Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont stand before Queen Daenerys Targaryen. With his identity and intentions in question, Tyrion explains to Dany that his knowledge of Westeros and experience as Hand of the King are exactly what she needs. She tests him by asking what she should do about Jorah. Tyrion reasons that "a ruler who kills those devoted to her is not a ruler who inspires devotion," but determines that she cannot have Jorah at her side. Dany agrees and spares Jorah's life, but exiles him once more. Broken and banished, Jorah checks the greyscale spreading on his arm. He returns to Yezzan, the slaver who bought him at auction, and trades his freedom to fight in front of Dany at the Great Pit.
Dany and Tyrion commiserate about being the terrible children of terrible fathers. Tyrion ponders if Dany is "the right kind of terrible" to rule a kingdom, and admits he is impressed by her. The two discuss Varys, and Tyrion assures her that the Spider is worth trusting as he is likely the reason that Dany is still alive. Dany decides that rather than kill Tyrion, she will make him her advisor. Furthermore, she tells Tyrion, her plan isn’t merely to take the throne, but to stop the destructive cycle of Westerosi monarchs.
Cersei’s jailer, Septa Unella, prods her for a confession. When Cersei refuses, Unella withholds water from her, forcing the queen mother to slurp what she can from her cell floor. Qyburn visits with updates: the High Sparrow is preparing a substantial case against her; there's been no word from Jaime; Kevan Lannister presides over the Small Council, and – most devastatingly for Cersei – Tommen has shut himself in, refusing to eat.
Roose and Ramsay Bolton discuss Stannis Baratheon's impending attack. Roose plans to wait for Stannis' troops to starve and mutiny, but Ramsay offers an alternative: striking first. "I don't need an army," he tells his father, "I need 20 good men."
Arya Stark plays the Game of Faces with Jaqen H'ghar at the House of Black and White. She expertly recounts her routine as an oyster vendor named Lanna. Pleased with her performance, Jaqen designates a route for "Lanna" with a task for the Many-Faced God. As Lanna, Arya meets the Thin Man, an insurer who is cheating his clients. Jaqen assigns Arya to keep watch over the Thin Man and presents her with a "gift" for him – a vial of poison. The waif maintains that the girl is not ready. "It is all the same to the Many-Faced God," Jaqen replies.
Gilly tends to Samwell Tarly's wounds and Olly enters with a tray of food. In a private moment, the young steward questions Jon’s decision to rescue the wildlings when they mercilessly slaughtered so many. Sam tells Olly he's seen the White Walkers assemble. "When it's time," Sam says, "we'll need every last man we can find."
Imprisoned in her chamber, Sansa asks Theon why he foiled her escape. "He knows everything," Theon explains, recalling how Ramsay tortured him into submission when he himself tried to run. Admitting he deserves to be Reek, Theon lists his betrayals, and inadvertently reveals that he killed two farm boys – not Bran and Rickon Stark. Sansa realizes her little brothers are still alive.
Jon, Tormund and Dolorous Edd lead a group into Hardhome. Rattleshirt meets the rescue party and calls Tormund a traitor for allying himself with the crows. In response, Tormund beats Rattleshirt to death.
The wildling elders, including the giant Wun Wun and a woman named Karsi, gather to hear Jon Snow. The Lord Commander makes his case for an alliance and shows Sam's bag of dragonglass daggers. He offers to share the weapons – if the Free Folk come south of the Wall and swear to fight beside him "when the real war begins." News of Mance's death deters the elders, but Tormund explains that Jon granted Mance mercy and vouches for Jon's leadership. A fraction of the council agree to Jon's plan, but a larger contingent refuses. Thousands of wildlings begin boarding the Night's Watch ships, but Jon laments to Tormund that they are leaving too many behind.
The weather abruptly changes, getting colder. The Army of the Dead has come. The wildlings frantically shut the gates, and hear the wights massacre those trapped outside the doors. On the beach, panicked wildlings surge towards Jon's ships. Wights scale the gate and a bloodbath ensues. Jon frantically tries to save the dragonglass daggers, but finds himself cornered by a White Walker. Though every other weapon shatters against the Walker’s sword, the Valyrian steel of Longclaw holds strong and Jon kills the creature. From above, the Night King takes note of Jon.
A large group of wights jump off a cliff, only to rise unharmed to resume their murderous pursuits. Just as the gates fall, Jon, Tormund, Edd and Wun Wun make their escape. As their boat drifts away, the Night King raises his arms. The fallen wildlings – including Karsi – stand, their eyes now bright blue. A hundred thousand new wights. The Night King has his army now.
Cersei refuses to confess her sins. Qyburn informs her that Pycelle has sent for Kevan to serve as the King's Hand, and that "the work continues." Arya assumes the identity of Lana, an oyster seller. Jaqen tells her to learn everything about a man who takes wagers on whether or not ships arrive at their destinations, and then poison him. Olly asks Sam why Jon trusts the wildings, to which Sam replies that he has no other choice; otherwise they don't stand a chance against the army of the dead. Sansa asks Reek why he told Ramsay about her escape plans, and he says there is no escape. He then finally reveals that he faked the deaths of her younger brothers. Ramsay suggests to his father that they move on Stannis and asks for twenty good men. In Meereen, Tyrion convinces Daenerys to spare Jorah's life and exile him again. Jorah instead goes back to Yezzan and asks permission to fight in the pits. Daenerys accepts Tyrion into her counsil. Arriving at Hardhome, Jon and Tormund manage to convince about five thousand wildlings to come back with them, showing them the dragonglass and offering them lands south of the Wall. Hardhome is suddenly attacked by an army of wights, and Jon and the other rangers help defend it. A White Walker attacks Jon, but is killed by Jon's Valyrian steel-sword. As Jon, the other rangers and the wildings sail away, they witness the White Walkers' master reviving the deceased wildings.
Cersei learns that her uncle Kevan is appointed as the Hand. She is left thirsty in order to force her to confess, which she does not. Arya assumes the identity of Lana, an oyster merchant. H'ghar tasks her to study a man who sells marine insurance, but has defrauded benefactors. She is to learn everything about the insurer, and then poison him. Theon tells Sansa that he faked the deaths of Brandon and Rickon. Ramsay suggests to Roose that they move on Stannis and asks for twenty skilled men. In Meereen, Tyrion convinces Daenerys to spare Mormont's life and she exiles him again. Mormont goes back to Yezzan and asks permission to fight in the pits. She accepts Tyrion into her council. Arriving in Hardhome, Snow and Giantsbane convince about five thousand wildlings to join them before Hardhome is attacked by an army of wights. Snow kills a White Walker with his Valyrian-steel sword. As he, Giantsbane and the other survivors sail away, they witness the Night's King reanimating the deceased wildlings as wights.
Tyrion and Jorah stand before the queen and she is practically vibrating with anger. She asks Tyrion why she should accept him into her service. He says he seeks to advise her and see if she deserves his service. She offers to send him back to the fighting pits. He then tells Dany's life story to her and how she had no power, wealth, lands or armies but how she came into them and how Varys told her that she was their best hope as a ruler. She asks his advice on Jorah. Tyrion speaks well of him mostly talking about how devoted he is, that he's probably in love with her, that yes, he did betray her, but he only seeks to serve her and a good queen doesn't inspire others to be devoted to her if she kills those who are. He says she should go on to rule but not with Jorah by her side. She tell the guards to take Jorah out of her city, sparing his life, but still crushing him emotionally. As he walks away he regards the greyscale growing on his arm. He goes back to the slaver and tells him the slaver can own him if he lets him fight before the queen in the pits. Later, after he's washed up and had some wine, Tyrion and Dany talk-- a little family history, Mad King, killed his dad, yada, yada-- still with the threat of her killing him hanging over him. He explains what Varys said to him about how she could be the best ruler. She announces that she isn't going to kill him but will instead take him on as an advisor. He explains how she has no support since there are no Starks or Targaryens, the Baratheons and Lannisters won't help, and maybe she'll have the Tyrells. She talks about the endless spinning of the wheel between the families. He says she can't stop the wheel. She says she doesn't plan on stopping it, she plans to break it. Reek brings Sansa her dinner and she confronts him about ratting her out. He says he was doing her a favor since Ramsay always finds out and would've punished her further. He explains how he transformed him from Theon into Reek. She says she's glad Ramsay did this to him and if she could do it all again she would do it to him too. He says he deserved everything he got for turning his back on Robb and taking Winterfell. But, he does finally admit that he didn't kill Bran and Rickon like she thought before he runs away. So Sansa now knows her brothers 'are alive. Meanwhile, Roose is talking with his generals and Ramsay about their war plans, which are basically to wait for Stannis to arrive at the fortified Winterfell, mow them down and let them starve and freeze. He sees Ramsay disagrees. Ramsay wants to take the fight to Stannis. Roose says this is foolhardy and besides their army couldn't make it through the snow anyway. Ramsay says he doesn't need an army, just 20 good men. Ja'qen is teaching Arya to become a new person, a spy of sorts. She is taking on the identity of "Lana," an orphan who sells oysters, clams, and cockles from a cart in the markets down by the canals. As we watch her recite her tale to him he taps her arm when she trips up or to make adjustments. We watch her go about her life in the market with the oysters and she waits on a wealthy, crotchety man upon whom Ja'qen wants her to spy for some reason, to serve the Many Faced God. The man seems mean and arbitrary. We learn he is a gambler who bets on the journeys of sailors. The people he screws pray to the Many Faced God and they take care of he people who do the screwing. He tells her to go back and case the gambler, stke out his habits, and then, essentially, poison him. The Many Faced God is all about vigilante justice apparently. Arya, of course with her vengeance list, smiles as she walks away with the vial. The girl who was mean to her before tells Ja'qen she doesn't think Arya is ready. Ja'qen says whether she is or not doesn't matter to the Many Faced God. Cersei stews in her cell, all dirty and disheveled. A Silent Sister enters and whips a piece of bread at her and offers her a spoon full of food only if she confesses. Cersei reiterate that hers will be the last face the woman sees before she dies. The sister whacks her head witt the spoon. Qyburn comes to visit and the news is not good. No word from Jamie and the King has taken to his bed and is not eating and no amount of cajoling can get him to come see her. Also, her Uncle Kevan is returning to serve as his hand until this mess is sorted out. Qyburn says there is a way out but Cersei, knowing this means confessing at or before the trial fornication, incest, treason, Robert's murder etc. She refuses to give the High Sparrow, who she put in power, the satisfaction of a confession. He tells her "the work continues" in his lab re: his crazy reanimation of the mountain. The Silent Sister returns again with water and she again reiterates her threat, after trying to bribe her first by offering her to make her a powerful woman. The sister pours the water on the flloor and leaves her. Cersei desperately sucks at the floor. She tends to his wounds. He asks how she is. She says she's fine but admits she's a little scared. Ollie arrives with food. He asks him why Jon is trying to save the Wildlings, who killed his parents and his whole village. Sam says Wildlings are people, with both good and bad. Ollie wonders how they can trust them. Sam says he's seen the White Walkers and says they are coming for them and they will need every man they have, to fight them and sometimes men have to make hard choices, ones that look wrong at first but they know are right. He tells him to try not to worry, and says he's been worrying about Jon for years and he always comes back. We cut to Jon and a bunch of men rowing ashore from the fleet of boats they borrowded from Stannis.The Wildlings of Hardhome await them on the shore.Very surprised to see Tormund Giantsbane with Crows. The leaders greet them. Jon announces they're allies. The leader of the Hardhome calls Tormund a traitor. Jon says they are not there to fight but to talk. Tormund kills the leader, making his point, and tells the others to gather the elders to talk. Jon explains what is happening and that he knows that they are not friends and never will be. It's about survival and putting the Wildlings behind the Wall to protect them and that together they can beat the White Walkers. They are beyond skeptical. He shows them the Dragonglass that they can use to kill the Walkers. He tells them they can settle on the lands south of the wall. He invokes the dreams of Mance Rayder and says he will let them settle if they swear to join him when the real war starts. They ask where Mance is. Jon explains about the arrow but Tormund explains it was in mercy given the situation. Jon beseeches them to think about their children: "The long night is coming, and the dead come with it." He says the Walkers are coming and none of them can stop them alone. They have to band together and still even then they might not win but at least they'll give them a fight. Tormund vouches for him and says he's a good fighter, a good leader, and they need each other. They trust Tormund and throw in with them, except the Thenns, who aren't impressed. The Wildlings start loading up to get on the ships. There are going to be at least 5,000 and many are still staying behind. Tormund says they'll come around when they begin starving. The Giant looks at the dragon glass. Edison is collecting it but lets the giant keep it. Suddenly, all the dogs start barking... and then, all hell breaks loose. An army of White Walkers descends on Hardhome and it is terrifying. They run to shut the gates and people are still outside them. Everyone inside the gates regards the onslaught mouths agape. And suddenly the Walkers are at the gates, busting through. People start running for the rowboats to the ships overcrowding them. Inside the keep the Walkers descend, like aliens from "Alien" and the fight is on. Arrows are flying, swords are swinging. Walkers are screaming. Jon calls the Night's Watch to follow him and fight. They all do. They fight valiantly for awhile, one elder Walker and Jon go toe to toe. Jon scrambles for the dragon glass but can't get to it. When he pulls his own sword he destroys the Walker. So now we know Valyrian steel can destroy them. But one sword isn't enough as 1,000s are coming. Jon and Tormund and a few others outrun them to the boats and the Walkers slaugher scores more. As they row away they look back towards the shore. The main walker regards them and raises his armsto the side. As he does all of the Wildlings they killed open their eyes, they are ice blue. They are now Walkers. They rise up again. Jon and the few other survivors in the boat are suitably freaked ou as they float back to the ship, the Giant beside them, swatting off Walkers. The long night has come and the dead have come with it.