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Robert I Baratheon
- "Robert" redirects here. For other characters named "Robert", see Robert (disambiguation).
King Robert I Baratheon is the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the head of House Baratheon of King's Landing. Robert was crowned king after winning the rebellion which was named after him and taking the Iron Throne from Aerys II Targaryen, his first cousin once removed. Robert fought the war to win back his betrothed, Lyanna Stark, with the aid of her brother, his close friend, Eddard Stark. Due to Lyanna's death, however, Robert married Cersei Lannister after war's end to ensure political stability. Robert has three children with Cersei: Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is played by Mark Addy.
Appearance and Character
- See also: Images of Robert Baratheon
Robert was once a renowned warrior with a good battlefield voice. In his youth he was described as very tall (Ned Stark estimates his height at six feet and six inches, with his brothers slightly shorter), broad shouldered and muscled like a maiden's fantasy. He kept himself clean shaven. This started to change after winning the crown. Robert became overweight from excessive feasting and drinking. In the nine years since Greyjoy's Rebellion, he gained at least eight stone in weight. Robert grew a beard to hide his multiple chins.
Robert is an avid hunter who replaced the Targaryen dragon skulls in the throne room with hunting tapestries. Although the royal armory has numerous weapons, Tywin Lannister states the only blade used by Robert is a hunting knife he received from Lord Jon Arryn as a boy. In his younger days Robert wielded a spiked iron warhammer crafted by Donal Noye and a great antlered helmet with his armor.
Some of Robert's favorite songs are "A Cask of Ale" and "Fifty-Four Tuns". He is known for his charm, outgoing and gregarious personality and remarkable ability to turn enemies into friends. Robert's lusts became the subject of ribald drinking songs throughout the realm. According to Ned, Robert would promise a woman the world in the night and forget everything, including her, in the morning.
Born in 262 AC, Robert was the first born child of Cassana Estermont and Steffon Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, Lord Paramount of the Stormlands and head of House Baratheon. He was a scant year older than his brother, Stannis, who was born in 264 AC. When Robert was already in his teens, his youngest brother, Renly, was born.
According to Stannis, when Robert was five or six years old, the two brother were brought to court by their father, Steffon, where they witnessed Hand of the King Tywin Lannister sitting on the Iron Throne, holding court.
From an early age onwards, Robert has been fostered by Lord Jon Arryn in the Eyrie, together with Eddard Stark of Winterfell. The two boys became fast friends, and Jon Arryn, who had no children of his own, became like a second father to them. During the period in which he was fostered, Robert visited Storm's End on multiple occasions. At some point, Robert was knighted. During a tourney at Storm's End, Robert was defeated by Barristan Selmy.
In 278 AC, Robert's father was sent on a mission by King Aerys II Targaryen, to travel to Volantis to find a bride for Robert's cousin, Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. The mission failed, and Steffon, accompanied by his wife, returned home. Robert and Stannis were present at Storm's End when their parents were expected to arrive, and when the ship came into sight of Storm's End, the boys witnessed how a storm in Shipbreaker Bay sank the ship their parents were on. With his father's death, Robert became the Lord of Storm's End.
Robert fell in love with Lyanna Stark, Eddard Stark's younger sister. In time, Lyanna's father, Lord Rickard Stark, agreed to betroth her to Robert. At the time of their betrothal, Robert already had a bastard daughter, Mya Stone, in the Vale, which led to Lyanna commenting that Robert would never keep to one bed, despite his love for her. Eddard Stark would later state that Robert saw only Lyanna's beauty, and never recognized her boldness and strength of will.
In 281 AC, Robert was present at the tourney at Harrenhal, where he took part in the melee. He held a drinking contest with Richard Lonmouth, and swore to unmask the mystery knight known as the Knight of the Laughing Tree, although he failed to do so. It was Robert's cousin, Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, who won the final joust of the tourney. The prince crowned Lyanna Stark—by then long betrothed to Robert—the queen of love and beauty, instead of his wife, Elia Martell. There are some who say that Robert had laughed, stating that Rhaegar had only paid Lyanna her due, though according to men who knew Robert better, he felt it had been an insult, on which he brooded long, causing him to harden against Prince Rhaegar.
News of the kidnapping led Lyanna Stark's eldest brother, Brandon, and later her father, Lord Rickard, to King's Landing demanding justice. Both were executed by the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, who demanded that Lord Jon Arryn turn over Robert and Eddard as well. Jon rose up in rebellion instead, with Eddard (now Lord of Winterfell) and Robert rallying the North and the stormlands respectively. Robert, whose descent gave him the best claim to the throne of the three lords, became the head of the revolt, known as Robert's Rebellion and as the War of the Usurper. During the taking of Gulltown, Robert slew Marq Grafton.
Robert began gathering his banners at Storm's End, but he was separated from his allies in the North. Moreover, some of his bannermen decided to remain loyal to Iron Throne and began gathering their strength at Summerhall. Robert learned of this plan and defeated them all, winning three battles in a single day. While attempting to link up with the forces from the North, Robert suffered a defeat at the Battle of Ashford and was later trapped in the town of Stoney Sept where he hid in a brothel and bedded nearly every whore while hiding there. 
A Targaryen army eventually led by Lord Jon Connington arrived and began to search the town for Robert, who was saved when a rebel force from the North joined him and the Battle of the Bells began.  He led the combined forces of Baratheon, Stark, Arryn, and Tully to victory over the royal forces led by Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident and personally killed the crown prince, securing victory. Before Robert's allies could reach King's Landing, Lord Tywin Lannister had forces from the westerlands sack the capital, during which the Mad King was killed.
Although he won the rebellion and killed Rhaegar, Robert's hatred of his slain foe had not diminished. When Tywin presented Robert with the mutilated bodies of Elia Martell, Rhaegar's wife, and their two young children, Robert was pleased they were dead. Eddard Stark, on the other hand, was outraged and disgusted by the act, calling it murder, and saying the young prince and princess were no more than babes. Robert's response was:
I see no babes, only dragonspawn.
Even Jon Arryn could not cool the rage and argument that followed between Robert and Eddard. Eddard left the Red Keep in a black rage to relieve Storm's End, where Stannis languished under siege. It took the death of Lyanna and their shared grief to reunite the pair in friendship. Robert was thereafter haunted by her memory and the desire for further vengeance against the slain Rhaegar.
Robert's claim to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms was based on his grandmother being Rhaelle Targaryen, daughter of King Aegon V, thus giving him a much stronger claim to the throne than the Arryns, Tullys or Starks.
With Aerys and Rhaegar dead and King's Landing fallen, the lords of the Seven Kingdoms swore fealty to Robert and accepted him as king. He pardoned many of his former enemies and won some over as allies. Those opposed to his reign, however, refer to Robert as the Usurper. Robert tasked Stannis with building a new fleet and capturing Dragonstone, the last Targaryen-loyalist stronghold. Although Stannis commanded the assault on Dragonstone, Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen were smuggled from the island beforehand, which angered the new king. Robert named Stannis Lord of Dragonstone and granted the Baratheons' ancestral seat of Storm's End to their young brother, Renly, which Stannis took as a slight.
Dorne never forgot or forgave the fact that Robert condoned the cold-blooded murders of Elia Martell and her children, Rhaenys and Aegon. Lord Jon Arryn managed to negotiate a truce with Dorne and a grudging acceptance of Robert's reign. Robert appointed Jon Arryn as his Hand of the King. Jon Arryn, along with Stannis, held the Seven Kingdoms together while Robert ate, drank, hunted, and whored.
Robert began his reign by marrying Cersei Lannister, Tywin's daughter, in 284 AC. It was a political match intended to bring stability to the kingdom. The marriage was not a happy one. During their wedding night Robert, while drunk, accidentally whispered, "Lyanna", an act that earned him his new wife's hatred. Cersei bore three children: Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. In his unhappiness Robert took to drink, feasting and sleeping with other women.
Six years after taking the crown, Robert and Eddard joined forces again to crush Greyjoy's Rebellion, which cemented Robert's position on the Iron Throne. Robert commanded during the siege of Pyke.
During his brother, Stannis's, wedding to Lady Selyse Florent, Robert deflowered Selyse's cousin Delena Florent on Stannis's wedding bed, though he claimed he was too drunk to know whose bed it was. This coupling led to the birth of Edric Storm, the only acknowledged bastard by Robert.
Robert beggared the realm with the expense of his tournaments and feasts, despite the fact Aerys II had left treasure vaults overflowing with gold. Robert's spending eventually left the crown in debt of over six million golden dragons (borrowing heavily from the Lannisters, the Tyrells, the Faith and the Iron Bank of Braavos).
Due to his frequent whoring, Robert also sired many bastards. According to Donal Noye, he changed by becoming king, and not for the better. Robert Baratheon also learned to close his eyes to anything he did not wish to see, a fact best proven when he was presented with the bodies of Rhaegar's children.
A Game of Thrones
When the Hand of the King, Lord Jon Arryn, dies suddenly, Robert journeys to Winterfell to meet the last person he truly trusts, Lord Eddard Stark, after a long separation. Robert appears to Eddard a broken man, unhealthy and unhappy. Eddard reluctantly takes the position of Hand and comes to King's Landing. He, like Jon, does much of the work as Robert seldom bothers to attend small council meetings. Robert confesses to Ned that he dreams about giving up his crown and journeying to the Free Cities as a sellsword to spend his life warring and whoring, believing that is what he was made for; only the thought of his heir, Joffrey, on the Iron Throne with his mother, Cersei, whispering in his ear keeps Robert from indulging his fantasy.
When Robert calls a meeting to demand the death of the pregnant Daenerys Targaryen, who is in exile, Eddard refuses to be a part of it and resigns his position in protest. After Eddard is injured in an ambush led by Ser Jaime Lannister, Cersei's twin brother, Robert visits his friend and gives him back his badge of office, stating that if Ned refuses to take it, Robert will pin it on Jaime. While Robert is off on one of his hunts, Eddard discovers that Robert's children are Cersei's bastards born of incest with her brother, Jaime.
Acting first, Cersei has Robert's squire, her cousin Lancel Lannister, give Robert a very strong wine, three times as potent as normal, which causes him to become very drunk. When the hunting party finally tracks down a large boar in the kingswood, Robert is so inebriated that he misses his mark and is charged down and mortally gored. According to Varys, if it had not been the boar, it would have been a fall from a horse or an arrow gone astray, as Cersei needed Robert dead before he returned from his hunt.
When Robert returns badly wounded and near death, he has Eddard visit him and make a will, naming him Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm until Joffrey comes of age. Eddard, seeing how much pain Robert is in, does not reveal the secret of Joffrey's parentage, not wanting to add further pain to his dying friend. Instead, when writing the will, Eddard replaces "My son Joffrey" with "my heir"; because the king's children are actually Jaime's bastards, Eddard believes Robert's heir should be his middle brother, Stannis. Robert dies a day later. His death tips off a struggle for power that leads to the War of the Five Kings.
Varys suggests that Ser Barristan Selmy, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, be blamed for Robert's death. King Joffrey I forces Barristan into retirement, replacing him with Jaime as Lord Commander and allowing Sandor Clegane to be added to the Kingsguard.
Although Robert Baratheon is known to have fathered - according to Maggy the Frog's prophecy - a total of sixteen bastards, only one has been acknowledged. Varys admits to knowing of eight. Five have been seen by point of view characters, while two others have been mentioned only in passing. Because of how Eddard words Robert's will, Cersei begins a campaign to kill all of Robert's bastards, but Tyrion stops it after an ugly scene with Barra's mother fighting to protect the baby. They are listed in approximate age order.
- Mya Stone. A bastard daughter born to Robert in the Vale whilst he was Jon Arryn's ward. She serves as a guide to and from the Eyrie, and becomes a favorite companion to Sansa Stark. Eddard Stark remembers that Robert was very fond of her, although like all his bastard children he later abandoned her.
- Bella. An unacknowledged bastard daughter who lived at the brothel called the Peach in Stoney Sept. Her mother told her that she was conceived during the battle of the Bells when a wounded Robert hid there.
- Gendry. An unacknowledged bastard who was born to a worker in an alehouse. When he was old enough, an unknown lord paid Gendry's apprentice fee so he could learn to be a blacksmith. Gendry developed a reputation for stubbornness and fashioned a bull's head helmet, causing him to be named "the Bull". Following the death of Robert, Varys arranges for the boy to flee King's Landing with Yoren of the Night's Watch. Gendry knows that Queen Cersei wants him dead, although he does not know why. He travels with Arya Stark until the brotherhood without banners captures them and he joins the organization. The brotherhood later places him at the crossroads inn to smith and look after a group of orphans there. When Brienne of Tarth meets him, she is astonished by how much he looks like Renly, actually addressing him as "Renly" and "my lord".
- Edric Storm. Robert's only acknowledged bastard son, born to Delena Florent. He lives at Storm's End under the protection of Cortnay Penrose, the castellan. Robert visited Edric almost every year, taught him how to fight, and gave him a warhammer. Stannis lays siege to the castle with the goal of capturing Edric Storm and using him to prove his claims of Cersei's incestuous affair with her brother Jaime. The red witch Melisandre also aims to use Edric's blood to raise the dragons of Dragonstone. Davos Seaworth smuggles Edric away from Dragonstone before he can be sacrificed.
- Two unnamed twins. Petyr Baelish hints that Robert fathered twins to a serving woman at Casterly Rock who were killed by Queen Cersei's agents.
- Barra. The youngest of Robert's known bastard children, born to the King's Landing prostitute Mhaegen. A baby, Barra is killed by Allar Deem under Cersei's orders following the death of Robert.
Quotes by Robert
– Robert to Eddard Stark
– Robert to Eddard Stark
Eddard: You’re too fat for your armor, Robert. Robert: Fat? Fat, is it? Is that how you speak to your king? Ah, damn you, Ned, why are you always right?
– Robert to Eddard Stark
– Robert to Eddard Stark
STOP THIS MADNESS, IN THE NAME OF YOUR KING!
Cersei: I shall wear this as a badge of honor. Robert: Wear it in silence, or I’ll honor you again. 
– when Robert slaps Cersei Lannister
- Robert and Eddard Stark
Quotes about Robert
The king was a great disappointment to Jon. His father had talked of him often: the peerless Robert Baratheon, demon of the Trident, the fiercest warrior of the realm, a giant among princes. Jon saw only a fat man, red-faced under his beard, sweating through his silks. He walked like a man half in his cups.
– thoughts of Jon Snow
– Eddard Stark to Robert
Robert was never the same after he put on that crown. Some men are like swords, made for fighting. Hang them up and they go to rust.
Tell me, what right did my brother Robert ever have to the Iron Throne? Oh, there was talk of the blood ties between Baratheon and Targaryen, of weddings a hundred years past, of second sons and elder daughters. No one but the maesters care about any of it. Robert won the throne with his warhammer.
They said Robert Baratheon was strong as a bull and fearless in battle, a man who loved nothing better than war. 
– thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen
If he couldn't fuck it, fight it or drink it, it bored him.
Robert ... He is in my dreams as well. Laughing. Drinking. Boasting. Those were the things he was best at. Those, and fighting. I never bested him at anything.
- thoughts of Barristan Selmy
This Baratheon is fearless. He fights the way a king should fight.
We all know what my brother would do. Robert would gallop up to the gates of Winterfell alone, break them with his warhammer, and ride through the rubble to slay Roose Bolton with his left hand and the Bastard with his right. I am not Robert. But we will march, and we will free Winterfell … or die in the attempt.
References and Notes
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Robert Baratheon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Reign of the Kings.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 32, Tyrion IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 76, Jon XI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 35, Eddard IX.
- See the Stannis Baratheon calculation.
- See the Renly Baratheon calculation.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Prologue.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 25, Tyrion VI.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Old Way and the New.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard VIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5, Jon I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 27, Daenerys II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 52, Sansa IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize.
- Margaery Tyrell married 1st Renly, 2nd Joffrey, 3rd Tommen
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