Review - Game of Thrones - S03E03

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As the next A Game of Thrones is on the horizon I can’t help but dread it. No, the episode isn’t a bad one—on the contrary, it’s a great episode. It’s the kind of episode that messes with your emotions and makes you unsure who you want to root for. I dread the next episode because what this episode leaves me with is a blend of excitement, sorrow, confusion and fear.

Like the previous two episodes, ‘Walk of Punishment’ focuses more on the politics and where every major player’s head is. There are no duels or battles like there were last episode, but it’s still worth a watch.

As revealed last episode, Catelyn Stark’s father had died and this episode features his funeral. During the Stark’s air time we focus on Catelyn and her loss rather than the war. Michelle Fairley once again pulls off a wonderful performance as she tells her uncle Blackfish how she would wait at the window for her father as a child and how he would always come back to her.

Though I didn’t tear up, it was the closest I came to it throughout the entire series’ run. Another awful scene is where Sansa finally gets the chance to tell someone what she really thinks of Joffery. It is horrible to see the fear on her face and in her voice, but that was nothing compared to her teary pleas that the Tyrells don’t call off the wedding makes me worry something is going to happen to her.

Beyond the Wall we learn that the Wildlings are about to attack the Wall…and Jon Snow is going to take part of that attack. While this revelation isn’t as emotion fuelled as Sansa’s or Catelyn’s, it fills the viewer with dread. There is no way this is going to end well.

However, this is A Game of Thrones, so there has to be some witty banter peeking through the gloom, right?

Nope. Almost all the lighter moments are dulled by something darker. Brienne and Jaime have a brief exchange as they are lead to Harrenhall, but it is loaded with grim undertones. There’s more emotion lurking beneath Jaime’s wit than usual I suspect, which culminates in the one good act he’s done on screen later in the episode.

We get a tiny bit of awkward humour from Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie’s time with the Brotherhood of Banners, but there’s something darker lurking just around the corner and polluting the smile Arya gives Hot Pie as she admires his baked wolf.

As usual we get some amusing moments from Tyrion and Bronn once Tyrion is named the new Master of Coin (you read that right), but they’re pretty sparse in this episode. Oddly enough, I think this a good thing; in such a painful episode Tyrion and Bronn having a merry old chat through King’s Landing would be out of place. While I love their exchanges, I do feel that sometimes people forget there are main characters other than Tyrion.

Speakin of main characters, Danaerys has simultaneously continued redeeming herself in my eyes and made me want to scream at my TV. I’ll try to avoid revealing what she did (partially since people who missed it won’t believe me) but it is both the most stupid and selfless thing that she has done the entire series. Both men in her queensguard advise her against it but she still does it. It is a nice gesture and shows she is willing to sacrifice for the benefit of her people, but it is going to hurt her in later episodes.

Though this review is quite verbose, I’m only scratching at the surface. There are more uncomfortable sequences in this episode than I am letting on. It is a good episode, but it’s still painful to watch at times. 

Then again, if it wasn’t painful to watch scenes like this it would mean we weren’t invested in the characters so it’s both a good and a bad thing.

Still, hopefully the darkness lightens up tomorrow.

Review by Greta Rehak


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