Apr 14 2014 9:54am

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 2 Recap: A Wedding to Remember

Joffrey and Margaery in Game of Thrones Season 4, episode 2This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Game of Thrones, including last night’s Season 4, episode 2, “The Lion and the Rose.” Enjoy!

It’s official. “Rains of Castamere” is the worst earworm ever. If you hear it, grab your wine and leave the wedding at once. Also: In Westeros this season, purple is the new red for weddings.

More on this later…

We start with Ramsay Snow trying to beat out Joffrey for most disgusting human being in the kingdom. He’s hunting a servant, Tansy, who was kind to “Reek” (Theon Greyjoy) but was just following Ramsay's orders, and while the first arrow is put in the girl's leg by Ramsay’s jealous squeeze, he’s the one who releases his hunting hounds to tear Tansy to pieces.

Back in King’s Landing, Jaime and Tyrion are sharing a meal, or at least Tyrion’s trying to eat, while Jaime’s feeling all sorry for himself because he can’t handle a sword sufficiently well with his remaining, left hand. Little bro Tyrion says he’s got the answer, and dispatches Bronn to train Jaime in the art of (dirty) fighting, left-handed style.

If you were hoping we were done with Ramsay Snow, no such luck. A troop of horesemen ride up to the Dreadfort, including Roose Bolton and his new wife, Walda Frey. Bolton’s not happy with his bastard son Ramsay’s taking pieces off of a valuable hostage like Theon Greyjoy, but Ramsay convinces his father he’s got “Reek” broken. I’ll say this for Ramsay Snow—he may be a psycho wack-job, but he’s got guts, letting Reek put a razor next to his neck. Ramsay shares intel from Reek with Lord Bolton that the two remaining Stark sons, Bran and Rickon, are alive and a threat to all their plans. Ramsay is dispatched to do something about that.

Shae and Tyrion in Game of Thrones Season 4 episode 2In King’s Landing, Varys, a.k.a. “The Spider,” tells Tyrion that Shae’s life is in danger, reminding him that his father Tywin’s sworn to hang any whores he finds in Tyrion’s bed, and Shae’s loud outbursts have notified Cersei et al. that Tyrion has a girlfriend. What follows is a wrenching scene in which Tyrion brutally rejects Shae, says he can’t have a whore in his life now that he’s a married man, and sends her off across the water where he’s bought her a house and supplied her with money.

At Dragonstone, Melisandre is turning people into crispy critters for the glory of her god, The Lord of Light, cheered on by Stannis’ queen, Selyse. Ser Davos chastises Stannis, reminding him that one of the human torches is Selyse’s brother. Stannis brushes Davos off, but stands up to Selyse when she says their daughter Shireen should be beaten for being stubborn. He does agree, though, to let Melisandre speak to her. The priestess leaves the child, already suffering from greyscale deforming her face, with the cheery thought that there’s only one hell—“the one we live in now.” Lemony Snicket has nothing on this storyteller.

Bran Stark is being all warg-like again, inhabiting his direwolf Summer to roam the woods and hunt game. Jojen and Meera Reed remind the little lord that it’s easy to lose oneself in the wolf, especially when the animal can run with such freedom…and the boy can’t walk. Bran spots Summer standing beneath one of the sacred weirwood trees  and he asks to be taken to the tree. When Bran touches it, he has a vision of many scenes, but the final one is a voice saying “North,” giving the group's quest more direction.

And now we come to the wedding of the season. Margaery and Joffrey are tying the knot before the assembled guests in the cathedral. Margaery looks stunning in yet another low-cut gown, reminding Joffrey that she brings more than Tyrell gold to the marriage. When the new couple kisses, the guests applaud, with Tyrion giving a little “golf clap” as he reminds Sansa, “better [Margaery] than you.” One hopes Sansa is coming to appreciate the husband she has.

After the ceremony, those two old plotters Oleanna and Tywin stroll the grounds while talking politics and economics, and it’s a delight to see such seasoned schemers show the youngsters how it’s done.

At the elaborate outdoor reception, Ser Loras is making eyes at Prince Oberyn (who we already know swings both ways, and who seems to return his interest). But Loras Tyrell's yearnings are interrupted by Jaime Lannister, who warns Loras that if he marries Cersei, she’ll murder him and murder any children they might have. He ends by telling Loras it doesn’t matter, because he’ll never marry Cersei. After a pause, Loras gets in the best zinger of the episode by telling Jaime that neither will he.

Oberyn and gal pal Elia Sand stroll up to Tywin and Cersei (who’s been acting over the top, even for her), and Oberyn needles the Lannisters, particularly Cersei, remarking on her advancing age, her fading looks, her lack of the title “Queen,” her daughter's forced residence in Dorn, and other things guaranteed to make that woman lose it.

Groomzilla Joffrey’s becoming restless, never a good thing. Margaery is trying desperately to distract him, but Joffrey insists on  mounting a farce about the Five Kings, lewdly acted by dwarves, with many a pointed glance at his uncle Tyrion. The camera picks out the unsmiling faces of Varys, Oberyn, Oleanna, Loras, Margaery, Tyrion, and especially Sansa, looking more queenlike than ever as the farce continues. When it finally ends, Joffrey demands Tyrion be his cupbearer, kneel, and serve him wine. Tyrion refuses to kneel, and it’s looking ugly until Margaery again distracts Joffrey with something bright and shiny, this time the entrance of a giant pie filled with doves.

But Joffrey’s not done trying to humiliate Tyrion. After pouring wine over his head, he demands his uncle refill his goblet and serve him again. Tyrion serves him, Joffrey drinks…

Joffrey in Game of Thrones Season 4, episode 2And the Twitterverse explodes as hashtag #PurpleWedding takes off. This is the moment viewers have yearned for since Joffrey had a butcher’s boy murdered and Sansa’s wolf Lady destroyed: Joffrey starts to choke, drinks some more, clutches his throat, continues to choke and cough... And while people panic and Cersei screams, it’s clear to all that the little piece of crap has been poisoned. He dies ugly, and a hysterical Cersei wastes no time demanding justice, accusing Tyrion of poisoning the king.  The episode ends with Joffrey dead and Tyrion surrounded by the Kingsguard.

There are many “Hmmmmm….” moments surrounding the poisoning: Why did court fool Ser Dontos warn Sansa to leave right now? Those faceless guards ringing the area—do we know who’s really beneath the armor? Varys has stated his loyalty is to the kingdom, not an individual king. Wouldn't “venom” be a natural weapon for someone nicknamed The Spider? 

Joffrey’s death illustrates once again that in the Game of Thrones, everyone’s a potential corpse.


Darlene Marshall is a life-long sf & fantasy fan. Back in the day she wrote apazines, a Stone Age version of blogging via snail mail.  Now Marshall writes award-winning historical romance about pirates, privateers, smugglers and the occasional possum. Her latest release, The Pirate's Secret Baby, is available in ebook and print.

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Jennifer Proffitt
1. JenniferProffitt
All I have to say is Ding Dong The Witch is Dead! I have loved hating Joffrey, but I am SO GLAD he's dead!
Darlene Marshall
2. DarleneMarshall
@Jennifer--Big question now is, "Whodunnit?" and technically, Tommen is the king now. He'd better watch his back.
Heather Waters
3. HeatherWaters
@darlenemarshall -- I could be waaaaaay off base here (haven't read this far in the books), and this could just be wishful thinking, but...right now my money's on Sansa. She DID hold the goblet there for a sec and obviously had tons of reason to want to off Joffrey. And considering the weapon of choice was poison, I'm thinking it's either The Spider or a lady. Margaery and/or the Queen of Thorns would have waited until after the wedding night, at least, right?
Darlene Marshall
4. DarleneMarshall
@Redline--I confess, I do know whodunnit since I've read the books, but I purposely kept book related stuff out of my post. As much fun as it was to watch peoples' reactions to The Red Wedding, I'm treating the TV show as if I'm coming to it fresh.

However, we already know the show deviates from the books. I'm thinking Ser Dontos because of the warning, and because even a drunk buffoon has some pride.
6. stacymd2
I am so glad Joffrey is dead. I was grinning from ear to ear last night. As for who killed him. I don't care, but I suspect Oberyn.

Melisandre will use Joffery's death to claim that her ceremony worked. I hope she dies soon too.

It is almost sad how Cersei is so bitter and nasty that she will cut off her nose to spite her face.

I think the poison was in the giant pie. Joffery was the only one who ate it. This might absolve Tyron in the end. When the dogs in the kennel die from being fed the leftovers, Tywin will know it could not have been the wine or cup.

I felt bad for Tyron and Shae, but she is safer away from him. Sansa too. I don't know what will become of her, but none of the Stark brood will ever be safe.

I ship Brienne and Jamie, but she is to good for him and Cersei may kill her.
Tatiana deCarillion
7. decarillion
I've also read the books but, even if you haven't, the show offers several candidates for the role of murderer.

Jack Gleeson did a marvelous job with a horrible character, and I hope they honor that with an Emmy nod, in the coming year. He will return to school full-time, last I read, and I think we all wish him (the actor) well. (little bit of trivia--he played the little boy that talks with Batman, briefly, in Batman Begins).
Darlene Marshall
8. DarleneMarshall
decarillion--I seem to recall that Jack Gleeson is majoring in philosophy, and people say he's a really nice guy. Someone remarked that it's fortunate he's a brunette in real life (The Baratheon genes!) so that he's not dogged by being Joffrey forever.
Nicole Leapheart
9. BoxyFrown
I found this gif of Maisie aka Arya Stark doing what I imagine is a celebratory dance at this news of Joff's passing:

I have read the books, and I am so glad that I don't have to hold on to the secret of Joffrey's death anymore. It's too stressful to know things from this show, so I decided not to read anymore GoT after that book until the show runs its course.

Bronn and Jaime sparring was EVERYTHING and for that matter, Brienne and Cercei verbally sparring was so great. And how about Loras throwing some incest shade at Jaime?
10. CindyS
I'm grateful that no one is posting spoilers - I had no idea he was going to die at his wedding but hey, I was so happy.
I also think the 'jester' may have poisoned him because he went to Sansa and told her to leave (does she? If so, it will be the first time she's ever tried to save herself).
I'm not sure about Cersei anymore - I'm starting to think maybe she's been cruel like Joffrey for years but has been better at hiding it. Feeding the scraps to the dogs - why? What would that gain her?
Also, I thought Oberyan was threatening Cersei's daughter with rape but that she is lucky because she's not in the city. I don't know how far Oberyan would go - would he rape to avenge rape?
I kind of wish the whole show was just about the people in the city and Danerys. I don't understand the North and the Wall or maybe I don't care.
11. Freya
Does no-one remember the vilest schemer in all of Westeros? Others may have done the actual poisoning but Littlefinger is surely the mastermind behind it all.
And remember, he has offered to remove Sansa from King's Landing before... The Jester Knight is obviously working for him.
12. jackipenny
If someone resented her recent loss of queenly power & knew the king would be poisoned, part of the plan would most certainly be to make sure to eliminate the one person who could help. The Maester was sent on a menial errand moments before...
13. stacymd2
@Freya: I forgot about Littlefinger. That guy is pure slime. I will not be surprised if he ends up married to Sansa and being the most powerful person in Westeros.

Even though I like Daenerys, I don't think she will be a good ruler of Westeros.
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