Tyrion ponders his options. Tywin extends an olive branch. Sam realizes Castle Black isn’t safe, and Jon proposes a bold plan. The Hound teaches Arya the way things are. Dany chooses her champion.
The episode opens where the last ended, with Cersei accusing Tyrion of the murder of King Joffrey. As Tyrion is seized, Sansa makes her decision and flees with Dontos. They can hear Cersei shouting after Sansa, wondering where she’s gone. Tywin shouts orders for Sansa to be found, for the gates to be barred, and for all ships in the harbor to be seized.
As bells toll Joffrey’s death, we see Dontos leading a hooded Sansa through the city, managing to make their way to the shore where a boat awaits. Sansa asks where Dontos is taking her, and he says only that he’ll take her to somewhere safe. Dontos rows out to sea. Hours pass, and they are in a fog bank, and it is darker. A ship anchored in the water comes into view and Dontos makes his way toward it. He helps Sansa climb up into it, and at the top a man helps her onto the deck.
She realizes that it’s Littlefinger, to her surprise. He asks if she’s injured, and is glad she’s well. Dontos calls up from the boat, and Littlefinger tells him to be quieter, that voices carry on the water. Dontos is eager to get back before he’s sought… and he wants his ten thousand gold. Littlefinger snaps his fingers and two men appear with crossbows. They shoot Dontos before he gets more than a word out, and he dies instantly, collapsing down into the boat.
Sansa screams, but Littlefinger takes hold of her and tries to keep her quiet. He warns her against making too much noise, that Cersei wants her and there are a thousand gold cloaks seeking her out. He asks her how she thinks they’ll punish her for murdering the king. She denies it, and he agrees that she didn’t… but it looks suspicious, her flight and her having the motive of avenging the death of her father and the torment Joffrey had put her to.
Sansa calms, and then asks why Littlefinger killed Dontos. He replies that Dontos was a drunk fool. When Sansa responds that Dontos saved her, Baelish points out that Dontos simply followed his orders, and he did it all for gold. He believes money can buy silence for a time… but a “bolt through the heart buys it forever”. Sansa insists Dontos helped her because she saved his life, and Littlefinger takes the necklace from her neck, and recounts how it had belonged to Dontos’s grandmother. But then he smashes one of the gemstones, revealing it to be fake as it shatters. He notes he had it made a few weeks before. Then he asks her what he told of her of the capital.
Sansa replies, “We’re all liars here.” Littlefinger leads Sansa away, telling her she’s safe now, and sailing home.
A balcony in King’s Landing, where Margaery and Olenna sit. Margaery wonders if she’s the queen still. Olenna replies pragmatically: she’s more of a queen than she was with Renly, but less than if Joffrey had consummated the marriage before his death. She suggests it’s not a time to press the point. Margaery remarks how terrible Joffrey’s death was, and her grandmother says the world is full of horrible things. She then recounts the time that her husband’s body was brought to her when he died.
Margaery remarks on her husbands: one preferred men and was murdered, the other was happier torturing animals and was poisoned. She must be cursed, she says, but Olenna calls that nonsense, that Margaery is much better off with Joffrey dead. “But I would have been queen,” Margaery replies… and to that, Olenna says that the alliance between the Lannisters and Tyrells still remains as necessary for the Lannisters as ever, which means that Margaery still has her chance to be queen: “You did wonderful work on Joffrey. The next one should be easier.”
In the Great Sept of Baelor, Cersei and Tommen stand in mourning beside the corpse of Joffrey. Tywin approaches, and addresses Tommen. He asks if Tommen realizes what Joffrey’s death means, and Tommen eventually replies that it means he’ll be king. Then Tywin lectures him on how a king should be, asking him what qualities a king should have. Goodness, Tommen replies; Tywin agrees, but he believes there is a particular trait that a good king must have. Cersei protests such talk, but Tommen ventures that holiness is important. Tywin dismisses it, noting Baelor the Blessed built the Great Sept… and also named a six-year-old boy High Septon because he believed he could work miracles. Baelor fasted to death.
Tommen suggests justice, instead, and Tywin cites King Orys I who was applauded for his reforms… and murdered in his sleep within the year, by his own brother. Then Tommen guesses strength, and Tywin agrees it’s an important trait. Robert was strong, he notes, crushing the Targaryens, but he only sat at three sessions of the small council in all of his reign. He preferred to whore and hunt and drink “until the last two killed him.” Summing up the various kings he’s named, he asks Tommen what they lacked.
“Wisdom,” Tommen answers. Tywin agrees, and explains what wisdom means: Tommen is not experienced enough to rule, and must trust in others (such as Tywin) to advise him until he is of age… and if he is truly wise, he’ll listen to his advisors long after that time. With a look at Joffrey lying cold and dead, Tywin notes Joffrey was neither wise nor good, and that he might have lived if he had been. Cersei stares at her father’s harsh words, and Tywin looks back at her flatly before he leads Tommen away.
As they leave, Tywin brings up the fact that Tommen must marry, and begins to explain the basics of how to “further the family line”. They’re interrupted as Jaime arrives. Ser Jaime briefly asks Tommen how he is, and Tommen replies that he’s all right. Jaime repeats that he is, and promises that he will be all right, in the end. Tywin and Jaime do not speak as Tywin continues out of the sept. Jaime goes on to join Cersei, but asks the High Septon to give the queen a moment alone with her son. The High Septon and the attendants depart.
Cersei speaks, and her first words repeat her accusation that Tyrion killed Joffrey. She quotes the words he said to her on the eve of the battle of the Blackwater: “A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth.” She notes Joffrey pointed to Tyrion as he was dying, but Jaime interrupts her, saying he doesn’t know what he saw. Cersei, not hearing him, begs him to avenge Joffrey by killing Tyrion. Jaime refuses to kill his brother, saying that there will be a trial that will resolve matters, but Cersei doesn’t want a trial. “Tyrion will squirm his way to freedom,” she says. Then she weeps, begging Jaime to kill Tyrion again, for “our son, our baby boy.”
Cersei goes to Jaime, and he holds her. Then she kisses him passionately, for a few moments, before pushing him away suddenly. She stands, half-turned away, by Joffrey. Jaime stares at her… and then declares, angrily, “You’re a hateful woman. Why have the gods made me love a hateful woman?” He grabs at her, pulling her around. She stares at him, and he kisses her roughly. She begins to protest, saying that they can’t do it there, begging him as he lifts her skirts, tearing away the underskirt. “Stop it, stop it,” she says, but as they fall to their knees she’s kissing him again, and her hands move on his body. “Stop” she says again, weakly, before he pulls her down to the floor and begins to move on top of her. “I don’t care!” he replies as she says it’s not right, that it’s wrong. The last image we see is of her hand, clenching at the cloth on Joffrey’s bier.
In the riverlands, Sandor relives himself against a wall as Arya hears thunder and remarks that it will rain soon. She asks where they are, and the Hound replies says he thinks they’re near Fairmarket. She’s surprised and wonders if he has a map. The Hound says he doesn’t, and at her suggestion they should get one, he tells her to point out the next map shop they see. Then Arya asks how far it will be to the Eyrie. “Far,” Sandor replies as he fills a bucket with water for his horse. He tells her he wants to be at the Eyrie as quickly as possible, to get his gold and be on his way. Arya wonders where he’s going, and after a standoffish question he says he’s considering booking passage across the Narrow Sea to fight as a sellsword. He muses that he might fall in with the Second Sons.
Arya replies she’d like to see Braavos one day. The Hound wonders why, and she says she has friends there. The Hound is dubious, but just then a farmer on a cart comes into view and calls a blessing on them as a greeting. The Hound asks what he wants, and the farmer replies that it’s his land that they’re on. The Hound curtly replies that if he’s standing on it, it’s in fact his land. Arya springs up and tries to prevent trouble, saying they were only watering the horses and would be on their way. She then begs forgiveness for her “father”, that he was wounded in the war and their cottage burned while he was away, and her mother with it; her “father” has never been the same, she says.
The farmer nods. He asks what house Sandor fought for, and she chances House Tully of Riverrun. The farmer smiles and offers them room and board and hay for their horses, for any man who fought for House Tully is welcome to it.
Inside the farmer’s house, the farmer prays to the Seven while Arya and the Hound look hungrily at the food. It’s a long prayer, going through each of the Seven, but before he’s done the Hound rudely interrupts. Arya shouts, “Father!” reproachfully. The farmer continues his prayer, but the Hound interrupts again, finishing, “And we ask the Stranger not to kill us in our beds tonight for no damn reason at all.” And with that he grabs the pot of stew and pours out a substantial portion. The farmer stares, and Arya apologizes… but she grabs the pot next and hurriedly takes a helping. The two eat with tremendous appetities as the farmer and his daughter stare.
The farmer asks if the Hound fought at the Twins. Sandor sneers, saying it was like slaughtering livestock. The farmer replies that it’s being called “the Red Wedding”, and Walder Frey committed sacrilege by breaking guest right. Sandor is dismissive. But the farmer insists it means something to him, and that the gods will have their vengeance. He goes on to say that things were better under Hoster Tully: they had good years and bad, yes, but they were safe, no raiders plundering, stealing. He was going to send his daughter north, but it’s no better there.
To all that, all the Hound can say is to ask if there is ale; there is none. The farmer then suggests that he could have use of a man with proper training, if raiders come, and in the interim there’s farm work he could with, as his young daughter can only do so much. The Hound asks what he’ll pay, and the farmer says he hasnt’ got much, but he did hide a bit of silver. He offers fair wages for fair work, and the Hound agrees. Arya is shocked.
But the next morning, Arya awakens in the barn, hearing an argument. She comes out to find the farmer lying on the ground and the Hound taking something before walking away. As the farmer groans, Arya demands to know what the Hound did. She reminds him that he said he wasn’t a thief, and he claims he wasn’t at the time. When Arya protests that the farmer was kind to them, the Hound grates that yes, the farmer’ a good man, with a daughter who can make a nice stew, but they’ll be dead come winter. Arya denies he can know that, but he says he surely can, because the man’s too weak to protect himself. “Dead men don’t need silver,” he says. Arya curses at him, saying he’s “the worst shit in the Seven Kingdoms.” To that Sandor replies there’s plenty worse, and that he simply understands how the world works. “How many Starks they got to behead before you figure it out?” he asks.
At Castle Black, the latest set of recruits are being described for the records. Rapers and thieves figure prominently, and a ninth-born son. Sam passes by and begins to climb the steps to the barracks when Ser Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt come down the other way. He mockingly calls him “Sam the Slayer”. Slynt asks if Sam’s going to see his “wildling whore”, to which Samwell replies that Gilly is not a whore. Slynt suggests he’ll give her a copper and find out if that’s true. Sam presses on, silent, and enters the barrack to find Gilly by the fire with her baby while she plucks a bird.
Sam woefully remarks that they all think he’s lying about killing a White Walker. Gilly says she remembers how it screamed, and Samwell starts to say that she’s the only witness, and that the other brothers all think… But he stops himself, and she asks what he meant to say. He awkwardly tries to convince her he had intended to say she was a wildling. Gilly notes that Craster hated the word, but she thinks it makes her sound a bit dangerous. Sam smiles at that, and helps her with the work as he asks if she’s all right. Gilly replies there’s been looks and jokes, but no one has touched her. He notes he worries about it all the time.
Gilly asks why he worries, and he notes that there’s a hundred men and only one woman. She tries to argue that they’re surely more concerned with other matters, but Samwell is dubious. He insists a hundred men are lying awake at night, thinking about her. “What about you?” Gilly asks, and the two stare at one another. Eventually Sam gets out that he worries about Gilly. She tahnks him. Then he suggests that it’d be best if she were somewhere else, somewhere safer, like Mole’s Town. Gilly wonders only if he’s bored of her, and Samwell nervously starts to say something… and then catches himself and says that he wants to protect her.
Gilly, upset that he won’t declare his feelings, returns to what she’s doing. She tells Sam she’ll take them to Hobb, and tells Samwell to keep an eye on her son, little Sam.
As rain falls outside the citadel at Dragonstone, Davos enters the chamber of the Painted Table and addresses a brooding Stannis. Stannis has Davos read a parchment on the table. Davos’s lips move as he reads, and then he realizes what it says: Joffrey is dead. Stannis reminds him that he asked for Joffrey’s death when he threw a leech into the fire, a leech filled with bastard blood. He complains that Davos set that bastard free, and because of that he is powerless to seize the opportunity. Davos promises he’ll find an army, saying he’s worked day and night—
Stannis interrupts, wanting to know what houses have rallied to him. Davos replies that he’s raised the Peasebury’s, Musgoods, and Haighs. At each name, Stannis breaks a sail away from a ship marker on the table, tossing it away. He replies those three houses don’t even have the strength “to raid a pantry.” Davos forges on, and suggests they might hire the ten thousand soldiers of the Golden Company. Stannis is unimpressed by the idea, not caring to use sellswords, but Davos replies that if Stannis is willing to use blood-magic, why should he chafe at paying men to fight? He concludes that he’s never heard of a war being won by prophecies and visions, that he needs soldiers to win wars.
Stannis retorts that they haven’t the gold. Davos promises he’ll get it. Stannis concludes by saying that he must press his claim, before it’s forgotten and he becomes a footnote in history. “I’m running out of time,” he says. “Seriously Davos. Which means you’re running out of time.” He departs.
Later, Davos enters Princess Shireen’s bedroom for a reading lesson. She complains that he is late remarks that she didn’t think he was coming at all. She informs him that he won’t be a very good Hand if he sees the word “knight” and says, “k-niggit.” Davos protests it only happened the once as Shireen hands him a new book. He starts to read the title on the cover, lips moving, for which Shireen reproaches him; he sets to it again, lips still. “The Life and Adventures of Elyo Grivas, First Sword of Braavos”, he says. Shireen claps. She notes it’s full of fights and pirates, and then states that Davos was a pirate.
Davos denies it, saying that he was a smuggler. He explains the difference, noting that if you’re a famous smuggler, you’re not doing it right. Shireen replies that her father says a criminal is a criminal, and to that an exasperated Davos says that Stannis “lacks an appreciation of the finer points of bad behavior.” Then he notes that the Braavosi, too, have a similar problem. Shireen is surprised and asks if he’s been to Braavos. He says he was, and he was nearly beheaded by a First Sword who didn’t seem to appreciate the distinction between smuggler and pirate.
Davos muses that if one works for the Iron Bank of Braaovs, and each gold barge is worth half a kingdom… He drifts off as a thought distracts him, and realization dawns. He stands up and kisses Shireen on the head. He tells her to write a message for him. She suggests he should do so for practice, but he replies it’s too important for him to write it. He addresses a letter to the Office of the Iron Bank, from Stannis Baratheon. Shireen pauses and notes Davos is not her father, and Davos bluntly says he needs to get the attention of the Bank. Shireen resumes writing.
In Mole’s Town, Samwell drives a cart. Gilly sits beside him, child in her arms. Samwell remarks that little Sam has had some adventures. He takes Gilly into a dark, dirty brothel. A woman approaches Gilly, complimenting the child, and wondering if Samwell is the boy’s father. Gilly denies it, and says the father is dead. The woman asks where she’s from, and Gilly replies she’s from further north. The woman repeats that, and then asks, “You a fucking wildling?”
Elsewhere in the brothel, Samwell negotiates with the woman who runs the place, wanting room and board for Gilly in return for her cleaning, cooking, and looking after the babies of the other women. The woman suggests she could find other work for Gilly as well, but Sam insists there’ll be no other work. Sam leaves to lead Gilly to her room; it’s a filthy place. Sam promises to return, and that Gilly and her child will be safer where they are. Gilly notes he protected her beyond the Wall, and Samwell says that he can’t stab his own sworn brothers in the back, and he can’t run away like he did at Craster’s. Gilly takes a cloth and sets her baby down on the floor, turning her back to Sam. Samwell insists Gilly needs to trust him. “It’s for the best,” he says. Gilly retorts that it’s best for him. Samwell, almost in tears, calls her name and starts to beg for her to not be angry at him, perhaps, but he can’t finish the words. He leaves.
In Littlefinger’s brothel, Ellaria Sand is being pleasured by two naked prostitutes. She reaches back, and grabs at Olyvar, kissing him… and distracting him from a half-naked Oberyn. Oberyn tells her she’s greedy. Olyvar tries to kiss back, but it’s clear he doesn’t enjoy it. He explains that Ellaria is lovely, but he’s “never acquired the taste” for women. Oberyn sharply asks if he’s calling Ellaria an acquired taste, and Ellaria tells Oberyn that it’s quite all right, that it’s more for Oberyn. Olyvar asks if Oberyn likes boys and girls equally. Oberyn says he does, and that anyone who feels differently is “missing half the world’s pleasure.” He looks to the two naked prostitues, who kiss when he nods, and he says the gods made that and it delights him… and the gods made the naked Olyvar, whose backside he slaps, and that delights him as well.
“When it comes to war,” Oberyn says, “I fight for Dorne. When it comes to love, I don’t choose sides.” Olyvar hopes he has as much stamina as Oberyn when he gets to be his age, and Oberyn asks if Olyvar is as much as 25 years old. Ellaria, chuckling, remarks, “Children.” Oberyn suggests some day, if Olyvar is lucky, he’ll wake up and realize he’s old. He puts a finger in Olyvar’s ear, emphasizing the litany of the signs of aging, including gray hairs sprouting from the ears. Oberyn concludes, “No one will want you anymore. Make sure you fucked your fill before that day.”
Olyvar asks if Oberyn has, and Ellaria crawls on top of Oberyn and says he is a Prince of Dorne, and that girls and boys will line up to bed him until the day he dies. The two kiss hungrily, and as the kiss breaks Oberyn says they’ll have to wait in line behind Ellaria. Just then the door opens and Tywin Lannister enters with an escort of Lannister guards. Tywin stands stiffly, barely looking at the naked prostitutes. He exchanges greetings with Oberyn, and then asks if they can have the room to themselves. Oberyn nods, and Ellaria and the prositutes walk past Tywin.
Oberyn invites Tywin to sit on the bed, but the idea seems to repulse Tywin. Oberyn stands and moves to pour himself wine, and offers some to the Lord of Casterly Rock, but Tywin turns it down. As Oberyn dresses, he informs Tywin that he’s sorry about Joffrey. Tywin asks, “Are you?” The question does not phase Oberyn. He replies that he doesn’t believe a child is responsible for the sins of his father… or his grandfather. He adds that it was a terrible way to die, and Tywin asks what way is that.
Oberyn wonders if Lord Tywin is interrogating him, and Tywin replies that some think Joffrey merely choked to death. Amused, Oberyn dismisses that by pointing out some believe the sky is blue because they all live inside the eye of a blue-eyed giant. He lounges back in the bed again, and declares that Joffrey was poisoned. Tywin considers that and then says that Oberyn studied poisons at the Citadel. Oberyn readily admits it, noting that’s how he recognized that Joffrey had been poisoned. Tywin goes on about Oberyn’s well-known hatred, his timely arrival, his expertise, and the suspicious proximity of all this to Joffrey’s death. Oberyn admits it seems suspicious, and wonders why he’s not in a dungeon.
Rather than answering, Tywin asks what Prince Oberyn and Tyrion spoke ofon the day of his arrival. Oberyn stands once more, approaching Tywin, and explains they spoke of the death of Elia. “For which you blame me,” Tywin bluntly notes. Oberyn explains her rape and murder at the hands of Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides. The Mountain followed Tywin’s orders, and so of course Oberyn blames him. Tywin points out that now he stands before Oberyn unarmed and unguarded, and wonders if he need be concerned. But Oberyn replies that Tywin knows better than that: if he cuts Tywin’s throat today, tomorrow he will be drawn and quartered.
Tywin says men at war commit many crimes without the knowledge of their superiors, and categorically denies having any involvement in Elia’s murder. Oberyn stares at Tywin for a long time before he then says he’d like to speak to the Mountain. Tywin is sure Gregor would enjoy the conversation, and Oberyn replies that he might not enjoy it as much as he thinks he would. Tywin says he can arrange such a meeting… but Oberyn deduces he wants something in return, namely Oberyn’s agreement to be the third judge at Tyrion’s trial, joining himself and Lord Tyrell.
Oberyn asks why, and Tywin explains it indirectly: the Tyrells had sided with Renly at first, and now they are strong allies, and he’d like to make an ally of Dorne as well. Oberyn points out that that was done by making Margaery queen; judging Tyrion’s trial is not much of an inducement. Tywin then offers a seat on the small council, which gives Oberyn pause. Tywin explains that Dorne must “return to the fold” (rather than keeping aloof from the rest of the realm). Joffrey is dead, he says, and the Greyjoys are rebelling, while wildlings march on the Wall and in th east “a Targaryen girl has three dragons.” He is aware of Dany, and her threat. He notes only Dorne successfully resisted Aegon the Conqueror and his dragons.
Oberyn says it must be hard to admit for Tywin that he needs Dorne. Tywin replies that they need each other. He offers his hand and says that if Oberyn helps bring justice to the king’s assassin, he’ll help Oberyn serve justice to Elia’s killer. We do not see if Oberyn takes his hand when the scene ends.
Podrick enters Tyrion’s cell, apologizing for the lack of wine as it was confiscated, but he then goes on to note that he’s smuggled him candles, a quill, parchment, and some food. Tyrion asks after Shae, but Podrick has heard nothing. Podrick reveals that Tyrion is due to stand trial in a fortnight. Podrick does not believe Tyrion killed Joffrey… and then, after a hesitation, asks for confirmation. Tyrion vehemently denies it, saying that if he had planned it, the assassination would not have ended with him standing there gawking.
Then Tyrion asks after the judges, and Podrick says that it will be Tywin and Mace Tyrell (Tyrion cynically notes that Mace will vote as Tywin tells him)... and then notes Prince Oberyn is the third judge. That surprises Tyrion, but he deduces that Tywin has turned the “family tragedy” into an advantage. Podrick informs Tyrion he’s to get a list of names of those who will testify on Tyrion’s behalf. Tyrion’s first suggestion i Sansa, and Podrick informs him that she’s gone. Incredulous as he hears Podrick say that no one has seen her since the wedding, Tyrion stands and thinks. He admits she had motive… but he can’t see her as an assassin.
Instead, Tyrion supposes that whoever it was wanted Tyrion to be blamed. Then turning to Podrick, Tyrion notes that Pod will be followed now. When Podrick asks by whom, Tyrion replies he doesn’t know: someone, perhaps Tywin. He points out how convenient it is for Tywin to have the much-more-biddable Tommen to guide now. Then he adds that usually he’d blame Cersei as a chief suspect, but he’s certain that she loved Joffrey; she’s the only person he’s absolutely sure of, in her case he’s sure she wouldn’t kill her own son.
Tyrion supposes Varys could vouch for him if he dared, but Pod replies that Varys is already a witness for the queen. Tyrion then asks Podrick to fetch Bronn, but the squire reveals that they won’t let Bronn see Tyrion because he’s a known cutthroat and associate of Tyrion’s; he’s under investigation as well. Finaly Tyrion asks if Jaime can come, and Podrick promises he’ll check.
Podrick gets up to leave and then stops at the door. He reveals he was approached to turn evidence against Tyrion, to tell the judges that he witnessed Tyrion buying a poison called “the Strangler” in return for a knighthood. Podrick refused, risking threats, bodily harm, even death. At that Tyrion gets up and goes to Podrick, telling him that he will not have Podrick dead on his behalf. Tyrion commands Podrick to find Jaime, and then to get himself out of King’s Landing before it’s too late.
The two part, saying their farewells. Tyrion calls Pod as he’s about to leave, and tells him, “There has never liked a more loyal squire.”
In the North, a father and son talk about the upcoming meal. They joke over the fact that she’ll be serving potatoes. The man starts to compliment his wife’s cooking when an arrow takes him in the back of the skull and he falls down dead. His shocked son turns to see Ygritte with bow in hand. A man screams that it’s wildlings, and chaos follows in the village. The boy’s mother tells him to run and hide before she’s cut down by Styr. Tormund and Ygritte fight and kill villagers as men and women scream in terror. The boy hides under a wagon, watching Ygritte kill another man when he’s dragged out from the wagon by a Thenn, who takes him to Styr. Styr makes the boy watch as the Thenns start to dismember the bodies, and informs him that he’s going to eat the boy’s parents… and he lets him go, telling him to tell the Night’s Watch. The boy runs.
In Castle Black, a man of the Watch argues to the gathered brothers that they need to teach the wildlings after having received the boy’s news. Many agree, but Thorne argues that if they go after them, they’ll be doing exactly what the wildlings want. He insists their first duty is to defend the Wall. Pyp speaks up, saying there must be some way to protect the smallfolk. Thorne turns to Jon and suggests he’s a “champion of the common people”. He asks what Jon says to Pyp’s proposal. Jon replies that Mance is coming and if the wildlings breach the Wall, they’ll roll over everything before they reach an army that can put a holt to them. Many seem to be convinced by Jon’s agreement with Thorne’s postion, and Thorne announces that they will stay at the castle to defend the Wall.
Just then, a horn sounds announcing rangers returning. The men file out to find Grenn and Dolorous Edd. Grenn explains they were detained with chains by the mutineers, but were able to escape. They explain the mutineers have stayed at Craster’s Keep, with his food and his wives. Edd sympathizes with their plight, supposing they never thought they’d miss Craster. Grenn adds that Karl is running things now. Jon immediately urges a ride north to get rid of them. Thorne tries to bat the idea down, but Jon explains it’s not about justice, but rather the fact that if Mance gets ahold of them they will reveal that there aren’t really 1,000 men of the Watch ready to defend the Wall. Jon concludes that once he learns of how few they really are, he’ll launch his full force on the Wall. “And even if every one of us kills a hundred wildlings, there’s still not a thing we can do to stop them,” Jon says. Pyp adds, nervously, that he doesn’t think he could kill 100 wildlings.
Dany’s host approaches the vast walls of Meereeen, containing a great city and enormous pyramids. From the huge gates exits a single armored horseman, a champion. Jorah explains that the Meereenese will want Dany to send a champion of her own to face him. From the walls, the masters of Meereen watch and jeer. The Meerenese champion dismounts his horse and shouts insults at Daenerys as he opens his pants to urinate on the ground in her direction. Missandei tries to translate some of the insults, while Barristan urges Daenerys to ignore him. Jorah insists Daenerys must respond.
Daenerys informs them she has something to say to the Meereenese… but that she needs the champion to be quiet. Grey Worm, Barristan, and Jorah offer to champion her in turn, but Daenerys turns them down. Then Daario speaks up, noting he was the last to join her, neither a general nor a Queensguard or a commander of the Unsullied. “I came from nothing and before long I will return to nothing,” he tells her before offering to kill the champion. Daenerys agrees.
Missandei notes to Daenerys that Daario is very brave, but Daenerys replies that whether he wins or loses, it only matters that the city watch her champion fight in her name. The Meereneese champion, remounted, takes up a lance. Daenerys asks Daario if he wants a horse, and Darrio dismisses the idea, noting that horses are dumber than man. Daenerys steps away, and the champion charges. Daario stands waiting, and winks at Daenerys. Then he takes his knife, holding it by the blade, kissing the hilt shaped like a wanton woman. He waits, and suddenly throws the knife into the horse’s head. It falls, dying, and flings the champion off its back to roll through the dirt. The champion, winded and shocked, tries to rise… but he’s at Daario’s feet, and Daario cuts his head off with his arakh. The masters of Meereen are shocked, and someone calls for the archers on the walls. Their arrows fall shortof Daario as he urinates on the ground in their direction.
Daenerys addresses the city… but she speaks to the slaves, not the masters. She informs them that she is Daenerys Stormborn, and though the masters may have told lies about her, it does not matter. She informs them of the freedom she brought to the slaves of Astapor and Yunkai, who now make up her army and following. She informs them she has now come to Meereen, not as the enemy of the slaves, but as the enemy of those who stand beside them, the masters. She says she brings them a choice, and she brings the enemies what they deserve.
She calls for men to bring siege engines forward, and then orders them to loose. Barrels fly through the sky, smashing against and past the walls, and they shatter: broken collars, once worn by slaves whom Daenerys has freed, scatter across the ground. A slave picks up one of the collars, as a master looks on with dread.