The third season of Game of Thrones introduced viewers to the Red Wedding, full of three major deaths in the Stark family. This episode features the Purple Wedding, the marriage of King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. And while the Red Wedding had fans screaming “NOOOOOOOO!,” the Purple Wedding will have you screaming “YESSSSSSSSSS!”
The Purple Wedding
Let’s get right to the big stuff. Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding comes and, at the reception, Joffrey is his usual prickish self. For “entertainment” he has a quintet of dwarves recreate the War of the Five Kings, complete with jokes about Renly Baratheon’s homosexuality and Robb Stark getting beheaded while Dwarf Joffrey simulates sex with his head.
The whole ordeal is very uncomfortable and everyone seems mortified by how tasteless it is. Afterwards Tyrion once again uses his gift of speech to passive aggressively condemn his nephew. Joffrey doesn’t like this and demands that Tyrion be his cup bearer. Tyrion reluctantly agrees. The cup is swatted away and Sansa picks it up, handing it back to Tyrion.
After Joffrey cuts the cake (or wedding pie) he drinks some more and then starts choking. “YES!” I screamed while watching this scene. “OH GOD YES!” Joffrey chokes, passes out on the floor and, as Cersei comes to cradle him, his eyes roll back in his head, his nose bleeds and he starts to turn purple (hence the name of the wedding).
KING JOFFREY IS DEAD! KING JOFFREY IS DEAD!
Seriously, I’ve never been happier while watching an episode of television than with this scene. I expect a ton of YouTube reaction videos that feel the same way, the polar opposite of the horror and shock of the Red Wedding.
But the question remains: Who did it? Cersei accuses Tyrion, who is immediately taken away. But Dontos the fool shows up to take Sansa away for her own protection. Did the fool somehow pull this off? Were Sansa or Tyrion involved? Does it matter? Joffrey is dead, so the only real mystery is who gets the congratulatory cupcakes I baked?
Also at the Wedding
The death of King Joffrey was the big moment of the Purple Wedding, but other things happened too. Here’s a quick run-through.
-Loras obviously has the best gaydar in Westeros, because he makes googly eyes at Oberyn Martell during the reception.
-Jaime assures Loras that if he marries Cersei, she will kill him in his sleep. Jaime promises Loras that he will never marry Cersei. But Loras’ comeback is the best: “Neither will you.”
-Cersei confronts Brienne, accusing her of being in love with Jaime. Brienne is silent on the matter.
-Margaery promises all of the leftovers from the reception to the poor. Cersei forces Pycelle to make sure the leftovers go to feed the dogs.
-Tywin and Olenna are kind of adorable together while talking about money.
-Oberyn makes his presence known by vaguely threatening Tywin and Cersei.
Before the wedding, Varys warns Tyrion that Cersei and Tywin know all about Shae, and in fact they plot to capture her after the wedding. Tyrion reluctantly decides to pull a White Fang by telling Shae that she’s just a whore and he doesn’t love her any more in order to force her to flee. And she does, at least according to Bronn. She’s off to Pentos, aka the place Daenerys and Viserys were at the very start of season 1. I will be eternally grateful if she somehow winds up working closely with Dany at some point.
Speaking of Bronn, he’s enlisted to help one-handed Jaime in some sword training. Jaime’s pride is slightly wounded, but I fully endorse any plotline that gives these two actors more scenes together.
Bolton Family Values
Ramsay Snow, aka Theon’s torturer, is enjoying his own version of the Hunger Games, hunting a defenseless girl, shooting her with an arrow and having his dogs devour her. I guess he’s the new Joffrey.
His dad, Roose Bolton, shows up to talk about how Tywin has given them the North, but no army to fight back against those pesky Greyjoys. Roose condemns Ramsay for flaying Theon (or Reek, as Ramsay calls him), but Ramsay assures him that it’s worthwhile. As proof, he gives Theon a sharp blade and lets Theon shave him while informing him that Robb is dead. Theon is such a massive wuss that he does nothing about it.
Roose learns that Theon didn’t actually kill Bran and Rickon, theorizing that they went to Castle Black to be with their bastard brother Jon Snow. They all need to die if Roose wants to hold and keep the North.
Bran and Stannis
The minor storylines this week are pretty thin. Bran is spending more time warging out in his direwolf. He finds a magic tree that gives him visions of…something. I don’t know what the magic tree was trying to tell him, but the shots of a dragon flying over King’s Landing were awesome (but completely misleading since HBO put them in all the promos for this episode). He also sees a very desolate and wintry Iron Throne, much like the one Dany saw in her crazy vision at the end of season 2. But we’re probably still many years away from that ever becoming a reality.
Meanwhile, Stannis burns a bunch of people, including his brother-in-law, because the night is still dark and full of more terrors. Melisandre talks to Stannis’ deformed daughter about Hell, but none of the scenes really seem to matter at all.
Did I mention that JOFFREY IS DEAD! Really, that’s the only recap you need this week on Game of Thrones. It’s just a shame Arya didn’t get to do it with Needle.
(Image courtesy of HBO)