake raised high for Mordecai
the man who saved your life

Mordecai?

Impale Haman on it.
You always wanted to be raised up.

Well, now is your time.

Go.

Be still

Be still

Be still and know

What have I done?

The decree is law.

Esther, I am so sorry.
We'll find a way.

My God always makes a way.

Hope is dawning tonight

Anything's possible

Anything's possible

Apparently, he didn't see

The writing on the wall

But everybody knows that pride
everybody knows that pride

Everybody knows that pride
comes before the fall

Presenting the new grand vizier
of Persia, Mordecai, the Hebrew.

By the authority of the King,
I issue the following decree.

On the 13th day of Adar,

in every province, in every city
throughout this empire,

all Hebrew people are granted the right
to protect themselves

from anyone who comes against them.

From this day forward, they are permitted

to do whatever is necessary
to ready themselves,

to stand united against their enemies.

Let this time of mourning and fasting
turn to celebration and feasting.

There will be deliverance
for God's people.

Long live King Xerxes
and long live Queen Esther.

Darkness whispers

You are far from home
on your own

There's a promise ringing in our bones

We're not alone

The stars won't be swept away tonight

Be still and know

He is God

He is on the throne

He's always here

He always was

We are not alone

They came for me

I was torn away

Lost my name
light was fading

Then he fanned the flame

He called my name

Will you choose to run or stand and fight?

We've seen giants fall

Lions sleep

We've walked through oceans
He's always here

He always was
we are not alone

The enemy is closing in
but God won't let this story end

We were born with purpose
for such a time as this

The world was meant to see us shine
He placed us in the night

Let there be light

There is a name

Stronger still

Than death or pain

Yahweh

Yahweh, Yahweh

Yahweh

Yahweh, Yahweh

Yahweh

- Yahweh
- Yahweh

Yahweh

Yahweh

Be still and know

He is God

You are not alone

- It is finished.
- He delivered us, Hadassah.

Ezra, take this down.

By the authority of the King
and Queen of Persia.

A letter was drafted by Mordecai

and sent to all of God's people
throughout the empire.

They were to celebrate, to hold feasts

and give gifts to tell this story
from generation to generation.

So God's people will always remember
that he has a plan.

And his plan shines through us,
through you, as a light to the world.

A choice we must make to obey

Flows through time

Until it makes a way

So we will stand

For what is right

God still says let there be light

Light

Light

Light

When I look back,
I see his hand in every detail,

carefully shaping every moment.

God had a plan for me all along.

Be still. Know that he is God.

And in your story, you'll discover
that he made you who you are

for such a time as this.