Hello, friends and bannermen. Game of Thrones finally paid off the promise of its Purple Wedding. How did it match up with the books? How did it differ?
This weekly chat series is for fans of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, upon which HBO's fantasy drama is based. It's meant to be a safe haven to discuss spoilers and changes from the novels and how they have played out or will play out in the TV series. Hanh Nguyen and Sadie Gennis are longtime fantasy fans of varying levels of geekiness who will sound off on all things Westerosi (and beyond!).
Game of Thrones: A tribute to the jerk Joffrey
[Warning: If you're a Game of Thrones fan who has stumbled upon this chat and haven't read the books yet, begone! Instead, check out our tribute to Joffrey for a spoiler-free discussion.]
Hanh: I'm pouring out a 40 (of wine) for Joffrey. This is my heartbreak episode! All hail, Jack Gleeson! It's the end of an era. Did you find that almost every horrible thing he did in the episode was precious to you knowing that it was all coming to an end?
Sadie: Completely! Every sneer was simultaneously a dagger to the heart and an angel's caress. Because as much of a psychopath as Ramsay is, he'll never be Joffrey, and I'll miss the little bastard.
Hanh: I couldn't get enough of him. I wish this had been a super-sized episode just to get in more Joffrey time.
Sadie: So true. At least we'll always have this.
Hanh: Oh good! I liked that version. The epic 10-minute one was overly long. What I think is interesting is that for the non-book readers, they may still be left in the dark about who killed him. That wasn't made clear in the episode at all. It was great dramatic tension to watch Lady Olenna's every move.
Sadie: The entire time she was fiddling with Sansa's hair I was trying to stifle a laugh so I wouldn't spoil it for my non-book reader friend. And really, if people aren't paying close attention they might not have even noticed Dontos lead Sansa away. It was pure chaos!
Hanh: Yes, although it was sad to watch, I did have a hell of a lot more laughs for this wedding than with the Red Wedding, which only filled me with dread. Lady Olenna had one of the best lines also: "War is war, but killing a man at a wedding — horrid! What sort of monster would do such a thing?"
Sadie: Agreed. My favorite part by far was watching the passive-aggressive sparring match between Oberyn and Cersei and Tywin. I was just sitting there gleefully like, for being from such a faraway land, Oberyn knows exactly how to play the Lannisters' game.
Hanh: Yes! I think it's interesting that they're tolerating him, especially when he makes such pointed comments at Tywin like, "It's fortunate that Myrcella lives in place where rape and murder of children are considered distasteful" or some such about her being fostered in Dorne. But speaking of Cersei, my second heartbreak of the night was when she was talking to Brienne of Tarth. Brienne: "I do not serve your brother, Your Grace." Cersei: "But you love him" — tears! Even Brienne was shocked about having her feelings spelled out to her. She was unaware I think. I was talking to my friend over the weekend, and we were hoping that for once, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff would go off-book and totally 'ship Jaime and Brienne .
Sadie: I totally disagree. I think it's so refreshing to see a male-female relationship that's so intimate, but also platonic.I want them to share a million scenes together, but it'll kill me if they kiss.
Hanh: If that is all they want for both of them, then I would completely be fine with that. But when it comes to Brienne, I'm not so sure her feelings are entirely platonic. Maybe it's just because Gwendoline Christie shows such emotion in her face! I feel she wants more. Am I projecting? Perhaps.
Sadie: Maybe. It's also entire possible that even Brienne doesn't know what she wants just yet in the show. It's not like any guy (besides Renly) has ever been half as nice to her as Jaime.
Hanh: Very true. And she was just fine serving Renly, so I can understand if she can't even conceive of anything except a very fierce and loyal camaraderie with Jaime. I like how he teases her! Like when he called her a Lannister hair-wise if not in looks.
Sadie: And we all know Jaime is attracted to those blonde Lannisters!
Hanh: Bwahahaha! And ew.
Sadie: Poor Jaime, though. At least in the books he was spared watching his son-nephew's death. I could barely handle it when he ran over.
Hanh: Yes, I wonder what mixed feelings he had towards Joffrey. Goodness knows he was kept from being a close uncle, and then of course Joffrey had been so nasty to him recently about the White Book. But the show deciding to have Jaime present for Joffrey choking means another king has died on his watch. So... what did you think about the actual death? I have to admit I was a tad bit disappointed.
Sadie: I was too! I wanted to see him literally tear his own throat out. Though, I have to say whoever did the makeup on Joff's face for the final shot deserves 10 gold dragons. But still, overall, not enough blood and gore.
Hanh: Yes, the whole death itself was a little bit of a letdown, but I think how he looked in death (jeez I'm creeping myself out) was brilliant. I also liked Cersei's horrified reaction. I definitely felt her anguish on the show more than in the books. I also think it's been funny how a lot of people have been calling it the Purple Wedding and explain that wine plays a big part, which of course it does. But purple in the face? I hope they were surprised! It wasn't made clear onscreen that the amethyst necklace (not a hairnet, alas) played a part either. OK, moving on to my next heartbreak — Reek! We finally got to see Theon completely broken.
Sadie: As twisted as this sounds, this was my favorite heartbreak! It was just so much fun seeing Alfie Allen completely embody Reek and all his sad little ticks and twitches.
Hanh: The moment when he finds out that Roose killed Robb — my heart just about stopped with his. I bow down to Alfie Allen for being able to convey so much with a shrug and flick of the eyes.
Sadie: Agreed. Lily Allen needs to do a follow-up song to "Alfie" because he has more than proven that he's no longer that lazy little stoner.
Hanh: In a way, I prefer this broken Theon version of Reek — where he's still recognizable to me — than the white-haired zombie of a Reek from the books. I think it affects me more.
Sadie: Agreed! Because we can still see Theon so clearly, yet not at all, it's terribly painful to watch. We get the sense that he's a ghost without the distraction of prosthetics and wigs.
Hanh: It was also interesting to see the tensions between Roose and Ramsay (whom I always call Ramsay Bolton not Snow in my mind). Ramsay's need to impress daddy is kind of like Theon's. Oh, if only they bonded over that instead of torture!
Sadie: They really are very similar, which is why they're such a fun pair to watch, much like Loras and Jaime. It's like being able to see someone's future self interact with their past self (and the future does not look good).Well, in Jaime's case he at least physically looks good — if you don't mind the stump.
Hanh: Which we don't!
Sadie: Not at all! And I feel like since losing his hand, Jaime's really been opening up to Tyrion more, which just lays the groundwork for what's to come.
Hanh: They had to lose something to gain that understanding. There's quite a bit of mutilation on this show. By that token, Theon should be everyone's BFF someday!
Sadie: I'd settle for him having one friend, even if it's imaginary at this point. I do have some questions about Tyrion's storyline this week though. Do you really think Shae left or did Tywin get to her before she boarded the ship?
Hanh: Oh, I think Tywin totally got to her. I mean, he has to, right? They're setting us up for the biggest heartbreak of all! Tyrion and Shae fighting and his calling her a whore not fit to bear his children during this episode was totally twisting the knife.
Sadie: Watching Tyrion burn that bridge killed me probably more than anything else this episode, and the whole time I was wondering, "Is this it? Is this what makes Shae so hurt that she betrays him?"
Hanh: What was Tyrion's first wife's name? I feel that the knowledge of Tywin and Jaime's betrayal, lying that she was a whore, was the betrayal that made him snap in the books. But here on the show, we don't have that story fresh in our minds. I don't think Shae will betray him. It just doesn't make sense unless she's coerced, but how? Could Tywin just straight out kill her — he's made all of those threats about hanging Tyrion's next whore — and that's what makes him snap?
Sadie: Tyrion's wife was Tysha, whom I really hope he finds one day in the books even though I know it will only bring more heartbreak. But maybe he could find closure there as well. And you're right, since we haven't really dug into the Tysha story line, Shae's death is a likely culprit to the trigger to toilet murder.
Hanh: Toilet murder! I just had an image of toileta dentate.
Sadie: Way to give me even more nightmares! Now I'll never be able to sleep — or use the bathroom — again. I'm charging you for my lifetime supply of diapers.
Hanh: Ha ha! I just had another image of Tywin as a spokesperson for adult diapers. "For when you really have to go but don't want to go that way." Tywin Tighties! Well, on that high (low?) note, I'm going to tune to my "Rains of Castamere" Pandora station and eat my pigeon pot pie.
Did Joffrey's death live up to your expectations? Did you watch with someone who hasn't read the books? How do you like Alfie Allen's take on Reek? Share your thoughts on "The Lion and the Rose" in the comments below.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.