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The Purple Wedding - When Plots Collide

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TL:DR How two different poisoning plots could interfere with each other to produce the results seen at Joffrey’s wedding. Afterwards, a closer examination of the Tyrells’ likely motives.

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Hold on to your hats, folks – it’s another Purple Wedding theory!

The outline below is a combination of facts gleaned from the books and reasonable conjecture. Page numbers are based on US paperback editions.

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Petyr Baelish/Littlefinger did brag about masterminding Joffrey’s demise but he made two critical errors:

1 - He mistakenly assumed his plan went off as he had intended. Oh, no, no.

Remember, Littlefinger wasn’t at the wedding. He didn’t see what happened.

2 - He neglected to inform Cersei that he had reserved the poisoning rights at this wedding for himself and that she should wait her turn and take the next one.

The Tyrells (specifically Margaery, Alerie and Olenna) were not knowingly in cahoots with Littlefinger. They were being manipulated by him. {There will be more on the Tyrells after the play-by-play).

Littlefinger had arranged for the Tyrell ladies to hear terrible slanders about Tyrion, and Olenna truly believed that Tyrion was a despicable, sexually depraved monster who would treat Sansa ‘like he’d treated his first wife, making a gift of her to his father’s guardsmen when he grew bored with her.’

* * *

Wedding Feast Play-by-Play

When Olenna took the poison crystal from Sansa’s hair net she spoke to Sansa almost in code, because she had been led to believe the poison-laden hair net was a signal -- Sansa’s last desperate plea for help. Without it, Sansa was intending to commit suicide. (More on this later).

Olenna was assuring Sansa that rescue was coming -- at the end of the seventy-seven course feast.

* * * quick digression

(I’m inserting that passage here, and the play-by-play continues afterward. ASOS, pp816-817)

“You do look quite exquisite, child,” Lady Olenna Tyrell told Sansa when she tottered up to them in a cloth-of-gold gown that must have weighed more than she did. “The wind has been at your hair, though.” The little old woman reached up and fussed at the loose strands, tucking them back into place and straightening Sansa’s hair net. “I was very sorry to hear about your losses,” she said as she tugged and fiddled. “Your brother was a terrible traitor, I know, but if we start killing men at weddings they’ll be even more frightened of marriage than they are presently. There, that’s better.” Lady Olenna smiled. “I am pleased to say I shall be leaving for Highgarden the day after next. I have had quite enough of this smelly city, thank you. Perhaps you would like to accompany me for a little visit, whilst the men are off having their war? I shall miss my Margaery so dreadfully, and all her lovely ladies. Your company would be such sweet solace.”

“You are too kind, my lady,” said Sansa, “but my place is with my lord husband.”

Lady Olenna gave Tyrion a wrinkled, toothless smile. “Oh? Forgive a silly old woman, my lord, I did not mean to steal your lovely wife. I assumed you would be off leading a Lannister host against some wicked foe.”

“A host of dragons and stags. The master of coin must remain at court to see that all the armies are paid for.:

“To be sure. Dragons and stags, that’s very clever. And dwarf’s pennies as well. I have heard of these dwarf’s pennies. No doubt collecting those is such a dreadful chore.”

“I leave the collecting to others, my lady.”

“Oh, do you? I would have thought you might want to tend to it yourself. We can’t have the crown being cheated of its dwarf’s pennies, now. Can we?”

“Gods forbid.” Tyrion was beginning to wonder whether Lord Luthor Tyrell had ridden off that cliff intentionally. --(A joke, but also GRRM hinting at suicide)-- “If you will excuse us, Lady Olenna, it is time we were in our places.”

“Myself as well. Seventy-seven courses, I daresay. Don’t you find that a bit excessive, my lord? I shan’t eat more than three or four bites myself, but you and I are very little, aren’t we?” She patted Sansa’s hair again and said, ‘Well, off with you child, and try to be merrier.

Remember what Dontos said to Sansa about the timing when he gave her the hair net?

ACOK p914

“Be brave. I swore to see you home, and now I can. The day has been chosen.”

“When?” Sansa asked. “When will we go?”

“The night of Joffrey’s wedding. After the feast. All the necessary arrangements have been made. The Red Keep will be full of strangers. Half the court will be drunk and the other half will be helping Joffrey bed his bride. For a little while, you will be forgotten, and the confusion will be our friend.”

* * * end of digression

We know that Sansa wasn’t sending any message by wearing the hair net, that she knew nothing of any murder plot, and that she was oblivious to Olenna’s attempt to reassure her and fill her in on their plan.

Olenna passed the poison crystal on to Margaery, who was intending to drop it into the wedding chalice after the feast just as the bedding was beginning.

When the bedding celebration began it would be easy for Margaery’s mother and grandmother to give her a hug and a few last words before Margaery was taken to “do her duty.” In that moment she could take one more sip of wine and drop the poison in while Alerie and Olenna blocked the view. They could stay huddled for a moment while a crowd of ladies took Joffrey away from the dais and the cup to ensure he wouldn’t take a sip and be poisoned too soon, then they could break their huddle, give the cup to Tyrion, and allow the men carry off Margaery.

They had planted the suggestion to Joffrey that he replace their existing cupbearer with Tyrion. The idea of forcing his dwarf uncle to heft that enormous chalice from the feast hall/throne room all the way to the bedchamber would appeal to Joffrey - and it was almost certainly why Lord Tyrell’s gift cup was so preposterously large. (Dwarf Cupbearer & Giant Cup -- Coincidence? Surely not.)

In the bedchamber with the raucousness of the bedding celebration in full swing, Tyrion would waddle in with the cup and they’d make certain Joffrey would take one last drink. Goodbye, Joffrey.

Tyrion would have seemed to be the only one with the opportunity to place the poison in the cup. Arrest that dwarf! Goodbye, Tyrion.

That was their plan, or perhaps I should say Puppetmaster Littlefinger’s plan, but the Tyrells clearly didn’t realize Littlefinger had made further arrangements to nudge Joffrey and Tyrion into another public confrontation during the feast, (something Littlefinger appears to have been making a habit of for a long time already).

During their confrontation after Joffrey’s (Littlefinger’s) surprise(!) jousting dwarves, Joffrey poured wine over Tyrion – and made him his cupbearer. The Tyrells did not want this confrontation and actively tried to draw Joffrey away from Tyrion (and Sansa) and back to his own place at the table (p826). Although they wanted Tyrion implicated, they were trying to keep all suspicion away from Sansa.

For Littlefinger, the display of hostility would have ensured the guests all saw Tyrion as having motive, (and he did want Sansa implicated), but Littlefinger didn’t realize his own plan would influence another plan, and would be overtaken by it.

By Tyrion’s reckoning there were still 20-30 courses yet to go (p827). Margaery was waiting for the end of the feast. She had not yet used the poison. Now, it was time for the pigeon pie.

Some forum members seem confused by the pigeon pie. The large pie that Joffrey and Margaery sliced open with a sword was not the same pie served to the guests to eat. The pie with live birds was for presentation only and not fit for human consumption. To have enough regular pie for 1000 guests means many pies were made. One of those pies had an extra ingredient – which Cersei got from Pycelle.

Cersei had lived with Maggy the Frog’s prophecy for years but she’d carried on with her life. However, when Tyrion became Acting Hand of the King he sent Myrcella off to Dorne, and snatched Tommen away from Cersei’s men, and insisted that Joffrey should be out amongst the fighting forces during the Battle of the Blackwater. That was crossing a line. Cersei decided that to protect her children from the valonqar she had to rid herself of Tyrion finally and forever.

Cersei had made all the arrangements for the gigantic wedding feast herself (pp62, 255, 260). Cersei had handpicked all the servers herself (p815). Cersei had likely been waiting for the day to arrive and counting down the courses until the pigeon pie was served, impatient for Tyrion to take just one bite and be out of her life for good.

Cersei sat at the dais, likely next to Joffrey. She would have watched as her chosen serving man walked to Tyrion’s table and set the poisoned piece of pie right in front of him (p828). Then, at that moment, when victory was so close… Tyrion decided to get up and leave the table to go change out of his wet wine-soaked clothes.

It’s quite likely she may have blurted out something like “The Imp can’t leave! He has no permission!” Perhaps she covered her outburst saying something like, “It’s ill-luck not to eat the pie,” whereupon Joffrey, looking for another excuse to harass his uncle, ran right over there. (Do you think that was a coincidence? Surely not).

Words were said, but instead of ordering his uncle to sit back down and eat his pie, Joffrey used his bare hand to scoop “dry” pie into his own mouth not once, but TWICE in quick succession, swallow, cough, swallow, cough, cough. Whoops!

(ASOS pp828-829)

Holding the chalice one-handed, 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. “Dry, though. Needs washing down.” Joff took a swallow of wine and coughed again, more violently. “I want to see, kof, see you ride that, kof kof, pig, Uncle. I want . . .” His words broke up in a fit of coughing.

Margaery looked at him with concern. “Your Grace?”

The Tyrells at first thought Joffrey truly was choking on the pie. Margaery knew she was intending to poison Joffrey, but the abstract idea of dropping a crystal in a cup is different from the traumatic experience of witnessing a 13-year old boy desperately struggle as he strangles to death.

Margaery was overcome with a swirl of emotion: Guilt (that she intended this herself), relief (that she hadn’t had to do it), amazement (that fate had intervened), confusion (how did it happen?), more confusion (did Sansa do this?), worry (if they searched her at that moment they’d have found the poison crystal), more worry (was someone trying to kill her?)…and so on.

Alerie saw her daughter’s anguish and said “He choked, sweetling. He choked on the pie. It was naught to do with you. He choked. We all saw.” (ASOS p830)

Cersei knew he hadn’t merely choked. Cersei knew it was poison.

Cersei didn’t try to blame the Tyrells nor the Dornish because she knew it wasn’t them. Cersei blamed Tyrion, because he hadn’t stayed in his seat and eaten his pie like he was supposed to! It felt right to blame him. Tyrion was the valonqar and he still had to die to protect her other children.

The Tyrells had tried to keep any suspicious dealings far away from Sansa, and intended that she remain at King’s Landing until Olenna took her away to Highgarden in two days’ time with no taint of suspicion beyond being Tyrion’s recent bride.

Littlefinger deliberately created a confrontation that was bound to take place at Tyrion and Sansa’s end of the table. By making Sansa disappear from the feast itself he ensured she would fall under suspicion. If she’d left the hair net behind with the rest of her clothing and it were found and recognized as poison, it would certainly be considered absolute proof of her guilt.

The Tyrells do now realize that someone else’s poison killed Joffrey, but like so many Song of Ice and Fire readers, they are asking the very same questions: Was it the wine or the pie? Who did it? Who was the target? As well as, what happened to Sansa? Small wonder Alerie made all the food arrangements for Tommen and Margaery’s wedding feast herself, and Cersei, in her guilt and grief admitted that she couldn’t face handling the food arrangements again. (AFFC p253)

* * *

All of Cersei’s POV chapters come after the Purple Wedding. A reader can witness how, each time her thoughts begin to stray in that direction, she slams that mental door shut, compartmentalizing her mind. She can use her willpower to refuse to think about it, but she cannot stifle the emotions which continue to churn up inside her. Those emotions cause her to lash out in every direction.

With one child now dead, Maggy the Frog’s prophecy looms larger in her mind than before. Her paranoia consumes her and we are witnessing a woman mentally and emotionally come apart at the seams.

Readers on this forum have certainly noticed that the Cersei of the POV chapters behaves rather differently than the Cersei of the first three books, pre-Purple Wedding. At least one fictional character has noticed the difference, too.

Littlefinger to Sansa (AFFC p892)

“Cersei stumbles from one idiocy to the next, helped along by her council of the deaf, the dim, and the blind. I always anticipated that she would beggar the realm and destroy herself, but I never expected she would do it quite so fast. It is quite vexing. 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.”

Neither Littlefinger nor Cersei have yet realized the other poisoner was at work. If Littlefinger had bothered to ask exactly what happened at the wedding feast perhaps he would have realized his own plan never came to fruition and perhaps he would have guessed the reason for Cersei’s amazing deterioration.

Cersei is now being pressured by the Faith to confess her sins. Politically, the issue of her children’s true paternity is more important than her killing her eldest son, but the second issue is the more emotionally devastating.

For those of you who are shouting at your computer screens “It’s impossible! You made that up! There’s no way Cersei poisoned Joffrey!” I know, I know. Take a deep breath. Forget everything you think you know about Cersei and remember Syrio Forel.

“Opening your eyes is all that is needing. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth.”

Just so.

* * *

Now, for a closer look at the Tyrells…

ASOS p936, Littlefinger speaking to Sansa after the Purple Wedding:

“Lady Olenna was not about to let Joff harm her precious darling granddaughter, but unlike her son she also realized that under all his flowers and finery, Ser Loras is as hot-tempered as Jaime Lannister. Toss Joffrey, Margaery, and Loras in a pot, and you’ve got the makings for kingslayer stew. The old woman understood something else as well. Her son was determined to make Margaery a queen, and for that he needed a king… but he did not need Joffrey. . We shall have another wedding soon, wait and see. Margaery will marry Tommen. She’ll keep her queenly crown and her maidenhead, neither of which she especially wants, but what does that matter? The great western alliance will be preserved… for a time, at least.”

This is what Littlefinger would have us believe about the Tyrells’ primary motive for killing Joffrey, but there’s an obvious flaw in his story – that they would rely on 12-year old Sansa to bring the poison.

He’d have us believe they would retrieve the poison from Sansa right there on site in front of all the guests -- in front of her husband -- a member of the royal family -- whom they would be framing for kinslaying and regicide.

If you were Lady Olenna, and your motives were exactly what Littlefinger claims, would that be the best plan you could come up with?

The intelligent no-nonsense matriarch of a wealthy and powerful family could get her hands on whatever poison she needed through her own contacts. She would bring it to the feast herself. There’d be no reason at all to walk up to Tyrion Lannister and his wife to talk about killing men at weddings. Olenna is not such a fool.

If they were killing Joffrey to prevent him from harming Margaery and they were counting on Sansa to bring the poison, what would happen if Sansa didn’t show up? What if she didn’t wear the hair net? Margaery would have to go through with the bedding. Goodbye virginity. After that, she’d be considered no fit consort for Tommen even if they decided to kill Joffrey later on.

You say they could bring their own poison as a back-up? Then why bother going to Sansa to retrieve it in front of Tyrion? Same problem as before.

On that basis alone I declare Littlefinger’s story to be stuff and nonsense.

The facts of what happened, the conduct of the people involved, and logic point to the conclusion that the Tyrells were going ahead with this marriage to the royal pustule. Like Tywin, who believed there was still time to straighten out the 13-year old king, the Tyrells were going to see it through.

If Joffrey couldn’t be reformed, Margaery really only had to endure until she gave birth to that royal grandchild her father Lord “Puff Fish” Mace Tyrell wanted so badly. With the power of the Tyrells behind her, and the Lannisters’ dependence on the Tyrells’ support, Margaery would not be at the mercy of Joffrey’s whims dependent only on her brother Loras to protect her. Her situation was entirely different from that of solitary hostage Sansa Stark.

The fact that the Tyrells were obtaining the poison from Sansa meant that it wasn’t their own need they were addressing. They would, of course, be impacted by taking this action.

If it benefited Margaery to have a gentler husband in Tommen, that was somewhat of a bonus. On the downside it will be several years until there’s a possibility of a royal grandchild which is a demonstrable setback not only to Lord Puff Fish’s plans, but also to Margaery’s ability to get on with her life.

One of the motifs we see repeated in these books is how honorable people will violate their own principles under certain conditions. Ned confessed to a treason he had not committed – to keep his captive daughter safe, to live long enough to tell the truth someday and to get to the Wall to tell Jon Snow things he needed to be aware of.

The Tyrells were willing to kill a 13-year old boy who had been raised a king and a monster. They were willing to frame a man whom they believed to be a vile beast. They were willing to inflict a setback on their own goals. They were willing to do so to help a terrified and terrorized young girl escape her Lannister prison and get to the safety that their own family could provide for her.

A claim to the North notwithstanding, Winterfell had been sacked and burned. The Young Wolf was dead. The North was in disarray. Various forces, including Ironmen and Boltons were fighting over the bones and a long winter was coming. The truth is the Tyrells were taking terrible risks on Sansa’s behalf with little likely to show for it for quite a long time, if ever.

They had backed Renly at the start of the War of the Five Kings. Now they were going to murder one Baratheon-Lannister, frame another Lannister and to top it off steal from the royal family a prized hostage and a tool for forming a possible northern alliance. That’s huge.

Sansa was a ward of the crown. Marrying Sansa off was the only way to remove her from House Lannister’s legal custody. To marry her to Willas without the Lannister’s permission would be a very public tweaking of the lion’s nose and would surely bring reprisals eventually given Tywin’s history of punishing houses that show defiance.

Littlefinger’s catspaw Dontos told Sansa the Tyrells were only after her claim. In her embattled state Sansa seems to have accepted this at face value and I can’t hold that against her

After Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion when the Tyrells kept their distance from her, she took it for confirmation, but I believe she was mistaken.

Their first plot to take Sansa away had been uncovered and they didn’t know how that had happened. Who spoke out of turn? Had they somehow been overheard? Was there a spy in their midst? They obviously didn’t suspect that Sansa had spilled the beans considering how terrified she’d been of speaking during that first supper they’d had.

They didn’t know the source of the leak, but they did know they’d be watched by the Lannisters more closely than ever. They didn’t dare communicate with Sansa openly as it would surely bring trouble down on all their heads with little chance to escape detection. With Sansa already married off, what could they do for her, anyway?

After having promised to help Sansa, they would have felt ashamed that they had let her down and helpless to remedy her situation. For all the above reasons we have the Tyrells’ silence, sad looks, and averted eyes.

Now let’s suppose that one of Littlefinger’s catspaws gossiped to a Tyrell servant that a despondent Sansa was ready to kill herself. Someone was smuggling poison to her in the form of a silver hair net which would arrive along with a matching dress. She was to wear this outfit to Joffrey’s wedding feast. She would pull a purple crystal out of the hair net, drop it into her own wine cup and so end her suffering. That story would have caught their attention in a big way.

What if the gossip were true? They developed a Plan B – approach Sansa quickly and convince her not to kill herself. Inform Sansa they were going to help her, but be cunning about it. Take Sansa’s own poison, kill Joffrey, frame Tyrion, free Sansa, ONLY IF she were wearing the hair net.

When they arrived at the feast and saw Sansa wearing a silver dress with purple trim and a silver hair net with purple crystals exactly as had been described, it would have seemed like confirmation of the story. It would even have made Lady Olenna march right up to Sansa in front of everybody, in front of her wretched Lannister husband, to make sure that Sansa wouldn’t use one of the crystals to poison herself, and that she would give the Tyrell ladies one more chance to make good on their promises.

Outlandish? Perhaps, but it fits the facts better than Littlefinger’s version.

My own conclusions:

Margaery, Alerie and Olenna Tyrell were genuinely trying to help Sansa.

And Petyr Baelish is as superlative a portrait of a dangerous, duplicitous, manipulative, conniving S.O.B without the slightest shred of human decency as has ever been committed to paper.

Why, I’m angry just thinking about him!

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Just so you know -- This post is quite long, but it could have been much, much longer!

If you actually read the whole thing then I thank you very much for your patience and kind attention. J

* * *

PS – I desperately want my title to read “I waddle, therefore I am.”

One post down, 699 to go. :::sigh:::

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So in summary:

Littlefinger isn't as great as a manipulater as he thinks.

The Tyrells, Cercei and Littlefinger had their own intersecting plans at the Purple Wedding. But due to miscommunication and lack of information, Cercei ended up poisoning and killing Joffrey with a pie meant to kill Tyrion and the Tyrells unintentionally assured that Sansa would share blame along with Tyrion.

If this theory's true then it just means fate loves the Tyrells right now, Littlefinger's manipulations are not invincible and Cercei is even dumber than we thought she was. Wouldn't it have been easier to have Cercei convince Joffrey to order a Kingsguard to murder Tyrion?

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There's a lack of hard evidence in your posting, as well as some very selective criticism. What I mean by that is, that you're very quick to judge the "official" interpretation for not making any sense, while you're not judging your own version of the events by the same kind of standards. You're looking for holes in one version, and for proof in the other.

I believe, that a neutral observer can not genuinely conclude, that your interpretation is more likely.

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It's an interesting theory, but for me it doesn't stack up. I accept the point that Cersei not having POV chapters prior to the wedding might mean she made plans we weren't privy to, but for me the complete lack of any reflection over accidentally killing her own son in subsequent POV's makes this impossible. Her one redeeming feature is how much she loves her kids.

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Welcome Puffin! That was fun to read, and very well-written, and I LOVE the implication that it was Cersei who poisoned Joff.

I read a GRRM interview about prophecies, and he told a story about a knight who was terrified of castles because of a prophecy that we would die near a castle. He avoided them whenever possible to try and thwart the prophecy. But when he died... it was under a sign for an inn... with a picture of a castle painted on it. His point was that believing in prophecies often backfires when someone tries so hard to avoid the prophecy, that they accidentally fulfill it.

So what I took from this is that Cersei wanted to poison Tyrion as the potential valonqar, and it backfired... so badly that she killed one of her own kids and fulfilled part of the prophecy. Excellent.

I'd have to reread the chaps in the books to understand all the Tyrell/LF bits but... bravo.

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It's an interesting theory, but for me it doesn't stack up. I accept the point that Cersei not having POV chapters prior to the wedding might mean she made plans we weren't privy to, but for me the complete lack of any reflection over accidentally killing her own son in subsequent POV's makes this impossible. Her one redeeming feature is how much she loves her kids.

To be fair, some people think that Cercei only loves herself. I think she is a malignant narcissist, and incapable of loving others except as extensions of herself. You see her defending her children, but only when defending them benefits her. She is perfectly fine with hurting them, or allowing them to be hurt, if it suits her needs.

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To be fair, some people think that Cercei only loves herself. I think she is a malignant narcissist, and incapable of loving others except as extensions of herself. You see her defending her children, but only when defending them benefits her. She is perfectly fine with hurting them, or allowing them to be hurt, if it suits her needs.

I agree and I also think Cersei is really, really good at lying to herself and rationalizing and blocking out her bad deeds. In this case, there was immediate suspicion of the wine, not the pie, so in the context of this theory, I can easily see Cersei rationalizing that she had nothing to do with it.

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Welcome Puff! It's certainly interesting to reconsider the events at Joffrey and Marg's wedding to determine if there were other things going on or other actors involved. However, I think there are a number of glaring holes in this theory, three are big ones.

The PTSD excuse for Cersei not recalling or hinting anything about poison she may have used is barely valid. Yes, she was grieving obviously and in real life, we might expect some PTSD where symptoms include blocking the event. This is literature, where if the author wanted us to be suspicious of Cersei, he would have written even a tiny hint to encourage us to be suspicious. As far as I recall, there is no hint. The closest we get is with Cersei slamming the door on the image of Joffrey choking, not on any poison she may have used at the feast.

Also, the LF analysis is bizarre. In one section LF's inability to foresee things or understand stuff or telling foolish stories is pointed out, yet in the next section we are asked to believe that he's absolutely spot on about how Cersei changed because she beggared the realm so quickly when he didn't expect it. And this is used as a single piece of evidence to explain how Cersei has changed. This doesn't really make sense. LF had never actually seen Cersei with the full reigns of power, nor do I think he expected Tywin, Jaime and Kevan to be taken out of the equation. LF might think he knows how all people work, but he really doesn't. He's being fooled by Sansa, after all. Just to touch on the change in Cersei, it's a much debated topic. I do not believe her persona changed when her eldest child was killed. I think this is supported by others around her who know her well, like Kevan or Jaime. The only change we really get is that we now have a POV from her, where we get to see her paranoid thoughts instead of just witnessing her paranoid actions second hand.

I think the biggest issue is the that Tyrells are lemony sunshine and knightly rainbows. They aren't. They may commit singular acts of altruism at times, but they were not acting altruistically towards Sansa. There is no evidence that they intended to take her away only to send her off to Winterfell as the presumed sole surviving Stark. Nor is there any evidence that they thought Sansa would commit suicide and so decided to off their king and potentially harm their position of power in order to save a girl they didn't at all help before this feast. The Tyrell ladies ignored her after she was wed to Tyrion. Those lunches and hawking trips disappeared. The Tyrells aren't all rosy as claimed in the OP. They have thorns and they also have a desire to grow stronger and expand their areas of power.

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So what I took from this is that Cersei wanted to poison Tyrion as the potential valonqar, and it backfired... so badly that she killed one of her own kids and fulfilled part of the prophecy. Excellent.

I don't know, the irony doesn't have to be that obvious.

Trying to kill Tyrion openly at the weddin feast by pre-poisoning an entire pidgeon pie just makes way less sense than anything OP criticises about the "official" explanation.

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I don't know, the irony doesn't have to be that obvious.

Trying to kill Tyrion openly at the weddin feast by pre-poisoning an entire pidgeon pie just makes way less sense than anything OP criticises about the "official" explanation.

It was OP's suggestion not mine, about Cersei poisoning a pie. And there wasn't ONE pie, there were many, probably hundreds, to feed the crowd.

And, come to think of it, it makes even more sense if she was trying to set up Sansa. Just a thought.

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I share many of your ideas.

Except that I am NOT sure the Tyrells had anything to do with it. We ONLY have LFs comments to suport that idea. There was NOTHING for the Tyrells to gain by killing Joffrey. The Tyrells long term plan would have been for Margaery to have an heir ans a spare ie wait 1-4 years, then if Joffrey is a problem have him removed. They would have had no interest in removing Joffrey. Waiting for an 8 year old boy to reach maturity ie 5 years would have been a very silly plan.

I am prepared to believe they had a plan to remove Tyrion - that I can believe, because it frees Sansa for Willas and their claim to Winterfell. I suspect it is more likely that they were AWARE of the plan and chose not to intervene.

I also very much doubt that the hairnet is poisoned at all. I think Sansa may try to USE to hairnet and find this out - Perhaps she tries to kill herself and fails.

Also I do NOT think it was Cersai but rather Joffrey who planned to kill Tyrion at the instigation of LF and his minions.

I think the person who made the switch was Tywin. I suspect that at the wedding he got wind of the plan to kill Tyrion and ALSO realised in the cruelty of Joffrey that he was not fit to be king and was not young enough to be retrained. Tywin did NOT smile when Joffrey humiliated Tyrion. Tywin hates and fears laughter.

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Welcome, OP :cheers:

TBH, I'm waiting for the tv show to clarify the PW for me because I don't particularly trust LF's word. I'd like to think the Tyrells did it, but I still can't figure out the reason for the convoluted plot with the hairnet.

Maybe they wanted to frame Sansa and Tyrion, but later they would convince everyone that Sansa was innocent and that she didn't know that the beads were poison and that she was forced to wear the net by the evil Imp. Then Sansa can marry Willas and...profit? I don't know, I'm still not sure but I'm not taking anything for granted at this point.

BTW, I like the idea that the Tyrells were actually concerned for Sansa. I don't particularly believe that since the Tyrells are so overtly ambitious, but the difference between the Tyrells and the Lannisters is that while both families scheme for their own goals, the Tyrells can occasionaly do good things as colateral, like feeding the smallfolk or saving Sansa from a loveless marriage.

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I agree and I also think Cersei is really, really good at lying to herself and rationalizing and blocking out her bad deeds. In this case, there was immediate suspicion of the wine, not the pie, so in the context of this theory, I can easily see Cersei rationalizing that she had nothing to do with it.

It's possible, but she's smart enough to have at least one thought bubble of the irony of her trying to poison someone and her son being poisoned instead.

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I have a hard time believing that the Tyrells would have put so much on the line just to rescue Sansa, but I really like the idea of Cersei accidentally murdering her own son and block it out just because of the emotional dramz!

I never really thought about the pie either until you pointed it out, so I'll definitely be paying more attention when I get to the purple wedding during my reread. :D

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I agree Cersei is really good at rationalising things to herself, but if this is true, then she didn't rationalise it. There's no hint she even thinks about it all, or that it affects her in any way. Also, I don't see any example in the text she's willing to allow people to hurt her children at all. Maybe that's pride rather than motherly love, the principle of the thing, but the assumption Cersei tries to protect her children for whatever reason is supported many times in the text.

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I buy Cersei poisoning the pie. I like it.

I don't buy the Tyrells helping out Sansa out of the goodness of their hearts. I do buy that they probably wanted to keep her from being blamed for the purple wedding so that they could marry her off to Wilas after Tyrion got executed but the pie mixup prevented that from happening.

Possession is 9/10s. If they Tyrells had Sansa Stark I don't think that there's a whole lot that the Lannisters could have done about it afterwards.

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Interesting theory, but I think if cersei saw Joffrey reaching for and stuffing his face with what she knew to be poisoned pie I think she would have run to him and slapped his hand away and tried to get him to spit it out rather than waiting for him to start coughing, she wouldn't have cared that it would reveal her intent to kill her brother because she would think of some excuse later. An act first think later kind of reaction.

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