To finally reign supreme at the Emmys, “Game of Thrones” needed to make least one big move. And boy did they deliver in last Sunday’s episode, “The Lion and the Rose,” with major shifts in the storylines. Such a shakeup could get the show out of fourth place in our predictions for Best Drama Series. (Cast your ballot in this race using our easy drag-and-drop menu at the bottom of this post.)
Warning: Serious spoilers ahead.
The King of Westeros, series villain Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), was poisoned at his own wedding. In stark contrast to the masscare at last year’s Red Wedding, which saw audiences recoil in horror, this turn of events at the Purple Wedding was met with cheers of joy. After all, Barahteon was one of the most despised characters in television history met their demise.
However, despite the victory cries from fans, I am sad to see him go.
Dumbest Move: Joffrey Baratheon loses the Game
We don’t know yet who killed the king and the fact that the suspect list is so long is a testament to his poor gameplay. He made unnecessary enemies by being totally self absorbed and over-confident to an absurd degree. However, this is what I loved about watching Joffrey: he was so wonderfully reliable at saying the absolutely most hurtful, offensive thing possible with the most energy and joy.
In this episode alone, he used his new sword to skewer a book Tyrion had just given him, he told Sansa how much he loved murdering her father and he had a dwarf re-enact her brother’s murder in front of her.
This loose cannon made the game more interesting. There was something exciting about watching such an unashamedly evil villain in action. I am going to miss Joffrey stirring the pot in King’s Landing.
With so much of this episode focused on Joffrey there were not as many other big moves.
1. Melisandre “leeches” another king
When Melisandre got Stannis to burn three leeches to usurp the three other kings, I was pretty sceptical. Then, when Robb Stark died, I chalked it up to her being lucky. Now, two episodes later, Joffrey is also dead and Melisandre has a lot to crow about.
Whether she picked people who had big targets on their back or had a hand in their deat, it’s all gone according to plan for Melisandre. I’d be worried if I were Balon Greyjoy in two episodes time.
2. Lord Varys stays away from trouble
When Tyrion is fearful that his secret relationship with former whore Shae will be exposed, Varys will not lie for him. Varys avoids exposure himself and by being upfront with Tyrion, he makes it clear he will not stab him in the back.It’s a small moment but shows why Varys is such a great game player, adept at staying on as many people’s good side as possible.
3. Tyrion Lannister sends Shae across the sea
Tyrion, realising the writing is on the wall for Shae, gets her out of where she could get both of them in trouble. He does so by telling her he never loved her. This was particularly good timing since he is now a top suspect in the murder of Joffrey and needs as few distractions as possible in the ‘Game.’
Emmy review for ‘The Lion and The Rose’:
This is a game-changing episode and is a strong contender for both writing and directing. And it bolters the show’s standings in the drama series race. Gleeson should submit himself for Guest Drama Actor.