Could the Game of Thrones poisoning happen in real life?


Just out of curiosity, how exactly do they KNOW that cyanide tastes like bitter almond if 0.2 grams kills you in minutes? “I know this is not a great time to ask, but can I enquire as to the taste of that poison?”.


Cyanide is about the only common poison that kills so quickly, because it is a straight up chemical reaction that does not need to depress the nervous system to cause death. Even the fastest acting plant toxin is likely to take 15 minutes to cause death. In fiction, nobody ever seems to go the other route of the slowest poisons available. Mushroom toxin is a good one - the effects (liver failure) aren’t felt for several days, so it would be a mystery how the poisoning occurred, and it might even be mistaken for a disease.


>Could the Game of Thrones poisoning happen in real life?

Eat the book and see!


All whining about spoilers will be deleted. (Or moved!)

Everyone knows people die in Game of Thones. If you don’t want to be spoiled on specifics, don’t read articles about events on the show, and definitely don’t click through to articles that are about specific deaths!


I moved 6 posts to a new topic: Spoiler complaints thread

Bitter almonds (the wild or ornamental varieties) contain a lot of cyanide. The cyanide trope “smells like bitter almonds” may be nothing but a cliche based on this.

because 0.2 grams is a lot!

for a remotely related example, diacetyl (artificial butter flavoring) has a perception threshold of about 0.00005 grams per liter.


I think the death was too quick for him, from a “pander to your viewers” perspective he deserved to suffer a heck of a lot more. Not necessarily a long drawn out death in a dungeon but at least there should have been someone standing over him gloating while he choked on his own blood. Give the kid more than few seconds to regret every decision he’s ever made.

And certainly never read any of the books!

It does make one wonder how a person could sit through any episode of the show and yet blubber about fee-fees online.

Edited to add: this must have posted at exactly the same time as Rob moved the complaints over to a different thread. For the record, I was responding to his post:

“Everyone knows people die in Game of Thrones. If you don’t want to be spoiled on specifics, don’t read articles about events on the show, and definitely don’t click through to articles that are about specific deaths!”

Oh, no, wait…I was actually responding to a post that migrated over to the other thread:

“Articles explicitly about Game of Thrones killings are no place for spoiler weenies – or precious concern for their delicate feelings.”

I know, especially after a half season of pointless Theon Greyjoy torture, I definitely feel shortchanged by Joffrey’s sixty second death scene. let’s at least hope they use it for various flashbacks, because, frankly, it’s never going to get old.


I moved a post to an existing topic: Spoiler complaints thread

Could you please change the title of this topic :slight_smile:

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I just find the spoiler warning after the spoiler in the topic and spoiler in the text funny.

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…to “Could the spoiler in Game of Thrones poison you?”

Pretty please Rob?


Wouldn’t that just take the cake if – like me – you hated almonds.

Side note: I used to know a guy who’s cooking was so bad, you wouldn’t have to go to the trouble of concocting a poison.

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Joffrey’s death looked something like an allergic reaction that swelled his throat shut, causing him to suffocate. Are there substances out there that could be used to deliberately cause a lethal allergic reaction?

The main scent of bitter almonds is usually given as benzaldehyde, a compound they release together with hydrogen cyanide, but the latter is said to contribute with the same character. There’s been enough work on its odor to tell there’s a hereditary inability to detect it, so I’d tend to trust the description.

Plus AFAIK people have survived it. Not a lot of people, but probably enough to confirm some characteristics.