How well did Joffrey know Stannis
How did Jon Snow know that Stannis was the rightful heir to the throne?
In S01E08 a letter was sent from Grand Maester Pycelle to Lord Commander Mormont (the old bear) stating that Eddard Stark had been declared a traitor to the kingdom (by Joffrey Baratheon).
Mormont shares the letter with Jon Snow so that Jon at least knows that his father was declared a traitor for not bending Joffrey's knee when Robert died. From the book:
"Lord Eddard Stark has been imprisoned. He is charged with treason. It is said that he and Robert's brothers planned to deny Prince Joffrey the throne."
It's also hardly a secret that Ned preferred Stannis as the next king. Shortly after Robert dies, Joffrey calls all the important people in Kings Landing to the throne room for oaths of loyalty. Ned had hoped that Cersei would flee town with Joffrey, but he was forced to publicly denounce him. From the book he explains:
“Your son is not entitled to the throne on which he sits. Lord Stannis is Robert's true heir.
This statement was made before all major King's Landing judges.
If Ned is captured, the entire kingdom will get into civil war at that point, with Lannister, Stark, and two different Baratheon armies (Stannis and Renly), as well as all of their flagmen, battling for control of the kingdom.
It is very unlikely that the news that Ned had signed up for Stannis would not have been heard from Jon at some point.
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