[SPOILERS: DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN EPISODE TWO]
As shock Game of Thrones deaths go, this is not necessarily one people will be mourning too long. Malevolent boy King Joffrey got the wedding gift he really deserved: being poisoned at his own party. But who is responsible for setting the people of King's Landing free from this psychotic despot?
Those who've read the books may think they already know but it wouldn't be the first time showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss have tweaked Geroge RR Martin's stories (according to George, Jamie Lannister shouldn't even have been at the wedding – he was still being held captive). Let's consider the suspects...
Little Sansa certainly has a motive. The poor lass was once in line to be Joffrey’s queen herself. Before he had her direwolf killed, her father beheaded and her mother, brother, sister-in-law and unborn niece or nephew brutally and horrifically murdered. She’s also been unwillingly married off to Joffrey’s uncle Tyrion, effectively held in Kings Landing against her will and physically and emotionally abused by the late king. PLUS she picked up Joffreys’ goblet and handed it back to Tyrion, so she had the opportunity.
However… she has few friends in the capital so we’re not sure where she’d get deadly poison from. And also, we’re not sure the sweet and sometimes simpering Stark has the guts.
Joffrey's uncle Tyrion was left holding the smoking gun - or rather the poisoned chalice - after apparently handing the king the drink that killed him. Joffrey's mother Cersei is convinced Tyrion did it, having him seized by the Royal Guard as episode two came to an end, and the former Hand certainly had the motive - Joffrey had been deliberately humiliating him throughout the wedding feast, using his new Valyrian steel sword to publicly dispatch Tyrion's own wedding present, pouring wine over him and making The Imp his "cup bearer".
But how could Tyrion know he'd have the chance to slip the King the poison? And would arguably the smartest man in King's Landing really put himself so obviously in the frame? Or is he daring enough to go for a potentially deadly double bluff…?
Margaery is getting a bit of a reputation. The queen-for-a-day has now been twice married to a king who then rather swiftly popped his clogs.
It’s hardly likely that she’d instigate the demise of the petulant king and end her brief reign as the Queen of Westeros, though, is it? Then again, perhaps she’s part of a bigger plan? Or maybe the idea of having to spend her wedding night with Joffrey just got too much to bear…
Yes, the dead boy is Tywin’s grandchild. But he’s a practical, pragmatic man, and Joffrey was a liability. With his eldest grandchild no more, the crown falls to his younger brother, who (we assume) is more easily influenced and much less of a monster? Cold and calculating Tywin will probably still get to be Hand of the King, so for him it’s a win-win, really.
Killing off Joffrey wouldn't really make much sense for Olenna, with the Tyrells just within reach of the power they crave. Unless she'd struck up some kind of deal with Tywin, that is. No one would enjoy the thought of their grandchild being forever trapped with Joffrey. Maybe she administered the fatal dose on the agreement that Margaery will be lined up to marry the younger and far less unpleasant Tommen once the dust has settled?
When it comes to means, Olenna very vocally admitted to paying for half of the wedding. So she'd definitely have had the chance to make sure there was poison in the pie...
Prince Oberyn Martell
We know he’s in town to seek revenge and prove that the Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts. Could he be showing Joffrey's grandfather Tywin what it feels like to lose a family member?
If he thinks Joffrey's death is going to wound Tywin emotionally he doesn't know the Lannister patriarch too well but either way any attack on House Lannister is going to royally piss him off. We don’t see Oberyn as a poisoner though. More of a blade through the wrist kinda guy.
Littlefinger has been suspiciously absent from the first two episodes of season four. Perhaps he’s struggling to contain his rage after hearing about how the Lannisters orchestrated the murder of his one true love Caitlyn Stark. And now he’s acted his revenge: killing horrid little Joffrey on his happy wedding day. Poisoning from afar seems just like Littlefinger.
Knight turned court fool Ser Dontos is definitely angry. He seemed to know what was coming when he escorted Sansa away from the scene of the crime. Plus as the disgraced, last surviving member of House Holland he’s literally got nothing to lose. And his judgement has probably been impaired by all that wine he’s been drinking. AND he's the one everyone would least suspect… which makes us suspect him.
Who do you think killed Joffrey? Let us know in the comments box below...
Game of Thrones continues on Mondays at 9:00pm on Sky Atlantic.