What was the reason for the complicated plan to smuggle the poison that killed Joffrey in Game of Thrones S04E02 to the Purple Wedding? It's not like there's TSA-style security at the entrance, right? Or at least we never see any.

Why was it not possible to simply conceal the poison in the robes, directly on the person who actually adds it to the drink?

3 Answers 3


The reasoning behind the contrived plan to smuggle in the poison has never been explained in the TV show or the books. So for now, all we can do is theorize. Here's my take on it:

The plan's main objective was to assassinate King Joffrey, but it also had a secondary objective: to acquire Sansa Stark. We know that the Tyrells no longer valued Sansa, since she was now married to Tyrion and they can no longer marry her into the Tyrells and take a stake in her Northern claims. So that part must have come from Littlefinger, who still valued Sansa (for various reasons).

Sansa is a flighty child and very scared. Littlefinger needed a way to control her and bond her to him. Yes, helping her to escape King's Landing is one step. But afterwards, when she was in relative safety, he needed to make sure she stays with him. So Littlefinger implicates her in the assassination plan. In legal terms, she is now an accessory to murder. Even if her gratefulness for the help doesn't instill loyalty towards Littlefinger, the threat of being outed as part of a regicide plot would scare her into loyalty. In essence, for good or bad, she is now stuck with Littlefinger.

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    This doesn't really explain the whole necklace part of the plan, though -- she fled because the Fool guy grabbed her and (honestly, even if he wasn't part of the plot, probably wisely) told her that she'd be in danger if she stayed. At that point she had no idea about the necklace but was fleeing anyway. It also seems like no one (who wasn't in on the murder plot) knows anything about the necklace, either, after the murder. Jun 25, 2014 at 20:12
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    @YungHummmma - In the show, Littlefinger explains the necklace part to her later, and in the books she figures it out herself. In both cases she is now accessory to murder for the simple fact that the kangaroo court of Westeros would believe she purposely smuggled the poison in. Putting the poison crystal in the necklace allowed Littlefinger to make Sansa part of the conspiracy without her knowing it. Jun 25, 2014 at 22:41

Because then it would be easier to identify the killer.

Now, whoever did it has framed Tyrion and Sansa; the Lannisters, as well as the rest of the people, cannot think of anyone else to declare as the killer of Joffrey.

If, let's say, the assassin had the poison on him, that could lead back to him. The poison was on Sansa (who was not the assassin). So even if they found out where the poison came from, it would lead to Sansa

  • What? That makes no sense. The assassin did have the poison (or what was left of it, or its container, or whatever) on himself (or herself). I'm not even sure what you're saying by "the assassin would have to add it to the wine himself". What do you think happened? Jun 25, 2014 at 16:08
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    @YungHummmma The poison was on Sansa. The assassin was Margaery's grandma. So even if they found out where the poison came from, it would lead to Sansa Jun 25, 2014 at 16:10
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    Didn't the poison come from the necklace? Sansa still had the necklace after the poisoning Jun 25, 2014 at 16:19
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    Maybe you need to reread my answer. I said could lead, not would lead. If some detective (of some kind) really really really investigated or something, he might have seen that Sansa had a necklace was missing a piece. And if he examined the necklace, he could have seen that it was poisonous. The part you said about what if she hadn't worn it to the wedding? is a different question. You can ask it if you want. I know this is going really far, but the assassin must have wanted to really seem innocent Jun 25, 2014 at 16:28
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    One point - it's quite possible that this was just one of the ways for the planned assassination. If Sansa decided not to wear the necklace, there might have been other poisons ready. They would lose the reason why they implicated Sansa in the assassination, but they would still kill Joffrey. In this case, adding the poison to the necklace wouldn't increase the risk, and added some benefits.
    – Luaan
    Jul 10, 2014 at 14:36

It has not been clarified so this is just speculation:

If the Queen of Thorns had carried the poison into the wedding on herself then there is a small chance that a trace might get left on her somehow and she might be implicated.

Imagine the political catastrophe if the Tyrells were implicated in regicide via physical evidence. The family name and all of their plans would be in ruins and war would be the probably result. Even a small chance of this is too much.

However, Littlefinger knew that Sansa would vanish without a trace before any actual investigation started (he had arranged it via Dontos) and hence no one would could reliably know who was responsible and it would cause trouble.

Littlefinger likes causing trouble as it allows him to play his game more easily. If Tyrion had not been appointed cup bearer and humiliated by Joffrey then he would not have been so obvious a suspect so who would have got blamed? Anyone? Everyone?

Even if they suspected Sansa they would never be able to find her to prove anything so Cersei's desire for revenge would probably switch to another target.

Potential alliances would have shattered and division would have sprung up. Littlefinger would have played both sides like an ambidextrous fiddler who was also an expert juggler.

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    "Remove spoiler!" - I guess the answer would be significantly more explanative without stuff like "a certain person", "the family name", "the poisoner" or "an opportunist". It's not like this isn't all revealed one episode later. I'm not sure beating around the bush does anyone a favour.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 26, 2014 at 11:39
  • Fair enough, I did not realise it was revealed one episode later - will reformat the answer
    – Stefan
    Jun 26, 2014 at 11:52
  • Well, not to speak of the other answers here.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 26, 2014 at 11:54
  • Yeah I noticed those but if someone else wants to reveal a spoiler they can, does not mean I am going to! Although I did not realise it was not really much of a spoiler. I do not remember it being revealed in the episode (I might have missed that part/episode).
    – Stefan
    Jun 26, 2014 at 11:57

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