Darya's Pop Culture Talk: The King is Dead

Warning: Possible Game of Thrones spoiler alert!

Many people are aware of the demise of King Joffrey Baratheon from Games of Thrones. Maybe they’ve heard it from friends who have read the book series, or maybe they actually read the book series. Either way, a lot of people knew that Joffrey was going to bite it sooner or later. Personally, I knew that Joffrey was going to die because some friends ruined it for me last year (thanks a lot, guys), but I had no idea when or how it was going to happen (though to be fair, neither did they, because apparently the TV series has strayed quite a bit from the books since the first season).

Let me give you a little background about King Joffrey (played by the apparently extremely nice Jack Gleeson – seriously, he’s reportedly the nicest person ever, plus he’s really smart and funny and has a lot of friends that he loves to prank). In season one of Game of Thrones, Joffrey didn’t seem like quite so much of a punk you wanted to shoot. He was courting Sansa, and while it was clear that he was kind of a selfish brat, he at least pretended to be a decent person sometimes, because he knew he was supposed to (also his uncle, Tyrion Lannister, slapped him around a little, which was probably the best thing that could ever happen, even before Joffrey’s true colors really started to show). He was a prince, and everyone assumed his father was the King. I say assumed, because what actually happened is that the Queen had sex with her brother, and then the two of them had three children together, but it was kept a secret from everyone. All the kids are blonde, even though the King is dark-haired (the two incestuous siblings are blonde); Ned Stark figures it out later in the season and is beheaded on Joffrey’s orders because Joffrey is a prick. Plus the King is dead at this point, and Joffrey knows that he can basically do whatever he wants.

As the seasons progress, Joffrey only gets worse, and every time he opens his mouth or does anything besides sit on his throne, you think to yourself, “Wow, he really sucks.” In fact, many critics, fans, and pop culture media sources speculate, and ask the question of whether he is the most hated TV villain ever. I’m sure there is someone worse…actually, no, I doubt there is anyone worse. Maybe if HBO hadn’t aged him up he wouldn’t be so hated (at least in the first book, he’s about 12 or 13), but they really did an excellent job of making him someone that the world could despise and not feel about it. Season three is when Joffrey is absolutely at his worst. He is engaged to Margaery Tyrell; she seems to be one of the best people in the world, only making him look worse than ever in comparison. Towards the end of the season, I found myself saying out loud (every time Joffrey said or did anything), “What a little s$&%.” I couldn’t help it, he sucks that much.

In the first episode of season four, and most of the second episode (though Joffrey doesn’t make it to the end), I found myself saying it more often than I ever remembered saying it in a single episode. It’s like they were building up to something huge by making him worse than he had ever been, which I didn’t think was possible. I hated him more than I had ever hated him (I actually really liked his character, but in a way that only a psychologist/Psych major can like him). In the second episode, he got married to Margaery Tyrell, and then they all went and celebrated with a huge feast. While at the feast, Sansa Stark is effectively mocked by Joffrey when it is reenacted how her brother Robb was killed by the Lannisters. In addition to that, Joffrey mocks and shouts at everyone, because he is just that much of a [insert better word for “jerk”]. During the feast, good old Olenna Tyrell goes and talks to Sansa, mentioning something about killing a man at a wedding, and “What sort of person would do that?” At the feast ends, Tyrion is forced to pour Joffrey wine, and then Joffrey starts to choke. I have to say, while Joffrey was choking, I was literally at the edge of my seat, practically jumping up and down, because I hoped it was finally happening. And it did, after which I silently rejoiced (it was after quiet hours).

I have been browsing the Internet since, trying to find theories about who killed Joffrey, and though I found several, my favorite is that Olenna did it. How could she not have? She talked to Sansa about killing a man at a wedding, and then Joffrey is poisoned at his wedding. Plus, Olenna is only wearing black after his death because she knows she’s supposed to. She’s not mourning him, she hated him as much as the rest of us did. I think she killed Joffrey, then paid people to get Sansa out of King’s Landing before she could be blamed and beheaded for killing the King that everyone knew she hated. Not a bad plan (not so much a bad thing to do either). What I’m wondering now is: Who are they going to say actually did it? Would someone ever actually admit to killing the King, even if he is the most hated person on the face of the earth?

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