'Game of Thrones' Recap: A Helping Hand

A shocking twist changes the life of a Lannister forever.

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"Game of Thrones" -- "Walk of Punishment"
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Peter Dinklage in the "Game of Thrones" Season 3 episode, "Walk of Punishment."

The Episode "Walk of Punishment" in a Nutshell:

What happened:

  • Daenerys strikes a surprising deal with the Astapor slaver
  • Tyrion is appointed to a new position at King's Landing
  • Jaime is dealt a harsh punishment when he tries to bribe his captors

Body count: 1

Nudity count: About 10

Dragon sightings: 0

New people and places:

  • Riverrun, Catelyn Stark's childhood home
  • Edmure Tully, Catelyn's brother
  • Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully, Catelyn's uncle

Best line:

"We're going to need details. Copious details." -- Tyrion LannisterTweet this

What's the deal with… Melisandre's secret journey? Where is she going, and what will she be doing there?

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After two episodes of catching up on where all the characters are and what they've been doing since the end of Season 2, "Game of Thrones" is finally making moves with the various chess pieces. Daenerys returns this week to make a bargain with rude slaver Kraznys -- giving up something priceless to get her Unsullied army. Other characters similarly find themselves in seemingly better positions -- but at what cost?

Riverrun: Robb, Catelyn, the Tullys

We meet Catelyn's family -- her impulsive brother Edmure and gruff uncle Brynden (aka "The Blackfish"). Robb is furious that Edmure lost more than 200 men in a battle to win control of a worthless mill from the Lannister army.

Meanwhile, Catelyn is still struggling emotionally over losing Bran and Rickon. OK, Catelyn, you're never going to win Westeros Mother of the Year, but we agree with the Blackfish: Crying about it all the time isn't going to help anybody.

[Related: Meet the New Faces of 'Game of Thrones' Season 3

Somewhere near Riverrun: Arya and the Brotherhood

The Brotherhood is packing up to head back to their headquarters, but Arya is pouting about being kept prisoner. Thoros assures her that she's not, that they're just protecting her. As they're about to leave, Hot Pie informs her and Gendry that he's staying to help the tavern owner bake bread. The Three Musketeers are breaking up!

King's Landing: Tywin, Tyrion, Baelish

The first onscreen council meeting of the season begins in hilarious fashion. After Tywin, Varys, Baelish, and Pycelle take their seats, Cersei sweeps in and carries a chair from the very end of the table to the front, at Tywin's right. Then Tyrion slowly drags over another chair so that he can face his father.

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During the meeting, Tywin notes that they'll need a new Master of the Coin since Baelish will soon be leaving for the Eyrie to propose to Lady Lysa Arryn. When he appoints Tyrion to the position, his son sputters, "I'm quite good at spending money, but a lifetime of outrageous wealth hasn't taught me much about managing it."

Later, Tyrion gets the royal ledgers from Baelish's office, where Littlefinger has one tip for Tyrion: "Keep a low profile." Tyrion rolls his eyes ... yeah, sage advice there.

Before he leaves, Tyrion's got a gift for squire Podrick -- a night with three of the establishment's women! But when Podrick returns to Tyrion's room, he also returns the gold. Apparently, he was so good in bed that the whores gave it back! Both Bronn's and Tyrion's jaws drop. "We're going to need details," Tyrion orders. "Copious details."

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Dragonstone: Melisandre and Stannis

Melisandre is leaving on a boat to a destination unknown -- even to her boyfriend. He's annoyed that she's leaving and wants her to stay. "Make me another son," Stannis whispers. Mel's not feeling it, though. And if he really wants the Iron Throne, she needs to go make some sacrifices for him to be able to have it. Uh-oh. We don't like the sound of that.

Beyond the Wall: Jon, Mance, the Wildlings

As they continue marching toward the Wall, Jon and the wildling leaders come upon a horrific scene: just the heads of the Night's Watch horses, displayed in a spiral-like design. Guess the White Walkers are the creative types (shudder). Clearly, this means the Night's Watch has lost a lot of men, which spurs Mance to order Tormund to take a group -- including Jon -- to climb the Wall. When he gives the signal ("the biggest fire the North has ever seen!), the wildlings will take Castle Black from both sides.

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Craster's Keep: Sam and the Night's Watch

The bedraggled remnants of the Night's Watch force show up on Craster's doorstep. The creepy guy taunts them about their sorry state and barely welcomes them inside. Once they're there, Craster jokes about how they should've eaten their "pig," Sam. He stumbles outside toward the sound of a wailing woman. It's Gilly, and she's just given birth -- to a baby boy. Oh no!

[Related: Kit Harington and John Bradley on Wildlings, White Walkers, and Wicked Weather]

Somewhere in the North: Theon

We still have no idea who's keeping Theon and why, but the servant guy returns to free him from the torture device. Theon gets a horse and rides away, but soon his captors start catching up to him. When they catch him, they start to beat him up again, but -- zing! That servant boy shows up with a bow and arrow and kills them. He helps Theon up and promises to get him to his sister.

[Related: Who Is the Real-Life Sister of the Actor Who Plays Theon?]

Astapor: Daenerys, Jorah, and Barristan

Daenerys is mulling over her options with the two advisors as they stroll the Walk of Punishment. She's not keen on the idea of a slave army, but Jorah points out that at least they won't rape and pillage.

Daenerys meets again with the slaver, Kraznys, to inform him that she will take the 8,000 Unsullied and all the boys still in training. Um, with what money? She shocks Jorah and Barristan (and us) by saying she'll give over one of her dragons! He agrees, and she asks for the translator, Missandei, as a gift on top.

[Related: Who Was Originally Cast as Daenerys?]

As they leave, Jorah again tries to protest. Turning an icy glare on him, Daenerys warns him not to contradict her in public ever again. Then she asks Missandei how she feels about serving her in battle. "Valar morghulis," the servant girl answers. "Yes, all men must die," Dany says. "But we are not men." Truth.

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Somewhere near Harrenhal: Jaime and Brienne

After being taken captive by Locke, Jaime warns Brienne that she'll be raped by his men when they stop for the night. Don't resist, he advises, or they'll kill her.

When they make camp, his prediction comes true: Some men drag Brienne away kicking and screaming. But Jaime makes up a lie about Brienne's father owning all the sapphire mines in Westeros. She'd be worth a huge ransom -- if she's brought back "unbesmirched."

[Related: See Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Tom Cruise's 'Oblivion']

They stop their assault, and Jaime uses the opening to try to sweet-talk Locke. He reminds the man that Lannisters are very rich and his father would pay very well for his son's return. Locke seems amenable to this idea and orders Jaime to be unchained and fed.

But when they take Jaime over to eat, instead they push him down. Locke holds a knife to his eye and sneers that Jaime is a cowardly daddy's boy. "You're nothing without your daddy, and your daddy ain't here," Locke snarls.

Then he takes his knife -- and chops Jaime's hand off! For a moment, he can't believe it (and neither can we). And then Jaime starts screaming.

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[Related: Did You Hear The Hold Steady's Rendition of 'The Bear and Maiden Fair'? Get the Lyrics]

Tell us what you thought of this week's shocking "Game of Thrones" in the comments below!

"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.

 

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