Warning: Full “Game of Thrones” spoilers ahead. If you did not watch the episode, read the headline or the “Song of Ice and Fire” series, stop reading now.
In “The Lion and the Rose,” the latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” the Purple Wedding occurred and Joffrey was murdered. While Cersei accuses Tyrion of the murder the question remains; who killed Joffrey?
There are several suspects for Joffrey’s murder and at the end of “The Lion and the Rose,” Tyrion is the main suspect but there are a few other characters including Oleanna, the Red Viper, Stannis and Sansa that could be considered suspects.
The Case For: Tyrion suffered the brunt of Joffrey’s abuse in “The Lion and the Rose.” Joffrey destroyed his wdding gift, humiliated him during the War of the Five Kings skit, forced him to be a cup bearer and ultimately, Tyrion did hand Joffrey the cup of wine that killed him. Tyrion even slapped Joffrey in the first season and was at odds with his nephew when he served as the Hand. Seeing what a monster Joffrey has become, Tyrion may have decided it was best to kill the young king before he grew up to be worse than the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen.
The Case Against: While Tyrion may have detested his nephew and his cruelty, it seems unlikely he would actually kill Joffrey. Tyrion was protective of Sansa when he defended her against Joffrey’s cruelty and, despite his differences, he respects his family. In terms of which Lannister Tyrion would want to kill, Tywin would be on the top of that list followed by Cersei with Joffrey a distant third. Tyrion has always been a diplomat and murder, especially by poison, seems out of character for someone who values the power of words.
The Case For: The grandmother of Margaery Tyrell could be playing her own “Game of Thrones,” seeking to gain power for herself and for her House. In “The Lion and the Rose,” Oleanna does not hide her disgust with Joffrey’s behavior, talks to Tywin as an equal and lets it be known she paid for half the wedding and saved the Lannisters and King’s Landing. Known as the Queen of Thorns, she is definitely intelligent enough to plan Joffrey’s death. Killing Joffrey would give Oleanna and the Tyrells more power, the Lannisters would not want to push their strongest ally away which means the Tyrells could ask for anything they want.
The Case Against: While Oleanna may want to gain more power for her family, Joffrey is the perfect pawn that is easily manipulated. The Tyrells could get a lot done in the background by directing Joffrey’s anger and attention to unimportant matters. With Joffrey distract, Margaery could continue to be the people’s queen with her charitable efforts. Over time, the people will revolt against Joffrey’s cruel reign and the Tyrells are in perfect position to capitalize on such a situation.
The Case For: Stannis has the rightful claim to the Iron Throne, Joffrey is the son of Jaime and Cersei, and already killed his brother, Renly, in his bid for power. In the last season of “Game of Thrones,” after Melisandre placed leeches on Gendry’s body, Stannis named Joffrey as one of the people he wants dead.
The Case Against: Shadow assassin aside, Stannis seems preoccupied with his upcoming journey north. In “The Lion and the Rose,” we see a sacrifice to the Lord of Light but no other discussion about King’s Landing or Joffrey. Stannis may not even know the Purple Wedding is happening and is focused on heading to the Wall.
The Case For: The Red Viper wants to avenge the murder of his sister, Elia Martell, at the hands of the Mountain, Ser Gregor Clegane. That is the main reason why Oberyn is in King’s Landing and he makes that known in the season premiere and again to Tywin and Cersei in “The Lion and the Rose.” The Red Viper could be setting up for a trial by combat and the Lannisters would choose the Mountain as their champion.
The Case Against: Oberyn wants to kill the Mountain and while he hates the Lannisters, killing Joffrey would not avenge his sister’s murder. The Red Viper has been nothing if not transparent during his time in King’s Landing and there are other ways to get to the Mountain that don’t require killing Joffrey.
The Case For: Ned’s death, the terrible treatment at the hands of Joffrey, the murder of her brother sister as well as basically being a prisoner of the Lannisters in King’s Landing. Sansa, was most recently, forced to marry Tyrion Lannister and following the death of her father, brother and mother at the hands of the Lannisters, Sansa has every reason to kill Joffrey.
The Case Against: What means does Sansa have to kill Joffrey? She has no allies and I doubt she feels she can trust anyone in King’s Landing. Sansa has been a passive character and, based on the intervention by Ser Dontos, it seems like someone else orchestrated the murder and part of the plan was to free Sansa while everyone was distracted.
Based on the main suspects, the most likely to have killed Joffrey are Tyrion and Oleanna. The two “Game of Thrones” characters have enough reasons to kill Joffrey but there are plenty of reasons why Tyrion and Oleanna would decide against killing the young king.
So, who killed Joffrey? Do you think Tyrion killed his nephew or was it the Queen of Thorns? Vote below!