Jul 18 2013 1:00pm

A Read of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords, Part 36

A Song of Ice and Fire Storm of SwordsWelcome back to A Read of Ice and Fire! Please join me as I read and react, for the very first time, to George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

Today’s entry is Part 36 of A Storm of Swords, in which we cover Chapter 59 (“Sansa”) and Chapter 60 (“Tyrion”).

Previous entries are located in the Index. The only spoilers in the post itself will be for the actual chapters covered and for the chapters previous to them. As for the comments, please note that the Powers That Be have provided you a lovely spoiler thread here on Any spoileriffic discussion should go there, where I won’t see it. Non-spoiler comments go below, in the comments to the post itself.

And now, the post!

Chapter 59: Sansa

What Happens
Sansa wakes from a dream in which Lady and all her family were alive and safe, and remembers again that she is the only one left. Her new maids, Shae and Brella, come in to give her a bath; she thinks that Shae gives her very insolent looks sometimes. Sansa tries not to be nervous about attending Joffrey’s wedding. Tyrion arrives as she is dressing, and begins drinking immediately, saying he has no intention of facing his sister sober. Sansa summons her strength to go with him down to breakfast.

Neither Tyrion nor Sansa have much of an appetite. The nobles all present Joffrey with rich gifts, but Joffrey scorns Tyrion’s gift (a rare book of the history of four kings of Westeros), and makes a crude joke about visiting Sansa in her chambers after the wedding and “show[ing] my little uncle how it’s done.” Tyrion makes no reply, just drinks more. Joffrey makes another joke about the fall of House Stark, and Sansa hopes he falls and breaks his neck. Tywin gives Joffrey a magnificent sword, and Joffrey decides to name it “Widow’s Wail,” for the many widows it will create, and slashes Tyrion’s book to pieces with it before declaring Tyrion owes him a better gift. Tyrion suggests a dagger with a dragonbone hilt, and Joffrey gives him a look before demanding one with gold and rubies.

Prince Oberyn of Dorne and his baseborn paramour, Ellaria Sand, fall in with Tyrion and Sansa as they head to the wedding. Oberyn debates the history of King Viserys with Tyrion, and Sansa is shocked at Tyrion’s opinion that Viserys was right to kill off Baelor the Blessed, who Tyrion believes was deranged by snake venom. Oberyn observes there are no snakes here now, and asks how Tyrion accounts for Joffrey, then. In the litter, Sansa apologizes to Tyrion about the book, but Tyrion answers that he should have known better, and says that perhaps Joffrey has “earned himself a dagger” instead. He comments that Joffrey fought with her brother Robb at Winterfell, and asks her if he did the same with Bran; Sansa is confused by the question, but doesn’t think so.

Tyrion states that she loved her brothers, and fearing a trap, Sansa answers that her brothers were traitors. Tyrion asks her if she knows what happened to Bran at Winterfell, and assures her he never harmed Bran, and means no harm to her either. Sansa gives a neutral answer, not knowing what Tyrion wants from her, and wishing he would leave her alone. He comments that she has never asked how Robb or her mother died, and Sansa replies that she would rather not know, as it would give her bad dreams.

“Then I will say no more.”

“That… that’s kind of you.”

“Oh, yes,” said Tyrion. “I am the very soul of kindness. And I know about bad dreams.”

I once read a crime story in which the protagonist (a homicide detective) observed that the one thing he almost never saw, in all the domestic murder scenes he’d gone over in his career, was the presence of books. The quote was something like, I’ve never seen a bloody body in a home filled with books.

Now obviously this is not unilaterally true—I’m sure someone somewhere has been murdered in a room full of books—but the larger point was still taken. I certainly don’t need anything more at this point to cement my abhorrence of Joffrey, but his contempt for reading/learning/knowledge/history is the snail-slime icing on the turd cannoli as far as I am concerned. Ugh.

Also, rape jokes and “Widow’s Wail.” Really. REALLY.

Why isn’t he DEAD YET? I rail, impotently. WHHHYYYYYYYY

Well, there’s a wedding coming up (she says, sourly), so the odds on lots of people dying are suddenly astronomically higher, if we go by general trends. I might get lucky! *crosses fingers*

I really might, actually, because Tyrion looks to be getting perilously close to the end of his rope re: dear little Joff, not that I blame him. Not that ANYONE would blame him. “Earned himself a dagger,” indeed. INDEED, Tyrion. I See What You Did There.

Though I am intrigued by Joffrey’s reaction at Tyrion’s mention of a dagger with a dragonbone hilt. Obviously this is a reference to the dagger that was used to frame Tyrion in the assassination attempt on Bran, but I don’t think I had any idea that Joffrey was in on that whole thing. Which, maybe he wasn’t, but his reaction to Tyrion’s jab here certainly suggests that he was. And now I am dealing with (a) trying to remember if it was confirmed before this that Cersei was behind the frame job, and (b) boggling that, if she was, that she would be stupid enough to confide in her little hellspawn about it. Because, oh yes, let’s trust JOFFREY with secrets, THAT’S a good idea.

…Actually it might be, for Tyrion, anyway. If Joffrey gets pissed enough to blurt something about it, it wouldn’t be very good for Cersei, now would it? Hmm.

In any case, I would be all for Tyrion stabbing his nephew to death, a lot—if it weren’t for how badly the aftermath would almost certainly go for Tyrion. Even if he gets someone else to do the dirty work, you can’t tell me that Tyrion wouldn’t immediately be the prime suspect as the orchestrator of it. And that’s no bueno, mi amigos.

Well, maybe Sansa’s wish will come true, and Joffrey will drink himself stupid tonight and fall down and break his neck. I will also accept this form of dead. I will accept nearly any kind of dead-making re: Joffrey, actually, provided it does not also include blowback on Tyrion or Sansa. I wonder what my odds are on that? Yeah, don’t bother answering that one.

Speaking of Sansa, I kind of forgot until now that as far as she knows, literally every other member of her family is dead. That is… damn. I don’t even know how I would cope with that.

Lastly and randomly: I actually had to stop reading this chapter when Martin started describing the breakfast meal, and go get myself a snack. Om nom nom.

Chapter 60: Tyrion

What Happens
Tyrion has to admit that Joffrey and Margaery look a regal couple together, and he wonders whether she is really a virgin (and, snidely, whether Joffrey would know the difference). He reflects that he should have seen that it was Joffrey, not Jaime or Cersei, who was behind the attempt to frame him for Bran’s assassination. He wonders what “poxy lackwit” Joffrey had recruited, and thinks on the boy’s stupidity that he had selected Littlefinger’s dagger for the job. Tyrion is worried that Joffrey knows he knows, now.

It comes time for the exchange of cloaks, and Tyrion bitterly remembers that part of his own wedding. The ceremony ends smoothly, and the wedding party proceeds out the sept to be greeted by cheering crowds, who love Margaery enough to forgive Joffrey. He and Sansa return to their litter, and he reflects on her beauty, and wishes he could break through her armor of courtesy. He blurts that they might go to Casterly Rock once the roads are safe again, and show her the sights; Sansa answers woodenly that she will go wherever her lord husband wishes, and Tyrion curses himself for a fool and abandons the notion.

He knows he needs to be far from King’s Landing by the time Joffrey comes to rule in his own right, and tries to extol the virtues of Braavos to Sansa, but her “icy courtesy” remains unshaken. When they arrive back, Tyrion tells her he will see her at the feast, and walks off to take a piss. He goes back to his chambers and reflects on who would be foolish enough to challenge Joffrey now, after what happened to Stannis and Robb Stark, and the many triumphs the Lannisters’ forces have had in the field. He believes that the War of the Five Kings is nearly over.

Shae is helping Sansa dress, and tells Sansa she will be the most beautiful woman at the feast. Shae asks if she can’t come to the feast, and Tyrion cuts in that the hall will be too crowded already. Podrick helps him dress, and he and Sansa go to the throne room. He watches how deftly Sansa handles the courtesies, and reflects that she would have made a great queen if Joffrey had had the sense to love her, though he is not sure Joffrey is capable of love. Lady Olenna Tyrell fusses with Sansa’s hair, and invites her to visit Highgarden. Sansa demurs that her place is with her husband, and Olenna makes jabs at Tyrion about “dwarf’s pennies.” Tyrion is glad to escape her.

Joffrey and Margaery enter with pomp and circumstance, and Joffrey declares a toast to his new queen, and the feast begins. Sansa eats little, and Tyrion wonders if she wishes she was in Margaery’s place. He wonders what she would do if he tried to kiss her, and thinks she would suffer it dutifully, just as she would anything else. He drinks more wine. The feast proceeds with rich dishes and entertainments galore. Tyrion asks Sansa which singer she liked, and she answers that she wasn’t listening. He asks if anything is wrong, and curses himself for a fool. She says she is fine.

One of the singers begins a song about the recent battle, all about Joffrey and Cersei, and Tyrion is surprised and gratified when Ser Garlan makes mention of Tyrion’s contributions to it. Someone gets stabbed, and others are getting drunk—including Joffrey, who shouts for his “royal jousters.” These turn out to be two dwarfs, mounted on a dog and a sow, with sigils of a stag and a wolf. Tyrion resolves to find out who planned this later and “thank” them accordingly. The dwarfs perform a farcical “joust,” to the great amusement of the crowd, ending with the stag knight mounting the wolf knight, literally.

Joffrey, in great glee, declares that the champion must defeat all comers, and yells for his uncle to “defend the realm.” Tyrion climbs on the table, and declares that he’ll ride the pig, if Joffrey rides the dog.

Joff scowled, confused. “Me? I’m no dwarf. Why me?”

Stepped right into the cut, Joff. “Why, you’re the only man in the hall that I’m certain of defeating!”

He could not have said which was sweeter; the instant of shocked silence, the gale of laughter that followed, or the look of blind rage on his nephew’s face.

Joffrey sits, and Tyrion blows a kiss to a glaring Cersei, and the feast goes on, but soon Ser Garlan warns him to look to the king. Joffrey has come up behind him, and dumps a huge chalice of wine over Tyrion’s head. Garlan tells Joffrey that that was ill done, but Tyrion deflects by saying it was an honor to be served from the king’s chalice. Margaery and Olenna appear, entreating Joffrey to come listen to the next singer, but Joffrey continues to humiliate Tyrion by making him serve him from the chalice on his knees, and Tyrion hears others laughing at him.

Then it is time for the pie, and Joffrey calls for Ser Ilyn Payne to bring his sword forward to slice it. Sansa sees it is not Ice, her father’s sword, and asks what has happened to it; Tyrion thinks he should have sent it to Robb. Joffrey and Margaery break the piecrust together with the sword, and the doves trapped inside fly out everywhere. Tyrion sees how pale Sansa is, and tries to leave, but Joffrey will not allow it, and makes Tyrion serve him again. Margaery tries to draw him off, but Joffrey instead starting stuffing himself with Tyrion’s slice of pigeon pie.

Then he begins coughing, and soon doubles over. Margaery gasps that he is choking. Olenna shouts for help, and Joffrey stops breathing. Pandemonium erupts as everyone shouts different things to try to help him, and Joffrey claws at his own throat. Tyrion realizes that Joffrey is dying. He watches the boy’s eyes, so terrified, as many of the guests trample each other in their efforts to flee. Tyrion thinks perhaps he should do the same, but when he hears Cersei scream, he goes to where she is cradling her son’s corpse. She has to be pried off him. Margaery is sobbing, and her mother tells her that poor Joffrey choked on the pie. Cersei cuts in to say that Joffrey did not choke; he was poisoned.

“Arrest my brother,” she commanded him. “He did this, the dwarf. Him and his little wife. They killed my son. Your king. Take them! Take them both!”


Well, uh.

Holy shit.

Sorry, I’m just going to sit here being dumbfounded for a minute.

Because, you guys. You guys. I GOT MY WISH.

HOLY SHARKNADO, Y’ALL, JOFFREY IS FUCKING DEAD. HE IS ACTUALLY FUCKING DEAD. The moment I have been waiting for since pretty much the moment his character was fucking introduced has come to pass. DEAD. JOFFREY. DEAD.


I don’t even know what to do with myself right now. I am completely out of confetti, for one thing, and that is a tragedy. I’d turn a cartwheel, except for how that would only end in tears, and possibly a trip to the ER.

Hoooooolllllleeeeeeeee SHIT.

I swear to God I did not read this chapter before writing the commentary to the previous one, by the way. Which is probably evident by the way I was so deeply wrong on the dagger thing, whoops.

So it was Joffrey behind that all along? Wow. That… well, as stupid as that whole scheme was, that actually grants him far more deviousness and cunning than I ever would have believed of him. Huh.


*bounces all around*

This is possibly getting disturbing, I’m sorry. But oh my God, no more Joffrey, I can’t even. I suppose I should feel at least a little bad for him, at least if you subscribe to the “psychopaths aren’t entirely responsible for being psychopaths” idea, but… well. No. Sorry, but I’m just really really really really glad that he’s gone. If that makes me a terrible person so be it, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

Tyrion found himself thinking of Robb Stark. My own wedding is looking much better in hindsight.


The only thing I can conclude at this point, in fact, is that George R.R. Martin has some kind of deep-seated and wildly irrational hatred of weddings. GRRM loathes weddings, y’all. Weddings have done him wrong. He wants weddings to suffer. Because of the three that have occurred so far in this book, the fact that Tyrion’s—Tyrion’s!—was the least heinous, is just mind-blowing. You know you’re setting a low bar when the best part of your wedding day is that no one died during it.

(Well, okay, technically there were four weddings, and Robb’s actually went off without a hitch, but I’m thinking the one he attended after that KIND OF NEGATES IT IN HINDSIGHT. Because AAAAAAGGGHHH.)

What even is this shit, OMG.

(I don’t really believe Martin hates weddings, of course. I think that he loves parallels, because all writers love parallels. And we have got parallels coming out the wazoo right about now.)

(I do think he might hate happiness, though. Just a little bit. Small bit.)

Because, of course, my other prediction in the previous chapter commentary also came true: Tyrion is immediately blamed for Joffrey’s death, and that is no bueno. And Sansa, too! Crap.

Obviously Tyrion wasn’t actually responsible for it, seeing as we were in his head at the time, but I’m not sure yet whether Joffrey did die of simply choking, or if there really was foul play involved. I tend to suspect, though, that he actually did die completely mundanely by choking on pigeon pie, and that is just all kinds of ironic.

(Clearly there’s no Westeros equivalent of the Heimlich Maneuver, huh.)

Of course, I say it was probably a mundane death… as long as you discount Melisandre’s curse. Which I’m pretty sure I oughtn’t to. Eeek.

Because, wow. Four kings down, and one left standing. I may have underestimated Stannis’s chances in this war. There’s probably irony in that he was the one who was originally most rigidly committed to following the rule of law, and yet he was also the one who (thanks to Melly) prosecuted this war in the most sneaky, underhanded, dishonorable, back-stabby manner possible. Damn.

One thing’s for sure: even aside from Sansa and Tyrion’s possible fates, this is going to result in a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Who even is Joffrey’s heir right now? Tommen, I think. But I’m also guessing Tywin will end up making a grab for the reins at this point, because he is undoubtedly thinking that all his progeny are utter fuckups, and he’s not even wrong. He’ll probably end up tangling with Cersei on that one, though, seeing as she’s still regent.

Well, whatever happens, it’ll be interesting to see just how the Lannisters will continue to implode as a result of Joffrey’s death. All we need is for maimed Jaime to show up, and it’ll be the most awesomely horrible family reunion ever. Whoo-ee.

(I considered making a plea/demand that Tyrion and Sansa had better not die, but in the interest of not jinxing myself I think I’ll just shut up and see what happens.)

Other random notes:

I am totally going to find a way to use “poxy lackwit” as an insult in my regular life, because it makes me happy.

One done, seventy-six to come. Seventy-seven dishes, while there are still starving children in this city, and men who would kill for a radish. They might not love the Tyrells half so well if they could see us now.

Seventy-seven courses? Dude. That is straight-up balls to the wall insane. And they’re not even going to give the (undoubtedly ridiculous amounts of) leftovers to the starving poor? Ugh, rich people. I think pure socialism is a silly and impractical idea, but sometimes thinking about things like this makes me very anti-capitalist for a while.

That said, if I thought the last chapter made me hungry it had nothing on this one. Jeez.

Can I just say I adore that Lady Olenna calls her bodyguards “Left and Right”? That completely cracked me up. Also:

“I do so hope he plays us ‘The Rains of Castamere.’ It has been an hour, I’ve forgotten how it goes.”

Ha ha, she is so full of shit, it’s awesome. Also: THE RAINS OF CASTAMERE, I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, MARTIN. Lordy.

Aaand I’m spent. Have a thing with seven days in it, my puffalumps, and I’ll see you next Thursday!


Julian Niquille
1. Gesar
Hey guys, notice what's happening?
Looks like Martin is throwing something at Leigh. Something white and long.

2. Cass314
See, there was a reason to keep reading. : )

Thanks for the post!
Pat .
3. dolphineus
Why isn’t he DEAD YET? I rail, impotently. WHHHYYYYYYYY
Marty Beck
4. martytargaryen
We love you Leigh. You know that, right?

I have not read your second-chapter review for today yet, but your response to the first (knowing what's coming) was sublime.
5. Aerona Greenjoy
Conclusion: Weddings are hazardous to your health.
6. fehler
Chris Nelly
7. Aeryl
Yes, indeed, Lady Olenna is all kinds of awesome.

Leigh, your "HE'S GOTTA DIE" commentary had me laughing out loud, at work, I hope you're happy!
8. Aerona Greenjoy
Completely agree about the ginormous feast in a starving city. I hadn't been so disgusted by this book since we met the Unsullied. (The Red Wedding evoked more grief than disgust)
9. Rootboy
I was half expecting a big sparkly Yay for this one. Oh well, great post!
Anthony Pero
10. anthonypero
Tommen and Myrcella are pretty much proof that psyociopathy is more than enviornmental. Joffrey just came out wrong.

EDIT: Well, proof may be too strong a word, given that this is a work of fiction, and hey are not real people. But in this STORY at anyrate, the implication is that Joffrey came out wrong.
Andrew Berenson
11. AndrewHB
Leigh, you wrote: "I’m sure someone somewhere has been murdered in a room full of books"

Of course there has been -- Didn't you ever play Clue?

Thanks for reading my musings,
Chris Long
12. radynski
All we need is for maimed Jaime to show up, and it’ll be the most awesomely horrible family reunion ever.

Hahahahahaha. (fucked up doesn't even begin to describe...)
Anthony Pero
13. anthonypero
I think people have even been murdered with books.
Anthony Pero
14. anthonypero
Wrong series, but I kind of wish Loial had killed a Trolloc with a book. That would have been epic.
Captain Hammer
15. Randalator
By Dothraki standards this wedding was still pretty dull...
16. Sabra_ray
is it spoiler to talk about Feast of Ice and Fire? Too late if it is?
17. TBGH
I'm a little surprised that you didn't comment on the implications of Joffrey being behind that attempt. I think it's pretty clear he knew why Bran fell off that tower which means he knew about his real father and was actively trying to protect the secret.

I'm no expert, but how would a child of incest typically react to the fact?
18. Cass314
@17--I think there are alternate explanations, actually, that have nothing to do with knowing about the incest, but I think they might be proposed later; I can't remember for sure and do not want to spoil.
Tabby Alleman
19. Tabbyfl55
Finally the other shoe has dropped!!!

Four weddings and a... oh, I'd better not.

But actually, you left out another fun wedding: Dany's.
Chris Nelly
20. Aeryl
It is mentioned later that there could be several motives. Suffice it to say, there were a few people at Winterfell who thought Bran should die, and those reasons were unrelated to the incest.
Steven Halter
21. stevenhalter
Chapter 59: Sansa: "Her torments would be ended soon, one way or the other." That is an ominous line. She thinks everyone is dead and she is all alone in the midst of enemies. That has to be a bad place to be and her thoughts have a tinge of sadness to them.
The wedding is to be at midday. Joffrey continues to be an ass. What a surprise. Joff destroys the book with his pretty new sword (that I bet was partly made from Ice). People who destroy books (and people) deserve a special destruction. I really wouldn't mind some mayhem at this wedding although GRRM might kill off all the wrong characters. I don't think Tyrion or Sansa will die soon. They feel like characters with long arcs ahead.
Tyrion's question about the knife was quite interesting--he seems to strongly suspect Joff of being in on the killer for Bran. Also, a cutting remark.

“Yes,” said Prince Oberyn, “but I’ve seen no snakes in this Red Keep of yours. So how do you account for Joffrey?”
22. zambi76
Poor Joffy (yeah, really, because I'm a sucker and losing Jack Gleeson on the show will not be a laughing matter either).

Long live King Tommen I. !
23. juanito
Haha, "Holy sharknado"
That made me LOL like a nOOb.
Chris Nelly
24. Aeryl

25. DunderStark
I'm glad I went to lunch before reading this; even so, I started laughing so hard that half the cafeteria subconsciously shifted away from me.
But OMG that chapter made me so happy.
26. zambi76
Well, yes, Aeryl as GRRM "spoiled" for season 4: "Joffrey adopts an adorable lion cub and learns the true meaning of Christmas." ;)
27. DougL
I am an adult male who squeed, wtf lol.

I have read these books many times, but one of the highlights of every week is seeing what Leigh has to say about this series (I kind of don't care that much about the last Wheel of Time novel). Of course, there are moments, like the Red Wedding, that you start to anticipate and look forward to and it's almost like Christmas (since I don't get toys anymore) when we get there.

Heh, so it's completely irrational, but man, I was waiting for Leigh to get here and I am so thrilled to read her reaction.

Look how many pages are left Leigh! The Roller Coaster ain't over yet. LOVE IT.
Chris Nelly
28. Aeryl
And this wedding's color is Purple. Cuz that's what color Joffrey turned! Brill!
Church Tucker
29. Church
I had to laugh at your first chapter commentary, knowing what was coming. Doubly so when I realized it was coming in the very next chapter. You have a knack at landing on the one-two punches in the same week.
Deana Whitney
30. Braid_Tug
Ye Ha’ Y’all! We got to the second “Major Epic Event!”
Shut up and don’t spoiler Leigh!!!

And Leigh, your reaction to Joffery destroying the book – Thank you. Went like I predicted you would react.

His death? We’ve been rubbing our hands in anticipation.

And I think there is something on the internet about GRRM hating weddings. His first marriage was a disaster and he made his second bride wait like over 10 years or something. So you are right on target there.

Leigh, now you can be told that some people call this book GRRM’s “Four Weddings & a Funeral.”
Funeral being Cat’s Dad.

Lady Olenna has some of the best lines.

@ 14, anthonypero – Too funny! But he would never disrespect a book like that!
@15, Randaltor – yep, only one death. But since it was the groom, pretty sure they would not consider it “blessed” either.
Sydo Zandstra
31. Fiddler
Cass314 @18:

I think there are alternate explanations, actually, that have nothing to
do with knowing about the incest, but I think they might be proposed
later; I can't remember for sure and do not want to spoil.

It is known...
(Yes this will be explained later)

Leigh said:

Though I am intrigued by Joffrey’s reaction at Tyrion’s mention of a dagger with a dragonbone hilt. Obviously this is a reference to the dagger that was used to frame Tyrion in the assassination attempt on Bran, but I don’t think I had any idea that Joffrey was in on that whole thing. Which, maybe he wasn’t, but his reaction to Tyrion’s jab here certainly suggests that he was. And now I am dealing with (a) trying to remember if it was confirmed before this that Cersei was behind the frame job, and (b) boggling that, if she was, that she would be stupid enough to confide in her little hellspawn about it. Because, oh yes, let’s trust JOFFREY with secrets, THAT’S a good idea.

In an earlier passage, Joff boasts that he is not a stranger to the touch of a Valyrian Blade. This triggers a suspicion in Tyrion's mind, since the assassination attempt on Bran was done using a Valyrian Dagger...

Tyrion was fishing here, and realized his mistake too late...
32. Juhan
I find it amusing that Leigh is so happy for the death of a fourteen-year old boy.
Marty Beck
33. martytargaryen
Braid-tug @30 - I am truly impressed that you predicted "the snail-slime icing on the turd cannoli as far as I am concerned." ;0)
34. DougL
Oh, ya, Danny's wedding, other than being between a scared witless 13 year old girl and a giant barbarian was pretty good actually. She was give Silver and Dragon Eggs and some Westerosi books, and the chaotic festivites are normal for the Dothraki. Over all, I don't know where I'd put it in the rankings, but I think it's better than Tyrion's all in all.
James Reid
35. JamesReid
As far as Joffery motive, as I recall in the first book he suggested it would be merciful to put Bran out of his misery.
Deana Whitney
36. Braid_Tug
@ 33; I don't think anyone could predict that exact eloquent phrasing - but the general sentiment expressed? Oh yeah! :-D
Steven Halter
37. stevenhalter
Chapter 60: Tyrion: Right to the wedding itself, then. Tyrion's thoughts seem to track everything to our good man Joff.

The pro-Lannister armies are pretty much gobbling things up. It sounds bad for Riverrun.
A thousand cups of wine spilled on the floor is going to reek eventually as well as being a sticky mess. The food sounds good though. I'm a bit struck that all of the food is somewhat a modern Earth mixture. There is corn and peppers and such. Never any odd Westeros only food items.
Lots of versions of "The Rains of Castamere." An ill omened song.

Payne's sword isn't really Ice--I think that confirms where Joff's came from.

Oh my--Joff is choking on pigeon pie and wine and the Heimlich maneuver seems to be unknown here. Could we be lucky? Yes! Joff is dead but Cersei is going nuts and blaming Tyrion and Sansa.

Tyrion obviously didn't have anything to do with this as we were sharing his POV, but it was Interesting that he poured out the wine--does he suspect it wasn't just choking?
I'm pretty unclear on what this means succession-wise. Who gets to be King next? Tommen or Stannis or since Margaery is Queen does that matter. I'm sure it will get messy.
Oh yeah, Yeah! Joff bites it and it was fairly unpleasant for him.
Rob Munnelly
39. RobMRobM
Given all that's happened (with more to come), now you can better understand why this generally is the fan favorite ASOIF book.

Love the dichotomy between your first and second chapter posts. Very amusing, even more than usual. Been waiting for quite some time for this one.

"Well, maybe Sansa’s wish will come true, and Joffrey will drink himself stupid tonight and fall down and break his neck. I will also accept this form of dead. I will accept nearly any kind of dead-making re: Joffrey, actually, provided it does not also include blowback on Tyrion or Sansa. I wonder what my odds are on that? Yeah, don’t bother answering that one."

Bravo Leigh, simply Bravo.

You note that Sansa believes her family killed off - only other one left is Jon Snow, who she wasn't always that nice to back home. Mixed feelings there.

Ser Garlan is very cool - nice of him to give appropriate kudos to Tyrion for his key role.

There are some lovely subtle plot stuff re how Joff came to reach his current status that are spoilery and must be left to the appropriate thread. Things must be remembered, things must be put together properly, etc. Not here, no sir or ma'am.

BT @30 - Given all the weddings, some ways also call it "A Storm of Rice."

Very happy that Lady Oleanna Tyrell got Emmy nominated today, along with Tyrion (third time) and Dany (first time).
40. Black Dread
This is the exact point when I looked at the side of the book and saw a healthy chunk still left - amazing! What a book!

Then I looked at the clock and realized I wasn't getting much sleep that night.
Sara H
41. LadyBelaine
"One thing’s for sure: even aside from Sansa and Tyrion’s possible fates, this is going to result in a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Who even is Joffrey’s heir right now? Tommen, I think."

Foreshadowing/potential spoiler: Interestingly, under Dornish law, it's Myrcella.......
z drake cupsford
42. zdrakec

For another, brilliant, take on this chapter:!topic/

I think you'll enjoy it.
z drake cupsford
43. zdrakec
Actually, ignore that link. It's more spoilery than I remembered.
Pat .
44. dolphineus
@41. LadyBelaine
Interestingly, under Dornish law, it's Myrcella.......
Pretty sure that is spoiler territory as it isn't discussed until next book.
Sky Thibedeau
45. SkylarkThibedeau
I knew Leigh would not disappoint when we got to this chapter. Joffrey go his just desserts (of Pigeon Pie) for what he did to Bran and Ned.
Adam S.
46. MDNY
Like my fellow readers, I eagerly anticipated this post, and was not disappointed! Keep commentating one chapter at a time, Leigh, cause your Sansa thoughts were HILARIOUS knowing what was coming.
Tyrion emptying the goblet threw me a little, he seems to suspect poison yet destroys the evidence. Maybe he's protecting Sansa in some way? Unlikely she was involved, obviously, but Cersei will go on a fucking rampage now.
Ding Dong The Joff is dead... Sing it high, sing it low...
47. Aerona Greenjoy
Where Love & Marriage are concerned, I like to think of Martin's "allergy to happiness" as a soft spot for the reading pleasures of bitter single people. Unrequited desire, doomed romance, hellish weddings, loveless marriages...mmmm. I might even be right, given comment #30.

@14: Hilarious thought.
Tom Smith
49. phuzz
It's pretty obvious who killed Joff. You just have to list all the people who might want him dead and you end up with two possibilities:
1 )Everyone who has ever met the little shit
2) Everyone else
Been waiting for Leigh's reaction to this for ages, and so good to read both of these chapters together :)

Never has a fictional character ever deserved their fate as much as this.
Vincent Lane
50. Aegnor

"I think pure socialism is a silly and impractical idea, but sometimes
thinking about things like this makes me very anti-capitalist for a

This has little to do with capitalism. The economy is much more primative than either capitalism or socialism. The funds used to pay for the wedding are public funds, not private. It is excess government spending, not private spending.

There are of course some primitive aspects of capitalism in Westeros, but it is essentially manorialism. Braavos definitely has some indications of being a more capitalistic economy, including the Bank of Braavos lending, etc. But Westeros, no. This extravagant wedding is all about showing off and exhibiting Lannister power to the other lords.
51. Sid in Lakeshore
Except for the fact that the Tyrells had to foot a large part of the bill.
52. Black Dread
Melisandre's leeches seem to have done the trick. Too bad she didn't do a few more for the Freys, Boltons, and the rest of the Lannisters.
Marie Veek
53. SlackerSpice
@30: Personally, though, I get the impression that Joffrey would have had it just as bad as Viserys did with the Dothraki, and his death would improve the overall party mood a lot. Maybe not a blessing for the groom, sure, but considering that it's (again) Joffrey...
Tricia Irish
54. Tektonica
Loved this chapter and your prescient wishes and fears, Leigh!

The King is Dead! Long live the ?????
55. d-mac
(Clearly there’s no Westeros equivalent of the Heimlich Maneuver, huh.)

doesn't Sir Garlan or someone else try to administer some Heimlich "like" manuever on ole Joff in this chapter? I think it was something like grabbing him by his heels and shaking him upside down or something?(don't have the book w/me)
David Goodhart
56. Davyd
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
57. Lisamarie
Oh yes, marvellous :) I was reading this with a HUGE grin on my face.

I will say the one thing that keeps me from unabashedly enjoying this is the image of Cersei needing to be pried off her dead son. Even though my son is nothing like Joffrey, and I am (hopefully) nothing like Cersei - it is still an image that forces me to put myself in her place.
58. Maac
Aw yeah, I've been waiting for this. I've literally laughed aloud at Leigh's shock and joy. Well, not AT -- with. I'm glad you got to it, Leigh! I hope you feel much better now, and ready to continue with a fresh new hope.
59. GarrettC
For a long while, this book was no fun for me. I was getting Catelyn-fatigue and the various storylines were running in place just too darn much. Around halfway through, things started to turn.

I didn't love the Red Wedding so much as I was relieved by it (and surprised about Robb--I'd already spoiled myself about Cat), and I was not anticipating Joff's death for a while yet. After Robb and Balon kicked it, I had a pretty good idea Joff was going to die, but I thought it was going to be a Big Thing in Another Book.

Joffrey dying is pretty much where this book takes off for me. With the exception of one or two things, which I'll complain about sufficiently when Leigh gets to them, the rest of this book has some of my favorite bits in what I've read of the series (which is, coincidentally, no further yet than the end of this book!). I can't really endorse the first half or so of the book... it had me thinking about putting the series away for good. But the last half, particularly from this point forward, restored my energy for all of it.

This was, though, also right about where I was starting to wonder where the conflict in the realm was going to come from. Stannis is still in no position to actually fight the Lannisters. The North is lost. The Greyjoys are running around with their heads cut off. Meanwhile, Tywin is firmly entrenched in a role, essentially as ruler over it all, that suddenly got a hell of a lot easier. The Lannisters are basically unopposed right now, and stronger than all of the opposition by a lot.

I won't say more.
60. jimmycricket
@28 (Roll over for non-spoiler speculation on the Purple Wedding) theres another reason it's called the purple wedding, and you can guess it based off of details that have already been given. If you'v been paying attention. It's not a spoiler because I noticed it myself when I went into the series unspoiled and pretty much pissed myself with excitement. It's actually really obvious, because I never pick up on that kind of stuff on my own.
Chris Nelly
61. Aeryl
@60, If its speculation that's confirmed later, it still counts as a spoiler, so I left that one out.
62. hesgotnoseoul
@61,(Roll over for speculation on previous books)
If 60 is talking about the stuff I spotted, I'd say it borders on bad writing if it's anything but fact. Cressen tries to poison Melisandre using purple stones and chokes to death. Sansa's hair net has purple stones in it and Joffrey chokes to death. If that doesn't turn out to be what killed him, I'll be pretty annoyed. Unless it's way better. We know the author can surprise us.
Bridget McGovern
63. BMcGovern
A couple of quick notes--if you're speculating on new plot points or connections that Leigh hasn't made yet, please either white out those points or (even better) chime in over in the Spoiler Thread. Even if the aspect of the book in question is something that already happened, she's still in the process of working her way through the text, so let's give her some time to figure things out on her own (and/or discuss at a later date). As always, when in doubt, it's probably best to err on the side of caution.

Secondly: sockpuppeting will not be tolerated. Signing in and commenting under different names in the same thread and similar disingenuous behavior is not in keeping with the community standards laid out in our Moderation Policy, so please consider this a warning, where it applies. If it happens again, the user(s) in question will be banned.

Now back to the celebration conversation already in progress...
64. Asbjorn
Joffrey Died a Virgin.
66. Lord Foul's Bane
"Sorry, I’m just going to sit here being dumbfounded for a minute.
Because, you guys. You guys. I GOT MY WISH.
HOLY SHARKNADO, Y’ALL, JOFFREY IS FUCKING DEAD. HE IS ACTUALLY FUCKING DEAD. The moment I have been waiting for since pretty much the moment his character was fucking introduced has come to pass. DEAD. JOFFREY. DEAD."

Yep, MissB, sometimes Bad Things Happen To Bad People Who Deserve Them. Even in a GRRM book. Loved your Way-Past-The-Sparkly-Yay reaction as well. :D

@1 - Might be some meat left on that sucker, too. What was GRRM thinking? :)

@14 - Loial would NEVER, EVER, destroy a perfectly good book (or ANY book, for that matter) by using a Trolloc's face on it. He's a librarian at heart.

@32 - A cunning, irredeemably sadistic psychopath of a fourteen-year old boy with near- absolute power in his Court. I don't care if Joffery is just a literary character, his ass needed some dead as soon as possible.

@37 - Somehow I remember getting the impression that Tyrion was trying to deflect suspicion away from Sansa by pouring out the wine. Didn't work though.

@59 - I think I could refute that last paragraph some but... and I'm too lazy to dig out my copy and motor over to the spoiler thread. Sin más por el momento.

@64 - Joffery died a F***ing A**hole; how could he be a virgin? :D
James Reid
67. JamesReid
@62 (Roll over for speculation on previous book)
That is what 60 is refering to. In addition, the hairnet came from the Queen of Thorns (Maegrys Grandmother), who straitened Sansa's hair when she entered the feast hall. The Queen of Thorns earlier in the book interrogated Sansa about Joffery and wasn't pleased that Maegry was marrying such a monster. Finally, there is a prophecy or vision earlier in one of the books, of a maiden entering a feast with purple serpents in her hair.
68. GarrettC
@66: Re: my paragraph about the Lannisters seeming to be in a really good position realm-wise, I was only trying to say that's what I was feeling at the time that I finished reading these chapters.

I learned better.
69. a1ay
I think it's pretty clear he knew why Bran fell off that tower which
means he knew about his real father and was actively trying to protect the secret.

Not spoilerish (because it's already happened); no, Joffrey thinks his real father is Robert, and has irritated his mother and grandfather immensely by trying to emulate him. ("That's how a real king acts", etc.) I'm not even sure that he knows about Stannis' allegations.

Seventy-seven courses? Dude. That is straight-up balls to the wall insane.

In actual mediaeval banquets, there were generally only a few (3-7) courses. But each course would consist of several (over a hundred for a big banquet) dishes of different types, all served at once - the idea of having a separate soup course, fish course, meat course and sweet course came in much later, and the idea of only serving one dish at a time and having enough of it for everyone didn't come to Britain until the 19th century.
77 courses would take far too long. 77 dishes served more or less simultaneously or overlapping, on the other hand, would be fairly restrained.
Birgit F
70. birgit
Next week I will go to a wedding. I hope GRRM didn't write the script for that.
71. apokalypsis
Pity the poor bride who planned a "Game of Thrones" theme wedding before reading this book... (Or seeing "The Rains of Castamere" episode on HBO, for that matter.)
Captain Hammer
72. Randalator
@55 d-mac

re: Heimlich Maneuver

– Ser Garlan pounds on his back
Actually a sensible method to try to dislodge an object from the throat. Works on the same principle as the Heimlich Maneuver, sharply increasing pressure on the lungs and forcing air (and thus object) out. In conclusion: Stop helping you stupid, sensible, level-headed man!

– Ser Kettleblack rips open his collar
Unless Joffrey dresses several sizes to small, I'm not sure what that's supposed to accomplish. In conclusion: 10 out of 10 for uselessness but minus several million for lack of additional misery.

– Mace Tyrell advices to "turn him over and shake him by his heels"
Which could work, I guess, if you don't mind a little brain damage and probably a broken neck once he loses consciousness. In conclusion: good advice.

–Unknown wedding guest guy person calls for water
Might work if something is lodged in the esophagus and just needs a little lubrication to slide down. If it's in the larynx water will do jack shit. By that point Joffrey has already stopped breathing, so no on the esophagus theory. In conclusion: Idiotic and useless idea plus minor additional discomfort. I like it.

– Grand Maester Pycelle wants to be helped to his chambers to get his potions
Yeah, they were really handing out the medical degrees with the application forms at the Citadel that day, huh? Potions are really the number one go-to remedy for choking and come on, depriving the brain of oxygen for a good five to ten minutes minimum, what's the worst that could happen? Hm, actually we're talking about King "shit for brains" Joffrey, so scratch that. But you're still missing out on all the fun if you run off to your room. In conclusion: Deliciously useless but points deducted for missing the entire spectacle.

– Ser Meryn tries to jam a spoon down his throat
I, uh, I really don't know. That might work? In some cases? I guess? Personally I like the idea that he just wanted to make Joffrey's last moments even more miserable by picking the largest soup spoon he could find and ramming it down Joffrey's throat with the broad side first. In conclusion: You go, man!

In conclusion of all the conclusions: Thank the Seven that Westeros hasn't invented intubation or gotten past the generously-slit-throats-with-daggers stage of developing tracheotomy yet.
73. Caleb M
I'd like to point out that there were 7 kings during the War of the Five Kings:
1. Joffrey
2. Robb
3. Stannis
4. Renly
5. Greyjoy
6. Daenerys
7. Mance Rayder
Captain Hammer
74. Randalator
@73 Caleb M

I'd like to point out that
1. Daenerys is not a king because she lacks the certain je-ne-sais-quoi for the position. And by je-ne-sais-quoi I mean "penis".
2. Both Daenerys and Mance were no participants in the War of the Five Kings, Mance not being interested in the Iron Throne and Daenerys being halfway across the globe.
Marty Beck
75. martytargaryen
@72 - Thank you for that list. It was informative and concise and precisely the tone we needed to reflect our attitude on Joff's demise.
Tabby Alleman
76. Tabbyfl55
And now that this anticipation has ended, begins the anticipation of this episode on HBO... and all the reaction videos/tweets. : )

Next week I will go to a wedding. I hope GRRM didn't write the script for that.
Unless he just writes the menu, eh?
77. Aerona Greenjoy
"Widow's Wail." Ha. Looks like Joffrey can "abide the wailing of women" when he's the cause.
78. Ragnarredbeard
I was a little let down by Joffrey's demise. I was hoping for a full-on hogtied getting his head cut off like Ned Stark got, except Joffrey would whine and be a crybaby the whole time. Oh, and it would be Arya with the axe.
79. o.m.
@Randalator in 72:

Oxy-what? Do we even have evidence that chemistry works that way in Westeros? Well, I'm not entirely serious, but we're talking about people in a fantasy world.

Kettleblack, Tyrell, Meryn were actually trying to do something. Points in their favor, if you ignore the reasons for regicide.
Captain Hammer
80. Randalator
@76 Tabyfl55

Unless he just writes the menu, eh?

Seriously? Have you seen his menus? Those things are deadlier than a royal title or the name Stark in Westeros.
Sandy Brewer
82. ShaggyBella
Where is the Margery Tyrell love? She just lost her second husband.... A double widow at 16. Poor little queen.
Brett Dunbar
84. Brett
The leftovers at feasts would normally be distributed to the poor, ususally the following day. Preparing far more than the guests could possibly eat both acted as a form of public display and allowed the demonstration of public charity by providing enough leftovers to offer a decent meal to the public. There was actually a tradition in the middle ages of aristocratic families having a public feast about once a month or so where anyone who turned up could eat, noblesse oblige. The Cavendish family (Dukes of Devonshire) were still doing this at the beginning of the nineteeth century.

Serving meals in courses and having sweet flavours only at the end of the meal are both traditions originating in French cuisine. Neither were common in the middle ages. Medieval english tradition was to have a number of different dishes on a sideboard. Serving in courses have become fairly universal while in many cuisines sweet flavours are still used in earlier courses. For example: pork and apple sauce is a savoury and sweet combination as seen in many traditional english dishes.
85. Aerona Greenjoy
I just remembered that Joffrey got his sword Hearteater before Blackwater. Does (did) he have two swords now?
Marie Veek
86. SlackerSpice
@85: Maybe it got ditched when Cersei had him removed from the battlefield?
Chris Nelly
87. Aeryl
Plus I doubt it was a Valyrian sword, so Joffrey likely no longer cared.
88. Aerona Greenjoy
@86: Makes sense, though I don't have the books to check. His third sword in the series, whoa.
Chris Nelly
89. Aeryl
An indication of shittiness, can't keep a hold of a sword.
Deana Whitney
90. Braid_Tug
So I know we try not to talk about the HBO show here, but there is a new parody song by "Not Literally Productions" that is Great! And it only touches on Season 1. So no spoilers for the books. Just small glimpses of the characters we already know about.
Called "A Character I Used to Know."

The ladies have some other great parodies if you want to check them out. They are on YouTube as well.

Edit: To fix spacing issues caused by Windows 8. I couldn't find the ripped paper icon people talk about as the fix.
Rob Munnelly
91. RobMRobM
I re-read the chapters since Thursday and was struck by the humor in them. Tyrion is in such good form, especially relative to Pod who stammers and is intensely shy around Sansa. Loved his discussion with Sansa in which he observed there was a very interesting story attached to the Payne House sigil and that maybe some day Pod will "tell that story to your shoes. "

Rand @ 74. Je-ne-sais-quoi FTW. Hah!
Steve Nagy
92. SteveNagy
I thought it more likely the poison was meant for Tyrion.

Joffrey succumbs after eating Tyrion's pie, which Martin notes Tyrion does not eat when he writes that "Sansa was not eating either" immediately before Joffrey shows up to goad Tyrion.

Isn't it more likely the pie (probably the spoonful of lemon cream) was poisoned? Much easier to get Tyrion with his own pie rather than have someone slip a magic gem into Joffrey's cup with everyone watching.
Chris Nelly
93. Aeryl
@92, I thought for that awhile, that Cersei may have tried to poison Tyrion, and got Joffrey instead, which would have been delicious.
Rob Munnelly
94. RobMRobM
@92 - motive piece is missing relative to LF and Tyrion or anyone else and Tyrion (other than Joff and Cersei, perhaps).

Conversely, motive piece is very strong re LF v. Joff (he admitted it and also admitted arranging for the dwarves to create an apparent motive for Tyrion as the patsy). Motive piece is also very strong regarding the other leading candidate for bumping off Joff, with or without LF (who shall remain nameless here).
Steve Nagy
95. SteveNagy
@94 -- I would agree, except Littlefinger is given to unfounded boasts. Plus, why tell Sansa anything in her next chapter. She's just a piece in his game; I can't see him loving her for her own sake. Tyrion feels more for Sansa than LF in my opinion.

I'm still not sure of LF's game -- beyond what happens later in Storm of Swords (I'm behind on my reading with the last two books).

LF putting on the display with the jousting dwarfs to set Joff and Tyrion against each other, hoping Tyrion might lose control makes sense. Consoder the following scenario:

1) LF sends dwarfs to feast to embarrass/goad Tyrion.
2) LF clues Joffrey in on the plan, but couches it as a way for Joff to make a fool of Tyrion.

Joff's got a fragile ego, and could easily feel as if he needs to put on over on his Imp of an uncle, who was a better man than Joffrey during the battle of the Blackwater. Using Joffrey's own emotions against himself is right in LF's wheelhouse.

3) LF sets up Tyrion to get poisoned.

If Tyrion dies, it's a win for LF, as it eliminates a rival in the game of thrones. If Tyrion strikes out at Joffrey as he succumbs to the poison, egged on by the dwarf jousting and the idea that Joffrey and/or Cersei may be behind the poison, that's a win as well because it eliminates Tyrion and sows discord throughout the Lannister camp, which simplifies LF's play for power.

He would either have eliminated one or two players with Tyrion and/or Joffrey. If Joffrey lived, Tywin would have had to deal with the fallout of the poisoning, which would have limited Joffrey's excesses. Tywin "locking down" his grandson's reign leaves LF room to make his own moves toward his ultimate goal, whatever that might be.
Steven Halter
96. stevenhalter
I like the idea that Cersei was trying to off Tyrion and the plan backfired. It helps to explain her immediate vehement assertion that it was Tyrion.
It depends on if it was the pigeon or the wine that was poisoned. If it was Tyrion's pigeon, then it is hard to see how Joff would have been the target. If it was the wine, then it is likewise hard to see how Joff wouldn't have been the target.
Probably not enough evidence is available either way. I think they need a better CSI team. The trials we've seen so far (Tyrion in the Eyrie and The Hound) haven't really been masterpieces of forensic science. They do seem to like leaving things for the gods to decide--in those two cases by trial by combat. Hopefully Tyrion won't even go to a full trial and someone more reasonable than XCersei at the moment (like Jaime?) will step in.
Since prophecy is big, I wonder why they don't do an augry or entrail reading or something in these cases.

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