Cora
Character Details
Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren as Cora Baratheon (née Lannister)
Name: Cora Baratheon (née Lannister)
Aliases: Lady Baratheon. Lady Cora. Milady. Mother. Grandmother. She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Faction: House Baratheon
Organization: The Stormlands
Occupation: Relict
Rank: Great Noble Lady
Age: 70

The Lady Cora died peacefully in her sleep.

Description

In Cora Baratheon it isn't difficult to see the remnants of great beauty — much faded, yet also refined by the recent illness which has left her skin milk-white and thrown her superb cheekbones into high relief. Her nose is straight and classical; her lips, painted a muted coral-red, are composed in an amiable smile which doesn't waver under provocation; and yet there's nothing much she can do about the moods of those large, quick, intelligent blue eyes of hers, which now and again seem prepared to slice the skin right off your bones.

Her figure is small yet stately, gaunt yet elegant, composed almost entirely of angles and pearls and elaborately-arranged white hair beneath a veil of delicate golden lace. Whatever shape she may have is indeterminate: her flowing blue and gold silks, stitched in her own variation upon the latest King's Landing styles, see to that nicely, though her golden girdle with the buckle in the shape of a solid gold lioness provides the occasional hint. She speaks in a pleasant, educated alto, in the accents of the court — and also with her long-fingered and beringed white hands, which are in the habit of emerging from her sleeves, clawlike, to underline a point. She carries the scent of orange blossom, and something else which it would be difficult and expensive to try to pin down.

She is no longer seen to stand on her own two embroidered golden slippers. Where her sedan chair won't reach her emaciated frame is usually toted about by her latest steward, Elfrid, a strapping young blond fellow of twenty-three who never seems to feel the strain, no matter how many steps he must climb.

Background

Cora was born a daughter of the Lord of Casterly Rock in the year 51 AC, raised and educated to be a great lady, and obliged at the age of seventeen to become the second wife of the heir to Storm's End. Her marriage was the seal upon an alliance dictated by the political exigencies of the day — and soon to sour.

Oh, the personal relationship between Boros Baratheon and his lady smouldered with not inconsiderable heat — an apparently endless procession of children was born to them in the early years they spent together — but when loyalty clashed with loyalty, too many harsh words were spoken, and it became patent to the meanest intellect (such as Lord Boros's) that a lioness could never be made a doe, they settled upon a dignified separation and the putting on of a good show.

These two Baratheons had long divided their time between Storm's End and King's Landing, Boros ostensibly prosecuting his house's interests as heir and Cora doing rather a better job of it by serving as lady-in-waiting to Alysanne Targaryen. From this perch she did much to dictate the fashions of the capital and the manners of its court: she had the money for it, the necessary political instinct well-camouflaged by charm, and the leisure, too, once her husband returned to the Stormlands and she was no longer quite so constantly producing little Baratheons. Her proximity to the Dragonlords (and especially the Dragonladies) placed her in an excellent position in which to be of use now and again to the Baratheons (notably via her brokering of the marriage between her niece by marriage Jocelyn, and Aemon Targaryen, in the year 74 AC) as well as the Lannisters (ever staunch supporters of Jaehaerys I); thus she kept in with both families and there was never any move by the Baratheons to interfere with her independence, or by the Lannisters to cut her off from that radiant flow of gold.

Her husband was (soon) Lord of Storm's End; her father, her brother, and her nephew Jason, were Lords of Casterly Rock; she enjoyed royal favour; she was untouchable. No matter how many handsome young knights and lordlings (not to mention Lyseni ambassadors) were seen to appreciate her Lannister good looks, her penchant for drinking and dancing, her bountiful hospitality, and above all her absent husband. Nothing, you understand, was proved to her discredit. Not by anyone who remained alive and credible and willing to talk for very long.

Hardly a maternal creature she left her sons and step-sons largely to the care of nursemaids and then masters-at-arms (it was, she put about nobly, for Their Own Good), and she has only herself to blame for how solitary, nasty, brutish, and tall they and their descendants have grown to be. Daughters came in for more personal attention, and from the moment they began to toddle were held to the most relentless standards. Training to be a lady is, in Cora's estimation, every bit as demanding as training to become a knight — and offers even greater possibilities for advancing one's house and one's bloodline…

After superintending the funeral arrangements for her adored Queen Alysanne late in the century Cora repaired to Storm's End for a long visit — and then to Casterly Rock for the same — and took up residence in neither stronghold, but in her own small jewel-box of a manse a comfortable sedan chair ride from the Red Keep. She did as she had always done: schemed, intrigued, listened to her little birds, represented Lannister interests first and foremost and Baratheon ones when the stars aligned and the current lord happened perhaps foolishly to trust her, hosted sumptuous banquets, embroidered altarcloths of such richness and intricacy that lesser ladies felt sick about them, pursued flirtations which never quite put her beyond the pale, supervised those tending her garden, played cyvasse via raven with far-flung friends, and saw to the needs of Alysanne's charities — though all of this on a smaller scale as the years wore on. It is possible she noticed, when her husband kindly made her a widow in 104 AC. Twice the capital's rumour mill had it she might marry again. Twice they were disappointed.

Early in the year 121 AC she suffered an illness of several months' duration which had an effect somewhat deleterious upon her already waning health.

Once she was well enough to travel the maesters caring for her urged her to seek a warmer and more salubrious climate in which to recuperate. They had in mind a quiet keep by the sea; but for a woman who'd spent half a century not only surviving but prospering in the scorpion-pit known as King's Landing — a statistic which tells its own tale — nowhere less than Oldtown would suffice.

RP Hooks

  • Lannister? Baratheon? Cora will be trying to marry you off to her advantage.
  • Fellow relic of a bygone age? Let's discuss the failings of young people today.
  • Are you a young lady hoping to learn how it's done?
  • Are you short on cash and long on optimism?
  • Do you fancy a game of cyvasse?

Quirks

  • Wealth: Opulent

See above re: Lannister. (Being a Baratheon's not prohibitively squalid either.)

  • Gently-Faded Notoriety

There aren't so many now who remember the glory days of Cora's career as Queen Alysanne's right-hand woman and the ostensible Lady of Storm's End. Ah, the feasts, the tournaments, the frocks… Likewise nobody recollects the dragonlord with whom rumour had it she had something going on, though rumour never could make up its mind which. Or how frequently she was seen in the company of the Lyseni ambassador and his paramour in the early '80s (just offering friendly hospitality to important visitors from afar, don't you know). Or the young Baratheon knight known to be informally in her service who lost his temper one night in '95 and skewered a Crakehall lordling with whom she'd stood up to dance four times in the space of an evening. Or the knight who begged her favour and went off quietly to hang himself with it. Et cetera.

  • Frail As A Flower-Petal

Since her recent illness Cora's life has been circumscribed by maesters to an extent which one would imagine onerous to a woman of her temperament. But let us note OOCly that she is not averse to being carried everywhere in the arms of a handsome young man, and that she is especially likely to be resting whenever somebody she doesn't care to see comes to call upon her. Her ill health is genuine, beyond doubt — but she uses it as a tool, as she does everything else.

  • Will See You In Hell

See above re: Lannister. Thwart her plans and you'll receive a one-way ticket; and, of course, all debts will be paid with crushing interest.

IC Events

Cora Logs

Related Logs

Logs featuring Cora.

Logs that refer to Cora.

Relationships

Ondine

Ondine
Almost Acquaintance ~ A hazard from Cora's homeland, whom luck would have it she met soon after arriving in Oldtown. A clever woman, and a desperate one — more sophisticated avoidance tactics will have to be drawn up, if this isn't to become a habit.

Gallery

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