In The Stormlands, King Renly Baratheon is assassinated by the Shadow brought into the world by Melisandre and fathered by Stannis Baratheon just after agreeing to an alliance with King Robb Stark. His kingsguard Brienne is mistakenly blamed for the death and she flees the camp with Catelyn Stark. Brienne later swears fealty to Catelyn. Renly's army disintegrates, with the forces of House Tyrell fleeing to Highgarden and the rest of his bannermen joining his brother King Stannis. Lord Petyr Baelish accompanies the Tyrell faction, sensing an opportunity to sway them to Joffrey's side. Ser Davos Seaworth challenges King Stannis on his use of Melisandre's magic and convinces him to leave Melisandre behind when they attack King's Landing to quash rumors of her influence on him. Stannis places Davos in command of his fleet. When he is alone in his tent, Stannis briefly fights against the tears, showing he does in fact grieve for his younger brother.
Little Waiting Time...
In King's Landing, Hand of the King Tyrion Lannister brings news of Renly's death to his sister, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister. She is pleased, but Tyrion predicts Stannis's imminent attack. He tries to discuss plans for their defense, but she insists on keeping them secret. From his spy, his cousin Ser Lancel Lannister, Tyrion learns that Cersei has been having extensive meetings with the Alchemists' Guild.
He visits Wisdom Hallyne of the guild and learns that they have stockpiled thousands of jars of Wildfire, a dangerously flammable substance, to use as catapult ammunition. Bronn warns that this strategy could be disastrous, and result in panicking defenders accidentally burning down their own city. Tyrion orders Hallyne to answer to him instead of Cersei. Tyrion also passes a street protest that blames him for the ills of the city, as they believe Tyrion to be manipulating Joffrey.
At Lordsport, Theon Greyjoy takes command of his new ship and finds his crew insubordinate. His first mate Dagmer Cleftjaw tells him that he needs to prove himself to the men and Theon plans to raid Torrhen's Square to draw the remaining forces of House Stark from Winterfell. His plan is successful and Ser Rodrik Cassel leads a force of 200 men to relieve his siege of Torrhen's Square.
At Winterfell, Bran Stark provides well judged counsel to his subjects but continues to be troubled by his dreams. He discusses dreaming of a three-eyed raven with the wildling woman Osha but she declines to interpret the dream. He also confides dreaming of the sea flooding Winterfell and drowning his people, including Ser Rodrik.
At Harrenhal, Tywin Lannister hosts a protracted war council to determine a new strategy to deal with Robb. Arya Stark serves as his cupbearer. Though he does not know who she really is, Tywin realizes that she is of northern extraction and questions her about her origins and opinions regarding Robb. She manages to avoid revealing her true identity. She leaves to fetch water and encounters Jaqen H'ghar, now a Lannister man-at-arms. Jaqen says that because she saved his life, and those of his two fellow prisoners, he owes her three deaths and offers to kill three people of her choosing. She targets the Tickler, Ser Gregor Clegane's torturer.
The Tickler is soon found dead in the courtyard, his neck twisted 180 degrees. Arya notices Jaqen on the walkway above and he holds a single finger to his face to signify his responsibility.
At the Fist of the First Men, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont leads his ranging to the ancient Fist of the First Men to rendezvous with the experienced scout Qhorin Halfhand. Qhorin arrives and warns Jeor that they must change their tactics to combat the wildling army under King-Beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder. He suggests sending a small party ahead to neutralize Mance's lookouts in the Skirling Pass. Jon Snow joins Qhorin's group, while Samwell Tarly takes his task as the steward of Lord Commander Jeor Mormont.
In Qarth, Daenerys Targaryen has taught her dragons to breathe fire on command and they are now capable of sharing and eating meat on their own. She is enjoying the hospitality of the wealthy noble Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the city of Qarth. He hosts a gathering in her honor in the gardens of his home. She is perturbed by the tricks of the warlock Pyat Pree, who invites her to visit the House of the Undying.
The masked woman Quaithe delivers an enigmatic warning to Ser Jorah Mormont about Daenerys's need for protection from those who lust after her dragons. Xaro offers to fund Daenerys's invasion of Westeros in exchange for her hand in marriage. Later, she seeks Jorah's advice about the proposal and he cautions against accepting financial aid. He suggests that she will be able to win her throne should she reach Westeros with just a single ship. He reveals his depth of feeling for her but she does not return his affections.
Catelyn and Renly come to an agreement and he agrees to join forces with Robb but witchcraft intervenes forcing her to flee with Brienne. As Stannis' fleet approaches Renly's camp, Petyr Baelish has advice for Margaery and her brother. At King's Landing, Cersei assures Tyrion that siege preparations are well under way and he learns the specifics from Lancel. In the Iron Islands Theon sets sail though has some difficulty gaining his crew's respect. Arya makes a deal with Jaqen H'ghar who promises her three lives in return for her having saved his. North of the Wall the Watchmen arrive at their camp. In Qarth, Daxos has gifts for Daenarys and has a proposition for her: access to his untold riches - and the Iron Throne - if he marries her. In Winterfell, Osha sees something in Bran's dreams.
PETER DINKLAGE ( Tyrion Lannister )
MICHELLE FAIRLEY ( Catelyn Stark )
AIDAN GILLEN ( Peter Baelish )
EMILIA CLARKE ( Daenerys Targaryen )
LENA HEADEY ( Cersei Lannister )