The Baratheons may be dying on on Game of Thrones, but I know one who's making a killing on another show. Gethin Anthony, who played Renly Baratheon, also plays Charles Manson on NBC's Aquarius. Are these two characters anything alike? Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it.
Of course, as much as I like to think that Game of Thrones is historical fiction, Charles Manson is a real (still living) person while Renly Baratheon is fictional. One is a sweet contender for the Iron Throne killed by dark magic. The other is one of the most famous American criminals who was not quite a serial killer or a cult leader, but fell somewhere in between. If Charles "Charlie" Manson were to play the Game of Thrones, we'd have a very different story. I definitely know which character would win in a fight — though pitt each of their "followers" against one another, and that might go another way.
However, no disrespect to actor Gethin Anthony, but I can't unsee the sweet, dead Renly while watching Aquarius. Maybe it's the similar beard and hair length. So, just for fun, let's compare the two characters. Here are the many ways in which Charlie Manson and Renly Baratheon are alike, and how they're different.
1. They're Both Charismatic
Remember that scene in Season 1 of Game of Thrones when Ned Stark met the small council for the first time? Renly seemed just as intriguing as Varys and Littlefinger. He was clearly a likable guy. Charlie is charming too on Aquarius, he's just also really creepy and violent.
2. They're Both Leaders
I always liked the dark horse that was Renly on Game of Thrones. He didn't want power until the idea was planted in his head, but he probably would have made a decent King.
3. They Both Left Society
Manson started a commune that drew mostly young girls. Renly started an army that drew mostly people in Westeros who believed Cersei's children to be Lannisters, but weren't really fans of Stannis either. That's like a cult, right?
4. They Both Hang Out With Long-Haired Men
Loras Tyrell would definitely have fit in the 1960s and 70s.
5. They Have Loyal Female Followers
However, Margaery was only in it to support her brother and become Queen. Meanwhile, I wouldn't be caught dead calling Brienne "cherry pie," like Manson calls Emma. Brienne's loyal to Renly and kills for Renly, like Manson's followers, but it's not quite the same.
6. Neither Is A "0" On The Kinsey Scale
First of all, don't listen to Melisandre. Her religion favors the burning of children, so let's not worry ourselves with her views on sexuality. That said, while Renly Baratheon seemed pretty strictly same-sex oriented on Game of Thrones, the real Charles Manson identifies as bisexual, telling Rolling Stone, "Whether it’s a girl or not. It doesn’t matter. I don’t play that girl-guy s***. I’m not hung up in that game.” If we take the man and the character Aquarius created at that word, he and Renly are both outsiders from society in more ways than one.
7. One Is A Musician
Maybe we just never learned about Renly's secret desire to become a minstrel or heard his cover of "The Rains of Castamere," but I think this is a trait exclusive to Manson.
8. One Kills For A Cause
I actually don't know if Renly ever killed anyone on Game of Thrones, but his armies sure did.
9. One Kills For "A Cause"
Even before the Manson family murders, when this show is taking place, you can tell that Charlie Manson gets a thrill out of violence and maiming others.
So... yeah, they're not super similar. But, they do have a lot more in common than I ever could have imagined, besides Gethin Anthony's beautiful, scruffy face, of course.