The wildling Craster drags a bloodied Jon Snow into his keep and dumps the young man at Lord Commander Jeor Mormont's feet. Craster is incensed at Snow's spying on him and demands that the men of the Night's Watch leave. Outside, Jon rushes to explain to Mormont he saw Craster sacrifice his infant son to the White Walkers, and the steward is shocked to learn that his commander already knows.
Bran Stark wakes from another dream in which he sees the world through his wolf Summer's eyes. He tells Maester Luwin that he hunts in a wolf's body as he sleeps and reminds him his dream about his father's death came true. Luwin nods gently and replies, "But how many dreams have you had that haven't come true?" He shows the boy a link of Valyrian steel on his maester's chain - bestowed for the study of magic - and explains that it's not unusual for a young man to dream of controlling mystical powers. But such things no longer exist.
Lady Catelyn Stark arrives at King Renly Baratheon's camp to find the end of a tournament taking place. Brienne of Tarth - a woman of massive size and even greater fighting skill - dispatches Loras Tyrell, one of the most famous knights in Westeros. As a reward, Renly accepts Brienne's request to serve in his Kingsguard and then walks off with Catelyn. He promises the widow justice for Ned's death, but Cat is not impressed with his preparations for war. "It's a game to you, isn't it? They are the knights of summer, and winter is coming," Cat says.
At the castle Pyke on the Iron Islands, Theon Greyjoy argues with his sister Yara about the humiliating trick she pulled when he arrived. Theon is even further insulted when he learns that she'll lead a fleet of 30 ships against the Starks' holdings in the North while he reaves the coastline with one vessel, the Sea Bitch. His protests fall on deaf ears, however. His father, Balon Greyjoy, tells Theon: "Your time with the wolves has made you weak." But Theon is not willing to let it go, screaming at Balon's back that he didn't choose to live with the Starks - it was Balon who cast away his only remaining son.
In Tyrion Lannister's chamber at King's Landing, he tells his consort Shae that her presence must remain a secret. There are people in the capital who would do her harm. His plan to hide her as a kitchen wench, though, does not go over well. In the end, he finds her work as Sansa Stark's handmaiden.
Intent on dodging the fate of the previous two Hands of the King, Tyrion deploys a deception to root out a spy. He arranges meetings with Grand Maester Pycelle, Varys and Littlefinger, telling each of them that he plans to marry off Princess Myrcella as a diplomatic play -- but gives each of them different information about where he plans to send her. As it turns out, Pycelle is the one who tells Queen Cersei Lannister the secret, earning himself a place in the Red Keep's Black Cells.
At Renly's camp, the self-proclaimed king and his knight Loras lay in bed together, but Loras tells Renly: "There's another Tyrell that requires your attention." Loras' sister Margaery has yet to consummate her marriage with Renly, and after Loras leaves, the young queen takes his place. She has no illusions about Renly's relationship with her brother and tells the king: "You decide how you want to do it. With me, with me and Loras, however else you like...You are a king."
Theon sits alone with a letter to King Robb Stark, planning to warn him of Balon's treachery. But as he stares into the flames of a candle and considers his options, Theon burns the message. His decision made, he follows through on the beaches of Pyke when a damphair priest baptizes him in the religion of the Drowned God as his father and sister look on.
In King's Landing, Littlefinger and Varys don't appreciate Tyrion's stratagem. Littlefinger is calmed, though, when Tyrion asks him to visit Lady Stark with a message. Varys sees a fellow sharp mind in the dwarf and offers a bit of advice: "Power resides where men believe it resides. ...A very small man can cast a very large shadow."
On the Kingsroad, Arya Stark can't banish the image of her father's execution from her mind and asks Yoren, the recruiter from the Night's Watch, how he manages to live with all the horrible things he's seen. Yoren shares his own story with the girl, how he obsessed over - and ultimately enacted - vengeance against the man who killed his brother. The murder resulted in Yoren's joining the Watch. Their conversation is cut short when a group of gold cloaks attacks, seeking the bastard Gendry. Yoren refuses to hand Gendry over and dies for his defiance. Others, including Lommy Greenhands, are killed in the fierce fighting. The survivors, including Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie, are marched off to Harrenhal.
Catelyn Stark arrives at King Renly's camp to negotiate an alliance, and the woman warrior Brienne of Tarth wins the right to join Renly's guard. Balon Greyjoy makes plan to attack the North, led by Yara. Theon protests that he should lead the attack and Yara tells him that he must choose between them and the Starks. After burning a letter warning Robb Stark of his father's impending attack, Theon re-joins the Greyjoys in a water-based ceremony. Tyrion crafts a plan to find who is in Cersei's confidence by proposing three different marriages to the members of the Small Council. At Winterfell, Bran Stark needs help to decipher his dreams. On the road to the wall, the band of Night's Watch recruits are attacked by Lannister soldiers. Yoren is killed and Arya is taken prisoner.
Catelyn arrives at Renly's camp to negotiate an alliance, watching the female warrior Brienne of Tarth winning the right to join Renly's guard. Renly has recently married Margaery, Loras's sister, but refuses to have sex with her due to having feelings for Loras. In the Iron Islands, Balon makes a plan to attack the North, led by Yara. After burning a letter warning Robb of Balon's impending attack, Theon re-joins the Greyjoys in a water-based ceremony. In King's Landing, Tyrion crafts a plan to find who is in Cersei's confidence; finding it to be Pycelle, whom the former imprisons. Tyrion assigns his prostitute, Shae, as handmaiden to Sansa. Beyond the Wall, Craster demands the Night's Watchmen leave. Snow finds out that Jeor already knew about Craster's felonies. On the road to the wall, the band of Night's Watch recruits are attacked by Lannister soldiers. Yoren is killed and Arya is taken prisoner. The latter states that Gendry was a boy already killed.
Craster brings Jon Snow to Mormont after catching him spying on him in the woods. Jon Snow tells Mormont what he saw, but Mormont already knows about the practice of sacrificing the boys. Snow tells him he saw something take the child."Whatever it was, I dare say you'll see it again," Mormont tells him. He plans for his men to leave at dawn. Samwell packs up their things. He sees Gilly and goes to say good-bye. He wants to give her something his mother gave him, the only thing he has of hers. He asks Gilly to keep it safe until he comes back. At Winterfell, Bran tells Maester Luwin about his recurring dream, where he's running through the forest like a direwolf, with the taste of blood in his mouth. Luwin tells Bran it's just a dream. But Bran thinks his are true, including the one about his father dying. Luwin assures him the days of such things have passed. Catelyn Stark pays a visit to Renly Baratheon, who is overseeing a fight along with his queen, Margaery of House Tyrell. Brienne of Tarth beats Loras Tyrell, Margaery's brother and Renly's lover. She asks to be a member of the King's Guard and Renly grants her request. Catelyn stark arrives. Renly offers his condolences and promises to kill Joffrey when he takes King's Landing. Loras, after losing his melee with Brienne, gets pouty and complains that Catelyn was sent to treat with them instead of Robb. "My son is fighting a war, not playing at one," Catelyn snipes at him. Balon Greyjoy lays out his battle plans. He thinks the North is ripe for the taking, including Winterfell. Yara gets 30 ships to lead and Theon gets one. Theon suggests forming an alliance with the North insead. Balon reminds them they take what is theirs and tells Theon his time with the wolves has made him weak. Theon reminds his father that he's the one who gave him away. Tyrion's conquest Shae gets impatient with hanging out in their quarters all the time. He tells her Cersei is looking for any weakness of his to exploit. Over dinner, Princess Myrcella asks Sansa when she and Joffrey will be married. Cersei says after the fighting is over. Prince Tommen asks if Joffrey is going to kill Sansa's brother. Cersei says she doesn't know, but she's sure Sansa will do her duty if that happens. Shae reports to Sansa's chamber as her new chamber maid. Shae doesn't exactly know what is expected of her, so Sansa barks at her. Tyrion pays a visit to Maester Pycelle, telling him new alliances must be formed. He says he's brokering an alliance with house Martell, for Princess Myrcella to wed their son in Dorne. Tyrion lays out the same plan to Lord Varys, except this time she's to marry Theon Greyjoy. To Petyr Baelish, it's Robin Arryn of the Vale. He stresses secrecy to each, "the queen musn't know". Renly makes out with Loras. Loras is still pouty and complains about Brienne being made member of the King's Guard. He warns Renly he needs to be careful with his war plans. Renly swaps out Tyrells, trading Loras for Margaery, who he is much less interested in. She asks if her brother should come in and "get him started". She tells him there's no need to play games. She says the best way to defeat his enemies is to get her pregnant, whatever it takes. Cersei confronts Tyrion, angry at him for planning to send Myrcella off to Dorne. Theon reads over his letter to Robb, telling him his father rejected the offer. After considering it, he decides to burn it. Theon undergoes a ceremony consecrating his faith to the Drowned God as his father and sister look on. Petyr confronts Tyrion over his ruse. Tyrion glibly apologizes and tells him he's the centerpiece of his next ruse. He wants to get Jaime back. Tyrion confronts Pycelle. Pycelle says everything he's done was for the family. Tyrion asks Pycelle how many Hands he's betrayed. Pycelle says Lord Arryn knew the truth about Cersei and Jaime, but did nothing because he's always served the house of Lannister. Tyrion has him thrown in a dungeon. Lord Varys compliments Tyrion on his ploy. Arya polishes her sword in camp. Yoren joins her among all the sleeping men. She asks how he's able to sleep with the things he's seen. She can't stop picturing the scene of her dad losing his head, even though she didn't see the actual deed. He tells her about seeing his brother killed when they were young and years later, killing the man who murdered him. He's been on the Wall ever since. There's a sound as they hear Lannister soldiers approaching, led by Amory Lorch. Arya and Gendry hide. A soldier announces they're there for Gendry in the name of King Joffrey. Yoren says no and they shoot an arrow at him. He gets up and fights off ten men, finally falling as Arya watches in horror as Amory stabs Yoren in the back with his sword. Arya is running when the men in cages call for her help. They're in danger of being burned. Fighting rages around her and she hands them an axe to free themselves. Gendry is out fighting with the other men. Arya is running for her life and runs into a soldier who takes her sword Needle. They round up the survivors to take them back to King's Landing, but not before a soldier slits the throat of a wounded boy (Lommy), who can't walk. Again, the solder asks for Gendry, who is among those captured. Arya assesses the situation then announces that they already killed Gendry, motioning towards Lommy, dead near Gendry's bull helmet.