A trembling Theon Greyjoy follows Ramsay Snow and Myranda as they savagely hunt down a young woman and leave her for the dogs. Upon returning to the Dreadfort, Ramsay greets his father, Roose Bolton, Roose’s new bride, Walda, and Locke, who have just arrived. Roose is irritated with his bastard when he sees what's become of Theon Greyjoy, no longer useful as a hostage. Although Roose is now Warden of the North, the Bolton claim on the land is tenuous as long as the Ironborn hold Moat Cailin.
Eager to demonstrate that “Reek” is both docile and useful, Ramsay commands his prisoner to give him a shave. Reek delicately handles the blade and answers Ramsay's questions, informing Roose that Bran and Rickon Stark are alive. Tasked with finding the boys, Locke heads for Castle Black, based on Reek’s guess that the Starks sought shelter with Jon Snow. Impressed with Reek's submissiveness, Roose makes a proposition: If Ramsay can use Theon Greyjoy to win Moat Cailin, Roose will reconsider his bastard's legitimacy.
After Jaime Lannister confides to Tyrion that he cannot fight with his left hand, his brother advises Jaime to train with a discreet swordsman, and recommends Bronn for the job. Jaime is initially insulted when the sellsword insists on fighting with dull sparring blades, but soon acknowledges that he is no better than a beginner.
Tyrion Lannister receives disastrous news from Varys: Cersei has learned of his relationship with Shae, and Varys will not cover for him. When Shae goes to Tyrion's chamber later that day, he is clear: She must leave. He has prepared passage for her to Pentos. Shae rejects the idea, but Tyrion cuts her short: "You're a whore." He maintains that he doesn't love her and that their time together is over. She flees in tears. Later that day, Bronn assures Tyrion that Shae boarded the ship.
Melisandre oversees an “offering” to the Lord of Light at Dragonstone. Three traitors are burned at the stake, including Stannis Baratheon's brother-in-law. Davos Seaworth questions his king's complacency, but Stannis brushes him off. Later that night, Stannis defends his daughter to his wife, Selyse, who believes Shireen to be tainted by sin. Selyse backs down when Melisandre agrees to talk to the child. The Red priestess explains to Shireen that the gods of the Seven are false; there are only two gods – one of light and one of darkness, and they are eternally at war.
Bran Stark hunts as his direwolf Summer when he's woken by Hodor. Meera and Jojen Reed warn Bran about spending too much time in Summer's skin; after a certain point, Bran will forget his humanity entirely. The hungry travelers press on and notice Summer standing beside an ancient weirwood. Compelled by the tree's face, Bran touches the trunk and experiences a series of visions. "I know where we have to go," he tells his companions.
King Joffrey receives wedding gifts at a breakfast held in his honor. Tyrion presents his nephew with a rare book, which the king promptly hacks to shreds once his grandfather presents him with a new Valyrian steel sword. The king names his new blade “Widow’s Wail.”
Joffrey and Margaery are wed in the Faith of the Seven. Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand greet Tywin Lannister and dowager queen Cersei at the lavish reception. Oberyn mentions his sister's murder, silencing the Lannisters. Tywin has a pointed exchange with Olenna Tyrell, who also offers her sympathies to Sansa Stark.
Jaime Lannister greets Loras Tyrell, and exchanges barbs with the Knight of Flowers. Cersei confronts Brienne of Tarth about her relationship with Jaime but cannot get a read on the warrior woman. Fuming, Cersei dresses down Maester Pycelle and commands him to give the leftovers to the dogs, defying Queen Margaery’s decree that the surplus go to the poor.
Joffrey silences the crowd and introduces a show, "The War of Five Kings." The performers are five dwarves, dressed as Joffrey, Stannis Baratheon, Renly Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy and Robb Stark. Joffrey grins at Tyrion while the crude show plays out. Sansa is equally insulted by a vulgar reenactment of her brother's death.
Once the show is completed, Joffrey suggests Tyrion join the fray. When his uncle snubs the offer and retaliates with a reference to the Battle of the Blackwater, Joffrey retaliates by pouring a glass of wine on Tyrion. He demands Tyrion serve as his cupbearer and sends him scrambling under the table for a goblet. The tension is broken when Margaery draws attention to the next course, a giant pigeon pie. Joffrey cuts through the crust, releasing live birds inside. The pie is distributed to the crowd and Joffrey digs in, and washes it down with wine. He begins to cough violently, and falls to the ground.
In the ensuing chaos, Dontos ushers Sansa out of the reception, Jaime rushes to the king’s side, while Olenna comforts Margaery. As he takes his final breaths, the Joffrey points to Tyrion. Cersei cradles her dead son and commands that Tyrion be arrested for Joffrey's murder.
Roose Bolton returns to the Dreadfort to meet up with his bastard son Ramsay Snow and sees firsthand how Theon Greyjoy has been brutalized into a subservient persona called 'Reek'. His next objective is to find and kill the remaining Stark children, Bran and Rickon, who threaten the legitimacy of his new title, as well as reclaiming the territories under Ironborn occupation. Beyond the Wall, the visions of the Three-eyed Raven compel Bran and his companions to travel further northwards, despite growing hunger. At Dragonstone, Melisandre orders several people to be burned as a tribute to the Lord of Light, to the delight of Queen Selyse and the disgust of Davos and Shireen. In King's Landing, Tyrion ends his relationship with Shae to protect her from his family and arranges for her to be shipped off to Pentos. Jaime begins discreetly training his left-handed swordplay with the help of Bronn. Later at the Royal Wedding feast, tensions grow between Joffrey and Tyrion. The feast is abruptly cut short when Joffrey succumbs to poisoned wine and dies. A grief-stricken Cersei accuses Tyrion of murdering the king and orders his arrest.