- "She declared that Orys would win only bones, blood and ashes here. But her men were weaker than her, and that night Orys found Argilac's daughter delivered gagged, chained and naked to his camp."
Lady Argella Baratheon, née Durrandon, was the daughter of Argilac the Arrogant, the last of the Storm Kings, and wife of Orys Baratheon, the founder of House Baratheon. Because of her short-lived regency of Storm's End after her father's death, she was known as "Storm Queen".
Argella grew up as the only child of Argilac, the last Durrandon king of the Stormlands. Despite House Durrandon's previous hegemony, they had entered a grave decline, mostly due to the loss of their hold of the Riverlands to their enemies of House Hoare. Anticipating the ambitious and cruel Hoare king Harren the Black would seize the Stormlands once he had finished his castle of Harrenhal, Argella's father sought the aid of the Valyrian Lord of Dragonstone Aegon Targaryen and his dragons. In return for assistance, Argilac arrogantly offered Aegon lands that lay outside of his kingdom and his daughter's hand in marriage.
This scheme would backfire, however. Being already married to his sisters, Aegon sent an envoy asking that Argella instead be wed to his best friend Orys Baratheon. But because Orys was rumored to be Lord Targaryen's bastard half-brother, Princess Durrandon's father felt insulted, rejected the offer and disrespectfully cut off the messenger's hands and returned them to Dragonstone in a box with a note that read: "These are the only hands your bastard shall have of me". This gesture would be the excuse and detonant of the Targaryen conquest of Westeros.
Once Aegon had sent letters demanding the submission of the Seven Kingdoms and landed on the continent, Argella's father refused to yield. Having heard of the fall of Harrenhal, King Argilac wished to spare his castle a similar end and decided to face the Targaryen invaders on a battlefield, leaving to meet Aegon's host with his own soldiers and giving his daughter charge of Storm's End. Despite his bravery the last Storm King was defeated by Aegon's Queen Rhaenys and Hand of the King Orys in the Battle of the Last Storm and was personally slain by Orys after a fierce duel.
As soon as news of her father's demise reached her, Argella ordered the gates of Storm's End closed and declared herseld "Storm Queen" as Argilac's only heir. When the Baratheon general arrived at the castle, she refused to surrender much like Argilac and arrogantly told him that even if her stronghold fell, she and her remaining men would fight to the death. However, her frightened garrison refused to end up like Harren the Black and his family, revolted and that same night delivered their princess to Orys' tent gagged, chained and naked. Instead of mistreating her, the Targaryen general unchained Argella, clothed her with his own cloak and served her a glass of wine; he then informed the girl of her father's valiant end and that in his hommage he would take the sigil and words of the Durrandons for his own new House.
Being informed of the seizure of Storm's End, King Aegon told his Hand to deliver to him the swords of the people slain in the Last Storm (to be reforged later into the Iron Throne) and rewarded him by naming Orys Baratheon Lord of Storm's End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands, with the region losing its title of "kingdom" and some of its northernmost lands that were transfered into the new Crownlands. To cement his rule, Lord Baratheon took Argella as his wife. This marked the end of House Durrandon and its absorption into House Baratheon.
Although she became Lady Baratheon instead of Princess or Queen Durrandon, Argella remained in her home. As the wife of Orys, she likewise became the mother of his children: Mychal, Theresa, Ethelide and Raymont. After she and her husband had eventually perished, their children carried on the Baratheon/Durrandon bloodline and rule of Storm's End and the Stormlands.
Truly Argilac's flesh and blood, Argella Baratheon inherited his eponymous arrogance and his refusal to yield to enemies, even when the Durrandon army had been scattered and she held no hope of victory, instead wishing to die in her home fighting. Even when handed over to Orys, the "Storm Queen" maintained a defying attitude that only seemed to soften (though not disappear) when her father's killer treated her gently. At the same time, her stubborn attitude had visibly earned his respect.
It is unknown whether she and Orys enjoyed a happy marriage and whether she forgave the man who had slain her father and taken her home. Considering her husband's chivalrous interactions with her, they may in fact have ended up having developed a friendly (and perhaps loving) relationship.
Although legally Argella is the last member of her House of birth, the Durrandon bloodline carries on through her descendants (in equal measure to Orys' line), which include King Robert Baratheon, supposedly and officially his legitimate heirs (Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen), his brothers Stannis and Renly, Stannis' only surviving child Shireen and Robert's many illegitimate children (among them Gendry and Barra).
She is mentioned in Orys Baratheon's entry in The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms. Lord Eddard Stark discovers and reveals that King Robert's supposed legitimate children Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are actually bastards of House Lannister (thus unrelated to Orys and his wife).
Following the deaths of Robert, the massacre of most of his bastards, Renly's assassination at the hands of a Shadow sent by Stannis and Melisandre, Shireen's sacrifice at the stake and Stannis's execution at the hands Brienne of Tarth, the trueborn Baratheon lineage begun by Orys and Argella becomes extinct. House Baratheon of King's Landing through King Tommen still falsely claims descent from them and is still legally recognized as such.
The only known living descendant of Orys and Argella is thus Gendry, whose whereabouts remain unknown since Davos Seaworth released him from Dragonstone.
With Tommen's suicide, the House Baratheon founded by Argella and her husband becomes legally and officially extinct.
The confirmation of Gendry remaining alive means that, through him, Argella's bloodline still carries on.
|Aegon I Targaryen|
|Maegor I Targaryen|
2nd son of Aegon I
1st wife of Maegor
|Alys Harroway |
2nd wife of Maegor
|Aenys I Targaryen|
1st son of Aegon I
|Jaehaerys I Targaryen|
In the books
While Orys is reported to have treated her chivalrously, Argella's feelings towards Orys remain unknown.
When her name first appeared in the lineages book in Season 1, it was spelled as "Argalia" - the name of Argilac Durrandon's daughter who married Orys Baratheon hadn't been publicly revealed at the time - but later, in the 2014 sourcebook The World of Ice and Fire, the officially spelling was given as "Argella" Durrandon.
The "Argella" spelling was finally confirmed as official in the TV continuity as well, when the Season 7 Histories & Lore set prominently listed it the on-screen credits.
|Lord:||None, extinct||Heir:||None, extinct|
|Seat:||Storm's End||Lands:||The Stormlands|
|Title(s):||Lords Paramount of the Stormlands · Lord of Storm's End|
|Ancestors:||Durran Godsgrief · Argilac the Arrogant · Orys Baratheon · Argella Baratheon · Monica Baratheon · Mychal Baratheon · Axel Baratheon · Lyonel Baratheon · Borros Baratheon · Ormund Baratheon|
|Current members:||None, extinct|
|Deceased members:||Robert Baratheon · Stannis Baratheon · Renly Baratheon · Steffon Baratheon · Cassana Baratheon|