So I had a nagging question. I love George R.R. Martin for creating a universe in which every character is written as a full-fledged human being with motivations and desires flaws and downsides. A lot them based on family influence and interaction with their parents. Past tragedy often shapes these characters and helps you see why they make the mistakes they do. Even Aerys the Mad is a relatively believable character. There is one exception, Joffrey. ASOIAF is quite fantastical. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that family members are innately born with traits that betray real life physiology. The Story of the Lannisters starts with Lann the clever who stole Casterly Rock right from under the original liege. Tywin is clever and brilliant. Tyrion’s one of the smartest and most clever characters in the world. Jaime shows flashes of intelligence. Cersei could be one of the smartest as well, if she wasn’t so overly egotistical and prideful. This leaves Joffrey. Full blown narcissistic sociopath. He seems to be a blithering idiot as well. But what if he was born with the same perceptive and clever trait that most the Lannister’s have? What if he was the first to know he wasn’t a Baratheon. Let’s start with the fact he has the world’s worst Daddy complex. Of course, most of this is Robert’s fault for being a whoremongering, depressed alcoholic. But perhaps this detachment ate at Joffrey enough for him to start wondering….. “Why doesn’t my father like me?” Now place yourself into Joffrey’s shoes as a child. You see the interactions between Robert and his family. You see the interactions between Jaime and Cersei. If Joffrey was born with half the interpersonal intellect of the rest of his family, perhaps he could perceive that he wasn’t a true Baratheon. He knew the stories of the old Targaryens. I’m sure he was aware of the previous generations of incest. I don’t think it’d have been farfetched for an extremely smart child to put 2 and 2 together. Now take a small, incredibly intelligent child and give him daddy issues. Have him find out early on that he’s a child of incest and give him the resources and attention of a young blue eyed, blond prince. You may be breeding a full blown mental illness case. What if he defied the council of his mother and destroyed his “father’s” empire because he wanted to get back at the people that created him. He wanted to destroy everything they held dear because he was so injured by the idea he should have never existed and he was wise enough to know it? My main basis for this theory is the idea that Joffrey is George’s most irredeemable character. Every character, including Jaime, gets a full story arch that forms them into full-fledged human beings. Joffrey was never afforded this luxury. But what if Joffrey was corrupted with the knowledge of his own existence? What if he was redeemable after all? George said he cried when he wrote the purple wedding scene. Maybe he was crying because Joffrey was a tragic character born into a very disturbing and stressful situation. Maybe a young boy shouldn’t have access to that kind of information and that much power. Maybe every one of us would have been a monster if we were a child and knew what Joffrey knew.
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