Robert Baratheon

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Robert Baratheon
A Song of Ice and Fire character
Game of Thrones
character
Robert Baratheon-Mark Addy.jpg
Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon
First appearance
Last appearance
Created by George R. R. Martin
Portrayed by Mark Addy
(Game of Thrones)
Information
Aliases
  • The Usurper
  • Novels:
  • Demon of the Trident
  • The Whoremonger King
  • Television:
  • The Stag King
Gender Male
Title
  • King of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men
  • Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
  • Protector of the Realm
  • Lord of Storm's End
  • Lord Paramount of the Stormlands
  • Ser
Family House Baratheon
Spouse(s) Cersei Lannister
Children
Relatives
Kingdom

Robert Baratheon is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.

Introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones, Robert Baratheon is the eldest son and heir of Lord Steffon Baratheon and Lady Cassana Estermont of Storm's End, the paramount of Stormlands, one of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros,[1], and brother to Stannis and Renly. Robert fought a rebellion which was named after him to win back his betrothed, Lyanna Stark, with the aid of her brother and his close friend, Eddard Stark, and their foster guardian Jon Arryn. After crushing the Targaryen dynasty and winning the war, Robert took the Iron Throne from his distant cousin Aerys II Targaryen (who is nicknamed "The Mad King"), and established the Baratheon dynasty as its first king. However, due to Lyanna's death during the war, Robert married Tywin Lannister's daughter Cersei instead to ensure political stability.

Robert is portrayed by English actor Mark Addy in the HBO television adaptation.[2][3][4]

Character description[edit]

Robert is in his mid-thirties when the events of the books begin. He has the classical Baratheon look: black hair and bright blue eyes, and is a very tall man, with Eddard Stark estimating him to be six and a half feet. As a young adult, Robert was handsome, clean-shaven and muscled "like a maiden's fantasy". However, after he won the Iron Throne, Robert becomes very obese due to excessive feasting and drinking, gaining at least eight stone (50.8 kilograms, or 112 pounds) in nine years, and turns into an often red-faced man with dark circles underneath his eyes and appears half-drunk and sweating when walking, with a wild, thick, fierce beard that hides his double chin.

In his youth, Robert is as strong as a bull and fearless in battle with a powerful voice, wielding a large spiked iron war hammer too heavy for Eddard Stark to lift, and was a formidable warrior well loved by soldiers. Though headstrong, rash and impatient, Robert can be merciful towards his enemies as long as they are honest and brave, and can inspire loyalty and friendship in even enemies via charisma alone. Although deconditioned after becoming king due to weight gain and frequent drinking, Jaime Lannister still believes that Robert is stronger than him.

Robert is a jovial man of huge appetites and knows to indulge in pleasures. He is quite promiscuous, having fathered multiple bastard children (17 according to the prophecy by Lannisport fortuneteller Maggy the Frog) with whores or any women he encounters, and his lusts are the subject of ribald drinking songs throughout the realms. As king, Robert is known to impose upon the hospitality (voluntarily or not) of his subjects, but at the same time also possesses a rather careless generosity. A proud man, Robert rarely back down on words spoken in a drunken bravado. As king, Robert is no longer used to someone disagreeing with him, which makes him vulnerable to manipulation by others. Tyrion Lannister considers Robert to be "a great blustering oaf", while Varys describes him as a fool. His queen wife Cersei Lannister considers him to be an ignorant, dumb, slow-witted, drunken brute who does not have the ruthless streak she believes a king requires. According to Petyr Baelish, Robert is practised at closing his eyes to things he would rather not see.

Storylines[edit]

A coat of arms showing a black stag on a yellow field.
Coat of arms of House Baratheon

In the books[edit]

Robert Baratheon is not a point of view character in the novels, so his actions are mainly witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of Ned Stark.[5] He only appears in the first book of the series A Game of Thrones, though is mentioned numerous time in the later books by characters such as Cersei Lannister.

Before he became king, Robert Baratheon was the ward of Jon Arryn and was raised at the Eyrie alongside Eddard Stark. Fifteen years before the novels, Robert was betrothed to Ned's younger sister Lyanna, whom he was madly (and unrequitedly) in love with. After Lyanna disappeared with Rhaegar Targaryen, Robert led a rebellion to overthrow the Targeryan dynasty and later killed Rhaegar in single combat. He then married Cersei Lannister to ensure House Lannister's support for his rule, but remained attached to the memory of Lyanna, resulting in an estranged marriage with Cersei.

A Game of Thrones[edit]

King Robert has come to Winterfell to appoint his close friend Eddard Stark the Hand of The King, after the untimely death of Jon Arryn.[6] He was unaware that Cersei's three children were in fact fathered by her twin brother Jaime. More interested in food, drink and tourneys than in governance, Robert has squandered the royal treasury, leaving the crown heavily in debt. After a hunting accident orchestrated by Cersei, Robert is mortally wounded and appoints Eddard as the regent for his son Joffrey. After Robert's death, Eddard loses the political struggle against the Lannisters and is later publicly executed by beheading, and the kingdoms plunge into civil war known as the War of the Five Kings (which encompasses the entirety of the following two books) in which Robert's two brothers Renly and Stannis Baratheon both declare themselves the rightful kings, with Eddard's vengeful son Robb and later Balon Greyjoy also secede and declare kingships.[7]

In the show[edit]

Backstory[edit]

Robert Baratheon, formerly a fierce warrior, became King of the Seven Kingdoms after leading a rebellion against Aerys II Targaryen. He was betrothed to Ned Stark's sister Lyanna and loved her deeply, but she loved Rhaegar Targaryen and married him in secret before they fled. Robert assumed Lyanna was abducted, beginning his revolt with Ned Stark after his father and brother were killed in King's Landing while trying to reclaim Lyanna. The event, known as Robert's Rebellion, resulted with the Targaryens mostly slaughtered or routed from the Kingdoms. Since Robert's family had closer ties to the former Royal family, this put Robert on the Iron Throne.

Season 1[edit]

Now, Robert has grown fat and miserable; he has no more wars to fight, is surrounded by plotters and sycophants, hates and is bored by the constant work needed to manage the Kingdoms properly, and trapped in a political marriage to the scheming Cersei Lannister, whom he has never loved. He is unaware that none of his three children are his, but instead Jaime Lannister's. Under his reign, the realm has been bankrupted, and Robert is deeply in debt to his wife's family. Killed while hunting under suspicious circumstances, he unknowingly leaves no rightful heir behind. Leading to Ned Stark's beheading at the hands of his legal son Joffrey.

Season 2[edit]

After his death, Roberts bastards are ordered dead by Joffrey, many of which are killed, and Gendry is subsequently forced to flee the capital.[8]

Season 6 & 7[edit]

In seasons six and seven, Bran Stark's gift of vision as the Three-Eyed Raven revealed to him the truth of Rhaegar and Lyanna's relationship and that Robert's Rebellion was built on a lie.

Family tree of House Baratheon[edit]

TV adaptation[edit]

Robert Baratheon is played by Mark Addy in the television adaption of the series of books.[9] Addy's audition for the role was according to showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss the best they saw, him being the easiest actor to cast for the show.[10]

References[edit]