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Ellen returns back to Petersburg with a problem in her hand. She desires the company of two men but is at a loss to choose one from the other. Unable to resolve her dilemma, she plays with the sentiments of both of them and asks them to marry her. She writes to Pierre to grant her a divorce. As she waits for an answer, she woos the clergy to accept her divorce from Pierre. Pierre returns home and becomes aware of Ellen’s intention. Not wanting to confront his wife, he leaves home for Moscow.
Nikolai is unmoved by the happenings around him. He proceeds with his troops to Vitebsk. Here, he meets Marya and falls for her grace and dignity. He desires freedom from Sonya to strengthen his bond with Marya. When Sonya writes to him and releases him from her bondage, he is relieved. However, he refrains from proposing to Marya. He only informs the Princess about Andrei’s condition and his stay with the Rostovs. Marya leaves for Yaroslavl and meets her brother. She joins Natasha in looking after her brother till the latter breathes his last.
Pierre reaches Moscow, even as the inhabitants of the city are vacating it to find shelter elsewhere. He goes to live in the house of his late master, Alekseyevich. Seeing the city plundered by the enemy, he desires to take revenge on Napoleon. With this intention, he disguises himself as a peasant and equips himself with arms. As he plans his mission, a French officer enters the house and the deranged brother of Alekseyevich attacks the officer with a gun. Pierre saves the officer and earns the gratitude of the latter. The two become friendly and bare their hearts to each other. However, when Pierre remembers his mission, he marches into the streets of Moscow. The city is in flames and Pierre witnesses the ravages caused to it. He rescues a child from a burning house and saves the honor of a young woman. For risking his life, he is not rewarded but punished. The French soldiers take him as a prisoner.
Napoleon feels helpless and orders his army to withdraw from Moscow. As they retreat, the Russian soldiers chase them and attack them through ‘guerilla tactics.’ Denisov and Dolgorukov do their best to overpower their enemy. Petya joins Denisov but defies the command of his leader by moving to the front. Thus, the young boy of fifteen falls a prey to the enemy’s bullets and dies on the battlefield. Denisov and Dolgorukhov march to Smolensk and halt many transport vehicles of the enemy. They also release the Russian prisoners. Pierre is released. On his way to Petersburg, he falls ill and is hospitalized. However, under the care of Princess Katerina and his staff, he gets well.
After Andrei’s death, Natasha and Marya withdraw into their shell. Natasha remains brooding for long but Marya is called upon to fulfil her responsibilities towards her nephew and matters of her estate. When Marya is informed about the restoration of their house in Moscow, she decides to move to the city. However, circumstances compel her to do otherwise. The Rostovs receive the news of Petya’s death and are shattered. The Countess is inconsolable. Marya postpones her visit to offer solace to her hostess. Natasha also forgets her misery to share the distress of her mother. Soon, the Countess comes to grips with her situation. Marya takes leave of the Rostovs and travels to Moscow along with Natasha.
Pierre returns back to Moscow and clears the debts created by Ellen. He also rebuilds his house. Later, he pays a visit to Marya. He meets Natasha and falls in love with her. Natasha reciprocates his love and they decide to get married. The Russians chase the French till Berezina despite protest from Kutuzov. The Tsar and his generals fail to appreciate the tactical policy of Kutuzov. They honor Kutuzov with the medal of St. George but divest him of all responsibilities.