A Clash of Kings Books Podcast

Game of Owns: Bickering Brothers

Episode 147 – Bickering Brothers

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ACOK Chapter 31: Catelyn III
Stannis and Renly Baratheon finally meet, clashing by way of sorts into another episode with Game of Owns, where even the hosts are divided between who should rightfully rule Westeros.



Discussion Topics
Thrones event in Chicago
Stories of Storm’s End
The brothers face off
Brienne’s employer
A case for Renly
A new twist
Trading insults
Owns of the Chapter


  • At that point in the story Stannis is the heir of the Baratheon dynasty and the Targaryen dynasty both; Robert Baratheon was Viserys’ direct heir by blood.

  • Somewhat true.
    It is good to remember the War of the Usurper wasn’t actually fought to usurp the throne, but to have justice for the deaths of Rickard and Brandon Stark (and Jeffory Mallister, Kyle Royce, Elbert Arryn and their fathers) and the kidnapping of Lyanna. Robert Baratheon hated the Targaryens so much that in the end he did want to eradicate them all however.
    He was the son of Steffon Baratheon, whose mother was Rhaelle Targaryen. This was the claim by which Robert was put on the throne, even though (he mentions this a couple of times in GoT) he himself didn’t want this. So even Robert’s kingship was legitimated by descent, even if the inheritance laws through the female line aren’t very clear. Therefore Renly is more a usurper than Robert was, and Stannis has the right of it.

  • I just have to laugh whenever I hear Zack or Eric talk about things being different from the show because in my head I’m like “you boys ain’t seen nothing yet”

  • renly seems to think the one that rules is the fittest for rulling … i wonder how that would have worked out in further generations… the realms would have a war everytime a new king dies ….

    that is why renly could never be king…

  • Selina, sorry to dash your optimism but if I recall correctly in ASOS Loras talks to Jaime about Brienne, and how Renly thought her an ugly woman or used some other unkind description of her and kept her close only because he knew she was loyal to him. So he’s a bit of a hypocrite to most people.

    He was disrespectful to his brother’s wife and little niece as well. In general I think he’s just so full of himself and a bit of an ass. In contrast to his brother’s flaw of taking everything so seriously, he takes nothing seriously.

    He’s wrong about his point on laws of succession too. Robert only took the throne because he was of Targaryen descent and had some Targ blood in him. So the lords put him on the throne. And the Mad King was, well, mad. So he had to be taken down.

    Renly goes for the throne just for the hell of it. He doesn’t care if Joffrey is legitimate or not, he had just learned it from Stannis then and still didn’t care to support him. Don’t you think it’s a bit immoral to try to usurp your older brother’s rights? I think Renly is very well on the wrong here.

    In addition to all this, had Renly taken the throne the lines of succession would have become even more complicated. The king’s youngest sons would point to Renly’s taking the throne from his older brother as a cause for them to rebel against their older brothers and take the throne for themselves. Law wouldn’t exist anymore and all would fall into chaos.

    Like the Ottoman Empire, the kingdom would bleed from internal struggles of brother against brother fights for sucession, to see as Renly put it, “Who is more worthy to be on the throne”. I just think for their period of time and rules, the line of sucession is the best as it is, the oldest son comes next, if there is no son, then the oldest brother.

    Not that I think Stannis should be king or anything, just between them both I find Renly less sympathetic, but to each their own. :)

  • OK, can we clear something up? Stannis is on the small council in the books. He was the Master of Ships, meaning at the end of Robert’s Rebellion, he rebuilt the entire royal navy, smashed the Targaryen’s remaining in dragonstone, and smashed the Greyjoy fleet when they rebelled the first time.

    You can stop saying that Renly being on the council is some kind of advantage.

  • illrede:
    At that point in the story Stannis is the heir of the Baratheon dynasty and the Targaryendynasty both; Robert Baratheon was Viserys’ direct heir by blood.

    THIS. I was about to post words to that effect, as I’m a few days slow in listening, but someone beat me to it.

    I get the impression that it isn’t a coincidence that GRRM made the Baratheon brothers 1/4 Targ… Their father Lord Steffon was the Mad King’s first cousin.

    So having killed his second cousin Prince Rhaegar and banished Viserys etc, Robert may unwittingly have made himself the legitimate Targaryen heir… We don’t have the geneology of every single noble house (and I can’t be bothered checking through the Westeros wiki), so there might be someone further up, but…

  • Renly tells Catelyn that she came as an envoy and that she will leave as an envoy.

    The reason Renly wants Catelyn to stay is so she sees how easily Renly crushes Stannis, and so that she can go back as an envoy to Robb to tell him of Renly’s power, and to convey to Robb how quickly Renly would crush him.