Game of Thrones continues to give the commitment-phobic plenty of reasons to avoid weddings. Fans have only just recovered from the shock and horror of last season’s Red Wedding when, in Sunday’s episode The Lion and the Rose, yet another nuptial celebration ended with a shocking twist. (Plot details to follow, obviously.)
This time around, it was the wedding of evil King Joffrey and the ambitious Margaery Tyrell that turned bloody.
But unlike the triple murder of Catelyn, Robb and Talisa Stark, which was met with a cacophony of wailing from fans, the response to Joffrey’s demise at the so-called Purple Wedding was downright euphoric.
The sense of jubilation was no doubt heightened by Joffrey’s behaviour, which was appalling right until the bitter end. After an extended and very public display of cruelty toward his uncle, fan favourite Tyrion Lannister, the monarch everyone loves to hate guzzled a goblet of wine and suddenly began to retch violently. Joffrey then keeled over, haemorrhaged and quickly expired in his mother’s arms as his bride and hundreds of others watched in horror. Warms the heart, doesn’t it? (The scene, say showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, was inspired by The Godfather.)
The death was welcomed by fans who have long been clamouring for Joffrey’s head. Chief among them was author Stephen King, who had this to say about the loathsome character: “King Joffrey: one glass of one too many. See you later, you sadistic little punk…” (King was not very sympathetic to the inevitable charges he’d “spoiled” the episode, pointing out that Joffrey’s death first occurs in A Storm of Swords, a book that came out in 2000.)
Actress Anna Kendrick shared the joy, tweeting, “Just watched Game of Thrones and now I’m in a GREAT mood. Who wants shots?!?!?”
Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner struck a more cautious, noting, “Those drinking the Passover wine tonight might think twice after last night’s Game of Thrones. #PurpleWedding#HappyPassover.”
And then there was “Tyrion Lannister,” who tweeted, “I’ve got 99 problems but a King ain’t one… #PurpleWedding.”
Not everyone on the internet was celebrating, however. Funny lady Mindy Kaling expressed concern for the boy king. “I hope nothing happens to Joffrey. I love him,” she tweeted. (Sorry, Mindy.)
On the bright side for actor Jack Gleeson, who plays the sniveling, sadistic Joffrey with such menacing panache, it’s difficult to believe that in real life, he’s a bright, sensitive and level-headed college student, it’ll mean he can go out in public without getting booed. Sounds like a win for everyone.