Game Of Thrones season 3 episode 3 review: Walk Of Punishment

Review Ron Hogan 15 Apr 2013 - 07:30

The only thing frustrating Ron about Game of Thrones' third season is how quickly its episodes go by. Here's this week's review...

This review contains spoilers.

3.3 Walk of Punishment

On a show like Game of Thrones, you never know what's going to happen or who is going to be a stand-out character. For example, in a group with Tyrion, Bronn, and Pod the squire, who would be most likely to be the most interesting character in the scene? Well, it wasn't him, unless you said Pod. Ditto a scene with Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie. It's a surprising gift from the show to take ancillary characters and turn them into people you root for, like, and even feel sorry for depending on who they are and their circumstances. I shouldn't feel anything besides amusement towards Hot Pie, but here I am.

It's interesting to see how the show is changing as the season goes on. The fortunes have been shifting, both north of and south of the wall. The men of the Night's Watch are limping back towards the safety of Westeros, sniping at each other and searching for the comfort of Craster's Keep and a warm fire. Things aren't going well for them; things haven't been going quite so well for Robb Stark, either. He's been winning, but his uncle Edmure (Tobias Menzies) has somehow managed to screw up his plans and thus, Robb is not a happy king or having as much success against the Lannister host as he wants. (He's also an abject failure at carrying out his father's last wishes, leaving it up to the Blackfish - the brilliant Clive Russell - to do the job.) Oh yeah, there also seems to be tension between Dany and her two guardians, Barristan the Bold and Jorah the Andal. It's a bit of a one-upsmanship between the two grizzled knights, with Barristan taking the noble route and Jorah taking the practical route (which seems proper for both characters). 

You have to give credit to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The two have been running a very tight ship on the series, adapting one of the hardest series of books imaginable into a brilliant television series. They've written episodes, but never before have they taken the hot seat behind the camera as directors. As far as the IMDb knows, they've never directed anything before now, and for a debut, it's actually pretty good. There are no major flaws with the episode; it jumps around as is Game of Thrones' wont, but the pacing is good. The pair also manage to film a very impressive horse chase, no mean feat for the inexperienced. 

The show does jump around between characters and settings quite a bit, but unlike last season with Dany's adventures in the Red Waste, this season seems to be willing not to spend time on characters who don't have a lot of importance. I understand that Dany was a big part of the first season and you can't just kind of abandon her for the second season simply because she's not a huge part of the second book, but that was time in which we could have gotten more Tyrion as Hand of the King. This season, we seem to get just enough check-ins with certain characters, with others getting more episode time depending on their need and storyline. I may only get five minutes of Tyrion Lannister, but one scene of him at the Small Council meeting can still be the highlight of the night. 

The only problem with getting small doses is that episodes can occasionally feel incomplete, or lacking a climax - that is not the case this week, but I digress. I would love to just immerse myself in one storyline for an episode (as with Blackwater last year) and not feel compelled to check in. Perhaps that will happen again this season, but so far we've been getting several teases and no real lingering in any place for longer than five minutes or so. If the show keeps this up, some folks may not be satisfied but the only problem I'm currently having with Game of Thrones is that the episode goes by too quickly and there are too many interesting things happening for one single hour of programming. 

If only there weren't a week between episodes and I could just consume them en masse like I did with the first season.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, Dark Wings, Dark Words, here

US Correspondent Ron Hogan feels like he's making a scene whenever he drags a chair across a tile floor and makes that hair-curling screeching noise. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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The ending was...unexpected to say the least :D. And that music at the end....lowut. Cool though. I can't wait for the rest of the series. Damn what good show.

That song at the end was actually sung in the book by the group wthat Arya is with (although I don't think they are going to sing it in the show cause its already been) and it was sung by the group Jamie and Brienne are with, however I don't know whose stupid idea it was to turn it into a punk song but they should be shot. The episode was cool though!

I'd argue that The Hold Steady aren't punk.

Sorry to be pedantic, but it was Benioff alone who directed, not both of them.

The stand out episode of the season so far. The first two episodes seemed a little disjointed with the cuts to different groups of characters, but this seemed to work better. I'm appreciating the increase of pace in Dany's story, and THAT ending was just superb.
(Except the out-of-place music: take a lesson from Lost, shocking effects can be achieved with an orchestral set-up.)

I thought that end credit music was a torrent troll!


The guy is billed as playing Ramsay Bolton, my suspicions are strongly leaning towards it's all an orchestrated way of breaking Theon. I don't trust him, but of course the show has to set him up for the betrayal to be more resonant later. Plus it gives both characters something to do.

Actually, they did both direct, but Benioff took the sole official credit. :)

watch it for free at GATVERcom

Absolutely brilliant episode. This is easily the best show on tv at the moment IMO. After the disappointment that The Walking Dead has turned into, I'm so so SO glad we have Game of Thrones :-) As an aside, I really like that the TV show isn't quite as dark as the books. Too much more torture of poor Theon would have been too much. And I really enjoy the frequent lighthearted moments in this episode. E.g. Pod and Hot Pie. Good stuff.

Oh damn...I thought they had taken some artistic license with this plotline and lightened it a bit. So more torture to look forward to :(

The episodes are being spread a bit thin. I'd rather have less but longer story lines per episode.

--- Spoilers from the Books ---

Theon torture has obviosly just begun, sorry.

If you watched the same one I did it cuts off slightly early and the music kicks in.

A bear there was,
A bear, A BEAR!
All black and brown,
And covered with hair!

I think the rains of castamere may be a one point of view episode

I recently started watching Game of Thrones, and i fell in love with it. When i started watching it, i would watch two or 3 episodes a day. But now that i catch up , is freaking hard to wait a week just to watch one episode! A part of me always dies when the credits show up, and i realize i have to wait another week. This episode was awesome btw, nice song at the ending.

Game.of.Thrones.S03E03.HDTV.XviD-AFG , this version is perfect, no loss audio.

Lannister losing a hand, bout time the slimy chod got some comeuppance

Sorry I meant Ramsey Bolton. Yea that's pretty much what I thought. Some of the stuff they do to him is going to be pretty horrible to watch

Definitely the best episode of the season so far. They nailed the pacing of the particular storylines in this episode, something they struggled with in the first two. I loved the chair rearranging scene and the whole scene with Pod and the whores. It's nice to have a bit of humour in a show with such a dark landscape. The music at the end after Jaime lost his hand was very True Blood-esque, they end every episode in the exact same way.

That small council meeting was the highlight, the way there was no dialogue for the first half was inspired, and the Lannisters moving the chairs to suit themselves was just perfect. Best show on TV at the moment, pure class.

I have no idea what you mean *cough*

Yay! It's going to be just like Saw for Theon :) Can't wait to see how the makeup department makes him look

They might get Arya in there too..suppose it's the same place though

Am I alone in not enjoying this season so far? Something has felt lacking. The music at the end, whilst a nice in joke between the directors, perhaps, was disastrous and a real mistake. Take a lesson from Breaking Bad: for the really big, shocking and dramatic endings, roll the credits in silent. It's much more effective. Especially for a medieval show, completely reminds the viewer of the present day. Huge mistake. I'm just not sure why this season isn't sitting quite as well with me, I genuinely think it might be watching with adverts disrupts the flow of the programme, which I haven't had to deal with before. Anyone share my sentiments, or am I alone in my semi-disappointment?

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