Game Of Thrones 3.03 “Walk Of Punishment” REVIEW

Game Of Thrones 3.03 “Walk Of Punishment” TV REVIEW

Episode 3.03
Writers: David Benioff and DB Weiss
Directors: David Benioff

THE ONE WHERE Tyrion is given a new job, Dany gambles with her dragons,  Jaime talks himself into trouble and Mance Rayder prepares for war.

VERDICT Ouch. Did you find yourself clutching your wrist at the end of this week like we did? Game Of Thrones has never exactly been a slouch in delivering shock endings, but this week will take some beating. Lopping off a lead character’s sword hand in a show that, let’s face it, is all about the swords, is  going to have some serious consequences for soldierly glamour-boy Jaime, and all that just as we’d started to warm to him (he had just saved Brienne, after all).

That brilliantly delivered ending aside, there was a feeling of gathering momentum in this  episode that has been a little absent from previous weeks, making this the season highlight so far. From the impending war north of the Wall to Dany’s outrageous dragon-gambling gambit to secure herself an army, the showrunners obviously feel that all the new characters and situations have been bedded in enough now and we can get down to business.

The disparate plot lines held together much better this week as well, the jumps feeling more fluid and coherent than in previous eposodes, and we were treated to another beautiful new location in Riverrun, the home of the Tullys. There were plenty of comedy moments to keep that horrific ending (and the pair of near-rapes) from becoming too much as well, with both Hot Pie’s bread Direwolf and Pod’s bedroom acrobatics helping keep a healthy balance between light and dark. Not that Jaime Lannister will be laughing much in the near future, but them’s the breaks we suppose…

SHOT OF THE WEEK AWARD Not a camera shot this week, but rather the super close-up kill shot that Iwan Rheon delivered to Theon’s captors, which proved that sometimes up close and personal really is better.

FENG SHUI READCHES WESTEROS Never one to be out done, Tyrion’s hilarious chair-moving at the small council meeting  somehow made Cersei’s attempts to place herself in a position of power look the more childish.

MYSTERY OF THE WEEK Exactly what did Pod do with those extremely experienced ladies of the night? Turns out it was Tyrion’s squire who was the real lover man all along.

DID YOU SPOT? Riding at the head of the column that captured Jaime singing “The Bear And The Maiden Fair” was Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody. The song over the end credits is by The Hold Steady.

BEST LINE
Jorah Mormont: “Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fount nobly, and Rhaegar died.”

Rob Power

• Read our other Game Of Thrones season three reviews
• New episodes of Game Of Thrones season three are currently airing in the UK on Sky Atlantic, Mondays at 9pm.
Check out our SFX Book Of Game Of Thrones, a 180-page guide to the TV and book phenomenon, which is available now!