Seemingly invincible Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) accelerates her quest to reclaim the Seven Kingdoms in
Daenerys believes she can win over these "sellswords," figuring "a man who fights for gold can't afford to lose to a girl." So she negotiates with Mero (Mark Killeen), the company's vile commander.
"A fortnight ago I had no army. A year ago I had no dragons," says Daenerys of her meteoric rise to power. And the Mother of Dragons barely mussed her blond locks while sacking Astapor.
Ruthless Mero spurns the offer to switch allegiances, however, and orders Lt. Daario Naharis (Ed Skrein) to eliminate Daenerys, special-ops style. Making his move while Daenerys is bathing, Daario puts a blade to the throat of aide-de-camp Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) so no one can summon help.
But this "assassination" quickly morphs into a job interview when Daario dumps the severed heads of his captains on the floor. The Second Sons disagreed about who to work for, obviously.
Boldly stepping out of her tub sans towel, Daenerys asks: "Will you fight for me?"
"My sword is yours, my life is yours, my heart is yours," handsome Daario vows.
Meanwhile, witchy priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) returns to Dragonstone castle with likely human sacrifice Gendry (Joe Dempsie), the bastard son of late King Robert Baratheon. There is great power in royal blood, insists Melisandre, who provides lurid proof with assistance from wannabe ruler Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), Gendry's uncle.
This black magic demonstration is for the benefit of Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), who was released from the dungeon after swearing he would never harm Melisandre. Still, that doesn't stop him from trying to save poor Gendry.
"You're not a man who slaughters innocents for gain or glory," Davos implores. But the gloomy throne chaser is unmoved. "What's one bastard boy against a kingdom?" Stannis asks dismissively.
As for that act of magic, it begins promisingly for Gendry. He sips wine with sexy Melisandre, who undresses him, sheds her gown and pushes him into bed. But there's no safe word that stops Melisandre from binding Gendry's limbs and applying leeches to his chest and private parts. Yuck!
Stannis then drops the blood-sucking worms into a fire while reciting the names of his enemies. The flames leap high!
At King's Landing, it's a somber affair as dwarf Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and 14-year-old Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) unite in an arranged marriage they both oppose. King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), the meanest teen imaginable, escorts Sansa down the aisle.
"As the father of the realm it is my duty to give you away to your husband," a smirking Joffrey proclaims. Sansa's dad couldn't attend the ceremony, of course, because Joffrey ordered his beheading at the end of Season One.
Fortunately, Tyrion is protective of his much-younger bride. "I won't share your bed — not until you want me to," he promises before collapsing in a drunken stupor. Not the wedding night Sansa dreamed of, sadly.
Finally, Night's Watch steward Samwell Tarley (John Bradley), wildling Gilly (Hannah Murray) and her infant son take refuge in an abandoned shelter. When Sam goes outside to investigate a commotion he's confronted by a supernatural White Walker. Gasp!
"It's come for the baby," Gilly screams. Sam valiantly tries to fend off the flesh eater, who crushes Sam's sword like a twig. But remember that ancient dagger Sam found? He plunges it deep and the White Walker shatters with an eerie wail.
It seems the Night's Watch has discovered a secret weapon!