Spoiler Warning: This post discusses the events of "The Lion and the Rose."
"It was an episode we've been looking forward to for a long time," series creator David Benioff professes in this week's Inside the Episode. It's not hard to see why: "The Lion and the Rose" features the event known to book readers as "The Purple Wedding" – the demise of Joffrey Baratheon.
"Thank you for taking so much love in hating me," actor Jack Gleeson messaged to fans in Entertainment Weekly. That hatred rippled through the Internet as Joffrey terrorized Tyrion during his wedding reception. "We’re ready to grab King JB by his royal throat and choke some sense into him," Forbes exclaimed.
HitFix characterizes the scene as "not just a significant death, but a masterclass in suspense filmmaking by Martin and director Alex Graves." In an interview with Deadline, Graves shares his response to the material: "I was really glad after the Red Wedding for the first time to find out that Joffrey was killed because it just seemed fair."
This sense of karmic retribution did not diminish the horror of the scene. "In the moment of his death, their characters sort of fall away," D.B. Weiss remarks; actors Lena Headey and Jack Gleeson "bring out the underlying humanity in these characters." The Washington Post concurs: "As Joffrey died in his mother’s arms last night, he looked terribly young and very small." The A.V. Club calls the wedding "this show in a nutshell," adding, "It leaves you completely uneasy and certain there’s just more tragedy around the corner."
"One question sprung to mind after the obligatory high fives: Who did it?" CNN asks. In Cersei's mind the answer is clear, and in a behind-the-scenes video on HBO's Viewer's Guide, George R.R. Martin details the roots of discord between the boy king and his uncle. Martin elaborates in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: "Tyrion’s in terrible trouble, and it proves that something I’ve tried to make a point of through the whole series: Decisions have consequences."
Forbes lays the blame at Tywin’s feet: "Tywin changed the rules when he orchestrated Robb Stark’s assassination at the Red Wedding. But he lacked the foresight to realize that his own king was made vulnerable by the drastically changed playing field." Rolling Stone defines the new landscape in the words of Melisandre: " 'There is only one Hell, princess. The one we live in now.' Consider that thought your wedding favor."
Icing on the Lemoncake:
• In addition to the purple wedding pandemonium, audiences were captivated by Bran's vision. Film School Rejects exclaims, "There’s enough in this 10-second clip to digest and dissect that we could sit here all night and talk about it."
• The Atlantic proposes using "Look! The pie!" as your new favorite non sequitur: "Anytime any of us finds ourselves at an awkward or painful social juncture, we’ll just holler out Margaery’s words and assume it will defuse the situation."
• New York Magazine asked 15 of the show’s actors how they would have offed Joff. The answers range from impaling him on the Iron Throne to having "a bunch of people f*ck him to death."
• Recognize the royal wedding band? It's Sigur Rós. Their rendition of "The Rains of Castamere" is available now on iTunes.
Were you shocked by the twist? Share your reactions in the comments. Please refrain from posting spoilers from the books.