In A Game of Thrones, Barra, one of King Robert's bastard sons, is killed by Janos Slynt, one of the Golden Cloaks.

Who ordered his death, Cersei or Joffrey?

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    I doubt it ever occurred to Joffrey that Robert had bastards. – Kevin Mar 15 '14 at 18:13
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    In the books, Slynt tells Tyrion in so many words that Allar Deem (one of Slynt's gold cloaks) was the person who killed Barra (and the mother). Slynt however refuses to mention who gave the order. It is hinted many times that Cersei is the one, I believe she even says something like Catelyn Stark is a weakling, or Jon Snow would not be alive. Also, I believe that there is mention of some bastard at Casterly Rock that was killed. We know that Slynt was eager to kill Ned Stark at Joffrey's command, something which Cersei did not agree with, so, who knows? – TLP Mar 15 '14 at 19:30

In chapter 8 of A Clash of Kings, Tyrion and Varys discuss the murder and come to a definitive conclusion. To briefly summarize, Tyrion states that:

"...That was what the oh-so-loyal Lord Janos refused to say. Cersei sent the gold cloaks to that brothel."

Varys replies:

Varys tittered nervously. So he had known all along. "Your own sweet sister," Varys said, so grief stricken he looked close to tears.

As to motive, Tyrion later says that:

"She was Robert's ... That was enough for Cersei, it would seem."

Assuming you can trust Tyrion's judgement here, there is little doubt that Barra's death was ordered by


This part of the story was altered for the TV series, as the writers changed both who was responsible for the actual killing (Janos Slynt instead of one of his henchmen) as well as who ordered the killing.

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  • While certainly worth mentioning, I think it is too subjective to be a definitive answer. Varys is not really saying anything, and Tyrion is paranoid enough to suspect Cersei for anything. For example, he assumed Cersei sent Ser Mandon Moore, but we don't really know anything about that. He also assumed Cersei had Alayaya whipped, until he figured out it was Tywin. Something worth investigating might be the scars on Osney Kettleblack's cheek, which he seems to have gotten while trying to kill a woman. And we know he was killing the High Septon on Cersei's orders. – TLP Mar 18 '14 at 21:49
  • Osney got his scars while he was beating Alayaya, in chapter 54 of ACOK. – Justin Ethier Mar 19 '14 at 2:16
  • I would call that more of a stretch than Tyrion's POV here. I agree we cannot take Varys at face value, but consider that Tyrion is clear headed here, later on he is recovering from terrible wounds and has been cast from power, do he is not in the best frame of mind. – Justin Ethier Mar 19 '14 at 2:19
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    Sorry for the confusion. Apparently they switched it around in the TV show: gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Massacre_in_King%27s_Landing – Justin Ethier Mar 19 '14 at 20:55
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    In the TV-series, they have made Joffrey a lot more proactive than in the books. They are even showing him bonding with (being seduced by) Maergery Tyrell, and killing prostitutes, something not shown or even hinted at in the books. At one point, I thought Cersei looked a bit like she wanted to kill him because he was pushing her out of the seat of power. – TLP Mar 20 '14 at 12:52

Cersei because she knows that Joffrey is illegitimate. Otherwise why worry? Joffrey would not think that a bastard had any kind of claim compared to him but Cersei realises that there are whispers and allegations which could be brought to light if their position becomes weakened for some reason....(read ahead?).

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    Every black-haired Baratheon bastard reinforces suspicion about the legitimacy of her blond-haired children. – Disillusioned May 1 '14 at 20:25
  • The question is Cersei or Joffrey. Between the two options it would have to be Cersei. Joffrey doesn't have a clue the mad little turd. – Pompom78 May 3 '14 at 17:19
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    I know that, and it seems you don't realise that I'm agreeing with you. I was just pointing out that Cersei would be less concerned about the bastards if not for the fact that they all had Roberts hair. – Disillusioned May 4 '14 at 13:30
  • Fair point sorry that I misinterpreted. It was after all the black hair an the roll of kings that helped Ned put it together. Not that it helped him much! – Pompom78 May 7 '14 at 16:26

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