Another day, another Westeros wedding ending in fatality. In an episode that opened with a young girl being chased and torn apart alive by dogs, one would think things couldn’t get any darker. And you would be right: the death of King Joffrey is an event to be celebrated by all, except perhaps Tyrion, who now looks set to face punishment for the murder of his nephew regardless of whether or not he is responsible.
The focus was heavily on ‘The Purple Wedding’, another opportunity for Joffrey to grab the centre of attention and humiliate all of those around him. Tyrion was his main target for cruelty, with an uncomfortable slapstick performance from an acting group of dwarves leaving even Tywin looking abashed. In sharp contrast to the sadness played out on Tyrion’s face by the fantastically versatile Peter Dinklage, Joffrey was having a whale of a time, seeming happier than he has been, well, ever. His last laugh was imminent though, as he sunk down the contents of a poisoned chalice and collapsed to the ground in a macabre demise.
His last bout of energy caused him to point the finger of blame at Tyrion, who was promptly seized and led away for murder.
Amongst the fracas, there were suspicious actions all round. Sansa was promptly led away to safety around the back by the man who gave her the necklace last week, Olenna was sneaking about from pillar to post, Cersei was undercutting Margaery’s wishes for the poor to be fed and Margaery herself was as intriguingly unreadable as always.
The tense twist, even for those who knew what was coming, made the episode’s second part a sheer thrill. Never has a wedding been so uncomfortable and fraught with tension and the finale at last gave the payoff to the series’ most detestable villain to fans who were clamouring for justice to be done against the Evil Boy King.
The downside is that we lose the deliciously brattish performance of Jack Gleeson who masterfully crafted a unique love-to-hate character – no one can deny that Joffrey was entertaining. Now the race for the Iron Throne changes momentum, and, with twists flying as thick and fast as Joffrey’s frothy vomit, who knows what shocks the Game will throw up next?
It was a comparatively quiet time elsewhere in Westeros, with certain story arcs feeling as if they were given airtime purely so we don’t forget about them. Bran is still seeing visions and is still being warned not to be consumed by them. There was a talking tree in there somewhere too. Theon is now a slave to torture addict Ramsay. Jaime still can’t fight very well with only having one hand, the plump bald guy is still sneaky, Shae still doesn’t want to leave Tyrion but it looks like she will have to and the Red Woman is still doing sinister things.
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Posted by Our Man In The North