April 13, 2014

Fans of the GoT books, did you know George R.R. Martin penned tonight's episode? Sure, we'd rather he would finish book # 6 already instead of writing HBO episodes even if he previewed a new chapter to appease his fans, but whatcha you gonna do, right? The good thing is that The Lion and the Rose was excellent.

Grade: A

[WARNING: Spoilers Below]

Many characters so far this season have told us how wonderful it is that Westeros is finally at peace (the winners) so what's going to be the moment that sets the course for season four?

I know, we need another wedding to kick start us off because the party at House Frey last year in The Rains Of Castamere was so much fun. There were three other story lines stated in episode two that were of some importance, but the wedding of Joffrey and Margaery took center stage and boy, did it ever deliver.

Many of the characters we grew to love like Ned, Caitlin, and Robb Stark were killed off in shocking fashion during season one and three, but the Lannisters and many others in the court of King's Landing were pretty much left unscathed. Sure, Jamie lost a hand, but in GoT, that's not too bad. So tonight, in another shocking sequence, the little sociopathic tyrant, King Joffrey, was murdered in the middle of his wedding reception. He choked on something in a goblet of wine that was handed to him by Tyrion, who now is being blamed for the murder by Cersei, who has him taken away. That came out of nowhere, but I'm sure GoT fans were standing on their chairs, cheering.

Before I forget, let's give major props to Jack Gleeson, for his amazing portrayal of Joffrey Baratheon. He captured the character's unfettered brutality flawlessly and he always reminded me of Jay Robinson's performance as Caligula in the 1953 movie, The Robe.

Throughout the whole wedding segment, Joffrey was tormenting Tyrion at every moment. He destroyed his wedding present and then had hired a band of dwarfs to perform a twisted play about the War of the Five Kings to further humiliate him. Tywin and Cersei looked on with amusement because they hate Tyrion, but most of the guests did not. Margaery was adept at reeling him in just at the right moment so that he didn't go overboard on Tyrion, but as the action continued, it appeared that something foul was going to happen to Sansa and Tyrion by Joffrey's hand. I never imagined that he would have been the one to pay the ultimate price. Well done, Martin, David Benioff and director Alex Graves. Game of Thrones has now replaced Breaking Bad as the best show on television.

The episode opened up with the sadist and bastard son of Roose Bolton, Ramsey Snow, hunting a young girl in the woods (Tansy) with his vicious dogs, Myranda and an emaciated and hobbled Reek (Theon Greyjoy) following behind. It's a variation of the Naked Prey, so if she gets out of the forest she lives, but Myranda shoots her in the leg with an arrow, knocking her down and crippling her. She's jealous of her, so Ramsey winds up feeding her to his dogs while Reek looks on helplessly in disgust.

Tyrion tries to cheer up Jamie because he's pissed he can't fight with one hand. He suggests he learns to fight with his left hand and they hire a very discreet Bronn as the new instructor.

Roose Bolton has been named ruler of the North and comes back to the Dreadfort to check on Theon Greyjoy. What he finds is that his bastard son has flayed him and destroyed any hope he has of using him as trade bait with the Ironborn and he's pissed. Balon holds Moat Cailin, which is a tactical stronghold between the North and South that's blocking Roose from his armies and left him vulnerable.

I placed far too much trust in you.

Ramsey, as psycho as he is, isn't stupid either. He proves to his father that he's broken Theon's will to be free by letting Reek shave him with a sharpened blade. Reek has been treated like a rat after enduring extreme torture and mutilation and then forced to live with Ramsey's dogs. Theon (Reek) then admits to Roose that he never killed the young Stark boys at Winterfell after all and that they are probably headed to Castle Black to see their half brother Jon Snow. Roose knows that the North will never follow a Bolton if there is a Stark still living, so he tasks Ramsey with capturing Moat Cailin for him and their family.

Take the Moat for our family and I'll reconsider your position...

Varys tells Tyrion that his sister knows about Shae and soon his father will, which will be a nightmare for him and Shae since he promised to kill the next whore that Tyrion sleeps with.

They are at formal party before Joffrey's wedding and Cersei tells Tywin about Shae. He wants her brought to the Tower of the Hand before the wedding so he can take his vengeance.

Melisandre is engaged in fire sacrificing three men to her God. One of the subjects is Selyse Baratheon's brother, Lord Florent. Selyse is a true believer and is enthralled by Melisandre so she asks her to speak with their scarred and naughty daughter to help straighten her out. The Red Priestess goes to Stannis' daughter's room and gives her a catechism course about the Gods.

Bran has been warging a lot with Summer and Jojeen Reed reminds him how dangerous that is if he does it too much. They find a face carved into the bark of a tree in the furious snow and when Bran touches it, he instantly goes into a trance. While he's having visions of the past and the future he hears a voice that tells him to "look for me under a tree" in the North. When he comes out of it, he tells his small group that he knows where to go.

Joffrey marries Margaery. Sansa says "we have a new queen" and Tyrion says it's better her than you.

Olenna has a conversation with Tywin after the wedding vows and bothers him about being a curmudgeon. She mentions the Iron Bank and reminds him that they will have their due.

Bronn tells Tyrion that Shae got on the boat and left the city.

Joffrey clears the floor of guests and sends out a band of dwarfs dressed as lords to act out The War of the five kings. Tyrion looks on in disgust because, first Joffrey is mocking his size and then they mock Sansa's family. Joffery is drinking and laughing at the act and at the conclusion of the performance, asks if there is anyone still challenging his reign; he turns to Tyrion.

Uncle, I'm sure they have a spare costume.

Tyrion can't hold back his contempt and makes a joke at his expense. Joffrey gets pissed and pours a drink over his head. Margaery is very perceptive and calls out to Joffrey, distracting him before the incident goes any farther. But shortly afterwards he orders Tyrion to be his cupbearer and get him more wine. As he hands his goblet to Tyrion, he kicks the it away from him under the table. Sansa sees Tyrion's shame and gets it for him.

What good is an empty cup, fill it!

Tyrion grabs a flask of wine from the table and fills the goblet.

Kneel before your king. Kneel.

Again Margaery intercedes.

Look, the pie.

A big cake with a clay shell comes out and Joffrey takes his new sword, Window's Wail, and cuts down on it, breaking the covering which releases birds into the air. Margaery takes a piece of cake and feeds him some. Sansa and Tyrion begin to leave when Joffrey halts them.

Serve me my wine.

Tyrion grabs a goblet of wine off the dais and hands it to Joffrey. He drinks it down.

Mmm, good.

Tyrion asks him if he could leave with Sansa, but as Joffrey protests, he starts coughing.

No, you'll wait here..[cough]

Your Grace?

It's nothing...[cough]

Margaery yells, he's choking! Joffrey falls to the floor, puking and flailing. Jamie and Cersei rush to him as Olenna screams for help.

Sansa is looking on in disbelief when the fool comes up behind her and tells her she has to leave now.

Cersei turns Joffrey over on his back and his eyes are bulging out of his head. Tyrion picks up the goblet from the floor to see what was inside it when Joffrey points his finger at him. Cersie and Jamie look up at Tyrion as blood runs from his nose and Joffrey dies.

Our king is gone.

Cersie looks at Tyrion in rage.

He did this; he poisoned my son, your king. Take him! Take him!

* I almost forgot, where is the fool going to take Sansa?

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