Tywin Lannister oversees the reforging of Ice, the greatsword that once belonged to Ned Stark. As the Valyrian steel is melted down to create two blades, Tywin casts Ice’s wolf-head sheath into the flames. He gifts one of the new swords to Jaime, who awkwardly wields the weapon in his left hand. The inept display prompts a decree from Tywin: Jaime can no longer effectively serve on the Kingsguard and must take his place at Casterly Rock. Jaime, however, has no desire to leave King's Landing, marry or reaffirm his reputation as an oath-breaker. Outraged that Jaime will not put the family first, Tywin disowns his eldest son.
Tyrion Lannister, accompanied by Bronn and Podrick Payne, welcomes a caravan from the southern land of Dorne, in town to attend the royal wedding. The envoys are surprised to learn that Prince Doran Martell has opted to stay in Sunspear, sending his younger brother Oberyn in his stead.
Prince Oberyn and his paramour, Ellaria Sand, peruse the offerings of both sexes at Littlefinger's brothel. Their fun is interrupted when Oberyn hears a man singing "The Rains of Castamere" and picks a bloody fight with a pair of off-duty Lannister soldiers. Tyrion tracks down the Dornishman and interrupts the altercation before it escalates further. He learns Oberyn's true motive for his visit to the capital: vengeance for his sister Elia, Rhaegar Targaryen’s wife who was raped and murdered during Robert's Rebellion. Oberyn believes Elia and her two young children were executed by Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane on the orders of Tywin Lannister.
Sansa Stark is haunted by the deaths of her mother and brother and Tyrion's attempts to comfort his grief-stricken wife fall flat. Defeated, he returns to his chamber to find Shae waiting for him. When he rebuffs her advances, she storms out and is spotted by one of Cersei's spies.
Qyburn, the former maester now working for Queen Cersei, affixes a golden hand onto Jaime's right arm. Alone with his twin, Jaime confesses that he plans to stay in the Kingsguard to remain close to her, but Cersei is not interested in being intimate with him. Jaime abandoned her and although he's back, Cersei tells him: "You took too long."
Jaime Lannister and Ser Meryn Trant review the royal wedding security plan with King Joffrey. Distracted, Joff flips through the 'Book of Brothers,' a compilation of heroic deeds of past Kingsguards. The king relishes in the fact that Jaime's page is mostly empty. It's likely to stay that way, Joffrey snaps, now that Jaime's lost his hand.
At Castle Black, Samwell Tarly visits Jon Snow, who is still recovering from his injuries. After learning of Robb's fate, Jon shares that he always envied his brother's charmed life. "I wanted to hate him," Jon confesses, and is surprised to learn that Sam feels similarly towards him.
Jon defends his infiltration of the wildlings before a tribunal of Night's Watch officers including Maester Aemon, Janos Slynt, and Alliser Thorne, who is in temporary command of the Watch. Thorne accuses Jon Snow of defecting, but Jon maintains his actions were in line with Qhorin Halfhand's commands. Jon comes clean about his relationship with Ygritte and the vow he did break, but Maester Aemon declares that offense trivial, given what else Jon has revealed: Mance Rayder has organized over 100,000 wildlings to attack the Wall.
Tormund and Ygritte discuss the impending attack on the Wall, and Tormund questions how Jon Snow escaped with his life intact. Before Ygritte can reply, a group of Thenns, a fierce clan with ritualistic scars on their faces, arrives at the camp. Its magnar, Styr, reveals that the Thenns have an appetite for crows.
Daenerys Targaryen looks on while her three grown dragons fight over the spoils of a hunt. The khaleesi is shaken when Drogon snaps at her; the dragons are no longer tame children.
Dany surveys her convoy of Unsullied, Second Sons and freed slaves and discovers that Grey Worm and Daario Naharis have been gambling for her favor. Dany puts an end to their contest, but the rivalry between the two men persists. The group marches to Meereen, a slave city known from its Great Pyramid. Daario Naharis approaches his queen with a handful of Meereenese flowers. "You have to know a land to rule it," he offers.
The lines halt abruptly and Dany, Jorah Mormont, Barristan Selmy and Missandei discover a crucified slave child serving as a road marker. The dead girl's arm points the way to Meereen. Jorah explains that the Great Masters of the city have arranged 163 child markers – one for every mile on the road to the city – as a message. Dany pledges to look upon the face of every slave child before her soldiers bury the victims.
Brienne of Tarth seeks out Margaery to explain what happened to Renly Baratheon: He was murdered by a shadow with the face of Stannis Baratheon. Brienne pledges to avenge his death, but Margaery reminds her that Joffrey is now their king.
Jaime Lannister bristles as yet another demand is made of him; Brienne confronts him about the vow he made to Catelyn Stark to relinquish her children. While Arya is likely dead, Brienne maintains, Sansa is not safe in King's Landing.
Sansa is alarmed to hear someone following her as she leaves the godswood. Her pursuer is Ser Dontos of House Hollard, the drunk whose life Sansa saved at Joffrey's nameday celebration. As an expression of gratitude, he presents her with a family heirloom, a necklace.
Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark ride together towards the Eyrie, where the Hound plans to ransom the girl to her aunt, Lysa Arryn. The pair surveils an inn and Arya recognizes Polliver, the Lannister guard who captured Yoren's Night's Watch recruits and rerouted them to Harrenhal. Arya tells the Hound how Polliver ended up on her death list – he stole her sword and used it to kill her friend Lommy.
Arya notices that Polliver still carries Needle, and she leaves her hiding spot to follow the blade. When the Hound pursues her, he is recognized by the Lannister soldiers who serve the Mountain. Because the Hound makes it clear he does not support the Lannister cause, a fight erupts and he polishes off several of his brother’s men before Arya joins in the fight. She cuts down Polliver, then pokes his throat, killing him the same way he killed Lommy. Arya leaves the inn with Needle in hand.
Tywin Lannister oversees the reforging of Ice, the Stark ancestral sword, into two new swords. He gives one to his son Jaime, who tries and fails to return to his earlier life before the loss of his sword hand. Prince Oberyn, on behalf of his brother, Prince Doran Martell of Dorne, arrives in King's Landing with his paramour Ellaria Sand to attend the royal wedding and is welcomed by Tyrion Lannister. Oberyn openly reveals to Tyrion his motive for his visit: revenge against the Lannisters for the rape and murder of his sister, Elia, wife of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. In the North, while Styr and his group of cannibal Thenns reinforce Tormund Giantsbane, Ygritte and the other wildlings, Jon Snow has returned to Castle Black and is released by Maester Aemon after confessing what he did during his time with the wildlings to gain information. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen leads her army on a march towards Meereen, the last of the three great slave cities, though she is troubled by how her dragons become less tame as they grow. In the Riverlands, Arya, accompanied by Sandor "The Hound" Clegane, reclaims her sword Needle from Polliver, and uses it to kill him the same way he murdered Lommy Greenhands, as retribution for her friend.
Tywin oversees the reforging of Ice, the Stark ancestral sword, into two new swords, one for Jaime, who tries to deal with the loss of his sword hand and Cersei's love. Prince Oberyn Martell, on behalf of his brother, Prince Doran of Dorne, arrives in King's Landing with his paramour, Ellaria Sand, to attend the royal wedding and is welcomed by Tyrion. Oberyn openly reveals to Tyrion his motive for his visit: revenge against the Lannisters for the rape and murder of his sister, Elia, wife of Prince Rhaegar. In the North, while Styr and his group of cannibal Thenns reinforce Tormund, Ygritte, and the other wildlings, Jon is released by Maester Aemon after confessing what he did during his time with the wildlings to gain information. In the Riverlands, Arya and the Hound reclaim her sword, Needle, from Polliver, killing him and his men. In Essos, Daenerys leads her army on a march towards Meereen, the last of the three great slave cities, though she is troubled by how her dragons are becoming less tame as they grow.
We open on a sword ensconced in a wolf's body. The sword is removed, boiled down and made into two separate swords at the behest of Tywin Lannister. It was Ned Stark's sword, made of Valyrian steel. Tywin throws the wolf on the fire and watches it burn. We move to King's Landing and Jaime receiving the larger of the two swords from Tywin. He will learn to fight with his left hand. They note they have always wanted one of these in the family for years and now they have two. Tywin doesn't want Jaime to serve in the King's Guard with one hand and wants him to return to Casterley Rock and rule in his stead, but Jaime insists that he still can and he doesn't want to break his vow to the King's Guard. Tywin gets annoyed at this but lets him go serve. He lets him keep the sword since a one-handed man with no family needs all the help he can get. Tyrion awaits the party of the Prince of Dorne who is arriving for the royal wedding. There is bad blood between the Lannisters and the Martells of Dorne and Tyrion is nervous. The party arrives and it is not the prince, it is lords from the houses of Dorne. They tell him the prince is unwell and he couldn't come and he sent his brother Prince Oberyn in his stead and that he arrived before dawn since he's not a man for welcome parties. They blow him off and head on to King's Landing. Tyrion says they need to find Oberyn who is famous for being a playboy so they head to the whorehouse. He is in fact there, choosing between several lovely whores. He's interested, however, in not just them but also the young pimp who is displaying them. The man says he is wildly expensive. Oberyn doesn't care. The young man and one of the women are in fact willing. Oberyn is with an exotic looking woman, his companion. They will all be having the sex together apparently. Until a man who is singing in another room interrupts Oberyn's train of thought. They go into the other room where two men are sitting with two whores, singing and drinking. The men are Lannisters. Oberyn threatens them, the Lannisters taunt him as a roughneck. Oberyn says Lannisters think their gold makes them better than everyone, but it doesn't. He then stabs one of the men in the hand. Tyrion enters at this point as the man writhes in pain. They scamper off to seek medical attention. Oberyn begins kissing his female companion, Ellaria Sand (Sand being the surname of noble-born bastards in Dorne the way Snow is in the North), in front of them as Tyrion tries to welcome them. Oberyn introduces him as the king's uncle imp. Tyrion asks for a word in private and they step outside. He asks why Oberyn came. He says the last time he was there he was with his sister who was married to a Targaryen, who then left her for another woman and that started a war right here and Tywin took the city and carved up his nephew, niece, and that the Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane raped and murdered his sister. He says to tell Tywin that the Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts. Dany sits by the water and watches her dragons play with each other in the air over the water. The third rests its head in her lap. They are getting much, much bigger and more dangerous and a little rebellious not always listening to Dany's directives. Ser Jorah is worried that they can never be tamed, not even by her. She goes to find Daario and Grey Worm, they are in some silly gambling match, basically it's a dumb staring contest. She walks past her enormous, growing army of the Unsullied and the slaves she's picked up along the way and tells them they won't ride by her but at the end by the livestock and the last man holding his sword will have to find a new queen. They stop their contest. Shae tries to make Sansa eat but she refuses. She is beyond depressed. Tyrion arrives and tries to get her to eat as well. He sends Shae away so he can talk to her. He says he can't let her starve and that he swore to protect her. He touches her hand but she pulls hers away. He says he wants to help her but she says she lies awake all night thinking about how Robb and her mother died at the Red Wedding. Tyrion says it was all a terrible crime and that he admired her mother even though she wanted to have him executed and said she was strong and fierce in protecting her children. He says Catelyn would want her to carry on and she knows it's true. She departs in sadness. Tyrion returns to his quarters to a waiting Shae who wants him to make love to her. He says she can't be there and it can be dangerous. She blows this off saying she wants him and wants him to want her. He notes that times are tense right now and he has no time for this. She tells him he needs to relax and sticks his hand under her dress. Shae gets mad and wonders if he loves Sansa. He notes Sansa despises him and he doesn't love her. She says he tried to ship her away and asks if he wants her to leave. He says he doesn't know what she's talking about. She asks him if he wants her to stay. He doesn't answer. She stalks out. A woman in the hallway overhears all of this. Jaime is fitted with a new gold hand. Cersei is mad he doesn't seem to be happy about it since she worked hard on getting the detailing right. She thanks the doctor for giving her some medicine that helped with some nebulous "symptoms" she had. The two talk and he notes she drinks more than she used to. She said he started a war and disappeared and her husband died and her daughter was shipped off and there was a siege and now her son is marrying a bitch and she has to marry a homosexual. She drinks more now. Jaime comes to sit by her and tries to put the moves on her and she says not now. He wonders when since he's been back for weeks. He asks if something's changed. She says everything's changed and he came back with no apology and one hand and expects everything to be the same. He said he didn't want to be taken prisoner and murdered people to get back to her. She says he took too long. The woman from the hallway comes to snitch on Tyrion and Shae. Ygritte and the Wildlings wait in a valley trying to figure out what to do since Mance Rayder told them to wait there. She's worried Mance is dead. She and Tormund argue about Jon Snow and he says she put three arrows in him and if he's still walking it's because Ygritte let him go. A group of men arrive. They are Thens, they have scarred faces, bald heads, and are large and scary. The lead one says Mance sent them. He notes that the meat tastes better on this side of the wall. He also notes he didn't see them coming and that they lost Jon Snow. They say they will answer to Mance but not to him. He asks if Ygritte belongs to Tormund, she pulls her arrow and notes she doesn't belong to anyone. He's excited about the "food" on this side of the wall. The Thens are cannibals. Back at Castle Black Sam chats with the returned Jon Snow, who is talking about how he was jealous of Robb his whole life since he was better than Jon at everything-- hunting, riding, girls. He says he wanted to hate him and never could. Sam says he wanted to hate Jon Snow too since he's better at everything than him too, except reading. Jon thinks they'll want to hang him. Jon Snow goes before the main men of the Wall and explains what happened while he was working as a double agent with the wildlings, including killing the Halfhand and sleeping with a wildling girl. One guy says he has to die since he slept with the enemy. The meister says they couldn't kill everyone that broke that vow or else there would be no one to guard the wall. Jon points out that while they sit there and debate, Mance is marching on the wall with an army of 100,000. They don't believe him but Jon tries to impress upon him how serious this coming attack is, coming from the South and North. The signal will be a great bonfire. Jon asks if they're going to execute him or if he's free to go. The older man notes that none of them are free, but they won't be taking his head today and he can leave. The acting commander is mad the Meister let Jon go but they let it stand. Oleanna is looking at necklaces for Margaery and her wedding. She dismisses all the beautiful baubles. She tells the ladies in waiting to go to the jewelers and find a better necklace. Margaery grouses about Joffrey and Oleanna tells her to be careful about that kind of talk. Brienne of Tarth arrives and tells Margaery about the shadow with the face of Stannis Baratheon who killed Renly and Brienne says one day she will avenge him. Margaery is sweet to her. Jaime goes over the logistics for the wedding with the King's Guard leader. Joffrey can't be bothered with the details. He then blathers on about how all he's done for the city and taunts Jaime for getting captured. Joffrey leafs through a book called the "Book of Brothers" that tells the tales of all the great deeds they did. He notes Jaime's page is barely filled in. Jaime says there's still time. Joffrey is skeptical of the 40 year-old one- handed man. Jaime says he uses his left hand now and it makes more of a contest. Dany talks with her girl about their march to Mereen to take the city with her army of slaves. Daario arrives to talk to her about strategy. He shows her three flowers, all of which are native to Mereen. One is poisonous, one is used to make tea. He says if you want to lead a people you have to know them and their surroundings. He then makes a little bouquet with the flowers and gives it to her. Very cute. She notes that he is indeed a gambler and smiles despite herself. On the march they come across a crucified slave. Ser Jorah notes there will be one at every mile marker into Mereen and there are 163 miles to go. Barristan wants to bury them but Dany wants to see their faces first. Brienne and Jaime look out at Sansa from a distance and Brienne reminds him of his promise to Catelyn to keep the Stark children safe. He notes Arya is probably dead and now that Sansa is a Lannister she's safe here. Brienne isn't buying that. Jaime asks if she isn't a Lannister after all since they're all being a pain in his ass and she does have the hair for it. Sansa takes a walk alone and hears a noise. A man makes himself known. He is the drunk fool whose life she saved on Joffrey's name day. He offers her the only thing of value he owns, a necklace that belonged to his mother and her mother before her. She tries to refuse it but he forces her saying it will let his name have one more moment in the sun before it disappears from the world. She says she's she'll wear it with pride. Arya and the Hound come across a ransacked caravan that includes dead body. Arya complains of wanting a horse of her own since she wants away from his stench. He says she's the only thing he has of value and he won't watch it ride away. She wonders why he didn't steal anything from Joffrey before he left. He admits he's a murderer but not a thief and that a man has to have a code. She says she has nowhere to go and wouldn't ride away and she'd be dead without him. He says he plans to sell her to a known living relative, her aunt Lysa in Vail. They come across a structure and count five horses and five men and he feels like that's too many to kill on an empty stuck. Arya recognizes them as the men who took them to Haarenhall and killed her friend and stole her sword and notes he still has it. She goes ahead after him to get her sword and he's angry with her. But then the door opens and they enter. It's a tavern of sorts with a bunch of men, one of whom is hassling a young girl. They sit as everyone stares at them. The tavern owner begs them not to molest his daughter. The man who stoles Arya's sword recognizes the hound and tells the owner to pour him so ale. They catch up on the news and his brother the Mountain who the guy has been working with. The man eyes the girl and figures the Hound has been having fun. He looks at Arya and says he's had better. The man invites him to come along and rape and pillage along the way to King's Landing thanks to the fact that they're wearing the King's colors. The Hound colorfully says to hell with the King. The man realizes the tale of Joffrey's man turning tale and running from battle he didn't believe it but now he realizes it's true. The Hound asks to have some chickens. The guy says he'll trade their chickens for a go at Arya. The Hound drinks the man's ale and then reiterates his request for some chickens. A fight ensues and, predictably, the Hound defeats all comers. Less predictably Arya helps him, kills one guy and takes her sword back from the man who stole it and kills him too. She looks pretty happy about it as he spouts blood. They ride off eating chickens and Arya on her very own horse.