The wedding of the season finally premiered tonight on Game of Thrones season 4 during episode 2, "The Lion and the Rose." Clearly the momentum from "Two Swords" isn't slowing down any time soon. Dubbed the "Purple Wedding" by fans, the universally despised King Joffrey gets hitched to the lovely Margaery Tyrell to form an alliance between the two powerful families.
And it's obvious that everyone behind Game of Thrones pulled out all the stops to host the most extravagant, beautiful, colorful wedding in Westeros. Of course, the show touches on a lot of the other plot points throughout the hour, but the wedding took up a majority of it. And the ending was something fans have been waiting for years to see! So discuss it we must.
There are MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for "The Lion and the Rose." This isn't something you want to spoil for yourself thanks to an Internet recap. Watch it for yourself first!
Let's get the non-wedding stuff out of the way. Sadly, there was no Daenerys or Jon Snow this hour, but the end of the Purple Wedding more than made up for it.
Bastard Ramsay Snow, a lady friend named Miranda, and Reek, aka Theon Greyjoy, are hunting down a poor girl who's being chased by dogs. Such a fitting entry for Ramsay, huh? He is one sick dude. Thank goodness HBO spared us from having to witness the dogs killing this unfortunate victim.
Roose Bolton, Ramsay's father (if you recall, he killed Robb Stark), comes home to the Dreadfort. Roose inspects Theon, then lectures his son on not being a Bolton, but a Snow, after learning he tortured Theon. Ramsay sets out to prove that Reek is completely subservient to him by having Reek shave him. Reek finally admits to Roose that he never killed Bran and Rickon Stark, though Ramsay also delivers the news that Robb is dead. It takes every ounce of self-control for Theon to not slice open his neck with that razor, as Robb was very close to Theon. The look on Theon's face actually made you feel a little bit sorry for him. (And do I call him Theon or Reek during these recaps anyway?)
After gaining his father's approval and taking stock of the rest of the Starks, Roose and Ramsay know they still have work to do so that the rest of Westeros doesn't rally around Bran or Rickon. Jon Snow's name also comes up, but they ought to stay away from him as he deals with the threat beyond the Wall.
Melisandre and King Stannis also have one hell of an entrance, burning Stannis's wife's (Lady Selyse) brother alive. Ser Davos is always the voice of reason and can't stand to be around all these crazy nutters. During what must have been a very awkward dinner, Selyse discusses their daughter, Shireen, who suffers from greyscale, and Stannis surprisingly acts somewhat caring toward her. Melisandre speaks with Shireen, and of course the whole conversation was incredibly creepy and depressing. Melisandre says, "There's only one hell, princess, the one we live in now." Such uplifting stuff for a young, intelligent, innocent girl to hear, huh?
Bran, reminding us he's actually still around, wargs as Summer. We also hear our first "Hodor" of the season, hooray! Time to take a shot! Anyway, Jojen Reed and his sister Meera warn Bran that he cannot be in Summer's mind for too long, or he will forget his human self and forget to take care of his own needs. Bran finds the creepiest tree ever and hears someone say, "Look for me beneath the tree ... North." OMG, was that Coldhands (book readers know who that is)?!?
Now that we've got all that out of the way, let's finally get to "the dwarf, the cripple, and the mother of madness," which is how Tyrion describes the Lannister children. He and Jaime have always had a special bond, and now they are both outcasts. "How can I protect the king when I can hardly wipe my own ass?" Jaime laments.
Tyrion suggests he trains with a discreet swordsman. He offers up Bronn, who's got some of the best one-liners of the show, and he and Jaime duel next to a picturesque cliff by the sea. Bronn brings up a knight and says, "Right here is where I fuck his wife. She's a screamer, that one. If they don't hear her, they won't hear us." Bronn sure knows how to take the picturesque out of anything.
During the wedding breakfast, Cersei points out Shae, Tyrion's favorite whore, to her father, Tywin. Tywin warned Tyrion that he would hang the next whore who's with his son, so Tyrion must break Shae's heart to get her away from King's Landing.
But back to the wedding: We finally get a look at Lord Mace Tyrell, who gifts the couple with a wedding cup. "Drink deep and live long," he announces -- which is hilarious considering what happens at the end of the wedding.
Tyrion then offers his nephew a book, "a book every king should read." Of course this does not please Joffrey, who is too stupid to read, even though he initially acts grateful. Tywin gifts his grandson with Ned Stark's Valyrian steel sword (nooooo), and Joffrey proceeds to cut the shit out of Tyrion's gift with his new toy.
"Every time I use it, it'll be like cutting off Ned Stark's head all over again," Joffrey announces after calling his sword "Widow's Wail." Right in front of poor Ned's daughter, Sansa Stark. God, Joffrey, you are the biggest bastard ever.
During the ceremony, Margaery looks lovelier than ever. Joffrey proudly cloaks her while his dysfunctional, miserable family looks on. They smooch, and they're married!
And of course the reception is insane. Banners, tons of food, tons of drinks, lavishly decorated tables, fire dancers, contortionists, so many guests in colorful costumes, one hell of a pie, it's the Westeros wedding of the century. We also get a glimpse of the Red Viper (Oberyn Martell) and Ellaria Sand, who is wearing one of the most low-cut dresses I've ever seen.
In what is yet another telling scene, Lady Olenna approaches Sansa to tell her how badly she feels about Robb Stark's death. "Killing a man at a wedding, horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing? As if men need more of a reason to fear marriage," Lady Olenna says while inconspicuously playing with Sansa's hair.
Then we hear, yet again, "The Rains of Castemere." Something's gonna happen, right?
Since we have so many main characters all together in one scene, there are some memorable exchanges. From Lady Olenna with Tywin to the Red Viper with Tywin and Cersei to Cersei and Brienne to Ser Loras Tyrell and Jaime, it seems all these characters are taking this rare opportunity to be honest with each other. For example, Jaime warns that Loras will never marry his sister. "And neither will you," Loras quips.
Joffrey stands up to make an announcement, and you know it's not going to be good. He hired a bunch of dwarfs dressed up as kings -- the ultimate slap in the face to his poor uncle. At least Margaery has the class to look displeased (remember she was married to Renly Baratheon). The forlorn, sad, angry look on Sansa's face pretty much says it all, taking us all the way back to the most shocking scene in season 1 of this amazing show.
When Tyrion humiliates his nephew after the "war," Joffrey pours wine over his uncle's head. He adds salt to the wound by making Tyrion his cup bearer, ordering him around in the most degrading way possible. "Kneel!" he commands in his best Loki impression.
And then it happens.
It finally happens.
At what should have been a "historic" royal wedding, Joffrey takes a slug of wine, then he can't stop coughing. He can't breathe. He vomits and writhes on the floor, eyes bloodshot and nose bleeding. Cersei, Tywin, and Jaime (Joffrey's true father) all gather and look on while Joffrey finally, finally dies. Tyrion picks up the wine goblet while Joffrey tries to accusingly point at him, his final, dishonorable act as king.
Ding dong, the king is dead! YES!!! After so long and so many horrific things innocent people have gone through thanks to Joffrey, he has met his brutal end.
Tyrion, though, sadly, is immediately arrested.
As "The Rains of Castemere" played in the closing credits, it's amazing that Joffrey is actually gone, though it will be difficult for Tyrion to talk his way out of this one, especially with Cersei's wrath. What will the king's death mean for the rest of the realm? Can't poor Margaery ever stop being a widow? What will Cersei and Jaime do now that their son is gone? So many questions, and so far, this has been one hell of a season of Game of Thrones. Can't wait to see the fallout from Joffrey's death next week!
Were you shocked that King Joffrey met his end this episode? Did you wish he died in a different way?
Image via HBO