The King in Highgarden|
The King in the South
Lord Paramount of the Stormlands|
Lord of Storm's End
Master of laws
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms (claimant)
|Born||In 277 AC|
|Died||In 299 AC, at Storm's End|
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)
The Winds of Winter (mentioned)
|Played by||Gethin Anthony|
|TV series||Season 1 | Season 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. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones Renly is played by Gethin Anthony.
Appearance and Character
Renly is "near twenty" in his introduction, a tall man with black hair falling to his shoulders. He is thought to look eerily similar to a young Robert, though several inches shorter, and far less muscular. According to George R. R. Martin, Renly's eyes are blue-green and change color depending on what he wears. Renly keeps his body trim, and his thick, jet-black hair long but always neatly combed. He prefers to be clean-shaven.
Renly is a handsome and charismatic man, winning friends easily, but he also strikes some people as frivolous. Renly enjoys tourneys 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.
Renly wears expensive attire, 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. Renly has a suit of enameled green armor with a helm adorned with a pair of golden antlers, which was made by Tobho Mott. He wields longsword and dagger.
Unbeknownst to the realm at large, and despite the many women who are attracted to him, Renly is homosexual. 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.
Born in 277 AC, Renly was the youngest of the three sons of Lord Steffon Baratheon and Lady Cassana Estermont. When Renly was just an infant, his parents died in 278 AC when their ship Windproud, returning from the Free Cities, sank in a storm in Shipbreaker Bay.
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.
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.
By his older brother, King Robert I Baratheon, 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.
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. 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.
During his time as Lord of Storm's End, Renly took Loras Tyrell as his squire. This was likely the start of their clandestine love affair. Although not widely known, their forbidden relationship is known to various others at court.
Renly was eventually named to the small council, where he occupied the position of master of laws. 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. Brella runs Renly's household in King's Landing for him. Renly has thirty men in his personal guard at the capital.
A Game of Thrones
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. 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.
Renly performs well in the Hand's tourney, losing to the Hound, Sandor Clegane. 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. 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. When the small council learns that Daenerys Targaryen is pregnant, Renly advises Robert to have the exiled girl assassinated.
Renly joins Robert when the king goes hunting in the kingswood for a white hart. 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. Eddard refuses the offer, however, and Renly flees King's Landing along with Loras.
After Robert's death, Renly is among the nobles ordered to swear fealty to King Joffrey I, Renly's nephew. Rumors spread that Eddard had murdered Robert and that Renly then avenged his brother, or that Renly had killed Robert in a drunken quarrel.
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.
A Clash of Kings
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. Lord Mace Tyrell, the father of Margaery Tyrell, serves as Renly's Hand of the King.
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. 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.
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. Renly states he might allow Robb to keep his title, but he refuses to allow the north to secede from the Seven Kingdoms.
Renly's plan goes awry, however, when Stannis unexpectedly besieges Storm's End, forcing Renly to respond. 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". 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.
After learning of Renly's death, an enraged Loras slays three of the king's guards, including Ser Emmon Cuy and Ser Robar Royce. Stannis is troubled by terrible nightmares. Rumors spread that Renly was killed by a knight of his Rainbow Guard, Stannis, Brienne, Catelyn, or a spurned lover. Most of Renly's lords join Stannis's host, although prominent nobles like Loras, Arwyn Oakheart, Mathis Rowan, and Randyll Tarly refuse and instead return to Bitterbridge. 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. Cortnay refuses to surrender Storm's End and his charge, Edric Storm, but the castellan is also assassinated by a shadow.
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, causing many of the men in Stannis's host who had once been Renly's to again change sides.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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;" the implication being that although Renly prefers the company of men, he may nonetheless have bedded Margaery because she was available.
Quotes by Renly
Eddard: You must forgive me, but sometimes you look the very image of your brother Robert.
Renly: A poor copy.Renly: There are worse crimes. The way you dress, for one.
Petyr: Though much better dressed. Lord Renly spends more on clothing than half the ladies of the court.
—Renly to Eddard Stark
—Renly to 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.—Renly and Stannis Baratheon
—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.—Eddard Stark'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.
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.—Cressen'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.
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.
When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.
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.
I would have given my life for King Renly, and died happy.
- See the Renly Baratheon calculation.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
- So Spake Martin: US Signing Tour (Albuquerque, NM) (November 29, 2005)
- A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- So Spake Martin: To Be Continued (Chicago, IL; May 6-8) (May 06, 2005)
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Renly Baratheon.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Targaryen Lineage.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Renly Baratheon.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 58, Tyrion VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
- A Clash of Kings, Appendix.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 36, Tyrion VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 4, Tyrion I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei 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 6, Sansa I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 12, Tyrion II.
- Margaery Tyrell married 1st Renly, 2nd Joffrey, 3rd Tommen