Hey, how about that? We finally advanced the plot in Game of Thrones! I say that somewhat jokingly but we all have to admit that it’s been pretty quiet with all the introductions of new characters and the reintroduction of everyone’s storylines, so when we finally see things happening, it’s a bit of a jolt to the senses. “Walk of Punishment” starts delving into some good stuff and is a great watch as we see Rob Stark get some great scenes, as well as Jamie Lannister and Tyrion. Hell, we even got a rock song version of “The Bear and The Maiden Fair”, which caught me off guard. Granted, the end of the episode helped with that as well but we’ll talk about that later…
The episode begins with the funeral of Rob Stark’s grandfather and a bunch of botched attempts from his Uncle Edmund Tully in lighting the funeral pyre. Obviously after a few attempts, Rob can’t contain himself despite the fact it’s a funeral. Granted, it’s one of the few smiles we’ve seen of him so he deserves a bit of a break here. We also (finally) get an introduction to Blackfish Tully, who (was in the first book) definitely hits the mark on the boat. I feel it has something to do with him being a badass. Anyways, with the smiles gone, we also get Rob finally taking control and acting like a king in reprimanding Edmund for screwing with his plans in trying to win battles as opposed to the war. A great scene for Richard Madden in where he grapples for control and we needed more Rob Stark. He’s the friggin’ King of the North so we needed more of him than random check ups. Regardless, at Riverrun, we also get Catelyn and Blackfish reminisce about her dear old stubborn father. She then gets sad as she remembers waiting for him to come back from battle and relates it to the fact she might never see any of her kids as they wait for her and Rob. Blackfish acknowledges her grief but then basically tells her to man up, because she has to be strong and show that faith remains that everyone is alright. Otherwise, what would Rob Stark be fighting so hard for? Again, good scene although we get it at this point, Catelyn is not holding up well and it’s starting to show.
We also get an update at King’s Landing with Tywin, Cersei, Tyrion, and the rest of the Small Council. Everyone has a place at the table as they move into position to be closer to Tywin. Cersei moves to the right of her father as the rest of the council moves into position in order to establish themselves, not like kids fighting for attention from their dad. And Tyrion? He knows what he’s doing as he sits across from the long table and makes a commotion dragging his chair from one side of the room to the other. He is less impressed in making a play to get the attention of the father that has shunned him. I thought this was the best scene of the episode as it typifies the constant chess match that Game of Thrones has been known for. Constant power struggles and positioning made this scene extremely entertaining with the lack of dialogue and action for a few minutes and it worked to perfection. At least Cersei thought so too.
Anyways, Littlefinger gets the wonderful task of marrying Lysa, the crazy breast-feeding sister of Catelyn, in order to draw support away from Rob Stark and his forces. Granted it also means Littlefinger has to deal with the mayor of crazytown, but if it means he gets to be an actual Lord, he’ll just about hold her kid up for the meal himself. That also means that Tyrion draws Littlefinger’s old job as Master of Coin. Pretty much a thankless job in managing the books that brings zero joy to one’s own self-worth. Just like a real accounting job. As Tyrion gathers the books, he finally gives his squire the best present of his life. Or any heterosexual teenage male’s life for that matter.
Three prostitutes for saving his life? It makes me want to scour Michigan to find a little person in trouble and save them to see what happens. Anyways, Tyrion pays his way and comes to find out that the kid didn’t need the money and that they accepted him and deflowered for free. This piques Tyrion’s interest and immediately asks for details. Hilarious I must add as him and his protector as confused and just want to know more on how this could actually happen.
Anyways, we also get an update from the Jon Snow group, which gets a nice little Godfather introduction with some horse’s heads and a few body parts as well. Mance Rayder splits the group off to attack the wall and Jon Snow will be the way in. Looks like loyalties will be tested pretty soon. Speaking of conundrums, we get an update from what’s left of the King’s Watch group as they arrive at Craster’s Keep. Sam gets made fun of for his portly shape as we hear a woman’s screams in the background. Giving birth tends to do that and as Sam goes to investigates, he commits the cardinal sin of witness and watching the birthing occur. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure that when a part of bringing a baby in the world, it would be a marvelous experience but crap, I would be scarred for life if I was anywhere but behind my wife because that would ruin all the happy thoughts in my head. But he witnesses a future crime about to happen as the baby turns out to be a boy…and we all know what happens to boys at Craster’s Keep.
Theon finally breaks out and despite having what must be an infection in his mangled foot, he gets to riding in order to escape his captors. Naturally they catch up to him and we get a pretty cool and intense chase scene and he catches a morning star directly to the chest which definitely knocks him the hell down. He does get saved through from Legolas. Okay, not Legolas but from his savior friend (Iwan Rheon) from the keep. Also, is it just me but have archers dominated this season? I blame Katniss Everdeen. But it looks like Theon has an angel overlooking him and his black cloud. He just happens to be an angel from Misfits.
We also see Dany back in Astapor as she navigates the streets of the slave city and debates what it must take in order to win the Iron Throne back. The sacrifices of innocents and using an army of slaves in order to get what she wants. Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan go back and forth between what is right and what is wrong, as well as what it takes to win and the casualties, whether innocent or guilty, that will pile up along the way. Knowing Game of Thrones, there’s going to be a lot of both parties as Dany struggles with the right decision. She ends up going for the 8000 strong slave army but the cost is so exorbitant, it requires one of her dragons, which she gives up despite the objections of Ser Jorah. She also gets the translator woman (who did manage to clean up the translation so as not to get fileted by the dragons by insulting the Dragon Queen) and they look to become fast friends as she wants to protect the people who come along with her, probably something slaves aren’t used to.
This brings us to Jamie Lannister and Brienne. Jamie knows that once they make camp, the men are going to make a run at her and tells her not to resist but of course, what woman wouldn’t resist if going through such a vile act. Despite the differences, you feel Jamie respects her, probably moreso after she beats him in a sword fight earlier. When the awful time comes, Jamie bargains with his captors for her escaping that fate, riches upon riches if they let them be. Jamie thinks he has it in the bag but it looks like they are well versed on his verbal charisma and are having none of it. We then get treated to his punishment and if that wasn’t disorienting enough, we get a rock version of “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” from The Hold Steady. Like I said, that just threw me the heck off but I loved this episode. A lot of stuff happened and we were treated to some great scenes. Of course, we have the song below and a preview of the next episode and some exclusive stills that looks familiar as Game of Thrones pays homage to another great show. Enjoy my friends.