It was me who changed the main quote. Didn't notice that wasn't logged in. I changed the quote mainly because it felt too much like a viewer opinion and I wanted a more neutral quote. Sure Tyrion's words summarize Joffrey and we have all seen what kind of person Joffrey is, but I don't think there is much need to emphasize that in the main quote. I would appreciate more subtle approach to this one and get Joffrey's viewpoint. So the quote "A king does not ask. He commands." is more of an inside look and it summarizes Joffrey as a narcissistic boy who feels he can do anything now that he's king. That to me is more effective than just bluntly saying he's an evil idiot.
- I would agree on any other character, even Jaime or even Tywin, as "gray" and flawed, three-dimensional characters. Joffrey, however, is accurately and succinctly summarized by the "vicious idiot king" quote. Unlike most other characters, Joffrey's characterization is not subtle, and its as "objective" to call him a "vicious idiot" as it is to call Aerys II Targaryen "the Mad King". There are other arrogant characters that a quote about uncompromising command could fit; it doesn't even really convey his narcissism. Actually, its pretty effective when Tyrion finally and bluntly spells out that Joffrey is not only vicious, but an idiot, pointing out how stupid it is to order your personal bodyguard of only a dozen men to start attacking a crowd of hundreds of angry peasants. I really wouldn't make such a stand for any other character but Joffrey (and maybe someone like Gregor Clegane). Joffrey really is, bluntly, a vicious idiot, and Tyrion's speech was so great because it was succinctly spelling this out to the audience. Joffrey has no redeeming values. But that isn't really the "point" of Joffrey, you see. Its not that he's insane, there's no question that he's a vicious but incompetent fool. What George R.R. Martin has repeatedly said in interviews is that in his discussions of morality in the themes of his writing, he's fascinated by how even "good" men can willingly follow orders they know to be wrong or repugnant. So the real point is that we're presented that "Joffrey is a maniac", and the thematic question is really, "why the heck do people keep following his orders even when he's this ridiculous?" -- having the Kingsguard beat young girls in the middle of the throne room, etc. They were just "following orders"? Why don't the other courtiers who are just onlookers to this abandon Joffrey? He's not the only claimant to the throne, there are even other kings they could join. And from a legalistic standpoint, there's a widespread (and accurate) rumor that he isn't even the last king's son and has no legal claim to the throne. So why do people keep following his orders? The Lannisters want to put a Lannister on the throne no matter what, but why does everyone else? So Joffrey is one of the few black and white situations, the closest thing to a straightforward "villain" in the story; the point being more about why people still serve him and follow his crazy orders.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 17:47, October 2, 2012 (UTC)
- My 2c: I prefer the vicious idiot quote as a summation of the character.--Opark 77 (talk) 22:00, October 3, 2012 (UTC)
- I can certainly see your point. However, I would argue that the producers made an effort to humanize Joffrey in Season 1. They gave him an story arc of sorts. Joffrey starts out as generally unlikeable but he is a spoiled child, who has lived his entire life in a castle far away and has groomed to be a prince. I don't see anything too remarkable on that. But as the season goes on, he starts to showcase signs of narcissism and finally sadism. So at least we did see him turning into a beast instead of just making him the devils cabana boy right from the start. Now of course people who have read the books will probably disagree with me, but remember: I talking about the Tv-show here and it hasn't exactly followed the story right to the letter. Also, if I recall right, producers did mention that are moments where Joffrey express genuine liking toward Sansa. Like the scene where he giver her the pendant. If a viewer wants too see it a sign of his narcissism they are welcome to do so, but I take it as an evidence that it was the Iron Throne that finally consumed him.
- My other point is that things tend to play out diffrenty between medias. Meaning that while Joffrey is portrayed as a horrible person right from the start in the books, its not really a wise decision to do so in the show. In the books you do also see things from many diffrent perspectives and learn the individuals thoughts at their most rudimentary level. Basically this means that you don't need to have a lot of physical action in the books. But this sort of approach doesn't really work in televison format; case in point: changes with Daenerys' storyline in Season 2. This also means that Joffrey needs to be portrayed in somewhat diffrent manner. You can have a character that's pure evil in a book if it serves a purpose. Thematic question like "why the heck do people keep following his orders even when he's this ridiculous". But the problem is that in televesion you see and hear the action and you can't get inside peoples heads. So it's always an outside viewpoint with television stories and that clashes with the style of the books. So you absolutely need to write Joffrey, a pure evil, as a three-dimensional human being in order for him to be believable in a world where everyone is in the gray area of good-and-evil meter. Pleading to insanity is also not the best solution when explain peoples actions. It's realistic, sure, but not an affective way to tell a story.
- But before this gets out of hand, let me just say that it's okay summarize Joffrey with the vicious idiot quote if you like it that way. Like I said, it's accurate but I would prefer a quote with a different style . One that points out that Joffrey is still a human when every viewer out there just sees him as a monstrous plot device. Hope we can continue this discussion, it's been vivid. --Martell (talk) 10:31, October 4, 2012 (UTC)
- Two points. First I don't see that Season 1 attempted to give Joffrey a storyarc, as if he "grew into" being such a sadist; rather its that "we the audience" only gradually peel back the layers and see Joffrey for what he really is -- that is, similar to Sansa, in his first few episodes we only see the public act that Joffrey is doing in front of Sansa, but later they reveal who he is. Similarly, Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish seems relatively nice if a bit manipulative in his first few appearances, until episode 7, "You Win or You Die", when he completely betrays Ned Stark. That doesn't mean that we see a "character arc" for Baelish within the timeframe of Season 1 (from Jon Arryn's death to his betrayal of Ned). Indeed, Baelish later says that he's been planning to screw over and get revenge on Ned Stark for years, because he feels slighted that Catelyn doesn't love him. We the audience only learn this later. --->Is TV-Joffrey different from Book-Joffrey? We know that book Joffrey has been torturing and killing small animals for years and was actually always a petulant little monster in the books, albeit this is revealed retroactively. Does this hold true for the books? There's no major reason to see why it isn't. They even tried to humanize Viserys, just to show that everyone has real motivations. Even in the books, the one echo of humanity in Joffrey is that he's upset that people think he's the product of incest (who wouldn't be weirded out by that) but his response is to channel his rage into killing sprees. And he kind of idolized Robert and wished he had a relationship with him...but he idolized his warped psychopath *perception* of Robert, that is "Robert is a great warrior and killer"....the result is that Joffrey gets a rush out of tormenting and torturing people (he thinks shooting peasants with a crossbow makes him a great warrior). So we really have no major reason to think that TV-Joffrey is all that different -- even Loras Tyrell, who isn't in regular contact with Joffrey, says to Renly that "Joffrey is a monster", so rumors must be going around.
- Second Point: I can see that in Season 1, we might be worried about spoilers by prominently saying "Joffrey is a vicious idiot, tyrant, and sadist" in a header-quote....given that it was a hidden reveal that Sansa falls in love with him only to realize that he's a homicidal psychopath. But coming up on Season 3, this is really water under the bridge. Its been publicly well-established that Joffrey is a maniac; I mean even the trailers and advertisements prominently display his cruelty. The same can be said of several other big reveals from Season One. Similarly, the same spoilers concerns could be said about the first paragraph's description of Joffrey as a tyrannical psychopath.
- So I can see your spoiler concerns, but that was back in Season 1 and we've already moved long past that. Joffrey in the books doesn't really have human redeeming qualities. Is TV Joffrey different? Valid concern, but we've seen little evidence. Much like Martin's book writing, they wanted to add some human motivations into Joffrey's makeup; i.e. even in the books he has this warped admiration of Robert. But that *isn't* a change from the books, its an emphasis on three dimensional character writing that was in the books themselves. There are few characters other than Joffrey that I would make this point about.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 02:09, October 6, 2012 (UTC)