* Warning: this story contains spoilers.
Robert Smith (has read every book, watched every episode, owns several T-shirts, and possibly has a George RR Martin shrine in his bedroom):
Giving away Game Of Thrones spoilers, just because you read the books, has become one of the great social faux pas of the 21st century, but it hasn't always been easy. You have to put up with TV watchers moaning about how horrible Joffrey was, and you want to tell them it's okay, because he will get what he deserves, and when he does, it will be just as satisfying as they hoped. But even those who haven't read the books can see that things won't be getting any better, just because the evil king is dead, and they are going to get a lot worse for everybody's favourite imp, in particular. Still, it was extremely rewarding to see Joffrey receive some justice for his monstrous acts. And for those who are familiar with the books, the TV show still has a few surprises, such as the new scenes featuring Jaime and Bronn, or the fact that all this regicide is going down in only the second episode, which more than compensate for any over-familiarity with the plot.
Hayden Donnell (has memorised every word of every book and spends his evenings correcting historical inaccuracies on the Westeros Wikipedia page):
The king is dead! Long live the king? Joffrey died as he lived: Spitting poisonous bile and blaming other people for his problems. He will be mourned by crossbow manufacturers, his mother and Satan, or as crazy candle lady Melisandre calls him, the Great Other. May he spend eternity having his liver plucked out by the ghost of Lady the friendly direwolf, Ros, who we all miss very much, and former king Robert's army of dead bastard children.
Judging by my Westeros line-of-succession wall chart, it's now Joffrey's brother Tommen's turn on the Iron Throne. The good news: Tommen is generally thought of as the less sadomasochistic and sociopathic of the Lannister boys. The bad news: He's still a minor. That means drunk, uncharitable Cersei is quickly settling back into her old queen regent chair to do some ruling-by-proxy. By the look on her face at the end of episode two, she has a bone to pick with Tyrion. This leaves Roose Bolton's bastard son Ramsay and the lecherous pensioner Walder Frey in a tight battle for the title of most evil character. Step up Ramsay, the title's yours to lose!
Quick notes: That was a great surprise ending, unless you were unlucky enough to be one of author Stephen King's 371,000 followers on Twitter.
And welcome back Hodor!
Cameron McMillan (a Thrones trainspotter who can always be relied upon for up-to-date statistics and random factoids):
Who's the bad guy now? That was the first thing that came to mind as Joffrey died. Not who killed our beloved bad boy Joff (obviously Arya Stark - Motive: He's on her 'People I must kill' list. Known associate: Makes pies) or who is the new King? (Whether twincest spawn Tommen is a mini Joffrey or a mini Jamie doesn't matter, Cersei will still control him which is frightening) or whether after losing his hand Jamie Lannister may now lose his nickname. The answer was clear earlier in the episode. The new bad guy is Ramsay Snow. He gives bastards a bad name. The scene where he set his hounds to savage the young lady was another horrific one featuring the smiling castrator with serious daddy issues. Many viewers would have loved to have seen Joffrey die at the sword of Ayra or by the flames of a Daenerys' dragon but George RR Martin doesn't work like that - in his world revenge is rarely served (especially with Dornish wine). So despite Reek being a knife-edge away from killing his tormentor, don't expect Ramsay to get his comeuppance anytime soon. Because if he went who then will be the character we love to hate? Good to see Hodor though.
Sidenote: Of house heirs from season one, three are now dead (Viserys Targaryen, Robb Stark and Joffrey Baratheon) while another was castrated (Theon Greyjoy). Sucks to be an heir.
Bridget Jones (a latecomer, but only because she is incredibly impatient and prefers binge-watching. She'll look at spoilers, but will always deny it):
I've been to a some bad weddings: bridesmaids in a puddle of vodka-fueled tears; tipsy, snarky relatives hashing things out at volume; drunk best men behaving like, well, drunk best men. And they say New Zealand has a binge drinking culture?!
Perhaps "someone" should have stepped in and called "no more beersies" for Joffrey before the party mood was killed completely (pun totally intended). My money is on Sansa as Killer of the Year - or at least having a hand in things. It's pretty clear that girl was going to snap sooner or later, and maybe for poor old purple Joffrey, all that death and destruction she's been forced to endure boiled over right when he didn't expect it. Remember that necklace the fool gave her? And the handsy chat she had with Lady Olenna Tyrell? Mmmmhmmmm. This is one whodunit I'm going to avoid spoilers for.
Sidenote: Wasn't it nice to see Icelandic treasures Sigur Ros perform (sort of) at the reception. Reckon they'd play my birthday party? Also, Bronn better stick around while Tyrion is dungeon-bound. That guy is the best.
Russell Baillie (may possibly be hate-watching the show, we're not entirely sure where his allegiances lie):
So far as I can tell this is what happened: The man who would be king threw something at the woman who would be queen and narrowly missed her head while the commoners clapped...whoops, sorry, wrong game, wrong throne, wrong channel. Death by dog. Death by burning at the stake. Death by poisoning. You can't say that episode two of the fourth season lacked variety. It was a true variety show. It even had Icelandic art-rock band Sigur Ros playing the wedding of King Joffrey to Margaery Tyrell. Which might have been the greatest art-rock television cameo since the Flaming Lips played Beverly Hills 902010. But poor Sigur Ros barely made it through one dreary song before the young king threw a few coins at them (which is why payments to musicians would henceforth be known as "royalties") and told them to bugger off. Earlier, young King Joffrey had carved to pieces a very big book he got as wedding gift with a new sword.
Telling bands to bugger off? Slashing books to bits? He may be a despicable character but what a critic. It may be the book thing was a little joke between the show's makers and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin: Here's what happens every week in the writer's room. Ho ho (and please hurry up with volumes six and seven will you?). Anyway, despite the earlier deaths elsewhere in the realms by dog and burning at the stake (bunch of blokes being scorched at the behest of a witch - there's faux medieval irony for you) this was the episode which did away with despicable Joffrey with a poisoned chalice at his wedding. He turned an alarming shade of purple, his face leaked a bit and then he expired leaving his munchkin uncle Tyrion as the chief suspect. It's all gone a bit Willy Wonka really.
Chris Schulz (has watched every episode, is halfway through book one, and has a not-so-secret obsession with Brienne, the Maid of Tarth):
Joffrey's dead. Yay! Also, boo. I loved him and hated him in equal measures. Has there ever been a character so nasty, vicious and desperately deserving of a torturous death in televisual history? I'm struggling to think of one. The heights of wickedness, and his arched eyebrows, were amazing. And awful. Remember the prostitute he filled with crossbow arrows out of boredom? Joffrey's blood-shot-eyed death leaves plenty of questions. Like, whodunnit? Was it Cersei, with her meddling ways, knowing smiles and dastardly asides? She certainly has the motive, with her out-of-control eldest so wayward even she was struggling to contain him. Cersei's younger son Tommen will be more easily manipulated. What about Sansa? Was there something in that meeting with Joffrey's fool Dontos and those New Zealand-made jewels? And why did Dontos rush to Sansa's side immediately after the fact? Did she slip something into his cup? Or - and this is my favourite theory - did Olenna Tyrell do it? I love the lady's no-nonsense attitude - and she seemed the most displeased by Joffrey's brazenly awkward pantomime. But the last question has to be this: why did Tyrion pick up the cup? The clueless look on his face said it all: for once, Tyrion didn't know what was going on. No doubt he'll have plenty of time to think about this while spending what appears to be the rest of the season behind bars.
* What did you think of the second episode of Game of Thrones' fourth season? Post your comments below.