The Russian army is safe after a marginal success at Schongrabern that just keeps the French at bay. Andrei and Nikolai are both excited to tell stories of their involvement, until the sobering realisation strikes that a far more terrible battle awaits them. The tsar himself, confident of victory, comes to Austria to command the troops. But Andrei's wise old commander General Kutuzov is concerned that Napoleon is setting a trap.
Back in Russia, Natasha and her family are desperate to hear news from Nikolai. Pierre is married to Helene but struggles to settle into their life together. With his daughter happily coupled off, Prince Vassily's thoughts turn to marrying off his son Anatole. They travel to meet Andrei's sister, Marya, at Prince Bolkonsky's country estate. Marya is tempted by the unexpected prospect of romance, but her father is less convinced of Anatole's intentions.