“Game of Thrones” has proved once again that weddings in Westeros are just as dangerous as any war.
We’ve watched him kill Ned Stark, abuse Sansa, torture and murder prostitutes and be just generally terrible to everyone around him, but Sunday night, justice was finally served.
Joffrey Baratheon was murdered. Still, there was plenty of action before he met his maker.
Tyrion learns that Cersei knows about his relationship with Shae and makes moves to have Shae sent away before she can be killed. Knowing Shae doesn’t fear the Lannisters, he explains that given her past profession, he could never really love her. She puts up a fight, but it’s no use. Bronn steps in to take a heartbroken Shae off to safety.
As if Tyrion hasn’t had a bad enough day, he is forced to attend the long awaited wedding of Joffrey and Margery. The ceremony itself goes off without a hitch, though there’s plenty of drama throughout the reception, especially between twins-turned-spurned-lovers Cersei and Jaime.
The Kingslayer threatens Loras, telling him there’s no way he’ll ever marry his sister. Loras isn’t shaken by the one-handed knight and shoots back,“neither will you.” Meanwhile, Cersei is expressing her gratitude to Brienne for returning Jaime to her, but like most of her interactions, it’s laced with malice. Cersei asks Brienne if she loves Jaime and Brienne can’t bring herself to answer.
However it’s far from her worst deed, as Cersei then orders that the leftover food that Margery had meant to go to the poor be sent instead to the kennels to feed the dogs.
Once everyone is seated, Joffrey announces he has a surprise for his guests. Five dwarves are unveiled, each dressed as one of the five kings who had vied for the Iron Throne. Tasteless jokes are made regarding Renly’s sexuality and Robb’s beheading. Sansa looks on in horror as her brother’s death is mocked over and over. Only Joffrey and his mother seem amused.
The king cackles away before suggesting Tyrion join the dwarves in battle. Tyrion refuses, subtly mocking Joffrey, who then does everything in his power to humiliate his uncle.
The tension mounts as Joffrey pours wine over Tyrion’s head, before insisting he serve as his cup bearer. Tyrion refers to the job as a “great honor,” which only infuriates Joffrey more. Margery does all she can to break up the interaction, but even a pie filled with live doves won’t do the trick. Joffrey insists his uncle serve him wine to help the pie go down.
A few gulps later, Joffrey coughs. He pauses for a moment, then there's another cough, followed by another. Margery screams out that he’s choking and both Jaime and Cersei rush to his side. Tyrion looks on as Joffrey collapses, his face turning purple, eyes bloodshot. In all the confusion Dontos pulls Sansa aside and tells her that if she wants to leave, she needs to come with him right now.
As blood drips from Joffrey's nose and eyes, it becomes increasingly clear that this wasn’t just a case of wine going down the wrong pipe. Gasping for air in the arms of his parents, Joffrey points to Tyrion before taking his last breath.
Cersei stares at her brother, who still is holding an empty wine glass, and screams that he poisoned her son.
The wedding festivities left little room for other developments, but we did check in with Roose Bolton and his illegitimate son Ramsey Snow. Ramsey has seemingly brainwashed Theon Greyjoy (now referring to himself as Reek) and forces him to reveal a big secret: Theon faked the deaths of the young Stark boys.
"The Starks have always ruled the north, if Bran and Rickon are alive, the country will rally to their sides," Ramsey notes.
His statement is especially resonant now that King Joffrey is dead. The Iron Throne is vacant again and with Stannis and Melisandre off executing anyone who doesn’t believe in their cause, it’s only a matter of time before they rally.
Also worth noting is the vision Bran has once he reaches a mysterious tree north of the wall. He’s finally able to understand where to find the three-eyed crow that’s haunted him for seasons, but also catches glimmers of a questionable future. Specifically that of the Iron Throne covered in snow and a dragon flying over Kings Landing.
It makes one wonder if Joffrey’s death marks the beginning of something. For so long, we’ve watched noble, good characters die violent deaths at the hands of villains. Is Joffrey’s murder and Sansa’s possible escape the first of many wrongs being righted? Will good finally begin to triumph over evil?
It’s unlikely, but I can’t wait to find out.