The House of Black and White: Arya arrives in Braavos. Pod and Brienne run into trouble on the road. Cersei fears for her daughter’s safety in Dorne as Ellaria Sand seeks revenge for Oberyn’s death. Stannis tempts Jon. An adviser tempts Dany.
Arya Stark is aboard the Braavosi ship, its captain next to her. They both look on the towering figure of the Titan of Braavos. The captain informs her that in the past, the Titan would defend Braavos from enemies, wading into the sea with fire in its eyes and smashing their foes. Arya insists it’s just a statue… when a sudden blast of sound startles her. The captain laughs, and tells her not to fear, it’s only a horn sounded from inside the Titan to announce their arrival.
The captain personally rows her from the ship, passing through docks, markets, and canals. Arya observes the Braavosi as the captain takes her on toward a tall, monolothic building that stands alone on an isle. He informs her that it is the House of Black and White, and it where she will find the man she seeks (Jaqen H’ghar). The captain helps her onto the isle and then leaves her. She thanks him, and he replies that any man of Braavos would have done the same. “Valar morghulis,” he says as he salutes her, and she replies, “Valar dohaeris.”
The double-doors of the gate are black on one side, white on the other. She knocks, and then knocks again when an old man in a hooded robe and with a cane opens the door and stares at her. She greets him, then offers up, “Valar morghulis,” but he says nothing. She takes out the old, defaced coin and tells him that Jaqen H’ghar gave it to her. He speaks, telling her that there’s no one there by that name. She begs him, saying that she has nowhere else to go, and he replies, “You have everywhere else to go.” He slams the door shut in her face.
Dejected, she sits on the steps, staying there through the night where she turns the coin over and over in her hands and repeats her mantra: “Cersei. Walder Frey. The Mountain. Meryn Trant.” Even when it rains, she continues repeating the words, not sleeping. The morning finds her doing the same… until she stops, looks about her, and goes to teh water’s edge. She throws the coin into the water, and leaves the House of Black and White.
In the riverlands, Brienne on horseback and Podrick walking beside her enter the yard of a tavern. A number of horses with the blue-and-white saddle blankets of the knights of the Vale are hitched at posts, and from inside the voices of men laughing and speaking can be heard. Podrick remarks that the food must be good, given how crowded it seems to be.
Inside, Brienne and Podrick eat. A serving girl goes from table to table, offering ale. Podrick looks after her…
... and in a booth at one end of the room, Littlefinger fusses over his meal, pulling a bone or piece of straw from his food. Opposite him, hidden from the view of others, is Sansa Stark. She wonders at the message he received in the Vale. Littlefinger sits back and remarks that she’s becoming an “observant young lady.” Sansa only replies that her mother used to say, “Dark wings, dark words.” Baelish replies that it’s an old saying, but untrue in this case—his marriage proposal has been accepted. This is news to Sansa, who thought he was still in mourning for Lysa Arryn.
The serving girl offers ale to Littlefinger, but he turns it away. However, Sansa says she’ll have some, and as she holds out her cup Podrick sees her face. He immediately tells Brienne—seeming exhausted and depressed—that Sansa Stark is in the inn, with Petyr Baelish and a “bunch of knights.” Brienne asks for a more specific figure than “bunch”, and he guesses perhaps ten. “Too many.” He tries to stop her but she insists, telling him to ready the horses. When he replies they only have one, she tells him to find more.
Podrick gets up to do as he’s told. In the booth, Littlefinger asks if she likes the taste of the ale, and she replies she doesn’t understand the fuss and then wonders why men like it so much. Lord Baelish replies that it gives some men courage, and Sansa asks if it gives him courage. He gives no answer, and then his knights are challening Brienne and barring her way as she comes forward. She greets him and “Lady Sansa,” naming herself as Brienne of Tarth. Littlefinger remarks that they’d met, with Renly Baratheon, who stated that her loyalty to him had come free of charge. “Someone appears to have paid quite a bit for it since then,” he finishes. He signals for her to be allowed through.
She turns to Sansa, and kneels before her. He informs her that she had sworn her sword to Catelyn, and swore to her that she would find and protect Sansa. She swears to defend and protect her, even to give her life for hers. Littlefinger tells her not to be so formal, and then remarks that Catelyn never mentioned her. She points out that she joined her after Renly’s murder. That seems to jog Littlefinger’s memory, who states that she herself was accused of killing him. She denies it, saying her accusers didn’t see what happened. He forces her to say what did happen: that Renly was murdered by a shadow with the face of Stannis Baratheon.
Petyr Baelish immediately casts doubts on the tale, and then points out to Sansa that Brienne has a history of failure behind her: she swore to protect Renly and failed, she swore to protect Sansa and failed. He asks Brienne why he’d let her protect Lady Sansa, and Brienne angrily asks why he should have any say in Sansa’s life. He replies that he’s her uncle by marriage, before Lysa’s “untimely death.” He and Sansa are now family, while Brienne is an outsider; experience has made him wary of outsiders. Brienne turns to Sansa, asking to have a word alone, and Sansa refuses. She notes she saw Brienne at Margaery’s wedding, bowing to Joffrey.
Brienne argues that neither wanted to be there, but sometimes one has no choice. “And sometimes we do,” Sansa replies. She suggests she leaves. Littlefinger interjects, suggesting Brienne stay rather than wander the dangerous roads. Brienne turns to leave, but the knights block her way. She shoves one aside, elbows another in the face, and runs out of the inn. Drawing Oathkeeper, she slashes through the hitching post with one blow and scares off the horses. Podrick has a horse waiting for her, and she jumps on. As they gallop from the yard, she cuts down one knight on foot, then slashes through the reins of another of the knights’ horses to send it running. Podrick and Brienne race away, leaving the knights in disarray.
Four manage to give chase through a forest road. Podrick, an unskilled horseman at best, soon loses control of his horse. Brienne shouts after hm as their paths diverge and the knights split. She races along and seems to be pursued… until the two knights are revealed to be riding past her, as she made a sharp turn to hide. Brienne carefully picks her way back toward the inn, only to see Littlefinger, Sansa, and the knights ridign away.
Podrick finally gets some control of his horse after it wades into a river… but then it promptly rears and throws him. Scrambling out of the water, a single Vale knight rides up and looks at him on foot. Podrick picks up a rock and throws it at him, but misses his throw. The knight grins and says that must mean he’s unarmed as he draws his sword. He spurs toward Podrick, just as a voice shouts from behind Pod: “Down, Podrick! Down!” Brienne comes storming behind Podrick and cuts down the knight as Podrick cowers. Then Brienne fights a second knight, Oathkeeper shattering his sword and then taking him through the neck.
Brienne sheaths the sword and tells Podrick he can stand. He does so, and asks about Sansa. She says that she saw him wary of strangers, as she ought to be; she’s riding on the east road with Littlefinger and his men, but she means to follow. Podrick points out that now both Stark girls have refused her protection, and suggests she might be released from her vow. Brienne insists, however, that the promise was sworn to Catelyn that she’d protect them, and she questions whether Podrick thinks she’ll be safe with Petyr Baelish. Podrick shakes his head: “No, my lady.” Brienne tells him to get his horse.
In the Red Keep, in the chambers Tywin Lannister used as Hand, Cersei stares at a metal box atop a desk. Jaime enters, noting he comes at the summons of the queen, and sees the box. He approaches it, and lifts the handle. The box’s sides fall, revealing a stuffed, red viper, mouth agape and fangs showing. In its fangs is a golden chain, attached to a golden pendant featuring a lion’s head. Jaime stares at it, and Cersei informs him that there are only two like it in the world: the one she wears, and the one she gave to Princess Myrcella.
Jaime says it’s a threat, and Cersei angrily says that of course it’s a threat. She says their daughter is in Dorne, surrounded by people who hate their family. He asks if there was a note, and Cersei replies that they blame them for the deaths of Oberyn and his sister Elia “and every other tragedy that has befallen their cursed country!” She stands up, shouting that she’ll burn their cities to the ground if they harm her daughter. Jaime tries to tell her to be quieter. Cersei retorts that their daughter is in danger and he seems more concerned that she’s speaking too loudly. He says that the world can’t know Myrcella is their daughter. Cersei stares at him, and then tells him not to claim he’s her father, that he’s never been a father to him.
Jaime defensively says that if the world knew he was their father, the children would have been stoned in the streets. Cersei asks what Jaime’s caution has brought: Joffrey murdered at his wedding, their daughter shipped off to Dorne, their son set to marry that “smirking whore from Highgarden!” Frustrated, Cersei sits again, and Jaime promises he’ll make things better. “You’ve never made anything better,” Cersei replies.
Jaime informs her that he’s going to Dorne. Cersei thinks the idea ridiculous, saying that Jaime can’t expect to ask Prince Doran to give her back when she’s betrothed to his son. Jaime informs her that he’s not going to ask him anything. Cersei says that if he goes with an army, it’ll be an act of war, but Jaime assures her that there’ll be no army. He asks where they’re keeping her. Cersei considers that and then says Prince Oberyn mentioned the Water Gardens. Jaime promises he’ll find her, and then asks if there’s anything. Cersei is dubious that he’s going to Dorne, a one-handed man, alone. “Who said I was going alone?” Jaime asks, and leaves Cersei to her fears and thoughts.
On a stony beach, Bronn looks out to the water as he skips stones on the water’s surface. A blond noblewoman—Lollys Stokeworth—talks about wedding arrangements as Bronn starts to meander along the shore, skipping rocks on the way: she talks without stop, about her favorite flowers, about music and the flutes she hates, the sort of food they eat in the capital. She asks Ser Bronn if pigeon pie is what they eat in King’s Landing, and when he doesn’t seem to hear her she asks more loudly. Bronn turns and asks who she’s talking about. She clarifies, and he agrees amiably that they do. Putting his arm around her, he continues down the shore.
Further down the shore, Bronn admires the grand castle of Stokeworth. He thinks it’s a fine place, saying he never thought he’d settle down in a place like that. Lollys informs him that they won’t. Bronn, startled, asks her pardon. Lollys informs him that when her mother dies, her sister will get the castle because she’s older. She says Falyse hates her, that she calls her mean names and even still will pull her hair when their mother isn’t looking. Bronn reassures his betrothed that he thinks Lollys is a good person and that Falyse is a mean person. Bronn takes Lollys’s arm and leads her on, saying that he’s travelled all over the world and that he’s learned that meanness comes around. People like her sister always get what’s coming to them eventually… “One way or another.”
They see a figure in red leather coat seated in the distance, and Lollys asks who that is. Bronn curses as he says it’s Jaime Lannister and moves ahead of Lollys to meet him. Lollys looks impressed and smiles. Jaime greets Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, and Bronn offers his condolences for Tywin’s death, then introduces Lollys. Jaime bows and kisses her hand, and she’s clearly charmed. However, that turns to disappointment when Bronn tells her to run along to the castle. Jaime watches her go and remarks (with a hint of sarcasm) that she’s chosen a beautiful young bride, and wonders when they’ll get married. Bronn tells him to get on with whatever brought him out to find him.
Bronn’s doubtful it’s good for him, but Jaime promises that it is. He hands Bronn a scroll, he reads it only to discover that Lollys will be marrying Ser Wyllis Bracken. Bronn complains that he made a deal with Cersei, and Jaime replies that he’d have advised against it, but he informs Bronn that instead he’ll be coming with him to do something important… and when they return, Jaime will give Bronn a much better girl and a much better castle. Bronn asks where they’ll be returning from, and Jaime replies, “As far south as south goes.”
We see a snake bracelet around the wrist of Ellaria Sand, her fist clenched as she looks down from a balcony to a garden below. There, Prince Trystane Martell is walking with his betrothed, Princess Myrcella. Ellaria turns from them and walks toward another room where a man in a wheeled chair looks out to the same gardens. However, a tall guard—Areo Hotah, captain of the Martell guard—blocks her way with his glaive, saying that Prince Doran does not wish to be disturbed. Ellaria threatens Areo, telling him to move or she’ll take his longaxe and shove it—
Doran interrupts her by calling to Areo, telling him to let her approach. She enters angrily, immediately launching into him for sitting there, staring at the sky and doing nothing since Oberyn’s murder. Doran retorts that Oberyn died in a trial by combat, a lawful death. Ellaria starts, “Your brother—” but Doran cuts her off, telling her that she does not need to remind him that Oberyn was his brother. “He was my brother long before he was anything to you.” Ellaria asks what he’ll do, and he says he’ll bury Oberyn and mourn him. “And then?” Ellaria asks. Doran knows she wants him to go to war, and she responds that the whole of Dorne wants it. Doran says they are lucky that the whole of Dorne does not decide.
Ellaria takes that in and then says that the Sand Snakes are with her. They have the love of the people, she says, and they will avenge their father while Doran sits in his chair and does nothing. Doran’s reply is silence. As they look out, Ellaria goes on to say that Oberyn dead but this “Lannister girl” is skipping about the gardens, eating their food and breathing their air. She asks how many more brothers and sisters of his have to die at the hands of the Lannisters before Doran will act. She asks him to give her Myrcella, to send her to Cersei one finger at a time.
Doran looks at her and finally says that he loved his brother, and Ellaria made him very happy, so she will always have a place in his heart. However, he says they do not mutilate little girls for vengeance, not in Dorne, not while he rules. “And how long will that be?” Ellaria asks, as she storms out. Areo Hotah looks to the prince, running a finger along the edge of his ax. Doran shakes his head.
In Meereen, a troop of Unsullied and Second Sons walk through the alleys of the city. Daario Naharis and Grey Worm lead them, and Daario remarks that the Unsullied with their rigid marching and unifroms are too conspicuous, and that’s why they haven’t found any Sons of the Harpy. Daario notes his men drink, whore, and fight in the streets, and so hear things in the taverns, things that they can follow into alleys. With violence and threats, they’re able to find what they want. Daario leads them to a door, and they knock it open. Grey Worm and another Unsullied join him, weapons ready, but after looking around Grey Worm says that there’s nothing there and they should go.
Daario says that Grey Worm is afraid, and Grey Worm flatly responds that the Unsullied fear nothing. Daario explains that Grey Worm knew fear once, but that he’s forgotten it since and doesn’t realize that someone who isn’t afraid doesn’t know how to hide. Taking his stiletto, he turns its point and thrusts into the wall behind them. There’s a cry, and a Meerenese man in the dress of a citizen falls to the ground, clutching his leg. He’s dragged away, and Grey Worm finds daggers and a harpy mask.
In the Great Pyramid, Mossador argues that Daenerys must kill the man, that the Sons of the Harpy wishes to put collars back on the necks of the freedmen. Daenerys says it will send a message, but Barristan argues for restraint. Daenerys asks why and the knight explains that the man may have information. Daario assures him that the man has no more information, as he personally questioned him. Hizdahr notes the man was young and poor, and Mossador adds that he was born free. Hizdahr asks why he cared about slavery, and Daenerys suggests it gave him pride to be above slaves. Mossador states that great families pay him, and men like him, to do things they are afraid to do themselves.
Hizdahr questions Mossador’s knowledge of this, and says that he doesn’t know it’s true and he himself is head of a great family. Barristan argues that they do not know what the man has or has not done, and insists on a fair trial to prove the citizens of Meereen a better way. Mossador says he does not know where “old ser” is from, but he says in Meereen before Daenerys Stormborn they were owned by them and they learned much about them, or they did not live. “Mercy, fair trial—these mean nothing to them! All they understand is blood!” he says. Daenerys dismisses them, thanking them for their council.
They all depart, but Barristan lingers and begs a word. He wishes to talk about King Aerys, her father, whom he calls the Mad King. Daenerys angrily asks if he means to remind her of her enemy’s lies. Barristan tells her the truth: he was by Aerys’s side from the start of his reign, in his Kingsguard, and Daenerys’s enemies did not lie. Daenerys stares, and then asks him to continue. He informs her that when revolt began, Aerys sets towns and castles alight, he murdered sons in front of their fathers, he burned men alive with wildfire and laughed as they screamed. His efforts to stamp dissent led to the rebellion that killed all but two Targaryens.
Daenerys replies she’s not her father. “Thank the gods,” Barristan says, and states that Aerys gave his enemies the justice he thought they deserved, making him feel right and powerful ... to the very end. Daenerys promises to give the Son of the Harpy a fair trial.
A carriage travels through Essos, and inside Tyrion dips a finger in his wine cup. He looks to Varys and says there’s a bug in it. Varys, exasperated, says that he’d best be careful because he might accidentally eat some solid food. Tyrion wonders if he misrepresented his intentions to drink his way to Volantis… and then drains the cup, bug and all. He complains there’s nothing else to do, and wants to walk. Varys refuses, saying that Cersei has offered a lordship to any man who brings her Tyrion’s head. Tyrion offers an obscene response: “She should offer her cunt. The best part of her for the best part of me.” Then he quips that a box is as good a place as anywhere for him.
Varys questions if they’ll really go the entire trip with Tyrion complaining about the futility of everything. Tyrion agrees there’s no point. Then he asks why they’re going to Volantis, if they were going to go to Meereen. Varys explains that Volantis provides the road to Meereen, where they’ll find a ruler. Tyrion argues that every place has a ruler, so why another one? Varys turns the conversation, saying that Tyrion was good at ruling when he was Hand. Tyrion responds that he didn’t rule, he served. Varys presses the point that he was a man of talent, to which Tyrion replies that he got a lot of people killed. Varys agrees, but says he showed great promise in other areas.
Suddenly, Tyrion says that Shae wanted him to leave King’s Landing, but he wouldn’t go because he liked the power, even as a servant. Varys responds that people follow leaders, but they will never follow men like Varys and Tyrion, who they find repulsive. “I find us repulsive,” Tyrion quips. “And we find them repulsive,” Varys retorts. He muses that men like Varys and Tyrion are never satisfied in the box where they’re put. Tyrion agrees… and says it’s time for a walk. Varys refuses, and Tyrion wonders how many dwarfs there are in the world, and if Cersei means to kill them all.
A dwarf’s head is placed on a table with a thump, and we see we’re in a laboratory-like chamber belonging to Qyburn, who is present with Queen Cersei. Two common men, Ser Meryn Trant glowering behind them, seem responsible for the head. Cersei says it’s not Tyrion. Meryn angrily asks if the men hope to decieve their queen, and asks Cersei if they should be thrown in a cell. Cersei says it won’t be necessary: mistakes will be made, and she doesn’t want to dissuade other hunters. The men thank her profusely and start to hurriedly leave, but Cersei orders them to take the head. They start to do so when Qyburn asks for it, as it may be useful for his work. Cersei agrees, and departs with Qyburn, who indicates where he wants the head. Meryn tells the men to move it.
Cersei and Qyburn then arrive at the small council chamber, and Qyburn takes a seat while Cersei herself sits in the Hand’s seat. Ser Kevan asks if she’s Hand, and she says no: it’d be inappropriate for a woman to hold that office, but she will act to advise her son until he’s of age to choose a Hand of his own. Lord Tyrell offers to act as provisional Hand, but Cersei says he won’t have the time as Tommen has decided to make his master of ships his master of coin as well. Lord Mace seems very proud, and Cersei gilds the lily by repeating Tommen’s alleged praise for Mace. Tyrell laps it up.
Grand Maester Pycelle then offers himself as Hand, noting that grand maesters of the past held that role, but Cersei simply changes the topic to announce Tommen has named Qyburn the master of whisperers. Kevan seems surprised, and Pycelle is affronted, calling Qyburn an embarassment to the Citadel. He questions his qualifications, and Cersei sharply responds that he is loyal, far more than Varys ever had, that many have. Cersei then turns to Kevan and says as commander of the Lannister forces, the king would be pleased to have him as his master of war. Cersei smiles magnanimously.
Kevan responds that it’s kind of her to say, but he wishes to hear it from Tommen himself. Cersei says Tommen is busy. Ser Kevan replies that Tommen should be there, to learn what it means to rule. Cersei says he is, but on this occasion Tommen wants her to speak on his behalf. Kevan, clearly dubious, says he’s come to pay his respects to Tywin and Cersei, and to serve the king… but he did not return to serve as her puppet and watch her to fill the small council with sycophants.
Then he questions her sending Jaime away, and she replies that he’s on a sensitive diplomatic mission, one she refuses to provide more details and says that it’s none of the concern of the master of war. Ser Kevan says he doesn’t recognize her authority to dictate what is or is not his concern. “You are the Queen Mother, nothing more,” he says as he gets up and leaves. Cersei stops him with a question, if he means to abandon his king when he needs him. Ser Kevan replies that Tommen can send for him at Casterly Rock. He departs.
In the library of Castle Black, Gilly traces the shape of an illuminated capital S in a book. Princess Shireen tells her that she knows what it is, and hints that it looks like an animal. Gilly thinks of a snake, and then realizes it’s an S. Shireen praises her. We see that as Shireen teaches Gilly to read, Samwell is poring over a book. He looks up and tells them that the youngest Lord Commander in history was Osric Stark, who was elected at the age of 10. Gilly thinks and says that she knows, “S,” seemingly frustrated by her slow progress. Shireen reassures her that she’ll learn, that Ser Davos learned from her and older people are terrible at learning new things. Gilly loudly notes that Shireen’s a wonderful teacher, very patient.
That remark is clearly a jab at Samwell, who defensively replies that all he said was that the more she practiced, the sooner she’d learn. She dismisses him and says she’s doing just fine, and supposes he and “Ostrich Stark” have much to talk about. Samwell turns back to his book. Gilly asks how old Shireen when she learned to read, and she replies she was 3 years old. Samwell, impressed, asks if her mother Selyse taughter her. She says it was their old masester, Cressen, as she had a great deal of time to practice because Selyse kept her inside because…
Her voice trails off. Gilly gently asks what they call it, what’s happened to her face. “Greyscale,” Shireen says, and then asks what they call it north of the Wall. Gilly admits she doesn’t know, but that two of her sisters had it and they both died. She asks how Shireen was cured, and she says she doesn’t know as she was a baby, but many people tried and someone succeeded. Shireen then asks what happened to Gilly’s sisters, and Gilly responds that Craster moved them into a hut and kept the women and girls away.
They heard them, especially at night, and they began to sound “not like themselves.” She says she saw them once at the end, that they were covered in the scales and acted like animals. Craster had to drag them into the woods with a rope. Shireen asks what he did with them, and Gilly is silent, not answering.
Just then, Queen Selyse arrives and orders Samwell and Gilly to leave them. She looks after Gilly as she scurries away, clutching the book, and once she and Sam are gone she tells Shireen to stay away from her because she’s a wildling. Shireen defends Gilly, but Selyse repeats that she’s a wildling, that Stannis defeated them and executed their king. The queen glances at a pair of books and then tosses them aside, saying the wildlings might strike at her as a means to strike at Stannis. Shireen refuses to believe Gilly would do such a thing, but Selyse insists by saying that Shireen has no idea what people can do. “All your books, and you still don’t know,” Selyse says with plain disapproval before leaving her daughter alone.
Stannis questions Jon Snow in his chambers, Davos standing silently to one side. The king says that Jon Snow prevented Stannis’s order to have Mance burned at the stake, showing mercy. Stannis argues that the king’s word is law, and sugests that Jon consider asking Ser Davos how much mercy he shows to law-breakers. Davos stands with his cropped hand on the hilt of his sword, displaying the short fingers.
Stannis then states that if you show too much kindness, you won’t be feared and so will not be followed. Jon responds, respectfully, that the wildlings won’t follow him no matter what he does, because he burned Mance Rayder alive. Stannis wonders who they’ll follow, and whether Jon is that man. Jon denies it, saying they’ll only follow another wildling. Changing the subject, Stannis asks if Jon knows who this “wretched girl”, Lyanna Mormont is, as he pushes over a slip of parchment. Jon replies she was Lord Commander Mormont’s niece. Stannis states she’s Lady of Bear Island, and all of 10 years old. He says that he had asked her to commit the Mormonts to his cause, and that that was her response. Jon reads it: “Bear Island knows no king bu the King in the North, whose name is Stark.”
Jon can’t help but smile at the defiance, and Stannis sharply asks if it amuses him. Jon apologizes, and says that in some ways northerners are like the Free Folk, loyal to their own. Stannis shares that Robert sometimes complained about how difficult northmen were to control, even with Ned’s help. Stannis and Jon stare at one another, when Davos states that that evening the Watch will elect a new Lord Commander and that Ser Alliser Thorne is going to win. Ser Davos finds him unpleasant, and that Thorne thinks Jon is a traitor. Jon expects life at the Wall will become unpleasant for him. Stannis states that Jon’s bravery made Thorne seem weak, and he’ll punish Jon for it… but that Stannis himself doesn’t punish men for being brave, he rewards them.
Jon reminds him that he’s a man of the Watch, and he has nothing left to give him. “You can give me the North,” Stannis replies bluntly. Jon can’t see how, that even if he wanted to he’s a bastard. Stannis informs him that if he’ll bend the knee and swear himself to him, he’ll rise again as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell.
In Castle Black’s common room, the men of the Watch are gathered for the election. Samwell is excited by the idea that with the stroke of a pen Stannis can make him a Stark. Jon admits it’s the first thing he wanted in life, that Ned would ask Robert to legitimize him. Samwell is happy for Jon… but Jon says he plans to refuse Stannis. Samwell is dumbfounded, but Jon replies he’s sworn a vow to the Night’s Watch. “If I don’t take my own word seriously, what kind of Lord of Winterfell would I be?” He moves to sit himself.
Maester Aemon is preparing to begin the voting, noting that triangular tokens will count for Ser Alliser and square tokens for Ser Denys. Samwell interrupts him. Jon Snow shakes his head at him, and Janos Slynt loudly calls him Sam the Slayer to a few unpleasant laughs. He suggests Samwell is a wildling lover just like Jon Snow, and asks how his “lady love” is doing. Samwell reminds him her name is Gilly, and then notes to all and sundry that they know one another quite well, having cowered together in the larder during the battle for the Wall. There’s laughs at that, even as Janos Slynt claims it’s a lie. Samwell presses on, that a wildling girl, a baby, and Lord Janos were in the larder. He states that he found him there after the battle was over, “in a puddle of his own making.”
Samwell goes on to argue that Jon Snow was leading while Janos was hiding. Sam admits Ser Alliser fought bravely, but when he was wounded it was Jon Snow who saved them: he took charge of the defenses, killed the Magnar of Thenn, and went to treat with Mance Rayder even though it was likely his own death. Then he notes that Jon Snow avenged Lord Commander Mormont, leading the mission personally, and points out that Jeor Mormont had selected Jon to be his steward, having seen something in him. “He may be young, but he’s the commander we turned to when the night was darkest,” Samwell concludes to applause and cheers.
Ser Alliser stands and says he can’t argue with any of that… but he wonders if Jon means to command the Night’s Watch or the wildlings. He emphasizes that everyone knows he loved a wildling girl, and spoke often with Mance Rayder. He implies that no one knows what might have been decided in that tent between two “old friends” if Stannis hadn’t shown up. Then he notes everyone saw him put the King-beyond-the-Wall out of his misery, and asks the gathered brothers if they want to choose a man who has fought the wildlings all his life, or one who makes love to them.
Jon remains seated and silent, but meets Thorne’s gaze. Maester Aemon announces it’s time to vote, and men line up to place tokens in jugs. At the end, the jugs are emptied and the tokens are slipped on rods. At the end, two stacks are equal in height and First Builder Othell Yarwyck whispers that there’s a tie. Maester Aemon feels each stack… and then drops his vote, which he had withheld, to vote for Jon Snow. There’s a roar of approval by half the men in the chamber, who shout, “Snow! Snow! Snow!” Jon seems overwhelmed as he stands up.
In Braavos, Arya slowly approaches a pigeon with Needle in her hand… and then neatly takes off its head with a slash of the blade. She carries it in her hand as she walks down an alley, when she passes three men. One of them turns and calls to her. She stops and turns. When he asks what she has there, she says nothing. He and his friends laugh and come closer. She warns them to stand where they are, turn around, and go. She draws Needle and repeats herself. The man and his friends draw knives, saying that a sword like that must be worth a 100 pieces. Arya replies, “Nothing’s worth anything to dead men.”
The priest from the House of Black and White appears behind her, and when the men see him their reaction makes her turn. The man urge one another to run, and flee in the opposite direction. The old priest then turns away, and Arya follows him as he leads her back to the House of Black and White. She asks who he is, and why they were scared. His answer is to toss the coin she threw into the water back at her, telling her she lost it. Then he lifts his hand to his face, and seems almost to be pulling away am ask…
... and now Jaqen H’ghar stands before her. Arya, shocked, says he said there was no Jaqen H’ghar. “There isn’t. A man is not Jaqen H’ghar,” he replies. He turns to enter the temple when Arya asks who he is. “No one,” the priest replies, “and that is who a girl must become.” He pauses at the door, holding it open for her. She looks inside, and then enters. He follows and the door slowly closes shut.
In Meereen, Mossador waits as other freedmen open the cell in which the Son of the Harpy sits. He enters the cell as the men bring the prisoner to his feet. Speaking in Valyrian, the man tells them that Daenerys does not belong there, and no matter how often the “traitors” like Mossador call her Mhysa, she will never be their mother. Mossador stares at him… and then outside in he streets we see the body of the prisoner, pierced through with blades that leave him standing against a wall, bloody on the harpy mask placed on his face. Next to him, written in blood, are the words “Kill the Masters.”
In the Great Pyramid, a shackled Mossador stands before Daenerys, who asks why he did what he did. Kneeling, he says he did it for her, that she wanted the man dead but her hands were tied. He claims he set her free, as she did for all of them. In Valyrian she states that the prisoner was awaiting trial and that mossador had no right. Mossador replies that the man would prefer to rip the city apart than see slaves made free. She argues there are no more slaves or Masters, but Mossador asks who lives in the pyramids, and who murders her children while wearing gold masks. Daenerys has no answer.
Mossador then says that when Grey Worm came to the slaves in Meereen, he himself was the first to take up a blade in Daenerys’s cause. He remembers the look on his father’s face when he struck down the Master who had traded him away for a dog. Daenerys looks on, clearly moved as Mossador goes on to say his father died in the fighting and if the Sons of the Harpy have their way and return them to their chains, it will be as if his father had never lived.
The queen states again that it was not Mossadors place to take the man’s life. Once the Master’s were the law, she states, and when Mossador hopefully interjects that now she is the law, she merely saw that the law is the law. She has him taken away. He stares at her as he’s dragged out.
As the freedmen cry, “Mhysa! Mhysa!”, Daenerys and her court arrive on a platform in view of the freedmen and the former Masters. Hizdahr tells Daario that she should have taken off the traitor’s head in the pyramid and be done with it, and Daario remarks that that’s what he’s told her to do to Hizdahr himself. Daenerys addresses the crowd, stating that they opened the gates to her because she promised freedom and justice. She states that one cannot exist without the other.
The Unsullied and two of Daenerys’s Dothraki bring Mossador down to the platform as the freedmen shout, “Brother! Brother!” The Dothraki force Mossador to kneel. He calls to Daenerys, begging her to forgive him. She stares at him, and then addresses teh crowd. She informs everyone that the punishment for what Mossador did was death. There are cries for mercy, but Daenerys looks to Daario and gives a slight nod. The sellsword draws his arakh and places it at Mossador’s neck. “Mhysa,” Mossador says, and the freedmen redouble their pleas for mercy as Mossador begins to pray. Daenerys listens… and then looks one last time to Mossador, and then Daario. She looks away, and Daario beheads Mossador with a single blow.
There’s silence… and then the freedmen hiss their anger. The Unsullied block off the platform, but then a freedmen throws a stone into the crowd of citizens and former Masters. A riot begins to break out, and more Unsullied, Second Sons, and Dothraki move to defend the queen. Daenerys is ushered away, guarded by Unsullied who raise their sheilds above her as fredmen throw stones at her.
In the great pyramid, Barristan informs Daenerys that he will stand outside her door that night. Grey Worm says they will all guard her. Daenerys asks them all to leave. She is clearly distressed by what has happened. Then she hears a noise, and moves through her chambers to the balcony looking out over the city . . . and suddenly turns, looking up, to where Drogon sits on the parapet above her.
Daenerys is overjoyed to see him. The black dragon stretches his neck to bring his head closer to her. She reaches out to touch him . . . but then he pulls away. Stretching his wings, he launches himself into the air and away, screeching as he flys from Meereen. Daenerys can only watch him go.