Joffrey was born to Queen Cersei Lannister and presented to the world as the son of King Robert Baratheon. In truth, Joffrey was conceived from an incestuous relationship between Queen Cersei and her brother, Ser Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer.
Joffrey grew up as a spoiled and indulged child, doted on by his mother. Despite this, Joffrey came to idolise Robert, vowing to become as great a warrior.
Despite this desire to emulate Robert, Joffrey had a cruel streak within him. After learning a castle cat was pregnant, he killed the animal and cut open its belly to investigate further. Proud of his discovery, he brought his findings to Robert who then beat him bloody. Afterwards he had little to do with Joffrey, and Joffrey grew up further sheltered and indulged by his mother, who assigned Sandor Clegane, 'the Hound', to him as a bodyguard and sworn sword.
Taking the crownEdit
After the death of Jon Arryn, Robert chose Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and the North to succeed him as Hand of the King. He and most of the court, including Joffrey, travelled to Winterfell. There Joffrey and Sansa Stark were also betrothed in marriage. Although appearing polite and correct when needed, Joffrey had an arrogant streak and earned the ire of Robb Stark by insulting him and being denied the chance to face him in the practice yard. On the trip back to King's Landing, Joffrey attempted to bully Sansa's sister Arya, who beat him bloody instead. In a rage, Joffrey had a friend and servant of Arya's killed by the Hound.
In King's Landing, Eddard Stark's investigation into the death of Jon Arryn and the subsequent disappearance of Stannis Baratheon back to Dragonstone revealed that Joffrey and his sister Myrcella and brother Tommen were not actually Robert's children. He confronted Cersei about his discovery, and when Robert was killed in a hunting accident orchestrated by Queen Cersei, Eddard attempted to have Cersei and her children detained, but was outnumbered, betrayed and imprisoned.
Joffrey was crowned King of Westeros. When this occurred, Stannis, who had discovered the truth himself, raised the standard of rebellion and summoned his banners. Robert and Stannis' youngest brother, Renly, also raised the standard of rebellion and declared himself king by right of arms, allying himself to the extremely powerful House Tyrell. To minimize further bloodshed and restore the King's Peace, Cersei and Lord Varys convinced Eddard to swear a false confession of treason and command his son Robb, who had taken the field against the Lannisters, to stand down in exchange for the lives of Sansa and Arya and the opportunity for Eddard to take the black and join the Night's Watch. Joffrey upset this plan by ordering Eddard executed instead to please the crowd. This led to the intensification of hostilities as Robb Stark declared himself the King in the North and vowed to kill Joffrey in retaliation.
Joffrey held the Iron Throne through most of the heaviest fighting in the War of the Five Kings. The start of his reign was marred by the impulsive decision to execute Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell on the steps of the Sept of Baelor. Acting impulsively after being instigated by Littlefinger, this decision remains one of Joffrey's biggest mistakes throughout his reign and was a sign that he was immature, out of control, and highly sadistic. Though he participated in none of the military campaigns or operations during the war, it was alleged that he oversaw the defence of King's Landing during the Battle of the Blackwater. This, along with many day-to-day duties, were expertly handled by his uncle and acting Hand of the King, Tyrion of House Lannister.
Even though he was only thirteen when crowned, he did not rule full in his right. This rule was shared between Acting Hand of the King Tyrion of House Lannister and his sister, Joffrey's mother and Queen Regent/Dowager Cersei of House Lannister until the Battle of the Blackwater. After-which, Tywin Lannister returned to his position as Hand of King, Tyrion was appointed Master of Coin, and Cersei was outcast from most Small Council proceedings. Tyrion was appointed by his father Tywin of House Lannister, after the execution of Ned Stark in King's Landing.
Joffrey's rule was nevertheless capricious, cruel, rebellious, and reminded many in the Red Keep of the rule of the Mad King, Aerys II. Shortly before the marriage of Margaery of House Tyrell to Joffrey, Sansa Stark revealed many of Joffrey's crimes to Lady Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns. In turn, Lady Olenna plotted with Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) to have Joffrey eliminated in favour of his younger and gentler brother Tommen.
Joffrey and Margaery were married on the first day of 300 AL, a few weeks after the Red Wedding had eliminated Robb Stark and brought about all but an end to the War of the Five Kings, leaving Joffrey victorious. Instead, he choked to death on poison at his wedding feast. His uncle Tyrion was blamed for the crime and imprisoned.
Joffrey was succeeded by his brother Tommen.
Character and appearanceEdit
Joffrey was vain, arrogant, barely-educated, ignorant in many key areas and believed that force was the answer to every problem. He was altogether ignorant of the niceties and subtleties of politics. He could be polite and correct in behavior when necessary, but generally only when cajoled into doing so by his family. As he grew older, his behavior became more and more erratic, a fact noticed by many around him, including his grandfather and Hand, Tywin, who several times had to rebuke his grandson's behavior in public.
In appearance, Joffrey was tall for his age. He was not especially skilled at combat, despite much practice. Whilst handsome, he often adopted a sneering expression which rendered him less attractive.