Previously on Game of Thrones: Tyrion rotted in prison, accused of murdering Joffrey, while his wife fled to the (possible) safety of Petyr’s ship to the Eyrie. The Bran Band continued kicking around north of the Wall, and Jon was determined to go take back Craster’s keep.
Missy’s giving Grey Worm a language lesson, which turns into a discussion of their lives before slavery. She remembers a tiny bit, but he remembers nothing and wonders if he was always with the Unsullied. She tells him he wasn’t and suggests that someday he could return to his homeland. He doesn’t have any interest in that, instead focusing on carrying out Dany’s plan of killing all slave masters. Dany herself comes into the tent, asks how the lessons are going, and tells Grey Worm that it’s time to go.
It’s nighttime, and he leads a very large crew of soldiers through the city’s sewers. This city has a hostile force just outside of it and nobody thought to seal off the sewers, or at least to have them guarded? Also, why do these cities always have such enormous sewers the perfect size for people to move through?
Inside the city, most or all of the slaves have been locked up. Some of them want to lead a revolt while others say that it’s useless and argue against rocking the boat. In come Grey Worm and his men. He tells them how great freedom is and how awesome Dany is and provides them with weapons, in case they decide they want to start fighting back against the masters themselves. Apparently, there are three slaves for every master in the city, so the odds are fairly decent.
One of those masters, walking through the streets, finds graffiti on the wall that says ‘kill all the masters’. One of his guards notices Dany’s flag flying high over the city, and then large groups of heavily armed former slaves descend on them from all sides, and just like that, Dany’s taken yet another city. It’s nice to see her being so successful and all, but this particular plotline is getting a bit dull and repetitive. She walks past cheering crowds and asks Jorah how many children were nailed to mile markers along her route. He tells her, and she exacts revenge by nailing the masters to crosses while still alive, which is really horrible. Barristan tries talking her out of it, suggesting she answer injustice with mercy, but she’s answering injustice with justice, in her mind. Plus, this wouldn’t be HBO without gratuitous violence, nudity, and cursing, and we’ll get to the other two later.
Jaime’s still having lessons with Bronn, and getting better, but he’s still not quite fighting dirty enough (Bronn ends their fight by bitchslapping Jaime with his own metal hand.). They kick back and Jaime asks Bronn if he thinks Tyrion’s guilty. He doesn’t, because poison just isn’t Tyrion’s thing. Bronn suggests that Jaime go see his brother and ask him himself. Jaime’s not enthusiastic, but Bronn tells him that Tyrion always believed Jaime had his back and asks if he’s still willing to fight for his sibling.
So, Jaime goes to see Tyrion and tells him he has it pretty cushy, compared with Jaime’s situation during his own incarceration. They talk about the trial, and Tyrion’s sure the outcome is a foregone conclusion. Jaime admits that Cersei asked him to murder Tyrion and asks Tyrion if he’s guilty. Tyrion asks if he seriously thinks he’d do that and Jaime counters by asking Tyrion if he seriously think Jaime would kill his own brother. Tyrion kind of jokingly asks Jaime to help him escape, but that’s impossible, especially considering Jaime’s head of the Kingsguard. Jaime tells him that he’s not the only one in danger—Cersei’s after Sansa too. Tyrion says that’s absurd, because Sansa’s no killer. Not yet.
Sansa’s joined belowdecks by Petyr, who tells her they’re on their way to the Eyrie. She asks him if he killed Joffrey and he reminds her that he’s been away for weeks. She’s not an idiot and knows how Petyr operates, though, so he comes cleanish, asking if she noticed there was a stone missing from the necklace Dontos gave her. Wait, she was wearing that at the feast, so who took the stone off and managed to administer it to Joffrey? How did this whole thing work? Sansa doesn’t understand why Petyr would act against the Lannisters, who gave him everything and he shrugs that having no motive makes you a highly unlikely suspect. He tells her he’d risk everything to get what he wants, as he runs his hand rather creepily down her arm. He says that Joffrey was an unreliable ally, being, you know, a little psycho. He has new friends who are much more reasonable.
Cut to Oleanna and Margaery walking in the gardens, which Oleanna’s so tired of she’s getting ready to head home. Her work here is done, after all. She’s seen Joffrey disposed of—no way was she handing her favourite grandchild over to that little beast—and soon Margaery will be married to Tommen. But to seal that deal, Oleanna tells Margaery she needs to make sure to ingratiate herself with the boy while Cersei’s distracted. Once the trial’s over, Cersei will start working on turning Tommen against Margaery, and they need to make sure that doesn’t happen.
At Castle Black, Jon’s training the recruits to fight Wildlings. He demonstrates and then asks for some volunteers. He picks out two guys, one of whom is a rather poor fighter and is quickly defeated. Jon tells the victor he could have gone easier on him and the guy shrugs that the man wouldn’t have learned that way. Thorne intervenes and tells Jon he’s not a Ranger, he’s a steward and should go find some chamberpots to empty. What a dick. Also, what an idiot, because we all know that guys like this get their comeuppance at some point. Jon has no choice but to retreat at the moment, and once he’s gone Slynt steps up and observes that Jon’s well liked, while Thorne isn’t, and he could be an issue when a new Commander is officially chosen by the men. He suggests they send Jon off to take care of the mutineers at Crestor’s, in the hope this issue will resolve itself.
The victor of the fight introduces himself to Jon as Locke and explains that he was arrested for poaching and thought maybe he wouldn’t have to suck up to highborn assholes up at Castle Black. But clearly, he was wrong.
Jaime reports to Cersei, who’s sent for him to find out how many guards are outside Tommen’s door. There’s only one, but he promises the boy’s safe. She asks why Catelyn set him free and he reminds her that he promised to restore her daughters to her. Now Catelyn’s dead, Cersei says, will he break that promise and go find Sansa? He doesn’t answer, which I guess means no. She pivots and brings up his visit to Tyrion. He explains that he had to find out for himself if Tyrion did the deed, and now he’s certain he didn’t. She accuses him of having too soft a spot for their brother and then says she wants four men on Tommen’s door day and night, before dismissing him. So, no mention at all of the rape? Really? Really? No, because apparently the director of that episode thought the sex in that scene was consensual. Sorry, I just need to…
Tommen is awakened late at night by a visitor: Margaery, who tells him they’re to be married, so maybe they should get to know one another. It’s a bit creepy, really, because he’s barely pubescent and as we know, she’s quite a bit older. They’re joined by Tommen’s cat, Ser Pounce, which she fusses over. Tommen says that Joffrey didn’t like the cat and kept threatening to have him skinned. That sounds like Joffrey. Margaery says she should go, as it’s late, but asks if she can come visit him again. He nods. Before she goes, she reminds him to keep these meetings a secret. She kisses him on the forehead, takes her candle, and goes.
Jaime takes a meeting with Brienne and shows her his new sword, which she rightly admires. He gives it to her, along with a very nice new suit of armor, to use on her quest to find Sansa and bring her to safety. He can be a bit of a softie, can’t he? And I guess we’re just supposed to forget about the rape or something, because now it’s seeming so completely out of left field and almost like a story anomaly. Which is sometimes what happens when writers completely change something from the book: that incident ends up not quite fitting in properly.
Brienne’s being sent off with Podrick, who grins like an idiot at the prospect, though she thinks he’ll just slow her down. Jaime insists he won’t. Bronn gives the boy Tyrion’s axe from the Battle of Blackwater, which adorably delights Podrick. He’s sent off to prepare Bree’s horse and Jaime asks her what she’ll name the sword. Oathkeeper. Better than Widow’s Wail. More hopeful, at least. They bid each other farewell and Jaime rather sadly watches her and Podrick ride off.
Back north, Sam worries about Gillie, but Jon distractedly tells him she’ll be fine, as he examines a map and wonders where the Bran Band may have ended up. Since all the Wildling villages have been abandoned, it looks like the only spot might be Craster’s.
Jon’s summoned to Thorne, who tells him he can go ahead to Craster’s, but he can only take volunteers, nobody’s going to be ordered to accompany him. Jon thanks him and addresses the other Night’s Watch men, asking them to join him and defeat the mutineers, for all their sakes. He adds that this would be justice for Mormont, their late, beloved leader. He’s sufficiently rousing that he actually manages to get some volunteers, including Locke.
At Craster’s, Karl, the lead mutineer, is drinking wine from Mormont’s skull and urging his men to rape Craster’s wives to death, which at least some of them are already doing right there in the room. Oh, come on with the rape already! He tells one of the men to go feed ‘the beast’ and when the guy tries to put him off, Karl begins just spewing endless profanity. Seriously, what he’s saying isn’t even all that coherent, it’s basically just a string of expletives. We get it, HBO, you’re HBO and therefore you can show nudity and blood and guts and have people curse themselves blue. Congratulations! Now ease up, please, because this doesn’t mean you’re making art, ok? You’re just cheapening yourself.
A woman enters with a newborn—Craster’s last child. It’s a boy, of course. Karl doesn’t know what to do with it and goes to kill it, but the woman says the boys were given to the Gods as offerings. Karl’s fine with that and hands it off to one of the other men, Rast, to leave out for the White Walkers.
Rast walks the kid out into the woods and leaves it, seeming to feel kind of bad about it, at least. His next stop is the cage where Jon’s direwolf, Ghost, is being kept. He taunts the animal by pouring out some water on the ground, which strikes me as being pretty stupid. Yes, you moron, taunt the enormous predator. Ghost jumps against the cage wall, frightening Rast, and then the water immediately freezes over, indicating the presence of White Walkers. He flees.
Not far away, the Bran Band is awakened by the distant sounds of a baby crying. Bran wargs into Summer’s body and goes out to see what’s what. Summer moves towards the sound of the wailing and happens upon Ghost’s cage, but then gets caught in a trap.
Bran snaps back to himself and tells the others that someone’s got Ghost.
The Bran Band finds Craster’s keep and check the place out, hidden in the forest. Bran recognizes the men as Night’s Watch, but once one of them starts assaulting one of the women, Meera realizes something’s terribly wrong here and tells Bran they need to get out of here now. It makes sense that the only female in their band would be concerned here. Bran refuses to leave without Summer, completely disregarding Meera’s or anyone else’s safety. Meera goes to find Summer and Ghost, but they’re all almost immediately captured by the mutineers.
Hodor is chained up and taunted for sport, which is horrible to watch, while the kids are brought into the main building to be examined by Karl. He notices Bran’s nice clothes and asks who he is. Bran doesn’t answer. He gets super creepy with Meera, of course, but she and Jojen also remain tightlipped. Jojen falls into a fit, and before he’ll let Meera help him, Karl demands to know who they are. Bran finally gives up his name, and someone tells Karl that Bran’s Jon Snow’s brother. Karl seems pleased with this.
A White Walker carrying the abandoned infant rides its zombie horse to some kind of ice alter. The baby is laid down, and another Walker approaches and touches its face. The baby’s eyes slowly turn glowing, icy blue. Zom-by!