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Game of Thrones – Walk of Punishment Review: When to Root for Someone?

Tonight’s episode, Walk of Punishment, starts off surprisingly comical. The first scene takes place at the funeral of Robb’s grandfather where his uncle, Edmure Tully, inadvertently makes things awkward by missing the boat with his flamed arrows. To be fair, that does look like a pretty tough duty to pull off. On a side note, as a fan of HBO’s Rome, it is interesting to see the actors for both Caesar and Brutus in this series now.

Edmure seems to be a Tully with some Lannister traits. Robb chews him out for not sticking to his plan, in a scene that further develops him as a strong leader and strategist. Even though Tywin comes off as more powerful and better supported, Robb is still a worthy adversary to him. The deck does seem stacked against Robb, since it appears that Little Finger is about to marry Robb’s aunt and the Tully’s might soon be turning into enemies. While Robb might have the better mind when it comes to military strategy, Tywin knows how to play the game on many different levels.

The other awkward and funny scene involved the Lannisters as Tyrion and Cersei do some rearranging. It is amazing how Tywin can be frightening without even speaking. I am curious to learn his reasoning behind making Tyrion the treasurer of King’s Landing. It seems like Tyrion has many strengthens, but like he says himself, dealing with money isn’t one of them. He didn’t even know he wasn’t paying his squire this whole time. The King’s Landing plotlines slightly inched ahead but nothing major happened and unfortunately there were no Tyrells. The events going on beyond the wall are also slowly inching ahead, but much like last season, they’re somewhat of a chore to watch. I am referring to both Sam and Jon.

Really, why does Sam even get screen-time? All the other plotlines are following someone from a noble house that has something to do with the overall war. It’s possible the events happening with Sam could lead to further knowledge about white walkers, which affects their entire world, but couldn’t we just see that with Jon? Sam himself is likable, but him leading an independent storyline feels unjustified and like filler.

So far, Jon hasn’t done anything this season besides change clothes and walk around, so besides the clothes part, it’s what he did all of last season too. I am hoping that white walkers aren’t just something we see during season premieres and finales, because that’s how it feels so far. The main reason the plotlines beyond the wall have any weight or justification for existing is because white walkers are supposed to be a threat to everyone, so the show actually needs to prove that and not act like they’re chasing bigfoot.

The Tyrion plotline was somewhat lighthearted and the Night’s Watch side of things is dragging, but the storylines involving Theon and Jamie were dark and the latter one is a game changer for the character. For both men it has hard to know when, or even if, to root for them. Theon has betrayed the Starks, which were like family to him, but they were also his prison guards, he went overboard on trying to please his “real” family, which is his own fault but it’s not a completely black and white situation. Perhaps he deserves to die, but it’s hard to want anyone to be tortured for an indefinite amount of time. Looking at the tone of the show, the writers having a male supporting character raped is very possible, but luckily, an arrow saves Theon from that fate.

Jamie steps up and saves Brienne from their captors. However, after seeing Jamie perform an honorable act, we  quickly see something horrific done to him. It’s a shame we never really got to see him fight at full strength or without someone interrupting like with the Ned fight; it was boasted as if he was one of the best swordsmen in the show’s universe. However, with his right hand gone he’ll never be the fighter he once was. This also leads back to if we should even feel bad or root for him. He is the same man that threw Bran out of the window and paralyzed him permanently, so him losing his hand is a very small debt to pay for that action and his other misdeeds. With this show it’s never as easy as good and evil, most characters are murky and gray.

Dany is still locked in a moral choice herself on whether or not to use the slave army. Jorah brings up some very good points, since they could be a finely tuned killing machine under her command, rather than a big wave crashing down destruction on everyone if someone else buys them. The slaver who’s talking to the translator is darkly funny. I am hoping that Dany has secretly known the language he’s been speaking this whole time and she lets him know before they part ways.

Her selling a dragon is hard to swallow, between her doing that and the questions she asked, it seems like she’s going to double cross the slavers with their own creations. There’s no way she would give up one of her kids for an army. Even though Dany hasn’t done anything as bad as Jamie or Theon, she can sometimes be the hardest character to like. Her sense of entitlement and arrogance sometimes comes out and it’s not pretty, such as her yelling at Jorah and Selmy. That attitude is probably in all royalty, but we’ve yet to see it in Robb, who’s far more likable and has accomplished a lot more than Dany. If Dany ever makes it across the sea, it will be interesting to see how she interacts with the other main characters, of all the noble houses.

Rating
8.3

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