Game Of Thrones: Season 3 Episode 3 “Walk Of Punishment” Review

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Game Of Thrones: Season 3 Episode 3 “Walk Of Punishment” Review Hand Of The Kingslayer! (Note: This review is suitable for fans that only follow the TV show; no books spoilers.)

With the narrative stretching out further across the continents, down the family tree, interweaving strands of history with the present day, it’s no small feat how the weight of its ambition doesn’t collapse upon itself. A sign of intricate storytelling is how dangling threads start to fold back in, forming the infrastructure from which more offshoots can thrive.

There are a couple of developments in Walk Of Punishment that are fine examples of plot points planted long ago that are beginning to take shape. The Hound is on Arya’s nightly death wish list because he slaughtered her friend Mycah, the butcher’s boy she was sword-fighting with back in Season 1, Episode 2.

As fate would have it, the Inn at the crossroads is where Arya confronts The Hound about what happened there last time. Because Arya obviously can’t defeat The Hound in a fight and used up the three kills granted by the faceless man, she’ll have to find another way for a chance at vengeance. Sadly, Arya loses another friend at the Inn but at least Hot Pie is alive unlike Mycah. Besides, Hot Pie is doing what he loves the most … baking, make that eating!

Up north, Samwell makes good on his promise to return to Gilly, Craster’s daughter/wife. Although Sam has yet to find his courage, he’s oddly endearing and affable. Sam has become more than a wingman for Jon. He has his own motivations and story. As we learned in Season 2, Episode 2, Craster gives his baby boys to the White Walkers. So without Jon to depend on, it’s up to Sam alone to help Gilly who is horrified that her newborn baby is a boy.

In Season 2, despite some story lines that took its time to find its footing, the build up to the impending Stannis invasion on King’s Landing gave the season its bearings. So far in Season 3, there are a couple of characters that appear to have a clear destination. Most of Jon’s brief scenes revolve around introducing new Wildlings characters for him to interact with. This means Ygritte’s fiery flirtation is put on the back burner. Hopefully things will heat up as Jon leads the Wildlings to the Wall.

Meanwhile, Dany is determined to purchase The Unsullied army in exchange for her biggest dragon. However, she didn’t make her decision to acquire the army until she comes upon a tortured slave dying on the Walk Of Punishment. It’s evident that Dany is compassionate and strongly believes in abolishing slavery, especially having been sold into marriage herself.

She needs the 8000 soldiers to conquer cities but she’s very specific that she gets all the slaves. It’s very likely the underlying reason Dany also wants all the soldiers in-training is because she’s doesn’t want them to suffer more cruelty and grow up to kill babies, the final task to becoming an Unsullied.

As well, Dany barters for Missandei, the smart interpreter girl, freeing her from the slaver. She asks if Missandei has a family (to go back to) and her thoughts about joining a perilous journey implying that their relationship is not as typical master and slave. When Dany understands Missandei’s reply “Valar Morghulis”, and reveals what the slave on the Walk Of Punishment said, it confirms she knows the valyrian language. Therefore, telling Missandei there will be no more lying means Dany understands the insults the slaver was saying all along.

While Dany is attaining an army and Jon is on his way back to the Wall with the Wildlings, Robb’s story line may not appear to have a particular destination (other than war versus Tywin), though many of the pieces are in plain sight. The North has captured Martyn Lannister but the boy is of little value compared to their previous prized prisoner Jamie. The wolf in Robb is in full force: he’s fierce and ready for battle. Unlike her eldest son, Catelyn is resigned to the likelihood that Bran and Rickon are dead.

The introduction of Robb’s inept Uncle Edmure Tully missing the funeral boat is in contrast to Blackfish Tully, a formidable man to be reckoned with and a helluva archer. We instantly understand these new characters without any dialogue in their introductory scene.

Another scene with little dialogue is Tyrion in the small council chambers. The squeaky chair-moving works both in terms of the humor and the overtone of power politics at play with Tyrion sitting directly opposite his father. Moments of levity work so well on this show, especially in an episode a filled with death, attempted rape, and maiming (more on that later). Although it’s not pivotal to the plot, the new Master Of Coin repays Podrick for saving his life in a delightfully salacious scene at Littlefinger’s whorehouse. Who else wants to hear the conversation with Pod, Bronn and Tyrion on why the whores didn’t accept payment?

Game Of Thrones Season 3 Episode 3 Walk Of Punishment Jamie's Hand

Lastly to the big wow moment of the episode. Jamie is known to make snap decisions without any regard to anybody but himself; he pushed Bran out the window and strangled his cousin. Possibly, he would have killed Brienne last episode in the sword duel if he wasn’t handcuffed.

Saving Brienne from rape was a selfless act of compassion. Her screaming is more unsettling off camera than if shown on screen. Jamie is used to getting his way. He belongs to the richest family in the kingdoms and if there’s a problem, Daddy is there to bail him out.

So what comes next is shocking! Jamie is known throughout Westeros as a gifted swordsmen, it’s a huge part of his identity. In fact, Brienne made a point earlier in the episode about how she bested the Kingslayer in a sword duel. With his sword hand hacked off, his identity is obliterated. As stated by the producers in the video below, “it’s like killing a person, yet leaving him alive and walking.”

“Walk Of Punishment” Side Notes

• Tarth is called the Isle of Sapphires for the clear blue waters surrounding the island. There are no actual sapphires. [source]

• Astapor’s Harpy Statue as seen in the opening credits and in this episode is a woman’s torso, wings of a bat instead of arms, legs of an eagle and a scorpion’s tail. In its talons hangs a chain with open manacles at either end. [source]

• Actor Daniel Portman’s (Podrick Payne) father is Ron Donachie who played Ser Rodrick Cassel (the man who had his head chopped off by Theon) [source]

• The Brotherhood Without Banners is heard singing The Bear and The Maiden Fair, a song which describes in a humorous tone the story of a hairy bear that, while going to a fair with a band of three boys and a goat, rescues a maiden who was hoping for a knight. [source]

• After Jamie’s hand is cut off, the end credit song is an electric rendition of The Bear and The Maiden Fair by the rock band The Hold Steady. The lyrics are by George R.R. Martin.

• The clue to the identity of the mysterious man who rescued Theon is indicated when the would-be rapist says “You Bastard”. The term bastard refers to anyone born out-of-wedlock in the seven kingdoms.

• Meereenese Knot as referenced in the whorehouse scene is an inside joke. It’s originally a term coined by George R.R. Martin about unraveling a tricky sequence of events.

Dialogue To Die For

Hot Pie to Arya: “My brother is no king. I’m not Stark of Winterhell.”

Jorah to Dany: “There’s a beast in every man and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.”

Tyrion: “Any advice for me on my new position?”
Littlefinger: “Keep a low profile.”
Tyrion: “If I had a gold dragon for every time I heard that joke, I’d be richer than you are.”
Littlefinger: “You are richer than I am.”

• Missandei:Valar Morghulis.Dany: “Yes, All men must die. But we are not men.”

What are your favorite scenes in this episode? Which part made you laugh the most?

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Posted on April 18, 2013, in Game of Thrones and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Bye bye hand haha xD

    Didn’t expect that scene so early on, far different in the book so it may effect lots of future stuff, won’t spoil I promise :D

  2. I suspect I know who helped Theon based on that clue. Not that I have seen him much in the books yet (I’m about two thirds of the way through A Feast for Crows), but he seems to be the most prominent bastard that would make sense in this situation.

    I liked that conversation between Dany, Jorah and Barristan. There was more to his particular speech in the books, but Jorah did slip in that Rhaegar died line which was cool.

    You always pull some cool quotes and side notes. Do you take notes when you watch?

    • There were some brief references last season to the “bastard” that helps Theon this episode. I think you have it figured out. :)

      Speaking of A Feast for Crows, they might incorporate some of it into Season 4. Even though a lot of stuff is condensed or skipped over from Book 3, this episode doesn’t feel too rushed unlike the premiere. I wonder how non-book readers feel about the pacing.

      That was a great scene with Dany and her advisers. Both make intriguing cases for their position. When I heard there might be a prequel spin off, I was hoping it would cover the events of Rhaegar’s death, the Mad King, and how Robert Baratheon came into power. But the prequel, if it happens, will be set about 100 years prior. Still, I’m hoping there could be a miniseries, they could reuse the sets that are already built.

      I used to take notes for The Walking Dead and Arrow, but I’m writing less notes nowadays. So far for GOT Season 3, I haven’t taken any notes while watching. The next day, I write down some thoughts that I want to include in the review. I rewatch the episode for fave quotes and ideas for side notes. :)

      I have a lot more thoughts on the show but it takes me a long time to write so I’m unable to cover every story beat. How long does it take for you to write an episode review?

      • That prequel idea of yours sounds awesome. I’d love to see that. I hope they do do that prequel series though whatever it ends up being. I just love this world. I’d eat up whatever they gave me.

        As for how long it takes me to write a review, I am not sure. Usually I watch the episode (at 9 on the east coast here) then I will at least throw some thoughts in a word document so I remember some key points. Then I’ll usually start writing it before bed and finish it and edit it the next day. But I usually kind of chip away at it while working on other stuff on my computer. Writing it all at once is tough. Maybe go back and peek at the episode a bit to make sure of certain things I add in.

        It really is tough to cover everything from this show. The only other show I have done weekly reviews for before this was Fringe and it usually only had one or two storylines in each episode so it was easy to recap and give thoughts. I used to rewatch and take notes for that. It just began to feel a like too much work… haha. And I hate taking notes on the first watch because I just want to watch it.

  3. Awesome to see another GoT fan in blogosphere. I review each episode on Mondays, I love the show so much. I like the clues you left for the readers, I do it too. They are really throwing hints to who is torturing Theon left and right, especially with the horn and the flaying last episode.

    • I love the show too and it’s nice to know of another blogger who I can discuss GOT with! There’s so much detail in GOT that it’s easy to overlook some juicy tidbits. I recommended the show to a friend and he didn’t know that the “couple” in the tower in the pilot episode were twins. He was surprised (and strangely excited) when I told him they were brother and sister haha. Yeah, even for people that only read up to book 4, might not figure out who is torturing Theon though by ep 6 a lot more clues are revealed. Thanks so much for checking out the blog and commenting.

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