King Renly Baratheon was the younger brother of King Robert I Baratheon and Stannis Baratheon. He serves as the Lord of Storm's End. He declares himself king after the death of his oldest brother. He is murdered by a shadow conjured by Melisandre.
Appearance and Character
He is described as tall, and having black hair that falls to his shoulders. He apparently looks eerily similar to his oldest brother when he was young, although shorter and less muscular. He prefers to be clean shaven, starkly unlike his brothers.
Renly is both handsome, confident and charismatic, possessing a sense of humour and an ability to win people to his cause, although sometimes he is seen as frivolous. He is much beloved by the smallfolk due to this charisma. His brother Stannis cannot stand him because of his humour and his complete, blatant disrespect for his family and for tradition. Renly's humour is often rather disrespectful, but he finds himself amusing enough not to notice. He is often considered to be like a young Robert, but the latter was a much better warrior by half. Renly was willing to laugh at the expense of those he was supposed to respect - including Prince Joffrey, Ser Barristan Selmy and his own brothers in particular.
Renly is, in his own right, extremely kind, especially to Brienne of Tarth, Margaery Tyrell and Catelyn Stark. He protected and supported Brienne of Tarth when he met her and allowed her into his Kingsguard despite the protests of his male supporters, who considered her ugly and foolish. Renly was a skilled politician and could easily attract loyalty on his own, but he is unaccustomed to combat and war, which sets him apart completely from his brothers, who are respectively a great warrior and an experienced commander. Renly was mourned deeply by his lover Loras Tyrell, who joined Joffrey's Kingsguard so that he would never marry anyone after Renly's death due to the vows of the white cloak.
Renly, much like his lover Loras Tyrell and his fellow king Robb Stark, suffered the unfortunate weakness of being young to war. He was a young child during Robert's Rebellion, and it is not noted that he fought in a war before his brother's death. While he was able to summon a mighty force to his banner, he rather misused it by staging a great tourney during the war, running the risk of damaging or even killing great warriors and assets in the process. He also disregarded that Stannis was his elder brother and, regarding the illegitimacy of Cersei's children, the true heir, thinking that Stannis was unfit based on the fact that he was respected but not loved. He also did not fault himself for abandoning Ned Stark to the mercy of the Lannisters after Stark refused to support his claim, not accounting for the fact that he still could have aided Ned regardless in order to overthrow Cersei, and been given great respect by Stannis as a result. Catelyn notes that, in great spite of his charisma, Renly has overlooked many factors in his bid for the Iron Throne.
Renly is homosexual, despite the amount of attention he receives from highborn females. He disdains from book learning, believing that only maesters should read. He does, however, possess some books with "drawings that would turn a septon blind", implying some form of pornography.
Renly was born in 277 AC or 278 AC to Lord Steffon Baratheon and Cassana Estermont. He was their youngest son. He was a young child during Robert's Rebellion, and spent the conflict under siege at Storm's End with his brother, Stannis.
When he turned sixteen, Renly partook in a tour of the Stormlands, to celebrate his coming of age. He visited many of his powerful vassals, including House Tarth of Evenfall Hall, where he danced with Brienne Tarth. He also visited Sunspear at some point, where Arianne Martell tried to seduce him. He seemed more bemused than inflamed by her advances.
At some point whilst lord of Storm's End he took a young Loras Tyrell as a squire. This was likely the start of their secret love affair.
Eventually, Renly was named to Robert's Small council, where he would serve as Master of Laws. Brella ran his household whilst he was in King's Landing. Ser Cortnay Penrose served as the castellan of Storm's End.
A Game of Thrones
Renly rides from King's Landing with Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Ilyn Payne to escort his brother and sister-in-law along the Kingsroad. He is "near twenty" when we first meet him. He is present when Arya Stark is brought before the king. He laughs out loud when hearing of Prince Joffrey Baratheon's defeat at the hands of a small girl, and at the name that Joffrey had given his sword.
Renly is dispatched ahead of the royal party, with the orders to command Grand Maester Pycelle to convene a meeting of the small council. There, he reveals that Robert has left orders for a tourney to be arranged, celebrating the appointment of Lord Eddard Stark as Hand of the King. He later rides in said tourney, being unhorsed by Sandor Clegane, who sends him flying. His impact is such that a part of the golden antler on his helm cracks, which he graciously gifts to Sandor, who throws it into the commons dismissively. Renly is considered a favourite of the spectators.
While his brother lies dying, Renly proposes to Eddard to strike when the castle sleeps, wanting to take control. Eddard refuses, and Renly flees King's Landing, together with Loras Tyrell.
Renly later arrives at Highgarden, where he marries Margaery Tyrell.
A Clash of Kings
Renly holds a tourney at Bitterbridge when Catelyn arrives, asking for help for Robb. She is disgusted to see Renly hold a tourney instead of fighting a war, like her son does.
Renly and Catelyn discuss the disappearance of Barristan Selmy when a rider informs them that Stannis is besieging Storm's End. Renly rides to Storm's End and holds a parley with Stannis, holding a peach.
The parley results in the brothers going to battle nonetheless but Renly is killed while preparing, as he is stabbed by a shadow birthed by Melisandre.