THERE ARE BLATANT AND CLEAR SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE EPISODE YET, COME BACK AND READ IT AFTERWARDS.
“Walk of Punishment” pretty much covers the emotional ends of the Game of Thrones spectrum. Plenty of humor to start and finishes with a shocking ending.
As Robb and Catelyn say goodbye to Lord Tully, an embarrassing display of funeral rituals by Edmure are rescued by Brynden the Blackfish. Afterwards, Robb straightens out Edmure for his poor strategic “victory” at the mill. In the new Small Council chambers, it is decided that Littlefinger will marry Lysa Arryn and become the Lord of the Eyrie. It’s also decided that Tyrion will become the new master of coin for the kingdom.
Jaime and Brienne are still captured. Jaime suggests that when night comes and with it, horrific actions of their captors, that Brienne just them rape her. While it seems like a cold bit of conversation, there seems to be genuine care in his words. Arya and Gendry leave with the Men without Banners, including The Hound. Catelyn and Brynden discuss Lord Tully. Martin Lannister has the rumors confirmed that Robb becomes a wolf at night. Mance, Jon and company find the symmetrical swirl of horse corpses at the Fist of the First Men. It’s decided that while Mance preps his army, Jon and a few others will climb The Wall.
Lord Commander Mormont and his disheveled crew arrive at Crastor’s. Theon is set free in the night. Melisandre tells Stannis she’s leaving, but will return. Daenerys trades her biggest dragon for the sell-sword slaves. Tyrion and Littlefinger battle wits and discuss his new position as master of coin. Pod gets his thank you gift for saving Tyrion and the following scene is just as hilarious as he details his exploits to Tyrion and Bronn. Theon escapes capture thanks to a mysterious ally (from Winterfell?). Jaime convinces
Vargo Locke not to allow his men to rape Brienne. He also fails to fully convince him to let him go and pays a price.
1. Tyrion becomes Master of Coin.
In what begins as one of the most humorous scenes I can remember from the entire series, it ends up being a physical chess match to act as the powerful seat in the room. Each character demonstrates their desires through their actions. Littlefinger taking the closest seat to Tywin, jockeying for power. Varys slyly watches and takes the second seat. Maester Pycelle shuffles into third. Cersei enters and carries a chair to the far side on her father’s right side. Tyrion perfectly drags his chair to the other head of the table. It’s a brilliantly written scene and metaphor for the power in the room, and the shifting of that power between these players.
While this is a short scene, it’s impact on where this season is heading is absolutely pivotal. Mance’s desire to march on The Wall is coming fast. When Mance says that he will “light the biggest fire the north has ever seen” you know he means it and that the epic fight at The Wall is nearly upon us. As the White Walkers leave their mark (although unseen), their threat is ever present. Soon it may be seven different armies fighting for power (Stannis, King’s Landing, Robb, White Walkers, Mance, Daenerys, Greyjoys).
3. Jamie plays his cards and loses the hand.
Jaime’s armor has always been his intelligence, but even more, his family name. Dropping the prospect of gold and titles to would-be captors usually goes the way he wants. Also, as predicted, Brienne is about to be raped when Jaime convinces his captor to not do it – sapphires will be their payment for her safe return to her father. After he successfully saves Brienne and her honor, he apparently talks his way out of his chains. However, all is not to be believed. He is brought to a rock table, held head down and told that his father’s name and money will not save him. To remind him of this,
Vargo Hoat Locke takes his right hand off in one fell stroke.
The Kingslayer just lost his best weapon. What this means for his legacy, and even more, what it means for the Lannister vengeance sure to follow, is unpredictable, but it surely fierce.
3.5. Daenerys gets her army.
Trading away her dragon is considered a huge mistake to Jorah and Barristan, but apparently Daenerys has another unsaid plan. She has her unbending slave army of 8000 ready to march. 8000 and two dragons should be enough to take down any armies in her way right?! Although I’m sure that third dragon is coming back soon.