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'Game of Thrones' kicks off a murder mystery with the Purple Wedding

April 13, 2014 at 10:02 PM ET

"Game of Thrones" etiquette update: If you live in Westeros, it is perfectly acceptable — nay, even encouraged — to tick the "decline with regret" box on a wedding RSVP card.

Etiquette went out the window at the infamous Red Wedding, where Lord Walder Frey engineered the massacre of Robb Stark, his pregnant wife, his mother Catelyn and his direwolf Grey Wind.

Image: Margaery and Joffrey
Macall B. Polay / HBO
Poor Queen Margaery is a widow once again after King Joffrey croakes during what is dubbed their Purple Wedding.

But the nuptials of King Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell were a more civilized affair. Aside from the bridegroom's customary torture-tainment, everyone was on their best behavior ... until the wine started flowing, and we realized why fans have dubbed this the Purple Wedding.

(Spoilers ahead! Read on at your own risk.)

The king is dead! Long live the king
King Joffrey is dead. Let the joyous news be spread! If King's Landing were Oz, they'd be singing "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead." We certainly are, because Cersei's evil spawn is indeed "morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably dead!"

And what a gloriously agonizing death it was, too. Someone poisoned the sadistic little monster's wedding chalice, and when he started choking, he drank even more wine. Jaime and Cersei rushed to his aid, but they were powerless to save their son as he gasped for breath, vomited and belly-flopped to the ground, convulsing in pain as blood poured from his nose and eyes.

Schadenfreude never tasted so delicious. We didn't have a chance to toast the happy couple, so let's raise a glass to Joffrey's killer, who spared the Seven Kingdoms from unimaginable horrors under his tyranny.

Usual suspects
So who is Joffrey's killer? The obvious suspect is his uncle, Tyrion. The Master of Coin had the means, motive and opportunity to commit the crime, handing Joffrey the poisoned goblet after being mercilessly ridiculed by the bridegroom throughout the wedding feast. Cersei certainly didn't need any convincing: After Joffrey, in his death throes, pointed to his uncle as the perpetrator, his hysterical mother commanded the guards to arrest her brother.

But Tyrion wasn't the only one with a motive to kill Joffrey. In fact, Cersei is probably the only one in the realm who didn't want him dead. Everyone at the wedding table had the opportunity to poison his wine. Despite what Cersei believes, Tyrion is obviously innocent — he is too shrewd to stage such a clumsy crime, and he was more astonished than anyone present.

His wife's abrupt exit — Sansa was whisked away by Ser Dantos, her secret savior — isn't going to do Tyrion any favors. But if we were in charge of the investigation, we'd be scrutinizing Margaery (now twice a widowed queen) and her protective grandmother (readers of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series certainly noticed the Queen of Thorns fussing and pawing at Sansa before the feast).

Even Joffrey's grandfather, Tywin, is a person of interest. He doesn't even love his own children — dubbed by Tyrion as "the dwarf, the cripple and the mother of madness" — and cares even less for their offspring. But Tywin would much rather be the Hand to a king named Tommen, Joffrey's younger, malleable brother who has the added benefit of not being a psychopath.

(Oh no ... does Margaery have to marry Tommen now? First a gay man, then a sadist — surely she won't be stuck with a little boy next?!)

Love notes
"War is war, but killing a man at a wedding? Horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing? As if men need more reasons to fear marriage." — Queen of Thorns consoling Sansa about Robb's death, before Joffrey's death

"She will never marry you" — Jealous Jaime to Cersei's fiancé, Loras, who snapped back, "And neither will you." (We'd pay to see either wedding — just not in person.)

"A royal wedding is not an amusement, a royal wedding is history." — Joffrey before his amusing and history-making death

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