Hey guys! It’s Game of Thrones time again! And tonight my HBO Go fired up before 11pm, so I may actually spell people’s names right this time! Because I sure as hell am not going to spend two hours on the GoT wiki looking up such things. But what I am going to do is describe a certain death in visceral detail, because it’s cathartic and we all need it. Let us begin.
Look! Ramsey Snow (bastard son of Roose Bolton, aka “the dude who orchestrated the Red Wedding”) is totally fucked up! He enjoys sending girls into the woods, hunting them, and watching his dogs eat them. Theon (now rebranded as Reek) follows him obediently.
Jaime is all clumsy and frustrated and such since he lost his hand (you’re not over that yet?) Tyrion recommends he practices becoming a good fighter with his left hand, and to use Bronn as a training partnet, since with enough gold he’ll keep his mouth shut. I argue this is not quite as effective as someone without a tongue at all; in the books, Ilyn Payne trains with Jaime, though I assume the show doesn’t expect us to remember him? Even though he was there in the Blackwater Bay episode? Sure.
Ramsey has still not been instituted as an official Bolton. He has, however, done a fine job training his new pet Reek. Though Roose admonishes him for ruining Theon’s value as a hostage so that the Boltons can get Moat Cailin back from the Ironmen, Ramsey assures his father that he’s more useful as Reek. To demonstrate, we examine the idiomatic meaning of the phrase “a close shave.” Theon learns Robb is dead, Roose learns Rickon and Bran are alive. Theon does not slice Ramsey’s throat.
The Tyrells and the Lannisters are having a wedding shower and giving gifts to Joffery. I’ve been to many wedding showers, and the grooms don’t even show up to half of them, so this is odd to me. But anyway, this event is wrought with subtext. Mace Tyrel (Margery’s father) gives them a large golden chalice. Cersei slyly points out Shae to Tywin, and tells him that she’s Tyrions pet whore. Tyrion gives Joffery a book titled, “The History of Four Kings.” Then Tywin presents him with his new Valyrian steel sword, and Joff promptly hacks up the book, because, y’know, learnin’ is for fools.
Later, Tyrion stares pensively out the window. Shae comes to cheer him up the best way she knows how to: with sex. Lots of sex. But once again, he’s having none of it, and instead tells her off, citing her whoredom as the reason they can’t be together. He’s arranged a ship and a house at Pentos for her. She is most upset by this news.
Oh, hai Melisandre, girl, what you been up to? Oh, just still burning people who don’t follow your Lord of Light? Glad to see some people don’t change. After immolating a few infidels, Stannis enjoys a nice supper with his ladies. Queen Selyse discusses their daughter, Shireen, saying she’s stubborn and wilful and that she deserves the rod for being scarred on her face. Poor kid. Stannis refuses to let her discipline Shireen for no real slight, though Selyse suggests Melisandre talk to their daughter. Shireen’s a smart princess, and she’s got some blasphemous questions about Melisandre’s modus operandi. Melisandre assures her that the theology of The Seven is all lies and fables –there are no seven gods, no seven heavens, no seven hells. Just the hell we live in now. Preach it, girl.
Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds are still wandering around north of the wall. Bran escapes being hungry and cold and paralysed by warging into Summer’s body. The group wanders aimlessly by day, until they come across a weirwood tree. Bran touches it, and it spews a bunch of disjointed images (snow in the Iron Throne room, dragon shadows over a city, Ned polishing Ice, Bran being shoved out the window) speaks to him and tells him to travel north in search of a being “beneath the tree.” So obviously they listen to the tree and do that.
There is a wedding! Joffery and Margery are married at King’s Landing. Sansa and Tyrion are wry and unamused. The reception is where the real party is at, though –the festivities are extensive, bankrolled by Tywin and Lady Olenna. Singers and firebreathers and very flexible ladies abound. Margery decrees that the leftovers of the feast be donated to the poor. Loras checks out Oberyn, who checks him out back while sucking on Elliara’s finger. Aww yeah, you get it boys.
Other wedding feast highlights: Jaime promises Loras that he’ll never marry Cersei, Loras points out the same goes for Jaime; Cersei asks Brienne if she loves Jaime, her lack of immediate “no” is enough to answer that question for everybody; Maester Pycell is trying to Ice King it up on some girl, Cersei intervenes and sends her to Qyborn, a disgraced Maester, meanwhile informing Pycell that instead of donating the leftovers they shall be fed to the dogs; Joffery continues to torment his food Dontos; Oberyn undermines Cersei whilst subtly reminding her that her daughter is in Dorne.
In a tour-de-force of douchbaggery, Joffery begins the great entertainment of the evening: a bunch of little people dressed up as the five kings (Joff, Robb, Balon Greyjoy, Stannis, Renly) and fighting each other. Sansa and Tyrion, along with the Tyrells, stare on distastefully, and Tryion tells Pod to give each fighter 20 gold pieces, and mentions finding a way to “thank” the king. Upon the ending of the farce, Joffery attempts to insult Tyrion and invites his uncle to join in the games. Tyrion, ever the clever tongue, politely tells Joffery to fuck off and invites him to show off what a brave warrior he was when the war came to King’s Landing (recall: he hid in the castle). Joff’s very mature response to this is to overturn his wine on Tyrion’s head.
Joffery demands that Tyrion be his cupbearer. Tyrion, to his credit, attempts to bear this disgrace with dignity, even when Joff kicks the goblet under the table. Margery tries to distract Joffery and her family looks on with disapproval, though the Lannisters seem unfazed. But even Sansa seems sympathetic, picking up the glass to help Tyrion. The tense moment is interrupted by the arrival of a giant pigeon pie, which Joffery cuts with his sword, because that’s a good use of fine, rare steel. He demands Tyrion bring his wine over, takes a big swig… and then slowly and painfully chokes to death. He vomits as Cersei and Jaime rush over to help him; the blood vessels in his eyes burst, his skin grows pale and then blue, and blood runs out of his nose as he reaches accusingly towards Tyrion, who is arrested. In the midst of the kerfuffle, Dontos sneaks Sansa away from the reception.
So: Tyrion’s in major trouble, Sansa’s going missing, the Dornishmen are still pretty furious with the Lannisters, Melisandre is burning people for lolz, and Theon is mentally and emotionally fucked up thanks to being flayed to death. But let’s focus on the one really, really, really good thing to happen this episode: Joffery is dead.