Game Of Thrones: House Baratheon, Explained

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  • House Baratheon rose to prominence thanks to the Targaryen conquest of the Stormlands, with Orys Baratheon leading the charge and marrying the daughter of Argilac Durrandon.
  • The Baratheons are known for their fickle nature, with King Robert Baratheon’s rule marked by his wife Cersei’s promiscuity, debt, and power plays.
  • Despite the death of most of the pure-blooded Baratheons, Daenerys legitimized Robert’s son Gendry, ensuring the continuation of House Baratheon through him.



House Baratheon is the main House of the Seven Kingdoms at the beginning of game of Thrones, the ascension of Robert I to the Iron Throne being a relatively new event. Approximately sixteen years have passed since Robert’s rebellion, that is, the overthrow of the Targaryen dynasty. As seen in game of Thrones, this Baratheon is the king of misrule and has inherited a huge debt from his queen, Cersei Lannister’s father, Lord Tywin Lannister. Robert I is promiscuous and fathers numerous illegitimate children, while his late Hand, Jon Arryn, did her best to keep him grounded.

Things take an interesting turn after the mysterious “death” of Jon Arryn, and Robert I is forced to ask his oldest friend, who followed him into the war, to be his Hand. Shortly after, the king himself is murdered by his wife, Cersei, and the Lannisters become the true power in Westeros, in the sense that Robert I has no real children. The two boy kings who rule after him are born from incest between Cersei and her brother Jaime. While House Baratheon of Storm’s End is a relatively young Great House of Westeros, the question remains: how did it rise to prominence?

RELATED: Game of Thrones: The Castles of Westeros, Explained

King Argilac Durrandon, Orys Baratheon and Argella Durrandon

Storm's End in the House of the Dragon.

Before the Targaryen unification, the continent of Westeros was divided into seven warring kingdoms, namely the Northern Kingdom, the Vale Kingdom, the Iron Islands and the Riverlands, the Western Lands, the Reach , the Stormlands and Dorne. The establishment of House Baratheon has to do with the Targaryen conquest of the Stormlands and the last of the Storm Kings, namely Argilac Durrandon. Before Aegon landed on the continent of Westeros to begin his expansionism, aggression had already begun after Argilac cut off the hands of a Targaryen envoy. This event catapulted the War of Conquest that was fought in the Seven Kingdoms.

Argilac the Arrogant feared an attack on the Stormlands by Harren Hoare and sought to marry his heir, Argella, to Aegon in an attempt to establish a buffer between him and Harren’s kingdom. To that end, he sent an envoy to Dragonstone and pledged the lands east of the Eye of the Gods from the Trident to Blackwater Rush in the dowry of Argella. Aegon refused, but instead offered his confidant, rumored half-brother and general of his army, Orys Baratheon, the hand of this marriage.

This counterproposal infuriated Argilac, and he sent the hands of Aegon’s envoy to Dragonstone with the message:

These are the only hands your bastard will ever have from me.

The move sparked the Conquest, and in response, Aegon summoned his bannermen to Dragonstone and sent ravens to every corner of the Seven Kingdoms, proclaiming himself King.

Orys – Lord of Storm’s End

Storm's End in the House of the Dragon.

Some time into the expansion, after the burning of Harrenhal, the Storm King decided it would be best to meet the Targaryens outdoors. Orys and Rhaenys fought and defeated Argilac in the Battle of the Last Storm. Orys personally killed Argilac, and after the battle, Argella blockaded Storm’s End and declared herself Queen of Storms. Betrayed by her garrison, who feared the same fate as Harren and his men, she was handed over to Orys in chains. He treated her tenderly, covered her with a cloak and offered her food and wine. The two married, and Aegon named Orys Overlord of the Stormlands. Not only that, the Baratheons took the sigil of House Durrandon (a black stag on yellow) and the words (Ours is the Fury) and established House Baratheon. The first Lord of Storm’s End, the first Hand of the King, Orys Baratheon is an extraordinary man in Game of Thrones history.

House Baratheon in Game of Thrones

Gendry Baratheon in Game of Thrones.

As seen in game of ThronesTrue to the words of their house, the Baratheons are fickle. They are black-haired, with strong, muscular physiques and defined square jaws. King Robert Baratheon led his House as he was the eldest son of Steffon Baratheon, who was the Lord of Storm’s End, High Lord of the Stormlands and head of his House.

Robert’s birth was followed by Stannis and Renly’s. After Robert’s rebellion, House Baratheon split into three branches. Robert was King of the Andals and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and ruled from the Red Keep in the capital, thus establishing House Baratheon of King’s Landing. He granted Dragonstone Castle to Stannis, thus creating House Baratheon of Dragonstone. The third branch, House Baratheon of Storm’s End, was led by his younger brother, Renly.

In the War of the Five Kings, both Stannis and Renly were in open rebellion against the illegitimate king, Joffrey. After Robert’s assassination, Stannis was next in line of succession, but Renly claimed that he was king. Renly was killed by a shadow monster, commissioned by Stannis himself. Later in the conflict, Stannis was defeated in the Battle on Ice and executed by Renly’s former Kingsguard, Brienne of Tarth. Although the pureblood members of House Baratheon were gone at the end of game of ThronesDaenerys legitimized Robert’s son Gendry and made him Lord of Storm’s End, thus paving the way for the Baratheons to continue their line.

MORE: Game of Thrones: The Burning of Harrenhal, Explained


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