Joffrey Baratheon

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Joffrey Baratheon
Joffrey sigil coat.png
Joffrey Baratheon.jpg
Prince Joffrey by Amok©
Biographical Information
Reign 298 AC - 300 AC
Full Name Joffrey Baratheon the First of His Name
Alias Joffrey the Illborn
The Young Usurper
Aerys the Third
Other Titles King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
Born in 286 AC[1], at King's Landing[2]
Died in 300 AC[3][4], at Red Keep, King's Landing
Royal House House Baratheon of King's Landing
Predecessor Robert I Baratheon
Heir Tommen Baratheon
Successor Tommen I Baratheon
Queen Margaery Tyrell
Father Robert I Baratheon
Jaime Lannister (biological)
Mother Cersei Lannister
Books The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)
A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
Played by Jack Gleeson
TV series Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4

Prince Joffrey Baratheon is known to the Seven Kingdoms as the eldest son and heir of King Robert I Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister. A member of House Baratheon of King's Landing, his siblings are Princess Myrcella and Prince Tommen. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, he is played by Jack Gleeson.

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Joffrey Baratheon

Joffrey has the Lannister look and is tall for a boy his age, with blond curly hair. Known to be handsome, he has bright green eyes, pouty lips and an evil sneer. Jon Snow thinks that Joffrey looks like a girl. He always wears the finest clothing and accents, as befits the royal heir.[5][6][7] His surcout is divided, showing both the Baratheon stag of his father, King Robert I, and the Lannister lion of his mother, Cersei.[6] Joffrey is a skilled dancer.[8]

Twelve years old at the beginning of A Song of Ice and Fire, Joffrey was strong-willed as a child and has an uncontrollable temper not unlike Cersei and an unchecked sadistic streak. He has little sense of right or wrong, which often leads him to trouble, especially when he loses his temper. When things go wrong, he always blames the problems on others. Despite being willful he is reckless, vicious, cruel and not very intelligent, all of which combine to make him prone to irrational and bad judgements.


Joffrey grew up as a spoiled and indulgent child with a cruel streak within him. His father, King Robert I Baratheon, is deeply disappointed with his son and feels little affection for Joffrey[9][10] – nor did he like the fact that Joffrey would always cry whenever Robert picked him up.[11] It is implied that Joffrey craves Robert's respect and approval, and many of his acts are done in an effort to live up to his father's standards.[12]

Once after learning a kitchen cat was pregnant, Joffrey killed the animal and cut open its belly to see the kittens inside. He showed one of the unborn kittens to his father. Robert was so shocked and angry he hit the boy so hard it knocked out two of his baby teeth.[12] Cersei also remarks that Robert would have beaten the boy if she had allowed it.[13] It is also implied Joffrey bullied his younger brother, Tommen.[14]

Queen Cersei Lannister assigned Sandor Clegane to be her son's sworn sword.[15] While Sandor is widely known as the Hound, Joffrey refers to his guardian as "dog".[16]

For Joffrey's twelfth name day, King Robert organized a tourney in King's Landing in 298 AC, where, amongst others, Lord Walder Frey, Lord Jon Arryn, Lord Stannis Baratheon, and Ser Davos Seaworth were present.[17][18][19] Following the tourney, Joffrey and his siblings traveled with Cersei to Casterly Rock with their grandfather, Lord Tywin Lannister.[20]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Joffrey and the rest of the royal family take the kingsroad to Winterfell after Lord Jon Arryn's death, as King Robert I Baratheon asks Lord Eddard Stark to become the new Hand of the King.[17] Joffrey begins to court the pretty Sansa Stark, Eddard's daughter, to whom the prince is betrothed.[21][6] Joffrey spars with Robb Stark in the yard and insults him.[6] After Bran Stark is critically injured after falling from a tower, Joffrey's uncle, Tyrion Lannister, slaps Joffrey for speaking rudely of the boy's condition.[22] Tyrion is later blamed[23] when an assassin with a Valyrian steel dagger fails in an attempt to murder the comatose Bran, which furthers the growing enmity between Houses Stark and Lannister.[24]

On the way from Winterfell to King's Landing, Joffrey spends a day riding with Sansa, who enjoys it greatly whilst he drinks wine. They come upon Arya Stark and her friend Mycah, the butcher's boy, practicing sword fighting. Joffrey is drunk and commands Mycah to spar with him; Mycah does not take up the challenge, and Joffrey pricks him with his sword, Lion's Tooth, ignoring pleas to leave him alone. Arya smacks him with the stick, allowing Mycah to escape; an enraged Joffrey slashes at Arya and is injured when her direwolf, Nymeria, protects her.[15] Arya takes Lion's Tooth from him and hurls it towards the Trident. The humiliated youth later claims before Robert's court at Darry that he had been attacked by Mycah and Nymeria. This results in the deaths of Mycah and Sansa's direwolf, Lady, and earns Joffrey the hatred of Arya. Robert's younger brother, Lord Renly Baratheon, openly laughs at his nephew for being beaten and disarmed by a girl younger than him.[25]

While drinking with Eddard Stark at the Hand's tourney at King's Landing, King Robert openly despairs of his son and heir, revealing to his old friend that he has often thought of abdicating; the only thing that stops him is the thought of Joffrey sitting on the Iron Throne with his mother Cersei whispering in his ear.[26]

Acting as the new Hand, Ned Stark discovers that Joffrey, along with his siblings, are actually bastards born of incest between Cersei and her twin, Ser Jaime of Robert's Kingsguard.[27][28] Robert never questioned the boy's parentage. Cersei protects her children's secret by arranging for King Robert's death after drunkenly hunting in the kingswood.[29][30]

Following Robert's death, Joffery summons the council and commands that they make arrangements for his coronation as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. When Ned produces Robert's will, which declares Ned regent and mentions "the heir" rather than specifying Joffrey as heir to the Iron Throne, Cersei tears it up and advises Ned to swear fealty to her son. Ned in turn reveals that Joffrey has no claim to the throne and that his uncle, Lord Stannis Baratheon, is the true heir, but Eddard is quickly arrested for treason.[30]

Joffrey sitting on the Iron Throne - by Magali Villeneuve ©

After taking the Iron Throne as Robert's heir, Joffrey starts his first court session by naming his grandfather, Lord Tywin Lannister, as the new Hand of the King, appointing his mother to the small council and Jaime Lannister as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and dismissing the legendary knight Barristan Selmy from his service, against all traditions. When Barristan the Bold storms out in disgust, making a remark about the ease with which Stannis would take the throne from him, Joffrey orders Barristan seized and questioned,[16] though the old knight escapes.[31] The vacancy on the Kingsguard is filled by Joffrey's sworn shield, Sandor Clegane, who is called the Hound.[16]

When Sansa kneels and begs for him to spare her father Eddard's life and asks that Joffrey to do this for love of her, Joffrey promises Sansa that he will be merciful. After Eddard confesses his crimes and declares that Joffrey is the true heir to the Iron Throne, Joffrey's mercy turns out to be Eddard's public beheading by Ser Ilyn Payne before Sansa's eyes at the Great Sept of Baelor.[32] This rash act is against his family's wishes to minimize further bloodshed and restore the king's peace[33] and leads to the intensification of hostilities.

Eddard's son Robb captures Jaime in the Whispering Wood[34] and is declared the King in the North at Riverrun after the Battle of the Camps.[35] Robb intends to kill Joffrey in retaliation for Ned's death,[35] plunging Westeros into devastating civil war.

Joffrey continues to mistreat and abuse Sansa, a penalty for each of Robb's victories. Forcing her to look at her father Eddard's severed head is the start of a string of beatings he commands his Kingsguard to abuse her with. He threatens to force her to look on her brother Robb's head when he kills him, as he boasts, in single combat.[36] Joffrey fancies himself a warrior, and considers leading the City Watch of King's Landing into the field. Cersei withholds the news of Renly's coronation at Highgarden from Joffrey lest he insist on marching against him.[33]

A Clash of Kings

King Joffrey Baratheon - by Magali Villeneuve ©

Stannis Baratheon, Lord of Dragonstone and the brother of King Renly and the late King Robert, has his supporters spread the message that Joffrey and his siblings, Prince Tommen and Princess Myrcella, are bastard abominations. Stannis presses his own claim to the Iron Throne.[37][38] After Renly's death at Storm's End, Stannis hopes to present Robert's bastard, Edric Storm, as proof that Joffrey is illegitimate.[39] Arya Stark, incognito in the riverlands, includes Joffrey in a list of those she wants dead.[40]

Ser Arys Oakheart tells Sansa Stark that smallfolk refer to the red comet as King Joffrey's Comet. During a small tourney held to honor the boy king's name day, Sansa convinces Joffrey to spare the life of the drunken Ser Dontos Hollard, who becomes Joffrey's new fool.[41] While Tywin Lannister is Joffrey's Hand of the King, Tywin is on campaign during during the War of the Five Kings. Tyrion Lannister, Tywin's son and Joffrey's uncle, acts as Hand in Tywin's stead.[41]

Joffrey rules with whim and caprice, proving difficult for even his mother to control. Sansa becomes imprisoned to his will, and he frequently has his Kingsguard, with the exception of the Hound, beat her when she displeases him.[41] When he tries to have her stripped, however, he is stopped by Tyrion.[42] Although Joffrey never tries it again, he is determined to eventually have Sansa in his bed whether he marries her or not.[11][43]

Joffrey's cruelty and the decreased quality of life at King's Landing due to food shortages and other hardships make Joffrey an unpopular king, and he is nearly killed in a riot sparked by his temper.[44] Acting as his temporary Hand, only Tyrion stands up to Joffrey's authority, and the king develops a special hatred for his uncle. Tyrion, in return, holds his nephew in contempt, viewing him as a monster.

During the Battle of the Blackwater, Joffrey wears gilded mail and enameled crimson plate, with a golden lion on his helm, and he carries a new blade, Hearteater.[45] The king commands the Three Whores during the battle.[46] When Stannis's men begin to attack the gates of King's Landing, Cersei Lannister has Ser Osmund Kettleblack bring the king to the safety of the Red Keep.[47] Although this leads many of the gold cloaks to abandon their posts and the Hound's fear of wildfire causes him to flee, Stannis is ultimately defeated by the arrival of Lords Tywin and Mace Tyrell.[48]

Following the battle, Joffrey rewards many of the survivors in the throne room. The king puts aside his betrothal to Sansa and instead promises to wed Margaery Tyrell, Mace's daughter and the widow of Renly. He is excused from court after cutting his arm on the Iron Throne.[43]

A Storm of Swords

Lord Tywin Lannister becomes Joffrey's Hand of the King, replacing Tyrion.[3] Most of Stannis Baratheon's supporters who survived the Blackwater submit to Joffrey.[49] At Dragonstone, Melisandre burns leeches which have fed on Edric Storm in attempts to kill Kings Joffrey, Balon Greyjoy, and Robb Stark.[50]

Sansa Stark informs Olenna Tyrell, Margaery's grandmother, of Joffrey's cruel personality.[51] Tywin arranges the marriage of Sansa to Tyrion, and Joffrey intends to be present for the bedding. The king is outraged when Tyrion threatens to geld him in defense of his new wife, however.[8]

Joffrey is delighted when he hears of Robb Stark's death at the Red Wedding and wants his head so he can serve it to Sansa at his own wedding, in addition to wanting to show no mercy to the northern and river lords who surrendered following Robb Stark's death. Tywin instructs Joffrey to be merciful in victory, but then sends the king from the Hand's solar when Joffrey is insulting in response.[52]

Depiction of The Purple Wedding by Conor Campbell©

Prior to his wedding, Joffrey receives a goldenheart bow from Jalabhar Xho, riding boots from Tanda Stokeworth, a jousting saddle from Kevan Lannister, scorpion brooch from Oberyn Martell, silver spurs from Addam Marbrand, and a tourney pavilion from Mathis Rowan. The king is presented with a model of a war galley by Paxter Redwyne, who says King Joffrey's Valor is being built for him at the Arbor. Tyrion gives Joffrey a rare book, Lives of Four Kings, and Mace gifts him a seven-sided wedding chalice.[53]

Tywin gives his grandson a Valyrian steel sword as a wedding present, which Joffrey names Widow's Wail. Joffrey slices Lives of Four Kings with his new sword, demanding a better present from Tyrion and Sansa.[53] Since Joffrey boasts that he is no stranger to the metal, Tyrion thinks that Joffrey is referring to the Valyrian steel dagger given to the assassin at Winterfell, though he is unable to fathom why, attributing it to Joffrey's innate cruelty.[4] Jaime later deduces that Joffrey did it in an attempt to impress his father after overhearing a drunken Robert say it would be kinder to put the crippled Bran Stark out of his misery.[54]

Joffrey's marriage to Margaery in 300 AC is on the first day of the new century at the Great Sept of Baelor.[4] During his wedding feast in the Red Keep's throne room, Joffrey pours wine from his new chalice atop Tyrion when his uncle refuses to join the dwarfs reenacting the War of the Five Kings, and the king forces Tyrion to serve as his cupbearer.[4] Joffrey is poisoned after eating pigeon pie and drinking wine, and he dies while the entire court looks on, his face turning black as he asphyxiates while tearing at his throat. Cersei blames the deed on Tyrion and Sansa.[4]

While Tyrion is taken into custody by the Kingsguard, Sansa escapes King's Landing with the aid of Petyr Baelish.[55] Littlefinger reveals that he orchestrated the plot with Olenna Tyrell.[56] Due to the color of the amethysts in the unknowing Sansa's hairnet[55] used to poison Joffrey's wine,[57] and the actual color of the wine, the wedding has since been referred to by fans as the Purple Wedding.

Joffrey is laid in state in the Red Keep's sept in gilded armor, and when Jaime returns to King's Landing he makes love to Cersei in front of the corpse.[58] He is ultimately laid to rest in the Great Sept of Baelor.[59] Because Joffrey was poisoned, Jaime tasks Ser Boros Blount with tasting all of King Tommen I Baratheon's food and drink.[59] He refuses to recognize Joffrey as his son.[54]

During Tyrion's trial for Joffrey's death, witnesses downplay the king's behavior and exaggerate Tyrion's actions.[60][61] Tyrion demands trial by battle, and he is represent by Oberyn Martell, who seeks vengeance for the death of his sister, Elia of Dorne, who was killed years ago by the crown's representative, Ser Gregor Clegane. The Mountain kills the Red Viper in combat, however, and Tyrion is deemed to be guilty by the gods.[61] Before Tyrion can be executed for Joffrey's death, Jaime frees his brother from the dungeon. Angry at Jaime having deceived him about his first wife, Tysha, Tyrion lies and takes responsibility for Joffrey's death.[62]

A Feast for Crows

Joffrey, with the exception of his mother Cersei,[63] is not particularly mourned by anyone; even his biological father, Jaime, feels that Joffrey deserved his fate[54] and wants Tommen to be different.[64] Tyrion believes that Joffrey would have become a worse king than the Mad King.[62] Arys Oakheart thinks the only good thing that could be said of Joffrey is that he was tall and strong for his age.[65] Because of Joffrey, Ser Kevan Lannister considers Cersei to be an unfit mother.[66]

Joffrey's younger brother, King Tommen I Baratheon, weds his widow, Margaery Tyrell.[67] Cersei is troubled by Tommen's meekness in comparison to Joffrey.[66] Because Myrcella is older than Tommen, Arianne Martell tries[65] but fails to crown Myrcella as queen.[68]

One of Cersei's dromonds is named Brave Joffrey in the late king's honor.[63]

Quotes by Joffrey

Tywin: Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. And any man who must say 'I am the king' is no true king at all. Aerys never understood that, but you will. When I've won your war for you, we will restore the king's peace and the king's justice. The only head that need concern you is Margaery Tyrell's maidenhead.

Joffrey: You talk about Aerys, Grandfather, but you were scared of him.
Cersei: Joffrey, apologize to your grandfather.
Joffrey: Why should I? Everyone knows it's true. My father won all the battles. He killed Prince Rhaegar and took the crown, while your father was hiding under Casterly Rock. A strong king acts boldly, he doesn't just talk.[52]

Tywin Lannister, Joffrey, and Cersei Lannister

Joffrey: I want to see, kof, see you ride that, kof kof, pig, Uncle. I want...

Margaery: Your Grace?
Joffrey: It's, kof, the pie, noth- kof, pie. I, kof, I can't, kof kof kof kof...[4]

– Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell as he dies

Quotes about Joffrey

Joffrey is truly a little shit.[6]

Jon Snow to Arya Stark

I am sorry for your girl, Ned. Truly. About the wolf, I mean. My son was lying, I'd stake my soul on it. My son ...[26]

Robert I Baratheon to Eddard Stark

I have dreamed of giving up the crown. Take ship for the Free Cities with my horse and my hammer, spend my time warring and whoring, that's what I was made for. The sellsword king, how the singers would love me. You know what stops me? The thought of Joffrey on the throne, with Cersei standing behind him whispering in his ear. My son. How could I have made a son like that, Ned?[26]

Robert I Baratheon to Eddard Stark

Her son needs to be taken in hand before he ruins us all.[33]
Tywin Lannister to Tyrion Lannister

Cersei: She would have done anything for Joffrey, until he cut off her father's head and called it mercy. That put an end to that.

Tyrion: His Grace has a unique way of winning the hearts of his subjects.[69]

Cersei Lannister and Tyrion Lannister

Joffrey the Illborn, small wonder he's faithless, with the Kingslayer for a father.[70]
– a knight of House Cerwyn to Bran Stark

You can lead a king to water, but with Joff one had to splash it about before he realized he could drink it.[55]
Petyr Baelish to Sansa Stark

Tyrion: Joffrey would have been a worse king than Aerys ever was. He stole his father's dagger and gave it to a footpad to slit the throat of Brandon Stark, did you know that?

Jaime: I ... I thought he might have.
Tyrion: Well, a son takes after his father. Joffrey would have killed me as well, once he came into his power. For the crime of being short and ugly, of which I am conspicuously guilty.[62]

Tyrion Lannister to Jaime Lannister

Brienne: Joffrey was your...

Jaime: My king. Leave it at that.
Brienne: You say Sansa killed him. Why protect her?
Jaime: Because Joff was no more to me than a squirt of seed in Cersei's cunt. And because he deserved to die.[54]

Jaime Lannister to Brienne of Tarth

Cersei: Joffrey had no love for Robb Stark, but the younger boy was nothing to him. He was only a child himself.

Jaime: A child hungry for a pat on the head from that sot you let him believe was his father.[54]

Jaime Lannister to Cersei Lannister


Jeyne Marbrand
Dorna Swyft
Emmon Frey
Darlessa Marbrand
Ermesande Hayford
Amerei Frey


  1. See the Joffrey Baratheon calculation.
  2. George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Joffrey Baratheon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 4, Tyrion I.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  5. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5, Jon I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 7, Arya I.
  7. A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 28, Sansa III.
  9. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
  10. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  11. 11.0 11.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 52, Sansa IV.
  12. 12.0 12.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
  13. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos VI.
  14. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  17. 17.0 17.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  18. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX.
  19. A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 25, Eddard V.
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
  22. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 9, Tyrion I.
  23. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
  24. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 14, Catelyn III.
  25. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  27. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 44, Sansa III.
  28. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
  29. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  30. 30.0 30.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
  31. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
  32. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  34. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
  35. 35.0 35.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  36. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 67, Sansa VI.
  37. A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  38. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
  39. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
  40. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 26, Arya VI.
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 2, Sansa I.
  42. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 32, Sansa III.
  43. 43.0 43.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 65, Sansa VIII.
  44. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
  45. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  46. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 59, Tyrion XIII.
  47. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 60, Sansa VI.
  48. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
  49. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
  50. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
  51. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
  52. 52.0 52.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  53. 53.0 53.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 54.4 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.
  56. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 68, Sansa VI.
  57. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 22, Tyrion VI.
  58. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  59. 59.0 59.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
  60. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
  61. 61.0 61.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
  63. 63.0 63.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
  64. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
  65. 65.0 65.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
  66. 66.0 66.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
  67. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
  68. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
  69. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
  70. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 16, Bran II.

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