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[WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Lion and the Rose”]
Fans loved to hate him, but very few people in Westeros are going to miss King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), who finally met his end on Sunday’s Game of Thrones.
The boy king was among the best – if not the best — villains on television. His penchant for cruelty knew few bounds, and his obsession with crossbows and heads on pikes didn’t help matters.
Below The Hollywood Reporter counts down his most evil acts, in chronological order. For more on the Purple Wedding, read our Q&A with Game of Thrones director Alex Graves.
1. Getting the butcher’s boy killed
Season one, episode two
The then-prince catches Arya playing with her friend the butcher’s boy and quickly draws his sword on him. When Arya defends poor Mycah, Joffrey takes a few swings at her before her direwolf, Nymeria, comes to the rescue. Mycah is later murdered by The Hound, and Nymeria’s sister, Lady, is executed in her place. The boy’s death is disturbing, but come on – viewers really can’t stand it when a direwolf dies.
2. Executing Eddard Stark
Season one, episode nine
Ned was just one man, but his death was the catalyst for a great war that has cost tens of thousands of lives. Had he been allowed to take the black, as Cersei wished, the Wall would be better equipped to defend the Seven Kingdoms from the dual threat of the Wildlings and the White Walkers.
3. Making Sansa look at Eddard’s head on a pike
Season one, episode 10
Joffrey is obsessed with getting Sansa up close and personal with the heads of her dead family members. For starters, he makes Sansa look at her recently late father’s head on a pike. “After I raise my armies and kill your traitor brother, I’ll give you his head as well.” Sansa’s response? “Or maybe he’ll give me yours.” Joffrey makes Ser Meryn strike her for that, and Sansa contemplates pushing Joffrey to his death, until The Hound steps in to stop her.
4. Attempting to execute Ser Dontos
Season two, episode one
When Ser Dontos shows up to Joffrey’s nameday tourney drunk, Joffrey decides to have him executed — ordering his men to pour wine down the knight’s throat until he dies. When Joffrey gives the order, the guards act way too quickly, as if it’s something they’ve done before. Sansa stops Joffrey by suggesting he turn Dontos into a fool.
5. Ordering the deaths of King Robert’s bastards
Season two, episode one
Joffrey makes sure there will be no extra Baratheon babies around to challenge his claim, ordering the slaughter of the children King Robert fathered out of wedlock. The most heartbreaking death is the murder of prostitute Mhaegen’s newborn at one of Littlefinger’s establishments.
6. Ordering Sansa’s beating
Season two, episode four
Joffrey punishes Sansa for Robb Stark’s latest victory by humiliating her in the throne room. “Killing you would send your brother a message, but my mother insists on keeping you alive,” he says, crossbow trained on the poor girl. He orders Ser Meryn to beat Sansa, but instructs: “Leave her face. I like her pretty.” Thankfully Tyrion comes in to save the day and chastise his nephew.
7. Forcing Ros to beat Daisy
Season two, episode four
When Tyrion arranges for Ros and Daisy to pay his nephew a visit, Joffrey takes the opportunity to play a sadistic game. He forces Ros to beat Daisy with increasingly brutal instruments as he watches and points his crossbow at them. The scene is even more disturbing when consider the next act on this list.
8. Murdering Ros with a crossbow
Season three, episode six
In one of the more upsetting reveals in the show, we discover Littlefinger has sold Ros to Joffrey to do with as he pleases. In an earlier episode, Ros was so distraught over the murder of her colleague’s baby that she couldn’t work. Littlefinger promised he would make money off of her one way or the other, delivering a veiled threat that he would sell her to a wealthy patron for a sadistic purpose. He made good on his promise and made us hate Joffrey a little bit more.
9. Threatening to rape Sansa on her wedding night
Season three, episode eight
Joffrey made Sansa’s nuptials to Tyrion even more traumatic for her by threatening to rape her on her wedding night. “I suppose it doesn’t matter which Lannister puts the baby in you. Maybe I’ll pay you a visit tonight after my uncle passes out,” he tells her, promising his men will hold her down. This exchange makes it all the more satisfying when a drunk Tyrion threatens Joffrey later on: “You’ll be f—ing your own bride with a wooden cock!”
10. Planning to serve Robb’s head to Sansa
Season three, episode nine
Joffrey vows he will have Robb’s head retrieved from the Red Wedding and make Sansa eat it. He doesn’t carry out the threat – largely because of the objections of Tyrion, but it’s likely he would have. When Tyrion says Sansa is no longer Joffrey’s to torment, the boy king replies, “Everyone is mine to torment.”
Let us know in the comments which you think were the worst – and which ones we left out. And stay tuned to THR.com/GOT for complete coverage of the fallout from Joffrey’s death.
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The Fien Print
William Jackson Harper