Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 2 Recap; The Lion and the Rose

Now that is how you end an episode of TV. The second episode of Game of Thrones made it clear that the show had no plans to take the foot off the gas pedal. The episode, titled The Lion and the Rose, focused on the blessed union between King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. We also got our first glimpses of Bran’s ranging party beyond the Wall, King Stannis and his lord of light, and the complicated Bolton family.

Who the fuck’s Jon Snow – Vargo Hoat

The episode kicked off with a disturbing hunting party in the woods. Ramsay Snow, the bastard son of Roose Bolton, is hunting down a woman with the help of hounds, a huntress, and Theon (now renamed Reek). Reek being forced to watch Ramsay’s hounds rip apart the woman was a reminder of the untold misery Reek has lived through during his time in captivity.

Ramsey shrinks a bit when his father Roose arrives. He wanted to use Theon as ransom to win back Moat from the Iron Islanders. Now he’s tasked Ramsay to take the Moat himself, and to bring Reek along in case he is needed. Roose realizes his son has gone off the rails, but has no choice but to continue to use him in this battle for power.

To the proud Lannister Children, the dwarf, the cripple, and the Mother of Madness – Tyrion

Jaime and Tyrion sit down for a meal, and it is clear that Jaime isn’t happy with his current lot in life. He’s not the same man without his sword hand. Tyrion figures out a solution. He tasks Bronn to work with Jaime in secret on his sword play in hope of him regaining his former glory. Jaime and Tyrion work well together, so it will be interesting to see how their relationship develops after the actions at the end of the episode.

No one weeps for Spiders or Whores – Lord Varys

Lord Varys let’s Tyrion know that Cersei knows about his affair with Shae, the former prostitute. Tywin promised to kill the next whore he found in Tyrion’s bed. In order to save her Tyrion calls for Shae. He then shames her with words he doesn’t truly believe. It was a masterful scene by Peter Dinklage, who showed the pain and hurt in telling his lies to save Shae’s life. Bronn personally makes sure she’s on the new boat to Pentos.

While Shae is being sent away King Stannis is burning more heretics of the Lord of Light at the insistence of Melisandre. He even burns his brother in law Axel Florent, much to his wife’s glee. Later Melisandre meets with Stannis’ daughter Shireen to educate her on the lord of light. The gauntlet has been thrown down in regards to Stannis’ men. Follow the red priestess or face the consequences of being burned alive.

Another group responding to prophesy is Bran’s motley crew beyond the Wall. We find Bran once again living through the eyes of his Direwolf Summer. He’s spending more and more time in her mind. She affords him the freedom that his body won’t allow. He’s warned by the Meera twins to be careful because if he stays inside Summer too long he could forget his real life. Forget his friends, his family, even memories of Winterfell. Bran is then drawn to a godswood tree. Hodor carries him towards it, and he’s given a vision when he places his hand on the tree. Finally the group appears to know where they are headed, even if viewers are still in the dark.

With this kiss I pledge my love – Joffrey
We have a new Queen – Sansa
As if men need more reason to fear marriage – Queen of Thorns
Fine Vintage, Shame that it spilled – Tyrion
Kneel before your King – Joffrey

Of course all of this was a mere appetizer for the events that would take place at the Royal Wedding of Joffrey and Margaery. It’s an event now known as the Purple Wedding. The episode started off with what seemed to be a kinder and gentler Joffrey. He accepted Tyrion’s gift of a book with such class it made you start to rethink hating the little bastard. The new soft Joffrey didn’t last long. He was awarded the second sword made from Ned Stark’s blade, and he wasted no time slicing Tyrion’s gift to shreds.

While Joffrey is oblivious to the opinions of his people, his new Queen is not. Margaery makes a speech at the feast letting the attendees know that the leftover food from the meal will be used to feed the poorest people in King’s Landing. She’s pulling a Princess Diana of Westeros. Any sort of power grab is an affront to Cersei, and she quickly orders Maester Pycelle to make sure the food ends up in the kennels and not the poor. With Cersei it is all about power, and starving kids won’t sway her quest for eternal rule.

The wedding feast gave newly arrived Prince Oberyn another chance to push and prod at the Tywin and Cersei. He’s there to avenge is sister’s rape and murder. The conversation between them was drenched in passive aggression. It was classic Game of Thrones. Oberyn also took time to make flirty eyes towards Loras Tyrell. Could those two be the next power couple in King’s Landing?

The whole party culminated with Joffrey introducing 5 dwarfs who pretended to be the 5 Kings of Westeros. It was a clear dig at Tyrion, and classic Joffrey. The King laughed out loud at all the antics. Joffrey was so happy that the show soon had him spitting up food and drink. Tyrion tries to leave the feast with Sansa but he’s stopped by Joffrey. In another attempt to shame him the King orders Tyrion to be his cup bearer. When the King wants more wine it is Tyrion’s job to hop to.

Tyrion’s job of cup bearer ends rather quickly. King Joffrey takes a bite of pigeon pie, and follows it up with a swig of wine. Joffrey immediately begins to choke on something. Right then the fool Dontos implores Sansa to follow him if she wants to live. Millions of viewers stood up and cheered then as the spoiled brat Joffrey got what was coming to him. He dies in his mother’s arms, but not before implicating Tyrion as the man who poisoned him. The Queen calls for Tyrion to be taken into custody, and the show ends with one last glimpse of the dead King.

King Joffrey was easily the most hated character on Game of Thrones, but his death reminded me of something Richard Nixon said when he left office. “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore”. In a way the show will miss Joffrey’s petulant anger. He was one of the easiest characters to understand. Without him who will pick up the banner of villainy in Westeros? Will this bring Jaime and Cersei closer? What’s Tyrion’s fate? And where will all that leftover pigeon pie end up?

What did you think of the Purple Wedding? Let us know in the comments section.

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