I always believed that Cersei ordered to kill Robert's bastards to keep Joffrey. However, I was watching season 2 episode 3 of Game of Thrones and a during conversation between Tyrion and Cersei it was shown that it was Joffrey who ordered it without consulting to Cersei.

What was his motive behind killing Robert's bastards? Does he feel his claim is insecure as those are Robert's true born sons? Or did he just feet rage that his father had other sons?


3 Answers 3


The rumor that Cersei's children were not fathered by Robert seems to be a popular one, within the realm of Westeros. Quite a few people, over time, mention it. Some even (rather brazenly) mention it to Cersei herself, and even Tywin Lannister. Joffrey refuses to believe that the rumor could have any merit because it would undermine his claim to the throne. Why would he ever give it any credence? It would remove him from power, and that's something he desperately loved.

At least in the show, I do get the impression that he was struggling with some cognitive dissonance about it, though. One one hand, he didn't want to believe he was the product of incest. On the other, he did ask his mother on a few occasions about why people would even say it, and Cersei obviously denied it, but I don't think he was ever entirely convinced that the rumors were baseless. By having the bastards killed, it eliminated any other children from ascending to the throne by claiming that their parentage gave them a better claim than Joffrey, Tommen, or Myrcella. It sort of ends the conversation altogether. The child of Robert Baratheon would be the heir to the throne before any of Robert's siblings, so killing the bastards eliminates them as a threat to Joffrey's kingship.

Whether it's Joffrey or Cersei giving the order seems sorta irrelevant to me, given how much sway Cersei has over her children. It's less obvious with Joffrey than it is with Tommen, but all she'd have to tell him is that the bastards want to take the throne, his birthright, from him and I think he'd follow through in the same way.


Let's start saying this: it was all done by Joffrey, and Cersei had horror from the idea. That being said, we cannot expect much reason from the action.

Joffrey had the best claim between "Robert's sons". To be honest, he had the only claim. Robert's Bastards were nobody, kids of prostitutes mothers. So his throne was secure from them, but there's the other side of the story. The rumor of Joffrey being a Lannister. And this he despised.


Yes, exactly - he felt his claim is insecure so he wanted to get rid of other potential claimants. So after he talked to Cersei about her and Jaime, he ordered gold cloaks to kill the bastards.

Tyrion Lannister summarizes it well when talking to Janos Slynt in 2x02:

Tyrion: You've heard the awful rumors about my brother and sister?

Slynt: I don't listen to filth.

Tyrion: That's good of you, but you have heard them. I suppose people who do believe that filth consider Robert's bastards to be better claimants to the throne than Cersei's children.

It is true that a bastard might officially not have rights to claim a throne, but look at John Snow - he was a bastard and ...

... he became King in the North. In the minds of people, he was "Ned's blood".

Another thing is that even if the bastard would not directly be entitled to the throne, he might still be a threat as he could turn to avenge his father. That way or another, Joffrey felt safer with the bastards dead.

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