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."
Jaime Lannister: "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 ruling house of Westeros after Robert Baratheon passes away. Nominally a branch of House Baratheon of Storm's End, its members are in fact 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 General 
  • 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 unless legitimized by a king), 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.
    • Their banners with the Lion invasively entering the Stag's space and the tail crowning the Stag's horns kind of gives it away too.
  • 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 Baratheon stag and the Lannister lion together as equals, seemingly, because the lion's tail hovers invasively over the stag's head.
  • Open Secret: Stannis Baratheon "outs" their secret when he receives Ned's missive and it quickly catches Word Of Mouth with the commonfolk at King's Landing and different parts of the kingdom. Olenna Tyrell, who's marrying her grand-daughter to the Crown, points to Tywin Lannister that the evidence is very convincing. As Season 4 rolls, it is the worst kept secret of Westeros that is only tolerated for political necessity and convenience, with everyone making snarky comments about it and the rumor spread all the way across the Narrow Sea to Essos.
    • Even when Cersei herself tells Tywin outright that it's true, he refuses to believe it - suggested to be because he point blank does not want to, and realising it would mean his legacy is a lie.
  • 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 
Played By: Jack Gleeson

"Everyone is mine to torment!"

The elder son of King Robert and Queen Cersei. Officially, at least. King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm after the death of Robert Baratheon. Jaime Lannister, the queen's own twin brother, is his biological father, and that of his siblings. BEWARE OF MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW.
  • 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.
    • Jaime Lampshades this in Season 4, noting that Joffrey is widely unpopular, and everyone in the city and Westeros wants him dead.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Not that he's not a psycho in the books, but the TV series makes him worse. In the television series, 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. He also treats Cersei horribly, has Ros beat another prostitute, 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.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Strangely, Joffrey of all people is a victim of this. In the books, he's still a coward, but he's said to be tall and strong for his age, even taller than both Jon and Robb who are 3 years older. And when the King visits Winterfell, he spars equally with Robb despite the age difference. He also volunteers to fight during the Battle of Blackwater, and actually contributes to the battle. He only leaves the battle when forced to by Cersei, and still expresses desire to command the crossbowmen.
  • 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.
    • Given that Gleeson was 18 when he started filming (in 2010), it's more likely that he was meant to be 15 or 16 in the first season - convincing enough, plus with 17 years since his mother married Robert he'd need time to incubate, and this is after his unnamed Baratheon half-brother (invented for the TV show, who died in infancy). But it might just be that Writers Cannot Do Math (quite probably the latter, given that he's stated to be 17 in Season 2, and thus 16 in Season 1. That Cersei coulve have two full term pregnancies in under two years isn't entirely impossible, though.
    • Also, it's something of a plot point that Joffrey is not yet of age when his (assumed) father Robert dies. Given that Loras Tyrell is seventeen in the show and has apparently been a knight for a while, and that Jon is of age (one likely must be to volunteer for the Night's Watch) and his age is almost explicitly given as 16 by one of Catelyn's lines that probably places the age of majority (at least for males) in Westeros at 16, which means Joffrey must be 15 at the very most when the season starts. An 18- or 19-year-old actor playing a 15-year-old is unusual, to say the least.
      • On the other hand, Jack Gleeson is very fresh-faced, and has quite a high-pitched voice. As a result, in the first season especially, it isn't that difficult to believe that he's 15.
  • 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.
    • His casual conversation to Sansa about getting her pregnant once she's "had [her] blood" (i.e. begins menstruating), which obviously requires sex, glosses over the act itself, and gives no indication of whether Joffrey would enjoy the act itself. Sansa, of course, is noted to be beautiful even in the book series, and nearly every male that comes in contact with her finds her very attractive.
    • 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: He 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 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.
  • Bait the Dog: In "The Kingsroad", he seems to act decently enough in front of Sansa. Then he gets to bullying the butcher's son...
  • 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.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: He thinks of himself as The Hero who single handedly protected King's Landing from Stannis Baratheon and triumphed over the Starks. The competence displayed by his Grandfather Tywin and Uncle Tyrion don't figure in this vision at all, let alone the fact that he was a Dirty Coward whose Ax-Crazy nature started the war in the first place.
    • He later expresses the belief that he was the sole individual responsible for ending the War of the Five Kings, despite Stannis still being alive to return to fight another day, the on-going Greyjoy Rebellion, as well as the Riverlands and the entire North still not being under any semblance of control.
      Joffrey: They know I won the war!
      Jaime: The war's not won?
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Despite being an undeniably monstrous character, Joffrey is only a threat because his title allows him to make frequent stupid and sadistic decisions without fear of repercussion. It's clear that if not for the cunning machinations of his uncle, Tyrion, and grandfather, Tywin, Joffrey would have ended up a head on a pike a long time ago.
  • Big Brother Bully: He tormented Tommen by threatening to have his cat Ser Pounce skinned and the meat then served to him in his food.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: As blonde as a Lannister and the most evil of them.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: The sure visual sign, after his poisoning, that he's completely and utterly screwed.
  • Blood Lust: Not only does he love to see people get killed or maimed like his counterpart in the books, but it's taken further as being a sexual fetish for him, seeing as how he enjoyed one whore beating another and later putting arrows in said whore.
  • Boisterous Weakling: He tries to live up to Robert's standards of jovial badassery, but his disastrous upbringing turned him into an arrogant, sadistic coward.
  • The Bully: Joffrey takes immense pleasure in using his power and status to inflict pain on others.
  • The Caligula: Quickly shapes up into this after taking the throne and even bears some resemblance 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 
  • The Conspiracy: Is killed by a conspiracy between Olenna Tyrell, Petyr Baelish, Ser Dontos Hollard and (unintentionally) Sansa Stark at his own wedding.
  • Crown of Horns: His crown has stylized stag antlers.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Assassinated by a fittingly brutal poison.
  • Death by Irony: Joffrey ends up dying much in the same way as Robb Stark, the man whose death he so thoroughly mocked. Killed by treachery at a wedding whilst his mother is forced to watch as he dies a painful death. For additional irony, "The Rains of Castamere" was being played shortly before his death.
  • 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.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Sansa ignores most of his faults because she is love with him in Season 1. She wakes up to what sort of person he is once he has her father executed. invoked
  • 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.
    • This is basically the TV series's way of dropping an anvil on a point that people should pay attention to but are ignoring, i.e. "if even a dumbass like Joffrey expressed concern about it, maybe they should be worrying about it."
  • Even Bad Boys Love Their "Papas"/Pet the Dog: He genuinely loved Robert and always sought his approval, and was visibly torn up by his death. He also pays tribute to his "father" with the stylized stag antlers on his crown and the almost revered way he speaks about Roberts bravery in combat.
    • In the books, it's revealed that he was the one who gave the order to assassinate Bran, along with the valyrian steel dagger, because he heard Robert say that the boy would be better off dead than crippled. He really hoped to gain Robert's approval.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: True, he's a uncontrollable narcissistic sadist. However, it is made clear throughout the series that he idolizes his late "father", King Robert Baratheon, due to his reputation as a warrior which he aspires to live up to in his own twisted way upon ascending to the throne.
  • 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. When Jack Gleeson was asked in an interview what sort of thing Joffrey would never do, he has to think hard before responding with "charity work" instead of something vile.
    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.
    • Very subtle, but he serves as one to Daenerys as well. Aside from having their own reasons for being claimants to the throne, both are from houses hailed for their good looks, are products of inbreeding, and have very visible blood lust.
    • Ultimately, he shares the most in common with Robb Stark. They both rise to power at the exact same time after the deaths of their father. While Robb has a mind for combat and fights on the front lines with his men, Joffrey is a Dirty Coward who relies on others to do his work for him. They ultimately both have the same Fatal Flaw of developing political enemies which results in the two having similar deaths.
  • Evil Gloating: Doubles as Evil Is Hammy.
    Joffrey: If we want Robb Stark to hear us, we'll have to SPEAK LOUDER!
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: It's most prevalent at his wedding. Joffrey has an immature, deeply sadistic sense of what's funny. To Joffrey, the more someone is hurt and humiliated, the funnier it is.
  • 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.
    • In Season 4, he finds time to humiliate his "uncle" Jaime, gloating over his poor record as a Knight of the Kingsguard compared to heroes like Ser Duncan the Tall and Ser Arthur Dayne, and the fact that he sat out of the war as a captive and returned as a cripple.
    • Reaches a new low in "The Lion and the Rose". He's already won his damned war, but still puts on a disgustingly offensive show mocking the deceased Renly and Robb. He also takes every opportunity to humiliate Tyrion (the guy who helped save his ass in "Blackwater").
  • Evil Makeover: He renovates the throne room in a sinister way in Season 2 once he consolidates his power, having it renovated to feature Spikes of Villainy and flaming braziers.
  • Evil Nephew: He plotted the assassination attempt on Tyrion at the Battle of Blackwater; Ser Mandon Moore carried out his order but failed. Joffrey continually goes out of his way to humiliate and bully his Uncle.
  • 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.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Even by the show's legendarily dubious standards, Joffrey's poisoning and subsequent suffocation is absolutely horrifying. He bleeds from the eyes.
  • 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.
  • Foil:
    • 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. Robb Stark and Joffrey's foil nature goes deeper. One is a King chosen by his own people with legitimate claim to his lands and titles, the other is a King with no legitimate claim to his position who was essentially forced upon the people by the machinations of the players of the game of thrones, and each have opposing approaches to leadership, Robb considering everyone as being like his children who he has to protect, and Joffrey believing that being King means that everyone is his plaything to torment. Their relationships with Catelyn and Cersei respectively can also be compared and contrasted, especially as both Kings pursue relationships with women against the advice of their mothers, and these decisions both ultimately lead to Robb and Joffrey each meeting their sudden and shocking demise by being murdered at a wedding.
    • To all the Stark children, who are taught With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. All Joffrey knows is that Might Equals Right.
    • Also Daenerys. See Evil Counterpart above.
  • 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 spectacularly), 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.
  • Hate Sink: So many other tropes in his character section here attribute to it. Joffrey is such a despicable character that George RR Martin congratulated Jack Gleeson on a job well done.
  • 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. Joffrey also seems to enjoy Littlefinger, seemingly unaware that Littlefinger is not a man to be enjoyed or remotely trusted. He is also, unlike his mother, completely unaware that Margaery is playing him like a fiddle.
  • 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. He later names his Valyrian sword 'Widow's Wail'. From the books... 
  • 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 wanton sadism, 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.
  • It's All About Me: Joffrey doesn't think very far beyond his own immediate pleasure.
  • Jerkass: 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. Perhaps his most jerkassy moment is at his own wedding, which he uses as a platform to humiliate Tyrion, treat everyone with disdain and put on a show that mocks his defeated foes while relatives of said foes are in bloody attendance. Loras Tyrell (his new brother-in-law) has to leave out of pure fury, Tyrion and Sansa try to, and Olenna Tyrell (the matriarch of his most powerful allies) isn't remotely pleased.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He mocks Jaime's lack of accomplishments and says that it's unlikely that a 40-year old knight that just lost his swordhand will achieve much. Kick the Dog for sure, but also great points. He also mentions at one point that the prospect of a foreign army, led by a member of the previous ruling dynasty and packing three fully-grown dragons as weapons could be a bit problematic if it reaches Westerosi shores.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: It can be hard to believe due to his constant manic personality, but Joffrey of the early seasons was all bark and no bite who hid behind his guards to do his dirty work. By Season 3, he becomes more and more unhinged to the point where he starts to kill in cold blood.
  • Karmic Death: It would be little exaggeration to label Joffrey's death — suffocating painfully on his own blood and vomit — as quite possibly, and quite fittingly, the most brutal death in the entire show up until Oberyn's death at the hands of Gregor Clegane, which says a lot. Further, in a fantastic twist of cosmic irony, he dies in the exact same manner as Robb Stark: brutally betrayed and butchered at a wedding while his mother is forced to watch.
  • Kick the Dog: Practically everything he does. Invoked by Tyrion in "Mhysa";
    Tyrion: Killed a few puppies today?
  • Large Ham: Whenever he speaks in public he leave bite marks in the scenery. Justified since he's insane.
  • 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.
  • The Millstone: Played for Drama. Joffrey is so utterly incompetent at anything that doesn't involve tormenting peoplenote , 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.
  • Monument Of Humiliation And Defeat: Installs a statue of himself holding a crossbow over a direwolf signifying his triumph over the Starks.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: He loves weaponry, has great knowledge of the Targaryens' bloody legacy, and his room is decorated with animal skins and skulls. He also appears enthralled at the sight of hundreds of men burning alive in the wildfire explosion, bringing to mind a previous king...
  • 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.
    • As noted under Foil; both Robb Stark and Joffrey's respective falls and deaths were strikingly similar. They both alienated their political allies, leading to them being betrayed and murdered at a wedding. They both even died in front of their mothers.
  • Open Secret: Thanks to Stannis, his bastardy is made public, though whether people believe it is another manner. 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.
  • Phallic Weapon: His crossbow, made especially obvious in a Season 3 scene where he shows it off to his bride-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 views as 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.
    • In "The Lion and the Rose", his re-enactment of the War of the Five Kings with dwarf entertainers. In addition to insulting several of his guests, his in-laws and his uncle at the same time, the quiet reaction from most of the crowd while Joffrey giggled like a madman, speaks volumes for how offensive they found the performance.
  • Prince Charming: He intentionally puts on this act for Sansa. It lasts for about half an episode before his true colors are revealed...
  • Prince Charmless: So very much.
  • Properly Paranoid: Ironically the one time his anxiety, over Dany and her army, is actually right on the mark his grandfather promptly dismisses him.
  • 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 invests no effort to make Joffrey into this trope because he realizes the futility of it, 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 doesn't indulge in this particular vice, but during Sansa's wedding, he threatens to rape her to her face. And if she resists, his guards will hold her down while he does the deed. Invoked Trope, since he seems to bring this up purely for how evil it is.
  • 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 their own private 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 he did win the war when he crushed the Targaren forces at the trident and killed Rhaegar. Additionally, it it was his real father, Jaime, who actually ended the war when he assassinated Aerys.
  • 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 used to provide the quote.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • At the dinner table in "Valar Dohaeris", he and Cersei are positioned at the opposite ends, while the Tyrell siblings are seated next to each other. (To maintain symmetry, Margaery and Loras would normally have been placed across from each other.) Guess which family gets along harmoniously and which one is dysfunctional.
    • Joffrey hates flowers because he considers them to be effeminate, yet the new crown he has fashioned for his wedding features several entwined rose buds. This represents Margaery's strong influence on him.
  • Sadist: His only genuine source of joy seems to be hurting other people. He forgoes even sexual sadism in favor of more direct physical violence.
  • 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.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: As Tyrion points out, Joffrey is a vicious madman, while his younger siblings are perfectly sane, decent and normal.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Tends to have very bad posture while on the Iron Throne (although 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.
  • Spanner in the Works: His impulsive decision to kill Ned 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". Joffrey also calls Renly a "deviant" in front of Brienne and Margaery in "The Lion and the Rose". Later in the episode, the dwarf actor who plays "Renly" is derided as a "degenerate" by his "Joffrey" co-star.
    • The sweet prince is on the receiving end of the trope after his death. See Asshole Victim above.
  • 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!
  • The Sociopath: In spades, to the point that the only way Sansa can to describe him is, "He's a monster".
  • Teens Are Monsters: One of the vilest character in the series, in no small part due to his age. Of course, given the Crapsack World of Westeros, other infamous contenders show up.
  • Tears of Blood: After spending a good minute asphyxiating, Joffrey begins to bleed from the eyes before he finally expires.
  • 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 and quickly starts ruling in a despotic, sadistic way.
  • Unknown Rival: Absolutely despised Robb Stark. While Robb in return wants to kill Joffrey he considers Tywin to be his true threat. Fitting form, Joffrey considers Robb Stark's death his greatest victory even though he didn't play any role in it.
  • 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. Either she's leaving out the part in the books where he cut open a pregnant cat as a child or the incident was Adapted Out.
  • Villain Decay: Starts off by becoming King and killing Ned and setting the War of Five Kings in motion, and for most of the first two seasons he leads a tyrannical reign of terror that starts to cause problems for even the people on his own side. By the time Season 3 hits, he rapidly starts losing his credibility as a villain and flanderizes into nothing more than a little shit whose own mother barely takes him seriously anymore. Doubly highlighted by the introduction of far more serious and threatening antagonists such as Roose Bolton and Ramsay Snow in Season 3.
    • Justified in that when Joffrey becomes king, he's something of an unknown quantity; everyone knows he's an asshole but because he's now also king, they are scared of what he might do when tested. Over the course of his reign, he makes big claims for himself (e.g. that he'll give Stannis a "red smile") which he repeatedly fails to make good on, and at the times when he needs to behave like a proper king, such as during the siege of King's Landing, he's a total physical coward; the rest of the time, he goes on being a cruel and petty-minded scumbag, forgetting that he just doesn't behave like the masterful, intimidating Big Bad that he takes himself to be. The predictable result is that he loses the respect of both his enemies and his (few) supporters.
  • Warrior Prince: He's tries 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.
    Joffrey: 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.
  • Who Murdered The Asshole: Unsurprisingly, thanks to his penchant for tormenting people on a whim:
    • After the initial shock of his timely departure, Cersei's the only one who mourns him.
    • Jaime has no problem having sex with Cersei right beside his corpse.
    • Tyrion, accused of his murder, states that he didn't kill Joffrey, but he doesn't deny that he wish he had and the world is better off without him anyway.
    • Olenna Tyrell reminds Margaery, who feels bad about the way Joffrey died, that she would feel far worse had he had lived and they remained married.
    • Margaery, for the most part, is not shaken up by the fact that he died, so much as that he died so horrifically and pitiably.
    • His own grandfather and Hand of the King, Tywin, doesn't even pretend to feel sorry for Joffrey's passing and tells Tommen, Joffrey's younger brother and successor, the sum total of his legacy:
      Tywin: Your brother was not a wise king. Your brother was not a good king. If he had been, perhaps he would still be alive.
    • Tommen shows little emotion over his brother's death, showing more interest in Tywin's lecture on how to be a good king than paying any more respect to his brother. From the Books 
    • As such, the list of suspects for his murder is more or less "anyone other than Cersei who had opportunity" since pretty much everyone in Westeros has motive. The real culprits, Olenna Tyrell and Littlefinger admit to their confidants that they killed Joffrey specifically because he was an asshole. If he had been nicer and smarter, he'd still be alive.
  • 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.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: When Tyrion gives him a book as a wedding present, Joffrey has an outright shocking moment where he thanks Tyrion and speaks about a time for 'wisdom' after war. Just when you're thinking that Joffrey might actually have started to mature and become self-aware, he uses his new sword to slice the book in half.
  • 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.
    Tyrion: 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, especially if it angers Tyrion.
    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.

    Queen Margaery Baratheon 

     Princess Myrcella Baratheon 
"I'm glad you are not dead."
Played By: Aimee Richardson (Seasons 1 and 2), Nell Tiger Free (Season 5-)

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. In Season 2, she is Put on a Bus to the southern kingdom of Dorne, betrothed to Trystane Martell, Prince Doran Martell's youngest son.
  • 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.
  • Age Lift: About two or three years older at the start of the series compared to the first book, and like everyone else it just goes on from there.
  • Break the Cutie: She's sent away from her whole family to Dorne for her own protection.
    • Although Oberyn tells Cersei that she's enjoying life in Dorne and is very happy.
  • 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.

     King Tommen Baratheon 
"Wisdom. Wisdom is what makes a good king."
Click to see Tommen as played by Callum Wharry. 

Played By: Callum Wharry (Seasons 1 and 2), Dean-Charles Chapman (Season 4-)

Lord Tywin: "How do you know which choice is wise and which isn't? You've any experience of treasuries and granaries, or shipyards and soldiers?"
Tommen: "No."
Tywin: "No. Of course not. A wise king knows what he knows and what he doesn't. You're young. A wise young king listens to his counselors and heeds their advice until he comes of age. And the wisest kings continue to listen to them long afterwards."

Robert and Cersei's second son and youngest child. Crowned King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, although his mother retains the regency and the title "Protector of the Realm" has been granted to his grandfather, Lord Tywin Lannister, the Hand of the King. Jaime Lannister, the queen's own twin brother, is his biological father and that of his siblings.
  • Age Lift: Upon being recast, Tommen seems to have aged by three or four years (from age eight to nine in A Storm of Swords to apparently twelve on the show). This is probably to reduce the Squick associated with his relationship to his betrothed, the much older and very sexy Margaery (who herself was, somewhat ironically, also subject to an Age Lift, from 16-17 to mid-20's).
    • If we go by the fact that he was 9 in the 1st Season (Tommen was 7 in the first book), and consider the greater timeframe covered by demand of Pragmatic Adaptation (about a year per season), then that makes him 12 when Season 4 comes into play. Dean-Charles Chapman is a year or two older, true, but so are Sansa, Arya and Bran's respective actors.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: He's ambivalent towards Joffrey's dwarf play and laughs along several times. The difference is that he just doesn't seem to realize just how much it hurts his uncle, and he starts to look more and more uncomfortable as the wedding wears on and Joffrey progresses to openly making Tyrion's life a living hell.
  • Analogy Backfire: During the Battle of the 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 because they only eat grass.
  • Arranged Marriage: He's betrothed to Margaery after Joffrey's death, and she quickly sneaks into his bedroom to suss him out before Cersei has the chance to alienate the relationship.
  • The Bus Came Back: He returns in Season 4.
  • Children Are Innocent: In sharp contrast to his brother, Tommen comes off as a genuinely sweet kid, and is nice to Sansa.
  • Crown of Horns: His crown of stylized stag antlers looks virtually identical to his brother's. It may even be Joffrey's, but modified to fit his head.
  • Demoted to Extra: Much like his sister in Seasons 1 and 2. Averted in "Blackwater", where he has a minor role, whereas in the book he's not even present in King's Landing.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: After Joffrey's murder, he's betrothed to Margaery Tyrell. She secretly visits his chambers late at night for a quick getting-to-know-you chat. Margaery, of course, is very practiced at deploying flirtation as a political strategem, and Tommen practically hits puberty right then and there.
  • The Good King: In "Breaker of Chains", he tells Tywin (with a bit of uncertainty) that he thinks he would be a good king. Tywin, for his part, informs him that he has the potential for it. Tommen's ideas of being a good monarch (Holiness, Justice, Strength, and Wisdom) speak volumes about the kind of ruler he might be.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Exactly as it says on the tin.
  • He's All Grown Up: Tommen, Joffrey's little brother, has put on quite a growth spurt and is nearly as tall as big brother as of the fourth season. Just as well — he has some big shoes to fill.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Has an adorable cat called "Ser Pounce" whom he clearly loves (especially given how Joffrey threatened to kill it to hurt Tommen).
  • Licked by the Dog: Like his sister, he's the metaphorical Dog in relation to his uncle Tyrion.
  • Mentor's New Hope: Tywin, disappointed in his children and his eldest grandson, notes that Tommen has the makings of a good king and takes him under his wing.
  • Morality Pet: To Cersei and Tywin.
  • Nice Guy: He's a genuinely kind person who doesn't share Joffrey's sadistic streak whatsoever. Tywin even says this temperament will make him a good king.
  • 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.
  • Precocious Crush: Develops one for Margaery Tyrell, exactly as she intended.
  • Pretty Boy: As played by Dean-Charles Chapman.
  • Puppet King/Superior Successor: Is considered this by Tywin due to the fact he lacks Joffrey's arrogance, stupidity, insanity, sadism, delusions of grandeur, etc., and also because he genuinely wants to be a good, wise king. Tywin is also pleased at how much easier he will be to control. The Tyrells also see him in the same light, both in terms of not being an evil sadist, and in terms of being easy to manipulate.
  • Put on a Bus: We don't see Tommen in Season 3.
  • Spare To The Throne: After his brother's death at his own wedding, Tommen is next in the line of succession. His grandfather Tywin wastes no time in beginning his training. He's betrothed to Joffrey's widow afterwards.
  • Token Good Teammate: Along with his sister.
  • You Look Familiar: Chapman had played the small role of Martyn Lannister in Season 3 before taking over the role.

The King's Small Council

"What's the line - the King shits and the Hand wipes."
Ser Jaime Lannister

A tradition as old as the Iron Throne, the Small Council is comprised of the King's top advisers who determine all the basic administrative duties that comprise the rule of the King. They are headed by the King's Number Two, the Hand of the King. The King may or may not attend the Council meetings in person, as per his leisure or interest.

     In General 

  • The Chessmaster: Being comprised of politicians and knowledge brokers, it's a given that all of them have a minor or major in this. Ned Stark being the major, tragic, exception.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: When the Small Council are not advising the King, they are busy plotting ways to subvert and/or murder him or each other. Many of them have their own separate competing interests, often selfish and careerist, independent of any loyalty to the King. Needless to say, any Hand who wishes to remain alive has to navigate the Small Council Chamber itself.
  • Corrupt Politician
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Often the source for its deadliness and decadence.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • High Turnover Rate: The Small Council has a tendency to "grow smaller" and many of its positions have changed and shuffled in the wake of the War of the Five Kings, with at least four Hands(Jon Arryn-Ned Stark-Tyrion Lannister-Tywin Lannister) serving in the last four years alone(and three being killed in office), two Master of Coins and new Master of Ships. Grand Maester Pycelle and Varys are easily, the two longest serving members of the Small Council, having served the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen himself.
    • As of the end of Season 4, Oberyn Martell, who briefly served as a non-designated adviser, is dead. Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, is dead. Tyrion Lannister, Master of Coin, has left Westeros in exile along with Varys the Master of Whisperers. The only long standing members left are Queen Regent Cersei and Pycelle.
  • The Leader: The Hand of the King serve, in theory, as The Good Chancellor to The Good King, but more often than not as the Hypercompetent Sidekick to a lazy(Ned-Robert) or evil(Tyrion-Joffrey) king, or the Dragon-in-Chief (Tywin Lannister-Aerys and Joffrey).
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: As Ned Stark, and Tyrion learn, most of their colleagues value their own influence and importance over any loyalty to the King or service to the realm. In the case of Tyrion, Queen Regent Cersei refuses to involve the Hand in preparing the defenses of King's Landing, forcing him to undermine her at every turn to protect the city and its inhabitants from Stannis Baratheon.
  • Vetinari Job Security: The end-goal of most of them but especially so, in the case of Grand Maester Pycelle and Lord Varys the Spider.

    Queen Regent Cersei Lannister 

    Lord Tywin Lannister, the Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm 

    Master of Whisperers Varys 
"Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall."
Played By: Conleth Hill

Ned: "Tell me something, Varys. Who do you truly serve?"
Varys: "The realm, my lord. Someone must."

The Master of Whisperers on the Small Council. Originally from the Free City of Lys in Essos, he is unfailingly loyal to the realm as whole, but has little respect for either King Robert or King Joffrey.
  • Adaptational Heroism: There is no sign of his concern for Sansa in the books. The idea of marrying Sansa to a Tyrell comes from Olenna herself.
  • Affably Ambiguously Evil: Varys is unfailingly polite and calm to everyone (except when he deploys barbed sarcasm). In general this is one of the things that set him apart from Littlefinger: Varys doesn't go out of his way to antagonize and belittle, and merely does needs to be done, while Littlefinger is a lot more petty.
  • 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: Several characters accuse him of being gay, although Varys eventually admits to being asexual.
    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.
  • Apologetic Accuser: While he pretty much sells out Tyrion at the trial, he makes no secret that he took no enjoyment from doing it.
    Tyrion: You once said that without me the city would've faced certain defeat; you said, the histories would never mention me but you would not forget. Have you forgotten, Lord Varys?
    Varys: Sadly my lord, I never forget a thing.
    • He later helps Jaime bust Tyrion out of prison. When Varys says he never forgets, he means it.
  • Asexuality: Even before he was cut, Varys was never particularly interested in sex. He claims that he's seen how horrible a distraction desire can bring and wants no part of it.
  • Badass: In a non-action way, yes, but it takes serious balls (so to speak) for Varys to pull off his manipulations the way he does. He traps a sorcerer in a box after stitching up his mouth, and even straight-up disagrees with Joffrey. It may sound like a small thing, but Pycelle would never have the guts, nor Littlefinger the moral standards to do such a thing.
  • 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).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: At first glance, he is a benevolent, effeminate suck-up. The reality is quite different.
  • 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 Cassandra: A light case of this as pretty much no-one in the series takes his advice and warnings seriously and it has a habit of coming back to bite everyone in the ass
    • His warnings and attempts to advise Ned are not heeded until far too late
    • His repeated attempts to get Shae out of harms way by either attempting to bribe her or increasingly dire warnings to Tyrion are not heeded until the literal last minute, and are as yet unknown to have succeeded in getting her out of the city.
    • His warnings to literally everyone about how dangerous Littlefinger is have been universally ignored despite the entire war of the five kings, the bankruptcy of Westeros, and the death of Joffrey all being Littlefinger's doing.
    • Jaime Lannister also noted to Brienne that Varys warned Aerys not to open the doors of King's Landing to Tywin, believing quite rightly that Tywin had scented a Kingmaker Scenario and wanted to finish Aerys and King's Landing for good.
  • 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.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Varys just so happens to have a map of every single possible secret route out of the Red Keep, just in case he has to make a hasty escape (or covertly spy on someone). He also keeps a human-sized crate just in case he needs to smuggle someone out or in the city.
  • 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:
    Tyrion: (after Joffrey has just gone into detail as to what he plans to do to Stannis) Imagine Stannis' terror.
    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.
  • Dirty Business: One of the traits that set Varys apart in King's Landing is that unlike most of the other schemers (such as Tywin, Cersei and Littlefinger), Varys seems to feel a degree of guilt for all the scheming he has to do. For example, it's plainly visible before and during Tyrion's trial that absolutely hates what is happening, but keeps doing because it's what he has to do.
  • 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. After all, he did do his best to help Ned when he could.
    • 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. — Heck, not just visibly; he outright breaks his normal effete facade and insistently reminds Joffrey that Sansa is now his aunt by marriage. It isn't clear he's appalled by how hurtful this would be to Sansa herself, or shock that Joffrey's so bat-shit insane that he would do this in front of the entire court and not consider how bizarre this would appear to the lords of the realm (though probably both).
  • Foil: To Littlefinger. They're both self-made men who came from very humbly beginnings but ended up as two of the most powerful figures of the Realm, they're both expert manipulators with a Dark and Troubled Past, and they can both be charming when it's required. The key difference is that Varys fights for The Needs of the Many and Order and stability, while Littlefinger strives to create utter chaos in his pursuit of power, and ultimately fights only for himself. There's also the contrast that Littlefinger is a provider of sex, while Varys is an eunuch and an asexual.
  • 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.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: While in his own words he isn't even close to a hero, he's one of the least malevolent members of the Small Council, and yet not a soul seems to trust or appreciate his job because of the widespread eunuch prejudice and the fact he's The Spymaster (considered "dishonorable" in the honor-obsessed society of Westeros).
  • I Did What I Had to Do: At one point he tells Littlefinger "I did what I did for the good of the Realm", and this phrase incidentally sums up how how he justifies everything he does.
  • 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...
  • Necessarily Evil: How most people see Varys (I.e he's a dishonorable traitor, but his treachery serves a purpose), and even how he views himself from time to time.
  • 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, for trying to prevent Littlefinger from gaining even more power, and most likely his reason for selling out Tyrion despite obviously having no desire to do so.
  • 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.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Every time Varys does something unapologetically good, it seems to come back to bite him in the ass. His attempts at helping Sansa probably set the wheels in motion for the Tyrell-Littlefinger alliance and his ally Tyrion's downfall and when he helps Tyrion escape King's Landing, this causes Tywin's death, and thus forces him to flee Westeros so he won't be a prime suspect.
  • 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.
  • Nothing Personal: One of Varys' greatest strengths as a schemer, spymaster, politician, and information broker is that he takes absolutely nothing personally.
  • 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.
    • Fridge Brilliance: "Delay, you say. Move fast, I reply." Varys wants Khal Drogo to invade. Who's to say the bungling wasn't deliberate?
    • An even more obvious one is him warning Olenna Tyrell about Littlefinger's ambition and trying to set up a marriage between Sansa and Loras. In retrospect, he just gave Olenna a glowing recommendation of the one man other than them, who was ruthless enough to pull off a regicide and serve as her partner-in-crime. This led to Joffrey's assassination, so not a great loss all in all.
  • 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.
  • Playing Both Sides: Varys seems to be playing absolutely everyone in his pursuit to be doing the good of the Realm.
  • 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.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After arranging Tyrion's escape to Essos, he gets a listen to the city bells announcing Tywin's death and decides to hop on the boat himself, partly due to the fact that, since he knows the castle better than anyone, he's a prime suspect in Tyrion's escape.
  • 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 by Tyrion and more than a few others because he's an effeminate eunuch, but he's no more interested in sex — with anyone — since his castration than he's ever been, as he tells Oberyn.
  • 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:
    • The Starks are a traitor family and arch-enemies of the defacto rulers of the city, whom he serves. He shows covert sympathy for the Starks a number of times anyway. Book!Varys provides the quote for the trope.
    • He's supportive of Tyrion in the aftermath of Blackwater and informs him about the attempt on his life and of his demotion.
      There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat. The king won't give you any honors, the histories won't mention you, but we will not forget.
  • Stealth Expert: It has been remarked that Varys has a nearly supernatural ability to sneak in and out of any place both inside and outside of the Red KeepIn the books 
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Whatever he does, is for the good of the realm.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: While Varys can and will switch sides if it suits him and is willing to commit some pretty ambiguous acts, in the long run, Varys is doing it all for the sake 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.
    • Finds himself on the receiving end courtesy of Tyrion at the latter's trial (see Apologetic Accuser).
  • 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."
Played By: Julian Glover

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 head of the Maester's order, resident Maester in the Red Keep, and a member of the Small Council. A sycophantic toady, he puts on a good show of serving the Iron Throne, but his only true loyalty is to Lord Tywin Lannister and actively undermined King Robert Baratheon.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Subverted; he's indulging in a little Obfuscating Senility.
  • Adaptational Badass/Adaptation Expansion: While Pycelle hasn't been upgraded into a Badass Grandpa, he's considerably cleverer in the series, with the implication that he's been playing many people to stay alive for years; this is a far cry from the doddering old man in the books.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The character in the books is hardly a saint, but Pycelle in the series is shown to be cruel, manipulative and a backstabber, whereas in the books he showed Undying Loyalty towards House Lannister.
  • Angrish: Prone to descending into stammered gibberish when panicked, as his arrest and the deleted scene with Tywin demonstrates — though the latter case is a blatantly faked example.
  • Butt Monkey: Season 4 sees Pycelle slowly beginning to slide into this role; roughly half of his scenes in the season involve him getting interrupted or embarrassed in public, and an entire scene in the second episode alone features him getting cockblocked, threatened, and repurposed as an errand boy by Cersei. For good measure, the season finale features him getting booted out of his own laboratory in favour of Qyburn, who seems to have pretty much supplanted him in Cersei's eyes.
  • Covert Pervert/Dirty Old Man: Despite being sworn to celibacy, Pycelle has no qualms about hiring prostitutes. At celebrations, he seems even bolder: at Tyrion's wedding, he can be seen having a rather intimate chat with two young women; and at Joffrey's wedding, he's interrupted while attempting to seduce a young handmaiden under the guise of offering a physical.
  • Dirty Coward: All Pycelle wants is to survive, and he will do anything he has to in order to do it, which amounts to kissing up to whoever is in power and ducking his head when they turn his way. In a deleted scene, he explains to Tywin that most people are like flowers, seeking to grow ever higher. But, when a flower grows too tall, it risks getting clipped; Pycelle wants to remain low and in the shadows so no one ever tries to "clip" him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He appears genuinely shocked when Joffrey orders Ser Ilyn to behead Ned Stark; how genuine this is remains unclear. Pycelle's no fool; he could have just realized the ramifications of killing the head of House Stark. He's disgusted by Qyburn's human experimentation (though it may partially be jealousy for taking his place as Cersei's confidant). Ironically, Pycelle has said he's willing to assassinate Daenerys if it will prevent a war, but he feels that human experimentation is a perversion of the healing arts.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: While Varys, Mace, Olenna, Tyrion are all clearly unamused by Joffrey's twisted jokes at the wedding (and even Tywin is blatantly forcing himself to smile), Pycelle seems genuinely entertained by them. Then again, it might be part of his professional Yes Man act - this is a guy who managed to surviving Aerys II Targaryen's royal court, so he's learned to laugh at an insane king's bad jokes to stay on his good side.
  • Evil Is Petty: Especially towards Tyrion. Apart from the Ironic Echo at the end of the second season, he joins Cersei in mockingly applauding his appointment to Master of Coin, and later goes out of his way to "accidentally" drop a letter Tyrion was reaching for, forcing him to stoop out of his chair to pick it up.
  • Evil Old Folks: During his long life, he's betrayed many Hands of the King and even one king, and it's implied he'll do it again if it means staying alive just a little longer.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He pretends to be polite and grandfatherly, but he's really a corrupt old lecher with no regard for anyone or anything except his own political (and literal) survival.
  • Foil: A deleted scene with Tywin reveals him to be much like Varys and Littlefinger, lying and scheming to survive the Deadly Decadent Court he's in by any means necessary. However, while Varys and Littlefinger have higher ambitions they aim for, Pycelle is a coward who flies under the radar because he has no ambition but to live a bit longer and enjoy the perks his office affords him.
    • Also, there is a certain amount of comparison and contrast to be made between him and Qyburn; both are Maesters that have ended up in the service of the Crown, both end up taking orders from Cersei, and both are well-known for behaviour inappropriate to their order, and both provide medical attention. However, Pycelle not only proves himself less ambitious and much less inquisitive than Qyburn, but also nowhere near as dedicated to healing. As amoral as Qyburn is, he genuinely wants to save lives - in sharp contrast to Pycelle, who not only withheld treatment for Jon Arryn but also loaned out his supply of poison for a murder-suicide. This is perhaps best exemplified by their scene together in "The Children": Pycelle is prodding Gregor Clegane's unconscious body with a stick, claiming that nothing can be done to save him; Qyburn is examining the wounds at close range and actually providing a treatment.
    • Well, your mileage may vary. On the other hand, Manticore venom is universally held to be incurable, and Pycelle oddly keeps a sense of medical ethics while Qyburn is a Mad Scientist. Yes Qyburn wants to heal people, but he treats it as a problem to be solved. Pycelle argues that the humane thing would be to stop prolonging Gregor's suffering - while Qyburn wants to perform horrific medical experimentation on him.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Indulges in this in "The Pointy End" as the bad cop when Cersei manipulates Sansa into writing to Winterfell. This is only an act in part; he's later shown being abusive to Sansa for real.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: One interpretation of his hatred for Qyburn, who Cersei trusts much more than she ever did Pycelle.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Played with.
    • Of all of the Kings he's served, he identifies Joffrey as the one he respects the most and thinks of most positively. However, the circumstances in which he says this suggest that he might be lying, knowing that whatever he says could reach Joffrey's ears.
    • During Robert's rebellion, he told Aerys II that the Lannisters could be trusted as friends. Once inside King's Landing, Tywin proceeded to sack the city, as Varys and Jaime had foreseen. But then again, when Tyrion comes to arrest him, Pycelle claims in his defense that he was already a servant of Tywin back then.
  • Humiliation Conga: Tyrion, Bronn and Timett, son of Timett, come to arrest him while he is with a whore, cut off his beard and threaten to cut off his manhood and feed it to the goats. From the books... 
    • In season 4, Pycelle goes a more subtle but well-deserved conga. He's increasingly delegated to menial tasks as Cersei's patience with him wears thin, and Pycelle finds himself essentially replaced by Qyburn. He no longer commands the respect he once had or his coveted position with the Lannisters.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: His session with the prostitute Daisy was interrupted by Tyrion, Bronn, and Timett.
  • Ironic Echo: Once Tyrion loses his status and power and is bedridden, he delivers this line:
    Pycelle: (toss a coin to Tyrion, with a smirk on his face) For your trouble.
  • Jerkass: His treatment of Sansa after Ned's arrest and his pettiness towards Tyrion whenever he has the chance.
  • Karma Houdini: He has betrayed several Hands of the King (and at least one King) over the years in order to stay safe. Defied when Tyrion, being far more savvy, sets him up to reveal himself as The Mole and promptly has him arrested and tortured to some degree. However, Pycelle has managed to worm his way out of that due to his status as a Yes-Man to Cersei.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity/Obfuscating Disability: Pretends to be much more frail and absent-minded than he really is in order to fly under the radar. It obviously has served him well, as he's managed to survive in the Deadly Decadent Court of King's Landing for sixty-seven years. A deleted scene from season 3 makes this extremely explicit.
  • Out-Gambitted: Tyrion pulls this by telling him, Littlefinger and Varys three different stories about who he'll marry Myrcella off to, and when Cersei confronts him about Pycelle's version Tyrion knows he's The Mole and has him arrested.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: He might look like Dumbledore, but he's pretty much just a Lannister yes-man. He was also a Yes-Man to Robert and Aerys before him. It's how he's managed to survive King's Landing for so long. This is shown in the "Histories and Lore: Dragons" where according to him, as long as King's Landing has Tywin, Daenerys and her dragons are no threat. Well they don't have Tywin anymore.
  • Smug Snake: See the aforementioned scene between Pycelle and the injured Tyrion.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: In the first season finale, he does a series of exercises that a frail old man shouldn't be able to do before changing back into his robes, adopting his usual stooped posture, and shuffling out the door. He completely drops the act in the beginning of "Valar Morghulis" to intimidate Tyrion. In a deleted scene with Tywin Lannister, he does this after Tywin points out that he can see right through it, only to resume it when their conversation is over.
  • Wizard Beard: Despite the fact that Maesters are not magic users, Pycelle most certainly has one. Tyrion has Bronn cut most of it off when arresting him, mostly because he can.
  • Yes-Man: To House Lannister, specially to Tywin Lannister. Unlike Varys and Littlefinger (who know exactly when and how to disagree or manipulate), Pycelle essentially agrees with whatever the most powerful person is saying. In a single scene, he goes from supporting Joffrey completely to wordlessly obeying Tywin's order to send the boy king to bed (essentially by drugging him).

     Lord Petyr Baelish a.k.a. "Littlefinger" 

Lord Baelish served as the Master of Coin to King Robert Baratheon and his successor, King Joffrey. As a reward for his service to the Crown, he was awarded the titles of Lord of Harrenhal and Lord Paramount of the Trident. His position was subsequently occupied by Lord Tyrion Lannister.

See Game Of Thrones House Arryn Bannermen, retainers and household.

     Lord Mace Tyrell, Master of Ships 

Lord Mace Tyrell is the Lord Paramount of the Reach, Lord of Highgarden, head of House Tyrell and father of Queen Margaery. After his daughter's wedding, Lord Tywin Lannister appoints him "Master of Ships" on the King's Small Council.

See Game Of Thrones House Tyrell.

Other members of King Tommen's Court

"There will be pain."
Played By: Anton Lesser

Jaime Lannister: "You are no maester. Where is your chain?"
Qyburn: "The Citadel stripped me of it. They found some of my... experiments... too bold."'

An ex-Maester who had been captive in Harrenhal. He later accompanied the maimed Jaime Lannister on his journey to King's Landing. Since arriving, he has apparently joined the court as a physician, and hopes that Tywin Lannister will restore his Maester's chain.
  • Adaptational Heroism: A minor case as of the third season. While he engaged in the same sick experiments as his book counterpart, Qyburn in the show appears to have a genuine interest in healing people, and justifies his experiments through a Totalitarian Utalitarian mindset. In contrast, the book Qyburn is more clearly motivated by For Science! and For the Evulz. Also, because the sadistic mercenary band, called The Brave Companions were Adapted Out, the show Qyburn seemingly lacks his book counterpart's involvement and affiliation with such a group.
  • Affably Evil: Despite being a pretty awful person (based on his backstory), Qyburn is a likeable enough fellow. He's soft-spoken, polite, considerate and is pleasant company in general. Even Cersei, who hates just about everyone who she hasn't personally given birth to, admits to being fond of him and infinitely prefers him to lecherous old Pycelle.
  • Always Someone Better: Seems to be this to Pycelle; particularly considering that Cersei and Jaime both consider him to be the superior and better skilled maester, much to Pycelle's annoyance and chagrin.
  • Analogy Backfire: Qyburn argues to Jaime that his vivisection of paupers was justified by the fact that it helped him save many more lives. He then asks Jaime how many men he's killed (hundreds, probably), and then asks how many he's saved:
    Jaime: 500,000. (Qyburn looks at him, disbelieving). The population of King's Landing.
  • Cool Old Guy: Mad Doctoring notwithstanding, he's sharply intelligent, quietly genial and unlike Pycelle conducts his business in a professional way. Sure, his chain was stripped from him for horrible experiments, but he's more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist than a self-serving old lech like Pycelle.
  • Deadly Doctor: When one considers just exactly what he did to have himself be stripped of his position and chain as a Maester, in the first place...
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Jaime: You're far better at this than Grand Maester Pycelle.
    Qyburn: Faint praise, my lord.
  • Foil: There is a certain amount of comparison and contrast to be made between him and Pycelle; both are Maesters that have ended up in the service of the Crown, both end up taking orders from Cersei, and both are well-known for behaviour inappropriate to their order, and both provide medical attention. However, Pycelle not only proves himself less ambitious and much less inquisitive than Qyburn, but also nowhere near as dedicated to healing. As amoral as Qyburn is, he does genuinely want to save lives - in sharp contrast to Pycelle, who not only withheld treatment for Jon Arryn but also loaned out his supply of poison for a suicide attempt. This is perhaps best exemplified by their scene together in "The Children": Pycelle is prodding Gregor Clegane's unconscious body with a stick, claiming that nothing can be done to save him; Qyburn is examining the wounds at close range and actually providing a treatment.
  • For Science!: A relatively moderate example, really. Most of his experiments fit the bill (they were performed both to gain an understanding of disease and the human body, both the foundation of modern medicine), but they've also allowed him to amass an incredible knowledge of proper medicine that actually heals, and thus uses it to great effect.
    • In the Season 4, "Histories and Lore: The Maester's Chain", Qyburn describes how he sees himself as apart from the Citadel:
    Qyburn: "The Chain as a whole is meant to signify the realm itself. One doesn't need Knights and Lords, one also needs farmers, smiths, merchants...Like a chain forged of many different metals. An obvious and trivial point disguised with pomposity. Much like the Maesters themselves, who study without learning and pass down the same knowledge that was passed down to them, with no addition. Perhaps that is to be expected when one considers the kind of men who became Maesters. The youngest sons of noble families, dutiful and timid...or bastards and peasant boys whose minds are easily satisfied by the knowledge of their next meal. Because bold men will not be chained. They dare to ask bold questions. They will look at the living and ask 'how?' and they will look at the dead and ask, 'what-if'."
  • Irony: Having survived getting his throat cut by the Mountain, Qyburn later ends up treating the Mountain's supposedly fatal injuries. He doesn't seem to hold a grudge, though he does note that Clegane will "change" somewhat as a result of the treatment.
  • Mad Doctor: He was stripped of his Maester's chain for performing gruesome and fatal experiments on the living.
  • Mad Scientist: ...Which he did in the name of his idea of advancing medical knowledge. The disturbing part of it all is, he's such a ridiculously competent doctor that one can't help but think it paid off.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: The maester's laboratory in "The Children" is clearly meant to invoke this trope. Ironically, it's Pycelle's lab before Cersei kicks him out.
  • The Medic: Despite being more than a little nuts, he's also an extremely competent doctor. From the Books...  Even Jaime, who is disgusted by his experiments and shady past, regards him as being superior to Pycelle.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: See Deadly Doctor and Mad Doctor above for why.
  • Mysterious Past: How exactly did he end up in Harrenhal?
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The way his eyes light up when cutting into Jaime's infected stump is more than a little terrifying.
    • He gets a similar look in his eyes while examining Gregor Clegane's injuries.
  • Pet the Dog: When he assists the one-handed Jaime with his saddle.
  • Playing with Syringes: Oh yes. He's even using a huge metal syringe (a blood pump for filtering the Mountain's poison) in "The Children".
  • Red Right Hand: He has a disturbing neck scar from the slashed throat that the Mountain gave him.
  • Retired Monster: Not by choice, however. He performed horrific experiments on others and was stripped of his Maester's chain and rank for it. He's employed again by the Lannisters in Season 4.
  • Slashed Throat: Robb finds him in Harrenhal, having survived one courtesy of The Mountain.
  • Softspoken Sadist: His voice is disconcertingly even and mellow, even as he goes about his many horrible-looking procedures.
  • Sole Survivor: Of the Harrenhal prisoner massacre.
  • The Stoic: Qyburn isn't one for showing any kind of strong emotion, least of all in an emergency.
  • Unknown Rival: Pycelle deeply hates Qyburn and lets everyone know it. Qyburn either doesn't notice, doesn't care, or just chooses not to let his feelings on the matter show. Even as Pycelle rants about how Qyburn was stripped of his chain for "unnatural curiosity," Qyburn is more concerned with putting together his newest treatment rather than paying any attention to the snide tirade.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: When operating on the critically wounded Gregor Clegane, Cersei asks him whether he will be able to save him; to which Qyburn answers that he will, and that his method of treatment will also make Gregor even stronger than he was before.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He wants to help humanity and save people's lives, but to do this he experimented on many innocents.
  • Younger and Hipper: In-universe; when compared to Pycelle, at least from Cersei and Jaime's perspectives.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing: Inverted; he tells Jaime upfront that operating on his infected stump without anaesthetic will be very, very painful.

    Ser Ilyn Payne 
Played By: Wilko Johnson

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: His evil might seem to be more placid than anything outright sadistic, but he's still a ruthless man with a shiny head.
  • The Brute: For Joffrey and Cersei, although he's gradually phased out and the more brutal acts he would usually be ordered to committ are committed by Ser Meryn Trant.
  • 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. He had mouthed off to a few folks that Lord Tywin was the real man in charge of Westeros.
  • 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. He recovered partway through the filming of Season 5, so he may come back.

     Ser Dontos Hollard 
"Once I was a knight, now I am only a fool."
Played By: Tony Way

"I had two cups of wine."

An alcoholic knight reduced to being a court fool.
  • Adaptational Heroism: His story and the essence of his character remain largely the same, but the show incarnation eliminates his Dirty Old Man aspects. He's still Only in It for the Money, but he comes off more as luckless and stupid, rather than actively treacherous. Whereas in the books, Littlefinger suggests that Dontos would have sold out Sansa whenever there was a better offer; here he's killed because he has Loose Lips while drunk. He also appears genuinely concerned about Sansa's safety and wellbeing.
  • Adapted Out: In Season 3.
  • The Alcoholic: It almost gets him killed in Season 2. In Season 4, it definitely gets him killed, Littlefinger citing his alcoholism as the main reason why he can't be trusted to keep a secret.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: In Season 4, we are shown him (relatively) sober, and he's far less of a bumbling fool.
  • The Bus Came Back: In Season 4.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: Dontos says this to Sansa, suspiciously right after Joffrey's been poisoned, asking her to escape in the panic, as everyone's going to quickly start pointing fingers at the Stark daughter when the dust settles.
    Dontos: Come with me now. If you want to live, we have to leave.
  • The Conspiracy: Is part of one with Olenna Tyrell, Petyr Baelish, and (unwittingly) Sansa, and which orchestrated Joffrey's death. His level of complicity is unclear, as Sansa points out that Littlefinger wouldn't have entrusted him with anything significant, due to his general idiocy.
  • Demoted to Extra: His book counterpart is much more prominent in the second and third books.
  • Fat Idiot: Showing up drunk to Joffrey's birthday is practically suicidal. Even if he didn't know that Joffrey was a psychopath, he knew he was going to be fighting in a tourney.
  • Genre Blind: Dontos fails to realize Obviously Evil Littlefinger is a treacherous snake, and pays dearly for it.
  • Hidden Depths: After being pretty much comic relief in previous appearances, in Season 4 we see more of his personality and his past.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Dontos the Red"; as he has red hair and it doubles as an Incredibly Lame Pun, when you consider his taste for wine.
  • I Owe You My Life: Gives Sansa a family necklace out of gratitude. He also warns Sansa that it's time to run after Joffrey kicks the bucket.
  • Last of His Kind: The last surviving member of House Hollard From the books... .With his death, House Hollard is now entirely extinct.
  • Loose Lips: According to Littlefinger, he has this flaw when he's drunk (which is often).
  • Only in It for the Money: As Littlefinger tries to prove to Sansa. Though not totally successfully.
  • Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Sansa convinces Joffrey that death would be too good for him and Joffrey makes him his new court fool.
  • Sad Clown: He's a fool, but he seems to be a very internally broken individual at his core.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's a mere fool with very little screentime, but he has been involved in some remarkable things. Namely, it's been hinted he had some involvement in Joffrey's demise, or at least knew it was coming, and he has smuggled Sansa out of King's Landing.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Sansa saving his life didn't really appear mean much to him, in the end. He was only helping her because he was paid to do it. On the other hand, he did still come across as more sympathetic than in the books.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Sansa's evacuation from the capital following the events of the royal wedding is the work of Littlefinger. Dontos is promptly killed after he delivers her to Petyr Baelish.
    Baelish: Money buys a man's silence for a time. A bolt in the heart buys it forever.

The Kingsguard

A sworn brotherhood of seven knights sworn to protect the King and the royal family.

    In General 
  • 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.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Kingsguard have a Book of Brothers which contains a record of every member of the Kingsguard, with the number of pages signalling the list of deeds accomplished during their career and their manner of death. Ser Duncan the Tall has four pages worth of entries, Ser Arthur Dayne, "The Sword of the Morning" has several entries as well combating the Kingswood outlaws and Ser Jaime Lannister paragraph telling everyone about the time he stabbed Aerys on the foot of the Iron Throne.
  • 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.
    • In Season 4, characters like Arthur Dayne ("The Sword of the Morning") and Ser Duncan the Tall are referred to when Joffrey surveys the White Book of the Kingsguard.
  • 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 
Played By: Ian Beattie

"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, though he has little regard for any of his vows other than those to obey and defend the King.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Red haired in the books, dark-haired here.
  • Badass: Played with. For all the other times he's been a coward, he was at least able to fight Syrio Forel after all his men were disarmed, which is no small feat. However, it should be noted that while Syrio was a master swordsman, he was utterly unarmoured and equipped with a dangerously worn wooden training sword while Trant was armoured in full Kingsguard plate armor and armed with a very real sword. Sandor Clegane considers Trant to be a wimp and laughs when Arya tells him that 'the greatest swordsman' was defeated by Trant. Of course, Syrio's defeat and death is an entire other debate.
  • Beard of Evil: A scrubby goatee.
  • The Brute: Led the Lannister Mooks after the House Stark guard.
  • Butt Monkey: Gets shit on repeatedly by Tyrion and Bronn.
  • Composite Character: The scene in which he beats Sansa and rips her dress under Joffrey's orders is carried out by Boros Blount in the books.
  • Dirty Coward: He doesn't dare to speak when Tyrion tells Bronn to kill Meryn if he says another word. Later, his loyalty to Joffrey provides a convenient excuse to not leave the castle walls in order to save Sansa during a city riot.
  • The Dragon: He's upgraded from The Brute to The Dragon after the Hound abandons Joffrey.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Courtesy of Bronn:
    Bronn: Ah! Look at these two shining warriors! Ser Taryn Mant and... Ser Whosit of Whocares.
  • Mook Lieutenant: He leads the Goldcloaks but he himself is little more than a glorified bodyguard who's not even very good at that.
  • My King Right Or Wrong: Brutal as they are, he doesn't question the orders of King Joffrey I.
  • Praetorian Guard: For Joffrey.
  • The Rival: To Bronn, who is viewed (and takes it as a compliment) as an upjumped cutthroat by Meryn. They seem eager to kill each other at the first opportunity.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Says so when Syrio Forel knocks out all his men with a wooden sword.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: Possibly, and possibly a second redeeming quality. While on the witness stand at Tyrion's trial, Ser Meryn tells the absolute truth, despite the overall air of a Kangaroo Court.
  • Would Hit a Girl: If the King orders him to do it.
    Tyrion: What kind of knight beats a helpless girl?!
    Meryn Trant: The kind that serves his King, Imp!
    Bronn: You're a grub in fancy armor who's better at beating little girls than fighting men.

     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. Killed by Podrick Payne at the Battle of the Blackwater after attempting to kill Tyrion Lannister.
  • Alliterative Name: Mandon Moore.
  • Ascended Extra/Composite Character: In the books, he is not present when Cersei reveals to Tyrion that 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: Boros Blount.
  • 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: Within the Kingsguard. The only difference between him and the Kingsguard redshirts is that he has a name.
  • 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: To the point that he's first mentioned by name in Season 4.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the books, he's killed during the King's Landing riots. In the show, no Kingsguard is shown or mentioned being killed by the mob. His continuous survival is confirmed in Season 4, with Jaime mentioning Ser Preston by name.