- Margaery Tyrell: "Hello, aren't you a proper fellow?"
- Tommen Baratheon: "That's Ser Pounce."
- — Tommen introduces Margaery to his cat.[src]
According to Tommen, his older brother Joffrey didn't like Ser Pounce. Once, Joffrey threatened that he would skin the cat alive, then mix its innards up in Tommen's food, so he wouldn't know he was eating his own pet.
Following Joffrey's death, his younger brother Tommen is set to succeed him as king. Margaery Tyrell is warned by her grandmother Olenna that she should insinuate herself with Tommen as soon as possible, before his mother Cersei can turn the boy against her. Margaery sneaks into Tommen's chambers at night and (chastely) says she wants to get to know him better, if they are to be married. Ser Pounce jumps on the bed and nuzzles up to Margaery, who calls him a proper fellow. Tommen introduces Margaery to the cat, then uncomfortably tells her how Joffrey once seriously threatened to kill it.
After Daenerys destroys King's Landing and the Red Keep, the fate of Ser Pounce is unknown.
|Season Four appearances|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
Behind the Scenes
Cats are notoriously difficult to work with on set, and the actor-cat playing Ser Pounce was no different. Everyone involved in filming his one scene in Season 4 complained that he never went where he was supposed to and missed his cues.
During Season 8, showrunners Benioff and Weiss explained his absence by joking that after Tommen died, Cersei must have had Ser Pounce executed.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Ser Pounce was actually one of three black kittens which Margaery Tyrell gave as gifts to Tommen, to help gain his affection. The gift succeeded, as Tommen greatly enjoyed the cats. The other two are named Lady Whiskers and Boots. Cersei suspects that Margaery did that in order to win Tommen over (since he is too young for sexual seduction), but does not make an issue of that, musing that it is better than cutting kittens out of their mother with a dagger.
The TV series changed Ser Pounce's backstory so that Tommen had him before he met Margaery. It also invented the specific anecdote that Joffrey threatened to skin Ser Pounce alive.
The reason why this is a change is, in part, because in the books Joffrey actually did kill at least one of Tommen's pets: Jacelyn Bywater told Tyrion that Tommen did have a pet fawn once (because the sigil of House Baratheon is a stag) but the young Joffrey killed and skinned her, and used the leather to make a jerkin. It is probable that Tommen had no long-term pet cats before he met Margaery in the books, because Joffrey was capable of killing (and maybe actually did) any cat he attempted to keep as a pet.
Joffrey had a frequent pattern of cruelty to animals in the books (which is actually one of the telltale signs of psychopathy), since he was old enough to walk and talk. When Stannis is informed of Joffrey's death, he recalls that once, when Joffrey was a little boy, one of the cooks in the Red Keep told him that one of the kitchen cats was pregnant. Joffrey then took a dagger and opened up the cat, because he wanted to see the kittens. Covered in gore, he then carried the dead cat fetuses in his hands to show his father Robert, who was dining with Stannis at the time. When Robert turned around and saw this spectacle, he was so horrified and disgusted that he instinctively punched Joffrey so hard that, for a brief moment, Stannis seriously thought Robert had killed him. Cersei also mentions that event, claiming that Robert knocked out two of Joffrey's baby teeth. Instead of being upset and alarmed at Joffrey's cruelty, Cersei sided with him, and warned Robert that she would kill him in his sleep if he ever beat Joffrey again. Robert realized Cersei's threat was serious, so he never struck or punished Joffrey again. When he heard about this incident years later, after being insulted by Joffrey, Tywin Lannister mused that letting Robert beat his son might have solved a lot of problems.
After he became king, Joffrey would shoot cats (and humans) with his crossbow for his own amusement. The irony was that the sigil of the Lannisters is a big cat (contrasting with how the Stark sigil is a direwolf, and the Stark children care for their pet direwolves).
Joffrey's cruelty to animals is not limited only to fawns and cats: at one occasion, Tyrion and Littlefinger watch him shoot at hares, killing two but missing many. Joffrey's aim is so poor (he nearly shoots one of his own Kingsguard in the groin) that Littlefinger scoffs "the hares are winning" and advises Pod to invest in pots since the castle will soon be overrun with hares and they will be eating potted hare for every meal.
Thus while Joffrey's specific threat in the TV series to skin Ser Pounce alive and feed him to Tommen was not made in the novels, based on Joffrey's actions in the books, his comment to Tommen in the TV continuity was probably not an exaggerated or idle threat.