TVLine's Performer of the Week: Jack Gleeson

The Lion and the Rose Game of ThronesA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars


THE SHOW | Game of Thrones

THE EPISODE | “The Lion and the Rose

THE AIRDATE | April 13, 2014

THE PERFORMANCE | Thrones fans, stop for a minute and try to tally up every single time you’ve wanted Joffrey to get what’s coming to him, every time you’ve wanted to smack that insolent grin off his ferrety face, every time you’ve wanted him dead.

And now that he has shuffled off to spend time with the old gods and the new (if they’ll have him), think about what masterful work Gleeson did in making you hate a fictional character so much.

In Sunday’s episode, Gleeson played the boy king to the hilt, turning every puerile move into a moment of bad-mannered glory. Joffrey’s terrible demeanor and lack of sympathy for any other human could’ve easily become old over the years, but Gleeson always imbued his character with such a joy for churlishness that his bad behavior was a treat to watch.

RELATED | HBO Renews Game of Thrones — But There’s a Twist!

And the wedding feast offered so many opportunities for Gleeson to play up Joff’s worst qualities. He chopped Tyrion’s wedding gift in half, exploited dwarves in an insulting mockery of the war he “won” and demeaned his uncle in front of the entire crowd — Gleeson filling all of these actions with his character’s bone-deep assurance that they were his right.

Gleeson’s skill at making us abhor his character also made Joff’s death a moment for celebration for anyone with a heart and/or conscience. If Gleeson hadn’t been so good, we wouldn’t have cared so much. So let’s hoist a flagon of Arbor gold to the actor who unrepentantly played the brat we loved to hate, keeping him insufferable and unsympathetic to the very end.

Reception of Mike and Wendy weddingHONORABLE MENTION | As White House liaison Jonah Ryan, Veep’s Timothy Simons has hysterically crafted a character we love to despise, all the while making us feel a little sorry for him. This week, after getting fired from the White House for managing a D.C. gossip site, Jonah decided to embrace his inner sensational journalist and launch Ryantology, a website that aimed to expose Washington’s biggest secrets. Although it’s never been easy to take Jonah seriously, Simons brought a newfound ruthlessness and determination to the character, while delivering such hilarious one-liners as, “I am gonna be updating more than I’m actually dating. Which is a s—toad.” Of course, Jonah’s endeavor didn’t quite go as planned. As soon as he landed a gig with MSNBC, Dan threatened to ruin him if he said a single bad thing about the Veep, and, with that, Jonah folded like a house of cards. But each time Simons was on screen, he brought a new facet of the hapless Jonah to life, and we couldn’t get enough.

Which performances rocked your TV set this week? Sound off below and let us know!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Elyse says:

    Yes!! This weeks episode was amazing :)

  2. RichieOnTV says:

    Julianna Margulies and Mae Whitman were both incredible this week.

  3. Mike says:


  4. Jim says:

    Eamonn Walker from Chicago Fire was amazing this week. He showed it all, rage, sadness, guilt, relief, happiness. As much as I love the purple wedding, Eamonn was the man this week.

  5. Michael Emerson. He was fantastic this week.

  6. lovesnewyork says:

    Julianna Margulies blew me away this week. Incredible.

  7. AM says:

    Agree! Jack has been doing a great job from start to finish. ! I would have liked a mention this week to Colin O’Donoghue or Michael Emerson.

  8. Gaara says:

    1000% agree with this week choice. Even if I knew it was coming, I found Joffrey death even more satisfactory and rewarding than the book’s… I’ll really miss Jack Gleeson excellent portrayal

  9. Jenna says:

    So well deserved. Gleeson was excellent throughout the series.

  10. Haley1020 says:

    Darren criss was great in glee this week but I agree with jack getting the honorable mention

  11. Ryan says:

    Ray Romano in Parenthood’s season finale

  12. Michelle says:

    The Parenthood women were incredible Mae Whitman, Monica Potter, Sarah Ramos!

  13. Mike R. says:

    Well deserved, Gleeson adapted Joffrey’s death perfectly as possible, and he took what could of been a scene that just caused joy in the audience and caused shock instead just like on the book he in his death showed that while Joffrey was a monster he was still a child. While I will not miss Joffrey, I will miss Gleeson’s presence on the show.

  14. Chels says:

    Well deserved Jack Gleeson! Genuine feels of repulsion, pity and hate for that character throughout each season. Such a performance delivered by Gleeson. I wish him well in his next endeavors outwith acting.

  15. Sharon says:

    Tony Goldwyn in scandal

  16. JustJulie says:

    Jack Gleeson was perfectly cast in the role of King Joffrey. From start to finish, he gave that role life. I can’t imagine anyone else doing such a stand-up job. He deserves POTW and an Emmy nod.

    • gdv says:

      I’m glad to see Gleeson get attention. If you think about it, about 1/2 of Thrones’ cast is made up of child actors—and not one of them is bad. That’s pretty amazing.

      • Kay says:

        I agree very much. The child actors on GOT all good. It is quite rare when all the child actors on show do an exceptionally well job.

  17. Gon says:

    Very well deserved. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m gonna miss seeing Geoffrey on GoT (not much, just a little bit)

  18. Here Here! I raise my goblet of (hopefully) poison-free wine to the young actor. It was a great performance that took a personal toll from what I can tell. But he did the job and he did it so well he became an international phenomena.

    So thank you Jack for providing us a villain we could all boo-hiss at and yet was not remotely campy. We know it’s not the real you and hope that if you decide to come back to acting someone give you a roll full of ice cream and puppies – you deserve a little fan love.

  19. Shaun says:

    Nice,he’s been kinda under appreciated since the beginning.

  20. DarkDefender says:

    Jack Gleeson is simply brilliant. I will miss Joffrey because of him.

  21. Shroom says:

    Wow, you mean that guys can be performer of the week too?

  22. uh huh says:

    Totally agreed that Jack Gleeson was the performer of the week, but I think you totally missed the reason WHY! Yes, Joffrey was a horrible horrible person, and getting this comeuppance was absolutely deserved. But what made Gleeson’s portrayal of his death SO astonishing was that, at the end, he managed to show this monster as the scared little boy he really was–all with just the look in his eyes as he looked to his mother. It was absolutely haunting and astonishing.

  23. nikki says:

    Jack Gleeson is awesome. I will miss the evil young King Joffrey.

  24. An Irrelevant says:

    Michael Emerson was phenomenal in this weeks Person of Interest. The moral gray area Finch was caught in and his insistence that no one be killed b/c of the machine (even a scumbag like that Congressman) was awesome. The look on Finchs face at the end, staring at the camera was so sad.

  25. Erika says:

    Martin Freeman was great in Fargo. Awesome performance.

  26. ME says:

    Well deserved. I hated his character so much it was hard to even recognize how well Jack Gleeson was playing him. He was even a jerk while choking on poison, pointing his finger at Tyrion.
    I have to agree with those who mentioned Margulies and Noth too. The scene in the kitchen was long awaited and done well.

  27. Jana says:

    Jack Gleeson was amazing. Well deserved. I also agree with Erika. Martin Freeman, as Lester Nygaard in Fargo, was awesome, and he deserves an honorable mention.

  28. Carlos Alvarez says:

    Tony Goldwyn in Scandal. Julianna Marguilles in The Good Wife was amazing. Martin Freeman in Fargo and yes I would have to say even though he gets a bad rap for being a bad actor but Darren Criss really sold it in that scene with Chrus Colfer on Glee. Best acting he’s done on the show.

  29. Carlos Alvarez says:

    Oh and Ana Faris in Mom along with Allison Janey and the actress who plays her daughter were amazing this week. Here’s hoping Ana Faris gets some Emmy love. She deserves it

  30. The Beach says:

    The entire cast of Veep is terrific. There’s not a weak link to be found….great ensemble.

  31. canadian ninja says:

    Gotta watch out for those s-toads…

  32. Sara says:

    No comments about Jonah? Love that tall scrotus

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      I love Jonah. After just seeing the first two episodes of the season’s Veep, I’m already rooting for Timothy Simons to get the Emmy nomination for comedy supporting actor.

  33. Lillie says:

    completely agree for both performers
    Jack is amazing for such a young actor
    and Jonah is such a tragic loser

  34. Apples says:

    Amazing ep, amazing acting. Deserved for Gleeson.

  35. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Oh gosh, I was just thinking this week that Jonah is quickly becoming the funniest character on that show. Glad to see I’m not the only one who appreciates him. I really hope they can find organic ways to keep him on Veep now that he’s been fired from the White House.
    And for Gleeson…you’ve got to hand it to him for making that character so despicable. He really went for it. Held nothing back.

  36. Half expected the performer of the week award to go to all the douche-nozzles who spoiled the GoT ep online the moment it aired, all hiding behind “they are already books” as they’re reason istead of just being honest about wanting to spoil it for the rest of us who record, live in the UK, don’t have sky atlantic – you get the point.

    Rant about them aside, Gleeson is a tremendous actor, looking forward to what the future brings – be nice to see him as a good guy after all that.

  37. Mikael says:

    Jack Gleeson really is a great actor for making me actually hate a fictional character. I love to hate Cersei, but completely hated Joffrey. He played the part perfectly.

  38. Gigi says:

    I would give JACK GLEESON all the awards!!!