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This Week’s Best Game of Thrones Reader Comments: ‘The Lion and the Rose’

Two episodes into this season of Game of Thrones, and we’re already reeling from another death. Even though we know that such events are part of the natural order in Westeros, it doesn’t make it any less shocking when it happens. Recapper Nina Shen Rastogi wrote that the death occurred in “the least heroic, most public, and most calculatedly pleasurable way possible.” Some of you, of course, disagreed. You took to the comments section to debate the pleasure factor of seeing a villain die, who did it, and whether it left a void in the show.

You debated whether poisoning was a death befitting Joffrey …

“You know, I’m going to really miss Joffrey. His surcoat game was TIGHT.” —Commenter Sabbotage

“Poisoning was too good for Joffrey.  And whoever the killer was didn’t get the satisfaction of being able to stare him in the eye as he burbled and gasped and nosebleeded and eyebulged to death.  On the other hand, it would have been very satisfying to let Ramsay Snow have his way with Joffrey. I really expected a much more suffering and gore.  But since when is there justice in GOT?” —Commenter laineypc

“joffrey wasn’t worthy of such a death. he was not a warrior like say, the mountain or the hound. he was a kid who abused his power on a whim to the detriment of the entire nation. he was just a boy with fanciful ideas and cruel instincts. and he was a pawn of his mother’s family - another lannister placeholder. he got a small death to match his person. only his mother weeps for him.” —Commenter belledame —Commenter lisarowe

You theorized on who offed the Joff (without reading the book, that is) …

“To me it looks like Olenna took one of the blue glass crystals off Sansa’s necklace when she seems to be straightening her hair. Notice how fluid her hand motion is and then examine the necklace after Olenna went back to her place at the table. Doesn’t it look like one of the crystals drops is now missing?

That was the necklace Sansa got from the knight she helped save, right? The knight who would have every reason to hate Joffrey, and who showed up to spirit Sansa away to safety just at the right moment.

Since Olenna was seated right near Joffrey, she would have the perfect opportunity to drop that crystal into the wine goblet. I think that was the poison. She protects her beloved grand-daughter from having to be married to Joffrey but keeps the Tyrells in the good graces of the Lannisters. I feel sorry for Tyrion though.

Anyway, that’s my take on it.” —Commenter Dylan111

“I went over the shot where Sansa handles the cup and she definitely could have put something in it. Also, what about the Sansa - Ser Dontos alliance, could it have been a plot between the two of them? I know she saved his life so maybe he’s paying back by helping her kill Joffrey.” —Commenter cynthia_m

“I believe it was the wine. He ate two pieces of pie and continued to taunt Tyrion. It wasn’t until he took a sip of wine that he started coughing, then took another swig and that was it. As others have said here several touched the cup (Sansa) or were close enough to it to add something (the Tyrells).” —Commenter willow16

“Regarding the poisoned wine– it’s left vaguely ambiguous in the books, but I figure it’s Margaery– she took the cup from Joffrey and pulled the whole pie distraction. My two cents.” —Commenter wonkers

“I’m curious to see if the show ever does give us a definitive answer, or leaves it ambiguous like the book. I would suspect it’s left to our imaginations.” —Commenter vinegarstrokes

And then you wondered who the heck you were supposed to hate now …

“While I agree that there’s no one really left to hate (though, c’mon… Ramsay?), I think at this point Joffrey had gotten so cartoonish in his villainy it was unsustainable. And now it becomes more of a case of the situations that the characters are up against rather than other characters, which is pretty compelling in its own way.” —Commenter pennywise

“Eh, I would argue Cersei is still pretty hateable, in a love-to-hate sort of way.” —Commenter vinrouge

“Eh, there are plenty left to hate. Ramsey Snow is every bit as much a psychopath. Plus too many people had reason to want Joff dead, it was overdue.” —Commenter LauraBee

You gushed over the set design …

“I loved the production design of the wedding.  On the surface, everything is red and gold, Lannister colored.  But, then when you look at the details:  The wood canopy is etched in roses (but not lions or stags).  The Lannister lions and Baratheon stags are ensnared in a network of thorny vines on the red panels behind the high table.  The great seal on the floor in the middle of the platform displaying the lions and stags is, in fact, a giant rose.  And Joffrey is wearing gold and dark green (Tyrell colors), wearing a new crown that has vines growing through the Baratheon antlers.  And, while the Tyrells generally avoid their colors, favoring light blue and softer gold, they (for the first time since arriving in King’s Landing?) were in their family colors.  There’s such symbolism in all that–superficially the Lannisters are in charge, but if you just look a little harder, everything is coming up roses.” —Commenter AZB

And then over Margaery …

“Not a reader of the series, so my impressions are based on the show only.  But I am crushing on Margaery (and Olenna)!  Margaery seemed so shady when she was first introduced.  And maybe her agenda is a lot more dubious than it seems, but I have mad respect for her game.  If Westeros wasn’t so patriarchal, I’d say that she should just win the whole damn thing.

Also, it was supremely satisfying to see Olenna cry out, ‘Won’t anyone save the king?’  while Joffrey was choking, and all those wedding guests are standing around doing nothing except for Cersei and Jaime at the very end.” —Commenter mllehaha

“I am starting my Margaery and Daenerys fanfic right now. It will be rated M.” —Commenter Relaxacizor

You debated whether the opening scene was pointlessly violent …

“I think the fact that they showed this other side to Ramsay is just alluding to the new villain Joffrey-takeover. He shares a lot of traits with Joffrey, only he can carry all his ‘activities’ out because he’s in the North and Joffrey was held back by his position at King’s Landing. I think it’s the show’s way of reminding us that yes, Joffrey may be gone but Ramsay’s still running (quite literally) free in the North. I also dislike the way Ramsay spoke of Jon, #LEAVEJONSNOWALONE!” —Commenter moli_v

“That opening scene was gratuitous.” —Commenter banga

“The show’s done weird things with Ramsay - they’ve SHOWN so much more of it, by choice, which smacks of gratuitous torture-porn stuff and suffering porn, but then - it’s all cleaned WAY, WAY up. Like - Ramsay in the books could never have had those women around him being friendly when he was torturing Theon, or this woman being close to him on a hunt, a kind of partner. Ramsay inspires only terror and disgust in everyone, and he has no use for women but as torture objects. And the women he hunts, he skins alive. The show seems to want to have its cake and eat it too, showing us all this cool gruesomeness - but it’s dishonest and it’s not nearly as gruesome as it would be if they truly SHOWED what was described of it in the books. This kid is TV-sadistic, TV-horrible. Odd as it may seem, he’s white-washed. It would have been more in keeping with the integrity of this fictional world to have left it offscreen as the book did, but had other characters convey the true horror of him and his actions. It should be messy and nasty and truly terrifying.” —Commenter dvts

“Isn’t that a point of the episode? showing that as joffrey dies another one just like him rises in the north? joffrey was the coddled firstborn crown prince and he turned out a psychopath. ramsay is the barely tolerated bastard son of a brutal man and he is just as bad. people tolerate their proclivities and abet their crimes.” —Commenter belledame

“The hunts are an integral part of Ramsay’s character and show how much of bastard he truly is. There is a lot wrong with Ramsay and he’s in the same plane as Joffrey in terms of both his parentage and his upbringing (the original Reek was not a good influence) In the books it’s even worse and if they actually show all of what he does to the women of the north I will be very surprised.” —Commenter joseph.alfred

“I thought the two girls were the two girls who were used to give Theon hope for a second before Ramsey came back into the room; a different sort of torture.  Wasn’t that them?  I also thought that the opening scene was about Theon more than anything else – he’s standing by/assisting while these two sadists hunt down a relatively innocent girl; Theon’s transformation is complete. I thought that was the point, anyway.” —Commenter RealityCzech

Best Game of Thrones Reader Comments