Apr 17 2014 9:00am

Game of Thrones Episode Analysis: “The Lion and The Rose"

Game of Thrones The Lion and the Rose Joffrey Margaery

The last drop of wine has long since been drunk, the joyousness of Sunday night’s celebrations linger no longer and the ghosts of Monday morning’s regretful headaches have dissipated. And so now there’s a bit of distance to talk about Everything Else that occurred in the second episode of Game of Thrones.

The hunts, the breakups, the visions, the pageantry, and of course the spoilers for show and book.

Since we caught up with the most popular characters last week - Jon, Dany’s dragons, Arya and the Hound, we were kind of left with the B-Team, but the hour was no less thrilling for it. Or rather, the half hour. The second half of the episode showcasing Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery was like a mini-movie unto itself.

The torture of Theon is complete, to the point where he no longer responds to his name, instead going by Reek. It rhymes with weak. Kudos to Ramsay’s girlfriend for making me hate her even more than I already did for her part in Theon’s gelding. She looked the perfect partner for Bolton’s bastard. Imagine if Tauriel from The Hobbit movies had a penchant for sadism and also gigantic insecurity issues. That’s this girl. Ramsay didn’t look too pleased to see his daddy come home to the Dreadfort, though he was oddly pretty gracious to his new stepmom, “Fat Walda” Frey.

We are definitely getting into Dance of Dragons territory with the return of Roose Bolton, who will now send his bastard to re-capture Moat Cailin, a strategically important location in the North, presently in the hands of some gutsy Greyjoys. Now that Roose knows Bran and Rickon are alive, somewhere, he very stupidly sends Locke to go find them. Yes, do send the man who just maimed a very valuable prisoner. Though I guess if I had to pick between a one-handed knight and a castrated heir, I know which unlucky soul has been less depreciated. Will Roose find Rickon before the season finale? Because that would indeed be going beyond what George R. R. Martin’s published thus far. It’s definitely a situation to watch out for. Can I also say that whoever is editing these last two episodes deserves a prize. Between Joffrey and his pompous statue last week and Theon and Pod’s waggling sausage this time, the transitions are subtly snarky enough to be worthy of The Amazing Race.

Game of Thrones The Lion and The Rose Tyrion Shae

Another point of speculation over book-canon vs. show-canon is Shae. Book readers know her fate and I wonder if, instead—because this TV-Shae we all seem to really like and care for—her story will take on attributes from another whore that was important and loved by Tyrion. I really, really hope she got on that boat to Pentos. Bronn said he saw her off. Or did Tywin get her to his chambers afterall? I really, really hope it’s the former. Shae has been forced to act like an ugly psycho girlfriend trope and it just didn’t seem to fit her character, at least on the show. She should be smart enough to know her situation and Tyrion’s and not be so “Oh! So now you only want to fuck your wife?!” He didn’t ask for his situation either. Up until very recently, I really liked TV-Shae and I hope that she can be redeemed.

Over at Dragonstone, everything’s pretty much the same, i.e. dour and religious and creepy. And probably full of rotten fish smells. I thought you were riding for the Wall already, Stannis.

At least a whole lot of more of the same is more interesting beyond the Wall. Bran’s vision through the weirwood tree brought up some interesting parallels with Dany’s visit to the House of the Undying in season two. Both were shown an empty Iron Throne in a snowy hall. Winter is coming to King’s Landing and who will be in power when it arrives? Bran also caught a glimpse of Dany’s dragons flying over the capital. A taste of things to come... if George ever gets there. What a frustrating, tantalizing tease. We also saw some Walkers and possibly a Child of the Forest? I couldn’t quite tell, but, this is the second week in a row where my heart broke just a little seeing Ned for the briefest of moments. Things were so much simpler then.

But really, after this quick reintroduction, the real centerpiece of the hour was clearly Joffrey’s wedding.

This party has everything: stilts, grumpy spiders, a Dornishwoman dressed like a cobra, Sigur Rós, and a Human Wikipedia Entry. A Human Wikipedia Entry? Yeah, it’s that thing where you hire five dwarves wearing fake butts to reenact biased battle scenes that publicly humiliate your uncle and new in-laws.

Some wedding highlights:

  • Did you catch the Elric shout-out among the suggested names for Joffrey’s sword/pie-cutter?
  • Olenna and Tywin griping about money, the spending and the lending of it. We heard our first mention of the Iron Bank of Braavos, which means Mycroft Holmes is coming!
  • Olenna’s “It’s time I ‘ett’ some of this food I paid for.” That accent.
  • Drunk Cersei wasn’t nearly as funny-mean as she was during the siege of Blackwater. Instead she was just miserable-mean. You almost feel sorry for her. She can’t help being such a wretched, jealous, bitter person.

Game of Thrones The Lion and The Rose Ellaria Oberyn

  • Everything about Oberyn and Ellaria was just perfect again. Shade must be Dorne’s #1 export because the two of them were throwing it at Tywin and Cersei like they had some to spare. “Former Queen Regent.” “A rich man’s affliction, I’m surprised you don’t have it.” “I have ten thousand brothers and sisters.”
  • Ellaria putting Margaery’s burrito dress to shame. Now thats a frickin’ hairnet. She looks like... a sand snake. Perfect.
  • Is Loras the only gay man in King’s Landing? You knew he’d get cruised by Oberyn, and I wouldn’t blame him for smiling back, but really. Stop trying to make Loras happen. He was awesome in the books. Here he’s just skinny. What knight has skinny arms?! A TV show actor-knight, that’s who.
  • Varys Can’t Even With This Shit:

  • “Oh, look! The pie!” Can’t wait to use this to diffuse unbearably awkward situations at the office.

Of course the real highlight was Joffrey’s death. I still think I preferred the book’s version, where it seemed more ambiguous if Joffrey choked or was poisoned. I mean, readers know he was poisoned pretty quickly, but all of those noblemen in the back of the hall, they would circulate conflicting stories. Here, there was nothing ambiguous. He was poisoned.

I watched the wedding three times at least and definitely saw Olenna take a jewel from Sansa’s necklace. But I didn’t see the moment someone (I heard it was Margaery) dropped the poison into Joffrey’s cup.

The only person I know who didn’t do it was Tyrion. Ugh. Can’t we just have anything completely nice on this show?

And I notice Joff never said anything about his familiarity with Valyrian steel, so I guess we’ll never find out who attacked Bran after his fall, so long ago. Because Tyrion didn’t do that, either. To be fair, most viewers probably forgot about that by now anyway.

Joffrey’s death comes with mixed feelings. There was elation at first, but also sadness. Joffrey was my favorite character to hate on this show because he was so extreme in his warped behavior. Who will I hate as much now?

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

Chris Tierney
1. chris.tierney
I think I caught a Book of the New Sun shout-out among the sword names as well.
2. Kathygnome
Some of us caught not only the reference to Elric, but also the reference to the Book of the New Sun.
3. kp dawes
Good commentary. Totally agree. I preferred Joff's book death too.
Also, they should really start giving Tommen a couple lines here and there, after all he will be the king for the next few seasons (wild divergence not withstanding). Also, I'm a bit bummed that none of the dwarves looked to be Penny :(
Ross Newberry
4. rossnewberry
I was waiting for Joff's death, and they kept teasing me with it. There were at least three false starts where he spat wine, or suddenly paused, that made me think it was coming then. Nice teasing of the book readers.
Walker White
5. Walker
Penny is probably not going to happen in this show. My understanding is that they looked into it, but you simply cannot have someone riding a pig on a TV show. This affects not only this episode, but later Penny plotlines.
Preston Stafford
6. Pigasus
As long as Tyrion ends up participating in the very exhibition that infuriated him, I think GRRM's intent will be met.

But I hope Penny makes an appearance.
7. marykatherine
I, too, was looking for Penny. You don't necessarily need a pig, but not having her will kind of significantly change Tyrion's story in a few seasons, no?

Cersei. You can hate Cersei as much as you hate Joffrey. Especially with everything she's about to do. (Although I have to admit I start to feel sorry for her by the time her infamous walk comes around).

And yeah, they really should have at least hinted at Tommen's existence in recent episodes. I watched this with a bunch of non-readers and they were all like "well I guess the war of the kings is back on since there's no heir!" and when I said, "no, Tommen is the heir", they were all like, "who?"
Theresa DeLucci
8. theresa_delucci
@7 I know, right? Tommen's had even less lines than Rickon thus far. They also changed actors to someone older and much taller so that the people I was watching with were like "Who *is* that next to Tyrion?" I liked that Tommen stopped laughing at the dwarves when he noticed his uncle's embarrassment.

I still think Penny can be introduced later. I'm most curious about Shae's fate. It's a big diversion from the books that I'm hoping for because Tyrion was insufferable in Dance of Dragons. NO ONE CARES about your first wife. She was probably killed anyway. Because it's Westeros and that's what happens to pretty much everyone.
Anthony Pero
9. anthonypero
@Shae's fate:

I'm pretty sure Bronn delivered Shae to Tywin, and that Tywin or Cersei has already purchased the sellsword.
Theresa DeLucci
10. theresa_delucci
@9 That's what I'm worried about, too. And I hate that idea. I mean, Bronn is a sellsword, but you still want to believe they're friends. Why does GRMM love to crush dreams?! WHY????????? (Rhetorical question.)

And also I really largely hated Tyrion's chapters in ADwD. He hadn't talked about that wife since book one, now she's so important to him? I didn't find it very believable.
Lauren Hartman
11. naupathia
Re: Shae's fate: I also liked Shae's TV incarnation until recently. I don't like the "bitter jealous girlfriend" angle they've been going lately. I'm pretty sure Bronn betrayed Tyrion and handed Shae over to Tywin, and that she will testify against Tyrion.

But here's what my hope for the story is: Shae testifies but only because Tywin threatens her. After Tyrion gets freed by Jamie and confronts Tywin 1) Shae is not there (i.e., does not end up sleeping with Tywin like in the books) and 2) Tyrion asks what Tywin did with Shae after the trial (figuring that Shae only testified because Tywin forced her to under threat) and Tywin says he sent her "where ever whores go" and thus Tyrion goes looking for SHAE and not Tysha.

I think that would resolve the book vs show romance a bit better? Because then at least we know Shae didn't betray Tyrion out of some stupid irrational jealousy and purely out of coercion. I think it would also help because the show hasn't played up the Tysha angle as much as you get in the books - because we aren't in Tyrion's head, the show isn't able to show us how much Tysha meant to Tyrion. So it would be odd to me now if he just started angsting after Tysha.

Also: We did find out it was Joffrey who sent the assassin after Bran. They resolved that early on, season 2 maybe? I remember Tyrion was talking to Cersei and he figures it out and confronts her about it and she admits the whole "Robert was talking in front of Joff" bit. Basically the scene from book 4 but was just done way earlier. It was one of the few moments we get where we see Cersei knows Joff is insane but can't help loving him anyway.
Chris Nelly
12. Aeryl
I've seen shots in the trailers of Shae sitting up in a luxurious bed. Pretty sure that's still gonna happen.

I'm sure Tyrion will meet with another dwarf character, but I would prefer to keep Penny and her feelings for Tyrion out of it.
Beth Meacham
13. bam
You said "pie." I can't wait for the reactions to the pie.
14. Beej
Can we please have a Stefon style paragraph in every GoT recap? I almost choked on my pie & wine.
15. WillR
I'm sorry, but Show!Loras is GORGEOUS.
16. KatherineW
@10: I thought Tyrion's behaviour in A Dance with Dragons made a lot of sense. For all this time he's thought that Tysha was a prostitute; since the only time he was truly happy in a relationship was with her, he's caring towards prostitutes, and particularly towards Shae. All of them remind him, to some degree, of Tysha. (And Tysha occurs in his thoughts fairly frequently in the first three books.)

The combination of Shae's betrayal and discovering that Tysha wasn't a prostitute means that he doesn't have positive associations with them any more. Instead of caring about prostitutes as a class of people connected with his memories of Tysha, he becomes callous towards them and obsessed with finding Tysha herself. At that point she's literally the only person in the world who he still cares about. He's lost everything else.
Sydo Zandstra
17. Fiddler
I was a bit disappointed at the Olenna/Sansa necklace scene. We saw Olenna fiddling with it, but I didn't see one of the stones go missing from the necklace. Correct me if I am wrong please :)

I liked the Jaime/Bronn sword training scene, even it was unconvincing. In highschool I broke my right wrist (I am righthanded), and had to write with my lefthand. I had to take exams oral, because I couldn't write. Jaime seemed more skilled using his left hand than he should, even when Bronn was owning him.

What I didn't like was Tyrion setting them up, while in the books Jaime picked Ilyn Payne using his own wits. Although I can understand why they chose to do this, because the whole lefthanded training thing is also from later books IIRC.

Theresa, with Joffrey being dead, I suggest you focus your hate on Ramsay. Or that Bow B*tch running with him.

With the hunt on Rickon being called this early, GRRM better put some ginger up his butt and start writing, unless he already gave HBO the outlines on where he's going.
Gene Hutchinson
18. sukamadee
I for one enjoy the Shae arc being portrayed on the show. It's almost like they are trying to turn her fans against her for whats to surely come in the 9th or 10th episode. THIS was the defining moment of the entire book for me...where Tyrion finally stands up to his father. The scene im talking about wouldn't have nearly as much drama surrounding it if its just Tyrion and Tywin in the confrontation. Just my .02
Donia L
21. 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 deserved to die 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?
22. SKM
@17--One of the stones definitely went missing. Pay close attention to the leftmost setting of the necklace. (Sansa's left, viewer's right.)
23. SKM
Also, I thought the scene of Tyrion sending Shae away was actually a great lead-in to the upcoming "search for Tysha" plotline. When he's yelling at her about her unfitness to bear his children with that horrible, tormented look on his face (bless you, Peter Dinklage), I could just hear Tywin's voice yelling those very same words at young Tyrion over Tysha. To prevent Shae from becoming a second Tysha, Tyrion became his father--and it crushed him.

Tysha may not have been mentioned by name, but she was definitely there in spirit.
24. djizeus
@21 - I think we all hear you, but I assume (possibly wrongly) that most of us had read this scene years ago in aSoS, and were fully expecting it to play out almost identically to the way it had in the book. I was disappointed at the time that it wasn't Arya or someone else that exacted some revenge...but I was satisfied this time, because it was what I was expecting.
Chris Nelly
25. Aeryl
@17, The showrunners know where the story is going, yes, so if necessary they can outpace Martin.

And yeah, rewatch the wedding after Olenna walks up to Sansa, you can notice that the gem all the way to the right(ours, Sansa's left) is no longer there.

No one has yet noticed the scene where the cup was spiked. There are several shots that place the cup centered within the frame, with Margaery or Olenna in the frame. There's also a few of Cersei, with the carafe of wine centered. The show is definitely doing it's best to leave non book people guessing.
26. KarenC
If they drop the whole "Tyrion's angst over Tysha" thing; it'll be a promising sign that the showrunners are willing to deviate from GRRM's less workable plotlines. I was a little worried that the HBO show would be forced to follow the books and so wind up dropping in quality as badly as the books did, but hey, maybe not. Hurray! Maybe they won't even wait for old slow poke to get around to Winds of Winter - let him write the "novelization" of the (much better) TV show instead. Win-Win!
Sydo Zandstra
27. Fiddler
Thank you, SKM. I will do a rewatch :)
Chris Tierney
28. chris.tierney
@25 When Joffrey hands his cup to Margaery, she drops something in it with her left hand. (It's very subtle. Possibly I imagined it.)
30. Genre Monkey
@16: I agree with everything you wrote, Katherine. And that's why I don't agree at all with the opinion of, @10.theresa_delucci:

"And also I really largely hated Tyrion's chapters in ADwD. He hadn't
talked about that wife since book one, now she's so important to him? I
didn't find it very believable"

To each their own, but I still found Tyrion's POV interesting in ADwD.
Daenerys' chapters however I began to find a bit tedious. Although I did love how it ended for her in that book.
Adam S.
31. MDNY
@28 I also thought I saw Margaery drop it in, which confirmed a theory I've long had that she was in on the poisoning with Olenna, and that she was the one who did it because she was seated next to Joff.
Douglas Muskett
32. sarmis
Here is a very helpful slide show detailing what happened with the poisoning:
33. sofrina
@17 - "put some ginger up his butt" i don't know that expression. is that some kind of homeopathic energy fix?
joffrey's death was equal to his stature. he needed killing and someone simply did it. his death is appropriate on so many levels: it takes place before a huge audience, brings him low at one of his highest moments, humiliates him in front of everyone, terrifies him to the utmost - suffocation is very painful and you are fully aware you're dying, and it serves the lannisters justice for their indefensible ambush of robb stark. once they changed the rules, the lannisters should have known all bests were off. (i'm giving joffrey the bastard pass on the incest thing. it isn't his fault, so he shouldn't be made to suffer for that. blame the parents.)

the hunt for the starks is an opportunity to showcase the continuuing suppport for them in the north, as well as the widespread outrage over the red wedding. robb and catelyn weren't the only northern lords to die in that room. the heads/heirs of a lot of houses went down with them. at some point they have to show davos and manderly's attempt to do the same. but there is the opportunity to show small holdfasts and commonfolk trying to divert locke in order to protect the stark boys. in the books they are clearly aware that they are moving north and do help them just a little along the way. (personally, i really hope osha and rickon haven't been sent across the sea as slaves.)

i'm going to hate on ramsay for awhile. he's playing up to fat walda now, but she better watch her back. if kills his father. she's in trouble. don't forget what he did to that widow in the books.
34. Tomewyrm
Fiddler @17
I can speak from personal experience on the whole "suddenly using an untrained hand to fight with a sword" thing.
I do live-steel medieval re-enactment and Jaime was about as good with his off-hand as I would expect, once you take out the Hollywood showmanship (there are all sorts of flaws in movie/TV swordplay that make it look more cinematic).
There are plenty of techniques you learn in a formal, or semi-formal education with the sword which will translate pretty well to the other hand. Especially if you are simply trying to not let the other guy hit you!
Donia L
35. Donia
@33 - No, the incest isn't Joffrey's fault, but the way he lords his birth and status over everyone as proof that he's better than them - even his uncle/father! - (and thus can treat them however hideously he pleases, with no repercussions) is why I think it would have been more satisfying to have him know before he dies.

As for the suffocation being humiliating and painful, I really think it would have been much more humiliating to have him killed by a woman - a girl, in fact, who is much more brave than he is - in front of an audience, and knowing exactly who killed him, than the way he went.
36. One Is Key
I think they're setting up Ramsay as the New Joffrey. Ramsay is much subtler than Joffrey ever was, and is therefore more dangerous. His creepy greeting of Walda made me think he could go all Buffalo Bill on her if given the chance.

Here's my question: was Joffrey born to lose? He wasn't always Most Likely to Be Murdered. Look at how well Myrcella and Tommen have turned out (so far, at least). Was there a moment where Joff could have been turned from the Dark Side? If he wasn't surrounded by enablers, that is. Cersei had absolutely no control, Jaime wasn't around much nor did he really show much interest in his children even when he was there. The only one who could have maybe straightened him out was his granddaddy, but even he showed little inclination. No was Roose would give Ramsay so much leeway.
Deana Whitney
37. Braid_Tug
I was sort of surpized they didn't take the opputuiny to replace the Tommen actor. We haven't seen him since the Blackwater. So the actor switch would not be as glaring.

Kid is what 8 in the books? So maybe 10 in HBO land?
Actor is what, 15?
Eric Scharf
38. EricScharf
As tiresome as I found Tyrion-looking-for-Tysha in Essos, Tyrion-looking-for-Shae would be more plausible but not much more interesting. Given Dinklage's range, they're going to put him deep in the pit by having both Bronn and Shae betray him. While we probably agree with Tyrion that his abuse of Shae in the last episode was his best option for saving her life, he's going to at least partially blame himself when she testifies against him. He'll tell that hateful lie to Jaime, and Tywin's bedroom will be more unbearable than the Red Wedding. I CANNOT WAIT.
Tom Smith
39. phuzz
@34. Tomewyrm & Fiddler @17
Don't forget that Jamie was widely hailed as the best swordsman in Westoros, hence both his anguish at mot having that level of ability any more, and also being quite good with his left hand (compared to most people).
Also, and this is just a character reading, I can't see Bronn independently deciding to betray Tyrion. If he had a job to do (put Shae on the boat), he'd have done it, unless someone came to him and said "work for me or else". He'd probably turn coats in a heartbeat, but only if pushed, I don't see him deciding to betray someone without outside cause.
Fake Name
40. ThePendragon
There is no way Olenna did the poisoning. I rewatched the scene several times. Despite where Margaery puts the cup, it's not close enough for her to be able to drop something in it without it being obvious to at least three people. The first is Mace Tyrell, since he was sitting right next to her. I get that he's her son, but she considers him an oaf and I highly doubt she's let him in on the plot. The other two are problematic, the Kingsguard. That's right, two members of the Kingsguard are standing behind her the whole time, and don't appear to be distracted by the doves. Even if they were, here movement would be far too pronounced for them to not notice it, since they are behind her. It had to be Margaery. There is a VERY subtle hand movement of her left hand when Joffrey hands her the goblet. I think that's when the deed was done.
Eric Scharf
41. EricScharf
@39 Cersei's had plenty of time to determine Bronn's asking price, and he's had plenty of time to ascertain that she can outbid Tyrion.
Fake Name
42. ThePendragon
As much a Bronn likes to be outwardly cynical, he considers Tyrion a friend. I don't think Cersei could buy him, and I'd be disappointed in the show if she did. I know the books make it seem like she did, but the situation was much more complex. I think both Bronn and Tyrion realized that at the time and the decision to part ways was more due to that mutual understanding than anything Cersei did.
Chris Nelly
43. Aeryl
@37, They did. The kid who's playing him now was one of the murdered Lannister cousins at Riverrun.

@40, Yeah it's Margaery. Olenna palmed it to her at some time surely.
44. Gregor Lewis
Oh well.

If all these expectations of Bronn's betrayal are confirmed ... there goes another of my hoped for scenes of quiet exposition - the Bronn / Tyrion goodbye - which for mine, has to be one of the most sympathetically presented episodes of quasi betrayal ever.

All-right! I admit, it's not really betrayal. Bronn was always upfront to Tyrion regarding his loyalty and at the time, Tyrion was in no position to beat a castle keep, a noble wife and a Name, no matter how much he 'liked living'.

Still, given the quality of the actors playing the part, it would have been a good chance to see such a greyly poignant farewell on-screen.

Still, as others have noted, too much happening too tightly packed together, in the TV medium, is a recipe to dilute the impact everywhere. Instead of hitting the right notes in a series of scenes, carefully parsed from the source material for maximum impact, we would be in danger of being relegated to the kiddie pool, in terms of on-screen depth and nuance.

I can only hope my favourite piece of quiet exposition in the books so far makes the cut, so to speak.

45. vjj
@Theresa what is your opinion of "A Dance with Dragons" overall? Yes, the Tyrion chapters were tiresome but was there anything you liked?
46. sofrina
@36 - joffrey's issue goes bone-deep, really. he is very much shaped by his parents - robert and cersei. a lot of what he does comes from his warped reading of their behaviors and attitudes. perhaps robert could have at least kept him in line - made him a more mindful sociopath - but cersei went mama bear on him once and robert gave up in disgust.

@40 - olenna did it. and who better, really? tywin's opposite and equal in every way. she's got the cunning, the guts, is unlikely to be suspected and she's old enough to not worry too much about being executed if she were caught. i'm starting to think olenna should win the game of thrones.
47. vjj
It was Olenna AND Margaery - at least on the TV show. Margaery's reactions clearly indicate she knew what was coming and she handled Joffrey's cup just before he choked to death.

I and it was Baelish and Ser Dontos.

Someone in an earlier thread asked about the Dragon Bone Dagger in the first season: Petyr Baelish commished the assassination attempt on Bran. Baelish wanted to start a war between the Lannisters and Starks. All this for his gambit to conquer all of Westeros. Maybe Baelish isn't Baelish at all anymore - maybe he's the faceless man.
Adam S.
48. MDNY
@47 LOL I like that theory, except I don't think even a Faceless Man would sleep with Lysa. Only Littlefinger would stoop to that.
49. vjj
F***king typos

@47 "It was also Baelish and Ser Dontos"

@47 "Petyr Baelish commissioned the assassination attempt on Bran"
Fake Name
50. ThePendragon
@46 Olenna planned it and got the poison to Margaery, but it's impossible for Olenna to have gotten it into his cup. Margaery put it in. No way around that.
51. adamas
Theresa: It's very subtle and you have to be looking for it, but Bran and Dany aren't "shown an empty Iron Throne in a snowy hall."
if you look carefully, you will realize that instead of snow... everythign is coated with ashes. an ominous premonition of what dragons and war will bring.
52. adamas
@47,49: Joffrey was the one who tried to have Bran killed.

Littlefinger lied about losing the dagger to Tyrion... he actually lost it to King Robert, and that's where Joffrey got it from (Robert only ever personally used a dagger Jon Arynn had given him as a gift).

How on earth would Littlefinger have been able to be behind the assassin who came for Bran? They don't have telephones in westeros, and you can't exactly entrust that kind of message to a raven (which wouldn't be fast enough to orchestrate it anyway)
Genevieve Williams
53. welltemperedwriter
@17 - "put some ginger up his butt" i don't know that expression. is that some kind of homeopathic energy fix?
I can't believe I know this, but there's actually a sexual practice involving this very thing. To each their own.
Martijn Coppoolse
54. vor0nwe
While Bronn might like Tyrion after a fashion, he will definitely turn on him when offered the right price. Both he and Tyrion know this, and they both know the other one knows. He's a sellsword, after all, and never pretends to be anything else.

I liked that in the books, Pod takes a really long time to get Bronn to visit Tyrion in his cell, and that Pod has to actually, literally, beg on his knees to get him to do it. To me, this suggests that Bronn does feel shame at betraying Tyrion. Yet he also knows that this time, Tyrion can't outbid his sister and father; worse, if he were to testify in favour of Tyrion and Tyrion got condemned anyway, he'd be in serious trouble.

Bit of a no-brainer for a sellsword, really.

But I, too, do hope we'll get to see Bronn visiting Tyrion in his cell.
55. quinne
I can't wait for what happens to Tywank (i.e. Tywin).
Chris Nelly
56. Aeryl
If you look closely two members of the Kingsguard flank the royal table. So Olenna cannot reach in front of them to place the poison in the cup, which stays either in the hands of Tyrion, Margaery, or Joffrey, or on the royal table.

If you look closely, as the pie is brought in, one of the pie-bearers walks into the frame. In the background, Margaery can be seen palming the decorative frill on her bodice with her left hand, before sliding her fingers over the rim of the cup as Joffrey, while her right hand grasps the stem of the goblet. The goblets are small, and fit easily into Margaery's hands if you notice, and you know Olenna had a hand in picking the tableware, actually isn't that a line during the same convo as the necklace?

The band continues to play in the background, providing a constant stream of tinks, which sounds when Olenna walks by, and when both Sansa and Tyrion handle the goblet as well. It also sounds as Joffrey hands it to Margaery when he prepares to strike the pie.
57. Maac
Oh, oh oh! It just occurred to me!

(And I can't check -- er, not legally -- because I'm not in the same country as my DVDs are right now)

Back in season 1 when Tyrion, Shae, and I think some other people were comparing sad tales, and Tyrion told the story of his first wife while prickly first-season Shae said something along the lines of "I've seen things you will never know, and they are also none of your business , here have a rude gesture and a salty smile instead" -- Tyrion never finished that story, did he? I don't remember how far he went with it, but I do very distinctly remember thinking "Oh, okay, he left out THAT bit, they must be saving the gold coin portion of the tale for some point when he's more bonded with Shae or whoever he tells the story to, in this version."

My question being, am I remembering that wrong, or did they indeed leave out his final role in what happened to book-Tysha? Because if so, then I will have to believe that they are intentionally making show-Tyrion a damn sight more easily supportable than book-Tyrion, and that they might have decided to continue doing that, and that they might actually DO something along the lines of what naupathia at #11 suggests and have Shae be the one Tyrion is searching for. Or anything different, really. (Because does anyone who only watches the show even remember Tysha, or Tyrion having had a previous wife? =/ )
Jonas Schmiddunser
58. Jineapple
This isn't the first mention of the Iron Bank of Braavos. When Tyrion first studied Littlefinger's books, he told Bronn how he was worried about the Bank, and they'll get their due by supporting their enemies if they don't pay them.

Olenna taking the jewel is relatively obvious when you know what to look for (Though I didn't actually see the empty link on first watch). As to when it was put in...I too think it was Margaery, but I'd have to rewatch.

We could still have Penny, couldn't we? We didn't see all the actors closely enough. I'm thinking they'll go a different route though, I'm not sure if the whole Tyrion storyline in ADWD would work that well on TV. If they include her, the pig is gone though obviously.

Shae is definitely not gone and that would mean Bronn is already bought.
Constance Sublette
59. Zorra
The where is / who has the cup business is more than reminiscent of the ancient sleight of hand shell game, a/k/ cup and ball game.

When it comes reading to these humilations and falls of the female characters, particularly Cersei (look at her name even!), this reader at least felt particularly aware that these were the conscious decisions of the writer, rather than feeling organic. Which has always bothered me ....
Theresa DeLucci
60. theresa_delucci
Between ginger practices, gifs and more careful viewing than I sometimes have time for (ashes, not snow on the Iron Throne?!) this has been a very informative thread.

@45 I liked... well, not terribly much about ADwD overall. It's a big book, so I liked bits and pieces, namely everything where Tyrion *wasn't* talking about Tysha, Dany when she wasn't mooning over Daario, and pretty much all of the Victarion chapters because holy cow he is a bad person. Which made his jouney overseas really interesting prose-wise. Jon's chapters were intersting, too, if really frustrating. I mostly just didn't like where a lot of characters were hanging at the end and it makes me wary of how GRRM will wrap everything up. And when. WHEN?! *sobs*
Chris Nelly
61. Aeryl
@57, Pretty sure he finished the story, because afterward Bronn says something about having to kill the man who'd done that to him, and Tyrion says A Lannister Always Pays His Debts
62. bengi
If the TV show goes beyond the books I'm not sure if I want to continue to watch it. At least not until the books catch up.
Alan Brown
63. AlanBrown
One thing I didn't like about this episode was the use of a concertina by the musicians. I know the musicians in question are a well known band, but concertinas are a 19th century invention, and require a lot of precision machining. The presence of one in the setting of "Middle Ages" technology is an anachronism. I know Westros is not the Earth, but this definitely caught my attention.
And the instrumental tunes that followed them had a very swingy, jazzy feel. Definitely modern, and probably American, musicians playing those tunes.
That being said, I have seen and heard far more achronistic instruments and music at Renaissance Fairs.

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