Game of Thrones Recap: Seven Theories on Who Killed Joffrey

By Alyssa Pereira

We should have seen this one coming. The ‘Game of Thrones’ crew loves the whole wedding-turned-bloodbath thing, because there’s nothing quite like the death of a major character on the most important day of his life.

Let’s be honest: not even Joffrey’s mother Cersei really liked him all that much. A ton of people wanted him dead, which means there are many suspects. Tyrion hated Joffrey, just like everyone else, but an obvious poisoning like that? Tyrion is smarter than that. If he really wanted to kill Joffrey, it would be far more satisfying a death than a cheap shot like death by wine (or wedding cake). Someone is framing the Master of the Coin.

Here we re-examine this week’s episode to get to the bottom of the case, and try to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Who killed that horrible little king spawn?

 

Who Didn’t Kill Joffrey

Let’s start with who would have gained nothing with the death of Joffrey. First off is Margaery Tyrell. The King’s new bride will no longer be queen if Joffrey is dead (since the nuptials were not consummated). That brings poor Margaery to an 0 for 2 at almost becoming Queen.

Tyrion Lannister and Jaime Lannister are also out. Tyrion is smarter than to kill Joffrey in such an obvious way, and Jaime, though he despises his unknowing son, doesn’t seem to yet grasp the magnitude of Joffrey’s evilness. Tywin Lannister is also probably out. Losing Joffrey at the crown means losing control of the crown—Tywin is perhaps the only character Joffrey is still afraid of.

 

Who Might Have Killed Joffrey

7. Let’s start with the least likely: Cersei Lannister.

(HBO)

(HBO)

Cersei has come to realize the depths of Joffrey’s aimless malevolence. However, Cersei’s motive would not have been rooted in killing her son—it would have stemmed from a deep hatred of Margaery. Margaery taking the throne (and subsequently killing Joffrey) means that the crown no longer belongs to them. Cersei would rather watch her son die than to lose the crown for the House of Lannister. Killing Margaery would be too obvious, but she would never be suspected of killing Joffrey.

6. Lady Sansa.

(HBO)

(HBO)

She hated Joffrey, and who knows? Maybe that little display making a mockery of the five King’s battle (and the deaths of most of her family members) was enough to put her over the edge. Tyrion offered her nightshade in a previous episode—maybe the Lady already knew where to find the harder stuff. She did, after all, pick up the goblet for Tyrion—could have been an easy moment to slip in a little death juice.

5. Shae.

(HBO)

(HBO)

Remember that moment where Bronn suggests to Tyrion that someone might have followed him from escorting Shae to the boat meant to take her away? What if it was Shae herself? Hell hath no fury, and Shae might be out for blood. Sure, killing Tyrion might have been worth it, but she’d probably gain more satisfaction from watching him suffer. Framing Tyrion for the murder of his nephew might seem pretty compelling to the scorned woman.

4. Dontos Hollard (or, “The Fool”).

(HBO)

(HBO)

Maybe the killing wasn’t an act of hatred at all. Maybe it was an act of love. Sansa saved Dontos’ life when Joffrey wanted to kill him on his Name Day. Dontos told Sansa he could never repay her (but with that suspicious necklace) but was immediately at her side when Joffrey started choking. Could it be possible that he would kill Joffrey to save Sansa? Or maybe he saved her to keep her away from any repercussions should she end up looking like the guilty party?

3. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish is another suspect.

(HBO)

(HBO)

Despite not really having a clear motive, Baelish is always involved in the undercurrent strategies of royalty—if something’s being stirred up politically, he already seems to know about it. He’s the master orchestrator—if something this big is happening, he must be involved somehow. Maybe his motive is future extorting purposes.

2. Olenna Tyrell.

(HBO)

(HBO)

Lady Tyrell is Margaery’s grandmother, and has a pretty clear idea of what being married to Joffrey would be like thanks to Sansa. Olenna might feel like marrying off her granddaughter to Joffrey means certain death as soon as he is done playing with her. Killing Joffrey might mean putting the House of Tyrell at risk of losing power if Margaery doesn’t become Queen, but it also means she’ll be out of harm’s way, at least for now.

1. Oberyn Martell.

(HBO)

(HBO)

If there was a contest, this guy would take gold for Lannister-hating. Remember, he told Tyrion when he first arrived, “Tell your Father I’m here, and that the Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.” Oberyn is out to make some waves. Killing Joffrey spins the kingdom into a tizzy and forces the ruling body in to a very vulnerable position. It means three things—Oberyn would get vengeance on the House of Lannister for raping and killing his sister Elia and butchering his nieces and nephews. It also gets him into position to kill The Mountain (Gregor Clegane)—the party personally responsible for Elia’s demise. Most importantly though, it exposes the Lannisters to a potential coup.

Who do you think killed Joffrey? Let us know.

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