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“Beheading?”

“We did that last season.”

“Right. Shark attack?”

“Sweeps week, remember?”

“Oh, yeah. Let’s see, I feel like it’s been a while since we had poison. Why don’t we give someone a pet tropical frog? One of those little suckers that is deadly to the touch.”

“Ooh, I like that. We could probably even reuse some of the mechanical toad props from the episode with the viral outbreak at the zoo!”

Renly and Lysa exchanged grins. It was getting harder and harder to devise new methods of death for Joffrey. Recent message board postings had made it clear that the viewers were getting bored, and if there was one thing that spelled danger and job cuts for the writers, it was bored viewers.

Mace cleared his throat ponderously. Renly rolled his eyes at Lysa, who giggled. Mace did everything ponderously.

“As you all know, my mother has decided to produce the finale this season as a live event. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us as we work to balance current storylines with what can be done without too many set changes or stuntwork. It’s my opinion –“

Renly sneezed, which sounded suspiciously like “ahchooasifyouhaveyourownopinionsmamasboy”. Mace glared at him.

“As I was saying, it’s MY opinion that we focus on one or two stories to capitalise on those of our actors with live experience.”

Lysa shrugged. “It makes sense, but how are we going to explain the lack of certain characters?”

Mace contemplated her question ponderously. Really, he did everything ponderously. “Clearly this is will require a good deal of consideration from us all. I’ve taken the liberty of ordering us some pizzas from Hot Pie’s Hot Pies – yes Renly, I requested a gluten-free vegetarian calzone for you – and I think we should work through the night.”

“I’ve got to pick up Robin at 3:30. I don’t like him taking the bus alone.” Lysa interjected.

“And I have spin class tonight!” Renly added.

Mace scowled at them both. “And you call yourself writers! This show depends on our ideas! There are great moral considerations! Lysa, your son is 17 years old, he can bloody well take the bus home. Renly, we all know you only take spin class because you like leering at the instructor. I expect you both to stay here and no one leaves until we have a clear plan for this finale!”

Renly pouted, and then relented. “Fine,” he huffed, “but you better call Hot Pie back and add an order of his good brownies. I’m going to need a lot of sugar to get through this.”