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Game of Thrones Review: Pleasure and A Lot of Pain

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How ironic. On this episode of Game of Thrones, Podrick Payne was the only character to experience any pleasure.

And while Tyrion's squire got his fill of that emotion, almost everyone else on "Walk of Punishment" suffered through some serious agony, from those crucified for their supposed sins... to those giving birth to a doomed child... to Jaime Lannister, who suddenly has something common with Buster Bluth.

Okay, two somethings. Both also possess hilarious siblings.

Tyrion in King's Landing

But have no illusions over the theme of this installment: nobility does not pay off in the Seven Kingdoms.

Jaime did all he could to save Brienne from defiling, yet paid for it speaking up by losing his hand. Tyrion has continued to try and do what's right in King's Landing, only to now be stuck with books that reveal a massive debt. Dany is looking to avoid innocent bloodshed in her quest for the throne, but is now giving up one of her most prized possessions to take control of an unholy army.

Let's be honest on that one front, though: no way the Mother of Dragons will ever lose one of her children. Come on, Jorah. Give her some credit. There's a plan in place here.

As always, Tyrion was the sole source of humor in an especially disturbing episode. But aside from his creaky chair moving and yearning to learn "copious details" about Pod's free whoremanship, viewers and characters suffered through two near-rapes, the return of Craster and the heartbreak of Catelynn Stark.

While movement up North rivals the non-action beyond The Wall for slowest storyline, the guilt that has poured out of Catelynn over the past two weeks has been effectively overwhelming. Most of us love Game of Thrones for the blood and the action (and the occasional/very frequent nudity), but sometimes a good cry over family members lost - or perceived to be lost - is needed to remind us that a lot more is at stake than power.

But on the positive side, hey… delicious wolf bread!

Elsewhere:

  • Non-readers of the book series (and it's here I must once again remind TV Fanatics that I only review these episodes from the point of view of a television show; please do not spoil storylines for those unfamiliar with George R.R. Martin's work) have no idea who was torturing Theon, but man. It's been enough to almost make me feel bad for the traitor.
  • We spent a few more moments with Stannis and... sorry. I just fell asleep from writing his name. He may have the truest claim to the Iron Throne, but Stannis has been a one-dimensional character in love with some annoying mystery woman for far too long. Should I like him? Dislike him? Root for him? Against him? He's been painted with far too thin of a brush so far.
  • Bronn referred to Littlefinger as "Lord Twat Beard."

So a rough hour for Jaime Lannister, a fun one for Pod, an educational one for Tyrion, an enlightening one for Brienne, a sad one for Catelynn, an embarrassing one for that archer and an advantageous one for Dany.

What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (98 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Jorah is really turning into an old creeper, isnt he

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I enjoyed the episode a lot. I speak as one who hasn't read Book 3 onward. I was flabbergasted by the hand amputation there at the end. I am sure Dany will not give up any of her dragons for any length of time. Heck, they fly, and breathe fire, so how the slave master can keep them from escaping and returning to their "mother" is not hard to figure out. Look what they did to the "ghosts" who tried to keep them from Dany earlier on. Loved seeing Theon get tortured after massacring the people at Winterfell! Sorry he escaped, actually....there's no excuse for that toad! I also loved Arya's moment with the Wolf-shaped bread and taking leave of Hot Pie. It was a sweet moment. Maybe not earth-shattering in the scheme of things, but sweet. Tyrion is always put into some mess not of his making, isn't he. Love the resourcefulness and wittiness of his character tho--he's always engaging.

Lt-troi

I loved this episode. First of all, I agree about Jorah not giving Dany enough credit. After everything that she went through in Season 2, how can he possibly think she'll be letting one of her 'children' out of her sight anytime soon? I don't feel bad for Theon, but while he's a traitor, I do sympathize slightly with his character. I see it a bit as the 'adopted' son sort of situation. Even though he knows he did some horrible things, he was and is just so desperate for acceptance, and to have that identity that was lost to him that he's willing to do the unthinkable to earn his place. I have a feeling it's going to come back to haunt him. As for Jaime, while I again sympathize since he does show to have at least some conscious (hesitating about throwing Brann off the wall, trying to help Brienne despite everything suffer the least amount necessary), for me he was just asking for it. He's usually very good about survival, but here he just read the cards wrong. He surrounded by enemies, hateful, vengeful, jealous, just nasty people, and he's antagonizing this guy who just snaps and decides he needs a reality check to show him just how powerless the 'kingslayer' truly is. As for Stannis, I don't know how to feel. He seems to have taken the 'one true king' straight to his head. He just seems so pitiful, so petty, and so desperate. The one moment that gave me pause was when Melisandre said 'there are others with your blood in their veins' the way his face dropped and he looked away, despite all the differences between all the kingdoms and houses, the one thing that's almost always been sacred is family. I think Renly's death still haunts him slightly, and I think he deep down is questioning just how deep he's willing to go each time to get what he wants. I'm wondering if this might cause a rift between him and the mystery woman.

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I liked this episode a lot. What I think the producers are doing is setting a format so things can ALL move faster together. The 3rd ep. showed almost everyone, or at least the directions they are headed in; for instance, the Hound barely had a minute, but you know he is going somewhere. This way, when things speed up, as they have to, there will be more action, less explaining. I also enjoyed Hot Pie's parting with Arya, introducing the Tullys, Pods' reward, and the mysteries of Theon's rescuer and Millisandre's journey. This show covered a lot.

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well, that's where the man gives his baby boys to the white walkers right? nasty business.
LOVE Tyrion as usual, was sooo proud when he moved his chair too ! But treasurer, really? Well he already found out one discrepancy, wouldn't be surprised if he found another one !
Robb's storyline...boring. They will loose the war, period ! lol.

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"Enlightening" for Brienne??? I really don't understand how ! She almost got raped ! Anyways, I preferred that episode to the last 2. Jamie's hand...well who told him to bribe the man ! Seriously ! Aria scene with bread boy was sad...
Pod, I REALLY wanted to know what happened !!!!
I agree that Dany would never give one of her "babies" to anybody ! She's up to something !!! I have a feeling that she understood what the jerk was saying...
Sorry, but I don't like Stannis. He's an idiot following that redhead !
When the episode started I was like " please no Jon Snow" ! As much as I like him, his storyline is boring so far ! But the horse thingy was visually well
done.
I'm so glad Iwan Rheon is in GoT !!! Still wonder where Theon was or why Iwan's character would help him, but man that near-rape scene was...ugh ! Almost made me feel bad for the guy.
The archer's trying to lit the boat up was sooooooo embarrassing...
The woman giving birth, her scream...awful ! If I remember well, that's where the man gives his baby boys to the white walkers right? nasty business

Fifty

Dany is storyline is most entertaining apart from Tyrion (obviously). Robb one is so boring. Jaime and Arya is ok but I'm really looking forward for Jon Snow's storyline. That's the best for me in 3rd book.

Serenityq2

this is the first episode of the season that started out slow and dull so far. until dany appeared i was dozying off, daydreaming. couldnt tell you one thing that was said or done. but once dany came on the show picked up and OH MY GODDESS THAT ENDING!!! i was so shocked! i was like "this is a dream" or im imagining things cause that did not just happen. i applaud jaime for saving brienne but i still dont like the jerk. and no matter what you do game of throne writers i refuse to like him, ok?

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i hope people didnt learn the wrong lesson from tonights episode. jamie didnt lose his hand because he did a good deed & helped brienne. he lost his hand because he tried to bribe the guard to set him free. any scene with tyrion and bronn is great. dany is better this season but jon snow and beyond the wall is dull. i agree with the dany has a plan posters. a slave society should not sell their entire army and leave themselves defenseless. i really want the dragons to eat that creep. so far i put season 3 ahead of 2 but season one was best. still miss you ned atark.

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I am a fan of the show but the 1st 3 episode of the show is slow and quite boring. I will stay on the show no matter what but I had a hard time convincing my wife to continue. Dany story is probably the only thing interesting and my favorite character Tyrion is waste to writing numbers. I sure hope they pick up the pace soon.