Jon Snow enters Mance Rayder's camp unarmed. Inside Mance's tent, the two speak of Jon's treachery and his feelings for Ygritte. Upon hearing of her death, the King Beyond the Wall proposes they drink to her, and the two men remember the lives lost in battle the night before. Aware that the Night's Watch has already expended everything they had, Mance refuses to turn back. Instead, he asks that the gate be opened to his people; with winter approaching, his only desire is to move them south. As he speaks, he notices Jon eyeing a nearby knife and realizes that Jon's true mission is to kill him. The two face off, but are interrupted by a horn blast.
Stannis Baratheon's army assaults the wildling camp until Mance instructs his men to stand down. Stannis and Davos Seaworth take note of Jon Snow, who identifies himself as Ned Stark's son. At this, Stannis turns his full attention to Jon and asks for his opinion about the King Beyond the Wall. Jon advises him to do what Ned would: take him prisoner and listen to what he has to say.
The men of the Watch burn the bodies from the battle as Stannis and his entourage look on. Jon goes to see a shackled Tormund Giantsbane, who asks Jon to bury Ygritte in the real north where she belongs. Heeding the advice, Jon travels with her body north of the Wall and burns it there.
Cersei meets Pycelle and Qyburn in Pycelle's laboratory to examine Gregor Clegane. Both men agree he was poisoned with manticore venom, but only Qyburn believes he can be treated. The grand maester questions Qyburn's training, but is dismissed by Cersei. She hands the lab over to Qyburn who immediately begins to drain fluids from the Mountain's body, promising her it won't weaken him in the slightest.
The queen proceeds to her father's chambers. Unwilling to let Tywin raise Tommen in her absence, she demands that her engagement to Loras Tyrell be called off. Cersei threatens to reveal the truth about her and Jaime as a means to stop her father: "Your legacy is a lie." Tywin insists there is no truth to the rumors, but Cersei assures him he knows better.
Cersei finds Jaime in the Kingsguard chamber and tells him she has made her choice: She has chosen him and told Tywin the truth about their relationship. Initiating intimacy with her dumbstruck twin, she kisses his golden hand and tells him she doesn't care about anything else.
In her audience hall, Daenerys receives an elderly tutor. Unable to fend for himself in the barracks and mess halls sheltering the freed slaves, he asks permission to sell himself back to his master. Dany agrees only to let the man sign a year-long contract for his services. The next supplicant is a shell-shocked goatherd with a bundle in his arms. With Missandei translating for him, the goatherd explains that something came down from the sky. Laying the bundle down, he opens it and reveals the charred remains of his young daughter.
Dany escorts her dragons Viserion and Rhaegal to the catacombs; Drogon has not been seen in days. She attaches massive collars around their necks, chaining them to the floor. Stepping out of the catacomb, Dany weeps as her children call out to her and the door closes behind her.
In search of the Eyrie, Brienne of Tarth and Podrick happen upon Arya Stark, who marvels at the sight of Brienne in armor. Pod recognizes the Hound when he steps out from some rocks and the mood changes. Brienne mentions her promise to Catelyn Stark to bring Arya back, but the Lannister markings on Brienne's sword raise the Hound and Arya's suspicions. Regarding her as a threat to Arya's safety, the Hound exchanges fierce blows with Brienne. The two continue to grapple until Brienne gets the upper hand and sends the Hound over a ravine. Victorious, Brienne seeks out Arya, but finds only Pod. After the two leave in search of her, Arya emerges and climbs down the ravine. The Hound begs her to kill him, taunting her with memories of Micah's death, but she refuses. Arya takes the coin purse and leaves the Hound, still pleading.
As Bran's party nears its destination, skeletal hands shoot from the ground. Bran takes over Hodor's body to fight the wights, leaving his own vulnerable. A child of the forest appears, and ushers Hodor and Bran, back in his own body, to safety. Meera is unwilling to give up on Jojen until her wounded brother tells her she must. The child of the forest sends a bolt of light toward Jojen, setting him aflame. The three follow the child into a cave and meet the Three-Eyed Raven. A pale man on a nest of roots, he explains he takes on many forms. When Bran asks if he will ever walk again, the raven tells him he will fly.
Jaime startles Tyrion in his prison cell and directs him through the Red Keep's tunnels to a stairwell. Jaime gives his brother instructions to find Varys, who has a ship waiting to sail for the Free Cities, and the two say their goodbyes. Instead of taking the stairs, Tyrion detours to his Tower of the Hand. Entering Tywin's bedroom, Tyrion spots Shae in his father's bed, and infuriated, strangles her with the gold chains he once gave her. He then picks up Joffrey's crossbow and locates his father in the privy. Seemingly unperturbed, Tywin assures Tyrion he never had any intention of executing him and tries to convince his son to put down the crossbow. Tyrion tells Tywin he just killed Shae but Tywin dismisses her as a whore. When his father uses the word one time too many, Tyrion unleashes a pair of bolts into his father, killing him.
Tyrion goes to Varys' chambers and submits to being boxed into a crate along with supplies for the journey ahead. Later, Varys watches as the crate is carried onto a ship. Taking a final look at King's Landing, he boards the ship and stands alongside the crate.
Arya arrives at the harbor in Saltpans and tries to buy passage north. The captain refuses, telling her no one wants to go north; he is headed home to Braavos. At that, Arya pulls out her coin from Jaqen H'ghar, uttering, "Valar morghulis." The astonished captain replies "Valar dohaeris" and beckons her onboard. On deck, Arya stands at the ship's prow and looks towards the east.
Jon Snow treats with Mance Rayder, but their negotiations are interrupted when Stannis Baratheon and his army suddenly overrun the wildling camp and take Mance prisoner. Later, the Night's Watch burn the bodies of their dead while Jon burns Ygritte beyond the wall. Bran and his party come upon the large Heart Tree from his visions, but as they arrive they are attacked by wights; though Jojen is killed, Bran, Hodor and Meera are saved by a child of the forest who takes them to the three-eyed raven. In Meereen, Daenerys responds to a former slave's wish of being sold into slavery again by allowing him to contract his labor to his former master on a yearly basis. The next citizen brings her the charred remains of his daughter who was burned by one of her dragons. As a precaution, Daenerys chains her other dragons in the catacombs. In the Vale, Brienne and Podrick come upon Arya and the Hound. Brienne mortally wounds the Hound, while Arya escapes. Meanwhile in King's Landing, Cersei orders Qyburn to do anything to save the Mountain, who is dying of wounds from Oberyn's poisoned spear. She confronts her father, threatening to reveal her and Jaime's incestuous affairs if she is forced to marry Loras (after which, she rekindles that same affair). Tyrion is released from his cell by Jaime, but he later finds Shae in Tywin's bed and kills her. He then confronts his father in the privy and shoots him with Joffrey's crossbow, before escaping the city with Varys. The season ends with Arya buying passage on a ship bound for Braavos with the coin Jaqen H'ghar gave her.
Jon's negotiation with Mance Rayder is interrupted when Stannis and his army overrun the wildling camp, taking Mance as prisoner on the former's suggestion. Bran's party comes upon the large heart tree from his visions but is attacked by skeletal beasts, who kill Jojen; the others are saved by a child, who takes them to the three-eyed raven, revealed to be an old man. In the Vale, Brienne and Podrick come across Arya and the Hound, whom Brienne engages and critically wounds. He begs Arya to kill him, but she refuses and leaves with Brienne searching for her. She enters a ship headed to Braavos, intending to reunite with Jaqen H'ghar. Meanwhile, in King's Landing, Cersei orders Qyburn to do anything to save the Mountain, who is poisoned by Oberyn's blade. She gets involved with Jaime, who releases Tyrion. Tyrion later finds Shae in Tywin's bed and strangles her. He then confronts Tywin in the privy and kills him, escaping the city with Varys. In Meereen, Daenerys is visited by a citizen who brings the charred remains of his daughter, who was burned by Drogon. As a precaution, Daenerys chains her two other dragons in the catacombs.
We open on Jon Snow marching out of the gate in the Wall. He passes the dead giant--being feasted on by crows. He marches into the woods bathed in a gauzy haze. Wildlings surround him with weapons. He raises his hands. He comes face to face with Mance saying he's been sent to negotiate. He and Mance enter his tent. Mance admits his trusting nature got the best of him when it came to admitting Jon Snow to his family of Wildlings. They speak briefly of Ygritte, Jon reports she is dead, not by his hand. They share a drink and toast to her. Mance notes Jon and his men did well fighting back and congratulates him on killing a giant the last of his kind. They toast the giant and Jon's friend the giant killed. Jon proposes the Wildlings turn around. Mance scoffs at this saying he knows Jon's low on ammo and men. He truthfully tells him that he sent 400 men to climb the Wall much further down and they are likely over it by now. He says they're here to hide behind the wall just like Jon's people and they need Jon's tunnel because winter is coming and if the Wildlings, all 100,000 of them don't get South of the Wall for protection they'll all end up worse than dead. He offers a bargain: Jon goes back and opens the gate and promises that no one else will die. If he refuses, the Wildlings will kill every man at Castle Black. He knows Jon could probably kill Mance before his men could stop him but he asks if Jon is capable of a killing a man in his own tent after he's been offered a bargain? Suddenly they hear a noise. A knife is put to Jon Snow's throat and is asked if he is attacking them. He says no, Mance is right, they don't have the men. We pull back to see a great army on horseback charging into the woods from two sides killing Wildlings on both sides. It is swift and confusing and Mance is paralyzed. Suddenly he yells "Stand down!' He says his people have bled enough and he meant it. Stannis and Ser Davos arrive. They dismount and approach and Mance drops his weapons. Stannis asks if Mance is the King Beyond the Wall. Yup. He asks if Mance knows who he is. Mance does not. Davos announces him as Stannis Baratheon the one true King of the Seven Kingdoms. Mance notes they're not in the Seven Kingdoms and Stannis and his men aren't dressed for the weather. Stannis says it's customary to kneel when surrendering. (Jon is keeping mum.) Mance says they don't kneel. Stannis threatens his men, that he will have them in chains with nothing to feed them and their treatment relies on their king. All the same, Mance says, they don't kneel. Stannis asks what a member of the Night's Watch is doing with the Wildlings. He explains his mission. Davos scolds him for not calling him "your grace." Jon says he knows who he is since his father died for Stannis. When they realize he is Ned Stark's son they ask what they should do with Mance, what would Ned do? Jon notes that he was Mance's prisoner and was neither tortured or hurt and that he thinks Ned would take him prisoner and talk to him. Stannis thinks this is a good idea and has Davos escort him. Jon adds that if his father had seen what Jon had seen he'd also tell Stannis to burn the dead before nightfall, all of them. The Mountain is lying on his death bed. Maester Pycelle and another doctor are trying to cure him from the grave injuries and poisoning. The other man thinks he can be saved against Pycelle's wishes. Cersei tells him to do anything he can. He notes the cure may "change" the Mountain. She asks if it will weaken him and he says "oh no." She tells him to proceed. Cersei goes to Tywin to again get out of marrying Loras Tyrell, which is now set to happen after Tommen marries Margaery. He notes Jaime can't inherit and Tyrion is slated to die tomorrow and since she talks about her loyalty to the family all the time it's time for her to walk the talk. He starts to tell a story about her childhood and she interrupts him saying she doesn't want to hear another story about him winning. She says she will not have her last child stolen from her and she will not let Margaery and Tywin ruin Tommen, she will burn their house to the ground before she lets that happen. He asks how. She says she'll tell everyone the "truth." He asks what truth? She has a hard time believing that he never believed the rumors of Cersei and Jaime. When she says it flat out he says he doesn't believe her. And she looks at him and says "yes you do." She goes to Jaime and he begins with saying she "won" and now she'll have one fewer brother. She talks about family and he notes Tyrion is family. She says he is not. He says she doesn't get to choose. She goes on and on again about Tyrion "killed" their mother. He argues again that he didn't "decide" to kill her. She says a disease doesn't decide to kill you but you still cut it out before it kills you. She asks what he chooses. He talks about all he endured to get back to her only to find her.. She interrupts and kisses him and says "I choose you." He notes these are just words. She says yes, just like the ones she used to tell her father the truth. She said she told him she is staying with Tommen and Jaime. He looks confused and asks if he'll accept that. She does not care. He asks what she said specifically. She tells him not to speak of Tywin. She says she does not love Tywin, she loves her brother and her lover and that people can make their jokes she doesn't care she only sees what matters and kisses his gold hand. He grabs her and kisses her and as he clears the table to make love to her he says someone may walk in. She says she doesn't care. We cut to Dany in her throne room, Missandei at her side. An older man named Fennesz has come to speak to her. He is a former slave who taught his master's children about history including Dany's family. He says he is homeless. She says she has created mess halls and shelters. He reports that these places are rampant with the young preying on and stealing from the old. She promises the Unsullied will restore order. Even if she does, he wonders who he will be. At his former master's home he had respect and love and now he has nothing. He asks to be sold back to his master. He says the young may embrace this new world but for the old there is only fear and squalor and that he is not alone, many more will ask the same. She says she didn't take the city to reinstitute the slavery she sought to destroy. She says she will allow him to sign a contract with his former master for a period lasting no longer than a year. Barristan notes the master will abuse this new proposal. A crying man approaches with a bundle that he says "came from the sky." It is the skeleton of his baby girl. In her private quarters Dany is told the child was three. She then asks about one of her dragons, Drogon. He was spotted three days previously. She says to meet her in the catacombs. She goes to have a chat with her two remaining dragons down there. They are playing with carcasses. She observes them. (There is a huge chain bolted to the floor. She tearfully shackles their necks as they eat. She leaves. They cry out to her. She cries as the stone is rolled into place trapping them. The Maester at the Wall speaks over the bodies of the dead at Castle Black before they are burned. Sam and Jon put the torches to the pyre as Stannis and his contingent, including his wife and daughter, look on. Jon looks at Melisandre across the fire. Jon goes to see Tormund Wolfsbane as a prisoner. Tormund asks what's going to happen and if Stannis is his king now. Jon says he doesn't know and he doesn't have a king. He says they're going to burn the bodies of the Wildling dead and did Tormund want to say any funeral type words? Tormund notes the dead can't hear us. Jon leaves. As he does Tormund asks if he loved her, because Ygritte loved him. He says Ygritte belongs in the North, the "real North." Jon goes and gives her a proper single pyre burning in the woods. He walks away as it burns. Out in a blinding snowstorm, Hodor pulls Bran on a sled as JoJen and Meera follow and his Dire Wolf runs ahead. JoJen is exhausted and falls. Meera says we're not going to make it. JoJen says they are already here. Bran calls out to them to look and they see the mighty tree with the red leaves and the face in the trunk. They approach. There is a small cave in the base of the earth under the tree. As they approach White Walkers emerge from the frozen earth beneath them and begin attacking them. One attacks Hodor so Bran wargs into his body to fight back. Meera and Hodor are successful at fighting off the Walkers but JoJen is essentially dead. As two go to attack Bran two fireballs come out of nowhere and destroy them. A dirty little wild haired girl and appears and tells Bran to come with her or die with JoJen. JoJen says to go. She sits his throat and runs as more Walkers attack. The little girl throws a fireball and incinerates JoJen's body and offs a few more Walkers. As they run into the cave the Walkers try to follow but implode upon entry. The little girl explains that the power that allows them to move doesn't work in the cave. Bran asks who she is and she says the first men called them "The Children" but they were born long before the first men. She says to follow because a man awaits them. They go deeper into the cave which is tangled up with the roots of the tree from above. Hodor places Bran on his belly and scoots up to the three eyed raven of his dreams, now in the form of an old man with long white hair. He replies he has been many things and now he is what Bran sees. He says he's been watching all of their lives, with a 1,000 eyes in one. He says now at last Bran has come to him although the hour is late. Bran says he never wanted anyone to die for him. The man says JoJen knew what would happen and Bran has come to return what was lost. Bran thinks this means he will walk again. The man says he will never walk again but he will fly. Brienne awakes in a field and calls out to Podrick. The horses are gone. Apparently, Pod huddled them wrong. She tells him he's carrying the bag. She walks up a hill and sees Arya practicing her sword work. Arya calls out to the Hound that people are coming. Brienne asks if they are getting to the Bloody Gate. Arya says 10 miles. Arya asks if she's a knight and what her sword's name is. Brienne says no but her sword is called Oathkeeper. Arya tells her hers is Needle. After a little girlpower bonding about how both of their fathers didn't want to teach them to fight but finally relented, the Hound emerges. Pod recognizes him. Brienne realizes who Arya is and tells her of the vow she swore to her mother to bring her back safely. The Hound points out that Arya's whole family is dead and Brienne didn't do a very good job of protecting Catelyn. Arya asks why she didn't. Brienne admits Catelyn asked her to bring Jaime Lannister back to King's Landing. The Hound accuses her of working for the Lannisters. She says she doesn't but he recognizes their gold and notes her Valyrian steel sword. Brienne tells Arya to come with her. She doesn't move. Brienne and the Hound get into a knock down drag out fight with both getting in good licks but Brienne coming out the victor and pushing the Hound off a cliff edge where he tumbles into a heap. Brienne looks for Arya but she's gone. She heads down to the Hound who is calmly in his death throes. He eventually begs her to kill him but she simply plucks his bag of silver and walks off as he screams. We cut back to Tyrion in his cell. Jaime enters to spring him and they go through a series of tunnels to make it to a stairway where Varys is waiting to aid him in his escape. They hug goodbye. Jaime kisses him and says "Farewell little brother." Tyrion thanks him for his life. Jaime tells him to hurry.Instead of taking the stairs, Tyrion goes to his father's bedchambers. Shae is in his bed. She grabs a knife and she and Tyrion battle. He wrests the knife away and chokes her to death in tears. He says "I'm sorry," aloud. He grabs a crossbow from the wall and goes to what appears to be his father's restroom. Tywin tells him to put down the crossbow and asks who released him. He answers his own question knowing that Jaime had a soft spot for him. He says they should go to his chamber and talk. Tyrion notes that all his life Tywin has wanted him dead. He agrees but respects and admires that Tyrion refused to die and always fought for what was his. He claims they have no real plans to execute him since he's a Lannister, his son. Tyrion says he loved Shae and that he killed her with his own hands. Tywin says it doesn't matter, she was a whore. Tyrion raises the crossbow and tells him to say that word again. And what, he asks, he'll kill him in the privy? Tywin says they should back to his chambers. Tyrion says he can't because Shae is there. Tywin asks if he's afraid of a dead whore. So since he said the word again, Tyrion shoots him. Tywin sagely notes he shot him. He says he is no son of his. Tyrion says he's always been his son. And then shoots him again, this time dead. He finally makes his way to Varys who tells him to trust him. He seals him up in a box-- with holes and food. The box is hoisted onto a ship. As Varys looks up at King's Landing and the castle, he hears bells toll and, realizing there is nothing there for him, he heads back to the ship and gets on board with the box. We cut to a pretty waterfall. Arya rides her horse alongside the harbor. She spies a ship in the distance. She speaks to the captain and says she wants to go North to the Wall. She offers to work. He says he's not going north, but to Braavos. She says she has something, and offers the iron pendant that she was given. He is taken aback by the medallion. She says "Valar Morghulis.' He responds and says of course, she will have a cabin. The ship sets sail. Arya runs to the bow and watches as they head out.