Because there is nothing small children still learning to read love more than ultra-violent fantasy epics, Sesame Street has created a Game of Thrones parody. And we’re not talking about a simple excuse to dress up some Muppets in medieval garb. There are some serious George R.R. Martin deep cuts in this strange little sketch, which marks the first and probably last time that Sesame Street will obliquely reference brutal massacres, beheadings, and regicide.

Seemingly crafted more for the long-suffering parents who endure Sesame Street than the actual kids themselves, “Game of Chairs” (ha) finds the nation of Jesteros (ha) without a king. And there’s only one way to solve that: a game of musical chairs using thrones, with music supplied by “Grover Bluejoy.” Actually, Grover is the only Sesame Street regular in the scene, with the rest of the major roles played by Muppet-ized versions of Game of Thrones characters, including Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister and even Melisandre, who pops up to deliver a slightly skewed version of her trademark line before vanishing from the show.

Because this a show intended for small children, the closest thing to actual conflict is characters losing a game played at pre-school birthday parties. And yet, we’ve got to give it to the writers of this scene, who obviously know their Game of Thrones and have embedded references to some serious, heinous stuff in here. Muppet Robb is late for a wedding. Muppet Joffrey loses because he “chokes.” Muppet Ned is told that he shouldn’t lose his head. Heck, the mere presence of a character whose name is inspired by Theon Greyjoy makes us wonder how much skin (and how many, uh, body parts) Grover still has under this clothing.

But none of this will matter to the target audience, who will laugh at the silly characters doing silly things and learn to count as the number of potential kings and queens dwindle. The toddler set won’t appreciate your Game of Thrones jokes, Sesame Street writer’s room, but the internet certainly will.

More From US 103.1 FM