Harys Baratheon was the firstborn of Renly Baratheon's three sons. He and his brothers, Joseph and Cleos, were raised in King's Landing alongside their father's ward, Alester Targaryen. Harys and Alester were quick to become friends, and their bond lasted well into Harys' own reign.
When his father died soon after the second Greyjoy Rebellion, Harys inherited his titles, becoming Lord of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Throughout his rule, he was known for his excessive feasting and the many tournaments held at his pleasure, two things which did not sit well with the lords and smallfolk of Westeros, as a long winter was only just reaching its close. His rule was also marred by numerous political missteps, such as his trouble managing finances (usually to fund his excessive feasts) and by choosing close friends, family, and drinking companions to populate his councils over more competent and powerful lords. He took Princess Gianna Martell, sister of the ruling Prince of Dorne Aryyn Martell, as his queen. Gianna tragically died while giving birth to their only child Rickon. Harys did not remarry after her death.
After the old Hand's death, King Harys named his childhood friend, Alester Targaryen, to the role. This move, alongside the king's previous disrespect to his Lord Paramounts, led many to begin questioning his capabilities. During the Council on Bloodstone, several prominent lords met to plot his usurpation, including Loren Lannister and Gylen Hightower. They planned to place an exiled Blackfyre claimant named Aerion Blackfyre on the throne.
Soon after the council, Maude Tyrell, a lady of House Tyrell was kidnapped. King Harys had grown smitten with the young Rose and was considering choosing her as his next queen. He was led to believe (correctly) that it was Gylen Hightower who abducted the girl. Following his master of whisperers' advice over the rest of his council, Harys marshalled nearly all of the forces of the Crownlands, the Narrow Sea, and the Stormlands to march on Oldtown and confront the lord Hightower. These actions left King's Landing and the Stormlands only lightly defended by loyalist forces.
While confronting Lord Gylen in Oldtown with Lord Baelor Tyrell's son Troy, Harys noticed that Gylen had contracted the Golden Company. During a tense exchange within the gates, Troy broke guest right by laying hands on Gylen in anger, prompting the Lord to expel them from the city. Enraged that Troy had ruined his chances of searching the city, Harys ordered his Kingsguard knight Thaddius Lannister to escort the Tyrell heir back to Highgarden.
While Harys and the bulk of his forces were occupied in the South, the Golden Company seized the Red Keep with the help of Lord Aemon Estermont and Lannister forces sacked the city of King's Landing under the command of Damon Lannister. Though Aerion Blackfyre was named king, he was slain on the throne only minutes after his coronation, and the rebel forces under Loren Lannister crowned Damon as the new king in his place. When Harys learned that his son Rickon was being held captive and that his brother Joseph was slain by Damon, he promptly marched his forces back to Highgarden, and spent some time calling the banners of the Reach to his side for a response.
Initially Harys wished to use his forces to seize Casterly Rock in retribution, but when he learned that his son had been flayed by Varyo Velaryon, he took the forces he assembled and marched to take back the capital. Soon after he left with the Tyrells, Highgarden was invaded and sacked by Gylen Hightower.
By the time Harys began his march back north, his enemies had already won the allegiance of most of Westeros. By the time Harys' forces arrived at the capital, his army was the last major opposition to the Lannister victory in the War of the Ascent of the Lion.
King Harys and Lord Tyrell met the usurper's armies just outside the Kingswood. Damon Lannister slew Harys in single combat, winning the war. Harys' death marked the end of the Baratheon royal line, and the first day of Spring in Westeros.
"A Baratheon's heart is true and true but oft leads him astray" - A line from a song by Beren Merryweather about the events leading up to the sack.
"In the forest while all men sleep, the Lion stalks his prey. The Stag had done the best he could, to keep the beast at bay." - a line from a song by Rolland Rivers about the War.
"The play itself is of little note, a typical satire. The dashing stag falls in love with the innocent rose, who is whisked away. The stag chases after her, only to be bit by the lion while the rose marries a merman." - Rymar Royce's play on the subject of the Usurptation.
Renly Baratheon, father (deceased)
Joseph Baratheon, brother (deceased)
Edric Baratheon, brother (deceased)
Cleos Baratheon, brother
Gianna Martell, wife (deceased)
Rickon Baratheon, son (deceased)