The Usurper is a derogatory name given to King Robert I Baratheon by those who believe that the rightful rulers of the Seven Kingdoms are House Targaryen. After Robert's Rebellion, also called the War of the Usurper, Robert succeeded the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, whose surviving family live in exile.
Throughout history, people have rebelled against the regime in place and been denounced as usurpers, such as:
- The Bloodstone Emperor, who usurped his sister the Amethyst Empress in a event remember as the Blood Betrayal.
- Ronard Storm, who usurped his half-brother King Morden II Durrandon.
- Maegor I Targaryen, who was denounced an usurper by his nephew Prince Aegon the Uncrowned.
- Jonos Arryn, who usurped his older brother Lord Ronnel Arryn.
- During the Dance of the Dragons, the half-siblings Aegon II Targaryen and Rhaenyra Targaryen both denounced the other as the usurper.
- Daeron II Targaryen, called Daeron the Falseborn by the Blackfyre supporters.
- Daemon I Blackfyre, who rebelled against his half-brother King Daeron II Targaryen. Stannis Baratheon judges him as a rebel and usurper.
A Game of Thrones
Daenerys Targaryen, the daughter of the late Aerys II Targaryen, often thinks of the Usurper, Robert I Baratheon, and how he betrayed House Targaryen. Her brother Viserys believes there are houses still loyal to the Targaryens who will rise up against the Usurper when he and Dany cross the narrow sea.
Robert admits to his friend, Lord Eddard Stark, that he is wary of Daenerys marrying Khal Drogo and Viserys allying with a Dothraki khalasar, since some in the Seven Kingdoms still call him Usurper.
A Clash of Kings
In Qarth, Quhuru Mo informs Daenerys that Robert died after hunting in the kingswood, and she is happy to learn that the Lannisters are fighting the Starks. Dany desires to use Robert's skull as a drinking vessel.
During the War of the Five Kings, Melisandre considers rivals of Stannis Baratheon to be usurpers. Stannis calls his younger brother, Renly, a usurper at the siege of Storm's End, and Melisandre assassinates Renly.
A Storm of Swords
Following Melisandre's instructions, Stannis tosses leeches, which have fed on the blood of Robert's bastard Edric Storm, into a fire, an attempt to kill the usurpers Joffrey Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy, and Robb Stark.
Daenerys has a dream of the Trident, in which she burns the ice-armored host of the Usurper with dragonfire. She is wary of Ser Barristan Selmy, since he served Robert after the War of the Usurper.
A Dance with Dragons
Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved. The sack of King’s Landing by the ones Viserys called the Usurper's dogs, the lords Lannister and Stark.—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen
Illyrio: In holdfasts all across the realm, men lift secret toasts to your health while women sew dragon banners and hide them against the day of your return from across the water. Or so my agents tell me.
Viserys: I shall kill the Usurper myself, as he killed my brother Rhaegar. And Lannister too, the Kingslayer, for what he did to my father.
Eddard: I looked for you on the Trident.
Gerold: We were not there.Oswell: Woe to the Usurper if we had been.
The Starks seek to steal half my kingdom, even as the Lannisters have stolen my throne and my own sweet brother the swords and service and strongholds that are mine by rights. They are all usurpers, and they are all my enemies.
Dany had never looked upon the Usurper's face, yet seldom a day had passed when she had not thought of him. His great shadow had lain across her since the hour of her birth, when she came forth amidst blood and storm into a world where she no longer had a place. And now this ebony stranger had lifted that shadow.—thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen
Stannis: Robert was my elder brother. You are the younger.
Renly: Younger, bolder, and far more comely ...Renly: The Targaryens called Robert usurper. He seemed to be able to bear the shame. So shall I.
Stannis: ... and a thief and a usurper besides.
—thoughts of Kevan Lannister
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Bones and Beyond: Yi Ti.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Durrandon.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragons.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- The Princess and the Queen.
- The Sworn Sword.
- The Winds of Winter, Chapter , Theon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 27, Daenerys II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 40, Daenerys III.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 27, Daenerys III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 57, Daenerys V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 19, Davos III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
- A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.