Game of Thrones Recap: Unhand Me

Game of Thrones Jaime loses handDaenerys drives a dragon-sized bargain in this week’s Game of Thrones, and if there’s anything that might make that vile slave trader shut his yap, it’s the prospect of a scaly, winged baby of his own. In other news: The realm gets a new master of coin, Theon briefly tastes freedom and can somebody give Jaime a hand? Let’s review the major developments that take place in “Walk of Punishment.”

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HOUSE STARK: A RIVERRUN THROUGH IT | Catelyn’s dearly departed father is laid to rest in a boat and pushed out into the river; as the mourners watch, a man tries – and misses – to shoot a flaming arrow that will light the bier on fire. An older onlooker huffily pushes the younger man aside, nocks his arrow and lets fly; the burning projectile hits the boat just before it disappears around the bend. (Ye old baller!) When Robb later discusses his troops’ movements with the two men, we learn the elder is Cat’s uncle Brynden “Blackfish” Tully, and the younger is her brother, Edmure. Robb’s not pleased that Edmure didn’t follow his orders in a recent battle. As a result, their side lost hundreds of men and only gained two distant Lannister cousins as hostages.

In another part of the castle, Catelyn breaks down as she remembers waiting for her father to come home from various campaigns and wonders if Bran and Rickon did the same for her before they died. Her uncle bucks her up, reminding her that Robb thinks the boys are still alive, and encourages her to be strong for her son. Meanwhile, Talisa puts the fear of Robb into the Lannister POWs – who, as it turns out, are just little boys — as she sees to their wounds. Yes, she matter-of-factly replies to their big-eyed queries, Robb does turn into a wolf who eats his enemies’ flesh. But they’re safe, she assures them, because he only eats kids during the full moon. (For your dramatic peek at the sky outside the window, Talisa, you get a heh.)

HOUSE STARK: NEEDLE-IS-MY-COPILOT EDITION | When Arya gets mad at Gendry for helping their captors with their armor, she is told that she is a “guest,” not a prisoner. The gang prepares to leave, with a hooded Hound – who is an actual prisoner – in tow, but Hot Pie announces that he’s staying at the inn to bake for the owners. He hands Arya some bread vaguely shaped like a wolf (aw) and tells Gendry, “Don’t get stabbed,” as they ride away. “You don’t… burn your fingers,” the older boy replies as Arya rips into her gift (a girl after my own heart) and calls back that the loaf is tasty. (Aw again.)

HOUSE LANNISTER: PURSE-STRINGS EDITION | Tywin summons Baelish, Pycelle, Varys, Cersei and Tyrion to his quarters: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new small council! Suckup Cersei makes a big show of taking the seat at her father’s right hand; Tyrion makes a bigger show of noisily dragging (ha!) a chair to the end of the table, opposite his pop. On the agenda: Jaime’s whereabouts (nobody has any info), Roose Bolton’s taking of Harrenhal (doesn’t really matter; Tywin has named Littlefinger official lord of that estate) and the very newly landed Baelish’s imminent engagement to Lysa Arryn, sister of Cat, widow of pre-Ned Stark Hand Jon Arryn and Lady Regent of the Vale. Or you may remember her the way I do: The Reason I Will Never Breastfeed. (Side note: That link is mildly NSFW.) Cat’s crazy sibling “has always been positively predisposed to me,” he sniffs, missing out on the hilarious looks exchanged around the table. Oh, and Tyrion is to take Baelish’s newly vacated role of master of coin. He’s not pleased. “I’m quite good at spending money, but a lifetime of outrageous wealth hasn’t made me good at managing it,” he protests.

Nevertheless, he’s soon retrieving the official ledgers from their hiding place at Littlefinger’s brothel, and Podrick is soon retrieving his eyeballs from where they’ve tumbled into Ros’ cleavage. Guess what, kid? It’s your lucky, horny day. As a reward for saving Tyrion’s life during the battle of Blackwater, young Pod is gifted with two very naked courtiers and a nearly naked contortionist, as well as a bag of cash with which to pay them. “Pace yourself, lad,” Bronn says as he and Tyrion take their leave.

Later, Pod returns with all of the cash; Baelish’s ladies so enjoyed themselves, they wouldn’t accept it. (Ha!) The look on Tyrion’s face is fantastic as he pours a cup of wine for his squire and says, “Sit down, Podrick. We’re going to need details.” Does it make me a total perv to wish that scene had gone on a wee bit longer? (Probably.)

HOUSE LANNISTER: NO-GOOD-DEED-GOES-UNPUNISHED EDITION | Lashed back-to-back on a horse, Jaime tries to assert that Brienne was “not beating me,” during the swordfight their captors interruped; he is, of course, so very wrong. Always the charmer, he then informs Brienne she’ll be raped multiple times as soon as the men make camp that evening, and he advises her not to fight so she doesn’t get hurt. 1) Ugh. If not getting pummeled while you’re being sexually violated is the outcome you’re hoping for, life is really, really bad. 2) There is no way for me to convince you of this if you haven’t seen the exchange, but it’s a little sweet… in the most screwed-up of ways. What would he do in her situation, she asks? Oh, he’d make them kill him, he assures her, but he’s not a woman – “Thank God.”

The Kingslayer’s prediction starts to come to pass later that evening, but he saves Brienne’s virtue (and her teeth) by casually dropping that her father has great wealth in sapphires and will pay a high ransom for his “unbesmirched” daughter’s return. When that works, Jaime tries to negotiate for his own freedom. He thinks he’s onto something when he’s unchained, but pretty soon he’s flat on his face in the dirt. “You’re nothing without your daddy, and your daddy ain’t here,” his captor sneers. “Here, this should help you remember.” And just like that, the man uses a knife the size of Florida to cleave Jaime’s hand from his arm. Nicolaj Coster-Waldau’s screams are appropriately terrifying.

HOUSE WE-GREW-UP-AT-WINTERFELL-BUT-AREN’T-REALLY-STARKS | True to his word, the man who promised to free Theon returns to remove him from the torture device and send him off on a horse. Greyjoy is weak, wounded and aware he’s not in the Iron Islands, but he’s able to ride away in hopes of meeting his sister. Soon, though, four men on horseback catch him. Just as Theon is about to succumb to the same fate as Brienne nearly did, an archer takes out all of the men tormenting him. “You’re a long way from home,” the assassin tells a baffled Theon, “and winter is coming.”

Meanwhile, north of the Wall, Mance and his men reach the place Orell saw in the last episode, but find only an artfully arranged spiral of dead horse parts. The “dead crows” the warg spotted are no longer there; Mance doesn’t have to tell Jon that their absence means the White Walkers have reanimated them as wights. He orders Giantsbane and his men – including Jon – to climb the Wall and await his signal. “When it’s time, I’m going to light the biggest fire the north has ever seen!” he cries. (Anyone catch Ygritte’s face when Mance suggested an unhelpful Jon be tossed off the wall? I’m going to borrow one of your favorite phrases, Red, and say when it comes to masking fledgling feelings, you know nothing.)

HOUSE TARGARYEN | In Astapor, Daenerys continues to be disgusted by The Unsullied’s treatment, including the “Walk of Punishment” that awaits any man who transgresses the rules. Jorah says she can’t regain the throne without the slave soldiers, but Barristan suggests hiring sellswords instead – the exchange sets up an antagonistic relationship between the two men. When Dany meets with the slave trader, she offers to buy all 8,000 Unsullied, as well as all of the ones in training. They haggle until she offers him her biggest dragon, then it’s a done deal, with his pretty interpreter as part of the bargain – “as a gift.” Barristan and Jorah think the move is a mistake; after she dresses them down for doubting her in front of strangers, she pulls the interpreter aside to ask for her honest thoughts on the situation. “Valar morghulis,” the woman says, offering the High Valyrian for “All men must die.” Khaleesi’s response? “But we are not men.” Can someone please tell me the High Valyrian for “Aw hell yeah!”?

Now it’s your turn. What do you think Melisandre wants with some Baratheon blood? Does Sam seeking out Craster’s laboring daughterwife mean he’s getting less cowardly by the day? And did you get the Meereenese knot reference? Sound off in the comments! 

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Brian says:

    Pod making the whores of King’s Landing swoon. That’ll be all.

  2. Shani says:

    The show is finally picking up but it still has way too many characters and too many scenes that can be cut down. The pacing seems to be a little slow but it’s getting better.

    • Mike says:

      The show is a direct adaptation of a series of novels, they can’t just kill someone off whenever they feel like it, they’re following a book.

      • Shani says:

        Um where in my post did I mention the show needs to kill someone off to get better? I know they are following a damn book but the show’s pacing is still slow and lacks energy and thrills. You get it? I haven’t been really impressed with season 3 so far. My opinion.

        • R says:

          unfortunately because it is following a book the start is going to be a little duller then the rest of the season, we just have to be patient. just like reading a book the first few chapters are always boring, setting the scene etc etc but in the end its always worth it when you get to the main plots action and all the rest :)
          Its going to be brilliant.

        • Mike says:

          You mentioned the over abundance of characters, no need to get angry.

        • lois says:

          so don’t watch it or read the books and you might get it

    • And yet, with everything we have to go through in a season, they seem to make space to add some boobies and the sexual exploitations of Pod. I mean, really?

      • DL says:

        And a random scene where Robb’s wife messes with the heads of a couple Lannister boys.

        • steve says:

          Two of the best scene in the episode.

          • NR says:

            The scene with Pod (or rather, the after-scene with Tyrion & Bron) was hysterical. I think they didn’t pay him for another reason though – maybe they got information out of him or something? On the other hand, the scene with Talisa was random and seemed out of character for someone who acts all sweet and caring.

            Also, was the person who rescued Theon from the castle the same person who shot the men who were about to rape him? I thought he was, but the recap makes it sound like not. (I haven’t read the book, so I have no idea who either of them actually is and would prefer not to have that spoiled – just want to know if they’re the same)

          • Jules says:

            I can’t respond to NR directly, so here…
            I haven’t read the books either, so I can’t spoil you there, but I would say that the person who freed Theon from the dungeon and the one who shot the men about to rape him are the same, as both scenes were played by Welsh actor Iwan Rheon.

          • Rimboo says:

            I can’t respond to NR directly either, so here…

            I’m sorry if this spoils anything but I just had to respond to this! :)
            I have read all 5 books and I must say that I have no idea of who that guy (who resqued Theon) is or what is going to happen next. In fact, In the books Theon dissapears from the books in the end of book 2 and doesn’t show up again until book 5. My own theories is that the producers have made a “side-story” or a “prologue” of Theon’s “real story” (that will say the story that begins in book 5) so that we don’t forget him until season 5.

          • casey says:

            @NR I’m about 95% sure that the guy who’s helping Theon is going to turn out to be A. Not really his friend. B. Not really helping him. and C. Is actually Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton’s bastard son.

        • Olive says:

          I don’t believe this scene is random. Showing their youth and innoncence and just introducing them in the first place is important if I think what happens to them happens. It will be intergral to a certain decision Robb has to make.

        • Rimboo says:

          This scene is not random at all. You will understand in a few episodes.

          • T says:

            Responding here since I can’t respond to your comment above…

            But the guy who “rescued” Theon is the bastard. Won’t say his name because it’ll spoil others who don’t know, but I’m sure you know who I’m talking about, having read the books…

      • Josh says:

        I have to agree here…the Pod scene and the scene following it could have been better served in Riverrun or Beyond the Wall.

        Overall, fantastic episode but yeah…that was five minutes wasted.

  3. jonathon says:

    the story is being told, maybe too slow for some but we’re in for a lot the rest of the way and despite what some people say i cannot wait for the next week every time. no one has died yet this season, at least in view of us, lady catlyn’s father died, but the longer there is no one dead the more it seems to build suspense that lots will down the road in this season. and that ending, wow, did not think jaime would be harmed. that shocked me lol.

  4. The Rains of Castamere says:

    You all will have nothing to be complaining about in a few episodes.

  5. Jen says:

    I like the pacing. I haven’t read the books, so it gives me time to acquainted with the many characters and all the plotlines, and appreciate some of the humor. And just when I thought this was a fairly uneventful episode, Boom! Jaime is be-handed! And I love Dany, ‘All men will die, but we are not men.’ Ha!

  6. drewcpu says:

    OK… not to be that guy, but the “zombies” are the White Walkers. The dude on the dead horse that Sam saw at the end of last season was a Wight.


    • NR says:

      It’s the opposite – the White Walkers are the skeletal-looking creepy things and the Wights are the zombies. Samwell comments that the White Walkers are the ones with the power to reanimate people, so they cannot be the reanimated people. Also, GRRM has said that the White Walkers are living beings, not undead creatures.

    • Rhaegar says:

      It is literaly the exact opposite of what you said. Except the term “white walker” is an invention of the show.

  7. what! says:

    Loved this episode!I’ve enjoyed the pacing, i think it’s because I love the characters! The humor this week was great, i don’t remember this much humor in one episode last season. My heart was breaking for Brienne and I was surprised that Jaime helped her. Then shocked when he lost his hand! Dany knows what she is doing, she is playing them. Have a feeling people are going to be toast next week. Can’t wait!

  8. JJ says:

    Did anyone else feel like the ending was a bit in a parody?

    *flash of knife as it cuts off Jaime’s hand. Split second of Jaime all “oh no you didn’t” then cut straight to an upbeat ish REM type song for the credits.*

    It was so surreal I had to rewind that bit to make sure it really happened.

  9. Anon says:

    Peter Dinklage has to stop stealing the show with his ridiculous charisma and silkily delivered lines. It’s reached a point where it’s just not fair to his fellow actors and coworkers. Props to Podric and Bron for holding their own in their scenes with Tyrion – Bron with his Everyman Wit…and Podric with his adorable, wide eyed naivete that melts the hearts of whores and Lannisters alike.

    Danearys did more in the one negotiating scene then she did all of last season. Finally-this is the chick who can eat the heart of horse raw and sit in the heart of a fire. Glad girlfriend is finally channeling her inner bada$$.

    Jaime and Brienne’s story if FAR more gripping than Robb and his whining strategizing, Thoen and his whining torture (yeah, I would whine and cry if I was being tortured too, but Theon’s story is just so boring, I really can’t make myself care), and Jon mucking about in the snow with snow people. Please let them be in every episode this season!!! Plus, with Jaime saving Brienne from rape and getting his hand hacked off, I can root for his character and not wonder if that makes me a morally iffy person (dude did throw a kid from a tower, after all).

  10. Lia says:

    “(…) Tywin has named Littlefinger official lord of that estate)… ”

    Actually Joffrey did it last season after Blackwater.

  11. Tahoe Mike says:

    Oh yeah, NOW it’s game on!

  12. Rain says:

    This show goes by so fast, I really wish it was at least 2 hours every week! I’m never ready for the credits to come up, and the weird music straight after Jaime loses his freakin’ hand was weird. I just didn’t see that coming, I really thought once he got unchained from the tree he was going to somehow free himself and Brienne. That scene of them on the horse was just awesome. I love their story and wish they had their own hour long episode each week!

    I also wish they’d ditch Theon’s story – it’s not only irritating because as a non-book reader I have no clue what’s going on but it’s just dreadfully boring. Plus it’s making me kinda feel bad for Theon and I really hate him so I don’t want to feel bad for him.

    Loved the Pod, Bronn and Tyrion part – those 3 are so entertaining together. And I don’t know how he does it, but Peter Dinklage is the only one I know who can make dragging a stupid chair loudly across a room funny.

    • Curt Shannon says:

      Even those of us who have read the books don’t really know what’s happening to Theon (at least in the short-term.) Theon didn’t appear at all in “Storm of Swords” though he was alluded to.

  13. Iwantmytv says:

    The man who freed Theon and the archer were in fact, the same person. Seems some people didn’t notice that for some reason. It’s the actor who stars in the UK show, Misfits.

  14. Tahoe Mike says:

    I thought it was hilarious that the Tyrion, Bronn, and Pod scene cut straight to the sound of a horse whinnying. Nice touch.

  15. Whatever says:

    If Jamie is in need of some help ,Merle from the Walking Dead won’t be needing his “Knife Hand” anymore.

    • Riddle says:

      I think he has more than enough with Brienne’s unbesmirched life from now on. If Jaime didn’t win an ally before that, he has one right now.

  16. Harvey says:

    From what someone told me the Theon scences are actually from Book 5. So no clue why they time jumped.

  17. Plum says:

    In previous seasons I watched for the Imp and the Starks, but this season I’m all about Brienne and Jaime, they are having one hell of a season and it’s only ep 3. Very excited to see Theon and Iwan Rheon; did I sense some slash fiction happenin’ between them? Dani is outfoxing those slave sellers, I predict bad things for them. Dani believes in killing the wicked so I think that slave master’s head will roast by ep 4.

  18. Jana says:

    The podrick scene and the chair scene made that episode well besides the endings. I liked the lighter feel that ended with a bang. Great episode.

  19. nas says:

    The Theon scenes are occuring at the right time, you just dont hear about them until book five.

  20. flea says:

    Without trying to offend anyone of nationality, it totally blows my mind how the Brits, Irish, Scotts, Aussies, and New Zealanders manage to make spell binding series and movies. I am beyond words. I remember many, many years ago, being captivated by Eastenders, R U being served, etc and love the pace and constant change of direction of this most fascinating story telling. I won’t even start with the films. Lord of the Rings etc, Fantastic, and Bravo. It is a shame most americans(I am one), do not even know.

  21. Ella says:

    The dead horses made me want to cry.