The novel opens with the scene of a party in Anna Pavlovna's house where Prince Vasily, Prince Andrei, Pierre and other influential men are present. Prince Vasily is concerned about his elder son who is a philanderer. Anna Pavlovna promises to help by fixing a match for the boy with Princess Marya Bolkonsky. Anna Mikhailovna requests Prince Vasily to fix a commission
for her son in the army. Ellen arrives to accompany her father to the home of the ambassador.
As Andrei prepares for his visit to his father before joining his regiment, his pregnant wife persuades him to stay back. Pierre leaves to join his idle company and indulges in frivolous pleasures. In the house of Rostovs, the name day of the Countess is celebrated. The Countess is kind and generous and proud of her children. Her daughter Natasha is a sprightly teenager and loves Boris, while her son Nikolai is a handsome young man who likes, Sonya, his cousin.
At the house of Bezukhov, the Count is on his death-bed. Dignitaries come to visit him, as Prince Vasily attends to him. Vasily is hopeful of securing a part of the inheritance of the
count. However, he is afraid that the Count has already made a will in favor of Pierre. He seeks the help of Princess Katerina to find the will and destroy it. When the Princess refuses to oblige him, Vasily feels helpless. Shortly afterwards, the Count breathes his last. Pierre becomes the inheritor of his property and the most eligible bachelor in town.
Andrei visits his father. Both the old Prince and Marya are happy to meet Andrei. Marya adores her sister-in-law, Lisa and asks Andrei to be sensitive to his wife's feelings. She also gives her brother a lucky charm to wear it in...