The Secret of Kells

Synopsis: Young Brendan lives in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids. But a new life of adventure beckons when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from the isle of Iona carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers. To help complete the magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures hide. It is here that he meets the fairy Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl, who helps him along the way. But with the barbarians closing in, will Brendan's determination and artistic vision illuminate the darkness and show that enlightenment is the best fortification against evil?
Director(s): Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey (co-director)
Production: GKIDS
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
75 min

I have lived

through many ages.

Through the eyes

of salmon,


and wolf.

I have seen the Northmen

invading Ireland,

destroying all

in search of gold.

I have seen suffering

in the darkness.

Yet, I have seen

beauty thrive

in the most

fragile of places.

I have seen the book.

The book that

turned darkness

into light.


don't let her get away.

Come on.

Nice goosy,

goosy, goosy...


Stand back,

I will get her.

Which way?


that scaffolding

is not steady!







Are you hurt?



Keep it quiet, Brendan,

or the abbot will hear.

I'm sorry,

but we have

to do this.

It will all be

over in a minute.

One, two,

three, four, five.

Now, that wasn't

so hard, was it?

Lucky bird.

Your feathers will

become the tools

from which we create

immortal pages of sacred text.


I explain for you.

We tried to catch goose

and she run very fast

and I fall in the mud.

Forgive us, Abbot.


Brendan, where are

those plans I asked for?

The plans?

I left them

in the scriptorium.

Bring them

to the tower.

Yes, Uncle.

Tomorrow, you will go back

to work on the wall.

Dawn till evening bell.

Brother Leonardo,

clean yourself up

for pity's sake.

I don't know why

there are artists in Kells

when all that man

wants us to do

is to build

this crazy wall.

Yes, that is all

the man cares about,

nothing else,

and you continue

to defend him, Brendan.

Uncle just wants to

protect us

from the outside.

When the Northmen

come to Kells,

they'll make no distinction

between young and old. So...

"Prepare or

meet your doom!"

You just don't understand.

But, Brendan,

you've never been

outside these walls.

I don't have to

go outside to know

how dangerous it is.

Where have you

all been?

We went to get these,

for you.

You should have

seen him,

Brother Sergei.

He took a flying dive,

like a beautiful swan.

It is not funny.

The Abbot sees us.

He is not happy

because we are not

working on the wall.

Now enough of that!

What about the books?

Does he not find them?

If there were no books,

all knowledge would

be lost for eternity.


We cannot

only build walls.

The people must have books,

so that they may have hope.

If we had a true

master illuminator,

we would do such

splendid work.

Let us pray that one

will be delivered

to us one day.

Let us pray!

Surely you don't

need a master.

Your work is

the finest I've seen.

Thank you, Brendan.

But we are mere scribblers

next to true masters.

True masters? Such as...

Such as

Brother Aidan of Iona.

Aidan the Wise.

Aidan is indeed

the great one.

Who is the Brother Aidan?

A sage.

The wisest one

of them all.

The perfect illuminator.

Well, where is he then?

He lives on a tiny

island called Iona.

There is an abbey

on the island

where he works

on a magnificent book.

The Book of Iona.

The book was begun

200 years ago,

under the orders

of none other than

Saint Columbkille himself.

The Book of Iona

outshines all others

because of the miracle

of Columbkille's third eye.

No, not because

of his third eye,

because of his three hands

with 12 fingers on each.

That's not true!

He had a third eye,

not a third hand.

Have you not heard about

the Eye of Columbkille?

Of course!

But that was for

making the prophecies.

His third hand was

for beginning the book.


Just tell the boy

about Brother Aidan.

His writings are

said to glow from the pages,

as though they are light.

Sinners have been blinded

while glancing upon the pages.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Fabrice Ziolkowski

Fabrice Ziolkowski (born January 28, 1954) is a French-American screenwriter, director, producer, and voice director, best known for scripting the Oscar-nominated feature animation film The Secret of Kells, writing the animated television series Gawayn, and directing and producing the avant-garde documentary film L.A.X.. more…

All Fabrice Ziolkowski scripts | Fabrice Ziolkowski Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Secret of Kells" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Nov. 2023. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Secret of Kells


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.