Samwell Tarly struggles to build a fire to warm Gilly and her infant. His lack of know-how confirms what Gilly suspected; Sam is highborn. He tells her what to expect once they reach Castle Black and at Gilly's request, sings a song to lull her baby to sleep.
North of Winterfell, Osha and Meera Reed bicker until Bran Stark demands they stop: They must work together to make it to the Wall. As Jojen, asleep nearby, begins to twitch uncontrollably, Meera expertly tends to her brother's fit. She explains, "The visions take their toll." Jojen awakes and shares his dream-Jon Snow was on the wrong side of the Wall.
Tormund Giantsbane notes the growth of trees close to the Wall, and remarks there used to be no such cover; the Night's Watch would come out each morning with axes. Intimidated by the expansive sheet of ice, Jon Snow admits to Ygritte he's afraid. Her own fears are overshadowed by excitement; she's waited her entire life for this climb. Ygritte tells Jon she knows his loyalty still lies with the Night's Watch, and she doesn't care. Neither of their armies will ensure their survival, she reasons. The lovers pledge to never betray each other.
Arya Stark practices her archery at the Brotherhood's hideout. She fires an arrow for Joffrey, Cersei and Ilyn Payne, hitting the straw target each time. As Anguy coaches her, Arya notices riders approaching the camp. Thoros of Myr meets the visitors, speaking to Melisandre in High Valyrian. In the same tongue, the red priestess greets Thoros by name and questions the status of his mission-to convert King Robert to the Lord of Light. Admitting he failed, Thoros invites her inside, where Melisandre is mesmerized by Lord Beric Dondarrion's scars. She's shocked to learn of his six resurrections. Thoros explains that his friend's survival ignited his faith-he was a dubious priest until his prayer for Beric's life was answered the first time. Now his devotion to the Lord of Light is absolute.
Melisandre reveals the purpose of her journey; their god needs Gendry. Beric exchanges Gendry for sacks of gold, while the Red priestess assures the stunned boy he is meant for a higher purpose. She promises, "You will make kings rise and fall." Watching the scene, Arya is hysterical and calls Melisandre a witch. Melisandre looks deeply into Arya's eyes and sensing darkness in the child, foresees they will meet again.
Still bound to his X-shaped cross, Theon Greyjoy is awakened by his torturer. The boy taunts Theon while he peels the skin off his pinkie finger. Urged to guess, Theon ventures the boy is Rickard Karstark's son holding him in Karhold. The boy affirms these details, only to deny them moments later: The real reason Theon is being tortured is because the boy enjoys it. After Theon begs him to stop the pain, the boy cuts off his pinkie.
Brienne of Tarth, now dressed in ladylike finery, dines with Jaime Lannister and Roose Bolton at Harrenhal. As Jaime struggles to eat with one hand, he negotiates his return to King's Landing. Bolton agrees, aware this is the most lucrative and safest course of action. Jaime insists on taking Brienne with him, but Bolton refuses. She's charged with abetting treason and must be returned to the King in the North.
Lothar Frey and his bastard brother Black Walder meet with Robb Stark as emissaries for their father. After obtaining Harrenhal for Lord Frey once the war is over, they demand that Edmure Tully wed their sister Roslin. Edmure refuses but Robb emphasizes that gaining Frey's men is a strategic necessity. He tells his uncle this marriage will redeem his recklessness at Stone Mill. When Edmure begrudgingly consents, Robb says he will not forget the act of loyalty.
Lord Tywin Lannister shares his proposal that Queen Cersei and Ser Loras marry with Lady Olenna Tyrell. Because she rejects the idea-Cersei is too old-Tywin threatens to name Loras to the Kingsguard, ensuring that the Tyrell name will die with Loras. Backed into a corner, Olenna consents, and in spite of herself, is impressed that Tywin lives up to his ruthless reputation.
Sansa Stark takes a walk with Loras and talks excitedly about their wedding. The two agree that they can't wait to leave King's Landing. Watching the couple from above, Cersei and Tyrion Lannister discuss how they landed in this mess. Cersei says it was family loyalty that inspired her investigation into the Tyrells, and concedes that Tyrion proved himself at the Battle of the Blackwater. Tyrion begins to suspect it was Joffrey who ordered the attempt on his life, not Cersei. Although there's a chance that Jaime will return and put a stop to Cersei's wedding, Tyrion tells his sister he "is f***ed." He seeks out Sansa to tell her of their engagement, and is forced to deliver the news in front of Shae.
Alone in the Throne Room with Varys, Littlefinger rejoices that he thwarted Varys' plan to give Sansa to the Tyrells. Littlefinger then tells the spymaster he's aware that Ros conspired against him. To recoup his investment in her, he passed her on to Joffrey, who was eager to try out his crossbow. His ascent assured, Littlefinger declares "The climb is all there is." Sansa watches Lord Baelish's ship sail for the Eyrie with tears streaming down her face.
The wildlings tackle the Wall in a vertical line. Hundreds of feet in the air, Ygritte hits a fault with her ice pick and a fissure erupts. A chunk of ice detaches from the face, plummeting scores of men to their death and tearing Jon and Ygritte from their grip. Tormund and Orell struggle to hold on with the pair dangling below them. Orell tries to cut their weight loose, but Jon finds a grip just in the time. The lovers press on and finally reach the top. While gazing upon the kingdom below, they share a passionate kiss.
In King's Landing, Tywin Lannister coerces Olena Tyrell into agreeing to marry Loras to Cersei. Sansa tries to get acquainted with an awkward Loras, while Tyrion and Cersei discuss the repercussions of their matches. Tyrion confesses to Shae and Sansa about the upcoming marriage. Baelish tells Varys that he has caught Ros as Varys' informant and has given her to Joffrey, who kills her. In Riverlands, Melisandre buys Gendry from the brotherhood, to Arya's disgust. Robb Stark tries to appease Walder Frey by agreeing to Frey's demands and marry his uncle Edmure to Frey's daughter Roslin. Roose Bolton plans to send Jaime to King's Landing, but refuses to give up Brienne. At an unknown location, the mysterious boy continues to torture Theon Greyjoy. In the North, tension arises in Bran's company on their trek north. Beyond the Wall, Sam continues his flight with Gilly and her infant son, while Jon and Ygritte discuss their relationship and climb the Wall.
In King's Landing, Tywin coerces Olena into agreeing to marry Loras to Cersei, who reveals to Tyrion that it was Joffrey who tried to have him killed during the siege. Tyrion confesses to Shae and Sansa about the upcoming marriage. Baelish tells Varys that he has caught Ros as Varys' informant and has given her to Joffrey, who kills her. In the Riverlands, Melisandre buys Gendry from the Brotherhood, foretelling that Arya will kill many people. Robb makes a new deal with Frey by agreeing to give him Harrenhal and marry his uncle Edmure to Frey's daughter, Roslin. Bolton plans to send Jaime to King's Landing, but refuses to send Brienne with him. At an unknown location, the mysterious man continues to torture Theon. In the North, tension arises between Osha and Meera. Beyond the Wall, Tarly continues his flight with Gilly and her son, while Snow and Ygritte manage to climb the Wall with two other Wildlings.
Samwell and Gilly are deep in the woods huddled around a fire. He shows her an ancient dagger he found during the Fist of the First Men. He says it's just a few more days walk to the wall and it's even bigger than they say, 700 feet high. He notes Castle Black is nice enough with a 24/7 fire and a tasty venison stew and that the brothers sing. Not him, of course. She asks him to sing him a song. He sings a lullaby about The Father's face. Elsewhere, also in a forest, Osha and Meera get snippy with each other about the proper way to skin a rabbit. Bran asks them to stop fighting, saying they have to stay united in order to make it to the wall. He asks them to make peace and grudgingly they do. Meanwhile, JoJen is having some kind of seizure and Meera puts a belt in his mouth. She says the visions take their toll and he's having one now. He awakes and says he saw Jon Snow on the wrong side of the wall surrounded by enemies. Jon Snow continues on with Mance Rayder's men. They are about to attempt to mount the wall. Ygritte and Jon survey the wall. They're both afraid of climbing it but she says she can't wait to see the world from up there. They attach rudimentary crampons to their shoes. She again compliments his fine tongue work and calls him a proper lover and she says his secret is safe with her. He asks what secret. She says she's no dummy and knows that he didn't stop being a Crow the minute he walked in to Mance Rayder's tent. She knows he's loyal and asks that he be loyal to her since she's his woman now. She says they are simply expendable soldiers in their respective armies and it's him and her that matters. She tells him never to betray her. He says he won't. She points out that she'll cut off his man parts if he does. Tormund tells him to sink his pickaxe deep into the wall and to not scream if he falls because Jon Snow wouldn't want that to be the last thing Ygritte remembers. Jon looks despairingly at the wall. Arya takes target practice and Anguy gives her tips. A group on horseback approaches. It is Melisandre and her entourage. She speaks in a foreign tongue (High Valyrian) to BWB general Thoros. She asked why he was unable to get King Robert to follow the Lord of the Light. He says simply that he failed. She counters that he quit. They switch from High Valyrian to English and she asks why they are there. He brings her to see Beric Dondarrion. She appraises his many wounds and asks how often he's been brought back. Thoros says 6. She can't believe it. He says he can't really believe it either since his faith was shaken and he ate and whored his way across the land, all he did is ask for the Lord of Light to bring him back and he does. He didn't really believe but when Dondarrion died the first time he asked for his friend and the Lord brought him back. He said he knew then that their God was the one true God. Melisandre again turns to Beric and asks about the "other side." He says there is no other side, only darkness. He asks why she's been sent. She says they have something the Lord of Light needs. Gendry, Arya and another brother look at arrow tips that pierce armor. Melisandre approaches and two of her men apprehend Gendry. Arya begs them to stop them and that Gendry wants to be one of them. Thoros says the Lord of Light needs him. Arya says they're doing it for gold not a god. Thoros points out that they require gold to continue on. Gendry himself protests that they're not much of a brotherhood. Melisandre tells him Gendry is more than they could ever be. Arya again approaches her and calls her a witch and says she's going to hurt him. Melisandre grabs her face and says she sees a darkness in her as well as sets of eyes -- blue and green-- that Arya will shut forever. She says they will meet again and then carts off Gendry to Arya's heartbreak. The wildlings climb the windswept wall. Jon Snow makes the mistake of looking down. But then he stares at Ygritte's butt for inspiration. A chunk falls on him and knocks him back but he hangs on. The boy wakes the trussed up Theon, further torturing him by keeping him awake. He begs for water and the boy pours some out in front of him, cruelly. Theon begs for mercy and says he'll tell him everything. The boy says he's heard it all. He tells him he knows that the Stark boys are still alive and that he will find them. He says he knows Theon wonders why he's there, where he is, and why he's doing it this to him. He tells Theon if he can guess he won't cut off his little finger. He asks if he wins if he'll let him go. The boy says there is no good ending. He asks him where he is and Theon takes a few guesses and the boy cuts into the flesh of his pinky finger. He finally guesses right, according to the boy. He then asks who he is. Theon guesses he's a Karstark, younger brother of the one who Jaime killed and son of the Karstark man who was beheaded by Robb. Theon says he was Robb's bannerman, Theon betrayed Robb, and that's why this young Karstark is torturing him. The young man says he wins. However, he says Theon forgot to ask if he was a liar and he flays the skin off Theon's little finger. He says everything he told him is a lie and this isn't happening for a reason -- he's just doing it because he enjoys it. Finally, Theon begs him to cut the finger off and the young man turns to Theon and says "I win". The Freys come to meet with Robb. They say their father said the alliance can continue on several contingencies: an apology for Robb jilting his daughter, Harrenhal when the war is over, and Robb's Uncle Edmure marrying one of his daughters and a wedding in a fortnight. Their father is old and he says a wedding would give him peace and he wants an answer by the morning. Robb says they'll discuss it. His Uncle isn't up for it and wants to choose a pretty wife but Robb says he has no choice, he's won every battle but he's losing the war and they need to do this now. He says he knows he's paying for his sins and it's not fair or right and he won't forget it. Jaime and Brienne meet with Roose Bolton. Jaime struggles to cut his meat until Brienne helps him. Bolton is considering selling Jaime or killing him. He says to Jaime that when he is well enough to travel he will allow him to continue to King's Landing as restitution for the loss of his hand, as long as he swears to tell his father he played no part in Locke maiming him. Jaime wants to drink on it but Roose doesn't drink. Jaime is happy about this until Roose tells him Brienne isn't going with him since she abetted treason. Jaime protests but Roose points out he's in no position to overplay his position again Tywin and Olenna talk about his plan to marry Cersei to Loras. She protests Cersei is too old and "the change" will be upon her soon. He points out that he knows that Loras is a degenerate and she admits Loras is a "sword swallower". He says she should be grateful to have her grandson marry Cersei and remove the stain from his name. She calls it a natural thing. He thinks her tolerance for buggery is higher than his. She notes that brothers having sex with sisters would be a higher form of a stain, i.e. Cersei and Jaime. He calls it a malicious lie and he doesn't care what people believe and neither does she. She disagrees. He points out if the rumors are true then Joffrey isn't the king and Margaery marrying him is the Tyrells throwing their "prize flower" in the dirt. She counters if Cersei is too old to give Loras children then they are throwing another prize flower in the dirt. He notes that the uncertainty makes her uncomfortable. Tywin says he'll remove it: If Loras doesn't marry Cersei he will make him part of the King's Guard and he'll never marry and have children, so the Tyrell name will die with him. She can't believe he'd have his grandson protected by someone who disgusts him. He says he would have his grandson protected by a great warrior. He pulls out a quill and asks if she consents to the order adding Loras to the Kingsguard. She reaches out and takes the quill from Tywin's hand, observing that it is a rare thing to encounter a man who lives up to his reputation. She breaks the quill in half. The wildlings are climbing the wall when a crack begins to spread across it, creating a landslide sending several people flying -- including Ygritte and Jon Snow, who are weighing down Tormund and Orell. Orell cuts them loose but Jon Snow gets purchase before Ygritte falls and he pulls her up. They start climbing again. Sansa chats with Loras about their potential marriage. She compliments his brooch. She says she's very happy. Loras says he is too and says he's dreamed of a large wedding since he was young. He calls her very beautiful and talks excitedly about the dress she'll wear. She says she can't wait to see Highgarden and leave this place. He agrees it is terrible. Tyrion and Cersei watch this. Tyrion says there's nothing they can do about it. Cersei notes they could have them both killed. Tyrion wonders who is getting the worst end of the deal, deciding Sansa but that Loras will also know misery. She says they're all being shipped off to hell together. He notes she built the boat. She says she did what she did for the family. Tyrion says he's family too and he helped save them. She admits he was helpful in the war. He says it was weird that she ordered him killed then. She doesn't deny it, but her silent expression seems to confirm to Tyrion that it was in fact Joffrey who ordered his execution. He asks if his life is still in danger. She says probably, not right now with Lord Tywin in the picture. He can't believe 7 kingdoms quiver in fear of Tywin Lannister. She notes the Tyrell's don't fear him and history will be taken from their hands. Tyrion says she'll be fine when Jaime gets back since Loras will probably suffer a case of swords through bowels. Cersei wonders who will tell Sansa. Shae helps Sansa with her dress for the Tyrell wedding. Tyrion enters and asks Shae to leave. She stands her ground. He notes "this is awkward...' Littlefinger sits and gazes at the throne and Varys enters. They do their dance. Varys says thwarting him wasn't always his plan and he didn't take that much pleasure in it but admits "who doesn't like to see their friends fail now and then." Littlefinger agrees and says it gave him pleasure when he turned over his "bad investment"-- whom Varys swore to protect-- to a "friend" looking for a fresh experience. He and Varys agree they've been telling themselves stories/lies for years to protect themselves. But Varys says when they abandon the lies there is only a pit of chaos. Littlefinger says chaos is a ladder and that life is all about the climb. As he speaks we cut to Joffrey's chambers. Littlefinger gave his "bad investment" Ros to Joffrey who used his new crossbow for target practice. We then cut to Sansa, Shae by her side, tearfully watching Littlefnger's ship depart, knowing now that she must marry Tyrion. And then we cut to Jon Snow and Ygritte reaching the top of the wall, exhausted. They lie on their backs and Jon sees Orell's eagle fly across the sky as the sun breaks through. They both gaze at the amazing view of where they just came from. He helps her up. And they look at the view of where they are going. They kiss.