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!


  • 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?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (104 Votes)

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


I think Stannis will surprise us all.


It's obvious Dany is disgusted with what's going on in that city and is going to have those 8000 soldiers turn on them and free the innocent people there.


I have not read the books and thought the same thing the reviewer thought, so let's cut him some slack. You'd have to have been not watching any previous episodes to think Dany would just give up the dragon. I think she's so disgusted with the creep (I also think she has an inkling of the stuff he has said - somehow) and plans something devious to free these people. Bigger than Jorah or the other guy can immediately conceive of.
And Lord TwatBeard is awesome. My husband is considering changing his twitter handle to that.

Matt richenthal

@Gavin: I have no doubt Stannis may be well developed in the books, but I have not read the books. I review this show purely from a TV perspective, episode by episode, just like any other series. And so far, as you seem to agree with your "to a certain extent" comment, you seem to mostly agree that we've seen VERY little of the guy aside from him doing whatever Melisandre says.


Your review stinks. Why don't you actually discuss what happened instead of making a reference like delicious wolf bread. Maybe the context of tat comment is important.


The fact that you think Stannis is one-dimensional reveals your ignorance. I suggest you re-watch his scenes in Season 2. Stannis is one of the most complex characters in the book, and in the show to a certain extent. I'd go as far as to say he's one of the most uniquely written characters in the fantasy genre. I bet you like 'badass' characters like Bronn or Dany.

Matt richenthal

@Steve: I have not read any of the books, nor have I watched any future episodes. My comment on Dany was/is pure speculation because... come on, no way is she giving up a dragon!


Stannis is one of the most underrated characters on the show. Don't know how you confuse him with Davos...


(damn, got cut off). Kinda surprised that no one has brought up that they finally defined Valar Morghulis - All men must die. Anyway, let the great Podrick debate begin.


I second the other comments on the page. Also, the review itself is venturing too close to spoiler territory when talking about Dany's motives when talking about buying her slave army. I know you guys put the reviews of GoT out extremely quickly to appease us the fans, but c'mon. Other than that, it was a good comparison to Buster Bluth as that's immediately what I thought of when I saw it on TV, though not necessarily when I first read it. I still am pretty sure that Podrick ran out of the room minutes after Tyrion left and just walked away with the money, but it seems like most people feel that he was so good in the sack that he got a freebie...from 3 of probably the most expensive prostitutes in the known world (they do work at Littelfinger's afterall). I'll open that up for discussion, but I thought it was just Podrick lying to Tyrion about his "prowess" and then getting stuck when asked about details. Kinda surprised that no one has brought up that they finally defined Valar Morghulis- All men must die. Anyway, the great Podrick debate has begun.

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