Mon
Apr 15 2013 9:30am

Game of Thrones Season 3, Ep. 3: “Walk of Punishment”

Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin HBO Season 3 Episode 3 Walk of Punishment Jaime LannisterFor an episode called “Walk of Punishment,” we thankfully got a lot less walking on last night’s Game of Thrones compared to “Dark Wings, Dark Words.” Guess they couldn’t make the whole hour about Rast having to keep Samwell alive on the march to Craster’s Keep. All of the players are starting to move around the board and it was really exciting. And tense. And funny. And mysterious.

And then... things took A Turn, as they often do in Westeros.

Please be aware that while I try to avoid book spoilers in the main post, the comments may contain spoilers for all books. The comments may also devolve into cries of MOAR PEEN, HBO. (I felt so uncomfortably accomplished about that last week.)

It’s Six Feet Under: Riverrun edition as we get our first look at the Tully clan in mourning for the late Lord Hoster at an awkward funeral service. It was an apt introduction for Cat’s brother Edmure, who we soon learn is a walking disaster and an embarrassment to the family name. Beware the men who go into war for glory, for they are really, really foolish. Older and wiser is Cat’s uncle Brynden “Blackfish” Tully, a fan favorite from the books. I don’t know if he’ll become such on the show, since we didn’t really get much backstory on him, due largely to Cat taking up most of his screentime with another heartwrenching monologue. Yes, Cat loves her family to a fault and she makes terrible decisions because of that, but let’s allow her some sympathy. She really thinks she’s lost everything. I’m disappointed that we never got to meet Hoster—and the secrets he kept—too, but, there’s just no time to waste in a TV show.

I’m happy to sacrifice some details from the books because it gives us time to enjoy new, smaller asides, like Talisa taunting the worthless Lannister hostages or Tyrion explaining finances to Bronn. Or the hilariously uncomfortable meeting of the new Small Council. We also get to enjoy entirely new asides like... whatever the Seven Hells is going on with Theon. When those men started hunting him, I thought it was going to be something from the books. Something really nasty from the books. Then the “Boy” rescued him after all. (Lucky for Theon that he’s not related to Edmure.) Or did he? That dying knight did call him “a little bastard.” But is Yara really not in this season at all?

A Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin HBO Season Three Episode 3 Walk of Punishment Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen Jorah Mormont Barristan Selmy

Costs versus gains seemed to be tonight’s theme. You can’t sit on the Iron Throne without getting blood on your hands. Kudos to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the direction this week, especially in Astapor. Dany walking with Jorah over one shoulder and Barristan Selmy over the other, like her arguing Good Angel and Bad Angel. Rhaegar, we’re reminded, was loved by those who served him, their loyalty wasn’t bought at a market. Jorah so helpfully points out that Rhaegar fought nobly and died. Dany can have both, we’ve seen her capabilities.

“All men must serve die. But we are not men,” she tells her new handmaid Missandei. She’s not just any woman, either, she’s the Mother of Dragons. She was completely right to dress her advisors down for arguing with her in front of the Unsullied broker. She’s come a long way from the scared child-bride we met in the series premiere. Would they treat a man like that? Of course not. They’re from Westeros. Emilia Clarke has grown as an actress, as well. Watch her watch the slaves as she negotiates the trade of her biggest, strongest dragon for all of the Unsullied. If you believe she’s going to let her any of her most precious resources go to an Astapori slavedriver, I’ve got a dragon to sell you, too.

Much more likely to not care about bloody hands is Stannis’ Red Priestess. A little Baratheon blood sacrifice will get her burning for Stannis again, and I’m sure he’s okay with that after the look of pity she gave him before she left. She may as well have pat him on the head.

Game of Thrones HBO George R.R. Martin Season 3 Episode 3 Walk of Punishment Tyrion Lannister

In King’s Landing, we learn the literal cost of the Iron Throne. It’s a hefty sum, and not something to trust in the hands of a pimp. The Iron Bank of Brothers has a motto to rival the Lannister’s unofficial credo: “Always pay your debts or we’ll send a rival army to kill you.” Sounds effective. Once again, Littlefinger manages to sneak away with clean hands and a few last trolls. Joke’s on him when he sees his crazy bride-to-be, Lysa Arryn. Can’t wait for that reunion.

Clean hands, dirty hands. Then there’s The Kingslayer.

First, let’s acknowledge that Brienne has a very naive idea of knighthood. And kings. Last week, she spoke about Renly as if she knew him. But she didn’t. She was in his Rainbow Guard for all of a day. She loved the idea of Renly. And she loves the idea of being a noble knight. The tragic thing is, she is a noble knight. I don’t think Jamie fully understood that until Brienne said she wouldn’t just take being raped. Or killed. It was the first time he really imagined being in her shoes.

I won’t lie; I miss the Bloody Mummers, but the lead Bolton bannerman reminds me of an even creepier Six-Fingered Man. I was so happy when Jaime used some quick thinking to save Brienne from a brutal gang rape and painful death. Who doesn’t love a good redemption arc? But of course, no good deed goes unpunished in Westeros. That was a brutal, short scene. What’s Jaime worth when his only percieved value is in his sword hand and his father’s name? You strip all of that away, and he’s just a scared man. But he’s still Jaime. And there are no men like him. I have a lot of confidence that Coster-Waldau will show us The Kingslayer’s vulnerable side.

 

Other things of note and Quote of the Week nominees:

Was that the best or worse choice of end credits music ever? It was a rousing rendition of “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” I’m glad they retired “Rains of Castamere” for an episode.

“Always the artists.” What a pan back that was at the Fist of the First Men. Who knew the Others were so creative? Is it bad that I thought we had two former HBO show castmates in one scene? (Rome and Luck. Too soon?)

“I’m no Stark of Winterhell.” Hot Pie had the best possible goodbye for a character like Hot Pie, i.e. he was still breathing. And he gets to pursue his passion for bread. You can’t ask for much more on this show.

“Look at him, he’s a walking feast.” Again with the Sam fat jokes. Did you get the feeling that if Craster wouldn’t let the Night’s Watch into his creepy hovel of incest, they’d have taken shelter there by force? Nice tension.

Am I overthinking Pod’s free ride? I like to think of it as Littlefinger’s troll against Tyrion—they are Littlefinger’s whores, after all. But maybe Pod is just that good? I’m sure many inquiring minds want to see a deleted scene. For clarity. Sure.

Next week: Tensions mount at Craster’s. Maybe Bran gets a scene.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9P.M. E/PT on HBO.


Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com, covering True Blood, Game of Thrones, and gaming news. Follower her on Twitter @tdelucci

40 comments
Chris Nelly
1. Aeryl
Pod is a stud! That's not in the books, but I like that he's getting fleshed out(heh). Tyrion's little game show announcer thing didn't work for the scene though.

It's amazing to me to see how many people have now written off Jaime as as a character.

Don't trust Theon's friend yet! One of the men chasing him referred to him as "the little bastard". Yarasha is in this season, I've seen previews with her in it, but I guess that'll be later.

I hate that they cut Stannis wanting Balon Greyjoy dead as well in that scene, it does seem like the ironborn are being cut, which will make their arrival in later seasons kinda abrupt, IMO.

I can't believe we are already at Craster's. I hate that they cut the intervening scene, after Sam stumbles on the march but before they get to Craster's. :^(
Mo -
2. Astus
Loved the episode. I've really been enjoying this season. I don't remember Edmure being such a chump in the books. Sure, he seemed a bit boisterous and obnoxious but it's like they have taken the trait and used it to personify him completely. Still, it is early days.

I really disliked the ending theme song. It was just so jarring, especially after the final scene. It would have been far more apt to just end in silence and let the crowd soak in what happened. Feels like a really odd choice for them to have made.

Small nitpick time! It's the Iron Bank of Braavos. Unless the Brotherhood have decided to start their own bank without me noticing, haha. :)
sofrina
3. sofrina
@1 - i think they had to cut that sam/gren scene because they never introduced that particular weapon...

i don't know what is going no with theon. if that unassuming little guy is supposed to be the notorious bastard 'o bolton... it's so confusing because we don't know how theon wound up with these guys instead of his own men. or who those guys were...

the funniest thing about the council scene was cersei's pompous mugging. she sidled up as her father's daughter instead of the queen.

why is podrick so old? he should be about 12, younger than those worthless lannister squires. no matter what he says, he walked out of that brothel and spent the day hiding in the red keep somewhere.

littlefinger already knows lysa is nuts from when she was still living in the red keep. and we all know he doesn't care about harrenhall.

daenerys' scenes are beautifully staged. i was sure she would speak to the slaver in valyrian. still not happy with grown up missandei. i enjoy the way she parallels arya as a little girl caught up in bigger events, living by her considerable wits. and where the heck are the bloodriders? there should be two left, flanking dany at all times.
Karen Morrell
4. karenm83
isn't it the bank of bravvos/braavos? sorry about the spelling, i can't remember and i don't have a book handy
Theresa DeLucci
5. theresa_delucci
@4 Yeah, probably Braavos. My hearing wasn't so great and explains why I was confused for a second.

@3 But we did see Gren and Sam find dragonglass. I think they even reminded us in the previews. They might've messed with the action timeline a bit, but disappointed people can be that Samwell will get his own "And that's for my Old Gaffer!" moment one day.

The funniest thing about the council scene was Tyrion moving that chair. That final little screech sent me into a giggle fit. Also brilliant was Varys trying to troll Littlefinger about the real Lord of Harenhal. Man, that was uncharacteristicly weak for the Spider. He's definitely not as powerful as he was in season one. Littlefinger may know that Lysa is touched, but it's been years since they've seen each other and Lysa has gotten even crazier.

Also agree with you about the Missandei/Arya similarities. It's a bummer they aged her up.

Podrick is so old so that they can reward him with whores. Duh. Because Game of Thrones needs more whores now that Spartacus is no more.
Chris Nelly
6. Aeryl
@2, Yes, Edmure is just as much a chump in the books. All of those scenes are pretty much word for word identical.

@3, Those items were intoduced last season, Sam & Grenn found them while the NW was on the Fist.

Theon's scenes are supposed to be confusing. Theon last remembered being with his men, so he assumes he is on the Iron Islands, which is why he was gobsmacked atop that hill. But he has just now learned he is in the North(Winter is Coming).

All of the key people have been aged up. I like that we are getting more of Pod because of it, I loved it when he showed up later and linked up with my fave character. And I don't think he backed out, I think he respects Tyrion too much to reject his "gift" like that.

I don't remember how old Missandei was, but she can't be much more aged up than Dany has been, and it makes sense if she's going to be this handmaiden/advisor, she would need to be older and wiser. It makes sense to have her be a similar age to Dany, for them to develop a friendship. Which I would prefer to see, instead of another maternal one.
sofrina
7. sofrina
missandei is younger than arya. even aged up for the show, the actress is several years too old. i view pod not just as tyrion's squire but also further along in his own storyline and i enjoy that story more with a younger boy. when pod is last seen in the books, the final words spoken make a certain kind of sense to me. the more he looks like a child, the easier it is to buy.

i forgot about the dragonglass apparently. in which case: yeah, too bad they cut that scene. it's actually a relief that (if) they revise theon's storyline. flaying is more than i can handle.
sofrina
8. Giskard
Jaime, not Jamie. Please.
sofrina
9. matt s
I definitely still think that Iwan Rheon's character is Ramsay Bolton. Rheon is a PERFECT choice to play someone as twisted as Ramsay. If you are unfamiliar with him, you need to do yourself a favor and go watch Misfits. Even though he's probably an evil character, seeing him all bad ass with a bow and delivering, "Winter is Coming" was just awesome, imho.

Nitpick - Missadei/Dany said Valar Morghulis/All men must die...not serve.

I'm definitely looking forward to Dany revealing she can speak High Valyrian.

The small council scene slayed me. I was laughing even before Tyrion moved his chair. Charles Dance is so damn commanding/intimidating.
sofrina
10. matt s
And by Ramsay Bolton, I of course meant Ramsay Snow.
sofrina
11. Ser Tom
I'm a little confused as to the title of this episode. When I first saw it I thought it referred to a certain walk of shame that happens much later. Does it instead refer to the line of pilloried slaves in Astapor?

@3: sofrina - I agree. The blood riders should be in Dany's entourage. I guess it was too hard to block them in camera wise.
David Thomson
12. ZetaStriker
They may not have cut the big dragonglass scene everyone is talking about . . . remember, this is a half season, not a full season, and in order to make that work for a TV show they seem to be rearranging several events to serve as episode climaxes. See the delay between Jaime's capture last episode and what happened in this episode's finale as an example of such restructuring. I think we'll still get Sam's moment, just somewhere else down the line. My bet is on it happening in one of two ways:

Spoilers

1: Others come for Gilly's son, during the chaos of the mutiny.
2. Protecting Gilly on the road, later on down the line.


That aside, I thought the Jaime finale was rather weak. Without being inside his head, Jaime is a bit less sympathetic than his book counterpart at this point. My girlfriend, who hasn't read the books, actually found it hilarious, especially when The Bear and the Maiden Fair started blaring right afterward.
sofrina
13. Black Dread
Where is the Dragonglass? How can you kill Others without dragonglass? Sam better find some soon.
Theresa DeLucci
14. theresa_delucci
Sam found the dragonglass when he, Gren, and Dolorous Edd were digging latrines in Season 2, Ep. #8. You can watch it on YouTube as a refresher.

@11 Yeah, it referred to the Astapori slaves.

Sorry for the typos this week. I do know how to spell Jaime. Only, it gets a little fuzzy at midnight on a work night and without a copyedit. Heh. I'll try not to be such a Hodor next week.
Rob Munnelly
15. RobMRobM
Really nice episode, even with the Pod WTF scene


I loved the punk Bear and the Maiden Fair over the closing credits. The Jaime denoument is supposed to be disorienting and the punk version of the children's/drinking song is intended to be dissonant as well. Brilliant.

Loved the Tully opening. Perfect, far better than anticipated.

Loved the Craster scenes, both in the house (yes, Craster realized they'd attack him if he said no) and in the birth scene (no dialogue, just the shot of his private parts). Oh cr*p.

Loved the Dany scenes. One question - when the slave declined water, could we hear him speaking Valyrian? I couldn't tell if this confirmed for TV viewers that she spoke his language, or whether she just understood his body language in saying no. Help?

Loved the Jaime/Brienne scenes.

Rest of show was filler, including Pod, but that's ok - we need some character moments and changes of pace to let the plot breathe and develop. Can't all be at breakneck pace, or show will suffer.

@ 11 - yes, the run of Slaves is called the Walk of Punishment in show.

@3, 11. The bloodriders are guarding the boat, just as I believe they did in the book.

Yes, Missandei is aged up a metric ton for the TV show. She's a lttle girl (10?) in the books.

I anticipate Sam having his dragonglass moment as he heads south for the Wall after Craster's.

No comment on who Theon's ninja savior is. I have my theory and I'm sticking to it.
Chris Nelly
16. Aeryl
@9, Confused on the nitpick. When Dany asked her how she felt about being put in danger, Missandei said Valar Morghulis, which is All Men Must Die. The first episode title was Valar Dohaeris, All Men Must Serve. but was not referred to this episode.

@12, I know but if they have postponed it until then..............................
SPOILERS

The NW will never get to call him "Slayer" which is sad. They could stretch out the thing at Craster's, have the WW attack there first, but I doubt it.
Theresa DeLucci
17. theresa_delucci
@16 That was my bad. I wrote "All men must serve," but Dany did say "All men must die."
Chris Nelly
18. Aeryl
@15, Best comment I saw on the Pod scene said it went from being "Why is this here" to circling back around to "This is essential for mental wellbeing". It's so weird in the brothel, but the follow up scene was worth every bit of it.
Chris Nelly
19. Aeryl
@17, Oh BTW, that part from last week's discussion, you, um, excerpted above, made me LOL at work. Nice Job!
Alan Brown
20. AlanBrown
"You strip all of that away, and he’s just a scared man."
I disagree, Theresa, I think without his hand, Jaime is a scarred man, but never scared. Martin likes to turn characters on their heads, and I have expectations that the Jaime will become a far more noble character than we thought he was when first we met him.
I thought this was a good episode, but found the credits music jarring, even though it was the "Bear" song. But then again, punk rock versions of traditional song and other amplified musical numbers are staples at many "Celtic" and "Renaissance" festivals, so many folks may have just taken it in stride.
Constance Sublette
21. Zorra
@1 Aeryl
It's amazing to me to see how many people have now written off Jaime as as a character.
Yes, particularly as his attempt to climb redemption (at least in the books) he gets a lot more interesting.

Of course, that potential redemption (which we cannot know whether or no actually happens since the books are complete) comes at the cost of Cersai's continual arc of fall, humiliation and violence.

Which I just can't ignore is entirely choice of writers, because writers can choose to do things with women that are both more interesting and less hateful if they so think it through.
Constance Sublette
22. Zorra
Erk -- I forgot to include in my comment about Jamie's redemption -- that how this is working out, at least as far as we've seen in the books -- that a persons wanting to be good, to be virtuous, completely contradicts the prevailing gritty dogma that there those who attempt goodness cannot be interesting.

Perhaps though -- considering the hatred for Sansa -- that only applies to male characters?
Chris Nelly
23. Aeryl
@21, Oh yeah, absolutely. It doesn't escape my notice that the catalyst for this change in Jaime is also a woman, playing into that notion that bad men just need a good woman to become a good man.

Now, in depth, Jaime's arc is a lot more complex than just that, but on the surface, that's what it is.

About your comment @22, you might find this interesting.
Chris Nelly
25. Aeryl
Oops, sorry for the double post, guess the link caused moderation.
sofrina
27. Ashcom
Regarding the aging up of characters, I suspect they have done this because of the difficulties of having child characters in long running series and the fact that the actors tend to grow up faster than their characters. Obviously it was unavoidable to have the Stark children be children, but by making other characters just a few years older it helps with the continuity in the long run.
sofrina
28. KaosNoKamisama
They put a lot of emphasis on the fact that Craster is keeping away the Others but that they are there, lurking; so I'm kind of convinced that they will mash-up the Sam "thing" and the Craster's-keep-thing all in one to give it more dramatism. Also, they actually showed "that weapon" in the previous season.

Also... now I think I understand what the Red Woman was doing in the Botherhood's cave in some of the scenes from the trailers for this season... Since the whole Storm's End arch is gone from the show, she's probably going after Gendry. Let's see what comes out of this strange meeting.
sofrina
29. Petar Belic
After watching this episode I did one thing I swore I would never do: I immediately re-read the relevant chapters in the book. I am struck at how some scenes and dialogue were almost lifted wholesale from the text. This almost never happens in adaptations for screen like this; it's lovely to see. The irony is that GRRM wrote this to transcend the limitations he felt in screenwriting and production...
Scott P
30. ttocs
Watching the show, I begin to question what I remember from the books. I really wish that Sam didn't "forget to send the ravens" in the show and instead became the slayer. It would make all scenes with him better because now in the show he's just this miserable guy who is lost without his Jon.
Chris Nelly
31. Aeryl
@30, Exactly! I do not like this incompetent Sam running around this show. Where's the REAL Sam?
David Thomson
32. ZetaStriker
@Zorra: I don't know if I'd go that far to condemn Martin. He has let Cersei lead herself into self-destruction, but dozens of men have already done the same. Not every character - male or female - needs to be redeemed, and you can't claim sexism when he's not shying away from humanizing his other villainous female character either. He's already built the groundwork to do so with Melisandre with the point of view chapters she's had in the last novel.

That said, I do see the point about a woman instigating Jaime's change, even if I never thought of it that way myself. Brienne is an equally interesting character who - despite instigating Jaime's change - wasn't thereafter lashed to his storyline as is seen in most of the negative examples of this setup.

As for Sansa, I think you misunderstood why she's disliked. It has nothing to with gender, or "trying to be good", but with the fact that she is willfully ignorant and happily accepts the terrible gender roles and prejudices prevalent in her society. While I personally got over my anger at her once she gave up on her fairy tales about noble knights and kings, she is a powerless, repeat victim in a series filled with strong, confident women, which does her no favors on the popularity charts.
sofrina
33. Nessa
Not a whole lot to say on this episode. The Tully scenes were good, but Edmure was somewhat embarassing to watch. I felt a lot of sympathy for the guy, but he can be such a dunderhead at times. I wish Robb hadn't laughed at his failed attempts to torch the boat though; It's kind of in bad form to laugh at a thing like that during Edmure's father's (and Robb's grandfather's) funeral. I can see why Cat wasn't pleased.

Totally agree about Daenerys. Sometimes her advisors get ahead of themselves, and she needs to set them back in their places. Dany isn't my favorite character, but I've always felt that I liked her special brand of feminism better than any other female character's, except maybe Marg's. (Though to be honest, being the Mother of three dragons does give one an edge over other women when it comes to that).

The scene with the council meeting was funny. Tywin's exasperation with his two bickering children (and they do act like children) was hilariously palpable. Sometimes, I do feel bad for him. But then I realize it's pretty much all his fault his children turned out the way they did.
Anthony Pero
34. anthonypero
@Zorra and ZetaStriker:

I echo ZetoStriker's comments regarding Mellisandra and Cersei. The ratio of douchebag men who remain douches far outweighs the ratio of douchebag women who remain douches.

I would like to add regarding Jaime's "redemption" coming at the hands of a woman that, in Martin's favor, he has COMPLETELY flipped the traditional gender roles in this relationship. So, yes, a woman, but BRIENNE is a complete gender reversal herself, and she's the one ultimately protecting HIM. Furthermore, Jaime's redemption is not happening because Brienne's beauty and compassion make him want to be a better man and knight in order to be worthy of her, which is the stereotype. Jaime's redemptive urges come (as exemplified in their conversations in this episode) because she's a more worthy example of a knight than he is. He's ashamed. That's hardly typical of either the genre or the stereotype, nor is it remotely characteristic of a mysoginistic worldview.
Evan Langlinais
35. Skwid
I felt pretty certain that Pod's whores' supposed refusal of their pay was entirely part of Tyrion's gift to the boy; that they had been pre-paid by Tyrion and told to refuse the pay he supposedly was leaving for them because he had "performed" so well. Tyrion is trying to give his protege more than just a good lay...he's trying to give him self-confidence.

It's sweet, in a Lannister sort of way...
Chris Nelly
36. Aeryl
@34, That's true, and it's part of what makes the story so enjoyable. It's typical, but not.

@35, Having rewatched that scene, I agree. There's a little too much polish to Tyrion's reaction, and considering his own first time, it makes sense that it's something he would want to go well for Pod, whom he has a soft spot for, in addition to deep gratitude. I like the scene, if only because it helps to show WHY Pod remains so loyal to Tyrion throughout the series, beyond the fact that Tyrion is the only person who is kind to him. Now whether Bronn was in on it? IDK.
Rob Munnelly
37. RobMRobM
@30-31 - Not to get all bookish but Sam screws up and doesn't send the ravens in the books too. Actually much worse of a screw up than in the TV show. In show, he is at bottom of hill - hard to see how he could have returned in time. In books, he has ravens, has prewritten instructions, and in a panic fails to attach them. Sam is smart but in both TV show and books, he's not good under pressure.
Anthony Pero
38. anthonypero
Sam is what he is. I believe he is portrayed rather accurately in the show. He IS helpless without Jon to protect him in this world. He will do much better in his future setting, I imagine. He probably would have done better on the wall a thousand years earlier, when criminals weren't 90% of those in black.

I imagine in the past, you could take the black and still study, be a maester in training, or a healer, or cook, or a farrior, etc, and not have every single member of the wall need to be a soldier.
Theresa DeLucci
39. theresa_delucci
Well, so long as Sam can just study books, he's fine. But he is scared of maester training, too, since it involves too much blood and the study of corpses. (At least I think that area of training is required of all maesters.)
Anthony Pero
40. anthonypero
That can be overcome more easily than his complete inability to fight.
Corey Sees
41. CorwinOfAmber
The use of silence in this episode is wonderful.
Tabby Alleman
42. Tabbyfl55
Closing Credit Music: Best ever. You just cut Jaime's hand off. You have to punctuate that with an exclamation point! Not an ellipsis...

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