Rainbow Guard

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Rainbow Guard
Rainbow Guard.svg
The rainbow stripes of the Rainbow Guard.[1]
Type Sworn brotherhood
Royal bodyguard
Region Seven Kingdoms
Allegiance King Renly Baratheon
Current Leader Lord Commander Loras Tyrell
Founder King Renly Baratheon
Founded 298 AC
Disbanded 299 AC
The Rainbow Guard, art by Jason Engle © Fantasy Flight Games

The Rainbow Guard, also called the rainbow knights,[2] is an organization created by Renly Baratheon to serve as his equivalent of the Kingsguard. Its members wear rainbow-striped silk cloaks,[1] although they use their own sigils on their shields and garb.[1][3] The rainbow connects the organization to the Faith of the Seven,[4] for which the rainbow is a religious symbol.[5] Each member of the Rainbow Guard wears armor of a single different color, with the group of seven together representing the seven-colored rainbow.[2] Unlike the Kingsguard, the Rainbow Guard appears to have no restriction on its members holding hereditary lands, with one lord being a member of the Rainbow Guard.[6]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

At the start of the War of the Five Kings in 298 AC, Renly Baratheon declares himself Lord of the Seven Kingdoms after the death of his brother, King Robert. To reflect his status, King Renly creates the Rainbow Guard, his own version of the Kingsguard. Ser Loras Tyrell, Renly's lover, is the first appointee and Lord Commander. Except for the Lord Commander, each of the members are given a color of the rainbow.[2]

The last position is held open, in the hope of awarding it to Ser Barristan Selmy, should he join Renly's cause. Barristan the Bold 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 Loras.[1]

Following the death of Renly at Storm's End in 299 AC,[3] the Rainbow Guard disintegrates, with Loras Tyrell joining his family in declaring for King Joffrey Baratheon, two killed by Loras, three switching allegiance to King Stannis Baratheon, and one fleeing and becoming the sworn sword of Lady Catelyn Stark.


Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Commander of the Rainbow Guard
Loras Tyrell.svg Ser Loras Tyrell
Lord Commander
Goes mad from grief after Renly's death, slaying two other members of the Rainbow Guard.[7] When House Tyrell joins House Lannister against Stannis Baratheon, Loras fights in the Battle of the Blackwater under the banner of his family. After the battle, Loras joins the Kingsguard of Joffrey I Baratheon as part of the alliance with the Lannisters.[8]
House Royce.svg Ser Robar Royce
the Red
Killed by Loras for the mistaken belief that he played a part in Renly's murder.[9]
House Caron.svg Lord Bryce Caron
the Orange
Switches allegiance to Stannis after Renly's death.[10] He is slain at the Blackwater by Ser Philip Foote.[8]
House Cuy.svg Ser Emmon Cuy
the Yellow
Killed by Loras for the mistaken belief that he played a part in Renly's murder.[9]
House Morrigen.svg Ser Guyard Morrigen
the Green
Switches allegiance to Stannis after Renly's death.[10] He leads the van at the Blackwater,[11] and is slain by Ser Garlan Tyrell.[12]
House Tarth.svg Brienne of Tarth
the Blue
Witnesses Renly's death and is blamed for it; Brienne flees the scene[3] and becomes a sworn sword of Catelyn Stark.[13]
House Crane.svg Ser Parmen Crane
the Purple
Switches allegiance to Stannis after Renly's death, and sent to take control of Renly's army at Bitterbridge.[10] Captured there by Loras, and held captive at Highgarden.[14]

Game of Thrones

Renly's guards in Game of Thrones

Worldwide, the LGBT rights political movement has adopted the rainbow as its symbol.[15] However, author George R. R. Martin did not intend the books' use of "Rainbow Guard" to refer to Renly's homosexuality.[4] Despite the explicit depiction of the relationship between Renly Baratheon and Ser Loras Tyrell in the television adaptation Game of Thrones, HBO elected not to use the term "Rainbow Guard" due to the political connotations. The organization is instead described in the show as "King Renly's Kingsguard" and wear the colors of Renly's Baratheon-Tyrell alliance: gold and green.[16]


It was just the sort of notion that would appeal to Renly Baratheon; a splendid new order of knighthood, with gorgeous new raiment to proclaim it.[2]

—thoughts of Cressen

Brienne: I ask the honor of a place among your Rainbow Guard. I would be one of your seven, and pledge my life to yours, to go where you go, ride at your side, and keep you safe from all hurt and harm.
Renly: Done.[1]

I was one of King Renly's chosen seven. With his own hands, he cloaked me with the striped silk of the Rainbow Guard.[17]

See also