NOTE: I wrote this and recorded some video after the airing of Season 4, Episode 2 of Game of Thrones. But a computer issue (i.e. two weeks later I now have a new computer) prevented me from editing the video, and by the time I had gotten around to it, the premise of my far-fetched theory had already been proven false, so I figured I would just release the text of my thoughts on the episode known as \\The Purple Wedding.\\ Enjoy the ramblings of a man with a dream…
“The Grump Speaks”
S4E02 Game of Thrones – \\The Lion and the Rose\\
Or… \\Get that boy some Benadryl and an epipen!\\
If you are visiting The Grump Speaks for the first time, I\\™m P.G. Holyfield. I\\™m one of the hosts of Beyond The Wall, which is a Game of Thrones podcast, and the founder of SpecFicMedia.com. I hope to release a video in this series every week or two, and for the next nine weeks I\\™m sure we\\™ll remain focused on Game of Thrones. This week? A bit of a ramble on season 4 episode 2, “The Lion and the Rose.\\
First, let\\™s get the Bolton Family Reunion and The S Jam (Stannis, Selyse, and Shireen) out of the way. We all understand that Ramsay \\Sausage Eater\\ Bolton is a bit on the psychotic side. But after seeing him interact with his father, Roose, I get the feeling that Ramsay barely approaches the repressed evil that is his father. At least Ramsay Bolton and Locke \\Give that man a Hand\\ … well, just Locke, express their feelings. Roose is just going to explode at some point, keeping things bottled up like that. I just get the feeling that the lovely Walda Frey isn\\™t going to enjoy her stay at the Dreadfort for very long.
Also, here is one of the supposed payoffs of last season\\™s torture porn. Reek, broken, obeys Ramsay like one of Ramsay\\™s hunting dogs. Again, we could have used some of that time last season for something more beneficial… oh, I don\\™t know, like maybe showing a bit more of Ser Dontos? So we didn\\™t have to have lines like (mimicking Sansa \\I want to be his queen and have his children\\ voice)…\\Oh, I remember you, you\\™re the knight I saved from drowning on Joffrey\\™s name day\\… very silly, considering Sansa should have seen Dontos a hundred times over the last year at Joffrey\\™s court. Oh yeah, and my point… even with all that we saw of Reek\\™s torture, I just didn\\™t by the complete transformation. Maybe there is more to Reek… but I doubt it. 😉
But enough complaining about that. At Dragonstone, Melisandre sacrifices three to the fire, and at least one is, at least by marriage, royal blood. I\\™m betting R’hllor appreciates the sacrifice of the king\\™s brother in law just as much as blood from a king\\™s bastard son… but what do I know?
Actually, I do know something. Melisandre burns a leech with Gendry\\™s blood, and Robb Stark dies soon thereafter. She named Joffrey with another of those leeches, and after burning three at the stake as some sort of MMO buff, Joffrey drops like Widow\\™s Wail through a pigeon pie. All I know it, if I was Balon Greyjoy, or anyone else that had a less than positive stray though about Stannis, I\\™d find me that Thoros guy to protect my ass from Scary Spice.
As for Shireen, (\\Outlaw Country!\\) … she\\™s had more screen time than in the books, which I like, but one thing is for sure: if the blood of a bastard nephew and the burning of a brother-in-law is enough to kill kings, what would the blood of Strannis\\™s old daughter provide Stannis?
But enough of that, for now. Let\\™s get to the end of that Purple Wedding:
Ned Stark once said \\Poison is a woman\\™s weapon.\\ Pycelle\\™s response? \\Poison is the preferred weapon of women, craven, and eunuchs.\\
Now coming at this as a book reader, I know the current book universe answer to the question, \\Who killed Joffrey?\\ But after watching the Purple Wedding, I think there is a chance that the tv show universe could, and I mean could, change this. I mean, sure, all the pieces are there in plain sight that mirror the book, or at least mirror the point-of-view influenced judgments of characters from the books. But wouldn\\™t it be fun if the show really went in a different direction? They\\™ve certainly been tinkering with characters and plots… why not have some fun and create a new mystery, even if its main purpose is to mess with the book readers who have spent the last three years snickering at non-readers as they experience this universe for the first time? Personally, I would love it.
But let\\™s look at this as if it were an episode of Westerosi Law and Order (insert obligatory \\˜Dun dun\\™ sound effect). What is it they always say a suspect needs?? Motive, Means, and Opportunity.
Motive is easy. Everyone other than Cersei, Jaime, and possible Ser Meryn would fall into the \\The world would be better place without Joffrey Baratheon\\ category. Now there are certainly those with more of a direct axe to grind, but it was pretty obvious at the wedding feast… you could count the people smiling much more easily than those that were not.
Now for the means… Poison. Who knows poisons? Oberyn Martell does, as a man from Dorne. Pycelle does, surely. Whoever killed John Arryn does… wait, remember John Arryn? The whole reason Ned Stark ended up in Winterfell was because John Arryn was most likely poisoned. And though suspicions were aimed at Cersei Lannister for John Arryn\\™s death, she is about the only person not on the suspect list for Joffrey\\™s murder. In any case, I doubt there is anyone in attendance at that feast without the \\means\\ to acquire all manner of poisons.
So now we\\™re down to the last one… opportunity. If the wine was poisoned, then you only had a few people close enough to that magic cup. Tyrion, surely, but we\\™re going into this believing Tyrion is innocent. Sansa picked up the cup. Tyrion gave the cup to Joffrey. Margaery took the cup and put it on the table behind her. Hey, Tywin was on that table, wasn\\™t he? Olenna was at the next table, but I guess she had time to get over to the cup while the pie was being rolled out and Joffrey was doing his Widow\\™s Wail thing.
But what if the wine is a proverbial red herring, to get viewers to watch the principle participants that were most likely involved from the book? Because I feel it\\™s just as likely, to these grump eyes, that the poison was in the pie.
Cute ladies brings in pie on plates, one specifically hands a piece to the king and new queen. Margaery takes it and feeds Joffrey. Margaery, doing her best to stay gluten-free, doesn\\™t take a bite herself. Joffrey immediately starts choking/coughing after the bite of pie, not after drinking the wine. It\\™s only after this that he drinks more wine and his throat gets all esophagus closey and face hemorraghy.
If I\\™m right (Editor\\™s note, yeah yeah, I now know that I\\™m wrong), then anyone could have poisoned Joffrey. All they needed was access to the pie and access to the girl delivering the pie. Varys? Littlefinger, from another part of Westeros? Oberyn? How about Bronn, our favorite man without honor?
And for those that may say that there are too many variables in my crackpot theory… how could you ensure that Joffrey gets the poisoned piece of pie?
All I ask is, what is more likely? A single poisoned piece of pie is carried and handed directly to the queen, where it is custom that the queen feed the king the first bite of pie? OR, if you are one that believes in the necklace theory, that your ENTIRE assassination plot hinges on the idea that the still grief-stricken Sansa Stark is going to independently choose Joffrey\\™s wedding as the event to wear Dontos\\™s necklace, and that she would even remember the necklace, considering she could barely remember the man that gave the necklace to her in the first place?
All I can say is if it is the necklace, I\\™m going to have a nice rant in a future episode of Beyond the Wall on the topic of \\˜lazy execution.\\™
NOTE: Yes, my rant will be a good one this week.
Like I said, I know I\\™m probably wrong about this, and it\\™ll play out more or less exactly how it happened (book point of view limitations notwithstanding, of course) in the books. But IF the show decides to change things up around the assassination plot, I would be very happy. Because it would mean nothing is safe, anything is on the table, and that could be a LOT of fun, indeed.
Until next time, stay grumpy. I certainly will.