After one king comes the other. We’ve issued a forecast for the King in the North, but what about the one on the Iron Throne? Joffrey Baratheon managed to escape the tumult of the Battle of the Blackwater by the skin of his teeth, and hid in the Red Keep right up until his grandfather rode in to claim the battle for the Throne. He survived, but that’s not to say many people wanted him to. There are only a handful of people in the whole on the Seven Kingdoms that would rather Joffrey remain on the throne, so news of Stannis’ defeat was not just disappointing for him, and his people back at Dragonstone. What do we think is in store for Joff and his court in King’s Landing now that some peace and stability has been restored to the land?
Ever since season one when he was set upon by Arya’s direwolf, and later had Ned Stark’s head lopped off, Joffrey has been the de facto most-hated character of the show, both to the audience and the people of the kingdom he has been ruling over. Yet save for getting whacked in the head by a wodge of flying dung and slapped by his mother and his uncle on numerous occasion, Joff made it through season two largely unscathed. The reason he’s survived this long however is actually due to the interesting political set-up that currently forms the ruling body of the Seven Kingdoms. Given the fact that Joffrey is still to “come of age”, the majority of his kingly powers are in the hands of his mother and regent Cersei Lannister. Any other jurisdiction lies with the Hand, which was Tyrion and is now his grandfather Tywin. So he is rarely seen outside of court, and as far as influence goes, Joffrey has very little in comparison to his peers.
Putting two and two together, I’ve got a fairly good idea of what might happen to Joff now; the balance of power is going to slowly but drastically tip in the favour of Tywin, and he’s going to be gradually lowered from his position as King. Also, he’s to marry Margaery Tyrell now, which is only going to siphon any of his remaining power through to the Lord of Highgarden. Joffrey’s seen becoming quite irate a number of times in the trailers, shouting his catchphrase of “I’m the King!”, because it’s clearly gotten to a point where he has to remind people.
All I can hope is that somebody puts a sword through him at some point and lets a man with some proper management skills oversee the kingdom.
I couldn’t help but feel Sansa was a completely lost cause for a while. Ever since she came to King’s Landing with the rest of the Stark family she has been pushed around by a number of variably unpleasant people, and near brainwashed by Joffrey and her fantasies of becoming queen. Being a traitor’s daughter, the wedding was eventually called off and now Joffrey intends to marry Margaery Tyrell.
However, by implementing the clichéd cloud-with-a-silver-lining, I’ve realised it’s not all quite as bad for Sansa as we had initially thought. Now she is free from the tyranny of Joffrey, and has become rather friendly with the Tyrell side of the new court. After spending some quality time with Margaery, she is eventually considered a sister-of-sorts to the future queen, and plans are made for Sansa to marry a Tyrell herself, though in her naiveté she thinks it to be Loras, whom she has developed “a bit of a thing for” but has completely glossed over the fact he is a sworn brother of the Kingsguard. As it happens, the heads of the house intend for her to actually marry Loras’ brother Willas, who is heir to the seat of House Tyrell; Highgarden. He is however, slightly invalided and not quite as attractive as Loras. Either way, Sansa’s future seems brighter than before; she has a new circle of actual friends, and the opportunity to marry into one of the three most powerful houses in Westeros. Hopefully she’ll cut down on the characteristic ignorance she had become quite well-known for, and we’ll start to warm to her a bit more.
By the Small Council I am referring to just Littlefinger and Varys, not Grand Maester Pycelle or any of the other remaining members. They are certainly a mysterious duo, who never ceased to interest a great many of us in the previous two seasons, and they are definitely up to something. Like so many others, they enjoying playing “the game”, but unlike everyone else are approximately ten moves ahead of where all the other “players” are. I rather get the impression they engineer a lot of the goings-on around the court of King’s Landing, and the Seven Kingdoms as a whole, for their own eventual gain. Remember that it was actually Littlefinger who orchestrated the treason and trial of Ned Stark. In more recent history it was also Baelish who arranged the merging of Houses Tyrell and Lannister through the fast approaching royal wedding, and patched up the relationship with the Starks by handing Ned’s remains over to Catelyn.
In review, a lot of what’s happened in Westeros since the end of season one can actually be traced back to some sort of scheme by Littlefinger and Varys. The latter also spent a lot of time with Tyrion in season two, confiding in him over a number of matters regarding the realm. It is with no doubt that Littlefinger and Varys share some sort of common goal, though what it is we may never know. All I can say is they will definitely have some sort of behind-the-scenes involvement in what is sure to happen in Joffrey’s court in the coming episodes…