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An experienced battle commander and complete square, Game of Thrones’ King Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) is intent on claiming the Iron Throne not because he wants power, but because it is his right. The elder of the late King Robert Baratheon’s two brothers, Stannis is the lawful yet unpopular heir.
In Season 2, we meet Stannis at his home of Dragonstone. He is preparing for war against the other claimants to the Iron Throne: Joffrey Baratheon, Robb Stark, and Renly Baratheon. Few in King’s Landing are enthusiastic at the prospect of Stannis ruling. Though he is a proven battle leader, he lacks the popularity of younger brother Renly. Stannis is outnumbered, but he is aided by Melisandre, who represents the Lord of Light. He also has a loyal advisor in Davos Seaworth, a former smuggler.
In an unconventional battle tactic, Stannis sleeps with Melisandre to create a shadow monster that kills Renly. Most of Renly’s forces join Stannis and they attack King’s Landing in the Battle of the Blackwater in an effort to remove Joffrey from the throne. Though Stannis’ numbers are superior, King’s Landing uses wildfire to defend itself, destroying much of Stannis’ fleet.
In Season 3, Stannis is depressed following his defeat. He has Davos thrown into jail for an assassination attempt on Melisandre’s life. While Melisandre travels to the Riverlands to retrieve something “important” to their cause, Stannis visits his wife, Selyse, and daughter, Shireen, who are both locked away in a Dragonstone tower. Mel returns with Gendry, and Stannis allows her to use him for blood magic. At the end of the season, he appears to decide to go north to help the Night's Watch.
Stannis was introduced in Season 2, Episode 1: "The North Remembers.”
— On Robert Baratheon: “He wasn't ‘my beloved brother’. I didn't love him. He didn't love me.”
— “I've always served thieves according to their deserts, as you well know, Ser Davos. Joffrey, Renly, Robb Stark, they're all thieves. They'll bend the knee or I'll destroy them.”
— “The Iron Throne is mine. By right. All those that deny that are my foes.”