Apr 13 2014 9:58pm

Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”

Game of Thrones: The Lion and the Rose

So. That was Game of Thrones season 4 episode 2 “The Lion and the Rose." We have to talk about this!

Consider this your SPOILER WARNING for the commentary and comments below. Not just for this episode but most likely for the events in the proceeding episodes and Song of Ice and Fire books. INTERNET FIRE AHEAD!

The comments begin after a little bit of spoiler space.






Look at how cute this fox is!

(That pic is by Remo Savisaar. There's a bunch more here.)






Laissex les bons temps rouler!



Oh, I mean it's terribly sad. He was so young and full of life and had so many more people to execute and he never even got to rape his sister-in-law and he will be so terribly missed. It's just not fair—


Sure, there were other things that happened in this episode—nice to see you again Stannis, Bran, Hodor—but, really, is there anything more worthy of discussion than the demise of one of the most hated characters in book and TV history? Fans have been eagerly awaiting this moment since Joffrey got owned by Arya on the Kingsroad in the first season/the first book. After all of the unfair, unkind, unpredictable slaughter of the Stark family, which began with Joffrey calling for Ned's head, finally, finally, we all get a little satisfaction. Oh, and it was just so glorious, it nearly made up for the Red Wedding's wholesale emotional devastation. Nearly.

If I didn't hate Cersei almost as much as I hated Joffrey, I'd almost feel bad for her having to watch, helpless, as her beloved son croaks before her eyes.

But I do hate Cersei, so....


Of course there are gigantic implications for King's Landing and all points and plots beyond after the young king's untimely death, but for tonight, let's just bask in the glow of a Joffrey-free existence together. Dance on his grave. Just don't leave your beverages unattended and chew your celebratory pigeon pies thoroughly before swallowing.


Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9pm ET/PT on HBO.

Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to, covering True Blood, Game of Thrones, and gaming news. She’s also the resident Hannibal fannibal at Boing Boing. Follow her on Twitter @tdelucci

1. mrDuh
Ding dong, the king is dead
The wicked king, the mean old king
Ding dong the wicked king is dead!
2. Fluffy
you can hear a clink as the queen of flowers walks by cersei's carafe!
3. Jared W. Cooper
So it's been a while since I've read the books, but was there a super-covert warning against everyone else eating the pie? Or was Joff the only one who got to eat it, so no one else bothered once they saw him choking?
4. Crusader75
We seen the last of Good King Joffrey. Ring out the past his name lives on and on. Roll out the bones and raise up your pitcher. Raise up your glass, to Good King Tommen!
5. vjj
What a wonderful episode. So LF was manipulating Ser Dontos into giving Sansa that "heirloom necklace". And then someone who would show Sansa some sympathy could grab a piece of the "heirloom necklace" and place that piece into a goblet. The king's goblet. Everybody read the in story preface to "A Clash of Kings". That will explain HOW.
6. vjj
In this episode, when Margaery accepted Joffrey's cup you can see her putting something in it. YES!
7. Maac
Dale à tu cuerpo alegria Macarena
Que tu cuerpo es pa' darle alegria y cosa buena
Dale à tu cuerpo alegria, Macarena
(I am not trying to seduce you)

Ahem. Beg pardon. I have been planning that dance for a LONG TIME. *twirls*

Dance with me. Cheesy tunes. C'mon.

The king is dead. Long live ANYBODY ELSE.
8. vjj
Lena Headey is a wonderful actress, she can really bring the evil in a performance.

Melissandre's magic really seems to work, doesn't it. She merely uses a bit of blood from Gendry and the Red God takes care of the rest. Neat.
Alicia Dodson
9. LynMars
Long live King Tommen!

There were some serious burns going out tonight. The amount of snark was so high, it was lovely. Boltons were creepy, and Dragonstone just felt so tense and uncomfortable (as it should).

But that wedding, and all the various Everything was perfect. The expressions on each main character's face as they panned around, the costuming, the framing that let you see exactly what happened if you were looking for it...Superb work.

Jack Gleeson, we love you. You've made a thoroughly despicable character come alive; the only downside to this is losing you in the series. Good luck, sir, in those academic pursuits.

At least we still have Ramsey to hate and be disgusted by.
Theresa DeLucci
10. theresa_delucci
@9 I knoooow. I'm going to miss Jack Gleeson. He was so fantastic in his role.

It was... bloodier than I expected. I pictured it as more ambiguous in the books, like he *could've* choked, to the party at large. Only those up close knew something was amaiss. But it was great.

$5 to the person who called Oberyn flirting with Loras, like he's the *only* dude down for some Red Viper lovin'. Come on. Loras isn't the only one who'd hit that. It is known.
11. K Jered Mayer
I can't be the only one who caught Varys' expression when the dwarf bopped him on the head. It was sublime.
12. FellKnight
I thought it was a nice touch to have the same actresses as the ones who seduced Theon last season be the ones involved in the opening scene hunt this episode.
Karin L Kross
13. KarinKross
So who else caught that first name suggestion that was tossed out there for Joffrey's sword? Best throwaway joke.
14. a1ay
Melissandre's magic really seems to work, doesn't it. She merely uses a
bit of blood from Gendry and the Red God takes care of the rest.

It's debatable whether she's causing it to happen or just foreseeing events and then pretending to cause them. The demonstrable ability to cry "Bus! I summon you!" and have a bus turn up may indicate that you can summon buses on command, or it may just indicate that you've got a bus timetable.
15. lach7

I know! A little love for us Elric fans!
Chris Nelly
16. Aeryl
The filming for the scene was perfectly staged, IMO.

Those of us who knew what was going to happen could watch it and see it play out. Those who don't, can rewatch it, and still be confused. The strategic handling of the goblet, from Tyrion, to Sansa to Margaery, with the final framing of the goblet with Lady Olenna seated behind it, was absolutely perfect, as it gives no indications as to what actually happened.
Andrew Gray
17. madogvelkor
a1ay -- A lot of it might just be predicting the future. But she did also give birth to the Smoke Baby. And other Red Priests have power as well -- including the resurrection of the recently dead.

One of the things I've noticed from the books is that the the only major religion that *doesn't* seem to have some truth or power to it is that of the Faith of the Seven in Westross.
18. vjj
@17 you said it. The Red Priests and Priestesses clearly can do magic (things that are otherwise impossible). In Clash of Kings, the House of the Undying was OBVIOUSLY magical.
Preston Stafford
19. Pigasus
The one clinker of the evening was Ser Dontos the Travel Agent. The Ds haven't given us a reason for Sansa to trust him.

Agree wholeheartedly on how well the wedding was done.

I'll be interested to see how the dwarf jousters develop (if at all).

"Winter is coming" my warm, dry, fuzzy butt. MAGIC is coming. It was north of the wall and across the Narrow Sea but it's back in Westeros.
Nathan Martin
20. lerris
@3 - it wasn't the pie. it was the wine.
@19 - Other than Sansa's own naivete, there is no reason for Sansa to trust Dontos. In the heat of the moment, it's perfectly in character for her to follow him.
21. sofrina
more things than the most deserved assassination in westeros went down. (although that 'war of the five kings' was hilarious, if rude - riding a loras? wow). what about the bookending of ramsay the psycho moving up in the world even as joffrey the psycho expires?

is it me or did ser dontos straight up tell sansa that joffrey wasn't going to live? the various renditions of "the rains of castamere" through the past two seasons has been marvelous. i love that this was pulled off right under tywin's nose. hit him right in his arrogance. he pulls a move so brash no one could really have expected it - straight up violating guest-right - yet fails to prepare for someone else doing the same. where the heck was joffrey's food taster?
great death scene.
Karin L Kross
22. KarinKross
Also, re: the bit captured in GIF form here

"Come with me if you want to live", anyone? Intentionally meant or not, it made me smirk a bit.
Adam S.
23. MDNY
The death scene was well done, but Dontos' role doesn't work as well as it did in the book. It's only been 1 episode since he gave the necklace to Sansa, his devotion to her hasn't been as well developed as in the book. Plus in the book she escaped with him before Joff was fully dead and Tyrion arrested, making her escape much easier to understand. I also liked how Jaime and Brienne arrived after Joff was dead, letting them be totally uninvolved in the poisoning and giving Cersei a reason to take her anger out on Jaime for being "too late". The Ser Loras changes bother me a little, too. Loras actually seems to be a good night of the Kingsguard in the books, a younger and unmaimed version of Jaime, and one who truly loved Renly and thus accepted a position in the kingsguard because he had lost the love of his life. The show Ser Loras version is much more of a gay playboy type, flirting with every good-looking man in court.
The change from the books in the dwarf riders will force some changes in Tyrion's journey in the next couple of seasons (those who have read ADWD will understand how).
At least now I can hear "The Rains of Castamere" and associate it with someone dying who deserves to, too.
24. Chakarum
@17 madogvelkor
The Seven havn't had their power demonstrated in the show yet, but just wait. I don't think the stuff going on with Bran in the books is just him being a worg; it seems more... spiritual than that, with the *actual* links to those trees and all.
Captain Hammer
25. Randalator
Not a fan of many of the changes here.

Ser Dontos diminished role in the assassination plot makes Sansa's wearing of the necklace much more of a coincidence. The spelling out of the Brienne/Jaime relationship is just blah. Thank you for ruining ambiguity and subtlety; not to mention that it doesn't make sense character wise, since they got the emotional connection backwards. Brienne loved Renly, if anything it's hinted at in the books that Jaime feels something for Brienne. And the "twue wuv" angle with Shae...nice job making Tyrion a complete asshole a few episodes down the line.
Nathan Martin
26. lerris
You're confusing the old faith of Westeros with the worship of the Seven. The godswood and the sept are two different places of worship- and it seems revering one set of gods does not preclude revering the other.
Lauren Hartman
27. naupathia
Straight up I'll state I love the show so far and this episode was great.

But like many others I do have concerns where changes are made, and why.

I don't have too much of a problem with them making things more explicit in the show. Loras and Renly for example. In the books there were only the barest hints. The show has them sleeping together in their first scene. So them making Brienne and Jamie a little more obvious as well doesn't concern me - plus I felt it was more to add the dynamic that it really does bother Cersei (whereas in the books she never knew anything about Brienne really). I think these changes were to allow further development of the Cersei/Jamie "romance" or falling-out due to the other changes made.

However what does worry me as @25 mentioned is the Shae angle. The way the show has turned it into a "real" romance seems to paint Tyrion in a much darker light and I'm not sure if I like where that's going. In the books, Tyrion knows he's falling for Shae, he loves her, but he constantly tells himself she's just a whore, just wants your money. And for the most part I think he's right - Shae spends the majority of her time with Tyrion complaining about how he doesn't just give her everything she wants - fancy dresses and higher status. In my mind, there really was no doubt she was only there for the money. There was also zero "jealousy" about Sansa. In fact I think Shae laughs it off as they have their affair at one point. So when she turns on him, you aren't surprised, but you can sympathize with Tyrion and the hurt he feels at what to him is a massive betrayal, because he did love Shae. And so when he kills her, honestly I liked the scene. It was a good revenge kill (especially considering her being in bed with Tywin!).

But now the dynamic has shifted - now it's Tyrion who has hurt Shae by breaking up with her and trying to force her away. So I think the show is going to play it off as "Shae betrayed Tyrion because he broke her heart" which makes sense (barely, I personally think her betraying him over that is classic disproportionate retribution) but also makes Tyrion way less sympathetic because he has only himself to blame. So if he ends up killing her as in the books it's going to make Tyrion seem way more evil. And I don't think I would really like his character going that way.

Basically at this point I think the only way to avoid the awfulness is to have Shae testify and then disappear. So Tyrion doesn't kill her and when he confronts Tywin, he knows Tywin forced her to testify and then sent her off, so now Tyrion goes hunting for Shae instead of Tysha. That would be a better option IMO.

I know GRRM is collaborating so I tend to have faith it will turn out okay, but it still worries.
28. MoF
There are so many instances in AFFC that show Brienne's feelings toward Jaime. She loved Renly. And now Jaime is literally replacing Renly in her waking thoughts and dreams. She calls for Jaime in her fever dreams and pretty much every other word in her confession to the Elder Brother is "Jaime." Girl's got it bad.
Alan Brown
29. AlanBrown
I thought the episode did a pretty good job of compressing the narrative of the book, and staging the big wedding scene very well.
I don't remember Bronn the sellsword training Jamie, but it makes sense to combine characters to keep things simple. And the Brienne and Jamie thing is presented pretty well. Books can be subtle and tease out a story over a longer time--on screen, you need to get to the point, or people will miss it--especially when you have all those characters on stage.
I don't at all think that Tyrion was being cruel to Shae when he yelled at her--she absolutely refused to listen when he tried to get her to protect herself, so he was doing what he could to keep her safe--you don't set someone up for a comfortable living overseas if you really think they are nothing but a prostitute.
Captain Hammer
30. Randalator
@28 MoF

Everytime she mentions Jaime after her encounter with Biter it is in the context of him saving her (which isn't all that surprising given that he saved her at least twice from being raped and from being killed by a bear) or the quest (and thereby acknowledgement) he gave her.

Could be love, could be hero worship for the first man ever to come around to treating her like the person she wants to be. Personally I prefer it not to be love on her part because it feels kinda like "Can Buy Me Love". Jaime's love towards her would come from her personality, not the way she treats him, while her love for him would be all about his "gifts" to her (sword, quest, acknowledgement).

Also, Pretty Boy feeling unrequited love for Ms. Wallflower is a tad more interesting and fresh than ye olde Wallflower-loves-Pretty-Boy schtick.

@29 AlanBrown

I don't remember Bronn the sellsword training Jamie

That's because in the books it's Ilyn Payne which makes much more sense, since he can't speak, read or write.

I don't at all think that Tyrion was being cruel to Shae when he yelled at her--she absolutely refused to listen when he tried to get her to protect herself, so he was doing what he could to keep her safe--you don't set someone up for a comfortable living overseas if you really think they are nothing but a prostitute.

It's not so much about Tyrion being cruel in this scene. It's about changing Shae from the calculating paid companion, who uses Tyrion as a means to move up in the world, to a woman sincerely in love with him. In the books, SHE betrays HIM because he is no longer useful to her, while here he first breaks her heart, insults her and then he'll go ahead and kill her for her retaliation, making her much more of a victim.

Tyrion killing her in the books is wrong but somewhat understandable given the extent of her betrayal, however the way it is set up to be "all his fault" in the series he'll come dangerously close to crossing the Moral Event Horizon. Essentially they are switching places on the morality scale...
31. MoF
@30 - I don't even understand what your comment means re: Jaime & Brienne. He would love her for her personality. Sure. Is there any love that's not about loving someone for their personality? But it's certainly not just that. Brienne is unattractive, but Jaime is attracted to her and her "astonishing" eyes. His love is about her personality, her physicality, as well as what she does for him, which is nothing less than being literally the only person in the world to see him for the man he wants to be.

As for her feelings for him, it's certainly not just about him saving her. Her whole bathtub recollection scene (half a god, half a corpse) is nothing if not the lustful thoughts of an innocent maiden. Her love for Renly was a crush. She didn't even really know him. She knows Jaime. She's seen Jaime at his absolute worst, and part of her story is learning to see the world in beyond black and white and her burgeoning love for Jaime is a huge part of that.
Chris Nelly
32. Aeryl
So when she turns on him, you aren't surprised,

She DID NOT turn on him. He took her to a place where her life was in danger. Regardless of whatever business relationship they may have had, and however it was failed to be upheld, she was under no obligation to suffer torture and death to protect her employer. You think that if she had refused to go along with Tywin and Cersei's plans, and refused Tywin's bed, she would have survived? Seriously.

To think that Shae acted in a vindictive matter towards Tyrion is a warped reading of their relationship.

Which is why what D&D are doing works, because too many fans missed out on Tyrion's culpability in what he did to Shae, and blamed her instead. Since GRRM is advising, I expect they are using this to make Tyrion's guilt in the murder of Shae even more obvious, since Tyrion's status as fan favorite made people overlook the most atrocious thing he's ever done.
Chris Nelly
33. Aeryl

Tyrion killing her in the books is wrong but somewhat understandable given the extent of her betrayal,

It is not understandable at all. She did not betray him. He gave her money for sex and affection, which she provided. She was under no obligation to be threatened by the rulers of the realm to protect him, or to tell the truth about their relationship, and she sure as hell couldn't say no to Tywin when ordered to attend him in the Tower. Shae is one of many women in this series with no agency, so to hold her accountable for the things she had no choice in doing is reprehensible.
34. Benni

I think the show has gone to some lengths to paint Tyrion more as a hero than he was in the books. So, re Shae, my thought was that Tywin would likely torture her to death or close to death, which would give Tyrion even more fuel to kill Tywin.
35. corbon
No, she was not under any moral obligation to suffer torture or other punishment for him. Her 'betrayal' was not being a compliant witness, it was being beyond compliant and deliberately inventing extra, particularly humiliating, details that went beyond what was necessary for a conviction.
There was no need or reason to do that. Neither Tywin nor Cersei needed those details and Tywin certainly would have rather gone without them.
Putting the knife in was fair enough in her position. Twisting it was *personal* and vindictive of her.

To claim that she did not betray him at all is just as warped a reading of the situation as thinking she owed him silence.
Chris Nelly
36. Aeryl
We don't really know why Shae said those things. They honestly sound more like the things Cersei would invent for her to say than Shae would think of for herself(whether Tywin would have wanted them said is irrelevant, IMO, coaching Shae for trial was totally Cersei's job)
Preston Stafford
37. Pigasus
My $0.02 on Tyrion's (at least intended) exile of Shae:

Varys warns Tyrion that Shae's cover is blown. Tyrion asks Varys to lie to protect Shae and he refuses. Varys then makes the point that Tywin does not make idle threats and Shae is in danger.

I believe the bridge-burning statements by Tyrion were viewed by him as a necessary evil and done for Shae's own good.

Bronn at the reception advises Tyrion to drink until he feels like he's done the right thing.

This might provide Shae "a woman scorned" motivation for testimony at Tyrion's trial.
38. Maac
@13 Apparently there was a second sword shout-out as well -- a Gene Wolfe reference.
39. Jerun
The way Dinklage acted in this episode made me think that Tyrion was actually sorry for having to let Shae go but said those harsh words for the benefit of anyone listening outside. I may be wrong but if this is the case then his actions later would be justified. Because he still thinks that Shae has left.
40. Booksnhorses
I really enjoyed this episode and I think that the changes make sense in the context of the series where matters have to be faster paced. Sansa's necklace for instance wasn't such a big deal - the look of this court is far less medieval and a net would have been out of place - and Dontas had been established as someone Sansa had saved and whom she knew.

I also don't mind Bron sparring with Jaime, although I did feel that he could learn to use his gold hand as more of a shield? Ditto Loras flirting with Oberyn; he's young and his heart and other parts have obviously recovered from Renly's death.

I find the new Shae/Tyrion relationship much more believable/likeable than book Shae. Obviously she should have just got on that damn ship but there you go. I wonder how it will pan out in the Tower of the Hand? Tyrion treated Tysha amazingly badly which we haven't really seen in the series so perhaps this will balance that out, or as someone mentioned, perhaps he'll go off and look for her.

Finally I thought that Cersei/Brienne were having a misunderstanding. Cersei was jealous and asking about Jaime, Brienne was thinking about Renly, having just talked to Margery. Anyway it is nicely ambiguous.

My husband is getting very excited that things might actually happen; I haven't got the heart to tell him that 2 books on pretty much everything is the same!
41. ducky
I don't have my books on me, but even as Sansa's maid, I don't think she had been obliged to testify against Tyrion. As I recall, Sansa's maids were questioned about info on both of them, but Shae (I thought) was the only one to testify, and in exchange she wanted her jewels and gowns which Cersei did promise her. Until she changed her mind, of course.
anudeep ravi
42. adeepu9
The King is dead!!

I for one am glad to welcome our coming Dragon overlords
43. Black Dread
Definitely felt more disorientation between the book and series in this episode than others. The timing of the wedding threw me off a little. The scenes in the north were really strange – Bran is still south of the Wall? The Boltons are going to hunt for them?

Did Theon reveal that he didn’t kill the Starks in the books? I’m trying to remember.
Tom Smith
44. phuzz
Did anyone else spot what looked like Jonsi from Sigur Ros singing and getting coins thrown at him?
It looked and sounded just like him anyway.
45. Ryamano
In the books Theon didn't need to reveal that he hadn't killed the Stark kids, because Reek (aka Ramsay Snow) was the one who got the idea of killing other kids and passing them off as Starks. So the Bastard of Bolton already knows that the Stark kids are alive. In the show I think this info is obtained during the torture of Theon in season 3.

Could it be that show-Shae doesn't die like book-Shae does? I think book-Shae's death is kind of irrealistic, considering noone hears her screams and she doesn't put much of a fight against a dwarf that was in the dungeons not so long ago. He may be heavier than her, but she's taller and probably knows a thing or two about how to defend herself, considering her background. Show-Shae knows even more how to defend herself (she threatened a handmaiden with a knife and said to Sansa during the battle of Blackwater Bay that noone was raping her, again showing a very sharp knife), so I think it's even more irrealistic that Tyrion could kill her in the show. Maybe if he uses the crossbow on her, but then there's also the question of how Tywyn wouldn't hear that and be alarmed. Anyway, let's wait for these deaths to see if they happen. It's quite possible they don't. I think Tywyn needs to bite the dust for the emotional gravitas (and also to make the story progress), but not necessarily Shae.
Rob Munnelly
46. RobMRobM
@45 - I expect Shae death to play out differently. No idea as of yet how differently.

Note - Tyrion kills Shae not because she turns on him but because she tries to use the same seductive endearment techniques that she had used previously on him but that she also fully disclosed to all during the trial - and he totally loses it and kills her. If she had actually said - "I'm sorry, I had no choice, your father and sister forced me to say those things," Tyrion would not have killed her IMO.

@44 - yes, that was Sigur Ros.

@43 - Bran is north of the Wall (remember meeting Sam in the Nightfort at the end of last season?) and heading farther north.

@39 - If Shae were actually listening to what Tyrion was saying, she'd realize he loved her and was acting in her best interest. "I can't possibly fall in love with a whore....I can't have children with a whore...." etc. Can't be much more clear than that - he was in love with her.
Chris Nelly
47. Aeryl
Bran is now north of The Wall, Sam helped him get through, but the Boltons don't know that. Rickard IS still south.

Ramsay was WITH Theon when they killed miller's two wards in the book, disguised as Reek, so the show had to create a way that Theon would tell Ramsay.
Chris Nelly
48. Aeryl
Shae has to die for Tyrion to undergo his crisis of conscience once he leaves Westeros. The specifics of it may change, they may make Tyrion completely exculpatory in it, but Shae will die.
Adam S.
49. MDNY
Shae has to die, and Tyrion has to find out the truth about Tysha, so that he can go on a quest for "wherever whores go".
Tabby Alleman
50. Tabbyfl55
@40 Oh things are going to happen this season.

Everybody's talking about the Tower of the Hand scene near the end, but think about the very last scene of Storm of Swords.

I can't WAIT for that to play out on HBO. Non-readers are going to S**T! : )
Rob Munnelly
51. RobMRobM
@50 - groundwork was laid in Ep. 1, with description of throat being slit and thrown in the water. I wish they had made clear they were making fun of Tully funeral practices but no matter....
Chris Nelly
52. Aeryl
@51, I kinda hope the foreshadow it with Arya's Nymeria dreams.

Now that Joffrey's dead, I'm most looking forward to "Only Cat" just to see the minds blown of the non book readers as it's learned how deep LF's game goes.

Also, this was in last week's episode, but there are hints this week it's not over, so I'm bringing it up.

Oberyn's new friend at LFs brothel is the same guy that was spying or Loras by sleeping with him. And this week we saw Oberyn and Loras making eyes at each other. I wonder if a later episode won't have Oberyn and Loras planning a tryst at the brothel, which leads to Loras learning his new friend was a spy for LF, and figuring out that LF played them.

I bring this up because LF is going to be brought down in two ways, IMO, by Sansa and by someone in KL figuring out his game. Maybe that person is Loras?
Sky Thibedeau
53. SkylarkThibedeau
@49 I'm thinking that maybe Shae is sent away and there is no Tysha. The where do whores go line will refer to Shae
Chris Nelly
54. Aeryl
@53, He already told the story about his first wife during the first season. Bronn even tells him that he'd kill the person who did that to him, and Tyrion remarks that a Lannister always pays his debts.
Genevieve Williams
55. welltemperedwriter
I bring this up because LF is going to be brought down in two ways, IMO, by Sansa and by someone in KL figuring out his game. Maybe that person is Loras?

Someone might, but I have my doubts that it's Loras. He doesn't strike me as being particularly bright.
Preston Stafford
56. Pigasus
Just want to add a "me too" to the "Tyrion won't kill Shae" posts. My money is on Cersei. It's a better fit for the HBO story arc.
Chris Nelly
57. Aeryl
@55, Well he might not, but I can see him finding the pieces and giving them to someone who can, like say Margaery?

@56, Cersei doesn't work. One, there has already been a shot of Shae sitting up while on a fancy bed that looks like the one in the Hand's bedroom in the trailers. Two, for it to hurt Tyrion, he has to know it and see it, and there isn't really an opportunity for that to happen, unless it's during the escape Cersei doesn't know about.
59. Black Dread
How old is Tommen at this point? He looks about 14 instead of 8. If that kid beds down with Margaery it may not be very innocent.
60. Maac
I believe they said Tommen was 12, but I'm not entirely certain it was actually said on the show. An interview or something. I know Sansa has said aloud that she's 14 and Joffrey's meant to be two or three years older, so Tommen being twelve works fairly well.

I'm no longer perturbed about the net/necklace switch. Now that I've finally sat down and SEEN the episode, instead of clips and reaction videos and listening to people talk. It would have been much more difficult to see the jewel being removed from a hairnet -- this way it was pretty blatant if you knew what to look for, but natural-looking enough a motion to pass as normal if you didn't.

I have a sinking feeling they're going to play out the Shae-Tyrion scene as one of those accidents where the two get emotional and shouty, and then tussle, and then one of them trips on a medieval roller-skate equivalent or something equally deathus-ex-machina and Shae dies of hitting her head on the corner of ye olde medieval coffee table -- Tyrion still at fault enough to run around for three more seasons feelng guilty. I am never going to be comfortable with anything about Tyrion anymore, and after DwD I'm not really *that* concerned with his ultiamte fate, so, yeah. I react like I'm supposed to based on the writing, because the book is crafted to make that happen, I see things through his eyes, I feel for his feelings, and I really don't like that. So I'm just backing away. Conscious choice not to invest. (Note -- this does not mean I "hate the series" or anything. Or even the charaters, really, as they are imaginary. I know how to be a fan of problematic things.)

Charles Dance has already let it spill in an interview that his death is going to be very "Gothic," so I'm thinking that one will remain close to the books.
61. Gregor Lewis
Vehemence does not equate to an ability to register the presence of even the basic nuance regarding Tyrion's murder (revenge killing) of Shae. I wonder what books some people are reading really.

Someone already shrewdly touched on the endpoint above... ie: the catalyst for Tyrion's murderous actions in the books, but that all stems from a three part process, of which Shae's poor choice of words in the crux of Tyrion's murderous dilemma, is the third and final part.

Part One is Shae's orgasmic exclamations when her and Tyrion are having sex. It is Shae - without any prompting whatsoever - who calls him 'My Giant of Lannister' or some sentence structural variation thereof.

From memory, Tyrion and Shae's more amorous scenes are brief and less than explicit on the TV Show. Admittedly my memory of the TV Show is not good at all, but I certainly don't remember Shae exclaiming as such while enflagranté, or even using those words at all.

That would give Part Two - the trial - an impossible task of recreating the seething anger and hopeless humiliation, Tyrion feels when Shae VOLUNTARILY CHOOSES to use the same words and flip their premise and thus, their meaning, when giving evidence against Tyrion.

Unlike other theories and avowals above, I always viewed Shae as a particularly charismatic opportunist, not a victim of compulsion and threats from Tywin and Cersei. The way GRRM set it up, IMO, it is entirely probable Shae made herself known to Cersei and Tywin as not just Sansa's maid, but Tyrion's whore.

Then it turned out Daddy dearest didn't practise what he preached to the son he most despised - Self-Loathing much? - but BONUS new sugar-daddy benefactor, for Shae the charismatic opportunist.

Like she said when first introduced to Tyrion, ' call me, often...'

Of course wrt TV show, if I'm remembering it right, the relationship between Shae and Tyrion doesn't have the same relationship markers. Therefore, of course D&D and GRRM (who wrote this episode) have to play it differently, or at least allow Part 2 to play out more blatantly in the moment, without the fury evoking subtle, twisty shout-out to the way we know it actually happened earlier.

I'm content to wait and see...

Oh and lest we forget, R.O.T (Rack Off Twat) Joffrey ... Sad to see you go Jack Gleason (is that the actor's name? One of these days ... I might actually remember more TV Show details).

Captain Hammer
62. Randalator
@46 RobMRobM

re: Shae's blunder

I agree. In fact I made the same argument in Leigh's ASoIaF read. For such a gifted manipulator to mess up so badly...
63. UNoNuthinJonSnow
Wasn't this episode awesome? I was so shocked when they arrested Tyrion for something he would never do. If he wants to kill somebody he would never poison this person. But who will sit on the throne now?

Furthermore I'm really interested in Bran's story. Will we see him transforming into an animal at the end of the season? (this is not a Spoiler I didn't read the books ^^)

If you're interested in a funny comic related to the 2nd Episode of Season 4, you can find it here:
The comic is called "A Game of Tropes - Nevermore"
Do you remember this scene? ^^

If you want to see more comics like this just search for #BOUT2
Chris Nelly
64. Aeryl
Tyrion feels when Shae VOLUNTARILY CHOOSES

There is no evidence what so ever that Shae voluntarily chose anything, except a job in the Red Keep. This is a woman with no power and agency, to assume she chose to do anything(like go to Tyrion's tent, go to KL, etc) is to give her more power than she has. I think it speaks to an innate sexism to imagine that anything Shae did was vindictive or voluntary, playing off sexist stereotypes of vengeful women and manipulative sex workers, when bookShae has really only ever shown to be a dumb naive young woman.

I always viewed Shae as a particularly charismatic opportunist,

What evidence is there of this? Her behavior is cloying and moronic. She is constantly placing herself at risk, and she irritates Tyrion more often than not, which doesn't seem particularly charismatic or opportunistic.
Donia L
65. Donia
So am I the only one who *didn't* like the fact that Joffrey died in this episode?!

Or, to be clear, the *way* he died, as I wanted him to die as much as everyone else. I am not a violence-craving person, nor one who thinks revenge killing/maiming is a good idea, but it's Joffrey so here's my beef:

I REALLY wanted either Arya or Daenerys to kill him: he got off so easy! I'm not even talking about torture or drawn-out suffering, but my main problem is that HE DIED A SMUG BASTARD! (literally)

First and foremost, he should have died with the knowledge that he was the product of incest, the son of the man he enjoyed ridiculing for being a cripple, and that he had no right to the throne.

Second, it would have been even better if he had experienced fear at the hands of a woman, at the hands of someone better than him (which is pretty much anyone, granted), and actually glimpsed his weakness and cowardice before he died: Arya should have killed him face to face, or one of Daenerys' dragons torn him apart.

He should have died terrified and confused.

Instead, he just died. An ugly death, yes, but he didn't get to see that. He only choked for a minute and then died.


Am I really the only one who felt this way?
66. Gregor Lewis
I absolutely agree Shae has no agency whatsoever.

But her power is undisputed - as presented in the books.

Right up until the moment of her entirely unexpected (for me) death, Shae had exercised that power to get herself to court, inveigle herself into everyday castle life unnecessarily (because she was bored in the luxurious manse Tyrion set her up in).

I don't see her as moronic at all. As for cloying, she used what worked to get what she wanted, all the way into successively more powerful Hands' beds.

When Tyrion overhears her talking upon sneaking into the Hand's chambers post dungeon escape, from memory, Shae does not seem under any form of coersion and there is no evidence, besides assumption, to the contrary.

Indeed IIRC, Shae is the one doing the coersing.

No-one in ASOIAF's fantasy world (entirely made up) - when they are of the peasant class - could say they acted entirely willingly, especially in any sort of entanglement with persons of power.

But IMO Shae makes the most of what some may consider a degrading situation (justifiably so), and but for an entirely unexpected intervention, had achieved an ultimate ending for herself, in the bed of an ageing sugar-daddy who just happened to be the most powerful man in this invented world.

Charismatically opportunistic I says.

As for why I believe she VOLUNTARILY CHOOSES to testify the way she does in the books, well, that's because all the evidence to that point led one reading what is happening in the story to believe Cersei was content that she had discovered 'Tyrion's whore' already ( and had her whipped as punishment ).

The only evidence we have otherwise, ie Shae being coerced, are her own next to last words to Tyrion. Here's a thought:

Could Shae have been lying? Do we have any previous evidence of that at all?

Voluntarily chose to testify I says. A charismatic opportunist playing her part to the hilt. Not vindictive. Just powerful. In her own way.

Jeroen van Berkel
67. Heronimus Rex
I love it when cruel people get murdered. Joffrey was cruel and Shae was cruel too. No doubt about it. It made me very happy to read how Tyrion strangled her.
Chris Nelly
68. Aeryl
Shae had exercised that power to get herself to court

She did no such thing. The impetus that brought her to court, was Bronn unceremoniously yanking her from someone else's tent and putting her in Tyrion's, and Tywin's command to not bring her, which led Tyrion to defy him.

I don't see her as moronic at all.

Yeah, because what she did with Simeon Silver Tongue was smart. And then using the words she used against Tyrion at court(willingly or not), that was real smart too.

She was a dumb girl who was in over her head. That's why she wanted to work in the castle. That's why she was reckless when it came to maintaining their secrecy. And that's why she thought she could just charm Tyrion when she saw him again.

Yes, Cersei thought she'd found Tyrion's whore. Can you imagine how enraged she was when she learned she was wrong?

Shae was most definitely forced to testify under threat of torture, because Cersei doesn't play nice. She wouldn't have made any offers to Shae, she'd have told her to say what she did, or be tortured and killed. And Cersei SURELY didn't know anything about her being with Tywin.

I'm not saying that Shae wasn't satisfied to end up where she was, in Tywin's bed. But you ascribe to her a nefarious plan to achieve that, when it's literally impossible for her to do, much less imagine for a foreign child prostitute(remember, it's heavily implied that bookShae is much younger than ShowShae). And gladly swapping patrons isn't an act worth murdering someone for. She was under no obligation to die or be tortured for Tyrion, and she certainly isn't obligated to die of starvation because she never takes a patron again.

Tyrion committed an irredeemable act when he murdered her.
69. Gregor Lewis
That's what makes GRRM's work so compelling for me, in general - and specifically in ASOS.


Even from themselves.

I see Shae's last words as an entirely apropos miscalculation. A gross misjudgement in expecting what had worked for her before was working again.

Maybe she saw something in Tyrion she believed was a desire to be convinced that what she had given him wasn't a lie his love had conflated.

Maybe there was a spark that convinced her he could still be manipulated even then.

Or maybe she was coolly stalling for time, until sugar-daddy 'shit AND got off the pot'.

Did Shae overestimate her power over Tyrion?


She certainly underestimated the power of his consciously unformed intent, murderously coalescing.

Tyrion IMO, was still freestyling. Things were boiling within, but Shae's poor choice of words, so subtly set up in the books, brought forth the eruption ... setting the scene for an even more powerful but thematically echoing seismic shift still to come.

The TV show is going to struggle to match the resonance of that in the moment.

Nevertheless, I look forward to watching Dance & Dinklage make the attempt.

70. Gregor Lewis
@68 Aeryl

I agree with how you started your argument. Bronn brought Tyrion a woman to slake his lust. Obviously there is no power in that from Shae - other than ensuring she is the one who is chosen, from a bevy of available candidates.

Shae slaked Tyrion's thirst and myriad other desires, but there is no evidence of power in that, other than Tyrion choosing to take her to court, instead of having his pick of any other whore, if unsatisfied.

Shae had a singer brought to the manse to play for her because she was 'bored'. There is no power in that other than using his presence to endanger her hideout, convincing Tyrion to do what she had already been needling him to do - bring her into the castle, ostensibly closer to him, but also closer to circles of greater power her manipulative skill ensures Tyrion will do all in his power to protect her from.

The singer was a dead man the moment he first sang for Shae. It was only Tyrion's initial stupidity that extended his life a matter of days.

As for Cersei. I agree with everything you said about her above (for a change). My point of difference is how events (as I see them) to that point lead me to believe Cersei constructed her case.

Once Tyrion stood accused, I see Shae being positively proactive once again ... making herself known and presenting her case to power, be it Cersei or Tywin or both, exactly as she presented it at the trial.

I believe having that 'Ace' up her sleeve would have allowed Cersei to arrange the witnesses accordingly.

Tyrion even comments on it as the scene in the books unfolds. His thoughts certainly had me waiting for a hammer to drop. On first reading, Shae's appearance was quite a surprise - especially as a final witness - initially. But IMO it was a brilliant catalyst from GRRM in the books to think back and see the subtle seeds he had planted germinating.

Of course what Tyrion does to Shae in the end is irredeemable. For mine that's one of the sad vices of the TV Show. Tyrion is painted much too pale a shade of grey, when there is such darkness within and such blackhearted villainy in his future.

71. SteveL
Re: Shae's death in the show:

I could see HBO showing Tyrion getting to Tywin's chambers to find his father and Shae having sex through some sort of secret eyeholes in the walls of the passage. Varys's little birds don't just hear things, they see things as well.

If Shae uses the same words and phrases to Tywin as she did to Tyrion, then Tyrion could pop out of the secret passage to confront her once they're finished and Tywin goes to the privy. In this case, his killing her would be repayment of a betrayal -- almost like she was having an affair with Tywin. Still not right, but a bit more understandable as a hot-blooded crime of passion rather than a cold-blooded murder.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
72. Lisamarie
For fun, I asked my husband who he thought did it (he hasn't read the books). He said he thinks it's either Olenna (and noted that there were many times the goblet was by her) or Oberyn.

I am also really curious how they are going to develop the Shae storyline in the show - they are making Tyrion out to be a more sympathetic character in general, so it's hard to imagine how they will be able to pull it off without the viewership turning on him (as many have after the way it played in the books - which I think is a legitimate response)...unless they really make Shae look like the 'bad guy'. Which, as others have noted, plays a bit too much into the vidinctive scorned woman stereotype.
Tabby Alleman
74. Tabbyfl55
How fun to read the theories in the comment thread now that S4 has played out.

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