Renly Baratheon

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Renly Baratheon
House Baratheon.PNG
Renly Baratheon.jpg
by Amok©

Alias The King in Highgarden
The King in the South
Title Lord Paramount of the Stormlands
Lord of Storm's End
Master of laws
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms (claimant)
Allegiance House Baratheon
Culture Stormlands
Born In 277 AC[1]
Died In 299 AC, at Storm's End
Spouse Margaery Tyrell
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (appears)
A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Played by Gethin Anthony
TV series Season 1 | Season 2
"Renly" redirects here. See also Renly Norcross.

Renly Baratheon is the Lord of Storm's End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands. The younger brother of King Robert I and Lord Stannis, Renly serves as master of laws on Robert's small council.[2] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones Renly is played by Gethin Anthony.[3]

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Renly Baratheon

Renly is a handsome and charismatic man, winning friends easily, but he also strikes some people as frivolous.[4] Renly enjoys tournaments and hunting but is not driven by the passion for food, drink, or wenching, as Robert I Baratheon came to be. He is quite popular with the smallfolk due to his good looks, friendly ways and charisma.[5]

Renly is twenty-one years old, a tall, man with black hair falling to his shoulders.[6] He is thought to look eerily similar to a young Robert, though several inches shorter, and far less muscular. Though in A Game of Thrones he is said to wear green to match his eyes, he is later described as having blue eyes. He wears a suit of enameled green armor with a helm adorned with a pair of golden antlers.[4] He keeps his body trim and his thick, jet-black hair long but always neatly combed. He prefers to be clean-shaven.[7]

Unbeknownst to the realm at large, and despite the many women who are attracted to him, Renly is homosexual.[8][9] According to his lover, Ser Loras Tyrell, Renly disdains book learning, believing that books should only be read by maesters. Despite this, he owns books with "drawings that would turn a septon blind", implying some kind of pornography.[10]


Born in 277 AC,[1] Renly was the youngest of the three sons of Lord Steffon Baratheon and Lady Cassana Estermont.[2][11]

Renly grew up at Storm's End. Only a boy of six at the time of Robert's Rebellion, he spent the war under siege in Storm's End, together with his older brother, Stannis, where he was witness to the desperation of the starving garrison.[12][9]

As a boy, Renly loved bright colors and fabrics. He loved games as well, and would run laughing through the halls of Storm's End.[13]

By his older brother Robert, Renly was eventually granted the seat of Storm's End and named Lord Paramount of the Stormlands, upsetting Stannis, who felt that, as the elder of the two, Storm's End was his by right.[13]

When Renly turned sixteen, he made a lord's progress across the stormlands to mark his coming of age. During this progress, he also visited the isle of Tarth, where Renly courteously danced with Brienne of Tarth.[14]

Princess Arianne Martell recalls that Renly also visited Sunspear once. She had tried her best to seduce Renly, but remembers that he had seemed more bemused than inflamed by her attempts.[15]

During his time as Lord of Storm's End, Renly took Loras Tyrell as his page and squire.[16] This was likely the start of their clandestine love affair. Although not widely known, their forbidden relationship is known to various others at court.[8][9]

Renly was eventually named to the small council, where he occupied the position of master of laws.[2] While he is at court, his castellan at Storm's End is Ser Cortnay Penrose, who raises King Robert's bastard son, Edric Storm, for them.[17] A woman named Brella runs Renly's household in King's Landing for him.[18]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Renly Baratheon - by Henning Ludvigsen ©

While King Robert I Baratheon's procession is returning from Winterfell, Renly meets up with them, accompanied by Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and the King's Justice, Ser Ilyn Payne.[6] Deeply amused by Prince Joffrey Baratheon's accusations against Arya Stark's direwolf Nymeria, Renly is forced to leave the room at Darry, laughing at the thought of Joffrey being disarmed and beaten by a girl smaller and younger than him.[19]

Renly performs well in the Hand's tourney, losing to the Hound, Sandor Clegane.[5] Renly shows Lord Eddard Stark a painted portrait of Margaery Tyrell and asks if she looks like Lyanna Stark; Eddard is puzzled by this but states the girl looks nothing like his late sister Lyanna.[20] Renly and Ser Loras Tyrell want Robert to take Loras's sister, Margaery, as his new queen and they think if Margaery looks like Lyanna it would make the plan easier.[21]

While Robert lies dying after being wounded in the kingswood, Renly approaches Eddard and suggests they seize control of the royal children before Queen Cersei Lannister can strike. Eddard refuses the offer, and Renly flees King's Landing along with Loras.

After Robert's death, Renly manages to win the support of powerful House Tyrell and many of their bannermen through a secret love affair with Loras and a marriage to his sister Margaery. Renly is crowned Lord of the Seven Kingdoms at Highgarden.[22][23]

A Clash of Kings

Renly with his wife Margaery - by Amok ©

Through his charisma with House Tyrell and familiarity with his stormlands bannermen, Renly's claim to the Iron Throne is backed by the largest army in the War of the Five Kings, despite his elder brother Stannis having the better claim.

Renly spends a great deal of time moving through the Reach, gaining support and men while waiting for the right moment to strike. He hosts tourneys for his men, including a great melee at Bitterbridge, and blocks the supply of food on the roseroad to King's Landing, causing the capital to suffer starvation. All the while he waits for the Lannisters and Starks to wear each other down. Brienne of Tarth, who is infatuated with Renly, joins the Rainbow Guard to be close to him.[4]

Robb Stark, the young King in the North, sends his mother Catelyn to Bitterbridge to negotiate an alliance with Renly against Lord Tywin Lannister, who is fortified at Harrenhal.[24] Renly states he might allow Robb to keep his title, but he refuses to allow the north to secede from the Seven Kingdoms.[4]

Renly's plan goes awry, however, when Stannis unexpectedly besieges Storm's End, forcing Renly to respond.[4] Catelyn convinces the brothers to parley outside Storm's End, but Renly makes light of the situation, refusing to back down from his claim and advising his older brother to give up and eat a peach.[25] While preparing for battle with Stannis's forces the next dawn, Renly is slain by an animated shadow conjured by his brother's sorceress adviser, Melisandre.[12] Ser Cortnay Penrose, the castellan of Storm's End, disbelieves that Renly has died, but his body goes missing before it can be presented as proof.[26]

Loras's brother, Ser Garlan Tyrell, wears Renly's armor in the Battle of the Blackwater to make it appear that Renly's ghost has returned for vengeance against the kinslaying Stannis.[27][28]

A Storm of Swords

Following King Joffrey I Baratheon's wedding to Margaery, Hamish the Harper performs "Lord Renly's Ride" during the wedding feast. Hamish sings of Renly's ghost defending the realm from Stannis and returning to Highgarden to see his true love's face one last time, which brings tears to Margaery's eyes.[29]

Ser Loras tells Ser Jaime Lannister that he buried Renly in a place they knew from when he was a squire at Storm's End, where no one else could ever find and disturb his remains.[28]

A Feast for Crows

Taena of Myr tells Cersei Lannister that she was in attendance for Renly's wedding to Margaery Tyrell at Highgarden, and she questions Margaery's claim that the marriage was never consummated.[30]


Although this is never explicitly stated, there are a number of oblique references that imply those who are close to him are aware of Renly's orientation and, more, that he and Loras Tyrell are involved. When Stannis and Renly are trading barbs in anticipation of battle at Storm's End, Stannis calls Renly's wedding to Margaery Tyrell a "mummer's farce" and in response to Renly's comment, "You'll be pleased to know she came to me a maid," Stannis replies, "In your bed she's like to die that way."[25]

When Jaime stops Loras from confronting Brienne, he threatens Loras: "Now sheathe your bloody sword, or I'll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found."[31]

While contemplating Margaery's maidenhood, Cersei reflects on Margaery's marriage to Renly: "A man may prefer the taste of hippocras, yet if you set a tankard of ale before him, he will quaff it quick enough;"[32] the implication being that although Renly prefers the company of men, he may nonetheless have bedded Margaery because she was available.

Quotes by Renly

The matter seems simple enough to me. We ought to have had Viserys and his sister killed years ago, but His Grace my brother made the mistake of listening to Jon Arryn.[33]

– Renly to the small council

Renly: Give me an hour and I could put a hundred swords at your command.

Eddard: And what should I do with a hundred swords, my lord?
Renly: Strike! Now, while the castle sleeps. We must get Joffrey away from his mother and take him in hand. Protector of the Realm or no, he who holds the king holds the kingdom.[34]

- Renly and Eddard Stark

Renly: Every moment you delay gives Cersei another moment to prepare. By the time Robert dies, it may be too late ... for both of us.

Eddard: Then we should pray that Robert does not die.
Renly: Small chance of that.
Eddard: Sometimes the gods are merciful.
Renly: The Lannisters are not.[34]

– Renly and Eddard Stark

Renly: I propose that you dismount, bend your knee, and swear me your allegiance.

Stannis: That you shall never have.
Renly: You served Robert, why not me?
Stannis: Robert was my elder brother. You are the younger.
Renly: Younger, bolder, and far more comely ...
Stannis: ... and a thief and a usurper besides.
Renly: The Targaryens called Robert usurper. He seemed to be able to bear the shame. So shall I.[25]

– Renly and Stannis Baratheon

Stannis: Do you think a few bolts of cloth will make you king?

Renly: Tyrell swords will make me king. Rowan and Tarly and Caron will make me king, with axe and mace and warhammer. Tarth arrows and Penrose lances, Fossoway, Cuy, Mullendore, Estermont, Selmy, Hightower, Oakheart, Crane, Caswell, Blackbar, Morrigen, Beesbury, Shermer, Dunn, Footly . . . even House Florent, your own wife's brothers and uncles, they will make me king. All the chivalry of the south rides with me, and that is the least part of my power. My foot is coming behind, a hundred thousand swords and spears and pikes. And you will destroy me? With what, pray? That paltry rabble I see there huddled under the castle walls? I'll call them five thousand and be generous, codfish lords and onion knights and sellswords. Half of them are like to come over to me before the battle starts. You have fewer than four hundred horse, my scouts tell me-freeriders in boiled leather who will not stand an instant against armored lances. I do not care how seasoned a warrior you think you are, Stannis, that host of yours won't survive the first charge of my vanguard.[25]

– Renly and Stannis Baratheon

Why the oldest son, and not the best-fitted? The crown will suit me, as it never suited Robert and would not suit Stannis.[25]

– Renly to Catelyn Stark

Quotes about Renly

The bold little boy with wild black hair and laughing eyes was a man grown now, one-and-twenty, and still he played his games. "Look at me, I'm a king," Cressen thought sadly. Oh, Renly, Renly, dear sweet child, do you know what you are doing? And would you care if you did? is there anyone who cares for him but me?[13]

Cressen's thoughts

What has Renly ever done to earn a throne? He sits in council and jests with Littlefinger, and at tourneys he dons his splendid suit of armor and allows himself to be knocked off his horse by a better man. That is the sum of my brother Renly, who thinks he ought to be king.[13]

Stannis Baratheon to Cressen

The youngest of Lord Steffon's three sons had grown into a man bold but heedless, who acted from impulse rather than calculation. In that, as in so much else, Renly was like his brother Robert, and utterly unlike Stannis. [13]

Cressen's thoughts

My brother is young and strong, and he has a vast host around him, and these rainbow knights of his.[13]

Stannis Baratheon to Selyse Florent

Robert was the true steel. Stannis is pure iron, black and hard and strong, yes, but brittle, the way iron gets. He'll break before he bends. And Renly, that one, he's copper, bright and shiny, pretty to look at but not worth all that much at the end of the day.[35]
Donal Noye to Jon Snow

He knew how to dress and he knew how to smile and he knew how to bathe, and somehow he got the notion that this made him fit to be king.[36]
Olenna Redwyne to Margaery Tyrell

When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.[37]
- Loras Tyrell to Tyrion Lannister

I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them.[28]
Loras Tyrell to Jaime Lannister

I would have given my life for King Renly, and died happy.[38]
- Brienne Tarth to Illifer and Creighton Longbough


Robert I
Renly I
Stannis I
Joffrey I
Tommen I
9 Others

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 See the Renly Baratheon calculation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  3. HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
  7. A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
  8. 8.0 8.1 So Spake Martin: To Be Continued (Chicago, IL; May 6-8), May 06, 2005
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Renly Baratheon.
  10. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
  11. The World of Ice and Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  12. 12.0 12.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  14. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  15. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
  16. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
  17. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  18. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 58, Tyrion VII.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
  20. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  21. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
  22. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  23. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  24. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
  26. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 36, Tyrion VIII.
  27. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
  29. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  30. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
  31. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  32. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
  33. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard VIII.
  34. 34.0 34.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  35. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  36. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
  37. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 12, Tyrion II.
  38. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Margaery Tyrell married 1st Renly, 2nd Joffrey, 3rd Tommen

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