The Rainbow Guard is an organization created by Renly Baratheon to serve a similar purpose to the Kingsguard. Its members wear rainbow cloaks and have a rainbow coat of arms. This connects them to the Faith of the Seven (to whom the rainbow is a religious symbol). Each member is described as wearing armor of a single different color, with the group of seven together representing the seven-colored rainbow.
Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Commander.
Brienne of Tarth, the Blue.
Lord Bryce Caron, the Orange.
Ser Emmon Cuy, the Yellow.
Ser Guyard Morrigen, the Green.
Ser Parmen Crane, the Purple.
Ser Robar Royce, the Red.
A Clash of Kings
At the start of the War of the Five Kings, Renly Baratheon declares himself king of the Seven Kingdoms after the death of his brother, King Robert. To reflect his status, Renly creates the Rainbow Guard, a fanciful version of the Kingsguard. Loras Tyrell, Renly's favourite, is the first appointee, as well as Lord Commander. Barring the Lord Commander, each of the other six members are given a color of the rainbow. The last position is held open in the hope of awarding it to Ser Barristan the Bold should he join Renly's cause. He never arrives in Renly's camp, however, and the cloak is granted to Brienne of Tarth, who is awarded the position after winning the great melee at Bitterbridge involving over a hundred knights, including Ser Loras.
It is interesting to note that Bryce Caron is the Lord of Nightsong when he is appointed to the Rainbow Guard. It is not made clear if this is honorary during wartime or he has given up his seat without an heir.
Following the death of Renly, the Rainbow Guard disintegrates:
- Loras Tyrell goes mad from grief. When House Tyrell joins House Lannister against Stannis, Loras fights under the banner of House Tyrell. He later joins the Kingsguard as part of the alliance with the Lannisters.
- Brienne of Tarth, having been witness to Renly's death and being blamed for it, flees the scene and becomes a sworn sword of Catelyn Stark.
- Robar Royce is killed by Loras for allowing Renly's murder.
- Emmon Cuy is killed by Loras for allowing Renly's murder.
- Guyard Morrigen, fighting for Stannis Baratheon, is slain during the Battle of the Blackwater by Garlan Tyrell.
- Parmen Crane, who switches to Stannis Baratheon, is captured at Bitterbridge by Loras and then held at Highgarden. His status is unknown.
- Bryce Caron, fighting for Stannis, is slain at the Blackwater by Philip Foote.
Game of Thrones
In the television adaptation Game of Thrones, the Rainbow Guard is simply described as "King Renly's Kingsguard" rather than as the "Rainbow Guard." Worldwide, the LGBT rights political movement has adopted the rainbow as its symbol. Author George R. R. Martin did not intend the book's use of "Rainbow Guard" as a play on gay rights; however, HBO has elected not to use the "Rainbow Guard" in its adaptation due to the political connotations, despite the explicit depiction of the relationship between Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell.
References and Notes
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