The Rainbow Guard, also called the rainbow knights, 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 which the rainbow is a religious symbol. Each member wears armor of a single different color, with the group of seven together representing the seven-colored rainbow.
A Clash of Kings
At the start of the War of the Five Kings, Renly Baratheon declares himself Lord 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. Ser Loras Tyrell, Renly's favorite, 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 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.
Following the death of Renly at Storm's End, the Rainbow Guard disintegrates.
Ser Loras Tyrell, Lord Commander. After Renly's death, Loras goes mad from grief. 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.
Lord Bryce Caron, the Orange. Fighting for Stannis, Bryce is slain at the Blackwater by Ser Philip Foote. Bryce's castle of Nightsong is awarded to Philip.
Ser Parmen Crane, the Purple. Parmen switches to Stannis after Renly's death. He is captured at Bitterbridge by Loras and then held at Highgarden. His status is unknown.
Ser Emmon Cuy, the Yellow. He is killed by Loras for allowing Renly's murder.
Ser Guyard Morrigen, the Green. Guyard leads the van for Stannis but is slain at the Blackwater by Ser Garlan Tyrell.
Ser Robar Royce, the Red. He is killed by Loras for allowing Renly's murder.
Brienne Tarth, the Blue. Having been witness to Renly's death and being blamed for it, Brienne flees the scene and becomes a sworn sword of Catelyn Stark.
Game of Thrones
Worldwide, the LGBT rights political movement has adopted the rainbow as its symbol. Author George R. R. Martin did not intend the books' use of "Rainbow Guard" as a play on gay rights, however. HBO elected not to use the "Rainbow Guard" in its television adaptation Game of Thrones due to the political connotations, despite the explicit depiction of the relationship between Renly Baratheon and Ser Loras Tyrell. The group is instead described in the show as "King Renly's Kingsguard" rather than as the "Rainbow Guard."
|“||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.||”|
|“||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.
References and Notes
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