Things are heating up! While Ned rots in jail, Cersei and the King's Council lean on Sansa to send Robb a letter about how great King Joffrey is. So naturally Robb rounds up eighteen thousand men so he can march to war. The process of establishing authority over his father's bannermen goes pretty smoothly once his wolf bites off a few fingers. Then they have to decide whether they want to fight Jaime Lannister's enormous army or Tywin's equally enormous army. But before they do either one, they have to cross a bridge, apparently. I hope this isn't that riddle about the fox, the chicken, and bag of corn. I guess it would probably be a lion, a dire wolf, and, I don't know, probably still a bag of corn.
On the Lannister side, not much happens except that Tyrion walks out of the Vale with Bronn the mercenary and a small army of crazy-looking hill people. Catelyn also went from the Vale to show up at Robb's camp, so I guess it's a good thing they didn't meet on the way.
Out east, Daenerys has decided to interfere with the Dothraki way of life, by which I mean that she makes them stop raping all the women they find. This doesn't go over terribly well, so Khal Drogo kills an objecter with his bare hands and rips his throat out. Then Dany makes one of the women start brewing up a healing salve that Drogo wouldn't have even needed if he hadn't deliberately cut himself up to make himself look more savage.
Up at The Wall, they find a couple of corpses, one of which is missing that hand that Ghost found. Jon Snow gets himself sent to his room, which means that he's in a perfect situation to set fire to the corpses when they come back to life and start causing trouble.
Finally (and most awesomely), Arya appears to escape from King's Landing when Syrio holds off several heavily armored knights while using nothing but a wooden sword.
The credits once more consist of King's Landing, The Eyrie. Winterfell, The Wall, and Vaes Dothrak. These people need to travel more. Let's get out on the road and see some new places already!
Arya fences with Syrio with those wooden swords. She's doing much better than when we saw her last, possibly because Syrio is calling out things like "Left high!" and "Left low!" as they spar. Meanwhile, somewhere, someone staggers through a door and gets cut down. There's fighting in the courtyard! Ned's men are getting cut down like dogs! That analogy doesn't make a lot of sense if you don't make a habit of cutting dogs down with swords, but I guess that used to be more common before we had laws about protecting animals. Anyway, Lannister soldiers are on the rampage. There's blood everywhere!
Sansa and Septa Mordane are walking sedately through the halls. Sansa thinks that Arya must be very clumsy because she keeps coming back from her "dancing lessons" covered with scrapes and bruises. I realize that this is because Sansa doesn't know that "dancing" is code for "swordplay," but I believe dancers really do get covered in bruises. Especially these days, when backflips are such an essential part of dancing. Septa Mordane hears the sound of fighting and tells Sansa to run to her room and bar the door. Sansa doesn't want to, but she goes anyway. Because if there's one thing that defines Sansa, it's that she does what she's told. So Sansa runs off and four soldiers stand in the hallway. Septa Mordane stands facing them. And that's where the scene ends, so I don't know yet if I have to find out if I should be calling her "Septa" or "Mordane."
Syrio disarms Arya and announces that she's now dead. She objects that he said "right" but went left, and he lectures her about the difference between watching and seeing. Apparently seeing is the one you want to do. It's the heart of swordplay, which I find a little surprising. I would have thought it would have something to do with a strong arm or quick reflexes or exceptionally hard skin or something. The class is interrupted by armored knights, who enter and tell Arya to come with them because her father wants to see her. She starts to go to them, but Syrio stops her and asks why Lord Eddard Stark would send Lannister men to fetch his daughter. The head knight tells him to shut up, which is a pretty good answer. Arya picks up her wooden sword and says she's not going with them. One of the knights tells Syrio to get out of the way and calls him an old man. Bad move. Syrio explains that his name is Syrio Forel and that he will be spoken to with respect. Then, even though he's completely unarmored and carrying a wooden sword, he takes down the heavily armed and armored knight. One down. Syrio tells Arya to run as he takes up a fightin' pose. He will not be joining her because, as he says, "the first sword of Braavos does not run." He becomes a whirlwind of awesomeness and four or five knights all fall. Arya hasn't left yet, and there's one knight left. But he's the boss, so he sensibly uses his giant metal sword to break Syrio's wooden one. Arya begs Syrio to run with her, but he just says, "What do we say to the God of death?" The answer is, "Not today." He holds position. As Arya runs, there's the sounds of fighting and screaming. That was the best scene ever, although I like to think that Syrio wasn't acting to protect Arya so much as he was just trying to be as awesome as possible. Now I've got this whole picture in my head of how the Braavosi live.