Gendry used to be a fairly major presence on Game of Thrones. He was one of Robert’s many bastards, which meant that he was a threat to the legitimacy of Joffrey Baratheon. As a result, Gendry was hunted fiercely by the goldcloaks for the first couple of seasons of the show, and was eventually taken in by Melisandre and his uncle, Stannis.
When we last saw Gendry, he was rowing his way back to Fleabottom. His absence of the show was so notable during the seasons he vanished for that many believed he was stuck rowing for eternity.
Now, Gendry has returned to the world of Game of Thrones, and he’s ready to contribute. Over the course of a single episode, he traveled from Fleabottom to the Wall, and volunteered to fight an army of wights that he had only just heard about earlier in that episode. In short, Gendry is wasting no time. He’s ready to be an important part of this story again, and he may be more than a pretty face who can swing a hammer, but it's unclear exactly what his role will be. To find that out, we have to learn more about who Gendry is, and where he came from.
Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Gendry.
15 His King's Blood Might Be Powerful
Melisandre did a lot of pretty messed up stuff in her quest to get Stannis on the Iron Throne, but the way she used Gendry to destroy Stannis’s enemies may have been the most twisted thing she ever did. First, she used leeches to sap some of Gendry’s blood and used that blood as part of a ritual to destroy the other kings that were part of the War of the Five Kings. Of course, she doesn’t stop there.
After Robb Stark’s death at the Red Wedding, Stannis and Melisandre become convinced that Gendry must be sacrificed so that Stannis can reclaim the realm. Although this plan never comes to fruition because of Davos’s intervention, Gendry’s blood certainly seems to be a powerful tool for the red priestess.
After all, he’s got the blood of a king, and that seems to be what’s necessary to take out other kings, though that didn’t work out too well for Shireen.
14 In the Books, He Looks Like Renly
Brienne of Tarth was introduced to the world of A Song of Ice and Fire as a loyal knight in the service of Renly Baratheon, and has been haunted for years by the fact that she was unable to save him.
Those events are occurred in both the show and the books, but in the show, Brienne and Gendry have yet to cross paths. In the books, though, Gendry and Brienne have met, and Gendry’s resemblance to Brienne’s beloved Renly has allowed her to suss out who Gendry really is.
Gendry and Renly don’t look all that similar in the world of the show, but there is a certain family resemblance that could be difficult to ignore. Baratheons are known to be hearty, and that’s true of both Renly and Gendry.
Gendry may not have commanded armies as vast as Renly once did, but at least he’s still alive. His run-in with Brienne in the books speaks to the different path Gendry has taken on the show, one that has not come to its conclusion yet.
13 His Mother Died When He Was Very Young
Gendry’s father is Robert Baratheon, the legendary king who died in the show’s first season, but Gendry’s mother is a bit more mysterious.
Robert wasn’t exactly a faithful husband, so Gendry’s mother was likely one of the many women he slept with over the course of his reign. Apparently, Gendry’s mother worked in a tavern when Gendry was quite young, and died while he was still a child. Gendry spent years on the streets of Fleabottom, the poorest part of King’s Landing, surviving on soup.
Eventually, Gendry found steady employment with a blacksmith and was able to make something of himself, but Robert’s indifference to his bastards is stark contrast to how Ned treated his.
Gendry had to struggle his entire life, and it’s made him a man who’s willing to work for everything. He doesn’t feel entitled, and that’s a refreshing change of pace in a world filled with entitled nobility.
12 He Once Wanted to Join the Brotherhood Without Banners
Although Gendry’s relationship with the Brotherhood Without Banners is fraught on the show now, there was a point when Gendry was eager to join their ranks.
During the third season, when Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie were with the Brotherhood, Gendry told Arya he was planning to join their ranks instead of returning to Winterfell with Arya. Gendry had already been working as a blacksmith for the Brotherhood, and explained to Arya that they felt like a real family to him.
Of course, Gendry didn’t ultimately join up with the Brotherhood because they chose to sell him out to Melisandre in exchange for gold. That explains why Gendry is so angry with them now.
He once believed that the Brotherhood lived by lofty ideals worth fighting for, protecting the common man and playing their part in the wars of men. When they sold him, Gendry saw them as lowly cowards who would compromise their ideals for a mere bag of gold.
11 He Could Inherit Storm's End
The seat at Storm’s End has been vacant since Stannis died. Before that, House Baratheon had ruled over the seat for generations, and eventually ascended to the Iron Throne. Now that Robert, Renly, and Stannis have all died, it’s unclear what’s become of Storm’s End in the world of the show. In fact, it’s one of several castles that have no clear heir now - alongside Highgarden and Sunspear in Dorne.
Storm’s End is among the more pivotal of the show’s abandoned castles, though. That’s because it’s fairly close to King’s Landing, and is an important seaport that Daenerys could use to load and unload troops onto the mainland.
Gendry may be Robert’s bastard, but if Daenerys or Jon ends up on the Iron Throne, neither one of them is likely to be very concerned with Gendry’s lineage. Instead, they may reward him because they know that he’s a deserving, good man who has earned the right to call himself nobility.
10 He Had Never Been With a Woman Before Melisandre
Despite being a strapping you man, Gendry was still fairly inexperienced when it came to sex. Although his father’s inability to control his libido is ultimately what led to Gendry’s creation, Gendry himself wasn’t exposed to sex until his encounter with Melisandre. Despite her supernatural ways, Melisandre certainly has a certain appeal, and it was that appeal that led to Gendry’s undoing.
Although he believed he was about to bed her, Melisandre actually seduced Gendry in order to sap him of his blood. The fact that this is Gendry’s first sexual experience probably doesn’t bode well for the young man. After all, his first sexual experience ended with a forced blood donation. That might taint the exercise permanently.
Gendry’s a great example of a Game of Thrones character who suffers tons without ever having done anything wrong. Melisandre’s abuse is one more entry on a pretty long list.
9 He's Robert's Only Living Heir
One of the reasons the War of the Five Kings broke out stems from the discovery of Cersei and Jaime’s incestuous relationship, which led to a questioning of whether Joffrey was a legitimate heir to the throne. Things got truly dire when Robert died, and Joffrey ascended to the throne. Because many felt that Joffrey wasn’t a legitimate ruler, there were a series of rebellions that ultimately led to the War of the Five Kings.
Joffrey ultimately decided that the best way to protect his own claim to the throne was to destroy as many of the other potential claimants as possible. As a result, he purged all of Robert’s bastards, and was after Gendry too until Stannis got his hands on him. This purge left Gendry as Robert’s only living descendant, at least in the world of the show.
Although he’s shown no interest in the crown, this could give Gendry a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. He may not ever want to be a leader, but he's the kind of person who is often thrust into a leadership role in the world of Game of Thrones.
8 In the Books, He Saves Brienne's Life
Gendry’s storyline in the show is very similar to the books, but, like most characters, it diverges more as the story progresses. While Gendry is working as a blacksmith at the Crossroads, he runs into Brienne. Brienne is eventually embroiled in a fight that almost kills her, and is saved by Gendry’s last-minute efforts.
Incidentally, this isn’t the only time Gendry saves someone in the books. He saves a young girl Arya calls Weasel, who is attempting to flee after Yoren is killed but is falling behind until Gendry comes back and picks her up.
Gendry may not be a major character in the show or the books, but he’s certainly one of the most heroic figures. Like Jon Snow, he wants to save as many people as he can. It’s noble to be sure, but it also makes him one of only a few truly good men left in the world of Westeros, for good reason.
7 He's Not Very Familiar With Water
The many jokes that were made during the years of Gendry’s absence amounted to a series of questions as to whether or not he had been rowing all that time. If he had been, it would’ve been a big jump in Gendry’s time on the water, since prior to that point, he had never set foot near it.
As Gendry reveals to Davos as he’s escaping Dragonstone, he’s never been in a rowboat and he can’t swim. While he knows death awaits him at the hands of Melisandre, Gendry’s inexperience in water makes a rowboat escape fairly dangerous as well.
While most of us expected that we would eventually see Gendry again, there was no guarantee that he didn’t perish on his way back to King’s Landing. Gendry’s lived his entire life in King’s Landing and the surrounding land. His poverty kept him trapped in a single location, which explains his inability to swim and his lack of familiarity with water. These were things he never had to consider, because he was always much more focused on his own survival.
6 His Blacksmith Skills Might Be Useful
It’s easy to forget, but Gendry was actually the apprentice of one of the best blacksmiths in all of King’s Landing. As a result, he probably has some valuable smithing knowledge that may come in handy when it comes time to take on the White Walkers.
Valyrian steel, the rare metal that seems capable of defeating White Walkers, is in short supply in the world of Westeros, and up until now, there hasn’t really been a character on the show capable of forging new weapons made of the material.
Gendry may be just the man to solve that problem, which may mean that all of our favorite characters will be wielding weapons made of valyrian steel, instead of just a few of them. There’s also the matter of the dragonglass that Jon has been mining, which needs to be transformed into weapons.
There’s no one better equipped to do this smithing than Gendry, which means he may have an integral role in the war against the undead, if he survives that long.
5 Like His Father, He's Good With a Hammer
Robert Baratheon was famous for his skill in battle. It’s what launched him to victory in Robert’s Rebellion, and what made him notorious throughout Westeros. Of course, in his later years Robert developed a love for food and wine, and probably lost his ability to fight. Still, Gendry is his father’s son, and though he doesn’t seem to have any particular skill with a sword, his war hammer seems to do the trick just fine.
Although we’ve only seen him use it once on the show so far, it’s already fairly clear that Gendry knows what he’s doing with his war hammer, and will likely use it quite a bit in the weeks to come. It will be striking to see Ned and Robert’s children fighting alongside one another the way Ned and Robert themselves once did.
Jon has proven himself to be a powerful warrior, and has already survived one encounter with the Night King. Now it’s time to see whether he and Gendry can survive another.
4 An Unknown Lord Paid His Apprentice Fees
There’s quite a bit we already know about Gendry, but we still aren’t sure who paid his apprenticeship fees. The blacksmith lost his mother at a pretty young age, but an anonymous lord paid to have him apprentice under one of the best smiths in King’s Landing, Tobho Mott. In both the books and the show, the identity of this donor remains a mystery, but the funds could have come from a number of places.
It could have been Robert himself who paid the fee, realizing that he has an obligation to care for all of his children, even those that are born bastards. Of course, Robert may have sent someone in his stead, and a popular fan theory suggests that Varys was tasked with keeping track of and caring for Robert’s bastards.
Although Mott’s description of the man who paid Gendry’s fee doesn’t sound like Varys, Varys has been known to take up a number of different disguises when conducting business in King’s Landing.
3 He Was Never Taken by Melisandre in the Books
In the world of the show, Gendry is sold to Melisandre by the Brotherhood Without Banners in exchange for some gold that the Brotherhood desperately needs. Melisandre is interested in Gendry because he shares blood with Stannis, and because that blood has powers that make it useful. This eventually leads to Gendry having to flee from Dragonstone to escape Melisandre’s wrath.
In the books, Gendry is knighted by the Brotherhood Without Banners and is eventually seen working as a blacksmith at the Inn at the Crossroads. At this point, Gendry has converted to R’hllorism, and is a devout servant of the Lord of Light.
Although there are differences in Gendry’s story between the show and the books, Gendry’s characterization is fairly consistent between the two. He’s kind, stubborn, and noble in both versions, and is unwilling to compromise on his beliefs about the way the world should work, even when experience doesn’t bear those beliefs out.
2 Joe Dempsie Dyed His Hair and Got Ripped for the Part
Joe Dempsie was kind of shocked when he was cast in the role of Gendry, in part because he bears very little resemblance to his onscreen father. His natural hair color is a bit sandier, and his build prior to his time on the show was fairly wiry. After being cast, Dempsie was asked to put on a significant amount of weight and dye his hair. Dempsie was happy to have been cast in the part, and so he gladly did both.
The results pretty much speak for themselves, The show’s casting director did a good job of finding an actor who could embody the character, and worrying about looks later. By the time Dempsie arrived on screen, he could be Robert’s son, both in his build and his look.
Gendry also resembles Robert in temperament more than Joffrey ever did, in part because of his gentle and good-natured demeanor. Joffrey was often cruel and sadistic, but Gendry has always proven himself to be quite the opposite.
1 He's Related to Jon and Daenerys
We all know that Jon and Dany are related. The bond between Jon and Gendry, though, which was quickly established in the fifth episode of season 7, is based on more than their dads' friendship. In fact, Jon and Gendry are related, albeit somewhat distantly. Although Robert overthrew a Targaryen dynasty that had lasted for more than 300 years, Robert himself had some Targaryen blood running through his veins.
Robert’s grandmother was Rhaelle Targaryen, the youngest daughter of King Aegon V. Rhaelle was the sister of King Jaeherys II, who was Aerys’s father, and Daenerys’s grandfather. This means that Jon’s great grandfather was a brother of Gendry’s grandmother.
Of course, Gendry is a pretty distant relative of both Jon and Daenerys, but the fact that he shares blood with them is interesting nonetheless. Targaryen blood is scarce, so it should be noted wherever it’s found.
Do you have any trivia or theories about Gendry in Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments!