Finally, “Game of Thrones” killed off a character everyone has been praying would die. Only two episodes into Season 4, Joffrey choked to death at his own wedding, meaning the mad king of Westeros’ reign has finally come to an end.
But that’s not the only important event that happened in the April 13 episode, “The Lion and the Rose.” Sansa gets her chance to escape, Bran learns where to find the three-eyed raven, Tyrion sends Shae away and Ramsay gets sent on an important mission.
Here’s what happened in “The Lion and the Rose.”
At King’s Landing
Before we get to the royal wedding and the death of Joffrey, here are some of the other important events that happened in King’s Landing. Tyrion finally ended his dalliance with Shae, and calls her a whore to make the breakup stick. He has Bronn take her to a ship to send her away, and Bronn later tells Tyrion at the wedding that the deed is done. But Tyrion is concerned by the news that Bronn was followed, which is valid considering fans know Tywin told Cersei to send Shae to the Tower of the Hand.
Jaime is also having personal issues and opens up about them to Tyrion during a cute lunch between the two brothers. Apparently Jaime is far less skilled in fighting with his left hand than he thought, so Tyrion has Bronn help Jaime train to swordfight with his remaining hand.
The first step of Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding celebration is the breakfast the pair hosts, where Joffrey continues to show what an obnoxious twit he is. Though it at first seems like he might have learned some restraint when he politely accepts Tyrion’s gifts, he then proceeds to slash them to bits when Tywin presents him with his Valyrian steel sword.
The wedding ceremony between the king and his new queen goes off without a hitch, but it’s at the celebratory feast that things start getting interesting. When the attendees are walking from the Sept of Baelor, Lady Olenna brings up to Tywin the fact that the Lannisters will likely soon be coming to the Tyrells to help pay off the massive debt the crown has to the Iron Bank of Braavos. With the amount of times the bank has been brought up recently, expect that storyline to get a payoff sooner rather than later.
At the feast, there are a number of fantastic interactions between characters who haven’t been around each other before. The Brienne and Jaime ‘ship was set alight when Brienne meets Cersei, and Cersei flat out acknowledges that Brienne loves Jaime. Even though Cersei isn’t particularly happy with her brother at the moment, Brienne better avoid the jealous queen at all costs.
Then there was Cersei and Tywin coming face-to-face with Oberyn and Ellaria. Oberyn’s pointed remarks are bound to get him in trouble, but it’s certainly fun watching him make Cersei and Tywin squirm. Loras and Oberyn acknowledging one another was a delight, as was Jaime threatening Loras with Cersei’s brutality if the pair were to marry. Fortunately, Loras came back at him with the fact Jaime will never get to marry Cersei either.
It doesn’t take long for Joffrey’s brattiness to start coming out. Margaery starts the event off on the right foot by saying all the leftovers will go to the poorest in the city (though Cersei tries to usurp that by having it go to the dogs instead), but then Joffrey puts on his own show. He has five dwarves come out to perform the War of the Five Kings in the most offensive way possible, suitably insulting everyone from Sansa to Loras
But, since he’s Joffrey, he doesn’t stop there. He torments Tyrion by trying to get him to go out and fight, pouring wine over his head and then making his uncle act as his cupbearer. Honestly, it’s better Shae wasn’t there to witness Tyrion’s complete humiliation.
It’s here that Margaery fails to rein Joffrey in, which is a sign of how the future likely would have been had he been alive to rule. Joffrey won’t listen to anyone but Joffrey, which is why he was so hateful to begin with. His torment of Tyrion only ends — albeit briefly — when the wedding pie is brought out, and then he summons Tyrion back to pour him a new glass of wine.
Like Robert Baratheon, it was wine that proved to be Joffrey’s downfall. He chokes to death after taking a sip, and as Jaime and Cersei rush to the king’s side, Ser Dontos pops up to help Sansa escape. Joffrey dies in his mother’s arms, but not before pointing at Tyrion as a sort of implication, creating a whole new world of trouble for the uncle he always hated.
At the Dreadfort
Lest you forget that Ramsay is one of the most evil dudes around, the episode opens with him hunting one of his former lovers/torturers through the woods. In an episode where the most hated character on the show dies, it’s important to note that a potentially more evil replacement already exists in the world.
After a season of Ramsay doing whatever his heart desired, he and his father Roose Bolton were reunited. Finally Roose could just let loose in his home of the Dreadfort, especially after having to hold up appearances within Robb Stark’s camp for so long. He is as put off by Theon’s descent into Reek as the rest of us, but Ramsay proves Reek’s worth when he shares news of the Red Wedding to the tortured creature and not a blip of Theon comes out of him.
Ramsay is evil, yes, but he’s also desperate for the love of his father. Roose plays into that by giving him the impossible task of taking Moat Cailin, and says he will rethink Ramsay’s bastard status if his son succeeds.
The night is still dark and full of even more terrors at Dragonstone, as Melisandre continues to burn people alive in prayer to the Lord of Light. Selyse, Stannis’ wife, is even more of a fanatic than she was in previous seasons, burning her own brother at the stake.
It’s worth noting that this episode features the third of four kings opposing Stannis who were maybe sort of killed by Melisandre’s magic. The shadow baby was definitely responsible for Renly’s death, but were the leeches filled with Gendry’s royal blood really what caused Robb and Joffrey to die? Or were those just coincidences?
Melisandre also seems like she will play a key role in Shireen’s future. While Selyse’s fanaticism goes as far as suggesting someone hit her child, Stannis finally intervenes. Then Selyse suggests Melisandre go see Shireen, which she does. Will Melisandre be able to sway Shireen over to the way of the Lord of Light? It remains to be seen, but Davos likely won’t be too happy about that meeting.
North of the Wall
The first shot of Bran in Season 4 is him hunting in Summer’s body. Apparently the time he’s spent within his direwolf has increased, and it’s enough to give Jojen and Meera cause for concern.
But that storyline quickly takes a back seat to one significantly cooler. Summer finds Bran a weirwood tree, and when Bran touches the face, he finds himself drawn into a series of visions. Among them are his father Ned Stark (!!!), him being pushed out of the tower by Jaime and a voice telling him to “look for me beneath the tree. North.” Bran now knows where he should find the three-eyed raven.
– Confused by who the women with Ramsay are in the opening shot? They’re the ones who helped him torture Theon last season, though it seems he soured on at least one of them. Just goes to show that Ramsay is about as gross and awful as they come.
“Theon was our enemy, but Reek … Reek will never betray us.” – Ramsay
“There’s only one hell, princess: The one we live in now.” – Melisandre to Shireen
“If you’re trapped in Summer for too long, you’ll forget what it means to be human.” – Jojen
“Not now, Mace. Tywin and I are speaking.” – Olenna
“War is war, but killing a man at a wedding? Horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing? As if men need more reasons to fear marriage.” – Olenna to Sansa
“In truth, he rescued me, your grace — more than once.” – Brienne
[pauses] “Did he? I hadn’t heard that story before.” – Cersei
“Oh look, the pie!” – Margaery