Stannis Baratheon by Amok©
|Full Name||Stannis Baratheon the First of His Name|
The King in the Narrow Sea|
The King at the Wall
Master of Ships (formerly)|
Lord of Dragonstone
Lord of Storm's End
Lord of the Stormlands
King of Westeros
|Born in||264 AC|
|Royal House||House Baratheon of Dragonstone|
A Game of Thrones (Mentioned)|
A Clash of Kings (Appears)
A Storm of Swords (Appears)
A Feast for Crows (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Appears)
The Winds of Winter (Appears)
|Played by||Stephen Dillane|
|TV series||Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4|
Stannis Baratheon is the head of House Baratheon of Dragonstone and the Lord of Dragonstone. He is the elder of King Robert Baratheon's two younger brothers, the youngest being Lord Renly Baratheon. Stannis also serves on Robert's small council as Master of Ships. His parents were Lord Steffon Baratheon and Cassana Estermont. In the TV series Stannis is played by Stephen Dillane.
Appearance and Characteristics
- See also this collection of images
Like his brothers, Robert and Renly, Stannis is a large man - tall, broad shouldered and sinewy. While he is not described as being particularly unattractive, he is also not considered as handsome as Renly or Robert was in his youth. Stannis has dark blue eyes. His head has only a fringe of black hair "like the shadow of a crown," and a close-cropped beard across his large jaw. His face has a tightness to it like cured leather, and he has hollow cheeks. He has thin, pale lips.
Stannis is a serious, stubborn, unforgiving man with an inflexible sense of duty and justice. He neither dissembles nor flatters. Stannis is obsessed with slights both real and imagined causing him to grind his teeth regularly. He is an accomplished commander, sailor, and warrior, although his personality hinders his ascension to being a truly great leader. While he is respected and feared, he has never been loved, or had the affection of nobles or smallfolk.
Stannis has a cold relationship with his wife, Lady Selyse of House Florent, and they have one daughter, Shireen, a sad little girl bearing a disfigurement from an ailment. Davos Seaworth is one of Stannis's most loyal servants.
Stannis was born the second son to Steffon Baratheon and Cassana Estermont, the younger brother of Robert Baratheon and the older brother of Renly Baratheon. His parents died when he was thirteen. He lost his faith in the Seven on that day, vowing that gods who were cruel enough to take his father and mother in sight of their children would never have his worship. Even in his youth he was said to be a serious, dour and humorless boy.
Stannis's stubbornness and determination are legendary and served him well during Robert's Rebellion. He successfully held the Baratheon castle of Storm's End against Mace Tyrell's siege, which lasted the majority of the war, unintentionally ensuring one of the largest loyalist forces did not take the field against the rebels. His garrison held under desperate conditions, only avoiding starvation by the timely intervention of a smuggler, Davos. His cargo of onions allowed them to hold the fortress. After the siege was lifted by Lord Eddard Stark, Stannis took Davos into his service, dubbing him "The Onion Knight" and allowing him to choose the name Seaworth for his new house. True to Stannis' inflexible sense of justice, he also punished Davos for his crimes as a smuggler by removing the first joint from each finger of Davos's left hand, as payment for his past crimes. Davos accepted the punishment provided Stannis carry it out himself.
Following the Sack of King's Landing and the surrender of the Tyrells at Storm's End, the new king, Robert Baratheon, charged his brother Stannis with building a new fleet to seize Dragonstone, which was still loyal to the Targaryens. Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen were smuggled from the island before Stannis could capture Dragonstone, which upset Robert. The king blamed Stannis for letting the Targaryen heirs escape, although the two children had been spirited to safety by Targaryen loyalists shortly before Stannis set sail. After commanding the successful assault on Dragonstone, Stannis was displeased to discover that King Robert had named him Lord of Dragonstone, instead of the wealthier Storm's End, which was given to their younger brother Renly, who had not done anything of true note during the war. Stannis resented this as an intentional slight, which Cersei Lannister agrees with. However, Robert needed a strong ruler to control what had been a holdout of the Mad King's loyalists, and Stannis was much more suited for this role than Renly was. The island castle was the traditional seat of the heir of the Iron Throne, the Prince of Dragonstone, so the then-childless Robert was granting it to his heir at that time, Stannis. It had the added advantage of taking prickly Stannis away from the mainland of Westeros. True to his nature, Stannis became an effective and efficient administrator as head of House Baratheon of Dragonstone.
Stannis was appointed to the small council as well, as the Master of Ships. During the Greyjoy Rebellion, Stannis commanded the royal fleet and trapped and destroyed much of the Iron Fleet at Fair Isle. Afterwards, he subdued Great Wyk in his brother's name. While he was at court in King's Landing, Stannis left Ser Axell Florent as castellan of Dragonstone.
During his wedding to Lady Selyse Florent, King Robert deflowered Delena Florent on Stannis's wedding bed. This coupling led to the birth of Edric Storm, the only acknowledged bastard of the king. Stannis insisted that he was a blight upon the honor of his wife's house and promptly shipped him off to his other uncle, Lord Renly, at Storm's End.
Despite his loyalty and service to his brother Robert, Stannis feels Robert has given him little in return. Instead of thanking him for holding Storm's End against the Tyrells he thanked Eddard Stark for lifting the siege instead. Instead of thanking Stannis for capturing Dragonstone for him, Robert blamed Stannis for the escape of the Targaryen children. Stannis helped Jon Arryn, Robert's Hand of the King, in ruling the kingdoms but received little or no acknowledgement or thanks from his elder brother, who spent his time, hunting, drinking and whoring. Stannis never complained publicly since service without expectation of reward was required of him in his positions, although he often did so privately to Robert and Cersei.
Just prior to the events of A Game of Thrones, Stannis suspected that the children of Queen Cersei Lannister were not actually Robert's. He confided his suspicions to Lord Arryn, and they investigated the matter together. Stannis did not bring his suspicions to Robert, as he knew Robert would not believe the charges coming from him. Since Robert had no love for his brother Stannis, the younger Baratheon would be seen as making himself heir. However, Stannis felt Robert would listen if the charges came from Jon Arryn, whom Robert loved. They visited several of Robert's baseborn children in the city and Stannis pointed out that all had black hair and they looked like Robert. Jon consulted the book The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms of past marriages of noble houses and discovered the same was true: whenever a Baratheon wed, their sons and daughters would have black hair, even if the other parent was a golden-haired Lannister.
After determining that Cersei's children were in fact not Robert's, Jon meant to act and planned for his son Robert Arryn to be fostered with Stannis on Dragonstone. However, Lord Arryn died before he could bring the evidence before Robert.
A Game of Thrones
After the death of Jon Arryn, Stannis flees to Dragonstone to gather his strength and plan his next move. Lord Eddard Stark wonders why Stannis left, believing it is due to the discovery of whatever secret Jon Arryn was allegedly murdered for, not realizing that Stannis was slighted by Robert's selection of Eddard as his new Hand of the King. During Eddard's investigation of Jon's death, he discovers that Stannis and Jon had spent a great deal of time together. When he is told Stannis and Jon visited a brothel, when Stannis is normally so righteous to the point of prudish, he gets closer to the truth. Robert dies after a boar hunt and is succeeded by his son, Joffrey Baratheon. Eddard tries to rule as regent, but is outmaneuvered by Robert's widow, Cersei Lannister. The boy king Joffrey subsequently has Eddard executed.
A Clash of Kings
On Dragonstone, Stannis declares he is the true heir of Robert Baratheon to the Iron Throne, as Joffrey has no true claim to the throne. Since the king's death Stannis has been gathering what strength he can from the lords of the narrow sea and from Myrish and Lyseni sellswords, but his forces are too few to challenge the Lannisters in King's Landing. Additionally, his younger brother, Renly, has also declared himself king with the support of House Tyrell; most of the Baratheon bannermen in the Stormlands are following Renly. Stannis's maester, Cressen, suggests he should treat with Robb Stark, who has been declared King in the North, or Lysa Arryn, but his wife, Selyse, says Stannis should not treat for what is his by right.
Selyse has fallen under the influence of Melisandre, a priestess of the Lord of Light. She declares the Red Comet is a sign that Stannis must sail and the banners of the Reach and the Stormlands will flock to him, but Stannis is not convinced. Selyse then tells him to embrace the Lord of Light. She says Melisandre has looked into the flames and seen Renly dead. Stannis renounces the Faith of the Seven and embraces the Lord of Light, seeking only the power that Melisandre promises will follow. The statues of the Seven at Dragonstone are burned in sacrifice. Melisandre proclaims Stannis to be Azor Ahai reborn, a messianic figure in the R'hllor faith. His switch to the faith of R'hllor divides Stannis's own men into two factions: King's Men who still follow the Faith of the Seven and Queen's Men who worship R'hllor.
As a first step toward claiming the Iron Throne, Stannis has hundreds of letters sent to lords throughout Westeros proclaiming himself king and claiming, correctly, that Ser Jaime Lannister, not Robert Baratheon, is the father of Cersei's children. Rather than a direct assault on King's Landing, Stannis leads his forces to besiege Storm's End, hoping to convince his younger brother to join forces with him. He offers Renly to be his heir and a place at the king's small council. Renly makes light of the offer and the brothers have an inconclusive parley that fails to reconcile them. They agree that their forces will meet at dawn. That night, Melisandre uses her magic to birth an animated shadow, which assassinates Renly in his tent at first light. The majority of Renly's followers subsequently swear allegiance to Stannis.
One of Renly's sworn swords who refuses to follow Stannis is Ser Cortnay Penrose, castellan of Storm's End. Cortnay refuses to surrender the castle, fearing what Stannis would do to the bastard within, Edric Storm. He challenges Stannis to a duel, which the king refuses. Ser Davos Seaworth rows Melisandre beneath the fortress, and the priestess assassinates Penrose as she did Renly.
With Storm's End under his control, Stannis launches an amphibious assault on King's Landing. Braving wildfire, a river-spanning chain, and other defenses, Stannis's forces are defeated at the cusp of victory when Lannister and Tyrell reinforcements unexpectedly arrive, seemingly led by Renly's ghost; it is in fact Garlan Tyrell wearing the deceased Renly's armour.
A Storm of Swords
Stannis returns to Dragonstone, his host broken by the Battle of the Blackwater. He has his Hand of the King, Lord Alester Florent, imprisoned when the man attempts to make peace with the Lannisters by offering them Stannis's daughter, Shireen Baratheon, as a hostage.
When Ser Davos Seaworth returns to Dragonstone, Stannis has him brought before him to hear Axell Florent's plan to assault Claw Isle and put the island to the sword in retaliation for Lord Ardrian Celtigar's submission to King Joffrey. Davos calls the plan evil, stating that the smallfolk of Claw Isle are not traitors. Stannis agrees and names Davos Seaworth his new Hand of the King, since Davos is one of the few men who have the courage to tell his king the truth, even when he knows the truth will not be well-received.
Melisandre urges Stannis to sacrifice Robert's bastard Edric Storm to complete a spell she claims will raise dragons from stone and grant him more power. Stannis, though initially reluctant, is about to follow through with the ritual when Davos smuggles the boy away and urges Stannis to take his remaining forces north to defend the Wall.
Stannis sails his forces north to the Wall, leaves Selyse and Shireen at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, and marches west along the Wall. His forces arrive just in time to crush Mance Rayder's wildling army at the Battle of Castle Black. He stays at the King's Tower of Castle Black to negotiate a settlement with the wildlings and offers to legitimize Jon Snow as Lord of Winterfell if he supports Stannis's rule. The offer falls through when Jon is selected as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Stannis continues to seek support in the North for another attempt at the throne.
A Feast for Crows
Stannis sends flocks of ravens from the Wall to all northern houses asking them to declare for him. He receives silence or refusals from the lords, with only the Karstarks, led by the castellan of Karhold, Arnolf Karstark, declaring for him.
A Dance with Dragons
Stannis sends Davos Seaworth to White Harbor to treat with Lord Wyman Manderly on his behalf. Stannis receives many rejections from his demands of fealty from the northern lords, although he does win the support of a portion of House Umber led by Mors Umber. Stannis has the King-Beyond-the-Wall, Mance Rayder burned for the crime of being a deserter of the Watch. He then offers the remaining Free Folk a choice - bend the knee or go back to the wild. Given the severe threat posed by the Others in the wild, nine of every ten wildlings bend the knee. Unbeknownst to Stannis, however, the burned Mance was actually a glamoured Rattleshirt.
Stannis is counseled by Arnolf Karstark via raven messages to join his strength to his and attack the Dreadfort, seat of the new Warden of the North, Lord Roose Bolton. Stannis agrees and plans to make his assault when Ramsay Bolton marches south to take Moat Cailin from the ironborn. Stannis does not know that Arnolf Karstark is secretly working for House Bolton and is trying to lure Stannis into a trap. Upon hearing the plan, however, Lord Commander Jon Snow persuades Stannis not to go down this course, as Jon knows how strong the Dreadfort is even with a small garrison.
Instead, Stannis travels west to take Deepwood Motte from the ironborn that hold it. Jon Snow advises him to go through the mountains north of Winterfell and win the support of the mountain clans, including the Flints, Wulls, Norreys and Liddles. The mountain clans are deeply loyal to the memory of Eddard Stark and would take pride in receiving a king. Stannis wins over several of their chiefs, such as Old Torghen Flint and Hugo "Big Bucket" Wull. With an additional three thousand men in his army, Stannis then retakes Deepwood Motte. Stannis takes several ironborn captive, including Asha Greyjoy, and returns Deepwood Motte to House Glover, an act that gains him popular support in the North and earns him the support of the Glovers and House Mormont. Stannis's men are also reinforced by survivors of the Sack of Winterfell who have been hiding in the wolfswood. His army marches on Winterfell and is eventually joined by the forces of Arnolf Karstark and Mors Umber. However, they are slowed by relentless snowstorms. Learning of Arnolf Karstark's planned treachery from Arnolf's niece, Alys, Jon Snow sends a message to Stannis trying to warn him.
According to a taunting letter written by Ramsay Bolton to Jon Snow, Stannis was killed along with most of his army in the Siege of Winterfell. Stannis's last known location was a snowed-in crofters' village three days west of Winterfell. It is unknown, however, if Stannis is really dead, or if it is just a lie written by Ramsay.
The Winds of Winter
Though reportedly isolated and secluded, Stannis is actively and efficiently preparing for the looming battle against the Boltons. At the crofters' village, Stannis receives the Braavosi banker Tycho Nestoris and the two sign a contract. Stannis plans to send the banker back to the Wall so he does not get caught up in the fighting.
Stannis is made aware of Arnolf Karstark's planned treachery due to the message Jon Snow gave the banker. Stannis has Arnolf, his son Arthor and three grandsons arrested and plans to execute them, though whether their death will be quick beheadings or by fire depends on their willingness to confess. Stannis prepares his position to battle the coming vanguard of Lord Roose Bolton's army led by Ser Hosteen Frey. Stannis sends Ser Justin Massey to escort "Arya Stark" back to the Wall to reunite the girl with her half-brother, Jon Snow, in gratitude for Jon warning him to amass the northern mountain clans rather than march straight into the Karstarks' plans.
Stannis orders Justin Massey to go with Tycho Nestoris to Braavos, where Justin will use the money given to him by the Iron Bank of Braavos to hire sellsword companies till he has a force no less than twenty thousand strong and then sail back to Westeros. Stannis also gives orders that if he is slain in the coming battle, Justin is still to do as instructed, with the intention of using the army to place his daughter, Shireen Baratheon, on the Iron Throne.
Quotes by Stannis
I ask you, why did the gods inflict me with brothers? 
- Stannis to Maester Cressen
I shall bring justice to Westeros. A thing Ser Axell understands as little as he does war. Claw Isle would gain me naught... and it was evil, just as you said. Celtigar must pay the traitor's price himself, in his own person. And when I come into my kingdom, he shall. Every man shall reap what he has sown, from the highest lord to the lowest gutter rat. And some will lose more than the tips off their fingers, I promise you. They have made my kingdom bleed, and I do not forget that.
- Stannis to Ser Davos Seaworth
It is not a question of wanting. The throne is mine, as Robert's heir. That is law. After me, it must pass to my daughter, unless Selyse should finally give me a son. I am king. Wants do not enter into it. I have a duty to my daughter. To the realm. Even to Robert. He loved me but little, I know, yet he was my brother. The Lannister woman gave him horns and made a motley fool of him. She may have murdered him as well, as she murdered Jon Arryn and Ned Stark. For such crimes there must be justice. Starting with Cersei and her abominations. But only starting. I mean to scour that court clean. As Robert should have done after the Trident.
- Stannis to Ser Davos Seaworth
Kings have no friends, only subjects and enemies.
- Stannis to Catelyn Tully
These pardoned lords would do well to reflect on that. Good men and true will fight for Joffrey, wrongly believing him the true king. A northman might even say the same of Robb Stark. But these lords who flocked to my brother’s banners knew him for a usurper. They turned their backs on their rightful king for no better reason than dreams of power and glory, and I have marked them for what they are. Pardoned them, yes. Forgiven. But not forgotten.
- Stannis to Ser Davos Seaworth
I stopped believing in gods the day I saw the Windproud break up across the bay. Any gods so monstrous as to drown my mother and father would never have my worship, I vowed. In King’s Landing, the High Septon would prattle at me of how all justice and goodness flowed from the Seven, but all I ever saw of either was made by men.
- Stannis to Ser Davos Seaworth
- Stannis to Davos Seaworth
- Stannis to Davos Seaworth
- Stannis to Davos Seaworth
- Stannis to Jon Snow
The more we bleed each other, the weaker we shall all be when the real enemy falls upon us.
- Stannis to Jon Snow
Your brothers will not like it, no more than your father's lords, but I mean to allow the wildlings through the Wall... those who will swear me their fealty, pledge to keep the king's peace and the king's laws, and take the Lord of Light as their god. Even the giants, if those great knees of theirs can bend. I will settle them on the Gift, once I have wrested it away from your new Lord Commander. When the cold winds rise, we shall live or die together. It is time we made alliance against our common foe.
- Stannis to Jon Snow
Stannis: I thought the wet nurse was this man Craster’s daughter?
Melisandre: Wife and daughter both, Your Grace. Craster married all his daughters. Gilly’s boy was the fruit of their union.Stannis: Her own father got this child on her? We are well rid of her, then. I will not suffer such abominations here. This is not King’s Landing.
- Stannis to Melisandre
We all know what my brother would do. Robert would gallop up to the gates of Winterfell alone, break them with his warhammer, and ride through the rubble to slay Roose Bolton with his left hand and the Bastard with his right. I am not Robert. But we will march, and we will free Winterfell … or die in the attempt. 
- Stannis to his bannermen
"I defeated your uncle Victarion and his Iron Fleet off Fair Isle, the first time your father crowned himself. I held Storm's End against the power of the Reach for a year, and took Dragonstone from the Targaryens. I smashed Mance Rayder at the Wall, though he had twenty times my numbers. Tell me, turncloak, what battles has the Bastard of Bolton ever won that I should fear him?" 
―Stannis Baratheon to Theon Greyjoy
Quotes about Stannis
He is strong, able, just… aye, just past the point of wisdom… yet it is not enough. It has never been enough.
- Maester Cressen
There is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man.
Hard was the word men used when they spoke of Stannis, and hard he was.
- Maester Cressen
Cersei: And Stannis has always felt he was cheated of Storm's End. The ancestral seat of House Baratheon, his by rights... if you knew how many times he came to Robert singing that same dull song in that gloomy aggrieved tone he has. When Robert gave the place to Renly, Stannis clenched his jaw so tight I thought his teeth would shatter.
Tyrion: He took it as a slight.Cersei: It was meant as a slight.
This is Stannis Baratheon. The man will fight to the bitter end and then some.
In truth, the young lord commander and her king had more in common than either one would ever be willing to admit. Stannis had been a younger son living in the shadow of his elder brother, just as Jon Snow, bastard-born, had always been eclipsed by his trueborn sibling, the fallen hero men had called the Young Wolf. Both men were unbelievers by nature, mistrustful, suspicious. The only gods they truly worshipped were honor and duty.
What does Stannis offer you? Vengeance. Vengeance for my sons and yours, for your husbands and your fathers and your brothers. Vengeance for your murdered lord, your murdered king, your butchered princes. Vengeance! 
References and Notes
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
- So Spake Martin: The Baratheon Brothers
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 64, Daenerys VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 73, Jon X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 76, Jon XI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10 - Jon III, pages 134-138
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 31 - Melisandre I, pages 418-419
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 35, Jon VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 69, Jon XIII, pages 907-908.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize, page 561.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 51, Theon I, page 677.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 62, The Sacrifice.
- Theon I (The Winds of Winter)
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 5, Davos I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
- The Winds of Winter, Chapter Theon 1.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 1, Arya I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 75, Samwell IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 31, Melisandre I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 19, Davos III.
- An interview with George R R Martin.
- Margaery Tyrell married 1st Renly, 2nd Joffrey, 3rd Tommen
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