War Of The Five Kings: Stannis Baratheon

Joffrey Baratheon. Robb Stark. Balon Greyjoy. Renly Baratheon. Who are we missing in the War of the Five Kings? Well, in my opinion, we’re missing the big one: the new guy on the street, the man some have called Azhor Azhai Reborn. The final king to enter the ring, ladies and gentlemen, is…

Know Your King
Stannis Baratheon, the last player in the War of the Five Kings, is perhaps the most dangerous of them all. No, he doesn’t behead lords for the fun of it, nor does he own a direwolf. But he does have the red woman — and that is more than enough.

Where’s He From?
Baratheon keeps his home on Dragonstone, which once belonged to the virtually extinct House Targaryen. Dragonstone, a relatively small and secluded island just east of Westeros, is well within striking distance of King’s Landing, a fact that’s not lost on Stannis.

The King’s Court
Stannis is surrounded by a diverse group of companions. Maester Cressen, the man who raised him, remains in Stannis’ service on Dragonstone. Also advising the wouldbe king is Davos Seaworth, a former smuggler turned knight in Stannis’ employ. Finally, there is Melisandre, the red priestess of Asshai. She believes Stannis to be an ancient hero born again anew, one who will lead the Seven Kingdoms with the conviction of the Lord of the Light. It’s a notion that does not sit well with Cressen or Davos, even as Stannis becomes an increasingly more devout worshiper of Melisandre’s strange religion.

What Does He Do?
Anything he can to win the Iron Throne, which he believes is his by rights. That means spreading the word far and wide that Joffrey is a product of Lannister incest and not a true born Baratheon, confronting his very own brother on the battlefield, and relying on dark magic to aid his cause. In essence, there’s very little that Stannis won’t do in pursuit of the crown.

Do We Like Him?
That’s… complicated. Stannis is an interesting one: not as outright loathsome as Joffrey but certainly not someone you’d want to have a beer with. Stannis, more than anything, is fascinating. As a character, I think he’s one of the finest in George R.R. Martin’s entire saga. But that doesn’t mean he’s a nice guy… far from it, in fact.

What do you think of Stannis Baratheon? Tell us in the comments section or on Twitter!