The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros | House Stark (House Stark Children [Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark], House Stark Household) | House Bolton (Ramsay Bolton) | House Karstark | House Mormont | House Reed | Other Northern Houses | House Lannister (Tywin Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister, House Lannister Household) | House Clegane | House Baratheon of Kings Landing (Joffrey Baratheon) | House Targaryen (Daenerys Is Court [Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister], Servants of Daenerys) | House Baratheon of Storms End and Dragonstone (Stannis Baratheon) | House Greyjoy (Theon Greyjoy) | House Arryn (Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish) | House Tully | House Frey | House Tyrell | House Tarly | House Martell (Sand Snakes) | The Free Cities | Slaver's Bay | The Dothraki Sea and the Red Waste | Qarth | The Night's Watch | Royal Court | The Order of the Maesters | The Kingsguard | Wildlings | Brotherhood Without Banners | The Faith of the Seven | Red Temple | Independent Characters | Theatre Troupe | Supernatural Beings
See also the book character sheet for these characters.
Only spoilers from the current season will be hidden, so beware spoilers if you're not up to date on the episodes.
The youngest Great House of Westeros. Descended from Orys Baratheon, the best friend of King Aegon I Targaryen and the nation's first Hand of the King. It traditionally rules over the Stormlands, to the south of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, after Orys slew their former high lord during the War of Conquest.
Seventeen years before the start of the show, House Baratheon led a rebellion that overthrew the Targaryen dynasty and claimed the Iron Throne for itself, but had to rely on the wealthy House Lannister of the West to cement its power. The revelation that King Robert's children are not really his leads the remaining Baratheons to rise in rebellion once again.
With the death of all of its legitimate members, as of 303 AL House Baratheon was technically extinct, along with its branches House Baratheon of King's Landing and House Baratheon of Dragonstone, until the sole unacknowledged bastard Gendry, whose father was their prior leader Robert, was granted Lordship of Storm's End and became legitimized as a Baratheon.
- 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. Ned Stark, when reading through the house's records, still notes that they have black hair.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
- In the books, Robert, Stannis, and Renly's grandmother was Rhaelle Targaryen, making them the second cousins of Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys. In the show, Rhaelle is Adapted Out and this connection apparently doesn't exist.
- Selyse being an abusive mother to Shireen is entirely original to the show. In the books, she's protective of Shireen.
- 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.
- Back from the Brink: The Great House was effectively extinct after all members of the legitimate Dragonstone branch and illegitimate one in King's Landing died out with it's sole remaining member being the bastard born Gendry. In Season 8, he is granted legitimacy by Daenerys' grace who elevates him to Lord of Storm's End.
- 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...
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: At the end of Season 6, the Baratheon line is effectively extinguished; the legitimate ones are all dead and the King's Landing branch is Baratheon-in-name-only, and they're dead too anyway. All that's left of the once great house is an unknown number of bastard children fathered by Robert, many of whom were purged by Joffrey. As far as could be known, Gendry is the last Baratheon, and he's an unacknowledged bastard with no way to prove his lineage if anyone asked. This was fixed until Daenerys legitimized him.
- Family Theme Naming: Their names have a tendency to start with either R or S.
- 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.
- History Repeats: House Baratheon was founded by Orys Baratheon, a bastard half-brother of Aegon the Conqueror. In Season 8, Daenerys, who has been compared with Aegon the Conqueror, legitimizes Robert Baratheon's bastard son Gendry as Lord of Storm's End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands.
- 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.
- Nice Mean And Inbetween: Out of the Baratheon brothers, Renly is charming and carefree (nice), Stannis is very cold and unsociable (mean), and Robert is an obnoxious, drunken yet jovial Big Fun (in-between).
- Odd Friendship: With House Stark.Catelyn: [to Renly] Our houses have always been close.
- 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.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Contrary to the books, the sigil stag of the Baratheons carries a crown because of the coronation of Robert as King. In the books, the stag has always been crowned, as it's the legacy of the Storm Kings of House Durrandon to whom they intermarried and adopted their sigil and words.
- 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 Addy
King 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 burned Rickard and Brandon Stark, and then called for Robert and Ned's heads after his 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.
- Abhorrent Admirer: It's implied that he was one to Lyanna Stark, who would have never returned his feelings for her even if their engagement had gone through as she was already in love with Rhaegar Targaryen (there's also the fact that Lyanna begged her father not to engage her to Robert, to no avail).
- Adaptational Nice Guy: There is no indication in the show that Robert used his Marital Rape License on his wife, which he did in the books.
- Adaptational Jerkass: In the books, Cersei was always prejudiced to Robert because of him killing Rhaegar, even had sex with Jaime on her own wedding day (and still the deal-breaker came when Robert used Lyanna's name with her in bed) and Robert was the one who put in some effort to make it work. In the show, Cersei loved Robert at first, while Robert fell immediately into despair and alcoholism due to Lyanna's death.
- Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed. In the Books, Robert's fame as a fighter is much more discussed, as is his size and strength.
- 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.
- All for Nothing: His rebellion ended with his beloved dead, and him stuck with a crown he never wanted. "The Dragon and the Wolf" reveals that Lyanna was never kidnapped by Rhaegar, but instead went with him willingly because she was truly in love with him. On the other hand, Robert saved the realm from an insane, tyrannical King.
- 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 Baritone: Mark Addy gives Robert a voice like rolling thunder.
- Badass Beard: He has a thick beard.
- Badass Decay: An in-universe example. From Warrior Prince to Adipose Rex.
- Beneath the Mask: Robert often hides behind his Big Fun persona and his love of excess but we often get glimpses into a man who is miserable and has long given into despair.
- Berserk Button: Mentioning the Targaryens around him. His hatred for them is still as fresh and vicious as it was during his rebellion.
- Best Friends-in-Law: Subverted. He was set to become this with Ned via his marriage to Ned's sister Lyanna, though it never came to pass due to Lyanna's kidnapping and death. Years later, he tries to invoke this again by arranging a betrothal between 'his' son Joffrey and Ned's daughter Sansa. However, he and Ned both die before the marriage comes to fruition, Joffrey was actually not Robert's true son and Joffrey eventually puts Sansa aside for Margaery Tyrell.
- Big Brother Bully: He mocks his youngest brother Renly for not being "manly" enough. 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. He was a fearsome warrior in his prime who loved battle and recalls his first kill in battle as a fond, nostalgic memory. But being king means he can't fight like he used to, he's too valuable and no one would dare risk hitting him back, which infuriates and frustrates him. And ultimately his desire to just hit something 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 tens of thousands died.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bystander Syndrome: Brushes off Ned pleading for him to spare his daughter's direwolf because his wife would be a pain to him if he intervened.
- 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.
- Illustrations of Robert wearing it along with his armor are frequently seen in the History and Lore featurettes that focus on the rebellion.
- Crippling Overspecialization: If it isnt a problem Robert cant solve with his war hammer, he has no idea what to do.
- 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. Though the effect is dialed down in that he's far more unfaithful and publicly so than she is, and at least one of his bastard children survive where none of hers does. It even goes Harsher in Hindsight when you realize his very betrothed, Lyanna Stark, is revealed to have never loved him, choosing his Arch-Enemy Rhaegar over him.From the Books
- Damned by Faint Praise: Varys notes that the main thing Robert had in his favor was that he wasn't as bad as Aerys II and Joffrey, being neither mad nor cruel. He simply didn't want to be king. In fact, compared to his immediate predecessors and all the other occupants Iron Throne seen in the series prior to Bran, he still comes across as the least bad of them all, since the worst thing that can be said about him is that he's a drunken oaf, instead of being an insane tyrant like Aerys II or Joffrey, a spineless puppet ruler like Tommen, or as grossly unqualified to rule as Cersei.
- Death by Woman Scorned: He and Cersei have hated each other for years, but him informing her that their marriage never had a chance and hitting her (on a separate occasion) is implied to having sped up his death.
- 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: Robert to Cersei; and, although he instantly regrets his action as "not kingly," it's probably a factor in his death. Cersei notes it was the first instance of physical abuse as Jaime would have long killed him.
- Drop the Hammer: His weapon of choice in days gone by.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: He slays the boar that mortally wounded him and proudly tells Ned this on his deathbed.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite his love for violence, even he's speechless when he learns the Mad King had been saying "Burn them all" for hours before his death. Cersei, who hates Robert, also points out that for all flaws Robert "never enjoyed cruelty".
- Everything but the Girl: Played for Drama. Robert won the war against the Mad King, ousted the Targaryens from the throne, killed the man who kidnapped his beloved and became king. Unfortunately, in the end his betrothed Lyanna Stark died tragically, so he didn't get to marry her. Robert never actually wanted to be king; he just wanted Lyanna back, and his grief over her loss caused him to sink into despair, drinking and whoring to numb the pain while neglecting his realm. Seventeen years later, Robert is as miserable as ever over the way his life turned out and the whole debacle ends up causing a lot of the conflict in the series.
- Fatal Flaw: His alcoholism and need to prove he can still fight despite his sub-standard physical condition. By extension, his inability to let go of the past, which is the direct source of his drinking and other hedonistic habits, and also either directly or indirectly leads to a great deal of the conflict in the series, as well as Robert's own demise. Robert spends so much of his time drowning his sorrows, mourning Lyanna and trying to recapture his youth, he neglects his children and kingdom, and antagonises his wife (who is not a woman you want to tick off). He himself admits that if he'd been a better father to Joffrey, then he might just have been less of a raging psycho who ends up plunging the country into yet another civil war. He's also extremely unreasonable whenever it comes to the Targaryens, all because of the actions of just two of them (Rhaegar and the Mad King).
- For Want of a Nail: As Tyrion points out in The Last of the Starks, Roberts love of Lyanna directly led to the horrible state that Westeros is in.Tyrion: Think of the past twenty years. The war, the murder, the misery...all of it because Robert Baratheon loved someone who didn't love him back.
- 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.
- Four-Star Badass: He has a keen military mind and was one of the best warrior before becoming king.
- 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. He was also the Id of the three leaders of the rebellion, with Ned Stark as the Superego and Jon Arryn as the Ego.
- 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.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ned Stark before and during the Rebellion.
- 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 on his deathbed.
- Hidden Depths:
- People often think of him as a drunken fool. Occasionally, 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:Robert: 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 short-term would be to stay within the castle walls. But in long-term this could be disastrous and eventually force a direct fight. See Jerkass Has a Point for more details.
- People often think of him as a drunken fool. Occasionally, 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:
- Hunting "Accident": Technically it is an actual accident... helped along by Lancel Lannister making sure he is well-supplied with (triple alcohol content) wine.
- Hypocrite: Robert is openly scornful of Jaime for being the Kingslayer despite Jaimes killing of Aerys II being the reason Robert has the crown at all. While one might see it as Robert looking down on Jaime as an oathbreaker, this neglects that Robert as a Storm Lord would have sworn fealty to Aerys as well and broke it when he ignited a war against the crown.
- Hypocritical Humor: The first words out of Robert's mouth onscreen are that Ned's "gotten fat." Cue Ned nodding at Robert's own girth. Robert quite enjoys his friends' retort.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Robert is more accepting of unnecessary bloodshed than Ned Stark, which caused a temporary falling out over the Sack of King's Landing by the Lannisters. From the bonus feature about the Sack of Kings Landing:"Ned called it murder. Murder? It was war! It was war."
- 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. From the Books
- Irony: His entire life seems a huge prank by the gods.
- Leads a war to rescue his kidnapped fiancee. She dies during the war and he ends up stuck with a kingship and a wife he didn't want. Later on, it's revealed that his fiancee wasn't even kidnapped and had actually fallen in love with his archenemy who loved her in return.
- Despite his achievements and being a good warrior and war leader, he is poor king material in peacetime.
- Fathered plenty of bastard children, but his only trueborn offspring are actually his wife's bastard children.
- He's obsessed with destroying every Targaryen he puts his hands on. But he's unaware that the last Targaryen boy is not only the son of his Archenemy with the woman he loved, but has been well hidden for years by nothing less than his best friend.
- I Was Quite a Looker: He was much more attractive before he became jaded and lazy. Even Cersei admits he cut a fine figure on their wedding day. Before he spoke of Lyanna on their wedding night that is.
- 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:
Robert: Let's say Viserys Targaryen lands with forty thousand 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?
- 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. He's later proven very right when Daenerys eventually comes to Westeros and several kingdoms ally with her to put her on the throne, which involves the Dothraki stampeding an army. Of course, it's his fault this happened, because he was the one who tried to have her assassinated.note
- And as it turns out, Robert is proven correct about Daenerys when she eventually burns down King's Landing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.Robert: 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.
- Mangst: Cersei says that he beat his hands bloody on the wall in anguish after their first infant son died of fever.
- Mean Boss: Robert is fairly indifferent to everyone around him. He berates the Small Council and purposefully ignores their advice, 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.
- 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.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- 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 another civil war and a foreign invasion after his death.
- His hatred of the Targaryens and fear of the Dothraki drives him to try and wipe out Daenerys and Viserys. This only makes his fear become reality. Until that point, Khal Drogo had no interest in crossing the seas. After his wife is threatened, vows revenge on every man and woman in Westeros.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: 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. Much of this also applies to Edward IV's own grandson, Henry VIII—and his growing character decay evokes the Tudor king's own paranoias and angsts.
- 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."
- Another deeply ironic case: he is not keen of the previous king's descendants and goes after the teenage Daenerys and her unborn child when he learns she's pregnant. There is also a high probability that he would — by Ned's (AKA the only person who still has a somewhat good opinion on Robert) words — murder Cersei's bastard children if he learned the truth about them. Shortly after his "father's" death, Joffrey orders the execution of Robert's bastard children, because he's not too keen of having the descendants of the previous king around.
- Oblivious to Love: While he was madly in love with Lyanna Stark, Lyanna had no interest in him and was instead smitten with Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. The pair absconded for Dorne together in secret, and their foolish actions helped snowball into a civil war, in combination with the Mad King's actions of murdering Lyanna's father and older brother when they demanded their daughter/sister's return in the belief she'd been taken against her will. Lyanna, meanwhile, died begging Ned to protect her and Rhaegar's son, in utter fear of what Robert would do to the boy if he knew his true parentage, while Robert, without any knowledge of this, spent the past 20 years mourning her death to the point of poisoning his marriage to Cersei, who at one point did legitimately love him herself.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His only truly legitimate child with Cersei died as an infant, much to both their grief.
- Parental Neglect: Especially with Joffrey. He even admits this on 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. note
- 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 yearsnote , 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.
- Plot-Triggering Death: While it was Jon Arryn's death that started the events of the series and brought the Starks into the Game, it was Robert's that triggered the Succession Crisis that constitutes the bulk of the plot.
- 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.
- Properly Paranoid: He is one of the few characters to immediately take Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons seriously, rather than brushing it off like almost everyone else at King's Landing does. It does at least partly stem from his own personal feelings of hatred towards the Targaryens, but as the later seasons would soon show, he was absolutely right to see Daenerys as a threat.
- Pyrrhic Victory: His rebellion resulted in him becoming king, but the woman whose abduction he partially fought the rebellion for 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, though this may be because it was impossible to take any action that wouldn't upset either his wife or his best friend. The rest of the time? Not so much.
- Rebel Leader: He was this when he waged a war against the Mad King.
- Rebuilt Pedestal: After learning that Robert planed on assassinating Daenerys and her unborn child, Ned Stark chewed him out for being afraid of an unborn child and letting his hatred blind him. Ned then resigned as hand of the king. After Ned is injured by Jamie however, Robert has him brought back to the place and cared for and Robert tells Ned that he is his true brother for Robert loves Ned more than he ever love Stannis or Renly. This seems to remind Ned how much their friendship still means to him. The pedestal is fully rebuilt when on his deathbed Robert tells Ned that he was right about Daenerys and to stop the assassination if it's not to late. After Robert's death, Ned does his best to honor Roberts memory.
- 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. This is presumably the reason why Ned Stark hid and protected his nephew Jon Snow, the son of Ned's sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen in Winterfell, passing him off as his illegitimate son.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Before he was made king, he was a front-line commander during his rebellion against the Mad King. Eight years into his reign he raced into action to put down the Greyjoy Rebellion. These days, he does as little as humanly possible that doesn't involve food, strong drink or women, preferably all three. Ironically his brother pointed out that whilst Robert cared not for the day to day duties of the Iron Throne, the battlefield was something he'd never shied from. As it turns it out, peace was Roberts biggest enemy.Stannis: "Beneath Robert's fury, I sensed relief. War he could understand."
- 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.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Depite his bravado about the "glory days" Robert's unhappiness and self-destructive behaviour showcases many traits of someone unable to adapt to a normal life after a war. Unlike Ned who internalises much of his past trauma, Robert instead turns to vices like gluttony, whoring and alcohol. But in his odd moments of self reflection it's clear he didn't much enjoy war but rather the clarity of purpose it granted him in life.
- 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 bastard children. Contrast with Renly and Stannis.
- Troll: Especially to Lancel, his squire. From sending him running after a breastplate-stretcher to guilting him for laughing at Ned's joke about him being fat only to turn around and berate him for not laughing at it.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Via Arranged Marriage. This wasn't true when Cersei and he first wed, she herself described him as man any maiden in the seven kingdoms would desire, but he let himself get fat and lazy.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Stannis feels this way. In the backstory Stannis held Storm's End, the Baratheon castle, against a siege by the Tyrells during the war, despite having few provisions and his army starving. After the war Robert sent Stannis to hold Dragonstone, a defensible but barren island in the Narrow Sea, while the younger brother Renly was given Storm's End with its wealth and fertile lands.
- 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. Cersei herself indicates she initially had feelings for Robert, but by the time of the series she despises him too and is only too happy to be rid of him. As it turns out, he could also have been this to Lyanna had she lived to marry him, as she didn't love him the same way he loved her and secretly eloped with Rhaegar Targaryen.
- The Upper Crass: He's a Boisterous Bruiser who spends most of his time drinking, hunting and whoring, and boasts about his Glory Days as a great warrior in graphic detail. At a feast he openly makes out with a servant girl, at which his wife Cersei is also present, and he opens a tournament by bellowing for the fighting to start before he pisses himself, making her roll her eyes in disgust. His behavior underlines how much Robert hates being king; he only took the throne to bring stability back to the country after the rebellion but he has no interest in ruling, nor can he bothered acting the part. It's Played for Drama when he strikes Cersei during a nasty argument; he is remorseful and says it "wasn't kingly", but for Cersei it's the final straw and she arranges a Hunting"Accident" for him to install her own son on the throne.
- The Usurper: He's called this in-universe by the Targaryens, as he essentially took the dynasty from them manu militari. The same dynasty that was started in a very similar way by right of conquest, which is also pointed out in-universe.
- 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 finds 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 Hit a Girl: He strikes Cersei across the face during an argument and it's possible this isn't the first time. However, he does express remorse for it afterwards, telling Ned it wasn't a "kingly" thing to do.
- 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 rift between them. As king, he is fully willing to kill Daenerys and her unborn child. The very fact that would hurt any child with Targaryen blood that he could get his hands on is what has prevented Ned from ever bringing up Jon Snow's true identity, as Ned spent his life protecting Jon from Robert.
- He later regrets this and asks Ned to cancel this last order but it's too late — though, luckily, the assassination of Daenerys fails anyway.
- Written by the Winners: Rhaegar Targaryen is a rapist and Lyanna Stark is a helpless martyr torn cruelly from Robert's loving arms by way of Robert's word and will alone. None of this is true. Though you can't blame him for rebelling since The Mad King called for his and Ned's heads on less-than-questionable grounds, as well as Rhaegar betraying his duties as Crown Prince, breaking the social contract in absconding with a Lord's betrothed daughter, while he himself was married.
King Renly Baratheon
Played By: Gethin Anthony
Robert'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.
- 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 (as Renly is duty-bound to obey Stannis). 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 Badass:
- The Renly of the series is shown as less of a Yes-Man towards Robert than his book counterpart, and is willing to criticize his brother in the face. Most notably, TV Renly stood up to his brother and rebuke his romanticization of the rebellion, which doesn't happen in the books.
- In the show, book Renly's extreme incompetence as a war commander seems to be absent. His bad decisions such as lifting the siege with just cavalries and knights, as well to attack at dawn when the sunlight will be facing his army and making Loras Tyrell lead the charge instead of the more experienced Randyll, all have been omitted from the show. As a result of this, Stannis in the books was fully prepared to battle Renly's much larger host with the sun at his back, while in the show he was convinced he could not win.
- Adaptational Intelligence: In the books, Renly is a non-intellectual who dislikes reading, believing that it is for maesters. Here, it is implied that he takes Stannis' role as the most well-read of the Baratheon brothers. Renly is also made to be much less impulsive and more calculating, diplomatic and thoughtful than he was in the books.
- 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.
- Adaptational Ugliness: Renly is a good-looking guy, but is not the Adonis described in the book.
- Adaptational Wimp: Show Renly is noticeably less keen of violence than Book Renly; Book Renly participates in the Tourney of the Hand during the jousts and he has been instructed in hand-to-hand combat; Show Renly in comparison is appalled by the mere sight of blood.
- 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, as a result of Adaptation Expansion which explores Renly's private life much more than the novels do.
- Ad Hominem: His argument against Stannis is essentially attacking him personally, his lack of humour, his banners and choice of sigil and not the issues which Stannis represents.
- 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 request, he was presumably pondering the consequences of having a female protector during the brief pause, 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.
- Ambition Is Evil: The characters who aren't on his side don't view positively his bid to the throne, as he can't even kid anyone about having any legitimacy. Davos, who may be considered Only Sane Man, even remarks that Renly's actions were unlawful and wrong enough to consider him a justified casualty of war.
- 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.
Renly: 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?
- Earlier that day, he throws a sling of questions at Robert because he kept glorifying the days when there were still war and conquest.
- 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.
- 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, though if he had survived another day probably would have been the Cain, as he tells Catelyn that he plans to destroy Stannis' army in the morning with no mention or hint of sparing Stannis.
- 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, although this may be more due to Renly marrying Mace's daughter.
- 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
- Corrupt Politician: Downplayed in the show. However, he is still willing to break the laws of succession to become king despite being Master of Laws.
- 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. note
- 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.
- 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?
- From the same scene:Renly: "Born amidst salt and smoke"... Is he a ham?
- His acerbic greeting to Littlefinger in "Garden of Bones", which begins with a false smile and ends with a Disapproving Look.Renly: Well, if it isn't my favourite whoremonger! Pray I haven't kept you waiting long.
- Shows signs of this when he treats with his brother.
- 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.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Renly gathers up the largest army which he was about to use to kill Stannis then take King's Landing, but dies before he can actually do so.
- 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. However, he later agrees to alliance, provided that he retain his title as King In The North.
- Everyone Can See It: His homosexuality and his supposed Secret Relationship with Loras Tyrell are an Open Secret to the entire Westeros but Robert.
- Evil Uncle: Though this is downplayed in the show Renly was willing to usurp who he believes was his nephew from the Iron Throne before Ned revealed their illegitimacy. Granted, Joffrey was a monster, but by supporting the rumor of their illegitimacy, Renly was also willing to disgrace Myrcella and Tommen.
- 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 Generation Gap: A major reason why he doesn't get along with both Robert and Stannis is that both of them are over a decade older than him.
- The Good King: Sees himself as this, and so do Loras and Brienne. However they are not presented as the most perceptive characters around and Renly might have been kidding himself. Some more insightful people, like Olenna and Jaime have serious doubts about his stewardship and capabilities.
- 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.
- Hypocrite: Claims him becoming King would be better for the common people, even though his attempt to usurp the Iron Throne leaves King's Landing starving.
- Asks Ned if good warriors make good Kings. However he is basically planning to take the Iron Throne through military force. For someone who is afraid of blood and peaceable, he shows no remorse for ordering the deaths of Daenerys Targaryen and Viserys, which Ned alone disagreed with, and Robert felt guilty about and tried to rescind. Tells Catelyn he and Robb are natural allies, comparing them to his brother Robert and Robb's father Ned... except Renly went against Ned's wishes in trying to usurp the crown and abandons him in King's Landing.
- Inadequate Inheritor: 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. Olenna Tyrell later admitted that that the Tyrells should never have backed Renly's impossible and incompetent campaign and "should have stayed well out of it".
- 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: 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 and has far less experience then Stannis, making his claim Stannis should be passed over for rule rather shaky.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be an Ungrateful Bastard towards his older brothers but 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" (though he seemed gentle he never does anything particularly brave).
- 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).
- Laser-Guided Karma: He agrees that Daenerys Targaryen and Viserys should be killed for the good of the realm. Later he gets killed by Stannis who cites the same reason.
- 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 defuse 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.
- Though considering the Tyrells later support the monstrously cruel Joffrey (who Loras used as a reason why Renly should usurp rule) due to the agreement Margaery will marry him, the idea that they're just supporting Renly because of his charisma is suspect.
- The Lost Lenore: Loras and Brienne mourn him later on, with Loras eventually moving on to form a doomed relationship with the male prostitute Olyvar, while Brienne remains devoted to Renly and avenges him.
- 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. In a case of Informed Attribute, the minute the North and Riverlands hear of his claim, they denounce Renly for usurping Stannis on the line of succession, and declare Robb Stark King in the North.
- 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 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.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: As noted above, he serves as the parallel to George, Duke of Clarence, brother to Edward IV and Richard III—having been a King-claimant at odds with his siblings.note It's probably appropriate to note, however, that Renly in the show appeared way more circumspect, well-meaning and better-connected compared to Clarence's open and ill-conceived power grab—which makes his assassination by Stannis less well-deservednote and more genuinely tragic.
- 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". He certainly is the more pragmatic one at the moment.
- Open Secret: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Relationship Reveal: The scene where Loras is shaving Renly's chest.
- 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 is one of many people with no legitimacy to rule who would want to do this anyway.
- 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 BrotherSister 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. His death early in the War of the Five Kings signals that things are about to start getting worse for everyone.
- 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.
- Shadow Archetype: To Robb Stark. Both men are young Reasonable Authority Figures who treat their subjects with respect, but Renly is the Non-Action Guy image of what Robb would have been if he had let his pride and arrogance take over his mind.
- 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.
- Spanner in the Works: Renly's rebellion was one of the key factors for why Westeros was divided in the wake of the Succession Crisis after Robert's death:
- Ned wanted a smooth transition to Stannis over the illegitimate children, yet Renly insisted that Ned leapfrog the line of succession and make him King for ideological reasons which Ned refused and in response, Renly, Loras and their contingent of soldiers leave the capiital. This prevented Ned from having proper allies at the key moment of Robert's death, forcing him to turn to Littlefinger and Janos Slynt instead, leading to his downfall.
- Renly declaring himself a King was a key factor in the Succession Crisis becoming a War of Five Kings. Rather than a straightforward conflict between Joffrey and Stannis as Ned intended. Since Stannis hadn't yet recieved Ned's letter he didn't know of his claim until much later. Renly declaring himself King challenged the line of succession, as Robb Stark pointed out, which led to the North and Riverlands electing Robb as King in the North. Had it not been for Renly, the North MIGHT have rallied behind Stannis as Ned intended, and there would have been a proper alliance against the Lannisters. Emphasis on might, as none of the Northerners wanted to serve him and Stannis would have been unwilling to accept an independent North.
- 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. Also Renly's opinion that the laws of succession should be blatantly broken because he thinks he'd do a better job.
- 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. However it's worth noting that he is one of the very few players who were not defeated because of their own mistakes, as nobody in his position would really count being murdered by black magic among possibilities. However many fans have felt Renly's actions would be disastrous in the long term, as it would lead to factional fratercidal wars among the nobility, asking what happens if Renly has a son people don't like, or an ambitious younger son.
- 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.
- Brienne later admits to Podrick that she was fully aware of Renly's sexual orientation and understood that his attitude towards her was simply kindness.
- 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.
- Ungrateful Bastard:
- Stannis saved his life during the Siege of Storm's End when he was only a young boy, and yet as an adult decides to usurp his claim because the former has the personality of a lobster — by siding with the people that almost had them both killed.
- Subverted when he insults Robert for romanticizing his warrior days and victories and keeps insulting Robert, forgetting that had it not been for his brother, House Baratheon would have probably been destroyed by the Targaryens, nor would Renly ever had a seat on the Small Council or met Loras. Robert also made him Lord of Storm's End despite Stannis being more deserving, and yet Renly never shows the slightest gratitude. However, if one actually looks at it from a more general perspective, he is not criticizing Robert for the Rebellion but for enjoying it. He is disgusted that Robert would prefer to live in the days where woman were raped and murdered and cities were burned to the ground because things were more exciting. note
- The Usurper: Out of all the contestants, he has the weakest legal claim to any throne. While Robb Stark and the long-ignored Balon Greyjoy want to revive their Houses' respective kingship traditions, Stannis is Robert's lawful heir, Joffrey is Robert's official heir (and actually sits on the throne) and Daenerys is the heir of the previous dynasty, Renly is an usurper from any perspective that can be taken on this issue. Then again, the Baratheons became the rulers through Robert usurping the Throne, so it's not like he's any different.
- Villain with Good Publicity: While "villain" is a bit of a stretch since Renly's not evil by any means, but he is still a usurper who declares himself king before his oldest brother Robert died, and is willing to murder Stannis, who has a better claim to the throne, without any hint of remorse.
- 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. Of course, this makes him a bit of a hypocrite considering that later he decides to start a war to usurp the crown rather then help Ned make sure the throne passes to Stannis with as little bloodshed as possible.
- 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.Renly: We should have had them both killed years ago.
- 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.
Queen Selyse Baratheon
Played By: Tara Fitzgerald
Stannis 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 Angst Upgrade: She is much more affected by the many stillbirths than her book counterpart. She also has had to endure the Siege of Storm's End while she wasn't there in the books. And then there's the sacrifice of Shireen...
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Selyse is a good-looking woman. 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.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Stannis finds her hanged to a tree in a eerie, gloomy scene. Even if their married life was unhappy and Selyse was an unstable fundamentalist, he's clearly saddened by it.
- Alliterative Family: Stannis' wife is called Selyse. Both their names start with an S sound.
- 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? With the revelation of Melisandre's true form, some are positing on whether or not Selyse was witness to this before hand, since Melisandre was not wearing the necklace that supports her magic at the time.
- Belated Love Epiphany: Selyse abused and neglected Shireen through the series, eventually giving her consent to let Melisandre burn her alive. As the sacrifice gets underway, and Shireen begs for her parents to save her, Selyse's motherly instincts kick in and she realizes that she can't bear to lose her. But her attempt to save her child fails and she's forced to watch Shireen burn to death.
- 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 Rayder 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.
- Heel Realization: She does not realize Shirieen's worth until it's way too late. This despair causes her to commit suicide.
- 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?
- Iconic Sequel Character: After a cameo during the Season 2 premiere (played by a different actress), she is properly introduced to the series in Season 3.
- 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, and commits suicide soon afterwards.
- Outliving One's Offspring: She has three stillborn children before the series begins, while Shireen is sacrificed during the penultimate episode of Season 5.
- 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 Ingram
Stannis Baratheon's only daughter with Queen Selyse. Her face was marred by greyscale she had as a baby.
- 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.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books, Shireen has black hair. The show gives her light brown hair; Kerry Ingram, who plays Shireen, is blonde in real life.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: One of the sweetest, most innocent characters in the series gets burned alive while her parents watch and do nothing.
- Cute Bookworm: She's an adorable little princess who loves reading and always has a book with her. 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.
- 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.Shireen: What will they do? Put us in cells?
- She also snarks back at Melisandre in a far less friendly way when she attempts to justify burning people alive.Melisandre: Women scream when they give birth. Afterward they are filled with joy.
Shireen: Afterward they aren't ash and bone.
- She even manages to get her old man at one point:Stannis: Are you lonely?
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:Shireen: I thought I'd be left at home. I know Mother didn't want to bring me.
Stannis: Why do you say that?
Shireen: She told me, "I don't want to bring you."
- To an imprisoned Davos.
- 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.
- Facial Horror: The left side of her face is scarred by (cured) Greyscale.
- 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.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Does not appear in the series until Season 3.
- 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. Unfortunately, this doesn't stop him from eventually sacrificing 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.
- Older Than They Look: As well as Older Than They Act. Her adorable features and fairly unending innocence gives of the impression of her being a little girl, maybe slightly older than, if not the same age as Rickon Stark. With her appearance and behavior in mind, it's easy to forget that Shireen is supposed to be the exact same age as Arya Stark.
- 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.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Melisandre implies this about Shireen's sacrifice. The blizzard that blocked their path disappeared for several months, clearing the way to Winterfell. Even if Stannis died, the way for Jon Snow and the Vale Cavalry to secure victory over the Boltons was laid clear and faced no interference from the oncoming winter, taking a full army with them to Winterfell rather than face the starvation and defection that Stannis did. Davos refuses to accept this and calls the Lord of Light evil for allowing Shireen's death, but Melisandre points out that it was the same Lord who resurrected Jon. In either case, Jon banishes Melisandre rather than execute her.
- 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.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Her being burned to death as a sacrifice accomplishes nothing, ends up destroying the hope of Stannis to claim the Iron Throne and eventually causes the Baratheon family to dissapear from the face of Westeros.
- 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/A
The 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.
- 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.
- Together in Death: He died along with his wife.
Lord Ormund Baratheon
Robert, Stannis and Renly's grandfather. Hand to King Aegon V Targaryen.
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 bastard children 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 the throne.
Lord Gendry Baratheon
Played By: Joe Dempsie
An unacknowledged bastard son of King Robert Baratheon who works as an armourer's apprentice. Befriends Arya when they both have to flee King's Landing in Yoren's group of Night's Watch recruits.
- Age Lift: Like the other older teenagers, he's 17/18, rather than 14/15 as in the books.
- The Apprentice: To Tobho Mott.
- Badass Beard: Grows one in Season 3.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: He wishes he'd have a family. Then, Melisandre takes him to his closest biological relatives... and bad stuff starts happening.
- The Berserker: After Yoren is killed in "What is Dead May Never Die", he charges at the Lannister soldiers armed only with his smith's hammer.
- The Blacksmith: What he was before leaving King's Landing.
- Big Brother Instinct: From the start he is rather protective of Arya.
- Bully Hunter: Is introduced defending Arya from Hot Pie and Lommy, and calls them out for picking on the smaller "boy".
- The Bus Came Back: After a four season absence, Gendry returns in Season 7 to join Jon Snow.
- Butt-Monkey: Gendry is openly treated as this during the wight hunt. Tormund grosses on him and straight up weirds him out with the promise of Situational Sexuality, Lord Beric and Thoros are unrepentant about selling him to Melisandre, and Sandor tells him to "quit whingeing" and get with the program. Even Jon Snow (who was visibly weirded out by the latter trying to act like his best friend last episode) expresses skepticism about Gendry's inexperience traveling in the cold and fighting (snarking to Tormund that Ser Davos told him he could fight, in a tone that says, "He's a Tagalong Kid, humor him."). Sure enough, the minute they meet a real fight, Jon designates Gendry as errand boy (and Tormund grabs his hammer, noting that it would slow him down and they have more use for it). Of course, Gendry's sprint through the snow and winter really does save everyone's bacon.
- Carry a Big Stick: Uses a dragonglass mace for the battle at Winterfell.
- Chekhov's Gun: His helmet.
- The Chosen One: Melisandre's trying to sell this explanation to him for why she abducted him. Then again, she was (ostensibly) instructed by R'hllor to find him and bring him back to Dragonstone.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: His hair color is decidedly Baratheon Black. It's what clued Ned in to him being one of Robert's many bastards, and later (collectively with all the other bastards) clued Ned in to Joffrey not being Robert's at all.
- Composite Character: In the show, Melisandre targets him as a potential Human Sacrifice so he's spirited away in order to avoid this. In the books, this happened to his Adapted Out half-brother Edric Storm.
- In the books, at least two of Robert's other bastards survived: Edric Storm (sent to the Free Cities) and Mya Stone (in the Vale with Sansa). The TV series never introduced the others and seems to treat Gendry as the only surviving bastard.
- Cool Helmet: It's shaped like a bull's head.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in his talks with Arya, when he starts calling her 'milady'. And later with Davos, when he's imprisoned.Gendry: So how'd you become a lord?
Davos Seaworth: Oh, that's a long story.
Gendry: Better not, then. I'm a bit busy.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Ultimately, he wants a family and serve a purpose he finds worthy. When he and Arya get captured by the Brotherhood, he decides to join them after witnessing their justice. The Brotherhood immediately selling him out to Melisandre, who intends to burn him, because of his royal blood, shocks him. Davos eventually sets him free before he is burned and tells Gendry to hide in King's Landing. When Davos returns to ask Gendry if he may want to join Davos' cause, Gendry immediately drops his current work as a weapon smith for the Lannister army for the purpose he has been waiting for.
- Did Not Get the Girl: After Dany legitimizes Gendry, he proposes to Arya, but she lets him down gently, as she has no interest in being a lady.
- Drop the Hammer: He uses his blacksmith hammer as a weapon. It must run in the family. When he joins Jon Snow, he uses a warhammer he forged himself.
- Et Tu, Brute?: In Season 3, he enthusiastically joins the Brotherhood without Banners, claiming that they'll be the closest thing to a family he'll ever have... only to be sold by them to Melisandre the next episode.
- Family of Choice: He's trying to find one at any rate, as he joins the Brotherhood Without Banners in the hopes they'll become one. Arya also tells him she can be his family although he believes it's impossible due to her higher social status.
- Fire-Forged Friends: His shared experiences with Arya (both on the run from Lannister forces, their imprisonment at Harrenhal and travelling together for months) develops into this trope.
- Fish out of Water: Almost literally when Davos puts him on a boat and he doesn't know which side to sit on to row, because he's never been in one before.
- To Joffrey, in pretty much everything, including paternity, morality, upbringing, amount of badass, and even clothing. They're both bastards connected to House Baratheon, but apart from that they're polar opposites.
- Also regarding their relationship with the Stark girls. Joffrey relentlessly abuses and bullies Sansa while Gendry befriends Arya, keeps her secrets and mutually has her back against the hell they go through.
- A more subtle one to Jon Snow: Heroic Bastard? Check. Close brotherly relationship with Arya? Check. Clueless about their Secret Legacy? Check. Last Of Their Kind Definitely check (in Jon's case, it's the male kind).
- As we find out in the Season 6 finale, Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen — meaning that Gendry is in fact Jon's third cousin (Robert's grandmother was a Targaryen). Bonus for Robert and Rhaegar being archenemies and yet fathering two boys that foil each other.
- To Joffrey, in pretty much everything, including paternity, morality, upbringing, amount of badass, and even clothing. They're both bastards connected to House Baratheon, but apart from that they're polar opposites.
- Generation Xerox:
- Tall, strong, and handsome like his father, and his best friend is — just like his father's was — a Stark. Ned even realizes that he's Robert's bastard for certain when he stubbornly insists that his bull helmet's not for sale, even though slighting the Hand of the King could get his tongue ripped out. See "Strong Family Resemblance" below. They also both prefer to use warhammers in combat. That said he's managed to escape on a lot of his father's worst traits such as his bloodthirstiness, arrogance, impulsiveness and whoring, and is generally much kinder and more serious than Robert ever was.
- His fathers favorite weapon was a war hammer, and could swing through armor. Cue Gendrys return, and one-shotting two armored guards with his own hammer.
- He even gets rejected by a Stark girl like his father, one who shares her looks with his father's unrequited love no less. Though in his case, it isn't because Arya doesn't love him back, but because she can't be the Lady he needs to rule Storm's End.
- Groin Attack: Melisandre places several leeches on Gendry, including his penis, to draw his powerful blood.
- Heroic Bastard: Though he doesn't know of his royal lineage until Melisandre tells him, he's one of the unambiguously heroic characters.
- Hidden Backup Prince: Averted. In a perfect world, he'd be King Gendry I Baratheon right now, but as it stands he's just a royal bastard. Though it's not impossible that he will end up playing some important role, given that save for him, House Baratheon is extinct.
- Confirmed as of The Last of the Starks; Dany officially promotes him to Gendry Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End.
- Honey Trap: Falls for one set by Melisandre.Davos: If you mistrust fancy people so much, why were you in such a hurry to trust her?
Gendry: You're me. Never been with a woman. Never talked to a woman, really. And then she comes at you with big words, no clothes.
Davos: She does know her way around a man's head, I'll give her that.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Huge guy to Arya's tiny girl.
- Hyper-Awareness: First and only recruit of the Night's Watch who realizes that Arya is a girl. Lampshaded by himself. He's also the first one to wake up when the Lannisters come to attack Yoren's party, before Yoren wakes up the rest.
- I Am Who?: Gendry's naturally surprised when Melisandre tells him he's the son of King Robert.
- I Choose to Stay: In the Brotherhood without Banners. It doesn't end well.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Highlighted to an extreme after he's picked up by Melisandre.
- Irony: Gendry bonds with Jon Snow pretty quickly over their own fathers being best friends and fighting side by side. Except Ned Stark was Jon's adoptive father, and Rhaegar Targaryen (Robert's Arch-Enemy) the real progenitor, making an awkward situation where Gendry's father killed Jon's father.
- Jumped at the Call: When Davos comes to get him in Flea Bottom he's expecting a long-winded speech to convince Gendry to leave his shop. Gendry goes with nary a word of protest, pulling out a pre-made bug-out bag and grabbing up a warhammer he made himself. According to him, he's sick of making weapons for the men that killed his father and has been prepping for this day for years.
- Last of His Kind: He's the last of the Baratheon bastards after Joffrey's purge. And the only Baratheon-blooded person in the world after Stannis's family line is extinguished.
- Like Father, Like Son: Robert Baratheon is mentioned as favoring a warhammer and wearing a horned helmet in combat. Gendry is first introduced wielding a blacksmith's hammer to forge a horned helmet. He later uses the hammer in combat, too. Lampshaded by Melisandre. She says it's In the Blood, along with his strength. He also seems to share his Dad's taste in women, as he's hinted to have feelings for Arya — who shares her looks and character with Lyanna Stark — who Robert spent most of his life "in love" with.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: While Gendry does have a lot of Robert's physical traits in terms of personality he is almost the exact opposite. Robert was a boisterous irresponsible king who preferred fighting, drinking, and whoring to actually ruling. Gendry is a bastard who is more reserved, practical, and levelheaded and only fights to protect himself and others and doesn't seem to enjoy it. He also thinks things through much more than Robert tended to do.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Ned Stark, Jon Arryn and the Lannister government know who he is. He has no idea until Season 3.
- Mr. Fanservice: In-universe, for Arya.
- Nice Guy: Gendry's an unambiguously heroic person.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Might very loosely be one for Henry Tudor. "Gendry" even sounds like "Henry". In the War of the Roses, which George R.R. Martin said loosely inspired his story, the Lancasters were defeated by the Yorks, but then the Yorks were later defeated by Henry Tudor - a descendant of the Lancasters through an (acknowledged) bastard lineage. In the story, the Baratheons and their Stark allies are defeated by the Lannisters...but Robert Baratheon's bastard son Gendry survives...
- Not So Different: A rare positive example, which is even rarer given the series. Ser Davos bonds with him: "Two boys from Flea Bottom in the castle of a king."
- Power Trio: With Arya and Hot Pie, of the Two Guys and a Girl variety. He's The Lancer to Arya's hero.
- Promoted to Love Interest: He and Arya have an ambigous friendship in the novels and currently on different continents. Here the Ship Tease is more direct and more overt, especially in their reunion, to the point they act on their mutual attraction and sleep together before the battle with the dead. In the end, though, it doesn't end up working out.
- Put on a Bus: Is freed by Davos Seaworth in "Mhysa", and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Finally stops rowing and comes back into the picture in Season 7's "Eastwatch", ready to join Jon Snow's raid beyond the Wall.
- Rags to Riches: From baseborn bastard raised in the slums of King's Landing, working as a blacksmith, to High Lord of one of Westeros' oldest castles and titles. Our boy has come far.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The quieter, calmer blue to Arya's outgoing, hot-tempered red. (Ironically this actually inverts the dynamic between their fathers as Robert was red to Ned's blue).
- Right Under Their Noses: Where has Gendry being staying all this time after his departure on Season 3? In King's Landing of course, back at the forge in Flea Bottom making weapons for the Lannister army.
- Secret Keeper: Aside from Jaqen, he's the only one who knows that Arya is actually Arya Stark.
- Secret Legacy: Had no idea who his father was until Season 3.
- Ship Tease: With Arya during Seasons 2 and 3, including her checking him out shirtless and offering to be his family.
- When they finally meet again in Season 8, the chemistry seems to pick up right where they left off years ago. They sleep together before the final battle with the White Walkers, but when Gendry proposes to her afterward, she declines because she doesn't want to be a lady like he's asking for.
- Shirtless Scene: In "The Ghost of Harrenhal". Incidentally, it's also a Forging Scene. And obviously Fanservice of the less prevalent sort.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Tall, Dark, and Handsome, like a true Baratheon. Ned Stark immediately realizes upon seeing him for the first time that he is Robert's son. So does Stannis, when they meet in "Second Sons".
- In the books, it is said that Gendry resembles a young Robert so closely that it is blatantly obvious to anyone who meets him that also knows Robert (Eddard, Stannis) that Gendry is Robert's son. Given that Renly also resembles his older brother in his youth, people also remark on how much Gendry looks like Renly.
- Targeted Human Sacrifice: He inherits the Adapted Out Edric Storm's fate of being chosen as a Human Sacrifice specifically because he's Robert's son.
- Took a Level in Badass: He hammers two Goldcloaks in the face to save Tyrion and Davos. Quite the significant leap for the boy that was hunted by them back in Season 2.
- True Companions: Initially with Arya and Hot Pie and he later joins the Brotherhood Without Banners for this reason.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Calls Arya out on her usage of Jaqen's three offered assassinations, claiming that she could have picked anyone of importance to the Lannister war effort, like Lord Tywin or King Joffrey.
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.
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.
Played By: N/A
Played By: Kerr Logan
Davos Seaworth: Don't tell him that.
Davos's son and scribe to King Stannis.
- 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.
Baratheon Bannermen, Retainers & Household
Melisandre: The King has taken for his sigil the fiery heart of the Lord of Light.
The remaining characters in service to Stannis Baratheon, a motley assortment of religious fanatics, pirates, and opportunists.
Played By: Lucian Msamati
A 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.
- Affably Evil: If you assume that piracy and evil always go together.
- Alliterative Name: Salladhor Saan.
- Appeal to Flattery: 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 Mc Coolname: "Salladhor Saan is a good name for songs."
- 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.
- The Charmer: He claims to be this, and considering how 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.
- The Gadfly: He has no problem coming onto Mathos right in front of the boy's father. Whether he was serious about the proposition or not is up to the audience's interpretation.
- 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 thirty 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.
- Insult Backfire: When Matthos calls him a pirate, he proudly proclaims that he is an excellent pirate.
- 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. Ones a virtuous, honorable right hand man of the king, and the other is an unrepentant, profit-chasing scoundrel.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. Averted when he doesn't appear in Season 5 at all.
- 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.Salladhor: 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) .
- Second Episode Introduction: Introduced in the second episode of Season 2.
- Serial Spouse: We hear about four marriages, and those are only the ones whose weddings Davos was able to attend!
- Shipper on Deck: He probably means it as a joke when he laughingly states that Davos fell in love with Stannis, but he does not seem to consider it a bad thing. Davos does not deny, mind you.
- 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 thirty 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.
Played By: Oliver Ford Davies
Ser Imry Florent
Played By: Gordon Mahn
A 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 McHale
Lord 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.
- 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. As for Selyse's brothers, in addition to the aforementioned Ser Imry, her other brother in the books was Ser Erren Florent, a captive at Highgarden.
- Him being burned to death for refusing to abandon the Faith of the Seven is taken from Guncer Sunglass in the books.
- Cool Uncle: Shireen has a very high opinion on him.
- 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'Neill
Stannis'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/A
Lord 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.
- 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- although given his characterization elsewhere, this is more likely a case of Writers Cannot Do Math than a reflection on his greed.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Ghost: Never appeared in the series, only mentioned in passing.
- Master Swordsman: Taught his daughter, Brienne, to fight. Brienne is one of the most competent fighters on the show.
- 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 Dormer
Lord 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.