After the last two weddings in recent Game of Thrones times, surely any couple wanting to tie the knot in Westeros would take the bloody hint and elope? Between the miserable union of Tyrion/Sansa and the bloody massacre at the Red Wedding, you’d need to be a massive arrogant twonk to think it would go any better for you.
Enter King Joffrey.
Jordan and Peter fight a dragon?
For a couple of years now, one part of the epic Thrones storyline rarely putting a foot wrong has been the inter-Lannister bitching sessions in King’s Landing. Other plots sometimes feel rambling or dry, but the golden children’s drama never fails to be witty, intriguing and well-acted. And in the case of Tyrion, kinda sad, as his life gets worse by the week.
Still, the whole second half of this episode being devoted to a Royal Wedding with these people was never going far wrong. I will say Charles Dance’s Lord Tywin didn’t get as much material as I hoped, but Cersei was on fine form, especially when starving peasants to spite her annoying daughter-in-law. Jaime’s pissy chat with Sir Loras was equally excellent.
King Joffrey’s personal wedding celebrations were pleasingly Jordan-and-Peter-go-Medieval, and his new Queen’s mounting discomfort was fun too. The good part of these kind of scenes: push everyone together, get them drunk and suddenly all their storylines move up a few units.
Obituary For A Bastard
People don’t always drop dead though. Yes, Joffrey Baratheon is no more and I admit, I will miss the Tesco Value incest Caligula. In a show where the selling point is an array of morally grey good/bad characters, Jack Gleeson clearly relished playing a genuine bastard with no redeeming features.
In his final episode, he hit all Joff’s worst qualities, without wasting any time grabbing for pathos – they left that to Lena Headey as a crushed Cersei in the final moments. I felt for her too, so well done.
The other benefit of Joffrey’s loathsome personality – makes an ideal victim for a whodunnit, as everyone hated him. Hell, even his own mother admitted he was a prick in last year’s finale. I guess that’s where we’re going next: was it Tyrion, who despised the kid? Sansa, conspicuously fleeing the scene? Tywin, bored of propping up a stupid sadist? Lady Olenna, refusing to let her granddaughter marry this scumbag? Someone else he’s casually tortured over the years?
Heading down the arsehole hierarchy
This episode will go down in Game of Thrones history as the one where Joffrey passed on, but other stuff did happen. We got another glimpse of Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow, seemingly taking the Incest King’s place as most irredeemable arsehole. His plot shows signs of having more direction this year.
Meanwhile, King Stannis is in the odd position of suddenly being the least fanatical man in his entourage. His storyline remains rather out on the margins, but I believe he’s vowed to join Jon Snow soon. Oh, and Bran is still in the woods. Hurry home, Bran.
An exciting episode, though, and as I said, with that much Lannister bitching, I was always going to enjoy it. Also a pleasant surprise to get a big turning point moment so early on, hopefully signifying the beginning of an exciting, climactic season as Game of Thrones covers the end of the third book. But probably a short lie down next week, at least?