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In Season 2 episode 6 of Game of Thrones, when Tyrion notices that the small-folk are getting restless and feels that a riot is about to occur, he orders the Gold Cloaks to take Tommen to back to the Keep. However, he does not warn Joffrey about an impending riot, and then Joffrey gets a cow pie thrown in his face.

So my question is why would Tyrion order Tommen to safety, but not Joffrey when he suspected danger? Is it to "teach" Joffrey a lesson and to show him how the war is affecting the people?

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    To give a little more insight, in the united states, should we come under attack the Vice president is moved into a bomb shelter, or other very secret location. The president however while being moved around and protected is still a public figure. To keep up moral you need to have the king/president around. Tommen/vp are the heir to the throne they need to be protected should an accident occur. succession is a bloody affair, which is why the US founders outlined such a ridged format for succession, president, vp, speaker, ect. – Himarm Nov 24 '14 at 14:13
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    Also, Tyrion had no love for Joffrey. He clearly cared more about Myrcella and Tommen(half Baratheons) than he did for Joffrey(full Lannister). Perhaps he was hoping that Joffrey would be killed during the riot so that Tommen would take the throne. – Robert Nov 25 '14 at 14:32
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    @Robert Wait... are you implying that Mycella and Tommen are not Jaime's kids? – SethMMorton Nov 26 '14 at 3:01
  • Has it ever been stated that they are Jamie's kids and not Robert's? – Robert Nov 26 '14 at 6:31
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    @Robert Eddard Stark: "And they're all Jaime's." Cersei Lannister: "Thank the gods. In the rare event Robert leaves his whores long enough to stumble drunken into my bed, I finish him off in other ways. In the morning, he doesn't remember." That's from the TV show, can't immediately find a relevant quote from the book. – BCdotWEB Dec 1 '14 at 14:25
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I'd say it was probably more a matter of choosing your battles/prioritizing the evacuation. Tommen is young, sweet and able to be influenced. Joff on the other hand is older, headstrong and cruel.

If he had ordered Joff (along with everyone else) back to the red keep immediately he'd have likely hastened the coming of the riot without getting anyone to safety first for 2 basic reasons.

1) Joff as king is still expected to be performing some level of protocol. Waving at the small folks, handing out food/coin to the poor ect. Hurrying him back to the keep would alert crowds to something being wrong/there being weakness amongst the royal party and the mob may well have had the courage to act sooner rather than later.

2) Joff would have fought Tyrion. Joff would likely have refused to go back and would likely have showcased more of his cruelty sooner. Thus onlookers might well have become even more outraged from the get go.

By sending Tommen back first Tyrion got the heir to the throne to safety before the outbreak of violence.

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Tyrion not only had to protect the king, he had to protect the dynasty. Should anything happen to Joffrey, there will always be Tommen. But if both of them die, then the succession becomes more problematic with the next in line, Myrcella, being in the hands of the Martells. So first, Tyrion had to protect the succession by spiriting away Joffrey's heir before things got out of hand. Joffrey had the Kingsguard with him to protect him, and he can't be seen to run away from every small provocation. So Tyrion prioritized getting Tommen to safety first.

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