In a recent brainwave, something occurred to me:
Renly Baratheon’s infamous green armor may have been magicked.
This is and will always be a hypothesis: I cannot prove it to you (heck I cannot prove it to myself). However, I do think I can get you to the point where it becomes a fascinating possibility.
To begin, it has never sat well with me how central Renly’s armor was to the victory on the Blackwater:
“Is it true that Stannis was put to rout by Renly’s ghost?”
Bronn smiled thinly. “From the winch towers, all we saw was banners in the mud and men throwing down their spears to run, but there’s hundreds in the pot shops and brothels who’ll tell you how they saw Lord Renly kill this one or that one. Most of Stannis’s host had been Renly’s to start, and they went right back over at the sight of him in that shiny green armor.”
— TYRION I, A STORM OF SWORDS
That’s a huge tactical change to hinge merely on a suit of armor. Furthermore, the armor appears to have a lustrous, ghostly quality to it.
“King Renly’s shade was seen as well,” the captain said, “slaying right and left as he led the lion lord’s van. It’s said his green armor took a ghostly glow from the wildfire, and his antlers ran with golden flames.”
— DAVOS II, A STORM OF SWORDS
It’s incredibly conspicuous that the book describes the armor in terms of being Renly’s shade, or ghost. Why? Because that’s incredibly reminiscent of Rattleshirt’s bone armor—armor that Mance Rayder used with a glamor to disguise himself.
What comes to mind is something that Melisandre says with regards to such iconic garments:
“The bones help,” said Melisandre. “The bones remember. The strongest glamors are built of such things. A dead man’s boots, a hank of hair, a bag of fingerbones. With whispered words and prayer, a man’s shadow can be drawn forth from such and draped about another like a cloak. The wearer’s essence does not change, only his seeming.”
— MELISANDRE, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS
With this in mind, its entirely plausible that Renly’s iconic armor could have been enhanced with magic of some sort. But how? The answer to that lies in the of the craftsman who made Renly’s armor:
“I am Tobho Mott, my lord, please, please, put yourself at ease.” He wore a black velvet coat with hammers embroidered on the sleeves in silver thread. Around his neck was a heavy silver chain and a sapphire as large as a pigeon’s egg. “If you are in need of new arms for the Hand’s tourney, you have come to the right shop.” Ned did not bother to correct him. “My work is costly, and I make no apologies for that, my lord,” he said as he filled two matching silver goblets. “You will not find craftsmanship equal to mine anywhere in the Seven Kingdoms, I promise you. Visit every forge in King’s Landing if you like, and compare for yourself. Any village smith can hammer out a shirt of mail; my work is art.”
Ned sipped his wine and let the man go on. The Knight of Flowers bought all his armor here, Tobho boasted, and many high lords, the ones who knew fine steel, and even Lord Renly, the king’s own brother. Perhaps the Hand had seen Lord Renly’s new armor, the green plate with the golden antlers? No other armorer in the city could get that deep a green; he knew the secret of putting color in the steel itself, paint and enamel were the crutches of a journeyman. Or mayhaps the Hand wanted a blade? Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.
— EDDARD VI, A GAME OF THRONES
It’s all right there in the text:
- Tobho Mott crafted Renly’s armor
- Tobho Mott knows spells
I want to point out that Tobho also wears a gigantic gemstone necklace, much like Melisandre whom we know uses magic with armor.
Finally, Tobho even tries to coax Ned into buying from him with a peculiar offer:
“The direwolf is the sigil of House Stark, is it not? I could fashion a direwolf helm so real that children will run from you in the street,” he vowed.
— EDDARD VI, A GAME OF THRONES
Of course, to the casual reader this just seems like a talented armorer boasting of his craftsmanship. However… when you consider everything above, you have to wonder if there’s a little more than just art that goes into his work.
* * *
Given everything above, allow me to present my full hypothesis:
Renly’s armor was forged by Tobho Mott. Unlike Tobho’s offer to make fearsome armor for Ned, the armor he made for Renly was *magnificent* and *fearsome in battle*.
I believe these effects to be possibly magical, enhanced by Tobho’s knowledge of “spells”.
The idea that Renly would want a suit of armor that just inspired awe and loyalty in some and terror in others is wholly in line with the nature of his character. It makes sense.
As I said, I can’t prove any of this. I just hope to have shown the strongest case possible that there was more to Renly’s armor than meets the eye.