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:
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.
4) Ser Barristan Selmy teaches Joffrey how to respect one’s elders
After the death of King Robert, one of Joffrey’s first moves was the dismiss Selmy from his position as head of the Kingsguard. OK, technically it was Cersei who dismissed him, but Joffrey was the one sitting next to her being a little piece of shit. Since the Kingsguard are supposed to serve for life (and Joffrey wears ‘smug’ like a Leatherface mask), this is already a huge insult.
Anyway, I’m not sure what became of Selmy after his less-than-honorable discharge, but I think he’s still kicking around Westeros somewhere. He probably still has a part to play in the overall narrative, and he must hold a grudge against the Lannisters—Joffrey and Jaime in particular. We already know Selmy’s a great warrior (despite his age), and I wouldn’t mind watching him teach that towheaded ingrate some respect for his elders.
5) Arya + Nymeria (Arya’s direwolf) = double the vengeance
Thanks to Joffrey being a pussy, Nymeria (Arya’s direwolf) was chased into exile, and her sister (Lady) was wrongly executed. With Arya headed up north lately, I have a funny feeling she might get reunited with her direwolf along the way, though I’m not sure in what capacity. Arya’s got revenge on the brain, no doubt, and direwolves know evil when they smell it; put those two alone in a room with Joffrey, and that miserable little troll wouldn’t stand a chance.
6) Jaime Lannister looks out for number one
Yeah, yeah, it’s the kid’s own damn father, but Jaime doesn’t seem particularly fond of his offspring. Maybe that part’s just me. Still, he definitely has no qualms with killing children on a whim. And with as shitty of a ruler as Joffrey’s shaping up to be, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the young king’s death would benefit the remaining relatives. I know the Lannister family is big on loyalty and debt payments and whatnot, but what would happen if the Starks offered them Jaime’s life in exchange for Joffrey’s? Or if Joffrey went insane with power (as he’s pretty much in the middle of doing) and Jaime was somehow the one who had to put him down? He’s the Kingslayer, after all, and that would make for some pretty good poetry…