In King’s Landing, guests arrive for Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell’s wedding. Among those in attendance is Oberyn Martell, Prince of Dorne. After Joffrey is poisoned at his wedding by Margaery’s grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, Cersei Lannister blames Tyrion for his death. Outraged at the kangaroo court presiding over his trial, Tyrion demands a trial by combat. Cersei chooses the Mountain as her champion and Oberyn offers to represent Tyrion. The trial ends in a victory for the Mountain and Tyrion is sentenced to death. Before he can be executed, Tyrion is freed by Jaime, who tells him Varys will smuggle him to the Free Cities. Tyrion, discovering that Shae had been sleeping with Tywin, strangles her before shooting Tywin and fleeing Westeros.
Sansa Stark successfully escapes King’s Landing with the help of Petyr Baelish. Baelish smuggles her to the Vale, where she comes into conflict with her jealous aunt, Lysa Arryn. After Lysa witnesses Littlefinger kiss Sansa, she attempts to throw Sansa through the Moon Door, only for Littlefinger to push Lysa to her death. When Littlefinger is interrogated, Sansa defends him.
Meanwhile, Arya Stark and Sandor Clegane make way for the Eyrie. The duo arrive at the Eyrie days after Lysa Arryn’s death and are denied entry; they then encounter Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne, who have been tasked by Jaime to bring the Stark sisters to safety. Brienne and the Hound fight, ending with the Hound grievously wounded. Arya leaves him to die. She encounters a Braavosi ship captain, who gives her passage after she shows him the coin Jaqen H’ghar gave her, and saying “valar morghulis”.
Bran Stark, accompanied by the Reeds and Hodor, continues trying to find the three-eyed raven. Despite being held up by the mutineers at Craster’s Keep and a wight attack that kills Jojen, Bran finally meets the three-eyed raven.
At the Wall, Jon Snow tries to warn his leaders about Mance Rayder’s impending attack. Jon must also contend with the mutineers at Craster’s Keep, led by the deranged Karl Tanner. The Wildlings launch an attack on Castle Black, leading to the deaths of many. Jon goes beyond the Wall to assassinate Rayder, only to be spared by the sudden arrival of Stannis Baratheon and his forces, who overwhelm the Wildlings and rescue the Night’s Watch. Davos Seaworth and Stannis had successfully negotiated with the Iron Bank of Braavos to shift their support from the Lannisters to the Baratheons.
In the North, Roose Bolton aims to cement his hold. He orders his hunter, Locke, to kill Jon Snow and track down Bran and Rickon Stark, and sends Ramsay Snow to take Moat Cailin. Ramsay uses Theon Greyjoy to secure Moat Cailin. Roose rewards Ramsay by legitimizing him as a Bolton, and moves his seat to the former Stark stronghold of Winterfell.
Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen continues her conquest of Slaver’s Bay by taking control of Meereen. Daenerys decides to remain in Meereen to learn to rule. Daenerys discovers that her trusted advisor, Jorah Mormont, had spied on her for Robert Baratheon, and exiles him. Daenerys learns that her dragon Drogon has begun killing humans; while she is unable to capture Drogon, she chains her other two dragons.