Throughout the books and series so far, Who is really aware and convinced of the true parentage of Joffrey, Tommen?

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    You should mention up to what point you are interested. The 4th season? The 5th book? Jun 16, 2014 at 7:35
  • On a related note, how does one prove the real parentage. How does blond hair lead to these conclusions. Even Sansa has(superficially) her mother's properties & none of her father's, while Arya doesn't. Jun 16, 2014 at 8:08
  • @KharoBangdo - I'm pretty sure this logic might not have been put on paper back then, but dark hair is a dominant gene. To have blonde hair, both parents must have blonde hair. This must have been especially true with the smaller population of humans during the GoT era. It is simple enough to deduce from the dominant black hair that Ned Stark noticed.
    – Stark07
    Jun 16, 2014 at 10:28
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    @MichaelBorgwardt IIRC Ned Stark's investigation focused specifically on past cases of a Baratheon man and Lannister woman having children, which in 100% of the recorded cases, the dark hair was dominant. Whatever the genetic makeup of Baratheons and Lannisters is, a 100% success rate is pretty convincing :)
    – KutuluMike
    Jun 16, 2014 at 14:16
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    Two dark-haired people can certainly have blond children. (Anecdotal, but I have a brother for whom this is the case.) If a recessive gene exists on either parent's side, it can be passed down with a 1:4 chance, or 1:2 if it exists on both sides. It's the reverse that's unusual - for two recessive trait parents to have dominant trait children. Though still not impossible, since there's more than one gene involved. Nov 20, 2015 at 19:21

2 Answers 2


It's very difficult to answer the question of who is "aware" of the three children's true father, since we would need to see either direct statements and/or POV scenes from everyone to know. Beyond that, different characters may have different levels of "awareness" and "confidence" in the truth of the situation.

To start with, lets just point out that the whole world basically knows that Joffrey's parentage is suspect, and that he is rumored to be Jaime's son, because Ned Stark sent that message to all of the High Lords, and Stannis then proclaimed it to everyone who would listen. The question "who knows the truth" isn't really useful, because everyone knows the truth. What's more useful is to figure out who believes the truth to be fact, and not just rumor, with any degree of confidence.

The people that are absolutely certain of the children's parentage, with complete confidence, is a pretty small number. To my knowledge, there are only five:

  • Cersei and Jaime, obviously, know who their children are.
  • Ned Stark: Cersei effectively admitted to him that his accusations were right.
  • Catelyn Stark: IIRC, Jaime admitted the truth to her when he was being held captive.
  • Tyrion: When Jaime breaks him out of prison and reveals the truth about his first wife, Tysha, Tyrion retaliates by telling Jaime "Yes, I killed your vile son".

There are a number of other people who have learned the truth, and believe it, based on the evidence of Ned Stark's investigation, but to whom Cersei/Jaime have not personally confided or admitted the truth:

  • Jon Arryn: Figured it out with basically the same evidence to support it that Ned had. However, we know no evidence that he confronted Cersei or had his suspicions confirmed before he died.
  • Kevan Lannister: Makes some remarks to Cersei that imply he believes Jaime to be the father (e.g. at one point, he says something like "he has his mother; aye and his father too, I think.")
  • Stannis: this one's tricky. Their illegitimacy is what gives him claim to the throne, so he's not exactly impartial, but what we know of Stannis' character tells me he wouldn't continue to make the claim, let alone go to war over it, if he did not honestly believe Joffrey was not a trueborn heir.
  • Various Lannisters cousins: I can only assume that people like Lancel, who also slept with Cersei in Jaime's absence, were at least smart enough to figure out the truth when it was...erm... "laid bare" in front of them.

There are also some people we have to assume know the truth, but are smart enough not to say so in public. Chief among these is Tywin Lannister, as I explain in Does Tywin Lannister know Joffrey is Jaime's son?. I would also guess that many other people who know Cersei, Jaime and Robert (other Lannisters, the Small Council members, etc) also believe that the rumors are true.

UPDATE: As pointed out in another answer, in the TV show, Cersei Lannister ultimately admits to her father that the rumors are true, in a scene where it's clear he did not believe them (he had no reason to fake surprise with just Cersei in the room.) As far as I remember, we have no Cersei or Tywin POV scenes until A Feast for Crows, so this scene didn't happen in the novels.

Of particular note is that the children themselves do not know, and by all accounts do not believe, the truth. As explained in Does Joffrey know who his father really is?, it's possible that Joffrey suspected the truth but was smart enough to hide it, but we see no indication of that happening. The way he constantly referred to Robert as "his father", even throwing it in Tywin's face at one point, is strong evidence that he truly believes himself to be a Baratheon child.

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    You forgot to mention that it could be Jaime's kids, but Cersei sleeps around. At least she did in her absence.
    – Pobrecita
    Jun 16, 2014 at 14:57
  • I don't think there's any dispute that they are Jaime's children, at least we've never seen any. Jaime and Cersei were both in King's Landing together at the time all 3 children were conceived so I doubt she was sleeping with anyone else then...
    – KutuluMike
    Jun 16, 2014 at 15:39
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    She's sneaky and evil anything's possible.She cheated on Jaime and Robert and the game of thrones series proves that not everything is how they appear.
    – Pobrecita
    Jun 16, 2014 at 15:43
  • @iliveunderawesomerock she only began sleeping with anyone else besides Jaime when he was captured, and there was a possibility he might never return to her. Even then she slept with Lancel because he looked much like Jaime. It was stated they truly only ever loved each other until Jaime returned to Kings Landing and saw Cersi for what she really was.
    – Monty129
    Jun 16, 2014 at 17:30
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    Cersei is evil, and unpredictable no one knows what she could be doing. It is not a fact that she could not have slept with other people, unless you have evidence, that woman lies.
    – Pobrecita
    Jun 16, 2014 at 22:21

As of the end of the season's finale:

Everyone knows.

With Tywin getting word of it finally, but he's the last one to accept it.

  • 1
    I just watched that bit in the season finale, I'm 99% sure none of that conversation happened in the novels.
    – KutuluMike
    Jun 17, 2014 at 1:14
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    Everyone except Jon Snow :-p Jun 17, 2014 at 5:01
  • @MichaelEdenfield ... and I am 99.9% sure.
    – Trenin
    Jun 18, 2014 at 11:40
  • OK,everyone directly or proximaly involved. Even the Iron Bank has heard it. Jon Snow is not even close to being in the loop, yet. Dumm, dumm, daaaaahhh!!
    – Ihor Sypko
    Jun 19, 2014 at 17:12
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    @KharoBangdo - well, no need to point out in every "Who knows .. ?" question that Jon Snow knows nothing. :-) Jun 23, 2014 at 5:15

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