Oh my goodness, that was wonderful. Book readers have likely been waiting for the final moments of tonight's Game of Thrones — "Walk of Punishment" — since this season started, and in my humble opinion the "dismemberment" of sorts was absolutely perfect. (SPOILERS AHEAD)
Because when you think about it, Jaime Lannister's sword hand basically is his member. More than that — it's been his entire identity. When you're called "The Kingslayer" across an entire Kingdom, that hand becomes the most infamous, feared, talked about thing about you. He cannot own land or take a wife (for good reason given his romantic choices) — his sense of self-worth has always come from yes his face and his money, but mostly his ability to either kill important people or keep them alive. The money and the looks were given to him, he earned the rest. But in just a few f**ked up seconds all of that was taken away from him, and I was sad to see the credits roll because man, I can't wait to see what happens next. I cannot praise Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's take on Jaime Lannister enough in these things, and dammit I am not stopping because let me have this one thing.
But more on this later, because saving the best for last is fun. Instead, let's go brood with the Starks!
Riverrun: Welcome to Riverrun! Birthplace of Catelyn Stark and home to the lamest noble house sigil in Westeros, the fish. Robb, Talisa, and Catelyn made a pitstop to Riverrun to put Catelyn's late father Hoster to rest via viking funeral, and we learned right away that her Uncle Brynden is sort of a badass while her brother Edmure is the family clown (though no one can be worse than her breastfeeding enthusiast sister Lysa), as Edmure A couldn't shoot the arrow into the damned boat, and B had ignored Robb's instruction to wait for Gregor Clegane to come to him, and instead attacked him at the Stone Mill which had no strategic value whatsoever and lost a ton of men.
"I could have that head on a spike by now," Robb said of the man called the Mountain, leaving his boyhood manners behind to discipline his uncle. "Instead, I have a mill." Edmure protested that he'd captured two whole Lannisters at the mill, but this just made Robb even angrier. These were not important Lannisters, they were the Lannisters that maybe got an invite to a family function every ten years when Mom decided on a whim that they should spend more time getting to know their cousins. No one cares about these Lannisters.
And that has been your weekly five minute Robb Stark update, ladies and gents.
In Catelyn news, the perpetually greiving mother got some alone time with her wise old uncle, and she seemed relieved to be hanging out with someone who isn't Robb. Uncle Brynden, who has always been called "The Blackfish" which is apparently an insult, it pretty sweet. He comforted Cat, who finally let loose and sobbed over the supposed deaths of Bran and Rickon.
Meanwhile, we got to meet the captured, towheaded little Lannisters, who quizzed Talisa on the growing legend of Robb Stark — "He eats the flesh of his enemies!" Aww. The poor kids were so nervous. It's sad to see innocent, perfectly non-Joffreyesque children being locked up in dungeons far from home as a byproduct of war, but you have to remember that the Lannisters would have probably murdered a pair of Starks of equal value.
King's Landing: Speaking of mean Lannisters, the old one decided to hold a meeting with King's Landing's most trustworthy quintet, Tyrion, Cersei, Littlefinger, Varys, and Grand Maester Pycelle. Cersei pointedly moved her chair directly next to her father, which was obnoxious, then Tyrion loudly moved his to the other end of the table, which somehow managed to be awesome because it annoyed Cersei. Anyway, today's meeting topic was Jaime. Tywin was not happy that there had been no news of his son for weeks, which just means that Brienne had been doing a good job. (Until she wasn't.) "Collectively you control more spies and informants than the rest of the world combined. Do you mean to tell me that none of you has any notion of where he is?"
So, yeah. As you can see, Tywin was pissed. I would be too if I had my claws on Jaime than lost him. That man is goddam perfection. In other news, Roose Bolton still had control over Harrenhal, which Varys gleefully rubbed in Littlefinger's face. And in much much bigger news, Littlefinger was now betrothed to the aforementioned crazy person Lysa Tully, He would head to the Eyrie, that crazy castle in the sky that almost killed Tyrion, and become Lord of the Vale. So, now we know where he's planning to take Sansa.
Also, Tyrion was to become "Master of Coin" in Littlefinger's absence, a position he was not too excited to fill. He was good at spending money, not saving it. So to get some laughs off, Tyrion headed over to Littlefinger's funhouse with Bronn and his squire, Podrick Payne. But don't worry, Tyrion wasn't cheating on Shea — he went to check out some books from Littlefinger's library, and buy some women to take Pod's manhood as a thanks for saving him in battle. This scene was just madness. A bunch of women just writhed all over him and one literally stuck her vagina in his face, while Pod stood there terrified to Tyrion and Bronn's endless amusement.
Pod came back a while later, but gave Tyrion his satchel of gold back. Did he wimp out? Not quite. Instead, the women GAVE PODRICK HIS MONEY BACK. "What did you do to them?" Tyrion asked in shock. "Lots of things," he replied matter-of-factly. Bronn actually seemed pretty distressed that the young squire was able to pleasure several working girls so well that they didn't want to pay for it, so he and Tyrion sat the lad down for details. Honestly, they probably could have spared some time by just pulling down his pants.
Arya & Friends: Thoros of Myr now knew that Arya was a VIP Stark bitch, so he didn't let her and Gendry leave him and his Brotherhood Without Banners as he'd promised last week. It's not safe for a Stark lady in the woods, he said, but we knew he wanted her for something else because only the Starks and Davos Seaworth aren't liars on this show. So Arya and Gendry took off with the Hound and the Brotherhood, but lovely Hot Pie decided to stay behind to bake bread for the innkeeper.
The Boxcar Children goodbye scene was actually sort of sweet, even though I was never in any way attached to Hot Pie. But he baked Arya this cute little messed up loaf of bread, which was cooked with caring and served with a side of emotional resonance. It was adorable, and the Stark Bitch was clearly touched. "Don't get stabbed," Hot Pie said to Arya and Gendry, who TRIVIA ALERT also stayed behind as a smith in the books. Do you think the actor's handsome-ness has anything to do with the fact that he's sticking around now? No? Just me?
Mance Rayder's Army: So, this was fun. When we first caught up with Jon, Mance and Ygritte this week, they had come upon a bunch of mutilated horse parts frozen in ice in a perfect pinwheel position. Insert Luck joke here. Also, thank God the Dothraki weren't around to see this mayhem, or PETA. It was NOT cute.
See, this was the "Dead Crow" spot that the Warg had seen last week, only none of the crows were actually there. Their pieces, either. And you know what that means — there are now 300 more Walkers in the vicinity, ready to EAT JON SNOW ALIVE. Mance was having none of it, and decided to send Jon, Ygritte, and a bunch of his pals to cross the Wall. If Jon betrayed them, they were to throw him off the top of damned thing. "See if crows can fly," he explained. Can Jon and Ygritte start having sex now? I'm bored. This has been your 45-second weekly Jon Snow update.
Craster's Cabin: Well, Sam made it back to Craster's School of Incest and Wizardry without dying in the ice, so that's good. Craster seemed to be in an even more dickish mood than he was last season, but Sam didn't care because GILLY! Craster even made a really tasteful fat joke about eating Sam, which makes me think him and Rebel Wilson shared a brainstorming session before the MTV Movie Awards, but all was better when Sam got like a foot away from Gilly's vagina. (She was giving birth. To a BOY.)
Also, this has been your 15-second weekly Sam update.
50 Shades of Theon: On this week's installment of 50 Shades of Theon, Theon Greyjoy was "set free" by the young lad from last week who is (SPOILER ALET) super important in the Game of Thrones universe but I won't spoil his name quite yet. Theon rode through the gorgeous Westeros (Irish) countryside on horseback, but was quickly followed by a bunch of bad guys with arrows. Can't catch a break this one!
They got him off his horse and surrounded him, then a particularly nasty one pushed him to the ground and tried to rape him. (This has been a very rape-y episode, no?) We got a few seconds of Theon writhing around in the dirt with his bare ass exposed (Alfie Allen has clearly been doing squats and lunges to prep for this) before the men were all killed by the same young man who had let Theon go. "You little bastard," one of them said, before he died. Foreshadow alert!
Stannis and MelisanddreZZZZZZ: Would anybody else feel perfectly fine if the show skipped over these two until they did something interesting? Good Lord, they're bland. And SPOILER ALERT number 2, they stay that way until, like, Book 5. Anyway, Melisandre left for Westeros and Stannis wasn't happy about it. Also, she mentioned that the Lord of Light was demanding "sacrifices" from people with Stannis' blood in their veins and he didn't seem to mind at all, so way to be a family man, Stannis. I'm happy to announce that this is the end of your weekly Stannis update.
The Dragonette: Over in Astapor, Dani was still thinking of ways to buy her army of castrated, occasionally nippleless slaves. She came across a young man dying on a cross in a row of hundreds of people dying on crosses, and the look on her face made it clear that she was not happy about the vicious way of life in Astapor. The Queen of Dragons ain't gonna stand for piles of dead babies and armies of d**kless men.
Regardless, she went to see the s**t-talking slave owner and his beautiful translator again, and said she would buy all of the Unsullied. "The slut thinks she can flash her tits and make us give her whatever he wants," he replied. What a sweetheart! But Dany went on, asserting that she wanted to buy all 8,000 men — though the master said he'd need all of her Dothraki and she still wouldn't have enough.
But you know what's worth an army? A dragon! And not just any dragon — the big black one. Dany agreed to give up Drogon, and she got his woman Missandei as a side-bonus. Jorah and Ser Barristan freaked out over the Drogon thing, but the deal is yet to go through, and something tells me the Mother of Dragons has something nasty up her nonexistant sleeve.
Jaimenne: Finally, the fun part! Game of Thrones' hottest kidnapped duo were now tied together on one of the man who in the books is known as Vargo Hoat, but here is just a random guys's horses, which was proving to be a miserable fate for both. However, something had clearly changed in Jaime — and no, not just his dirty hair that isn't make him an ounce less attractive, sorry hair and makeup team. Brienne was going to be stupidly noble and try to fight the small army of men, but Jaime insisted that she be smart and not attack them, as they'd surely kill her. "Do you understand? I'm the prisoner of value, not you. Let them have what they want, it doesn't matter."
This is crazy because we've never heard Jaime be this sincere, ever. Certainly not to anyone who isn't his sister, and he's kind of a dick to her, too. There's clearly something he likes or at least is charmed with in Brienne, and he doesn't want to see her killed. I'm excited because this marked the exact spot in the books where Jaime became my favorite character, and on-screen Jaime is just as if not more winning than his on-the-page counterpart, so this is going to be FUN!
At night they set up camp, and fake-Vargo and his men quickly got to the business of raping Brienne. "I'll take the big bitch first. When she's good and wet, you lot can finish her off!" Jaime looked more horrified than Brienne did at this line, and he and I both were deeply disturbed at Brienne's gutteral screams when they took her off. But then he had a stroke of genius, or as we say in this universe, a stroke of Tyrion:
"You know who she is, don't you?" he said to fake-Hoat as the assault began. "She is Brienne of Tarth. Her father is Lord Selwyn of Tarth. Heard of Tarth? They call it the Sapphire Isle. You know why? Every sapphire in Westeros was mined on Tarth. Sapphires are gemstones? The blue ones? Lord Selwyn would pay his daughter's weight in sapphires if she was returned to him. But only if she's alive — her honor unbesmirched."
Fake-Hoat went for this and brought Brienne back, but I think Jaime could have acted a little less pleased with himself. Apparently, Fake-Hoat felt the same way — after Jaime condescendingly asked him to remove him from his chains, Hoat did so, and even asked him for something to eat. "Bring the bird over here, and a carving knife," he ordered.
And here, my friends, is where Shit. Got. Real. "You think you're the smartest man there is," Fake-Hoat said, as his men held down Jaime, and he dangled the knife in his face. "Everyone alive has to bow and scape at your boots. If you get in any trouble, all you've got to do is say 'my father.' That's it. All your troubles are done... You're nothing without your daddy. But your daddy ain't here!"
And then HE CUT OFF JAIME'S HAND! His sword hand! I knew this was coming but that didn't make seeing the inside of Jaime's arm, nor his horrified disbelief, any harder to watch.
So, what did you think of the big moment? Are you happy with the pace of this season so far? Overwhelmed by all of the small, weekly updates? Shout out your thoughts below, and be sure to be super nice to your right hands tonight.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
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