- "No act done in the service of the Lord of Light can ever be a sin."
- ―Selyse Baratheon
Sarah MacKeever initially appeared as Selyse in the Season 2 premiere "The North Remembers", but as an uncredited placeholder with no dialogue. Due to time constraints the production team waited to officially introduce Selyse until Season 3, when Tara Fitzgerald was cast in the role.
BackgroundEditSelyse is the wife of Stannis Baratheon, the Lord of Dragonstone and claimant to the Iron Throne. She was born into House Florent of Brightwater Keep, a noble house of the Reach and bannermen of House Tyrell.
Selyse and Stannis have a single daughter, Princess Shireen Baratheon. The rest of Selyse and Stannis' offspring, Petyr, Tommard, and Edric, were all stillborn. She keeps their bodies in crystal containers filled with chemicals in her chambers.
Queen Selyse is present at the ritual burning of the statues of the Seven on the shores of Dragonstone, standing at the side of her husband and King. When Stannis pulls the flaming Lightbringer from one of the statues, she kneels alongside the rest of the worshippers of the Lord of Light. After the ceremony is over, Stannis extends his hand and Selyse rises to her feet to walk after him.
Melisandre notes that Selyse has failed to give Stannis a son, only stillborn boys, and that Selyse is sickly and often confined to her tower at Dragonstone.
Depressed following his defeat at the Battle of the Blackwater, Stannis visits Selyse for the first time since returning from the battle. He finds her in her chamber, praying over a fire to the Lord of Light: Selyse is a fanatical believer in the religion of R'hllor, far more so than Stannis, and it was indeed Selyse who first invited Melisandre to Dragonstone. Stannis and Selyse do not have a loving relationship, but she reveres and is in awe of him as her king and the Lord's Chosen. She tells him not to despair despite his defeat, and he will be victorious, but he laments that he used to believe that once. Due to his extreme belief in duty, (unlike his hedonistic brother Robert) Stannis is badly shaken by the fact that he broke his marriage vows to Selyse, when he had sex with Melisandre to create the Shadow-assassin creature that killed Renly. He begins to confess to Selyse that he has sinned and shamed her, but she interrupts him and says Melisandre already told her everything - and that no act done in service of the Lord of Light can be a sin. Indeed, she wept for joy when Melisandre told her of this service she did for the Lord of Light with Stannis, and because the Red Priestess gave him a "son" (of sorts) which she never could. Stannis' face is filled with a mix of shock, disgust, and relief. Selyse had three sons with Stannis but they were all stillborn, and she walks over to a corner of her chamber where she keeps their tiny corpses preserved in glass jars. The deaths of her "sweet boys" and failure to produce a male heir deeply affected Selyse, and caused her to zealously embrace the foreign religion of the Lord of Light. She weeps, and laments that she has given Stannis nothing - he does not blame her, and with pity he says that's not true. Selyse understands he is referring to their daughter and only child, Princess Shireen Baratheon. She grows annoyed when she realizes he's come to see her too, and says he shouldn't waste time on such distractions, but insists that she is his daughter, and she relents because it is not her place to question her king.
|Season Two appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|Melessa Florent||Randyll Tarly||Stannis Baratheon||Deceased|
Behind the scenesEdit
Selyse was initially played, uncredited, by Sarah MacKeever who only appeared in the second season premiere "The North Remembers", standing in the crowd during the scene in which Stannis burns the idols of the Seven, though she has no dialogue and isn't identified on-screen. The character was confirmed as returning for the third season in May 2012. Tara Fitzgerald was announced in the role in July 2012.
In the booksEdit
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Selyse is Stannis' wife. They have a single child, their daughter Shireen. Selyse is tall and thin with sharp features, has the large ears typical of the Florents and is not considered attractive. She is a fanatical believer of the Lord of Light, and places great trust in Melisandre. Indeed, Selyse was actually the first member of Stannis' household that Melisandre converted to the eastern religion. This extends to the point that those of Stannis' followers who take up worship of the Lord of Light are nicknamed "Queen's Men", referring to Selyse - though some use this in a disparaging sense, referring to Melisandre as the "Queen", to point out that Stannis follows her counsel more closely than that of his wife. It is uncertain whether Selyse is aware that Stannis had sexual encounters with Melisandre.
There is no mention in the novels that Selyse ever gave birth to stillborn boys, nor that she is sickly and often confined to her tower.
In an interview with HBO.com, Bryan Cogman - who wrote episode that introduced Selyse, "Kissed by Fire" - gave a detailed explanation of how he wrote the Dragonstone scenes which showed Stannis' relationships with his wife and daughter. Cogman pointed out the difficultly in this given that Stannis isn't a POV character in the books, so these character relationships are mostly left implied but off-screen. Cogman said: "...the dysfunctional family Stannis keeps hidden away and largely avoids - Stannis isn't a POV character in the book, so these scenes were born largely from my own imagination (though based on clues and hints from the books)."
Cogman went on to explain how he came up with the idea that Selyse is so grief-stricken from having multiple stillbirths that she keeps the dead fetuses in jars (which wasn't in the novels) and why this made her turn to the Lord of Light religion:
- "We haven't stated this explicitly on the show, but it was Selyse who first brought Melisandre (and thus, the Lord of Light) to Dragonstone in the first place. We wanted to explore why Selyse might have turned to this obscure (in Westeros) religion; why she would have rejected the Seven Gods she was brought up with. The idea that she was dealing with the painful grief of losing baby after baby after baby was interesting to explore. She's so consumed by this grief (and guilt) at having lost these sons it made her ripe for Melisandre to seek her out and sway her to the Lord of Light, before moving in on Stannis, whom Melisandre believes to be a messiah figure of sorts."
- "Anyway, I remember reading about a mother who had the hands of her stillborn baby bronzed and kept them on her mantle. That must have been somewhere in the back of my mind, because I woke up one morning thinking about 'GoT' (as I too often do), turned over to my wife and told her about the idea of the three preserved stillborn babies. "Is it too crazy?" I asked. My wife wisely said, "Just write it. They'll probably cut it, but you might as well go for it." So I did... and they didn't cut it!"
- "It was a proud day for me as a writer when I walked on set and saw those magnificently nasty prop dead babies floating in those jars."
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Baratheon of Dragonstone entry
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "The North Remembers"
- ↑ "The Night Lands"
- ↑ "The Prince of Winterfell"
- ↑ "Kissed by Fire"
- ↑ Winter is Coming.net article on season 3 roles
- ↑ "Massive Comic-Con Casting Reveals" from Westeros.org, 13 July 2012
- ↑ HBO.com: "Kissed by Fire", Interview With Bryan Cogman.
- Selyse Florent at A Wiki of Ice and Fire. (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
|Lord:||King Stannis Baratheon||Heir:||Princess Shireen Baratheon|
|Seat:||Dragonstone||Lands:||Blackwater Bay and the Stormlands|
|Title(s):||Lord of Dragonstone|
|Current members:||Queen Selyse Florent|
|Household:||Maester Cressen · Lady Melisandre · Ser Davos Seaworth · Ser Imry Florent · Matthos Seaworth · Bert|
|Seat:||Brightwater Keep||Lands:||The Reach|
|Title(s):||Lord of Brightwater Keep|
|Current members:||Selyse Florent · Imry Florent · Melessa Florent · Rylene Florent|
|Overlord:||House Tyrell (officially) · House Baratheon of Dragonstone|