Game of Thrones S4 E2 Recap: The King is Dead

Three “television enthusiasts,” the dynamic brother-sister duo of Marci and Rusty Buehler and Zac Hirschbeck, watch Game of Thrones each Sunday night and exchange their thoughts on the show’s happenings.

Zac: I think it’s only fitting that we open this week’s discussion by first addressing the most incredible moment in last night’s memorable episode: Theon Greyjoy’s return.

Just kidding.

Rusty called it correctly last week. King Joffrey is no more.

This show continues to top itself week after week. After an incredibly tense end to last week’s episode, which saw Arya and The Hound tag-team a killing spree, the last 15 minutes of this week’s episode had me at the edge of my couch cushion once again. Much like last week’s episode, it also made me question my own morality. After being excited to see Arya kill a man, I found myself similarly excited to see The Boy King suffer and eventually die due to what we can only assume is poison. I can only imagine that many shared my enthusiasm for Joffrey’s death and frankly it seemed inevitable. Right up until his death, Joffrey managed to find ways to alienate the characters on the show and the fans watching from home. How dare he mock the only likable Lannister!

I have several thoughts and questions running through my mind after Joffrey’s death, but the one that will undoubtedly be on the minds of every viewer: Who killed Joffrey? Sansa? Olenna Tyrell? The Lord of Light?

Marci, forgive my and Rusty’s inevitable predictions as to who killed him, but for someone who knew this was coming, did Joffrey’s death live up to your expectations?

Marci: JOFFREY WAS A HORRIBLE KING! I am so happy he’s finally dead, and yes I knew it was coming – I didn’t know when it would happen in terms of episode number, though. I’m happy they went for it so early, and even though I knew it was coming, I was also on the edge of my seat for the entire wedding sequence, waiting and wondering if they would off him right then, or wait until episode 3. I’m quite glad they chose to kill him sooner rather than later. (And good prediction Rusty). In terms of living up to my expectations – YES YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES! But let’s be honest – I think any way Joff died would have been okay in my book.

I think I know who killed him, but I am not entirely sure if the book told me, or I am merely making up who I THINK slipped the poison into the king’s cup. Either way, I won’t make my “prediction” here, since it might be less of a prediction and more of a spoiler!

But enough about the newly deceased Boy King – let’s talk about Theon. Poor dude is nothing but a shivering, quivering, submissive now. He should audition for Anastasia’s role in the new 50 Shades of Grey movies. I think the Bastard that flayed him is soooo creepy. But what else do you expect from a Bolton? These are some sickos – they were the ones behind the Red Wedding, after all. I’m interested to see where this storyline goes – will they catch up with Bran & Company?

I love the Bronn / Jamie matching as trainer / trainee. Then again, I love pretty much everything Bronn does – he is hilarious and brings a certain levity to King’s Landing that we don’t see very often.

What do you guys think will happen to Tyrion, after being pointed out by Joff as the one who poisoned him? This episode made me really feel for the imp, and I loved that even Sansa, who has great disdain for him, helped him pick up the goblet when Joff was being a jerk and kicking it around. The best way to unite two people? Give them a common enemy.

But now that Joffrey’s dead, who will we all love to hate??! My money’s on the Bolton’s. They are real jerks, I’ll tell you what.

But my real favorite part of the episode? BRIENNE OF TARTH!! Awkward as usual.

Rusty: Poor Brienne! She just want to be one of the boys, but now has these pesky feelings for Jamie! I enjoyed Jamie’s scene with Loras. Seems that the twincest is fairly well-known in Westeros.

I loved this episode as well. While I definitely was waiting for a big reveal at the end of the episode, I felt myself even more on the edge when Theon was shaving that creep!  What a way to open the episode, too. The long shot made the initial action benign, but ultimately revealed its sick purpose soon enough. If people weren’t satisfied by the way Joffrey died, hopefully this bastard weirdo will be torn apart by a million shadow babies.

SECOND PREDICTION: Theon won’t make it out of season 4 alive. Jury’s out on whether it’s from doing something productive during his last days, or if he still stays true to his farm boy murdering ways.

I think Grandma Tyrell is behind the poison. Loved her scene with Tywin, in which they were basically the two old muppets in the balcony loudly commentating on the action.

So, Bran now knows where to go which is… North? Who’s the mysterious voice at the other end of Bran’s trippy FaceTime call?  That story needs to get relevant fast, because we already have Daenarys’ arc, which is completely separate from the rest of the action. I don’t want a Season-long Bran side quest.

I also 100% approved of Margaery’s necklace choice. Simple, refined, elegant. Marci, I hope you were runner-up!

Marci: 

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Zac: Poor Brienne and poor Theon. Brienne was thoroughly likable the moment she came into the series kicking the crap out of men in what was basically mud wrestling with swords. It seems she stumbled into Cersei’s miserable path at precisely the wrong moment. Hopefully her hots for Jaime don’t jeopardize her long-term future at King’s Landing. Theon on the other hand wasn’t nearly as likable. After becoming power-hungry and abandoning his adoptive brothers, Theon’s life journey has taken him to an awful place. While he didn’t appear to possess many redeeming traits throughout the first couple seasons, no one deserves the misery that’s been inflicted upon him. For his sake, I hope you’re right with your death prediction Rusty. Hopefully on his way out of the world he takes a few Bolton’s with him.

As I write this I’m re-watching the end of last night’s episode. I think the people that are in play are Tyrion, Sansa, Nana Tyrell, and Prince Oberyn. I’d rule Tyrion out pretty quickly despite the fact he’s being blamed. I’d rule Sansa out despite her being whisked away promptly following Joffrey’s fit. While I did think Sansa was on the verge of snapping and killing Joffrey after the “entertainment,” I don’t think she has the means or resources to hatch such an incredible plan. That leaves the Tyrell matriarch and Oberyn. Out of the two, I’d agree with you Rusty. I think Oberyn’s true issues lie with Tywin and not Joffrey. Tyrell on the other hand seems to be the female version of Tywin. If she has indeed masterminded this assassination, I’m eager to see how she plans to take advantage of the current vacancy of the throne. With the wedding vows completed, will Margaery rule as Queen? If so, can you imagine the necklaces she will wear?

I liked Bran having something remotely interesting to contribute. His visions of the past and future set him up to be an entertaining character moving forward. I loved his vision of the Dragon flying over what appeared to be King’s Landing. That image made up for a lack of Khaleesi.

What did you guys think of Stannis’ return? What’s his long term role moving forward? He’s kind of a bummer right now.

Rusty: TIDBIT I READ: they recast Joffrey’s younger brother this season because he’s next in line for the throne. But, he’s so tiny that he probably couldn’t even pick up that Baratheon steel sword!  I feel bad for Margaery as well, because she was playing the long game. But, there can be only one Princess Diana, and she lived over here with us, MMMMKAY?!

I didn’t think much of Stannis’ return. I’m more concerned for his daughter! Also, I don’t recall his wife being a religious zealot, so I guess that changed from last season?

Marci: Nice tidbit, guess we’ll see what happens with the littlest Lannister (His name is Tommen, if anyone is keeping track of these things).

Stannis has never been one of my favorite characters, but Rusty, I’m pretty sure his wife has always been a crazy religious zealot (hence how she made the smoke monster kill Renly, etc)… BITCH BE CRAY.

I wish I could make predictions, and thankfully I think I’m almost at the point where I will be able to do so without accidentally ruining upcoming plot points.

I do, however, want to throw out a little power rankings of Westeros, as I see it after these two episodes. Please feel free to comment, and/or edit this list.

1. Daenerys – She’s got her dragons, she’s got a really huge army, and she’s just biding her time. I think the fact that she is staying so far away from all the hoopla in King’s Landing puts her in a pretty good position. She will keep getting more resources, without all the bullshit around her that may get her killed as she rises to power. Plus, the whole having 3 huge dragons at her disposal makes it seems almost unfair.

2. TywinSure, he just lost his grandson, but it’s hard for me to believe that Tywin doesn’t have a contingency plan for this. He still has a rightful heir to the throne (Tommen), plus Cersei/Jamie to do his bidding (or be used as bargaining chips, which seems more likely). Tyrion may be in hot water, but that’s the least of Tywin’s concerns. If anything, he may see that as a blessing. Interested to see how the Lannister storyline unfolds.

3. The Bolton’s They are really creepy, they are ruthless and they are cunning. And if we’ve learned anything from the systematic killing of the noble, loyal, trustworthy Stark family throughout the years, it’s that being a horrible sleezeball will get you places in the Game of Thrones. I’m actually quite terrified to see what happens next.

4. Prince OberynDude is a badass and I see big things coming his way. He’s also a lot of fun to watch, so the more of him we see, the better.

5. Bran & Jon SnowI don’t know why (and I promise I haven’t read anything in the books to this point), but I think Bran will eventually meet up with Jon Snow at the wall, and they will leave in tandem to do some avenging of deaths, etc. It would be even more awesome if they met up with Arya along the way, although I’m not sure this will happen at all. Also, I feel like even putting any of the Stark children on my power rankings is a weak hope for the future, kind of like placing a bet for the Bills to win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season each year. Guess we’ll just see how it all shakes out.

Zac: I have to agree with Daenerys’ position on the Power Rankings. I understand Tywin’s place as well, but he’s not nearly as secure as he once was. The Bolton’s just played a role in the desolation of the North so I understand that ranking. To use a sports term, Prince Oberyn possesses a lot of potential. Bran and Jon Snow are speculative picks at this point, but I really can’t think of anyone to replace them. Maybe the Tyrell’s? Although, we will see just how much power they will possess following Joffrey’s death.

How about a Bottom Five Power Rankings? Placing first on this list means you are the most sympathetic and unfortunately miserable aspect of the show. You also possess little to no power.

1. Theon Doesn’t get a whole lot worse than Theon, or should I say Reek.

2. Sansa The only reason she’s not number one is because she got to witness the death of her longtime tormenter Joffrey at his own wedding. Hard to think of any other bright spots within poor Sansa’s life through three seasons.

3. AryaWhole family was killed mere seconds before she returned to them. She has appeared to find happiness in the form of murdering people alongside The Hound.

4. Bran Another Stark. He’s also unable to walk. He does look poised to actually play more of a role this season. More Bran would mean more of Summer the Direwolf! I’m all for that.

5. Tyrion I struggle with this ranking simply due to the fact that he is a Lannister. However, he just sent his girlfriend away. He was demoted from Hand of the King. Now he’s accused of murdering the King. A trifecta of unlucky.

Marci: Well played, and yes Theon seems to be at the very bottom of the ranks. But as the ad campaign for this season tells us, “ALL MEN MUST DIE.” I’ll take that to mean that no one is safe. I guess we’ll have to wait until next Sunday to find out. Until then, don’t leave any of your goblets unattended.

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