Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Sansa Stark walks down a corridor in King's Landing with Septa Mordane, when sounds of fighting reach their ears. Lannister men have begun to slaughter the Stark guards. The Septa sends Sansa to her chambers, warning her to bar the doors. Sansa hurries away as a group of Lannisters advance on her governess, gripping bloodied swords. The young girl rushes though passageways, but her escape is blocked by the Hound. She orders him to step away, threatening to tell the Queen, but the burned man replies, "Who do you think sent me?"
Arya Stark practices her swordplay with her "dancing master" Syrio Forel, and a group of Lannister men come for her as well. Syrio dispatches them with nothing but his wooden practice sword, leaving only Ser Meryn Trant, a member of the kingsguard. Syrio holds his ground, but when the Braavosi's wooden sword snaps under one of Meryn's blows, he orders Arya to flee. The girl runs to the stables, where her packed belongings have been scattered on the ground. She digs in the pile, searching for her sword Needle. A fat stable boy approaches and tries to grab her, planning to hand her over to the queen. Without thinking, Arya plunges the blade into the boy's stomach.
The spymaster Varys visits Lord Ned Stark in the dungeons of King's Landing, offering the accused "traitor" a drink and delivering some unwelcome news: Tyrion Lannister has escaped the Vale, taking the Starks' last bit of leverage with him.
At the Wall, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont and his men examine the corpses of Othor and Jafer Flowers - two members of the Night's Watch who rode out beyond the Wall with Benjen Stark. Samwell Tarly notices that the bodies are strangely devoid of rot and odor. Mormont orders that they be burned after Maester Aemon examines them. Later, inside Castle Black, Mormont tells Jon Snow that he's received word about Ned's imprisonment. "I hope you're not thinking of doing anything stupid," Mormont tells Jon.
At King's Landing, Sansa pleads with the queen to set her father free. With the council chiming in behind her, Cersei suggests that Sansa write to her mother and brother Robb to urge them to bend the knee before their new king, Joffrey.
Sansa's letter arrives in the North, but Robb and Maester Luwin recognize the Queen's manipulation. Robb orders that his bannermen be called into service. He'll appear before the throne in King's Landing ... with an army. A raven carrying similar tidings arrives at the Eyrie, where Catelyn Stark is furious over her sister's refusal to help. "I will not risk Robin's life to get caught up in another of your husband's wars," says Lady Lysa Arryn, clutching her son.
Tyrion treks through the mountains with the sellsword Bronn. The dwarf promises his new companion: "If the day ever comes when you're tempted to sell me out ... whatever their price, I'll beat it." The men make camp, and soon the warriors of the Hill Tribes - led by a grizzled man named Shagga - fall upon them. After several tense moments, Tyrion convinces the tribesmen that he can deliver them the weapons and gold necessary to seize the one thing they want: the Vale of Arryn.
Jon, confined to his quarters after an altercation with Ser Alliser Thorne, notices Ghost pawing at the door, trying to get out. He opens the door and follows the wolf to Mormont's chambers, where he finds Othor's corpse, reanimated as a wight. Jon stabs the zombie-like creature, but the sword does nothing to stop it. Mormont wanders into the room holding a lantern, Jon heaves the lamp at Othor, engulfing the wight in flames.
The Dothraki raid a village of Lhazareen - a peaceful people of sheep-herders - killing, burning and raping with zeal. Daenerys Targaryen sees the Dothraki carrying off survivors as slaves, which they'll trade to fuel her invasion of Westeros, but when she hears the screams of a woman named Mirri Maz Dur, the khaleesi orders the women of the village to be protected. Later, the warrior Mago complains to Drogo about the affront and then challenges the khal's leadership. Drogo fights with Mago, ripping the man's throat out in front of the crowd, sustaining a wound to his chest in the process. "A scratch," he tells Daenerys, but when Mirri offers to dress the wound, Dany insists that Drogo allow it.
Robb calls his bannermen to march south, but one of them, Greatjon Umber, isn't happy when he's told that he won't lead the vanguard. He draws a blade at the table, and Robb's direwolf, Grey Wind, drives Umber to the ground and bites off two of his fingers. The Greatjon regains his feet, and Robb offers him a graceful escape from the situation by making a joke, "Doubtless, the Greatjon only meant to cut my meat for me." The men laugh, none louder than the Greatjon. Later that night, Robb visits Bran in his chambers to say goodbye. The army is leaving, and now Bran is the oldest Stark in Winterfell.
The next day in the Godswood, Osha tells Bran that Robb and his sworn swords are marching the wrong way. The danger is in the North. The men of the Night's Watch are learning this to be true, as they burn the wights' bodies at Castle Black. "They've been touched by White Walkers," says Sam, who read about the monsters in a book from Maester Aemon's library. "Only fire will stop them."
The Northmen make camp near the Trident, where Lady Catelyn Stark and Ser Rodrik Cassel meet up with Robb's forces. Catelyn and her son are relieved to see each other safe, but both realize how high the stakes are: If Robb cannot win this war, their entire family will die. As he strategizes with his bannermen, it becomes clear that victory requires crossing the Trident - which depends on the cooperation of the unreliable Lord Walder Frey.
Tyrion and his allies from the Hill Tribes arrive at the Lannister war camp. The dwarf tells his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, that they owe the tribesmen weapons and armor for their assistance. Tywin asks the mountain men to fight with him against the Northmen, and Shagga agrees - as long as Tyrion fights as well. Their conversation is cut short when a message arrives that the Starks on are on the march. Tywin sends out orders that it's time to strike.
Sitting on the Iron Throne, King Joffrey makes appointments, raising the City Watch commander Janos Slynt to nobility and naming Tywin as Hand of the King. Ser Barristan Selmy is dismissed as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard ... and replaced with Jaime Lannister. Barristan is shocked and appalled to be removed from a position he vowed to serve for life, and leaves in shame and anger. The final order of business is a plea from Sansa that Joffrey grant mercy for her father. She swears Ned loved Robert and must have been deceived, begging Joffrey to help if he has any affection left for her. "Your sweet words have moved me," Joffrey tells her. "But your father must confess and say that I'm the king. Or there will be no mercy for him."