What Happens to 'Game of Thrones'' Joffrey Baratheon in the Books? Things Could Crazy in Season 4

Welcome, friends. Now's the time for me to deliver fair warning: the Game of Thrones Season 4 **SPOILERS** are about to start shooting faster than Ygritte’s arrows, and your beautiful snow-tousled locks can’t save you like they did Jon Snow. If you’ve come here, you’re probably a Game of Thrones book reader, or maybe you’re just the kind of TV viewer who doesn’t mind a spoiler here and there and isn’t looking to be caught off guard by another Ned Stark/Robb Stark/Catelyn Stark situation in the fourth season of Game of Thrones. So, let us fill you in: according to the trailer for this Sunday’s new episode, it’s time for the royal wedding (aka, the Purple Wedding) of Margaery Tyrell to Joffrey Baratheon. Sunday's episode is titled "The Lion and The Rose" (the lion is Joffrey's family crest and the rose is Magaery's), but the wedding coming a little earlier than most fans were expecting.

And while HBO simply says "The Lion and the Rose" finds Joffrey and Margaery "hosting a breakfast," we’ve all read the books; we know the Purple Wedding is coming. If you haven’t read the books, then you’re really asking for it now… Joffrey dies at his wedding. Joffrey dies big time.

The Purple Wedding scene in the books, just like the Red Wedding, happened so fast it was quite literally UNBELIEVABLE to read. With the visual medium of TV, it’s a little easier to see what’s coming, as the mind is much more easily convinced during the Red Wedding that Catelyn Stark has truly been killed when it sees the blood come gushing from her throat. (Ha ha, dumb mind, you’re so wrong!)

There’s no question in the books that Joffrey is a psychotic little twit; but the TV show has made a few extra additions to Joffrey’s story over the past three seasons that will make his death on Sunday all the sweeter. (Did I just say that? Am I the psychotic one? Nah, Joffrey’s the effin’ worst.)

He’s old enough to be dangerous

People like Joffrey can be dangerous at any age. But like most of the other children in the Game of Thrones, he was aged up for the screen. Taking his character from 13 to 16, making him practically an adult in Westeros culture – a sniveling, immature, tiny adult – makes it seem like his elders are even less willing to call him on his crazy. In the books, 13-year-old Joffrey is still just dabbling in skinning cats alive, but on the show, he's gone full human murder, by the end of Season 1, ordering the murder of all of his father’s bastards, rather than Cersei, as it was in the books.

That Awful Business with the Prostitutes

It’s not that Joffrey is written as more ruthless in the TV show than in the books, because he’s crystal clear crazy there too — it’s that on the screen we’re able to see the sheer delight on Joffrey’s face (played masterfully by Jack Gleeson) as he ruins lives. And when that face is coupled with Joffrey holding his ever-present crossbow while forcing two prostitutes to beat each other (in the book it’s only implied that Tyrion might give him a prostitute for his name day), well, it’s too bad the "Mad King” title was already taken by the time he made it to the throne. Additionally, Ros the prostitute is a full invention of the TV show, and so is her death by crossbow at the hands of King Joffrey… just ‘cause. If viewers held any hope before that maybe Joffrey was just your average experimental sadist, Ros shot through to the bedpost was surely the final straw.

So thank goodness “someone” kills him

In A Storm of Swords, Joffrey Baratheon finally meets his demise. In the book it is unclear exactly who poisons Joffrey’s wine with the poisonous gem from Sansa’ hairnet; given his popularity, it could be just about anyone. His uncle Tyrion, who he had been drunkenly berating just moments before choking out in front of his pigeon pie, is ultimately charged with the (good) deed, but clues in the book heavily point to Olenna Tyrell as the culprit (see: hero). Given the influx in character development both she and Margaery have gotten in the show versus the books, this is likely to be more than just implied in Sunday night's episode.

Drink up, Joffrey.

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Image: HBO