Selyse Baratheon

Selyse Baratheon is a cold-hearted queen and fanatic believer in Melisandre, the red priestess of R’hllor. Learn more about her.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Selyse Florent, also known as Selyse Baratheon, is the wife of Lord Stannis Baratheon and the Lady of Dragonstone. Though from the House Florent, she becomes a worshipper of R’hllor, the Lord of Light, and a fervent supporter of Melisandre of Asshai, the red priestess of R’hllor. After King Robert I Baratheon’s death, she introduces her husband to Melisandre, who promises that he is the Azor Azai and backs him in the quest to become King.

Personal Details

  • Name: Selyse Baratheon.
  • Allegiance: House Florent, House Baratheon of Dragonstone.
  • Culture: Reach (Andal).
  • Religion: R’hllor.
  • Father: Ryam Florent.
  • Children: Shireen Baratheon.
  • Husband: Stannis Baratheon.
  • Titles: Lady of Dragonstone, Queen Consort, Lady of Storm’s End, Light of the North.
  • Eye Color: Pale.


Appearance and Personality

Selyse has a peculiar appearance. She is tall and not a particularly attractive woman with pale eyes, a slim frame, and the House Florent’s trait of too-large ears. Her facial features are somewhat rigid and cold, as she has a sharp nose, a stern mouth, and a voice as harsh as a whip. She has abnormal hair growth on her upper lip. She usually wears jewels and an ermine mantle as adornment.

Like her husband, the Lord of Dragonstone, Selyse is cruel, cold, and unlikable. She is worse than her husband as she is bitter. As the lady of Dragonstone, she never fails to express her contempt for anyone that gets on her nerves and even goes as far as hating her little daughter, Shireen, who has a disfigurement from greyscale. Though she is not loved by many, Selyse has particular interests she takes to the extreme. The most prominent is her fervent belief in R’hllor. As a worshipper of R’hllor, she is obsessed with everything related to the Lord of Light and follows Melisandre, a red priestess, fanatically.

Biography

There is little information on Selyse’s childhood, but around 287 AC, she married Lord Stannis of House Baratheon. During her wedding, Stannis’s Elder brother Robert deflowered Delena Florent, a cousin of Selyse, on the bed meant for the newlyweds. Delena gave birth to Edric Storm, Robert’s bastard son. After her wedding to Stannis, Selyse and Stannis tried to have a son, all to no avail. She blamed Robert’s actions as to why she could not have a son. 

With Stannis, Selyse had a daughter, Shireen, a sad little girl. When she was an infant, the little girl almost died from greyscale. Though she survived with the help of Maester Cressen, the disease disfigured most of her face. Even though the young girl is her only child, Selyse detests her daughter and pays no attention to her. The little girl later finds company with Patchface, a mad fool at Dragonstone.

Some years before the death of Jon Arryn, Selyse became obsessed with a new religion she learned of, and as time went on, she became a fervent worshiper of the Lord of Light and later converted her husband. The small council gets word that she has become affiliated with a red priest.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Clash of Kings

When Melisandre gets close to Stannis, Selyse becomes her most deluded follower and begins worshipping the Lord of Light. She converts her uncle, Ser Axell Florent, and becomes Stannis’s Queen after he becomes a claimant to the Iron Throne. As she continues supporting Melisandre, she starts making some men in Stannis’s ranks convert, and they become known as the queen’s men. When her husband declares his claim to the throne, Selyse gets a crown made of red gold with points shaped like flames.

After Stannis sends many letters to lords of the seven kingdoms stating that Cersei Lannister had all her children illegitimately by her brother, Jaime Lannister, the small council responds by releasing a rumor that Selyse had an affair with Patchface and conceived for him.

When Stannis sails for Storm’s end, he tries to besiege the city and take over from his brother, Renly Baratheon. With help from Melisandre, he kills his brother, and though he gets depressed, Selyse’s influence on him grows and her brother, Ser Imry Florent, leads Stannis’s fleet against King’s Landing. However, Stannis loses the Battle of the Blackwater after Tywin Lannister and Mace Tyrell come to Tyrion’s rescue.

A Storm of Swords

After Stannis’s defeat at Blackwater, he retreats to Dragonstone and remains enclosed in the Stone Drum. Depressed from his defeat, he refuses to communicate with anyone, and Selyse holds court with the help of her uncle, Lord Alester Florent, during Stannis’s self-imposed silence. Later, Alester tries to write a letter to the small council declaring Stannis’s surrender, but when he gets discovered, he gets imprisoned, and Davos Seaworth becomes the new Hand of the King. Selyse begins advising her husband to sacrifice his brother’s bastard son to wake the stone dragon statue in Dragonstone. However, Davos advises against the sacrifice of Edric and smuggles the boy to the Free Cities.

Upon realizing what he did, Stannis almost kills Davos, but he reveals from a letter he received from Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch that the real enemy is arising in the North. Convinced, Stannis travels with Selyse and his daughter to the Wall. Though Selyse remains at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, her husband travels to Castle Black, where he meets Jon Snow and saves the Watch from wildlings. He also captures Mance Rayder.

A Dance with Dragons

With her left behind by her husband, Selyse gets unhappy with her accommodation at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and the castle’s commander, Cotter Pyke. She demands to move into the Nightfort, and when she learns it is habitable, she moves to Castle Black with her daughter, her serving girls, lady companions, and a retinue of knights, sworn swords, and fifty men-at-arms. Upon arriving at the castle, she gets the royal chamber in the King’s Tower and the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch notes that the flame-like crown is the only warmth Selyse has.

Believing that Gerrick Kingsblood is the true King of the wildlings who descended from an unbroken male line from Raymun Redbeard, one of the great King-Beyond-the-Wall, Selyse weds the Hand of the Queen, and her knights, Ser Brus Buckler, and Ser Malegorn of Redpool to his three daughters. However, after the wedding of Gerrick Kingsblood’s daughters, she learns from Tormund Giantsbane that Gerrick descended from Raymun Redbeard’s younger brother and that kingship among the free folk is not hereditary. She then tries to wed Val to Ser Patrek of King’s Mountain but fails.

Appearance in Adaptations

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Selyse’s character got portrayed by Sarah Mackeever and Tara Fitzgerald. Sarah starred as the wife of Stannis Baratheon in season 2, while Tara starred in seasons 3 to 5. There were differences between the Selyse of the books and that of the series. The most crucial change made was the death of her daughter Shireen. Selyse kills herself after letting her husband, Stannis, burn their daughter alive.

Selyse: The Coldhearted Queen

Selyse is one of the most emotionally redundant characters in A Song of Ice and Fire. Her coldness and lack of empathy towards almost everything made her seem like a cold witch, ready to devour everyone. In a loveless marriage with Stannis, she filled the void within her by becoming a fanatic who followed a god blindly; this made her turn an eye to the troubles of her husband, who entered into despicable acts for glory. In conclusion, Selyse is a remarkably developed character, so good that her coldness emanates into the reader’s mind.

FAQs

Why did Stannis marry Selyse?

Stannis married Selyse because of politics. After Robert became King, he needed a way of sealing an alliance in the Reach. As the Tyrells fought on the Targaryen’s side, he could not trust them. He engineered Stannis’s wedding to Selyse because of her family, House Florent, a powerful house in the Reach.

What is the greyscale disease?

Greyscale is a painful and contagious disease that slowly hardens one’s organs. It begins spreading from the skin until it covers everywhere on the skin. Then, it starts moving into the organs.

Why was Selyse cold-hearted to her daughter, Shireen?

Selyse was coldhearted to her daughter because she was a cold-hearted person naturally. She felt her daughter, Shireen, was the mockery of her inability to conceive a son.

Is Selyse Baratheon beautiful?

No. Selyse is not a beautiful woman. She has sharp facial features and big ears with a hair abnormality on her upper lip. With a cold demeanor, she appears harsh almost all the time.

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