Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 3 (“Walk of Punishment”)

SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen or don’t want to know details from the latest episode of Game of Thrones.   

The boat carrying Sir Hoster Tully's corpse is set aflame.
The boat carrying Sir Hoster Tully’s corpse is set aflame.

Episode 3 begins with the funeral of Sir Hoster Tully, lord of Riverrun and father of Lady Catelyn.  We learn that he was stubborn and a skilled warrior (took part in many battles).  We are introduced (humorously) to Robb’s uncle Edmure (Tobias Menzies; Brutus in HBO’s Rome) and Catelyn’s battle-hardened uncle, Brynden “Blackfish” Tully (veteran character actor Clive Russell).  Dark humor is woven through this episode. 

Lady Catelyn Stark at her father's funeral
Lady Catelyn Stark at her father’s funeral

A world of war and tragedy is not a world without comedy, but rather a world where comedy is rarely allowed to continue unabated for very long.

At any given point, there are characters in situations where they could forget about the gravity at hand, where the inherent humor of human interaction overwhelms the threat of widespread conflict.

-Miles McNulty (Cultural Learnings blog)

Tobias Menzies (foreground) as Edmure Tully
Tobias Menzies (foreground) joins the cast as Edmure Tully, Robb’s uncle

Edmure’s men have captured two young Lannister boys, but Robb doubts that Lord Tywin will make peace solely for their release.  The Mountain (loyal to Tywin) and his men are still out there, killing and plundering mindlessly.  Robb is worried about all his young siblings, though he doesn’t speak of it.  Blackfish tells Catelyn that she has to believe that Bran and Rickon are alive.  (Fairley gets another emotional/powerful scene where we see that even she can’t be strong all the time.)

Brynden "Blackfish" Tully (Clive Russell)
Brynden “Blackfish” Tully (Clive Russell)

There’s a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.  Ser Jorah 

(This was the most powerful line of this episode, in my opinion.)

Dany and her two advisors, Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan
Dany and her two advisors, Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan

Daenerys is still in the slave city of Astapor, wondering if she should purchase the 8,000 Unsullied warriors we met in Episode 2.  She’s disturbed by all that she sees around her- slaves with chains around their necks, others bloodied and crucified, the despair on the faces of the young kids.  Ser Barristan says that men fight for a leader they admire and love.  He says that her brother Rhaegar was “the finest man I ever knew.”  Ser Jorah says that “The Unsullied are not men,” so they will not rape or kill innocents.  Dany decides to sell one of her dragons (much to the shock of both her advisors)!  She also asks Krasznys for the translator, Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel). 

I’m not sure what is going on with Theon, but he gets some help from a young man, who tells him that “you’re not in the Iron Islands.”  Then, there is an exciting riding scene!  Theon is saved from being raped by a gang of vicious thugs by his new friend. 

A spiral of dead horses
A spiral of dead horses

Jon, Mance, Ygritte, and the Wildlings go south of The Wall and come upon a large spiral of dead horses which Mance says belonged the “best warriors” of Lord Commander Mormont.  The “Old Bear” and his men, including Sam, go back to Krastor’s Keep to ask for shelter.  Sam witnesses Gilly, the young woman he befriended in Season 2, giving birth to a baby- a boy.  Uh oh!   

Arya and Hot Pie say goodbye
Arya and Hot Pie say goodbye

Arya and Gendry say goodbye to Hot Pie (who served as comic relief); he impressed an innkeeper with his baking skills.  He gives Arya a (somewhat) wolf-shaped loaf of bread as a goodbye present.  Arya is a “guest” of the Brotherhood without Banners, who will protect her from harm.     

Tyrion goes to fetch the ledgers from Littlefinger's brothel
Tyrion goes to fetch the ledgers from Littlefinger’s brothel

The Lannisters seem to have an odd, old-money attitude toward money. It’s the basis of their family’s fame, and yet too much attention to the making and managing of it is uncouth, unseemly. 

-James Poniewozik  (Time Magazine)

Anyway, it’s not my father I’m worried about, it’s the Iron Bank of Braavos.  We owe them tens of millions. 

-Lord Tyrion

Lord Tyrion is made Master of Coin by his father, since Littlefinger is soon going off to The Eyrie to woo the widowed Lady Arryn, the younger sister of Catelyn.   Tywin feels that it’s a “fine” (strategic) match for Littlefinger, who he made Lord of Harrenhal.  Tyrion soon realizes that “the history of the Seven Kingdoms” is inside the ledgers.  There is a cute (yet informative) scene where he explains how money is borrowed to Bronn.   

Jamie decides to help Brienne
Jamie negotiates to help Brienne keep her “honor”

Ser Jaime (no shining white knight) gets a moment of redemption-  finally!  (Coster-Waldau has become one of the most watchable actors on the show.  His British accent has improved much over the seasons, too.)  Brienne is saved from being raped by Bolton’s bannermen (Northmen) who captured them at the end of Episode 2.  However, Jaime goes  a bit too far (with his egotistical words), and is seriously punished by Locke (Noah Taylor).  It’s quite a shock (One viewer commented that he lost a hand, but gained back a bit of his soul.) 

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