I’m going to start with the end first. Holy Cow! (Note: I didn’t want to use cow, but I’m not sure what ages read these reviews). I wished more of “The Walk of Punishment” could have been like its ending, full of shock and awe. When someone is put face down on a tree stump, you think something unpleasant might happen, and then that false sense of security descends, trying to save you just before something completely horrible happens. I had that feeling. That’s why, even writing this, I’m buzzing with Jaime Lannister getting his hand cut off. His hand! And he’s a knight! Oh, that doesn’t bode well. I think two hands is a specific job requirement for a knight, one that wants to live long anyway. This begs the question, is this the breaking of Jamie? Last episode, he lost a sword fight to a woman. Sure, Brienne would do well in the WWE, but still, she’s only a girl to Jaime. Then, at episode’s end, he lost his hand. Where is Jaime’s story going? If he ever gets back to King’s Landing, he will be a far different man, physically and perhaps mentally, than he once was – for better or worse.
Now, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. How was Episode 3 on a whole? Up until the ending, it generally was pretty good. Some scenes were humorous, others dull, still others left me wanting more. One of those scenes came near the beginning, when Tywin Lannister sat with his council on a long, rectangular table. First Baelish, Lord Varys, and Pycelle, all sit in order, to the left of Tywin. Cersei Lannister came in, surveyed the situation, and picked up her chair, tucking it closest to her father’s seat on his right. Then it’s Tyrion’s turn, who knowingly dragged his chair, scrapping it along the floor to the space at the end of the table, directly across from Tywin. Oh, how power makes people do foolish things, acting like little children wanting attention. This plays out wonderfully as Varys rolls his eyes at Tyrion while Baelish gushes to Tywin, the King’s Hand. It makes me think, at some point, this power brokerage can’t hold and, one way or another, they will turn on each other.
The middle part of the episode slowed, as we followed Arya Stark and Gendry leaving with the Brotherhood Without Banners, and Rob Stark’s wife bandaging up two captive Lannister children. It picked up when Jon Snow and his Wildling friends stumbled upon the remains of horses. Severed heads, legs, and other body parts made the shape of a wind wheel. It was a very cool sight, the stark contrast between the dark horse parts and the white snow. I know, morbid, but still cool.
Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges in the Episode was when Dany continued her negotiation for an army at Astapor. In a bold move, she asked for all 8,000 men in a trade. As she didn’t have any money to buy them, she offered up one of her dragons – the biggest of the three. Shocking! But Dany has shown herself to be quite crafty in the art of politics so we shouldn’t sell her short just yet. She may have some plan to get her dragon back. As she stated walking out of the meeting with her new servant, Missandei, “All men must die. But we are not men.”
Also of note in “The Walk of Punishment”, with Tyrion becoming the Master of Coin, we have been given an inside look into the pocket books of King’s Landing, and they are not as deep as we might think. The Crown has borrowed money from Tywin Lannister and the Iron Bank of Brothers, both who will want their money back in spades. Only thing is, there isn’t much money to go around. Could King’s Landing be going broke? We’ll find out, but it is an interesting corridor Tyrion’s storyline has gone down. As he stated, “I’m quite good at spending money but a lifetime of outrageous wealth hasn’t taught me much about managing it.” Wouldn’t we all love that problem?