The Noose Around Joffrey Baratheon's Neck


King Joffrey, sans winch. - THE MARY SUE
  • The Mary Sue
  • King Joffrey, sans winch.

If you're a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones, season 4 of which begins Sunday, April 6, you've by now realized that the gods that rule the fictional land of Westeros are neither good nor just. Likable characters like Sean Bean's Eddard Stark get the axe early and often, and don't get us started on the Red Wedding episode, with Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister being the notable exception.

Meanwhile, eminently dislikable characters never seem to get their comeuppance. Foremost among these is Joffrey Baratheon, played by Jack Gleeson, a character so terrible, sadistic and insidious he makes Nero look like Opie. This crappy little tyrant bow hunts prostitutes and shows off to his fiancee her father's severed head mounted on a pike. So why is there a statue of Joffrey in Auckland, New Zealand? 

To tear it down, of course: For every tweet containing the hashtag #bringdowntheking, a winch will draw tauter a noose hanging 'round the hated king's neck. When the tweets reach a critical mass, the rope will finally pull down the statue, Saddam Hussein-style, into Auckland's main square. 

It sounds like a promotional stunt, and it is. is literally and figuratively part of the Game of Thrones advertising machinery, and like the series, its production values are high: Two cameras watch the tightening of Joffrey's noose from different angles while a third monitors the winch as it ticks with each passing tweet.