Game of Thrones: Walk of Punishment
Things are about to get out of hand in Westeros.
This is the episode that you need to watch, I believe it will be, hands down, among the best episodes we see this season, if not of the series thus far. It has much of the humor that was missing from the first two episodes of this season, giving it a fantastic contrast to its darkness. I could not be happier with this, but I’m a fan of dark humor. In fact, I’m going to watch this again, probably at least twice before we get a new episode on Sunday.
“Walk of Punishment” written and directed by-David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, it was their first direction experience, and I’ve really got to hand it to them, they did a stunning job. They seemed to lift a veil of seriousness that was starting to strangle the show. They made some great choices, I’ll get to those below, and they took some chances that illustrated exactly how well these two understand this world and these characters, and me. Also, this episode contains 100% more Snow Patrol.
All right no more recapping, you are caught up, if not, what are you doing here? Do you think this is a game?…involving thrones.
At Lord Hoster Tully’s funeral, his son, Edmure, fails to set the boat ablaze with an arrow, Brynden the Blackfish takes over the task, with style (one shot; doesn’t even watch to see it hit the target). This scene, which is entirely without dialogue, beautifully sets the tone for this episode. Shortly after, we are treated to Robb giving Edmure a severe dressing down, that would make almost any man look for a nearby hole in which to die.
In King’s Landing
A meeting of the Small Council begins awkwardly as the council members vie for the best seat at the table. Being the last to enter the room, Cersei and Tyrion are left with terrible places at the far end of the tale. The Queen, being clever, moves her chair to her father’s right hand. Tyrion, never one to be upstaged, slowly drags his chair to the opposite end of the table, before simply complementing the more comfortable chairs. This is maybe my favorite scene of this episode, it’s just brilliantly done.
During this meeting Tywin announces plans to have Baelish wed Lysa Arryn, to substitute Baelish as the royal treasurer, Tywin names Tyrion, who admits, to being very good at spending money, but not very good at managing it. Honestly, I want to give Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) a hug for what he does here, I love it.
In the Riverlands
Locke and his men are transporting Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth to Harrenhal while being serenaded by Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody. Brienne and Jaime banter about their interrupted duel, maybe Jaime just needed a hand due to his lack of practice while prisoner.
Arya and Gendry then say goodbye to Hot Pie, who has decided to stay at the inn to work in the kitchens. He made Arya a deformed wolf shaped loaf of bread as a farewell gift, and the awkward goodbye is almost as good as the small council scene. Joe Dempsie (Gendry) is great here, for his two or three lines, he manages to steal the scene, and I don’t think anyone minds.
Back in Riverrun, Caitlyn talks about being a bad mother (not really) with Brynden, and Queen Talisa pays a visit to two captured Lannister boys in the dungeons to treat their wounds, and torment them a bit.
In The North beyond The Wall
Mance Rayder arrives at the Fist of the First Men to find a field of decapitated horses, artfully arranged in the snow. Jon notes that there are no dead Night’s Watch, which means they are now Wights. Rayder t orders Tormund Giantsbane to take 20 men, along with Jon, and climb the Wall to attack the Night’s Watch in their sleep. The slow walk through the north, and the constant reminder that there is a big wintery fight coming seems about to pay off. This can only be a good thing.
At Craster’s Keep, after being ridiculed by Craster, Sam leaves and witnesses Gilly giving birth to a baby boy. Poor Sam, no one loves him, except Gilly, who just gave birth to her father’s son.
Elsewhere in the north, Theon Greyjoy is released, given a horse, and told to ride east to his sister, Yara. But don’t worry Theon isn’t safe yet.
Stannis accuses Melisandre of trying to abandon him, he begs her to give him another son, but she refuses. Now we see Stannis is not only naive, but also overly attached. Stannis, the overly attached king, will he ever win.
Across the Narrow Sea
Daenerys purchases all 8,000 slave solders, and the boys still in training, with one of her dragons. At least she didn’t lose the dragon, I’m sure this will work out well. I like this story line, I really do, and these details are going to be important, but I can’t seem to get excited. Oh, I’m sure I will be excited about this very soon. So I’ll be patient.
Back in King’s Landing
Tyrion rewards Podrick with the services of three prostitutes for saving his life, in what can only be described as a magical scene. Later Tyrion discovers that Baelish has borrowed millions in gold from Tywin, as well as from the Iron Bank of Braavos, which has very high interest, and quite steep late fees. The real magic here, is when Podrick comes back, to inform Tyrion that the prostitutes refused payment. Tyrion and Bron demand details as all true friends would.
Checking back in with Theon, on the run
Pursued by his captors, Theon leads them on a brief chase, before he is unceremoniously knocked off his horse. His friends are just about to gently rape him into the dirt, when Thelon’s friend saves him by killing his captors just before reminding him that winter is coming.
Finally somewhere in the Riverlands
Jaime, Brienne, and their captors have set up camp for the night. When Locke’s men decide to rape Brienne, Jaime decides to remind Locke that Brienne’s father is very rich, and would pay handsomely to have her back unharmed. The argument is evidently convincing enough to save Brienne. Jaime then continues to try his luck and reminds Locke that his father is also incredibly wealthy and proceeds to describe the riches and titles he could give to Locke and his family. Things seem to be going to well when Locke, forces Jaime down and reminds him that he simply cannot buy his way out of trouble. To help him remember this point Locke removes Jaime’s right hand. This has to be one of the darkest, most jarring scenes of this entire series. Furthermore, to top it off they chose not to play the traditional title song over the end credits, but a punkish bar-room version of “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”, which we heard sung by the minstrel earlier in the episode. Holy shit, do David Benioff and D. B. Weiss know what they are doing. I absolutely give this episode a well-deserved hand. One hand up.