Last night we watched the last episode of HBO’s new series Game of Thrones for this season. We liked this show immediately, and if anything the series has gotten better as it has gone along, following twists and turns and shocking plot developments. Do we really have to wait for months to see more of this show?
Game of Thrones has one crucial element that can separate a good show from a great one: a villain who can be hated truly, completely, and without any reservation, a character so foul that you fervently hope they die in the most painful and humiliating way imaginable. That villain is Joffrey Baratheon. He is played so convincingly by actor Jack Gleeson that I’m not sure that I’d want to know Gleeson in real life.
Joffrey is a teenage twit who has assumed the Iron Throne, where all of his bad qualities have come to full and appalling flower. And there are so many of them! He is a sniveling coward, a sadist, a pretentious deceiver, an arrogant bastard, and a lazy wretch — among countless others. The only thing that could have made Joffrey more repulsive would be to give him some kind of grotesque physical deformity, like a hairy, oozing sore on his upper lip. On this show, however, the physical deformities have been reserved for others, like the character who had half his face melted off in a fire.
This show has lots of bad guys — evil Queen Cercei Lannister, her wicked brother Ser Jaime Lannister, a lying witch, untrustworthy manipulator Petyr Baelish, and braying weakling Virserys Targaryen have all been loathsome in their own special ways — but Joffrey Baratheon is the worst of the worst. I’ll be ready to board the Joffrey hate train when the new season of Game of Thrones starts next spring.