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The Purple Wedding

The Purple Wedding

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I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs.
~ The Ghost of High Heart prophesied Joffrey's death on his wedding.

Joffrey Baratheon's Royal Wedding is a event with A Song of Ice and Fire and its TV adaptation Game of Thrones. It is better known as Purple Wedding, which is a fan-given nickname for it. It is the wedding between King Joffrey I Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell on the first day of the new century, 300 AC. The wedding is a lavish affair, but ends in disarray when Joffrey dies after drinking poisoned wine. Unlike the Red Wedding, this wedding is not called so in the books.

The wedding of Joffrey and Margaery has been dubbed the Purple Wedding by fans for various reasons. The poison used to kill Joffrey is smuggled to the wedding in the purple amethyst hairnet of Sansa Stark, while the wine the king drinks is described first as dark red and soon after as purple. Joffrey's face turns red and then darker as he chokes from the poison. Purple is also a color often associated with royalty.

The Murder

I want to see, kof, see you ride that, kof kof, pig, Uncle. I want... (Margaery: Your Grace?) It's, kof, the pie, noth- kof, pie. I, kof, I can't, kof, kof, kof, kof... (Margaery: HE'S CHOKING!)
~ Joffrey's final words

The murder occured in the Wedding Feast. The wedding feast takes place in the throne room in the Red Keep. Seventy-seven dishes are planned for the dinner. Hamish the Harper is the first performer, premiering "Lord Renly's Ride" and also singing "A Rose of Gold", "The Rains of Castamere", "Maiden, Mother, and Crone", "My Lady Wife". Hamish is followed by a trained bear and Pentoshi tumblers. Collio Quaynis sings "The Dance of the Dragons", a song of the Doom of Valyria, "Bessa the Barmaid", and another version of "The Rains of Castamere". The fools Moon Boy, Butterbumps, and Dontos Hollard also perform for the guests. Further entertainment comes from pyromancers, pipers, trained dogs, sword swallowers, and a juggler. Galyeon sings a song of the Battle of the Blackwater with seventy-seven verses. Dancers from the Summer Isles also perform during the wedding feast.

Tyrion is seated several seats away from the other Lannister attendees along with Sansa. Joffrey, while drunk, continually attempts to provoke his uncle, who is a dwarf. A pair of dwarf jousters enter the throne room atop a dog and a sow and proceed to mock the Starks and Joffrey's Baratheon uncles; Joffrey encourages Tyrion to join them. After Tyrion refuses and embarrasses the boy king, Joffrey empties the large royal chalice of wine over his uncle and orders him to be his cupbearer. Alaric of Eysen is scheduled to perform, but the great ceremonial pie arrives, served by 6 cooks. Ilyn Payne cuts the pie, allowing doves to fly free from it.

Purple Wedding

Joffrey Baratheon lies dead in his mother's arms after drinking wine poisoned with the strangler.

At some point during the feast, Joffrey's wine is poisoned. After deeply drinking wine from the wedding goblet, and eating several handfuls of the pie, Joffrey begins to cough, each one more violent than the last. Chaos descends upon the feast, as guests struggle to get out. The knights Garlan Tyrell, Meryn Trant, and Osmund Kettleblack run to the aid of Joffrey while the court scatters, some fleeing and others looking on. Joffrey points at Tyrion in his dying moments; Tyrion empties the remainder of the chalice on the floor. After Joffrey is confirmed dead, his mother, Cersei Lannister, orders the arrest of Tyrion and Sansa.

Aftermath

Weddings have become more perilous than battles, it would seem.
~ Stannis Baratheon, after hearing Joffrey's death.

The murder of Joffrey is revealed as a murky plot organized by the Tyrells and Petyr Baelish, but Tyrion and Sansa are falsely implicated. The poison is the Strangler, smuggled into the feast in the hair net (necklace in TV series) of an unsuspecting Sansa. The silver hair net with purple gemstones had been given to her by the fool, Dontos Hollard. Sansa escapes to the Fingers with Petyr, who has Dontos murdered by Lothor Brune's men to hide his involvement.

With the exception of his mother, Cersei, Joffrey is not particularly mourned by anyone; even his biological father, Ser Jamie Lannister, feels that Joffrey deserved his fate. Tyrion states that Joffrey would have become a worse king than the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. Ser Arys Oakheart thinks that the only good thing that could be said of Joffrey was that he was tall and strong for his age.

Even so, Joffrey's death caused fatal consequences. Tyrion is put on a farcical court trial for Joffrey's murder, prompting him to demand a trial by combat. This decision ultimately leads to the near-fatal injury of Gregor Clegane and the deaths of Prince Oberyn Martell, Shae and Tywin himself. The combat also made many Dornishmen furious and put Myrcella Baratheon's life on risk. For his part, Tyrion is freed by Jaime from imprisonment and smuggled out of Westeros after he is sentenced to death.

Trivia

  • After the Purple Wedding was presented on the TV series, many fans rejoice to the hateful Joffrey's death, though many of them felt pity for Jack Gleeson (the actor who portrayed Joffrey) had left the series with his roles over.
  • Jack Gleeson had already acknowleged the Purple Wedding after he got the role of Joffrey, so that he was not shocked when it was Joffrey's turn to die on-screen.
  • George R.R. Martin revealed that the inspiration for the Purple Wedding came from the death of Eustace IV, Count of Boulogne. King Stephen of England, Eustace's father, had usurped the crown from his cousin, the empress Maude, and they fought a long civil war. The anarchy and war would have been passed down to the second generation, as both Stephen and Maude had sons. However, Eustace had choked to death at a feast, bringing an end to the English civil war. Historians have debated whether he actually choked or was poisoned.

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