Stannis Baratheon

Stannis Baratheon is King Robert Baratheon’s younger brother. He was the master of ships, Lord of Dragonstone, and claimant of the Iron Throne.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

When Robert Baratheon became King of the Seven Kingdoms, he handed Storm’s End to his youngest brother, Renly Baratheon; this caused Stannis to feel betrayed by his older brother as he was the rightful heir to the castle. He got sent to Dragonstone, the former stronghold of the Targaryens. On Robert’s small council, Stannis Baratheon was the master of ships. Later, he met Melisandre of Asshai, the red priestess of R’hllor. During the War of the Five Kings, Stannis fights as a primary contender, but his power wanes as he gets a crushing defeat by Lord Tywin Lannister and Lord Mace Tyrell.

Stannis Baratheon Personal Details

  • Name: Stannis Baratheon.
  • Allegiance: House Baratheon.
  • Year of Birth: 264 AC at Storm’s End.
  • Parents: Lord Steffon Baratheon and Lady Cassana Estermont.
  • Wife: Lady Sylese Florent.
  • Child: Shireen Baratheon.
  • Titles Held: Master of Ships, Lord of Dragonstone, King of Westeros, Lord of Storm’s End, King of the andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms.
  • Aliases: The Dark Lord, The King of the Painted Table, The King at the Wall, Azor Azai Reborn, The King of Dragonstone, The King in the Narrow Sea.
  • Culture: Stormlander.
  • Religion: R’hllor, the Lord of Light.
  • Eye Color: Blue.
  • Hair Color: Black.

Appearance and Personality

Stannis Baratheon has the classic look of the Baratheons. He is tall, Broad-shouldered, and has sparkling dark blue eyes. Though he is balding, he has wisps of jet-black hair that hang like shadows above his head. Stannis has a straight emotionless face with carved cheeks and pale lips. Because he rarely smiles, he grinds his teeth.

Stannis wears plain clothing, unlike other nobles. He mostly wears a grey woolen tunic with a red mantle and a black belt to hold his dagger and sword. Stannis wears brown roughspun breeches, a studded leather jacket, wool, and boiled leather.

Stannis is emotionless, dry, strict, and has a keen sense of justice and loyalty. He is addicted to protecting his honor above everything and rarely shows any form of leniency to anyone should they commit a slight crime. Because of his strong sense of duty, Stannis is among the best commanders and sailors. He is so skilled at sea that most of his endeavors succeed.

Though he is a capable warrior, the smallfolk and other nobles resented him. However, no resentment angers Stannis more than the one from his older brother Robert, whom he serves without questioning.

Besides being cold to others, Stannis has no capability of feeling loved. He is uninterested in women. When he served on the small council, he only visited Dragonstone once or twice a year and rarely slept with his wife because he felt no pleasure. When he met Melisandre, he got convinced to change his sigil from the normal one used by House Baratheon.


Early Life

Stannis was the second son of Lord Steffon Baratheon and Lady Cassana Estermont. At a young age, his father took him and his brother to court, where they saw Lord Tywin Lannister, who they thought to be King Aerys II Targaryen. As Stannis grew, the feeling of being under his older brother’s shadows got to him, making him grow into a joyless person.

As an introverted young boy with little interest in anything, maester Cressen tried to care for him as he believed he was the least loved of his brothers. However, nothing changed as Stannis’s maturity made him keep to himself.

In 278 AC, Stannis’s parents got sent by King Aerys to Volantis to find a bride for Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, but the mission was unsuccessful. When Steffon’s ship, the Windproud, came in Storm’s End sight, the ship got smashed as the waves crashed it against the rocks in Shipbreaker Bay.

With Stannis and Robert watching, their parents’ vessel sank into the water, making Stannis lose every last faith he had in the seven. Later, Robert traveled to the Eyrie, where he became the foster child of Lord Jon Arryn.

Robert’s Rebellion

When Prince Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark, her brother Brandon traveled to King’s Landing to demand justice. However, he and his father got killed by King Aerys. When he ordered the head of Robert and Eddard Stark, Lord Jon Arryn called his banners to war.

During the rebellion, Stannis got caught in a dilemma as he had to choose between siding with his brother or remaining loyal to the Iron Throne. Though it was difficult, he sided with his brother.

When Storm’s End got besieged by forces from the Reach, Stannis held on to the castle. As the siege of Storm’s End worsened, Stannis and his men got saved from starvation by the smuggler Davos. Later, Ned Stark arrived and freed him. Stannis knighted Davos, making him become Ser Davos Seaworth. However, Stannis cut off the first joint on the fingers of Davos’s left hand as a punishment for his past crimes.

Post Rebellion

After Robert Baratheon became King, he tasked Stannis with creating a new fleet to take over Dragonstone, the stronghold of the Targaryens. However, the Targaryen fleet got destroyed during a storm, Queen Rhaella Targaryen died giving birth to her daughter Daenerys, and the newborn and her brother Viserys got smuggled out of Westeros. When Robert learned about the Targaryen children’s escape, he blamed Stannis even though he had barely set sail when the events occurred. 

Later, Stannis learned Robert named Renly Lord of Storm’s End even though he was rightfully the next in line. Though pained by his brother’s actions, Stannis served on the small council as the master of ships. The relationship between him and Robert soured as he got little to no acknowledgment for ensuring stability in Westeros.

Stannis started suspecting the legitimacy of Queen Cersei Lannister’s children, Prince Joffrey Baratheon, Myrcella Baratheon, and Tommen Baratheon. He and Lord Jon Arryn began investigating, but Lord Arryn died from a sudden illness. Upon his death, Stannis thought he would become the next Hand of the King. When Robert traveled to Winterfell to choose Ned over him, he left King’s Landing for Dragonstone.

During the Greyjoy’s Rebellion, Stannis championed the Royal Fleet and shattered the Iron Fleet leading to the destruction of the Greyjoy’s sea power. During the battle at sea, Aeron Greyjoy’s ship got split into two by Stannis, and he later got imprisoned by the Lannisters till the war was over.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After the death of Lord Jon Arryn, King Robert Baratheon travels to Winterfell and asks Eddard Stark to become the next Hand of the King. Upon reaching King’s Landing, Ned learns that Stannis is not present on the small council and sends a letter to him in Dragonstone for his presence.

He begins to dig into the finding of Jon Arryn and discovers that Queen Cersei’s children are illegitimate. Upon confronting her, Cersei kills her husband and places her son Joffrey on the Iron Throne. Ned gets betrayed by Lord Petyr Baelish, and he gets executed.

Later, Lord Varys, the master of whisperers, tells the small council that Stannis is building ships and bringing a shadowbinder from Asshai.

A Clash of Kings

After learning of Robert’s death and the illegitimacy of Cersei’s children, Stannis declares himself the true King of the Seven Kingdoms. He sends Davos Seaworth to ask for the support of the storm lords, but even though he is the rightful King, they refuse to side with him. Maester Cressen tries advising Stannis to side with Robb stark, but he refuses. He tries to make him send his daughter Shireen to the Eyrie to ally with Lady Lysa Arryn, but when Sylese refuses, Stannis backs her. 

As a new convert in the faith of R’hllor, Selyse tells her husband Melisandre saw Renly dead. Later, Stannis burns the carvings of the Faith of the Seven as a sacrifice and denounces the faith. When Melisandre proclaims he is the Azor Azai reborn, he pulls out a sword, Lightbringer, from the flames. Later, Salladhor tells Davos it is a fake Lightbringer. Stannis then tasks Davos with spreading the word of Cersei’s children’s illegitimacy.

When Renly Baratheon begins marching to King’s Landing, Stannis besieges Storm’s End. On hearing of his brother’s siege, Renly rushes to the castle and tries to defend it against his brother. However, Renly gets killed by a shadow creature. With Renly’s death, Stannis begins getting nightmares and confide in Davos. The only person that soothes him to sleep is Melisandre.

When Stannis takes over Storm’s End, Ser Courtnay Penrose refuses to yield the castle, and Melisandre births a shadow assassin. Later, Penrose gets killed. With Storm’s End in his hands, Stannis marches to King’s Landing and attacks. However, his fleet gets destroyed at the Battle of the Blackwater, and his forces get shattered. With no hope of winning, Stannis retreats.

A Storm of Swords

Stannis returns to Dragonstone, where he refuses to see anyone but Melisandre after his defeat. When Davos gets discovered on an island, he heads for Dragonstone to kill Melisandre. However, he gets arrested. Later, Stannis’s hand, Lord Alester Florent, gets arrested for trying to surrender to the Iron Throne. Davos gets made the new Hand of the King in his stead.

With the war intensifying, Melisandre tells Stannis to sacrifice his brother’s bastard son, Edric Storm, but he refuses. He instead speaks the names of Balon Greyjoy, Joffrey Baratheon, and Robb Stark as he throws leechees with the young boy’s blood into flames. When Balon and Robb die, Stannis begins contemplating killing the boy. However, Davos smuggles him out of Dragonstone.

When Stannis learns of Davos’s actions, he tries to get him arrested, but Davos reads a letter sent by Maester Aemon from Castle Black stating the threat of Mance Rayder and Others was getting worse. Stannis then decides to head for the Night’s Watch.

After arriving at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, Stannis and his troop head to Castle Black, where they defeat Mance Rayder’s army. After the battle, Stannis brings in Jon Snow and tells him his plans to legitimize him. With Jeor Mormont dead, he gives the black brothers ten days to decide on a new leader, and with help from Samwell Tarly, Jon becomes the next Lord Commander of the Watch.

A Dance with Dragons

After staying at Castle Black for a while, Stannis marches to Winterfell. He gains the support of many of the mountain clans in the North. After gaining additional men, Stannis takes over Deepwood Motte from the Ironborn and captures Asha Greyjoy, Balon’s daughter. He then takes her to show his strength. Though the journey to Winterfell is 15 days, Stannis and his men take 30 days due to a blizzard. 

Meanwhile, at the Wall, Tycho Nestoris, an emissary of the Iron Bank, arrives and states the Iron Bank’s willingness to support Stannis’s cause. When Jon learns that Roose Bolton has become Warden of the North, he agrees for Mance Rayder to get sent into Winterfell to rescue Arya Stark. Meanwhile, Stannis arrives on the outskirts of Winterfell. With many of his men weakened from the intense journey, he prepares for war. However, he sees an entourage and realizes one of the men present is Theon Greyjoy.

Appearance in Adaptations

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Stannis got portrayed by Stephen Dillane. In the tv series, Stannis sacrificed his daughter to R’hllor. When he learns of the growing threat of the white walkers, he refuses to march to the Wall until Melisandre convinces him to do so. Later, his army got defeated by Ramsay Bolton. After his defeat, a wounded Stannis gets found by Brienne of Tarth, and she kills him for the death of Renly.

Stannis: The Hated Lord

Though Stannis was an emotionless and strict man, he was one of the most hated lords in Westeros for no reason. As a man with a strict sense of justice, Stannis served with all his might but was shocked to be a second priority by his brother; this, coupled with the feeling of never measuring up, led to bitterness that engulfed him.

As time went by, Stannis resulted in using magic to kill his enemies, and when his brother died, he got torn apart. Though Stannis appears as a villain, he is a man who got hated for being as dedicated as one could get.


Why did many people dislike Stannis?

Stannis had an unwavering sense of duty and strictness. He never enjoyed the things most people loved and even outlawed key organizations like brothels from Dragonstone. Because he was too rigid, no one liked him.

Is Stannis Baratheon dead?

In the tv series, Stannis got killed by Brienne of Tarth. However, in the books, he is alive and well. After marching to Winterfell, he arrived outside the castle, where he met Theon Greyjoy and a fake Arya Stark, Jeyne Poole.

Did Stannis kill his brother Renly?

Though Stannis swore he had nothing to do with Renly’s death, he caused it. To gain control of Storm’s End, Stannis allowed Melisandre to create a shadow assassin that killed Renly.

Did Stannis ever laugh?

There is no place where it got mentioned that Stannis laughed. He was a strict man with almost no emotion; this gave him a hollow face and rigid cheeks. 

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