“Walk of Punishment” proved to be the perfect title for this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. We found many characters on their own sort of walk of punishment. Not only is Dany witnessing the actual W. of P. in the slave city, Astapor, but Catelyn is still walking in chains as punishment for treason against her son; Arya is “prisoner” again but this time by the Brotherhood Without Banners; the Night’s Watch is on a punishing journey South, starving and frozen to Craster’s Keep; and Jaime and Brienne both are now prisoners by a group of Sellswords loyal to the North. Here begins our recap:
Anyone want to play a round of Musical Chairs with the Lannisters?! Join the Small Council! All joking aside, the first Small Council meeting of Season 3 opens with an interesting game of musical chairs. Tywin Lannister waits at the head of the table, with five chairs seated to his left. In walks Lord Varys, Pycelle, Littlefinger, Tyrion(yay!), and Queen Cersei. At this point, we’re not sure why Lord Tyrion is back in the Small Council, but we’re excited nonetheless.
Cersei enters and drags a chair to the top of the table, seated immediately to her father’s right. This is a bold move, but it seems to amuse, if not impress, Tywin (and Varys). Tyrion, never one to let his sister one-up him, also moves a chair to the other end of the table, to sit opposite his father. Considering how fearful Tyrion seemed of his father last episode, this move surprised me. But I sense a growing tension between the Lannisters, and I’m interested to watch this play out. I thought this scene was extraordinary because even though it lacked any dialogue for the first couple of minutes, SO MUCH is said without words. It proves just how well these characters work together, and that the chemistry between the Lannisters and the Small Council is nothing short of amazing.
“Intimate, lovely table, better chairs than the old Small Council, conveniently close to your chambers”, Tyrion chides his father as he breaks the silence and begins the meeting. Tywin cares about one thing only – the location of his precious son, Jaime. No one knows anything. Tywin is shocked by this. How can none of these powerful people have any word of the Great Kingslayer? This surprises me as well, considering Varys and Littlefinger seem to know everything that happens within the Seven Kingdoms, and even beyond. It makes me wonder – are they telling the truth? Or is Brienne really that good at hiding her prisoner? More on that later.
Other Small Council business is discussed after Tywin accepts that there is no news of his son. Roose Bolton is holding a garrison of Northmen at Harrenhal, which is fine with Petyr Baelish because Tywin has decided to send him to the Vale to court Lady Lysa Arryn, sister of Catelyn and widow of the late Jon Arryn, and hopefully become her new husband and Lord of the Eyrie. Tywin hopes that Lysa will betray her sister’s family and join the Lannister’s against King Robb. Tywin must not know Lysa very well. If there is anything Lysa hates more than feeding her kid real food, it’s the Lannisters. The Lannisters killed her Lord Husband, Jon Arryn, and she is not one to quickly forget. I’m interested to see how this plays out for Littlefinger. More importantly, what will this mean for Lady Sansa? Will Petyr bring Sansa with him to the Vale? How could he possibly keep her hidden there, where she is among family and bannerman of the North?
With Littlefinger leaving King’s Landing, that means there is a vacant spot on the Small Council. Tywin names Tyrion Lannister as the new Master of Coin. Tyrion is shocked by this, and feels unprepared. Apparently, living a life of overindulgence and overspending of Lannister gold has taught him nothing about managing money. Tyrion is especially worried since his first task is funding the Royal Wedding(!). This is the first real mention of the upcoming nuptials between Joffrey and Margaery, and I wonder if the wedding will be a part of Season 3 or Season 4. I for one hope it’s sooner, rather than later. Tyrion may not be the right man for this job, but I’m just glad that he’s back in the midst of things.
The next Lannister we see, and the only other one to make an appearance in this episode besides Robb’s new prisoners, is Jaime Lannister who is now tied to a horse with Brienne and traveling to an unknown location in the North with a group of sellswords loyal to Robb Stark. The scene opens to the Sellswords singing “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”. This is a much-appreciated nod to the books, as this song is sung all over the Seven Kingdoms and enjoyed by both commoners and noble people in Martin’s series. Nice job, writers.
While Jaime and Brienne’s mode of transportation may have changed, their snarky banter has not. They are now bickering over who won their battle, and Brienne is mocking Jaime for his slowness and overall lackluster performance. Jaime makes up excuses, but he only proves that he’s as much of a sore loser as he is a sore winner. But Jaime does something that shocks Brienne (and the viewers!). He warns Brienne that when they stop, the men will try to rape her and if she fights back, they will kill her. He reminds her that he is the prisoner, not her, and it is best if she takes whatever she has coming to her so she can walk away with her life. So Jaime, the same man who tried to kill Bran and attacked Ned in the streets of the capitol, is trying to save Brienne. What is Jaime’s motivation to protect her? Has he started to care about this woman, his captor? I’m not quite sure, but this is a side of Jaime Lannister that I didn’t even think existed.
We catch up with Tyrion again as he visits with Petyr in his brothel. This is an interesting place to store the royal ledgers, but Petyr claims it is the safest place in the city. “Not for bastards”, says Tyrion as he recalls the brutal slaying of Robert’s bastard infant in Season 2. Petyr ignores this and advises Tyrion to remember that the money is only numbers on paper, and as long as he understands that, he can make them do what he wants. Tyrion later learns that Petyr made the numbers work by borrowing millions from Tywin Lannister and the Iron Bank of Braavos. This worries Tyrion because he realizes that the crown has no way to pay this money back. While it may be okay to be late on payments with Tywin, considering he is the grandfather of the King, the Iron Bank of Braavos is another story. Tyrion worries that if they don’t repay the Iron Bank, they will begin to fund the enemies of the King. One way or another, the Bank will get their gold, and that seems to frighten our new Master of Coin.
There is a little side story here while these scenes unfold. As a thank you for saving his life, Tyrion gives his squire, Poddrick, a gift of three whores. But apparently, Poddrick is so good in bed that the whores refuse to accept his payment. Bronn and Tyrion are astounded by this, and force Pod to sit and give them “details, copious details!” While this scene felt like an excuse to get some boobs into the episode, it was a great comic relief within a drama-heavy Lannister episode.
The last Lannister scene is the final one of the episode with Jaime and Brienne, as it was last week. Just as Jaime warned, Brienne is taken by the men to be raped and killed. Of course, she fights back, and the men start to beat her and drag her off scene. While we cannot see her, we can hear her screaming and fighting, and it seemed to be as unbearable to listen to for Jaime as it was for us. Jaime tells a story about Brienne of Tarth and the wealth of her family. He promises that the sellswords will get their weight in sapphires if they let the girl go, “unbesmirched”. The men oblige, and Jaime saves Brienne from a horrible demise. Again, WHO IS THIS PERSON AND WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH JAIME LANNISTER? This brief glimpse of the good side of Jaime makes the last scene that much harder to watch.
Thinking that Jaime has softened his captives, he starts to push them to give up their cause and join the Lannisters. The Lannisters have more men and more gold, which surely means a greater chance of victory. The creepy man holding Jaime seems to soften, and frees him from his chains in promise of a bed and a meal. Instead, they release Jaime only to pin him down onto a table. They remind Jaime that while his father may have protected him before, he is no longer with Tywin, and Daddy can’t save him anymore. They remind Jaime of this cruel reality, and then proceed to CHOP OFF HIS RIGHT HAND! Jaime takes a second to process what has happened, and then begins to scream and wail. The episode ends and cuts to “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” sung by Hold Steady. The contrast was epic, and a perfect way to end the episode.
Robb – Most of the time, Game of Thrones is such a dark, merciless place, it was nice to have a little comedic relief this episode. Our first treat was during the funeral of Catelyn’s father. The body has been put to rest on a funeral pyre and sent floating down the river, Catelyn’s brother Edmure is trying (unsuccessfully) to fire an arrow and set it ablaze. The first shot misses, the second is the equivalent to an airball, after that its too far out of reach. The whole thing is funny to watch, even Robb has to smirk at this guy’s misfortune. Thankfully, Catelyn’s uncle, Brynden the Blackfish, steps in and takes care of things.
Later, Robb scolds Edmure for messing with his war. To me, this was just another example of how Robb doesn’t get enough credit. I think its fair to assume that Robb’s elders in the North are questioning his ability to lead and think strategically as their king, and his marriage isn’t helping. But of course, Robb had a plan and Edmure messed it up with his impatience. Robb had planned to lure The Mountain (the Lannister’s monstrous ally) into his territory where he would be surrounded so he could capture the “mad dog.” Edmure, instead, sought him out, captured a mill, and sent The Mountain in the absolute wrong direction.
Along with the mill, Edmure captured two completely useless Lannister relatives. Talisa is cleaning up their injuries. They figure out who she is and immediately want to know if what is said about Robb is true. Rumor has it he turns into a wolf at night. She tells them it’s true and that he feeds on children during a full moon. I hope these kids have many nightmares as a result.
Meanwhile, Catelyn is staring out a window remembering the times she used to sit and wait for her father’s return. She wonders how often Bran and Rickon have looked for her at Winterfell. She now believes they are dead; Bryndon reminds her that she must have hope so that Robb remains strong. Everything about this conversation makes me sad. At this rate we’ll never see a Stark reunion and Catelyn is the only one that seems horribly bothered by it. Don’t worry Catelyn, I’m horribly bothered too.
Arya – Meanwhile, with the Brotherhood Without Banners, Arya doesn’t seem too imprisoned. That’s because according to the Brotherhood she’s a “guest” and is safer with them than anywhere else. Gendry is making himself useful, offering his welding services to the Brotherhood. Arya calls it helping – I call it survival.
As The Hound is being transported by his captures Arya recognizes an opportunity to confront him. She demands to know if The Hound remembers the last time they were there. It was when The Hound killed the butcher’s boy who had befriended Arya for “attacking” Joffrey. This incident was a pivotal moment for Arya, it was her rude awakening to how cruel the world can be. The Hound never responds.
Hotpie has a similar idea. After impressing the town baker with his skills, he has a place to stay. As a goodbye, he prepared direwolf-shaped bread for Arya, yum? Congratulations Hotpie, you have survived Game of Thrones!
Jon Snow – Continuing their trek from last week, Mance & Co. discover where the Night’s Watch men were killed or possessed. They assume few have survived since the only bodies around are the horses, and bonus, they’re artfully arranged in what I would call a White Walker Crop Circle. So I guess there’s more to these guys than just being zombies, they have some form of strategic thought.
With all the strongest men of the Night’s Watch either dead or undead, Mance decides this is the perfect time to attack. He orders Giantsbane to take a small team – including Jon Snow (truly testing his allegiance) – over the wall. How exactly are they going to get over the wall? I know it’s a logistical question but remember how much trouble Stannis’ army had last season with the wall at King’s Landing? And that was a normal-sized wall!
Samwell and the Night’s Watch – Ugh, this guy again. Not Samwell (love him) but Craster. This guy is the pits. Lord Commander and the men need somewhere to crash for a bit, warm up, catch their breath so they have to stop at what is certainly a ring in hell. Craster is just as hospitable as he was the first time. He remarks that Samwell is a walking feast and they should have had him for dinner before now. I was surprised that he didn’t say anything snarky about Snow’s absence, since he was such a fan of our favorite bastard.
Offended by Craster’s comments, Samwell goes for a stroll. Ever since the Night’s Watch arrived, they’ve heard screams in the distance. Samwell, the only one expressing concern, goes to find the screamer. Naturally, its Gilly (his crush) giving birth. Talk about a mood killer. Once the baby is born, she cries, “What is it?! What is it?!” It’s a boy, which means dinnertime for the White Walkers. I’m not sure the relevance here, it seems repetitive to previous scenes. Is it to remind us of the Night Watch’s negligence?
Theon – The boy (Iwan Rheon) is back to help Theon escape. He takes him off the torture contraption and tries to help him stand but Theon can’t get up. “If you can’t ride, we stand no chance,” warns the boy. “I can ride,” replies Theon. You know, I’ve never found Theon attractive but man there was something about the way he confidently said “I can ride” that got me a little worked up (hey, at least I’m honest).
The boy puts Theon on a horse and tells him to ride east. Theon doesn’t bother to ask the boy’s name, or WHERE HE IS. He just promises a lordship in the Iron Islands. Something tells me he’s going to regret not asking questions.
Theon is riding around, probably in circles, since he doesn’t know where he is and all. Just then, an arrow goes flying by his head, craaaaaaap. They chase, Theon screams “Come on!” at his horse, frustrated that it can’t go faster (that’s what I do to my car too). Theon takes a mace to the chest and is thrown from his horse. While laying facedown in the dirt, he’s stomped and kicked. His torturer threatens to rape him and begins pulling down his pants. Theon screams helplessly. It’s pretty interesting that a man who has no problem raping women would probably rather die than receive the same treatment. Man, Theon really is a coward.
Right before his torturer is about do the deed, he takes an arrow to the chest. The boy is there to rescue Theon! He kills all of the attackers, “You little bastard,” says one before dying. The boy helps Theon recover. Again, Theon neglects to ask WHO THE EFF ARE YOU?! We all have our speculations, but was the “little bastard” comment supposed to be our hint that this is Bolton’s bastard?
Our favorite Dragon is back. We catch up with Daenerys as she is traveling through Astapor with her two knights, Ser Jorah and Barristan Selmy, walking along a sea wall known as the “Walk of Punishment.” Here, any slave who showed insubordination of any type is strapped to a cross and left to die out in public, as a warning to all other slaves. Dany tries to offer one of them water, but they refuse and simply say, “Let me die”. As they travel, Barristan and Jorah argue over whether or not Dany should purchase The Unsullied. Barristan begs her to reconsider, while Jorah makes a strong point by saying that The Unsullied will do only as she commands, so she can spare women and children from the horrors of men and soldiers at war. In another brilliant nod to the books, Barristan reminds Dany that he fought valiantly beside “The Last Dragon”, Rhaegar, and that Rhaegar’s soldiers followed him because they loved him, not feared him. While Dany speaks respectfully of her late brother, she coldly informs Barristan that he was not the last dragon.
Dany then meets with Kraznys, and tells him she wants to buy all of The Unsullied, and the boys still in training. Kraznys laughs and mocks her, thinking she could never afford this purchase. Although he mocks her and makes fun of her, the translator Missandei cleans up his insulting words with her translations. Dany tells Kraznys she will have all of them or take none and she then makes a bold and shocking offer. Dany will gives Kraznys one of her dragons for the entire slave army. That’s right – a DRAGON! Of course, Kraznys pushes for two or even three, but Dany firmly replies “one”. When he asks for the biggest one and she replies “Done”, Kraznys can barely contain his excitement. He’s jumping out of his seat at the thought of dragons, and he’s not the only one who is shocked. Jorah and Barristan cannot believe their ears, and they question Dany. But Dany is not done. She then insists that Kraznys give her the translator as a token of deal well struck. Dany leaves Kraznys with Missandei. Before the two women share some girl talk, Dany cooly informs Jorah and Barristan that if either one of them ever question her actions again in front of a stranger, they will no longer serve in her Queensguard.
Dany then walks with her new slave, Missandei. She asks Missandei a few questions, and reminds her that she is her new owner and owes her the truth. When Dany asks her if she’s prepared to go to war where she may possibly suffer or die of starvation, the young woman replies with two words – “Valar Morghulis”. Dany smiles at this comment and answers back. “Yes, all men must die, but we are not men”. Touché Dany, touché.
I can’t wait to find out what happens next week. Something tells me the Mother of Dragons has a plan. She will not lose one of her dragons, especially Drogon, without a fight.
Melisandre is mysteriously leaving Stannis, she’s got some kind of mission to accomplish. Stannis is fearful of her absence, he wants Joffrey (yay) and Robb (boo) dead. He knows that in order to accomplish this, he needs to make another demon baby with our creepy lady in red (so that’s what that was?). Melisandre says the effort would kill him, she needs someone else with Baratheon blood to accomplish the task.
Wait a second; is she flying the coup because times are tough? Or does she really still believe that Stannis is the one true king? And if he is, why is she going to sleep around? What exactly does making a baby demon entail? You may remember in the 3×1 recap, we commented on Stannis’ graying hair. Is the salt and pepper from making the demon baby? Is it a similar witchcraft as the witches from Hocus Pocus? I’m so confused.
Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X3:
Hotpie to Arya: I ain’t no Stark of Winterhell.
Arya: It’s Winterfell.
Hotpie: You sure?
Arya: Yes, I’m sure.
Hotpie to Gendry: Don’t get stabbed.
Gendry: You don’t… burn your fingers
Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon). Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions. Also, we know that the Night’s Watch and Theon are not technically a part of House Stark, it’s easier to recap this way.