|Reign||298 AC - 299 AC|
|Full Name||Joffrey of the Houses Baratheon and Lannister the First of His Name|
Joffrey the Illborn|
The Young Usurper
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 Red Keep, King's Landing|
|Royal House||House Baratheon of King's Landing|
Robert Baratheon (claimed)|
Jaime Lannister (actual)
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|
Joffrey Baratheon is the eldest son and heir of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister. However, his real father is Jaime Lannister, the queen's brother. He is 12 years old at the beginning of the series and later becomes the second House Baratheon king to sit on the Iron Throne.
Character and Appearance
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 and when things go wrong, he always blames the problems on others. Despite being willfull 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 of his parents, he is tall for a boy his age, with blond curly hair, and known to be handsome. He has bright green eyes, pouty lips and an evil sneer. He always wears the finest clothing and accents, as befits the royal heir and king.
Joffrey was born of incest to Queen Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime. However, the truth of his birth has been kept a secret and he was presented to the world as the son of King Robert Baratheon and heir to the Iron Throne. He grew up as a spoiled and indulgent child with a cruel streak within him. Robert never questioned the boy's parentage, but it is made clear throughout the books that he was deeply disappointed with his 'son' and felt little affection for Joffrey. By contrast, it is also implied in the book that Joffrey craved Robert's respect and approval, and many of his acts were 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'd allowed it. It is also implied Joffrey bullied his younger brother Tommen .
A Game of Thrones
Joffrey along with the rest of the royal family made the trip to Winterfell after Jon Arryn's death. There he began to court the pretty Sansa Stark, Eddard's daughter, to whom he was betrothed. He sparred with Robb Stark in the yard and insulted Robb.
While at Winterfell, Joffrey hired an underling to murder the critically injured Bran Stark after hearing Robert drunkenly mention that the boy should be mercifully killed. The attempt failed, and was later blamed on Tyrion Lannister, which furthered the growing enmity between Houses Stark and Lannister.
On the way from Winterfell to King's Landing, Joffrey spends a day riding with Sansa, she enjoys it greatly whilst he drinks summerwine. They come upon Arya Stark and her friend Mycah, the butcher's boy, practicing sword fighting. Joffrey was drunk and commands Mycah to spar with him; Mycah doesn't take up the challenge, and Joffrey pricks him with his sword, ignoring pleads to leave him alone. Arya then smacks him with the stick allowing Mycah to escape, enraged Joffrey slashes at Arya and is injured when Nymeria protected her. Joffrey later claimed before Robert's court that he had been attacked by Mycah and Nymeria. This resulted in the deaths of Mycah and Lady and earned Joffrey Arya's hatred. It was at this time that Joffrey lost Lion's Tooth, when Arya took it from him and sent it hurling towards the Trident, an incident that humiliated Joffrey, particularly when his uncle Renly openly laughed at his nephew for being beaten and disarmed by a girl younger than him.
Acting as the new Hand of the King, Eddard Stark discovered that Joffrey, along with his siblings, were actually bastards born of incest between Cersei and Jaime. Cersei protected her children's secret by arranging for King Robert's death. Following Robert death, Joffery summons the council and commands that they make arrangements for his coronation. When Ned produce Roberts will, declaring him regent and his true son heir to the Iron Throne, Cersei tears it down and advises Ned to swear fealty to her son. Ned in turn reveals that her Joffrey has no claim to the throne and is born of incest, but he is quickly arrested for treason.
After taking the Throne as Robert's heir, Joffrey started his first court session by naming Tywin Lannister as the new Hand of the King, appointing his mother to 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 stormed out in disgust, making a remark about the ease with which Stannis Baratheon would take the throne from him, Joffrey ordered Selmy seized and questioned, though the old knight escaped. When Sansa kneels and begs for him to spare her father's life and ask that Joffrey to do this for love of her, and finally Joffrey promises Sansa that he would be merciful, but after Eddard Stark confessed of his "crimes" and declares that Joffrey Baratheon is the true heir to the Iron Throne, his mercy turned out to be Eddard Stark's quick public beheading before Sansa's own eyes. This rash act was against his family's wishes to minimize further bloodshed and restore the King's Peace and led to the intensification of hostilities as his son Robb Stark declared himself the King in the North and vowed to kill Joffrey in retaliation, plunged Westeros into devastating civil war.
Joffrey continued to mistreat and abuse Sansa Stark, a penalty for each of Robb's victories. Forcing her to look at her father's severed head was the start of a string of beatings he commands his Kingsguard to abuse her. He threatened to force her to look on her brother's head when he kills him, as he boasts, in single combat. He often ordered his Kingsguard to beat her for disobedience.
A Clash of Kings
Joffrey ruled with whim and caprice, proving difficult for even his mother to control. Sansa became imprisoned to his will, and he frequently had his guards beat her for his amusement. When he tried to have her stripped, his uncle Tyrion stopped him, and he never tried it again, although he was determined to eventually have Sansa in his bed whether he married her or not. His cruelty and the decreased quality of life at King's Landing due to food shortages and other hardships made him an unpopular king, and he was nearly killed in a riot sparked by his temper. Acting as his temporary Hand, only Tyrion stood up to Joffrey's authority, and Joffrey developed a special hatred for his uncle; Tyrion, in return, held his nephew in contempt, viewing him as a 'monster'.
A Storm of Swords
After House Tyrell allied itself to his reign, Joffrey discarded Sansa and is betrothed to be married to Margaery Tyrell. He crassly declared that he would conduct an have his way with Sansa later, after the wedding, even though she has been married to Tyrion. Joffrey was present along with his mother, Kevan Lannister, Pycelle, Tyrion Lannister and his grandfather Tywin Lannister when news reached Kings Landing of the Red Wedding. Joffrey was delighted when he heard of Robb Stark's death and wanted 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 Riverland nobles who surrendered following Robb Stark's death; this statement horrified Kevan and enraged Tyrion, who threatened his nephew, stating that Sansa was not his to torment. Tywin refused to allow Joffrey's request which caused Joffrey to insult his grandfather as 'a coward who hid beneath Casterly Rock' while his 'father' won the war at the Trident, an insult that angered Tywin to the point that in private he remarked that Joffrey required a "sharp lesson". Tyrion, despite remembering his own "sharp lesson", surprisingly agrees with this assessment, though insists that his nephew is not 'Robert the Second' but 'Aerys the Third'.
Joffrey's marriage is on the first day of the new century. 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 Joff declares he will name Widow's Wail. The present from Tyrion and Sansa is a rare book, "Lives of Four Kings" which Joff destroys, by slicing it up with his new sword, demanding a better present from Tyrion and Sansa. Joff swings it at Balon Swann. When Addam Marbrand warns Joff to be careful, since the blade is Valyrian steel, Joff boasts that he is no stranger to Valaryian steel. At that moment, Tyrion baits him, guessing that Joff is referring to the dagger given to the assassin that was sent after Bran Stark, though he is unable to fathom why, attributing it to Joffrey's innate cruelty. Jaime would later deduce that Joffrey did it in an attempt to get "a pat on the head from that sot [Cersei] let him believe was his father" after overhearing a drunken Robert say it would be kinder to put the crippled Bran out of his misery.
During his wedding feast, Joffrey's wine was poisoned and he died on the first day of the 3rd Century since Aegon's Landing while the entire court looked on. Cersei blamed the deed on Tyrion and Sansa, but it is later revealed that the plot was orchestrated by Olenna Redwyne and Littlefinger. He was buried in the Great Sept of Baelor.
Joffrey, with the exception of his mother, was not particularly mourned by anyone; even his true father Jaime Lannister felt that Joffrey deserved his fate. Tyrion Lannister stated that Joffrey would have become a worse king than the Mad King. Arys Oakheart even thought that the only good thing that could be said of Joffrey was that he was tall and strong for his age.
References and Notes
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 4, Tyrion I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5, Jon I.
- A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 44, Sansa III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 67, Sansa VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
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