Joffrey Must Die: Six Ways to Kill the King

Game of Thrones’ inaugural season left us with a lot of unanswered questions. What does it mean for Westeros now that dragons are back in the mix? What will become of the lesser Starks? How long is Robb’s whole “King in the North” thing going to last? Are the White Walkers about to make all this political discord completely irrelevant? The most important query of all, however, goes something like this:

When is that goddamn Joffrey going to goddamn die??

You might have noticed the word “when” up there; I doubt many fans are asking versions of this question that start with “should” or “if.” The collective hatred against Joffrey is actually a testament to how well Jack Gleeson nails his role as the golden-haired brat-king of HBO; nobody expected the least-likable character of the series to get his assholery rewarded with a crown (unless you read the books), and episode nine didn’t help after Sean Bean pulled a classic Sean Bean. That little stunt removed all ambiguity from Joffrey’s fate, at least for me. It was no longer a matter of “if” King Weasel Face would take a dirt nap, but “when.” Just ask Paul.

The first season stayed refreshingly true to its source material, but I haven’t read beyond the first book, and I really have no clue whether or not Joffrey bites it in the second (or, God forbid, even a subsequent season). All I know is that HE MUST DIE. So here’s my version of a fantasy most GoT fans have no doubt indulged in by now.

[Note: There are some spoilers below, but nothing beyond S2 e02. I haven’t seen e03 just yet, so don’t hold any new info against me.]

1)  Gendry puts Joffrey in his place, Return of the King-style

Though I could be wrong, I’m pretty sure all signs point to Gendry as Robert Baratheon’s last remaining bastard, meaning the crown should (technically?) be his. And he might be headed off to the Night’s Watch at the moment, but with Joffrey’s Gold Cloaks still after him, Gendry’s fate is cloudy at best. I’d definitely love the irony of Robert’s last illegitimate son murdering his first anti-legitimate (i.e., incest-born) one. Could be one hell of a face-off.

2)  Sansa destroys the Lannisters from the inside out

This is probably the most obvious choice on my list; Sansa has good reason to hate Joffrey the most. Let us count the ways he has wronged her since their betrothal:

  • He provokes an attack from Nymeria, Arya’s direwolf, while haughtily/drunkenly threatening a young boy for no particular reason. This incident results in the death of Lady (Sansa’s own direwolf), despite the fact that Sansa betrays Arya by sticking up for the little prick.
  • He maliciously takes her to see Eddard’s severed head—mounted on the castle wall for convenient viewings—while threatening the lives of her surviving family members.
  • He basically holds her captive with the constant threat of verbal, physical, or psychological abuse. And they’re not even married yet.

So yeah, not exactly fiancé-of-the-year material, and Sansa’s could be the sweetest revenge of all—if she’s smart about it. She missed her chance at the end of season one, and appears to have been put on a short leash ever since. Ideally, I’d like to see Sansa gain the trust and love of the entire Lannister clan before offing Prince Pussy Pants as they all watch. I could totally see her barking orders at the Hound while Joffrey squirms on top of a Judas Chair.

3)  The Hound (i.e., Sandor Clegane) finds a new owner

This one’s a long shot, probably, as the Hound is a) in service to the Lannisters, and b) King Joffrey’s personal bodyguard. He’s the one who killed Arya’s friend Mycah after the previously mentioned direwolf incident, and has otherwise proven his violent loyalty on numerous occasions.

But there was that moment near the end of the first season, after Joffrey takes Sansa to see Ed’s dead head. Sansa contemplates shoving the new king to his death, but the Hound subtly intervenes and offers her some surprisingly kind words after the fact. Does he empathize with Sansa’s plight? It seems that way; during Joffrey’s name day tournament, he brusquely sides with her after Joffrey threatens to drown some bumbling knight via wine-funnel.

I’d be more than a little surprised if Sandor switched sides during this season, and he makes a great henchman, but if the brute finally got fed up with Joffrey’s tomfoolery, it would be cool to see the Hound turn on its master.

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  1. Gendry actually has no claim to the throne. The only reason they killed the Bastards is they look so much like Robert and Joffrey et al. look nothing like him. Hence if Stannis got a hold of the bastards it would be more evidence that Joffrey is a Bastard.

    To clarify further, the only time Bastards can have a claim is if their Father or someone in power(Brother who is a King perhaps) legitimizes them

  2. I have read all the books and I fucking love hearing the theories that people come up with. These books have been a huge part of my life for years and it is so exciting to see how much the tv show is captivating people. George RR Martin is an epic story teller (I would put him up there with Homer).

    And even though I know what happens I wish all of these things could be true at the same time. Joffrey death pile! Woo!

  3. I only just last night realized where I recognize the HBO Joffrey from. He was the little boy in Batman Begins who tells Batman that “none of his friends believe him.”

  4. haven’t read the books… gotta say my favorite scenarios all along have been either Sansa or Arya (+ direwolf for bonus points on the kill) doing the deed. I leaned toward Arya just because i love her character, but perhaps Sansa doing the deed would be better to make her more like-able. regardless… as long as Joffrey dies (preferably slowly and painfully), I’ll be happy. He’s probably my most hated character, though in a good way, ever in a tv series (although E.B. Farnum from Deadwood is close… that little sniveling pathetic rat of a man)

  5. It’s entertaining seeing how far off your guesses are as to what might happen. At the same time it reminds me why I loved these books, most of the characters are not one dimensional and characters that you may like or hate right now you may empathize with differently as the story progresses.

    I actually read the books after watching season one and I have to say that it has made me love watching the show even more. I was worried that knowing what might happen would spoil it but instead it has given me even more appreciation for most of the characters.

  6. As much as I love any of your GoT related posts, it seems to me that you’re just asking for spoilers considering many of us have read the first five novels and know the exact answers to your ponderings. Its a dangerous path friendo!

  7. I love reading posts like this. Since I read the books, I am deprived of the chance to guess at what is going to happen. I have a buddy who didn’t read the books, and when we talk about the show all I can tell him is just wait til you see what happens.

    Basically, you can’t even imagine all the crazy stuff that is gonna go down.

  8. @Drose
    A dangerous path, indeed! Luckily, I don’t care that much about spoilers (though I try to respect others that do); I appreciate the shock value of a good plot twist or unexpected character death, but my favorite shows have plenty more to offer that keep me coming back. Plus it’s hard to write articles like this for the internet with my ears plugged and eyes closed. 😉

    I’ve only read the first book so far, and after season 2 of the show I plan on re-reading it and delving into the rest of the series. Until then, I’m giving myself free reign to speculate, baby! Bubblegum for the brain, if you will.

  9. Im pretty sure he is in another Christian bale Movie called “regin of fire” he is very young there and you only see him for a few seconds but i think ist him.

  10. very interesting theories! as one already stated, way off! read all the novels and you will be shortly surprised! oh, jamie does in fact actually love his kids by his sister. he does put his family first and foremost. and that does extend to tyrion, cersei, etc……. he does have some redeeming characteristics that will be displayed in later shows.

    how is dance with dragons? waiting for it in paperback.

  11. The truth is even better, and I read that chapter just to put a smile on my face. Ahhh, the karma.

    Also, Jaime Lannister? Not as much of an a$$hole as he appears.

    Barristan Selmy? He’s kicking around…


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