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Robert Baratheon
Robert Baratheon - GoT
General Information


Gender Male
Aliases King Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of His Name;

King of the Andals and the First Men;

Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm;

Lord of Storm's End;

Lord Paramount of the Stormlands;

the Unsurper

Age
Birthday Unknown
Race Human
Debuts
TV Show Game of Thrones
Film
Credit Mark Addy

Overview

Robert Baratheon is the King of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros who rose to power by overthrowing the ruling Targaryens with the aid of the Starks and the Lannisters.

He was the older brother of Renly and Stannis Baratheon and is married to Cersei Lannister with whom he has three children, Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen.

He has kept the warring factions of the Seven Kingdoms in check despite his lackadasial attention to the business of governing it from the Iron Throne. However his death results in a new bloody round of chaotic warfare over the inheritance of who shall control Westeros; some seeking to seize the Iron Throne for themselves while other factions see their chance to claim independence from it and split the Seven Kingdoms apart.

He first appeared on April 17, 2011 in the premiere Game of Thrones episode, "Winter is Coming" and was portrayed by Mark Addy who would go on to reprise his role in several episodes.

Background

Robert Baratheon was the eldest of three sons of the ruling family of the Baratheons, one of the great dynastic houses of the Stormlands which is one of the Seven Kingdoms of the vast continent of Westeros.  300 years earlier, the warring lands of Westeros were forcibly unified by the actions of the Targaryens who possessed large and powerful dragons which allowed them to assimilate the warring factions, creating Seven Great Kingdoms under their banner and ruled from the Iron Throne. Even after the Targaryens Dragons died out over a century later, the Seven Kingdoms remained relatively stable and peacefully intact and under their ruling dynasty for many years.

As a young boy, Robert saw his mother and father killed when their ship floundered and sank before his eyes, simultaneously orphaning him and elevating him to the Head of House Baratheon and the Lord Paramount of the Stormlands.  Robert was subsequently fostered to Jon Arryn, the head of House Arryn and another of the Great Houses of Westeros, the Lord Paramount of the Vale whom he came to regard as a second father.

Robert grew up alongside Jon's other fosterling, Eddard "Ned" Stark, a second son of the Stark Dynasty who ruled over the North and the two became best friends.  As a consequence, he met and became enamored with Ned's younger sister Lyanna and they later became betrothed. Robert was pleased that his long friendship with Ned would ultimately become one of family as he admitted that he was closer to Ned than his own brothers.

However Lyanna had attracted the amorous attentions of Prince Rheagar Targaryen despite the fact that he was already married and having several children and she was betrothed to Robert.  During a tournament, he publicly spurned his wife and instead crowned Lyanna as his "Queen of Love and Beauty" resulting in a huge scandal.  Shortly afterwards, he abducted her and inadvertently sparked a civil war. 

In the wake of Lyanna's kidnapping, her father and elder brother approached Rheager's father, the reigning King of the Iron Throne, Aerys II Targaryen to protest his actions and demanded her safe return.  Aerys already renowned as "The Mad King" for his increasing erratic behavior and murderous acts; in a fit of pique, had them brutally executed.  This resulted in a massive uprising led by Robert and Ned with the Kingdoms of the Stormlands and the North allied with Jon Arryn of the Kingdom of the Vale.

This bloody civil war would later be known as "Robert's Rebellion" and would end with Robert slaying Rheagar Targaryen in mortal combat and wiping out most of the royalist forces, seizing the Iron Throne and crowned himself as the new King of Westeros.  However it proved to be for naught as Lyanna had died during the final days of the conflict before she could be rescued by her brother, Ned. 

Robert was devastated and afterwards married Cersei Lannister, a political arrangement to repay House Lannister for its support during the later stages in the war in slaying Aerys II Targayren and seizing control of the capital of King's Landing. Lyanna's death however poisoned their relationship and it became a loveless marriage of state.  Despite this, Robert fathered three children with Cersei; Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen to establish his dynasty but spent most of his time drinking and whoring about rather than dedicating himself towards the running of the Seven Kingdoms.

More a warrior than a governor by nature; Robert has left most affairs of state to his small council, which includes his brothers as well as Petyr Baelish, Varys and Grand Maester Pycelle. The throne is deeply in debt, particularly to House Lannister whose influence grows as does the corruption of King's Landing.

Major Plots

Season 1

Robert brings a royal party to Winterfell to ask Eddard Stark to become Hand of the King following the death of the previous Hand, Jon Arryn. He does not claim that this is a generous offer, but appeals to Ned's loyalty and sense of duty - he needs his old friend's help. "I'm not trying to honor you. I'm trying to get you to run my kingdom while I eat, drink and whore my way to an early grave." Robert also proposes an engagement between Joffrey and Ned's daughter Sansa, hoping to bring their houses closer together. While on the road back to King's Landing, Robert learns that Daenerys Targaryen has married a Dothraki leader, Khal Drogo. When he later hears that she is pregnant, he orders her assassination to eliminate a future threat to the stability of the realm. Eddard fiercely opposes this, leading to a heated argument and Ned's resignation as Hand. Robert is fatally gored by a boar while on a hunting trip; the king had been drinking at the time, aided by his dutiful squire. On his death bed, he apologises to Eddard and dictates a last proclamation naming him as Lord Protector of the Realm until Joffrey comes of age. Ned at this point believes that none of Cersei's children were actually fathered by Robert; he doesn't tell his old friend this, but quietly changes the wording of the document to read 'heir' instead of naming Joffrey directly.

Personality and Traits

As a young man, Robert Baratheon was a charismatic leader and formidable warrior as well as being extremely tall, clean shaven, and muscular. He was noted for wielding a large war hammer as his weapon of choice which fitted with his crude and blunt personality.  He was notorious for his quick temper but also for his boisterous, gregarious, chivalrous, and generous nature. He also had a fondness for wine and a weakness for women, having numerous affairs and fathering several illegitimate children.

Despite this, Robert was madly in love with Lyanna Stark and never stopped loving her even after her death.  When he ascended to the Iron Throne, he threw himself (and the Kingdom) in an almost never-ending array of feasts and tourneys even as he gorged himself on food, wine, and whores in a vain attempt to drown his grief for her.  Although time has dulled his memories of her; his first action on visiting Winterfell is to pay his respects to Lyanna in the crypt and he openly admits to Cersei that their marriage was doomed to be loveless from the start because she was nothing but a poor replacement for Lyanna.

Seventeen years after his assumption of the Iron Throne, Robert is heavily overweight and drinking and whoring have become as his major pastimes. He also has grown a heavy beard to better hide his chins.  His womanizing ways have led him to sire numerous bastard children, including Mhaegen's infant daughter Barra and Gendry.

Robert was a very poor peacetime King and never was exceptional in administrating and politics, he is and was a Warrior who has no more wars to fight. Ill suited to the political machinations, intrigue, and plotting that takes place in the Royal Court; he is constantly surrounded by overly flattering bootlickers whom he can't stand and despises his wife, is disturbed by the cruelty of his eldest child, and dismayed at the timidity of his other children. Perhaps it's not surprising that he spends a great deal of time reminiscing about the old days and often seems bitter about the direction his life took after he became King.

He spends much of his time drunk and his temper has worsened considerably. He bears an unforgiving hatred for the Targaryens and their ilk.  For example; he was perfectly capable of forgiving Ser Barristan Selmy who fought in the civil war against him due to the fact that he was being a loyal knight due to his oaths of fidelity to Aerys II Targaryen. Yet he took great pleasure in the sight of the murdered bodies of the innocent children of the Targaryens, Rhaenys and Aegon.  He even sought to have Daenerys Targaryen assassinated, although he claimed it was to protect and preserve his realm, it had more to due to the fact that she was Rheagar's sister.

Robert was also extremely confident in himself and often discounted others' advice and counsel over his own.  The only persons whom he ever bothered to listen to were Jon Arryn and Ned Stark and he did so poorly to Jon.  Yet he deeply trusted Ned and could be swayed by his old friend unlike many others. 

Although many dismissed him as stupid as he preferred to leave matters to the Small Council on a daily basis, this was untrue bur rather that he simply had little patience for the minutiae of governing Westeros.  He had an exceptionally gifted mind for strategy and tactics and even in a drunken state, he was able to recite with great precision and clarity the Dothraki's demonstrated strategies for several centuries as well as statistical analysis of how they would apply it in invading Westeros.

Trivia

Quotes

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