Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

WilliamWesterosiWallace

Tyrion's witnesses at the Purple Wedding trial - Myrish looking glasses!

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Again, though, are you talking about the bedding custom, where the bride and groom are stripped naked by the guests and carried to the bedding chamber, or are you talking about when the two are alone together in the chamber? If it's the former, there is no way either one can be drinking at this point, especially when holding a giant chalice. How are the guests supposed to get his clothes off, and how can he be drinking when they are pushing, pulling and carrying him to the chamber? If it's the latter, how on earth is Margy supposed to explain that a perfectly healthy Joff entered the chamber and then a few moments later he's dead? Is he supposed to be carrying his pie as well, so it looks like he choked on food? And how could anyone possibly blame it on Tyrion at this point?

I'm so sorry if I was unclear. Yes, I meant the part where they walk to the bedroom, getting undressed along the way. Then. I really don't see why it's so unthinkable one would drink during it. Unless I'm wrong, Edmure went to his bedding with his cup at his hand. 

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 LF never lies 100 percent. There is always just enough truth to make it believable. Tyrion thought Tysha was a whore at that point, so he did as his father bade him. We don't know what the ultimatum was, but I'm sure it was not good. For all we know, Tywin would have had her killed then and there if Tyrion did not obey. But this is beside the point. We know for a fact that Littlefinger is lying about the wine because there is no possible way he could have known that the chalice would end up exactly where it did at the one and only time it could have been poisoned. And there is no way of knowing that Joff and Tyrion's fight would involve the chalice, or that they would fight at all. And sorry, Littlefinger wants chaos to climb the rungs of power, so why is he killing Joffrey, the most powerful chaotic person in the country?

The bolded I agree with 100%. Tywin probably mind-buggered Tyrion into doing it. About LF, though:

Quote

“My lord, I... I do not understand... Joffrey gave you Harrenhal, made you Lord Paramount of the Trident... why...”
“Why should I wish him dead?” Littlefinger shrugged. “I had no motive. Besides, I am a thousand leagues away in the Vale. Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you. Remember that, Sansa, when you come to play the game.”
“What... what game?”
“The only game. The game of thrones.”

Littlefinger thrives in chaos. Actually:

Quote

I had hoped to have four or five quiet years to plant some seeds and allow some fruits to ripen, but now... it is a good thing that I thrive on chaos. What little peace and order the five kings left us will not long survive the three queens, I fear.”

Littlefinger knows that all the chaos Joffrey might cause doesn't get close to what damage the lack of a king would do. And, as Tywin dies shortly after this, the realm is left in Cersei's able hands.

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 Balon Swann is an anointed knight and a hero from the Battle of the Blackwater. His word counts just as much as the son of a major house. Garlen does not know Tyrion did not do it. All he knows is the he did not see Tyrion do it. Big difference. Yes, Garlen in Tyrion's corner would help, but it would not be near enough against witnesses who testify that they did see him do it and who overheard him plotting the deed.

About that word that counts "as much as the son of a major house":

Quote

As he left, Jaime turned to Ser Balon Swann. “Ser Balon, I have watched you tilt many a time, and fought with and against you in melees. I’m told you proved your valor a hundred times over during the Battle of the Blackwater. The Kingsguard is honored by your presence.”
“The honor’s mine, my lord.” Ser Balon sounded wary.
“There is only one question I would put to you. You served us loyally, it’s true... but Varys tells me that your brother rode with Renly and then Stannis, whilst your lord father chose not to call his banners at all and remained behind the walls of Stonehelm all through the fighting.”
“My father is an old man, my lord. Well past forty. His fighting days are done.”
“And your brother?”
“Donnel was wounded in the battle and yielded to Ser Elwood Harte. He was ransomed afterward and pledged his fealty to King Joffrey, as did many other captives.”
“So he did,” said Jaime. “Even so... Renly, Stannis, Joffrey, Tommen how did he come to omit Balon Greyjoy and Robb Stark? He might have been the first knight in the realm to swear fealty to all six kings.”
Ser Balon’s unease was plain. “Donnel erred, but he is Tommen’s man now. You have my word.”
“It’s not Ser Donnel the Constant who concerns me. It’s you.” Jaime leaned forward. “What will you do if brave Ser Donnel gives his sword to yet another usurper, and one day comes storming into the throne room? And there you stand all in white, between your king and your blood. What will you do?”

His family was divided in the WotFK. His word is, even if you count his acts, a little doubtable. Garlan's word is gold.

3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

No, this is obviously a common custom throughout Westeros by the way the guests reacted to the pie. Their wedding pie is like our wedding cake. It is a formal event within the wedding reception. It is brought in to great fanfare, all the guests rise, the bride and groom cut the pie, and a portion is served to each guest, except in this case the big pie had live birds in it so the guests were served properly cooked pies. To not eat of it would be a discourtesy to the couple, and since this is a royal wedding, note would be made of who did not eat and the "ill luck" would arrive in the form of some of disfavor from the king -- an unfavorable ruling in a land dispute perhaps, or being passed over for an appointment.

And again, you have Joffrey grab the pie, "It's ill luck not to eat the pie", shoves it into his mouth, grabs another piece, "See, it's good", eats that, a few little kofs... and this whole time Cersei says and does nothing even though she knows the pie is deadly poison? Sorry, no. She is not catatonic. She is not in denial. She is terrified of Tyrion, even in her dreams because she thinks he is crawling throughout the Red Keep waiting to kill her and Tommen too. If there is any shred of text to suggest Cersei had anything to do with Joffrey's death, please share.

Joffrey sounds just like the tipe of person who wouldn't give a flying bugger to traditions unless someone actively told him about it. One instance of His Grace's ultimate lack of touch:

Quote

As he led her below, he said, “Tell me of the feast. The queen took such pains. The singers, the jugglers, the dancing bear... did your little lord husband enjoy my jousting dwarfs?”
“Yours?”
“I had to send to Braavos for them and hide them away in a brothel until the wedding. The expense was exceeded only by the bother. It is surprisingly difficult to hide a dwarf, and Joffrey... you can lead a king to water, but with Joff one had to splash it about before he realized he could drink it. When I told him about my little surprise, His Grace said, ‘Why would I want some ugly dwarfs at my feast? I hate dwarfs.’ I had to take him by the shoulder and whisper, ‘Not as much as your uncle will.,”

Another:

Quote

Tyrion’s eyes were on fire. He dabbed at his face with the back of a sleeve and tried to blink the world back into clarity. “That was ill done, Your Grace,” he heard Ser Garlan say quietly.
“Not at all, Ser Garlan.” Tyrion dare not let this grow any uglier than it was, not here, with half the realm looking on. “Not every king would think to honor a humble subject by serving him from his own royal chalice. A pity the wine spilled.”
“It didn’t spill,” said Joffrey, too graceless to take the retreat Tyrion offered him. “And I wasn’t serving you, either.”

So, yes, I truly believe Joffrey wouldn't think of it as "ill luck". Unadvised, he'd probably say something on the lines of "Come back here, dwarf, I'm not done with you". That "ill luck" sounds too much like Cersei for my ears. And, while I don't have the quotes from Cersei's POV from AFFC, I'll start a reread probably this week, maybe next, so when I have them, I'll come back to you. But, if my memory holds, Cersei seems remarkably capable of a complete mind shutdown when it comes to the wedding, and she fears her brother because of the Valonqar thing, not because of the Joffrey murder. 

Good discussion. Thank you for the reply. I'm putting some work on the Myrish looking glasses, episode three, as we speak. I hope to make a good series out of this. It's too easy for us to look over details, and then create theories that don't stand on quotes (like Benjen=*insert Dany's party character here*). Let's keep the good spirits in the thread! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting analysis, but I come away with a very different interpretation of the same evidence (below). I do like your inclusions of Ser Garlan Tyrell's seeming impeccable character(!) but I believe that to be a misdirect. Desperately, I want one of the Tyrells to be a decent human being... but, ironically, that person may just be Margaery (or, if not, Willas), who, it may be never asked for that crown her family insists must sit upon her head (per... Petyr Baelish? "She'll keep her crown and her maidenhead, neither of which she especially wants..."), and appears to take little-to-no part in their plots and ploys(?).

 

9 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Like Makk says, Cressen did not take large gulps. Mel drank most and then Cressen had the last half-swallow that he downs in a split second. Then Mel says her bit about the fire, and Cressen cannot speak: so between ingestion and incapacitation you have maybe five seconds.

Joffrey takes chug after chug of supposedly poisoned wine while Margaery says her bit about Lord Buckler's toast -- a sentence that is about a third longer than Mel's -- and Joffrey shows no ill affects.

Pardon the aside, but...

Unfortunately, you're making a large assumption about (fatal) dosage here.

Cressen and Mel drank from a regular-sized goblet of wine (from the supper table) and Cressen, a maester, poisoned the wine himself, with a suitable dose to account for its swift action.

So, let's say that a few(?) drops of reconstituted poison from one "crystal" (size? concentration?) is fatal in one swallow (amount? concentration?) of wine (amount? concentration?) for the "Cressen"-weight "class" (Cressen, with those smaller than himself, including Joffrey(?) and Mel, since she was likely using the "magic" of his "willing blood sacrifice" for Stannis to fuel her own survival)...

It is still difficult to make a judgment about "the crystal-wedding chalice" event because of its peculiarity. We don't know what concentration of poison was crystalized in Sansa's hairnet (if it were the optimal dosage to be fatal for Joffrey's weight upon reconstitution in X-volume of wine for Y-concentration, or even if they were our "standard" Cressen-crystals) or just how much wine the optimal dosage was dissolved in, either (that is, you say it was a lot of wine--which must have been watered, if the goblet was that large, but the text makes no note of watered-wine for the wedding chalice (personally, I think it was heavy, not incredibly large in that sense; large enough for two people to share--like a "drink nite" party glass at a bar, with a few drinks in it...)).

So, if one Cressen-standard crystal was the optimal dosage for, say, a Cressen-sized goblet (Z-"swallows" of wine), with one swallow having an effective concentration of poison to be fatal within the Cressen-weight class (includes Joffrey, for ease)... just how many swallows of wine was Sansa's hairnet crystal dissolved in? That is, how dilute is the optimal dosage in this wedding chalice (of Z+-"swallows" of wine)?

Clearly it was not concentrate enough to be fatally effective with a single swallow, or even many. Was it concentrate enough to be effective after a "single goblet" (Z-"swallows") of wine was ingested? Did he have to ingest "two goblets" (2Z-"swallows") of wine to receive the fatally effective dosage, then? What if Joffrey had to drink a lot of wine to accumulate the optimal fatal dosage of the poison in his system first whereas Cressen's wine was so concentrate with poison it resulted in the seeming "immediate" effect? Were their crystals of poison the same size? Were they properly prepared in the same way (the same concentration of poison)?

We don't know enough about the crystal, the poison, the optimal dispensation for fatal effect, the amount of wine in the chalice versus the amount of wine in Cressen's goblet, or the concentration of poison in the wine in the chalice versus in the goblet to make these calls, really.

The curious thing is (in that scenario)... Margaery becomes especially suspect. We see Joffrey moving about with his wedding chalice, which they were both supposed to drink from, but do we see Margaery drinking from that goblet or are we merely told that she was after the fact (during the trial phase of the story arc)? We're told about the toasts as well--and certainly, I don't question that toasts were made at this wedding, lol, but only that the author might be tricking us into thinking Margaery drank from the chalice far more often than she actually did. If "toasts" were an excuse/code word to get Joffrey back to his seat instead of making a scene at a royal affair (a possibility, Marg was gearing up for a lifetime of running "damage control" ops in Joffrey's wake!), or if Marg deployed the poison herself after one of the toasts in question but before the pie was cut (after Joffrey dumps wine on Tyrion's head, Marg comes over saying Marbrand wanted to toast to them, which is when Tyrion is blamed for deploying the poison--his only opportunities including post-drenching and pre-pie cutting, both with a suitable "toast" mention from Margaery; deploying the poison after the Marbrand toast--after the drenching, when Tyrion first refills the chalice as cupbearer--and before the Buckler toast--when the cup is refilled for the toast/pie-cutting ceremony--is Marg's least risky time period to do it, as she can choose not to drink from the chalice again until after Joffrey has consumed the poisoned wine (although, personally, I still think that's incredibly stupid because... well, residue). Unfortunately, all of that becomes moot after a close reading of the text. We know where Marg and Joffrey were... but where was the chalice of wine?)

So...

There's someone else who becomes especially suspect (at least to me) when you go back through the scene to see when the poison is optimally deployed at this time, paying close attention to the movements of the chalice, and who drinks of the wine and when, and it's actually Ser Garlan himself!

On 04/08/2016 at 11:46 PM, WilliamWesterosiWallace said:

It was a relief when the musicians began to play. The tiny jousters led dog and sow from the hall, the guests returned to their trenchers of brawn, and Tyrion called for another cup of wine. But suddenly he felt Ser Garlan’s hand on his sleeve.

Foreshadowing what is to come. Tyrion calls for another cup of wine—but it is Ser Garlan with his hand on Tyrion's sleeve!

“My lord, beware,” the knight warned. “The king.”

Ser Garlan takes part in the murder because… "Beware: the king!"
Tyrion turned in his seat. Joffrey was almost upon him, red-faced and staggering, wine slopping over the rim of the great golden wedding chalice he carried in both hands. “Your Grace,” was all he had time to say before the king upended the chalice over his head.

Now the chalice is empty of (not-poisoned!) wine.

The wine washed down over his face in a red torrent. It drenched his hair, stung his eyes, burned in his wound, ran down his cheeks, and soaked the velvet of his new doublet. “How do you like that, Imp?” Joffrey mocked.
Tyrion’s eyes were on fire. He dabbed at his face with the back of a sleeve and tried to blink the world back into clarity. “That was ill done, Your Grace,” he heard Ser Garlan say quietly.

Ser Garlan is not amused. No doubt, he expects that Margaery's marriage will be full of "ill done" acts like this. Time for some damage control!
“Not at all, Ser Garlan.” Tyrion dare not let this grow any uglier than it was, not here, with half the realm looking on. “Not every king would think to honor a humble subject by serving him from his own royal chalice. A pity the wine spilled.”
“It didn’t spill,” said Joffrey, too graceless to take the retreat Tyrion offered him. “And I wasn’t serving you, either.”
Queen Margaery appeared suddenly at Joffrey’s elbow. “My sweet king,” the Tyrell girl entreated, “come, return to your place, there’s another singer waiting.”
“Alaric of Eysen,” said Lady Olenna Tyrell, leaning on her cane and taking no more notice of the wine-soaked dwarf than her granddaughter had done.

Look who's there! Olenna Tyrell. Most likely delivering the poison to Ser Garlan for him to deploy at his leisure.

“I do so hope he plays us ‘The Rains of Castamere.’ It has been an hour, I’ve forgotten how it goes.”

As the Lannisters should know by now, "ill done" acts come back with a vengeance.
“Ser Addam has a toast he wants to make as well,” said Margaery. “Your Grace, please.”
“I have no wine,” Joffrey declared. “How can I drink a toast if I have no wine? Uncle Imp, you can serve me. Since you won’t joust you’ll be my cupbearer.”

A toast is claimed. We see or hear none of it. However, Joffrey requires a new cup of wine just the same.
“I would be most honored.”
“It’s not meant to be an honor!” Joffrey screamed.Bend down and pick up my chalice.” Tyrion did as he was bid, but as he reached for the handle Joff kicked the chalice through his legs. “Pick it up! Are you as clumsy as you are ugly?” He had to crawl under the table to find the thing. “Good, now fill it with wine.” He claimed a flagon from a serving girl and filled the goblet three-quarters full.

Here comes the fresh cup of wine. It is not yet poisoned.

“No, on your knees, dwarf.” Kneeling, Tyrion raised up the heavy cup, wondering if he was about to get a second bath. But Joffrey took the wedding chalice one-handed, drank deep, and set it on the table. Joffrey drinks most of the fresh cup of wine (once three-quarters full, he "drinks deep" of it; it was not poisoned during this drink) and then leaves the chalice behind on the table where Tyrion, Sansa, and Ser Garlan are seated. “You can get up now, Uncle.”
His legs cramped as he tried to rise, and almost spilled him again. Tyrion had to grab hold of a chair to steady himself. Ser Garlan lent him a hand. Again, we see Ser Garlan moving Tyrion about by the arm/hand. Joffrey laughed, and Cersei as well. Then others. He could not see who, but he heard them.
“Your Grace.” Lord Tywin’s voice was impeccably correct. “They are bringing in the pie. Your sword is needed.”
“The pie?” Joffrey took his queen by the hand. “Come, my lady, it’s the pie.”
The guests stood, shouting and applauding and smashing their wine cups together as the great pie made its slow way down the length of the hall, wheeled along by a half-dozen beaming cooks. Two yards across it was, crusty and golden brown, and they could hear squeaks and thumpings coming from inside it.

Joffrey and Margaery leave the table where Tyrion, Sansa, and Ser Garlan are seated. There is no mention of Olenna Tyrell leaving at this time. Everyone is distracted by "the pie" being brought in for the pigeon pie ceremony. An optimal time for Olenna Tyrell to pass the poison to Ser Garlan for its deployment at a time when he can be certain that both requirements* are met.

*The requirements are 1. No one sees him poison the wine (during the pie distraction is best, which gives the poison crystal plenty of time to dissolve in the remainder of the wine Joffrey left on the table) and 2. Margaery cannot drink of it whilst it is poisoned! Even Tyrion is watching the pie at this time, so it is the perfect distraction.
Tyrion pulled himself back into his chair. All he needed now was for a dove to shit on him and his day would be complete. The wine had soaked through his doublet and smallclothes, and he could feel the wetness against his skin. He ought to change, but no one was permitted to leave the feast until the time came for the bedding ceremony. That was still a good twenty or thirty dishes off, he judged.
King Joffrey and his queen met the pie below the dais. As Joff drew his sword, Margaery laid a hand on his arm to restrain him. “Widow’s Wail was not meant for slicing pies.” Joffrey is below the dais with Margaery and their wedding pie, with all eyes on them. She is unable to poison his wine during this period (eliminating her from the suspect pool). Again we see a hint of what their marriage would be like, with Margaery always struggling to "restrain" Joffrey's violent impulses.
“True.” Joffrey lifted his voice. “Ser Ilyn, your sword!”
From the shadows at the back of the hall, Ser Ilyn Payne appeared. The specter at the feast, thought Tyrion as he watched the King’s justice stride forward, gaunt and grim. He had been too young to have known Ser Ilyn before he’d lost his tongue. He would have been a different man in those days, but now the silence is as much a part of him as those hollow eyes, that rusty chainmail shirt, and the greatsword on his back.
Ser Ilyn bowed before the king and queen, reached back over his shoulder, and drew forth six feet of ornate silver bright with runes. He knelt to offer the huge blade to Joffrey, hilt first; points of red fire winked from ruby eyes on the pommel, a chunk of dragonglass carved in the shape of a grinning skull. Joffrey calls for the King's Justice to give him his sword. He gets it. This is symbolic of the King's "justice" coming for him, blade in hand. Lots of death/dying imagery here, with Ser Ilyn being the Grim Reaper, offering Joffrey the "skull" from his blade. There is magic in Joffrey's murder, furthermore--the "magic" of King's Blood, the magic of old powers (runes, silver, fire, ruby eyes, dragonglass), the magic of "justice" (evokes Stannis--Mel's red ruby "eye" watching from the fire that burned her leeches--and Robb Stark--runes, dragonglass--casting Joffrey down to hell--red fires winked from ruby eyes).
Sansa stirred in her seat. “What sword is that?”
Tyrion’s eyes still stung from the wine. He blinked and looked again. Ser Ilyn’s greatsword was as long and wide as Ice, but it was too silverybright; Valyrian steel had a darkness to it, a smokiness in its soul. Sansa clutched his arm. “What has Ser Ilyn done with my father’s sword?”
I should have sent Ice back to Robb Stark, Tyrion thought.
We are reminded of the injustice Joffrey has wrought as a part of this magic of his murder, and the sullying of Ice with Ned Stark's own blood. He glanced at his father, but Lord Tywin was watching the king. This seems to be foreshadowing that Tywin will be taken by surprise (he's keeping his eye on his king, but Tyrion has an eye on him) from the results of the trial, with Tyrion at long last bringing "justice" to Tywin. Remember, Ice was "the King's Justice" for a time, until it was again profaned (first with Ned Stark's blood, then by being split and forced to become "Lannister" swords). This is a bit of a stretch, though.
Joffrey and Margaery joined hands to lift the greatsword and swung it down together in a silvery arc. Like a sickle. When the piecrust broke, the doves burst forth in a swirl of white feathers, scattering in every direction, flapping for the windows and the rafters. A roar of delight went up from the benches, and the fiddlers and pipers in the gallery began to play a sprightly tune. Joff took his bride in his arms, and whirled her around merrily. Everyone is still terribly distracted as that sickle falls for Joffrey!
A serving man placed a slice of hot pigeon pie in front of Tyrion and covered it with a spoon of lemon cream. The pigeons were well and truly cooked in this pie, but he found them no more appetizing than the white ones fluttering about the hall. Sansa was not eating either. “You’re deathly pale, my lady,” Tyrion said. “You need a breath of cool air, and I need a fresh doublet.” He stood and offered her his hand. “Come.”

Tyrion and Sansa both turn their back on the table (and Ser Garlan and the chalice) at this point! They do not see who poisoned the wine because it is happening behind their backs.

Also, the lemon cream on Tyrion's pie is symbolic of the "bitterness" they're being served, standing accused (and later convicted) of Joffrey's murder, a crime they did not commit. Thus, the pigeon pie (though "truly cooked" -- i.e., their "pigeon"/goose is cooked!) is not the least bit appetizing to either of them. This puts one in mind of both the "rotten meat" Jojen spoke of the Frey wards (Big Walder and Little Walder) being served as opposed to Bran's "rare and juicy" meat in one of his dreams of Robb's victories (with the Walders liking their serving better than Bran) and Frey Pies (with Fat Walda Frey eating two servings of each of her relatives!).
But before they could make their retreat, Joffrey was back. “Uncle, where are you going? You’re my cupbearer, remember?” No one has any time to whisper anything in Joffrey's ear. He cuts the pie below the dais with Margaery, and then comes right back. This is between Tyrion watching the pigeons fly (Joffrey cuts the pie) a plate being placed before him (a plate he never thinks to touch, nor Sansa hers!) and him offering Sansa a hand to leave. Joffrey sees Tyrion trying to leave immediately after the pie is cut. The long paragraphs make the reader feel like it could be a long passage of time, but it's actually all happening in the time it takes Joffrey to spin Margaery around, set her down, and cross the room.

In fact: Tyrion and Sansa are still by the table, because he does not need to cross the room to fetch the chalice from where Joffrey left it!
“I need to change into fresh garb, Your Grace. May I have your leave?”
“No. I like the look of you this way. Serve me my wine.”
The king’s chalice was on the table where he’d left it. Tyrion had to climb back onto his chair to reach it.

Joffrey left the chalice, with wine still in it on the table in front of Tyrion and yet out of Tyrion's arm's reach. Someone with a longer arm span is needed to deploy the poison without looking to be reaching for the chalice.

Joff yanked it from his hands and drank long and deep, his throat working as the wine ran purple down his chin.

Joffrey drinks the remainder of the wine from the chalice (from that fresh flagon of wine Tyrion poured before the pie. However, the chalice has sat--seeming-touched on the table ever since. But, was it?). Note the color of that wine, running down his chin: purple!!!

Here is where Joffrey drinks the poison! It has only recently been deployed: Joffrey left the chalice on the table to cut the pie (everyone was distracted, the best time to poison the wine, when Tyrion was looking the other direction along with everyone else!), and then Tyrion and Sansa tried to leave the hall. Someone behind them (Ser Garlan?!) dropped a crystal of poison into the chalice of wine!!!

Joffrey intercepts Tyrion and Sansa's attempts to leave the hall, and commands Tyrion serve him wine. Tyrion serves him leftover wine, not realizing it has been tampered with (very recently), and Joffrey then picks at Tyrion's slice of pigeon pie, chokes, and dies.

It happens swiftly, in fact—like Cressen's death, because there is very little wine left from his last drink of it and the goblet needs refilling anyway! Soon after drinking from this cup of wine, Joffrey starts suffocating.

Margaery has never drunk of the chalice between the Addam Marbrand "toast" claim and the Lord Buckler "toast" claim, so she runs no risk of being poisoned here. Furthermore, she is alarmed when he starts "choking" because... her brother deploys the poison and she is utterly unaware of any plot to kill Joffrey.

Most likely, someone--Olenna--passed the crystal to Garlan Tyrell and the plan was always to frame Tyrion (one of Littlefinger's requirements for taking part in the scheme, as well as their own ambition to free up Sansa for marriage to Willas). How  they intended to make the link between Tyrion and the poison remains a mystery to me, though.

“My lord,” Margaery said, “we should return to our places. Lord Buckler wants to toast us.”
“My uncle hasn’t eaten his pigeon pie.” Holding the chalice onehanded, Joff jammed his other into Tyrion’s pie. “It’s ill luck not to eat the pie,” he scolded as he filled his mouth with hot spiced pigeon. “See, it’s good.” Spitting out flakes of crust, he coughed and helped himself to another fistful.

The poison is now taking effect! There was no time lapse! He drinks from the chalice (after it sat unattended for a few moments--during the pie cutting ceremony, not very long) came back, drank, started coughing after his first bite of his uncle's pie, and then died. All in rapid succession.

“Dry, though. Needs washing down.” Joff took a swallow of wine and coughed again, more violently. He drinks more poisoned wine, thinking he's choking. “I want to see, kof, see you ride that, kof kof, pig, Uncle. I want. ..” His words broke up in a fit of coughing. He can no longer breathe. He's drunk poisoned wine, took two bites of pie, said three sentences (barely) and now he's suffocating.
Margaery looked at him with concern. “Your Grace?”
“It’s, kof, the pie, noth - kof, pie.” Joff took another drink, or tried to, but all the wine came spewing back out when another spate of coughing doubled him over. His face was turning red. He cannot swallow because his epiglottis is in use trying to inhale (you can only do one or the other unless you're an infant!). He spews his next attempt to "clear his throat" (not that drinking would have helped him if he were really choking, anyway). “I, kof, I can’t, kof kof kof kof...” The chalice slipped from his hand and dark red wine went running across the dais. He's lost blood flow to his extremities. Oh, and suddenly the wine is dark red (like blood) instead of purple (like the poison). Curious. Symbolic, I suppose...
“He’s choking,” Queen Margaery gasped.
Her grandmother moved to her side.

The Queen of Thorns appears to be close by… but not near Margaery. Who was she standing closer to, then? Ser Garlan, perhaps? Also make note that she is never said to have moved during the pie cutting ceremony. She was there the entire time, delivering the poison to her grandson!

“Help the poor boy!” the Queen of Thorns screeched, in a voice ten times her size. “Dolts! Will you all stand about gaping? Help your king!”
Ser Garlan shoved Tyrion aside and began to pound Joffrey on the back.

Lol! The first to act! Brave, clear-headed, Ser Garlan! A fine way not to be suspected of murder! Tyrion should have tried jamming a spoon down the boy's throat, or something….

Ser Osmund Kettleblack ripped open the king’s collar. A fearful high thin sound emerged from the boy’s throat, the sound of a man trying to suck a river through a reed; then it stopped, and that was more terrible still. “Turn him over!” Mace Tyrell bellowed at everyone and no one. “Turn him over, shake him by his heels!” A different voice was calling, “Water, give him some water!” The High Septon began to pray loudly. Grand Maester Pycelle shouted for someone to help him back to his chambers, to fetch his potions. Joffrey began to claw at his throat, his nails tearing bloody gouges in the flesh. Beneath the skin, the muscles stood out hard as stone. Prince Tommen was screaming and crying.
He is going to die, Tyrion realized.

Usually one of the men you want to have on your side in a crisis, Tyrion is dumbfounded and in shock when it comes to his own family. The Tyrells are hyper-active in this time frame for a group of people watching their life's work go up in flames!

He felt curiously calm, though pandemonium raged all about him. They were pounding Joff on the back again, but his face was only growing darker. Dogs were barking, children were wailing, men were shouting useless advice at each other. Half the wedding guests were on their feet, some shoving at each other for a better view, others rushing for the doors in their haste to get away.
Ser Meryn pried the king’s mouth open to jam a spoon down his throat. As he did, the boy’s eyes met Tyrion’s. He has Jaime’s eyes. Only he had never seen Jaime look so scared. The boy’s only thirteen. Joffrey was making a dry clacking noise, trying to speak. His eyes bulged white with terror, and he lifted a hand... reaching for his uncle, or pointing... Is he begging my forgiveness, or does he think I can save him? “Noooo,” Cersei wailed, “Father help him, someone help him, my son, my son...

In his moment of powerlessness, Joffrey was most likely reaching out to Tyrion for help and/or comfort.
Tyrion found himself thinking of Robb Stark. My own wedding is looking much better in hindsight. Robb Stark was murdered at a wedding because he married the wrong girl. So was Joffrey. He looked to see how Sansa was taking this, but there was so much confusion in the hall that he could not find her. Sansa has been spirited away by Dontos in the chaos, when everyone else was attempting their own flight. But his eyes fell on the wedding chalice, forgotten on the floor. He went and scooped it up. There was still a half-inch of deep purple wine in the bottom of it. Tyrion considered it a moment, then poured it on the floor. Suddenly, deep purple again. Hinting at the poison in it.
Margaery Tyrell was weeping in her grandmother’s arms as the old lady said, “Be brave, be brave.” Most of the musicians had fled, but one last flutist in the gallery was blowing a dirge. In the rear of the throne room scuffling had broken out around the doors, and the guests were trampling on each other. Ser Addam’s gold cloaks moved in to restore order. Guests were rushing headlong out into the night, some weeping, some stumbling and retching, others white with fear. It occurred to Tyrion belatedly that it might be wise to leave himself.
When he heard Cersei’s scream, he knew that it was over.
I should leave. Now. Instead he waddled toward her.
His sister sat in a puddle of wine, cradling her son’s body. Cersei sits in the puddle of wine that killed her son. The author again reinforces the connection between the "spilled" wine and the dead child in his mother's lap. Her gown was torn and stained, her face white as chalk. A thin black dog crept up beside her, sniffing at Joffrey’s corpse. “The boy is gone, Cersei,” Lord Tywin said. He put his gloved hand on his daughter’s shoulder as one of his guardsmen shooed away the dog. “Unhand him now. Let him go.” She did not hear. It took two Kingsguard to pry loose her fingers, so the body of King Joffrey Baratheon could slide limp and lifeless to the floor.
The High Septon knelt beside him. “Father Above, judge our good King Joffrey justly,” he intoned, beginning the prayer for the dead. Margaery Tyrell began to sob, and Tyrion heard her mother Lady Alerie saying, “He choked, sweetling. He choked on the pie. It was naught to do with you. He choked. We all saw.”
“He did not choke.” Cersei’s voice was sharp as Ser Ilyn’s sword. “My son was poisoned.” She looked to the white knights standing helplessly around her. “Kingsguard, do your duty.”
“My lady?” said Ser Loras Tyrell, uncertain.

"Arrest my brother," she commanded him. "He did this,

Seemingly one of the less-reliable members of the family, Loras was likely as clueless as Margaery. Imagine, though, if Cersei got it right and said "Arrest your brother, Ser Garlan Tyrell!"
“Arrest my brother,” she commanded him. “He did this, the dwarf. Him and his little wife. Curious. Did Garlan's wife have some part to play? If Cersei was ironically correct about the "brother" part of the accusation, perhaps she was also ironically right about "the little wife" part of it.

So, there you have it, how I read this passage. Ser Garlan--your potential champion!--was the one who delivered the poison. Olenna Tyrell collected it and delivered it to him (from Sansa's hairnet). However, it is entirely possible that Olenna collected and deployed the poison herself (that is, we cannot rule it out, she is close enough throughout the passage when he is poisoned, if unremarked upon). However, I think the comments we get about Ser Garlan having a hand upon Tyrion's own (that is, guiding his movements: twice seen and once unseen, so a triplicate of "guided" action) is significant to help us narrow our options down from two (Olenna, Garlan) culprits party to the conspiracy to the poisoner (Garlan Tyrell) himself.

 

I think the sad irony is... Ser Garlan really does admire Tyrion personally. However, his admiration for Tyrion was not enough to stop him from poisoning Joffrey and framing him, nor to inspire him to step up and "protect" Tyrion when he was on trial for a murder Ser Garlen knew he did not commit (having committed it himself!). I think Ser Garlan did all this to protect two damsels in distress, following "his own" code of chivalry, so to speak (in which Tyrion himself is actually classed an "enemy combatant" instead of an innocent): Margaery Tyrell (his sister, who he wanted to protect from Joffrey's violent urges) and Sansa Stark (who he wanted to protect from Tyrion Lannister, by marrying her to Willas Tyrell, who he likely believes will not only treat her better--than, say, Loras--but also will have the power to protect her from the Lannisters--unlike Tyrion himself, in his current position of powerlessness!).

That they call him "Garlan the Gallant" is interesting, but ironic, I think (like most by-names in the series: King Robert, the Demon of the Trident--where he was "the bad guy/monster" to Rhaegar's "tragic hero" despite the way he tells the story to himself ... Barristan the Bold--who stands by terrible kings instead of "boldly" confronting them, even when he should (e.g., Jaime; Sansa's beating, where there seems little doubt Barristan Selmy would have struck her on Joffrey's order, "Arys Oakheart"-style) ... Ser Jaime the Kingslayer, etc.). He may have thought he was doing a couple of damsels-in-distress a favor by murdering Joffrey and framing Tyrion, but did he really?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, WilliamWesterosiWallace said:

I'm so sorry if I was unclear. Yes, I meant the part where they walk to the bedroom, getting undressed along the way. Then. I really don't see why it's so unthinkable one would drink during it. Unless I'm wrong, Edmure went to his bedding with his cup at his hand. 

 

No, there is no mention of Edmure holding a cup during his bedding. How it one supposed to remove a shirt or a tunic from someone holding a three-foot chalice? It's impossible. And the entire group would be drenched in wine.

 

12 hours ago, WilliamWesterosiWallace said:

 

The bolded I agree with 100%. Tywin probably mind-buggered Tyrion into doing it. About LF, though:

Littlefinger thrives in chaos. Actually:

Littlefinger knows that all the chaos Joffrey might cause doesn't get close to what damage the lack of a king would do. And, as Tywin dies shortly after this, the realm is left in Cersei's able hands.

 

There is no lack of a king if Joffrey dies. Tommen becomes king and Tywin rules as Hand. LF has no way of knowing that Tywin is going to die soon. And the whole chaos/peace business is just further evidence that LF lies. So you can't trust a word he says, even when he talks about poisoning the wine.

12 hours ago, WilliamWesterosiWallace said:

About that word that counts "as much as the son of a major house":

His family was divided in the WotFK. His word is, even if you count his acts, a little doubtable. Garlan's word is gold.

 

Balon supported Joffrey from the very beginning while Garlan supported Renly before they supported Joffrey. Nobody's word is golden, especially when you have one person who says "no I didn't see it" vs. two who say they saw and heard everything. Is anyone going to believe that while all this back and forth was going on between Joffrey and Tyrion that Garlan never took his eyes off Tyrion the whole time? He just didn't see the drop. Hardly a reason to acquit when there are others who say they did.

 

12 hours ago, WilliamWesterosiWallace said:

Joffrey sounds just like the tipe of person who wouldn't give a flying bugger to traditions unless someone actively told him about it. One instance of His Grace's ultimate lack of touch:

Another:

So, yes, I truly believe Joffrey wouldn't think of it as "ill luck". Unadvised, he'd probably say something on the lines of "Come back here, dwarf, I'm not done with you". That "ill luck" sounds too much like Cersei for my ears. And, while I don't have the quotes from Cersei's POV from AFFC, I'll start a reread probably this week, maybe next, so when I have them, I'll come back to you. But, if my memory holds, Cersei seems remarkably capable of a complete mind shutdown when it comes to the wedding, and she fears her brother because of the Valonqar thing, not because of the Joffrey murder. 

Good discussion. Thank you for the reply. I'm putting some work on the Myrish looking glasses, episode three, as we speak. I hope to make a good series out of this. It's too easy for us to look over details, and then create theories that don't stand on quotes (like Benjen=*insert Dany's party character here*). Let's keep the good spirits in the thread! :D

It doesn't matter what traditions Joffrey does or does not care about. The pie ceremony is a common facet of a Westerosi wedding and it is ill luck not to eat the pie. If you're worried about theories not standing on quotes, then by all means please find some that has Cersei involved in any way with Joffrey's death, particularly something to explain why she would sit like a stump while her beloved son is eating the poison pie. Or that she has selective memory.

We could have the same discussion about a theory that has Mel poisoning Joffrey through her fires on Dragonstone, or that a bird ate the crystal and crapped it onto the pie just before Joffrey ate it, or that Tywin is actually Darth Vader and used the force to choke Joffrey from across the room. All of these things could have happened, but there is no proof, no text nor any rational reason to say they did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, TheSeason said:

snip

This is a common misperception about the dosage in the two poisonings.

First, note that Cressen drops a "flake" of a crystal into a normal size goblet that is about half full. Joffrey gets a full crystal in a chalice that was three-quarters full before he took that huge drink before the ceremony began. I would go into all kinds of speculation about how much the chalice holds vs how much was in the goblet, but it is all irrelevant. The fact is that when Cressen looks into the goblet just before he drinks, he sees normal-looking wine -- or at least does not remark that the wine is not normal-looking. But when Tyrion dumps the last of the wine onto the dais, it is "deep purple." So unless someone can come up with a plausible explanation as to how, and why, someone would put more poison into the chalice after Joffrey dropped it, then the wine he was drinking was deep purple from the start, and therefore more concentrated than Cressen's not less.

And in any event, diluting a poison like the Strangler will not delay the onset of the attack, it will only lessen it's severity. We can conclude this beyond doubt through simple reasoning. First, the Strangler is a contact poison: it hits the throat and goes to work directly. It does not enter the stomach, circulate throughout the bloodstream and then build up again in the throat. If it did, it would take minutes to work, not seconds.

So the Strangler is more like ammonia or poison ivy, not snake venom. Imagine if you drank a shot of straight ammonia. It would burn your throat immediately, and would probably kill you. If you poured the shot in a big glass of water it would still burn you instantly, just not as badly. If you put a drop of ammonia into a large glass, you probably would not feel the burn, but then the ammonia (poison) would not reconstitute itself inside your body to come back and kill you. This is simply physiologically impossible.

So this business about diluted wine is a red herring. The text clearly shows that Joffrey's wine would have been more lethal if it had actually been poisoned. But even if it wasn't, the affect on Joffrey would not have been a delayed poisoning, just a less severe one -- and perhaps even a non-fatal one.

And in a practical sense, if the Strangler can be rendered less-effective by diluting it in wine, then why on earth would LF and LO purposely give Joffrey a gift that held more wine than a normal goblet and use that to deliver the poison?

 

As for the rest, Garlan is an anointed knight who entered the thick of battle in the Blackwater and slew many foes. He is also trying his damnest to prevent Joffrey and Tyrion from fighting and has nothing but nice things to say about Tyrion, even in private conversations when no one else can hear. Are you saying that he is in fact a sniveling coward who would shame himself in the eyes of his fellow knights by resorting to a coward's weapon, a eunuch's weapon, like poison?

As well, the chalice is three feet tall and sitting far enough to the center of the table that Tyrion has to climb into his chair to reach it. It is also right in front of both Tyrion and Sansa, not to mention 200 other pairs of eyes in the room, so even Garlan would need to make a lengthy reach just to get to the rim of the chalice. Impossible? No, but think about it: your head and probably the heads of your entire family are on the line and you have to make this drop when not one single person happens to see this arm movement out of the corner of their eye. The risk is enormous, and the reward, for the Tyrells at least, is that you don't get your heir to the Iron Throne within the year, but perhaps five or six years down the road, if ever. There will be plenty of time to get rid of Joffrey later, if and when he becomes a problem and after Margy has produced one, of not multiple, heirs.

And somebody, anybody, please show me any evidence at all that Joffrey is unhappy with Margy in any way. Every time I see them together he is dancing with her, twirling her about "merrily", holding her hand, "Come, my lady." He's pleased as punch to be getting Margy and not Sansa, and Margy has given him no cause at all to be displeased with her. Maybe someday, but why kill him now, and in such a risky fashion, when you don't have to?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It occurs to me that the crystal might not dissolve so easy as to mix evenly into the wine just from being dropped in.even if it broke down, it is possible that it settled on the bottom and that's why it appeared purple in the bottom of the chalice. This settling could also be part of why half a gulp did for Cressen so quickly, as it was from the bottom of the glass. Not that the wine at the top 2 wouldn't have worked if the target were not Mel, but I just thought to speculate. 

 

The crystal does appear black after all. Whoever slipped it into the chalice didn't have a chance to stir until evenly mixed or anything like that.  With such a large chalice there's a chance it took a few gulps to get an effective bit of poison, even if it was enough to poison the whole thing.  That would make the last gulp the darkest and most dangerous. 

The crystals are described as black but I wonder if it's not just a very dark shade of another color, purple, that only be noticeable when broken down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Trogdor Targaryen said:

It occurs to me that the crystal might not dissolve so easy as to mix evenly into the wine just from being dropped in.even if it broke down, it is possible that it settled on the bottom and that's why it appeared purple in the bottom of the chalice. This settling could also be part of why half a gulp did for Cressen so quickly, as it was from the bottom of the glass. Not that the wine at the top 2 wouldn't have worked if the target were not Mel, but I just thought to speculate. 

 

The crystal does appear black after all. Whoever slipped it into the chalice didn't have a chance to stir until evenly mixed or anything like that.  With such a large chalice there's a chance it took a few gulps to get an effective bit of poison, even if it was enough to poison the whole thing.  That would make the last gulp the darkest and most dangerous. 

The crystals are described as black but I wonder if it's not just a very dark shade of another color, purple, that only be noticeable when broken down. 

Really? This most dangerous, lethal poison that is extraordinarily hard to make and nearly impossible to find doesn't disperse throughout wine in an instant but sinks to the bottom like mud so that the victim has to drain practically the entire thing to get a dose? Even Joffrey, tipping the chalice up-end and chugging wine so that the muscles can be seen working in his throat isn't enough to disperse the poison?

I can't understand why anyone would pay half a groat for something this ineffectual.

And again, if this is the way the Strangler works, why did LF and LO intentionally give Joffrey a giant cup that can only serve to prevent him from getting a lethal dose? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying it doesn't dissolve,  rather that it couldn't have been long between when it was added and when j off started drinking. It may be a poison used for mixing into stuff but it's not an effervescent, it doesn't mix itself perfectly.

Try pouring a crystal light packet into a bottle of water and drink it without shaking the bottle. I'm sure you'll taste it a little when you first sip it but look at the side and tell me it's not mostly at the bottom.

 

ETA: as I mentioned before.  If the drop had to happen quickly as to be imperceptible,  one surely wouldn't risk the time necessary to stir. Even if they took time to break it down it wouldn't evenly mix perfectly.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

It doesn't matter what traditions Joffrey does or does not care about. The pie ceremony is a common facet of a Westerosi wedding and it is ill luck not to eat the pie. If you're worried about theories not standing on quotes, then by all means please find some that has Cersei involved in any way with Joffrey's death, particularly something to explain why she would sit like a stump while her beloved son is eating the poison pie. Or that she has selective memory.

He has a point.  While, yes, Joffrey intended the comment about "ill luck" mockingly and not out of any true concern of etiquette, Joffrey doesn't seem like the type of person to notice such a thing.  Someone could have made a leading comment to Joffrey concerning the poor etiquette of not eating a wedding pie.  However, I doubt it was Cersei.  Most likely, if someone made such a leading comment, it was by Olenna.

1 hour ago, John Suburbs said:

So the Strangler is more like ammonia or poison ivy, not snake venom. Imagine if you drank a shot of straight ammonia. It would burn your throat immediately, and would probably kill you. If you poured the shot in a big glass of water it would still burn you instantly, just not as badly. If you put a drop of ammonia into a large glass, you probably would not feel the burn, but then the ammonia (poison) would not reconstitute itself inside your body to come back and kill you. This is simply physiologically impossible.

Brilliant analogy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Trogdor Targaryen said:

I'm not saying it doesn't dissolve,  rather that it couldn't have been long between when it was added and when j off started drinking. It may be a poison used for mixing into stuff but it's not an effervescent, it doesn't mix itself perfectly.

Try pouring a crystal light packet into a bottle of water and drink it without shaking the bottle. I'm sure you'll taste it a little when you first sip it but look at the side and tell me it's not mostly at the bottom.

 

ETA: as I mentioned before.  If the drop had to happen quickly as to be imperceptible,  one surely wouldn't risk the time necessary to stir. Even if they took time to break it down it wouldn't evenly mix perfectly.

 

But then it wouldn't be a very effective poison, would it? It's the most rare and deadly thing in the book, but in order for it to be effective you have to make sure your victim swirls it around in his wine for a few minutes?

And again, if this is so, why give Joff the big cup? All it can do is lessen the chance that he'll die.

Plus we have the fact that, regardless of how the poison was deployed, it sat on the table untouched for a good half a minute, then Tyrion pulls it across the table stirring it up, then Joffrey tips it end up and starts chugging the wine, but even this is not enough to diffuse the poison? If it sinks to the bottom of the cup when it's just sitting there, why doesn't it flow right into Joffrey's mouth when he tips it up? Gravity only works one way in Westeros, right?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Isobel Harper said:

He has a point.  While, yes, Joffrey intended the comment about "ill luck" mockingly and not out of any true concern of etiquette, Joffrey doesn't seem like the type of person to notice such a thing.  Someone could have made a leading comment to Joffrey concerning the poor etiquette of not eating a wedding pie.  However, I doubt it was Cersei.  Most likely, if someone made such a leading comment, it was by Olenna.

Brilliant analogy.

He's been to weddings before. He heeds other warnings about ill luck, like with Ser Dontos on his name day. No reason whatsoever for him not to know the traditions around the wedding pie.

Again, if we follow the path of all the things the could have happened, we get lost in a fog of endless "possibilities" (see above)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

He's been to weddings before. He heeds other warnings about ill luck, like with Ser Dontos on his name day. No reason whatsoever for him not to know the traditions around the wedding pie.

In this scene, Sansa and the Hound had to point it out in order for him to recognize that killing someone on his nameday would be bad luck.

9 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Again, if we follow the path of all the things the could have happened, we get lost in a fog of endless "possibilities" (see above)

You may be right.  For whatever reason Joffrey approached the pie, it has little effect in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

This is a common misperception about the dosage in the two poisonings.

Exactly what are you arguing is my misconception? I'm stating that the crystals are different.

Cressen's crystal (the "flake" is a crystal; what that means scientifically is not necessarily the same as "a crystalline-looking object," e.g. an amethyst; it is the difference between a snowflake and a diamond) is "the crystal standard" that the OP uses. That "crystal standard" is not demonstrably the same as "the wedding crystal" from Sansa's hairnet. This means, most likely, there were modifications to the recipe for "the wedding crystal" varietal in the hairnet, so that they could pass for "black amethysts." Those crystals from the hairnet were most likely specially made for the purpose they served.

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

First, note that Cressen drops a "flake" of a crystal into a normal size goblet that is about half full. Joffrey gets a full crystal in a chalice that was three-quarters full before he took that huge drink before the ceremony began. I would go into all kinds of speculation about how much the chalice holds vs how much was in the goblet, but it is all irrelevant. The fact is that when Cressen looks into the goblet just before he drinks, he sees normal-looking wine -- or at least does not remark that the wine is not normal-looking. But when Tyrion dumps the last of the wine onto the dais, it is "deep purple." So unless someone can come up with a plausible explanation as to how, and why, someone would put more poison into the chalice after Joffrey dropped it, then the wine he was drinking was deep purple from the start, and therefore more concentrated than Cressen's not less.

Who is to say this? The color of the wine in Joffrey's chalice was very dark to start with. That is why no one noticed any "color changes" when the crystal was added. If you have a glass of white wine and add in red dye, and go to drink of it, you will see the "jet" of the red in it before it becomes homogenous enough to "look a rose," no? And even then, you will be scratching your head, thinking you picked up the wrong glass! Joffrey's wine did not go from light to dark with the addition of the poison. It started out dark enough that no color change was visible to the naked eye once the poison was added. [A pinot noir, maybe? A blackberry wine?]

Nevertheless, you cannot use hypothetical color changes to determine the concentration of solution A in solution B. The math matters. You cannot look at a drop of red dye in white wine and say, "Well, eyeballing it, I'd say it's about a five percent solution."

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

And in any event, diluting a poison like the Strangler will not delay the onset of the attack, it will only lessen it's severity.

I said nothing of delaying the onset of any signs or symptoms of poisoning. I said, in the OP's scenario, we do not know just how much poison he ingested so as to determine when he should die from receiving the fatal dose. We do not know this because we do not have the information to know this.

Even so, plenty of people are poisoned over long periods of time (even showing signs of poisoning) and do not know it or seek treatment until it is pointed out to them (say, by a doctor). This is not the case for Joffrey. He ingested a fatal dose of poison and then died within the hour (within minutes, it appears).

I suppose it's like... yes, there's cyanide in a peach pit, but you can still eat that thing if you want. It's bitter, but some folks like them.

7 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

First, the Strangler is a contact poison: it hits the throat and goes to work directly. It does not enter the stomach, circulate throughout the bloodstream and then build up again in the throat. If it did, it would take minutes to work, not seconds.

What makes you think the Strangler is a contact poison? The only evidence I see suggests that it is an ingested poison.

1. Cressen and Joffrey must first swallow the wine before they die of fatal dosaging. They do not notice any "immediate" effects such as your "ammonia" analogy implies. Contact has no effect. The poison is apparently tasteless and odorless as well (or can be sufficiently masked by wine) because Joffrey and Mel (although she may have drunk anyway for her own reasons, Joffrey has no such reason to drink wine that smells, tastes, or looks funny to him) both drink it and do not spit it out. In fact, Joffrey drinks more, and still notices no ill effects.

2. Littlefinger/Cressen/Dontos/Sansa/Olenna/the poisoner make no attempt to properly handle this poison if so. Littlefinger--who we learn later (via the Sweetsleep in the Vale)--is knowledgable enough about poison that he should be able to

2.A. Devise a plan that minimizes contact with the poisonous substance. That is--no hairnet! And they shouldn't make bare-handed contact either (if only because people have a tendency to touch their faces with "dirty" hands all the time; getting poison in the eye is always a miserable experience...).

2.B. Properly advise Dontos, Sansa, Olenna Tyrell, and the poisoner (Ser Garlan, or your favorite "whodunnit") as to how to transport and handle the poison. That is--no hairnet! Sansa cannot wear a contact poison on her head for hours (at least fourty-seven of the seventy-seven course menu was served by this time, according to Tyrion) with no ill-effect whereas Joffrey can die within minutes (or seconds, as you claim) after merely swirling the wine around in his mouth (since you claim he really need not swallow).

3. The poison does take a moment to work. Joffrey gulps down wine, berates his uncle, steals and eats a few bites of his pigeon pie. In all that time, he "coughs" a few times, but still attempts to speak and drink and even eat. He doesn't notice that something is well and truly wrong until he's doubled over, struggling to breathe (many heartbeats later). That's when he becomes alarmed (as well as everyone else) and people start rushing to his aid.

4. The use of wine alone indicates the poison must be ingested, or else why not simply poison him by contact (e.g., rub the substance into his boots or smallclothes) for absorption through the skin?

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

So the Strangler is more like ammonia or poison ivy, not snake venom. Imagine if you drank a shot of straight ammonia. It would burn your throat immediately, and would probably kill you. If you poured the shot in a big glass of water it would still burn you instantly, just not as badly. If you put a drop of ammonia into a large glass, you probably would not feel the burn, but then the ammonia (poison) would not reconstitute itself inside your body to come back and kill you. This is simply physiologically impossible.

 I think perhaps you misunderstood something I said? The poison (crystal) was reconstituted as liquid solution (dissolved) in the wine. The poison-making process (for the Strangler) is: solids steeped in liquid-->solids discarded; poisonous extract retained-->extract crystallized. The crystals are then dissolved in liquid for ingestion.

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

So this business about diluted wine is a red herring. The text clearly shows that Joffrey's wine would have been more lethal if it had actually been poisoned. But even if it wasn't, the affect on Joffrey would not have been a delayed poisoning, just a less severe one -- and perhaps even a non-fatal one.

 You are the one who brought up "delayed" reaction to the poison. I was talking about the accumulation of the "fatal" dose (meaning, it could have been a non-fatal poisoning).

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

And in a practical sense, if the Strangler can be rendered less-effective by diluting it in wine, then why on earth would LF and LO purposely give Joffrey a gift that held more wine than a normal goblet and use that to deliver the poison?

Any poison can be rendered less-effective (or non-fatal) by dilution out past its efficacy point. That just means you did not have enough poison to get the result you wanted at that time.

Also, I believe the wedding chalice was a gift from Mace Tyrell (not Littlefinger or Olenna), the dunderhead, who had no part in the plot.

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 

As for the rest, Garlan is an anointed knight who entered the thick of battle in the Blackwater and slew many foes. He is also trying his damnest to prevent Joffrey and Tyrion from fighting and has nothing but nice things to say about Tyrion, even in private conversations when no one else can hear. Are you saying that he is in fact a sniveling coward who would shame himself in the eyes of his fellow knights by resorting to a coward's weapon, a eunuch's weapon, like poison?

Firstly, I do not see where Garlan attempts to keep the peace between Tyrion and Joffrey (it was Tyrion attempting to keep the peace when Joffrey was stirring up trouble). Garlan certainly is bold enough to scold Joffrey to his face for pouring wine on Tyrion, but even Tyrion recognizes that could only make things even uglier. And I already stated that I think Garlan likes Tyrion personally, but has a "just business" attitude toward him politically.

Secondly, as to Garlan being an anointed knight...

So what? You are the one reducing his complexity and humanity, not me. Yes, Garlan is an anointed knight, but that does not make him a saint. It makes him violent. Chivalry has always been about "the proper" ways to kill someone, I'll grant, but that does not make it any more valuable a system or infallible by relying on the "judgment" crutch to effect its code of conduct. If Garlan can kill lots of people one way, why can he not kill Joffrey another?

I did not say that Garlan "is in fact a sniveling coward who would shame himself" by "resorting to a coward's weapon, a eunuch's weapon" -- by the way, you forgot that poison is also "a woman's weapon!" since you appear to be glorifying traditionally male methods of violence and their chosen weapons whilst simultaneously devaluing and denigrating the chosen weapons and traditional methods of people who do not have the physical advantage required of those male methods and weapons--you said it. If that is your opinion, you're entitled to it, but please do not put words in my mouth.

If you are honestly interested in what I think of Garlan (and I'm not certain you are): I think he is as complex a character as most others in the series. He appears to be a man of impeccable character, but I doubt that he is (most aren't). I think he's unwittingly charming (unlike, say, Loras, who deliberately cultivates a certain persona). I think he's orderly and proactive. I think he's highly intelligent, but quiet and observant, and does not draw unwanted attention to his abilities (unlike, again, Loras, or even Tyrion). I think he's a man of stringent moral values, but I doubt those values are exactly what they appear to be on the outset, let alone what others might presume of him. He appears to be a part of the system but isn't necessarily. He's a romantic with a pragmatic twist.

I actually like Ser Garlan. And I think his character is enhanced by the interpretation of the text I offered, not diminished by it. Otherwise, he's a boring, flat character--so flat he might have been mowed down by a paving truck before he hit the page!--and the series would be improved by his removal (so the author could spend that time devoted to Garlan and others like him by rounding out semi-flat characters with more important roles to play).

All of that is in-line with my interpretation of the text, but a lot of it would be whittled away by yours (that he's exactly what he appears to be).

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

As well, the chalice is three feet tall and sitting far enough to the center of the table that Tyrion has to climb into his chair to reach it. It is also right in front of both Tyrion and Sansa, not to mention 200 other pairs of eyes in the room, so even Garlan would need to make a lengthy reach just to get to the rim of the chalice.

 I am not as certain as you are of these details. Could you point them out to me in the text? 

I do know that the last we heard of Ser Garlan, he might have been standing (to help Tyrion to his feet) or sitting.

Either way, the first we hear of Ser Garlan is his description as "Renly's Ghost" from the Battle of the Blackwater. He--unlike Loras--could fit Renly's armor (it's very big), and Renly is Ideal!Robert Baratheon 2.0 according to most sources (e.g., Ned). So, yes, he has a very long arm-span. He's also likely to be dept enough (unlike Olenna Tyrell, his "doddering" old granny) and low-profile enough (unlike Margaery, on whom all eyes were bound to be, as well as Olenna, the most powerful person in that family) to pull off the required feat unnoticed.

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 

Impossible? No, but think about it: your head and probably the heads of your entire family are on the line and you have to make this drop when not one single person happens to see this arm movement out of the corner of their eye. The risk is enormous, and the reward, for the Tyrells at least, is that you don't get your heir to the Iron Throne within the year, but perhaps five or six years down the road, if ever. There will be plenty of time to get rid of Joffrey later, if and when he becomes a problem and after Margy has produced one, of not multiple, heirs.

Whether Ser Garlan poisons Joffrey or cuts him down with a battle-axe, his head will be on the line, so I don't understand what you are arguing by this point. Are you saying the Tyrells were not involved whatsoever? How do you say the poison got out of Sansa's hairnet, then? Who removed it, if not Olenna Tyrell?

As for the reward-risk equation you've proposed... Is it not possible that Olenna Tyrell (not Mace) values factors like Margaery's happiness, safety, and well-being (i.e., five or six years of peace leading up to "an heir," where "the heir" is still the end result) higher than potential (or, should we say likely) risk of Joffrey being the psychopath he is, with "an heir" coming sooner (even if, say, from rape)?

 

6 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

And somebody, anybody, please show me any evidence at all that Joffrey is unhappy with Margy in any way. Every time I see them together he is dancing with her, twirling her about "merrily", holding her hand, "Come, my lady." He's pleased as punch to be getting Margy and not Sansa, and Margy has given him no cause at all to be displeased with her. Maybe someday, but why kill him now, and in such a risky fashion, when you don't have to?

I agree with you, Joffrey has given no indication that he's especially "displeased" with Margaery (other than hoping he could weasel out of marrying her in the first place because he so enjoyed tormenting Sansa).

However, the problem with someone like Joffrey is that he's dangerous. His "moods" cannot be predicted and violence is inevitable with him. The only times that Margaery was ultimately "safe" with him were during times her family was present, armed, and influential (so, post-Blackwater). But they have to go home sometime, which would leave Margaery at Joffrey's (and other Lannister?) mercy with only Loras Tyrell (an able fighter, but not the brightest in the bunch, it appears) to protect her.... Except: Joffrey is the king, and Loras is Kingsguard. His duty to "protect" Margaery falls behind his duty to obey and protect his king (as the Aerys's rape of Rhaella, and Jaime's thwarted desire to protect her from him proves). Not only is Loras limited in what he can do for Margaery, but also the rest of the family will be long distances away, and Joffrey has a history of abusing the helpless (e.g., Sansa, killing Tommen's fawn, that cat he sliced open), some of which the Tyrells now know (and the most damning of the evidence, too). It's a complicated situation. Mace Tyrell (a man, party to and empowered by the patriarchy) was the one who put Margaery in that situation, without asking her consent, but why can't her fellow women and some of her (more enlightened?) brothers put a stop to the danger she's in before it gets out of hand? Because Mace Tyrell might get what he wants?

So, I suppose the question becomes... how long are you willing to leave your loved ones at the mercy of a psychopath if you can help it? For the Tyrells, the answer is not at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ser Garlan’s mysteriously passive approach to Tyrion’s trial is a very worthy topic for the Myrish Looking Glass series and I enjoyed your presentation of the evidence as well as your follow-up analysis.

I also enjoyed the link to the separate theory about the colliding and coordinated poisoning plots of Littlefinger, the Tyrell family and Cersei (who was going after Tyrion but inadvertently poisoned Joffrey, if the logic is correct). Additional alternate theories in the comments have made this a lively thread.

Taken together, the OP, linked thread and strong dissenting opinions – all of which are well-reasoned with evidence from the book – probably achieve GRRM’s goal, which is to create a great big “whodunit” and leave us to get worked up talking amongst ourselves.

So I hope you don’t mind one more theory piled on to the stack.

I think Tywin murdered Joffrey. He did it with a sword. He had help from Ser Ilyn Payne.

This came together in my head this morning after reading several other threads in recent days:

1)      The Black Dog at the Purple Wedding – This discussion led me to wonder why Tywin seemed to be compared to the black dog that sniffs Joffrey’s body immediately after his death, and why Tywin was wearing a glove at a feast.

2)      Eyes / Ice – I have been putting a lot of thought into the sword Ice. Recently, I realized that GRRM probably created an ongoing theme around the pun of “Ice” and “eyes.” The presence of Widow’s Wail at the wedding feast, along with Ser Ilyn, and a re-read of the wedding feast scene this morning made me realize that the Ice / Eyes pun was part of the solution for Joffrey’s murder. This passage juxtaposes the sword Ice with Tywin’s eyes: I should have sent Ice back to Robb Stark, Tyrion thought. He glanced at his father, but Lord Tywin was watching the king. Tywin took possession of the sword Ice. My reading is that Tywin is signaling his role in executing Joffrey here by using his eyes, which are a pun on Ice.

3)      Swords / Words – On that same pun thread in the Eyes / Ice link above, I recently laid out what I believe to be some deliberate wordplay in the books around “swords” and “words.” I noticed that the sword Ser Ilyn hands Joffrey to cut the pie is covered in runes. A sword with words on it. We haven’t seen this before, have we? Is this a special, magic sword? When Tywin shows Tyrion the sword he plans to give Joffrey, he says, “With this fool’s jabber of Stannis and his magic sword, it seemed to me that we had best give Joffrey something extraordinary as well. A king should bear a kingly weapon.” (ASoS, Tyrion IV)

4)      As the OP points out, Ser Garlan’s failure to come to Tyrion’s defense seemed out of character, given his apparently honorable behavior toward Tyrion in other ways. (I realize TheSeason offers an explanation that implicates Ser Garlan as part of the poison plot.) I wondered whether the author was holding Garlan’s eyewitness account in reserve for a scene where Tyrion will be vindicated when he returns to Westeros later in the series. I also wondered whether he might have been told to stay silent by someone who assured him that Tyrion would end up safe, but that the trial had to appear to go toward conviction for some reason. This latter reason intrigued me because it’s what Tywin told Tyrion, if I recall correctly. It might also explain why Shae had been persuaded to testify against Tyrion. (I realize this is a completely separate point of argument, but I believe Shae genuinely cared for Tyrion and that she will be revealed to have been his Desdemona when her motives are revealed to him sometime later in the story.)

So several little circumstantial things, but how does this get me to Tywin as the murderer of Joffrey? Start by going back to the scene where Tywin has just informed the Lannister inner circle about the successful murder of Robb Stark. In the aftermath of the news, Joffrey comes into conflict with Tyrion and is then defiant to his grandfather on an important point of warcraft. Tywin sees Joffrey shaping up to be another Mad King Aerys:

Joffrey sneered. "You're the monster, Uncle."

"Am I?" Tyrion cocked his head. "Perhaps you should speak more softly to me, then. Monsters are dangerous beasts, and just now kings seem to be dying like flies."

"I could have your tongue out for saying that," the boy king said, reddening. "I'm the king." . . .

Cersei put a protective hand on her son's shoulder. "Let the dwarf make all the threats he likes, Joff. I want my lord father and my uncle to see what he is."

Lord Tywin ignored that; it was Joffrey he addressed. "Aerys also felt the need to remind men that he was king. And he was passing fond of ripping tongues out as well. You could ask Ser Ilyn Payne about that, though you'll get no reply."

"Ser Ilyn never dared provoke Aerys the way your Imp provokes Joff," said Cersei. "You heard him. 'Monster' he said. To the King's Grace. And he threatened him . . . "

"Be quiet, Cersei. Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. And any man who must say 'I am the king' is no true king at all. Aerys never understood that, but you will. When I've won your war for you, we will restore the king's peace and the king's justice. The only head that need concern you is Margaery Tyrell's maidenhead."

Joffrey had that sullen, sulky look he got. Cersei had him firmly by the shoulder, but perhaps she should have had him by the throat. The boy surprised them all. Instead of scuttling safely back under his rock, Joff drew himself up defiantly and said, "You talk about Aerys, Grandfather, but you were scared of him."

Oh, my, hasn't this gotten interesting? Tyrion thought.

Lord Tywin studied his grandchild in silence, gold flecks shining in his pale green eyes. "Joffrey, apologize to your grandfather," said Cersei.

He wrenched free of her. "Why should I? Everyone knows it's true. My father won all the battles. He killed Prince Rhaegar and took the crown, while your father was hiding under Casterly Rock." The boy gave his grandfather a defiant look. "A strong king acts boldly, he doesn't just talk."

"Thank you for that wisdom, Your Grace," Lord Tywin said, with a courtesy so cold it was like to freeze their ears off. "Ser Kevan, I can see the king is tired. Please see him safely back to his bedchamber. Pycelle, perhaps some gentle potion to help His Grace sleep restfully?"

"Dreamwine, my lord?"

"I don't want any dreamwine," Joffrey insisted.

Lord Tywin would have paid more heed to a mouse squeaking in the corner. "Dreamwine will serve. Cersei, Tyrion, remain."

….

"The boy is thirteen. There is time yet." Lord Tywin paced to the window. That was unlike him; he was more upset than he wished to show. "He requires a sharp lesson."

 (ASoS, Tyrion VI)

In that scene, we have Tywin’s motive: he cannot abide another mad king, particularly one who contradicts him and doesn’t understand recent history. We also have references to Ser Ilyn (who lost his tongue for uttering the truth that Tywin was the power behind the throne), the king’s peace and the king’s justice, helping a kneeling person to get back on his feet, and Joffrey’s duty to deflower Margaery Tyrell (a "sword" allusion). The scene ends with Joffrey being compelled to drink dreamwine at Tywin’s direction. (We later learn from Sansa’s treatment of Sweetrobin at the Eyrie that dreamwine can be dangerous if not taken in moderation, so it’s a kinda-sorta poison.) (My mistake: I was confusing dreamwine with sweetsleep, the potion given to Sweetrobin.)

The sword Tywin gave to Joffrey is the third sword associated with Joffrey in the books: Lion’s Tooth was thrown into the river by Arya; Hearteater was kissed by Sansa before the Battle of the Blackwater (but Joffrey was called inside the Red Keep before he used the sword). At the wedding feast, Joffrey uses Tywin’s gift, Widow’s Wail, to destroy the rare book that Tyrion presented as his gift.

Now I’m not saying the Joffrey is Azor Ahai, but I think GRRM is having some fun with us by letting these three swords go through some of the steps of the Lightbringer story. As we all know, Azor Ahai kept trying to hit on the perfect technique for perfecting his sword, and he plunged the first sword into water, the second sword into a lion and the third sword into his beloved wife. Since Lion’s Tooth is already in a river, that seems to address step one. I believe that Joffrey’s death may represent step two in the pattern, the death of the lion.

But it can’t be the sword, you yell at me through your computer! He was poisoned, you shout at your monitor! It was the wine! No, the pie! No, the sauce on the pie!

My initial thought was that Tywin had coated the hilt of Widow’s Wail with poison. When Joffrey unsheathed it, the somewhat slow-acting poison would be absorbed through his skin and he would drop dead a short while later, without a clear connection between the sword and the death. There was a follow-up on the sword and Tywin, perhaps indicating that Tywin wanted Joffrey to handle the sword a second time, making sure he absorbed a lethal dose:

“Your Grace.” Lord Tywin’s voice was impeccably correct. “They are bringing in the pie. Your sword is needed.”

 

A poisoned sword hilt might explain the glove that Tywin is wearing when he puts his hand in Cersei’s shoulder after Joff expires. I can’t think of a reason anyone would wear a glove during a meal. But Tywin might have put on a glove in order to move the poison-coated sword somewhere for safekeeping while everyone else was focused on the king’s death.

Using Widow’s Wail to kill Joffrey would also create the kind of nice symmetry that GRRM likes to build into the plot: Ice was used to kill Ned Stark at Joffrey’s command; part of Ice now killed Joffrey. One might say it’s a double-edged sword.

But poisoning the hilt of Widow’s Wail would leave Ser Ilyn out of the death, and I believe he is a necessary ingredient. In fact, GRRM hints twice in the scene that Joffrey’s short-term fate is intertwined with Ser Ilyn:

“That was ill done, Your Grace,” he heard Ser Garlan say quietly.

 

And

“It’s ill luck not to eat the pie,” he scolded as he filled his mouth with hot spiced pigeon. “See, it’s good.”

 

So let’s consider the next sword: When Margaery says, “Widow’s Wail was not meant for slicing pies,” Joffrey calls for Ser Ilyn to lend his sword for the pie-cutting ceremony. Ilyn quickly presents Joffrey with this fancy sword featuring a death’s head on the pommel and “six feet of ornate silver bright with runes.”

Does Ilyn’s sword have a poisoned hilt? The pie-cutting is done by the bride and groom together. It’s possible that this hilt was poisoned at Tywin’s direction, and that Tywin doesn’t care whether Margaery is also poisoned, although her death could create a diplomatic crisis.

I think it’s more likely that the runes on the blade carry a magic spell, and that the spell somehow singles out Joffrey alone for death. (Maybe kings die if they touch this sword, but everyone else is safe.) Remember what Tywin told Tyrion about needing to give Joffrey “something extraordinary,” implying a worthwhile sword, in light of the “fool’s jabber” about “Stannis and his magic sword.”  When Joffrey mouthed off to Tywin, though, Grandpa may have decided that the extraordinary thing would be to deploy Ser Ilyn’s magic sword to clear out mad king, Jr. and clear the way for Tommen to ascend to the throne.

When Jaime returns to King’s Landing shortly after the wedding and Joffrey’s death, he and Tywin discuss Tywin’s version of what happened:

Jaime took the chair across from him. "How did Joffrey die?"

 

"Poison. It was meant to appear as though he choked on a morsel of food, but I had his throat slit open and the maesters could find no obstruction."

 

"Cersei claims that Tyrion did it."

 

"Your brother served the king the poisoned wine, with a thousand people looking on."

 

"That was rather foolish of him."

 

"I have taken Tyrion's squire into custody. His wife's maids as well. We shall see if they have anything to tell us. Ser Addam's gold cloaks are searching for the Stark girl, and Varys has offered a reward. The king's justice will be done."

 

The king's justice. "You would execute your own son?"

 

"He stands accused of regicide and kinslaying. If he is innocent, he has nothing to fear. First we must needs consider the evidence for and against him."

 

Evidence. In this city of liars, Jaime knew what sort of evidence would be found. "Renly died strangely as well, when Stannis needed him to."

 

"Lord Renly was murdered by one of his own guards, some woman from Tarth."

 

"That woman from Tarth is the reason I'm here. I tossed her into a cell to appease Ser Loras, but I'll believe in Renly's ghost before I believe she did him any harm. But Stannis - "

 

"It was poison that killed Joffrey, not sorcery." Lord Tywin glanced at Jaime's stump again.

 

(ASoS, Jaime VII)

 

Jaime is skeptical: He knows Tyrion and his intelligence well enough to know that Tyrion would be unlikely to poison the King in front of a thousand witnesses. Jaime points out that Renly’s death was rumored to have been accomplished with some kind of magic and Tywin rules that out immediately, saying that one of Renly’s guards (Brienne) did it. Jaime knows Brienne, and believes in her innocence, so he continues to press the idea of a magical kinslaying (by Stannis). Tywin rejects the idea again, insisting that Joffrey’s death was by poison, not magic.

There’s a famous line from a famous play featuring a murdered king: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” I think that’s what Tywin is doing here. Too much denial of the magic murder makes me think that Tywin knows there was a magic murder, and that he instigated it.

And then there’s the startling phrase I emphasized in bold face, regarding Tywin having Joffrey’s throat slit. Of course, he’s ostensibly describing a post-mortem examination of the body. But GRRM is so deft at using carefully-constructed phrases that carry more than one meaning. It does sound as if Tywin is confessing to a murder involving slitting Joffrey’s throat. Or, as he said earlier, "He requires a sharp lesson."

Tywin staring at Jaime’s stump may be our last clue: the missing hand is the hand that killed King Aerys. Perhaps Tywin, the Hand of the King, identifies with that missing hand, now that he has also killed a king.

I realize that some people will say this is all symbolic; that Tywin may have wished for Joffrey’s death but there is no proof here that he instigated a murder. And those people may very well be right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no way, no how it could work that way. It violates all the laws of physics, chemistry and physiology. Any poison that does not immediately latch on to a skin cell in Joffrey's throat is washed into his stomach. There is simply no possible way it could just float around inside his throat until there was a sufficient dose to kill him. And once in his stomach, it cannot swim through his blood stream back to his throat in a matter of seconds. Simply not possible

45 minutes ago, TheSeason said:

snip

The crystals are near-identical in both cases:

"Collapsing into his chair, he pulled the stopper and spilled out the vial's contents. A dozen crystals, no larger than seeds, rattled across the parchment he'd been reading. They shone like jewels in the candlelight, so purple that the master found himself thinking that he had never truly seen the color before."

Then it goes on to explain all the rare ingredients you need, the exacting procedure to make it, the fact that hardly anyone in the world even knows about it... And then later, he uses a flake on Mel, so are we to believe these are specially made flakes of a weaker concentration, or are they just pieces of the crystals that he already has?

Then later, the hair net:

"It was a hair net of fine-spun silver, the strands so thin and delicate the net seemed to weigh no more than a breath of air when Sansa took it in her fingers. Small gems were set wherever two strands crossed, so dark they drank the moonlight."

That was her first impression, at night. All other descriptions have the gems as purple. But even if Joffrey's are darker, this would indicate stronger potency, not weaker -- and Joffrey is getting a full crystal.

So no, there is no appreciable difference between the two gems, and no reason to think they have different potencies or any other varying qualities. They have to be made exactly right or the recipe fails. And Littlefinger may be rich and powerful, but it's a stretch for even him to special order a poison all the way from Asshai that takes months to create, and then to ship it all the way back, make a special hairnet with a trick clasp, get it to Dontos to give to Sansa -- all within the few months between the meeting at Bitterbridge and the Blackwater. And all for what? Just so Joffrey dies in 30 seconds rather than five?

But the reason I say this is a misperception is the entire idea that a weaker poison or a more diluted solution would cause the Strangler to act slowly is incontrovertibly false. First, there can be absolutely no doubt that the Strangler works on contact. The only other way is to be absorbed into the blood stream, circulated throughout the body and deposited right back to the very organ that it bypassed on the way to the stomach. If this were the case, it would take at least a minute to work, since this is the approximate time it takes for blood to circulate throughout the body. It's why alcohol doesn't get you drunk in seconds, it takes about a minute. This is basic physiology.

So with this incontrovertible fact firmly in hand, we then turn to other poisonous substances that act the same way. And in every single case -- ammonia, poison ivy, hydrochloric acid, bleach -- diluting the poison does not delay the onset of symptoms, it just weakens them. To have it otherwise, we have to come up with some way for the poison to reconstitute itself once inside the body, and the is physiologically impossible. Doesn't happen. Cannot possible happen.

And again, basic logic. If this is the way the Strangler works, either through magic or some fictional physical property, why give Joffrey the big cup? Do they want him dead or don't they?

My whole point is that if the poison was in the wine, Joffrey should have started choking within the approximate time-frame of Cressen, but it's not even close. Joffrey is four, even five, times longer, and there is simply no way to account for this by speculating on a weaker poison or more diluted wine. Neither would produce a delayed reaction to the poison, only a weaker affect. And no, you can't possibly compare contact of the soft palate with a wine-diluted solution and contact with a hardened crystal on the skin of the fingers.

 

It's pointed out multiple times in the story: knights do not use poison. That is a coward's weapon, or a woman's, or a eunuch's. True knights, which Garlan evidently is, face their foes bravely, with bare steel. To have Garlan as the poisoner is to make him a master mummer and one of the most duplicitous characters in the book, and yes, a sniveling coward who uses a coward's weapon. There is no evidence that he is any of this. None.

And this is before we even begin to contemplate the impossibility of knowing that the chalice was going to wind up right in front of Garlan at the one and only time he can make the drop with even the slightest chance of not being seen -- when all eyes are looking upward.

 

Here is the chalice:

"Lord Mace Tyrell came forward to present his gift: a golden chalice three feet tall, with two ornate curved handles and seven faces glittering with gemstones."

People assume that this is three feet of nothing but cup, but it couldn't possibly be. It would weigh a ton and would hold several gallons of wine, which is a ridiculous amount to be serving to two teenagers at their wedding. So clearly, it has a base, a long stem and a larger than average cup that probably holds a liter or so.

Ser Garlan is taller than Loras and a little heavier, but he is not so large that people describe him as larger than most men. But this is irrelevant as well. Doing the chalice while it is in plain view of 200 guests, plus all the servants in the room, is simply too risky when your head is on the line. The pie, however, is somewhere in the back, out of sight by everybody, except perhaps the servant who is holding it. You only need to make sure one pair of eyes is looking up, not 200. And absolutely no reason for Lady O to jeopardize anyone else in her family with this plot. She can do it all by herself.

Lady O is the head of a noble house and she is about as hard-nosed a political player as there is, rising to become the titular head of the leading house in the realm in a completely male-dominated society. She knows, as does Margaery, that highborn maidens must often suffer unhappy, even dangerous, marriages for the good of their house. Margaery's happiness and safety are secondary to achieving a blood tie to the Iron Throne. That is the real prize here. If Lady O cared so much about Margy's happiness above all other considerations, then why didn't she poison the gay king she was married to before?

And yes, maybe Joffrey will become a threat to Margaery someday. But certainly not now, judging by the way he acts toward her. In that case, there are plenty of ways to get rid of him if and when he becomes a problem. This can be done privately, even when the queen is away on some pretext, and staged to look like an accident. Joffrey is rather fond of crossbows... And by then, there will already be a Tyrell heir, or two, toddling around, and Margy's place as queen regent is assured for more than a decade. So there is absolutely no reason in the world why any of the Tyrells would want Joffrey dead at this point. Maybe someday, but not now, and not with such a half-baked, high-risk operation.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Seams said:

snip

Sorry, nice try, but no. Tywin is not a kinslayer. He couldn't even bring himself to toss his own dwarf son into the sea when virtually everyone on the planet would have considered that a justifiable infanticide. Nor did he kill him when that same dwarf fool son went and married a crofter's daughter. Secondly, Tywin uses his family members as a means to exert power. He is not going to kill his grandson and leave only one Lannister in the line of succession just because Joffrey snapped at him at a council meeting. Give the guy some credit.

Also, we have two of the exact same poisons on the scene and two victims who died exactly the same way. No reason at all to think they were poisoned any differently, except one took several orders of magnitude longer. We cannot account for this through weaker poisons or more wine because the physics don't allow it, nor is there any indication that the poison or the poisoners possess magical or unnatural abilities. But if you look closely, you'll see that when the poison pie is in Joffrey's mouth and then he washes it down with wine, Joffrey's throat seizes up approximately five seconds later, exactly like Cressen.

Please, just read the scene again. It's all right there, along with "It's, kof, the pie -- noth, kof, the pie." There's your ultimate POV who knows exactly what is killing him, and it's not the wine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Please, just read the scene again. It's all right there, along with "It's, kof, the pie -- noth, kof, the pie." There's your ultimate POV who knows exactly what is killing him, and it's not the wine.

Why do you think Joffery knows which was responsible for choking him to death? At best a guess.

I think you are reading too much into the previous poisoning scene. We don't know how much poison was used or the difference in the aged Maester Cressen compared to Joffery. So the earlier scene does tell us a bit more, but I wouldn't say it's conclusive proof over how exactly long the poison would take to have an effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Makk said:

Why do you think Joffery knows which was responsible for choking him to death? At best a guess.

I think you are reading too much into the previous poisoning scene. We don't know how much poison was used or the difference in the aged Maester Cressen compared to Joffery. So the earlier scene does tell us a bit more, but I wouldn't say it's conclusive proof over how exactly long the poison would take to have an effect.

Joffrey can feel everything that is going on inside his mouth. He knows whether it is a solid or a liquid that is causing him distress. The fact that people simply blow this off as insignificant is mind-boggling, especially when there is so much chatter elsewhere on these boards about the meaning of blue roses or what does or does not happen under the sea. The victim himself is telling you point blank what is happening. He has no reason to lie.

If the time discrepancy was a few seconds either way, I would agree with you. But it is off by several orders of magnitude. We do know that Cressen doesn't see anything but normal-looking wine in his goblet, but Tyrion sees "deep purple" in the chalice. So right there you have solid evidence that Joffrey's wine is at least as concentrated as Cressen's, if not more so. And sorry, but facts are facts. Higher dilution or weaker poison would not delay the affect, it would only weaken it. This is as incontrovertible a fact is f=ma or e=mc2. You can get around it with magic or some unknown, utterly fictional, property in the poison but there is no text to back this up, and it would be completely idiotic for the plotters to intentionally deploy the poison in a larger-than-normal goblet if this was the case.

Plus you have all the logistical problems with getting the wine right in front of Garlan at exactly the right time -- which no one can predict unless, again, we give the plotters magical powers of foresight. And then the motivations are all wrong: one wants chaos, the other wants a grandson on the IT. How are either of those goals accomplished by killing Joffrey? They've both set themselves back five years at least, which is an eternity for a feudal society at war.

So the wine theory doesn't just fail, it fails miserably and across the board.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Joffrey can feel everything that is going on inside his mouth. He knows whether it is a solid or a liquid that is causing him distress. The fact that people simply blow this off as insignificant is mind-boggling, especially when there is so much chatter elsewhere on these boards about the meaning of blue roses or what does or does not happen under the sea. The victim himself is telling you point blank what is happening. He has no reason to lie.

It's not a question of lying, he just has no idea and the pie was the last thing he stuffed in his mouth. He didn't choke on solid food, if it was the pie it was still poison. How would he know about the different effects and types of poison that he could distinguish them in such a way?

And if you want to talk about symbolism then this is much stronger and is a big pointer to the wine...

"I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief," the dwarf woman was saying. "I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells. I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs. And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow." She turned her head sharply and smiled through the gloom, right at Arya. "You cannot hide from me, child. Come closer, now."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

There is no way, no how it could work that way. It violates all the laws of physics, chemistry and physiology. Any poison that does not immediately latch on to a skin cell in Joffrey's throat is washed into his stomach. There is simply no possible way it could just float around inside his throat until there was a sufficient dose to kill him. And once in his stomach, it cannot swim through his blood stream back to his throat in a matter of seconds. Simply not possible.

 This is in no way the mechanism I described. It is an ingested poison. It enters the bloodstream through the mucous membrane, the lining of the stomach. Once in the bloodstream, it circulates in a span of heartbeats, getting to work as soon as possible. The complete fatal result is demonstrated within minutes. Exactly what "laws" does this break?

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

The crystals are near-identical in both cases:

"Collapsing into his chair, he pulled the stopper and spilled out the vial's contents. A dozen crystals, no larger than seeds, rattled across the parchment he'd been reading. They shone like jewels in the candlelight, so purple that the master found himself thinking that he had never truly seen the color before."

 

Then it goes on to explain all the rare ingredients you need, the exacting procedure to make it, the fact that hardly anyone in the world even knows about it... And then later, he uses a flake on Mel, so are we to believe these are specially made flakes of a weaker concentration, or are they just pieces of the crystals that he already has?

You are correct! I misremembered the look of Cressen's crystals. I concede this point.

I remembered "the flake" he used and not any mention of the "purple jewels" from in his laboratory. Strange turn of phrase... I would never describe a poison that looks like purple rock sugar as a "flake" of anything. A grain or a seed (crystal), certainly, but a "flake...?" Nope. :D

The only way I could conceive of getting from "rock sugar"-type poison to residue "flake"-type poison would be to reconstitute it (dissolve) in a solution apt to "flake" in its crystallization process, so a "flake" of poisoned substance is what results. But then, I'm no chemist. I perforce attended my chemistry courses, so no doubt there are those out there with a better understanding of how the Strangler works than I.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Then later, the hair net:

"It was a hair net of fine-spun silver, the strands so thin and delicate the net seemed to weigh no more than a breath of air when Sansa took it in her fingers. Small gems were set wherever two strands crossed, so dark they drank the moonlight."

That was her first impression, at night. All other descriptions have the gems as purple. But even if Joffrey's are darker, this would indicate stronger potency, not weaker -- and Joffrey is getting a full crystal.

I still am not so certain we have enough information to determine the amount of poison (not knowing how large and poisonous each crystal is, or what Cressen did to get from "gem" state to "flake" state and how necessary that process is, how much wine the crystal was dissolved in, etc.) so we have to agree to disagree there.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

So no, there is no appreciable difference between the two gems, and no reason to think they have different potencies or any other varying qualities. They have to be made exactly right or the recipe fails. And Littlefinger may be rich and powerful, but it's a stretch for even him to special order a poison all the way from Asshai that takes months to create, and then to ship it all the way back, make a special hairnet with a trick clasp, get it to Dontos to give to Sansa -- all within the few months between the meeting at Bitterbridge and the Blackwater. And all for what? Just so Joffrey dies in 30 seconds rather than five?

I also said nothing of Littlefinger pre-ordering this poison directly from Asshai. I imagine he got his poison from the same places (apothecary, citadel, alchemists' guild) that most people from Westeros would get theirs (and it is they who get their stock from Asshai).

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

But the reason I say this is a misperception is the entire idea that a weaker poison or a more diluted solution would cause the Strangler to act slowly is incontrovertibly false. First, there can be absolutely no doubt that the Strangler works on contact. The only other way is to be absorbed into the blood stream, circulated throughout the body and deposited right back to the very organ that it bypassed on the way to the stomach. If this were the case, it would take at least a minute to work, since this is the approximate time it takes for blood to circulate throughout the body. It's why alcohol doesn't get you drunk in seconds, it takes about a minute. This is basic physiology.

 You are the one stating that non-fatal dosage has a delayed reaction. I already addressed that.

There is doubt the Strangler works on contact. I listed my reasons for doubt, which you have ignored.

You seem to think that because the Strangler works in the throat that it must be absorbed there. It isn't. It's absorbed in the stomach like every other ingested poison. Through the bloodstream, it seizes up the muscles and blood vessels in the throat (at least?), which is how Joffrey is described as dying, with his face dark purple (his blood becomes trapped above the neck), his muscles standing taut, and someone trying to jam a spoon down his throat because it has clamped shut. This isn't an inflammatory reaction.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

So with this incontrovertible fact firmly in hand, we then turn to other poisonous substances that act the same way. And in every single case -- ammonia, poison ivy, hydrochloric acid, bleach -- diluting the poison does not delay the onset of symptoms, it just weakens them. To have it otherwise, we have to come up with some way for the poison to reconstitute itself once inside the body, and the is physiologically impossible. Doesn't happen. Cannot possible happen.

Chemical burns are not the same (nor do they work by the same mechanism) as the Strangler. Poison Ivy is topical, absorbed through the skin, you don't even have to eat it to have an inflammatory reaction to it (not the same as the Strangler either).

Again, "delayed onset" is your contention, not mine. I was discussing fatal dose, as I said before.

This "reconstitution inside the body" is also your contention, not mine.

You insist the poison works in ways it clearly doesn't, and call your insistence "incontrovertible fact," so we'll have to agree to disagree here, too.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

And again, basic logic. If this is the way the Strangler works, either through magic or some fictional physical property, why give Joffrey the big cup? Do they want him dead or don't they?

Mace Tyrell gifted the cup, he who had no part in the plot. Olenna and Petyr Baelish cooked that up.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

My whole point is that if the poison was in the wine, Joffrey should have started choking within the approximate time-frame of Cressen, but it's not even close. Joffrey is four, even five, times longer, and there is simply no way to account for this by speculating on a weaker poison or more diluted wine. Neither would produce a delayed reaction to the poison, only a weaker affect. And no, you can't possibly compare contact of the soft palate with a wine-diluted solution and contact with a hardened crystal on the skin of the fingers.

Cressen and Joffrey both die within minutes. 

So now, it's a contact poison but it's not? You keep moving goalposts along to suit your argument. It's ingested poison. Getting any poison in the mouth is a bad idea, yes. Getting topically absorbed poison on the skin (or touching it and then eating or touching your face) is also a bad idea. There is no attempt to properly handle the poison because it is ingested, not topical.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

 

It's pointed out multiple times in the story: knights do not use poison. That is a coward's weapon, or a woman's, or a eunuch's. True knights, which Garlan evidently is, face their foes bravely, with bare steel. To have Garlan as the poisoner is to make him a master mummer and one of the most duplicitous characters in the book, and yes, a sniveling coward who uses a coward's weapon. There is no evidence that he is any of this. None.

It is only your opinion that 1. Garlan is a "true knight," and that 2. "true knights" taking advantage of their physicality to hurt someone is brave and acceptable but a clever person taking advantage of their intelligence to hurt someone is cowardly and unacceptable. Knights and warriors have used poison in the story (Oberyn, the Reach Knight--who poisoned Victarion, Gerrold Dayne perhaps) and likely shall continue to do so. Poison is not inherently a coward's weapon--anymore than women or eunuchs are inherently cowards, merely examples of people lacking in the physical advantage brutes so cherish for the feeling of powerfulness it gives them--as the list of people above (all facing men squarely in battle) indicates, with two of those three dying in battle for their troubles.

Exactly what is so brave and "true" about hacking another man to bits? It may have been stated by characters in-universe that poison is inherently "cowardly," but that doesn't make it true. It takes a lot of courage to pick up a weapon and go to war with someone, especially when you fear that someone has the physical advantage over you. Using your attributes to your advantage is just plain common sense. Just like Petyr Baelish wised up after trying and failing to play their (the patriarchy's top tier citizens') game, and used his wits to his advantage to achieve his ends (not worthwhile ends in themselves, but still a very brave choice, nevertheless; he could have slunk off to live in anonymity, poverty, and shame, with no hope of avenging himself upon his foes, which is exactly what they wanted, after all; and he was the victim to start with--raped by Lysa on his sickbed, and then faulted for "getting her pregnant" and foisted back to the hovel he'd come from as punishment). That said, the entire system and the concept of true knights has been in question throughout the entire series. The "truest" knights turn out to not be knights at all, but people who have in some way been disempowered by the system (to which Garlan belongs) that you are glorifying, and want to make it better.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

And this is before we even begin to contemplate the impossibility of knowing that the chalice was going to wind up right in front of Garlan at the one and only time he can make the drop with even the slightest chance of not being seen -- when all eyes are looking upward.

I think this was pure luck, which Garlan took advantage of. He didn't have to move because Joffrey left the chalice within arm's reach. Essentially, the victim made his murderer's job easier (it happens a lot in real life, too, unfortunately).

4 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

People assume that this is three feet of nothing but cup, but it couldn't possibly be. It would weigh a ton and would hold several gallons of wine, which is a ridiculous amount to be serving to two teenagers at their wedding. So clearly, it has a base, a long stem and a larger than average cup that probably holds a liter or so.

I agree. The cup is not overly-large, but it is heavy, being made of gold.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Ser Garlan is taller than Loras and a little heavier, but he is not so large that people describe him as larger than most men. But this is irrelevant as well. Doing the chalice while it is in plain view of 200 guests, plus all the servants in the room, is simply too risky when your head is on the line. The pie, however, is somewhere in the back, out of sight by everybody, except perhaps the servant who is holding it. You only need to make sure one pair of eyes is looking up, not 200. And absolutely no reason for Lady O to jeopardize anyone else in her family with this plot. She can do it all by herself.

 So you think they were trying to kill Tyrion and somehow ended up killing Joffrey instead? You think he ate a hard nugget that could otherwise pass for an amethyst (and may have its own flavor, considering some of the things steeped with it) in the middle of a hot meat pie and didn't notice? He was also eating with his fingers, so he should have felt it when he pinched the pie up, right?

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Lady O is the head of a noble house and she is about as hard-nosed a political player as there is, rising to become the titular head of the leading house in the realm in a completely male-dominated society. She knows, as does Margaery, that highborn maidens must often suffer unhappy, even dangerous, marriages for the good of their house. Margaery's happiness and safety are secondary to achieving a blood tie to the Iron Throne. That is the real prize here. If Lady O cared so much about Margy's happiness above all other considerations, then why didn't she poison the gay king she was married to before?

Society may well say that Margaery's happiness, safety, and well-being have no value (the patriarchy of Westeros) but why must Olenna (and Garlan) agree? Especially after seeing what Joffrey did to Sansa? Society may say that Margaery is only property, with any sons she might give birth to being her only (indirect) inherent value, but individual members of society may disagree vehemently and refuse to live by that standard.

Why not kill Renly? Mace made them rebels to the Iron Throne with that foolish marriage, and Renly was, at that time, their best shot at coming out of the alliance intact. Furthermore, Renly was in love with Loras and not like to abuse Loras's little sister, not being a psychopath himself. And Loras would have had far more power to protect her (being the king's lover) should Renly forget himself a moment.

2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

And yes, maybe Joffrey will become a threat to Margaery someday. But certainly not now, judging by the way he acts toward her. In that case, there are plenty of ways to get rid of him if and when he becomes a problem. This can be done privately, even when the queen is away on some pretext, and staged to look like an accident. Joffrey is rather fond of crossbows... And by then, there will already be a Tyrell heir, or two, toddling around, and Margy's place as queen regent is assured for more than a decade. So there is absolutely no reason in the world why any of the Tyrells would want Joffrey dead at this point. Maybe someday, but not now, and not with such a half-baked, high-risk operation.

 

 

Joffrey is an inevitable problem. It's in his nature. Why wait until he hurts Margaery (possibly beyond repair!) when Tommen is a far more suitable option for Margaery to live happily alongside?

Not everyone values potential life (an heir) more than actual life (Margaery) the way you insist they must.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9-4-2016 at 7:12 PM, Trogdor Targaryen said:

It's only called the purple wedding out of universe. We could presume that was the intended vessel for the poison but it's not impossible that there were numerous plus at play. If it were the lemon sauce on the pie it could be done by informing a servant that it is Tyrions favorite dish but he has to have a certain variety due to what he can handle so must be served from a seperate dish than others. It's really not top different from the wild boat that killed Robert after he was served the strong wine.

 

Anyway, I always liked Garlan most out of the tyrells. I'm disappointed that he and Will as were left out of the show but at least George said that d&d will regret leaving them out. 

Vessel and where was the poison always triggers the memory of the pellet of the poison is in the vessel with the pestle, from the Court Jester (with Danny Kaye)

On the thread and OP: superb thread. I'm more inclined to go with TheSeason here. The poison gets into the bloodstream via the stomach and causes the muscles to go taut in the throat and choke that person. Liquids and alcohol are ideal candidates for such a poison... since it's the fastest way to get something in someone's blood stream ASAP (except from inhalation via the longs and then into the bloodstream). If it were a contact poison then you don't carry it around in pellets/crystals on your head for hours, because contact poison is absorbed through the skin. And as far as a I know a scalp still has skin and can absorb poison. I also think the (pellet of the) poison was put into the vessel at the time of the pie attraction, and thus solely the leftover wine in the chalice while Joffrey cut the pie. Might have been Garlan, might have been Olenna. Tyrion is watching Tywin, Joffrey, Ilyn Payne and Margaery and the doves and aware of Sansa nearby. He is oblivious of everybody else at those moments. Olenna is nearby, but we don't know where she was exactly, nor would have other guests noticed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...