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Mycella is good and sweet, Tommen is the same...how did Joffrey turn into such a hellhound?


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#1 Jaime4Brienne

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:04 AM

I was thinking last night while I was brushing my teeth(maybe I'm a little TOO obsessed with the books/tv show lol) anyway I was thinking how did Joffrey turn out so bad? His little brother and sister are sweet, nice and good. Cersie was so happy to have Joffrey and I'm sure doted on him a lot when he was a baby/growing up. I've read that a lack of parental love/attention is what makes people sociopaths, not too much love. (I don't mean spoiling them, I mean giving love, affection and attention) so how did Joffrey turn out so, so bad??? (especially considering all three have the same parents, Joffrey doesn't have one father and the other two a different one...same father/same mother vastly different outcomes)

 

edit: I spelled Myrcella's name wrong in the title, but can't change it.


Edited by Jaime4Brienne, 30 September 2013 - 04:06 AM.


#2 danm_999

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:23 AM

It seems to be a combination of his nature, plus terrible, terrible parenting focused especially on Joffrey as the eldest.

 

Take the cat incident, which is obviously a reflection on Joffrey as a person, but also a demonstration on how he was taught to act. He slices open a cat;

  • His 'father' Robert hits him so hard he loses a tooth, and Stannis, an observer who ain't exactly a dandy, thinks the hit is so hard he's been killed.
  • His mother instantly jumps to his defence, totally defends his sick, twisted actions, by justifiably opposing Robert's heavy handedness.

The incident is a microcosm telling you all you need to know about Joffrey; he's a twisted kid who was taught early to use violence, to adopt an 'us' vs 'them' mentality when it came to his Lannister identity, that his mother would defend him no matter how monstrous.



#3 lightbringer333

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:29 AM

Odds are 50 50 if the child is born of incest. it similar to targaryen bro sis wedding. 



#4 IRON BANK

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:31 AM

Tommen is young if left to Cersie he would more than likely turn out the same way as Joffrey.  Hence why the Tyrells try to remove Cersie influence whenever possible.



#5 Mrs_Darcy

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:33 AM

I think Joffrey mostly turned out bad because of Cersei's parenting and Robert's lack thereof.

Somewhere in ACOK Tyrion observes, that Cersei spend a lot more time with Joffrey than with the other too.

I think, that Tywin and his wife Joanna made alot of mistakes with raising Cersei (for instance the notion, that Lannisters are far better than any other family, which was partly responsible for turning into a narcisstic sociopath seems to have come from either Tywin or Joanna) and Cersei seems to have given those teachings to her son.

Additionally, she did spoil her son. From her POV we read her thinking, that Joffrey was anything but perfect and I do not remember a single time, where Joffrey was ever reprimanded, for the atrocities he committed.

(In AGOT Cersei sides with him when he attacks Arya near the Ruby Ford and in ACOK we never see her preventing Joffrey's abuse of Sansa)

 

Additionally, it could be that Joffrey is paying the price for his incestuous birth. Remember, that Tywin and Joanna were cousins and his parents siblings, so his genetics probably are similar to some of the Targaryens. Maybe his behaviour is a sign of some latent form of madness, that stems from inbreeding.

Even if it wasn't I do know siblings who were raised together and turned out completely different human beings in terms of personality, so at least seems to have been some part of his personality, that was already there, when he was born and that Cersei just encouraged with her treatment of Joffrey.

 

To sum it up: I think, Joffrey is the way he is because of Cersei's behaviour and some latent cruelty, that he probably was born with.


Edited by Mrs_Darcy, 30 September 2013 - 04:34 AM.


#6 Jaime4Brienne

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:35 AM

This topic interests me a lot, and I've enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts so far. Everyone has brought up a lot of valid points.



#7 falcotron

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:36 AM

I've read that a lack of parental love/attention is what makes people sociopaths, not too much love.

Like everything else to do with the brain, it's much more complicated than that, and science is still a long way from knowing the details.

 

Possibilities:

  1. Genetics: There's a strong genetic component; there seems to be a hereditary predisposition that's required to be a psychopath. Siblings are only 50% identical, so Tommen and Myrcella may have just not gotten the genetic predisposition.
  2. Environment: Even with the genetic predisoposition, you won't become a psychopath without the right (or, rather, wrong) activating environment. A father who's present, but abusive or neglectful, is one of the strongest correlating factors—so, Robert may have been abusive early in Joffrey's childhood, but more accepting later—but there are plenty of others.
  3. Dumb luck: Most people don't become psychopaths even when all the conditions are right. On TV, the brother of a serial killer is usually a serial killer; in real life, it almost never happens.
  4. GRRM: These aren't real people, but fictional people. GRRM doesn't know everything there is to know about modern psychiatry. And, even if he did, it would be perfectly reasonable for him to violate the details if it made for a better story. The contrast between Joffrey and Tommen makes for a lot of interesting plot points, and lets him show us a lot about the character of many other people (Cersei, Margy, etc.) who interact with them.

I'm going with #4.



#8 falcotron

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:39 AM

Additionally, it could be that Joffrey is paying the price for his incestuous birth. Remember, that Tywin and Joanna were cousins and his parents siblings, so his genetics probably are similar to some of the Targaryens. Maybe his behaviour is a sign of some latent form of madness, that stems from inbreeding.


Odds are 50 50 if the child is born of incest. it similar to targaryen bro sis wedding.


Where do people get the idea that inbreeding causes people to be Targaryens? Do you also think that Tommen can ride dragons because his parents were siblings?

#9 the Scorpion Knight

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:12 AM

I think Joffrey mostly turned out bad because of Cersei's parenting and Robert's lack thereof.

Somewhere in ACOK Tyrion observes, that Cersei spend a lot more time with Joffrey than with the other too.

I think, that Tywin and his wife Joanna made alot of mistakes with raising Cersei (for instance the notion, that Lannisters are far better than any other family, which was partly responsible for turning into a narcisstic sociopath seems to have come from either Tywin or Joanna) and Cersei seems to have given those teachings to her son.

Additionally, she did spoil her son. From her POV we read her thinking, that Joffrey was anything but perfect and I do not remember a single time, where Joffrey was ever reprimanded, for the atrocities he committed.

(In AGOT Cersei sides with him when he attacks Arya near the Ruby Ford and in ACOK we never see her preventing Joffrey's abuse of Sansa)

 

Additionally, it could be that Joffrey is paying the price for his incestuous birth. Remember, that Tywin and Joanna were cousins and his parents siblings, so his genetics probably are similar to some of the Targaryens. Maybe his behaviour is a sign of some latent form of madness, that stems from inbreeding.

Even if it wasn't I do know siblings who were raised together and turned out completely different human beings in terms of personality, so at least seems to have been some part of his personality, that was already there, when he was born and that Cersei just encouraged with her treatment of Joffrey.

 

To sum it up: I think, Joffrey is the way he is because of Cersei's behaviour and some latent cruelty, that he probably was born with.

 

funny side note: dany, rhaegar and viserys are LESS inbred than Joffrey, tommen and myrcella



#10 The seed is strong

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:17 AM

Where do people get the idea that inbreeding causes people to be Targaryens? Do you also think that Tommen can ride dragons because his parents were siblings?

Lol. People don't mean literal Targaryens. It's just that a lot of Targaryens ended up crazy (it neither started nor ended with the mad king Aerys), and that's often associated with them being heavily inbred. Therefore inbreeding= crazy=Targ is a joke frequently made. 



#11 Lady Isobel

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:20 AM

He took after his mother and on top of that was spoiled rotten



#12 ambi76

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:31 AM

:agree:  Joff was very much his mother's son. I think if we ever had a Joff POV it would have read eeriely like Cersei's.


Edited by ambi76, 30 September 2013 - 05:32 AM.


#13 Atropis the Elf

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:39 AM

Joffrey was his parents' toll they had to pay for their incest, coupled with Robert's non-existent father figure.

I'm glad we never had a PoV of his.



#14 elefantus

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:03 AM

Like someone stated above, genetics play a big part in whether someone becomes a sociopath or not, the notion that 'bad mothers create psychopaths' is a bit dated and unfortunate. That said bad parenting can certainly make anything that is already in someone's brain a lot worse, and Joffrey had pretty much the worst parents I can imagine. If anything it probably helped Tommen and Myrcella that they were paid less attention to than Joff.

 

In the world of GRRM genetics it seems established that the Targaryen madness came from their inbreeding, although whether the inbreeding itself created the madness, or whether there was some genetic predisposition to it that never left the family because the all just bred with each other, I don't know. In the TV series, though, Cersei herself wonders whether Joffrey might be 'the price she has to pay' for what she did.

 

At the end of the day though, it is probably, again, as stated above, mostly down to GRRM and the fact that it makes for an interesting character who drives the story in an interesting way.



#15 Ser Greg of House House

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:08 AM

Yeah, I believe Joffrey is a sociopath. But...

 

I don't think Tommen is that good. He seems a little spoiled to me. A lot better than Joffrey, obviously, but not king material.

 

Not that Aegon is much better, I believe soon enough we'll see he's actually a douche and that you can't train a king. Unfortunately if this is correct, Martin's statement maybe that a king needs to learn with true experience... Then there's Dany. 



#16 The Holy Goat

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:36 AM

I think it's due to a few reasons that make for a very unpleasant person when it all comes togheter:

 

1, Antisocial Personality Disorder (Joffrey and Ramsay are both textbook examples of it's worst, extreme side, IMO), and all it entails.

2, Having inherited his mother's bad temperament.

3, A position of great power and all temptations that come with it, with no person around to check it.

 

I put far less weight on the part of incest being fully resonsible for it. Brother-Sister incest is bad for the genes, but the chance of the child having a birth defect is still relatively small (but increses the chance of course), especially when there has been rather few occurences of incest previously (Tywin and Joanna being the only know example in the Lannister line, me thinks). It would be far worse if the Lannister were as inbred as the Targaryens.



#17 TalalOfDorne

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:46 AM

I see it as Nature + Cersei AND Roberts parenting. More nature than nurture though.

Edited by TalalOfDorne, 30 September 2013 - 06:46 AM.


#18 King Tam Stark

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:53 AM

I'll go for joffrey having mental health issues that he's possibly inherited from cersei but in real life its very common for the same two parents to have multiple children but only one of them has a mental health issue so I don't think its a big deal that joffrey is so different from his siblings and likewise without the mental health issue the same two parents multiple children can all be so different its just normal

#19 The Doctor's Consort

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:58 AM

I would say nature(he is a result of incest after all and Tywin's grandchild, or ever worse Aerys' according to some theories)+Cersei's parental style= spoiled sociopathic child.


Edited by Jon's Queen Consort, 30 September 2013 - 06:59 AM.


#20 Castellan

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:09 AM

Cersei has a hell of a personality disorder and she is raising him more or less alone in a loveless marriage. I think she has so sheltered him from any normal contact with others while filling him with garbage that he has a giant hole where a functioning personality should be and the sad thing is, he knows it. 

 

I think its a little odd the other two have got off so scot free, but I suppose with Joffrey getting all the attention they had a little space to develop.