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King Joffrey Baratheon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joffrey_baratheon.png

Played By: Jack Gleeson

Voiced By: Alan Prieto (Latin American Spanish), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Japanese)

"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!"
Tyrion Lannister

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.


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    A-F 
  • 0% Approval Rating: Nobody likes Joffrey. Not the nobility, not the smallfolk, not the people in between - nobody. He's so hated that the mere sight of him riding through the streets is enough to provoke a full-blown riot. Even his own family members are no exception, except maybe his mother 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.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Mostly because some of his more vicious moments in the books are given to someone else or Adapted Out.
    • It was Littlefinger rather than Joffrey who arranged the attack on Bran after Jaime pushed him off the tower.
    • In the books, Joffrey kills peasants with a crossbow, nails antlers on the heads of Stannis's supporters, and tries to convince Tywin to exterminate three Houses. The show version never commits these crimes.
    • In the books, Joffrey murdered a pregnant cat as a child to show he was a psychopath from the start. Here, he's mentioned as having been a happy child who showed no signs of what he would become.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: He's already 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: Surprisingly, Joffrey was not as much a Boisterous Weakling 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 three years Joffrey's senior. And when the King visits Winterfell, he spars equally with Robb despite the age difference. Joffrey 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. In the TV show, he does none of these things.
  • Age Lift: 12 in the books, mid-to-late teens in the show. This is something of a case of Pragmatic Adaptation, as there is a clear limit as to how far you can push it when your actor is 20 years old.
  • Asexuality: For a show that oozes sex and sexual politics like Game Of Thrones, Joffrey is a markedly asexual character:
    • He has a peculiar habit of steering conversations about sex away from the topic, usually parlaying them into conversations about violence.
    • 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 sexually.
  • Asshole Victim: 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. Tyrion even says as much right to Cersei's face during his trial.
    • 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, and that there was no way she would let such a harm be visited on Margaery.
    • 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 with Joffrey's corpse between them:
      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 who had the opportunity except Cersei," since pretty much everyone in Westeros had a motive for wanting Joffrey dead. Olenna Tyrell and Littlefinger are the ones Who Murdered the Asshole?, and they admit to their confidants that they killed Joffrey specifically because he was horrible. If he had been nicer and smarter, he'd still be alive.
  • 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 proceeds to get much, much worse.
  • 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.
  • Badass Boast: Subverted; he's fond of reminding everyone that he's the King in a fashion that suggests he expects them to be so overcome by his otherworldly awesomeness that they start bowing and scraping to him instinctively. In truth, whenever he does so, it only really seems to underscore how ultimately petty, inadequate and out of his depth he really is. After all, as his grandfather points out to him, a 'powerful' man who constantly feels the need to remind everyone how powerful he is doesn't really have that much power at all.
    Joffrey: You are talking to the King!
    Tyrion: [Gives him a smack] And now I've struck a King! Did my hand fall from my wrist?
  • Bad Boss: He thinks nothing of ordering people killed for minor slights.
  • 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.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: He thinks of himself as The Hero who single-handedly protected King's Landing from Evil Overlord 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.
  • Berserk Button: He hates having his authority challenged, and will often punish someone cruelly if they do so. When someone beyond his power to punish undermines his authority, however, it typically results in a temper tantrum.
  • 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.
    • 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. Not while Stannis lives.
      Joffrey: I broke Stannis at the Blackwater!
  • 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.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Briefly pretends to be a decent guy in front of Sansa. He puts up the same charade for Margaery.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: The sure visual sign, after his poisoning, that he's completely and utterly screwed is blood coming out of his mouth, his nose, and his eyes.
  • 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.
  • Butt-Monkey: Despite being the king and an utter monster, he is definitely one of these as no one in his inner circle respects or even likes him, his grandfather and uncle boss him around and insult him easily and every scene where he tries to assert his authority ends with him being humiliated. You'd almost feel sorry for him if he weren't such a reprehensible little shit.
  • 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!
  • Can't Take Criticism: Disagreements, undermining his authority and insulting him are a good way to send Joffrey into a rage.
  • Cassandra Truth: He, of all people, was one of the few Westerosi to seriously consider Daenerys and her dragons a credible threat, demanding that something be done about them before an apple could grow into a carriage. Long after his death, Dany conquers King's Landing in a crushing Curb-Stomp Battle whose staggering death toll includes both of Joffrey's biological parents; this was only made possible due to the sheer power of Dany's fully-matured dragon, Drogon.
  • 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) unfavourably; see Tyrion's "vicious idiot king" line.
    • By Season 4, Joffrey's learned a bit more about being a Villain with Good Publicity and using Stealth Insults instead, largely thanks to the influence of Margaery.
  • Character Tics: He has a habit of shifting his weight from side to side when he's agitated or excited, making him look like he's swinging from left to right. It may or may not have something to do with his being inbred and mentally unstable.
  • 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. Being left choking on your own vomit and seizing up at your own wedding celebration is a pretty bad way to go.
  • Deadly Nosebleed: Happens during his final minutes, clearly indicating that the poison has claimed his life.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Despite his general thick-headedness, Joffrey occasionally displays a dry, cruel wit. He is a Lannister after all. Of particular note is the re-enactment of the War of the Five Kingdoms that he stages at his wedding, using dwarves playing the characters. He even tells Tyrion "Why don't you join in, I think they've got a spare costume." Weirdly combines this with Does Not Understand Sarcasm as seen further down.
  • 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" is being played shortly before his death.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Dies with both his biological parents at his side.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He gave no thought at all to how his executing Ned Stark would utterly destroy the already fragile alliance with the North. His only focus on what was satisfying to him in the moment.
  • 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 (though she had her direwolf helping her). There's also the scene when Tyrion bitch-slaps him, repeatedly, for his mocking refusal to at least pay lip service to the Starks. 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 and mockingly asks if his hand had fallen from his wrist for striking the king. 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, although he was reluctant to leave at that point.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Was a main villain for three seasons, but dies early in the fourth season.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: To quote Tyrion Lannister...
    Tyrion: They threw a cow pie at you, so you decide to kill them all! They're starving, you fool!
  • Does Not Understand Sarcasm: Despite having quite a sardonic sense of humour himself, he doesn't seem to get it when he's on the receiving end. After he empties a goblet of wine over Tyrion's head, Tyrion quips "Fine vintage; shame it spilled" to which Joffrey replies "It did not spill." Then later when Joffrey decides to humiliate Tyrion further by making him his cup-bearer, Tyrion says "What an honour", prompting Joffrey to angrily reply "It is not meant as an honour."
  • Draco in Leather Pants: In-Universe. 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: Despite repeatedly demonstrating himself to be a suicidally stupid Psychopathic Manchild, he tends to have one millisecond of utter clarity per season until he died, played for Dramatic Irony. Of course, this is not helped by Joffrey's inclination towards ridiculing, humiliating, and dominating those around him, even to people where it's not wise to do so, especially his grandfather.
    • Season 1: He points out how counter-productive a feudal system is towards maintaining a strong, centralized state and suggests forming a nationalized military loyal to the state itself. While a fair observation in itself (given that it's the reason half the country currently wants to kill him), his solutions towards implementing such a system are less well-thought out.
    • Season 2: He points out that with the Greyjoys tearing at Robb Stark's flank, an attack by the Lannisters would wipe them out. He's right, but he's also forgetting the small fact that Stannis Baratheon is about to hit King's Landing very much the way a sledgehammer hits an egg.
    • Season 3: When consulting his grandfather Tywin in the throne room, Joffrey voices his concerns about Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons. Three centuries before, Aegon Targaryen conquered Westeros with only three dragons. The repeatedly-demonstrated cunning Varys points out the Westerosi would have nowhere to hide if they are attacked by dragons. However, Tywin contemptuously brushes off his grandson's concerns by asserting that dragons have been extinct for centuries and even if Daenerys does have dragons, they are small curiosities on the far side of the world and no threat to Joffrey's rule. As is shown in the books, this is obviously not the case — Daenerys has in fact conquered every city in Essos she's visited. At the moment, she commands not only her three dragons (less than three years old but the biggest already powerful enough to single-handedly roast men alive) and two highly-experienced fighters, but eight thousand fully trained and suicidally loyal soldiers. When Tywin gets around to updating his knowledge of her, he agrees that Daenerys is an incredible threat. Of course, Joffrey isn't around to bask in it.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite their sometimes rocky relationship, Joffrey did truly love Robert and always tried to live up to the standards of the legendary warrior. When Robert is on his deathbed and lamenting his failures as a father, Joffrey looks utterly devastated at his realization of the man's impending death. It may be the only time in the series that he's genuinely sympathetic. After Robert dies, Joffrey continues to hero-worship him and does not like anyone deriding the man in any way. A bard learned that hard way.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He was disgusted by the "rumor" of "Uncle" Jaime and Cersei. Which may be why he responded brashly when he more or less learned it was true.
  • 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, but totally alien 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.
      • It's even evident in the way they dress: Robb is Modest Royalty and rarely seen out of his utilitarian plate armor or cold-weather furs; Joff is pretty much The Dandy.
      • It also shows up in how their deaths are mentioned. Robb is seen as a martyr for the North and Tyrion speaks of him with respect while no one but Cersei wastes anytime pretending to be sad about Joffrey.
  • 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, then 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, the latter's sister being in attendance, and in the process of demeaning the former he mocks his brother-in-law who is in attendance as well. 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... Ironically, Tyrion is looked upon as the evil one.
  • The Evil Prince: Amazingly subverted: He's a prince, he's evil, but he legitimately 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.
  • Expy: Joffrey's actor said that much of Joffrey's character was influenced by Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus from Gladiator, as well as Hexxus from FernGully.
  • Fatal Flaw: Where to begin, really, but his cruelty, pettiness, impulsiveness and lack of intelligence are definitely up there. He throws his weight around and needlessly antagonises people whom he actually depends on, has a lot of enemies gunning for him as a result of his viciousness, and it is explicitly mentioned by those who actually do conspire to murder him that, if he had been a bit kinder or at least a bit smarter and capable of suppressing his baser impulses, they might actually have allowed him to live.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In the first season, he at least makes an effort to appear a charming noble, but 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, physically strong, 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.
    • To Ramsay Snow. Both are unstable people with violent tempers who seem to exist only to inflict pain. But Ramsay is willing to fight in battle and shows at least some intelligence while Joffrey is a coward with no fighting experience in addition to being an idiot. Both serve under cold ruthless relatives who make their disdain for them clear and both spend time horribly mistreating Sansa Stark. The two are also separated by the fact that Joffrey's sole redeeming feature is that he genuinely loved Robert while Ramsay murdered Roose to gain power. In the end, Ramsay proves himself to be as much of a coward and even dumber than Joffrey and ends up wiping out his own house which someone as useless as Joffrey never would have been able to, making him the only character in the series more repulsive than Joffrey. Ramsay and Joffrey are also given two of the most agonizingly painful and immensely satisfying and deserved deaths in the series.

    G-N 
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: He's very fond of this gesture, most likely because his lack of wits doesn't allow him to express himself otherwise.
  • 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, a peasant throwing manure at him, his mother furiously slapping him when he mocks her for Robert's infidelity, or most awesomely his uncle publicly promising to cut off his genitalia if he does not stop tormenting him and Sansa. However, since he is the epitome of Dirty Coward, he takes any insult from those with the power and spine to truly hurt him 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 R.R. Martin congratulated Jack Gleeson on a job well done.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: A rather strange example of this. Despite his overall misogyny and lack of interest in romance, Joffrey frequently makes vocal displays of how he plans to consummate his marriage with Sansa.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: He has shades of this. He genuinely doesn't seem to like any girls (or anyone, for that matter). 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.
    Joffrey: [the Starks] put too much value in their women.
  • Hero-Worshipper: In the Histories and Lore DVD extra about the Red Keep Jack Gleeson narrates (in-character as Joffrey), it's heavily implied that the Targaryen king he admires best is Maegor the Cruelnote . It's pretty telling that his idea of a good ruler is pretty much the harshest and most brutal of his predecessors.
    • In the series proper, Joffrey is also implied to feel this way about his "father", Robert. He is genuinely distraught over his death, holds Robert up as a king worth emulating, and praises his achievements and wartime valour. He even extols his late father's whoring, bringing it up to justify keeping Sansa as a mistress and to insult his own mother, who had to deal with the humiliation of Robert's indiscretions for years.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his absolutely disgusting behavior and actions; Joffrey has some qualities that are hard to notice. When he talks with Margaery Tyrell he can recite facts about many members of the Targaeryn Dynasty without so much as skipping a beat, likewise he shows an interest in the acts of many famed Kingsguard Knights and can easily recite information from a name by reading it alone. (The aforementioned admiration for Maegor the Cruel as he exhibits in Histories and Lore also bears witness to this.) Tyrion for his credit notices Joffrey's love of history and gifts him a book of many great kings of the older ages.
  • 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 realizing 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 (this is a global mistake, in all fairness). 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 Badass: Joffrey would love nothing more than to be a brave and heroic king like Robert and he certainly acts like he is one but his cowardice, pettiness and generally horrible personality make it impossible.
  • 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.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: The first telling sign that he was poisoned is that he starting coughing.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Joffrey's ego is as fragile as it is massive as he reacts with intense rage to any slight or insult or sign of disrespect.
  • 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, both in-universe and out. 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 sword hand will achieve much. Kick the Dog for sure, but also great point. 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.
    • He also rightfully accuses Tywin of being a Dirty Coward during Robert's rebellion, who only joined the war effort when it was all but decided.
    • He's also the only one to be wary of Danaerys and her dragons, and wants to do something about them, while Tywin dismisses them as "curiosities" not worth his attention. Come Season 6 and, indeed, Dany arrives in Westeros and her dragons wreck the Lannister forces.
  • 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.
    • His death drips with irony. As Joffrey's openly misogynistic behavior and distaste for "the wailing of women" is, he dies listening to his mother's cries as he slowly suffocates thanks to Olenna Tyrell, a woman. Despite thinking "everyone is mine to torment," his treatment of his favorite Chew Toy Sansa directly leads to the motive of his assassination.
  • Kick the Dog: Practically everything he does. Lampshaded by Tyrion in "Mhysa":
    Tyrion: Killed a few puppies today?
  • Large Ham: Whenever he speaks in public he shows his insanity and leaves bite marks in the scenery.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • The moment something doesn't go his way, he immediately starts screaming for executions.
      Joffrey: Kill them! KILL THEM ALL!
    • It is remarkably similar to Aerys II's own Madness Mantra: "Burn them all." Tyrion lampshades it as well, noting how incest has created another Aerys.
  • 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. He also acts like he personally crushed all his enemies after the War of the Five Kings despite the fact that: 1) At least two of the contending kings are still alive at the time 2) He didn't do jack to help the war effort (directly or indirectly) even when the fight came to his doorstep.
  • The Millstone: Played for Drama. Joffrey is so utterly incompetent at anything that doesn't involve tormenting people, and so utterly devoted to the latter, that he never really sees the big political picture and ultimately creates problem after problem for the Lannisters who in Cersei and Tywin were trying to rule through him. This is one of the reasons why Tywin has no issue with Margaery trying to manipulate him, at least in the beginning, 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... and then there was his dwarf reenactment of the War of the Five Kings.
  • Mood-Swinger: He can switch from jovial to intensely angry with frightening speed.
  • Mother Makes You King: Pretty much the only reason Joffrey becomes king at the end of Season 1 is due to the scheming of his mother, Cersei, who arranges for Robert to have a Hunting "Accident" and also brings down Ned Stark when he reveals he knows Joffrey isn't actually Robert's trueborn son. Cersei and her family had been intending to rule through Joffrey, but this doesn't quite go according to plan, as Joffrey immediately uses his newly obtained power to have Ned's head cut off, igniting a civil war; he only continues to antagonise everyone and anyone from that point on. By Season 2, even Cersei herself is starting to realise putting Joffrey on the throne was not the best idea.
    Tyrion: It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on its head.
  • Named Weapons: Grants names to each sword unfortunate enough to fall into his hands, such as "Hearteater" and "Widow's Wail."
  • 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: 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.
  • Odd Name Out: The only one of his siblings who doesn't have an "M" in his given name.

    O-Z 
  • Open Secret: Thanks to Stannis Joffrey's bastardy is made public, though whether people believed it is another manner; all of the smarter members of the court — Varys, Littlefinger and Pycelle — besides Tywin had already known but kept it to themselves for their own plots and benefit.
  • Orcus on His Throne: While Tywin and his bannermen are out fighting the war in Seasons 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 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 (other) reason Joffrey is considered more than a "claimant" to the Iron Throne is because he physically sits on it.
  • Paper Tiger: Joffrey is keen on throwing his weight around but he tends to buckle when faced with someone genuinely powerful or clever like Tywin or Tyrion.
  • Pet the Dog: For all his sadism, he seems to have some genuine love for Robert Baratheon, going as far as praising him over Tywin for winning the war against the Targaryens... even if said love for his supposed father is what may have fueled his penchant for wanton cruelty. He is still a Jerkass towards his grandfather when he is saying that, but Robert's memory seems to be one of the few things he is willing to treat respectfully.
  • 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.
    • "The Lion and the Rose" has 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.
  • Pretty Boy: In a cast full of beefy, physically imposing, muscular men, Jack Gleeson is pale, delicately pretty, and shown in his Shirtless Scene to be slender with no body hair.
  • 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: His actual personality, after he drops his thinly veiled, chivalrous facade.
  • Privilege Makes You Evil: A shining example of this. All his life, Joffrey has rarely been told the word 'no' and been raised to believe that he is better than everyone else and entitled to just about everything, because he's the crown prince of the Seven Kingdoms and a Lannister on his mother's side (and his father's side too, as it turns out). As a result, Joffrey rarely has to face the negative consequences of his actions or learn from them, expects everyone to serve his whims and lacks empathy for others. This is deconstructed over the course of the series, as Joffrey's bratty behavior and impulsively cruel actions do start to catch up to him, culminating in him being assassinated at his own wedding. The masterminds of his death straight up admit that the main reason they killed him was because of his Stupid Evil tendencies.
  • Properly Paranoid: Much like Robert before him, he points out during Season 3 that Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons pose a very real threat to Westeros; he's absolutely right about this, but Tywin 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, as Tyrion puts it, Tywin 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 only for his Stupid Evil tendencies to result in him not listening to her and making poor decisions on his own. During their respective tenures 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 Joffrey knowing, while Tywin does as he pleases because he can intimidate Joffrey into not interfering. In Season 3, however, Margaery endears 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.
    • Even in Season 1, King Robert and Littlefinger both try to set Joffrey up as a temporary puppet to Ned Stark, only for Ned's Honor to unravel their plans.
  • 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 isn't depicted as actually indulging 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.
  • Rated M for Manly: He would certainly like to imagine he's a case of this. The reality is infinitely less impressive.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Serves as the violent, impulsive Red Oni to the calm and intellectual Tyrion, the cold and calculating Tywin, and the meek, soft-spoken Tommen.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: 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 Joffrey would 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 Targaryen forces at the trident and killed Rhaegar. Additionally, it it was his real father, Jaime, who actually ended the war when he assassinated Aerys.
    • In Season 3, Joffrey complains that Tywin is not sufficiently concerned that Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons are the primary threat to Westeros. He isn't wrong, but it comes off as him simply finding the dragons more interesting than people.
    • Him being Cersei's first born even. He is Robert's heir, but he and Cersei actually had a first born who died shortly after birth. He is, however, Cersei's first born child to Jamie.
  • Royal Brat: A trope-defining example. Imagine "the most noble child the Gods ever put on this good earth." King Joffrey is the polar opposite.
  • 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) From the commentaries: 
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He somehow manages to be this despite being King. For all his preening and throwing his weight around, it's immediately obvious to everyone that he's completely inept and out of his depth, and if it wasn't for his grandfather and uncle acting as The Man Behind the Man he'd have been overthrown and impaled on a pike long ago.
  • Smug Smiler: Part of what makes him so hateful is that he seems incapable of expressing joy without an insufferably pleased-with-himself smirk.
  • 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, sparking a massive war, the effects of which have long-reaching consequences throughout the rest of the series.
  • 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!
  • Stylistic Suck: Everything he gets to create after his own imagination winds up like this. When he revamps the formerly beautiful throne room in Season 2, it looks plundered rather than Darker and Edgier the way he intended. In "Two Swords" we see a very tacky statue of him triumphing over a slain wolf. And finally there was that lowbrow dwarf jousting show at his wedding...
  • Taking You with Me: Heavily implied. Just as he is dying, he reaches his hand towards Tyrion, seemingly pointing him as the suspect. Of course, Tyrion's own blunt treatment of him (which is justified, but still) does not help his case.
  • 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.
  • Tranquil Fury: Joffrey is unusually calm when he threatens to execute his own mother for slapping him.
  • 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 Tommen and Myrcella, 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.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Tyrion is basically the reason why his head didn't end up on a spike in Stannis' chambers but he expresses no gratitude and still continues to make his life horrible.
  • 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.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His Caligua tendencies aside, his insistence on trying to embarrass Tyrion just before he died of poison provided the perfect excuse to blame Tyrion of the crime, since he quite literally put the poisoned goblet in Tyrion's hand. This in turn leads to the complete upheaval of local politics when his mother badly mishandles things and drives Tyrion into the employ of Daenerys, which the various houses of Westeros will no doubt regret when she makes her way back.
  • 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... but 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 however, he rapidly starts losing his credibility as a villain and is reduced to nothing more than a little braggart whose own mother barely takes him seriously anymore, because Lord Tywin, who wears no crown, has taken control of King's Landing and becomes the king in all but name. Doubly highlighted by the introduction of far more serious and threatening antagonists such as Roose Bolton and Ramsay Snow in Season 3.
  • Warrior Prince: He 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.
  • Weapon of Choice: Named, ornate swords aside, Joffrey enjoys menacing stationary targets with a crossbow.
  • 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 what he believed to be Robert's standards.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole?: Briefly discussed by Tyrion. When wondering who actually killed Joffrey, his list of suspects is basically "everyone in Westeros but Cersei" since roughly half the continent wanted him dead at some point and even his allies barely tolerated his existence. The Lannisters (minus Jaime) are all too happy to blame Tyrion and Sansa, though, for the very reason that they had good reasons to hate him.
  • 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", where 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 that 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.

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