Ten Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 2: The Lion and the Rose


This week’s episode of Game of Thrones gives many viewers what they have been hoping to see for a very long time…

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1) The big news from this episode is that King Joffrey got married, and then was killed at his own wedding feast! Although I haven’t read the novels, I had learned of this little plot detail earlier so I wasn’t too surprised. However, I think many other viewers will be shocked by this outcome, especially as the show usually gives us such plot twists later on in the season.

2) The entire wedding scene was well done. This episode was written by George R.R. Martin, and he is good at giving the viewer a lot of things to digest. While the entire wedding festivities are taking place, we get to see several one-on-one conversations that help to reveal much, and adds in a lot of funny lines (“You will never marry her” ~ Jamie / “And neither will you” ~ Loras).

3) Joffrey’s death is visually very frightening. With blood streaming out of his nose, then eyes, and his face losing all colour, the viewer knows that he is suffering a terrible death. It seems like a fitting end for a person so evil and cruel.

4) On the other hand, I’ll miss seeing the young King Baratheon, and more importantly Jack Gleeson. Playing a villain can be a difficult role for an actor, and Gleeson was able make his character the person everyone loved to hate. It’s even sadder to hear that Gleeson will be retiring from acting, but he goes out on a high for his career.




5) Who shot poisoned JR Joffrey? Not having read the books, this is just a guess, but I think it was Sansa, with the help of Ser Dontos. Having watched the scene a second time, there was a moment where the Stark girl had the opportunity to drop the poison into the cup. She was also eager to get away from the wedding feast in the moments just before Joffrey started feeling the poison course through his body, with Ser Dontos even urging her to leave. Finally, in what was a little foreshadowing she was the one Lady Olenna was speaking too when she says “War is war but killing a man at a wedding, horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing?”

That said, it certainly goes against everything we know about Sansa that she could do such a thing. Her character is the endless victim, not someone who could carry out revenge. Another possible suspect is Lady Olenna, who delivered the chilling line, paid for this food (perhaps the poison was in the pie) and had a strong motive to see Joffrey meet his end after he married Margaery Tyrell.

6) However, it looks as if the only one to be accused of this murder will be Tyrion. In the moments before his death, Joffrey and Tyrion were having a very tense and heated confrontation. The king even pointed to his uncle in his last dying breadth, and it doesn’t look like Cersei will be in a listening mood.

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7) Joffrey wanting to name his new Valyrian sword is the pay off to the joke that the Hound said in last week’s episode.

8) As we see the end of Joffrey, it looks as if Ramsay Snow might emerge as the main sadistic villain of the series. The show actually opened with him hunting a young woman, in a scene reminiscent to how Joffrey murdered the prostitute at King’s Landing. Even his own father, Lord Roose Bolton is unhappy with the excessive torture that Ramsey has inflicted on Theon, leaving the Greyjoy a broken man.

9) The Lady Melisandre offers us a few more details about her religion, indicating their are two gods, one good and one evil. As a medievalist, I find the lack of religion in this series to be somewhat jarring.

10) I also enjoyed the scene between Tyrion and Jamie, where the latter explains he can no longer fight, and his brother shows some brotherly affection, and even arranges for some secret training. These two characters seem to trust each other beyond what is typical for the world of Westeros.