House Baratheon: The Royal Family
The profile of House Baratheon is harder to pin down than the other great houses because of the diversity of its members. The main players of the Baratheon family – Robert, Stannis, and Renly – each have their own means of achieving their goals. Still, all three brothers have also proven to be equally arrogant, stubborn, and used to getting their own way. This uncompromising trait that they share may very well prove to be the downfall of their young house.
Since claiming the Iron Throne, King Robert and his brothers have elevated the position of their family among the other great houses of Westeros. Robert’s marriage to Cersei Lannister, the daughter of the richest family in Westeros, has only bolstered the power and influence of House Baratheon.
The origin of the house goes back to Orys Baratheon, one of Aegon Targaryen’s fiercest generals. Orys slew the last of the Storm Kings and claimed the king’s daughter as his wife. King Aegon granted Orys the lands of the Storm Kings, including its castle at Storm’s End. In exchange, Orys founded House Baratheon a family that would be loyal to the Targaryens for near 300 years.
Two hundred and eighty-one years after Aegon’s invasion, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark, who was the fiancée of Robert Baratheon. With Houses Stark, Tully, and Arryn at his side, Robert led a rebellion to topple the Targaryen family. The combined forces successfully defeated the Targaryen army, while House Lannister sacked King’s Landing and slew King Aerys Targaryen. Robert, as the leader of the rebellion and as one with the strongest blood-claim to the Iron Throne, was chosen as the next King. Lyanna died during the war, prompting Robert to choose Cersei Lannister as his bride in order to cement his alliance with the powerful and wealthy House Lannister.
Due in part to the uncompromising profile of House Baratheon, Robert refuses to dirty his hands with politics. Every inch the warrior, he instead reminisces about better days and glories in tournaments and hunts. His carelessness has given free reign to opportunists within the court who would do anything to curry favor and further their own causes. With the death of Jon Arryn, the former Hand, Robert manages to have the good sense to ask his childhood friend, Eddard “Ned” Stark to be his new advisor. Unfortunately, Ned’s presence and integrity will only serve to fan the flames of Robert’s enemies, who are already firmly ensconced in court and will do anything to hold on to their power. Shortly after Ned’s arrival at King’s Landing, Robert meets an untimely death in a hunting accident. The arising doubts as to the true paternity of Robert’s heirs with Cersei suddenly leaves the Iron Throne in a precarious position – and no less than 5 self-proclaimed Kings are willing to fight for it. Two of the claimants are Robert’s own brothers, Stannis and Renly.
House Baratheon is represented by the three brothers – Robert, Stannis, and Renly. Robert has proven to be a great man on the battlefield, but was found lacking as a King. His brothers are even less impressive. Stannis, who has been smarting ever since Robert granted Storm’s End to their youngest brother, Renly, has proclaimed himself King following his elder brother’s demise. A brooding, humorless man known for his cruel sense of justice, Stannis is generally disliked by the people of Westeros. Renly, on the other hand, is a handsome and charismatic figure in the kingdom, though is prone to frivolity. He has also proclaimed himself as King after Robert’s passing. Once again staying true to the stubborn profile of House Baratheon, neither brother will yield to the other or consider joining forces against their mutual enemies.
Sigil & Motto
The sigil of House Baratheon is a crowned black stag against a golden field and their motto is “Ours is the Fury”. How long their House can retain its hold on the crown in the wake of the brothers’ weak decisions, however, remains to be seen.