Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Series: Lessons from the Citadel -- House Baratheon
[Contributor: Melanie]

House Baratheon is by far the youngest of the Great Houses of Westeros, only achieving their seat and status during the time of the Targaryen invasion. Currently, they are the official ruling house of Westeros. However, given Cersei Lannister’s children are all revealed to be bastards by her own twin brother, no Baratheon currently sits on the Iron Throne.

  • Words: Ours is the Fury
  • Sigil: A black stag on a golden field
  • Region: The Stormlands 
  • Seat: Storm’s End
  • Titles: Lord of Storm’s End
  • Bastard Names: Storm
  • Members On Screen: Robert Baratheon (deceased), Renly Baratheon (deceased), Stannis Baratheon (deceased), Princess Shireen Baratheon (deceased), Selysa Florent Baratheon (deceased), Gendry Waters
  • Current head: None 
The Baratheons trace their ancestry back to Orys Baratheon. Orys was Aegon’s closest friend (and rumored to be his bastard brother) and one of his fiercest generals. Upon Aegon’s Landing and coronation, he was made the first Hand of the King. However, the Baratheons trace their claim to Storm’s End and the titles therein through the female line. Orys slew the last Storm King of House Durrandon and married his daughter Argella Durrandon. Aegon granted Orys the Stormlands and the seat of Storm’s End.

Like many houses during the Dance of the Dragons, House Baratheon pledged a side. Like the Lannisters, Borros Baratheon pledged for Aegon Targaryen. This flew in the face of his father’s wishes as he had supported Princess Rhaenyra while he was still alive. The Baratheons stayed clear of battlefields where dragons were present but did manage to reclaim King’s Landing for Aegon.

Despite their closeness, they were not always entirely friendly with the Targaryens throughout the years. About 250 years after Aegon’s Conquest, the daughter of Lyonel Baratheon was pledged to the Targaryen crown prince, who broke the engagement for love. This prompted Lyonel to break from the realm and declare himself Storm King. The prince, however, defeated Lyonel in single combat and crushed the rebellion. As recompense, the king promised his daughter Rhaelle Targaryen to Lyonel’s son Ormund. It is through this union Robert Baratheon, the grandson of Ormund and Rhaelle, would make his claim on the Iron Throne.

About 300 years after the Conquest, Robert Baratheon lead a rebellion against his Targaryen cousins after Prince Rhaegar abducted his own betrothed Lyanna Stark. Backed by his childhood friend Ned Stark and their shared foster father Jon Arryn, Robert waged a yearlong campaign against the Targaryens and their loyalists. Ultimately, Robert was able to claim the Iron Throne with help from the Lannisters, who killed the king and the remaining Targaryens in the capital. Robert’s younger brother Stannis did not, however, manage to capture Aerys’ surviving children Viserys and Daenerys, who spent years eluding their would-be assassins.

Robert was killed, however, fifteen or so years after the start of his rule while on a boar hunt. He was succeeded by his son Joffrey, whose real father was Jaime Lannister, the queen’s twin brother. As a result, the only issue Robert had in life were his multiple bastard children throughout the capital, and no true Baratheon sits on the Iron Throne. Because of this, his brothers Renly and Stannis made attempts to claim the throne for themselves. They both died in the effort, however.

Traits and Customs

The Baratheons are distinguished by their dark hair and burly builds but beyond that they have little unique characteristics. They are primarily of Andal descent and share little in common with their distant Targaryen cousins.

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