Easy: "Valar Morghulis"
That little [bleep] would just kill everyone.
Not much finesse there.
Yes. It was painful as a death, certainly; but it might have been the only time I would have wished Ramsay Bolton on anyone. Joffrey certainly deserved that. he was a beastly little monster.Joff had a visceral effect on readers because he was like a junior high bully with nearly unlimited power, and a psychopath to boot. You were happy and relieved when he died, sure, even if he did get off pretty easy for that world with such a quick and relatively clean death.
If Joffrey doesn't die, he either kills everyone and/or the story can't start winding down. Kind of boring.But was it good for the story? No main villain has since filled the void. Perhaps one will, but there are a lot of pages (and character names to remember) in between. So Martin perhaps went too far in avoiding a Lord of the Rings scenario, wanting to show that the universe—his universe—doesn’t care if a character is “good” or “evil” in casting lots, that it’s all shades of gray, etc. Not to say it still isn’t a great series…
Kill Joffrey and suddenly all the other characters get to actually do something / fight for the crown. This is elimination match, Game of Thrones, the crown is the prize and you either win the game or you die (to quote Cersie). So we're in the middle of "elimination." Half the contenders are gone. Half remain. Let's see what happens. Joffrey was an obstacle that unfortunately had to be removed, so that everyone else could get into the fun.
I'm glad King finished Dark Tower, but boy it was kind of hit or miss for some of it. The first four books (before the lull) were some of the best writing overall I've seen by him (and Book Four: Wizard & Glass is one of my most favorite things he has ever written, although it needs the setup of the first three to really evoke emotion. Drawing of the Three is pretty solid too -- and efficient as a book goes.)When I was skimming this thread I saw a few posts about the issue of Martin’s angry and demanding fans. I can relate to being disappointed over the long gaps between books, but definitely not to being angry at Martin. Stephen King, who went through the same thing with his Dark Tower series—him and Martin could probably start a support group—wrote a book called Misery that was all about such fans. They—esp. the ones who actually send the writer angry/hate mail—are childish people, in a bad and scary kind of way.
Wolves of the Calla to me was one of his worst books ever, and then the quality of the remaining books goes up and down. [At least he nailed the Mordred subplot and the last 5-6 pages of the series -- stick that landing, yay!] It's like he forced himself to finish it just so that it would get done. So maybe it's not great to push JRRM to just end the thing.
On the other hand, he seemingly has already handed over all his notes about how it's supposed to end to the showrunners, so whether he dies or not, the TV show will reach the intended ending and someone can likely ghostwrite the books for him if necessary. So again, not a biggie either way I think.
And you are so right -- kind of scary that fans demand such things, he's giving them the gift of sharing a personal vision with them but they're insisting that he owes them something. They're all dirty birdies.