Characters: Game Of Thrones House Baratheon Of Kings Landing
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House Baratheon of King's Landing
Robb Stark: "Stannis Baratheon sent ravens to all the high lords of Westeros. King Joffrey Baratheon is neither a true king, nor a true Baratheon. He's your bastard son."
: "Well, if that's true, then Stannis is the rightful king. How convenient for him."
Alton Lannister: "King Joffrey is a Baratheon, Your Grace."
Robb Stark: "Oh, is he?"
The current ruling house of Westeros. Technically a branch of House Baratheon of Storm's End
, but all its members are the biological (bastard) children of Cersei and Jaime Lannister. The Lannisters of Casterly Rock
are also the true power behind the Baratheons of King's Landing.
- In Name Only: In-universe, despite being Baratheons by name, they are Lannisters by blood. Technically speaking, children born of incest have no "proper" surname (and have no right to one), and the Baratheons of King's Landing are unlikely to ever receive one — as bastards from the Crownlands they would normally use Waters, but they'd have to be acknowledged by their father for that and that would mean admission that they have no actual rightful claim to the throne.
- Mixed Ancestry: Subverted, as Jon Arryn and Ned Stark get to discover. Officially, Joffrey identifies himself as "Joffrey of the Houses Baratheon and Lannister, First of His Name" and his personal coat of arms is the Baratahteon stag and the Lannister lion together as equals, seemingly, because the lion's tail hovers invasively over the stag's head.
- Royally Screwed Up: Played with. Joffrey's complete and utter insanity is far worse than the Lannisters', but both Tommen and Myrcella are good kids.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Tywin Lannister, probably the most powerful (and certainly the richest) person in Westeros, backs the Baratheons of King's Landing to the hilt, allowing them to pretty much do whatever they want, no matter the obstacles. Unfortunately, this has also extended to the borrowing of money, leading to the Baratheons of Kings Landing acquiring astronomical amounts debts, debts they are largely unable to service.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Averted, and one of the main indications that House Baratheon of King's Landing has no true connection to House Baratheon of Storm's End, every single one of whose (male) members, going back hundreds of years, have been black haired.
King Joffrey Baratheon
"Everyone is mine to torment!"
The elder son of King Robert and Queen Cersei. Officially, at least. Jaime Lannister, the queen's own twin brother, is his biological father, and that of his siblings.
- 0% Approval Rating: NOBODY likes him. Even his own family members are no exception, except maybe Cersei; and even she wouldn't mind him being subjected to some of his grandfather's 'discipline' by this point. Same goes for the audience.
- Double subverted in Season 3. One might assume that Margaery's popularity with the smallfolk might splash onto Joffrey but, when the two of them do go out together to meet the crowd, everybody is cheering for her.
- Adaptational Villainy: Not that he's not a psycho in the books, but the series makes him worse. Its the fact that TV!Joffrey is the one who orders both the massacre of Robert's bastards and the assassination attempt on Tyrion during the battle of the Blackwater (if Cersei is to be believed). He also considers making homosexuality a crime punishable by death, and flat-out murders Ros by hogtying her to a bedpost and riddling her with crossbow bolts because he simply wanted to explore what it feels like to murder someone yourself. However, he does some equally horrific things in the books that don't make it into the show, especially his penchant for shooting peasants from his window with his signature crossbow,note as well as his decision to fling a group of Stannis sympathizers from the trebuchets installed on the walls of King's Landing, so it's a bit of a wash.
- Age Lift: 12 in the books, 17 in the show. This is something of a case of Pragmatic Adaptation, as there is a clear limit as to how far you can push it when your actor is 20 years old.
- Asexuality: For a show that oozes sex and sexual politics like Game Of Thrones, Joffrey is a markedly asexual character:
- He has a peculiar habit of steering conversations about sex away from the topic, usually parlaying them into conversations about violence.
- When Margaery tries to discern his turn ons she gets nowhere talking about sex outright. His only pleasures come from either witnessing or inflicting suffering on others, but they're clearly not sexual pleasures.
- Him watching Ros torture Daisy with that stag head mace plays more like a sports fan watching his favourite team repeatedly score on the opposition as opposed to a sadomasochistic voyeur getting turned on by the violence. Similarly, we have no indication that he had sex with Ros before killing her, instead he seems to have simply forced her to strip before shooting her repeatedly with a crossbow.
- His threat to invoke the Lord's Right on Sansa seems to be more for the sake of humiliating Tyrion and causing her physical and emotional pain than any actual desire for her.
- Authority in Name Only: Joffrey may have his arse plonked firmly on the Iron Throne but it's obvious to everyone that Tywin is the sole reason he continues to keep it.
- Ax-Crazy: In one of his first scenes without the supervision of another Lannister, the sweet prince begins to cut Mycah with his sword and threatens to gut Arya when she stops him and before Nymeria intervenes. He doesn't get better.
- Bad Bad Acting: During the ceremony in which he dismisses Sansa and takes Margaery as his betrothed, it is clear he's putting on a show for the court. He even turns to his mother in anticipation for her line before she starts speaking.
- Bastard Bastard: It's revealed that he's not Robert's son, but the product of Jaime and Cersei's incest. In the second season he learns of it through Stannis' pronouncement and asks his mother about the terrible rumor he's heard about her and "Uncle Jaime". Though he outwardly denies it he might believe it deep down, given that he orders the murder of Robert's illegitimate children as a form of insurance.
- Bastard in Sheep's Clothing: Briefly pretends to be a decent guy in front of Sansa. He puts up the same charade for Margaery.
- Big Bad: One of the candidates to the title. Something of a still very dangerous Big Bad Wannabe when it comes to the game of thrones; the second season reveals that, while Joffrey is indeed an utterly repulsive human being, he's utterly hopeless as a leader - being nothing more than a petty, cowardly bully who doesn't have a shred of intelligence - and the third firmly establishes that it's Tywin who's holding the power, not him.
Lord Tywin: Any man who must say I am the king is no true king.
- Blond Guys Are Evil
- Boisterous Weakling: He tries to live up to Robert's standards of jovial badassery, but his disastrous upbringing turned him into an arrogant, sadistic weasel who couldn't fight if his life depended on it.
- The Bully
- The Caligula: Quickly shapes up into this after taking the throne and even bears some resemblace to the real one. Joffrey just seems to want to inflict pain and death. One of his lines from the season 3 finale is rather telling:
Joffrey: Everyone is mine to torment!
- Character Development: In a rather horrible way. Joffrey quickly develops from a bullying wimp that nobody has much nice to say about to a Caligula-esque psychotic whom everybody hates after he obtains the Iron Throne - to the point that he's compared to another famous monster in Westerosi history: Aerys II. And compared unfavourably; see Tyrion's "vicious idiot king" line.note
- Crown of Horns: His crown has stylized stag antlers.
- Dirty Coward: He acts tough, (particularly when he is certain of being in a position of authority) but when Arya points a sword at him he cries like a baby. There's also the scene when Tyrion bitch-slaps him, repeatedly. Then in the second season, not only does he not do anything when Tyrion outright calls him a "vicious idiot king," but Tyrion gets away with slapping him again. He panics very quickly during the Battle of the Blackwater and runs off when he hears that his mother has called for him, his voice visibly cracking as he does so.
- Droit du Seigneur: During "Second Sons" he essentially threatens Sansa with this, saying that it doesn't matter which Lannister puts a baby in her.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Halfway, played for Dramatic Irony; despite being the series reigning champion for both stupidity and petty sadism, he is properly and seriously worried about Daenerys, her Dragons, and what will happen if she brings them to Westeros. A kingly thought for once -a worry already expressed by Varys- but that Lord Tywin contemptuously dismisses.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons / Wrong Genre Savvy: Joff actually gets this about once a season.
- In Season 1, he mentions that Westeros should have a standing, professional army loyal only to the crown, noting the feudal system of each lord having it's own army is barbaric. This is actually a rather progressive stance, but his way of going about it is completely impractical.
- In season 2, he deduces that after the Greyjoys take the north, it's the perfect time to strike against Robb Stark. Normally, he'd be right, but he's completely overlooking the more pressing threat of Stannis bearing down on the capital. Here, the situation is similar; he's ignoring the more pressing threat of Robb Stark and cowering in fear over something that, from his perspective, is nothing more than a rumor half the world away. All of this is in stark contrast to Robert, who was firmly a case of Jerkass Has a Point in regards to the threat Dany posed.
- In season 3 he declares in Mhysa that "My father won the real war", referring to Robert killing Rhaegar. Robert, of course, is not actually his father, but his actual father Jaime did technically win the war by killing Aerys.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He is baffled when Margaery stops to donate some toys and spend time with the children in an orphanage of Flea Bottom. During dinner, we hear Joffrey speak of her work (in a positive light, mind you) as if charity were some strange and obscure concept.
Joffrey: Well as Ser Loras said, Lady Margaery has done this sort of, uh...charitable work before.
- Evil Counterpart: To Robert's actual (but illegitimate) son, Gendry.
- Evil Gloating: Doubles as Evil Is Hammy.
Joffrey: If we want Robb Stark to hear us, we'll have to SPEAK LOUDER!
- Evil Is Petty: He mocks Tommen for crying while Myrcella is sent to Dorne. At Tyrion's wedding he takes away his uncle's stool so that Tyrion has to ask Sansa to kneel for the fastening of the bridal cloak, causing the guests to laugh at Tyrion.
- Evil Makeover: He has one done for the throne room in Season 2 now that he's on the throne, having it renovated to feature Spikes of Villainy and flaming braziers.
- The Evil Prince: Can you believe this is a subversion? He's a prince, he's evil, but he has nothing to do with his predecessor's death. In fact, Joffrey's sitting, obviously distraught, next to Robert's deathbed, who he considers his real father, is the character's one starkly single good act done in the show so far.
- Faux Affably Evil: In the first season he at least makes an effort to appear a charming noble. Once the crown is on he doesn't care to pretend anymore.
- When he does start to pretend, it's an indication he's about to do something horrible. For instance, when speaking politely to Ser Dontos, he tells him to have as much wine as he likes- because he plans to drown him in it.
- To Gendry. Gendry's poor, hardworking, clever, brave, kind, and Robert's son. Joffrey's none of these things.
- To Stannis and Robb. Both of them lead their armies from the frontlines, Joffrey, for all his bravado, doesn't.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Reacts with insane fury whenever someone "beneath" him acts in a way he sees as out of line, be it the Starks not acting like cowed serfs towards him (i.e. Arya not letting him mutilate her lowborn friend by hitting him with a stick, causing him to try and flat out murder her while screaming in rage), a peasant throwing manure at him (orders the entire crowd executed, which backfires espectacularly), his mother furiously slapping him when he mocks her for Robert's infidelity (promises to have her executed if she ever raises a hand against him again), or, most awesomely, his uncle publicly promising to cut off his genitalia if he does not stop tormenting him and Sansa (which reduces him to sputtering in near homicidal rage). However, since he is the epitome of Dirty Coward, he takes any insult from those with the power and spine to truly hurt him (i.e. Tyrion and Tywin in their role as Hand of the King, Arya when holding a sword at his throat, or Sandor when he finally snaps) by weeping, whimpering and either begging for mercy or shutting the hell up immediately.
- He-Man Woman Hater: He has shades of this. He genuinely doesn't seem to like any girls (or anyone, for that matter) for the right reasons. He resents his Arranged Marriage to Sansa in the first season, abuses her and a pair of prostitutes in the second, and when pushed even Cersei, the only woman he seems to have any respect for, is not above his threats and insults. Scarily, the only time he does seem to show genuine interest in a woman is when Margaery is expressing interest in killing things.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: When Joffrey says something stupid and Tyrion is around, odds are good that bitch slaps will ensue. The humor comes from the fact that he deserves it, and that a dwarf that he towers over is the one slapping him. Observe the Kingslapper at work.
- Horrible Judge of Character: He appoints his grandfather Tywin to the position of Hand of the King, apparently without realising that Tywin Lannister is not the sort of man who will put up with Joffrey's Stupid Evil antics.
- Hypocrite: Responds with scorn when Tommen cries while Myrcella is being sent away, while conveniently forgetting that he was on the verge of tears when King Robert was on his deathbed, and that Arya and Nymeria forced him to tears when the former kicked his ass and the latter bit his arm.
- I Call Her "Vera": His sword Hearteater. He boasts that once Stannis attacks King's Landing, he'll cut him a smile with it and even forces Sansa to kiss the blade for luck. Naturally, it never gets drawn during the battle. From the books...
- Insane Equals Violent: One of the most horrifying examples ever, to the point that the only way Sansa can to describe him is, "He's a monster".
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Jack Gleeson mentions in Inside HBO's Game of Thrones that deep down, Joffrey wants his father's acknowledgment and the peoples' love. But obviously, between his psychopathy, entitlement issues, his mother's rearing, his father's less-than-stellar example as King, and the little fact that everyone hates him, his chances of ever getting his wish are somewhat slim.
- Jerkass: You may have noticed a pattern with the other tropes indicative of this being one of his most defining characteristics. Joffrey's cruelty, sadism and delightful glee in it all make him one of the most despicable characters in the setting.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He almost never shows any signs of being a good person deep down, about the only moment of genuine human emotion he has (besides cowardice) is when he visits Robert on his deathbed. On the other hand, whenever he gets a chance to act with honor and morality, he instead goes out of his way to Kick the Dog.
- Joffrey in Leather Breeches: For Sansa, in Season 1. Mind you, she wakes up to what sort of person he is once he has her father executed.
- Kick the Dog: Practically everything he does. Invoked by Tyrion in "Mhysa";
Tyrion: Killed a few puppies today?
- The Load: Played for Drama. Joffrey is so utterly incompetent at anything that doesn't involve tormenting people, and so utterly devoted to the latter, that he never really sees the big political picture and ultimately creates problem after problem for the Lannisters. This is one of the reasons why Tywin has no issue with Margaery trying to manipulate him (in the beginning, at least) - because then at least somebody is keeping him on a leash.
- Madness Mantra: The moment something doesn't go his way, he immediately starts screaming for executions.
Joffrey: Kill them! KILL THEM ALL!
- Miles Gloriosus: In Blackwater he vows to give Stannis "A red smile". When it actually comes to fighting, he hides with his mother, leaving the defence to his uncle Tyrion.
- Non-Action Big Bad: He talks tough, but when the fight starts, he runs and hides.
- Not So Different:
- From Viserys, who considered his father (and by extension him) as being usurpers of the throne. Informed Attractiveness and fair hair, a product of sibling incest, spoiled entitled brat, egomanical, insane, wants people killed for the slightest mishap, abuses his siblings, brags about personally killing his opponents while being a total coward, and is loathed by more or less everyone in their entourage.
- His method of ruling by doing whatever he likes because no one will stop him while the actual running of the kingdom is left to the small council is pretty much how Robert liked things to be. The key factor is that Robert liked hunting and whoring instead of ruling, Joffrey is more into sadism and torture.
- A few characters, particularly Tyrion, compare Joffrey to Aerys II aka the Mad King, for how bloodthirsty and insane Joffrey can be when he really gets riled up. It's also not unnoticed that Joffrey is a product of incest, and the Targaryens practiced incest to keep their bloodline pure but which made several of them prone to madness.
- Open Secret: Thanks to Stannis, his bastardy is made public. All the Genre Savvy members of the court: Varys, Littlefinger and Pycelle, already knew but kept it to themselves for their own plots and benefit.
- Orcus on His Throne/Non-Action Big Bad: While Tywin and his bannermen are out fighting the war in Season 2/3 and Tyrion and Cersei are scheming for power in King's Landing, Joffrey does nothing except abuse peasants and engage in emotional abuse of Sansa. Justified because:
- 1.- He's certainly not a warrior, no matter how he may posture, is a terrible battlefield commander, and is too stupid to be a schemer like the rest of his family.
- 2.- Leaving King's Landing would be a political suicide, as it would be easy for another aspirant to the crown to take control of the region in his absence. As pointed out by Tywin, the only reason Joffrey is considered more than a "claimant" to the Iron Throne is because he actually sits on it.
- Pet the Dog/Even Bad Boys Love Their "Papas": He was genuinely distraught over Robert's death.
- Phallic Weapon: His crossbow, made especially obvious in a season 3 scene where he shows it off to his wife-to-be with much excitement.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: In "Dark Wings, Dark Words" he's openly misogynistic, saying that smart women do as they're told. He also says that he's considering making homosexuality, which he considers a degeneration, a crime punishable by death. More to the viewers than the other characters though, since this is more Deliberate Values Dissonance than unheard moral values for the setting.
- Prince Charmless: So very much.
- Psychopathic Manchild: A man at 17 by Westerosi standards — old enough to sit on the throne, at least, but he acts as if he's about six years old. Never more apparent than in Mhysa, where Tywin, as Tyrion puts it, puts the King to bed without his supper, and in response Joffrey can only shriek, "I'M NOT TIRED!"
- Puppet King: Played with, a lot. Cersei tried to make him into this but his Stupid Evil tendencies resulted in him not listening to her and making poor decisions on his own. During their respective time as Hand of the King, Tyrion makes no effort to make Joffrey into this trope because he realizes the futility and just does things without him knowing, while Tywin does as he pleases because he can intimidate Joffrey into not interfering. As of Season 3 Margaery is endearing herself to Joffrey by playing to his sadistic side and using Obfuscating Stupidity to keep him from realizing she's manipulating him. Cersei disapproves of it but Tywin is amused by and lets it happen, since at least finally someone is learning to control him.
- The Purge: In season 1, following Ned's arrest, all of his household is put to the sword. In season 2, he orders the Goldcloaks to kill Robert's bastard children, including infants. Even Cersei seems taken aback by this.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He hasn't indulged in this particular vice (yet) but, during Sansa's wedding, he threatens to rape to her to her face. And that, if she resists, his guards will hold her down while he does the deed.
- Royal Brat: His book counterpart was very nearly the Trope Namer, and "The Joffrey" exists as a redirect. He now currently provides the page image and quote.
- Sadistic Choice: Very fond of giving these to people, such as making a bard who offended him choose between losing his tongue or his hands.
- Shirtless Scene: He's given one in season 3.
- Slouch of Villainy: Tends to have very bad posture while on the Iron Throne (though its design doesn't help matters).
- Smug Snake: To those he has power over, Joffrey is abusive, threatening, and shamelessly overconfident. However, the instant that someone actually stands up to him, he shows off the cringing coward he truly is.
- The Sociopath: The only person he's shown even the slightest affection for is his father.
- Spanner in the Works: His impulsive decision in "Baelor" shatters both Cersei's and Varys' plans.
- Speak Ill of the Dead: Since he considers Renly to be a traitor, his "uncle" doesn't deserve any respect even after death. He has no qualms posthumously calling Renly a "degenerate" in "Dark Wings, Dark Words."
- Stupid Evil: What makes Joffrey so dangerous to most everyone including himself is that he isn't just cruel, he's stupid and cruel. While the other Lannisters practice Pragmatic Villainy, Joffrey engages in pointlessly evil acts just for the sake of being a bastard heedless of the consequences. The most blatant example of this is having Ned killed, making the North an enemy of the crown, when the smart thing to do (and what Cersei and others wanted) would have been to keep Ned alive and negotiate truce or alliance with the North since Robert's brothers are also marching against the crownlands. He's compared negatively to the Mad King at a few points, and Tyrion all but invokes the trope by name with this splendid description in "The Old Gods and the New":
Tyrion: We've had vicious kings, and we've had idiot kings... but I don't know if we've ever been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king!
- Teens Are Monsters: Probably the vilest character in the series, in no small part due to his age. Of course, given the Crapsack World of Westeros, somebody worse will probably show up.
- Token Evil Teammate: To his siblings, who ironically are the Token Good Teammates of their family.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: He inherits the throne after Robert dies.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Cersei in Mhysa Joffrey was a very happy baby when he was around her and showed no signs of his later sociopathic behavior until much later.
- Warrior Prince: He's trying to be this and is very confident about it. Despite being liberally slapped around by a man half his size on fairly regular basis. Everyone else in King's Landing, including his own mother, are rightfully pessimistic on that.
Joffrey: If my uncle attacks King's Landing I'll ride out to meet him!
Tyrion': I'm sure your men will line up behind you.
: They say Stannis never smiles. I'll give him a red
smile. From ear to ear
Tyrion: *As Joffrey leaves* Imagine Stannis' terror.
Varys: I am trying.
- Wimp Fight:
- His so called fight with Arya. As described by Robert : "You let a little girl disarm you?"
- When Sansa makes a threatening comment, he takes a step backwards. He retreats after a comment, made by someone who acted like an obedient puppy throughout the season.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A tragic and twisted example in that many of the atrocities he commits are actually done in a misguided attempt to gain his father's love and respect. Attempting to act tough and manly and instead actually being monstrous in trying to live up to Robert's standards.
- Would Not Hit A Girl:
- Subverted in a way. He doesn't do it himself, because that wouldn't be kingly. So he has his bodyguard Ser Meryn do it for him.
- Fully averted at the end of "The Climb". Joffrey is shown admiring his work after torturing and killing Ros by tying her up and shooting her many times with his crossbow.
- Would Hurt a Child: While outwardly denying the rumours of his true parentage, Joffrey nonetheless takes preventative measures against any future claimants to the Iron Throne. By which we mean, he orders the Goldcloaks to murder all of Robert's bastards, slitting the throats of infants and drowning children, thus ensuring no-one can use one of these bastards to rally behind and attempt to seize the throne.
- You Monster!: Ser Loras casually describes Prince Joffrey as a monster in Season 1. Sansa calls Joffrey a monster, with great gravitas, when the Tyrells question his true character. Not that anyone who isn't Cersei has anything nicer to say about him. When Joffrey has the gall to label Tyrion "a little monster", his uncle casually snarks back.
Oh, "monster". Perhaps you should speak to me more softly then. Monsters are dangerous and, just now, kings are dying like flies.
- You Need to Get Laid: Bronn persuades Tyrion to do this for him by sending two prostitutes to his chamber, hoping that it might reduce his frustrations a bit. Unfortunately, they did not factor in that Joffrey has no interest in sexual stimulation and would rather torture people.
Bronn: There's no cure for bein' a cunt. But the boy's at that age, he's got nothing to do save tear wings off flies. Couldn't hurt to get some of the poison out.
Princess Myrcella Baratheon
"I'm glad you are not dead."
: Aimee Richardson
Tyrion (to Cersei): "Myrcella is a sweet, innocent girl and I don't blame her at all for you."
Robert and Cersei's only daughter, the middle child. Jaime Lannister, the queen's own twin brother, is her biological father, and that of her siblings.
- Arranged Marriage: To the youngest son of Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne, once both are of age.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the books she doesn't cry when she's shipped off to Dorne.
- Break the Cutie: She's sent away from her whole family to Dorne for her own protection.
- Children Are Innocent: She's nice to Sansa and seems genuinely excited to see her and Joffrey get married.
- Demoted to Extra: She wasn't exactly a large character in the book, but in the series she's only had a few speaking lines and been on screen a handful of scenes beyond that. Averted in Season 2, in which she gets a bit more time.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- Licked by the Dog: One of the early signs that the audience received that Tyrion is more than a drunken whoremonger is how much Tommen and Myrcella adore him.
- Nice Girl: She loves her uncle Tyrion and "uncle" Jaime, as well as her brother.
- Pet the Dog: Proves that the Lannister family evil isn't genetic by asking about Bran's condition and being genuinely happy to hear that he will live.
- Put On A Barge: Sent off to Dorne to meet her betrothed. From the books...
- Token Good Teammate: Along with her youngest brother, Tommen.
Prince Tommen Baratheon
"Stags aren't evil. They only eat grass."
Played By: Callum Wharry (Seasons 1 and 2), Dean-Charles Chapman (Season 4-)
Robert and Cersei's second son, the youngest child. Second in line for the throne. Jaime Lannister, the queen's own twin brother, is his biological father and that of his siblings.
- Analogy Backfire: During the Battle of Blackwater, Cersei tells him of a Lion who was meant to be king, who was in a forest filled with evil things such as Stags. Tommen's response is to point out that Stags aren't evil creatures, they're good.
- Children Are Innocent: In sharp contrast to his brother, Tommen comes off as a genuinely sweet, nice kid, and is nice to Sansa.
- Demoted to Extra: Much like his sister. Averted in "Blackwater", where he has a minor role, whereas in the book he's not even present in King's Landing.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- Licked by the Dog: Like his sister, he's the Dog in relation to his uncle Tyrion.
- Morality Pet: To Cersei.
- Nice Guy: He's a genuinely kind person, who doesn't share Joffrey's sadistic streak.
- Pet the Dog: He doesn't enjoy the notion of Robb being killed by his brother at all, saying as much in front of his mother and more importantly Sansa.
- Token Good Teammate: Along with his sister.
- You Look Familiar: Chapman had played the small role of Martyn Lannister a season before taking over the role.
King Joffrey's Small Council
Queen Regent Cersei Lannister
Hand of the King Lord Tywin Lannister
Master of Coin Tyrion Lannister
Master of Whispers Lord Varys
"The storms come and go. The big fish eat the little fish, and I just keep on paddling."
Ned: "Tell me something, Varys. Who do you truly serve?"
Varys: "The realm, my lord. Someone must."
Master of Whispers (IE The Spymaster
) on The Small Council.
- Ambiguously Evil: He's definitely not an out and out good guy owing to his position and the fact he works for House Lannister and House Baratheon of King's Landing, and he's seen with Illyrio at least once talking about a possible Dothraki invasion. However, he's ultimately seeking to oppose Littlefinger, has obviously got some standards and has multiple Pet the Dog moments.
- Ambiguously Gay
Varys: Podrick, is that it?
Tyrion: "Is that it"? Nice touch. As if you don't know the name of every boy in town.
Varys: I am not entirely sure what you are suggesting.
Tyrion: I am entirely sure that you are entirely sure of what I am suggesting.
- And I Must Scream: During his castration, he was apparently given a drug to prevent him from moving, but which kept him fully conscious and all of his senses intact during the whole thing, and as a child no less. He eventually gets his revenge by torturing the sorcerer several decades later.
- Anti-Hero: A dark version. Unscrupulous Hero, maybe. While he is a schemer, isn't always trustworthy, and has a positively terrifying sense of vengeance, he does at least seem to be most interested in doing what is good for the realm, at least in the long run.
- Anti-Villain: Type I.
- Badass Boast: See his page quote.
- Bald of Ambiguous Evil: Varys cannot yet be defined as a good guy or a bad guy.
- Benevolent Boss: According to him, his "little birds" are treated very well for their services (certainly better than Littlefinger's prostitutes).
- Well apart from having their tongues cut out. But as we've seen one little bird speaking (when handing Jorah his pardon) that might only be in the novels.
- Best Served Cold: After being castrated by a sorcerer and thrown out to die, he decided to do absolutely whatever it took to live, and then to gain power. After nursing his grudge for several decades, he finally gets to act on it.
- The Bus Came Back: Took a short but noticeable ride on the bus between the end of Season 2 and "Walk of Punishment."
- The Chessmaster: Part of his job considering he has to attempt to outwit other information brokers like Littlefinger.
- Corpsing/Facial Dialogue:
- Struggles or fails to keep his straight face and act several times when Tyrion mocks Joffrey.
- During the Small Council scenes, Varys has a variety of amusing facial expressions as he reacts to what's going on. Especially when Littlefinger starts talking about his plan to wed Lysa Arryn, Varys does this excellent, bitchy "Oh my god" eye roll. Thanks to Conleth Hill's terrific acting, Varys commenting on a scene purely with his facial expressions becomes a Funny Background Event and a Running Gag.
- Deadpan Snarker: Eighty percent of his conversations with Littlefinger and Tyrion are snark. Examples are his conversation with Littlefinger in the Season 1 finale, and this exchange with Tyrion:
Varys: (flatly) I am trying.
- And when Bronn jokingly suggests throwing books to repel Stannis' siege of the city:
Varys: We don't have that many books.
- Does Not Like Magic: And has a pretty solid reason for it, too.
- Eunuchs Are Evil: Invoked by Grand Maester Pycelle. It may or may not be true. Lampshaded by Varys himself when he asks with exasperation at the imprisoned Eddard being leery about the water he offers, "Why is it no one ever trusts the eunuch?" Varys' later behaviour, however, demonstrates that he really isn't completely benevolent, and may have only been as kind to Ned as he was, because it could make him feel better about other things he'd done, and he knew it wouldn't cost him anything.
- Even Ambiguous Evil Has Standards:
- The Black Magic practiced by the Lord of Light religion disturbs him, and the thought of a follower of that religion sitting on the Iron Throne terrifies him.
- He's visibly disturbed when Joffrey decides that he will behead Eddard Stark there and then.
- His opposition to Littlefinger is due in no small part to his awareness of how Littlefinger will happily watch the realm burn so long as it allows him to advance, and he is visibly disgusted by just how low Baelish will go.
- He is visibly appalled when Joffrey announces that he plans to serve Robb Stark's severed head to Sansa at his wedding feast.
- Friendly Rivalry: To Tyrion. Not so much to Littlefinger, probably on account of his more jerkish attitude.
- Friendly Enemy: To Littlefinger. This is deconstructed by the fact that Littlefinger's ambition actually scares Varys, and that their aims are completely different, as one fights for order and the other for chaos. In season 3 it's shown that their friendly snarking is just a light veneer.
- Groin Attack: As a young boy, he was ritualistically castrated against his will by a sorcerer. The sorcerer then burned his severed genitals on a pyre as a sacrifice.
- Immigrant Patriotism: The only non-Westerosi born member of the Royal Council (he's from one of the Free Cities), and yet he claims his primary allegiance is to the realm as a whole, as opposed to his own self-enrichment or the further the goals of a particular faction. Whether or not he's telling the truth is hard to determine
- In-Series Nickname: He's frequently referred to as "The Spider".
- In the Hood: When going incognito, Varys wears a hooded cloak.
- Is That a Threat?: Varys makes coy, veiled threats to Tyrion in their first scene together, but Tyrion angrily cuts the bullshit and bluntly calls him out on it. He then threatens to throw Varys into the sea if he ever threatens him again, which Varys retorts with his page quote shown above.
- Knowledge Broker: Hence his nickname.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He served Aerys as faithfully as he serves Robert, knowing full well that the first was mad and the second was a fool. But...
- The Needs of the Many: When asked where his allegiances lie, he says he serves the realm, not the ruler. This is his justification for going along with the plan to assassinate Daenerys, and for trying to prevent Littlefinger from gaining even more power.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe, everyone can't seem to go one sentence without mocking him for being a eunuch.
- Noble Demon: While evidently not 100% good, he evidently has some standards as well.
- Non-Action Guy: Lampshaded when Ned asks why he did nothing to help, and he says that he can't do much against multiple armed soldiers.
- No Sell: As Ros discovered, it's very hard to seduce someone who has no genitals.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The assassination attempt on Daenerys that he orchestrated was bungled, and Khal Drogo EXTREMELY pissed off, pushing him to start preparing an invasion of the Seven Kingdoms.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Any time Varys drops his Sissy Villain act and politely mocking tone of voice, you know it's come time to be afraid. The sorcerer is a prime example of what Varys is capable of when he gets serious.
- Order Versus Chaos: Claims to fight for order and mostly acts in the interests of keeping the realm stable, in contrast to Littlefinger who actively causes chaos with intent to climb the social ladder as others fight around him.
- Put on a Bus: Ends Season 2 by telling Tyrion he won't be around for a while, and is conspicuously absent from the first two episodes of Season 3.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: A poignant, competent advisor and not a particularly wicked schemer by the standards of the Court. His vocal concern for the realm seems genuine enough.
- Red Baron: It isn't made explicitly clear in the show, but Varys' nickname "The Spider" isn't his own idea; the other members of the court gave it to him due to his "web of information." Varys never claims or uses the nickname himself.
- Self-Made Man: Even more than Littlefinger, who was at least a minor noble. After Varys was castrated and thrown into the slums of the Free Cities, he became a pocket thief and whore. There, he learned to extract secrets from his clients. Gradually expanding his power, he eventually gained enough influence to earn him his seat in the Royal Council.
- Shotacon: Implied.
- Sissy Villain: As with Eunuchs Are Evil, the half of the trope indicating villainy is in doubt, but the first half is blatant. Really, when everyone already knows you're a eunuch, what the devil's the point of wasting time embarrassing yourself by trying to look butch? Mostly, though, it's an act. When he gets truly angry he drops his usual polite, facetious tone and his voice becomes considerably lower, such as when he threatened Tyrion in season 2 and Littlefinger in season 3. An excellent example is how he speaks to Ned when trying to convince him to give a false confession and demands him to serve the realm.
- Sole Survivor/Zen Survivor: As he implies to Tyrion in the quote above.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: His main form of conversation with those he sees as worthy opponents, such as Tyrion and particularly Littlefinger.
- The Spymaster: He claims his "little birds" are everywhere.
- Sympathy for the Hero:
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Whatever he does, is for the good of the realm.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to Ned Stark after Robert's death, asking him what on earth possessed him to flat-out confront Cersei after piecing together her secret.
- Wild Card
"My role is to be sly, obsequious and without scruples. I'm a good actor, My Lord. As I said, I'm no hero."
Grand Maester Pycelle
"Kings? I can tell you all there is to know about kings."
Jaime: "I urged [the Mad King] to surrender peacefully. But the king didn't listen to me; didn't listen to Varys, who tried to warn him. But he did listen to Grand Maester Pycelle, that grey, sunken cunt."
The resident Maester in the Red Keep, and a member of King Robert Baratheon's Small Council.
Other members of King Joffrey's Court
Ser Ilyn Payne
Sansa Stark: "Why won't he speak to me?"
Sandor Clegane: "He hasn't been very talkative these last 20 years. Since the Mad King had his tongue ripped out with hot pincers."
Joffrey Baratheon: "He speaks damn well with his sword, though."
The mute royal executioner or "The King's Justice".
- Ambiguously Evil: How willing he is in all of this is unknown. He's never seen smiling or taking joy in anything, but merely does his job without passion or interest.
- Bald of Evil
- Evil Old Folks: He's been around since the days of Aerys II, and his disposition hasn't improved.
- My Master, Right or Wrong/Punch Clock Villain: He kills or maims people whenever ordered to because that's his job.
- Mercy Kill: Cersei arranges him to fulfil this role if the Battle at Blackwater went badly. He was to kill all the women hiding, to save them the rape they would endure at the hands of Stannis' men.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: An executioner named 'pain'.
- Off with His Head!: His method of execution.
- Perpetual Frowner: Ilyn is rarely seen without a belligerent scowl.
- The Speechless: His tongue was cut out under orders of the Mad King.
- Torture Technician: It's assumed he's done this at others times, but it's seen first-hand when Joffrey orders him to remove Marillion's tongue.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Not seen at all in Season 3, though he's name dropped at least once. This is likely due to Wilko Johnson having terminal cancer.
Ser Dontos Hollard
"I had two cups of wine."
Played By: Tony Way
An alcoholic knight reduced to being a court fool.
A sworn brotherhood of seven knights sworn to protect the King and the royal family
- Adapted Out: So far, Balon Swann, which results from the fact that no Kingsguard is mentioned being killed in the Riots of King's Landing...leading to Ser Balon being named as his replacement.
- However, when meeting alone with Tywin, and during Sansa and Tyrion's wedding, Joffrey is guarded by four Kingsguard. Since Jaime is not yet in King's Landing, Mandon Moore is dead, the Hound deserted, Arys Oakheart is with Myrcella in Dorne, and Loras is not made a Kingsguard like in the books..at least not yet, this means that following the Battle of the Blackwater there are only three Kingsguard in the Red Keep (Ser Meryn, Ser Boros, and Preston Greenfield stand-in). Therefore, at some moment during his new Handship, Tywin seemingly appointed a new member of the Kinsguard as replacement for Ser Mandon or the Hound.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Thoroughly averted. The only one that lives this trope is the dismissed Ser Barristan, while Jaime is a subversion.
- Praetorian Guard/Co-Dragons
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Instead of the pure white, sigil-less armor of the books, the TV Kingsguard wear gold/bronze plate with white enameling. Also, their armors display a crown engraved in the chest. Also in that, in the books, there are many named Kingsguard bit characters, but, on the show, none of them, with the exception of Barristan Selmy, Jaime Lannister, and Meryn Trant, have any lines.
- My King Right Or Wrong: They are supposed to serve the King regardless of how heinous or insane he or his orders are. This is why Jaime is despised for killing Mad Aerys even by the enemies of Mad Aerys.
Ser Meryn Trant
"I take my orders from the King!"
A knight of the Kingsguard under King Robert Baratheon and subsequently King Joffrey Baratheon. Meryn is a casually cruel man who takes great pride in obeying orders without hesitation, no matter how ridiculous. He is also quite proud of his status as a knight of the Kingsguard, even though he routinely follows orders which break a knight's sworn duty to defend the weak and the innocent.
Ser Mandon Moore
"The lads caught a groom and two maids trying to sneak away with a stolen horse and some gold cups."
Played By: James Doran
Another member of the Kingsguard.
- Alliterative Name
- Ascended Extra/Composite Character: In the books he is not present when Cersei reveals Tyrion she has the woman she believes to be his lover under arrest. Nor is he the one that, prior to the Battle of the Blackwater, informs Cersei that a groom and two maids attempted to flee the Red Keep with a horse and gold. These actions are carried out by the Kettleblack brothers.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Pulls one on Tyrion during the Battle of the Blackwater.
- Demoted to Extra: Never mentioned in the first season. Also, his exchange with Tyrion when the latter arrives to a small council meeting to introduce himself as Hand of the King was cut.
- The Dragon: To Queen Cersei. At least that's what Varys says.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: When he betrays Tyrion, Podrick saves him at the last second by driving a lance through Mandon's head.
- Remember the New Guy
Ser Boros Blount
Played By: N/A
Another member of the Kingsguard.
- Alliterative Name
- Demoted to Extra/Composite Character: In the books it is Ser Boros and not Ser Meryn who beats Sansa and rips her dress in court after Joffrey learns of Robb's victory in the Battle of Oxcross. The storyline involving Tommen that leads to Boros getting kicked out of the Kingsguard for cowardice is cut, so he's present during the Battle of the Blackwater along with Tyrion and Ser Mandon, replacing Ser Balon Swann, who has been mentioned but not yet seen in the series.
- Mook Lieutenant
- Remember the New Guy
Ser Arys Oakheart
Played By: N/A
Another member of the Kingsguard.
- All There In The Book: His name.
- Demoted to Extra: To the point that he hasn't even been named in the show. The only moment we know for certain its him is when he accompanies Myrcella on her journey to Dorne
- Put On A Barge: In universe, he's sent to Dorne as Myrcella's sworn shield
Ser Preston Greenfield
Played By: N/A
Another member of the Kingsguard.