Jon Snow enters Mance Rayder's camp unarmed. Inside Mance's tent, the two speak of Jon's treachery and his feelings for Ygritte. Upon hearing of her death, the King Beyond the Wall proposes they drink to her, and the two men remember the lives lost in battle the night before. Aware that the Night's Watch has already expended everything they had, Mance refuses to turn back. Instead, he asks that the gate be opened to his people; with winter approaching, his only desire is to move them south. As he speaks, he notices Jon eyeing a nearby knife and realizes that Jon's true mission is to kill him. The two face off, but are interrupted by a horn blast.
Stannis Baratheon's army assaults the wildling camp until Mance instructs his men to stand down. Stannis and Davos Seaworth take note of Jon Snow, who identifies himself as Ned Stark's son. At this, Stannis turns his full attention to Jon and asks for his opinion about the King Beyond the Wall. Jon advises him to do what Ned would: take him prisoner and listen to what he has to say.
The men of the Watch burn the bodies from the battle as Stannis and his entourage look on. Jon goes to see a shackled Tormund Giantsbane, who asks Jon to bury Ygritte in the real north where she belongs. Heeding the advice, Jon travels with her body north of the Wall and burns it there.
Cersei meets Pycelle and Qyburn in Pycelle's laboratory to examine Gregor Clegane. Both men agree he was poisoned with manticore venom, but only Qyburn believes he can be treated. The grand maester questions Qyburn's training, but is dismissed by Cersei. She hands the lab over to Qyburn who immediately begins to drain fluids from the Mountain's body, promising her it won't weaken him in the slightest.
The queen proceeds to her father's chambers. Unwilling to let Tywin raise Tommen in her absence, she demands that her engagement to Loras Tyrell be called off. Cersei threatens to reveal the truth about her and Jaime as a means to stop her father: "Your legacy is a lie." Tywin insists there is no truth to the rumors, but Cersei assures him he knows better.
Cersei finds Jaime in the Kingsguard chamber and tells him she has made her choice: She has chosen him and told Tywin the truth about their relationship. Initiating intimacy with her dumbstruck twin, she kisses his golden hand and tells him she doesn't care about anything else.
In her audience hall, Daenerys receives an elderly tutor. Unable to fend for himself in the barracks and mess halls sheltering the freed slaves, he asks permission to sell himself back to his master. Dany agrees only to let the man sign a year-long contract for his services. The next supplicant is a shell-shocked goatherd with a bundle in his arms. With Missandei translating for him, the goatherd explains that something came down from the sky. Laying the bundle down, he opens it and reveals the charred remains of his young daughter.
Dany escorts her dragons Viserion and Rhaegal to the catacombs; Drogon has not been seen in days. She attaches massive collars around their necks, chaining them to the floor. Stepping out of the catacomb, Dany weeps as her children call out to her and the door closes behind her.
In search of the Eyrie, Brienne of Tarth and Podrick happen upon Arya Stark, who marvels at the sight of Brienne in armor. Pod recognizes the Hound when he steps out from some rocks and the mood changes. Brienne mentions her promise to Catelyn Stark to bring Arya back, but the Lannister markings on Brienne's sword raise the Hound and Arya's suspicions. Regarding her as a threat to Arya's safety, the Hound exchanges fierce blows with Brienne. The two continue to grapple until Brienne gets the upper hand and sends the Hound over a ravine. Victorious, Brienne seeks out Arya, but finds only Pod. After the two leave in search of her, Arya emerges and climbs down the ravine. The Hound begs her to kill him, taunting her with memories of Micah's death, but she refuses. Arya takes the coin purse and leaves the Hound, still pleading.
As Bran's party nears its destination, skeletal hands shoot from the ground. Bran takes over Hodor's body to fight the wights, leaving his own vulnerable. A child of the forest appears, and ushers Hodor and Bran, back in his own body, to safety. Meera is unwilling to give up on Jojen until her wounded brother tells her she must. The child of the forest sends a bolt of light toward Jojen, setting him aflame. The three follow the child into a cave and meet the Three-Eyed Raven. A pale man on a nest of roots, he explains he takes on many forms. When Bran asks if he will ever walk again, the raven tells him he will fly.
Jaime startles Tyrion in his prison cell and directs him through the Red Keep's tunnels to a stairwell. Jaime gives his brother instructions to find Varys, who has a ship waiting to sail for the Free Cities, and the two say their goodbyes. Instead of taking the stairs, Tyrion detours to his Tower of the Hand. Entering Tywin's bedroom, Tyrion spots Shae in his father's bed, and infuriated, strangles her with the gold chains he once gave her. He then picks up Joffrey's crossbow and locates his father in the privy. Seemingly unperturbed, Tywin assures Tyrion he never had any intention of executing him and tries to convince his son to put down the crossbow. Tyrion tells Tywin he just killed Shae but Tywin dismisses her as a whore. When his father uses the word one time too many, Tyrion unleashes a pair of bolts into his father, killing him.
Tyrion goes to Varys' chambers and submits to being boxed into a crate along with supplies for the journey ahead. Later, Varys watches as the crate is carried onto a ship. Taking a final look at King's Landing, he boards the ship and stands alongside the crate.
Arya arrives at the harbor in Saltpans and tries to buy passage north. The captain refuses, telling her no one wants to go north; he is headed home to Braavos. At that, Arya pulls out her coin from Jaqen H'ghar, uttering, "Valar morghulis." The astonished captain replies "Valar dohaeris" and beckons her onboard. On deck, Arya stands at the ship's prow and looks towards the east.
Jon Snow treats with Mance Rayder, but their negotiations are interrupted when Stannis Baratheon and his army suddenly overrun the wildling camp and take Mance prisoner. Later, the Night's Watch burn the bodies of their dead while Jon burns Ygritte beyond the wall. Bran and his party come upon the large Heart Tree from his visions, but as they arrive they are attacked by wights; though Jojen is killed, Bran, Hodor and Meera are saved by a child of the forest who takes them to the three-eyed raven. In Meereen, Daenerys responds to a former slave's wish of being sold into slavery again by allowing him to contract his labor to his former master on a yearly basis. The next citizen brings her the charred remains of his daughter who was burned by one of her dragons. As a precaution, Daenerys chains her other dragons in the catacombs. In the Vale, Brienne and Podrick come upon Arya and the Hound. Brienne mortally wounds the Hound, while Arya escapes. Meanwhile in King's Landing, Cersei orders Qyburn to do anything to save the Mountain, who is dying of wounds from Oberyn's poisoned spear. She confronts her father, threatening to reveal her and Jaime's incestuous affairs if she is forced to marry Loras (after which, she rekindles that same affair). Tyrion is released from his cell by Jaime, but he later finds Shae in Tywin's bed and kills her. He then confronts his father in the privy and shoots him with Joffrey's crossbow, before escaping the city with Varys. The season ends with Arya buying passage on a ship bound for Braavos with the coin Jaqen H'ghar gave her.