Sansa meets with Littlefinger after receiving a letter bearing his sigil. Although surprised to see Brienne, he expresses relief Sansa is “unharmed.” Sansa corrects her former guardian, forcing him to hear about the pain she endured with Ramsay. Dismissing his offer of aid, Sansa declares she will take back the North with her own army. In parting, Littlefinger informs her Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully has retaken Riverrun, and reminds her the army she has is not hers, but her half-brother’s.
Jon Snow takes counsel as to who might join the Stark army. Davos has concerns about Jon’s appeal, but Sansa is confident her trueborn status will bolster Jon's; his legitimacy is no different than Ramsay’s. She divulges news of the restored Tully forces, but not her real source. Once in her chambers, Sansa orders Brienne to ride to Riverrun and enlist the Blackfish to their cause. Brienne, hesitant to leave Sansa, also questions why Sansa withheld her meeting with Littlefinger. Readying to leave Castle Black, Sansa gives Jon a handmade cloak bearing the Stark sigil. The group departs, while Edd, in his first act as Lord Commander, remains in the courtyard and orders the closing of the gate.
The Waif continues to drill Arya, mocking her high-born origins. Jaqen H’ghar explains that the Faceless Men were slaves in Valyria before establishing the Free City of Braavos and the House of Black & White. Handing Arya a vial, Jaqen tells her an actress, Lady Crane, will be the next to receive the Many-Faced God’s “gift.”
Arya enjoys the spectacle of the actors re-enacting the War of the Five Kings, playing Baratheons and Lannisters, but her pleasure ceases when her father, and his execution, are caricatured. Arya sneaks into the dressing room to observe her target – the actress playing Cersei – who appears to be a clever, decent woman. Arya later shares with Jaqen her plan to poison Lady Crane’s rum. Arya suspects that a jealous younger actress, Bianca, has commissioned the kill. Jaqen cuts her off, reminding her a servant does not question.
Thousands of years in the past, in a lush green locale, Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven find Leaf and other Children of the Forest huddled in front of a weirwood tree with a man tied to it. Leaf inserts a shard of dragonglass into the man's chest, and his eyes turn ice blue. The Children of the Forest created the White Walkers. Pulled back to the cave, Bran demands to know why. “We needed to defend ourselves,” Leaf says, “From you. From men.”
Yara Greyjoy is met with skepticism at the kingsmoot until Theon asserts she is the “rightful ruler.” Her supporters’ cheers are interrupted by Euron Greyjoy, who steps forward to lay his claim to the Salt Throne. Accused of Balon’s murder, he apologizes only for not having done it sooner. Euron proposes re-building the enormous “Iron Fleet,” which he will deliver to Daenerys Targaryen in exchange for her hand in marriage. Together they will destroy the lords of Westeros and rule all Seven Kingdoms, not just the Iron Islands. After his proposal, Euron is chosen as king.
In accordance with tradition, the priest Aeron Greyjoy drowns Euron. When his brother revives, Aeron places a driftwood crown on his head. Euron rallies his supporters to kill Yara and Theon, but discovers they have stolen off with his best ships. The new king tells his subjects to begin building anew.
Daenerys debates what to do with Jorah, but he tells her he must be sent away. Revealing his ever-spreading greyscale, Jorah professes, “Tyrion Lannister was right. I love you.” Daenerys stops her loyal bodyguard from leaving to give one final command: Find a cure and return to her.
Temporary peace has come to Meereen, but Tyrion wants people to know that Daenerys is responsible. Looking for a voice the people will believe, Tyrion and Varys meet with Kinvara, a High Priestess of the Lord of Light. In order to prove her power to the skeptical Varys, she speaks of the night he was mutilated and heard a voice call out from the flames. The priestess asks Varys, “Should I tell you what the voice said? Should I tell you the name of the one who spoke?”
Bored, Bran grasps the weirwood and returns to the location where the first White Walker was born, only to find it now a frozen wasteland. He sees the Army of the Dead and walks amongst the wights, until the Night King, astride his horse, looks directly at him. Frozen in fear, Bran realizes the entire army has turned to face him. The Night King closes his hand around the boy’s forearm. Screaming, Bran opens his eyes in the cave; the Three-Eyed Raven tells them they all must leave; by touching Bran, the Night King has broken the cave’s magical protection. First, however, Bran must become him. “Am I ready?” Bran asks. “No,” says his tutor.
While the Three-Eyed Raven is transferring his knowledge to Bran, Meera notices a chill in the cave. She rushes to the entrance and finds the Army of the Dead gathered outside. While the Children try to hold them off, Meera runs back into the cave. Bran is stuck in a vision watching young Ned bid farewell to his own father, Rickard, in the courtyard at Winterfell, and cannot be stirred. Meera yells for the panicking Hodor to get Bran onto the sledge. Faintly hearing Meera’s pleas for help even in the past, Bran wargs into a terrified Hodor, who pulls the motionless boy through the tunnels alongside Meera, chased by wights from all sides. Bran’s direwolf, Summer, is killed in the fight, and Leaf sacrifices herself so they have a chance to escape out a back door.
Inside the cave, the Night King approaches the immobile Three-Eyed Raven, blade aloft. The old man tells Bran, “leave me,” and turns to ash in the courtyard as the Night King destroys his body. Bran sees Wylis staring at him, and the stable boy collapses to the ground, eyes rolled back.
Sansa and Brienne visit Littlefinger in a nearby town as she orders him to return to the Vale. He obliges, but informs her that Brynden Tully has retaken Riverrun before he leaves. Sansa, Jon and Davos devise a plan to bring the smaller northern houses to their cause as Brienne is sent to Riverrun to acquire help from the Tullys. Arya is sent to visit a theatre group by Jaqen to eye up a potential victim. The kingsmoot is held in the Iron Islands and Euron is chosen to be king. Theon and Yara escape with the majority of the Iron fleet as Euron orders his soldiers to track them down. Daenerys finds out about Jorah's greyscale and orders him to find a cure before returning to him. She leads the Dothraki out of Vaes Dothrak as they part ways. Tyrion and Varys gain the help of a Red Priestess to secure the new found peace in Meereen. Bran observes a vision showing that the White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest to protect them from the First Men. Later, he observes a vision alone of an army of wights outside the Weirwood with the Night's King at their rear. The Night's King touches him, marking his position in the physical world. The wight army eventually attacks whilst Bran is still in a vision and the Three-Eyed Raven, Summer and Leaf are killed trying to defend Bran. Hodor seals the wights in a passageway allowing Meera and Bran to escape, his younger self in the vision collapsing and repeating the words "hold the door".
Sansa meets Baelish, who offers the support of the Vale and tells her that Brynden Tully, her great uncle, is gathering an army in Riverrun; she initially refuses his help. Jon and Sansa leave Castle Black to gather support from the other Northern houses, with her sending Brienne to Brynden. In Braavos, Arya is given a second chance to prove her loyalty by killing an actress. Beyond the Wall, Brandon learns that the White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest to protect themselves from the First Men. In the Iron Islands, Euron wins the Kingsmoot despite confessing to killing Balon, causing Yara and Theon to flee. In Essos, Daenerys learns about Mormont's greyscale, ordering him to find a cure and return. In Meereen, a red priestess named Kinvara meets Tyrion and Varys and promises to support Daenerys. Brandon's unaccompanied vision causes him to be touched by the Night King, making the cave vulnerable. The Night King, along with White Walkers and hordes of wights, attack the cave, killing the Three-Eyed Raven, several Children, Summer, and Hodor, whose younger self is shown to have been rendered mentally disabled by Brandon's interference.
Sansa sews a garment and receives mail. She goes with Brienne and goes to meet Petyr Baelish in Molestown, close to Castle Black. Littlefinger offers the Knights of the Vale. Sansa is very bitter at being handed to Ramsay Bolton and hints at the abuse she received. Littlefinger apologizes and offers to do anything to make amends. He then adds that Blackfish has taken Riverrun and could be a future ally. Arya and the Waif spar with poles, once again Arya is on the losing end as the other girl has superior fighting skills. Jaqen observes and seems displeased. Once again he lectures her in the Hall of Faces, Jaqen gives her a second chance to complete an assignment, and gives her a vial of poison for the target, an actress. At an outdoor stage a play is underway, the show depicts the death of Robert Baratheon with Cersei. The Ned Stark character is depicted as a buffoon, Arya watches and scowls and is even sadder when the beheading is played out. Backstage after the show the actors laugh and joke. Arya enters and pays attention to Lady Crane, the lead actress, who prefers rum as her drink of choice. Arya then reports to Jaqen and seems puzzled why Crane is being targeted. She suspects the other younger actress is jealous and behind it, but Arya commits to completing the hit. Bran is in a trance. Inside the dreamworld he walks with the Three Eyed Raven and sees the Leaf and the Children plunge a dragon glass blade into a man and create a White Walker. He wakes and Leaf says they did it to defend themselves against Man. In the Iron Islands Yara tries to take over as Queen, but faces resistance. Theon steps up and tells the gathering Yara is the rightful Leader. Euron Grejoy, their uncle, now announces himself and claims the throne. Euron freely admits to killing Balon Greyjoy. The Greyjoys debate their claims. Euron makes a compelling case and wins over the assembly. They prepare a drowning ceremony while Yara and Theon get away. Euron recovers from his baptismal drowning and is crowned King, but his niece and nephews have left with most of the Ironfleet. Euron demands they start building 1000 ships. On a hillside Daenerys meets Daario and Jorah. Mormont shows the spreading greyscale disease on his arm. He tells Dany he loves her and says farewell. She sadly orders him to find a cure and heal himself then return to her side. Tyrion, Varys, Missandei and Greyworm discuss the seeming peace in Mereen. Tyrion stresses the need for some positive propaganda that Daenerys was the one responsible. Tyrion then meets a Red Witch. The witch agrees Daenerys is the rightful leader and will help make sure she is respected and obeyed. Varys points out another red witch mistakenly supported Stannis Baratheon, she agrees but hints that she knows how and when Varys was castrated. The eunuch is stunned. Bran awakes and tosses a pebble at the Three Eyed Raven, who remains asleep. Bran goes into his trance again and sees a winter world, a large army of zombies. He walks through their ranks up to a White Walker on horseback. The Night King touches Bran, he wakes screaming. The Raven says they are coming now and says it is time for Bran and Meera to leave, and time for Bran to become the Three Eyed Raven. Jon Snow, Davos, Tormund, Sansa and Brienne discuss their situation. They review the Houses of the North and realize most have gone to the Bolton side, and it will take some convincing to get the rest on their side. Sansa mentions the Blackfish will support them but doesn't mention meeting Littlefinger. Later Brienne expresses some distrust about Davos and wonders why Sansa lied about how she knew about Blackfish. Sansa gives Jon a furry cloak as they prepare to leave Castle Black. In the cave Meera feeds Hodor, suddenly she runs to the mouth, there the Night King and Army approach. Leaf tells Meera to get Bran and run. Bran and the Raven see the past. The Children try to fight the zombies with fireballs but they come on into the cave. Meera loads the entranced Bran in the sled as the zombies reach the wier tree. Through the dream Bran takes control of a teenage Hodor in the past and present. Meera kills a White Walker with a spear. Bran's wolf is killed by zombies. The Night King kills the Three Eyed Raven. Meera and Hodor flee with Bran deeper into the cave. Leaf is killed but takes out many zombies. Hodor opens a door to the outside, then holds the door shut to allow Meera and Bran more time to escape. Hodor dies crying out "hold the door...ho dor...".