Editor's note: Despite the over-the-top preseason hype, we're still not finding this season to be particularly... what's the word we're looking for?... good. Of the seven people removed thus far, three shouldn't have been on in the first place, while the other four were solid strategic players who really had no shot (thanks to the format), and who received precious little airtime. It's as if the game still hasn't really started. The merge is most likely two episodes away, and unlike the delectable pandemonium of the Philippines merge, it seems likely to be a fairly predictable, ho-hum affair. This week did include a swap, and a welcome departure from the slew of carnival game-based challenges. But still... meh. So naturally, as the end of March approaches, a boy's thoughts turn instead to A Game of Thrones. This week, inspired by this tweet, we decided to imagine the show with a new host: King Joffrey Baratheon.
Thank you for hosting this tourney in my honor, Lord Hoat. Will there be a bear pit? No? Pity. Well, get on with it, then.
Will someone please tell me why I am watching this awkward band of small folk? What do they call themselves? Gota? They bore me. Although I do enjoy the antics of the tall one, with the white shirt. His grinning and parading about reminds me of my fool, Ser Dontos. Where is he? Drunk again?
Well, come on, make them all do something. Don't you have some more rats to release on them, Lord Hoat? Look at them! They're just standing around, feeling pleasant about themselves. Oh, but I do like the looks of the bald one. He reminds me of my headsman, Ser Ilyn Payne. Who I shall be summoning if these louts don't start entertaining me. Mother, they're not doing anything. Can I make them joust on the backs of pigs? What? No bears and no pigs? Do you take me for a fool, Lord Hoat?
[After a brief intermission, the "tribes" are summoned to the tourney grounds, where King Joffrey addresses them.]
Greetings, lords and ladies of House Bikal, and you other assorted common folk. As you know, as your king, my duty is to look out for your well-being. I understand that, what with the war with those treasonous wolves, food has become scarce. So today I present you with these eggs. You first, small folk. There you go. Now your betters from Bikal. Very well then, commence your supping.
Ha ha ha! Yes, those are not normal eggs, they are filled with paint! You are now painted like the whores of Flea Bottom. An excellent jape, Littlefinger! Oh, the looks on your faces! Well, as you are no doubt aware, House Bikal, I had you brought here because you displeased me. You had promised to foster my dear Lord Hantz's nephew, young Brandon. Instead, you expelled him from your lands. In return, today I am stripping you of your titles, and forcing you to live with these small folk. You Gota people? You're here because Vargo Hoat assured me there would be jousting, and he said he needed live dummies because all of his quintains were broken.
Now please leave, and start doing something entertaining. Some of you shall be relocated to the Gota hovels. Others will remain on Bikal area, over there. But I will be watching you. It is fortunate for you that I am not a monster, as I have provided you with a small sack of rice, to go with your eggs. Also some fire-making tools. Now, remove yourselves from my presence, and do it quickly, or I shall have Ser Meryn strike you with a mailed fist.
[More time passes. King Joffrey continues to observe the travails of the new Gota and Bikal groups with insouciant disregard.]
What are these imbeciles doing now, Lord Hoat? More talking? More smiling? You promised me entertainment! Where is the yelling, the nicknames, the tossing of food, and the threats of bodily harm you promised me? Or the capering? I was promised capering! These jackanapes are now sitting in the water, talking to each other. Or crouching by the fire, talking to each other. Or standing in the forest, talking to each other. One person has a sword, but they are using it to cut fruit, not the other people! Have you ever even seen a tourney before, Lord Hoat? I will give you one more chance before I place your head on a spike above the Red Gate. Where is Ser Ilyn? Perhaps the Goat does not take my concerns seriously?
[After a brief discussion amongst the Bloody Mummers, Vargo Hoat calls for Gota and Bikal to be brought in to compete in a contest of strength.]
Finally, some action. Very good. Now, you people will move those large boxes from over there to that ramp over there, where I believe you will toss them at each other, in an attempt to crush the other group's ramp and/or the other group. What, Uncle Tyrion? They are supposed to stack them neatly? There is no throwing? Gods, now I understand why Father preferred drinking and hunting to these cursed King's duties. Very well, then, begin. I said begin, you purple group! Seven hells, you would have me watch box rolling instead of jousting or melee, and then this purple group isn't even trying to win? I think I would rather write a book for children than this. Can this orange group at least hurry up and get it over with? Gods.
I know you want me to observe the purple group's camp again, Lord Varys, but I really can't be bothered. Baelish tells me he arranged it so that one of the small folk is guaranteed to meet their demise, but really, where's the sport in that? Wouldn't it be more fun if I just used them for crossbow practice? All this false pageantry of playing and plotting and voting, it really is a mummer's farce. And not even a Bloody Mummers' farce, which at least would have a chance of somebody losing a hand or a foot. Fine, dispatch the wildling with the painted body. He seems unlikely to bend the knee, anyway.
Now, Ser Meryn: please toss Lord Hoat into a bear pit. I've had enough of this.
Recaps and commentary
Exit interviews - Matt Bischoff