Everybody's setting up someone on this episode of fantasy geopolitical camp. Tyrion's teaching school in King's Landing while Theon and Arya are learning lessons. Let's travel around and see what everybody learned.
First off, we get on the map Dragonstone and Varys Dothrak (i'm not even looking up that spelling), but neither place or people show up. No Stannis and Dany here, sorry.
Guess where we're almost always gonna be, though: King's Landing. Tyrion has two problems, both of them women. Shae is in danger because she's Tyrion's lady but she's also a child who doesn't want to work in the kitchens. It's fitting, then, that she's given to Sansa who gives the most entitled and annoying "do your job" speech ever, but she's got some issues so she gets a pass.
What Tyrion's doing with Cersei, his other problem, though, is thoroughly fascinating. Somebody on the small council is tattling, so he tells each of them he wants to marry Marcella his niece to one of three houses. When Cersei freaks out and screams her daughter is not going to Dorne, Tyrion calms her by saying Marcella is safer outside the city in case it falls. He then goes to Pycelle, cuts off his beard, and throws him in jail for tattling (also betraying the other Hands of the King). He then gets yelled at by Littlefinger and makes a deal with him and gets a riddle from Varys about power.
Over on the island city of Pyke, Theon learns an important lesson about his people: They Do Not Sow. He's pissed at Yara and his daddy, but neither of them give a fuck because they're hard ass people. While Rob is in the south, Balon plans on sending his ships to take the Neck, squeeze the army out and take the Northern holds one at a time. Theon's whining because he's only given one ship to do some reaving. He writes a letter to warn Rob, but then burns it and gets baptized. Theon's out to prove himself now.
Up in Winterfell, Bran is dreaming he's Summer. He's right about that and the kind old Maester Llewyn is wrong about there being no more magic despite all his studying. Neither of them knows it, though.
Up north beyond the wall, Jon is dragged back into camp after watching Craster give away his baby to a monster. Jon tries to tell the Old Bear, but the Mormont says that, well, yeah, people do weird shit up north. Just go with it. Then Sam gives Gilly his momma's thimble so she'll know he'll come back.
We get some new people by flying super far south to the Stormlands where Renly is playing at war. Catelyn shows up to see the Knight of Flowers getting the hell beat from him by a mysterious knight who's a lady night but not a lady. Welcome to the party, Brienne of Tarth! She's super badass and tall. Loras and Renly argue before sexy times, and, Margery, Renly's new wife and Loras's sister, needs a baby up in her. She's totally down with kinda sorta incest to get it and cement their claim to the throne and marriage. Let's hope nothing goes bad, hahahaha.
I saved the best for last, my favorite part of this episode and the show so far: Arya learning to be super awesome revenge girl. She can't sleep so she strikes up a conversation with Man in Black Yoren. The two share a drink and he tells how he waited to kill his brother's killer, chanting the man's name all the time. Then the gold cloaks come back and murder everyone, including Yoren who hates crossbows and little Lommy who just wanted to be held. Arya saves the prisoners and loses Needle, so not the best outcome from all this.
As I said, everyone learns something here. Tyrion learns a little about the Small Council and they learn a lot about him. Theon learns about earning his place among the people he was taken from. Jon learns that sometimes bad people succeed and give away their babies to monsters. Renly learns that to secure his throne he's gonna have to be more than just a leader of men. Arya learns the best lesson of all, that sometimes you have to focus your pain and rage into a laser point and wait for your chance. All good lessons, if you think about it. The more you know.