Stannis Baratheon by Amoka©
|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 Paramount of the Stormlands
King of Westeros.
|Born in||265 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|
Stannis Baratheon is the elder of Robert Baratheon's younger brothers. He served on his brother's small council as Master of Ships and was also Lord of Dragonstone. After the death of Robert, he styled himself king of the Seven Kingdoms as Robert's heir, though he had difficulty getting support for his claim.
Appearance and Characteristics
Like his brothers, 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 his brother Renly or his brother Robert as he was in his youth. He 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. See also this collection of images.
He 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 and grinds his teeth regularly. He is an accomplished commander, sailor, and warrior, although his personality gets in his way to being a great leader as well. 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 the Robert Baratheon and 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 that were so cruel that they took his father and mother 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, when he successfully held the castle of Storm's End against Mace Tyrell's siege, lasting the majority of the war, unintentionally ensuring one of the largest loyalist forces didnt take the field against the rebels. His garrison held under desperate conditions, only avoiding starvation by the timely intervention of a smuggler, Davos Seaworth. His cargo of onions allowed them to hold the fortress. After the siege was lifted by Lord Eddard Stark, Stannis took Davos Seaworth into his service, dubbing him "The Onion Knight." True to Stannis' inflexible sense of justice, he also punished Seaworth for his crimes as a smuggler by removing the first joint from each finger of Seaworth's left hand, as payment for his past crimes. Seaworth accepted the punishment provided Stannis carry it out himself.
King Robert charged Stannis with leading a fleet to seize Dragonstone, which was still loyal to the Targaryens at that point. After completing the mission, 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 hadn't done anything of true note during the war. 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.  It had the added advantage of taking prickly Stannis away from the mainland of Westeros. True to his nature, Stannis was an effective and efficient administrator for 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. Afterwards, he subdued Great Wyk in his brother's name. While he was at court, 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 Stannis's loyalty and service to his brother Robert, Robert gave Stannis 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 Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen (even though they fled long before Stannis's newly built fleet had even arrived).  According to Cersei Lannister Robert even meant Stannis receiving Dragonstone as a slight.  Stannis helped Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, in ruling the kingdom but got little or no acknowledgement or thanks from his elder brother who spent all his time, hunting, drinking and whoring. Stannis never complained publicly since service without expectation of reward was required of him in his positions.
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 (Robert had no love for his brother Stannis, and Stannis would be seen as making himself heir), but 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, while Lord 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 the children were in fact not Robert's, Lord Jon meant to act and even planned for his son Robert Arryn to be fostered with Stannis on Dragonstone. However, Lord Arryn was poisoned before he could bring the evidence before Robert.
A Game of Thrones
After the murder of Jon Arryn, Stannis fled to Dragonstone to plot and gather forces. Eddard Stark wonders why Stannis left, believing it is due to the discovery of whatever secret Jon Arryn was killed for, not realizing that Stannis was slighted by Robert's selection of Eddard as his Hand. Stannis leaves for Dragonstone to gather his strength and plan his next move. During Eddard Stark's investigation of Jon's death, Eddard discovered 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.
A Clash of Kings
On Dragonstone, Stannis gathered what strength he could from the lords of the Narrow Sea, but even with Myrish and Lyseni sellswords, his forces were too few to challenge the Lannisters or Renly. During this time, Queen Selyse fell under the influence of the priestess of the Lord of Light, named Melisandre. Stannis's maester, Cressen, suggests he should treat with Robb Stark or Lysa Arryn, but Selyse says he should not treat for what is his by right, she says the comet is a sign that Stannis must sail and the banners of the Reach and the stormlands will flock to him, 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 renounced the Faith of the Seven and embraced the Lord of Light faith, seeking only the power that Melisandre promised would follow. Melisandre proclaimed Stannis to be Azor Ahai reborn, a messianic figure in the R'hllor faith. His switch to the faith of R'hllor divided Stannis's own men into two factions: King's Men who still followed the Faith of the Seven and Queen's Men who worshiped R'hllor. 
Stannis began preparing to war, when Robert died, Stannis claimed the Iron Throne as Robert's heir; however most of the Baratheon bannermen followed his more charismatic brother when Renly also claimed the throne. As a first step he had hundreds of letters sent to lords throughout Westeros proclaiming himself king and claiming (correctly) that Cersei's children were not Robert's children. 
Rather than a direct assault on King's Landing, Stannis first led his forces to besiege Storm's End, hoping to convince his younger brother to join forces with him. He offered Renly to be his Heir and a place at the King's council. Renly made light of it and the brothers had an inconclusive parley that failed to reconcile them. They agreed that their forces will meet at dawn. That night, Melisandre used her magic to birth a animated shadow, which assassinated Renly in his tent at first light. The majority of Renly's followers immediate swore allegiance to Stannis.
One of Renly's sworn swords who refused to follow Stannis was Ser Cortnay Penrose, castellan of Storm's End. Ser Cortnay refused to surrender the castle, fearing what Stannis would do to the bastard Edric Storm within. He challenged Stannis to a duel, which the king refused. Ser Davos rowed Melisandre beneath the fortress, and the priestess assassinated Penrose as she did Renly. With Storm's End under his control, Stannis launched an amphibious assault on King's Landing. Braving wildfire, a river-spanning chain, and other defenses, Stannis' forces were defeated at the cusp of victory when Lannister and Tyrell reinforcements unexpectedly arrived, seemingly led by Renly's ghost (it was in fact Garlan Tyrell wearing the deceased Renly's armour).
A Storm of Swords
Stannis returned to Dragonstone, his host broken. He had his Hand of the King, Lord Alester Florent, imprisoned when the man attempted to make peace with the Lannisters by offering them Stannis's daughter Shireen Baratheon as a hostage.
When Ser Davos Seaworth returned 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 were not traitors. Stannis agreed and named Davos Seaworth his new Hand of the King since Davos was one of the few men who had the courage to tell his king the truth, even when he knew the truth would not be well-received.
Melisandre urged him to sacrifice Edric Storm to complete a spell that she claimed would raise dragons from stone and grant him more power. Stannis, though initially reluctant,  was about to follow through with the ritual when Ser Davos smuggled the boy away and urged Stannis to take his remaining forces north to defend the Wall.
Stannis agreed, and arrived at the Wall just in time to crush Mance Rayder's wildling army at the Battle of Castle Black. He stayed at King's Tower at Castle Black to negotiate a settlement compromise with the wildlings and offered to legitimize Jon Snow as Lord of Winterfell if he would support Stannis's rule. The offer fell through when Jon was 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 received silence or refusals from the lords, with only the Karstarks, led by its castellan Arnolf Karstark, has declared for him.
A Dance with Dragons
Stannis sends Davos Seaworth to White Harbour 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 (actually unknown to Stannis, a glamoured Rattleshirt) 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 bend the knee.
Stannis was 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 agreed and planned to make his assault when Ramsay Bolton marched south to take Moat Cailin (unknown to Stannis was that Arnolf Karstark was working for House Bolton and was trying to lure Stannis into a trap). Jon Snow however, upon hearing the plan persuaded Stannis not to go down this course, as Jon knew how strong the Dreadfort is even with a small garrison .
Instead Stannis went west to take Deepwood Motte from the Ironborn that held it. Jon Snow advised him to go through the mountains and win the support of the mountain clans (including Flint, Wull, Norrey and Liddle) who were deeply loyal to the memory of Eddard Stark and would take pride in receiving a King; Stannis won 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 retook Deepwood Motte. Stannis took several ironborn captive, including Asha Greyjoy, and returned Deepwood Motte to House Glover, an act that gained him popular support in the North and earned him the support of House Glover and House Mormont. His army marched on Winterfell eventually joining up with the forces of Arnolf Karstark and Mors Umber but was slowed by relentless snowstorms.
In the Siege of Winterfell he was allegedly killed along with most of his army as tauntingly reported to Jon Snow via a letter written by Ramsay Bolton. His last known location is in a snowed in village 3 days west of Winterfell. It was unknown, however, if Stannis is really dead, or if it was 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. Stannis received the Braavosi banker Tycho Nestoris and the two signed a contract, Stannis planning on sending 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 depended on their willingness to confess. Stannis is preparing his position to battle the coming vanguard of Roose Bolton's army led by Hosteen Frey. Stannis is sending Ser Justin Massey to escort "Arya Stark" (actually unknown to Stannis, Jeyne Poole) back to the Wall to reunite the girl with her brother Jon Snow in gratitude for Snow warning him to amass the hill tribes rather than march straight into the Karstarks' plans.
Stannis also orders Massey to go with Tycho Nestoris to Braavos, where Massey 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 sail back to Westeros. Stannis also gave orders that if he is slain in the coming battle, Massey is still to do as instructed, with the intention of using the army to place Shireen on the Iron Throne.
Quotes by Stannis
"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".
"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.
"I never asked for this crown. Gold is cold & heavy on the head but so long as I am the king, I have a duty … If I must sacrifice one child to the flames to save a million from the dark … Sacrifice … is never easy, Davos. Or it is no true sacrifice.
"It is not a question of wanting. The throne is mine, as Robert's heir. That is law." 
"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." 
"Robert could piss in a cup and men would call it wine, but I offer them cold clear water and they squint in suspicion and mutter to each other about how queer it tastes."
"Weddings have become more perilous than battles, it would seem." 
"Would that all the lords of the Seven Kingdoms had but a single neck..." 
"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."
Quotes about Stannis
"Ned found it hard to imagine what could frighten Stannis Baratheon, who had once held Storm’s End through a year of siege, surviving on rats & boot leather while the Lords Tyrell & Redwyne sat outside with their hosts, banqueting in sight of his walls."
"There is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man"
"This is Stannis Baratheon. The man will fight to the bitter end and then some"
"Stannis is no friend of yours, nor of mine. Even his brothers can scarcely stomach him. The man is iron, hard and unyielding. He'll give us a new Hand and a new council, for a certainty. No doubt he'll thank you for handing him the crown, but he won't love you for it. And his ascent will mean war. Stannis cannot rest easy on the throne until Cersei and her bastards are dead. Do you think Lord Tywin will sit idly while his daughter's head is measured for a spike? Casterly Rock will rise, and not alone. Robert found it in him to pardon men who served King Aerys, so long as they did him fealty. Stannis is less forgiving. He will not have forgotten the siege of Storm's End, and the lords Tyrell and Redwyne dare not. Every man who fought beneath the dragon banner or rose with Balon Greyjoy will have good cause to fear. Seat Stannis on the Iron Throne and I promise you, the realm will bleed."
References and Notes
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 27, Eddard VI.
- A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide
- A Dance with Dragons, The Wayward Bride
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- 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 31 - Melisandre I, pages 418-419
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10 - Jon III, pages 134-138
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 10, Jon III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
- 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 (Asha), page 561
- A Dance with Dragons,Chapter 51 (Theon I), page 677
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 62, The Sacrifice.
- official site of George martin
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 5, Davos I.
- official site of George martin
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 78, Samwell V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 72, Jaime IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- Margaery Tyrell married 1st Renly, 2nd Joffrey, 3rd Tommen
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