I get why the red wedding is called the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones.

Because it was full of red blood.

But I do not get why the Purple Wedding is called the Purple Wedding. Which thing defined the color purple? The clothes were not (dominating) purple, the wine is red or at least I link it to red rather than purple.

I would link poison to green rather than purple.

Could someone tell me the obvious?

5 Answers 5


I would suggest a few reasons for this. Firstly, and most obviously, when people choke they turn a shade of red initially, then as they asphyxiate, and blood flow is restricted around the body, they turn a shade of blue. This transition from red to blue can result in a shade of purple and so can easily be linked to choking. Given the manner of Joffrey's demise, purple seems appropriate.

There are other reasons though related to the origin of the poison, as suggested by the wiki for the series:

The wedding of Joffrey and Margaery has been dubbed the Purple Wedding by fans for various reasons. The poison used to kill Joffrey is smuggled to the wedding in the purple amethyst hairnet of Sansa Stark, while the wine the king drinks is described first as dark red and soon after as purple. Purple is also a color often associated with royalty.

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    arg!!! could you please say that your quote will spoiler if you did not read the books? :(
    – Wandang
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 7:24
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    Although to be honest, it's hard to imagine how any part of my answer will avoid being enclosed in spoiler tags in that case! Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 7:27
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    There's no reason not to use the site. You'll get some fantastic answers and help. My advice would be to block any tags of shows you are currently watching - that way they won't appear in your feed and you'll avoid spoilers. But do come back. It's a very worthwhile resource :) Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 7:29
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    @AndrewMartin, I think as this is M&TV we need to keep content between books and the Series seperate: not just to avoid spoilers, but because they have slightly different continuities anyway. I'll raise a Meta to see what people think... Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 10:04
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    its fine to reference books in relation to this site, but it needs to be done with respect to the different medium, which means not spoiling an ongoing series with knowledge acquired elsewhere. It's not a question of content, its a question of etiquette really, and defining the remit of M&TV a little more. Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 10:21

Fans of Game of Thrones have dubbed King Joffrey's wedding and (SPOILER) death, as The Purple Wedding. It is not a name that is canon. The death of King Joffrey had nothing to do with Sansa. She was given an amethyst necklace by Ser Dantos Hollard, to wear to the wedding. The necklace held the poison in one of it's crystals. Sansa was completely unaware that the necklace she wore held the poison. In "A Storm of Swords," Sansa wears the hairnet that carries the poison to the feast. S4 E2 of "Game of Thrones," the series, has Sansa weaaring a necklace made of amethyst. That is the difference between books and show.

Lady Olenna Redwyne; The Queen of Thornes, played with Sansa's hair and necklace before the feast. After she did so, one of the crystals was missing. The poison inside the stone made its way into Joffrey's wine goblet when Tyrion picked it up and put it on the table, right next to Lady Olenna and the King.

The Red Wedding was called as such by George R.R. Martin, who has said many times that he based it on an event in our own history. It comes from an event in Scotland, called the Black Dinner. Martin has also said in various interviews, that in Dark Ages hospitality laws were taken very seriously. If you broke bread even with your enemy, it was not the time to attack or fight. It was a time of peace by law. By violating that law, "they condemn themselves for all time."

We've since seen evidence of this in the books:

with the Brotherhood Without Banners, who are now led by a certain Lady. They have been killing Freys all over the North, as well as anyone who had wronged House Stark.

The Purple Wedding has much the same meaning and consequence. It was a political move, made by Littlefinger and The Queen of Thornes. We will see if they have condemned themselves and all they stand for, respectively, as well. It seems Lady Olenna has already begun to suffer the consequences with what is happening to her family at the hand of Cercei Lannister.

It's a reasonable name given to an event similar to the Red Wedding, Both weddings ended in regicide. King Joffrey Baratheon sat the Iron Throne at the time of the Purple Wedding, and Robb Stark was King in the North when he was murdered at the Red Wedding. It is simply an easier name used to refer to Joffrey's death by fans.

  • Good answer but I think when you say the "an event in Scotland, called the Black Wedding", are you thinking of the Black Dinner? Apparently it's that event plus the Glencoe Massacre, both in Scotland. Also bare in mind this site is a Movies and TV site, so keep book-only stuff as background info, and you can use spoiler blocks so people reading the books can avoid them (start the paragraph with >!) Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 21:56
  • -user568458 thank you for that correction, silly of me, I meant the Black Dinner, not wedding, just had wedding on the mind. And thanks also for the info on how to create a spoiler block, I couldn't find how to do it. I will use it from now on. I also see what you mean about book only information. Much appreciated.
    – Lyanna
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 15:02

I believe that the term "Blue wedding" is sometimes used to describe a great/lucky wedding (probably coming from the quote "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue")

And a "Red wedding" is usually one containing blood and/or murder.

So you combine 'Blue + Red' and get 'Purple'.

The series already had a very prominent "Red Wedding", and the death of Joffrey was considered a great/lucky thing for the realm, it seemed logical to combine the two to come up with "Purple Wedding".

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    I'd be worried if "red wedding" was part of common language usage. Do many marriages contain blood and/or murder? Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 12:36
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    Blue blood is a reference to nobles. Therefore having a purple wedding is a mix of blue blood with red blood. But this would mean that the red wedding was without nobles. At the red wedding were no kings but lords.
    – Wandang
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 13:43

Because the hairnet that Sansa wears is coated in amethysts which are traditionally purple. It is the gem that causes the strife.


The necklace of Sansa has purple beads and that is what creates a big turn of events in the story. Maybe that is why it is known as the purple wedding.

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    Yes there is, in a spoiler block. Hover with your mouse to see it. Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 12:42

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