Robb Stark wins another battle against the Lannisters, thanks to his tactic of sending an army of direwolves to ravage them in the night. This results in King Joffrey threatening Sansa with a crossbow, because he's a nasty piece of work. Tyrion yells at him and even tries sending him a couple of prostitutes, but what's wrong with Joffrey can't be fixed with a just getting laid. So he has one of his ladies torture the other one so he can show Tyrion how sadistic he is. Great!
Out at Renly's encampment, Littlefinger would like to propose a deal in which he secretly opens the gates of King's Landing for Renly's army in return for Renly not killing him when he becomes king. And maybe keeping Littlefinger on the Small Council, if he's feeling generous. While he's there, he also drops hints at Margaery about how everyone knows that Renly's more interested in Ser Loras. He also drops by Catelyn Stark's tent to offer to trade Arya and Sansa Stark for Jaime Lannister. This is kind of an empty promise, but she doesn't know they lost Arya. Catelyn doesn't want to make the deal, since it's not what Robb wants. But Littlefinger brought along a little something to sweeten the deal: the remains of Ned Stark. In a box. She looked quite overcome when she got it, but that might have been the smell.
Out in the Red Waste, Daenerys finds out that there's a city to the east. She and her khalasar (which is somewhat generously described as "a Dothraki horde") rush out there to find a rude welcome. They get in without Daenerys having to show off her baby dragons, which undoubtedly made the CGI people quite relieved.
Arya and the Night's Watch Recruits have been dragged to Harrenhal, where the prisoners are being interrogated to death by someone with a bucket of rats. Just before Gendry gets killed, Tywin Lannister rides up and calls a halt to the prisoner-killing. He also spots that Arya is really a girl and claims her as a cupbearer.
Finally, Stannis and Renly meet in person before throwing their armies at each other. But Stannis has a secret plan. Davos and the weird priestess Melisandre row into a secluded cove so they can creep into a tunnel. Then Melisandre strips down and gives birth to something made out of smoke. I'll be honest: it's pretty weird.
You know, I kind of resent that this show makes me pay attention to the credits. I already don't have commercial breaks during which to stare vacantly into the distance, so I'd like some sort of break during the show. My wishes, however, are not being taken into account, because every week there are different cities in the opening credits. This week, we see King's Landing. Harrenhal (a new place!), Pyke, Winterfell, the Wall and Qarth (also new!). That means there's no Vaes Dothrak, which I'm glad about. Not that I have anything against it, really; it's just that Daenerys hasn't been anywhere near there for the entire season and I was starting to take its presence in the credits as a purposeful lie.
It is now a dark and stormy night. See, if I didn't have to do all that talking about the opening credits, I could have started with that and then moved on to talking about Lord Bulwer-Lytton and Snoopy and A Wrinkle in Time. But now you are deprived of all that. You're just going to have to Google all those references and guess what I was going to say about them. In Game of Thrones, which I'm supposed to be talking about, two guys in armor are speculating about who would win in a fight between the Mountain, Jaime Lannister and Loras Tyrell. One says that Loras is the best with a sword. The other answers, "How good could he be? He's been stabbing Renly Baratheon for years and Renly ain't dead." So absolutely everyone knows about Renly and Loras? I was under the impression that it was being kept at least a little secret. While this philosophical debate is going on, they notice that their horses seem restless. One goes to investigate. There are suspicious noises. "There's somethin' out there," he announces. There's a dramatic pause, which I approve on the grounds of it being easy to recap. Then one of them lets out a giant fart.
That, of course, was hilarious. And also entirely appropriate humor for both the vaguely medieval time period and the general profession of soldier. And now that the tension has been broken, a giant wolf comes and eats them. We see Robb sitting on his horse and his men attack. Probably. It's still a pretty dark night (as well as being stormy), so I have to infer what's going on from the sounds of battle. Far be it from me to suggest that staging the battles at night is a cost-cutting measure.
The next morning (as implied by the fog everywhere), there are dead men all over the place. There are also a lot of people screaming, which I guess implies that not everyone is dead. Robb walks through the battlefield and gets the report: there are five Lannisters dead for every one of his. That's pretty good. I believe Robb's now won three big battles against the Lannisters, so presumably the war's going really well for him. It'll probably be over pretty soon, right? So now he's got some high-class problems, like having so many prisoners there's no place to put them and not enough food to feed them. Contrary to the broad hints of his advisor, Robb would prefer not to just kill all the prisoners. He doesn't even want to torture the officers to learn Tywin Lannister's plans. His excuse is that the Lannisters have prisoners of their own and he doesn't want retaliation. Well, I'm sure that will keep the Lannisters from mistreating their Stark-aligned prisoners, right?