Game of Thrones – Walk of Punishment

Preface:

I’m a huge fan of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I love the HBO show but I understand it is adapted to television and could never deliver the same amount of depth nor detail the novels do. I believe  and  are true fans of the series and capable show runners. That being understood, I will blog my opinions about the season and compare it to the novels.

While it may seem like I am “complaining” about some of the changes, I am merely pointing out specific opportunities I feel were missed or omitted. This season has really started to feel like the television narrative is stretched thin. As I sit with my non-reader friends and watch the show it is becoming harder and harder for them to keep up with all of the characters and plots.

SPOILERS for Game of Thrones Season 3 – Episode 3 “Walk of Punishment”. I will be comparing the events of the episode to events in the books so be warned of book spoilers up to book 3.

image from http://resme.me/3twxmn.jpg

image from http://resme.me/3twxmn.jpg

My Gripes:

  • Pod welcoming the whores to “the house of Payne”. This is a scene invented for the show, likely to bring more attention to Pod and give Dinklage more screen time. I felt the scene went on far too long. There have been many good scenes left on the cutting room floor. Instead, HBO says “here’s some boobs!!!” While I did find the scene funny, I would have gladly traded some of that time for tender moments between Robb and Catelyn OR more scenes with the Brotherhood Without Banners. It seems like most of the scenes D&B take the liberty of adding involve a brothel. Maybe there’s a skin quota in the HBO contract.
  • The abrupt cut from the seriousness of the final scene to the Rock inspired version of “The Bear and the Maiden Fare” totally took me out of the immersion. Electric guitars have no business in this series. What’s next? The auto-tuned version the “Rains of Castamere?”
  • It stung me to see Stannis the Mannis be a stage-5 clinger. In the novels, Stannis is not a POV character, we are never shown the intimate details of his relationship with Melisandre. While it could very well be the case that she is his rock, it makes him seem weak and needy to the show watching audience.
  • Three episodes down without Tormund talking about the size of his member. A minor quibble, but I hope Tormund gets his due screen time this season. D&B are always looking for ways to inject humor into the series and Tormund is a prime candidate as his dialogue can just be taken from the pages of the book.
Image from http://i.qkme.me/3tx1jg.jpg

Image from http://i.qkme.me/3tx1jg.jpg

My Highlights

  • The final scene with Jaime saving Brienne was excellent. It plays out slightly different from the book, but I feel the importance of the scene remains intact and impactful. I will not deny, I miss the Brave Companions. They were such a vicious and unmerciful lot, but the show is brimming with characters and I don’t think the non-reading audience could keep up. The Brave Companions (in the book) are a group of sell-swords from across the Narrow Sea. They are of mixed nationalities (some Qohorik, Dothraki, Braavosi, Tyroshi, etc) frequently referred to as the “Bloody Mummers” or “Tywin’s Monsters.” It’s basically a band of rapers, murderers, and lunatics. The show has simplified this group into being a group of Northmen sworn to Roose Bolton. 
  • The scene where the King’s Council plays musical chairs was enjoyable. This scene was added by HBO and each character is represented properly with the minimal amount of dialogue. Baelish makes the first move to sit by Tywin, Varys cautiously follows, Pycelle obediently and timidly takes his seat, Cersei takes initiative and boldly moves her chair to Tywin’s right hand. Then Tyrion almost mockingly drags his chair to the opposite end of the table.
  • Theon’s scenes are being slowly revealed and built up. I am very optimistic about where this plot line is going. Much of this content is different from the books, but I am certain it will eventually arrive at the same point. I am curious to see how they reveal Theon’s story. To tip toe around this one carefully, I’ll say that Theon’s fate was left unknown during much of the 3rd book. Instead of leaving Alfie Allen out of season 3, they have decided to show us details of what was going on during his absence in the books. I’m really excited to see where they take this plot.

Those were my thoughts on S3 Ep3. I’ll try to write one of these up each week until the end of the season. Feel free to leave a comment on what you thought of the episode!

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