(SPOILER ALERT: Do note read this post unless you want to know what happened during Sunday night's episode of "Game of Thrones" on HBO):
Ding-dong the king is dead!
The promotional mantra for "Game of Thrones" this season is "All Men Must Die" and on Sunday night the epic fantasy's ever-growing body count grew by one very major character -- bratty kid king Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson).
And again, a wedding proved to be the fatal setting.
Of course, folks who follow the book series written by George R.R. Martin knew this one was coming. But those only familiar with the cable show had to be shocked when Joffrey keeled over not long after tying the knot with Margaery Tyrell. He began choking and gagging. His his face turned various ghastly colors and he bled from the nose before falling victim to an apparent poisoning.
And just like that, the much-hated evil ruler was gone --the brutally violent series sticking to Martin's creed that no one is safe.
Joffrey's demise happened during his lavish wedding reception in Kings Landing as big-time dignitaries and members of the Lannister family looked on in horror. And it happened after Joffrey, not surprisingly, enjoyed one last outburst of mean-spirited abuse. For post-wedding entertainment, he arranged a perverse skit in which a group of dwarves enacted the battle of five kings in front of Tyrion and a stunned Sansa.
After Tyrion declined Joffrey's plea to join the "fun," the king began dissing the Lannister dwarf to no end, pouring wine on his head and then making Tyrion serve as his personal cupbearer.
But the wine in the golden goblet turned out to be a lethal vintage and as Joffrey died in his mother's arms, Cersei turned accusatory eyes toward Tyrion.
"He's poisoned my son! Take him!" she ordered, prompting the guards to take Tyrion into custody. Meanwhile, during all the commotion, Sansa was whisked off the premises by her newfound ally Ser Dontos.
So what did you think of the episode? Are you (TV-only) fans surprised to see Joffrey bite the dust so soon this season? Do you think Tyrion really pulled off the dirty deed? If not, who's your No. 1 suspect and why?
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