Cersei and Tywin plot the Crown’s next move. Dany discusses future plans. Jon embarks on a new mission.
We open on Tommen’s coronation, as the High Septon crowns him before the gathered court. The crowd applauds as Tommen is proclaimed. Seated on the Iron Throne, various members of the court—Grand Maester Pycelle, Lord Mace Tyrell, and Varys among them—come forward to do homage to him. Tommen looks to the side and smiles at Margaery Tyrell, who smiles back and bows her head…
Then Cersei steps into the frame, blocking Margaery’s view of her son. Margaery’s smile fades as Cersei stares. Cersei moves to join Margaery, passing through a crowd of courtiers who bow to her. Margaery greets Cersei as she joins her in the gallery, and Cersei calls attention to Tommen. “Long may he reign,” Margaery replies, and Cersei echoes her. Cersei touches the mourning shawl Margaery wears, and asks if she still mourns Joffrey. Margaery replies that he was her husband and king.
To that, Cersei replies that Joffrey would have been a nightmare to Margaery, as well. Margaery tries to deny it, but Cersei presses on, insisting Margaery knew what her son was, and then saying she knew as well. She mitigates this by saying that a mother will always love her first child more than anything else, no matter what they do, but she admits that some of Joffrey’s behavior shocked her. She asks Margaery if she imagines she is easily shocked, and Margaery says no. “The things he did shocked me,” Cersei reiterates.
Then Cersei turns to Tommen, speaking of him as only a boy, but a good and decent boy. She muses he could be the first man on the throne in the last fifty years who actually deserves to sit on it. Margaery thinks that may be a consolation, when Cersei tells Margaery that Tommen will need help if he’s to rule well. She says a mother is not enough, and then asks if Margaery still desires to be queen. Margaery claims that she hasn’t given it any thought, that it would be a great honor but that she would have to speak to her father, Lord Mace, about it. Cersei says she will do the same.
As both look back to Tommen, Margaery offers a light-hearted remark that quite a few weddings may be taking place soon. As she laughs, she wonders if she’ll call Cersei sister… or mother? Cersei forces a smile at that.
In the Great Pyramid of Meereen, Daenerys is surrounded by councilors. Jorah Mormont informs her of the news that King Joffrey is dead, victim of a murder at his wedding. Barristan follows with the news that the Meereenese navy belongs to Daenerys now. Daario, moving from where he leaned against a door to join the others at the table, adds that it was the Second Sons who took it.
Daenerys is curt, questioning who gave him orders to take the ships. Daario casually replies that no one did, as he reaches over to a bowl of dates and nuts, popping one into his mouth. Daenerys coldly asks why he did it, to which she gets a simple answer: “I heard you like ships.” Daenerys turns away for a moment, and then asks how many ships were taken, and how many men they can carry. Ser Barristan Selmy replies 93 ships, and 9300 men, not counting sailors.
Daenerys wonders if it’d be enough to take King’s Landing, and Ser Jorah quickly notes that the Lannisters have more. At that, Barristan argues that the Lannister troops have been worn down “fighting Joffrey’s wars for years”. He conjures up the image of 8,000 Unsullied and 2,000 Second Sons sailing into Blackwater Bay and storming the gates. Daenerys looks a question at Jorah, who dubiously replies that it could be enough…. but that they’re not just looking to make her queen of King’s Landing, but of all of Westeros, and 10,000 men aren’t enough.
Barristan replies that the old houses will rise up for their queen, and Jorah retorts they’ll rise for whoever they believe will win. Jorah stands and adds that there’s more news. In Yunkai, the Wise Masters have retaken the city, reenslaved the freedmen, and have sworn vegneance. Daenerys turns away from Jorah as he continues, revealing that in Astapor the council she left to rule over the city after her conquest was deposed by a butcher named Cleon who now calls himself “His Imperial Majesty.”
Daenerys asks everyone to leave. They do so, one by one… but Daenerys tells Jorah to remain. He approaches her, and she turns to tell him that her effort to libreate Slaver’s Bay is not going as she had hoped. Jorah admits she could sail to Westeros and leave it all behind, that the Iron Throne has never been more vulnerbale than now. Daenerys replies that Jorah had once counseled her against being rash in Qarth, and she didn’t listen. She adds, with a sarcastic laugh, that that worked out well.
Then she wonders how she can rule the Seven Kingdoms if she can’t even control Slaver’s Bay. “Why should anyone trust me? Why should anyone follow me?” she asks. Jorah replies that she’s a Targaryen, and the Mother of Dragons. Daenerys turns away from him, saying that she has to be more than that… and then she turns back to him that she won’t let those she has freed end in slavery again. Rather than sail to Westeros, she will do what queens do: “I will rule.”
On the High Road, Littlefinger cautions Sansa to pull up her hood, noting that the shade of her hair is memorable. Sansa questions how anyone would know, and Littlefinger replies that the story poor men like best are about rich girls they’ll never meet. Sansa does as he says, and then asks if the route is the only way to the Eyrie. The high walls of the narrow road are manned by Arryn men-at-arms with bows. Littlefinger replies that the mountains are otherwise impassable, so one has to take the road and go through the Bloody Gate, just as part of one of its towers comes into view.
He continues, explaining how you could have no more than three men abreast, ready to be slaughtered. He notes that the first lords of the Vale had little enough, but they had the mountains and knew how to use them. As the Bloody Gate becomes clearer, it is revealed as a gatehouse with a portcullis, flanked by two towers; it stretches fully across the pass. A Knight of the Bloody Gate challenges them, asking who would pass the Bloody Gate. Littlefigner replies, “Lord Petyr Baelish, and his niece, Alayne.” The knight shouts for all the guards to stand down, and welcomes Lord Baelish back to the Vale. The portcullis opens, and Littlefinger ushers Sansa through as we see the Eyrie rising beyond the gate.
In the Eyrie, young Lord Robin rests against his mother’s breast as the doors open. He opens his eyes and sees Lord Baelish. With a shout, “Uncle Petyr!” the boy runs down to Littlefinger and throws himself at him, hugging him around the neck and almost bowling him over. As Littlefinger puts him back down, he informs him he’s brought him a gift, and from a bag pulls out a model of a falcon, made of crystal or glass. Robin hugs him again, as Lady Lysa looks down on them.
Addressing Baelish, Littlefinger bows to her as Robin shows her the gift. “A beautiful gift for a beautiful boy,” Lysa replies, as she makes her way down the steps from the high seat of the Arryns. Sansa curtsies to her, and starts to say her name is Alayne but Lysa interrupts her and tells her to lower the hood, indicating that she knows who she is and that she allowed Littlefinger leave her on urgent business because she knew exactly what he was going to do: bring Sansa to her. Removing Sansa’s hood, Lysa hugs her, saying, “My flesh and blood.”
Sansa smiles and happily says that it’s wonderful to meet her, calling her “Aunt Lysa.” Lysa warns her never to call her that in front of anyone else, and Sansa agrees. Lysa adds that no one can know that Sansa is in the Eyrie, because otherwise they’ll be in a dangerous position. Sansa swears to never say anything. Lysa turns away to go back to Robin, and adds that the Lannisters wish to destroy them and that they’ve been trying to do so for years. “Now they know what it feels like,” she adds. Robin steps forward then and states that “Mummy” has told him that Sansa’s mother was killed by the Lannisters, and that they chopped off her brother’s head. Sansa agrees, and adds that they killed her father as well.
To that, Robin replies that they killed his father as well, with poison. He wanted to make the “little Lannister baby man fly,” he tells her, but adds that Lysa says he wasn’t allowed to do so by his mother. When Sansa asks, “Make him fly?”, Robin demonstrates by throwing his new toy down through the Moon Door to plummet to the floor of the Vale of Arryn far below. He laughs, as Sansa watches nonplussed. Lysa remarks that on top of everything else, they made Sansa marry that “filthy troll”. Sansa says it’s true, that they made them both marry and that Tyrion didn’t actually want to. Lysa dimisses that out of hand, and then asks if Tyrion forced himself on her.
Sansa answers no, and Lysa brusquely says, “Good.” Then properly introducing Lord Robin to Sansa, she warns him never to call her Sansa in front of anyone but Petyr and herself. Then Lysa introduces Sansa to Robin, and Sansa says it’s her pleasure to meet him. Lysa has her son show Sansa to her chamber, but promises to speak to Sansa again soon. Once the two youths are gone, Lysa quickly moves to embrace Littlefinger and gives him a passionate kiss. She asks what took so long, and Littlefinger replies that with a check list: making sure Tommen ascended the throne, getting Sansa out of King’s Landing, getting her to the Eyrie safely.
Lysa, exasperated, says Sansa is now there, and they’ve spent more than enough time on her before she plunges in for another kiss. She then exuberantly suggests they get married immediately. Littlefinger seems hesitant, suggesting they should inform the lords of the Vale first, and Lysa replies that there’s only one Lord of the Vale, and the the rest odn’t matter. She complains about them, “lurking and simpering” the moment Jon Arryn died, courting her. Littlefinger tries to interrupt, suggesting they wait, but Lysa replies she’s waited long enough. “We had our wedding night many years ago,” she says, then asks if he remembers.
Baelish replies, “Like it was yesterday.” Lysa asks what wife would do the things she’s done for him, trusted him as she’s trusted him. Then she reveals something startling, sounding frustrated with his delay: when Littlefinger gave her the drops to put in Jon Arryn’s wine, when she wrote the letter to Catelyn at his direction which accused the Lannisters—Littlefinger suddenly silences her with a long kiss, and then tells her the deed is done, and that only speaking of it makes it real. Lysa nods agreement, and agrees to married tonight. Lysa laughs with exictement and rushes off.
Littlefinger starts to say that he simply needs to bathe and dress first, but Lysa opens the doors to reveal a septon already waiting; Littlefinger’s face registers his consternation. She warns him that she’s going to scream when her husband makes loves to her. “I’m going to scream so loud,” she says, ” they’ll hear me clear across the narrow sea.”
That night, Sansa lies awake in her bed chamber as she hears Lysa’s screams and moans.
In King’s Landing, Tywin and Cersei meet to discuss plans. Tywin asks when the wedding between Tommen and Margaery shall take place, and Cersei says that it should take place as soon as a decent time of mourning has passed for Tommen to mourn his brother and Margaery to mourn her husband. “A fortnight?” Tywin asks, and Cersei suggests it seems reasonable. Tywin notes he’ll want no extravagances: no jugglers, no jousting dwarfs, no 77-course meals. And then after a brief pauses, he asks about Cersei’s wedding to Loras. There’s barely a delay before Cersei quietly suggests it should be shortly after Tommen’s wedding, clarifying that it should be in a fortnight.
Tywin acknowledges that he knows Cersei isn’t happy about the marriage, that she doesn’t like the Tyrells, and adds that he didn’t like Robert. “Used to pat me on the back a lot,” he grouses. He adds that he didn’t trust him. Cersei says they had that in common. Tywin then goes on to say that formal alliances aren’t needed with people you trust. “Then who can we trust?” Cersei asks, and Tywin replies, “Ourselves alone.”
Tywin stands and pours out a glass of wine as he remarks that the Tyrells are the only true rivals to the Lannisters in terms of resources. As he hands the wine to Cersei, she notes Robert wasn’t especially wealthy in comparison, and Tywin responds that he funded him. As he pours more wine he adds that wars swallow up gold, and Cersei supposes that’s why they did so well in the last war.
At that, Tywin turns to her and asks her to guess how much gold the westerlands produced in the last year. Cersei professes ignorance, but at his prompting asks if he means pounds, tons, or ounces. Tywin replies that it doesn’t matter, as the answer would be the same in all cases. Cersei can’t believe it, but Tywin explains that the last working mine ran dry three years ago. Cersei asks how they for anything, and Tywin replies that the crown owes the Iron Bank of Braavos a tremendous sum of money. When Cersei asks how much, Tywin repeats, “A tremendous amount,” and sits down at the desk once more.
Cersei suggests that Tywin could speak to someone at the Iron Bank and negotiate an arrangement, but Tywin dismisses the idea, saying that Iron Bank is the Iron Bank and that there is no “someone”. Cersei insists that the bank is comprised of people, but Tywin responds that temples are comprised of stones, when one stone crumbles another takes its place, and the temple remains for a thousand years or more; the Iron Bank is a temple, and everyone lives in its shadow (though most aren’t aware). He emphasizes that they can’t run from it or cheat it, they can’t make excuses, that they have to pay back what they owe or they will crumble instead.
Then Tywin explains that having the Tyrells bound to the crown will help a great deal. Cersei acknowledges that it’s for the good of the family, and that she understands… but she isn’t sure her brothers do. Tywin looks at her for a moment, then leans over to set his glass down on his desk before sitting back. He replies that he’s aware she’s building a strong case against Tyrion, and he says that as as a mother that’s her right… but as a judge, he can’t discuss the trial. Cersei says she respects that, smiling a moment before setting down her glass and standing up.
Then she turns to her father and says that the Lannister legacy is all that matters. Tywin started wars to defend the family, she says, he turned his back on Jaime for refusing to contribute to the future… and then she asks, what does Tyrion deserve for setting that future on fire? Cersei leaves, leaving Tywin to that thought.
At night, out of doors, Arya and the Hound lie by a fire. Arya repeats her mantra, her list of those she wants dead: Joffrey, Cersei, Walder Frey, Meryn Trant, Tywin Lannister, the Red Woman, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Ilyn Payne, the Mountain. Then the Hound complains, “Would you shut up?” Arya replies that she can’t sleep until she says the name, and then clarifies that it’s a list of those she’s going to kill. The Hound laughs at that. He says hate is as good as anything to keep one going, better than most in fact… and then suggests that if they come across Gregor, perhaps they’ll both have a chance to cross a name from their list.
Arya asks him what he’d do to Gregor if he were there right now, and the Hound curtly replies, “I’d tell him to shut the fuck up so I can get some sleep.” Then he tells Arya to go on and finish her list of doomed men. She stares at him, and then tells him he’s almost done, with only one name list. She turns to her other side… and then says the last name, “The Hound.” He looks over to her, while she shuts her eyes.
At the Eyrie, Lysa brings a tray of sweet treats to Sansa, who takes one and thanks her. Lysa tells her that Catelyn had a sweet tooth. Sansa seems surprised, and Lysa insists that at supper time Catelyn always went straight for honey cakes, candied almonds, and custards. She adds that Lord Hoster had to have a septa watch her at meals. As Lysa pours a drink for Sansa, she tells her that Catelyn had to remain desirable so a good match could be arranged, and “she was starting to get fit.”
As she sits, Sansa incredulously asks, “My mother, fat?” She notes that Catelyn never allowed her desert until she finished her meal. Lysa explains it was before Catelyn married Ned and moved to the North, saying that by the time Sansa was born Ned’s austerity became Catelyn’s own. “Marriage changes people,” she tells Sansa. Sansa starts to put the dessert back down, but Lysa insists she enjoy it. Then she takes Sansa’s hands and asks Sansa how she liked the lemon cake. Sansa says it was delicious, then wonders where the lemons come from, since they can’t grow up in the Eyrie. Lysa replies that Petyr had crates of them brought from King’s Landing, as he knew Sansa likes lemon cakes.
Sansa replies he’s kind, and Lysa reminds her that he cares for her, and she should imagine where she would be without him, still in the clutches of the Lannisters and on trial for murder. Sansa is confused by what Lysa’s saying and insists she’s lucky, and when Lysa notes he feels responsible for her, Sansa agrees and says she’s grateful only for her aunt to suddenly ask, “Why? Why does he feel responsible for you?” Sansa speculates, that it’s because she’s half Tully and Petyr loved their family. “Loved your mother,” Lysa replies accusingly. Sansa says no, shocked, but Lysa insists that’s what Sansa really wanted to say. Sansa insists Petyr loves her, that he married her, and Lysa begins to rant that Catelyn never loved him, that she went for the sweetest, most obvious thing like Brandon Stark, who was handsome, arrogant, and cruel.
Grasping Sansa’s hands, refusign to let them go, she goes on about how Brandon nearly killed Petyr, and how Catelyn loved him despite that. And then she says that Petyr is risking everything for her, the daughter of a woman who never loved him, no more than the whores in his brothel do. She asks if Petyr’s spoken to Sansa about them, and Sansa says no, scared. “He hasn’t told you about the vile things they do with their bodies?” Lysa says, and repeats intensely, “The vile things they let him do with their bodies?” Sansa denies it, and then Lysa asks accusingly if Sansa’s pregnant. Sansa says no, tries to again say she and Tyrion never consummated their relationship… but Lysa doesn’t mean Tyrion, she means Petyr and what Sansa’s let him do with her “young, pretty body”.
Sansa insists nothing’s happened, that she remains a virgin, and then says Lysa is hurting her but Lysa’s grip only tightens. Lysa, increasingly hysterical, insists Sansa not lie, that she knows if she’s lying, and a tearful Sansa insists she’s a virgin and that nothing has happened with Petyr, that he loves only Lysa, that he calls Sansa stupid, with stupid dreams who never learns and can’t lie. Lysa lets go of Sansa’s hands then, and stands up and cradles her head as she speaks sweetly, telling her it will be all right soon, that they’ll execute Tyrion and she’ll be free to marry Robin and become Lady of the Vale. Sansa’s eyes slowly open at that.
On a road, Brienne and Podrick ride their horses… or at least, Brienne rides, while Podrick does so very poorly. Brienne asks, annoyed, if he’s ever been taught to ride a horse. He says he has, when he was young, but he hadn’t had much opportunity while serving Tyrion as Tyrion preferred to travel in litters. Brienne suggests that perhaps Podrick should have stayed with him, as it won’t be a pleasant journey to the Wall, which can take weeks depending on the weather. Podrick remarks on the distance, and Brienne suggests that Sansa’s brother is at Castle Black, and that if she were her, on the run, that’s where she’d try to go.
Podrick insists on continuing to follow Brienne, however, despite her urging and despite his immense difficulty with his horse. Brienne notes she’s never had a squire and never need one before. Podrick replies all knights have squires, and to that Brienne says she’s no knight, nor is she a slaver and she doesn’t own Podrick. “I swore an oath, my lady,” Podrick replies, earnest. Brienne tries to relieve him of the oath, saying he can leave, and then asks what he thinks will happen if he does so. Podrick responds that they’ll say he wasn’t a very good squire. The two continue to ride on as they were.
Morning, and the Hound wakes to find Arya gone. He looks for her frantically, then sees her: she’s practicing with Needle, practicing the water dancing movements Syrio Forel taught her. The Hound climbs down the hill to confront her as she twirls and fences with the air. He asks what she’s doing and she explains she’s praciticng. “What, ways to die?” Sandor replies. Arya insists no one will kill her, but the Hound says they will if she means to fight that way. Arya says it’s water dancing, and the Hound suggests she should put on a dress. Then he asks who taught her.
“The greatest swordsman who ever lived,” she replies, making a flourish with the sword and naming Syrio Forel, the First Sword to the Sealord of Braavos. Scoffing, the Hound supposes he was a “greasy-haired little bastard”. Arya fires back at him, asking what he knows about anyting, and the Hound is ruder still, supposing that his hair is “greasier than Joffrey’s cunt.” An irate Arya denies it, and the Hound asks if he’s dead. She replies he was killed by Meryn Trant. The Hound laughs crudely at that, and when Arya angrily adds that Syrio had been outnumbered, the Hound remarks that any boy whore could beat three Trants.
At that, Arya replies Syrio had no sword or armor, just a stick. That makes the Hound laugh even harder, and then he challenges her to show what Syrio taught her. “Go on, do it for your Braavosi friend,” he tells her. “Dead like the rest of your friends.” Arya lunges at the Hound, thrusting hard with Needle, but his armor stops it. With ag runt, he smacks Arya, dropping her to the ground and then takes up Needle and holds it at her face. He tells her Syrio’s dead and Trant isn’t because Trant had armor and a sword. He hands Needle back to her, then, and walks away.
In the gardens of King’s Landing, Oberyn Martell writes as Cersei approaches, flanked by Lannister guardsmen. Oberyn stands and greets her courteously, calling her “Your Grace.” Cersei inquires if he’s writing letters, and he replies that he’s writing a poem. Cersei asks if she me show him the gardens.
They walk together, her guards following a few paces behind. Cersei remarks that she did not know he was a poet, and Oberyn responds that he’s not a very good one. “For your paramour?” Cersei asks, and he explains it’s for one of his daughters. Cersei believes he has several, and he notes he has eight. Cersei is quite surprised, repeating the number. Oberyn then explains that the fifth daughter, named for his sister Elia, is difficult. Cersei compliments the name, saying it is beautiful, and Oberyn agrees… but he can’t say the name without becoming sad and then angry.
Cersei suggests that may be why Elia is difficult. Then she suggests that the gods love their stupid jokes. Oberyn asks what joke that is, and she replies that he’s a prince of Dorne, a legendary warrior, a brilliant man feared throughout the Seven Kingdoms… but he was powerless to save Princess Elia. And she, herself, has been queen for 19 years, and is the daughter of the most powerful man alive, but she could do nothing to save her son. “What good is power,” she asks, “if you cannot protect the ones you love?”
Oberyn replies that they can avenge them, and Cersei agrees. Then the prince asks if Cersei truly believes Tyrion killed her son. She says she knows he did. At that, Oberyn suggests that they’ll have a trial and the truth will be learned. Cersei looks at him and then replies that they’ll have a trial, anyway. They pass through an arch and there, with the sound of the sea and gulls crying, they look at out to the water and a ship in the distance.
Cersei remarks she’s not seen her daughter, Princess Myrcella, in more than a year. Oberyn replies that the last time he saw her, she was swimming along with two of his daughters in the Water Gardens, laughing in the sun. Cersei tells him she wants to believe it, that she wants to believe her happy. Oberyn gives his word, adding, “We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne.” Wearily, Cersei tells Oberyn, “Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.”
Then turning back to the sea, she asks if Oberyn will bring her a gift from her, a nameday gift. Oberyn agrees to deliver any gift at all. Cersei points with her hand across the water to the ship. As she explains she’s had the finest shipwrights building it for months, her hand closes, as if reaching for it—and for the daughter it’s meant for. Oberyn promises he’ll have it sailed to Sunspear for her. Cersei then asks him to tell her, “Her mother misses her very much.” Cersei leaves, leaving behind a thoughtful Oberyn.
Podrick and Brienne have made camp, and Podrick has a spitted rabbit roasting over a fire… but it’s burning, because he did not skin it. He rushes to it and stomps at the rabbit, trying to put the fire out. Just then Brienne returns with firewood and sees what’s happening. She asks if he’s ever cooked a rabbit before, or anything at all for Tyrion, and Podrick explains that it was the cooks who made things.
Throwing the firewood to the ground with a look of frustration, Brienne moves to sit down and begins to work at removing her armor. Podrick rushes to help, and Brienne stops him, asking what he thinks he’s doing. She dismisses him, saying she’s removed her armor herself up to now. Then she questions him, asking what he did for Tyrion. Podrick lists various domestic tasks—bring meals, clearing tables, keeping clothing and linens clean, and carried messages. “Mostly I poured wine,” he adds. Brienne, nonplussed, asked if Podrick was even remotely involved in combat. Podrick admits he killed a man, which catches Brienne’s interest. He explains it was a Kingsguard knight, who tried to kill Tyrion at the Blackwater.
Brienne asks how he killed a Kingsguard, and he replies, “I pushed a spear through the back of his head.” Brienne looks at him as she tries to remove the pauldron at her shoulder again, and can’t manage. Cursing at it, she decides to ask Podrick to help her. Podrick looks up, smiling, and hurries to do as he was asked.
Beyond the Wall at Craster’s Keep, Rast forces a crying, protesting woman out into the woods. Unbeknownst to him, Locke watches from behind a tree. Once Rast is past, Locke—with a knife in hand—slips nearer, avoiding the other mutineers. He slips to the side of the building where Bran and his companions are kept prisoner, and takes a peek. Bran hears something and looks, but Locke is gone already, leaving nothing behind but footprints.
Jojen coughs, looking very ill. Meera insists he needs water, and Jojen replies it doesn’t matter. Though Meera insists it matters, Jojen’s feverish attention turns to Bran, telling him he must not let anything stop him. Bran lifts up his bound hands, staring at them, and replies that they have stopped him. Jojen insists they haven’t. As he gazes at Bran, he tells him that he’s far from here. When Meera asks what we mean, we see what Jojen is seeing now: behind Bran is the great weirwoood tree of Bran’s vision. Ravens are crowing about it.
Bran says that Jojen has seen it as well. Jojen replies that he, Meera, and Hodor are there just as guides. “He’s waiting for you,” he says to him, insisting that Bran has to get to the tree. Bran insists that he will. Then Jojen adds that it’s not the end… not for Bran, at least, not yet. When Meera asks how they will know the end, Jojen stares at his hand; in his mind’s eye, he sees his hand on fire. “You’ll know,” he says.
In the forest surrounding Craster’s Keep, Locke returns and calls out, “Brothers.” Jon, Grenn, and the rest approach and Grenn remarks how quietly Locke moves. Jon asks what Locke saw, and Locke replies that there were eleven men, mostly drunk, without guards. He suggests they’ll carve them to pieces, and Grenn warns him that Karl was a highly-paid cutthroat in Flea Bottom; he’s seen what we can do with a knife. Locke replies, “Have you seen what I can do with a knife?”
Locke adds that there’s a hut on the west side that they should avoid. When Jon questions him, he replies that there are hounds chained up in it. Grenn adds that there’s a new moon tonight. Then, Jon turns to the others and tells them to get some rest, as they’ll move at sundown.
Leaving the keep, Karl is followed by two mutineers. He grins, indicating he’s always liked a girl with curls and a touch of class. As they move on with him, he adds that they can have whatever’s left. Inside the hut, Karl has the men get Meera up. They grab her and slip the bindings on her hands onto a hook, trapping her hands above her. As she struggles, Bran yells at them to stop, and Hodor whimpers his name in fear, but they do not listen. Karl comes up to Meera, and shushes her. He touches her hair, remarking at how pretty it is, and again asks why she’s there.
He insinuates she left her father’s castle looking for trouble, and notes she’s not one for dresses, and most like it rough. Then he’s interrupted as Jojen speaks up, telling him that he can help him if he lets Meera go. Karl wonders how he can do that, and Jojen explains he has the sight—he can see things. Karl replies sarcastically that that’s helpful. Jojen clarifies, saying he can see things that haven’t happened yet. Karl calls it a fine thing and moves to kneel besides Jojen. He eyes him and then wonders if Jojen’s seen what he’ll do to Meera. Jojen shakes his head, and Karl adds if he’s seen what the other two men will do to Meera.
Jojen is silent and says nothing. Karl takes out one of his knives, and tells Jojen not to close his eyes as he moves to Meera. Then Jojen speaks again: “I saw you die tonight.” As Karl turns back, Jojen tells him he saw his body burn, and the snow falling to bury his bones. Karl stares at Jojen… and then there’s a cry to arms, and Rast rushes in to tell him that the Night’s Watch is present. Jon Snow leads a charge at the mutineers. As they fight, Locke cuts his way through a pair of men… and slips off to the hut.
He informs them that there rescue party has arrived. Bran asks if Locke’s with Jon, and he says he is, and that he’s to take Bran to him. He cuts Bran free from his bindings as he asks if he’s Brandon Stark… but suddenly suspicious, Bran refuses to speak. Locke simply takes his knife and slashes Bran’s leg, to a gasp from Meera. “The little crippled lord,” Locke says, and he carries Bran away as Bran screams for Jon, until Locke covers his mouth. He warns him he’ll cut the throats of Hodor and the Reeds if he keeps screaming, and threatens to kill Hodor first. Bran agrees.
As Bran is carried out, he nods at Meera… and then as Locke throws him over his shoulder, his eyes turn white and he slips into Hodor. Hodor begins to rock his body purposefully, pulling at the chains that hold him to the wall, and with a mighty effort breaks free. Hodor gives chase and grabs Locke, who drops Bran. Turning Locke around, Hodor lifts Locke up bodily into the air, strangling him ... and then snapping his neck so violently that his spine is exposed. He falls to the ground, lifeless.
Moments after, Bran slips back into his own skin, and a stunned Hodor stares at his bloody hands. Bran calls for Hodor to get the knife from Locke, and Hodor does so so that he can free Bran from the remaining bindings. Then he tells Hodor to hurry, to free Jojen and Meera. Bran drags himself across the snow to where the fighting continues. Jon is in the midst of the fighting as Bran starts to call for him—but Jojen appears then, and tells him that if Jon sees him, Jon will never let him go north.
“He’s my brother,” Bran replies, anguished, but Jojen insists Jon would want to protect him by taking him to Castle Black. He has to decide, Jojen said, if he wants to find the three-eyed raven. As Meera and Hodor join them, Bran looks at Jon a last time… and decides. He tells them they need to free Summer, and then they need to go. They turn and leave.
Jon kills a mutineer and then works his way into Craster’s Keep, where Karl is killing one of Jon’s brothers. Karl looks at Jon and offers a mocking bow, knives in his hands. “Lord Snow,” he says. He approaches Jon and tells him that they had a good thing, that Jon will never be free and never know what it’s like. Then he attacks, and the two fight, Longclaw against two sharp, swift knives. Karl mocks his education, a castle-trained fighter, and manages to stab him. Karl continues to mock him beforep pulling the blade out. Karl’s swift and dangerous, and it’s all Jon can do to keep up.
Karl asks if he was taught to fight with honor, and then spits in Jon’s face. He throws Jon to the ground, tripping him, and disarms him. He’s about to kill Jon Snow when he’s stabbed in the back by one of Craster’s daughters. He turns on her, pulling the blade out of his back, threatening her…
... when Longclaw sprouts through his open mouth, after Jon drives it through the back of his head. Karl falls dead. Jon kneels by the woman and asks if she’s all right. She’s silent, traumatized, but follows him outside where Grenn kills the last mutineer. Jon looks at the bodies and asks if they’ve lost four men; Edd corrects him and says it’s five. They come over to see Locke’s body, neck snapped, spine exposed. “What the seven hells could do that to a man?” Grenn asks, incredulous. Then Jon says he counted 10 dead men, but Locke said there were 11. At that, Edd asks where Rast is.
Rast has fled the scene, into the wood. The icy wind howls as he keeps running. He comes to the wolf cage, and realizes it’s open and empty. He starts to turn… and suddenly a white blur leaps at him, snarling, and his scream cuts off: Ghost.
Back at the Keep, Grenn spots Ghost coming out of the darkness, and calls Jon’s attention to him. Jon kneels, and holds the direwolf’s head, telling him he missed him. Afterward, Dolorous Edd asks what they should do with Craster’s wives. Jon tells them that they’re not safe, that Mance Rayder has an army coming, and that there are worse things than Mance. HE urges them to come to Castle Black, where they can find them work and keep them safe. “Meaning all respect, Ser Crow,” Morag, the eldest of them, says, but Craster and then the mutineers beat them and did worse. She says they’ll find their own way. When Jon asks if they want to stay in the keep, Morag spits: “Burn it to the ground, and all the dead with it.”
We see the Keep burning so after, the wives and daughters watching it solemnly, the men of the Watch as well.