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‘Game of Thrones,’ Season 3: Episode 3 Recap

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Game of Thrones, HBO’s prestige drama set in a medieval world of magic, is metal as hell. It’s full of longhaired guys and has more leather than a Judas Priest concert.

So, to that end, every Monday, Noisecreep brings you Heavy Metal Game of Thrones Recaps. Let all the other sites go on about the exquisite set design. Here, we talk about how badass the episode is.

SPOILER POLICY: First off, don’t read this post unless you’ve already seen this week’s episode and the once preceding it. Second, once you dive into the world ofGame of Thrones – the show or the books – you’re in for some unpredictable, shocking twists. So please don’t ruin them for any new fans or casual readers. If you really need to reference one of the major future developments, please try be as vague as possible, and clearly label them SPOILERS.

HBO.com

Episode 3.3, “Walk of Punishment.”

No grand themes this week. Not a lot of action, but some. Mostly, a lot of setup. But then shit cuts loose. In the music biz, they call that “tension and release.”

At Riverrun:

Darkness, then a burial at water and a fiery funeral barge. But first, three missed arrows make one bad omen. Then heated words. As we learned earlier this weekend in the final Spartacus, sometimes a victory is defeat, and sometimes strategy can trump might. Talking about bloodshed and power, that is metal.

In Nearby Bandits’ Woods:

The Arya-Hot Pie-Hot Guy trio part ways. One finds work blacksmithing, and another baking. But the little girl of the lot holds out for blood vengeance. Metalworker Gendry and our little assassin leave with Hot Pie’s wolf bread, in a rare moment of gratitude and content. Don’t get used to it. This segment is literally metal.

In the great white North:

A party of wildlings find a spiral of a hundred horse heads and hind quarters, the morbid handiwork of the walking undead. And savage lord Mance Rayder sends a raiding party over the wall. Elsewhere, a pack of beaten crows limp into a creepy keep with a secret most foul, where wights are a threat, but hungry men are the more present danger. Short though the wilderness scene is, look for metal artwork inspired by it to start appearing as early as Monday afternoon. Totally metal.

HBO.com

In the other mysterious castle:

Theon is uncrossed, turned loose, and let free. Wuss though this guy is, he has Viking blood, and he’s nothing if not resourceful. Fleeing Theon bolts on horseback, arrows flying, maces swinging. And when a body hits the floor, a group rape is interrupted with more unwelcome piercings; karma’s a bitch, fellas. This sequence promises what looks like episode’s second key departure from the books. Four fatalities and a decent action sequence is pretty metal, right?

In King’s Landing (far to the South):

Four of the more powerful men in the kingdom have a sit-down with the most powerful one. Then, when the Imp meets the pimp, words are exchange which though not funny, are hilarious. Later, for services rendered, a faithful squire is rewarded with a trip to ye olde nudie bar – and back then, there was sex in the champagne room. Going to Medieval Times Scores is totally metal.

At Dragonstone, the seaside castle:

The Red Witch tells a would-be king that black magic and sex won’t solve everything. Yet still, he embraces her and says they can sure give it a try anyway. That is totally metal.

Across the sea:

Crucified slaves die slowly, bloody and thirsty; indeed, some fates are worse than death, as there are no masters in graves. And the idealistic would-be queen aspires to spare the blood of innocents. But, as this little Last Dragon already suspects: In this game, it’s all or nothing. Google says there are no metal songs with the title “There Are No Masters in Graves” – that won’t be the case a week from now. Metal enough.

In the other woods:

Our duo of valiant sword fighters, Lady Brienne of Tarth and Kingslayer Jaime Lannister, have been subdued offscreen. But even with her hands down, Brienne still delivers beatdowns, this time of the verbal variety. Soon, Lannister shows that words may be more powerful than weapons, and he prevents another ghastly violation. And just when things are looking up, the blade comes down. Metal! The jarring credits music, granted, is totally not metal, nor does it have a place in this world – but it’s a welcome distraction from that last image, huh?

Scorecard:

Dismemberment: 1

Body count: 4

Crucifixion: 3

Ménage à quatre:1

Bodies: About 30 (including chopped up livestock).

Rating:The going is still slow, but it was a very metal week. Given the show’s overall look and setting, don’t expect thrash. This is power metal brought to life.

D.X. Ferris is the author of 33 1/3: Reign in Blood,the first English-language book about Slayer. He writes the webcomic Suburban Metal Dadand runs Pentagrammarian.com, the world’s only full-contact, metal-oriented grammar & usage website. He has read all five Game of Thrones/A Song of Fire and Ice books. He thought the Kingslayer was going to make it through this episode intact – hey, Walking Dead didn’t do it, did they?

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