Walk of Punishment

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"Walk of Punishment"
Game of Thrones episode
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 plans to have Baelish wed Lysa Arryn to deprive Robb of allies, and names Tyrion the new Master of Coin. Tyrion rewards Podrick with prostitutes, later learning they refused payment. Discovering that as treasurer Baelish borrowed millions in gold from Tywin and tens of millions from the Iron Bank of Braavos, Tyrion fears Tywin will not forgive the debt and the Iron Bank may fund the Crown's enemies.

In the North[edit]

Freed by the cleaning boy, Theon rides east to Yara at Deepwood Motte, but is caught by his captors. Their leader prepares to rape him, but the boy arrives, slaying the soldiers and accompanying Theon onward.

At Dragonstone[edit]

As Melisandre prepares to sail for an unknown destination, Stannis begs her to give him another son, but she says he does not have the strength and her magic requires king's blood, which must be acquired from others who share Stannis' blood.

In Astapor[edit]

Daenerys negotiates with slaver Kraznys mo Nakloz, offering her largest dragon in exchange for all 8,000 Unsullied and boys in training, and Kraznys's slave translator Missandei.

Beyond the Wall[edit]

The wildling army finds decapitated horses arranged in a spiral by the White Walkers, and Rayder tells Jon the dead Night’s Watch have become wights. Ordering Tormund to take a party, including Jon, to climb the Wall, Rayder says he will signal them with a fire to attack the Night's Watch.

The remaining Night's Watch take refuge at Craster’s Keep, where Sam witnesses Gilly give birth to a boy.

At Riverrun[edit]

At the ship burial of Lord Hoster Tully, his son Edmure is shamed by his uncle, Brynden "the Blackfish”. In conference with Robb, Edmure is chastised for engaging Ser Gregor Clegane. Catelyn discusses her pain with Brynden, and Talisa tends to Tywin's captured nephews, Martyn and Willem Lannister.

In the Riverlands[edit]

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

Arya confronts the Hound for killing her friend Mycah, but he is taken away. Arya and Gendry bid farewell to Hot Pie, who has been left to the inn as payment by the Brotherhood after proving his skill as a cook.

En route to Harrenhal, Jaime convinces Locke that Brienne's father is rich, and Locke stops his men from raping her. Jaime promises that Tywin will reward Locke if Jaime is returned; Locke feigns acceptance but is actually offended, and severs Jaime's 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 Emily 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, Emily (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]