Tower of the Hand

Book 3, Chapter 61.
Joffrey is poisoned at his wedding feast.
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Tyrion looks on as the High Septon marries Joffrey and Margaery. He reflects on the attempt on Bran's life and how Joffrey had to be the one to order the killing. He still does not know why, but figures it was probably to impress Robert.1 After the seven vows are made and seven blessings received, Lord Mace removes Margaery's maiden cloak while Tommen hands Joffrey the bride's cloak to place on her shoulders. After the ceremony is over, the wedding procession makes its way out of the Great Sept. Ser Loras and Ser Meryn lead the way, followed by Tommen spreading rose petals before Joffrey and Margaery, after the king and queen come Cersei and Lord Mace, then Lord Tywin and Lady Alerie, then Lady Olenna and Ser Kevan shadowed by Erryk and Arryk, then Ser Garlan and Lady Leonette, and finally Tyrion and Sansa. Ser Addam and his men hold back the cheering crowd as the bride and groom receive congratulations from the wedding guests. Tyrion and Sansa return to the Red Keep in their litter. Tyrion tries to break through her wall of courtesy on the way but fails. When they arrive, he relieves himself and returns to his chambers, where Podrick has laid out his clothes for the feast. Sansa is changing at the moment, so he just takes some wine, sits and, thinks. The War of the Five Kings is nearly over. Gregor Clegane has taken Harrenhal; Black Walder has forced Seagard to yield; Lord Randyll has captured Maidenpool; Ser Daven and Ser Forley have linked up to march on Riverrun, soon to be joined by two thousand men led by Ser Ryman, and Lord Paxter is almost ready to sail his fleet to Dragonstone. Podrick brings up changing again, and he enters the bedchamber, where Shae is just finishing with Sansa. She looks beautiful, yet extremely sad. Shae asks Sansa if she may serve at the feast, and Tyrion is forced to tell her there is no room for her.

Sansa and Tyrion go to the feast. As Sansa makes the rounds, talking with Lord Gyles, Elinor Tyrell, Jalabhar Xho, Lancel, out of his sickbed for the first time and thin with brittle hair and ready to collapse, and Ser Kevan, Tyrion realizes that she would make a great queen. Lady Olenna comes up, straightens Sansa's hair, and offers to take her to Highgarden when she leaves in two days. Sansa declines. Tyrion and Sansa enter the throne room for the feast, with Lady Olenna following escorted by Erryk and Arryk. Soon after, Joffrey and Margaery ride in on horses. After they take their seats, Tywin, Kevan, Lancel, and Cersei embrace Margaery while Mace, Loras and Garlan do the same for Joffrey. The High Septon says a prayer as Tyrion takes his seat by Garlan and Leonette, and then Joffrey declares the beginning of the feast. Tyrion looks around at all the happy women in the hall, such as Margaery, Lady Alerie beside Lord Mace, Alla, Elinor, Megga, Lady Taena, and Ellaria with Prince Oberyn at a special table as far from the Tyrells as possible, and wishes his wife would love him and be happy.2 Hamish the Harper is the first to sing, performing a new composition telling how Renly repented in death and rode to King's Landing to save Joffrey. Other entertainers follow, including a dancing bear, Moon Boy, Butterbumps, a troupe of Pentoshi tumblers, Collio Quaynis of Tyrosh, Dontos and Moon Boy, four pyromancers, and many other performers as courses come and go. The next singer, Galeyon of Cuy, sings a song of the Blackwater that says nothing of Tyrion. Tyrion is bitter, and Garlan next to him explains to Leonette how Tyrion saved the city. The song is seventy-seven verses, and Grand Maester Pycelle is asleep by the end of it.

After a brief altercation between one of Lord Mathis's men and a Dornishman, a very drunk Joffrey calls for the jousters. They are dwarves,3 and Tyrion immediately sees the insult directed at him. After a comic show, one of them yields, and Joffrey declares that he must fight Tyrion to determine the champion. Tyrion stands on the table and says he will ride the pig if Joffrey rides the dog because the king is the only man he could hope to defeat. An enraged Joffrey has to be restrained by Ser Meryn and Ser Osmund. As Alaric of Eysen prepares to perform, Joffrey comes over to Tyrion and dumps wine on his head. Tyrion and Margaery attempt to defuse the situation, and Joffrey orders Tyrion to fill his cup for a toast. Lord Tywin announces that the pie has arrived, and Joffrey fetches his sword to cut it. Margaery points out that Widow's Wail should not be used to slice a pie, and Joffrey calls for Ser Ilyn to provide his sword. He no longer has Ice, which shocks Tyrion and Sansa.4 After Tyrion cuts the pie open to allow the pigeons to fly out, servants serve actual pigeon pie. Joffrey comes over and eats Tyrion's piece, washing it down with more wine. Suddenly, he starts coughing violently. As the assembled watch in horror, Joffrey chokes to death. Tyrion looks at the wine chalice in his hand, which still has a little wine in it, and pours it out. Cersei lets out a scream when it is over, and it takes two Kingsguard to pry her fingers off Joffrey's body. Cersei orders the Kingsguard to arrest Tyrion for the murder of Joffrey.


Warning: Footnotes may contain spoilers from later chapters or books.
  • 1 - This footnote contains details from a later chapter (ASOS 73). Click to show.
  • 2 - This footnote contains details from a later chapter (ASOS 67). Click to show.
  • 3 - Oppo and Penny.
  • 4 - This footnote contains details from a later chapter (ASOS 73). Click to show.


1.  Prologue 29.  Sansa III 57.  Bran IV
2.  Jaime I 30.  Arya V 58.  Daenerys V
3.  Catelyn I 31.  Jon IV 59.  Tyrion VII
4.  Arya I 32.  Jaime IV 60.  Sansa IV
5.  Tyrion I 33.  Tyrion IV 61.  Tyrion VIII
6.  Davos I 34.  Samwell II 62.  Sansa V
7.  Sansa I 35.  Arya VI 63.  Jaime VII
8.  Jon I 36.  Catelyn IV 64.  Davos VI
9.  Daenerys I 37.  Davos IV 65.  Jon VIII
10.  Bran I 38.  Jaime V 66.  Arya XII
11.  Davos II 39.  Tyrion V 67.  Tyrion IX
12.  Jaime II 40.  Arya VII 68.  Jaime VIII
13.  Tyrion II 41.  Bran III 69.  Sansa VI
14.  Arya II 42.  Jon V 70.  Jon IX
15.  Catelyn II 43.  Daenerys IV 71.  Tyrion X
16.  Jon II 44.  Arya VIII 72.  Daenerys VI
17.  Sansa II 45.  Jaime VI 73.  Jaime IX
18.  Arya III 46.  Catelyn V 74.  Jon X
19.  Samwell I 47.  Samwell III 75.  Arya XIII
20.  Tyrion III 48.  Arya IX 76.  Samwell IV
21.  Catelyn III 49.  Jon VI 77.  Jon XI
22.  Jaime III 50.  Catelyn VI 78.  Tyrion XI
23.  Arya IV 51.  Arya X 79.  Samwell V
24.  Daenerys II 52.  Catelyn VII 80.  Jon XII
25.  Bran II 53.  Arya XI 81.  Sansa VII
26.  Davos III 54.  Tyrion VI 82.  Epilogue
27.  Jon III 55.  Davos V
28.  Daenerys III 56.  Jon VII