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

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

This may sound odd to people familiar with some other things that happen this episode, but this was the funniest episode I’ve seen so far. At least, it began that way…

Riverrun: Cat and Robb’s retinue have returned to Rivverrun, where her father recently died. His body is placed on a boat and pushed into the river, then an archer takes aim at it with a flaming arrow… and misses. He has another go… and misses again. I thought he’d get it on the third shot, but no… he misses again. At this point, an older guy steps up, pushes the younger archer out of the way, and takes the shot, hitting the boat first go, with a “that’s how you do it” glare at the other guy. Ha ha! My wife and I were rolling in laughter by this point.

The young archer’s misfortunes continue, as Robb lambastes him for withdrawing from an attack against Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. The other guy counters that he captured two young Lannister cousins, and they could be valuable hostages. Robb chews him out even more, pointing out that if Tywin hasn’t offered Sansa and Arya in exchange for Jaime, then why would he offer them to free two lesser relatives? Robb’s wife Talisa goes to see the young Lannisters and look after their battle/abduction wounds.

The North: The wildlings are moving south, and come across the battlefield where the Watch met the White Walkers. Jon seems puzzled by the lack of Watch bodies, but Mance Rayder says they’re undead wights now. Mance sends a group to climb The Wall, including Jon, and says the others can toss him off The Wall if he misbehaves.

Meanwhile, The remaining Watch men return to Craster’s settlement. And you know Sam is immediately going to get into trouble… and yep, sure enough, he slips outside when he hears sounds of someone crying out. He watches the girl he was flirting with earlier give birth to a baby… which is implied to be a boy with a very short life expectancy.

Fleeing Winterfell: The guy who said he’d help Theon escape from his torturers returns and frees Theon, giving him a horse and telling him to ride to some place to meet his sister Yara. Unfortunately, Theon runs into a group of people who look like they want to recapture him. At least that’s the impression I get from one of them smacking him with a morning star – ouch! I assumed Theon was basically dead from this blow, but no, he lives to see the guy who rescued him shoot all of the attackers to save him again.

Heading to Winterfell: Arya accuses Sandor Clegane of killing her friend the butcher’s boy, after that incident in which Joffrey was an annoying prat as usual and accused the boy of mussing his hair or whatever. Arya is nothing if not brave, but she’s helped here by the fact that Sandor is locked in a prisoner cart and being dragged away. Arya and Gendry are then free to leave, but their fat friend stays behind, probably having seen a bit too much adventure in their company. I don’t blame him, frankly. I’m reasonably sure he’ll be safer than wherever Arya and Gendry end up next. (Though given the twists in the plot, I wouldn’t bet on it. He’s just as likely to be killed when some raiders burn down the tavern he’s staying at.)

Dragonstone: A short scene in which Melisandre departs in a small boat, against the pleading of Stannis. He begs her to have another demonic son with him, but she says she needs the blood of a “real” king to do so, and she’s going to go find it. Ouch! Feel the burn, Stannis. I’m not sure who exactly Melisandre is going to find, but whoever it is better look out.

Astapor: Daenerys walks along a pleasant little seaside promenade, decorated with the dying bodies of slaves who disobeyed orders, strung up on wooden posts – the titular Walk of Punishment. Jorah explains that they are there to make an example to other slaves who might think about disobeying. Daenerys tries to give water to one, but stops when advised that would be a really really bad idea.

They reach a place where Daenerys bargains with the local leader to buy the army of slaves. She wants all 8000, plus all the slaves in training, but the leader says she can’t afford it. He speaks in the local tongue and must be translated by a woman at his side. All his words are peppered with crude insults at Daenerys, which the translator diplomatically omits. When Daenerys says she has dragons, the guy’s eyes light up, and he says they will do nicely, but Daenerys bargains him down to one dragon, though the guy insists on the biggest one. Jorah and her new advisor Barriston are aghast, saying a dragon is worth much more than 8000 slaves. But Daenerys makes the deal. Then she insists that she get the translator woman as well, which the leader also agrees to – showing just how much the dragon she has promised is worth to him.

King’s Landing: Petyr Baelish is planning to head to the Eyrie, to marry Cat’s nasty sister Lysa, now her husband is dead. This is apparently a plan to remove more of Robb’s potential allies by bringing them into the Lannister fold. I don’t know what Petyr’s motives really are here, since we know he’s in love with Cat, and I really, truly doubt her twisted Dark Side mirror image sister is to Petyr’s liking.

Tywin appoints Tyrion as Master of Coin to replace the departing Petyr, against Tyrion’s protests that he knows nothing about finance. Tyrion uses some of his own money to pay for three of Petyr’s prostitutes to reward his squire Podrick for saving his life in the battle against Stannis. Although Podrick has no experience in such matters, he returns to Tyrion some time later and hands back the bag of coins, saying the ladies refused to be paid because they enjoyed his company so much. Cue Tyrion’s jaw dropping to the floor as Podrick leaves with a look of infinite smugness.

Tyrion then inspects the accounts of the kingdom and discovers Petyr Baelish has been cooking the books, borrowing ridiculous amounts of money from Tywin and the Bank of Braavos. This is a problem because the outstanding debts could cause financial and military issues for the kingdom. Oh dear. Tyrion does find himself in all sorts of bother, doesn’t he? I wouldn’t put it past Tywin to know all this and be trying to lay the blame on Tyrion.

Heading to Harrenhal: The guys who captured Brienne and Jaime take them towards Harrenhal. Brienne and Jaime argue over who was responsible for their capture. Honestly, these two bicker more than Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger – which pretty much guarantees that at some point they have to get together. Jaime tries to scare Brienne by saying their captors will rape her. Later, as this prediction threatens to come true, Jaime interrupts and makes another one of his Fast Talk critical successes, by telling them that Brienne is from Tarth, the Sapphire Isle, which is full of sapphires, and Brienne’s father will pay her weight in sapphires if she is returned to him untouched. This is enough to see the men off. Ohhhhh… so Jaime does have a soft spot for Brienne!! WoooOOOOoooOOOOooo!!!

Unfortunately Jaime then rolls a critical failure on his next Fast Talk attempt, when telling his captor that Tywin will reward him with lands and riches if he releases him. The guy doesn’t fall for this, and instead swings a cleaver to chop off Jaime’s right hand! That’s gotta hurt! Cue end credits, with bonus dripping blood.

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