Chapter 1, A Parade in Erhenrang
* A parade is held in Erhenrang to celebrate the completion of the Arch of River Gate.
* The central characters of "The Left Hand of Darkness," Genly Ai, Estraven, King Argaven, and Tibe are introduced.
* Genly is identified as a First Mobile who is in Erhenrang to convince King Argaven to ally his country with the Ekumen of Known Worlds.
* Estraven and Genly have dinner, during which Estraven tells Genly he is not able to support his mission any longer.
* Readers learn that Gethenians are androgynous.
Chapter 2, The Place Inside the Blizzard
* This chapter is a legend that is set in the Hearth of Shath.
* In it, two brothers pledge kemmering, which is not permitted because it is incestuous.
* The Lord of Shath commands the brothers to break their vow. One commits suicide; the other, Getheren, is driven from the domain. He curses it...
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