I have heard that Robert Baratheon was one of the finest warrior who charged at enemies with his huge warhammer, which he used to defeat Rhegar Targaryen.

But how did he develop such a personality (you know what I mean) after becoming King of the Seven Kingdoms?

Was he injured in the battle and became bedridden and put on such a weight or directors of GoT depicted his character like that on the show?

  • 1
    Read up about Henry VIII In my head, that's exactly who Robert is based off (from the books). Although we all know him as the fat, gout infested, paranoid, 6 times married King of England, he was actually very eligible in his youth
    – Gamora
    Dec 9, 2019 at 16:46

3 Answers 3


Robert Baratheon, as a character in Game of Thrones, is quintessentially defined as someone who has let themselves go. He is not a bad person on the good/evil scale, but he's not a great ruler or example.

Take note of the following exchange between Robert and Ned:

Robert Baratheon: Lord Eddard Stark, I would name you the Hand of the King.

Eddard Stark: [kneels] I'm not worthy of the honor.

Robert Baratheon: I'm not trying to honor you. I'm trying to get you to run my kingdom while I can eat, drink and whore my way to an early grave. Damn it, Ned, stand up. You helped me win the Iron Throne, now help me keep the damned thing.

Robert was being hyperbolic here, but it is a fairly accurate summary of his activities as King of the Seven Kingdoms.

This point is reinforced over and over, it oozes out of every scene where Robert is either present or being talked about. If you look up Robert Baratheon quotes, the vast majority revolve around Robert's lifestyle.

  • The throne is in massive debt (to the Lannisters)

  • Cersei is in a loveless marriage and comments several times on how Robert sleeps around

  • We see Robert go out on a hunting party drunk - people's reaction to this implies that it is not unusual

  • Robert admits that he has changed dramatically since he took the throne:

    Robert Baratheon: 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 admits having grown weaker

    Robert Baratheon: Gods, I was strong then.

  • Robert, a born warrior, is not cut out for a life of peace. He reveals as much to Barristan Selmy, when talking about the first soldier he killed and what would've happened to him had he survived the war. It's strongly implied that Robert is referring to his own life, having survived the war:

    Robert Baratheon: He could have lingered on the edge of the battle with the smart boys, and today his wife would be making him miserable, his sons would be ingrates, and he'd be waking three times in the night to piss into a bowl.

  • Robert doesn't enjoy ruling as a King:

    Robert Baratheon: 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.

To summarize:

Since neither his rule as King or his marriage to Cersei bring him happiness, Robert instead indulges in drinking, eating, whoring around and feasting - all of which leads to "such a personality (you know what I mean)".

  • 1
    It was sad to see such character with that kind of background getting killed by a boar! Nov 29, 2019 at 11:57
  • 6
    Sad indeed, but so, so apt. The fall of the mighty, a survivor of many a battle, to so low a point that their death at the tusk of an animal is almost inevitable.
    – Dancrumb
    Nov 29, 2019 at 16:38
  • 2
    Another point in support of not enjoying ruling: he delegated the authority on everyday matters of the kingdom to the Small Council masters, and himself hardly showed up in their meetings. As Tywin Lannister would say later, "winning and ruling aren't the same" !
    – 299792458
    Nov 30, 2019 at 7:50
  • 4
    Also, while he isn't anyhow interested in ruling, it is evident that he had insight which would be expected of a (onetime) great warrior. e.g. he wanted to nip the potential threat from Dany in the bud, by proposing their slaughter. He knew the Dothraki army would be hard to combat if they somehow make it past the Narrow Sea & wasn't willing to wait till they grew stronger with the years and eventually attacked his kingdom. While not very honorable, it was a plausible solution to the problem. His concerns were proved right after all. Dany & her dragons, & the Dothraki did invade Kings Landing.
    – 299792458
    Nov 30, 2019 at 8:00
  • 3
    But thanks to Season 8 we now know that Bran planned this all along! Long live Season 8! Dec 2, 2019 at 12:02

According to GRRM, Robert Baratheon is at least partly inspired by Henry VIII.

In his youth, Henry VIII was charismatic, an enthusiastic athlete, and a regular participant in jousts. He became severely obese as he aged though - Wikipedia cites a waist size of 54" on death. As king of course there is little to stop someone from enjoying whatever rich diet they choose, and when he stopped taking part in jousting and other similar sports, there would have been a little outlet for this high-calorie diet. Henry VIII had this inflicted on him somewhat due to injury, but it is a common modern phenomenon for older people to put on weight as their work and lifestyle becomes increasingly sedentary.

  • 3
    According to a recent biography I read Henry's height was also between 6 ft 2 and 6 ft 4. I felt sorry for his latter wives in more ways than one.
    – camden_kid
    Dec 2, 2019 at 14:57

Robert was a great warrior He won the battle of Trident and the throne by shoving his huge war hammer into the Last Dragon's (Rhaegal) chest. He only went to war against him because of his love for Lyanna, as he thought Rhaegal stole her from him and kidnaped her. He thought killing him and taking the realm and power from him will bring his Lyanna back to him safe and sound. But that didn't happen, he was sad because Lyanna was gone anyway. Raped and then killed by Rheagal(as he thought). He didn't want anything else. And after he became king, he didn't have anything to do. Even the marriage with Cerci didn't proved well and thus he managed himself to grow fat and lazy and all that only because he was not interested in it.

While talking to Ned, he said something like

"I was made for a strong horse between my legs and a hammer in my hand, not for a chair. Look what this throne did to me."

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