Robert I Baratheon
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 King 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, Lord 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, broad shouldered and muscled like a maiden's fantasy. Eddard Stark estimates Robert's height at six feet and six inches, with his brothers slightly shorter. He kept himself clean shaven.
Robert's appearance began to change after winning the crown, however. He 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 the Hand of the King, Lord Tywin Lannister, sitting on the Iron Throne and holding court.
From an early age onwards, Robert had 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 Ser 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 of Arryn, which led to Lyanna commenting that Robert would never keep to one bed, despite his love for her. Eddard 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—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—Lords Cafferen, Fell, and Grandison—remained loyal to the 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.
Robert was defeated by Lord Randyll Tarly, the commander of Lord Mace Tyrell's vanguard, at the Battle of Ashford. Trying to rejoin Ned Stark, the wounded Robert was tended by friends in the town of Stoney Sept, and he bedded nearly every whore at the Peach while hiding. A Targaryen army led by Lord Jon Connington arrived and began to search the town for Robert, who was saved by the arrival of rebels led by Lords Stark and Hoster Tully. One of Robert's alleged bastards, Bella, was named after the ensuing Battle of the Bells, which was won by the rebels.
Robert 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. Robert killed the crown prince, securing victory at what would be called the ruby ford. Against the advice of Lord Roose Bolton, Robert had his maester treat the wounds of Ser Barristan Selmy, one of Rhaegar's allies. Because of Robert's wounds, Ned raced south with Robert's van. Before Ned could reach King's Landing, however, Lord Tywin Lannister had forces from the westerlands attack the capital, and the Mad King was killed in the Sack of King's Landing.
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, Aegon and Rhaenys, 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.
As Rhaegar's second cousin, excluding Prince Viserys and Princess Daenerys, Robert was next in line for the Iron Throne via grandmother Rhaelle Targaryen, daughter of King Aegon V. This was 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, naming Ser Barristan Selmy the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Those opposed to his reign, however, refer to Robert as the Usurper. Robert tasked Stannis with building a new royal 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. Ser Justin Massey developed his lustiness while serving as Robert's squire; the king's current squires are Lancel and Tyrek Lannister, cousins of Queen Cersei. According to Donal Noye, Robert changed by becoming king, and not for the better. Robert 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 his Hand of the King, Lord Jon Arryn, dies suddenly, Robert travels to Winterfell to offer the position to his old childhood friend, Lord Eddard Stark, and offers a betrothal between his own son Joffrey and Eddard's eldest daughter, Sansa. Eddard is shocked how much Robert has changed since he last saw him, at the end of the Greyjoy Rebellion. Eddard accepts the position of Hand and moves to King's Landing. On their way to King's Landing, Robert confesses to Eddard 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. At Castle Darry, after his son Joffrey has been attacked by Arya Stark's direwolf, Nymeria, he is willing to call the incident simply an argument between two children. As the direwolf has disappeared, the beast cannot be executed. After Queen Cersei Lannister suggests Sansa Stark's direwolf, Lady, is executed instead, Robert does nothing to stop it, despite loathing the suggestion.
Robert decides to host a tourney for Eddard's appointment as Hand of the King. He plans to fight himself, loudly shouting at Cersei when she openly attempts to forbid him, but Eddard Stark and Barristan Selmy convince him that the fight would be unfair, as every contestant would let their king win. Robert is angered by the notion, and does not participate in the melee. According to Lord Varys, Cersei planned to have Robert killed during the melee.
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 Eddard 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 actually Cersei's bastards born of incest with her brother, Jaime. To save the lives of Cersei's three children, Eddard confronts her, offering her the ability to flee, but Cersei rejects.
Cersei has given Robert's squire Lancel Lannister a fortified strongwine, three times as potent as normal, to give to Robert. Robert becomes very drunk, and when the hunting party comes upon a boar, Robert wishes to face the beast alone. He is mortally gored in the process. Robert is brought back to King's Landing, where he has Eddard write him his will. Robert names Eddard Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm, to serve until Joffrey comes of age. Eddard, unable to tell Robert about Cersei's infidelity, changes the wording in Robert's will; He replaces "my son Joffrey" with "my heir". Robert dies the next day.
According to Lord Varys, if it had not been the boar which killed Robert, it would have been a fall from a horse or an arrow gone astray, as Cersei needed Robert to die during the hunt. When King Joffrey Baratheon wishes to punish someone for his father's death, Varys suggests that Ser Barristan Selmy, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, be blamed. Joffrey forces Barristan into retirement, replacing him with Jaime as Lord Commander and allowing Sandor Clegane to be added to the Kingsguard.
According to Maggy the Frog's prophecy Robert fathered sixteen bastards. However, Robert has acknowledged only one of them. Lord Varys, Robert's master of whisperers, admits to knowing of the existence of eight bastards fathered by Robert. Robert's known bastards are listed in approximate age order.
- Mya Stone, Robert's eldest child, born to Robert in the Vale. She is now in service at the Eyrie.
- Bella, who was conceived during the Battle of the Bells when a wounded Robert hid in the brothel the Peach.
- Gendry, born to a worker in an alehouse. Worked as an apprentice for Tobho Mott as a blacksmith after an unknown lord paid his apprentice fee.
- Edric Storm, born to Delena Florent. Edric is Robert's only acknowledged bastard, and ws conceived during the wedding feast of Stannis Baratheon and Selyse Florent. He was raised at Storm's End by Lord Renly Baratheon and Renly's castellan, Ser Cortnay Penrose.
- Two unnamed twins, fathered on a serving woman at Casterly Rock according to Petyr Baelish. He claims that they were killed by Queen Cersei Lannister's men, as they were an insult too close to home.
Quotes by Robert
|“||The gods be damned. It was a hollow victory they gave me. A crown ... it was the girl I prayed them for. Your sister, safe ... and mine again, as she was meant to be. I ask you, Ned, what good is it to wear a crown? The gods mock the prayers of kings and cowherds alike.||”|
– 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
|“||I swear to you, I was never so alive as when I was winning this throne, or so dead as now that I've won it.||”|
– Robert to Eddard Stark
|“||STOP THIS MADNESS, IN THE NAME OF YOUR KING!||”|
|“||I will not kill a man for loyalty, nor for fighting well.||”|
|“||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: The realm ... the realm knows ... what a wretched king I've been. Bad as Aerys, the gods spare me.
Eddard: No, not as bad as Aerys, Your Grace. Not near so bad as Aerys.
- 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
|“||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
|“||Robert wanted smiles and cheers, always, so he went where he found them, to his friends and his whores. Robert wanted to be loved. My brother Tyrion has the same disease.||”|
|“||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.||”|
|“||It's not Aerys I rue, it's Robert ... Why is it no one names Robert oathbreaker? He tore the realm apart, yet I am the one with shit for honor.||”|
|“||Arys: Robert was no monster.
|“||If I had seen him smile over the red ruins of Rhaegar's children, no army on this earth could have stopped me from killing him.||”|
- thoughts of Barristan Selmy
|“||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
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Robert Baratheon.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, Appendix: Reign of the Kings.
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 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.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 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.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 61, The Griffin Reborn.
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 33, Eddard VIII.
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 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 Dance with Dragons, Chapter 17, Jon IV.
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 16, Eddard III.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 45, Eddard XII.
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 3, Tyrion I.
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 38.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 47, Eddard XIII.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 49, Eddard XIV.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 15, Tyrion III.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- ↑ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
- ↑ 45.0 45.1 Margaery Tyrell married 1st Renly, 2nd Joffrey, 3rd Tommen
- ↑ 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 Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 42, The King's Prize.