Game of Thrones Memory Lane 303: Walk of Punishment

Locke and Jaime

Today’s episode in the #GoT50 countdown to season 6 ended with a bang- or a chop, rather, and the playing of one of Westeros’ most famous songs, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” Here to walk us down Memory Lane, through the episode’s big moments and shocking conclusion, is Hannah of Game of Owns! -Sue the Fury

“Walk of Punishment” is the third episode of Season 3, written and directed by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, their series directorial debut. Airing April 14th, 2013, “Walk of Punishment” set a new viewership record for Game of Thrones, with 4.7 million viewers. We get into the swing of the third season with an episode filled with more comic relief than we’re used to from Game of Thrones, and a life-altering moment for Jaime Lannister.

Blackfish

We open up in Riverrun, and are introduced to Catelyn’s homeland for the first time, in town for the funeral of Hoster Tully. He’s placed in his funeral boat and pushed off into the river as the crowd solemnly looks on. Edmure raises his bow to set fire to the boat with a flaming arrow, and he misses! Not once, not twice, but three times. Cat, straight faced and serious as ever, is not pleased. And Robb Stark, who is always intense and brooding, can’t help but laugh. It’s a light moment of comic relief in a story that continues to grow darker and more complicated. Brynden the Blackfish puts Edmure aside, shoots the arrow as the boat is about to turn the riverbend and turns away before even seeing if it lands, knowing full well that it will. And it does, just in the nick of time. Cat is relieved.

Robb

Back inside the castle, Robb goes off on Edmure, in what is arguably the best acting by Richard Madden in the series thus far. Upset that his battle plans have been ruined, Robb laments that he could have had the head of the Mountain on a spike by now. “Tywin has my sisters. Have I sued for peace? Do you think he’ll sue for peace because we have his father’s brother’s great-grandsons?” Edmure explains that way more Lannister men died than Stark men, but Robb does not care. “We need our men more than Tywin needs his.” He can’t trade his sisters for some Lannister randos.

We move to a Small Council meeting in King’s Landing, AKA the weirdest game of musical chairs ever played. Littlefinger, Varys and Pycelle shuffle a bit before they sit down in three of the five chairs set up to Tywin’s left. Cersei moves to sit next to her father, and Tyrion moves to sit opposite of Tywin, dragging and scooting his chair loudly along the way. It’s almost two minutes without dialogue, and you’re not sure if the room will suddenly erupt in laughter or argument.

Small Council

The meeting finally gets underway, and there are a few things of note that we learn. First, Littlefinger is headed to the Eyrie to marry Lysa Arryn, “bringing her into the fold” as Tywin suggests. Second, Tyrion is named Master of Coin, which is hilarious to Cersei and confusing to Tyrion. He observes, “I’m quite good at spending it, but a lifetime of outrageous wealth hasn’t taught me much about managing it.”

In the Riverlands, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” a Westerosi club banger is being sung by Locke and his men, as they march along to Harrenhal with Brienne and Jaime in tow. We get some great Jaime/Brienne banter, and these Jaime and Brienne scenes as they wander and make their way through Westeros are some of my favorites in the series. Their dynamic is incredibly fun to watch play out, and I feel like we get to see a brand-new side Jaime while in Brienne’s company. The two argue about their sword fight on the bridge, and what Jaime doesn’t yet know is that in his last fight with his good sword hand, he lost to a woman.

wolf breadArya and co., guests of Thoros, are eating lunch in a tavern when the Hound is brought in. “Do you remember what happened the last time you were here?” Arya demands, trying to get him to remember the fact that he killed the butcher’s boy, but he’s like sorry, this looks like a million other places I’ve been.

I love that about Arya. She yells at the Hound, she has no fear, she demands and expects to be treated as an equal, even when she hasn’t necessarily proved herself to be.

We also say goodbye to Hot Pie, who will stay behind at the tavern, as Arya and Gendry head back out on the road. As a parting gift, Hot Pie bakes Arya a loaf of bread in the shape of a warped direwolf, with a tail the size of its body. “Hey, Hot Pie!” Arya yells from her horse as she travels away from the tavern, taking a huge bite of the loaf.  “It’s really good!”

And then we’re back to Catelyn in Riverrun, who looks so sad and defeated. “Even in war’s darkest days, in most places in the world, absolutely nothing is happening,” the Blackfish says, attempting to comfort her.

Cat tells a story about her as a little girl, sitting at that very same window waiting for her father to come home from fighting in the capitol. Day in and day out, waiting. Did Bran and Rickon wait too? She wonders out loud, heartbroken. She doesn’t think she’ll ever see them again, despite Robb’s belief that they’re still alive. Cat needs to stay strong for Robb, but can she do it for much longer when she’s lost everything? It feels like not long ago they were all under one roof in Winterfell, and now only one of her children is alive and free, her husband is dead and she just had to lay her father to rest.

Martyn Lannister

Martyn Lannister, who coincidentally looks a lot like his cousin Tommen

There’s a cute moment when Talisa is tending to some young Lannister children who ask if Robb turns into a wolf at night, or if he eats the flesh of his enemies. “You have nothing to fear,” she teases them, “My husband doesn’t eat children. Unless it’s a full moon!”

Beyond the Wall, Jon is traveling with his Mance Rayder and his new wildling crew. Up on the Fist of the First Men, halved horses are arranged in a symmetrical shape. Men of the Night’s Watch have been killed, yet their bodies are not there. The dead are raising an army. Mance orders Tormund Giantsbane to take 20 men, climb the Wall, and attack Castle Black. If Jon doesn’t prove useful, he’ll be thrown off the Wall.

The surviving Night’s Watch men are back at Craster’s Keep, and are reluctantly given shelter. It’s pretty tense under Craster’s roof, the men sitting by the fire with these women looking down on them, hearing screams in the background. Craster (after calling himself a godly man) teases Sam for being a fat “walking feast,” telling the men they should eat them, and Sam leaves, wandering the yard looking for the source of the noise. He finds Gilly, who is giving birth to a baby boy. It is such a sad moment when she asks what the gender of the baby is, knowing she’s going to lose him.

Stannis sees Melisandre off on the shores of Dragonstone, and in a moment that seems almost out of character for book readers, Stannis basically begs her not to leave, believing he’s about to be abandoned. He wants another magical demon baby to kill Joffrey and to kill Robb. But really, what Stannis desperately wants more than anything in that moment, is Melisandre. And she knows it. Before she heads off, she assures Stannis that he’ll sit on the Iron Throne, but first there must be sacrifices. The Lord of Light demands it.

Mel Stannis

Far across the Narrow Sea, we continue to learn about the customs and people of Astapor, finding Dany walking down a street lined with slaves hanging on crosses- the Walk of Punishment.

Dany, who continues to be bothered by the institution of slavery, attempts to give a dying prisoner a drink of water, but he refuses it. She wants the blood of her enemies, not the blood of innocent people, but Ser Barristan Selmy tells Dany what war is really like, “a beast in every man.” The Unsullied? They wouldn’t rape, pillage and plunder, Jorah argues, they will only kill those Dany commands. Selmy thinks there’s no honor in leading an army of paid slaves and instead thinks she needs to fight alongside men and women who want to die for her and her cause.

Unfortunately Daenerys doesn’t have an army filled with true passion, and she’s not going to bet on it waiting for her in Westeros. She negotiates with the slave master Kraznys, promising one dragon for 8,000 Unsullied: all Kraznys has in Astapor. Jorah and Selmy immediately jump in- she’ll never win the Iron Throne without all of her dragons! But Dany’s mind is set, and she parts with her Unsullied army and the translator Missandei as a gift.

I can’t wait for this power duo to start running things. Are you prepared to go to war? To possibly go hungry? Daenerys asks.

“Valar Morghulis,” Missandei replies.

“Yes,” Dany says. “All men must die. But we are not men.” Who run the world? GIRLS. Missandei smiles, because she can hang.

DanyMiss

Meanwhile, back in King’s Landing, Tyrion is collecting The Secret History of the Seven Kingdoms from Littlefinger, and Podrick can’t keep his eyes off any of the women in the brothel.

After schmoozing with Littlefinger, Tyrion finally realizes how he’s going to pay back Podrick for saving his life. “Tell me, Pod, have you ever been with a woman?” “No, milord.” “Wonderful.” Podrick Payne, Tyrion’s ever-faithful squire, looks terrified. And thrilled. But sort of terrified, as three women are presented to him. “Pace yourself, lad!” Bronn yells on their way out.

After Tyrion pores over the financial ledgers Littlefinger loaned him, realizing how much the Crown owes the Lannisters and, even more troubling, the Iron Bank of Braavos, our boy Podrick returns with a skip in his step. “You were gone a long time,” Tyrion says. “I trust you got your money’s worth… or should I say my money’s worth?” Pod puts the bag of coins down on the table. “They wouldn’t take it, milord.” Bronn and Tyrion cannot believe it. Whores who turn down gold? What did you do?! Did they love you so much they gave you the time for free!?! Pod just stands there, the One True King of Westeros in that exact moment.

Tyrion commands him to sit down, scrambles to grab wine for the three of them, and begs for details, which we never learn. But I guess that’s what fanfiction is for.

Boy and Theon

In the North, Theon is riding in circles looking for his sister Yara, after Ramsay (at this point, just an anonymous “Boy”) sets him free. Suddenly, men on horseback appear and chase after him, riding through the woods until Theon is knocked to the ground, head spinning and ears ringing. And just as these men threaten to rape him, Ramsay shoots each one with an arrow, finishing the last guy off point blank.

He picks Theon up: “Come my lord, you’re a long way from home and winter is coming.” This is our first crazy, confusing glimpse at Ramsay Bolton. And while it’s all too easy to hate Theon after everything he’s done, betraying the Starks and sacking Winterfell, I still feel uneasy about what’s in store for him.

JaimeIt’s dark in the Riverlands, and Locke’s men finally come to rape Brienne, as Jaime warned they would. She fights them off the best she can, but only makes it worse. As Jaime watches on, helpless, do we sense a glimmer of sadness from the Kingslayer? Apparently so, as he starts to talk Locke down, telling him how rich he’ll be if Brienne is spared. He continues to push his luck,  asking to lay down, taking the offering of a meal, as Brienne is brought back to the tree, safely.

Suddenly, Jaime is thrown over a stump and a knife is held to his face. “You think you’re the smartest man there is,” Locke hisses. “You’re nothing without your daddy and your daddy ain’t here.” For a moment it seems as if Jaime will talk his way out of this one too, as he always does.

Instead, Jaime’s hand gets chopped off, and thus begins Jaime’s Redemption Arc.

The episode ends with a cover of “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” by The Hold Steady, and the juxtaposition between this incredibly painful moment for Jaime, both physically and mentally, versus this upbeat version of a classic Westerosi jam, is perfect. There’s some disagreement in regards to this choice, some people believing the music takes away from what just happened to Jaime, but I feel like it disorients you in such a jarring, what-just-happened, awesome way. We’re left unsure about what will happen next to a character who so far, even in captivity, has seemed to be in control.


Introductions: Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully and Edmure Tully debut; Martyn and Willem Lannister are taken hostage, with Martyn played by Dean-Charles Chapman, who will eventually take over the role of Tommen; the fookin’ legend of Gin Alley, Karl Tanner, is seen with the Watch; Gilly’s baby is born; we first spot the contortionist sex worker Kayla.

Cameo Alert: Gary Lightbody of the Northern Irish band Snow Patrol turns up in this episode as a member of Locke’s crew, singing “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.”

The week’s Beautiful Death, depicting the White Walkers’ morbid artwork:

BD3x3

60 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I guess Locke could have handled Jaime a bit more gently, right? I mean, Jesus, Blondie really got his ass handed to him. I have to hand it to Locke though: that cut was clean.

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    2. Yay, let’s hear it for Hot Pie 🙂

      Yeah, you too. Don’t get stabbed.

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    3. RIP Jaime’s hand.

      The introduction to Edmure and the Blackfish remains my favorite introduction on the show. Sorry Tywin.

      The small council scene was hilarious and said a lot about the characters (especially Littlefinger).

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    4. hodor,

      Jaime had it coming. He was way too offhand with Locke and, let’s face it, he overplayed his hand.

      Okay, now I’m gonna stop with these increasingly unfunny quips before a mod strong-arms me (get it?) off this thread.

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    5. This is another episode that didn’t stand out in my memory but, on revisiting it, it’s quite consistently strong from scene to scene. Except for the scene with the three hookers — whether it’s HBO’s nudity quota or the writers themselves doing stuff like this on their own, it’s the definition of gratuitous (a word often overused in relation to this show, but here it’s perfectly warranted).

      Arya’s season 2-early season 3 traveling companions were very charming supporting characters, and it was sad to see them go this year (Hot Pie’s cameo in season 4 surprised me in terms of how much I found I missed him on the show).

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    6. I just realized while watching this episode… Ser Barristan was advising against buying Unsullieds to become Dany’s soldiers, waxing poetics on how men fight for Rhaegar because they wanted to fight for him not because they were bought. And yet his solution was to go to the free cities and hire sellswords. Essentially the same idea, paying soldiers to fight for her

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    7. ace,

      Well not really the same thing.

      Slaves wouldn’t get paid and they couldn’t refuse marching with her. So in a certain way, sellswords choose to fight for Dany. It’s for money not honor, but they choose nevertheless.

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    8. 28 days!

      That’s 4 weeks. We’re at 75% of the original counter of 112 days. And two more days and we’ll be halfway through the Memory Lane!

      Oh, and a lot of this episode was hilarious.

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    9. Yaga:
      28 days!

      That’s 4 weeks. We’re at 75% of the original counter of 112 days. And two more days and we’ll be halfway through the Memory Lane!

      Oh, and a lot of this episode was hilarious.

      And the Red Carpet premiere is in 2 weeks 🙂

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    10. Sean C.,

      Yes, on my rewatch I found that Walk of Punishment had a bunch of really strong, satisfying scenes. The best ones are right at the beginning of the episode: wordless funeral of Hoster Tully followed by one of my absolutely favorite moments from all 5 seasons — the game of Small Council musical chairs. What makes these two scenes so standout is D&D’s masterful direction in which they rely more on the inherent strengths of the visual medium — interplay between camera angles, sounds, body language — than on dialogue and script. Fascinating that guys who are first and foremost writers have such deft touch in what is presumably their first go in this particular field. Their skill is also on display later on, when Theon tries to escape his pursuers. Very energetic and well-shot.

      Of course, the episode is brimming with a lot more good scenes that rely predominantly on performances and strength of the script. Dan Hildebrand continues to entertain with his exquisitely odious take on Kraznys. This guy has got to be one of the most memorable secondary antagonists in the show so far: watching him I almost felt the urge to become a chauvinist sexist pig myself.

      Hot Pie’s farewell (all hail the glorious wolf bread!) to Arya is one of those understated scenes that simply jump out of the TV screen with how honest and heartfelt they are. After Hot Pie’s rather unflattering introduction back in Season 1, who would’ve thought we’d grow so fond of the little fatty?

      Last but not least, Jaime and Brienne. What do I say that hasn’t been told countless times? Season 3 is the best season for both of them and this episode is yet another rock solid building block in that wall. Brienne is stoic and unyielding, a true knight in a world with so many knights in name and so few in spirit. Jaime is still his old suave, nonchalant self who thinks that he’s just so damn clever, but here we can see that facade cracking a bit, even if couched in feigned disinterest. He wouldn’t admit it yet, but Brienne awakened something in him, a side that probably hasn’t surfaced in quite a while (probably, ever since he buried it at gunpoint during the Sack of King’s Landing). He respects and admires her honor, loyalty and, what’s more, her truthfulness and authenticity. Brienne is everything Jaime had once aspired, and failed, to be.

      Well, it’s not too late to start, Jaime. Better hurry though. The clock is ticking.

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    11. Noah Taylor was particularity good as Locke in S3.
      Another actor , like Ian McElhinney, who figured out he would be gone before the end of his next season.
      Unlike Ian he could not complain, his character replaced Vargo Hoat, still he was someone wistful about such short part on the show.

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    12. TormundsWoman: Never gonna happen. All will jump in and lend you a hand.

      Thanks. But I wouldn’t want you to land in hot water with the mods over me. I’d advise a more hands-free approach. As for me, I gotta play the hand I’m dealt.

      Okay, now I’m really gonna stop and cry in the corner because my stupid quips are getting out of h… sigh… forget this shit…

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    13. Occasionally, when I go for a while without watching a specific episode, I’ll remember that I think it’s really, really good, but I’ll forget just how deeply I love it. Then I watch it, and all of the little moments that lift the episode from a typically excellent hour of Game of Thrones to something truly special rise to the forefront, and I just have a big, happy smile on my face until the credits roll.

      “Walk of Punishment” is such an episode. It’s fantastic.

      I really hope that in the next two seasons, Benioff and Weiss will find the time to direct another episode or two. With all of their other responsibilities (writing, producing, supervising, etc.) I’m sure that the extra workload probably kills them. But between this episode and “Two Swords”, I think they’ve hit two grand-slam home runs with their two shots behind the camera.

      I remember that some people were upset that we didn’t meet the Tullys in Season 2, but our introduction them here is perfect. It wastes no time, and even more impressive, the opening scene is done entirely without dialogue. Edmure struggling to light his father’s pyre establishes his well-meaning ineptitude, while Robb tries and fails to contain a laugh and Catelyn shoots him a look. But nothing tops the Blackfish seizing the bow from his nephew, firing off the arrow, then turning away and carelessly tossing the bow at Edmure. He doesn’t even look back, because he knows his aim was true. It says everything you need to know about the character’s proficiency. Bad. Fucking. Ass.

      In the next scene, we get to see Robb in command. His dressing down of Edmure is a great moment for the Young Wolf, even though his campaign isn’t going well this point. I always loved the cold stare that Robb gives his uncle and the barely-contained anger he injects into his voice when outlines how Edmure’s blunder cost them an opportunity to kill the Mountain. “I could have that head on a spike by now. Instead, I have a mill.”

      Later, there’s the scene where Catelyn and the Blackfish remember Hoster Tully. I know last episode’s scene featuring Catelyn was controversial to some, but this one is unambiguously stellar. Michelle Fairley is just heartbreaking here when she remembers staring out the window as she waited for her father, and wonders if Bran and Rickon did the same while waiting for her to return. And the Blackfish (what’s his real name again? 😉 ) is steady as a rock, as always. “It often comforts me to think that even in war’s darkest days, in most of the world, absolutely nothing is happening.” Only too true.

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    14. The spiral arrangement of horse’s heads has got to be a foreshadowing of the spiraling of the Dothraki around Dany in S5E10. Though I can’t imagine what the connection between the WWs and Dany would be. Maybe the NK has had a vision of Dany coming to Westeros with her dragons.

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    15. I agree with Cenk from What the Flick?! The Hot Pie scene was very touching, but all I could think was: “So… out of all characters… THAT guy didn’t die…” 😛

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    16. Another scene that absolutely sings without dialogue is one that several others have already lauded: the musical chairs session in the beginning of the Small Council meeting. That equence is one of the funniest moments in the entire show – it always slays me.

      There’s Tywin, standing calmly and expectantly at the head of the table, waiting to see how all of his pawns will arrange themselves. Of course, Littlefinger makes the first move, stepping in front of Varys so that he can sit closest to Tywin. The look of disgust that Varys shoots him is just gold. Then there’s Pycelle doddering into the middle – not too close, not too far, just trying to remain in the garden. Cersei counters by picking up the chair and carrying it to the other side so she can sit at her father’s right hand. She thinks she’s outsmarted them all … only Tyrion tops her when he very slowly, very loudly, and very deliberately drags his chair to the opposite end of the table – a place of equal honor to his father, yet as far away from him as possible.

      Tywin could put a stop to this at any point, but he seems amused by his son’s game. Cersei is smiling – she doesn’t quite get it. Littlefinger and Pycelle look aghast, but Varys smiles – he knows that Tyrion has outmaneuvered them all. And Tyrion punctuates it with an extra, entirely unnecessary squeak of the chair as he settles in – a thumb in the eye of everyone else in the room.

      Perfect. I could watch that scene on a loop for hours. It’s that good.

      It’s worth noting that the deleted scene featuring Tywin and Pycelle is from this episode. The best I can figure, it would have fallen right after the Blackfish laments that they seem to be running short on patience, at which point Robb looks out the window and says “You know who isn’t? Tywin Lannister.” Cutting from that beat to a scene of Tywin engaged in a leisure activity – fishing, as it happens (ha!) – would have been excellent, and darkly funny.

      Ultimately, cutting instead to a scene of Tywin in total command is far more dramatic and intimidating. It was probably the right choice. Nevertheless, I still kind of wish that scene had been included. At least we got to see it.

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    17. Interesting bit about the ratings in the opening there. 4.7 million is amazing for a subscription channel and it is crazy that the ratings are almost double that now.

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    18. To finish off (whoops) King’s Landing, I will say that I have never, ever, ever understood the degree of complaining that Pod the Sex God has incited. Actually, that’s a lie – I do understand it. I just have no patience for it. I get that some people don’t like unnecessary nudity that doesn’t contribute to the plot. But if nothing else, this scene does ensure that no one is ever going to forget who Podrick Payne is.

      Is it … sigh … “gratutious?” (God, it’s remarkable the degree to which reading coverage of this show has led me to utterly despise that word. It’s become so cheap and overused that I can’t even say it without bile rising in my throat). Sure. Use that term if you must. Every single brothel scene in this show is ‘gratuitous’ (ugh) by that standard. But this isn’t Littlefinger in a brothel telling Ros to play with another woman’s ass, or Littlefinger watching a peeping tom through a peep hole of his own, then wiping off a whore’s face before sending her right to another customer. Pod and his magic rod are, relatively speaking, harmless.

      Also, I think it’s funny. Good on you, Podrick, for learning that the Meereenese knot is a sex position in the GOT universe! I assure you that one throwaway joke entertained me far more than the original Meereenese knot did.

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    19. Three great scenes in this episode: wolf bread, Hoster’s funeral (great introduction for Edmure and the Blackfish), and of course the hilarious Small Council chairs scene.

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    20. I’ve said this before on this site but I feel that the reason why the prostitutes don’t take any money from Pod is not because he’s some sex god or is particularly well-endowed. The clue is in the scene immediately preceding it. Tyrion is talking with Littlefinger and Littlefinger says “I hear you owe that boy a significant debt”, referring to Pod’s having saved Tyrion during the Battle of Blackwater. Tyrion responds with humor then Littlefinger says “I owe you a significant debt”, referring to Tyrion having obtained Roz’s freedom. So it is my contention that Littlefinger instructed his prostitutes to not accept any money from Pod as a payback to Tyrion.

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    21. The introduction of Blackfish and Edmure is perfect. Without a single word, you get the whole relationship dynamic. I really liked this episode, mostly for how it’s consistently lighthearted throughout (until the end). It’s not just the opening scene, but the musical chairs scene (another wordless introduction), and even little things like the BwB trying to get the Hound through a door and they hit his head. It’s just little things like that that is always welcome.Considering this was directed by Benioff, and the S4Ep1, another excellent episode, was directed by Weiss, I wish they directed more often.

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    22. Quick hits, since I’ve rambled for far too long and haven’t even mentioned Jaime losing his hand, which is the thing the episode is most famous for.

      Dany, Jorah, and Barristan’s conversation about Rhaegar on the Walk of Punishment is excellent. Scenes like this one are why I’m glad that Barristan got to come back and serve Dany for a few seasons. I’ve always loved Jorah’s line about the Sack of King’s Landing – “There’s a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand”. One of Iain Glen’s best deliveries in that rich, wonderful voice of his. And of course, “Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought honorably, and Rhaegar died.” Great in the book, and great here.

      Jaime and Brienne are the one of the enduring highlights of Season 3 for good reason. There will be far more opportunities for me talk about how much I love their relationship, so for now, I’ll just reiterate how much more compelling I find Locke and his entrenched resentment of highborn privilege than Vargo Hoat and his greedy slobber. Locke is a fascinating minor character, and it’s an excellent performance by Noah Taylor.

      The Hold Steady’s version of “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” is a jarring note to end the episode on, so it serves its purpose well. I didn’t care for at first, but I’ve actually listened to it a lot since. I hope that we’ll get another band doing a take on a famous Westerosi song in Season 6 (maybe Of Monsters and Men, since they have a cameo this year). I’d love to hear a version of “The Last of the Giants”. I’m still bitter that we didn’t get a full version of Jerome Flynn singing “The Dornishman’s Wife” on the official Season 5 soundtrack. If you make it, HBO, I would give you money.

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    23. Wall Builder,

      Actually the very first scene of the series when the WW slaughter the village they do this spiral thing in season 1 and season 1 ended with dany rising from the spirally arranged funeral pyre ..
      And regarding this scene we will have Mhysa moment another spiral symbolism to parallel this one ..

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    24. Another excellent recap. This walk down Memory Lane is great and is far better than others I’ve seen seen on the web discussing past episodes.

      As Hannah mentions, there is quite a bit of ‘comic relief’ in this episode coming mainly from Tyrion who never ceases to amuse me with his banter. Especially in his scenes with Bronn 🙂

      Tyrion to Podrick: “We’re going to need details… Copious details!” 😀

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    25. Jared,

      As you no doubt know, it’s a variation on the well-known theme of Not in the Books, proponents of which get doubly outraged when such scenes are centered on side characters like Pod or Missandei and Grey Worm, or Seven forbid, show-only characters like Ros.

      (Speaking of Ros, I find the fan reaction especially disappointing since I found her character and narrative arc very well done. Esme Bianco deserves much praise for her vibrant portrayal. Maybe Varys’s words to Ros — from the very next episode — would also apply to Esme herself? Prodigies appear in the oddest of places.)

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    26. I’m so pleased with the WOTW memory lane, thanks to everyone who’s working on it! Really makes the wait more bearable knowing that there’s one of these articles every day.

      Also, this episode makes me really excited for the reintroduction of Edmure and Blackfish (probably in the second half of the season, though) after such a long time. Great characters, great actors. Can’t wait.

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    27. Mr Fixit,

      Of course. We can’t forget that factor! Heaven forbid a non-POV supporting character gets love interest or a sex life (with nudity!) to make them seem like a more well-rounded human being. That’s time that could have been used to introduce Symon Silvertongue, don’t you know?

      Better yet, we could have returned to the Iron Islands subplot a season earlier. Heaven knows the sole reason that Balon Greyjoy hasn’t fallen off a bridge yet is so that D&D can force us to watch Grey Worm and Missandei exchange a few longing looks and a chaste cuddle. Those monsters.

      Maybe it’s just because I’ve stopped frequenting book-centric sites (actually, that’s probably why) but I feel like Ros has gotten some retroactive appreciation from the fandom in recent years. At the very least, I’ve seen more people are starting to acknowledge just how good Esme Bianco’s performance was. Benioff and Weiss didn’t expand her role for no reason – they saw something in her, and that something allowed them to build an actual character for Ros (who, if you’ll notice, never takes her clothes off after Season 1). That talent is on display in Seasons 2 and 3, when Littlefinger delivers her to a horrific end at Joffrey’s hands.

      I saw Esme Bianco on some TV show (The Magicians, I think) when I was channel-flipping a while ago, and I stopped to watch for a bit, thinking “Hey, it’s good to see her.” The show wasn’t for me, but I’m glad she’s working.

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    28. Mr Fixit: (Speaking of Ros, I find the fan reaction especially disappointing since I found her character and narrative arc very well done. Esme Bianco deserves much praise for her vibrant portrayal. Maybe Varys’s words to Ros — from the very next episode — would also apply to Esme herself? Prodigies appear in the oddest of places.)

      I will second that. Even in season 1 Esme seemed to be more than a ‘stunt-nude’ … season 2 and 3 she broke out completely , I was saying to myself “where did this actress come from?” Was actually hoping the character of Ros would last longer than she did.

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    29. I think the exchange between Arya and Hot Pie over the bread was the one and only time I’ve ever said “Aww!” and thought something was seriously cute in this show.

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    30. Jared: I saw Esme Bianco on some TV show (The Magicians, I think)

      SPOILERS for “The Magicians”

      Sadly, she got the Oberyn treatment only after a few episodes.

      I also was a fan of Esme Bianco’s Ros and I think “vibrant portrayal”, as Mr. Fixit put it, is a very apt description.

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    31. Since so many love the Small Council scene, I thought I would put this funny video from YouTube here. This thing is hilariously edited. Kudos to the guy who came up with it. I sincerely recommend you put aside 3 minutes to watch it.

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    32. That was the perfect song to play while Jaime watches blood spurt from his severed arm – a song to drown out his screams. I’ve called him scattered, but he’s not really scattered. He’s a glib asshole, and that song was perfect. The whole time with Brienne he wouldn’t shut up for 5 seconds, and finally his motor mouth gets him in real trouble when he thinks he can talk himself out of anything.

      Isn’t it great how Edmure winds up the winner, compared to Cat and Robb? Those two railroaded him into marrying the Frey girl. Roslin turns out to be pretty and Edmure wins his life by marrying her, while Robb loses his.

      Yeah – loved the chair power struggle. Varys’ expressions are great when the camera isn’t focused on him…especially the looks he gives to Tyrion.

      If only Brienne had pulled out Hot Pie’s calling card – all green and mouldy – when she met Arya on that road. Arya might have trusted her then. But, she ate the loaf and pulled her sword instead. Poor bungling Brienne.

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    33. Mr Fixit:
      Since so many love the Small Council scene, I thought I would put this funny video from YouTube here. This thing is hilariously edited. Kudos to the guy who came up with it. I sincerely recommend you put aside 3 minutes to watch it.

      Very funny… I rolled up LOL 😀

      How do you embed a YouTube video and play it without leaving this page? Those snippets I’ve linked to open another window and always redirect to YouTube?

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    34. Bronn’s throwaway “Pace yerself, lad” is another one of those awesome little moments.

      We talk often about how Game of Thrones is arranged as a series of great conversations between two people.

      But sometimes the three-person scenes are the most hysterical, and the Tyrion/Bronn/Pod trio is one of the stronger ones (Tyrion/Bronn/Varys is also pretty damned good, too.)

      I’m one of the few who thought the Blackfish’s drop-the-mic arrow moment was a bit much. He’s great in it, but he seems for some reason to be shaming Edmure a bit, especially as Edmure had just lost his father. This is one of those minor moments that I preferred the book version, where the Blackfish makes it clear he had a similar moment when his own father died.

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    35. Boojam,

      I liked the idea of a prostitute high up at court that gets to see a lot of main characters or even secondary characters in scenarios they would not normally be in. It’s a nice layer that the show added. And she is great example of one of the shows main themes, power. She tries to gain influence, try to play the game best she can, but in the end she gets sacrificed like a pawn. This is one of the great reasons for why I love The Climb so much. That whole episode was about that, and the end of her story just taps it all off so very neatly.

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    36. Anon:
      That was the perfect song to play while Jaime watches blood spurt from his severed arm – a song to drown out his screams. I’ve called him scattered, but he’s not really scattered.He’s a glib asshole, and that song was perfect. The whole time with Brienne he wouldn’t shut up for 5 seconds, and finally his motor mouth gets him in real trouble when he thinks he can talk himself out of anything.

      Isn’t it great how Edmure winds up the winner, compared to Cat and Robb?Those two railroaded him into marrying the Frey girl. Roslin turns out to be pretty and Edmure wins his life by marrying her, while Robb loses his.

      Yeah – loved the chair power struggle. Varys’ expressions are great when the camera isn’t focused on him…especially the looks he gives to Tyrion.

      If only Brienne had pulled out Hot Pie’s calling card – all green and mouldy – when she met Arya on that road. Arya might have trusted her then. But, she ate the loaf and pulled her sword instead. Poor bungling Brienne.

      I was under the impression that Edmure is locked in a dungeon at the Twins and Rosalynn was just a trick to piss Rob off (the Frey daughters are not known for their looks and Rosalynn was not seen when Cat was meeting with Lord Walder in season 1). Unless you’re basing this information on trailer / book / production spoilers, which I prefer not to hear.

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    37. Mr Fixit:
      Black Raven,

      I just copy/paste the address to the comment field here. I don’t use the link function.

      Well that’s interesting as I do the same. I checked the embedded HTML code between the video I posted and yours and other than the filename they are the same?

      On mine, a black screen appears with:

      Watch this video on You Tube
      Playback on other websites has been disabled by the video owner

      So perhaps its simply because of that and direct playback outside of You Tube has been disabled?

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    38. Jared,

      I hardly ever see the word gratuitous. Then again I wasn’t here until last season. But since you think it’s overused which replacement word do you feel is superior? The following are the synonyms I could find: Unjustified, uncalled for, unwarranted, unprovoked, undue.

      I lean towards unwarranted, though imo none of them fit quite as well as the G-word 🙂

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    39. ygritte,

      “Unwarranted” is good. In fact, any and all of those words that you suggested are better. To be clear, the word ‘gratuitous’ itself isn’t the cause of the problem so much as it is the symptom of it. I’ve just learned to recognize the signs.

      The term doesn’t get thrown around as frequently here, thankfully. My dislike of the word is a cumulative thing that has been built up over nearly six years of reading media coverage of Game of Thrones (and indeed, television in general). It’s become a buzzword, unfortunately, and I’ve been conditioned through experience to associate it with a certain brand of disingenuous outrage and Hot Take Think Piece that crops up whenever GOT depicts anything that might even remotely qualify as controversial – be it violence, sex, or rape (It doesn’t help that the piece in question usually comes with an asinine clickbait title like “Game of Thrones has a _____ problem.”)

      Once in a blue moon, one of those scenes might actually meet the definition. But the problem is that it’s the boy crying “Wolf!” The claim has been shouted so many times over such minor things that I no longer afford it any power at all, even in the rare case where it might hold water.

      That’s not to say that the use of the word is always cheap and illogical. I can understand why something like Theon’s torture or Craster’s Keep or Sansa’s wedding night might get tagged with the term, even if I strongly disagree with the argument (particularly in the case of the last one). But when I see something like Pod’s scene – which is a light-hearted moment of comedy that features (gasp) nudity between consenting adults – get labeled as ‘gratuitous’, I tend to view it as pearl-clutching more than anything else, even if all the person means by it is ‘That wasn’t strictly necessary’.

      Now, I have a high tolerance for blood, gore, and nudity in popular entertainment, so perhaps I’m revealing myself as a jaded cynic who isn’t accounting for other people’s sensibilities. But that’s not a wolf. That’s a rabbit. A baby rabbit, at that.

      Context is key, as always. Again, I’ve just learned to recognize the signs, and usually those signs point to someone who at best doesn’t understand the kind of show their watching and at worst is looking to drum up outrage to get attention. Not always … but a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch to the point that I don’t want to eat any of them.

      Maybe if the authors of those think pieces and angry forum posts had used a thesaurus once or twice, I wouldn’t have built up such a virulent dislike of the word “gratutious” specifically. Other words have also fallen victim to this phenomenon with me. “Fan fiction.” “Filler.” “Whitewashing.” “Agency.” “Hacks.” Hell, even “Problematic”. If someone can’t make their case without resorting to such lazy pejoratives, odds are I’m not going to find their argument interesting or worthwhile, no matter how good of a writer they might otherwise be.

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    40. Jared,

      Thanks for that reasoned reply. I get where you’re coming from and admire people like you who are able to easily get their point across and connect with the reader. I struggle greatly in this area sometimes, finding just the right wording to use in order to plainly state what I’m trying to express. Anyways, I mostly agree with your viewpoint on the subject, would ordinarily be up to debating one of the finer points but this is one of those lazy brain days for me 🙂

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    41. Jared,

      I fully agree with you and I like the way you support your ideas. Pod’s scene was really sweet imo. It was about a boy amazed by the generous (and so much wanted) gift he was about to receive. He was looking around like a kid in a candy store. And it showed how friendly and grateful Tyrion can be.

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    42. Just watched an interview with Josef Altin (Pyp) and I’m pleasantly surprised at just how adorable he is in real life 🙂 He was blown away by the Joffrey actor’s acting, gawd what’s his name again? I just saw his address at the Oxford Union a few days ago too….Much respect for the kid, btw. What he had to say, now that’s something you don’t hear too often. Though much of it went right over my head, I understood the gist of it and it’s admirable that he’s following his conscience and not being swayed by the fame/money.

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    43. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      I was under the impression that Edmure is locked in a dungeon at the Twins and Rosalynn was just a trick to piss Rob off (the Frey daughters are not known for their looks and Rosalynn was not seen when Cat was meeting with Lord Walder in season 1).

      He sho’ is! Death…dungeon….death…dungeon…whichever shall I choose?

      I thought Roslin was really Frey’s daughter..I haven’t heard otherwise. Frey is wily indeed, and would hide her. I don’t think he can marry off an imposter though, unless you’re saying Edmure isn’t even married at all? ..well, maybe I’m wrong. But, at least Edmure lives to fight another day!

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