Game of Thrones: Walk of Punishment   First Watch 
June 22, 2015 8:24 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

A farewell to arms, so to speak.

Missandei: "Valar morghulis."
Danaerys: "Yes. All men must die. But we are not men."

Longer Summary (contains spoilers)
In King's Landing: Hand of the King Tywin calls a meeting of the Small Council and demands to know where Jamie is. Varys doesn't know. Tywin announces plans to have Littlefinger wed Lysa Arryn of the Eyrie, to deprive Robb Stark of more allies in the war. Tyrion is named Baelish's replacement as royal treasurer. Later, Littlefinger advises Tyrion on the job. Tyrion rewards his squire Podrick for saving his life at the Battle of Blackwater with the services of three prostitutes at once. Pod is apparently quite the lover, because all three refuse payment afterwards. While reviewing the books, Tyrion discovers that Baelish has borrowed millions in gold from Tywin and tens of millions from the Iron Bank of Braavos to keep the Kingdom running. A debt to Tywin is a problem, but a debt to the Iron Bank could be a catastrophe. If they're not repaid in a timely manner, they could begin funding the Crown's enemies.
At Riverrun: Lord Hoster Tully is given a burial in the river attended by his family and bannermen. When his son, Edmure, is unable to set the boat ablaze despite three arrow shots, Hoster's brother, Brynden "the Blackfish" shames him. He shoves Edmure out of the way and does it himself with a single shot. Queen Talisa pays a visit to Tywin's captured nephews, Martyn and Willem Lannister, and tends to their wounds.
At Dragonstone: Stannis accuses Melisandre of trying to abandon him, as she's leaving on a ship bound for an unknown destination which she claims will be revealed to her by the Lord of Light. Stannis begs her to give him another son, but she says he does not have the strength. "Your fires burn low, my king." Melisandre tells him that her magic requires a king's blood to work, and she needs to acquire some.
In the North: Theon is awakened by the cleaning boy and set free. The boy gives him a horse and tells him to ride east to his sister, Yara, at Deepwood Motte. With his captors in pursuit, Theon gets caught and is knocked off his horse. Moments before their leader attempts to rape him, Theon is saved by the cleaning boy.
Beyond the Wall: Mance Rayder and his army arrive at the Fist of the First Men to find a field of decapitated horses arranged in shape of a whirl by the White Walkers. Jon notes that there are no dead Night's Watch brothers amongst the horses, which Orell had claimed to have seen. Rayder believes the Watchmen have become White Walkers. He orders Tormund to take 20 men including Jon and climb the Wall.
The remaining Night's Watch brothers retreat to Craster's and demand refuge. Sam leaves the keep and witnesses Gilly giving birth to a boy.
In Astapor: Sers Jorah and Barristan offer Dany counsel regarding an invasion of Westeros. Ser Barristan would have them use free, loyal men. Ser Jorah wants her to use the Unsullied. Dany makes the slaver Kraznys mo Nakloz an offer: she wishes to purchase all 8,000 Unsullied men, as well as the Unsullied boys that are still in training, for one of her dragons. Jorah and Barristan beg her not to make the deal. Kraznys insists on the largest dragon. Untranslated: “And this because I like the curve of your ass.” Daenerys agrees, but demands his slave translator Missandei as a gift. She leaves with Missandei.
In the Riverlands: Arya confronts the Hound about killing Mycah. Arya and Gendry say goodbye to Hot Pie, who will be remaining at the tavern as a cook/baker.
Locke and his men transport Jaime and Brienne to Harrenhal. Jaime tells Brienne that the men will try and rape her that evening. When they camp for the night, Jaime tells Locke that Brienne is also a valuable prisoner, from the rich “Sapphire Isles” ruled by Lord Tarth, and is worth a fortune if delivered with her honor unbesmirched. Locke stops his men. But Jaime then goes to far: he promises Locke that Tywin will reward him with gold and titles if Jaime is returned. Offended, Locke tells him: "You’re nothing without your daddy, and your daddy ain’t here. Never forget that. Here, this’ll help you remember!” And then, shockingly, chops off Jamie's sword hand with a knife. "It’s brutal, and conclusive, and the message is unmistakable: Your money’s no good here."

Ser Barristan [to Dany]: "When your brother Rhaegar led his army into battle at the Trident, men died for him because they believed in him, because they loved him, not because they'd been bought at a slaver's auction. I fought beside the last dragon on that day, Your Grace. I bled beside him."
Ser Jorah: "Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly. And Rhaegar died."

Introduced in this episode
* Ser Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully, knight and member of House Tully. Younger brother of the late Lord Hoster Tully and uncle of Catelyn, Lysa, and Edmure.
* Lord Edmure Tully, Son and heir of the late Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun. Younger brother of Catelyn and Lysa.
* Willem and Martyn Lannister: squires in the Lannister army. Both are younger sons of Kevan and younger brothers of Lancel.
* Karl Tanner, brother of the Night's Watch.

Notes (cribbed from here)
* Episode title comes from the Walk of Punishment in Astapor, where tortured or punished slaves are displayed.
* The song played during the end credits is The Bear and the Maiden Fair, performed by The Hold Steady.
* First episode to be directed by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
* The Iron Throne's debt problems, with the realm being an astonishing six million Gold Dragons in debt, were mentioned way back in episode 3 of Season 1, "Lord Snow", exactly twenty episodes ago. The outbreak of the War of the Five Kings didn't make such massive debts simply go away, and now the Lannisters have to come around to addressing this as a major problem. As Tyrion explains, Littlefinger always acted like he was brilliant at finding money, but it turns out that he was really borrowing massive amounts of money from foreign banks, such as the Iron Bank of Braavos.
* In the books, tortured slaves in Astapor are put on display in the "Plaza of Punishment", not a "Walk of Punishment" on the battlements. This change arose from complications in the shooting location: the old city section of Essaouira, Morocco where the scenes in Slaver's Bay are filmed features an esplanade of gunpowder cannons, which could not be physically removed. This posed something of a problem, as Production Designer Gemma Jackson explained: "A whole line of cannons...they were absolutely immovable. And we don't have cannons in our world [Westeros and Essos]...We decided to incorporate them into the Walk of Punishment and we built 'cannon covers'. And actually, the repetition of them made them look even better. I don't think anybody would question that they weren't there, all the time."
* Tyrion says that the contortionist-prostitute Kayla is one of only four women in the known world who can properly perform a sexual position known as the "Meereenese Knot". This is a subtle in-joke for fans of the books. In the A Song of Ice and Fire fandom, the "Meereenese Knot" is a reference to a complex series of plot problems George R.R. Martin encountered while writing the fifth novel in the series, A Dance with Dragons, problems which delayed the novel for a considerable amount of time.
* This episode was nominated for the 2013 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Costuming For A Series.

Bronn: “I’ve never borrowed money before. I’m not clear on the rules."
Tyrion: “Well, the basic principle is: I lend you money, and after an agreed upon period of time, you return it. With interest."
Bronn: “And what if I don’t?"
Tyrion: “Well, you have to."
Bronn: “But what if I don’t?"
Tyrion: “This is why I don’t lend you money."
posted by zarq (9 comments total)
This is a First Watch with Books thread.

Please do not reveal spoilers for subsequent episodes from any source.

Thank you.
posted by zarq at 8:24 AM on June 22, 2015

I apologize that this is late. I should be back on schedule this Friday.


From the EW recap:
"Tywin is waiting at the head of the table for the Small Council and…

Okay now Thrones producers are just showing off. It’s like they made a bet with themselves: 'If we have all six major characters in one room, can we create nearly two minutes of action that’s awesomely entertaining without relying on any dialogue, sex or fighting?'

Here’s what happens: All the chairs except Tywin’s are lined up along the left side of the table (I wonder if Tywin purposely arranged them that way?). Varys, Littlefinger and Pycelle pause – they’re terrified of Tywin. Littlefinger leaps in front of Varys to get the chair to the master’s left. Varys takes the next one. And Pycelle, doing his fragile old man act, is content to have the third (pretending to be agreeable and nonthreatening is how Pycelle has survived all these regimes). Now Cersei’s turn. Instead of sitting several seats down from her father, she picks up a chair and carries it around the table and places it at her father’s right hand side – check.

Finally, Tyrion’s move. The remaining chair is the farthest from Tywin on the left. This seems to present a problem for Tyrion, both strategically and perhaps even physically given the weight of that chair if he is to retain his dignity.

What happens next is perfect. Tyrion tilts back the empty chair and slowly and obnoxiously drags it across the floor – sarcastically mocking the jockeying for position that has just transpired – and then places his chair at the opposing end of the table from Tywin, facing his father as an equal. Tyrion manages to ridicule what the others did while beating them at their own game – checkmate.

Hey, what’s another name for the ceremonial chair used by a head of state or a high dignitary?

That’s right.

These six characters just literally played a game of thrones. (I should now point out this episode is the directorial debut of one of the Thrones showrunners, David Benioff)."
This is the scene.

There's a great parody of it on YouTube: Tywin's Dinner Party
posted by zarq at 8:30 AM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

Thanks for continuing to fill out the season with these great posts, zarq!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:47 AM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, thanks! I'm having a lot of fun with them. :)
posted by zarq at 9:59 AM on June 22, 2015

As always, awesome post zarq.

Jaime losing his hand is a different type of shocking moment for the show - instead of someone being cruelly tortured or killed, someone is maimed and then left to survive. For all of the vicious acts on the show, it's interesting how rarely the show goes to the idea of maiming/crippling a character as opposed to disposing of them. And it fits - Bran was crippled by Jaime, and is searching for new purpose/identity as a result. Now Jaime loses his sword hand...
posted by nubs at 10:02 AM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Instead of sitting several seats down from her father, she picks up a chair and carries it around the table and places it at her father’s right hand side – check.

Not only that, but she takes care to leave the fifth chair as far from the others as possible. She could have taken the chair from the end, but she left that one, standing alone, for Tyrion.

Also Littlefinger's look of envy/irritation and Varys' admiring expression. Awesome.
posted by tracicle at 10:42 AM on June 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yup. In the show I think that is the moment Varys realizes that Tyrion is a serious player.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:25 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I always think back to this moment (from s02e03) as when Varys started to regard Tyrion as a major player and potential asset.
posted by nubs at 11:56 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

The chair scene was laugh out loud brilliant. As was the flaming arrow.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:30 AM on September 23, 2018

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