Joffrey Baratheon

In Game of Thrones, Joffrey Baratheon was heir to the Iron Throne, but his claim waned as the Seven Kingdoms plunged into chaos.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Joffrey Baratheon was the King of the Seven Kingdoms and the legal child of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister. He became King after his father’s death and ruled for a while before dying during his wedding to Margaery Tyrell. When Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell became the Hand of the King, he investigated the death of Lord Jon Arryn, the former Hand; the investigation led him down a rabbit hole, making him discover that Joffrey and his siblings were not the biological children of Robert Baratheon.

Joffrey Baratheon Personal Details

  • Name: Joffrey Baratheon.
  • Year of Birth: 286 AC in King’s Landing.
  • Year of Death: 300 AC at the Red Keep.
  • Year of Reign: 298 – 300 AC.
  • Titles: King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men., Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Lord of Storm’s End.
  • Successor: Tommen Baratheon.
  • Siblings: Princess Myrcella Baratheon and Prince Tommen Baratheon.
  • Legal Parents: King Robert I Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister.
  • Biological Father: Ser Jaime Lannister.
  • Aliases: Joff, Joff the Illborn, Robert the Second, Joffy, Aerys the Third, The Boy King, the Young Usurper, Joffrey-called-Baratheon.
  • Culture: Andal.
  • Religion: Faith of the Seven
  • Hair Color: Blond.
  • Eye Color: Deep Green.


Appearance and Personality

Joffrey Baratheon is a handsome boy with the typical Lannister look. He has curly blond hair, pouty lips, and deep green eyes. His appearance makes some people, like Jon Snow, think he is a girl.

Joffrey has a sadistic character that blocks his sense of right and wrong. He blames others for his mistakes and acts mentally unstable. Though sometimes he is courteous, he is never kind and bullies everyone, including his younger brother, Tommen.

Because of his never-ending search for validation from his father, Robert, he makes irrational decisions. Joffrey’s terrible character got fueled in part by his mother. As a sadistic woman paranoid that a future queen would take her place, she pampered Joffrey and spoilt him because he was the closest to her.

For his attire, Joffrey wears a divided surcoat that features the emblems of houses Baratheon and Lannister. As the heir of King Robert, he wears the finest dress only meant for the royal heir. He wields a sword called Lion’s tooth and is a skilled dancer.

History

While growing up, Joffrey gave in to his cruel tendencies. He acted so mean to the point that his father got deeply disappointed. On noticing his son’s violence, the King withdrew all affection from him; this led to Joffrey getting worse as he began acting out to seek validation from his father. Once, the young prince killed a pregnant cat and opened its belly to see its kittens. On seeing what he did, Robert hit Joffrey so hard that some of his milk teeth fell out.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

Joffrey and his parents travel to Winterfell when Lord Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, dies. While in Winterfell, King Robert Baratheon asks Eddard Stark to become the Hand of the King, and when Ned agrees, the King suggests that Joffrey wed Sansa Stark, Ned’s eldest daughter. When Sansa meets Joffrey, she falls in love with him. While in Winterfell, Robb Stark, Ned’s eldest son, spars with the prince.

When Bran stark gets thrown from a tower and slips into a coma, Joffrey mocks his condition; this makes his uncle Tyrion Lannister slap him. Eddard and his daughters then leave Winterfell for King’s Landing. On the way, Joffrey and Sansa spend time alone drinking wine. While drunk, they see Arya and her friend, Mycah, practicing sword fighting.

Joffrey mocks them and orders Mycah to fight him, but the butcher’s son refuses. Angry, the young prince pricks Mycah with his sword, and Arya comes to his rescue. Joffrey tries to hurt her, but Nymeria, her direwolf, injures him. Nymeria, Arya, and Mycah run away.

At court, the prince lies that they attacked him, and a search party gets sent to find them. Jory Cassel finds Arya and helps her chase Nymeria away, while Sandor finds and kills Mycah.

On getting to King’s Landing, Ned Stark begins uncovering secrets left behind. He learns that Joffrey and his siblings are illegitimate. On confronting Cersei and telling her to leave the city, she arranges for her husband to have an accident. Before dying, Robert writes a letter and signs making Ned the regent to the heir. However, on Robert’s death, Cersei tears the letter, and Petyr Baelish and Janos Slynt arrest Ned for stating that Stannis Baratheon is the true heir to the Iron Throne.

With Ned Stark imprisoned, Cersei makes Joffrey King. For his first court session, he places his mother on the small council and makes his grandfather, Lord Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, and Jaime Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

After dismissing Ser Barristan Selmy from the position, the old knight remarks about Stannis taking the Iron Throne; this infuriates Joffrey, who orders his arrest. With a vacant position in the Kingsguards, Joffrey makes the Hound, Sandor Clegane, a member of the Kingsguards.

After Lord Varys convinces Eddard Stark to admit to treason, Joffrey orders Ser Ilyn Payne to behead him on the stairs of the Great Sept of Baelor. When Robb Stark learns of his father’s death, he gets crowned King in the North, and Westeros plunges into chaos.

A Clash of Kings

While in dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon spreads the massage that Joffrey is a bastard and not Robert’s son. The news spread throughout the Seven Kingdoms, and the King gets mocked by the people of King’s Landing. At his name-day tourney, he makes Ser Dontos Hollard his fool after Sansa begs him to get spared. Joffrey imprisons Sansa Stark and maltreats her.

He forces her to see her father’s head and orders his guards to beat her. On learning about Ned’s death, Tyrion Lannister arrives in King’s Landing as the acting Hand of the King. He cautions Joffrey about beating Sansa and prevents the King from humiliating her. After securing a deal with Dorne, Tyrion and the royal host get attacked by the people of King’s Landing due to the hardship they faced. 

When Tyrion learns that Renly Baratheon is dead and Stannis is sailing for King’s Landing, he prepares for war. During the Battle of the Blackwater, Joffrey tries acting like a great warrior and commands the Three Whores.

Cersei orders Ser Osmund Kettleblack to retrieve him during the conflict; this makes the gold cloaks abandon their post. Later, Lord Tywin and Mace Tyrell arrive and save King’s Landing. After the battle, Joffrey rewards many survivors in the throne room. He promises to marry Margaery Tyrell and gets escorted out of the room when he cuts himself.

A Storm of Swords

With Stannis’s defeat, Lord Tywin Lannister becomes the Hand of the King, and Tyrion gets removed. Meanwhile, in dragonstone, Melisandre throws leeches with Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, Edric Storm’s blood, to the fire and calls for the death of Joffrey, Lord Balon Greyjoy, and Robb Stark. 

When Sansa meets Lady Olenna Tyrell, she tells her how cruel Joffrey is to her. To unify the North, Tyrion gets forced to marry Sansa. When Robb stark gets killed by Lord Roose Bolton and Lord Walder Frey at the Red Wedding, Joffrey gets delighted and orders the remaining northern lords to get killed. However, his grandfather forcefully tells him to show them mercy. Before marrying Margaery, Joffrey receives many gifts, including a jousting saddle from Ser Kevan Lannister and a Valyrian steel sword from Tywin.

At his wedding feast, Joffrey forces Tyrion to serve as his cupbearer. He orders him to join the dwarfs reenacting the War of the Five Kings, and when Tyrion refuses, the King pours wine on him. Everything goes south when Joffrey begins to choke. His face turns black, and he dies. The event gets called the Purple Wedding.

Upon his death, Joffrey gets laid in the Great Sept of Baelor. His biological father, Jaime, does not mourn for him. Tommen succeeds his brother, and Tyrion gets tried as the main suspect in the King’s death.

Appearance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, actor Jack Gleeson portrayed Joffrey Baratheon. He appeared in seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 and starred in 26 episodes. He got killed in the fourth season after getting poisoned at his wedding. After Joffrey’s death, his brother, Tommen, ascended the throne. Though a better leader, he committed suicide after Cersei destroyed the Great Sept of Baelor with wildfire.

Joffrey Baratheon: The Cruel Child

In A Song of Ice and Fire, Joffrey stands as one of the cruelest young adults in the show. He was so vicious and sadistic that torturing people became his hobby. However, he learned that a hated ruler would get killed by the servants he torments.

FAQs

Who killed Joffrey Baratheon in the books?

After getting poisoned to death, Cersei Lannister accused Tyrion of perpetrating the act. However, it later got revealed that Lord Petyr Baelish and Lady Olenna Tyrell were the ones that poisoned the King with Strangler.

Was Joffrey as cruel as King Aerys II?

Though he got compared to King Aerys, Joffrey was a worse leader. Though Aerys was mad, the people still enjoyed his tenure as King’s Landing prospered under the incredible governance of Lord Tywin Lannister. However, Joffrey;’s reign was one of the worst in the Seven Kingdoms as the people experienced hunger and unfair taxation; this led to a riot.

Did Joffrey or his mother rule King’s Landing?

During his reign as King, Joffrey had no direct rule over the kingdom because he was too young. His mother, Cersei, was in charge of governance, and his grandfather, Lord Tywin, became the Hand of the King.

Who was Joffrey’s love interest?

After traveling to Winterfell, Joffrey fell in love with Sansa Stark. However, his affection for her ended after he and Arya fought. After the Nymeria and Mycah incident, Joffrey hated Sansa and saw the Starks as enemies.

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