Before I say anything on the subject I have to warn you: There are HUGE spoilers ahead! If you have not seen the second episode of this season of Game of Thrones, do not read on.
In the season four episode “The Lion and the Rose” Joffrey Baratheon married Margaery Tyrell. Now, I know most of you know this, but I have to say it, just to get it out of the way. At the end of the episode, after piling abuse after abuse on his uncle Tyrion, Joffrey drops dead from poisoning.
Why did I get that out of the way? Because this is not about Joffrey’s death, it’s about how I and many, many fans, reacted to it. But most of all, it’s about what that reaction means about Jack Gleeson, the man who, until two weeks ago, portrayed Joffrey.
At just 21 years old, Jack hasn’t really done much acting. Having only ten credits to his name, and the most well known, in America, before Game of Thrones was his small role in The Dark Knight. So to Americans, Gleeson is a relative unknown.
The second Joffrey Baratheon, opened his mouth on Game of Thrones, everyone despised him. Hell, before season two, I barely watched game of thrones. After that, I only tuned in to see when Joffrey would die a horrible death. It wasn’t until about midway through season three that I started to really watch the show. What got me hooked was, of course, The Red Wedding.
But still, I was biding my time until Joffrey met his gruesome demise. And finally, in season 4 episode 2, it happened. And yes, I cheered. I cheered at the first cough and I cheered at the last. And I was outraged when his last act was to mark Tyrion as his murderer. But why did I cheer?
Because Jack Gleeson’s talent is ridiculous. Every second he’s on screen you hate him more, and that’s the exact reaction we’re supposed to have. I couldn’t picture another person as Joffrey Baratheon, I couldn’t even begin to try. Jack Gleeson was Joffrey. He was equal parts arrogant and cowardly, he was snide, just an all around ugly person. And every time he got his way, I wanted to smash the television, I wanted to kill him myself. That in itself is a testament to Gleeson’s Spot on performance. And I hate to say it, but part of me is really gonna miss seeing Joffrey’s smug face every week. But on the bright side, he’s finally gone.