At The Wall, Jon and Sam return to Castle Black with their party and two dead bodies in tow. The two corpses are identified as members of Benjen Stark's missing ranging party, Jafer Flowers and Othor. Though the deceased appear to have been dead for some time, Sam astutely notes that the bodies do not smell like they have been rotting. Jon and several other Sworn Brothers urge Lord Commander Jeor Mormont to burn the bodies, but he refuses, wanting Maester Aemon to examine them.
Little Waiting Time...
Jon is summoned to Mormont's chambers as news has arrived of Eddard's arrest and imprisonment. After being given the letter to read for himself, a speechless Jon attempts to leave before Mormont reminds him of the oath he has sworn to the Night's Watch. When Jon expresses concern for his sisters, Mormont replies he is sure they are unharmed, though Jon is doubtful.
Later on, Alliser Thorne taunts Jon that his father is a traitor, calling him, "not just a bastard, a traitor's bastard." Jon angrily charges at him with a knife and Thorne is only saved by Grenn and Pyp holding Jon back. Commander Mormont witnessed the incident and confines Jon to quarters for his trouble. That night, Jon is aroused by a whining Ghost scratching at the door. Sensing trouble, Jon and his direwolf head to the Lord Commander's chambers where Jon is confronted by a wight, the reanimated corpse of the dead Night's Watchman. Though Jon is able to stab the wight through the chest with his sword, the wight simply removes the sword and is unharmed. Mormont appears, seeking out the commotion. Jon grabs Mormont's oil lamp and throws it at the wight, finally destroying it.
The morning after, the two wight bodies have been thoroughly burned. Sam says he read in a book that the dead are animated by the touch of the White Walkers and only fire can destroy such creatures. He hopes the Wall is big enough to hold them back when the Walkers come in force.
At the Eyrie, Catelyn is furious with Lysa: first for Lysa not immediately notifying her about Eddard's arrest and second for refusing to consider summoning the knights of the Vale to war. Despite setting in motion this chain of events with her letter to her sister regarding the murder of Jon Arryn, Lysa does not believe that war is in the Vale's best interests and rather want the knights to stay in the Vale to protect her son and their Lord.
In the Mountains of the Moon, Tyrion and Bronn have reached the western edge of the Vale and are surrounded by members of the hill tribes, led by a fearsome warrior named Shagga. At first he orders them to be killed, but Tyrion does some fast-talking and convinces the hill tribes that House Lannister is an enemy of the House Arryn and its rulers. He proposes an alliance which will allow the tribes to enact vengeance against House Arryn and take ownership of the lands of the Vale. They eagerly agree, and escort Tyrion and Bronn westwards towards where the Lannister armies are gathering.
In The North, Robb receives a letter from Sansa in King's Landing, asking him to pledge fealty to King Joffrey. Maester Luwin correctly deduces the letter is actually the work of the Queen. Robb refuses to consider the request and sends out ravens, summoning the lords bannermen of the North and their armies to assemble at Winterfell. Released ravens fill the sky.
At Winterfell, Robb holds a feast for several of his newly-arrived bannermen. Jon Umber assumes that he will lead the vanguard, and is offended by the suggestion that he would be made to march behind a Glover, threatening to withdraw from the host. In response, Robb promises that, after the conflict with the Lannisters, he will oust Greatjon from his keep and hang him for breaking his oaths to House Stark; when the enraged bannerman goes to draw a weapon, Robb's direwolf Grey Wind sets upon him, biting off two of his fingers. Robb recites 'that it [is] death to bear steel against your liege lord' but then diffuses the situation by excusing Greatjon's aggression, saying that 'doubtless, the Greatjon only meant to cut my meat for me'. The Greatjon roars with laughter and accepts Robb's commands, much to the shock of Bran, who witnessed the entire incident. Robb says farewell to Bran and to Rickon, who is convinced he'll see neither Robb nor his parents again.
Bran prays by the heart tree when he is approached by Osha who tells him the Old Gods of the Forest are listening to him and that the wildlings also worship the Old Gods. She laments that the South has lost touch with the past; the southern Weirwoods were cut down years ago and the Southerners have no idea what's awakening in the north. They are interrupted by Hodor who was bathing and has forgotten to put his clothes back on, and Osha remarks that he might have giant blood in him before Bran sends him away. Curious, Bran asks her if giants live beyond the wall. She affirms they do, as well has many other beings, though not all of them are friendly. She asserts that the army Robb has gathered should be marching north, not south.
Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel intercept Robb's army in the Neck as it presses southwards. Robb initially exclaims with excitement upon seeing his mother, but stops short of embracing her lest he look weak in front of his bannermen. Catelyn looks at her son with understanding, later embracing once their liege-lords have left their tent. She tells Robb he has no choice but to go to war. However, he cannot lose, for the sake of Ned, Sansa, and Arya, as if he is defeated, Tywin Lannister will show their family no mercy.
Later on, Robb and his lords are debating on the route of their march, and on whether to march directly against Tywin's army or against Jaime's army besieging Riverrun. To get to Jaime, they need to cross the Green Fork of the River Trident, and the only crossing is at the Twins, held by the notoriously prickly and easily-offended Lord Walder Frey. A Lannister scout is captured, and Robb sends him back to warn Lord Tywin that twenty thousand Northern soldiers are marching against him.
At The Lannister Camp, Tyrion, Bronn, Shagga and the rest of the hill tribesmen arrive at the Lannister encampment, to find Lord Tywin Lannister and his brother, Ser Kevan, planning to engage the Stark army, which is moving south from the Neck. Tywin shows no sign of relief that his son is alive. Tywin accepts the aid of the hill tribesmen, but Shagga will only fight if Tyrion fights alongside them, a prospect which Tywin welcomes and terrifies Tyrion.
In Essos, Khal Drogo having taken an oath to take the Iron Throne, has begun his march of conquest to the Narrow Sea. The Dothraki raid a village in Lhazar, a peaceful country to the south-east of Vaes Dothrak. To finance the war to come, they must raid villages and take people to sell into slavery, thereby gaining the money to hire ships for the khalasar to assault Westeros. Ser Jorah and others try to explain this to Daenerys, but she is disturbed to see the aftermath, the Dothraki killing the villagers and raping their women, and orders it stopped. The Dothraki grow angry at not being able to take the spoils of victory, as that is the Dothraki way. She starts claiming all the women they see to protect them. The angry warriors take their complaints to Khal Drogo, but he is amused at his wife's fierceness. He tells them that Daenerys may keep the women she has claimed, they can find others. One man won't listen, and angrily accuses Drogo of being slave to a foreign whore. Khal Drogo stops the complaints by killing Mago, the offended warrior who challenges him. Drogo takes a deep wound to the chest in the process. Though Drogo dismisses it as a scratch, Daenerys insists it be treated and allows one of the women she rescued, a healer called Mirri Maz Duur to treat the wound, despite the distaste of Drogo's bloodriders, who derisively call the woman maegi (a witch).
In King's Landing, Lannister soldiers complete their purge of the Stark guards and household staff. Sansa and Septa Mordane hear sounds of fighting. When they are confronted by Lannister guardsmen led by Sandor Clegane, Septa Mordane tells Sansa to run and lock herself in her room while she stays to confront them. However, Sandor later finds and takes Sansa into custody.
More Lannister guardsmen, this time led by Ser Meryn Trant of the Kingsguard, interrupt a "dancing" lesson between Syrio Forel and Arya. Syrio holds Arya back, questioning why Lord Eddard would send Lannister men to find Arya. She then refuses to go with them, and when they try to force the issue Syrio disarms and disables all of the lightly-armored guardsmen with his wooden practice sword. He tells Arya to run as he faces down Trant, noting that for himself, "the First Sword of Braavos does not run." Syrio's fate after this is unclear.
Arya runs to the stables where the men waiting with their baggage were supposed to be to take them to the ship for Winterfell. The men are dead, but she finds her real sword, Needle, in the bottom of her trunk. Arya then starts to leave the stables. (Arya knows how to get out of the Red Keep via the tunnel under the castle that she found when she was chasing cats and followed the two conspirators). When a stableboy tries to grab her, Arya turns around brandishing Needle and accidentally runs him through and kills him. Horrified, she flees.
Varys visits Eddard Stark in his cell in the dungeons. He is incredulous that Eddard trusted Littlefinger over him, and even more so that he warned Cersei what he was going to do. Eddard says he wanted to extend mercy to Cersei's children, whom Robert would have killed if he'd known the truth. Varys bluntly tells Eddard that his mercy is what killed King Robert, to Eddard's shame. Varys then tells him that Catelyn also no longer holds Tyrion as her prisoner, meaning that the Starks have nothing to barter with for Eddard's life. When Eddard suggests they should just kill him, Varys says "Not today, my lord." As he departs, Eddard asks Varys who he truly serves: Varys, in a rare display of honesty, replies "The realm, my lord. Someone must."
Cersei and the remainder of the small council, comprised of Grand Maester Pycelle, Varys, and Littlefinger, summon Sansa to inform her that her father has been arrested for treason. They manipulate Sansa into writing a letter to her brother Robb, asking him to bend the knee peacefully to Joffrey. They add that Eddard's fate may depend on what his son and the other Northern lords do. Sansa agrees to write the letter.
Later on, King Joffrey holds court in the Red Keep. Janos Slynt, commander of the City Watch, is to be made Lord of Harrenhal as a reward for his loyal service. Cersei then dismisses Ser Barristan Selmy as head of the Kingsguard, noting that the time has come for an honorable retirement. Selmy is confused, pointing out that Kingsguard serve for life, but Joffrey angrily says that Selmy is too old, and couldn't protect his father. Selmy's disgrace is only compounded when he learns his post as Lord Commander is to be given to Jaime Lannister, much to his disgust. Varys announces that Selmy is to be given a castle and land in recognition of his years of service, but the old knight, insulted by what he sees as being offered "a hall to die in and men to bury me," takes off his armor, throws his sword at Joffrey's feet and storms out, stating that he could still kill all five of the other Kingsguard present with ease.
Sansa begs Joffrey for her father's life, claiming that the medicine he was taking for his injured leg was responsible for his treasonous talk. Joffrey says that her sweet words have moved him and he will spare Eddard, if he bends the knee to him and acknowledges him as king. Sansa says he will.
Joffrey has claimed the throne and he and is mother eliminate Ned Stark's supporters. Ned is imprisoned and Sansa remains engaged to Joffrey but Arya seems to have escaped. Cersei gets Sansa to write to her eldest brother Robb to ask him to swear loyalty to the new King. Robb agrees to go, but at the head of an army. Catelyn receives word of her husband's imprisonment and learns that her sister will not support her. Tyrion and Bronn encounter the Stone Crows and makes them an offer they can't refuse. At the wall Jon's wolf, Ghost, alerts him to trouble and it seems that the White Walkers have returned. Daenarys has trouble accepting the rape of new female slaves and when Drogo supports her, he is called out by one his men.
SEAN BEAN ( Eddard Ned Stark )
IAIN GLENN ( Jorah Mormont )
MICHELLE FAIRLEY ( Catelyn Stark )
LENA HEADEY ( Cersei Lannister )
EMILIA CLARKE ( Daenerys Targaryen )