This is the page for House Baratheon in Season Two, if you are looking for the Season One page, go here.
King Torrhen I Baratheon
King Torrhen was the youngest son of King Rodrik 'Ironheart', though unlike his elder brother Orys, he was trueborn to Rodrik's second wife, the Lady Bethany Stark. His father's death saw Torrhen inherit the throne of Westeros at just 8 days old, becoming the youngest King in the history of Westeros. Though, in truth it was the Hand of the King and Torrhen's grandfather Lord Paramount Edrick Stark that ruled the realm.
Torrhen grew up in Winterfell during his regency, the capital of Hammerhorn being left under the watchful eye of Lord Ragnor Ironstark of Pyke. Isolated and under the watchful eye of his grandfather, King Torrhen knew little of the affairs of the realm, the job of maintaining the King's peace being left to the Starks and Ironstarks. A short gamble for power in the Reach by the aging Lord Yandry Yronwyne was swiftly put down by Lord Edrick Stark, but the simmering tension and allegations of King Torrhen's illegitimacy meant that peace would not last, and in early 8231 war against the crown finally surged forward, with several nobles across Westeros rising up in an attempt to place their chosen claimaints upon the throne, notable among them being King Torrhen's two cousins Maric and Aegor, who held the primiary support of the Stormlands and Dorne, respectively.
It was apparent from the onset of the war that it would be one like no other. Previous civil wars had been large in scale, but never before had they encompassed such vast amount of lands. The Baratheon Sucession Crisis, as it would be known as, not only brought forward every lord and lady across the land, but Westeros itself faced an invasion from across the Narrow Sea, in the form of the empire that the Blackfyre and Targaryen exiles had forged from the ashes of Pentos and Andalos. On Torrhen's side stood his grandfather and Hand of the King, Edrick Stark, Lady Alyx Tully, Lord Ragnor Ironstark of Pyke, and Lord Hoare, alongside Torrhen's mother's new step father, Lord Damon Lannister. Obstensibly allied, though one would be a fool to trust such a notion, stood Lord Corliss 'Thrice Pardoned' Belmore as well. The first blow against the loyalist forces came not from a military endeavour, but rather the sensibilities of his cousin Prince Aegor, who decided to renounce his claim to the Iron Throne and convince the Lords supporting him to instead raise their banners for his elder cousin Prince Maric, effectively doubling the rebel forces and preventing any infighting amongst the rebels as to who should gain the throne.
The loyalist forces, facing not only the combined forces that supported Maric and Aegor, but also the possibility of a foreign invasion force from across the Narrow Sea, chose to concentrate their forces in the Riverlands, north of Harren the Black's great castle. Though Lord Matarys Bolton declared his support of Lord Aegon Targaryen and the Blackfyre invaders, Lord Edrick Stark assured the loyalist forces that he would handle the upstart Bolton lord.
However, with the Blackfyre and Targaryen forces threatening the North and the loyalty of the Valemen troops under House Belmore in question, the loyalist forces of Torrhen were paralyzed. To move south in force against the forces fighting for his cousin Maric would mean the entire North was open to attack, but to do the reverse would give the Westerosi rebels free reign over the southern Riverlands. Instead, the loyalist forces assembled in the northern end of the Riverlands, centering around Stone Hedge, the site of the previous civil war's great battle. For months they waited there, as the forces of the south slowly crept forward, taking castle after castle. Ravens came by the dozens to the Hand, Lord Edrick Stark, and to Damon Lannister, from loyalist lords whose castles were under siege, pleading for assistance - they were ignored. Instead, the loyalist forces were content to wait, and the war became a game of patience, but it would eventually be the forces of Torrhen that would move onto the offensive.
He was 12 when he gave the order to advance. A boy with too big a heart to be a King, one maester said. Torrhen eventually was informed of the messages being sent to him from loyalist lords pleading for aid against the rebel forces, and though the true power in Westeros may have been in the hands of Edrick Stark and Damon Lannister, it was hard to ignore a direct order from the King, much less the King who the entire army was there to support. The loyalist forces moved south against the Westerosi rebels of the Reach, Stormlands, and Dorne.
In great long columns they rode to meet the brunt of the rebel forces at Atranta, with one column travelling down the western end of the God's Eye, the other the East. It was the Lannister forces of the Golden Tooth that first spilled blood, against their own kinsmen, the Lannisters of Casterly Rock. As the hours passed on and the death toll grew, more and more men came to fill the shield walls, to bolster the crossbow lines, and lend their horses' thunderous hooves to the great hammer of Westeros.
The battle would last three days. Not three days of positioning and careful maneuvers, but three days of pitched, shield upon shield chaos. Through day and night it would continue, and a rolling, screaming mob of Westeros' greatest and noblest of men would litter the field by the end.
The loyalist forces won the battle. Though, the maesters would argue for decades afterwards whether it was truly a victory to be proud of. The rebel forces were broken and scattered, that much was certain, and if that were the only distinguishable point to the battle then one could easily argue that the forces loyal to Torrhen had achieved a great victory, but...the loyalist forces had crippled themselves defeating the forces pushing the claim of Maric Baratheon, the King's own cousin. And in doing so had made themselves enticing prey for the Blackfyre and Targaryen invaders, who upon hearing of the losses taken by the forces of Torrhen Baratheon, began their invasion in earnest.
As the loyalist forces pushed forward against the now fleeing rebels, they were met with both fortuitous and ill news. Lord Bartimos Tarth, the man who had organized the rebellion in the name of Prince Maric, had fallen to the plague. What was more, Prince Maric himself was greviously ill, and like as not to not last the end of the year. The quick succession of this news destroyed the rebel alliance, and lords came in their dozens to bend the knee and beg mercy from King Torrhen. But the ill came with them - some few lords who still held lands and soldiers enough to make a difference were not willing to bend the knee and beg to the 'boy king' as the kind ones called him - the more crude ones preferred 'the Wolf's bitch'; instead those lords pledged their forces and support to House Blackfyre, bolstering the already superior numbers of the invaders.
King Torrhen quickly issued a command to the newly surrendered lords that had just fought against him - bring your men to ships and defend the Isles of Orys, and you will be forgiven. Many took the King up upon his offer, some did not - the ones that did joined their forces with the small royal army attempting to drive the invaders out of the isles...and were quickly annihilated by the Blackfyre forces. Barely 4000 men remained of the Royal army, commanded by King Torrhen's kinsman and Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Aemon Baratheon. They were driven in force from the Isles and the reluctant order to abandon the Isles of Orys came from the King, who had moved from Winterfell to the Twins following the untimely death of the Hand of the King, Edrick Stark. Instead, the loyalist forces, quickly dwindling were ordered on the offensive, to sail across the Narrow Sea and assault the stronghold of the Blackfyre forces.
It would have been the death knell of House Baratheon, and perhaps the Kingdom of Westeros. At least, the Kingdom of Westeros as it had become. The loyalist forces would have landed and been annihilated, as the initial Blackfyre attempts upon Seagard had been when the forces of King Torrhen had remained strong and united enough to repell them. Fate is a cruel mistress, though, and the destruction she wrought upon House Baratheon at the hands of the Blackfyre monster Matarys the Murderer was repaid finally. Emperor Aemon Blackfyre was struck down with illness, and his empire and war fell to his child, Viserys. The war might have continued, had the power passed to Emperor Aemon's own wife, but instead the crown passed to the boy emperor.
The war had been to put a Targaryen back upon the throne of Westeros, and it had gathered support from across Westeros in that name - but Aegon Targaryen no longer wanted the throne. Perhaps the cost had become too great, or his ambitions had faltered. Or perhaps what he had wanted all along was simply home. The offer was sent to Aegon, all he need do was to take his ward, the new Emperor Viserys, and make for Winterfell, and he and all his kin would be welcomed back to Westeros as heroes. They would be showered with praise, gifted lands and honours - and not be required to wear the heavy crown that had destroyed his ancestors. Aegon took the offer, and when he came to Winterfell with the Emperor Viserys in chains and announced to the realm he had no ambition for the throne, the coalition in his name fell apart. Some few lords wanted to fight on, to instead press the claim of Viserys' younger brother Maegon Blackfyre for the throne, but the amount of lords who wanted a two year old King that shared the blood of Matarys the Murderer could scarcely be counted upon a single hand.
And so the Blackfyre Invasion ended, not with a great battle and a field of corpses, but with a single prisoner and a great deal of ink. And though he had been crowned upon his birth, King Torrhen I Baratheon was again annoited, this time at Riverrun before the remainder of the loyalist forces that had fought and bled in his name.
The Realm had seen a great deal of bloodshed, and Torrhen knew that if the Blackfyre threat was not dealt with fully then another war would follow once their forces had been replenished. His attempts to gather support for an invasion of the Blackfyre held Essosi land, however, was met with failure - far too many of his loyalist forces had been depleted, and those of questionable loyalty were unwilling to send their own soldiers across the Narrow Sea, fearing some sort of reprisal from the King once their armies were away. Instead, King Torrhen accepted a few of his lords more questionable advice - that eliminating the Blackfyres could be accomplished not with swords, ships, and armies, but instead with ink, gold, and daggers. He issued a proclimation, promising a thousand gold dragons for every dead Blackfyre - however their death might come about.
As the Blackfyre dynasty slowly crumbled, they attempted once more to garner support for an invasion, but only the Lord Osgrey of the Reach was willing to even treat with their diplomats - a crime which once discovered prompted an immediate trial and the dismissal of Lord Osgrey to the Night's Watch. Eventually, as a civil war over the succession of the Blackfyre empire broke out in Essos, Torrhen ordered the full scale invasion, landing in Pentos and marching overland to the Blackfyre stronghold, taking it with his armies and slaying its Lord, taking as a prize the ancestral sword of House Targaryen - Blackfyre itself, as a prize. Deep in the cellars of the fortress he also found a dragon egg which he brought home to Westeros. The Blackfyres had been scattered, and though there were some who still remained alive, they were deemed as too little a threat to the realm to invest resources to drive out.
Torrhen would sire a number of children with his wife, the cousin of the Hand of the King, Damon Lannister - though when his eldest son Edrick requested leave to join the Night's Watch, Torrhen allowed it, leaving his second son Jorah as heir to the throne. Unfortunately, Jorah would die in a tournament just months afterwards, leaving the succession of the throne again in crisis. Fearing that the realm would be torn apart should the possibility of the throne be given to his daughter's husbands - all powerful lords in their own rights, Torrhen named his only remaining son, a bastard boy he had named Orys after his forebearer as his heir. To many, the knowledge of even the bastard child's existence had been kept secret, and so it was a shock to hear that he had not only been legitimized but also named the heir. This move also infuriated the Hand of the King, Damon Lannister - who had given his own daughter's hand in marriage to King Torrhen following Torrhen's wife's passing, expecting that the next King would be his own grandson. Damon Lannister would resign his position as Hand in protest, and the office would be granted to Lord Alleras Yronwyne, King Torrhen's son-in-law and husband to Alyx Baratheon.
Orys, now 11 years old and having been tutored under the watchful eye of Lord Urlon Darklyn, as recalled to the new capital at the Twins (Torrhen having moved it some years ago to facilitate easier management of the Kingdom). However, some few years later King Torrhen's new wife would give him a trueborn son, whom was named Rodrik. Fearing another succession war, King Torrhen summoned the Lords and Ladies of the realm to the capital, to swear oaths of allegiance and vow to uphold Torrhen's bastard son Orys' right to the throne. To help solidify this, Torrhen also bestowed the sword Blackyre upon his son Orys, who had grown to be an excellent fighter, due in no small part to the insistent training of Lord Urlon Darklyn during Orys' youth.
The realm, however, would not stay peaceful for long, and rising tensions between House Lannister, Belmore, and Tully would boil over into open warfare in 8288, while King Torrhen was away from the capital and across the Narrow Sea. The Hand at the time, Lord Alleras Yronwyne, would issue demands for the fighting to cease, but they would fall on deaf ears given that House Yronwyne lacked the men to enforce his demands. However, King Torrhen would return a few months into the war, mounted atop the dragon Maelstrom that had once been ridden by the Black Widow of Essos - and hearing that the King's peace had been broken and his Hand's orders defied, would exact a harsh punishment upon House Lannister and Belmore, stripping them of the Golden Tooth and the Bloody Gate respectively, and awarding overlordship of those titles to House Tully. Not a year later, King Torrhen would pass, his life having been claimed by the stress of running the Kingdoms, or so to the maester's said.
King Orys 'The Bastard'
Orys would take the throne of Westeros at the age of 18. The legitimized bastard son of King Torrhen Baratheon and and Freya Osgrey, the existance of his younger brother - King Torrhen's trueborn son of 7 years at the time would spark unsettling debates following his ascension, with men protesting (though ever in secret) that it was Orys' brother Rodrik that the crown should have been passed to.
Following his father's death he would immediately tame the dragon Maelstrom, which would contribute large scale towards the stability of the realm, being the last dragon. By the end of his reign though there would be another, as well as two eggs spawned from Maelstrom's clutches.
King Orys' priorities upon taking the throne were apparent to all, and his favours fell squarely upon only a handful of houses in exclusivity. House Tully and Darklyn would profit the largest from the generosity of King Orys, who would named his old childhood tutor Lord Urlon Darklyn as his Hand of the King, as well as force House Hollard from Duskendale and return Lord Urlon's ancestral home and title to him. The Riverlords would also see largescale construction projects take place all across the Trident, as the royal treasury, grown fat from the increased taxes upon the Reach, Westerlands, and Vale, would be funneled into improving the Riverlands - whom Orys viewed as his chief ally in the Seven Kingdoms. He would further upset the powerful lords of Westeros by converting to the faith of Old Valyria, and taking a total of three wives, while also stripping the Faith of its previous legal statuses that had been held in place since the crowning of Aegon 'the Kinslayer King'.
Orys was a divisive ruler, and it came as no surprise to the realm when a plot against his life was uncovered, having been backed by the lords Lannister, Belmore, and Ironstark. Instead of calling a long and overly drawn out trial, Orys summoned the lords accused to the capital upon punishment of death for refusal, and forced them to fight a trial by combat against his Kingsguard to prove their innocence. Each lord fought in turn, and each won against their chosen opponent, slaying three of King Orys' Kingsguard, a move which made him furious and further rooted the notion of Lannister and Belmore betrayal upon his mind.
His rule over the Seven Kingdoms would continue for some time though, up until the mysterious disappearance of the last Starks of Winterfell. Plagued at the time by infighting between lords over titles and division of lands, Orys grew frustrated with the affairs of the Seven Kingdoms and moved the capital of the realm again, this time to Winterfell, assuming the Lordship of the North for himself, a move which not only upset the Northern lords under his rule, but also his vassals in the South, who viewed the move as the King abandoning their interests and alienating himself from their lands. At the same time, growing pressures from the resurgent Ironborn upon the Isles of Orys, whom had been kept in check since the time of King Aegon, threatened the possibility of open rebellion. The mounting stresses upon the King, and the deep wound he had taken while hunting some months prior would cause a sudden onset of blindness in King Orys, and he would turn over control of the Isles of Orys to House Tully, to do with "Whatever the hell you please", he would write.
The accumulation of slights and outright dismissals of the crown against the Southern lords had finally become too much, and the houses Lannister, Belmore, Yronwyne, and Martell all unified in a coalition demanding independence from the crown. Though King Orys' eldest son, Orys the Younger would advocate feverently for war to bring the rebellious lords into line, his father the King would instead grant them their request, his age and uncaring attitude to the southern half of his Kingdom allowing the lords to break away and form Kingdoms of their own that had not stood since before Aegon Targaryen's conquest.
He would be one of the longest reigning Kings of the Seven Kingdoms, and also the man who would destroy that title. Over his lifetime he would sire 17 children, convert to the Gods of his ancestors from Old Valyria, estrange the powerful lords of Westeros, and undermine Baratheon authority over the realm greatly.
The dissolution of the Kingdom of Westeros would fracture the peace between the King and his eldest son, Orys the Younger, who feverently believed it was a mistake to allow the Southron lords to regain their independence, and Orys the Younger was quick to say such to any who would ask his opinion on the matter. A great warrior, and a renowned battlefield commander, Orys the Younger was much like his father had been in his younger years, and it was well known that when the old king passed, the ravens would fly from Winterfell, assembling the armies of the North and Riverlands to war to reforge the united Kingdom.
It would never happen as such though - for the Southron Kings feared Orys the Younger and his ambitions, and had been informed of them by their spies in the North. He was found in the Godswood of Winterfell with his throat cut, the evident work of the Faceless Men of Braavos well apparent. Such a target would have required vast amounts of wealth to secure the death of from the Faceless Men, and there stood only a handful of people in Westeros who held the required funds for such a move, chief among them King Damon Lannister of the Rock and Queen Sarya Yronwyne of the Reach.
King Orys had been withering away upon his throne for near a decade, drained of vigor and motivation to rule, but the news of his eldest son's life, the boy he had raised since childhood to take his seat breathed new life into the old King. Had his eyes not been clouded by blindness, they would have shone with a passion and determination that had not graced them since he was young. The ravens flew from Winterfell, to all corners of the North and Riverlands - but King Orys did not march south to reforge the Kingdom he had given away, he marched for blood.
The Southron Kings marshalled great forces, coming together to form the largest armies ever fielded in Westeros, but even the blind King could see that they were weak where their armies were not, and so while the forces of his Kingdom were marshalled under Lord Tully, he took his elite northern guard to sea, and struck at each of the Southron king's hearts, sacking their capitals and storming the walls with the aid of his dragon, forcing the his enemies into peace. He took no lands for his conquest, but instead demanded the head of the eldest son of each Southron crown, aside from that of the Storm Kings, who surrendered midway through the war rather than face against the wrath of the Bastard. Taking the lives of their eldest children proved fractuous to the marriage alliances that tied the Southron kings together, but Orys had no desire to press his advantage further. While his own son would have driven his armies south to reforge Westeros, the Bastard king instead withdrew back to Winterfell and lived the rest of his years slowly spiralling into an ever more powerful depression.
King Allard I Baratheon
Very little is known or written of King Allard, the first of his name. As the events immediately following his rule would shatter Westeros entirely and bring about a new world. The Kingdom of the North would cease to exist in the short span of his reign, as the army of the dead would stream south from beyond the wall and lay waste to everything in its path - including the ancient line of House Baratheon and its kingly power.
Season Three continued here.