Renly Baratheon

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House Baratheon.svg Lord
Renly Baratheon
House Baratheon.svg
Renly Baratheon.jpg
Renly by Amok

Allegiance House Baratheon
Culture Stormlander
Born 277 AC[1]
Storm's End, the stormlands[2]
Died 299 AC (aged 21)
Storm's End, the stormlands
Father Lord Steffon Baratheon
Mother Lady Cassana Estermont
Spouse Lady Margaery Tyrell
Lover Ser Loras Tyrell[3]

Played by Gethin Anthony
TV series Game of Thrones:
Season 1 | 2

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.[4] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones Renly is played by Gethin Anthony.[5]

Appearance and Character

Renly is described as a powerful man[6] who is lean and lithe.[7] He has a handsome, clean-shaven face.[6] Renly greatly resembles a young King Robert I Baratheon,[8] being near as tall as his eldest brother had been.[9] Like Robert, Renly has an easy smile.[8][9] He is taller and broader in the chest than Ser Loras Tyrell.[10]

Renly's thick[11] hair is described as black as jet[6] and coal.[9][7] His fine and straight[9] hair currently falls to his shoulders,[6] although Renly has sometimes kept it short or tied it behind his head with a golden ribbon.[7] He always keeps his hair clean and combed.[7]

Renly has been described as having laughing green eyes which match his armor,[6] as well as deep blue eyes[7] which resemble those of Robert.[9][12] According to a semi-canon source, George R. R. Martin reconciled the difference by suggesting Renly has blue-green eyes which change color depending on what he wears.[13]

Renly is a charismatic man, winning friends easily, but he also strikes some people as frivolous.[9] Renly enjoys tourneys and hunting but is not driven by the passion for food, drink, or wenching as King Robert came to be. He is quite popular with smallfolk due to his good looks, friendly ways, and charisma.[14] According to Maester Cressen, Renly is a bold man who acts from impulse.[15] Queen Cersei Lannister dislikes her brother-in-law because of his mockery.[16]

Renly wears expensive attire, usually combining the Baratheon sigil with the colors of House Tyrell,[9] such as a dark green velvet doublet embroidered with golden stags. He drapes a cloth-of-gold half cape over the doublet with an emerald brooch.[17] Renly has a suit of enameled green armor with a helm adorned with a pair of golden antlers,[9] which was made by Tobho Mott.[8] He wields longsword and dagger.[18]

Unbeknownst to the realm at large, and despite the many women who are attracted to him, Renly is homosexual.[19][2] According to his lover, Loras, 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.[20]


Renly by Henning Ludvigsen © Fantasy Flight Games

Born in 277 AC,[1] Renly was the youngest of the three sons of Lord Steffon Baratheon and Lady Cassana Estermont.[4][21] Renly's parent's died when their ship Windproud, returning from the Free Cities, sank in a storm in Shipbreaker Bay.[15]

Renly grew up at Storm's End. Only a young boy 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.[18][2]

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.[15]

By his older brother, King Robert I Baratheon, Renly was granted the seat of Storm's End and named Lord Paramount of the Stormlands in 285 AC or 286 AC, upsetting Stannis, who felt that, as the elder of the two, Storm's End was his by right.[15]

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.[22] 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.[23]

During his time as Lord of Storm's End, Renly took Loras Tyrell as his squire.[16] Eventually, Renly and Loras became lovers. Although not widely known, various others at court are aware of their forbidden relationship.[19][2]

Renly was eventually named to the small council, where he occupied the position of master of laws.[4] 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.[24] Brella runs Renly's household in King's Landing for him.[25] Renly has thirty men in his personal guard at the capital.[26]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Renly by Alexandre Dainche © Fantasy Flight Games

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.[27]

Renly performs well in the Hand's tourney, losing to the Hound, Sandor Clegane.[14] 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.[8] 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.[28] When the small council learns that Daenerys Targaryen is pregnant, Renly advises Robert to have the exiled girl assassinated.[29]

Renly joins Robert when the king goes hunting in the kingswood for a white hart.[30] While Robert lies dying after being gored by a boar, Renly approaches Eddard and suggests they seize control of the royal children before Queen Cersei Lannister can strike.[26] Eddard refuses the offer, however, and Renly flees King's Landing along with Loras.[31]

After Robert's death, Renly is among the nobles ordered to swear fealty to King Joffrey I, Renly's nephew.[32] Rumors spread that Eddard had murdered Robert and that Renly then avenged his brother, or that Renly had killed Robert in a drunken quarrel.[33]

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.[34][35]

A Clash of Kings

Renly's crown, by David Griffith © Fantasy Flight Games
Renly with his wife, Margaery Tyrell, by Amok © Fantasy Flight Games

Renly's crown of soft gold depicts a ring of roses. On its front is a stag's head made of dark green jade, with golden eyes and antlers.[9]

Through his charisma with and ties to 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 takes to wearing the stag of Baratheon but in the colors of House Tyrell.[9] Lord Mace Tyrell, the father of Margaery Tyrell, serves as Renly's Hand of the King.[36] Because the Kingsguard is already serving Joffrey, Renly creates the Rainbow Guard in honor of the Seven.[19] Renly appoints his lover, Ser Loras Tyrell, as their Lord Commander.[15]

Renly spends a great deal of time moving through the Reach, gaining support and men at castles such as Horn Hill while waiting for the right moment to strike.[37] 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.[9]

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.[38] Renly states he might allow Robb to keep his title, but he refuses to allow the north to secede from the Seven Kingdoms.[9]

Renly's plan goes awry, however, when Stannis unexpectedly besieges Storm's End, forcing Renly to respond.[9] 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. Renly also denies Catelyn leave to return to Riverrun, so she may witness the fate of "rebels".[37] While preparing for battle with Stannis's forces the next dawn, however, Renly is slain by an animated shadow conjured by his brother's sorceress adviser, Melisandre.[18]

After learning of Renly's death, an enraged Loras slays three of the king's guards, including Ser Emmon Cuy and Ser Robar Royce of the Rainbow Guard.[39] Stannis is troubled by terrible nightmares.[40] Rumors spread that Renly was killed by a knight of his Rainbow Guard, Stannis, Brienne, Catelyn, or a spurned lover.[39] Most of Renly's lords join Stannis's host,[39] although prominent nobles like Loras, Arwyn Oakheart, Mathis Rowan, and Randyll Tarly refuse and instead return to Bitterbridge.[41] 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.[39] Cortnay refuses to surrender Storm's End and his charge, Edric Storm, but the castellan is also assassinated by a shadow.[40][40]

During the Battle of the Blackwater, Renly's famous green armor is seen leading the van for Lords Mace Tyrell and Tywin Lannister. Renly kills Ser Guyard Morrigen and a dozen other knights,[42] causing many of the men in Stannis's host who had once been Renly's to again change sides.[43]

A Storm of Swords

Following King Joffrey I Baratheon's wedding to Renly's widow, Margaery, Hamish the Harper performs "Lord Renly's Ride" during the wedding feast. Hamish sings of Renly's ghost repenting from his attempt to usurp his nephew, returning to this world to defend the realm from Stannis and then returning to Highgarden to see his true love's face one last time, which brings tears to Margaery's eyes.[44]

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. Loras reveals that his brother, Ser Garlan Tyrell, wore Renly's armor at the Blackwater to make it appear that Renly's ghost had returned for vengeance against the kinslaying Stannis. Jaime advises Loras to speak with Brienne and be assured that she had not assassinated Renly.[10]

A Feast for Crows

Taena of Myr tells Queen Regent 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.[45]

King Tommen I Baratheon names Lord Renly, one of Cersei's dromonds, after his late uncle.[45]


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.

Catelyn notices that Renly pays much more attention to Loras than his new bride, Margaery.[9]

When Stannis and Renly are trading barbs in anticipation of battle at Storm's End, Stannis calls Renly's wedding to Margaery 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."[37]

Renly while making battle plans gives Loras command of the vanguard, passing over several others clamoring for the honor, and calls him "the greatest knight". After dismissing the others from his tent Renly tells Loras to stay behind and help him "pray".[37] Loras later recalls the moment and pauses noticeably while telling Jaime Lannister that he and Renly prayed together.[10]

Oberyn calls Loras "Renly's little rose" while in conversation with Tyrion. [46]

Tyrion hires a woman, Brella, because she was adept at being "blind, deaf and mute" as she had run Renly's household in the city.[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."[47]

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;"[48] the implication being that although Renly prefers the company of men, he may nonetheless have bedded Margaery because she was available.

Quotes by Renly

Gethin Anthony as Renly in Game of Thrones

Eddard: You must forgive me, but sometimes you look the very image of your brother Robert.

Renly: A poor copy.
Petyr: Though much better dressed. Lord Renly spends more on clothing than half the ladies of the court.

Renly: There are worse crimes. The way you dress, for one.[17]

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.[26]

—Renly to Eddard Stark

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.[37]

Stannis Baratheon and Renly

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.[37]

—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.[37]

—Renly to Catelyn Stark

Tell me, my lady, do direwolves vote on who should lead the pack?[37]

—Renly to Catelyn Stark

Quotes about Renly

Renly had been a boy of eight when Robert won the throne, but he had grown into a man so like his brother that Ned found it disconcerting. Whenever he saw him, it was as if the years had slipped away and Robert stood before him, fresh from his victory on the Trident.[17]

Eddard Stark's thoughts

They are quite a pair, Stannis and Renly. The iron gauntlet and the silk glove.[49]

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?[50]

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.[50]

Small wonder the lords gather around him with such fervor, she thought, he is Robert come again. Renly was handsome as Robert had been handsome; long of limb and broad of shoulder, with the same coal-black hair, fine and straight, the same deep blue eyes, the same easy smile.[9]

Catelyn Stark's thoughts

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.[51]

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.[52]

When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.[53]

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.[10]

I would have given my life for King Renly, and died happy.[22]


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

Behind the Scenes

In an early draft of A Game of Thrones, Renly was Lord of Dragonstone and "Warden of the Narrow Sea," while Stannis was Lord of Storm's End.[55]


  1. 1.0 1.1 See the Renly Baratheon calculation.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Renly Baratheon.
  3. Union Square Signing transcript
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  5. HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 37, Brienne VII.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
  11. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 41, Alayne II.
  12. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  13. So Spake Martin: US Signing Tour (Albuquerque, NM) (November 29, 2005)
  14. 14.0 14.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  16. 16.0 16.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 So Spake Martin: To Be Continued (Chicago, IL; May 6-8) (May 06, 2005)
  20. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
  21. The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
  22. 22.0 22.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
  23. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
  24. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
  25. 25.0 25.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 58, Tyrion VII.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
  27. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
  28. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
  29. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard VIII.
  30. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
  31. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
  32. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
  33. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
  34. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
  35. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
  36. A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 37.5 37.6 37.7 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
  38. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 36, Tyrion VIII.
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
  41. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize.
  42. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
  43. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 4, Tyrion I.
  44. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  45. 45.0 45.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
  46. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  47. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
  48. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
  49. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  50. 50.0 50.1 A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
  51. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  52. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
  53. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 12, Tyrion II.
  54. 54.0 54.1 Margaery Tyrell married 1st Renly, 2nd Joffrey, 3rd Tommen
  55. Secrets of the Cushing Library: A Game of Thrones - gsteff on Reddit

External Links

Preceded by Lord of Storm's End
Lord Paramount of the Stormlands

285/286299 AC
Succeeded by
Last known title holder:
Symond Staunton
Master of laws
?–298 AC
Succeeded by
Titles in pretence
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Baratheon claimant
299 AC
Reason for succession failure:
throne usurped by Joffrey I
Succeeded by