A Clash of Kings
During their meeting near Storm's End during the War of the Five Kings, Renly Baratheon offers his brother Stannis a peach as they are parlaying. As his brother's hand slides into his cloak Stannis reaches at once for the hilt of his sword, but before he can draw steel Renly produces a peach. Smiling, Renly offers the peach to Stannis, promising him he has never tasted anything so sweet. When Stannis refuses the peach, Renly advises him,
A Storm of Swords
The memory of Renly with his peach continues to haunt Stannis.
George R. R. Martin once reflected on the symbolism of the peach:
The peach represents... Well... It's pleasure. It's… tasting the juices of life. Stannis is a very marshal man concerned with his duty, and with that peach Renly says: "Smell the roses", because Stannis is always concerned with his duty and honor, in what he should be doing and he never really stops to taste the fruit. Renly wants him to taste the fruit but it's lost. I wish that scene had been included in the TV series because for me that peach was important, but it wasn't possible.—George R. R. Martin
The idea of the peach as a symbol for the pleasures of life can be found in several instances throughout the series:
- In the lyrics of the song "The Dornishman's Wife".
- Robert I Baratheon bringing peaches among other fruits to Eddard Stark to give him "a taste of summer".
- While wandering the red waste, the khalasar of Daenerys Targaryen stumbles upon the abandoned city of Vaes Tolorro. There they find shades, water and peaches which maintain them alive.
- The Peach brothel at Stoney Sept may have been named after this symbolism too.
- Asha Greyjoy recalling a night of carnal pleasure with Qarl the Maid where they eat peaches together.
Renly offered me a peach. At our parley. Mocked me, defied me, threatened me, and offered me a peach. I thought he was drawing a blade and went for mine own. Was that his purpose, to make me show fear? Or was it one of his pointless jests? When he spoke of how sweet the peach was, did his words have some hidden meaning? Only Renly could vex me with a piece of fruit. He brought his doom on himself with his treason, but I did love him, Davos. I know that now. I swear, I will go to my grave thinking of my brother’s peach.
Renly and his peach. In my dreams I see the juice running from his mouth, the blood from his throat. If he had done his duty by his brother, we would have smashed Lord Tywin. A victory even Robert could be proud of.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- George R.R. Martin: "Trying to please everyone is a horrible mistake" Adria's News 2012.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 7, Jon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.