Sunday, 29 January 2017

Game of Thrones Gossip #3: Robert Baratheon

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.



"I'm not trying to honour you. I'm trying to get you to run my Kingdom while I eat, drink and whore my way to an early grave."

Robert Baratheon was renowned as a great and brave warrior in his youth, leading the rebellion against The Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. Aerys son Rhaegar had kidnapped Robert's betrothed, Lyanna Stark, sister of Ned Stark. Taking the Iron Throne after victory, he also agrees to marry Cersei Lannister and believes that he has fathered three children with her-Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen, along with many bastards. His best friend and the man he sees as his true brother, Ned Stark, becomes Warden of the North with trusted friend and mentor Jon Arryn as his first Hand of the King.

When we meet Robert in season one of Game of Thrones he is basically a drunken slob who cares little about anything except drinking, women and hunting. He is far from what you expect of a King and makes no attempt to rule or look after the Kingdom. He does not teach Joffrey anything about being a man or future King and the deathbed scene between them is rather telling as he finally realises how he has failed Joffrey over the years. He is not a good friend to Ned, forcing him out of Winterfell to take up a job he doesn't want in King's Landing which will cost Ned his head, and causing years of misery for Sansa Stark by betrothing her to Joffrey. He is selfish and throws his considerable weight around, with poor decision making and spending his way into massive debt. Indeed, his decision, against Ned's advice to try to murder Daenerys Targaryen is to have far reaching consequences.

I must admit that I had some sympathy for Cersei in being married to him. There is little doubt that he made no effort as a husband and her joy over the wedding soon turned to misery as she competes with the ghost of his dead love Lyanna. It looks to me as if losing her made Robert pretty much give up on life and just behave like an idiot. Cersei tells Ned during the confrontation over the parentage of her children exactly what her wedding night was like and what a nightmare Robert was. I can well believe it! I also had sympathy for his squire Lancel Lannister-to say that Robert is a mean bully is putting it mildly. His erratic behaviour certainly explains why Ned had no intention of ever telling Robert that Jon Snow is Lyanna's son by Rhaegar. I can well imagine that he would have murdered Jon in his rage, which might be why Ned offered Cersei a way to escape King's Landing with her children before he told Robert the truth about her and Jaime. 

I want to find out more about Jon's conception-did Lyanna actually go willingly or was she kidnapped? Was Jon the result of rape or love? I wonder if there is anything about this in the relevant book? Or has it not been written yet?

Robert's death was one of the things that I WAS expecting in series one. Either he and Ned died or the Lannisters would lose everything, so I did expect the former to happen. The manner of his death seemed somewhat fitting-a hunting accident while drunk. The final insult to him would be if the pig was female...

So what are your thoughts on Robert Baratheon? Feel free to discuss any aspect of his life from the books or TV series!

10 comments:

  1. This will sound funny but I liked Robert in book one. Not on the show- you're right he's a jerk, but in the book there's a bit more nuance. Yes he's not a great king but he has kept the peace, I think largely through his larger than life personality. They talk about how Balon Greyjoy rebelled and how Robert was not a king to direct from the back- he and Ned Stark went to war and stormed the walls. so he was a leader of men that way. He got soft and drunl towards the end though, no doubt.

    I also don't think he liked being king. when they were coming south he told Ned he would like nothing more than to ride away and become a mercenary, just live on the road. And he loved Lyanna and didn't love Cersei, so he's kind of a tragic figure too.

    Good point though about Ned giving Cersei an out. Which was costly! But you're right, he probably did know what Robert would do. So you have a good point there about Robert being ruthless. And he hurt a lot of people with his whoring and sleeping around.

    The books have not revealed exactly what happened with Rhaegar and Lyanna yet- my theory is she went willingly. Robert may even suspect that which is why he hated Rhaegar even more. Just me though. It's interesting that whenever Rhaegar is mentioned in the books it is almost always positive- even Ned and people like Barristan selmy and even Jaime usually have nothing but good things to say.

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    1. I'm glad there is good depth to Robert in the books so that we can see him in a different light. I think I'm going to like him more and I'm pleased that we get more on the rebellions and stuff. Cool! I did expect more in the books but every time you talk about the books I want to grab them and start reading! Maybe I'll read the first one this month if time allows. I have a whole zombie series to catch up on before I do anything else!

      In season one I suspected something was going on as Ned refused to even mention Jon's mother...I was suspicious that there was something important about it but couldn't guess what. When you watch it, Ned has the same reaction when Robert talks about Lyanna so I guess the clues are there but they are subtle. My thoughts are that she went willingly too...I figured she didn't love Robert and was looking for an out or something. I can't wait until we find out! Write the rest of the books man!!!

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  2. After reading Greg's comment, I'm more convinced the books will have to be read at some point (provided Martin finishes them). I never really had many feelings regarding Robert. I did blame him for Ned's death though. He did sure have some awful children, but I think Geoffrey's behavior and disgusting traits were more influenced by his mother than Robert. It was fitting Cersei was married to a weak ruler. Although he was a serious cheat, I don't think she could have even been with someone who had a strong character - she'd kill them herself in my opinion.

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    1. I wish the author would stop messing about with short stories for anthologies and just deliver the long overdue promised novels! It's frustrating to have to keep waiting while he goes off to do other projects that can surely wait!

      You can tell in my post that I blame Robert for Ned's death too! Ned will probably be next week's post if everything goes to plan. The funny thing with Cersei is that she is horrible but at times you can feel sympathy for her...until she does the next evil deed!

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    2. It's funny, I can't get over Cersei sleeping with and having children with her brother, but I still like Jaime even knowing all that. I guess I just find him more redeeming!

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    3. Same here. I loved when Ned accuses her of having three kids by Jaime and her response is something like 'thank the gods!' Her obvious relief that they are not Robert's amused me! I do find myself liking the version of Jaime after his capture by Robb, in spite of everything he has done!

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    4. I'm going to jump in cause I love this topic. :) Jaime's story arc in A Storm of Swords is fabulous, the way he redeems himself. You probably already know from the show but it's more effective in the books I think? Maybe because you get his internal thoughts. And Robert wasn't a good dad but the books talk about Joffrey wanting to please him- apparently he brought his dad a cat he's been torturing and cersei remembers how Robert just about knocked the kid's head off he was so mad.

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    5. I think I'm going to enjoy the back stories and depth in the books! As soon as I finish the zombie series this month I plan to get started on the first GoT book. I can't wait any longer! I really do enjoy Jaime's character from the scheming man who will kill a child to keep his secret, to the man who tries to save Brienne and Tyrion. His final scenes with his daughter in the series were so touching!

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    6. Awesome, can't wait to talk GoT with you! I think you'll like the back stories too. I thought in many ways the first book is a straightforward fantasy (in some ways) whereas books two and three get so sophisticated. You're gonna love em (I hope)!!!

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    7. I hope so! I'm looking forward to reading them soon...

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