Lord of Storm's End|
Master of Laws
King of the Seven Kingdoms
|Born||In 278 AC|
|Died||In 299 AC, at Near 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)
|Played by||Gethin Anthony|
|TV series||Season 1 | Season 2|
Renly Baratheon is the Lord of Storm's End and the younger brother of King Robert and Lord Stannis Baratheon, all sons of Steffon Baratheon and Cassana Estermont. He also serves as Master of Laws on Robert's small council. In the TV series Renly is played by Gethin Anthony.
Appearance and Character
Renly is a handsome and charismatic man, winning friends easily, but also strikes some people as frivolous. Renly enjoys tournaments and hunting but isn't driven by the passion for food, drink, or wenching, as Robert Baratheon came to be.
He is twenty-one years old, tall, handsome man with black hair falling to his shoulders. He is thought to look eerily similar to a young Robert Baratheon. Though in A Game of Thrones he is said to wear green to match his eyes, he is later described as having blue eyes. He wears a suit of enameled green armor with a helm that had a pair of golden antlers. He keeps his body trim and his thick, jet-black hair long but always neatly combed. He prefers to be clean-shaven. See also this collection of images.
Unbeknownst to the realm at large, and despite the many women who are attracted to him, Renly is homosexual. 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, 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." 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." 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 Margarey because she was available. According to Loras, although Renly disdained too much book learning, he owned books with "drawings that would turn a septon blind", implying some kind of pornography.
Though Renly is Robert's youngest brother, Robert gave the Baratheon seat of Storm's End to him rather than Stannis, who was given Dragonstone instead. During the Targaryen dynasty, the seat of Dragonstone was given to the heir to the Iron Throne. Stannis conquered the island, but not before Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen escaped, which angered Robert. The lands of Storm's End are considerably larger and richer than those of Dragonstone, giving Renly more power than his older brother.
During his time in Storm's End, Renly took Loras Tyrell as a squire, with whom he forged a close relationship. Although, not explicitly stated, it is strongly implied that Renly and Loras were lovers.
Some time after he became a man, Renly was named to the small council as Master of Laws. While at court, his castellan at Storm's End was Ser Cortnay Penrose, who was also responsible for rearing Robert's bastard son, Edric Storm.
A Game of Thrones
While Robert's procession was returning from Winterfell, Renly met 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's accusations against Arya's direwolf, he was forced to leave the room, laughing at the thought of Joffrey being disarmed and beaten by a girl smaller and younger than him.
He performed well in the Tourney of the Hand, losing to the Hound, Sandor Clegane. Renly was quite popular with the smallfolk due to his good looks, friendly ways and charisma. Renly showed Eddard Stark a painted portrait of Margaery Tyrell and asked if she looked like Lyanna; Eddard was puzzled by this but stated the girl looked nothing like Lyanna. It was later revealed that Renly was planning with Loras Tyrell on Robert taking Margaery Tyrell as his new queen and hoped if Margaery looked like Lyanna it would make the plan easier.
Renly joined his brother on his ill-fated hunting expedition. While Robert lay dying, Renly approached Eddard Stark and suggested they seize control of the royal children before Queen Cersei could strike. Eddard refused the offer, and Renly fled the city along with Ser Loras Tyrell.
A Clash of Kings
After Robert's death, through his charisma and familiarity with his Stormlands bannermen, Renly managed to win support from many houses, despite his brother Stannis having the better claim. Renly also won the support of the powerful Tyrells and many of their bannermen through a secret love affair with Loras and a marriage to his sister Margaery. Renly crowned himself King of the Seven Kingdoms, with his claim to the Iron Throne backed by the largest army in the War of the Five Kings.
Renly spent a great deal of time moving through the south, gaining support and men while waiting for the right moment to strike. He hosted tournaments for his men and blocked the food supply to King's Landing, causing the capital to suffer starvation. All the while he waited for the Lannisters and Starks to wear each other down. This plan went awry, however, when his brother Stannis laid siege to Storm's End, forcing Renly to respond. The Northern envoy Catelyn Stark convinced the men to parley, but Renly made light of the situation, refusing to back down from his claim and advising his older brother to give up and eat a peach. While preparing for battle with his brother's forces the next dawn, Renly was slain by an animated shadow conjured by his brother's sorceress adviser, Melisandre. Loras' brother, Ser Garlan Tyrell, later wore Renly's armor in the Battle of the Blackwater to make it appear that Renly's ghost had returned for vengeance against the kinslaying Stannis.
Quotes by Renly
- Renly to Eddard Stark
Renly: I propose that you dismount, bend your knee, and swear me your allegiance.
Stannis: That you shall never have.
Renly: You served Robert, why not me?
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.
- 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 to 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.
- Renly to Catelyn Tully
Quotes about Renly
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
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.
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?
- Cressen's thoughts on Renly
References and Notes
- HBO: Game of Thrones: cast and crew
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
- A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 69, Tyrion IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 62, Sansa VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6, Sansa I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
- Margaery Tyrell married 1st Renly, 2nd Joffrey, 3rd Tommen