King Tommen I Baratheon was the nineteenth ruler of the Seven Kingdoms and the younger brother of King Joffrey and Princess Myrcella. Though legally the son of the late King Robert Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister, his true father is Ser Jaime Lannister, the Queen’s twin brother, and is thus a bastard born of incest. His sole biological grandparents, Tywin and Joanna Lannister, were also first cousins.
After his brother’s death during his wedding to Margaery Tyrell, Tommen assumed the throne under the name of Tommen of the House Baratheon, the First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, making him the nineteenth ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Many thought his reign would be a vast improvement as, unlike his brother, who was sadistic and mean-spirited, Tommen was good natured and kind towards his peers.
Although originally a mere pawn in the rivalry between his mother and his new wife, Tommen found purpose with the rise of the religious Sparrows. Under the influence of their leader, he attempted to bring about a new age of joint rule between the Crown and the Faith.
After witnessing the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor, learning of the death of his beloved Queen among all the casualties and seeing his faith in ruins, Tommen committed suicide by self-defenestration in the Red Keep.
He was also the Last person to serve as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms since the North would gain independence, changing the title to Lord of the Six Kingdoms.
Tommen is presented as the younger son and youngest child of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister. Cersei and Robert made a political marriage alliance after Robert took the throne by force from the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen. Tommen’s real father is Jaime Lannister, his mother’s twin brother and his uncle.
He has an older brother, Joffrey, and an older sister Myrcella with the same obfuscated parentage. Tommen is good-natured and passive in contrast to his brother Joffrey, who sometimes bullied Tommen for amusement. Like his sister, he is fond of his uncle Tyrion Lannister.
Tommen accompanies his family north to Winterfell via litter with their mother. Upon arrival, he and Myrcella are visibly awed by the mighty castle.
Tommen is eating breakfast with his mother, (biological) father and sister as his uncle Tyrion approaches. He giggles as his uncle lifts him aside to join them. His sister asks whether Bran Stark will die and Tyrion replies that he is expected to live, much to Myrcella’s delight and Cersei’s horror. Tyrion goes on to say how he wishes to see the Wall and witness the “wintry abode of the white walkers,” exciting Myrcella and Tommen. He then says he wants to urinate off the edge of it, a comment which causes both his niece and nephew to laugh. Cersei is irritated by his words and leaves, calling the children to her.
Tommen attends the tournament to celebrate Eddard Stark becoming Hand of the King, during which he and the crowd bear witness to Gregor Clegane killing his opponent in an apparent and very gruesome accident and then behead his own stallion in a rage, both of which causes the young prince to leap out of his chair in horror.
Tommen attends Joffrey’s nameday tournament. He is pleased when his uncle Tyrion Lannister arrives during the festivities and tells him that one day he will be as big as the Hound “but much better looking”. When Joffrey orders Ser Dontos Hollard to be drowned with wine, Tommen shows visible discomfort with it and relief when Sansa convinces Joffrey to spare him. Tommen attends a dinner with Myrcella, his mother and Sansa Stark. He asks whether Robb will be killed after the war, and says that he wouldn’t like that.
Myrcella is sent to Dorne as part of a marriage pact with House Martell. Tommen, who was closest to her, watches her departure from the harbor, sobbing at the loss of one of the few family members who actually cared for him. Joffrey mocks him for crying, though Sansa stands up for him. As they return to the Red Keep, Tyrion senses the unrest of the small folk and orders Tommen sent along a separate route to the Red Keep immediately, narrowly avoiding the Riot of King’s Landing.
Tommen takes refuge in Maegor’s Holdfast during the Battle of the Blackwater, dozing in a chair whilst his mother gets more and more drunk. Cersei takes him to the Iron Throne room when the battle seems lost. She tries to calm him with a tale about the supremacy of lions in the kingdom of beasts: the forest is full of vicious beasts, such as stags, wolves and dragons, but he is a lion, and all will bow to him. Tommen does not like the idea, especially since he does not see stags as dangerous since they only eat grass. She has a vial of Essence of Nightshade from Grand Maester Pycelle, which is deadly if taken in more than tiny amounts and she prepares to give it to him if the city defences fail, to grant him the mercy of a quick death instead of being captured and tormented. She is stopped just in time when Tywin Lannister arrives to announce their victory.
Tommen is present at Joffrey’s pre-wedding reception, ceremony to Margaery Tyrell, and during the subsequent feast. Initially, he laughs at his brother’s crude play of dwarves reenacting the War of the Five Kings, but stops and looks mortified when he sees Tyrion’s face. When Joffrey begins to choke and convulse from poison, Tommen looks on in shock and horror before his eyes are covered by his grandfather so he is spared the final gruesome details. With Joffrey’s death, Tommen inherits the crown and is now the king and ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
Tommen later stands vigil with Cersei over Joffrey’s corpse in the Great Sept of Baelor. Tywin, in an unusually agreeable mood, enters and proceeds to quiz Tommen on the traits that make a good king, ignoring Cersei’s protests and angry glares. Tommen suggests holiness, justice, and strength as qualities of a good king, but Tywin refutes these answers by pointing out that Kings Baelor, Orys, and Robert were each paragons of one of these qualities, but ultimately not very good kings. Tywin is delighted when Tommen, with minimal prompting, deduces that a good king must be wise.
Tywin tells Tommen that young kings with no experience can become wise by listening to their councillors, and the wisest kings keep listening even when they don’t need to anymore. After admitting that Joffrey was neither good nor wise, Tywin escorts Tommen out of the Sept and begins teaching him the duties of a king’s marriage (and subsequent children). On their way out, Jaime passes them and asks how Tommen is doing; the young king replies that he is all right, and Jaime assures Tommen that he will not let him meet the same end as his brother.
In response to Joffrey’s death, Cersei insists that Tommen be placed under high guard, with at least four Kings guard at his bedroom door at night, something Jaime finds a bit excessive. Tommen has been moved to Joffrey’s bedchamber and has yet to redecorate; hence, he has difficulty sleeping with Joffrey’s gruesome hunting trophies all around.
That night Margaery sneaks into Tommen’s chambers. She suggests that they get to know one another before their marriage, something nobles in Westeros don’t usually do. Tommen is unnerved by her presence until his cat, Ser Pounce, jumps up and Margaery interacts with him. Tommen sullenly reveals the cruel things Joffrey threatened to do to Ser Pounce, and he and Margaery bond over their mutual relief that they are free of him. Tommen agrees that he’d like Margaery to visit him again. Margaery departs, but not before giving a kiss on the forehead.
A ceremony is held in the Great Hall of the Red Keep where the high septon officially crowns Tommen as king. Margaery watches from the side, and, when questioned by Cersei, notes that he sits as comfortably in the Iron Throne as if he were born to it. Cersei and Tywin later set the date of Tommen’s wedding to Margaery immediately after the mourning period for Joffrey is over: a fortnight from the day of the coronation.
On Tywin’s instructions, Tommen recuses himself from presiding over Tyrion’s trial for Joffrey’s murder, declaring Tywin, as Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm, as his replacement. He then departs the throne room along with two Kings guard.
During the wake of his grandfather, Tommen is approached by Margaery, who shares a few close words with the king and holds his hand briefly. All of this is observed by Cersei from afar.
Claiming to be acting under Tommen’s orders, Cersei convenes a meeting of the Small Council, declaring that Tommen has decided to wait until he’s older to appoint his own Hand of the King. She also invokes Tommen’s name in appointing Mace Tyrell the new Master of Coin as well as the Master of Ships, in promoting Qyburn to Master of Whisperers, and in offering Kevan Lannister the new position of Master of War. Kevan calls Cersei out, however, and refuses to serve unless Tommen himself asks him to.
Tommen and Margaery are finally married, to much fanfare. They waste little time in consummating the marriage, although it seems to go rather quickly. Tommen muses that his mother doesn’t like King’s Landing, and Margaery subtly implies that Cersei will continue acting like a mother lioness around Tommen in spite of the fact that he’s reached his majority and is now married.
The following morning, Tommen walks with his mother on the battlements of the Red Keep and suggests that she might go back to Casterly Rock, since she’s always described it as home. Cersei denies this, saying that King’s Landing is her home. Tommen then asks if she would happier at Casterly Rock, after which Cersei immediately recognises Margaery’s hand in manipulating her son. When Cersei later talks to Margaery, she finds the younger queen bragging about Tommen’s libido, which she says is to be expected, given that he’s both a lion and a stag. However, their relationship soon turns sour, on Margaery’s part, after her brother, Loras Tyrell, is arrested by the Faith Militant for his homosexuality, Tommen is confronted by an angry Margaery, who tells him that Cersei was most likely behind this to separate them.
Tommen confronts his mother and demands that Loras be released, but she calmly tells him that she did not give the order, but it was the High Sparrow, although Tommen still blames Cersei for giving the High Sparrow an army in the first place. Tommen later goes to the Sept of Baelor to try and speak with the High Sparrow, but the Sparrows block his way, telling the young king that the High Sparrow is at prayer. His Kings guard offer to fight their way through the crowd to get inside, but Tommen refuses, even when the common folk begin to insult him as a “bastard” and an “abomination”. He later regretfully tells his wife that he was unsuccessful.
Tommen is present at Loras’s tribunal, where Olyvar provides testimony to his homosexuality, leading to his arrest. Margaery is also arrested for providing false witness during the tribunal. As she is dragged away by the Faith Militant, she pleas for Tommen to intervene. In shock, Tommen decides not to create further conflict, signalling for his Kings guard not to intervene in her arrest and subsequent incarceration.
Later, he voices his frustration and his plans to attack the Sept of Baelor in front of his mother, who manipulates him into letting her handle the situation, citing that Margaery would likely be the first casuality if Tommen should act against the Faith Militant. When this eventually leads to her capture by the Sparrows, however, Tommen loses his appetite and falls into depression, refusing to eat and staying in his chambers, receiving no one. Following his mother’s walk of atonement, Tommen becomes increasingly distant from Cersei.
Worried that his mother would be rearrested should she set foot in the Great Sept of Baelor for his sister’s wake, Tommen has Cersei confined within the Red Keep for her perceived safety, to her unseen anger. When confronted by Jaime, Tommen tells him that he felt his mother was somehow responsible for Prince Trystane’s murder, but was no longer upset with her, despite knowing that she had re-armed the Faith Militant. Jaime chastises his nephew for this very action, himself irate over his sister not being able to see her daughter in the Sept.
Right before encountering the High Sparrow, Jaime tells Tommen to head to the Red Keep and apologise to Cersei, which he does soon after. Upon seeing his mother, Tommen tearfully apologises for his earlier command and wishes he was tougher in order to deal with those that would wrong him; especially in light of his earlier humiliation, when he failed to force the Faith Militant to release his brother-in-law, as well as his inability to fight for his queen upon her arrest. Cersei readily accepts his apology and offers her son help in gaining his desired power and effectiveness.
Later, Tommen and his Kings guard visit the High Sparrow to seek permission for his mother Cersei to visit Myrcella’s crypt at the Great Sept of Baelor. The High Sparrow denies Tommen’s request on the grounds that his mother has not been cleared of the other crimes, namely killing King Robert Baratheon and incest. Tommen criticises the Sparrow for his harsh treatment of Cersei when she has already atoned for her other two crimes: falsehood and fornication. In response, the High Sparrow compliments Tommen for his deep love to his mother, which he attributes to The Mother, one of the seven manifestations of The Seven.
When Tommen questions why the Sparrow wants to punish his mother, the latter replies that he is merely carrying out the will of The Seven. The High Sparrow urges Tommen to turn to The Seven for wisdom. Before Tommen leaves, he tells the King that the Seven have worked through his grandfather and mother, even though they may not have acknowledged it.
Later, Tommen is briefed by Grand Maester Pycelle, who advises him to accommodate the High Sparrow. His mother Cersei walks in on the briefing and asks Pycelle to leave under the pretext of asking her son about the latest Small Council meeting. Tommen proposes that the Iron Throne not antagonise the High Sparrow in order to safeguard Margaery. Cersei then reminds her son about her humiliation at the hands of the Sparrow. Exploiting Tommen’s love for Margaery, she tells her son that the Sparrow has no respect for kings, queens, and society. Tommen then tells her a secret that the High Sparrow had told him not to share with anyone else: that the Sparrow is planning Margaery’s Walk of atonement.
The High Sparrow later allows Tommen to speak with Margaery. He reassures her the crowds would go easy on his wife since Margaery is popular with the people. In her cell, Margaery speaks positively of the Sparrow and expresses contriteness for her “sins.” Tommen finds himself agreeing with her assessment of the Sparrow and decides to convert to the Faith of the Seven. His religious piety reaches its apex when his “uncle” Jaime Lannister leads a Tyrell show of force outside the Great Sept of Baelor, where Tommen and his Kingsguard exit the doors of the sept under the Sparrow’s signal. The Sparrow announces to the crowd that Margaery will not have to make the Walk because she has brought another to the Faith.
Addressing the crowd, Tommen announces that the Crown and the Faith are the two pillars that hold up the realm. As a symbolic gesture, he and Margaery raise their hands to the applause of the crowd. Later, Tommen strips Jaime of his position as Lord Commander of the Kings guard for “attacking the Faith and the Crown.” He then places his uncle in charge of a Lannister army sent to help the Freys lay siege to Riverrun, which has been retaken by the Tullys.
During a royal announcement, King Tommen restates that the Crown and the Faith are the two pillars that hold up the world. He adds that all those who break the law will be judged by the Father. He declares that the trials of Cersei and Loras Tyrell would take place at the Great Sept on the first day of the festival of The Mother. To Cersei’s horror, Tommen then abolishes trial by combat, denouncing it as a barbaric practice that has allowed corrupt rulers and lords to evade justice. He adds that Cersei and Loras will be tried before seven Septons as it was in the earliest days of the Faith.
Tommen is preparing to attend the trials of his mother and brother-in-law, only to have his progress blocked by Ser Gregor Clegane, who keeps Tommen in his chambers (presumably on Cersei’s orders). He then watches in horror as the Great Sept explodes, killing everyone inside (including Margaery, her brother, and their father Mace Tyrell), as well as hundreds of innocents in the surrounding district. Tommen watches the Sept burn for some time, his shock replaced with grim determination. With the death of his wife and family, the loss of the centre of his newfound faith, as well the knowledge that his own mother was responsible for the deaths of so many innocents, he lays down his crown and calmly, with no hesitation, steps out of his bedroom window to his death.
Later, Cersei visits Tommen’s body and orders him to be burned and buried in what is left of the Great Sept of Baelor, saying he should be buried where his grandfather, brother, and sister are buried.
Jaime remarks that he and Cersei never talked about Tommen’s suicide, to which she says it was a betrayal and that it doesn’t matter, and even though she loved him, he is dead and she needs to focus on Daenerys Targaryen’s war for Westeros.
Upon the Iron Bank of Braavos’ visit to King’s Landing, Tycho Nestoris offers his condolences to Cersei for Tommen’s death.
Throughout his life, it has been fundamentally clear that Tommen Baratheon’s most prominent quality is that he is innocent. He has been the victim of his older brother Joffrey’s intense cruelty, sadism and overindulgence by their mother, and this has set the two brothers apart quite considerably. Where Joffrey was arrogant, monstrous and a dolt, Tommen was humble, gentle, polite, compassionate, kind and sweet to a fault. Tommen was extremely emotional, crying helplessly when his sister Myrcella was sent to Dorne by Tyrion. He didn’t stand up for himself when Joffrey callously mocked Tommen for crying, showing that at this point Tommen was under confident, especially where Joffrey was concerned because Joffrey had tormented his little brother his entire life. Tommen is so kind that he heartily says he doesn’t want Joffrey to kill Robb Stark in battle, despite the fact that officially the Starks and Lannisters were in a pitched war with one another.
One of the most unfortunate elements of Tommen’s innocence and kindness is that he is considerably easy to manipulate. This set him apart from Joffrey, who was wilful and fearsome in his own way and had to be disciplined into following others. Both Tywin Lannister and the High Sparrow saw this weakness in Tommen, and exploited it. That being said, Tywin had the decency to say that he thought Tommen would be a much better ruler than his psychopathic older brother was. In this exact same conversation, Tommen is shown to be surprisingly intelligent and didn’t require much prompting to figure out what made a good king, without taking it as a criticism as Joffrey would have done. Tommen’s intelligence didn’t necessarily make him perceptive of people manipulating him, though.
Tommen’s compassion stretched to shocking degrees, since he apologised and even speculated that he’d hurt Margaery when she cried out during the consummation of their marriage. Even after the mass expansion of rumours (which of course are true) that Tommen and his siblings were products of incest between Cersei and Jaime, Tommen still loved his mother, but he did gain some independent emotions towards other people despite Cersei’s best efforts. Tommen loved Margaery extremely deeply and expressed uncharacteristic anger and frustration when confronting the High Sparrow and demanding Margaery’s release. Tommen’s love for Margaery and the faith was so powerful that, when he saw the Great Sept of Baelor explode in a blaze of wildfire, and knew immediately that Margaery, her family and thousands of innocent people who were inside and outside it had been exterminated at Cersei’s doing, feeling he lost everything, he immediately removed his crown and silently, calmly, threw himself from the window to his death.