Game Of Thrones: Who Killed King Joffrey Baratheon?
Game of Thrones’ fourth season premiere ended with the death of Joffrey Baratheon, the villainous boy king who ruled from the Iron Throne in King’s Landing for only a short – but bloody – time.
Who Killed Joffrey?
There’s no question that Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) is dead, as he struggled futilely to take in air after washing down a bite of wedding pie with wine. But it’s not known who killed him. While Joffrey appeared to finger his uncle Tyrion before he took his last dying breath, the number of people in King’s Landing for his wedding – The Purple Wedding – to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) that could have wanted him dead is high.
It seems more than likely that Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) did not poison his nephew. Over the months of Joffrey’s reign, Tyrion repeatedly issued joking threats at his sister Cersie (Lena Headey) that he's end Joffrey, but the small Lannister is too smart to give away his hand so easily. Furthermore, his look of understanding once he connects the dots as Joffrey choked – the cup, the pie, and how he himself had served him the fatal dose – is telling. He knows he didn’t do it, but he knows he’s going to be held responsible for it.
Could Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) be to blame? Joffrey, as he was growing older, was getting more and more difficult for his grandfather and Hand of the King to control. If Tywin found himself unable to continue to rule the Seven Kingdoms through Joffrey, it would seem a prudent choice to get rid of him so that Tommen, the youngest son of Cersie and Robert Baratheon (read: Cersie and Jamie Lannister), could take the throne and be under his control.
In King’s Landing and seeking revenge is Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), who promised Tyrion that the Martells, like the Lannisters, pay their debts. The Red Viper holds Gregor Clegane, and by extension the Lannisters, responsible for the death of his sister many years ago. He’s in King’s Landing to exact his revenge. Known to be a practiced and efficient poisoner, could the Dornishman have killed the reigning king?
Sansa (Sophie Turner), overcome by grief at the recent loss of her brother Rob Stark and mother Catelynn, certainly has enough motivation to want Joffrey dead. Joffrey is also the reason why her father, Ned Stark, was beheaded instead of being exiled to The Wall – and, of course, he also forced her to stare upon his head on the spike. Were all her trips to the godswood not, as she told Tyrion, a place to get away from people, but where she received a poison to kill her tormentor?
Although there are many people who’d benefit from Joffrey’s death, there seems to be only one person for whom his demise is a great tragedy – his mother Cersei. And Cersei, who is more than likely to take over a larger ruling role again, will certainly do everything in her power to bring someone to justice, even if it’s not the one who actually committed the bold act of regicide.
Game of Thrones will explore who killed Joffrey, and who will pay the price for his death, when it returns next Sunday, April 20, on HBO at 9/8c.
– Chelsea Regan
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