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The Lion and the Rose

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The Lion and the Rose
Season 4, Episode 2
Air date April 13, 2014
Written by George R.R. Martin
Directed by Alex Graves
Episode Guide
"Two Swords"
"Breaker of Chains"

"The Lion and the Rose" is the second episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones and the thirty-second episode of the series overall. It aired on April 13, 2014 and was written by George R.R. Martin, the writer of the Song of Ice and Fire novels on which the series is based. It was directed by Alex Graves.


A who's who of honored guests turns out for Joffrey and Margaery's wedding in King's Landing. Meanwhile, Bronn gives a lesson to an unlikely pupil; Bran's vision helps map out his journey; Stannis loses patience with Davos; and Ramsay takes a perverse delight in his new pet.


At Dragonstone

On the beach of Dragonstone, Melisandre presides over a public burning, setting three people chained to stakes ablaze as an offering to the Lord of Light. One of the condemned is Queen Selyse Baratheon's own brother, condemned for his lack of faith in the Lord's power. Watching the proceedings, Ser Davos Seaworth holds his tongue, though his disgust both for the ritual and Melisandre are plain. Melisandre is surprisingly silent throughout the proceedings; it is Selyse who takes the greatest pleasure in the ritual.

Afterwards, Stannis and Selyse eat dinner, with Melisandre as a guest at their table. The royal couple argue over their daughter, Princess Shireen Baratheon; Selyse believes the girl's disfigurement is a punishment from the Lord of Light, but Stannis angrily forbids his wife from trying to physically chastise their daughter for her perceived faults. Selyse switches tactics and suggests that Melisandre speak to Shireen. Stannis doesn't protest, but Melisandre doesn't look particularly interested in the task. Nonetheless, Melisandre does speak with Shireen, explaining in gentle yet matter-of-fact terms that the Faith of the Seven and its holy books are lies: Melisandre insists there are only two gods, the Lord of Light and the Great Other, constantly at war. When Shireen asks if there is any truth to the Faith's belief in seven heavens and seven hells, Melisandre replies "There is only one hell... the one we live in now".

At the Dreadfort

In the forests surrounding the Dreadfort, the seat of House Bolton, Ramsay Snow hunts a peasant girl for his sport, accompanied by Theon Greyjoy (whom Ramsay now addresses by his new name, Reek) and Myranda, along with a pack of savage dogs. The girl is eventually brought down and torn to pieces by the dogs, much to Reek's disgust.

Soon after, Roose Bolton arrives at the Dreadfort accompanied by a detachment of his army, including Locke and Roose's new wife, Walda Bolton. Ramsay greets his father and his new step-mother (as well as privately congratulating Locke for his maiming of the Kingslayer). Roose wants to see Ramsay's captive Theon Greyjoy.

Theon is brought to Roose's chambers, where Roose is disgusted and angered to learn Ramsay has tortured and flayed Theon; as Balon Greyjoy's sole surviving male heir, Theon was a valuable hostage. Roose notes that while he has been named Warden of the North, Tywin Lannister will not help him reclaim the north from the ironborn, and he had intended on trading Theon for Moat Cailin, a strategically placed fortress on the border between the North and the Riverlands currently held by Greyjoy forces, preventing the main Bolton army from returning north. Ramsay retorts that he already sent terms and Balon refused him. Roose is furious that Ramsay did so without his consent, but Ramsay demonstrates that his actions have made Reek docile and unable to betray them.

After ordering Reek to shave him, Ramsay cajoles him into admitting that Bran and Rickon Stark are still alive. Ramsay reminds his father that the boys are now heirs to House Stark's rule of the North following Robb Stark's death, and nearly all the Northerners- furious at House Bolton's treachery against the Starks- will rally behind Bran and Rickon rather than Roose if they learn the boys are alive. Ramsay, knowing how close Theon was to Robb, gleefully taunts him by revealing details of the Red Wedding, particularly relishing the fact that it was Roose who personally murdered Robb. Despite being clearly shaken to know the man he considered a brother is dead at the hands of his new masters, Theon does not openly react.

Roose dispatches Locke with orders to find and kill Bran and Rickon; Reek suggests that Jon Snow might either be hiding the boys or at least may know where they have gone, while Ramsay advocates killing Jon as well, given that the fact he has Stark blood could lead to him becoming a threat. Roose gives Ramsays orders as well; to take Theon and an army to Moat Cailin and reclaim the fortress from the Greyjoys. If he succeeds, Roose will give consideration to legitimizing Ramsay as a member of House Bolton.

Beyond the Wall

We follow the point of view of a panting figure traveling through a dark, snow-covered forest. It kills a deer. Just as the figure makes its kill, it is revealed that the figure is Summer and that Bran Stark had been warging into Summer. Bran's warging is interrupted by Meera Reed, who says that Bran had been gone for hours. Bran is not happy about having been snapped out of his warging, saying that he was eating. Jojen Reed clarifies that Summer was eating and that what Bran cannot gain sustenance from what Summer eats. Jojen and Meera also caution Bran that warging so long is dangerous for other reasons. Even though it allows Bran the mobility he lost when he was injured, Bran would become trapped, forgetting his friends, his family, his home, and even himself. And if Bran forgets himself, they all lose everything.

The group breaks camp and continues traveling through the forest. They eventually come upon a weirwood tree. Bran has Hodor take him to the tree. Bran touches the tree just under the face carved into it and sees a vision. Several images rush to Bran's mind, including swarms of crows, wights (both human and horses), and the fall that paralyzed him. He also sees the Three-eyed raven taking flight in a darkened corridor and later land on a tree. Bran sees his father sharpening Ice, in the Black Cells, and being led to his execution; the Red Keep abandoned and covered in snow; and the shadow of a dragon flying over King's Landing. Bran also sees several images of a different weirwood tree located on top of an otherwise barren mountain. During the vision, a gravely voice tells Bran to "look for me beneath the tree... NORTH." Bran snaps out of his vision out of breath, but then matter-of-factly states, "I know where we have to go."

At King's Landing

At his wedding feast, King Joffrey speaks to the crowd about contemplating history. Out of a large golden lion, five dwarves ride out, representing Joffrey, Renly Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, Robb Stark, and Balon Greyjoy, each of the five kings in the War of the Five Kings. The dwarves put on a performance, jousting, fighting, and making crude sexual acts. Joffrey, his brother Tommen, and Cersei laugh at the performance. The Tyrells (Margaery, Olenna, Mace, and Loras), as well as TywinTyrion, and Sansa Stark, are disgusted. Joffrey then suggests the champion dwarf and Tyrion fight. Tyrion says Joffrey should fight instead and show the same bravery he displayed at the Battle of the Blackwater. Joffrey then empties his wine goblet over Tyrion's head, then orders Tyrion to be his cupbearer and serve him wine.

Tyrion approaches Joffrey, and Joffrey purposely drops the goblet and kicks it under the table. Sansa hands the goblet to Tyrion, and Tyrion fills it with wine and hands it to Joffrey. Joffrey demands that Tyrion kneel before him but Tyrion does not.  Margaery interrupts the tense moment and says it is time to cut the pie. Joffrey hands the goblet to Margaery, who then places it at the edge of the table near her grandmother Olenna. Joffrey draws his new sword, cuts the pie, and several white doves fly out.

Sansa and Tyrion attempt to leave the feast, while Margaery serves Joffrey a piece of pie. Joffrey commands Tyrion to serve him wine to wash down the pie. Tyrion hands the goblet to Joffrey and he quickly drinks all of it. Joffrey tries to speak, but begins coughing. He grabs his throat, and Margaery and Olenna exclaim that he is choking and needs help. Joffrey collapses face down and begins vomiting and convulsing. Jaime and Cersei rush in and turn Joffrey over on his back. Dontos Hollard suddenly approaches Sansa from behind and says she must come with him quickly, and she does. Joffrey points at Tyrion, as Tyrion examines the wine goblet. Joffrey's eyes turn red, blood runs from his nose, he stops convulsing, and dies. Cersei sobs with grief and orders the Kingsguard to seize Tyrion for the poisoning of Joffrey.


Main: The Lion and the Rose/Appearances






Guest starring


Cast notes


  • The title is a reference to the sigils of House Lannister (Lion) and House Tyrell (Rose). In the books Margaery Tyrell is sometimes referred to as "the Little Rose".
    • This echoes the title of Season 1 episode 5, "The Wolf and the Lion", which referenced the direwolf sigil of House Stark and the lion sigil of House Lannister.
  • Despite appearing in the title sequence, Winterfell, The Wall, and Meereen do not appear in the episode itself. What is technically Winterfell's associated storyline (Bran's) does appear, however.
  • Tommen Baratheon was recast starting in Season 4. He is now played by Dean-Charles Chapman, replacing Callum Wharry. Chapman formerly played Martyn Lannister in Season 3 - though given that Martyn is Tommen's first cousin, they would logically have similar appearances. Wharry appeared as Tommen in Season 1 but had no speaking lines; he returned in Season 2 and actually did have speaking lines with Cersei in two short scenes, but afterwards the character did not appear for all of Season 3.
  • At the beginning of the dinner scene at Dragonstone, the servant who waits on Stannis and Selyse is actually staff writer Bryan Cogman making an uncredited cameo.
  • The three musicians whom Joffrey throws coins at to make them leave are the band Sigur Rós, making a cameo appearance.
  • Podrick directly asks Jaime if his new prosthetic hand is made of solid gold, and is told that it is actually gold-plated steel. In the books, Jaime's prosthetic hand is indeed made out of solid gold. One of the reasons it was made out of solid gold was because gold is so much heavier than steel, so the muscles of Jaime's right arm would still get sufficient exercise, instead of atrophying from lack of use. Also due to the great weight of solid gold, Jaime discovers that it makes quite an effective bludgeoning weapon. However, steel is still heavy enough for such purposes, while being much tougher than gold, making it also able to defend against blades for example.
  • Jaime's reason for training with Bronn is because he wants a partner who can be trusted not to tell anyone that he can no longer defend himself, and he accomplishes this by paying Bronn extra to remain silent. In the books, Jaime chose to train with Ser Ilyn Payne - whose tongue was torn out by its roots years ago at the order of the Mad King. Actor Wilko Johnson, who played Ser Ilyn in Seasons 1 and 2, developed terminal pancreatic cancer during Season 2 and withdrew from acting - explaining why Ser Ilyn's interaction with Jaime was shifted to Bronn.
  • Oberyn Martell mentions Cersei's daughter Myrcella Baratheon, and that she is still in Dorne. Two full years ago, in Season 2 "What is Dead May Never Die", Tyrion established a marriage-alliance pact to ensure that House Martell would remain neutral in the war and not join on the side of the Lannisters' enemies. Myrcella was then sent on a ship to Dorne three episodes later in "The Old Gods and the New". Myrcella is currently betrothed to Oberyn's nephew, but as he more than subtly implies in this episode, she is essentially a political hostage to ensure that the Lannisters treat the Martells well.
  • During Jaime's (possibly well-meaning) warning to Loras that if he marries Cersei she will soon have him assassinated, he also warns that if he manages to impregnate Cersei she will kill the child too, "long before it draws its first breath". This may be a reference to that in the books, the one time Cersei actually became pregnant by King Robert, she secretly had an abortion rather than have his child. The TV series changed this with comments in Season 1 that Cersei actually did have a child with Robert during their first year of marriage (when she briefly thought their marriage might work out), but he died of a fever soon after birth. This doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility that in the TV continuity, Cersei became pregnant by Robert again at a later point, and then secretly had an abortion.
  • The sounds of Joffrey choking at the end of the episode were mostly replaced by mixing different sound effects (because it would have been impossible for the actor to sound like he was choking, unless he was actually choking). While it takes about 30 seconds of screentime for Joffrey to choke to death, the sound effects editing took around six to eight hours. Some animal sounds were used, as well as a recording of a woman impersonating a choking baby. The last wheezing gasp that escapes from Joffrey as he finally dies was supplied by co-producer Greg Spence.[1]
  • In his vision, Bran sees several events and images that appeared in previous episodes:

In the books

  • The episode is adapted from the following chapters of A Storm of Swords:
    • Chapter 58, Tyrion VII: Tyrion contemplates sending Shae away from King's Landing.
    • Chapter 59, Sansa IV: The wedding breakfast.
    • Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII: The wedding feast, Joffrey dies from poisoning and Tyrion get arrested for the murder. 
    • Chapter 63, Davos VI: On Dragonstone, the sacrifice of people who lack of faith in the Lord's power.  
    • Chapter 72, Jaime IX: Jaime training his left hand to be his swordhand.
See: Differences between books and TV series - Season 4#The Lion and the Rose

Memorable quotes

Tyrion Lannister: "A toast to the proud Lannister children: The dwarf, the cripple, and the Mother of Madness."

Bronn: "Problem is, if you fight with an edged blade, I'll have to. And if I fight with an edged blade, I'll have no one left to pay me."
Melisandre: "There is only one hell... the one we live in now."
Olenna Tyrell: "Killing a man at a wedding? Horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing? As if men need more reasons to fear marriage."
Jaime Lannister: "If you were to marry Cersei, she'd murder you in your sleep. If you somehow managed to put a child in her first, she'd murder him, too, long before he drew his first breath. Luckily for you, none of this will happen because you'll never marry her."

Loras Tyrell: "And neither will you."

Oberyn Martell: "I expect it is a relief, Lady Cersei, giving up your regal responsibilities. Wearing the crown for so many years must have left your neck a bit crooked."

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