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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.

Robert Baratheon
A Song of Ice and Fire character
Game of Thrones
character
Robert Baratheon Profile Mark Addy.jpg
Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon
First appearance
Last appearance
Created byGeorge R. R. Martin
Portrayed byMark Addy
(Game of Thrones)
Information
Alias
  • The Usurper
  • Novels:
  • Demon of the Trident
  • The Whoremonger King
  • Television:
  • The Stag King
  • The Fat King
GenderMale
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
FamilyHouse Baratheon
SpouseCersei Lannister
Children
Relatives

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 lord paramount of the Stormlands, one of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros,[1] and brother to Stannis and Renly. After his betrothed Lyanna Stark was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen, Robert, along with the aid of her brother and his close friend, Eddard Stark, and their foster guardian Jon Arryn, initiated a bloody rebellion against the "Mad King" Aerys II Targaryen. After crushing the Targaryen dynasty and winning the war, Robert took the Iron Throne and established the Baratheon dynasty as its first king. However, due to Lyanna's untimely death during the war, Robert instead married Tywin Lannister's daughter Cersei to ensure political stability. Although Robert's rule has been relatively peaceful, he proves to be an ineffective ruler and is unhappy in both his marriage to Cersei and his responsibilities as king, instead living a life of infidelity and wanton excess. He has fathered many bastards, unaware that his three children by Cersei were in fact fathered by her twin brother Jaime Lannister as products of incest.

Although Robert is killed in the first novel, the legacy of his rebellion and rule continues to have great impact on the contemporary events of Westeros. His death creates a power vacuum in which both of his brothers, Cersei's eldest son Joffrey, and several other claimants fight for control of the Seven Kingdoms, known as the War of Five Kings.

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

Contents

CharacterEdit

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 times in the later books by characters such as Cersei Lannister.

BackgroundEdit

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, with whom he was madly (and unrequitedly) in love. After Lyanna disappeared with Rhaegar Targaryen, Robert led a rebellion to overthrow the Targaryen 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.

Personality and descriptionEdit

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 weight, 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. Robert loathes his responsibilities as king and frequently expresses his preference to winning the throne in battle rather than sitting on it. He has never truly loved his wife and is unaware that none of his three children with her 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. 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.[6]

StorylinesEdit

 
Coat of arms of House Baratheon

A Game of ThronesEdit

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.[7] 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. Eddard's vengeful son Robb and later Balon Greyjoy also secede and declare kingships.[8]

A Clash of KingsEdit

Robert briefly appears in A Clash of Kings in a flashback sequence.

Family tree of House BaratheonEdit

TV adaptationEdit

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]

Season 1Edit

Robert's storyline is the same in the show as it is in the novels, however, his wife Cersei reveals that she had one stillborn son by him, which is not the case in the novels, where Cersei uses guile and trickery to prevent him from ever actually engaging in sexual intercourse with her while drunk.

Season 2Edit

After his death, Robert's bastards are ordered to be killed by Joffrey Baratheon, Robert's supposed legal heir and the new king. Gendry is subsequently forced to flee the capital.[11]

Seasons 6 & 7Edit

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 states that 'Robert's Rebellion was built on a lie'.

Season 8Edit

Daenerys Targaryen legitimizes Gendry, naming him Robert's lawful son and Lord of Storm's End.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide". HBO. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Game of Thrones Cast and Crew: Robert Baratheon played by Mark Addy". HBO. Archived from the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Official Website for the HBO Series Game of Thrones - Season 4". HBO. Archived from the original on 1 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  4. ^ "From HBO". Live Journal. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide".
  6. ^ Martin, George R.R. (1996). A Game of Thrones.
  7. ^ Butler, Leigh (1 April 2011). "A Read of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, Part 3". Tor.com. Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  8. ^ Butler, Leigh (9 September 2011). "A Read of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones, Part 23". Tor.com. Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  9. ^ Fowler, Tara (31 May 2011). "'Game of Thrones': Mark Addy on Robert Baratheon". Digitalspy. Hearst UK. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  10. ^ Walsh, Michael (March 12, 2017). "What We Learned From Game Of Thrones' SXSW Panel, and What It Might Mean". Nerdist Industries. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  11. ^ Josh Wigler (7 June 2013). "'Game of Thrones Gruesome Deaths: From Robert Baratheon to Jon Snow". The Hollywood Reporter.