Walk of Punishment

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"Walk of Punishment"
Game of Thrones episode
Game of Thrones-S03-E03 Jaime's hand is severed.jpg
Jaime Lannister loses his hand.
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 3
Directed byDavid Benioff
Written byDavid Benioff
D. B. Weiss
Featured musicRamin Djawadi
Cinematography byMatthew Jensen
Editing byKatie Weiland
Original air dateApril 14, 2013 (2013-04-14)
Running time53 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Dark Wings, Dark Words"
Next →
"And Now His Watch Is Ended"
Game of Thrones (season 3)
List of Game of Thrones episodes

"Walk of Punishment" is the third episode of the third season of HBO's fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 23rd episode of the series. Written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and directed by Benioff, it aired on April 14, 2013.

The title of the episode alludes to a place called "The Walk of Punishment" in the series, a road where slaves are crucified and displayed as examples to the slaves who thought of disobeying their masters.

The episode received a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Series at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.


In King's Landing[edit]

Tywin Lannister calls a meeting of the Small Council. He demands knowledge of Jaime's location, which the spymaster, Lord Varys, is unable to provide. Tywin then announces plans to have Lord Petyr Baelish wed Lysa Arryn to deprive Robb Stark of more allies in the war. Tywin names his son Tyrion as Baelish's replacement as Master of Coin (treasurer), despite Tyrion's pointing out his lack of expertise. Later, while retrieving the ledgers for his new appointment, Lord Baelish advises Tyrion on the job. Tyrion then rewards his virgin squire Podrick Payne with the services of three prostitutes for saving his life in the Battle of the Blackwater; Tyrion is later surprised to discover that they refused payment, apparently due to Podrick's skill in lovemaking. While going over the books, Tyrion discovers that as treasurer Baelish has borrowed millions in gold from Tywin, as well as tens of millions from the Iron Bank of Braavos. A debt to Tywin is a problem since, regardless of his familial relationship with the king, Tyrion fears he will not forgive the debt despite the crown's dire straits. However, he is more worried about the Iron Bank, since if they are not paid back in due time they may very well begin funding the Crown's enemies.

In the North[edit]

Theon Greyjoy is awakened by the cleaning boy, released from his bondage, given a horse, and told to ride east to his sister, Yara, at Deepwood Motte. After riding all night, Theon finds out that he is being pursued by his captors; he is soon caught and knocked off his horse. Moments before their leader attempts to rape him, Theon is saved by the cleaning boy, an expert bowman, who kills the soldiers and accompanies him onward.

At Dragonstone[edit]

Stannis Baratheon accuses Melisandre of trying to abandon him as she is heading to a ship bound for an unknown destination which she claims will be revealed to her by the Lord of Light. Stannis begs her to give him another son, but she says he does not have the strength. She informs him that her magic requires king's blood and that it will be necessary to acquire it from others who share Stannis' blood.

In Astapor[edit]

Ser Jorah Mormont and Ser Barristan Selmy offer Daenerys Targaryen their differing counsel over the choice of soldiers to use upon their return to Westeros. Ser Barristan would have them use free, loyal men, while Ser Jorah presses in favor of the Unsullied. Shortly afterwards, Daenerys declares to slaver Kraznys mo Nakloz that she wishes to purchase all 8,000 Unsullied and the boys still in training to become Unsullied. When Kraznys tells her she cannot afford them, insulting her in Old Valyrian all the while, Daenerys offers one of her dragons, despite the counsel of both Jorah and Barristan. Kraznys demands all three dragons, then two, then simply the largest one, to which Daenerys finally agrees. Before leaving, Daenerys demands Kraznys's slave translator Missandei as a gift "for a bargain well struck," and departs with her.

Beyond the Wall[edit]

The wildling army, led by Mance Rayder arrives at the Fist of the First Men to find a field of decapitated horses arranged in shape of a whirl by the White Walkers. Jon Snow notes that there are no dead Night's Watch brothers amongst the horses, which Orell claims he had seen. Rayder tells Jon that the dead have become wights, and orders Tormund Giantsbane to take 20 men, along with Jon, and climb the Wall. Rayder then says he will light the biggest fire the North has seen to signal them to attack the Night's Watch. He stipulates that if Snow doesn't prove useful, he can be thrown off the Wall.

Arriving at Craster's Keep, the remaining Night's Watch brothers seek refuge under his roof. Craster reluctantly allows them into his keep. After being ridiculed by Craster, Samwell Tarly leaves the keep and witnesses Gilly giving birth to a boy.

At Riverrun[edit]

Lord Hoster Tully is given a ship burial, attended by his family and bannermen. When his son, Edmure, is unable to set the boat ablaze despite three arrow shots, Hoster's brother, Brynden "the Blackfish" shoves Edmure out of the way and sets the boat on fire with one arrow, shaming Edmure in front of the group. Shortly after, while in conference with King Robb, Edmure is chastised for having disobeyed orders not to engage Ser Gregor Clegane. Later, Lady Catelyn Stark discusses her pain with Brynden. Queen Talisa pays a visit to Tywin's captured nephews, Martyn and Willem Lannister, and tends to their wounds.

In the Riverlands[edit]

Props from the episode: Jaime Lannister's severed hand, his shackles and Locke's cleaver.

Arya Stark confronts Sandor "the Hound" Clegane about killing Arya's friend Mycah while traveling from Winterfell, but before the Hound can reply, he is taken away in a cart. Arya and Gendry then say goodbye to Hot Pie, who tells them that the Brotherhood has left him at the inn as payment to the innkeeper after proving his skill as a cook.

Locke and his men transport Ser Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth to Harrenhal. Along the way, Brienne and Jaime bicker about their capture, Brienne chides Jaime for his poor swordplay, and Jaime anticipates the men will try to rape Brienne, suggesting she submit to their advances or face being killed. However, he concedes that if he were in Brienne's position he would make the men kill him. At camp for the night, when Locke's men attempt to rape Brienne, Jaime convinces Locke that Brienne's father is rich and would pay ransom to have her back chaste and unharmed. Locke stops the men from raping Brienne. However, Jaime then tries to secure his own release, promising Locke that his father Tywin will reward him with gold and titles if he is returned to him. Locke feigns acceptance but is actually offended by Jaime's offer, sneers that Jaime is powerless without his father, and drives home the point by severing Jaime's right hand – his sword hand.


"Walk of Punishment" was written and directed by producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.


"Walk of Punishment" was written by the show creators and executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on material from George R. R. Martin's novel A Storm of Swords. The episode adapts parts of chapters 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 28, 32, 34 and 36 of the book (Catelyn II, Jon II, Arya III, Tyrion III, Jaime III, Daenerys II, Daenerys III, Jaime IV, Samwell II and Catelyn IV). The writers also included original storylines including Theon's flight, Tyrion bringing Podrick to a brothel, and Melisandre departing Dragonstone.[1]

In the scene at the brothel, Tyrion claims that the last prostitute he introduces is one of the few women in the world able to perform "the Meereenese Knot". This is an inside joke referring to the name that Martin gave (after the legendary Gordian Knot) to a complicated structural problem that he had to face while writing the fifth book of the series, A Dance with Dragons. This book had to synchronize the arrival of several characters in the city of Meereen while keeping the chronology and causations in line and informing the reader of events happening in places where no point-of-view character was present. Martin worked on solving "the Meereenese Knot" from 2005 to 2011, and it was one of the main causes behind the late delivery of the book.[2][3]


The episode was directed by the writing team itself, although to comply with the rules of the Directors Guild of America only Benioff is credited for directing. For both Benioff and Weiss, it was their first direction experience though the former had previously directed an experimental short film "When the Nines Roll Over".[4]


"Walk of Punishment" introduces the Tully family at Riverrun, marking the first appearances of Lady Catelyn's uncle Brynden Tully, played by Clive Russell, and her brother Edmure, played by Tobias Menzies. Edmure Tully is depicted in the show more harshly than in the books.[1] Talking about his character, Menzies described him as "as comic as Game of Thrones gets ... He's a little flawed, really." Dean-Charles Chapman first appears in the role of Martyn Lannister in this episode. In Season 4, however, Chapman returns portraying a different character: Tommen Baratheon, who was played by Callum Wharry in previous seasons.[5]

Filming locations[edit]

The river Quoile was used to depict the surroundings of the Riverrun castle

The interiors of the episode were filmed at the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, the show's base of operations. For the exterior shots the production used many other locations across Northern Ireland: the Redhall State (County Antrim) for the Inn at the Crossroads, the Clandeboye Estate (County Down) for Craster's Keep, Downhill Strand (County Londonderry) as the coast of Dragonstone, and the River Quoile (County Down) as the setting of Lord Hoster Tully's funeral.[6]

The storylines led by Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen continued to be filmed in Iceland and in the Moroccan city of Essaouira respectively.


The band of Locke's men sing "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", heard for the first time in the series with music composed by Ramin Djawadi. The song, a very popular song in Westeros both among the commoners and the nobility, appears often in the original novels. Singing at the head of the group is Snow Patrol's frontman Gary Lightbody, in a cameo appearance.[7]

The closing credits reprise the song in a new version recorded specifically for the series by the indie band The Hold Steady. The group, one of Benioff and Weiss's favourite bands, was chosen because they wanted the rendition "to be bawdy and a little sloppy – drunken musicians getting up on the table and jamming while the rowdy party continues around them".

The decision to place the song at the end of the episode, right after the amputation of Jaime's hand, was made to reinforce the surprise of the viewers: “It’s such a shocking ending and when we read the scene in the books it was so shocking to us. To really hammer home the shock of that moment you need something unexpected. There’s no version of a traditional score that would keep you as off balance as we wanted that scene to leaving you feeling.”[8][9][10]



"Walk of Punishment"'s first airing was seen by 4.7 million viewers, setting a new viewership record for the show. Taking into account the viewers of the later repeat the figures rose to 5.8 million.[11] In the United Kingdom, the episode was seen by 1.173 million viewers on Sky Atlantic, being the channel's highest-rated broadcast that week.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

The episode was praised by critics; review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes surveyed 21 reviews of the episode and judged 95% of them to be positive with an average score of 8.3 out of 10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A bit of well-placed levity perfectly compliments the shocking final scenes of 'Walk of Punishment', adding up to hands down the most thrilling episode of the season so far—minus one hand."[13] Matt Fowler, writing for IGN, rated the episode 8.8/10, writing "A shocking chop and a rollicking rock song led us out of a strong Thrones episode."[14] Writing for the A.V. Club, David Sims rated the episode an A-.[15] Also at The A.V. Club Todd VanDerWerff gave the episode another A-, praising its quickening of narrative pace.[16] Time magazine reviewer James Poniewozik praised the episode, writing "...one thing I love about it – as a fan of fantasy fiction since I was a kid – is that it has a level of ugly realism missing from much of the genre."[17]


  1. ^ a b Garcia, Elio. "EP303: Walk of punishment". westeros.org. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  2. ^ Martin, George R.R. "Guarded Optimism". Not a blog. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  3. ^ Martin, George R.R. "Talking About the Dance". Not a blog. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  4. ^ Lash, Jolie. "Game Of Thrones: Producers David Benioff & D.B. Weiss To Direct During Season 3". Access Hollywood. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  5. ^ Lash, Jolie. "Game Of Thrones: Access Countdown To Season 3 Q&A — Tobias Menzies Talks Edmure Tully". Access Hollywood. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "Day 23: Filming continues in NI, peep these new pics from the set". WinterIsComing.net. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  7. ^ Power, Rob (April 16, 2013). "Game Of Thrones 3.03 "Walk Of Punishment" REVIEW". SFX. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  8. ^ Hibberd, James (March 5, 2013). "'Game of Thrones' and the Hold Steady team for sesson 3 song -- EXCLUSIVE". EW.com. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  9. ^ Hibberd, James (April 14, 2013). "'Game of Thrones': Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Jaime's big surprise". EW.com. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  10. ^ "The Hold Steady Record Song for 'Game of Thrones'". Rolling Stone. March 5, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  11. ^ Hibberd, James (April 16, 2013). "'Game of Thrones' sets ratings record for latest episode". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
  12. ^ "Top 10 Ratings (1 - 7 April 2013)". BARB. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  13. ^ "Walk of Punishment". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  14. ^ Fowler, Matt (April 14, 2013). "Game of Thrones "Walk of Punishment" Review". IGN. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  15. ^ Sims, David (April 14, 2013). ""Walk of Punishment" (for newbies)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  16. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (April 14, 2013). ""Walk of Punishment" (for experts)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  17. ^ Poniewozik, James (April 15, 2013). "Game of Thrones Watch: That's What the Money's For!". Time. Retrieved April 15, 2013.

External links[edit]