Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 2 Review "The Lion and the Rose"

Greg Tito | 15 Apr 2014 00:00
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Finally, the feast begins, and Joffrey is a right bastard through all of it. His queen Margeary is clearly enjoying the performance of a group of musicians (played by famed Icelandic trio Sigur Ros) - as was I, they had this cool organ pipe instrument and the vocalist was wonderful - but the boy king threw money at them and told them to stop. He does that with all the amusements, even asking the crowd to throw stuff at poor Ser Dontos, the fool who gave Sansa Stark that necklace. Then Joffrey steps it up a notch, insulting everyone in the room by bringing out five dwarves to clown around in a representation of the War of the Five Kings. The dwarf with his ass hanging out, and a dummy in front of him, to act as Renly Baratheon was especially good at pissing off Loras Tyrell, Renly's lover who is also his widow's brother. And the "King in the North" dwarf getting beheaded was horrible for Sansa to witness. The pompous Joffrey giggles and snorts like a child through it all, as if this was high comedy instead of deeply insensitive.

It gets worse. Oh, it gets so much worse. The next ten minutes are some of the most awkward and excruciating to watch television I've ever experienced. Not content with the display of dwarf clowns, Joffrey makes the obvious connection and asks Tyrion to join the fake fracas. "I'm sure they have an spare costume," the king says. Tyrion, to his credit, makes a very level-headed response that still manages to call into question Joffrey's lack of bravery at the Battle of the Blackwater. It could have ended there, but Joffrey walks over and pours wine on his uncle's head. Whoops! Faux pas!

Tyrion endures insult after insult, knowing fully that any outwardly snide remark or violence would result in his death, not to mention the Lannister family being shamed by public in-fighting. Tyrion tries to defuse every new insult Joffrey throws at him. Even Margeary Tyrell helps by distracting her "love" from the torture of his uncle. Hearing her exclaim "Look the pie!" is a relief. But the boy king won't be denied. He must have his revenge for all those slappings, and Joffrey's a little too drunk to back down with any grace. Tyrion is forced to fill the king's wine cup again, even as he's trying to escape to change out of his wet clothes. The dwarf grabs the king's cup, which was in front of Olenna Tyrell, fills it, and then goes to sit down.

Joffrey drinks his fill, takes a bite of the pie while trying to come up with some other form of verbal torture when he coughs. Once, twice. He drinks again. "I'm fine, it's nothing," he says.

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