The plot just keeps getting thicker and thicker in HBO’s take on George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. In the latest episode of Game of Thrones, aptly titled “Walk of Punishment”, offers some rather unexpected moments, both for fans of the show and for readers of the books. Of course, could we expect anything less? SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!

To start things off, we have Rob Stark arriving in River Run for his grandfather’s funeral. The event is sullied by Edmure Tully when he is unable to hit the raft Lord Tully is floating downsteam on with an arrow in order to set it ablaze. Finally, the dead lord’s brother, “Black Fish” gets agitated and sets the boat on fire himself. We are then given privy to Rob Stark in council with Black Fish and Edmure to learn that he has a real mind for war and strategy and that he is not at all pleased with the showboating tactics used by Edmure in a recent attack.

In King’s Landing, Tywin Lannister (the Hand of the King as well as the King Joffrey’s grandfather) has called a meeting of the small council to make a couple announcements. First, Petyr Baelish is set to marry Rob Stark’s aunt and become the Lord of the Eyrie. The union would set many of the neutral houses in the Eyrie in alignment with the Iron Throne and, therefore, against Rob Stark. And who is to take up Lord Baelish’s office of Master of Coin? None other than the mouthy Imp, Tyrion Lannister who is somewhat resentful that he has received no recognition or praise from his father for the huge role he played in saving King’s Landing last season.

Theon Greyjoy, the former ward of the Starks in Winterfell, is finally freed from his bonds after being tortured for information about his father’s latest uprising. Just as we think the lad is going to get away though, a group of soldiers attacks him. Their idea for suitable punishment when it comes to running away… well, image Deliverance. But just as Theon is about to get his back door breached, a mysterious figure appears from nowhere and valiantly saves his ass (pun intended). Why is this mysterious man? We don’t know. This wasn’t in the books as far as we know.

Read the Books

Ah, and back to King’s Landing where something is about to happen to someone that isn’t horrible. As Tyrion gathers the account books from Petyr Baelish in the lord’s private whorehouse, the half-man decides to reward his young squire, Podrick, for saving his life at the end of last season. Young Podrick is gifted an afternoon with not one, not two, but three of Lord Baelish’s talented ladies. Yet, the women refuse payment despite performing at their best. This intrigues Tyrion and we are left wondering what happened as well.

Jamie Lannister, the Kingslayer, and his beast of an escort, Brienne of Tarth, are held captive by Northern bannermen. But it seems the Kingslayer is more human than we gave him credit for. He does not wish to see Brienne killed and kindly advises her to let the men rape her when it come to it. But, when it does come to it, it is Jamie that cannot let it happen. As a result of finally showing some humanity, their captors cut off the golden haired knight’s sword hand.

The most mind-bending event though regards Denaerys Targaryen across the Narrow Sea. She is in negotiations with a local slave trader to acquire 8,000 of the most brutal warriors in the world. I mean, these guys are like Spartans that eat other Spartans for breakfast. It is an army with which she can reclaim the Iron Throne as her own. But she does not have enough assets to acquire all of them… or does she? Hastily, the Mother of Dragons offers up one of the only three dragons in the world to the slave trader.

As we stated, this episode was aptly named “Walk of Punishment”. Only Podrick seemed to get away unscathed on Sunday. But, then again, for all we know he might have caught a rash from one of Baelish’s girls or spilled some beans he shouldn’t have that he will pay for later. The acting, as always, was superb and each segment drops off leaving you wanting just a little bit more of that character. HBO continues to do an amazing job, keeping Game of Thrones as the best show on television. 