Robert Baratheon – The first King of the Baratheon dynasty

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, 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.

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.

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