As the French armies approach Moscow there is panic in the streets and the Rostovs join the exodus from the city. Pierre, believing he can kill Napoleon, remains and after an act of reckless heroism is taken prisoner with many others, including the perpetually optimistic Platon Karataev, who gives him a new outlook on life. Pierre is rescued by a Russian raiding party led by Dolokhov though Natasha's brother Petya dies in the fight and the French, defeated by the harsh winter, ultimately retreat. Meanwhile Natasha is reunited with the severely wounded Andrei and stays with him until the end. There is further bad news for the Rostovs, forcing Sonya and Nikolai to make decisions though Pierre finds himself released from his marriage and free to make another proposal.
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