Recap Roundup: Season 4, Episode 2 “The Lion and the Rose”


This is a selection of written recaps and reviews for the second episode of season 4, in which George R. R. Martin delivered sharp dialogue and a shocking conclusion that was easy to swallow for Sullied and Unsullied alike.


Sean T. Collins – Rolling Stone

If there’s a throughline for this episode…[it’s] examining what people will endure to get what they want, or simply to survive.

James Hibberd – Entertainment Weekly

So at last we got what we wanted. But as always with Game of Thrones, we didn’t get what we wanted the exact way we wanted it.

Alyssa Rosenberg – Washington Post

Cruelty is the real theme of the episode, rather than the rather more obvious lesson that you never, ever want to go to a wedding in Westeros.

Todd VanDerWerff – A.V. Club

A; Joffrey’s wedding, known to book fans as the Purple Wedding (even though George R.R. Martin never calls it that in A Storm Of Swords), is the closest thing the Song Of Ice And Fire series has to a karmic balancing of the scales by this point in its run.

Charlie Jane Anders – io9

Don’t get too excited — the huge event at the end of last night’s outing changes nothing. Because the episode goes out of its way to show that we’ve only dealt with a symptom, not the disease.

Sarah Hughes – The Guardian

Weddings are always bad news for somebody in GoT. And King Joffrey’s marriage to Maergery Tyrell was no exception, in this gripping episode scripted by George RR Martin himself.

Eric Dodds – Time

I could talk about Ramsay hunting human game or Bran demonstrating his growing gifts as a warg or Stannis Baratheon committing even more thoroughly to the Lord of Light, but in this moment, who honestly cares? At long last, the king is dead.

Myles McNutt – Cultural Leanings

The closing sequence of “The Lion and the Rose”—detailing Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding and reception—is one of the first, a carefully designed piece of theater that is all about moving pieces, each more detailed than the next.

Scott Meslow – The Week

“The Lion and the Rose” was an unusually focused episode of Game of Thrones; we check in with neither Daenerys nor Jon Snow, and see just a few characters who aren’t a part of the tumultuous Royal Wedding. But the main event is the Royal Wedding, which would be riveting even if it didn’t end with such a bang.

Matt Fowler – IGN

This episode was the great example of a source author being brought in to, all at once, replicate, rework, and re-envision their original story.

Nina Shen Rastogi – Vulture

All in all, it was a dense, elegantly woven episode that should reset a lot of storylines. So much for the end of the war. We’ll see how this plays out next wee – oh look, a pie!

Elio Garcia –

“The Lion and the Rose” is another solid episode, made memorable by its final few minutes, but really just keeping pace with what came before. This isn’t a bad thing: better to be modestly successful, on the whole, then to veer wildly from triumph to tragedy.


Erik Adams – A.V. Club

B+; One of the most hated figures in recent television history has kicked the bucket, at the end of an episode that’s a greatest-hits compilation of his cruelest deeds.

David Malitz – Washington Post

To answer the main questions that face us now — who did it, and who ascends to the Iron Throne — it’s most helpful to look back at the wedding and search for some clues.

Alan Sepinwall – Hitfix

The first half of “The Lion and the Rose” is very good, even if most of the characters who make their season 4 debuts here feel a bit like the Westeros second string. The second half, though? It’s special.

Andy Greenwald – Grantland

Though “The Lion and the Rose” will be remembered for Joffrey’s drinking problem, it ought to be reexamined for what it suggested about the type of world left in his wake.

Natalie Bochenski – Sydney Morning Herald

Eventually I’m going to come up with some more creative and literary descriptions for the emotions I’m feeling after that episode, but this deep sense of satisfaction mixed with horror and confusion and excitement and rapture and how-good-did-that-bird-pie-look-hunger can’t be expressed much beyond the exclamation OMIGOD.

Brian Juergens – The Backlot

Laura Stone – Hey, Don’t Judge Me

I needed…nine hours of sleep and a massage and someone to conk me over the head and make me unconscious for another nine hours to DEAL WITH WHAT JUST HAPPENED.

Peter Counter – Dork Shelf

This death is exactly what we need to kick off the season. Game of Thrones is notable on a macro story level for how it tells distinct arc every ten episodes. By killing off a major character immediately after we’ve made it through the woods of act one stakes setting, season four gets to have a very distinct and exciting, Joffrey-less flavour. 

Kristy Puchko – The Mary Sue

Let’s just say it at the top: King Joffrey is dead! Those who’ve read the books have no doubt been waiting for it. Those who haven’t have been praying for it. And after years of waiting, we at long last have a brutal and ugly death scene befitting a cruel, heartless, little punk of a king. 

Jeremy Egner – ArtsBeat, New York Times

But on a show like “Game of Thrones,” with its three-dimensional characters and their complicated motives, it was oddly comforting to have a guy like Joffrey around to loathe without mitigation. He was a gift to that part of your brain that just likes to be angry, and now he’s gone — undone by a mouthful of poisoned pigeon pie or wine. 

Thanks to everyone in comments for pointing me in the direction of new writers; I am your servant in all things recap. For those video fans out there, stay tuned…

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