In the Riverlands, Robb's army has reached the Twins, the heavily fortified crossing over the Green Fork of Trident River. Theon Greyjoy shoots down messenger ravens, so no word of their presence can be relayed, but finds nothing more but messages to extended family members. To enter the castle would be perilous for Robb, so Catelyn Stark enters to negotiate their crossing the river.
Little Waiting Time...
Though held by House Frey, bannermen to Catelyn Stark's father, Lord Walder Frey has not yet taken up arms. When called up, he says he had been preparing to march, and was just waiting for all his forces to arrive. In reality, he waited to see which side was winning before deciding whether to get involved. Now, as the Tully's army has been defeated and Riverrun is held by the Lannisters, he wants to know why he should be helping Robb and taking up arms against the king. After some hard bargaining between Catelyn and Walder, they strike a deal: the Freys will join Robb's cause, allow him to cross and commit troops to his army, but in return both Robb and Arya must each marry one of Walder's own children. Robb agrees, though noting that Arya won't like it. Robb must also take Olyvar Frey as a squire.
The Lannister armies prepare for battle. Tywin tells his son Tyrion that he means to use the hill tribe forces to give them an edge against the Stark army, essentially to be used as cannon fodder. He orders Tyrion to lead them from the front of the vanguard. Tyrion angrily accuses his father of trying to kill him. He storms back to his tent to find that Bronn has found him, as per instruction, a whore named Shae. Tyrion takes an immediate liking to her. When told they go into battle in the vanguard in the morning, Bronn goes off to find a whore for himself.
Tyrion, Bronn, and Shae play a drinking game the night before the battle. Tyrion makes observations and if he is correct the person has to drink. He guesses correctly that Bronn has been beyond the Wall and killed someone before he was twelve years old (though it was a woman, not a man, and he killed her in self-defense, because she was coming at him with an axe). Tyrion guesses that Shae's mother was a whore, her father deserted them, and she is low born; however he is wrong on each guess. Tyrion cannot read Shae's personality, but this only makes her more intriguing to him. When Shae starts to question Tyrion, Bronn reveals that he heard Tyrion was once married. Reluctantly, Tyrion explains that when he was very young, he and Jaime were out riding near Casterly Rock and found a young common girl in distress from bandits. While Jaime chased the bandits off, Tyrion comforted the girl, whose name was Tysha. They ended up getting drunk at a local inn, and she became so enamored of him that Tyrion felt like he wasn't an ugly dwarf. Later that night she had sex with Tyrion, the first time he was ever with a woman. Tyrion fell madly in love, and bribed a drunken septon to marry them in secret.
However, two weeks later his father, Tywin, found out, and was utterly furious that his son had married a commoner. Tywin forced Jaime to reveal the truth: the girl was a prostitute. Jaime set the situation up to do something nice for his little brother. Tywin then instructed his guards to have sex with her, with her being paid a silver coin for each man, while Tyrion was forced to watch. Shae points out that Tyrion was foolish to believe a woman would sleep with him just hours after almost being raped. As she gets romantic with Tyrion, Bronn leaves the tent.
The next morning the Lannister army finds that the Starks have stolen a march on them; they are about to be attacked and have to hastily prepare for battle. Tyrion gives a rousing speech to his hill tribesmen, but as they charge for the front he is first nearly trampled and then knocked out by an accidental blow to the head from someone's club. When he regains consciousness on the back of a wagon, Bronn tells him that the Lannisters won the battle, but it was a feint. As a diversion, Robb sent a small portion of his army to confront and delay Tywin's forces, while the main army marched on Riverrun to attack Jaime's army.
Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel are waiting in woodlands as they hear sounds of battle. Suddenly Robb returns from his victory with his guards and a prisoner: Ser Jaime himself. The Battle of the Whispering Wood has lifted the siege of Riverrun, and Jaime's army has been destroyed. Jaime suggests they end the war now with a bout of single combat between himself and Robb, but Robb refuses and has him imprisoned. Robb laments that his diversion sent 2,000 men to their deaths. He gives a speech to his army and tells them that they have won a great victory, but the war is far from over.
At Castle Black, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont gives Jon Snow a Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw, in thanks for saving his life. Mormont also reinstates Jon to his former position and tells him he has dispatched Ser Alliser Thorne to King's Landing to lay the hand of the wight they found at the feet of the King and ask for aid.
Mormont explains to Jon that Longclaw was meant for his own son, Ser Jorah Mormont, but he disgraced himself and fled in exile to Essos. Jon goes to the dining hall and the other recruits make a fuss over the sword, but Samwell Tarly seems distant from the revelry. Sam takes Jon aside and informs him about Robb leading an army south to war. Jon ponders that he should be with him, but Maester Aemon tells him their duty to the Night's Watch comes first. To Jon's surprise, Aemon reveals that his full name is Aemon Targaryen, the son of a king, brother to another, the uncle of the Mad King. Aemon had to stand aside and do nothing while his entire family was butchered or exiled during Robert's Rebellion. It is not an easy life they have chosen. Aemon remarks that he cannot make Jon stay or go, like the Maester, Jon must make the choice himself and live with the consequences of it for the rest of his life.
At Lhazar, far to the east, Daenerys Targaryen is concerned that the wound her husband Khal Drogo took fighting Mago has festered and become infected. He falls from his horse, a grave sign of weakness amongst the Dothraki. Daenerys tells the khalasar that they are stopping and requests for Qotho to get Mirri Maz Duur to help Drogo. Qotho is unhappy with entrusting Drogo's care to the woman, whom he calls a maegi or witch, but relents.
At Daenerys' request, Ser Jorah armors himself. Jorah also advises her to leave now, because Drogo is certain to die and when he dies, his lieutenants will fight amongst themselves to be his successor; whoever wins will kill Daenerys's son, rather than risk the boy growing up to be a rival, but Daenerys refuses to abandon her husband. Mirri Maz Duur promises to save Drogo's life, but she needs to sacrifice a life in exchange. She takes Drogo's horse into his tent and starts the ceremony, slitting the animal's throat over Drogo's comatose form.
Some of Drogo's warriors become enraged at what they see as Daenerys' attempts to interfere with the natural way of things and Qotho tries to attack her, but Ser Jorah kills him. Daenerys starts to go into labor, but none of the Dothraki midwives will help her, thinking she is cursed. With no choice, Jorah takes Daenerys into the tent as the ceremony continues.
In King's Landing, Varys visits Eddard Stark in the dungeons under the Red Keep. Varys tells Eddard that Sansa begged for his life before the whole court and that Robb is leading an army from the North. In addition, the Queen is more concerned over the intentions of King Robert's brother, Stannis, a proven battle commander known to be without mercy. For the sake of Sansa's life, Varys urges Eddard to confess to treason. In return, Cersei will let him take the black and join his younger brother Benjen and bastard son Jon Snow on the Wall. Eddard is angered by the suggestion that he would trade in his honesty and honor for his life, though he appears to have second thoughts when Varys insinuates that Sansa would pay the price for his defiance.
living rough on the streets of the city. She catches a pigeon and tries to trade it for a slice of bread, to no avail. She sees crowds moving through the streets and is told that the Hand of the King is being brought before the Great Sept of Baelor, the center of religious worship in the city. Stunned that she will see her father she drops the pigeon and joins the crowd. Unable to see, she climbs unto the pedestal of a statue of Baelor (a previous Targaryen king, Baelor the Blessed, for whom the Sept is named). She sees her father being brought in chains to the steps of the temple. He sees Arya on the statue, and as he is dragged through the crowd he passes Yoren of the Night's Watch (who had met Arya). Lord Eddard looks at the statue and says, "Baelor," puzzling the crowd. Yoren understands, however, and moves toward the statue where Arya is watching.
Eddard is given a chance to confess his "crimes." He weighs his choices as he sees both Arya and Sansa present, and chooses to save them by making a false confession. He says that Joffrey is the true King on the Iron Throne, pleasing him. Grand Maester Pycelle extols the virtues of mercy and Joffrey agrees that he could be merciful and send Eddard to the Night's Watch as his mother has suggested and as Sansa has begged. He instead acknowledges that as women they are "soft" and treason must never go unpunished. He commands Ser Ilyn Payne to bring him the traitor's head.
The crowd goes into an uproar. Arya tries to make her way through the crowd drawing her sword to save her father, but Yoren grabs and stops her, shielding her from seeing her father's death. Sansa screams and is restrained by guards as she faints. A visibly horrified Cersei frantically tries to persuade her son to reconsider, as does Varys, but there is no time. Forced to kneel, Eddard looks at the statue and sees that Arya has been rescued by Yoren, and is relieved in his eyes that she is safe. Ser Ilyn draws Eddard's own sword, Ice, and cuts his head off with a single blow. A flock of pigeons takes flight immediately afterwards, the sight being all Arya needs to know her father is dead.
Sansa begs King Joffrey to spare her father's life. With his mother's support he agrees to spare him provided Ned publicly confesses that he is a traitor and recognizes him as the rightful king. Ned refuses at first but soon recognizes that the lives of his children are at stake and eventually agrees. Arya has eluded capture living in the town and scrounging for food. She goes to the square when she hears her father is to appear. What happens is something no child should have to witness. Tyrion arrives at his father's camp but the elder Lannister is dismissive of his diminutive son. He also tells him that he will be in the vanguard of the attack to take place the next day against Robb Stark's forces arriving from the north. For his part, Robb is proving to be an able field general and takes a Lannister prisoner. Daenerys finds she has little influence after Drogo falls ill and is unable to ride.
SEAN BEAN ( Eddard Ned Stark )
NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU ( Jaime Lannister )
MICHELLE FAIRLEY ( Catelyn Stark )
LENA HEADEY ( Cersei Lannister )
EMILIA CLARKE ( Daenerys Targaryen )