Lord Commander Jon Snow prepares to leave for Hardhome with Tormund. Alliser Thorne reiterates his disapproval of Jon's rescue mission. Samwell Tarly offers Jon a bag of dragonglass daggers. "I hope you don't need them," he says.
Maester Aemon holds baby Sam and remembers his younger brother, Aegon "Egg" Targaryen. "Get him south," Aemon warns Gilly, "before it's too late." Later that night, Aemon passes away. Sam eulogizes the maester and, as the funeral pyre is lit, Thorne points out to Sam, "You're losing all your friends."
Later Sam finds two of his Night's Watch brothers harassing Gilly. He pulls out his sword, but he is no match for the men and is brutally beaten. Ghost appears and saves him. Gilly nurses Sam's wounds and demands that next time Sam not risk getting killed on her behalf. He refuses to assent and promises to take care of both her and baby Sam no matter what. Gilly climbs on top of him and the two make love.
Theon Greyjoy brings a tray to Sansa Stark, who is locked in her bedchamber. She begs him to help her, but Theon is impassive. Sansa hands Theon the candle given to her by the old servant woman and asks him to light it in the highest tower to signal a rescue. Theon accepts the candle and agrees to light it… and then delivers it to Ramsay.
Ramsay requests that Sansa join him on the battlements. He explains that the emerging snowstorm is a lucky occurrence, as it will cripple Stannis' approaching army and secure Ramsay's future place as Warden of the North. Sansa points out that Roose's trueborn son will have a stronger claim than Ramsay. "Bastards can rise high in the world," Ramsay rebuffs, mentioning that Jon is now Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He then shows Sansa the flayed body of the old servant woman.
Davos Seaworth gives his report to Stannis Baratheon: Horses are dying and men are deserting. He urges Stannis to return to Castle Black to replenish their resources, but Stannis won't hear of retreat. With winter bearing down, they might be trapped at the Wall for years.
Melisandre encourages Stannis to trust in the Lord – she has seen the Bolton defeat in the flames. "Sometimes, sacrifices are required for victory," she states, reminding him of the power of king's blood. Stannis orders Melisandre from his tent, disgusted.
Daario Naharis and Daenerys Targaryen discuss her impending marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq. Daario insists that Dany has a choice in the matter – and should marry him instead. Dany rejects the proposal, citing her royal obligations. "You are the only person in Meereen who is not free," Daario says, offering one more suggestion – that she slaughter all the city's masters.
Jorah Mormont is sold at a slave auction to a master named Yezzan. Tyrion Lannister orchestrates his purchase as well, beating a man with his chain to convince Yezzan of his worth. Tyrion advises his new master that they must fight in the Meereen fighting pits as free men. In response, Yezzan throws a single coin at Tyrion – wages for the rest of his life.
Yezzan's slaves, including Tyrion and Jorah, are led to a lesser fighting pit and confined to a holding room. Encouraged by Hizdahr, Dany takes a seat in the stands to honor the fighters with her presence. When Jorah realizes Dany is in attendance, he breaks out of the holding area. Wearing a helmet to disguise his identity, Jorah attacks the other fighters and, seeing how Dany is disgusted by bloodshed, uses non-lethal means to subdue his opponents. Dany looks on approvingly, until Jorah shows his face. "I brought you a gift," Jorah pleads. "He has," says Tyrion, rushing out to present himself to Dany.
Jaime Lannister speaks with Myrcella privately, and tells her that she must return to King's Landing. She refuses – she will stay in Dorne, her real home, and marry Trystane Martell.
Bronn and the Sand Snakes sit in adjacent cells. Through the bars, Tyene flirts with the sellsword, who bears a slight gash from one of her daggers. Suddenly, Bronn's vision blurs and blood drips from his nose. Tyene reveals that her dagger was coated with a deadly poison called the Long Farewell. "It takes time to work," she admits, but contact with a single drop is fatal. She tosses Bronn the antidote, stored in her necklace, and he frantically swallows it.
Olenna Tyrell approaches a man scrubbing the sept, failing to recognize him as the High Sparrow. She asks for the return of her grandchildren, and offers to make the holy man the richest septon who ever lived. The High Sparrow reminds the Queen of Thorns that her grandchildren both lied under oath. "The gods demand justice," he tells her. Olenna threatens to stop sending Tyrell crops to the capital, but the High Sparrow is not intimidated. "You are the few," he tells her. "We are the many."
Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish meets with Lady Olenna in his destroyed brothel. They murdered King Joffrey together, Olenna reminds him. "Our fates are joined," she says. Littlefinger admits that he came back to King's Landing because Cersei summoned him, but he has not forgotten their alliance. He offers Olenna the same "gift" he gave Cersei.
Cersei Lannister comforts her devastated son. She counsels Tommen to be strong, and offers to speak to the High Sparrow on his behalf. Cersei first visits a broken Margaery in her prison cell and offers her daughter-in-law a bowl of soup. "I know you did this," Margaery states, cursing Cersei, and throws the dish at her spitefully.
Cersei visits the High Sparrow in an ancient chapel beneath the Sept of Baelor. He explains there will be a trial for the Tyrell siblings; high and low alike, true hearts will be laid bare. "When we strip away your finery," he asks the queen mother, "what will we find?" With that, he ushers Lancel Lannister into the chapel and tells Cersei that the young man has fully unburdened himself about their relationship and other sins of hers. Cersei tries to leave, but is taken into custody and locked in a cell.
Jon leaves for Hardhome with Tormund and some rangers. Maester Aemon dies shortly after. Gilly is attacked by two brothers, but Sam comes to her rescue. He is badly beaten, and Gilly tends to him before the two have sex. Sansa asks Reek to help her escape Winterfell, but Reek instead informs Ramsay, who flays the old lady whom Sansa learned the signal from. At the camp of Stannis' army, Melisandre asks permission to sacrifice Shireen; Stannis is disgusted and refuses. Jorah and Tyrion are sold as slaves to Yezzan zo Qaggaz. The two are brought to the pits; after defeating the other slaves, Jorah reveals his identity to Daenerys, and that he brought Tyrion Lannister as a gift. Myrcella asks Jaime why he came to rescue her when what she wants is to marry Trystane. Tyene reveals to Bronn that she poisoned him. She gives him the antidote after he names her the world's most beautiful woman. Olenna is declined by the High Sparrow when she demands Loras and Margaery be released. Later, the High Sparrow reveals to Cersei his knowledge of hers and Lancel's relationship and has her imprisoned.
Snow leaves for Hardhome with Giantsbane and some rangers. Aemon dies shortly after. Gilly is attacked by two Watchmen. Tarly intervenes and is overpowered until Ghost arrives and forces the duo to leave. Tarly and Gilly develop a romantic relationship. Sansa asks Theon to help her escape Winterfell, but he instead informs Ramsay, who flays the woman working for Brienne. At Stannis' army's camp, Melisandre suggests sacrificing Shireen, which he refuses. Mormont and Tyrion are sold to slaver Qaggaz. The two are brought to a local fighting pit that Daenerys and her consort happen to be visiting in preparation for the coming games at Daznak's pit. Mormont defeats the other slaves and reveals his identity to her, and that he brought Tyrion as a "gift" for her. In Dorne, Myrcella tells Jaime that she wants to marry Trystane, Doran's son. Olenna's demand for Loras and Margaery's release is declined by the High Sparrow. Later, the High Sparrow arrests Cersei due to her former incestuous relationship with Lancel.
Jon Snow is preparing to take his leave of the Wall and Alliser Thorne reminds him he thinks this is a bad idea. Sam gives him the dragon glass he used to kill the White Walker and hopes he doesn't need it. Later, Maester Aemon plays with baby Sam and Gilly. He says he reminds him of his brother "Egg," Eghard Targaryen. He is clearly on his last legs. Gilly tells Sam to get some sleep but he begs off saying he can't leave him. The Maester keeps calling out to "Egg!" and draws his last breath saying something about dreaming of the towers of old. Sam leads his funeral service and recalls him as wise, gentle, and kind and councilor to a dozen Lord Commanders. As he and Alliser light the funeral pyre, Throne leans over and tells Sam he's losing all his friends, because he's mean like that. Later, when Gilly is washing some clothes two men come in and menace her, wondering if she is actually pretty or only pretty because she's the only girl there. She tells them to leave but they corner here. Sam comes in and draws his sword. He tries to protect her but they beat him to a bloody pulp and call him names. Just as they are about to take advantage of her though, he rises again and says he killed a White Walker and a Thenn and can take them too. They aren't afraid until Jon's Direwolf Ghost materializes and growls at them. They leave and Sam promptly passes out. Later, she tends to him and tells her to never do that again since he's not a fighter. He says he had them in the palm of his hand. She makes him promise that no matter what happens to her he will take care of baby Sam. He vows to take care of her as well. She kisses his cheeks and then his mouth and then she gets on top of him and kisses him. He makes a noise and she asks if she's hurting him. He assures her that she is not. They make love. Jamie is in a large ornate room. Myrcella is brought to him. He apologizes for what's happening and tells her Cersei has been worried since threats have been made against her and she must go back with him. Myrcella isn't having it, noting she didn't want to come here but she did her duty and now she is in love with Tristane, marrying him, and staying right in Dorne. He says he doesn't understand, and she notes that he couldn't since he doesn't know her. Meanwhile, Bronn is singing in the prison alongside the Sand Snakes. They chit chat about the fight. Bronn notes that Dornish women are the most beautiful in the world, but not necessarily those three. One engages him and begins to tantalize him from the opposite cell with a view of her naked body. She keeps asking about where she cut him and he says his arm is fine. Then she asks about his head and suddenly he starts to get dizzy and his nose is bleeding. She notes she had poison on her dagger called "The Long Farewell" since it takes a while to set in. She pulls a small vial off her necklace, the only known antidote. She asks who the most beautiful woman in the world is. He correctly answers her and she tosses him the antidote. He drinks it and she tells him that she thinks he is very handsome as well. Theon brings Sansa her lunch. She rises from her bed, bruised and fearful. She begs for his help. He says he can't and that he is no longer Theon. She tries to remind him who he is and begs him to light a candle in the tower. Instead, he goes to Ramsay. Brienne waits and watches for the sign. Sansa is summoned outside by Ramsay who kisses her and says that he is so glad she is beautiful and not the beast he feared his father would marry him to. He says she's made him very happy. He notes that Stannis rides for Winterfell but the current snowstorm has hampered his march, which is good since his men know how to fight in the cold. He notes that soon he will be warden of the north and she the wardeness. She wonders if that's true since his stepmother is pregnant. She says a true born will always have the edge to be heir over a bastard. He notes that he was naturalized. She retorts that he was naturalized by another bastard Tommen Baratheon. He winces slightly at this but has the last word when he shows her the flayed body of the woman who came to her in her chambers to tell her about putting the candle in the tower. He tells her to hold on to her candles since the nights are so long now. She is devastated. Stannis meets with Davos who reports that the cold has killed horses, is hampering the men and that swellswords have abandoned the fight. He urges Stannis to head back to Castle Black to wait out the storm or the whole winter if necessary saying this isn't the right time. Stannis notes this is the only time and if they go back he will be known as "The king who runs." Plus, the winter could last for years and in that time who knows what will happen? He says they march now to either victory or defeat, but they march now. He turns to Melisandre and notes that he has always trusted in her visions and prophecies but is clearly getting nervous. She says he saw the great battle in the snow in the flames himself and that she has seen herself walk along the battlements of Winterfell as the flayed man banners were lowered. But the vision will require sacrifices. He says they need King's blood and don't have it without Robert's bastard Gendry. She says there is another who has king's blood in her veins, meaning they should sacrifice Shireen. He is disgusted by the suggestion and tells her to leave. Jorah is put on the block and the auctioneer talks up his famous fighting history to up the bids. One slaver finally buys him and begins to take him away and then Tyrion says he has to buy him as well since they are a team since he's a great fighter too. Everyone laughs at this until Tyrion manages to take down one of his minders with his own shackles, beating the younger, larger man with his chains. Everyone laughs and the slaver is amused so he takes Tyrion as well and promptly whacks him in the face for being mouthy about "wages." The two lovers enjoy a little post-coital chat and Daario wonders how long before the King of Mereen comes to claim his pillow. Dany points out that her marriage to Hizdahr is political and he knows that. They talk politics. She says she has no choice but to marry him since she needs the city behind her. Daario says everyone has a choice, even slaves: be a slave or die. He says she should marry him instead. She notes that even if she wanted to do such an inadvisable thing she couldn't. He notes that she is the queen and can do whatever she want. She insists she can't. He notes that means that she is the only person in Meereen who is not free. He makes one more suggestion: on the day of the great games gather all the great and wise masters and slaughter them all. She says she is a queen not a butcher. He says all rulers are either butchers or meat. Before the "great games," the newly rounded up slaves have to battle to the death to get a slot, sort of a semi-final round. The slaver sends several men out but not Jorah or Tyrion, who is shackled to the wall. Dany and Hizdahr come along to watch the early battles. The slaver is surprised and heartened to see the queen and her future king. Jorah hears them make a pledge to the queen and realizes she's there. He he sees her through the bars watching the battles which are very bloody and gross. She is unsettled and clearly wants to leave. Sensing this Jorah grabs his helmet and runs out and joins the fray even though he wasn't chosen. He dispatches every one of the remaining fighters one by one. Tyrion is trying to break free from the wall because he's missing all the action and a huge guy comes along and splits his chains for him. Jorah, victorious, stands before Dany and removes his helmet. She is not happy and tells them to get him out of her sight. He cries out that he brought her a gift. This is Tyrion's cue, he emerges saying that he is the gift. She asks who he is and he tells her and she is clearly surprised. Olenna and the High Sparrow banter in the church and she scoffs at his "man of the people" act and says she cans smell a fraud a mile away and that she is here to get her grandchildren out. He says they broke the rules of the gods and are now paying and it doesn't matter how high born they are. She offers him money and then threatens to take away the food the Tyrells send to King's Landing. He notes it must be strange for her not to be able to sniff out a hidden agenda and he doesn't have one and that the Gods demand justice. She notes that half the people in King's Landing have broken the laws that Loras and Margaery have. When she talks about withholding food he wonders if she's every sown a field or reaped a harvest, knowing she hasn't saying her wealth and power have given her blind eye. She says she is one of the "few" and when the many stop fearing the few... and trails off, letting her fill in the rest of that idea as he walks away from her. On the way out of the church she gets a note with Littlefinger's mark. Up in the castle Tommen is livid that there is nothing he can do and swears he will start a war and wipe out the Faith Militant to get Margaery back. She notes that he knows who the first casualty of that war will be. He says he simply loves her. She says they must be strong for those they love. He wants to speak to High Sparrow but she says she will talk to him and do what she can to win Margaery's freedom and Loras', saying his happiness is all she wants. He says he knows, but she says he can't know until he has kids of own saying she would do anything for him, burn cities to the ground and that all that matters to her are him and Myrcella. Littlefinger meets Olenna at his now ruined brothel, destroyed by the Sparrows. Olenna doesn't have time for his nonsense and tells him not to bother pretending he cares about House Tyrell. She notes that their fates are joined by their murder of Joffrey and that if things fall apart she won't protect him. He tells her that Cersei wanted information from him and he gave her some, but not all that he knows. And he tells Olenna he has a gift for her, the same kind he gave Cersei, a handsome young man. Cersei goes to see Margaery in her dank, horrid, cell and mockingly calls it horrible and unacceptable and asks if they are feeding her enough. She drops off some venison stew, her leftovers. She goes on about how they did everything they could for her. Margaery, dirty and disheveled isn't having any of this, speaking plainly, accusing Cersei of doing this to her and saying she's not buying her act. Cersei says Margaery is clearly not thinking clearly and will come back. Margaery throws the stew at Cersei and call her a hateful bitch and tells her to get out. Cersei walks out with a big shit-eating grin on her face, because she has really, really not thought ahead. She then goes to see the High Sparrow and asks about what will happen to Margaery and Loras, he explains they will hae separate trials and if they confess to their sins before then they will be at what is called "mother's mercy." Cersei thanks him for bringing whatever justice they deserve in the eyes of the seven gods. He begins nattering on about the small simple chapel they are standing in which is so ancient no one knows who built it, unlike the ornate cathedral that was built up around it. He muses about what happens when you strip away the gold and statues and pillars of the larger structure, what remains is this simple chapel. He notes this stripping away is now happening to the Tyrells and their true hearts will laid bare for all to see and their punishment will be the same as it would be for anyone, high or low born. He asks her what she thinks they will find when they strip away Cersei's finery. She starts to get nervous, as she should. The High Sparrow tells the story of a young man who came to them broken in body and spirit and piece by piece he unburdened himself, letting go of vanity and pride and sin that now his soul is so light that he will float through the heavens like a bird. He notes this man has a lot to say about Cersei: enter Lancel Lannister. Cersei sees him and begins to away but there is a formidable nun at the door. Cersei orders her to the side but the woman seizes her and drag her away. The High Sparrow is happy. The nuns throw her to the ground in a cell. Cersei tells her to look at her face since it's the last thing the woman will see before she dies. The nuns shut and lock the door.