A Game of Thrones Tribute to That Jerk Joffrey
[WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Sunday's Game of Thrones episode. Read at your own risk!]
Ding dong, the king is dead!
There was much rejoicing across TV-viewing land Sunday night when that little snot King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) became Game of Thrones' latest casualty in the War of Five Kings. Following his marriage to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), someone sneaked poison into his wine. And thus, a beautiful wedding day and bite of pigeon pie were forever sullied when Joffrey fell to the ground choking, twitching and bleeding from the nose.
The so-called Purple Wedding is the second nuptials to end in death after last season's Red Wedding massacre. If we lived in Westeros, we'd probably skip all wedding feasts from now on. Even the lure of an open bar couldn't tempt us!
"The last day of shooting the wedding was very bittersweet because that was the day we filmed Joffrey's death, which was incredibly sad for everyone," Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, tells TVGuide.com. "I keep saying like, 'Oh my God, it was so devastating doing it.' And people are like, 'Why?' I keep forgetting people hate him because we all love [Jack]. I love how awful and vile Joffrey is. I think its so funny. He's a total bastard in every sense of the word."
Joffrey is certainly one of the most loathed characters on the series. At the beginning of the season, 63 percent of readers who voted in a TVGuide.com poll wanted the teen king to die next. Nevertheless, we can't help but mourn. In a world where villains are often depicted with a degree of complexity and humanity, Joffrey was such a wholly depraved character with no redeeming qualities that our feelings toward him are pure. He always delivered the very best unqualified awfulness. Joffrey shall be missed.
In honor of the bloodthirsty pissant, TVGuide.com and a few of the Game of Thrones cast share their favorite things about Joffrey:
Sansa perhaps has the best reasons to hate Joffrey. When she was younger, she was besotted by his golden good looks and completely false sweetness:
But since then, he's abused her, threatened to rape her and, oh yeah, there was that time he ordered the execution of her dad ...
... and then made her look at the decapitated head on a spike...
... and made her wedding super awkward.
"There's a certain amount of relief," Turner says about Sansa's feelings about Joffrey's death. "I think she's quite happy with how it all turned out."
Aidan Gillen, who plays Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, loved Joffrey's cluelessness. "I always love the way he totally doesn't understand," he says. "Like feeding the poor. Margaery Tyrell is one of the biggest players around, and her whole angle of trying to get the people on her side and how that's going to make her -- I love his total incomprehension of that. I like his single-mindedness, and it's funny that he can't see anywhere outside of that." Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, adds that Joffrey was "blissfully unaware" of how ridiculous he was and the things he said. "In the scene where there's the statue, and the next shot it's him standing like that," says. "That really made me giggle."
It's not terribly surprising that Joffrey had little to no self-awareness. His mother had spoiled him since birth and after all, he really was just a child when he ascended the throne. "There's a great scene where they tried to send him to bed," Gillen recalls, "and then you saw him for what he really is, which is a petulant child,"
Gillen adds, "But he's a petulant child with a crown on his head and a crossbow in his hand with the power to do anything. He's constantly threatening to have his brother executed and his mother thrown in the cell. He was just too dangerous to have around really."
What also made him dangerous was his unpredictable nature. Even though everyone, including his mother, had planned to let Ned Stark live after he confessed to being a traitor, Joffrey had given the word for his beheading. "One thing you can say some people might like about him is his complete disregard for sanity," Allen says. "He's a complete maniac and he doesn't even realize it, and he kind of indulges in it." Gillen agrees, "I quite like his ruthlessness and that he totally just doesn't give a sh--."
Finn Jones, who plays Margaery's brother Loras, loved Joffrey's more subtle moments. "I like it when he has that thing in his eye and you just know that he's not happy," Jones says. "He could switch at any moment. Jack plays it so wonderfully."
John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly, actually does feel like Joffrey had moments of self-awareness. "There were times when he lets the mask slip, and he loses his poise," Bradley says. "He loses his confidence and you can see that he does feel like a puppet sometimes. He starts to get frustrated and then has to declare, 'I am the king!'"
Also, like any teenage boy, Joffrey had certain urges. Although his urges were a little twisted. "I find it so funny when I'm seeing Jack doing all the really gross perverted stuff," Turner says.
But most of all, people loved to see Joffrey punished. Although the Internet will be full of gifs and other memes glorifying his wretched death, we remember the joys of the "slap" compilations from Season 1 with the most fondness:
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