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Are Loras and Renly Gay?

Throughout the series, the reader is given an outside look at the relationship between Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell. While, at first glance, it seems that it is nothing but innocuous friendship, there are some clues to suggest that their love for each other goes beyond mere companionship. In fact, it seems likely that the two men may be gay lovers. The evidence comes only in small bits and pieces, but, when pieced together, paints an interesting picture.


Lots of rumors seems to circulate around Westeros concerning Renly. Let’s take a look at a few.

1) Margaery’s Maidenhood

Renly’s own brother seems to doubt his sexuality. From CoK, pg. 478, a conversation between Renly and Stannis:

“...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.”

This could be mindless sibling banter, but Stannis seems like an honest man, and his words imply that Renly is less than infatuated with women. Mace Tyrell swears the Margaery is still a virigin when she marries Joffrey, so it appears that Stannis was correct in this.

2) Renly’s Servants

Tyrion hires some of Renly’s old servants, in SoS, pg. 655

Varys had suggested the woman to him; in former days, she had run Lord Renly’s household in the city, which had given her a great deal of practice at being blind, deaf and mute.

What secret could Renly have that his servants must keep quiet about? There could be plenty of options, but homosexuality seems the most likely.

3) The Rainbow Guard

Instead of a standard Kingsguard, Renly decides to call his group the “Rainbow Guard.” Since in our world, rainbows are often a sign of homosexuality, this could be GRRM adding a little joke to imply that Renly is gay. Of course, it could just be coincidental.

4) Fashion Sense

Renly also has a reputation for being well into fashion and the best dressed man at court. (GoT, pg. 191) Since such fashion sense in a male is another sign of being gay in our world, this could be another clue put in to help point out Renly’s doubtful heterosexuality.


If anything, Loras just as many rumors floating around about him as Renly, all of them pointing toward the fact that he might just be gay.

1) The Knight O’Pansies

On CoK, pg. 466, Chiswyck tells his friends a story of what Gregor did after he was defeated by Loras in the Hand’s Tourney. He mentions that Gregor was “brooding on the Knight o’ Pansies and that bugger’s trick he played.” On one hand, this seems to imply that there are well-known rumors that Loras is gay. On the other hand, of course Gregor would be upset that he was defeated, and want to believe such rumors.

2) Garlan’s Remarks

Like Renly, Loras also has his brother seemingly believing that he is gay. Garlan makes a strange remark to Sansa during her wedding:

“Loras is valiant and handsome and we all love him dearly...but your Imp will make a better husband.”
--SoS, pg. 322

Now Garlan is known to be chivalrous, and he could be simply trying to soothe Sansa over her forced marriage. But again, he seems to be implying that Loras would not make a good husband. Why?

3) The Kingsguard and Littlefinger’s Remarks

While on route to the Vale, Littlefinger explains some political things to Sansa. Among them, he mentions why Loras joined the Kingsguard:

“And it relieved him {Mace} of the difficult task of trying to find lands and a bride for a third son, never easy, and doubly difficult in Ser Loras’s case.”
--SoS, pg. 769

Of course, it does make sense to have a third son join the Kingsguard, saving the trouble of finding marriage arrangements for him. But Littlefinger’s line “doubly difficult in Ser Loras’s case” implies that there were more reasons. Why would finding marriage for Loras be more difficult? If he is gay, the problem is solved when he joins the Kingsguard, as the White Swords are sworn to chastity.

4) Loras and Sansa

When Loras speaks with Sansa on SoS, pg. 64, the conversation eventually comes around to Renly. Loras grows angry and sullen at Renly’s mention, and quickly changes the subject. Why? Perhaps Loras is just feeling the loss of a close friend...or perhaps it is the loss of a lover.

5) Robar Royce and Emmon Cuy

After Loras discovers that Renly is dead, he himself kills Ser Robar Royce and Ser Emmon Cuy, the two Rainbow Guard knights that swore to protect him. His wrath seems a bit much for the loss of a friend, implying that Renly meant something more to Loras.


Just as rumours circulate around about each man individually, just as many get out about the pair, most of them implying a gay relationship.

1) The Feast at Bitterbridge

On CoK, pg. 348, Renly is feasting with his host at Bitterbridge. There, Catelyn notes that he pays little attention to his new bride Margaery, but instead spends his time laughing and joking with Loras. By all accounts, Margaery is very attractive, so why would Renly ignore her for Loras? It could be close friendship, or perhaps something more...

2) “Renly’s Little Rose”

Oberyn Martell has some choice words about Renly and Loras in his conversation with Tyrion on SoS, pg. 437

“There are those who say that Ser Loras is better than Leo Longthorn ever was,” said Tyrion.

“Renly’s little rose? I doubt that.”

Oberyn’s remark clearly shows that he, at least, believed there to be a gay relationship between the couple. Of course, he could only be going off false rumors, but combined with the other evidence, it seems unlikely.

3) Jaime’s Remarks

Jaime becomes angry at Loras when returning to King’s Landing, and adds to the rumors we know about Loras and Renly.

“Now sheathe your bloody sword, or I’ll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found.”
--SoS, pg. 698

Another definite implication of a homosexual relationship between Loras and Renly. But again, perhaps Jaime is only referring to false rumors.

4) Loras’s Old Flame

On SoS, pg. 137, Tyrion has a conversation with Loras. The talking eventually comes around to why Loras would join the Kingsguard instead of getting married. Loras remarks that he once loved somebody but

“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”

Now who is Loras’s old love and what happened to them? Certainly, there could be lovers in Loras’s past that we know nothing about, but Renly fits the description to a tee.

5) Loras’s Remarks on Renly

Loras has some choice words to say about Renly on SoS, pg. 759. After expressing extreme anger over Renly’s death, he goes on to say:

“I buried him with mine own hands, at a place he showed me once when I was a squire at Storm’s End. No one shall ever find him there to disturb his rest.” He looked at Jaime definatly. “I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them.”

These emotional words imply that there was a romantic bond between Loras and Renly. The fact that Renly showed Loras secret places in Storm’s End suggests that they had a particularity close relationship.

6) “Praying”

It seems quite possible that Loras and Renly could have had a sexual encounter while praying the night before Renly’s death. As the night falls, Renly asks to see Loras alone.

“Loras, stay and help me pray. It’s been so long I’ve quite forgotten how.”
--CoK, pg. 483

By all accounts, they were alone all night, and Loras later refers to that night.

“We had...we had prayed together that night.”
--SoS, pg. 760

Notice that Loras hesitates before saying what he and Renly did together. Why the hesitation? Perhaps Loras was just flustered while thinking about his dead friend...or perhaps something else occurred that night besides praying.


In conclusion, it seems quite likely that there was a gay relationship between Loras and Renly. Numerous characters such as Chiswyck, Oberyn, Jaime, Tyrion and Littlefinger all seem to have heard rumors of the couple’s homosexuality. Even there own kin, Stannis and Garlan, seem to think that their brother might be gay. Coupled with Loras’s emotional feelings and words whenever he refers to Renly, it certainly seems extremely likely that he was gay lovers with Renly.