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Renly winning would have been a disaster.

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1 minute ago, Loose Bolt said:

He seemed to have certain problems about producing those children. After all a man who loves more about his good brother than his wife is unlikely to have any.

A man who is ambitious to be king is going to want to secure the throne. 

Stannis fans seem to have a reputation of being 'bros' within the fandom, and while I think its unfair it is shocking just how many of them are under the impression that gay men can not have children. Plenty of gay people, of both gender, have children. 

Not that we even know if Renly's gay, he may well be bisexual. 

 

4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

You mean the children of the guy impregnating Margaery for Renly. The way Renly treated Margaery in Cat's chapters strongly suggests that her marriage to Renly was as much a sham as Rhaenyra's marriage to Laenor Velaryon. Just think of Loras' reaction when Sansa mentions Margaery's name in her conversation with Loras about Renly. The woman had no real connection with Renly.

While they may end up in an open marriage, neither are going to risk a repeat of Stannis' claims of the king being cuckolded. The Tyrells are going to be determined to get a few legitimate heirs out of the marriage.

Laenor's behaviour is odd, at least not the norm amongst the closeted gay people of our own medieval age. But I concede this is more down to GRRM's assumptions of sexuality, if he's under the impression that gay men can't have children then in his world they can't. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

While they may end up in an open marriage, neither are going to risk a repeat of Stannis' claims of the king being cuckolded. The Tyrells are going to be determined to get a few legitimate heirs out of the marriage.

Are they? How would they do that if Renly and Loras only care about themselves? If this thing were controlled by the Tyrells, then Loras would have been in Highgarden and Mace and Olenna would have been with Renly and Margaery, never leaving them until the girl was pregnant by Renly.

12 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Laenor's behaviour is odd, at least not the norm amongst the closeted gay people of our own medieval age. But I concede this is more down to GRRM's assumptions of sexuality, if he's under the impression that gay men can't have children then in his world they can't. 

No, the odd thing is to assume that royals and noblemen actually do go to great lengths to father an heir when they are not so inclined. There are countless cases in medieval and later monarchies where kings stuck in loveless arranged marriages did make no attempt to even pretend they actually shared the bed with their 'wives' - never mind whether they were actually homosexual or just unwilling to spend time with their spouses. If your position as ruler is secure you can leave the succession to the morons that survive you.

Nobody doubts that gay men cannot have sex with women - but we can all agree that they are not very inclined to do that. And kings usually only do what they want, not what they should. Rhaenyra and Laenor perhaps should have tried to actually have a proper marriage - but it seems that neither had any inclination to do that. And why should they? They would have never been happy had they tried.

But the real problem of Renly's would have been that to take the throne he would have to kill Cersei's sons and Stannis, making him one of the least popular kings - and one who reinforced the belief that the throne goes to the strongest guy, not the one with the best claim. Combine that with the fact that it would have been very easy to brand any children as bastards due to Renly's romantic and sexual preferences and you get a recipe for disaster. 

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Renly was poised to emerge victorious in the war. Additionally, he would not be the first male figure with same sex interests who still had children. Since getting to the throne would likely mean he would be the last of his family, he would be under tremendous pressure to do so. It would be a part of his legacy and Renly would care about appearances and his legacy.

 

This was a too good to be true scenario and thus why he was killed off. Otherwise it would be the Realm minus the Lannister family unified (with unhappy Greyjoys).

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Are they? How would they do that if Renly and Loras only care about themselves?

Loras clearly cares for his family, his sister especially. He and his family are ambitious. 

Renly cares about being king, kings require legitimate heirs. From what little we knew of Laenor the throne, despite his claim being greater than Renly's, was not something he cared for.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

 

If this thing were controlled by the Tyrells, then Loras would have been in Highgarden and Mace and Olenna would have been with Renly and Margaery, never leaving them until the girl was pregnant by Renly.

How do you figure that? The ability difference between Loras and Renly may be negligible, but Loras is very much the celebrated hero of the Tyrells, he's always going to have been a figurehead of Renly's army. 

Lords frequently marry women they don't love, the majority do their duty. Renly's situation is not that different. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

No, the odd thing is to assume that royals and noblemen actually do go to great lengths to father an heir when they are not so inclined.

Where is it claimed Renly is not inclined to be a father? It's an important part of securing the throne.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

 

There are countless cases in medieval and later monarchies where kings stuck in loveless arranged marriages did make no attempt to even pretend they actually shared the bed with their 'wives' -

There are cases,  but the majority tried to create heirs regardless of their feelings for their spouse.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

 

never mind whether they were actually homosexual or just unwilling to spend time with their spouses. If your position as ruler is secure you can leave the succession to the morons that survive you.

Kings, especially new kings who had just won their throne, strived for heirs. 

Stannis has less romantic feelings for his wife than Renly does, not only does he have an heir but he has every intention of having sons. 

There is little difference in the two Baratheon brothers marriages.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Nobody doubts that gay men cannot have sex with women - but we can all agree that they are not very inclined to do that.

Again, we have no idea if he is gay or bisexual. 

Plenty of gay men have been married, have children and have lived double lives. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

And kings usually only do what they want, not what they should.

Newly crowned kings, like Robert, try to create heirs. 

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

 

Rhaenyra and Laenor perhaps should have tried to actually have a proper marriage - but it seems that neither had any inclination to do that. And why should they? They would have never been happy had they tried.

No one is talking a real marriage, but real heirs may have prevented the Dance of the Dragons.

 

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

But the real problem of Renly's would have been that to take the throne he would have to kill Cersei's sons and Stannis, making him one of the least popular kings - and one who reinforced the belief that the throne goes to the strongest guy, not the one with the best claim. Combine that with the fact that it would have been very easy to brand any children as bastards due to Renly's romantic and sexual preferences and you get a recipe for disaster. 

Robert was a popular king, the death of royal babies and a beloved Prince did not stop that. 

Though Renly did not have to kill the four of them, he made that clear when he offered Stannis Storm's End that he was capable of compromise. 

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Renly was prepared for having an heir

Quote

"A year ago I was scheming to make the girl Robert's queen," Renly said, "but what does it matter? The boar got Robert and I got Margaery. You'll be pleased to know she came to me a maid."

"In your bed she's like to die that way."

"Oh, I expect I'll get a son on her within the year.

The reason Renly brought Margery along with his army was to make sure he gets an heir asap. The Faith also confirmed that Margery is not a virgin.

Does this guarantee that Renly smashed? Of course not, its totally possible that the Blue Bard or whomever was taking care of business for him. Its like the Kings Hand, except it aint a hand. 

33 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Robert was a popular king, the death of royal babies and a beloved Prince did not stop that. 

Though Renly did not have to kill the four of them, he made that clear when he offered Stannis Storm's End that he was capable of compromise. 

Popular among who? Exiled Summerisland lords and drunk red priests, sure. Among his Lords, Smallfolk, Smallcounsel, kingsguard and in-laws, not so much.

Renly admits to Cat that his claim will be shaky until Stannis is dead, that should be double then for the three kids.

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18 minutes ago, Hugorfonics said:

 

Popular among who? Exiled Summerisland lords and drunk red priests, sure. Among his Lords, Smallfolk, Smallcounsel, kingsguard and in-laws, not so much.

 

"Davos would tell you different," Stannis said. "Those swords are sworn to Renly. They love my charming young brother, as they once loved Robert . . . and as they have never loved me."

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If Renly cannot conceive a heir ( I do belive he is ambition enough to push himself into) he can at least legitimat Edric Storm and name him as his heir... not that it will make him any more popular, but Robert left some bastards that in a dire situation can carry the dinasty ahead. At the very least Renly will need to name someone lord of Dragon Stone or Storm's End once he kill Stannis and Cersei's children. ( Would he kill Shireen?)

Renly would be a better king than Joffrey but one just as bad as Stannis. He took Dorne for granted, he didn't leave an heir or named one, he judged Stannis badly thinking at first that Stannis would support him, he openly mocked his family in the small concil, he was letting the mess in the Riverlands growing more and more without moving a finger while he also starved King's Landing, not counting that he would start his reing as a kinslayer.

Edited by Arthur Peres
.

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This is stupid. Renly is gay (he had no interest in Arianne Martell when she tried to seduce him) but he would understand the importance of having a heir and would do his duty. 

Renly not doing anything about the situation in the River lands was dumb but his overall strategy was sound. He would have been welcomed as a hero when he took Kings Landing and the blame for the food starvation would go to the Lannisters. The Lannisters and Starks were beating each other up and he didn't have to lift a finger. Then once both sides were sufficiently weakened enough Renly could swoop in and crush the Lannisters, making himself look like the hero and giving the Starks the justice they so wanted. There would have been a lot less bloodshed. 

And I keep repeating, Renly is not stupid and would use any number of excuses on why Stannis wasn't the legitimate heir (because of his religion, because he had no (worthy) heirs, because Robert gave Renly Storm's End to mark him as his heir, because Stannis abandoned his duty when he fled a King's Landing, because Stannis was a bastard himself etc). And there's nothing to stop him from adopting the story of the incest once Stannis was dead. 

It cannot be forgotten that Renly is popular and the Lannisters and Stannis are not. George R R Martin even said that if Stannis was killed in the battle near Storm's End few people would think of Renly as a kinslayer. 

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2 hours ago, S. D said:

because of his religion, 

This really always struck out to me as being easy to cite for why Stannis couldn’t be allowed to be King.  I mean it’d be really easy to frame  Stannis as a heathen who wants to destroy all other gods except his evil foreign one. It’s not really far from the mark.  Stannis really did suck in terms of PR. Convincing the public Stannis was unfit should be easy for Renly. 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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16 hours ago, BigBoss1 said:

None of those were rebellions against the ruling dynasty, you said it yourself, ruling branch. The blacfyres are as much targaryen as their more legitimate cousins, Aegon the unworthy legitimized them.

And the attempted rebellion of the laughing storm was trying to secede, not replace. None of these rebellions were trying to replace the dynasty with anything other than targaryen.

You can make the same argument that Robert was 4th in line to the throne at the moment of his rebellion behind only Rheagar, Viserys and Aegon

 

And yes, children of the female line are eligible (See Leanor Velaryon)

 

so all of those count the same. 

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If you guys don't have any textual evidence that Renly did consummate his marriage to Margaery Tyrell then don't pretend he did. If he truly cared to father an heir why is he then hanging out with Loras 'praying' pretty much each night in the camps rather than spending every night with Margaery - at least until she is pregnant?

Renly telling Stannis that he is going to have a son soon is not going to make it so, just as Renly telling Catelyn that Dorne will join him doesn't make it so. Like Laenor may have done, Renly could have another man father a child on Margaery. That would be then his son, too.

If Renly had won the throne it wouldn't have been a bloodless affair making him a very unpopular king from the start - but even if it were, if he had succeeded at sending Stannis to the Wall and make Joffrey and Tommen maesters or septons, and Myrcella and Shireen septas or silent sisters - then this would have still set another bad precedent that basically anyone (with the flimsiest of claims) could claim the throne. That would have encouraged any of Renly's children and grandchildren - assuming he would have had any trueborn children of his own body - to think of themselves as the rightful heirs to the throne, never mind the birth order or other factors.

This wouldn't have helped unite the Realm at all.

As for Renly's overall justification for his rebellion:

We don't see any indication Cersei or the Lannisters wanted to kill him. He cites the mercilessness of the Lannisters when he tries to convince Ned to stage a coup, but that's all the evidence that we have that Renly's life was in danger. He and Cersei were certainly not friends, and he would have likely lost his place on the council and other privileges after Joffrey's ascension, but there is no indication that Cersei wanted to kill him - especially not if Renly had assembled an army of Stormlanders to assist his royal nephew in his fights against Stannis and the Starks/Tullys.

In fact, we have no clue what Renly's ultimate goal was when he talked to Ned on the drawbridge. Did he truly only want to ensure that Ned Stark become Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm? Or did he want his men to control Cersei and her children so that he could remove the main obstacles on his way to the throne right then and there? We don't know. The fact that Renly never thought Stannis would claim the throne - and imagined he would support him against the Lannisters - indicates that Renly originally thought he would just have to remove Cersei and her children on his way to the throne. He could have done that rather easily if he had helped Ned to seize power in the Red Keep and subsequently put his men among the guards keeping the royal family prisoner.

If Renly had not wanted the crown it is very odd that he actually proclaimed himself king essentially as soon as he had fled the capital.

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29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If you guys don't have any textual evidence that Renly did consummate his marriage to Margaery Tyrell then don't pretend he did. 

We have textual evidence that he planned on having a child very quickly. 

"Oh, I expect I'll get a son on her within the year. Pray, how many sons do you have, Stannis? Oh, yes—none."

 

29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If he truly cared to father an heir why is he then hanging out with Loras 'praying' pretty much each night in the camps rather than spending every night with Margaery - at least until she is pregnant?

He's not praying every night. 

Renly laughed. "Loras, stay and help me pray. It's been so long I've quite forgotten how. As to the rest of you, I want every man in place by first light, armed, armored, and horsed. We shall give Stannis a dawn he will not soon forget."

But yeah, the hours before his first ever battle he wants comfort.

29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Renly telling Stannis that he is going to have a son soon is not going to make it so, just as Renly telling Catelyn that Dorne will join him doesn't make it so.

And you claiming that he had no intention of having children also does not make it so, you realize that right? 

Right now Renly claims he had every intention of having children, that Mace's support came from the expectation of legitimate grandchildren.  

29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Like Laenor may have done, Renly could have another man father a child on Margaery. That would be then his son, too.

No, they'd be bastards. 

 

29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If Renly had won the throne it wouldn't have been a bloodless affair making him a very unpopular king from the start - but even if it were, if he had succeeded at sending Stannis to the Wall and make Joffrey and Tommen maesters or septons, and Myrcella and Shireen septas or silent sisters - then this would have still set another bad precedent that basically anyone (with the flimsiest of claims) could claim the throne.

That precedent already existed when Robert became king.

29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

That would have encouraged any of Renly's children and grandchildren - assuming he would have had any trueborn children of his own body - to think of themselves as the rightful heirs to the throne, never mind the birth order or other factors.

Sure, just like Robert becoming king encouraged Renly to become King, the precedent had already existed. 

Robert didn't really do anything to stop this, he was a pretty poor father and mediocre king who thought little of the future. 

Now Renly may be the same, he may not. But there was possibly many decades to rectify the precedent he and Robert had made. It is a problem that can be managed, acting like Roberts inactivity towards grooming his heir is the norm is incorrect.

29 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

We don't see any indication Cersei or the Lannisters wanted to kill him.

Yeah, we do.

 Eddard Stark took up right where Arryn had left off; his meddling had forced her to rid herself of Robert sooner than she would have liked, before she could deal with his pestilential brothers

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

We have textual evidence that he planned on having a child very quickly. 

"Oh, I expect I'll get a son on her within the year. Pray, how many sons do you have, Stannis? Oh, yes—none."

No, we have evidence of Renly saying stuff. He does not show any indication that he was actually doing stuff.

2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

He's not praying every night. 

Renly laughed. "Loras, stay and help me pray. It's been so long I've quite forgotten how. As to the rest of you, I want every man in place by first light, armed, armored, and horsed. We shall give Stannis a dawn he will not soon forget."

That is what I said - or didn't you realize I wrote 'pretty much' above there. Loras was Renly's closest confidant, the Lord Commander of his Rainbow Guard, the guy he was spending all his time with, not Margaery.

2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

And you claiming that he had no intention of having children also does not make it so, you realize that right? 

Sure. I'm merely not buying your idea that Renly most definitely wanted to have children - because all we have about that is talk. And words are wind. Stannis, too, is never going to have a son by Selyse because it has been years since he has been sleeping with Selyse. He can want sons all day long, he won't have them if he is not sleeping with his wife.

2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Right now Renly claims he had every intention of having children, that Mace's support came from the expectation of legitimate grandchildren.

And on what do you base this claim? Do you think Tywin cared whether Cersei's children were Robert's seed? The important thing is that the daughter is the queen, not that the king is the actual biological father of the children. If the king acknowledges them as his children, they will succeed him - and that's what both Tywin and Mace wanted.

2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

No, they'd be bastards. 

Bastards are born outside of wedlock. If nobody knows who to the true father is then the children are the seed of the husband by default.

2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

That precedent already existed when Robert became king.

Which is why I wrote 'another bad precedent'.

2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Sure, just like Robert becoming king encouraged Renly to become King, the precedent had already existed.

Again - another bad precedent. You do realize that repeating things makes them even more 'normal' than just a one-time occurrence, right? The latter can be construed or declared as an aberration or an exception. But if Renly had followed Robert the 'Robert way' then this would have set a very strong precedent that brute strength and ambition are the principles governing Baratheon succession, not birth order and primogeniture. In fact, we see how Maegor's successful usurpation is seen as a one-time exception. Nobody says that the Iron Throne should go to the guy who has the strength to claim it when the Old King is dying. Nobody during the Dance justifies their claim with the size of their army or their dragons. 

2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Now Renly may be the same, he may not. But there was possibly many decades to rectify the precedent he and Robert had made. It is a problem that can be managed, acting like Roberts inactivity towards grooming his heir is the norm is incorrect.

Such a thing cannot really be made to go away completely. It would be part of history how Robert and Renly took the throne. And Renly's personality does not imply he cared much about being a good king. He liked to shine. He wanted the glory that came with being king, and her certainly had the ruthlessness and the charisma to get there. But there is no indication he had the talent or the ability to be a good ruler.

2 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Yeah, we do.

 Eddard Stark took up right where Arryn had left off; his meddling had forced her to rid herself of Robert sooner than she would have liked, before she could deal with his pestilential brothers

Oh, I know that quote - but 'dealing' with somebody does not necessarily entail killing them, does it? It may have been enough had Cersei been able to disgrace Stannis and Renly, causing them to lose Dragonstone and Storm's End. Without a power base of their own they wouldn't have been that much of a threat to her children.

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5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

No, we have evidence of Renly saying stuff. He does not show any indication that he was actually doing stuff.

We have evidence that he wanted children, we have zero evidence that he did not want children. 

Now you may well be right, but until further evidence comes to light it is canon that Renly wanted children. You believing otherwise does not trump Renly's own words.

 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

That is what I said - or didn't you realize I wrote 'pretty much' above there. Loras was Renly's closest confidant, the Lord Commander of his Rainbow Guard, the guy he was spending all his time with, not Margaery.

Come on, there is no need to be disingenuous. 

'praying' pretty much each night   is what you said, what the text says is Renly laughed. "Loras, stay and help me pray. It's been so long I've quite forgotten how. 

Those two phrases are not the same, they contradict each other. 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure. I'm merely not buying your idea that Renly most definitely wanted to have children

It is not my idea, it is a direct quote from the character. Renly claiming he wanted a son within the year is not an 'idea' of mine. 

If you want to argue that Renly is lying then go ahead, but please don't act that other people have created the 'idea' of Renly wanting children when its written in the books. 

It's GRRM's book, you need to let go of the idea that your personal head cannon trumps what GRRM has wrote. 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

- because all we have about that is talk.

That is more than you have supporting your opinion.

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And on what do you base this claim? Do you think Tywin cared whether Cersei's children were Robert's seed?

Yes. Just look at the damage done with them not being his 'seed'. 

Tywin and the entire realm are much weaker as a result of Cersei not producing genuine heirs.

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

The important thing is that the daughter is the queen, not that the king is the actual biological father of the children.

Strongly disagree. 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

If the king acknowledges them as his children, they will succeed him - and that's what both Tywin and Mace wanted.

They wanted legitimate heirs above all else, the taint of bastardry caused the three biggest civil wars in the history of Westeros. 

 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Bastards are born outside of wedlock. If nobody knows who to the true father is then the children are the seed of the husband by default.

It causes trouble. 

The Strongs caused conflict which started the Dance of the Dragons, Daeron II was accused of being a bastard which helped cause the Blackfyre wars. 

It is not worth the risk, especially for a new king and dynasty.

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Which is why I wrote 'another bad precedent'.

It's the same precedent, it already existed and was not a disaster for the realm like OP suggested. This is what the thread is about.

 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Again - another bad precedent. You do realize that repeating things makes them even more 'normal' than just a one-time occurrence, right?

No, a repeat of the same precedent that already existed. 

Renly repeating a what other's had done before him was not going to bring the realm into disaster. 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

 

Such a thing cannot really be made to go away completely. It would be part of history how Robert and Renly took the throne.

And Maegor, Aegon and probably many, many other kings and lords in the history of Westeros. 

Taking power through force is not something that is new in Westeros, painting the discussion as Renly doing what many, many people have done before him as being a disaster for the realm is a sorry excuse for an argument. 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

And Renly's personality does not imply he cared much about being a good king.

It actually does. He, unlike Robert and Stannis, attends the Small council. he understands about compromise and keeping people happy.

 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

He liked to shine. He wanted the glory that came with being king, and her certainly had the ruthlessness and the charisma to get there. But there is no indication he had the talent or the ability to be a good ruler.

There is zero that he didn't. 

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, I know that quote - but 'dealing' with somebody does not necessarily entail killing them, does it?

Context is key, Cersei's methods of getting rid of people does not involve them surviving.

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

 

It may have been enough had Cersei been able to disgrace Stannis and Renly, causing them to lose Dragonstone and Storm's End. Without a power base of their own they wouldn't have been that much of a threat to her children.

That is certainly valid reason for Renly to rebel. His life or his lands, titles and status being at risk are all excellent excuses to remove Cersei from power.

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Kings choose their own heirs. 

 

And Robert never truly named one. Thats Renly's loophole. He holds Storms End, making him the highest ranking Baratheon either way. 

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1 hour ago, dsjj251 said:

Kings choose their own heirs. 

 

And Robert never truly named one. Thats Renly's loophole. He holds Storms End, making him the highest ranking Baratheon either way. 

Actually normally prince(ss) of Dragonstone was title of heir(ess). So in a way Stannis could claim that he was the heir. Naturally Robert did not really wanted Stannis as his heir, but after his death his opinions became irrelevant.

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I guess all the Baratheons have this tendecy to usurp their rightful kings.

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Whenever this argument comes up it's like the lords of Westeros didn't realise they could usurp their overlords with sufficient power and support, of course they know and anyone that rose in rebellion against Renly would use that against him just as any lord would use any advantage they could but they'd still only do it if they have sufficient strength and backing in the first place, the same as any rebellion. Renly's the king's brother, with enough of a blood claim and the backing of Highgarden and the Stormlands he has more than enough strength to make his legitimacy an accepted reality, evil counsellors, bastards, whatever excuse he wants.

It's like the assumption here is that a rebellious lord with massive backing against his overlord would simply not rebel because of lack of precedent. If he has the support he'll just do it anyway, the support is what ultimately matters. 

Edited by Trigger Warning

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23 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

He seemed to have certain problems about producing those children. After all a man who loves more about his good brother than his wife is unlikely to have any.

 

Gay men have children in sham marriages all the time. 

Edited by Trigger Warning

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2 hours ago, dsjj251 said:

Kings choose their own heirs. 

Not really. Kings choosing their heirs is the exception rather than the rule. 

Kings are stuck with their oldest son unless they can have enough political support to remove them.

2 hours ago, dsjj251 said:

And Robert never truly named one.

Joffrey was his legal heir from birth. Robert was not pleased about it, but was stuck with him.

"Let me tell you a secret, Ned. More than once, I have dreamed of giving up the crown. Take ship for the Free Cities with my horse and my hammer, spend my time warring and whoring, that's what I was made for. The sellsword king, how the singers would love me. You know what stops me? The thought of Joffrey on the throne, with Cersei standing behind him whispering in his ear. My son. How could I have made a son like that, Ned?"

 

The entire realm understands this, that the oldest son is automatically the heir.

"Gods, Catelyn, Sansa is only eleven," Ned said. "And Joffrey … Joffrey is …"
She finished for him. "… crown prince, and heir to the Iron Throne.

 

2 hours ago, dsjj251 said:

 

He holds Storms End, making him the highest ranking Baratheon either way. 

No, it does not, not when it comes to inheriting the Throne.  He's got a claim but his claim is weaker than Roberts legitimate children and Stannis.

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