Arya practices her swordplay while real swordplay spills out of the throne room after Cersei and Joffrey tried to claim the throne.
The fighting heads into the courtyard, where Cersei's men kill anyone who gets in their way. Sansa goes looking for her sister, but her nursemaid hears the fighting and sends Sansa to her room with strict instructions not to open the doors for anyone. The nursemaid confronts four armed men alone.
Arya loses at her practicing when her teacher Syrio Forel says one direction and she listens and follows instead of reacting to what he's actually doing. He lectures her on following what she sees and reacting.
Lannister men come for Arya, but Forel confronts them. Armed with only a wooden sword he takes on four men. She watches, amazed as he disarms all the men until the captain is left. Arya urges him to leave with her, but he refuses to back down.
The captain fights him and breaks the Forel's wooden sword. He sends Arya away, asking what they say to the god of death. "Not today," she parrots. She leaves.
She runs and hears screams as they fight.
Sansa runs into the Hound in the hallway. She threatens to tell the queen.
"Who do you think sent me?" he taunts.
Arya runs into the courtyard and sees the box that holds her sword Needle. She looks for it when a boy comes up and threatens her. She tells him to get away and whirls with her sword in her hand. She stabs him through the gut and runs.
Varys pays Ned Stark a visit down in his dungeon cell. He tells him Arya escaped, but Sansa remains engaged to Joffrey. Varys tells Ned the rest of his household is all dead.
Varys asks why he told Cersei he knew the truth. Ned claims it was mercy.
Varys says Ned got Robert killed and tells him he's a dead man. Ned thinks he's safe because Catelyn has Tyrion, but Varys tells him Tyrion is free.
Ned wants Varys to just kill him now, but he declines. On leaving, Varys claims to serve the realm, because no one else does.
Jon Snow and his men bring two dead men back from beyond the wall. Sam notices they're frozen solid and don't smell.
The Lord Commander Mormont is notified of a raven from King's Landing. Jon joins him in his chambers and Mormont asks for ale for them both.
He tells Snow of Robert's death and that Stark has been charged with treason for conspiring with Robert's brothers to deny the throne to Joffrey.
Sansa listens to Cersei, Master Pycelle, Varys and Petyr. Cersei says she can't marry Joffrey now because she's a traitor. Petyr argues she should have a chance to prove her loyalty.
Cersei tells her to write to her mother and Robb, telling him to come to King's Landing and swear loyalty to Joffrey.
She asks what will happen to her father. Cersei tells her that depends on her brother, and on her.
Robb reads the letter, but Maester Luwin can tell Cersei told Sansa what to say. Robb knows he cannot ignore the official command, so he'll go -- but not alone. He tells Luwin to summon the banner men to defend his father. Hundreds of ravens fly from Winterfell.
At the Vale, Catelyn is incensed that her sister Lysa waited all day to show her the word from the raven. She wants Lysa to send men to fight for Ned, but Lysa worries about the safety of her son, Robin.
She says the knights of the Vale will stay in the Vale to protect their lord.
Tyrion and Bronn walk home. Bronn admits he's in it for the money. Tyrion says that's not a problem, he'll always pay more than the other guy.
In the middle of the night, Bronn wakes up hearing noises. They are quickly surrounded by Stonecrows and their leader, Shagga, son of Dolf. Tyrion brags about his family's money while bashing their crappy weapons. Tyrion takes off his ring and hands it over. He tells him if they help him, he'll help the Stonecrows take over the Vale.
Jon Snow works in the Wall kitchen, when his tormentor comes in and taunts him about being the bastard son of a traitor. Jon lunges at him with a knife, but men stop him. The Lord Commander comes in later and confines Jon to his quarters.
Later at night, Jon's direwolf Ghost won't stop barking. Jon lets him out and follows him to the commander's room. Instead of Mormont, a giant disfigured bald man comes at him. He stabs him, but the man keeps coming. The man falls and the Commander comes out of his room and sees. The man gets up and starts to attack again so Jon throws his lit lantern at him and hustles Mormont out.
Daenerys walks through a burnt down village with Jorah as the Dothraki attack the inhabitants. He explains that the Dothraki are pillaging to raise money for ships to sail to Westeros, as she wants.
Everywhere, women and children are screaming as the Dothraki attack them, claiming the spoils of their victory. Daenerys commands them to stop attacking one woman. She claims others, even though Jorah tells her they belong to the warriors.
Daenerys returns to camp to find her husband sitting next to a pile of severed heads. Mago , a warrior, is complaining to Khal that Daenerys took the women he was planning to "mount." Daenerys makes a polite case for preventing the women from being raped, saying it is her will and as Khalessi he has to listen to her.
Khal Drago enjoys seeing his fierce bride, but Mago says a khal who takes orders from a "foreign whore" isn't really a khal. He draws his sword. Drogo walks into it purposefully and presses his chest against it as he tells Mago what he'll do to his corpse. Without drawing his own weapon, Drogo ducks and darts to avoid Mago, then finally kills him with his own sword and rips out his tongue with his bare hands.
One of Daenerys's new slaves offers to help clean Drogo's cut. The Dothraki are suspicious, but Daenerys asks her husband to let the woman treat him. He relents.
At Winterfell, Robb deals with the ego of the Greatjon, who demands he get to lead the vanguard into King's Landing, saying Robb is too green. He threatens to take his men and go home if not. Robb stares him down and says he's welcome to leave, but after he takes care of the Lannisters he'll come for him for breaking his oath to his father. Greatjon draws his sword and Robb's direwolf races at him and rips off a few fingers.
Robb uses it as an excuse to show he knows enough to let a wolf deal with things for him. Cowed, the Greatjon laughs off the missing digits and the situation is diffused.
Robb says good-bye to Bran in the middle of the night and tells him to stay at Winterfell. After he leaves, their younger brother Rickon comes in, worried about their parents.
The next day, Bran prays to the Old Gods. Osha, the captured wildling woman, tells him the gods heard him, but she predicts bad things for Robb headed south and tells Bran the true threat lies to the north.
Sam, Jon Snow and the troops stand around the burning bodies of the men they found beyond the wall. Sam thinks they were touched by White Walkers. He read about them. He says they sleep beneath the ice for thousands of years. He hopes the wall is high enough to keep them out.
Catelyn comes upon an encampment.
Robb reports that the River Lords are falling back with Jaime Lannister on their heels, and Lord Tywin is bringing a larger army from the south. Catelyn walks in. She asks to talk to Robb alone, then hugs him. He shows her Sansa's letter. They notice there's no mention of Arya. Robb tells her he has 18,000 men.
Catelyn says their only hope is that he can defeat the Lannister army in the field. She reminds him what happened to the Targaryen children when they lost throne: they were butchered in their sleep, on the orders of Tywin Lannister.
She tells him if he loses, the Starks all die. "Well that makes it simple, then," he says.
Tyrion and Bronn march with the Stonecrows. They reach Tywin Lannister's camp.
Tyrion leads them in and makes introductions. Tyrion learns the Robert is dead and Cersei is essentially in charge of King's Landing. They know Robb called in his banners and is leading an army.
Tyrion asks for the armor, swords and pikes to pay his debts. He's interrupted by an update from the field.
Tywin announces he's moving against Robb Stark. He asks Shagga and his men to fight with him and promises them more loot. Shagga says only if Tyrion rides with them.
Robb tries to figure out his next move. They need to cross the river at the Twins, which Lord Frey controls. He's bannerman to Catelyn's father, but isn't exactly reliable.
Robb's men bring in a Lannister spy they caught. They say he was counting the men. Robb asks how high he got. When the man says 20,000, Robb talks about mercy and commands his men to let him go. Robb tells the spy to tell Lord Tywin that "winter is coming" with 20,000 men.
As soon as the spy leaves, the men wonder about his move.
Ned is roused from his cell.
Sansa comes to court to hear Cersei force retirement on Ser Barristan from the King's Guard, which is supposed to be til death. "You let my father die, you're too old to protect anyone," Joffrey snipes.
Cersei announces Jaime will take over as lord commander of the King's Guard. Varys promises Barristan a good house, but Barristan is indignant. He draws his sword and tosses it on the floor, telling Joffrey to melt it and add it to the others in the throne.
There's an announcement calling for any other business. Sansa steps forward. She begs mercy for her father. She reminds them that he never wanted to be hand and loved the king. She says Pycelle gave him milk of the poppy and he wasn't himself when he said Joffrey wasn't king. She begs Joffrey personally.
Joffrey says Ned has to confess and say that he is the king or there will be no mercy. "He will," she says.