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[Book Spoilers] Joffrey ordering the killing of Robert's bastards


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#1 Mad Queen

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:59 PM

Why would he do that? The bastards not looking like Cersei's children are evidence of incest, so Cersei has an excellent reason to order them killed. But Joffrey? Is he admitting to himself he may be Jaime's son? And has he seen them? Does he even know they look different, more like Robert?

#2 HyacinthGirl

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:34 AM

I don't think it necessarily means he admitted to himself that he may in fact 100% Lanniser, I think he was just aware that people would be more inclined to believe the "disgusting lies about [Cersei] and Uncle Jaime" if the black-of-hair bastards were around for everyone to compare to him. Yeah, it's something Book Joffrey wouldn't be smart enough to do, but it's not completely out of character for Joffrey to bypass Cersei in ordering murder (I'm talking about Ned Stark.)

#3 RevengeOfTheStarks

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:30 PM

I really want to rant about this. First, the one positive aspect of this change is that in the show, Cersei's lack of control over Joffrey, her powerlessness, and the foisting of some evils onto Joff, make Cersei a much more sympathetic character. This combined with Lena Headey make her a really enjoyable character for me, whereas I absolutely hate book Cersei.

However, Joffrey now is basically baby Voldemort. The show has taken away whatever shred of humanity and vulnerability Joffrey had, and transformed him into a cardboard cutout villain. If he could grow a mustache, he'd be twirling it. In the book Joff is still a complete shit, but he also displays some really human insecurities and misgivings. You can understand why he is the way he is to some extent. It's not that he's just a complete sociopath. First, he's Cersei's firstborn, and the crown prince. There's a lot of pressure in that role, especially since Robert ignores his "children," leaving them entirely under the tutelage of Cersei. It's also clear that Joff is constantly seeking approval and validation, as evidenced by his reaction when Sansa witnesses his humiliation at the hands of Arya and Nymeria by the river. He also desperately wants to impress Robert, so he picks up on some throw away remark Robert makes about how Bran's better off dead than a cripple, and sends an assassin after him. Yes, Joff is still a horrible, fucked up human being, but he's believable and he has depth. It's this fleshing out that prevents his death from being entirely triumphant to everyone who hates him (including Sansa), making it at least as sad as it is a relief. Most of the horrendous things Joff does are motivated by his need to not be laughed at, to be taken seriously, to seem kingly in the eyes of others. They aren't maliciousness for the sake of maliciousness, but rather maliciousness for the sake of impressing people.

Show Joff in comparison is just a caricature - a teenaged baby killer. I've heard some people say that this is what Joffrey would have become if he'd lived long enough to get a bit older. I agree with this. It's clear that Joffrey was headed towards becoming completely ruthless and more importantly, entirely confident in his ruthlessness. But even so, the show never showed us his development leading to this point, so from the perspective of someone who doesn't know book Joff, and only watches the show, this kid is a flat, stereotypical, peach-fuzz twirling villain.

Finally, I don't think it was necessary to dehumanize Joffrey in order to make Cersei more sympathetic. Cersei was already fleshed out. She was abused by Robert, resented the way she was bartered off by Tywin to forge that alliance, fiercely protective of her children. And yes, also a bitch. But to make her more sympathetic for the screen, all they had to do was play up her Robert issues, and maybe invent more of a love/hate thing with Tywin.

#4 The Greenseer

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:45 PM

It's this fleshing out that prevents his death from being entirely triumphant to everyone who hates him (including Sansa), making it at least as sad as it is a relief.

Many good points, yet I have to disagree about his death being sad for anyone besides the Lannisters. Sansa was shocked, but I don't recall her being sympathetic. Don't forget she considered killing the little bugger herself but lacked the nerve. And I'd wager that most readers gave a shout of 'hell-yeah!'

#5 The Non-Human

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:52 PM

I agree somewhat. I really was hoping that Cersei might be lying or not entirely comfortable with what she had ordered to be done, thus ironically pinning it on his son. I mean, Joffrey admitted he did not even know about the bastards, in the way Cersei would have probably known (as demonstrated by her book self), so I still find it hard to believe that Joffrey jumped form ignorance to murderous rampage. What's more, I think there was no real foreshadowing of this, to the point that to me, it feels a little too disconnected.

On another matter: Joffrey's death was (and will be) nothing but a pleasure. There was nothing sad about his death at all.

Edited by The Non-Human, 20 April 2012 - 09:53 PM.


#6 RevengeOfTheStarks

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:10 PM

Many good points, yet I have to disagree about his death being sad for anyone besides the Lannisters. Sansa was shocked, but I don't recall her being sympathetic. Don't forget she considered killing the little bugger herself but lacked the nerve. And I'd wager that most readers gave a shout of 'hell-yeah!'


Hmm...maybe I should have phrased it differently. It's not that Sansa (or probably any readers) felt sad about Joffrey's death. It's more like there was an element of pity/horror regarding the manner in which he died - definitely true in Sansa's case. To me anyway, though I'm glad he kicked it, the feeling is a little different from what I want for Ramsay Bolton, which is essentially to watch him get eaten alive by his dogs, starting with his genitals. Does that make sense?

#7 The Greenseer

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 11:00 PM

Hmm...maybe I should have phrased it differently. It's not that Sansa (or probably any readers) felt sad about Joffrey's death. It's more like there was an element of pity/horror regarding the manner in which he died - definitely true in Sansa's case. To me anyway, though I'm glad he kicked it, the feeling is a little different from what I want for Ramsay Bolton, which is essentially to watch him get eaten alive by his dogs, starting with his genitals. Does that make sense?

I get it

#8 Holmes

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 12:54 AM

He's not smart enough to think of the political reasons. Robert treated him poorly, or ignored him, and publicly shamed him (in the show, when Robert stole Renly's line about being beaten by a girl). He's been slapped by his uncle. He just got slapped by his mother. So I think its more of a giant fuck-you to Robert and a statement of his authority to his family.

#9 Brucolac

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:14 AM

I don't really have a problem with it, because it isn't really out of character. Joffrey was batshit crazy-GRRM modeled him after Caligula. It seems like the show is going to let viewers think it was Cersei that tried to have Bran killed, so they are just moving something she did to Joffrey. It is mentioned that she kills some of Robert's bastards in Lannister land and she does send people after Gendry while Joffrey orders a hit on Bran for less reason than he would for killing Robert's kids-himself being entirely illegitamate and his bastard brothers only half. The sequence with them killing the bastards was a way to start the Arya/Gendyr storyline anyway.

Edited by Brucolac, 22 April 2012 - 01:17 AM.


#10 Ronuja

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:50 PM

I am one who usually resents every little deviation from the book by the show no matter how small. In this case however, on balance I find I can accept their decision artistically to shift the blame for the baby killings from Cersei to Joffrey. Obviously Cersei has the greater motive for killing the babies, but perhaps, deep down, Joffrey feels a kind of reflected shame? It's clear both that he idolizes Robert, and maybe a small part of him somewhere is unhappy with his "Fathers" infedility, which is expressed indirectly in the Throne room scene where he provokes Cersei into slapping him. Cersei is patently humiliated by Roberts' extramarital exploits, maybe Joffrey feels some of that and wants to remove the reminders of his parents unhappy marriage? It's a long, crooked shot but as has been mentioned it wouldn't be totally out of character and it builds on the notion that Joffrey is acting increasingly ruthlessly and out of anyone's control. It certainly doesn't feel like a giant 'fuck-you' to Robert for me.

 

I don't think anyone could be truly saddened by the result of Joffrey's death, (I haven't seen the show's depiciton of it yet), but reading it, I felt quite a strong twinge for Cersei, her helplessness and the way she remembers Joffrey scratching at his own threat as his face turns purple. It's one of those rare moments when I've kind of felt for her, the other being when Jaime tosses her plea for help into the fire.



#11 WiDMNDBAMMD

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 02:29 PM

I think Cersei killed them.

 

There's a power struggle going on between the Queen Reagent, King and Hand. Tyrion knows that only Cersei or Joffrey could've given the order.

 

Joffrey is too stupid to realize that the bastards are a threat to him, even if he did realize they were a threat he probably wouldn't have bothered to give the order.

 

Cersei on the other hand would have a real reason to want her dead husbands bastards dead so that every part of him is dead. She would know that it needs to be done


Edited by WiDMNDBAMMD, 28 October 2013 - 02:31 PM.