Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 4 And if you think Tywin's the biggest problem Littlefinger is leaving behind, think again: The Iron Bank will fund the the crown's enemies if the kingdom can't cough up the cash to return the loan. Have fun with that, Tyrion. Of course, it turns out Littlefinger isn't so much a master of finances as he is someone willing to borrow too much from Tywin Lannister and the Iron Bank of Braavos and then skip out on the job before figuring out how to pay it back. We'd be remiss if we didn't also mention the scene where Podrick is regaled with three naked whores, apparently entirely to set up a tedious joke about the squire being good in bed. The showrunners have to be trolling us at this point, right?

 

 

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Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 4 King's Landing: The Job No One Wants At the world's most awkward small council meeting, we spend a solid minute watching everyone seat themselves. That very important use of our time complete (to be fair, it is quite funny), we get down to business. No one knows where Jaime is, because little birds can only see so far (or, as Tywin puts it, the councilmembers need to “Try. Harder.”).

Meanwhile, Tywin indicates approval of Littlefinger's latest power-grabbing scheme. He's going to take his new title of Lord of Harrenhal — an empty moniker, since Roose Bolton is actually ruling that “useless pile of rubbish,” but that's beside the point — and use it to woo Lysa Arryn, Cat's crazy sister. If Littlefinger manages to marry her, he'll be acting Lord of the Vale, because Lysa's sickly, breastfeeding son is barely fit for solid food, let alone leadership.

Of course, with Littlefinger planning to jet off to the Vale, the crown needs a new Master of Coin. That completely unenviable job — remember, the Lannisters may be rich, but The Seven Kingdoms' finances are a mess — is handed to Tyrion, because his daddy loves him so.

Later, Tyrion swings by Littlefinger's whore house to pick up the royal ledgers, because of course that's where Littlefinger keeps the books. And, oh look, Tyrion's squire Podrick stares at Ros's boobs because … ya know. This show. Littlefinger passes on his best accounting advice: “They're only numbers on paper. Once you understand that, it's easy to make them behave. Trivial, even.” Tell that to Wall Street, dude.

 

The Brotherhood Without Banners: Say Goodbye to Your Little Friend

As we predicted last week, the Brotherhood Without Banners hasn't let Arya go now that her identity is out; they claim she's not their prisoner, but they won't let her walk away, either. The same does not go for her friend Hot Pie, who stays behind to work at a random inn when Arya, Gendry, and the Brotherhood move on. “Don't get stabbed,” he tells his friends in a touching goodbye. (He also gives her a loaf of bread in the shape of a wolf, and it's adorable). Nice knowing you, Hot Pie. Hope the life of an inn baker works out.

The North: Bloodshed and Incest Babies

Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 4 In our one scene a week with the Wildling army, Mance, Jon, and a few others check out the Fist of the First Men, where they're greeted with an unsettling sight: slaughtered horses laid out in a spiral. This is some serious crop circle stuff the White Walkers have pulled. Even more troubling, though, is the implication that 300 murdered Night's Watch men have up and walked away. The Watch is decimated, and there are that many more “blue eyed corpses” on the other side. So … this is a great time for the Wildlings to attack the Wall, obviously. Jon is sent along on the scouting mission in preparation for the big fight, because of course he is.

The few surviving Night's Watchmen drag themselves back to Craster's Keep, where creepy incest Craster (remember him from last season?) reluctantly agrees to let them stay the night, but not without regaling them with dire warnings and disturbingly sincere “jokes” about cannibalizing Sam. When Sam walks away in disgust, he stumbles on Gilly, the pregnant daughter-wife he befriended in Season 2. She conveniently has her baby at literally the exact second he peeks his head in. Bad news: It's a boy, which means Craster is going to sacrifice the child to the White Walkers if Sam can't find a way to be a hero.

On the Run: A Lucky Escape

As promised last week, Theon's salvation from horrible torture comes in the form of the unnamed man sent by Yara, who lets everyone's (least) favorite traitor out and sets him riding east.

Theon finds himself literally hunted by the men he's trying to escape — an ironic turn around from last season, when he hunted Bran and Rickon. Unfortunately for him, Theon's captors prove more competent than he was. He's caught and threatened with rape, but the mysterious friend appears at the last second to save him, much to the would-be rapist's .. annoyance? “You little bastard,” the rapist announces before the friend shoots him in the face. 'K.

Dragonstone: Melisandre Remains Cryptic

We drop by Dragonstone just long enough to watch Melisandre head off to … um … well, she doesn't actually know, but it's super important and will really help Stannis, she promises! Stannis awkwardly tries to get seductive, but Mel turns him down. “Your fires burn low, my king,” she explains. Her magic needs a King's blood, and Stannis isn't strong enough for all that — but “there are others with [his] blood in their veins.” There are? Is she talking about Stannis's daughter? Based on his expression and her warning that the Lord of Light demands sacrifices, we're thinking maybe. Has anyone pointed out that the the Lord of Light is a sucky, sucky god, who maybe doesn't deserve to be worshiped?

Game of Thrones Season 3 starts March 31 on HBO. At this point, we're still about two weeks away — winter is here and spring is coming— but details are out on the first few episodes. You can read intel on the premiere here. Below are new episode synopses from HBO.

Episode 2, "Dark Wings, Dark Words" (Sunday, April 7)
"Sansa says too much; Shae asks Tyrion for a favor; Jaime finds a way to pass the time; Arya encounters the Brotherhood Without Banners."

Episode 3, "Walk of Punishment" (April 14)
"Tyrion gains new responsibilities; Jon is taken to the Fist of the First Men; Daenerys meets with the slavers; Jaime strikes a deal with his captors."

Episode 4, "And Now His Watch Is Ended" (April 21)
"The Night's Watch takes stock. Varys meets his better. Arya is taken to the commander of the Brotherhood. Daenerys exchanges a chain for a whip."

Mutilation, rape threats, gratuitous nudity — Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 3: "Walk of Punishment" has everything we've come to expect from this show, for better and for worse. Well, except for dragons. No dragon spotting this week, though they manage play an important role in the plot anyway.

Revisit the drama with Wetpaint Entertainment's recap of "Walk of Punishment."