Characters: Game Of Thrones House Baratheon
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- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the novels, the Baratheons have black hair, but it has been changed to dark brown on the show because this kind of halfway approach looks more authentic on-screen.
- Animal Motifs: The traditional sigil of House Baratheon is a black stag on a yellow background, which is most commonly associated with Robert in the series. After Stannis is converted to the faith of the Lord of the Light, his sigil becomes a black stag encased within a red heart surrounded by yellow flames. When Renly allies himself with the powerful House Tyrell, he incorporates the colors of his wife's (and lover's) sigil into his own, so he's represented by a golden stag on a field of green.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Not as bad as others, but Robert considers Ned more as a brother than his actual brothers, and both Stannis and Renly were determined to fight each other for the throne. Robert even regretfully says aloud that he never really loved his two brothers, though he isn't happy to admit it. Stannis himself later states he didn't love Robert, nor did Robert love him. Renly in turn was belittled by his older brothers for his distaste for combat. From the Books...
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
- In the current generation, parallels could be made for the Bonapartes or the Julio-Claudian dynasty of The Roman Empire, as a ruling family based on the influence of several siblings after the usurping of the throne of the biggest brother.
- There's some Broad Strokes resemblance to the children of William the Conqueror: he left his first son, Robert, the territory he considered most prestigious, the duchy of Normandy, and left his second son William Rufus his largest and most profitable holding, the throne of England. Robert felt cheated and went to war with his little brother to claim the throne. Rufus died in a hunting accident, at which point their third brother (Henry) entered the stage, and won the war.
- King Robert draws elements from Henry IV of England (a man that usurps the throne from a distant cousin with the force of arms as his sole right) and his successor, Henry V (a tall, muscular, popular warrior and battle commander, who dies early leaving an unfit child as his successor and lays the ground for decades of warfare). Not surprising since the War of the Five Kings draws inspiration from the historical War of the Roses and the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years War, the roots of both being in Henry V's reign. Robert also bears a good deal of resemblance to Henry VIII as King.: a dynamic and charming young man who eventually goes into moral and physical decay as he gets older and eventually ends his life as an obese, paranoid failure.
- The three Baratheon brothers are also a good match for the three Yorkist brothers. Edward IV (Robert Baratheon) a fearsome warrior who never lost a battle who was not as gifted in politics, while Renly and Stannis are inverted sibling order versions of George, Duke of Clarence(Renly) who revolted against his elder brother only to be imprisoned and sentenced to death by him and Richard III (Stannis) who claimed the throne by legal right and sought to declare his nephews as bastards and who likewise enjoys a highly sinister reputation.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Robert is a drunken spendthrift, while Renly is a charismatic administrator, and Stannis is a no-nonsense Determinator.
- Freudian Trio: Robert's the Id, Renly the Ego, and Stannis the Superego.
- Hot-Blooded: One of the few traits that unite all the blood Baratheons (including Robert's bastard son Gendry and Stannis's daughter Shireen) despite their myriad personalities is stubbornness. In their own way, every true Baratheon is headstrong when pursuing their individual passions and set goals despite the consequences and what others tell them. It was only a matter of time and circumstance before this would put them at lethal odds with each other. "Ours Is The Fury" isn't just a simple reference to their hereditary lordship of the Stormlands.
- A House Divided: Two civil wars at the same time. Robert's brothers fight their "nephews" (who they know are not real Baratheons, but claim to be), and they also fight each other.
- Opposites Attract: The Starks and Baratheons have almost nothing in common. Robert Baratheon (oldest son, groomed for command, irresponsible leader) is best buds with Ned Stark (younger son, groomed as a soldier, responsible leader). Both get arranged marriages. Ned's works, Rob's... doesn't. The Baratheons hate each other, but the Starks love each other. They're still almost allies until Renly dies. This dynamic even carries over to Arya and Gendry. They'd both rather have the opposite life of what they have at the start, and end up backing each other up. And while Arya is uncompromising in pursuing her dream, Gendry is willing to take what breaks he can get.
- Parental Abandonment: When they were very young, Robert and Stannis watched as their parents died in a shipwreck within sight of Storm's End.
- Sibling Team: Downplayed. Due to circumstance and perhaps owing to their mutual dislike, all three Baratheon brothers never really had the chance to fight side-by-side in any major conflict. Renly was too young when Stannis followed Robert into war against the Targaryens, and both Stannis and Renly were stuck in Storm's End for almost the entirety of the rebellion. Renly was absent once again on the battlefield during the Greyjoy Rebellion, when Stannis fought under Robert as commander of the Royal Fleet, smashing the Greyjoy armada and pacifying Great Wyk island while Robert took the capital of Pyke. On a less martial note however, all three Baratheon brothers did sit on the royal council during Robert's reign and ruled the Seven Kingdoms together, with Renly as Master of Laws and Stannis as Master of Ships.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: All the current-day Baratheons are genetically predisposed to this.
- Warrior Prince: Stannis and Robert. Renly aspires to be one, but his war days are over before he can fight any battles.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Renly and Stannis go to war with each other instead of marching on King's Landing right away.
King Robert Baratheon
Played By: Mark AddyKing of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm at the beginning of the series. Before the series began, Robert led a rebellion against the ruling House Targaryen, after the Mad King Aerys II's eldest son Rhaegar kidnapped Robert's betrothed, Lyanna Stark, Eddard Stark's sister. Robert, Ned, and their allies won the war, making Robert king. Robert slew Rhaegar with his own hand, but Lyanna still died, under mysterious circumstances known only to Ned, who refuses to speak of the experience. Robert is the best friend of and grew up with Ned Stark, as wards of Lord Jon Arryn, who became King Robert's Hand of the King, and whose death triggers the plot of the series.
Barristan Selmy: [Robert] was a good man. A great warrior. And a terrible king.
The boar's great tusks, they boded ill,
for good King Robert's health.
And the beast was every bit as fat,
as Robert was himself.
But our brave King cried,
'Do your worst, I'll have your ugly head,'
You're nowhere near as murderous
as the lion in my bed."
King Robert lost his battle,
and he failed his final test,
The lion ripped his balls off,
And the boar did all the rest.
for good King Robert's health.
And the beast was every bit as fat,
as Robert was himself.
But our brave King cried,
'Do your worst, I'll have your ugly head,'
You're nowhere near as murderous
as the lion in my bed."
King Robert lost his battle,
and he failed his final test,
The lion ripped his balls off,
And the boar did all the rest.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the books, Cersei always hated Robert for killing Rhaegar and Robert was the one who put in some effort to make it work. In the show she loved him at first, while Robert fell immediately into despair and alcoholism due to Lyanna's death.
- Adipose Rex: He used to be much trimmer. Essentially his Badass Decay into one of these is symbolic of how unsuited the kingly life is for him.
- The Alcoholic: Robert has fallen deep into alcoholism and is often seen with a drink in hand.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Stannis and Renly. He points out to Ned Stark that he loves Ned like a brother, but doesn't love either of his actual brothers. Robert is also ignorant of the fact that Renly is gay (which is incredible because Renly's romance with Loras is an Open Secret at court) because he asks his youngest sibling, "Have you ever fucked a Riverlands girl?"
- Anyone Can Die: His death starts the Succession Crisis which is the main plot for Season 2.
- Arranged Marriage: To Cersei, whom he completely despises and is despised by in turn.
- The Atoner: After his hunting accident, he tries to make amends and asks Ned to stop the attack on Daenerys Targaryen. Only his request comes too late.
- Badass: Robert was a legendary warrior, killing Rhaegar Targaryen himself in battle. He's undergone some in-universe Badass Decay, but he can summon it in some form time and again, as he's still an avid and capable hunter to this day. The only reason he was killed by that boar was that his wine was made extra strong, and even then he took that boar out with him.
- Badass Beard: He has a thick beard.
- Badass Decay: An in-universe example. From Badass Warrior Prince to Adipose Rex.
- Bad Boss: Robert bullies underlings like Lancel and Jaime Lannister, and he's fairly indifferent to anyone else.
- Berserk Button: Mentioning the Targaryens around him. His hatred for them is still as fresh and vicious as it was during his rebellion.
- Big Brother Bully: He mocks his youngest brother Renly for not being "manly" enough. He was more passive-aggressive to Stannis, never fully giving him credit for his many accomplishments and continuing to slight him by giving important positions to others. Robert admits to Ned that he never loved either of them and he's far closer to him than both of them.
- Big Fun: Despite all his flaws and failings as a ruler, his general amiability among fighting men is the reason why his kingdom held together. In the History and Lore videos, Stannis Baratheon who is usually critical of his brother admits that he had a gift for inspiring loyalty and converting sworn enemies into True Companions by drinking with them and hanging out at bars and brothels.
- Big Good: The leader of the rebellion against the Mad King, which elevated him to King of Westeros. He commands the respect and loyalty of many people across Westeros and manages to achieve a delicate but peaceful balance of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Blood Knight: Deconstructed. His love of hunting and fighting gets him killed in a Hunting Accident. He gets called out for this by Renly during said hunting trip, who is disgusted by Robert's reminiscing about "the good old days," which was a time when the continent got torn apart by strife and millions died. It might be best exemplified by his loving monologue about his merciless murder of a Tarly boy, rounded off with some longing nostalgia.Robert: Mine was some Tarly boy at the Battle of Summerhall. My horse took an arrow so I was on foot, slogging through the mud. He came running at me, the dumb high-born lad, thinking he could end the rebellion with a single swing of his sword. I knocked him down with the hammer. Gods, I was strong then. Caved in his breastplate. Probably shattered every rib he had. Stood over him, hammer in the air. Right before I brought it down he shouted, "Wait! Wait." They never tell you how they all shit themselves. They don't put that part in the songs. Stupid boy. Now the Tarly's bend the knee like everyone else. He could have lingered on the edge of the battle with the smart boys, and today his wife would be making him miserable, his sons would be ingrates, and he'd be waking three times in the night to piss into a bowl. Wine!
- Boisterous Bruiser: A jovial, grumpy, and rowdy example. This idea is deconstructed, as it turns out that an appetite for drinking, eating, fighting, and screwing is actually pretty discrepant with running seven kingdoms.
- Boomerang Bigot
- Brutal Honesty: When asked by Cersei if there was ever a possibility of their marriage working, Robert plainly tells her no.
- Byronic Hero: A deeply flawed hero. Charismatic and jolly but also jaded and brooding.
- Cool Helmet: He doesn't get to wear it, but a gilded helmet decorated with a crown and horns of a stag is spotted in his tent for the Tourney of the Hand.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In spite of becoming a fat, decadent, lecherous, drunken king, he's still no fool. He can still command respect from his subordinates and still knows a lot about war. He's acutely aware of certain things that slip right past several otherwise intelligent characters, like how vulnerable Westeros really is due to the disunity of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Crown of Horns: The usual crown.
- Cuckold Horns: He wears a Crown of Horns, and his own wife is cheating on him.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Stannis states that this was his brother's great gift in the History and Lore videos. The Greyjoy Rebellion in the backstory led him to bring his former opponents to fight against an external threat; and Robert, bored of the monotony of peacetime, was secretly grateful to get the old fire back to bring the best out of him once again.
- Domestic Abuse/Would Hit a Girl: Robert to Cersei; and although he instantly regrets his action as "not kingly," it's probably a factor in his death.
- Drop the Hammer: His weapon of choice in days gone by.
- Expy: To King Edward IV, of the House of York (who also inspired Robb Stark), a brave warrior king who became a fat man harassed by schemers at court.
- Four-Star Badass
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The drinking hunter who'd rather have fun with whores who smell like blackberry jam to Stannis's logical, duty-bound persona or Renly's charismatic, intellectual decision-maker.
- Freudian Excuse: Is his constant womanising due to being in a state of deep unhappiness after the death of Lyanna Stark, the only woman he truly loved; or simply an excuse he lies to himself with, since he was already well-known for being a ladies man before she died? Robert for his part himself expresses doubts about this.
- Freudian Trio: He's the Id of the Baratheon siblings.
- The Gadfly: Likes to evoke awkward moments only to defuse them with a Tension-Cutting Laughter.
- Glory Days: Robert still lives for the days when he was a powerful warrior covered in glory and his love, Lyanna Stark, was still alive. Renly calls him out for glorifying the bloody civil war that ripped the continent apart.
- The Hedonist: His lifestyle is based on seeking instant self-gratification through eating, drinking and whoring.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Having taken part in the overthrow of the Mad King, he resorts to increasingly unsettling means to keep said king's family from reclaiming the throne. Though, unlike Aerys he does realize that he's going too far, and tries to call off his hit on Daenerys.
- Hidden Depths: People often think of him as a drunken fool. Occassionally, Robert does get a moment of clarity and insight, noting how fragile the seven kingdoms are. While others such as Tywin and Pycelle mock him for confusing ruling with battle prowess, Robert Baratheon is fairly shrewd of the real flaws of the realm:One army, a real army, united behind one leader with one purpose. Our purpose died with the Mad King. Now we've got as many armies as there are men with gold in their purse, and everybody wants something different: Your father wants to own the world. Ned Stark wants to run away and bury his head in the snow...We haven't had a real fight in nine years. Back-stabbing doesn't prepare you for a fight. And that's all the realm is now: back-stabbing and scheming and arse-licking and money-rubbing.
- One example was how Jorah claimed that Robert was fool enough to meet the Dothraki in an open field. But later on, even Robert deems this foolish and points out that the smart thing to do would be to stay within the castle walls. But that's precisely what he's afraid of. See Jerkass Has a Point for more details.
- Hunting Accident: Technically it is an actual accident... helped along by Lancel Lannister making sure he is well-supplied with (triple alcohol content) wine.
- In Harm's Way: He clearly enjoys the thrill of battle more than the duties of actually being king. Admits to Ned that he'd give up the throne and wander Westeros as a travelling sellsword, if he thought he could get away with it.
- I Was Quite a Looker: He was much more attractive before he became jaded and lazy.
- Jaded Washout: While in a much better social position than is the norm in this trope, he totally fits it in all other respects. Robert is utterly miserable, still mourning for Lyanna while drinking himself into an early grave, ignoring the kingdom he's grown to despise and refusing to take any measure of responsibility for the power that was handed to him.
- Jerkass: Robert is generally an obnoxious oaf, but only really mean to the Targaryens and Lannisters, all of whom he sees as guilty by association for the death of Lyanna and his horrific relationship with Cersei, respectively.
- Jerkass Has a Point: His plot to assassinate Daenerys and her child was definitely harsh (and fueled by his own petty hatred for her entire family). But as he later pointed out to Cersei, if the Dothraki chose to invade Westeros with the Targaryens, the results would be catastrophic.Let's say Viserys Targaryen lands with 40,000 Dothraki screamers at his back. We hole up in our castles. Wise move. Only a fool would meet the Dothraki in an open field. They leave us in our castles. They go from town to town, looting and burning. Killing every man who can't hide behind a stone wall, stealing all our crops and livestock, enslaving all our women and children. How long do people stand behind their absentee king? Their cowardly king hiding behind high walls? When do the people decide that Viserys Targaryen is the rightful monarch after all?
- Leeroy Jenkins: Stannis notes that Robert had this quality. He refused his advice and marched West and suffered his only defeat at the Battle of Ashford, at the hands of Randyll Tarly.
- Kavorka Man: Granted, he he used to look good. But to this day (likely due to him being king), he still gets a lot of girls.
- Knight Errant: Admits that he'd prefer the life of a travelling sellsword to being King, any day of the week.
- Large Ham: Mark Addy is clearly having the time of his life. Especially in public, Robert is prone to grandiose declarations and drunken boasts.
- Loving a Shadow: In a rare moment of clarity he admits this to Cersei, noting that it's been so many years that he doesn't even remember Lyanna's face anymore but she was the one thing he wanted and he had it taken from him.You want to know the horrible truth? I can't even remember what she looked like. I only know she was the one thing I ever wanted. Someone took her away from me... and seven kingdoms couldn't fill the hole she left behind.
- The Mourning After: He still mourns the loss of Lyanna Stark, his late fiancé. To the point of drunkenly calling Cersei Lyanna on their wedding night, igniting her spite against him.
- Mangst: Cersei says that he beat his hands bloody on the wall in anguish after their first infant son died of fever.
- Mean Boss: He keeps Jaime posted on his door while loudly cheating on Cersei and inflicts many torments on Lancel such as ordering him to get a "breastplate stretcher" which, obviously, doesn't actually exist. Considering Lancel's Butt Monkey status as a toady, it's more funny than cruel.Ned: The breastplate stretcher?
Robert: How long till he figures it out?
Ned: Maybe you should have one invented.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The death of Rhaegar Targaryen at Robert's hands. Rhaegar was by all accounts considered a sane, popular, and highly charismatic man, who many in Westeros looked forward to eventually taking the throne. Instead, Robert took the throne for himself in conquest and in less than 20 years, managed to bankrupt the entire realm and sow the seeds that would lead to the outbreak of Civil War after his death. Then again, the Mad King himself was shaping up to be one of the better Targaryen kings before he rather suddenly went insane, so we can't be sure Rhaegar's future didn't hold similar insanity.
- Nostalgia Filter: He repeatedly longs for the "good old days." Renly finally calls him on this in "A Golden Crown".Robert: [chuckles] Those were the days.Renly: [angrily] Which days, exactly? The ones where half of Westeros fought the other half and millions died? Or before that, when the Mad King slaughtered women and babies because the voices in his head told him they deserved it? Or way before that, when dragons burned whole cities to the ground!?
- Not So Different: Ned calls him out on his plans to have Daenerys killed as being no better than "The Mad King." When arguing to assassinate Daenerys, he asserts that what keeps the peace is "fear and blood," which sounds a lot like the Targaryen house words of "Fire and Blood."
- Parental Neglect: Especially with Joffrey. He even admits this in his deathbed in front of him. He also ignores his numerous — and real— bastard children. Seeking out contact with them would probably reflect badly on his position, but he doesn't even make any arrangements to make sure they would be provided for in his absence.
- The Peter Principle: The self-promotion variety: a terrible administrator for life. As Renly and Barristan point out, good warriors don't make good kings by default, since warring and ruling are two completely different beasts. He is called a poor administrator who attended three Small Council meetings in seventeen years, rarely paid attention to his advisors and was a less than stellar husband in a position that requires a decent marriage to ensure stability when it's time to transfer power. The moment he dies everything falls to pieces.
- Poisonous Friend: While it's not done maliciously, Catelyn Stark notes that Robert has a tendency to lead Ned into trouble. Robert showing up and dragging Ned into danger is in fact the thing that kicks off the entire series.
- Pyrrhic Victory: His rebellion resulted in him becoming king, but the woman whose abduction was his entire impetus for rebelling died, and he was left married to someone he despises.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: When Ned resigns as Hand of the King, Robert completely loses his temper.
- Really Gets Around: Has a lot of bastard children to a lot of different women.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In "The Kingsroad", he stops drinking for long enough to point out that children fighting is normal and not something that requires royal intervention. The rest of the time? Not so much.
- Rebel Leader: He was this when he waged a war against the Mad King.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red Oni to Ned's blue oni. Unlike his modest and even-tempered colleague, he's very hot-blooded and impulsive by nature well into his old age.
- Revenge: His intense hatred for the Targaryens stems from Rhaegar Targaryen's kidnapping of his late betrothed Lyanna Stark.
- Revenge Before Reason: Even the mention of the Targaryens can drive him into a frothing rage. While there are pragmatic reasons to send assassins after Daenerys, he does not care about them and just wants to see her family exterminated.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He was. These days, he does as little as humanly possible that doesn't involve food, strong drink or women, preferably all three. Then again, those glory days were before he was a royal.
- Selective Obliviousness: Though he's shown that he is primarily interested in hunting, whoring, and gambling, Robert is not a stupid man — as evidenced by his Hidden Depths and his occasional status as a royal who actually does something, yet in a world where blood so often makes people Color-Coded for Your Convenience he is unable to see that Joffrey and his other children bear no phenotypical resemblance to the Baratheon family and in fact have traits that are exclusively Lannister. This could possibly be forgiven if it were the case with only one child and coloring was evenly spread amongst his other two children like the Starks, but ALL of his children are blond.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: See Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling.
- Seven Deadly Sins: His lust alienates his family; and his excessive drinking (gluttony), sloth, wrath and pride all lead him to an early grave.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: He acts before he thinks, longs for the good old days of killing things, and cheats on his wife with numerous whores, many of whom have produced bastards. Contrast with Renly and Stannis.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Stannis feels this way.
- Unwanted Spouse: He has never loved Cersei, and has no problem saying it to her face. It's to the point where it's a bitter joke for the both of them when Cersei quips that their loveless marriage is the only thing holding the kingdoms together.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Via Arranged Marriage. This wasn't true when Cersei and he first wed, but he let himself get fat and lazy.
- The Usurper: He's called this in-universe by the Targaryens.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: Even though he killed Rhaegar Targaryen, who he blamed for kidnapping his beloved Lyanna Stark, he still seems unable to take any satisfaction in it as he mentions killing Rhaegar in his dreams every night and still finding no peace.
- War Is Glorious: This is how Robert likes to portray his warrior days to other people. Subverted in that in odd moments of clarity it's clear it's not so much war itself but the purpose war gave him. In fact when recalling his first kill in battle, his boisterous attitude noticeably falters as he's inadvertently dragged up an unpleasant memory.
- Would Hurt a Child: After the Lannisters killed the Targaryen children, Robert pardoned and condoned Tywin Lannister's offer of loyalty, much to Ned Stark's horror which resulted in a brief spat between them. As King, he is fully willing to kill Daenerys and her unborn child. He later regrets this and asks Ned to cancel this last order but it's too late, though the assassination fails anyway.
King Stannis Baratheon
- 0% Approval Rating: Stannis lacks the charm both his brothers possess, and thus hasn't been able to attract many noble houses to his cause through diplomacy. Several characters insist that his rigid and unpopular personality would make him a terrible ruler, though most of these people are rivals for the throne and corrupt schemers like Littlefinger. His closest allies, on the other hand, respect his honesty and serve him with total devotion.
- 24-Hour Armor: Close enough - There are very few scenes of Stannis wearing anything aside from the black-grey plate and mail armor with the sigil of the Flaming Heart on his chest, and even the robes he wears have metal plates mounted to the chest.
- Achilles in His Tent: At the start of Season 3, Stannis is holed up in Dragonstone and refuses to see or talk to anyone except Melisandre.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Stephen Dillane is rather more attractive than Stannis is described in the books - who is described as having a receding hairline - even after Melisandre's magic takes the wind out of him.
- Adaptational Badass: Stannis is a skilled commander and tactician as in the books, but here he is also a master swordsman who leads from the front and kills dozens of Lannister soldiers during the Battle of the Blackwater.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Inverted — his great intellect and knowledge is vastly reduced from the books where he was the best read of the Baratheon brothers (with Renly, apparently taking this role in the show). His role in the investigation of the true heritage of Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen is gone. Book!Stannis and Jon Arryn were researching this for a long time and Ned reaps the fruits of this work. TV!Stannis learns from Shireen about the Dance of the Dragons when the first mention of that event was when he discussed it with Davos in the books.
- Adaptational Villainy: On the whole, the show's version of Stannis is a Character Exaggeration of Stannis's flaws at the expense of his more frequently displayed virtues. In one featurette, D.B. Weiss admits he dislikes Stannis.
- The nuances, such as moments when he is more moderate than his wife's retinue (who introduced R'hillor worship to Dragonstone) are lost. Likewise the flaws of Stannis's enemies and the genuine betrayals he experiences are either Adapted Out or in the case of Renly given Adaptational Heroism. Stannis isn't a fanatical R'hillor worshipper in the books, he sees Melisandre as a sorceress and believes only in her magical abilities but is far less rigid about other aspects of her faith. He also outright forbids burning people for being "unbelievers" pointing out that if he did that he would have no army.
- Likewise while Human Sacrifice is part of R'hillor worship, Stannis never burns anyone purely for the sake of fanaticism, rather he punishes rapists, cannibals or in the case of his former Hand, outright betrayal and conspiring with the Lannisters. He is also far more reluctant to sacrifice his nephew (Gendry in the show, Edric in the novels) to the Lord of Light and is more lenient to Davos for his apparent treachery rather than being talked out of executing Davos by Melisandre.
- In the show, Stannis burns Shireen, while in the books he's hundreds of miles away still besieging Winterfell and possibly dead while Shireen is at the Wall while it's in a chaotic state of emergency. It's unlikely that he will be the one to burn her anytime soon.
- Aloof Big Brother:
- To Renly. Stannis has somewhat fond memories of the child Renly used to be. From the books...
- Robert never got along with Stannis either, Stannis says in "The North Remembers" that "I didn't love him. He didn't love me." From the books...
- Ambiguous Disorder: Some of his defining traits (social awkwardness, limited emotional display, blunt honesty) are stereotypically associated with Asperger's syndrome, while others (lack of flexibility, by-the-book behavior, tendency to ruminate, stubborness) are typical of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
- Ambition Is Evil: According to Benioff, when Stannis has to choose between family and ambition, he chooses ambition.
- Anti-Villain: Becomes one due to him having fairly noble goals, yet he still sacrifices Shireen to R'hllor to ensure his victory over the Boltons.
- Arranged Marriage: To Selyse of House Florent.
- Authority Equals Asskicking:
- After his navy is destroyed, he leads the charge into King's Landing himself, killing several Lannister soldiers with ease. His men actually have to drag him kicking and screaming off the battlefield once it becomes clear that they have lost the battle.
- Prior to Robert's death and the War of the Five Kings, Stannis was the Master of Ships on the King's Small Council. Under his command, the Royal Fleet soundly smashed the Ironborn fleet during the Greyjoy Rebellion.
- Back from the Brink: After his heavy defeat at Blackwater, reduced in numbers, deprived of funds and suffering from depression, Stannis Baratheon returns in fine form at the end of Season Four thanks to a loan from the Iron Bank and a rousing victory over the Wildlings. By personally intervening on the side of the Night's Watch in their hour of need, Stannis has made himself into a viable candidate for the Iron Throne and has a new base from which to restart his campaign, especially with the Lannisters' position shaken by Tywin's death.
- Badass: He may be dour and personally unlikable but there is no denying his badassery. During "Blackwater", he leads his mean from the front directing the landing party personally and once on the battlements has little problem cutting down multiple opponents attacking from all sides. Also, The Season 2 History of Westeros shorts reveal Stannis was the one who lead Robert's fleet against the Ironborn during the Greyjoy rebellion. He succeeded where even Tywin Lannister failed, smashing the Greyjoy fleet and all but ensuring Robert's victory.
- Badass Beard: Grows his stubble into a regal beard while campaigning in the cold North.
- Badass Boast: He gives some very intimidating boasts, and more often than not he can back them up.Joffrey, Renly, Robb Stark, they're all thieves. They'll bend the knee or I'll destroy them.My enemies have made my kingdom bleed. I will not forget that. I will not forgive that. I will punish them with any arms at my disposal.The Baratheons say Ours is the Fury. I will show them; fury burns.
- Bait the Dog: In the 4th and early 5th season, Show!Stannis seemed to be recovering from his Adaptational Villainy, being more chummy than usual with Jon Snow, having a Pet the Dog moment with Samwell Tarly, invoking Ned Stark's memory as a Big Good and being more overly fatherly to Shireen than the books. Then Stannis burns Shireen which despite it being a Sadistic Choice forced by desperation and madness, stresses Stannis as a Lord of Light fanatic.
- Beard of Evil: By the time he burns Shireen at the stake his Perma Stubble has become a thick bushy beard.
- Beware the Honest Ones: Stannis is feared by schemers like Littlefinger and Varys for this reason. His refusal to compromise and his sense of self-righteousness means he will be less amenable to providing an environment for their unhindered scheming. Cersei even laments to Sansa during the Battle of Blackwater, that she would have fallen back and relied on seducing anyone else but knows it would be useless against Stannis.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Melisandre in Season 2. They make an enemy of the Starks, the Tyrells and even the Lannisters. Joffrey and the other Lannisters are still here as well, making this a Big Bad Ensemble (he never ends up directly fighting Robb Stark, though, and generally isn't presented as a direct threat to the Northerners). After sacrificing Shireen in Season 5, Stannis becomes this again, alongside Roose Bolton and Littlefinger.
- Big Brother Bully: According to Renly, Stannis frequently berated his younger brother for not being a warrior.
- Big Damn Heroes: In "The Children".
- Big Good: In Season 5, he's the only leader still standing who seeks both to remove the corrupt Lannister regime and to protect Westeros from the White Walkers.
- Big "NO!": In "Blackwater", his yelling at his retreating soldiers to stand and fight quickly devolves into this.
- Brutal Honesty: He doesn't hide his dislike for Robert and calls Jaime the "Kingslayer", but he also insists that Jaime be called "Ser", since he's still a knight.
- Cain and Abel: He is the Cain to Renly's Abel. Stannis cites it as a precedent when Davos tries to defend Gendry by invoking that blood is Thicker Than Water.
- The Cassandra:
- During the rebellion, Stannis told Robert not to go so far west so soon, Robert never listened and got defeated by Randyll Tarly for it in the Battle of Ashford, which directly lead to the Tyrell siege of Storm's End, the cause of much misery and slights to Stannis.
- Stannis counsels Jon not to keep his enemies close. Jon tries the opposite approach with Alliser Thorne and is assassinated for it.
- The Cavalry: After spending Season 4 trying to get funds and men for his cause, he is able to become this in "The Children", using a pincer attack to effectively rout and capture the Wildling army.
- Character Tics: Grinds his teeth and scowls a lot.From the Books
- The Chosen One: According to Melisandre, he is the Lord of Light's chosen hero.Melisandre: You will betray the men serving you, you will betray your family, you will betray everything you once held dear... and it will all be worth it, because you are the Son of Fire, you are the Warrior of Light.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: At first, he makes it clear he has no problem leaving Davos to rot in a cell and letting Melisandre sacrifice Gendry. He changes his mind and releases Davos to give Davos a chance to convince him to spare Gendry.
- Combat Pragmatist: He might join a war where he has the smallest army because Law says so, but he's not above using witchcraft to quickly assassinate his enemies behind the lines rather than suicidally charging against them in the field."Cleaner ways don't win wars."
- Composite Character: In the books it's Guyard Morrigen who leads the vanguard at the battle of Blackwater. In the show it's Stannis himself.
- The leading from the front and being the first one to climb the ladder up the wall is an aspect taken from the book version of young Robert Baratheon.
- The Comically Serious: In the rare moments of levity in his appearances, Stannis fills this role.
- Curbstomp Battle: Defeats Mance Rayder's host of 100,000 with hardly a single casualty among his ~3,000 remaining men, all mounted. Factors in this include 1 - The wildlings were focused entirely on the Wall to the south, so they were expecting a major new enemy to surprise them from their eastern flank about as much as they were expecting the sun to rise in the west, 2-They'd been fighting the whole night so many were still resting in their own camp, 3 - Even if they'd been prepared, the wildlings aren't very organized, and have zero experience fighting heavy cavalry. Stannis's army, in contrast, caught them in a disciplined pincers movement with two mounted columns.
- He also ends up on the receiving end of one in his last fight - deserted by his cavalry units, he and the rest of his infantry are caught out on flat ground by a larger mounted force and quickly surrounded. Given his nature and the futility of surrendering to the Boltons, he simply draws his sword and walks forward.
- Deadpan Snarker: With a great emphasis on deadpan, there are times when the man is capable of producing dry and voluntary humour.They don't have enough men to raid a pantry.
- Death by Irony: His bid for the throne was driven by his sense of duty as he was the legitimate heir. In the end he's killed by Brianne in the name of her duty to Renly. Lampshaded by his Famous Last Words.
- Death Glare: His typical reaction when he's angry.
- Death Seeker: In "Mother's Mercy", he's just sacrificed his own daughter, lost half his men, and been abandoned by Melisandre. It's quite clear that later on in the episode when he sees the massive Bolton army charging towards him when he decides to face them head on despite having no chance. Comes up again when he not only lets, but encourages Brienne to execute him.
- Defiant to the End: When Brienne finds him, he's wounded and unable to stand up; nevertheless, he's completely dismissive of her and simply tells her to get over with it.
- Despair Event Horizon: Hardly noticeable given his stoic nature, but he crosses it as Shireen is sacrificed.
- Determinator: He may have the smallest army or the tiniest power base and suffer a most devastating defeat, Stannis is a man who will not relinquish his right to the throne. He will fight to the bitter end and then some.Davos: As long as Stannis lives, the war is not over.
- The Dreaded: Has this reputation amongst his sensible enemies at King's Landing, thanks to being a proven, uncompromising leader and soldier who has also developed the habit of burning his enemies alive. King Joffrey is an exception, eager to defy the good name of his uncle in the field of battle and give him a red smile. You can imagine Stannis's terror.Varys: I am trying.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: After his victorious and terrible defence of Storm's End, Robert gave Storm's End to Renly, who never fought a day in his life. Stannis abided by his duty, but Robert's call embittered him. Of course, Stannis is wilfully ignoring that Robert gave him Dragonstone, the traditional home of the heir apparent to the Iron Throne and one of the few traditions he held onto from the old Targaryen dynasty, but Stannis treats it like a White Elephant because, well... it really is kind of a shitty place to live.
- Establishing Character Moment: Unenthusiastically accepting his role as the Chosen One in a ceremony hosted by Melisandre, followed by a meeting to redact his claim to the Iron Throne. Very dour, Will Not Tell a Lie, a by-the-book man who will not compromise.Joffrey, Renly, Robb Stark, they're all thieves. They'll bend the knee or I'll destroy them.
- Evil Uncle: Subverted: he wants Joffrey's throne, but Joffrey isn't the biological son of his brother Robert. Played straight in Season 3, when he contemplates burning his biological nephew, Robert's bastard son Gendry, to gain magical advantage for his campaign.
- Expy: Along with Tyrion Lannister, Ned Stark and Theon Greyjoy, he's one for Richard III. Stannis comes closest to the historical Richard though, in that like Richard III he discovers that he has a legal claim to the throne via the dubiousness of the issue of the royal children, wishing to claim it by right despite not being a popular ruler. Similarly, thanks to the company he keeps, he also gets a reputation as an Evil Uncle.
- Also Stannis wins support in the North after saving them from attackers beyond the Wall. In real life Richard III was known during his brother's reign for his successful campaigns against the Scots, who were often attacking the North.
- Face Death with Dignity: On his last legs, he manages to kill two more of Bolton's men before encountering Brienne and encouraging her to fulfill her duty to Renly, and at no point whatsoever does he beg or try to talk his way out of it. Earlier, he willingly faces Bolton's army head-on, despite being vastly surrounded and outnumbered.
- Fallen Hero: He was once the honorable commander who held Storm's End for days without food. However, his reliance on the blood magic of Melisandre has slowly caused him to compromise all of his ideals.
- Famous Last Words: "Go on...do your duty."
- To the unlawful King Joffrey Baratheon. Stannis is the man who epitomises Authority Equals Asskicking and has to be literally dragged out from a lost battle, while Joffrey is a Dirty Coward braggart who turns tail in the heat of the same battle in which he's only observing anyway.
- He's also one for Tyrion Lannister, the disliked, maligned, underestimated second son Overshadowed by Awesome elder brother; and facing opposition and betrayal from a Too Clever by Half sibling, who is ungrateful and ignorant to all of his accomplishments and sacrifices.
- Lets see. In the shadow of a more charismatic brother who is heir to the family castle. Ridiculously dutiful, stubborn and dedicated to justice. Breaks his vows with a redheaded woman, constantly dresses in black and doesn't really seem to care if the people he surrounds himself with are noble-born or not as long as they are useful.Nope, doesn't sound the least bit familiar◊.
- He's also one to Tywin Lannister. Both are extremely cold, ruthless and grumpy, willing to make alliances with useful yet dangerous allies, and with a Well-Intentioned Extremist worldview. However, Tywin is much more of a classist and berates his sons and daughter, while Stannis is more modern in his approach to the lower classesnote and greatly values his own daughter. Tywin's principles generally come second to the means, Stannis rarely compromises his principles and is greatly conflicted when he does it.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Stannis is logical and duty-bound, whereas Robert is a binge-drinking alcoholic and who has gotten the kingdom in a vast amount of debt. While Robert is a great warrior, Stannis played major roles in his campaigns, essentially winning the Greyjoy Rebellion by smashing the Iron Fleet at Fair Isle and then suppressing Old Wyk, the largest of the Iron Islands. From the Books
- Four-Star Badass: Well known as a competent soldier and commander. He shows it well at the Battle of Blackwater, and again at the Battle of the Wall.
- Freudian Excuse: His aloof no-nonsense nature comes from having his own contributions to the Kingdom neglected by Robert, which along with leaving him bitter, left him with a strong sense of self-righteousness and a distaste and hostility towards more superficially charismatic heroes, charmers and people who say more than they do. On the other hand, this also plays a factor in his friendship with Davos: it's hardened him to becoming meritocratic to a fault, perfectly willing to make Davos his Hand to the King despite being a Working Class Hero in a time of deep class strife.
- Freudian Trio: He's the Superego of the Baratheon siblings.
- Get It Over With: When Brienne sentences him to death, he's clearly not giving a darn about it. He simply tells her to do her duty.
- The Ghost: He never appears in the first season, and is only occasionally talked about by other characters. Stephen Dillane portrays him from Season 2 onwards.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Figuratively with Davos and Melisandre vying for influence over Stannis. It may be an Invoked Trope, or it may just be coincidence but it sure seems to come up a lot. When Stannis and Davos speak on the ship to King's Landing, Davos walks along with him on his right side. When Stannis looks into the flames at Mel's urging, she is clutching his left shoulder. Melisandre even dresses in bright red, while Davos wears humble clothing. At first played straight, then subverted in "Mhysa". While trying to decide on a new course of action, Melisandre and Davos are balanced on either side of him, out of focus in the background, over top of his shoulders, each one trying to pull him another way. However, this is shortly subverted when Melisandre agrees with Davos about going to defend the Wall, which makes it basically the first time in the entire show that they've ever agreed.
- Good Parents: Despite his dour personality, he's this to Shireen. He constantly defends her from Selyse, has granted her an education and as told in "Sons of the Harpy", he summoned healers, Maesters and apothecaries from all over the world to stop the greyscale when she contracted it, thereby saving her life.
- He also outright refuses to sacrifice Shireen for Melisandre to ensure his victory against the Boltons, giving only "she's my daughter" as justification.
- Ultimately subverted; it is by Stannis's command that Shireen is burned alive in order to gain favour with the Lord of Light..
- Gory Direction Shot: The scene cuts as Brienne is swinging her sword. It's not shown if she actually hits him or not.
- Grammar Nazi: Injustice will be punished, usurping would-be kings must be made to kneel... and it's "fewer fingers", not "less fingers".
- Gray Eyes: Unlike his blue-eyed book counterpart, TV!Stannis has gray eyes, which reflect his cold and strong-willed personality.
- Heel Realization: He undergoes this after he's forced to sacrifice Shireen. He hates himself for doing so, but goes on with it anyway.
- Heir Club for Men: Stannis doesn't have a son, only a sickly daughter, and he doesn't get on with his wife, so the odds of a legitimate son being born are slim and that plays a big role in their tension. From the Books...
- Heroic BSOD: Has a barely notable one when he sees Davos's ship burn down in wildfire, and a much more obvious one when he sees what appears to be his dead brother Renly riding to the rescue of King's Landing in "Blackwater". By the Season 3 premiere, he has hit rock bottom, letting Melisandre burn "heretics" as she wishes and his Perma Stubble near-reaching Beard of Sorrow levels.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Stannis mentions his affection for dogs — "loyal creatures" in his eyes. Played with in that during the Siege of Storm's End, after horses and cats had been consumed, he and his men were forced to eat all the hounds in the castle's kennels in order to survive.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Davos, who's his Only Friend.
- Hidden Depths: Keeping Davos Seaworth at his side is a strong indicator that Stannis isn't a bad guy at heart. He respects loyalty and honesty even when it comes from a commoner and when his powerful allies criticize him for it. He states loudly that he has no problem killing Gendry, but Davos calls him out on it saying if that was true he would have just done it. Instead, he came to Davos and told him what he was going to do, just so Davos could talk him out of it, proving he isn't so indifferent after all. Not only that, but Stannis's relationship with Shireen firmly establishes that despite Stannis being cold, authoritarian, and fairly harsh, he truly does love and care for his daughter.
- History Repeats:
- A king who gets advice from both a woman with Black and White Insanity who uses sex as a weapon and his rational best friend, while more often than not ignoring the latter. Yup, Stannis is Robert's brother alright.
- Though he would likely bristle at the comparison, his burning of dissenters is remarkably similar to Aerys Targaryen at the end.
- Stannis shares with Robert the hardships of controlling the North, even with a Stark by his side, as he points out to Jon Snow.
- Hold the Line: Stannis's defence of Storm's End during the Rebellion despite dire straits and no support kept Robert's Rebellion alive and tangled the powerful Tyrells for almost a year. Had Storm's End fallen it would have been a critical blow to Robert's legitimacy, similar to Robb Stark losing Winterfell, and depending of the timing, could have finished his campaign to defeat the Mad King.
- Honor Before Reason: Davos suggested to Stannis that he ally with Renly or Robb Stark, and the armies they provide, against the overwhelming Lannister force that opposes them. Stannis rejects the offer, stating that he'll not treat with either rival claimants or thieves. Note that at this point in time Stannis has by far the smallest force out of all the contenders in the War, and yet he's willing to take on all of the opposition (including Renly's massive Reach-Stormlands army and Robb's Northern-Riverlands army), alone if need be. Which, if he actually is The Chosen One, as Melisandre claims, is probably doable. However, this is also done for pragmatic reasons: If Stannis allies with Robb who wants Northern independence, then Stannis is basically showing that he can't keep the Seven Kingdoms together. If Renly becomes king than the line of succession loses all credibility.
- Humiliation Conga: His last day as King. He's not exactly written-off gracefully; Stannis finds out that half his army has deserted him overnight, that his wife has committed suicide, that Melisandre has abandoned him and then he comes on the recieving end of the single most one-sided Curb-Stomp Battle in the show, lacking even Mance Rayder's excuse of being in the middle of parley with Jon Snow. To top it all, he then gets killed by Brienne in the name of Renly, who she calls "the rightful King" despite Stannis basing his entire campaign on being the only contender with a legitimate legal claim.
- Hypocrite: Davos points out that Stannis is willing to use blood magic and all types of other underhanded tricks to win, but unwilling to hire sellswords. Subverted when Stannis counters that it's not a matter of being willing... he doesn't have any gold to pay for the sellswords.
- For all his Honor Before Reason attitude, when others stand by their principles in a way that inconveniences him - like Jon Snow refusing to swear him allegiance and become Warden of the North due to his oath to the Night's Watch - Stannis lambastes them for their lack of pragmatism. Though this particular case does fall in line with Stannis's character upon deeper examinationnote
- Informed Ability: Stannis is repeatedly referred to as an experienced battle commander, probably the best in Westeros. His actual record is pretty awful, and Stannis is later utterly crushed by the Bolton army.
- Of course, the Histories and Lore videos actually do show him to have been an excellent commander, holding Storm's End for a year and being instrumental in defeating the Greyjoy Rebellion. His defeat at Blackwater came about due to the sudden use of Wildfire and a sudden attack by reinforcements. His defeat by the Boltons was due to his army being weakened and outnumbered.
- In Harm's Way: He accompanies his troops to King's Landing and personally leads them to storm the battlements.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Says in the Histories and Lores section on the Greyjoy Rebellion that he would have executed Balon Greyjoy after their rebellion instead of sparing them as Robert did. Considering after Robert's death Balon revolts again Stannis was probably justified.
- This actually happens quite a lot. Many of the figures Robert spared despite fighting against him turn to be very treacherous, like the Small Council who support someone they know isn't Robert's son, and the Tyrells who support Renly's poor claim to the throne, then switch their allegiance to Joffrey...
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Stannis has zero social skills and comes across as a cold and harsh man who worships a god that demands human sacrifice via burning people alive. Despite that, Stannis's respect for Ned Stark, his regrets over Renly's death, his interactions with both Davos and Shireen, and his lack of religious fanaticism show that despite all that, deep down Stannis is a good man with good intentions.
- Karmic Death: When Brienne comes calling to avenge Renly, Stannis finally pays the price for throwing his family under the bus in his quest for the throne.
- Kill the Ones You Love: Stannis may have loved Renly once, but that didn't stop him from killing him. Later, thanks to a Sadistic Choice, Stannis comes to believe that he has sacrifice Shireen so as to court magic support in his battle with the Boltons.
- Kneel Before Zod: A justified example in that in a feudal society, bowing down to a liege is a customary procedure, but all the same Stannis is very insistent about his enemies and would-be allies bending the knee. He has little success at this.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Burning Shireen results in half his men abandoning him, which in turn causes Melisandre to leave him. Then after his diminished army is decimated by the Boltons he is executed by Brienne for the murder of Renly, another member of his family he killed with the Red Woman's assistance to serve his own cause.
- Last of His Kind: Thanks to killing Renly and then his own daughter, Stannis is the last Baratheon. Not a full episode later, Brienne kills him, and the torch of House Baratheon dies out for good. Although technically the name lives on through Tommen while the blood lives on through Gendry, though it's unlikely he will ever be legitimized.
- Licked by the Dog: When his daughter Shireen sees him for the first time in a while, she squeals and hugs him.
- The Men First: According to Ser Davos in the History and Lore supplements, when he relieved the Siege of Storm's End; Stannis, who was gaunt from starvation, distributed food to his wife and his soldiers before eating and did not take a bigger share despite being the lord. This action of Stannis won him Davos's lifelong loyalty; as it was the first time the latter had seen justice embodied and practiced in his life.
- Messianic Archetype: According to Melisandre.
- Middle Child Syndrome: He resents the fact that people in general have a much more favourable view of his older and younger brother. Robert gets most of the credit for winning the rebellion against the Mad King, while Stannis's contribution is hardly acknowledged. When the War of Five Kings begins, all of the Stormlands bannermen side with Renly even though Stannis is the lawful successor to the Iron Throne.
- Modest Royalty: Especially compared to his brothers, as unlike Renly he forgoes wearing a crown and has very few royal affectations in his dress in general. And even more modest than his book counterpart, who wears a crown shaped like flames.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After being repelled at Blackwater Bay, he has a brief Crisis of Faith during which he exhibits sudden regret for leading men to a horrible death and for having killed his own brother. Whereas before he considered Renly collateral damage for opposing him, he now considers it straight-up murder.Stannis: I fought for your god in Blackwater Bay. I led my men to the gates of the Seventh Hell as their brothers burned alive and for what?! [...] I murdered my brother!
Melisandre: We murdered him. Share the weight with me.
Stannis: He wasn't your brother.
- He falls into this again after Shireen's sacrifice. By the end, his typical stoic glare becomes a Thousand-Yard Stare and he looks dead inside.
- The Needs of the Many: A key element of his storyline. He's prepared to do terrible things and make sacrifices, such as killing Renly and Gendry, in order to save the realm. In the books Melisandre justifies this by saying that any sacrifices he refuses to make would be killed anyway when the end of the world comes. This is finally taken to an extreme when he allows Melisandre to burn Shireen so that his own men won't freeze or starve to death before reaching Winterfell.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Stannis's decision to assassinate Renly causes the Tyrells to join the Lannisters, which leads to his defeat at the Battle of Blackwater. Of course, if he hadn't assassinated Renly they would have killed him within a day.
- No Mere Windmill: In "Mhysa", Stannis decides to abandon his campaign in the South to march on The Wall, using his army to shore up the defences of the Night's Watch. The reason is because he believes their missives that the White Walkers have returned and knows that if someone doesn't stop them, it doesn't matter who is sitting on the Iron Throne, they will die just like the rest of Westeros.
- Noodle Incident: A rather dark and spooky take on this happens to Stannis at the end of "Blackwater". Melisandre shows him a future event in the flames. It's later revealed in "Second Sons" that Stannis saw a great battle in the snow.
- No Sense of Humor: Though in reality, a lot of his lines end up becoming humorous simply because of just how immaculately deadpan he delivers basically everything."...then we ate the cats; Never liked cats, so fine. I do like dogs, good animals, loyal. But we ate them..."
- No Social Skills: As he is acutely aware. Whenever Shireen hugs him, he looks awkward and surprised.
- Not So Different: Compares himself to Aegon the Conqueror, in that they both have/had a smaller army and navy than the Westerosi lords, forcing them to rely on magic to win. It's an apt comparison, as they both also operated from Dragonstone, and were badass leaders. Incidentally, Aegon is Stannis's Famous Ancestor as a result of a Baratheon-Targaryen wedding (which is also the source for Robert's legitimacy).
- Not So Stoic:
- He loses it once he realizes his men are retreating. He also loses his steely resolution when alone with Melisandre in the leadup to his offensive, admitting to her that he cannot succeed without the soldiers his brother Renly stole from him.
- His mouth visibly twitches as if suppressing a smile, when he realises that Davos did not die at the Battle of the Blackwater.
- In the Season 3 finale, he's enraged by Davos's treason and later laughs when Melisandre is the one who saves his life by acknowledging Davos as a needed ally.
- Odd Name Out: His two brothers both have names that starts with R.
- Offing the Offspring: Melisandre advises him to sacrifice Shireen for the power her king's blood contains. He refuses initially, but when the situation gets even more desperate he agrees.
- One-Man Army: Personally cuts through a score of Lannister soldiers during the Battle of the Blackwater.
- Only Friend: Stannis only has one friend — Davos. His inability to make friends impacts heavily on his cause, as his natural allies (the bannermen of the Stormlands) prefer Renly and his easygoing nature.
- Only Sane Man: Davos pitches a convincing argument that after Tywin Lannister passes from old age, there is no one left in Westeros other than Stannis who can be a competent ruling power, as the only other candidates would be Tommen, Cersei, and Jaime.
- OOC Is Serious Business: When he talks with Shireen in "The Dance of Dragons", he sets aside his typical Brutal Honesty and is much at ease with hugging her. Cut to Shireen being carried to the stake.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Stannis is aware of his reputation vis-a-vis the Rebellion:"We were forgotten. Robert and Ned Stark, they were the heroes, the glorious rebels. Marching from battle to battle, liberating towns from the yoke of the Mad King while I held Storm's End with 500 men."
- Papa Wolf: Say what you will about Stannis; he may be a cold and ruthless man with all the charisma of a brick, but he loves Shireen deeply and will not let any more misfortune befall her if he can help it.I was told you would die. Or worse. The grayscale would go slow. Let you grow just enough to know the world before taking it away from you. Everyone advised me to send you to the ruins of Valyria to live out your short life with the Stone men, before the sickness spread to the castle. I told them all to go to hell. I called in every maester on this side of the world. Every healer, every apothecary. They stopped the disease and saved your life. Because you did not belong across the world with the bloody Stone men. You are the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon. And you are my daughter.
- When Melisandre tells him that they need to sacrifice Shireen to ensure his victory, he reacts with cold fury and outright refuses to carry on her advice.
- Gets cruelly and gut-wrenchingly subverted when he finally caves to Melisandre and sacrifices Shireen to ensure that his men won't freeze to death on their way to Winterfell.
- Parents as People: To Shireen. Unlike his wife, he tries being a good parent to her, but he is too busy with the war. To his credit, he's a much better parent than Robert. ...Or not.
- Perma Stubble: In lieu of his book counterpart's neatly-trimmed beard.
- Perpetual Frowner: Almost always scowling or displaying a stiff rictus.
- Pet the Dog
- He insists on seeing his daughter Shireen and spending time with her when he can, showing more care than his wife. In "The Lion And The Rose", he calmly, but instantly shoots down any notion of his wife's desire to physically "discipline" her for allegedly being unruly and ungodly. The look he gives after saying this has her immediately drop the subject.
- He's one of the few people who recognize Jon Snow's qualities. He even gives the boy the chance of becoming Jon Stark so that he can reclaim Winterfell.
- Principles Zealot: Even though his biggest enemies are Joffrey and the Lannisters, he won't make peace with Renly, who calls himself King despite being younger than Stannis, nor Robb, who has declared the North and the Riverlands a separate kingdom. All three are thieves to his eyes, and he likely figures that as long as all three are working against each other they're actually doing him a favor.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: His army is composed of this, by Westerosi standards. It includes former smugglers, Lyseni pirates, religious fanatics worshipping a strange new religion and of course a Red Witch.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Shows signs of this when he arrives at the Wall, such as by allowing Jon to choose whether to spare Mance Rayder, and then adhering to his decision to do so. When Jon points out that the Night's Watch can't keep feeding his army, Stannis acknowledges this and says he'll move his troops out as soon as possible.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: How he views his appointment as Lord of Dragonstone.
- The Reliable One: The negative side of this trope. For years, Stannis's strong sense of duty made him dependable to what needed to be done for the good of the realm without public complaint. However, years of being ignored and denied what he felt was his due by law have left him bitter and determined to get what at least is legally his no matter the cost. However, he can still be relied upon to do what is necessary when the time comes.
- Reluctant Ruler/The Chains of Commanding: As he tells Ser Davos, he doesn't particularly want to be king. But as the rightful heir, he believes that he must do his duty, and he believes Melisandre when she says that he's the only one who can save Westeros.
- The Remnant: He is this as far as the War of the Five Kings is concerned, as of Season 4. The only original rival claimant to the Iron Throne who hasn't bent the knee to Joffrey at King's Landing. Balon Greyjoy has presumably not bent his knee yet, but he is not considered a threat like Stannis is.
- Resigned to the Call: He doesn't want to be the king or The Chosen One. But Stannis sees it as his duty, and so resolves to play his part.
- Rightful King Returns: Is the lawful monarch of Westeros, given that Robert had no trueborn heirs, meaning that succession defaults to the king's oldest surviving male sibling, Stannis. Almost pulls off the "returns" part in Blackwater, but is defeated by Lannister-Tyrell reinforcements.
- Rousing Speech: Gives one at the Blackwater. It's rather short, but gets the job done.Stannis: Come with me and take this city!
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Say what you will about the wisdom of his actions in "Blackwater", you can't accuse him of being a coward, or leading from behind. (Unlike Joffrey.) And with the addition of Renly's Stormlands bannermen to his army and having the largest navy of any of the Five Kings (save possibly Balon Greyjoy), he has a good chance of taking the city — and almost does. Just too bad for him that Tyrion Lannister is around and he has vast stockpiles of a fictionalized version of Greek fire at his disposal, which you can't really expect Stannis to plan for considering its rarity.
- He's also one of the very few people south of the Wall who is concerned with the impending White Walker threat.
- He's also the only royal claimant in Westeros to respond to Maester Aemon's call for aid at the Wall.
- He's also one of the very few people south of the Wall who is concerned with the impending White Walker threat.
- Sadistic Choice: Season 5 has a series of them, he has to march to Winterfell and defeat the Boltons if he has to help the Night's Watch or he can winter at Castle Black, with little supplies and no political clout and die out during the winter. After Ramsay attacks the camp and burns his supplies and much of his food, he considers the one Melisandre offered. Rely on magic to create conditions for an impossible victory and sacrifice his daughter, or all of his army starve out in the snow anyway.Stannis Baratheon: "Sometimes a person has to choose. Sometimes the world forces his hand. If a man knows what he is and remains true to himself... the choice is no choice at all. He must fulfill his destiny — and become, who he is meant to be. ... However much he may hate it."
- Secret Keeper: Averted, when the first thing he does with the information about Joffrey's true parentage is to tell it to as many people as possible so no one can claim ignorance, and says that Ned only telling him was a mistake on Ned's part. From the books...
- Sibling Rivalry: With both of his brothers, though it gets especially bad with Renly after they both declare themselves king, and he promises to smash Renly's army when he refuses to surrender. Despite this, he's shown to be genuinely upset after Renly's sudden death in private.
- Spanner in the Works: His arrival at the Wall completely derails Mance's invasion, but also throws a wrench in Roose Bolton's attempts to solidify the North under his rule.
- The Stoic: His regular range and display of emotions does not go much beyond indignation, which gains him a reputation of a man who never smiles and who has the personality of a lobster. This makes his Not So Stoic moments all the more remarkable.
- The Strategist: Part of what makes Stannis such a great leader is his strategic ability and talent as a general. He would've taken King's Landing if it hadn't been for Tyrion's wildfire trick and fiercely organized defense, which delayed his siege long enough for Tywin to arrive with the Tyrells as reinforcements.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: He leans heavily on the icy side, but his interactions with Davos and Shireen show that he also cares deeply for some people, although he's not good at showing it.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Downplayed, but it's quite visible that he doesn't particularly like using Melisandre's dark magic, but needs her all the same.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: He demonstrates such an extreme example after seeing Shireen die that it resembles anime-style Dull Eyes of Unhappiness.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In Season 5, he's generally mellowing out and becoming more of a people person. Whether its praising Sam and encouraging him, being respectful to Jon Snow and taking a more active role in Shireen's life.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Melisandre's. Even he seems aware of it, but he doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it.
- Tragic Hero: He truly believes that he can save the realm by being king. However, his dependence on Melisandre's blood magic proves to be his undoing, as he loses his principles, his army, and his family.
- Trapped In Villainy: Stannis really and truly wants to serve the Realm, purge corruption, restore order and he's the only one of the Five Kings who responds and comes to the aid of the Night's Watch and places the White Walker invasion on priority. However, circumstances, bad luck and cruel fate forces him to rely on Melisandre's magic powers and the great price that comes with it. She herself tells Stannis that he will be forced to betray everything he held dear to save the realm. He never finds out all that it implies until he realizes that he has to sacrifice Shireen in order to win the campaign to liberate the North from the Boltons to better help the Night's Watch.
- The Unsmile: Stannis appears to be trying to smile come Season 5. It's a little unsettling. When he has to spare Davos, his riled smile against a sunset background◊ is memetically creepy.
- Unwanted Spouse: Like Robert, he is unhappily married for political reasons. (As he returns to his keep after burning the idols of the Seven, Stannis nearly forgets his wife Selyse, and then ends up walking off without her anyway. He is never seen with her again in Season 2.) However, when Selyse appears again in Stannis seems to genuinely love her (though they're still unhappy and distant) and his daughter.
- Villain Respect: When composing a letter addressing Joffrey's lineage, he refers to Jaime as both the Kingslayer and as ''Ser Jaime'' as for all of Jaime's flaws, he remains a knight and should be treated as one.
- Volcano Lair: Dragonstone — Stannis's foreboding seat of power — is one of these, in addition to being an Island Base. It was formed centuries ago by volcanic eruptions, utilized by the Targaryens as a staging ground for their conquest of Westeros, and for bonus points is a major source of obsidian. It's also where every Targaryen dragon, other than Balerion the Black Dread, was born and raised.
- Warrior Prince: Like Robb Stark, he started as nobility rather than royalty but he becomes this.
- We Have Reserves: Stannis gives a rare heroic version of this in Blackwater, emphasizing not his callousness but the need to take King's Landing to depose Joffrey and install Stannis, the rightful king, despite the cost. Also subverted, in that Stannis truly does not have reserves. He's all-in at Blackwater and struggles to raise a new host after his defeat.Imry Florent: We're too far from the gates...the fire...their archers. Hundreds will die.Stannis: Thousands.
- Wham Line: "Forgive me." When he says this to Shireen, it becomes clear that he has decided to sacrifice her.
- Where Is Your X Now?: Said "Where is your god now?" as he's strangling Melisandre for supposedly bullshitting him about his "great victory" at King's Landing. She responds, "Inside you", and he releases her.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: Stannis is very frank; as exemplified by his stern objection to Robert being called "my beloved brother" in a missive, and by the confession of his adultery to his wife.
- With Us or Against Us:Stannis: The Iron Throne is mine. By right. All those that deny that are my foes.
- The Women Are Safe with Us: He decides to take Selyse and Shireen with him, given that many Watchers are convicted rapists. This is probably a nod to his book counterpart, who has rapists castrated.
- Worthy Opponent: Ever so slightly with Mance Rayder. He accepts Mance's slightly ominous offer of good luck with a wry smile and a small nod, before burning him at the stake for being both a wildling and a Night's Watch deserter. Stannis genuinely wants the man (not just the King beyond the Wall) to accept his offer to kneel and live.
- Would Hit a Girl: Thanks to Adaptational Villainy.
- Your Cheating Heart: He sleeps with Melisandre once because of the promise of a son. He tried his best to resist her, even bringing up that he has a wifenote , but his desire for a healthy male child overwhelmed him. And then there's Melisandre's creepy-as-hell magical powers. And that bod. After his defeat at the Blackwater, he tells her he still desires her, but he does later regretfully confess to his wife Selyse about his infidelity... only to be discomfited by the easy "forgiveness" on Selyse's part.
- Younger Than They Look: In Season 3, as a consequence of Melisandre taking his life force to make her shadow-child.
King Renly Baratheon
Played By: Gethin AnthonyRobert's youngest brother, Lord of Storm's End, and Master of Laws on Robert's Small Council. Fourth in line for the throne according to the Lannisters, second in line due to Joffrey and Tommen's real heritage. Claims the title because he thinks he would make a better King than Stannis. He allies with the mighty House Tyrell of the Reach, and begins the War of the Five Kings with by far the largest army, but he is murdered by Lady Melisandre's sorcerously-created shadow assassin before he can engage either the Lannisters or his brother, causing the Tyrells to become neutral once more, and the Stormlands to join Stannis.
"[Stannis] inspires no love nor loyalty. He is not a king. I am."
- 100% Adoration Rating: He's so popular among the Stormlanders that they all swear fealty to him instead of Stannis, even though the bannermen are technically committing treason. Although Renly is the Lord of Storm's End — and therefore the liege lord of the Stormlands — Stannis, as the eldest surviving male member of the family, is thus now the head of House Baratheon, and Renly is duty-bound to obey him. After Renly's sudden demise, Davos reports to Stannis that all the men grieve for his younger brother.
- 24-Hour Armor: He doesn't seem to have any formal clothing other than his armour in Season 2.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Averted. Renly on the show is a good-looking guy, but the actor playing him is not an Adonis like his book counterpart.note
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Instead of using the normal black-stag-on-a-yellow-field sigil of his book counterpart, King Renly on the series creates a new banner which features a golden stag on a green background — the King in Highgarden, indeed.
- Adaptation Personality Change: The Renly of the books was charismatic and superficially charming, but mainly an arrogant Jerk Jock and Sleazy Politician who was fiercely anti-intellectual. The show version is a genuine Nice Guy, bureaucratic, and stated to be the intellectual of the Baratheon brothers.
- Adaptation Expansion: The show explores Renly's private life much more than the novels do.
- Adaptational Heroism: His claim for the crown is transformed from the naked power-grab in the books, genuinely usurping his legitimate brother, to an ideological rebellion by Renly and his supporters who argue that his intellect, his kindness and charisma makes him The Good King and a better choice than his brother. His main Kick the Dog moments (mocking Brienne of Tarth and Shireen behind their backs) is changed to sincerely respecting Brienne's abilities and service.
- Adopt the Dog: After a moment of consideration, he grants Brienne's wish to join his Kingsguard. It would've been easier for Renly to adhere to everyone else's expectations by rejecting her requestnote , but he chooses to do the right thing by giving the position to a warrior who earned it, regardless of her gender. The reaction to Brienne's appointment is fairly negative; his bannermen audibly gasp, his wife gives him a Disapproving Look, and his lover berates him for it later that evening, but Renly sticks firmly to his decision.
- Afraid of Blood: He becomes a bit queasy at the sight of blood due to his lack of combat experience. Seems to be fairly reasonable, as the squeamishness referenced was towards a boy getting his eye knocked out of its socket.Renly: All I ever hear from Robert and Stannis is how I'm not tough enough, how I squirm at the sight of blood.Loras: You did vomit when that boy's eye was knocked out in the melee.Renly: His eye was dangling out of the damn socket!Loras: He shouldn't have entered the melee if he didn't know how to fight.
- Age Lift: In the first novel, Renly is 20 years old, but in Season 1, the character looks like he's around 25. The actor who plays him was 27 years old at the time of filming.
- Anyone Can Die: Despite being set up as a major player in the game of thrones, he gets unceremoniously killed off by Melisandre's shadow son.
- Appeal to Force: By law, his claim is weaker than Stannis', but Renly's charisma provides him with a bigger support, which in turn is used to press said claim.Renly: Look across those fields, brother. Can you see all those banners?
Stannis: You think a few bolts of cloth will make you king?
Renly: No. The men holding those bolts of cloth will make me king.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When he asks Ned, "Tell me something; do you still believe good soldiers make good kings?", the older man remains silent.
- Arranged Marriage: To Margaery Tyrell. An amiable one, although largely sexless for obvious reasons.
- Badass Beard: Subverted. He sports one in Season 2, but he's killed before having a single battle.
- Beneath the Mask: During his private moments, Renly is shown to be more insecure than the confident facade that he projects in public.
- Best Friends In Law: In addition to being motivated by politics, his marriage to Margaery is also an excuse for him to become closer to his boyfriend Loras, as they are now brother-in-laws. Margaery is even willing to share Renly with Loras if it helps to get her pregnant.
- Black Sheep: House Baratheon is primarily known as a family of warriors, and Renly is viewed as something of an embarrassment because he is often criticized by his brothers for being a non-fighter. Robert is especially disparaging of his youngest sibling's masculinity, calling him a "boy" during their hunting trip because he doesn't consider Renly to be a "real man."
- Blatant Lies:
- When Robert (who is ignorant of his youngest brother's homosexuality) asks him, "Have you ever fucked a Riverlands girl?", Renly's vague response is "Once, I think." Renly's annoyed facial expression indicates that he often uses this line whenever someone inquires about his sexual conquests.
- In "What Is Dead May Never Die", he blames his lack of readiness on the wine. Margaery knows better and tries to accommodate.
- Bling of War: It's revealed in this featurette that Renly's armour (which included velvet fabric) was the most complicated costume created for the first two seasons of the show.
- Bodyguard Crush: The object of affection for both Loras (an unusual reciprocal example because they form a same-sex couple) and Brienne (a rare gender inversion of the trope) while they were members of his Kingsguard.
- Brown Eyes: Unlike his book counterpart, Renly on the show has brown eyes.
- Brutal Honesty: He's usually snarky with Littlefinger, but in "Garden of Bones", Renly is sick of beating around the bush, as their banter no longer amuses him.Renly: I don't like you, Lord Baelish. I don't like your face, I don't like the words that come oozing out of your mouth. I don't want you in my tent one minute more than necessary.
- But Not Too Gay: His intimate scenes with Loras are not nearly as sexually explicit as the heterosexual pairings on the show.
- Cain and Abel: He is the Abel to Stannis's Cain.
- The Charmer: According to Loras, people just like him.Loras: People love you. They want to serve you because you're kind to them. They want to be near you.
- Proves to get along with everyone in his entourage, down to common soldiers, in "What Is Dead May Never Die".
- In "Dark Wings, Dark Words", Sansa says that Renly was very gallant, and Olenna then adds "...charming and very clean. He knew how to dress and smile..." Mace Tyrell liked Renly enough to crown him king.
- Cheerful Child: It's implied that a young Renly was this while he grew up in court, according to Jaime in "Dark Wings, Dark Words".
- A Child Shall Lead Them: After Robert had won his rebellion, he bestowed the title of Lord of Storm's End to his youngest brother Renly, who was only a child at the time. note
- Cool Crown/Crown of Horns: In Season 2, he wears a fancy, golden crown shaped like stag antlers; it's arguably the most striking piece of headwear in the series. In fact, Renly is the trope image for the Crown of Horns page. It was chosen as one of The Coolest Helmets, Hats and Headpieces in Science Fiction and Fantasy by io9.com.
- Country Matters: He uses it in "The Wolf and the Lion" when describing the Lannisters.Renly: You have to give it to the Lannisters. They may be the most pompous, ponderous cunts the gods have ever suffered to walk the world, but they do have an outrageous amount of money.
- Courtly Love: Gender-flipped with him and Brienne. She is a devoted knight who will do anything for her beloved King Renly, and she is resigned to the fact that he will never return her feelings. (Brienne believes that Renly's lack of romantic interest is due to her ugly looks and lower social status, not because he's gay).
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Being fatally stabbed by an unstoppable shadow-demon which looks like his brother and who creepily howls at him before vanishing is the stuff that nightmares are made of.
- Deadpan Snarker: Shows signs of this when he treats with his brother.Renly: Whose banner is that?Stannis: My own.Renly: [smiles] I suppose if we used the same one the battle would be terribly confusing... Why's your stag on fire?
Renly: "Born amidst salt and smoke"... Is he a ham?
- From the same scene:
Renly: Well, if it isn't my favourite whoremonger! Pray I haven't kept you waiting long.
- His acerbic greeting to Littlefinger in "Garden of Bones", which begins with a false smile and ends with a Disapproving Look.
- Didn't Think This Through: Lady Olenna calls him out posthumously, remarking that Renly had an older brother and no legitimacy, so he should have stayed well out of the game.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Renly collapses into Brienne's arms after he is stabbed through the heart, and she holds him for a moment before he dies.
- Divided We Fall: In "You Win or You Die", Robert's death and Joffrey's ascent to the throne causes him, who's more or less on Ned's side, to become exasperated with Ned's support of Stannis and leave King's Landing. When he declares himself King, Robb Stark refuses to support him because he sees Renly as threatening the line of succession and his bannerman insist that he become the King in the North instead.
- A Father to His Men: He is shown to be a caring and affable commander towards even the lowliest soldier in his army.
- Finger Muzzle: He is the recipient of this when Margaery wants him to stop quoting philosophy and focus on consummating their marriage.
- To Ned. Renly is a Non-Action Guy and an astute politician who knows how to successfully navigate the treacherous waters of a Deadly Decadent Court. Ned, on the other hand, is a Proud Warrior Race Guy who is a Horrible Judge of Character, and therefore ill-prepared to deal with his enemies in King's Landing. Robert loves and respects his best friend much more than his own brothers, and Renly is even a bit jealous of Ned, as the only attention Renly ever receives from Robert involves the belittling of his masculinity. Ned and Catelyn are in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage and are free to openly express their love, whereas Renly and Loras — who are happily committed to each other — are forced to maintain a Secret Relationship because homosexuality is a taboo.
- To Littlefinger. They are both politically savvy courtiers with no combat experience who frequently engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat. Renly enjoyed a priviledged life growing up as the king's brother and as the liege lord of the Stormlands. Baelish was born as an impoverished, minor noble, and gained his wealth by becoming a ruthless Self-Made Man. People are drawn to Renly's The Charmer and Nice to the Waiter qualities, which sharply contrasts Littlefinger's unpopular reputation as The Sociopath and Bad Boss. Renly loathes the Lannisters and tries to protect Ned from falling into their clutches, but Baelish sucks up to the family and hands Ned over to them. Petyr is infatuated with Catelyn for most of his life, but she never returns his feelings, whereas Renly's love for Loras is reciprocated.
- To Stannis. Renly is charismatic, is second in line for the throne after Robert dies, yet has a gigantic amount of support because of his skills in diplomacy and his loving relationship with Loras (who says Renly would make a great king). Stannis on the other hand is dour, by law the rightful king, yet has little support because of his hard, rigid personality, and Loras says he has the personality of a lobster. Also see Renly's Sibling Yin-Yang entry for more comparisons between the two characters.
- To Joffrey in Season 2. Their style of ruling is directly contrasted in the manner that they host a tournament. Joffrey is happy when a fighter slays his opponent in the melee; Renly's tourney doesn't involve death (nor would he enjoy watching someone die — in fact he would be horrified). While Joff nearly kills a drunk knight just for the fun of it, Renly elevates a female warrior to his Kingsguard. Renly is polite to his wife, unlike Joffrey, who is verbally abusive towards his fiancé. Joff greets Tyrion — his own Acting Hand of the King — with disdain, whereas Renly is courteous to Catelyn, an envoy from the North. He even comes to Catelyn's defense when Loras and Brienne are rude to her.
- He's also a foil to Robb in Season 2. Both men share certain traits in common (e.g. they are young, sensible nice guys who aspire to be good kings), but they are polar opposites in other respects. Robb excels when he's on the battlefield, while Renly is a Non-Action Guy whose greatest strength is his political acumen. In terms of sealing alliances for their respective cause, Renly marries the right woman, whereas Robb very much marries the wrong one. Robb is a Modest Royalty, while Renly likes being surrounded by finery.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Of the two Baratheon siblings at King's Landing, one has never failed to attend to important matters and takes part in shaping the future of the realm... and the other is Robert. The king largely dismisses Renly as a Yes-Man, although Renly is shown to be ashamed and embarrassed by Robert's neglect and mismanagement of the kingdom. For instance, while seemingly nonchalant when Ned Stark is alarmed about the realm's massive debt, Renly's annoyance when he speaks of Robert's "counting coppers" attitude hints at his disapproval. He fully supported Robert's plan to assassinate Daenerys because Renly is thinking of protecting his House from an enemy, unlike his brother's Revenge Before Reason bloodlust.
- Freudian Trio:
- He's the Ego of the Baratheon brothers.
- This dynamic is also present in his three-way marriage to Margaery and Loras. Renly is again the Ego, his wife is the Superego, and his boyfriend is the Id.
- Friendly Enemy: He exchanges verbal jabs with Littlefinger in a nonchalant tone. Both men strongly dislike each other.
- The Good King: Sees himself as this. Loras and Brienne also believe that Renly would be a wonderful king, but Olenna and Jaime have serious doubts about his stewardship and capabilities. If nothing else, it was the showrunners' intention to depict Renly as a more suitable candidate for the Iron Throne than Stannis. According to Dan Weiss in this "Inside the Episode" segment: "'I [Renly] would make a better ruler than you [Stannis],' which is unquestionably true, and Stannis would make a terrible king, most likely, because he lacks feeling for the common humanity over which he's supposed to rule."
- Has a Type: Jaime claims that Renly is only attracted to curly-haired "little girls" like Loras Tyrell.
- Hope Spot: Just when it looked like he and Robb were going to form a glorious alliance that would crush the Lannisters, Renly is assassinated mere seconds after negotiating with Catelyn.
- The Idealist: His character is specifically used to demonstrate how dangerous it is to carry ideals and to try to make them a reality in a Crapsack World.
- Inadequate Inheritor/The Wrongful Heir to the Throne:
- He invokes these tropes to justify why he should rule the Seven Kingdoms instead of Stannis.
- From Stannis's perspective, Renly was unjustly given the family seat at Storm's End, a castle he heroically defended against impossible odds in Robert's Rebellion as well as titles that Renly never earned with any significant accomplishment.
- Incompatible Orientation: Defied by Margaery Tyrell. She's willing to do whatever it takes to produce an heir with Renly after she realizes that he's not the least bit attracted to her.Margaery: Would you like my brother to come in and help?
- Informed Ability: Renly is frequently presented as being intelligent and a serious statesman, but we see very little of this in practice. He does nothing to halt Robert's spendthrift kingdom, which admittedly vexed even Jon Arryn's abilities. Most notably he agrees with Pycelle, Varys and Littlefinger with Robert's desire to assassinate Daenerys Targaryen. Robert on his deathbed even dismisses him as a Yes-Man compared to Ned Stark who was the only one to oppose it.
- Informed Attractiveness/Tall, Dark and Handsome: He is acknowledged as being very handsome.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side: In terms of this trope's five broad categories, Renly is strongly defined by his Lack of Athleticism, Lack of Aggression, and his Open, Emotional Personality (specifically his compassionate side).
- It's All About Me: While sincere about the well-being of the common people, his desire to be King is on the face of it a need to assert himself rather than any real service to the realm. He claims that he would be a superior monarch in comparison to Stannis because the older man has No Social Skills, completely ignoring — unlike Ned — his impeccable service record. Renly, on the other hand, has never done anything significant.
- The Leader: Type IV. His charismatic personality is what wins the support of Lord Mace Tyrell and his bannermen. He commands the combined army strength of the Reach and the Stormlands, which numbers around 100,000. Renly uses diplomacy to diffuse the tension between Catelyn and his two overprotective Kingsguards. He almost manages to convince Catelyn to have Robb swear fealty to him and be King in the North in only a symbolic sense (meaning no truly independent North or Riverlands) by appealing to the traditionally close relations between their respective houses, and the Starks' pressing need to bring justice to the Lannisters.
- Lady and Knight: He is the handsome and gentle king who is guarded by two highly skilled and brave knights: Brienne (a gender inversion of the trope) and Loras (a same-sex variation).
- The Lost Lenore: Loras and Brienne are still mourning for him in Season 4.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Loras thinks that Renly would be a great monarch because he would be loved and respected by the people instead of hated and feared.
- Masquerade Ball: Robert mentions during their hunting trip that Renly likes to organize these.
- Meaningful Look:
- He and Loras share a lingering one at the Tourney of the Hand, and it's our first clue that these two characters are more than friends.
- They exchange another look when Brienne asks to become one of Renly's Kingsguards. As Renly considers her request, Loras' expression basically reads, "Tell her no." Renly decides to disregard this silent plea, much to Loras' irritation.
- After Brienne is appointed to his Kingsguard, Renly winks at her◊ as he applauds to further communicate his warmth and reassurance that he's on her side, regardless of his followers' unfavourable opinion.
- Moment Killer: In "What Is Dead May Never Die", the foreplay between Renly and Loras is unexpectedly interrupted after Renly starts kissing the bruises on Loras' chest. This reminds Loras of the humiliation he suffered earlier in the day, and it kills the mood.
- Nice Guy: Even more so when contrasted to the other Baratheon claimants to the throne, Joffrey and Stannis; it's easy to see why he is the most popular candidate despite his claim being the weakest of all. Renly is the only man who has treated Brienne with kindness and respect, and he's probably the only king who has accepted a woman into his Kingsguard. He does this despite knowing full well that it would shock his bannermen, annoy his wife, and piss off his lover. He himself understands how painful it is to be frequently mocked for not adhering to rigid gender roles (Robert and Stannis have bullied Renly for his lack of combat experience), so his empathy towards Brienne's situation allows him to be accepting of her masculinity. Renly praises Brienne's martial skills and her devotion when Loras confronts him about it. Margaery describes her late husband as "brave and gentle" in "Dark Wings, Dark Words".
- Nice to the Waiter: In "What Is Dead May Never Die", Renly shows concern for the lowborn soldiers in his army, making the effort to remember their names (Gerald in the episode) and the nature of their injury if they have one.
- Non-Action Guy: He's the only Baratheon brother who is not a warrior. Both Robert and Stannis have a low opinion of Renly because of this.
- Only Sane Man: Renly views himself as this after Ned rejects his plan in "You Win or You Die".
- Open Secret/Secret Relationship/Transparent Closet: He and Loras seem to have done a poor job attempting to conceal their relationship. His wife Margaery Tyrell knows about it, and simple Lannister bannermen on the other side of the country joke about Loras "stabbing Renly Baratheon for years, and Renly ain't dead!" It's revealed in Season 3 that Jaime, Cersei, Joffrey, Tywin, and Tyrion are also aware of Renly's sexual orientation.Jaime: It's all true about Renly. His proclivities were the worst kept secret at court. It's a shame the throne isn't made out of cocks... They'd have never got him off it.
- The Bear: One of the variations of this queer-themed trope is the thin, hairy guy, who is referred to as an "otter." Renly's nickname on this entertainment website aimed at gay men is the Otter King. The character has a hairy chest, but the audience never sees it because Loras finds him more attractive with a smooth torso.
- Palette Swap: With the exception of the Tourney of the Hand, he only wore House Baratheon black throughout Season 1; this represents his loyalty to his brother Robert. In Season 2, after Renly rebels against Stannis and forms an alliance with House Tyrell, he then sports a golden crown with gold armour, plus his belt and undershirt (its collar can be seen peeking out from under his gorget) are green, symbolizing his new commitment to his wife's (and lover's) family.
- Peaceful in Death: Despite the horrific manner in which he is killed, his body looks remarkably at peace. The corpse is later dressed and positioned in a way to make King Renly appear regal and dignified, and Margaery can't resist mentioning how handsome he was, with Littlefinger agreeing.
- Power at a Price: His bid for the throne gets him killed. A reasonable man like Davos remarks that his actions are unlawful and wrong enough to consider Renly a justified casualty of war.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: He yells at Robert during their hunting trip after being belittled one too many times.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- Is this towards Ned, and generally has a much better grasp on the situation in the country than does his brother who is ruling it.
- Robb correctly believes Renly would be more open-minded about his demands for an independent North than Stannis. Despite the Young Wolf's opinion in Season 1 that Stannis is the rightful king after Robert's death, he decides to negotiate with Renly in Season 2 for an alliance against the Lannisters.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers a fantastic one to Robert in "A Golden Crown".Robert: Those were the days!
Renly: Which days, exactly? The ones when half of Westeros fought the other half and millions died? Or before that, when the Mad King slaughtered women and babies because the voices in his head told him they deserved it? Or way before that, when dragons burnt whole cities to the ground?
Robert: Easy boy, you might be my brother, but you're speaking to the king.
Renly: I suppose it was all rather heroic, if you were drunk enough and had some poor Riverlands whore to shove your prick inside and "make the eight"!
- Red Herring: Renly is marketed in previews and behind-the-scenes videos as a major player in the War of the Five Kings so that his death makes for a stronger shock.
- Relationship Reveal: The scene where Loras is shaving Renly's chest.
- Refusal of the Call: He initially rejects Loras' suggestion that he should be king in "The Wolf and the Lion", but the idea gradually becomes more appealing after he argues with Robert, and he finally embraces it in "You Win or You Die". When Renly first appears in Season 2, he has already crowned himself king with the help of the Tyrells.
- The Resenter: He believes that he would make a far better king than either of his brothers or Robert's sons, but he's fourth (becoming second after the incest revelation) in line for the throne. He'd certainly make a better king than Joffrey, and Tommen is too young to rule in his own right anyway, but whether he'd do a better job than Stannis is debatable.
- Ruling Couple: King Renly, Queen Margaery and Ser Loras are presented as this in Season 2. Natalie Dormer describes their complicated union as a trinity in this featurette. It's Renly's romantic relationship with Loras which allows for the alliance to be created in the first place, and his marriage to Margaery seals the deal officially. Renly treats both his lover and his wife as his equals (the latter is shown symbolically in the melee scene, where Margaery's seat is of the same size as Renly's). The Tyrell siblings essentially function as a Brother-Sister Team in this three-way marriage; Loras' goal is to help Renly win the Iron Throne, while Margaery's job is to help her husband keep it.
- Sacrificial Lion: In Season 2.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Flees King's Landing in "You Win or You Die" when Ned refuses to support Renly's bid for the throne.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
- He's the smart, politically savvy brother who doesn't particularly like fighting, while Robert and Stannis are notable warriors.
- This dynamic is also present in his relationship with Loras. Renly looks tougher, but has never seen a battle; Loras is a very pretty, very dangerous knight.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Whether he's at court, on a hunting trip, or commanding an army of about a hundred thousand men, Renly is always handsomely dressed for the occasion.
- Shirtless Scene: Has a couple of these with Loras.
- Sibling Rivalry: He has a strained relationship with both of his brothers, but it's his conflict with Stannis in Season 2 which leads to tragedy.
- Sibling Yin-Yang:
- He thinks before he acts, prefers council meetings to hunting, and seems to be faithful to one man that he trusts and listens to. See Robert's entry to contrast.
- Also in play versus Stannis. Renly is snarky and fun, beloved by the smallfolk and his bannermen alike, has both a lover and a wife that he loves (albeit in different ways), is willing to break the rules, wants the crown because he desires power and thinks he could do a good job, gets things done with diplomacy, and is somewhat flighty and prone to impracticality (staging a tourney when he'd need all his knights in fighting shape for a war). Stannis, on the other hand, is dour and overly serious, has no social skills and only one friend, has a strained relationship with his unwanted wife, is devoted to rules and laws, only wants the crown out of duty and legal right, gets things done via law or conquest, and is logical and pragmatic.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Littlefinger. Since neither man possesses any talent for fighting, this is the only form of combat that they excel at.
- Spoiled Brat: In "The Wolf and the Lion", Renly reveals that his brothers consider him to be a spoiled child. Loras' facial expression and his silence strongly indicate that he agrees.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: His illicit romance with Loras comes to a tragic end in "The Ghost of Harrenhal".
- Straight Gay: Much more masculine than his lover, at least, though oddly not nearly as combative.
- Too Clever by Half: How Olenna regards him after his death, a man who counted far too much on his likability and statesmanship in a time of all out war for the Iron Throne, and who possessed the flimsiest claim of all the contestants. Joffrey has the support of his mother's family and actually sits on the throne, Stannis is Robert's next-oldest brother and therefore can contest his "nephew's" succession. Robb Stark and Balon Greyjoy for vastly different reasons claim secession, citing long-time abuses at the hands of the crown, and merely want their own portion. The idealistic Renly wants to be king because he believes his compassion for the smallfolk would make Westeros a more prosperous and harmonious realm.
- Triang Relations: Type 4. Brienne is in love with Renly, but he and Loras have already been a romantic couple for years, and she doesn't believe in any of the gossip surrounding them. While Renly is aware that Brienne is very loyal to him, it's unclear on the show if he ever suspected that she fancied him.
- True Beauty Is on the Inside: He is one of the very few individuals in this Crapsack World who can look past Brienne's unappealing physique and see her inner beauty.
- The Usurper: The Iron Throne belongs to Stannis, by right, as he's the older brother. Renly proclaims himself King anyway, which gets him killed...by Stannis.
- Youngest Child Wins: Renly wanted to invoke this trope to his great woe. This is however laced with a great deal of Didn't Think This Through, the main reason Robb Stark didn't back Renly's claim was that he wanted to leapfrog over his elder brother which Robb pointed to his fellow lords was totally against the line of succession:Robb Stark: If Bran can't be Lord of Winterfell before me, Renly can't be King before Stannis.
- War Is Hell: He invokes this trope after he becomes disgusted with his brother Robert's reminiscing about "the good old days" of the war. Renly borderline shouts at the King that for the loads of lesser men killed, the women raped, and the bastard or orphaned children — pretty much everyone who is not part of the ruling class actually finds war pretty awful.
- White Stallion: As part of his regal image, he rides one in "Garden of Bones". Loras will later charge into battle in "Blackwater" on Renly's white horse to better enhance the illusion that he is King Renly's ghost.
- Would Hurt a Child: Renly supports Robert's proposed assassination of Daenerys Targaryen.
Queen Selyse Baratheon, née Florent
Played By: Tara FitzgeraldStannis Baratheon's wife. She hails from House Florent, a noble house of the Reach and vassals of House Tyrell, though they have declared for Stannis after Renly's death instead of siding with the Lannisters like the Tyrells themselves.
- Abusive Parent: Selyse views her daughter with contempt, bordering upon violent hatred. She neglects her at the best of times and otherwise suggests hurting her for being 'sinful'.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: No moustache, or big Florent ears, here.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the books, she's protective of Shireen. In the series, she despises her and resents her, because according to Word of God, she's a living reminder of her failure to provide Stannis with a son.
- Adaptational Wimp: In the books, Selyse was more of a Grande Dame, a extremely haughty and close-minded person (as well as a bit of an hypocrite) who just so happened to have total and complete faith in Melisandre and R'hllor (in fact, it was her who bought Melisandre to Stannis). She wields quite a bit of influence in the Stannis faction because her family, the Florents, are Stannis's main supporters. "The Queen's Men" were her Praetorian Guard and the most fanatical faction in Stannis's army. She constantly campaigns for even more radical actions and pressures Stannis for sacrifices and such. The show emphasizes on her fanaticsm to a degree in which she's a Mad Woman In The Attic and downplays her political influence (which, admittedely was a secondary matter until around the fifth book) essentially making her a much more servile character.
- Ambiguously Gay/Ambiguously Bi: It's highly debatable; Selyse seems to ogle a naked Melisandre, but the look on her face is open to interpretation. Is it desire for the red woman, or jealousy of such a perfect-bodied, confident, powerful woman who gave Stannis a son?
- Arranged Marriage: With Stannis.
- Cain and Abel: In the Season 4 episode "The Lion and The Rose", she helps have her own brother be burnt alive for nonconformity.
- Demoted to Extra: While never a major character, she's more prominent in the books, where she eagerly joins the faith of the Lord of Light after Melisandre arrives on Dragonstone. She has a bigger role in Season 3, with actual lines.
- Despair Event Horizon: She reaches it in "The Dance of Dragons" as Shireen is being burnt at the stake. She kills herself shortly afterwards.
- Dissonant Serenity: Has no problem with seeing her own brother being burnt alive for nonconformity — in fact she's overjoyed that now his "sins have been burned away." Watch her facial expression closely when Mance Ryder is being burned alive. She gleefully smiles.
- Driven to Suicide: She can't live with herself after Shireen's demise, and chooses to hang herself in the forest.
- Establishing Character Moment: Her first appearance establishes everything we need to know about her. She's seen praying fervently alone in the dark, instantly forgives her husband's infidelity due to her fundamentalist and pays loving attention to her jars of miscarried children while trying to deny the existence of her daughter.
- Everyone Has Standards: Say what you will about her treatment of Shireen, but she breaks down when her daughter is burned alive and screams for her help and unsuccessfully tries to prevent it.
- The Fundamentalist: She's so crazed that even Melisandre seems slightly put-off by her. She's also overjoyed to burn her own brother alive for the Lord of Light.
- Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: While Stannis feels guilty of having had sex with Melisandre, Selyse is ecstatic because she has given him only stillborns — she doesn't even count Shireen — while Melisandre gave him a son.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Dictating to two very determined young women what they can and can't do? Selyse, sweetie: what do you expect is going to happen?
- Kick the Dog: The way she treats Shireen. Almost every time Stannis has a Pet the Dog moment with their daughter (spending time with her, taking her to the Wall so she will be safe and so on), she counterbalances it (saying that Shireen is nothing, suggesting to punish her because the greyscale has scarred her, not wanting to take her to the Wall and so on).
- Knight Templar: She gleefully watches infidels, including her own brother, being burned. She also considers Shireen's greyscale a divine punishment and suggest striking her for her "sins".
- The Mentally Disturbed: It's less that Selyse is evil or mean-spirited and more that she could really, REALLY use a therapist.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She breaks down out of guilt at the sight of Shireen being burned.
- Parental Neglect: She refuses to even acknowledge Shireen's existence at first.
- Pet the Dog: At the last moment, she completely breaks down and tries to save Shireen from being burned alive. However, in the end its too little too late, and she is only able to watch as it happens.
- Room Full of Crazy: Featuring all of her stillborn sons preserved in jars, no less!
- Royally Screwed Up: Selyse is blatantly unstable, due to the trauma of so many stillbirths and her inability to produce a male heir for Stannis. Writer Bryan Cogman confirmed that the reason she became the first person on Dragonstone to embrace the new Lord of Light religion (even before Stannis) is because she couldn't process that the Seven would let her unborn sons die, so like many people in traumatic situations, she fanatically embraced a new religion. Even the normally stoic Stannis pities how deeply traumatized she is about their stillborn sons, insisting that it wasn't her fault when she starts blaming herself.
- Sanity Slippage: While never directly stated, it's clear that the several miscarriages she suffered, combined with her embracing the cult of the Lord of Light, have taken a toll on her mental stability. She also had to endure starvation during the siege of Storm's End, which could have played a role too.
- Stepford Smiler: "Mockingbird" reveals that she's not quite as okay with Stannis and Melisandre having sex as she's let on, staring at Mel's nude body in apparent jealousy and repeating her earlier praise of it almost as a Survival Mantra.
- Trauma Conga Line: First, there's the high number of stillborns she's produced. Then the one child she does produce ends up being a girl who gets afflicted with dragonscale. Unable to believe in the old gods, she devotes herself to the Lord of Light instead. Only to find out that his priestess had an affair with Stannis. Although she claimed that it wasn't a problem, it's strongly suggested that she's hurt deep down. Then finally, the people she had Undying Loyalty to (her husband and the aforementioned priestess) burn her daughter alive, who she had always previously scorned but tried to save at the last moment. All of the guilt and trauma are too much to bear for her and she commits suicide.
- Undying Loyalty: She is loyal to Stannis even when he admits his adultery. She also fondly remembers his efforts to keep her alive during the siege of Storm's End.
- Unwanted Spouse: Melisandre claims this while seducing Stannis and he doesn't dispute it, but it's ultimately subverted. In "Kissed by Fire", Stannis is shown to genuinely love his wife and daughter, and is quite guilty about having had sex with Melisandre. However, she's seemingly fine with it.From the Books...
Princess Shireen Baratheon
Played By: Kerry IngramStannis Baratheon's only daughter with Queen Selyse. Her face was marred by greyscale she had as a baby.
Ser Davos Seaworth: You're your father's daughter, no mistake. Bloody relentless, the both of you.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, even without the greyscale, Shireen is an extremely plain girl with Stannis's square jaw and the signature big ears of the Florents. Kerry Ingram is adorable.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Shireen asking "Are you ashamed of me, father?" prompts the cold Stannis to answer with the most heartfelt, reassuring speech he likely ever disclosed, which ends with father and daughter embracing.
- Bookworm: When Davos refuses the book she brought him, she's completely lost and confused: how can anyone refuse a book? Books are awesome! She says in Season 5 that she learned to read when she was three years old. Even bookworm Samwell Tarly was surprised at this. She explains that given her Ill Girl status, confined indoors all the time, reading was the main activity she had.
- Casting Gag: Kerry Ingram has starred in Matilda the Musical as the titular character. Much like Matilda, Shireen is a sweet, lonely girl who loves reading and has to deal with a family who doesn't understand her.
- Composite Character: The song she sings is sung in the books by her companion Patchface, who serves Stannis as a jester. The person that teaches Davos to read in the books is Maester Pylos.
- Cool Teacher: A strict, but fair one who adapts her teaching material to the pupil in front of her when drawing up her lesson plans. And, she strives to keep it above all interesting and applicable. No standard, dry religious texts of the See the Warrior Fight and the Smith Smith school of thought: break out the liveliest histories, poems and legends along with stuff her pupils already are expected to know or use day-to-day.
- Creepy Child: Subverted. She's introduced singing an eerie song and half her face is deformed, but she quickly shows herself to be a perfectly sweet little girl, despite having no friends and living inside a tower.
- Daddy's Girl: Unsurprisingly, she gets along with Stannis far better than her mother. In "The Dance of Dragons," while Stannis's troops suffer from cold and hunger, she says that wants to do whatever she can to help her father no matter what. Not realizing, of course, that Stannis is going to sacrifice her.
- Deadpan Snarker:(to an imprisoned Davos) What will they do? Put us in cells?
Melisandre: Women scream when they give birth. Afterward they are filled with joy.Shireen: Afterward they aren't ash and bone.
- She also snarks back at Melisandre in a far less friendly way when she attempts to justify burning people alive.
Stannis: Are you lonely?
- She even manages to get her old man at one point:
Shireen: Just bored.
Stannis: My father used to tell me that boredom indicates a lack of inner resources.
Shireen: Were you bored a lot too?And in the fifth season at Castle Black:
Stannis: You don't know that.
Shireen: She told me, "I don't want to bring you here."
- Death by Adaptation: She's killed off late in the fifth season despite still being alive in the books, and at Castle Black during Stannis's siege of Winterfell. This was a type 1 when the episode aired, but may end up as type 2: GRRM told the writers to kill her off, so she'll presumably face a similar fate in the books.
- A Death in the Limelight: An extended occurrence. Come Season 5, Shireen gets much more focus and backstory exploration than before. She doesn't survive it.
- Expy: Of Iphigenia from Euripides's tragedy Iphigenia at Aulis, who is going to be sacrificed by her father Agamemnon to appease the goddess Artemis before the Trojan war. Likewise, Melisandre suggests Stannis to burn her in order to ensure his victory at Winterfell. In some versions, Iphigenia escapes her fate when Artemis replaces her on the altar with a deer, which is also the symbol of House Baratheon. Poor Shireen is not so lucky.
- To Joffrey, in a way. Literally Joffrey's only positive trait is that he is physically attractive (which fools Sansa into thinking he's her Prince Charming), but otherwise he is a megalomaniacal sociopath, yet also dumb as a brick, unskilled at anything from combat to rulership. In contrast to her alleged cousin, greyscale has marred half of Shireen's face so she isn't attractive, but she is very well-read (specifically on books about history and governance), kind, and very intelligent. Joffrey also gets away with a lot of the stuff he does simply because he is a boy in the male-dominated society of Westeros (i.e. casually remarking to Sansa, in public at the feast for her wedding to Tyrion, that he might want to rape her first while the Kingsguard hold her down), but Shireen is a girl.
- To Tommen as well. Both are good-natured children with a great political relevance and a strong attachment to their parent of opposite gender. Tommen is gullible and weak-willed, and his relationship with Cersei progressively becomes more dysfunctional, mainly due to Cersei's lies. Shireen is savvy and resolute (she snarks back at Melisandre, disobeys her father to see Davos and so on) and her relationship with Stannis becomes more affectionate since he starts spending more time with her and comes clear about the fact that he loves her.
- Ill Girl: Shireen was afflicted with greyscale as an infant. Against all odds she was cured, but it left half of her face permanently scarred.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Ser Davos, who gave her a toy ship.
- I Want My Mommy: She screams for her parents as she's burning to death as part of one of Melisandre's sacrifices, incorrectly believing that the sacrifice is happening without their knowledge or consent. It's so heart-wrenching that even Selyse starts running towards her.
- Kill the Cutie: She's sacrificed by her father in "The Dance of Dragons," thus killing off one of the most genuinely sweet and selfless characters in the series.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: She can be a bit stern when teaching Davos, but she is never mean to people who aren't as cultured as her.
- Like A Daughter To Me: Davos's appreciation for Shireen goes beyond friendship.
- Morality Pet: To Stannis. Unlike Selyse, who is maliciously neglectful of Shireen, Stannis seems to genuinely care for her (the few times he bothers to visit Shireen's dark tower room) and tries to connect with her, despite having a hard time with it. He also reacts with restrained Tranquil Fury when Selyse suggests beating her.
- Nice Girl: Despite her disfiguration and spending her days hidden in her dark tower chambers, she's a massive sweetheart who loves her father and Ser Davos dearly.
- Nice to the Waiter: Even though her mother despises Ser Davos, Shireen considers him her friend, and resolves to teach him to read.
- Plucky Girl: When Stannis takes her along on his march to take Winterfell from the Boltons, Shireen declares she won't be afraid during the battle.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Shireen's hair is more dark brown than the dark Baratheon black described in the books, though the reason is understandable: Ingram is actually blonde in real life, and dyeing her hair that far away from her natural hair color would look painfully artificial (as the production team learned in the pilot episode, when they briefly tried having the dark-haired Peter Dinklage play Tyrion with dyed-blonde hair, but it looked so fake that they later dialed it back to Tyrion having more of a honey-blonde hair).
- Remember the New Guy: She is never mentioned in Season 2 and Melisandre's dialogue even implies she doesn't even exist in the TV canon. From the books... The out-of-universe explanation - Word of God as confirmed by writer Bryan Cogman - is that the producers were considering having her Adapted Out of the TV series during Season 2, but made the dialogue deliberately vague to keep their options open: it's only stated that Stannis has no sons. Cogman revealed that they actually agonized over that "no sons" line, specifically wording it so that they could later say that Stannis has a daughter without contradicting themselves. Even then, they weren't sure if Shireen would be a recurring role or only briefly appear in Season 3 (Ingram explained she was originally only hired for one year), but as time went on they felt her scenes were working well enough to make her a recurring character and gradually expand he appearances.
- Scars Are Forever: Her greyscale is permanent.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Visiting Davos in prison (after being told by Stannis, in his usual blunt style, that she should "best forget him") and teaching him to read after learning that he is illiterate, despite Davos's own hesitation.
- She's a Baratheon, alright: tell her she shouldn't do something she's decided to do to see stubbornness ensue. Quiet, well-spoken stubbornness, in this case.
- Stern Teacher: Not exactly, but she is very insistent about teaching Ser Davos to read.Shireen: You're late...I thought you weren't coming.Davos: The Hand of the King doesn't have much leisure time.Shireen: You won't be a very good Hand if you see the word 'knight' and say 'ka-nigit.'Davos: That happened once, weeks ago. You're your father's daughter, no mistake. Bloody relentless, the both of you.Shireen: (Handing him a book) It's a new one today. Lots of tricky words. But I think you can manage. (Davos begins reading, lips moving) You'll never read well if you move your lips. That's how children do it.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The sweetest person in Westeros is sacrificed by her father on the eve of a battle with the Boltons and an upcoming Zombie Apocalypse.
- Two-Faced: Has the look, but is otherwise thoroughly averted since she's probably the sweetest character in the series.
- Un-Person: Shireen is hidden away in a dark tower, and her mother Selyse prefers to completely ignore her existence. Even Stannis is awkward around her and doesn't really talk about her.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Downplayed, as she never overtly calls out Melisandre for burning her uncle, whom she was quite fond of. However, in her conversation with Melisandre, she doesn't even hide the fact she believes it was wrong, and smartly dismisses Melisandre's attempts to convince her otherwise. She's one of the only people who cannot bear to watch Mance burning alive, the other exception being Gilly, while her mother Selyse is visibly smirking the whole time.
- Wise Beyond Her Years: Along with Davos, she's probably the Only Sane Man in Stannis's household; wondering why her Uncle who was so nice to her has to be burnt alive. She also counters Melisandre's Insane Troll Logic of equating his dying screams to a mother giving birth — Shireen points out that new mothers don't end up as ash and bone.
Lord Steffon Baratheon
Played By: N/AThe late father of Robert, Stannis and Renly and former head of House Baratheon. He perished at sea in sight of his castle, Storm's End, along with his wife Lady Cassana.
Stannis Baratheon: My father used to tell me boredom indicates a lack of inner resources.
- All There in the Manual: His name appears in the lineages book consulted by Ned Stark, but with no real context to identify him as the previous Lord Baratheon. The novels are the material that connect the name and the character.
- Posthumous Character: Steffon is long-dead by the time the events of the series begin.
House Baratheon of King's Landing
The Baratheons of King's Landing claim to be a branch of House Baratheon of Storm's End and Dragonstone, and claim descent from King Robert Baratheon, but the houses share no blood. All members of House Baratheon of King's Landing are bastards born of incest between Cersei and Ser Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, and are therefore better characterized as a branch of House Lannister. Despite their illegitimacy, they successfully usurped and still occupy the throne.See House Baratheon of Kings Landing
- Stannis: I admire you, Ser Davos.Davos: I thank you, Your Grace. Pleased ta hear it.Stannis: Some highborn fools call you Onion Knight and think they insult you, so you take the onion for your sigil, sew it on your coat, fly the onion flag.Davos: Well, sons o' lords don' like ta break bread wit' sons o' crabbers. Our hands stink.
Stannis: And where were those lords when Storm's End starved?A young, landed, knightly house sworn to House Baratheon of Storm's End. Davos Seaworth was raised to knighthood and given choice lands in the Stormlands for running the Tyrell blockade of Storm's End with supplies during Robert's Rebellion.
Ser Davos Seaworth
Played By: Liam CunninghamA former smuggler who gained his knighthood by smuggling onions to the besieged Storm's End, garrisoned by Stannis and his men, during Robert's Rebellion. For the onions he was granted a knighthood and choice lands, for the smuggling Stannis cut off four fingers of his right hand (his left in the books; Liam Cunningham's a southpaw).
"You want me to have a god? Fine. King Stannis is my god. He raised me up and blessed me with his trust, he gave you a future I could never have imagined. You know how to read, you'll be a knight someday, you think a fire god commanded all that? It was Stannis, only Stannis."
- Adaptational Attractiveness: The Davos of the books is described as being short, slight and with a "common" face, where Liam Cunningham is fairly tall and well built, and attractive in a rugged sort of way.
- Appropriated Appellation: Davos is an ex-criminal who smuggled badly needed provisions (including onions) to a starving, besieged castle, and was knighted for his services. Other nobles dislike him for being lowborn and call him "The Onion Knight," a title which Davos does not mind at all, even going so far as to use an onion in his sigil.
- Arch-Enemy: By the Season 3 premiere, has definitely become this to Melisandre, though she insists she's not his enemy.Davos: You are my enemy!
- Arrested for Heroism: In the old days, we would have called this trope 'The Davos.'
- His smuggling supplies into Storm's End won him Stannis's respect and loyalty, but Stannis does not consider rewarding heroism and punishing crime mutually exclusive. So Davos was knighted for his heroism, and then had his fingers cut off for being a smuggler.Stannis: Do your knucklebones bring you luck?
Davos: Well, life's been good since you hacked 'em off, Your Grace. An' it's four less fingernails ta clean.
Stannis: Four 'fewer' fingernails to clean. Never understood why you had to wear them.
Davos: Reminds me o' where I come from an' where I am now. Reminds me o' your justice. It was an honest punishment, an' you were good with the cleaver.
Stannis: You were a hero and a smuggler. A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad the good.
- In the Season 3 premiere, after managing to find his way back to Dragonstone, he immediately calls Stannis and Melisandre out on their bullshit (moping and ordering prisoners burnt alive instead of continuing the fight), and eventually pulls a knife on Melisandre. Stannis reacts by having him thrown in the dungeons.
- Again in Mhysa. He gets arrested for setting Gendry free, in order to prevent Melisandre from sacrificing him. He only narrowly avoids being sentenced to death by Stannis by revealing the Night's Watch missive about the White Walkers marching on The Wall, as well as some unexpected support from Melisandre who claims Davos has a further part to play.
- His smuggling supplies into Storm's End won him Stannis's respect and loyalty, but Stannis does not consider rewarding heroism and punishing crime mutually exclusive. So Davos was knighted for his heroism, and then had his fingers cut off for being a smuggler.
- Badass: Aside from being Stannis's right-hand man, he's a competent commander who frequently exhibits bravery other characters can only dream of. And he finally gets some blood on his sword at the end of Season 4.
- Badass Beard: He has a thick but trimmed short beard.
- Book Dumb: Davos is an illiterate man for most of his life, but is one of the most intelligent characters on the show. He's a quick thinker and excellent strategist, and even the Book Dumb part is starting to disappear since Shireen began teaching him to read.
- Brutal Honesty/Deadpan Snarker: Varies between both roles. This is why Stannis values him above other "nobler" Lords.
- Casting Gag: Liam Cunningham and Clarice van Houten (Melisandre) once played lovers in "Black Butterflies" before being cast as rivals to Stannis.
- Composite Character: In the books, Ser Imry Florent is the one who leads the fleet in the Battle of the Blackwater. From the books...
- The Conscience: He explicitly states in "The Second Sons" that Stannis keeps him around because he needs someone to tell him when he's gone too far.
- Creepy Souvenir: With a twist — the phalanges that he wears in a bag hanging from his neck are his own.
- Commander Contrarian: Considers it his duty to tell Stannis when he is wrong, even while following his orders to the letter.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments.Selyse: Did you see Ser Davos? They're with our lord now, their sins all burned away. Did you see?Davos: I'm sure they're more than grateful my Queen.
- Eureka Moment: During a reading lesson with Princess Shireen, Davos tells her about a nearly fatal run-in he had with the First Sword of Braavos, who was working for the unbelievably wealthy Iron Bank of Braavos, and suddenly he realizes that the Iron Bank has all the gold Stannis needs to hire sellswords to make another attempt on the Iron Throne in the aftermath of Joffrey's death.
- Father Neptune: Spent much of his adult life at sea as a smuggler, and certainly fits the look.
- Rags to Riches: Grew up in Flea Bottom as the son of a crabber and was a smuggler. However Stannis knighted him as a reward for smuggling food into Storm's End and even made him their Hand. Stannis even tells him "You'll be the first crabber's son to ever be the hand of the King." All this before he even learns how to read.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: The good.
- The Good Chancellor: Stannis plans to make him Hand of the King and has him serving as his Number Two at Dragonstone. Davos takes the position very seriously.Davos: I understand (being sentenced to death), but since you have not unnamed me Hand of the King, it is my duty to advise you against it.
- Good Counterpart: Melisandre's.
- Also to Littlefinger. Both men came from almost nothing to having a great deal of power and influence, though are still mocked for their initial positions. While Littlefinger is resentful of the mockery and betrays even those who gave him power in order to get more, Davos takes it in stride and rewards the man who gave him his power with Undying Loyalty.
- Good Parents: Along with Ned Stark, one of the few genuine good fathers to his offspring in the series. Discussed for tragedy with Salladhor Saan after Mathos dies.Saan: But, Davos, you were a good father.Davos: If I was a good father, he'd still be here.
- Good Samaritan: What led him to relieve Stannis in the Siege of Storm's End. He had heard of them starving in the castle while the Tyrells held camp, and resolved to brave the waters of Shipbreaker Bay, bringing food and supplies because to him the people in the castle, despite being lords and highborn, were starving and reduced to straits just like he was growing up in Flea Bottom.
- Guile Hero: Despite his rough appearance, Davos is intensely charismatic (and indeed helps to compensate for Stannis's complete lack of charisma), and uses it to good effect to bring people like Salladhor Saan into Stannis's service. And despite looking like your stereotypical Old Soldier, Davos has only once drawn his sword, and clearly prefers to get by on his considerable intelligence than with violence. His charisma, honesty, and diplomatic skill leads to several unexpected alliances for Stannis, first with Salladhor Saan and then with the all-powerful Iron Bank of Braavos (an institution he formerly tried to rob and who have neither forgotten nor forgiven) into backing Stannis on pure nerve and implacable logic.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Stannis.
- Hollywood Atheist: Type I. Growing up in Flea Bottom and being told of some new "true god" in each new port he docked in made him consider that gods were something people made up to give themselves hope. This is in clear contrast to the Book canon, where Davos is the odd man out in Stannis's court not because he is an atheist, but because he remains a firm believer in The Seven.
- Honest Advisor: As Maester Cressen puts it, Stannis is surrounded by fools and fanatics and Davos is the only one who tells him hard truths.
- Honour Before Reason: In "The Second Sons", when Stannis offers to let him out of prison if he swears never to raise a hand to Melisandre again, Davos agrees, but makes it clear that he will not stop speaking against her if he feels she's leading Stannis astray.Stannis: (Amused) You have little regard for your own life.Davos: Quite little, your grace...verging on none.
- Hyper Competent Sidekick: While Stannis is a very capable leader, Davos is the one who can assemble his army, and acquire ships from pirates and smugglers. He's also the one who convinces the Iron Bank to give Stannis a loan for his war efforts, as he has better social skills than Stannis.
- In-Series Nickname: The Onion Knight. Originally the name was meant as an insult by the nobility who despised him because he was a commoner who bought his knighthood with a pack of onions and salt fish. However, Davos took the name with pride and made the Onion his family sigil.
- Insistent Terminology: Most people think Ser Davos was a pirate. He insists he was a smuggler, though the distinction is lost on people like Stannis.Davos: I was never a pirate, I was a smuggler.Shireen: What's the difference?Davos: Well, if you're a famous smuggler, you're not doing it right.Shireen: My father says a criminal is a criminal.Davos: Your father lacks an appreciation for the finer points of bad behavior.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Shireen Baratheon. He gives her toys and talks with her, she offers to help him read and visits him when he is imprisoned.
- Ironic Echo: In "Garden of Bones", while smuggling Melisandre to the cliffs near Renly's camp:Davos: Someone once told me the night is dark and full of terrors.
- Tragic flavour; he didn't want to accept the knighthood and only did it because he wanted a better life for his son. Serving Stannis eventually leads to the death of Matthos, killed in action during Blackwater.
- When Stannis sentences him to death, Melisandre of all people saves his life because she concedes that Davos will be needed in the fight ahead. The irony makes Stannis laugh.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Not a straight example, because he doesn't wear armor, but he's one of the very few unambiguously good non-Stark characters and is a knight.
- The Lancer: To Stannis's The Hero. Unless you consider Stannis a villain, then he's the Token Good Teammate.
- Meaningful Name: Commands Stannis's war fleet. Invoked, he created his own surname and chose one that reflected his life at sea.
- Morality Chain: To Stannis, and both are very well aware of it. Davos even says to Stannis that the reason Stannis freed him from prison was because Stannis knew Davos would talk sense into him.
- My Greatest Failure: Davos's reaction to his son's death in the wildfire explosion at Blackwater has shades of this trope.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Tells his son emphatically that he doesn't believe in any God, but if he had to choose one, then as far as he's concerned, Stannis would be it. He plays this off against Maester Cressen as well.
- Nay-Theist: Stannis points this position as illogical since Davos continues to held it after witnessing Melisandre's powers first hand. True to this trope however Davos's continued rejection of the "true god" is likely less about not believing and more about not wanting to worship something that terrifying.
- Never Learned to Read: Due to his humble origins. Davos's wife and son tried to teach him in the past, but it's suggested he was wary of that because they were trying to convert him through holy books. Shireen decides to teach him and he finally learns.
- Nice Guy: Stands out among Stannis and his supporters for being a down-to-earth, morally upstanding knight able to relate and be friendly to almost everybody.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If the sacrifices to the Lord of Light are actually useful, his decision to save Gendry from Melisandre indirectly leads to another sacrifice of royal blood. And this time it's Shireen the one who is sacrificed..
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: His decision to free Gendry. See above.
- Nouveau Riche: Davos is unusually wealthy for a knight; given the extremely important service he rendered, he was given some of the most prosperous lands in the Stormlands. Also subverted, given that Davos was a very, very good smuggler prior to going straight. A rare honorable and heroic example.
- Odd Friendship: With Stannis, Salladhor Saan, Shireen and Gendry.
- Oh, Crap: When he sees that the single Lannister ship in the mouth of the Blackwater Rush is empty and pouring wildfire on the water.
- Only Sane Man: With a stubborn king, a religious fanatic, an insane woman and a self-interested pirate as allies, Davos is easily the most level-headed.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Davos actually disobeys Stannis in attempting to kill Melisandre, illustrating succinctly just how large a threat Davos perceives Melisandre to be as well as how unbalanced his grief over his son has made him.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Unlike in the books, where Davos had seven children, in the show, Matthos is an only child, adding more drama to his demise.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: In the books, his left hand is maimed, which was changed to his right as Liam Cunningham is left-handed.
- Raised Catholic: Davos is either agnostic or atheistic, but still instinctively invokes the Seven when seeing something as shocking as Melisandre getting heavily pregnant within days and giving birth to a shadow monster.
- Refuge in Audacity: Stannis sentences him to death, and Davos accepts it. However, Davos reminds Stannis that he is still his Hand, and as such he counsels Stannis against killing him.
- The Rival: To Melisandre, for the position of Stannis's right hand.
- Rousing Speech: Gives an epic one to get Stannis the money from The Iron Bank of Braavos.
- Street Smart: As a former smuggler, Davos is well acquainted with the seedy underbellies of both Westeros and Essos, and still has many friends and acquaintances (especially Salladhor Saan) who prove very useful both to him and Stannis. He also remains a capable smuggler, though he's "lived within the law for 17 years."
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Ned Stark — a Baratheon king's most trusted friend who acts as The Consigliere and can be trusted to tell him what he doesn't want to hear. The key difference is Davos is about a million times more aware of the cutthroat climate of Westeros.
- Undying Loyalty: To his lord King Stannis, which he frequently displays.
Salladhor Saan: You Westerosi are funny people. Man cuts off your fingers, you fall in love with him!
- Despite his misgivings about waging war against enemies that outnumber them, he remains loyal to Stannis and will follow wherever he leads. In spite of Stannis cutting off three of his fingers, which is lampshaded in-universe by Salladhor. Davos explains it's because Stannis raised him up to nobility, which ensured Matthos a future Davos could never have dreamed of providing for.
- A more subtle instance of this happens when Davos is stranded on an islet in Blackwater Bay after the destruction of Stannis's fleet. When a ship sees him and sends out a boat to investigate, they ask him which king he serves. Davos knows fully well that they might well be serving Joffrey, and he doesn't even know if Stannis is alive. He still answers "Stannis Baratheon".
- When he's thrown in a dungeon under charges of treason, Davos remains loyal to Stannis and when Shireen asks him if he really is a traitor, he accepts that he is. Furthermore emphasised in "Mhysa", when Stannis prepares to sentence him to death for letting Gendry escape, Davos informs him that he'll fully accept that if it's his will, but since he's not removed him as Hand of the King yet, then as Hand, he'd advise Stannis that it would be a mistake.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Salladhor Saan.Davos: Salladhor Saan is an old friend. I've known him for 30 years. I never trusted him.
- We ARE Struggling Together: His relationship with Melisandre. Davos openly mistrusts her and works to thwart her on several occasions.Melisandre: I'm not your enemy.
- Working Class Hero: A competent commoner who learned his trade on the seas before he was knighted.
Played By: N/ADavos's wife.
Played By: Kerr LoganDavos's son and scribe to King Stannis.
Matthos Seaworth: Stannis is my king, but he's only a man.
Davos Seaworth: Don't tell him that.
- Character Death: Matthos is killed in the Battle of Blackwater, consumed utterly by Wildfire.
- Composite Character: In the books, Davos has seven sons, several of whom go with him into battle, but only Matthos is ever seen in the series, and material on the DVD confirms that Matthos is the only Seaworth son in the show's canon. He fulfills the job of scribe rather than Maester Pylos and follows the Lord of Light like Devan Seaworth.
- Death by Irony: His fanatical devotion to the Lord of Light nets him a death by (wild)fire.
- Everyone Has Standards: He's visibly disgusted when Salladhor expresses his intent to claim Cersei as his concubine.
- Foil: To Salladhor Saan.
- Foreshadowing: Early in Season 2, Melisandre tells him that fire is the cleanest death. Fast forward to "Blackwater"....
- The Fundamentalist: He's a true believer of the Lord of Light and is frequently trying to convert his father.
- Mauve Shirt: He doesn't exactly get overwhelmed with Character Development before dying.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He holds a rather optimistic view of the world, believing that Stannis will win, the Lord of Light will rule all and everything will be just lovely.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Matthos is under the impression the Battle of Blackwater will be an epic Big Damn Heroes moment, with the people of King's Landing welcoming them as liberators. His father cooly puts him straight.
Baratheon Bannermen, Retainers & Household
- Renly Baratheon: Why is your stag on fire?Melisandre: The King has taken for his sigil the fiery heart of the Lord of Light.
Played By: Carice Van HoutenA mysterious red-headed eastern priestess who worships 'The Lord of Light'. She's convinced that Stannis is the Messiah of her religion.
"There is only one hell...the one we live in now."
Salladhor Saan: They say [Stannis] sees no one. Not his generals, not even his wife. Only the Red Woman. Whispering in his ear, telling him what she sees in her flames. And burning men alive.
- Adaptational Villainy: TV!Melisandre is considerably more callous than her book counterpart. She mocks the death of Davos's son, instead of expressing regret about it, shows no regret about having to sacrifice Gendry, does not offer Cressen a chance to save himself after he tries to poison her, and lacks several of the Pet the Dog moments that her book version had.
- Adaptational Wimp: The show's dialing down of the prophecy and visions generally makes the skepticism Melisandre attract more justified on the show. In the books, her powers increase when she arrives at the Wall and her visions seen in flames become more powerful and vivid, to the point that Jon Snow eventually starts believing in it. On the show, Jon Snow is entirely skeptical and dismissive of her.
- Affably Evil: When not being incredibly creepy, Melisandre is surprisingly personable.
- Analogy Backfire: She attempts to compare Shireen's uncle being sacrificed to her god being akin to childbirth. The suffering and pain before the joyous end result. Shireen quickly points out that mothers don't tend to be burnt to cinders afterwards.
- Ambiguously Evil: Though certainly a dark influence on Stannis, for starters using Blood Magic to help him, she seems to truly believe he is Messiah/The Chosen One, and wants to see him on the throne, and in "Mhysa" tells Stannis to spare Davos as the threat of the White Walkers will demand his aid in spite of his treasonous actions. At the least she's a Well-Intentioned Extremist/Knight Templar.
- Armor-Piercing Question: She point blank asks Jon Snow if he is a virgin in the season 5 premiere.
- Badass Boast: She does this with her catchphrase:
- Because Destiny Says So: Most of her actions are based on the future events that are revealed to her in the flames.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Stannis in Season 2. They make an enemy of the Starks, the Tyrell's and even the Lannisters. Joffrey and the other Lannisters are still here as well, making this a Big Bad Ensemble.
- Black and White Insanity: "A man is good or he is evil." Though, what she defines as good or evil might not mesh with what others, or the viewer, defines as good or evil, making it more akin to Blue and Orange Morality.
- Blood Magic: Uses this to create shadow assassins.
- Blue and Orange Morality: How she appears to people who are not converts to R'hillor.
- Burn the Witch!: Inverted. She is a witch that burns people for speaking against her religion.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Though it also doesn't help that her audience is Selyse.
- Cast from Hit Points: Not her hit points, mind. She mentions that the energy required from Stannis to produce another son would kill him and that his "fires" are burning dangerously low from their last coupling.
- The Chooser of The One: According to herself, she's the middlewoman between the Lord of Light and his chosen servant Stannis.
- The Corrupter: Before Stannis met her, he was a rigid, uncompromising but morally fair and just man. Once she arrives, he slowly starts doing stuff that he otherwise wouldn't do, he neglects Davos's repeated interventions, all for the service of a destiny that Melisandre made him glimpse in the flames. This culminates in him burning Shireen as a Human Sacrifice.
- Court Mage: For Stannis.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Was born a slave and presumably the rest of her past was not pleasant.
- The Dark Chick: As well as being Stannis's dragon.
- Death Glare: She tends to give a creepy, fixated and foreboding look to people when she departs dissatisfied from a situation.
- The Determinator: Melisandre believes utterly in her Lord of Light, and nothing will stop her from attaining her goals.
- Deus Sex Machina: She sleeps with Stannis, and the resulting 'son' takes care of Renly.
- Dirty Coward: Abandons Stannis after he loses half his army.
- Dissonant Serenity: Rather than being a foaming-at-the-mouth fanatic, Melisandre is always poised and eerily calm, and sometimes smiling peacefully, even when she's watching someone dying of poison, being burnt alive or birthing a demon spawn. The victim doesn't matter, random unbeliever, the King's kin and Princess Shireen. It's all the same to the Lord of Light.
- The Dragon: To Stannis, who is possibly the only character in fiction to have both a Dragon and a Lancer (Davos).
- Evil Counterpart: Davos', clearly. Thoros's too.
- Evil Redhead: In a Well-Intentioned Extremist way, but yes. Much is made of her red hair and red color scheme.
- Evil Sorceress: She boasts magical abilities, although it's handled in a subtle, non-flashy way. Melisandre herself mentions that most of her more flamboyant displays of power are actually clever fakes, used to impress the impressionable. The limits of her true powers are unknown.
- Exact Words/False Reassurance:
- Exposed to the Elements: Everyone else at the Wall is well wrapped up, but Melisandre seems perfectly happy in a simple silk dress. Lampshaded when Jon specifically asks her if the cold doesn't bother her, and she replies "The Lord's Fires live within me," and holds his hand to her cheek to show how warm she is. Jon is rather unsettled.
- Express Delivery: Davos is understandably shocked when he sees it.
- Evil Virtues: Melisandre is ambitious, determined, honest, loving (in a way), loyal, passionate, patient, resourceful, and selfless. She also burns people alive.
- False Friend: Ultimately proves to be one when she abandons Stannis once things start to look bleak.
- Femme Fatale: Though she does seem to genuinely care for Stannis.
- She loves wearing red, has With Us or Against Us as one of her defining traits, tells a king things that may very well lead to his ruin and always goes against the advice of his best friend, plus she uses sex as a weapon. Cersei would be proud.
- To Davos. Both are extremely loyal to Stannis and want him to become king. But Melisandre does out of religious fanatacism, while Davos acts out of gratitude to Stannis for raising him in society. Melisandre has impressive magical powers, while Davos is one of the completely down-to-earth characters on the show.
- Melisandre also has one in Thoros of Myr. Both are foreign Red Priests. But Thoros had a crisis of faith before the series' events, while Melisandre's belief is unwavering. Melisandre is also serving a king and trying to prevent an apocalypse, while Thoros has the considerably more lowly aim of trying to protect the Riverlands people from the high lords.
- Even to Stannis. He claims that doing good does not negate doing evil, nor the other way around, which is why he both rewards and punishes Davos for his smuggling. As far as Melisandre is concerned, a person is good or evil, and that is it.
- Fan Disservice: She unveils her robe in "Garden of Bones" to reveal herself to be hugely pregnant and gives birth to a shadow monster. In a later episode she seduces Gendry, but only to catch him unguarded and harvest his blood for a magical ritual, including a Groin Attack.
- Foreign Fanservice: Carice van Houten keeps her Dutch accent to stand in for Melisandre's own foreign accent.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: She was born into slavery and credits the Lord of Light with saving her from it, hence her devotion to him.
- The Fundamentalist: She regards other gods as false to the point where she burns non-believers alive.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: The bad angel on Stannis's shoulder.
- The Heavy: While Stannis is pretty dangerous on his own Melisandre's dark magic is his greatest weapon and what allows him to gain a substantial lead in the Game of Thrones during the early part of the War of the Five Kings (allowing him to take over Renlys army without spiling any of his own soldiers blood). In fact, according to Melisandre, if she had accompanied Stannis to the Battle of the Blackwater he would have won.
- Hello, Nurse!: The reaction of most men to her before the burning people alive/scary magic starts.
- Hot Witch: It works on so many levels! Or...maybe just two.
- In-Series Nickname: The Red Woman.
- Kick the Dog:
- Burning people alive (and singing while they die).
- Taunting Davos about the burning death of his son, Matthos, at the Battle of the Blackwater.
- Seducing Gendry, tying him to the bed and using him as a human blood bank, by applying leeches onto him to acquire his blood. Particularly cruel is that she got him aroused enough so that one of the places she stuck a leech had a lot of blood to gorge itself on!
- Quoting Ygritte's Catchphrase to Jon, presumably just to spite him after he rejects her advances.
- Suggesting Stannis to burn Shireen to ensure his victory and doing it shortly after. This is particularly jarring due to her previous Pet the Dog moments towards the girl.
- Kill It with Fire: Natch.
- Knight Templar: For the Lord of Light.
- Lady in Red: She's wears red robes and has dark red hair, and others refer to her as "The Red Woman."
- Lady Macbeth: Skeptics and detractors see her under this light, bordering on The Vamp.
- Locked Out of the Loop: In Season 5 she's still supporting Stannis as the Lord of Light, unaware that back in Asshai, her fellow red priests have decided it's actually Daenerys Targaryen who the prophecy refers to.
- Ms. Fanservice: Melisandre is extremely sexy. Even Davos and Stannis, two men who are respectively faithfully married and a passionless killjoy, are attracted to her.
- Mysterious Backer: To Stannis.
- Not Listening to Me, Are You?: She tries speaking with Stannis as he prepares to march on Winterfell, but he ignores her and pushes her aside.
- Not So Stoic:
- She is shocked briefly when Stannis tries to strangle her in "Valar Morghulis" after her god fails to deliver him victory at the Battle of Blackwaterbay. However, she quickly regains her composure and assures him that his defeat is merely a temporary setback that will do nothing to change his destiny as the "Warrior of Light."
- She's also pretty clearly upset at Davos in "Valar Dohaeris".
- She shows outright shock for the first time when she discovers that Lord Beric has been brought back to life six times, and is extremely unnerved by what she sees in Arya's eyes.
- Seems slightly perturbed by Selyse's fanaticism after witnessing her suggest to Stannis that he beat Shireen for being sinful (i.e. having Greyscale).
- She rolls up via horse at The Wall after leaving Stannis, and when Davos asks her about both the king and Shireen, she looks slightly somber and disturbed.
- Pet the Dog: Despite being a rather fanatical and ruthless witch, she does have a few very minor moments of kindness.
- Her talk to Gendry outside of Kings Landing about his true heritage was not necessary in her overall plan to drain him of blood for magic and given her talking about her own past as a slave it seems she genuinely wanted him to not think less of himself for being a "nobody".
- Her interaction with Shireen, while creepy and condescending, shows her giving Shireen some genuine affection and (again creepy) attempts at comfort without the usual level of insane fanaticism. Considering the way Shireen's own mother treats her this was probably the only sign of maternal affection she had seen in possibly ever.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: She deserts Stannis as he marches to war, heading to The Wall instead.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Appears almost instantly behind Jon Snow to remind him that he has a meeting with Stannis.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In "Mhysa", goes from being totally onboard with burning Davos for helping Gendry escape to grudgingly admitting that they need him alive as soon as she reads the contents of Aemon's letter. Stannis also seems to realize just how bad things must be if she's agreeing to it.
- The Rival: To Davos, for Stannis's favor. After Stannis's defeat at the Blackwater, Davos falls out of favor in a big way (both for insisting Stannis leave Melisandre behind, and for trying to kill Melisandre in front of Stannis on Dragonstone), though Stannis does not replace Davos as Hand of the King. After Melisandre returns with Gendry, Stannis experiences some moral pangs about what Melisandre plans for him, and so Davos's star rises again when Stannis consults him on the proper course. Stannis ends up disagreeing with Davos, and so Davos frees Gendry against Stannis's orders, and Stannis sentences him to death, but Melisandre, of all people, insists Davos is still needed, and so he continues to serve as Stannis's Hand. Davos rises still further in Season 4, when he successfully negotiates a huge loan from the Iron Bank to fund Stannis's renewed efforts.
- The Tease: Teases Davos about his desire for her and to see what's beneath her robe in Garden of Bones, leading to some extreme Fan Disservice for Davos (and the audience), when she takes off her robe and turns around naked, revealing that she's hugely pregnant, and then gives birth to a horrific shade thing right in the cave, while poor Davos watches. He did get to see what was under her robe, though he was probably never tempted by her again.
- Token Evil Teammate: Melisandre is essentially this to Team Dragonstone, being a practitioner of dark magic. Even many viewers who think that Stannis's claim is the most valid will doubt that he gaining the throne would be the best outcome since it would put the whole kingdom under Melisandre's influence.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Starting from "The Sons of the Harpy", she's becoming more callous than usual, coldly spiting Jon Snow when he rejects her advances and suggesting that Stannis burns Shireen to ensure his victory.
- Villainous BSOD: After realizing that Stannis has no chance of beating the Boltons, and thus isn't, after all, the Chosen One she thought he was. So basically all her work for the past few years was all for nothing.
- Villainous Rescue: When Stannis sentences Davos to death, Melisandre — who at this point has been his main rival — speaks against it because she has seen that Davos has a different destiny in the flames.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She is the only person south of the Wall who seems to know about the White Walkers and believes that her actions are the best to defeat them, likening herself to a Knight in Shining Armor. It can also be argued that since she believes death by fire to be "the purest death", she probably believes as well that she is doing a favor to the people that she burns alive.
- With Us or Against Us: Her basic attitude which goes hand-in-hand with her religious mania.
- Would Hurt a Child: Has no qualms about sacrificing Shireen to fuel her magic. At first Stannis shoots down the idea, but he finally consents.
- Your Cheating Heart: Stannis sleeps with her, despite being married. She even tells his wife before he gets to, and Selyse is absolutely fine with it because she's such a religious nutjob she considers it an honor.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Lord of Light and, by extension, Stannis Baratheon, whom she is firmly convinced is the "Warrior of Light."
Played By: Lucian MsamatiA powerful Lysene pirate and mercenary. Also old friend of Davos. Initially hired by Stannis as a mercenary, Salladhor left Stannis's service after his defeat at the Battle of the Blackwater. Salladhor is then rehired by Stannis with gold loaned from the Iron Bank of Braavos.
"Salladhor Saan is a good name for songs."
- Affably Evil: If you assume that piracy and evil always go together.
- Alliterative Name: Salladhor Saan.
- Appeal To Vanity: The way Davos convinces him to support Stannis.Davos: You're not a young man, Salladhor. An' correct me if I'm wrong, most pirates don't grow old.Salladhor: Only the clever ones.Davos: You want ta spend your last few years on the sea stealing from Pentoshi cheese mongers and Meereenese silk merchants, then go. They're out there, waitin' for you. That's easy. What I'm offerin' you is hard. Come with me an' plunder the greatest city in Westeros. You'll be the richest man in Lys, an' the most famous. They'll be singin' songs about you as long as men have voices ta sing.Salladhor: Salladhor Saan is a good name for songs.Davos: It is.
- Awesome McCoolname: "Salladhor Saan is a good name for songs."
- Badass Beard: He has one.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Invokes this trope by telling the original (in Westeros/Essos) joke, about a merchant captain who asks for his red shirt when fighting off one and then two pirate ships, but then asks for his brown pants when confronted with ten pirate ships. The whores he's with at the time spoil the punchline by shouting it before Salladhor can deliver it. Then Davos points out they've likely heard the same joke from every pirate they've met.
- The Bus Came Back: Returns briefly in the Season 3 premiere, when he rescues Davos and returns him to Dragonstone. And then again in Season 4 when Stannis and Davos go to Braavos for a loan from the Iron Bank, and Stannis rehires Salladhor.
- Black Best Friend: To Davos.
- The Charmer: He claims to be this, and considering his affable he is and his Really Gets Around reputation he's likely right.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He reappears in the Season 3 premiere to rescue Davos and bring him back to Stannis.
- Demoted to Extra: In Season 3.
- Ethical Slut: He Really Gets Around, but is very insistent about how much he enjoys women and doesn't hold well with the idea of rape.
- Foil: To Matthos Seaworth.
- Hollywood Atheist: Type VII — he rubs his atheism on deeply religious Matthos for the lulz.Salladhor: I've been all over the world, my boy, and everywhere I go, people tell me about the "true gods." They all think they found the right one. The one true god is what's between a woman's legs. Better yet, a Queen's legs.
- Insistent Terminology: He's not going to rape Cersei, he's going to fuck her. He wants her to consent to sleeping with him first.Salladhor: One thing: I want the Queen.Davos: The Queen?Salladhor: Cersei. I want her. I'll sail with your fleet, all 30 of my ships, and if we don't drown at the bottom of Blackwater Bay, I will fuck this blond Queen and I will fuck her well.Matthos: This war isn't about you. We're not attacking King's Landing so that you can rape the Queen!Salladhor: I'm not going to rape her, I'm going to fuck her.Matthos: As if she would just let you?Salladhor: You don't know how persuasive I am. I never tried to fuck you.
- Mr. Exposition: Explains Stannis's post-Blackwater situation to the recently rescued Davos in the Season 3 premiere.
- Noble Demon: He may be a greedy pirate, but he values loyalty and has a strong code of ethics.
- Noodle Incident:Davos: You know me. You drank wine with me at my wedding.Salladhor: And you drank with me at four of my weddings, but I don't go asking for any favors!
- Odd Friendship: Is an old and close friend of Davos Seaworth's, from his smuggling days, despite the two being virtual polar opposites in terms of character.Salladhor: You believe your king can win?Davos: He is the one true king.Salladhor: You Westerosi are funny people. Man chops off your fingers and you fall in love with him. (Davos laughs) I'll sail with you, Davos Seaworth. You're the most honest smuggler I ever met. Make me rich.Davos: Get me ta the gates o' King's Landin', an' I will.
- Once a Season: What Salladhor has become. He has had one scene per season since Season 2.
- Only in It for the Money: He abandons Stannis after the Battle of Blackwater Bay. He gave Stannis 30 ships in return for gold from plundering King's Landing. The defeat at Blackwater meant that Stannis couldn't uphold his side of the bargain. He re-enters his service however after the Iron Bank gives Stannis a loan and Davos gives him satchels of coins with more sent to his wife.
- Pet the Dog: He's likable but obviously not a good guy; he does have softer moments, particularly with Davos who he considers a true friend.Salladhor Saan: I am so sorry, my friend. I too have lost a son. There is nothing worse in this world. But, Davos, you were a good father.Davos: If I were a good father, he'd still be here.
- Pirate: Well, obviously. He says he's a pirate often enough and commands a pirate fleet."You think I'm insulted? I am a pirate. I'm an excellent pirate."
- Pride: Davos does a good job of stroking Salladhor's pride (and greed), winning his support largely on the basis of his ego.
- Race Lift: While never described in detail in the books, Salladhor Saan is Lyseni and Lyseni are described as fair-skinned, blond and blue-eyed. He still hails from Lys in the show, but is probably not a local given that other Lyseni characters like Doreah and what we see of Saan's own crew are white. Much like TV! Xaro Xhoan Daxos, he's probably an immigrant from the Summer Islands (who are canonically black)
- Really Gets Around/Serial Spouse: We hear about four marriages, and those are only the ones whose weddings Davos was able to attend!
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Davos Seaworth. They don't trust each other, but they like each other as much as criminals (or former criminals) allow themselves to.Salladhor Saan: You're not my friend, my friend.
- Where Da White Women At?: He demands Cersei as prize for helping attack King's Landing — not to rape her, he says, but to seduce her; specifically citing her blondeness.Salladhor Saan: Cersei, I want her. I'll sail with your fleet, all 30 of my ships, and if we don't drown at the bottom of Blackwater Bay, I will fuck this blonde queen and I will fuck her well.
- Your Cheating Heart: Despite being married, he's happy enough to cavort around with prostitutes.
Played By: Oliver Ford DaviesAn old Maester serving Stannis Baratheon at Dragonstone.
- Blood from the Mouth: The effect his poison has.
- Character Death: He drinks from the chalice that he himself poisoned before offering it to Melisandre, hoping to kill them both and destroy faith in the Lord of Light. Cressen dies from the poison; Melisandre does not.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Cressen attempts to take out Melisandre by toasting to the Lord of Light as the only true god, then drinking from a poisoned chalice and offering it to Melisandre so the two will die and everyone else in the room will take this as a sign to abandon the Lord of Light and return to the Faith of the Seven. However, Melisandre sees past Cressen's plans and drinks from the chalice knowing that her powers make her immune to the poison. The "heretic" Cressen dies, she "miraculously" survives, and everyone else will end seeing this as evidence of her god's power.
- No Sell: His attempt to use poison on Melisandre has no effect.
- Old Retainer: To the Baratheon family, and Stannis in particular.
- Only Sane Man: Either this or Commander Contrarian.
- Parental Substitute: From the books...
- Perfect Poison: Cressen uses a rather painful poison against Melisandre; being a Maester, it's likely he knew exactly what would do the job. Unfortunately due to her magical abilities, it's a case of No Sell.
- Sacrificial Lamb: He's killed in his first episode to show the ruthlessness of Melisandre, the genuine nature of her power, and how Stannis has shifted his beliefs.
- Taking You with Me: His plan to poison Melisandre is to drink first from a cup of poisoned wine and then offer some to her. It doesn't work. Melisandre is immune to poisons thanks to her magical powers.
Ser Imry Florent
Played By: Gordon MahnA member of House Florent and brother of Queen Selyse. Serves as Stannis's second aboard the Fury during the Battle of the Blackwater. Now presumably head of House Florent, in the aftermath of Lord Axell's death.
- Demoted to Extra: In the books it is him and not Davos the one who leads Stannis's fleet in the Battle of the Blackwater. In the show he has exactly one scene. And one line.
- Number Two: To Stannis during the Battle of the Blackwater.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the books, he dies after leading the fleet blindly into Tyrion's trap. In the show, he apparently remains in the Fury when Stannis gets into a boat to lead the vanguard of his troops.
Lord Axell Florent
Played by: James McHaleLord of Brightwater Keep and head of House Florent. Initially pledged to Renly in the War of the Five Kings, despite being Stannis's brother-in-law. As Selyse's eldest brother, his house was one of the few Reach houses to join Stannis after Renly's death, and by far the most important. He was burned at the stake for apostasy from R'hllor, on the orders of Lady Melisandre.
- Burn the Witch!: Inverted, he is burned by Melisandre along with two others for worshipping the Seven in secret.
- Canon Foreigner/Composite Character: The books feature Lord Alester Florent and Ser Axell Florent, who are uncles to Selyse rather than brothers. Both are followers of the Lord of Light (the first one opportunistically, the second a devout), but Alester is burnt during a ritual by Melisandre after Stannis sentences him to death for beginning peace talks with Tywin Lannister without Stannis's knowledge or authorization.
- Character Death: At Melisandre and Selyse's urging, Stannis has him burned at the stake for refusing to stop worshipping the Seven.
- Remember the New Guy: The most common reaction to the image of him being burned alive is to wonder who the hell he is.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He quite literally turns up for his death scene.
Played by: Nigel O'NeillStannis's subordinate during the last stages of the march to Winterfell.
- Composite Character: As no name is given and Stannis in the books had several knights serving as his subordinates, it's presumed he is a composite of Ser Richard Horpe, Godry Farring and Justin Massey.
- Mook Lieutenant: Despite named a General, serves as this to Stannis in Davos's absence.
- No Name Given: Is never named in the series and is only credited as 'Baratheon General' in the casting bill.
- Oh, Crap: His reaction to the massive Bolton army on horseback straight at them.Baratheon General: There's not going to be a siege, Your Grace.
- Undying Loyalty: Stays at Stannis's side despite facing massive desertions and impossible odds.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appears briefly in two episodes before killed at the Battle of Winterfell.
Lord Selwyn Tarth
Played by: N/ALord of Evenfall Hall and head of House Tarth. His house rules over the island of Tarth, known as the Sapphire Isle, north of Shipbreaker Bay off the coast near Storm's End. Known as the Evenstar. Initially pledged to Renly in the War of the Five Kings, he joined Stannis along with most of the rest of the Stormlords after Renly's death. It is unclear whether he still owes allegiance to Stannis or, after the Blackwater, bent the knee to the Iron Throne.
- Arranged Marriage: Like Ned Stark, Lord Selwyn originally planned to marry off his daughter for political advantage. Unlike Ned, he eventually relented and taught her to fight like she wanted.
- Badass: Taught his daughter, Brienne, to fight. Brienne is one of the most competent fighters on the show.
- Comically Small Bribe: How Locke sees Selwyn's offer of 300 gold dragons for Brienne's ransom, on account of Jaime's story about sapphires. Jaime points out that it's a fair offer. However, in the books, 300 gold dragons is a normal ransom for a knight, and so it still seems odd that Lord Selwyn didn't offer more than that for his daughter.
- Do Wrong, Right: As Brienne tells Arya, Lord Selwyn was fed up that she kept getting into fights but losing because of her lack of discipline and decided more or less that if she's going to be a bother, she might as well as do it right.
- The Ghost: Hasn't appeared, and likely never will, unwritten books notwithstanding.
- Foil: To Ned Stark and Tywin Lannister. All three have very similar daughters: strong-willed, physically and mentally capable, completely unwilling to be married off like so many other highborn girls, and are very vocal about it. Unlike both of them, however, Selwyn acquiesced to his daughter's wishes, because he wanted her to be happy more than he wanted political advantage.
- Master Swordsman: See Badass above.
- Mock Millionaire: Jaime tells Locke that Lord Selwyn is tremendously rich in sapphires to prevent him and his men from raping Brienne. Brienne later points out that Tarth is called the Sapphire Isle because of its natural beauty, not because it produces lots of those precious stones.
- Nice Guy: Decided not to force Brienne into a life of political marriage, and helped her achieve her goal of becoming a knight, or as close thereto as a woman could manage.
Lord Beric Dondarrion
Played By: David Michael Scott & Richard DormerLord of Blackhaven in the Dornish Marches and head of House Dondarrion. Known as the Lightning Lord, he was dispatched by Eddard Stark to execute Gregor Clegane for his crimes in the Riverlands. After the deaths of Stark and Robert Baratheon, the remains of Dondarrion's force became the insurgent Brotherhood Without Banners. He owes no allegiance to Stannis, though both are devotees of R'hllor, have common enemies, and have worked together through Thoros of Myr and Lady Melisandre.See Game Of Thrones Independent Characters The Brotherhood Without Banners