Joffrey Baratheon

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Joffrey Baratheon
Joffrey sigil coat.png
Joffrey Baratheon.jpg
Biographical Information
Reign 298 AC - 300 AC
Full Name Joffrey of the Houses Baratheon and Lannister the First of His Name
Alias Joffrey the Illborn
The Young Usurper
Aerys the Third
Titles King of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm
Born in 286 AC
Died in 300 AC[1][2] Red Keep, King's Landing
Royal House House Baratheon of King's Landing
Predecessor Robert I
Heir Tommen I
Successor Tommen I
Queen Margaery Tyrell
Father Robert Baratheon (claimed)
Jaime Lannister (actual)
Mother Cersei Lannister
Books 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 Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister. A member of House Baratheon of King's Landing, his siblings are Princess Myrcella and Prince Tommen. In the TV series, he is played by Jack Gleeson.

Character and Appearance

See also this collection of images

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 his mother's 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 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 thought that Joffrey looks like a girl. He always wears the finest clothing and accents, as befits the royal heir.[3][4][5]


Joffrey grew up as a spoiled and indulgent child with a cruel streak within him. His father, King Robert, is deeply disappointed with his son and feels little affection for Joffrey. It is also 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.

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. Cersei also remarks that Robert would have beaten the boy if she had allowed it.[6] It is also implied Joffrey bullied his younger brother, Tommen.[7]

For Joffrey's 12th nameday, King Robert organizes a tourney, where, amongst others, Lord Walder Frey, Lord Jon Arryn, Lord Stannis Baratheon and Ser Davos Seaworth are present.[8][9][10]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Joffrey and the rest of the royal family take the kingsroad to Winterfell after Jon Arryn's death. There he begins to court the pretty Sansa Stark, Eddard's daughter, to whom he is betrothed. He spars with Robb Stark in the yard and insults him. 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. Tyrion is later blamed when an assassin with a Valyrian dagger fails in an attempt to murder the comatose Bran, which furthers the growing enmity between Houses Stark and Lannister.

On the way from Winterfell to King's Landing, Joffrey spends a day riding with Sansa, who enjoys it greatly whilst he drinks summerwine. 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.[11] It is at this time that Joffrey loses Lion's Tooth, as Arya takes it from him and sends it hurling towards the Trident, an incident that humiliates Joffrey. The youth later claims before Robert's court that he had been attacked by Mycah and Nymeria. This results in the deaths of Mycah and Sansa's direwolf, Lady, and earns Joffrey Arya's hatred. Renly Baratheon openly laughs at his nephew for being beaten and disarmed by a girl younger than him.[12]

While drinking with Eddard Stark at the Tourney of the Hand, 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 whispering in his ear.[13]

Acting as the new Hand of the King, Eddard Stark discovers that Joffrey, along with his siblings, are actually bastards born of incest between Cersei and her twin, Jaime.[14][15] Robert never questioned the boy's parentage. Cersei protects her children's secret by arranging for King Robert's death. Following Robert's death, Joffery summons the council and commands that they make arrangements for his coronation. 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, Stannis Baratheon, is the true heir, but Eddard is quickly arrested for treason.[16]

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 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, dismissing the legendary knight Barristan Selmy from his service, against all traditions. When Selmy storms out in disgust, making a remark about the ease with which Stannis would take the throne from him, Joffrey orders Selmy seized and questioned, though the old knight escapes.

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 would be merciful. After Eddard confesses of his crimes and declares that Joffrey Baratheon is the true heir to the Iron Throne, Joffrey's mercy turns out to be Eddard's quick public beheading before Sansa's eyes.[17] This rash act is against his family's wishes to minimize further bloodshed and restore the king's peace and leads to the intensification of hostilities as Eddard's son Robb Stark is declared the King in the North. Robb vows to kill Joffrey in retaliation, plunging Westeros into devastating civil war.

Joffrey continues to mistreat and abuse Sansa Stark, a penalty for each of Robb's victories. Forcing her to look at her father'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's head when he kills him, as he boasts, in single combat.[18]

A Clash of Kings

King Joffrey Baratheon - by Magali Villeneuve ©

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 guards beat her for his amusement. When he tries to have her stripped, his uncle, Tyrion, stops him. Although Joffrey never tries it again, he is determined to eventually have Sansa in his bed whether he marries her or not. His 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.[19] 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.

A Storm of Swords

After House Tyrell allies itself to his reign, Joffrey discards Sansa and is betrothed to Margaery Tyrell. He crassly declares that he will have his way with Sansa later, after the wedding, even though she is married to Tyrion. Joffrey is present with Cersei, Kevan Lannister, Pycelle, Tyrion and Tywin when news reaches Kings Landing of the Red Wedding. Joffrey is delighted when he hears of Robb Stark's death and wants his head so he could 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. This statement horrifies Kevan and enrages Tyrion, who threatens his nephew, stating that Sansa is not his to torment. Tywin refuses to allow Joffrey's request, which causes Joffrey to insult his grandfather as "a coward who hid beneath Casterly Rock" while his father Robert won the war at the Trident. The insult angers Tywin to the point that in private he remarks that Joffrey requires a sharp lesson. Tyrion, despite remembering his own "sharp lesson", surprisingly agrees with this assessment, though he insists that his nephew is not Robert the Second but Aerys the Third.[20]

Depiction of The Purple Wedding by Conor Campbell©

Joffrey's marriage is on the first day of the new century.[1] In the morning the Lannisters and their allies meet for a family breakfast. His grandfather, Tywin Lannister, gives him a Valyrian steel sword as a wedding present, which Joffrey declares he will name Widow's Wail. The present from Tyrion and Sansa is a rare book, Lives of Four Kings, which Joff slices with his new sword, demanding a better present from Tyrion and Sansa. Joffrey swings the blade at Balon Swann. When Addam Marbrand warns Joffrey to be careful, since the blade is Valyrian steel, Joffrey boasts that he is no stranger to the metal. At that moment, Tyrion baits him, guessing that Joffrey is referring to the Valyrian dagger given to the assassin at Winterfell, though he is unable to fathom why, attributing it to Joffrey's innate cruelty.[2] 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.

During his wedding feast in the throne room, Joffrey's wine is poisoned and he dies on the first day of the 3rd Century since Aegon's Landing while the entire court looks on, his face turning black as he asphyxiates while tearing at his throat.[2] Cersei blames the deed on Tyrion and Sansa, but it is later revealed that the plot was orchestrated by Olenna Redwyne and Petyr Baelish. Joffrey is laid in state in the castle sept in gilded armor, and when Jaime returns to King's Landing he makes love to Cersei in front of the corpse.[21] He is ultimately laid to rest in the Great Sept of Baelor.[22] Due to the color of the amethysts used to poison Joffrey's wine, and the actual color of the wine, the wedding has since been referred to by fans as the Purple Wedding.

Joffrey, with the exception of his mother, is not particularly mourned by anyone; even his biological father, Jaime Lannister, feels that Joffrey deserved his fate. Tyrion Lannister states that Joffrey would have become a worse king than the Mad King. Arys Oakheart thinks the only good thing that could be said of Joffrey is that he was tall and strong for his age.

Quotes by Joffrey

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. [20]

- Joffrey to Tywin

Joffrey: I want to see, kof, see you ride that, kof kof, pig, Uncle. I want... (dissolves in a fit of coughing)

Margaery: Your Grace?

Joffrey: It's, kof, the pie, noth- kof, pie. I, kof, I can't, kof kof kof kof... [2]

- Joffrey's last words

Quotes about Joffrey

Joffrey is truly a little shit.[4]

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 ... [13]

- Robert 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?[13]

- Robert Baratheon to Eddard Stark

Her son needs to be taken in hand before he ruins us all.[23]

- Tywin Lannister

Not Robert the Second. Aerys the Third.[20]

- Tyrion Lannister

Tywin: That loose tongue of yours will be your undoing.

Tyrion: You should have let Joff tear it out.

Tywin: You would do well not to tempt me.[20]

- Tywin Lannister to Tyrion Lannister

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.[24]

- 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.

- Jaime Lannister to Brienne of Tarth [25]

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.[25]

- Jaime Lannister to Cersei Lannister



References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at House Baratheon. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of House Baratheon. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.