Jump to content
Angel Eyes

Would Robert be a better man if he didn't marry Cersei or vice versa?

Recommended Posts

29 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

What evidence is there to indicate Robert would allow Lyanna (or any woman) to engage in such masculine pursuits as swordplay?

No evidence but I see it suggested in parallels. Arya looks like Lyanna and Gendry like Robert and Gendry seemed to rather like those things about Arya.

Basically another case of using current characters to suggest what may have happened in the past. If Robert was truly really drawn to the tomboy qualities, it would explain why he was so hung up on Lyanna and why she was so hard to replace for him. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

What evidence is there to indicate Robert would allow Lyanna (or any woman) to engage in such masculine pursuits as swordplay?

He couldn’t be bothered to keep Cersei from screwing her brother?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DominusNovus said:

He couldn’t be bothered to keep Cersei from screwing her brother?

That has...nothing to do with allowing or not allowing his wife to use a sword

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a person is abusive, they are abusive, meaning they will abuse any intimate partner. (Robert beats and rapes Cersei. Of course, Cersei is an abusive person as well, in different ways.) It's a character trait based in narcissism plus cultural conditioning to see women as inferior. It can change with a certain form of therapy, but other than that, it will only get worse over time (Robert beating Cersei in front of Ned). (I have spent several years researching intimate partner violence.) So, yes, Robert would eventually have physically and sexually abused any woman he was married to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/18/2019 at 3:35 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

That has...nothing to do with allowing or not allowing his wife to use a sword

It hardly shows a man who is interested in controlling his wife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 2/6/2019 at 5:35 AM, Skahaz mo Kandaq said:

Doubtful.  He was born an ass.  He and Brandon Stark are quite similar.  

"Is Robert still abed?" Tyrion asked as he seated himself, uninvited, at the table.
His sister peered at him with the same expression of faint distaste she had worn since the day he was born. "The king has not slept at all," she told him. "He is with Lord Eddard. He has taken their sorrow deeply to heart."
"He has a large heart, our Robert," Jaime said with a lazy smile.
 
What an asshole.
Edited by Lee-Sensei

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/7/2019 at 1:42 PM, Maia said:

Well, that and the idea of becoming true family with Ned. Frankly, from everything we have seen from Robert, I am not sure that he was even capable of really loving a woman. Certainly, like you said, he seemed to neglect and ignore Lyanna at Harrenhal - which was likely his first opportunity to meet her face-to-face.

The whole idea that "the love of a good woman" can change a man is pernicious nonsense, IMHO. And if Robert had at least tried to be considerate to Cersei in bed, rather than hurting her, he may have even gotten some legitimate kids out of the deal. It was that, along with the rampant cheating, that cemented her decision to only have Jaime's kids.

Yeah... no. Robert was the only one that put any effort into that marriage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2019 at 8:21 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

We have no reason to doubt Ned. And I think it's worth taking into account that much of how Ned views Robert is based on the pre-king Robert he spent most of a dozen years with, the same Robert that Lyanna would have been wedding.

Possibly, but it’s not that black and white.

Ned remembered Robert’s first child as well, a daughter born in the Vale when Robert was scarcely more than a boy himself. A sweet little girl; the young lord of Storm’s End had doted on her. He used to make daily visits to play with the babe, long after he had lost interest in the mother."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 2/18/2019 at 3:18 AM, Lollygag said:

No evidence but I see it suggested in parallels. Arya looks like Lyanna and Gendry like Robert and Gendry seemed to rather like those things about Arya.

Basically another case of using current characters to suggest what may have happened in the past. If Robert was truly really drawn to the tomboy qualities, it would explain why he was so hung up on Lyanna and why she was so hard to replace for him. 

Robert tried to get Cersei to go hunting a lot early in their marriage. And given the way that he complained about Cersei’s wheelhouse, I doubt that he would have taken issue with her riding a horse.

In the early years of their marriageRobert was forever imploring her to hunt with him, but Cersei had always begged off. His hunting trips allowed her time with Jaime

Edited by Lee-Sensei

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/19/2019 at 2:09 AM, Lynesse said:

If a person is abusive, they are abusive, meaning they will abuse any intimate partner. (Robert beats and rapes Cersei. Of course, Cersei is an abusive person as well, in different ways.) It's a character trait based in narcissism plus cultural conditioning to see women as inferior. It can change with a certain form of therapy, but other than that, it will only get worse over time (Robert beating Cersei in front of Ned). (I have spent several years researching intimate partner violence.) So, yes, Robert would eventually have physically and sexually abused any woman he was married to.

No he wouldn’t have and most women in the Erie’s would have been happy to marry him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/6/2019 at 4:50 AM, Angel Eyes said:

So was Cersei simply the worst person for Robert to marry? 

Each of them was a terrible spouse for the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/19/2019 at 4:09 AM, Lynesse said:

If a person is abusive, they are abusive, meaning they will abuse any intimate partner. (Robert beats and rapes Cersei. Of course, Cersei is an abusive person as well, in different ways.) It's a character trait based in narcissism plus cultural conditioning to see women as inferior. It can change with a certain form of therapy, but other than that, it will only get worse over time (Robert beating Cersei in front of Ned). (I have spent several years researching intimate partner violence.) So, yes, Robert would eventually have physically and sexually abused any woman he was married to.

While I am not directly putting to question your experience or expertise here I AM putting to question its relevancy and validity when applied to this particular character study. As a quick explanation of my critique it sounds very much like the flawed statement that someone who has been abused or witnessed abuse will be abusive themselves.

We have no evidence of Steffon Baratheon being abusive to Cassana Estermont, or of Ormund Baratheon being abusive to Rhaelle. Jon Arryn is not noted to have spanked or beat either of his wards, and the only time we see Ned physically assualt someone not in battle Littlefinger had just called his wife a whore. This shows that we have no evidence of a childhood socialization of abuse. We also have no evidence of any of Robert's other sexual relationships during adolescence or otherwise being abusive. As far as we know Robert was the victim when at the Peach. Alcohol and mind altering drugs are frequently used to treat pain and he had been wounded, it is not impossible that Robert was drunk and seduced by the whores of the Peach. Leaving that aside we have the third option of levels of strain in personal life. This third one is the most likely reason Robert strikes Cersei and Joffrey. 

Robert's personal strains in 284 when marrying Cersei include but are not limited to: kinslaying (Rhaegar was his cousin.), being complicit in the murder of children, having led multiple friends to their deaths, having lost the woman he believed to be the love of his life, now being king of Seven Kingdoms after a civil war, marrying a woman he does not want to marry, and being abused by said woman he does not want to marry. Cersei is the one who shows far more narcissistic abusive behaviors towards Robert and her children.  The first example we have of physical abuse between the two is Cersei hitting Robert in the face with a drinking horn (something that killed a man at the Red Wedding.) and we actually only have one moment of Robert striking Cersei, when she has essentially suggested he should act like Aerys, murder his best friend, and that Cersei is more of a man than Robert. (All of which could be fighting words if they were both men.) Am I justifying the sexual situation between Cersei and Robert as described by Cersei? No I am not, but I am taking Cersei's words with a mountain of salt and noting that none of Robert's other sexual relations fit the description Cersei is giving and that the last time we can actually point as it being possible that Robert committed such an act was in 290.  

Relating to the actual question of this post: 

To answer the question whether Robert would have been a better person had he never married Cersei I would say that we must irrefutably say yes. 

As my first evidence I bring forward the fact that Robert at the age of 21 is not actually a bad person. Certainly not the scum that others here have painted him as. Much of his characterization and actions at a young age match those that describe a person who were gifted at a young age and now suffer from things such as depression and anxiety. Robert is considered a good and caring friend, honest in his relationship with others (believing that his opponents in a melee wold treat him the same as any other.), forgiving and merciful (Fell, Cafferen, Grandison, Greyjoy, Barristan, Varys, Pycelle etc.) and generous (naming Stannis Lord of Dragonstone was also meant to make him his heir, his poor fiscal policies.) When compared to some men that people regularly praise (Tywin Lannister, Hoster Tully, Oberyn Martell, Randyll Tarly, Jaehaerys the Conciliator) he is blameless (in 284). 

Second, Robert's sexual relations (up to 284). Each of Robert's moments of irresponsible behavior coincide with him suffering some amount of great loss. Mya Stone was conceived not long after his father and mother died, Gendry was conceived after the war and the death of Lyanna, the Peach is a situation that is not fully described but as I mentioned above Robert was wounded, possibly drunk or drugged, not guaranteed to be the initiator, had recently survived several battles where people he knew died, possibly believed he was going to die soon, and as far as he knew Lyanna was dead. None of these behaviors are responsible or commendable, nor are they as condenmable as others would make them seem. 

Third, I present Cersei's impact on her other lover Jaime Lannister. Over a year without her impact in his life (mostly spent imprisoned or traveling through a warzone.) and his behavior and self-worth is vastly improved. If someone who has been with Cersei since birth can have as vast of an improvement as Jaime does in the short period of time that is encompassed in the books how can we not say that Robert would be a better man without Cersei's influence? 

Fourth, Robert's behavior as a father. Someone has already provided the quote of how Robert doted on Mya Stone. We have no evidence of Robert being anything but a doting father until Cersei threatens to murder his child, and then goes on to murder two of his children. Is it not possible that Robert neglects Edric Storm, Mya Stone, and moves on from the other women who he has fathered children with for fear that Cersei would murder them out of spite? We have no evidence of Robert being any kind of negative influence to Tommen and Myrcella (and SOMEONE had to have been a possible influence for them to turn out so differently from Joffrey.) and the one time he struck Joffrey was as an emotional reaction to seeing the boy torture and murder a pregnant cat and her kittens and bring their bloody remains to him. I think considering the amount of memes of Tyrion smacking Joffrey I think we can all forgive Robert that. 

I rest my case for the moment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 2/6/2019 at 9:43 AM, Bael's Bastard said:

Robert might have been able to find happiness, and to be less of a drunkard, had he ended up with someone who did not resent him for screwing around. Perhaps even someone like Catelyn, who takes for granted that it is something men in Westeros do, or the daughter of a lesser lord.

 

Oh, what it could have been with Margaery Tyrell.  She would have beguiled Robert for a good period of time, and provided they had children, I don't think she would have cared about his indiscretions down the road.

Edited by Aetta

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is ample literature about intimate partner violence. There are many common misconceptions about it, but it has been very well researched.

 

Robert can be nice to, say, Ned because he doesn't see him as inferior (as he does with women) and he doesn't consider Ned an object, his property to do with as he pleases (as he does with women he beds). If you consider someone an object (which is a result of a combination of narcissism and culturally conditioned misogyny), you can do whatever to them and not feel too bad about it, because you “have the right” to do it. Thing is – and this is very well established by research – the abuser is like this, they are like this with any intimate partner. They are so entitled that they won't respect any of the partner's boundaries and will progressively violate them. They feel they have the right to meet their needs at the expense of their partner's needs.

Abusers are often well regarded by some friends and in the community. They take everything out on their partner, so they can be pleasant to others when they want. Think the well respected guy who goes to church on Sunday and beats his wife on Monday.

Robert is an alcoholic with poor impulse control and a propensity to use violence as the answer to any problem anyway. He probably wasn't always an alcoholic, but the other characteristics seem to always have been there.

Please note that I am not saying Cersei isn't narcissistic or abusive herself, she clearly is.

My point is that any woman would received similar treatment eventually because Robert would have felt entitled to meet his needs at the expense of hers, and progressively violate her boundaries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We learn about both the tooth chipping incident and Robert repeatedly raping Cersei from the same source, Cersei's POV, her own thoughts. Accepting one as factual while discounting the other without any evidence is illogical. And how someone can equal chipping a tooth to years of violent rapes just boggles my mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to preface this with something I didn't think needed to be said: Cersei Lannister and Robert Baratheon are fictional characters in a fantasy setting not real human beings who are actual victims of actual crimes. My opinion on the character of these two fictional characters says nothing about my beliefs and actions when it relates to real world instances of domestic or sexual violence. 

3 hours ago, Lynesse said:

Robert can be nice to, say, Ned because he doesn't see him as inferior (as he does with women) and he doesn't consider Ned an object, his property to do with as he pleases (as he does with women he beds). If you consider someone an object (which is a result of a combination of narcissism and culturally conditioned misogyny), you can do whatever to them and not feel too bad about it, because you “have the right” to do it. Thing is – and this is very well established by research – the abuser is like this, they are like this with any intimate partner. They are so entitled that they won't respect any of the partner's boundaries and will progressively violate them. They feel they have the right to meet their needs at the expense of their partner's needs.

There is literally no evidence that Robert thinks of women, (Cersei or any of the whores and other lovers) he takes as property or objects. This description of events also does not describe Robert's relationship with Cersei. Robert did not "progressively violate" Cersei. From what we have described of their marriage was the exact opposite in fact, Robert would come to her bed drunk, (Again Robert's alcoholism is a symptom of his wider issues of depression and possibly PTSD.) and be overly enthusiastic with his fumbling attempts at sex. (Is this better or right? No, but it's different than what is being described.) Robert's sexual relations with Cersei then decreased throughout the years instead of being progressive. To the point where we cannot say whether Cersei and Robert have had sex in the last decade. This is a clear deescalation. 

 

3 hours ago, Lynesse said:

My point is that any woman would received similar treatment eventually because Robert would have felt entitled to meet his needs at the expense of hers, and progressively violate her boundaries.

And my point is that we cannot make that statement because 1: 

 

3 hours ago, Lynesse said:

There is ample literature about intimate partner violence. There are many common misconceptions about it, but it has been very well researched.

This literature is neither valid nor relative outside of the socio-cultural system that it was conducted in  (i.e. it is not relevant within the context of Westeros vs. the context of Earth. I'm not saying it's wrong in either instance, but that it cannot be taken as a one for one transition.) 

and 2. One of those same misconceptions that you are actively using is that a person who is an abuser was always going to be an abuser, which makes it sound that your opinion is that anyone who has been a victim of or witness to abuse should never develop intimate or familial relationships with other human beings because they are destined forever to perpetuate that abuse. When we don't have any proof that anything brought Robert into an abusive situation save personal stresses that included the influence of Cersei. Say Robert had married Lynesse Hightower or someone with a similar personality and temperament as Saera Targaryen, or hired someone who has a Citadel link in psychology to provide him with the therapy he needs in order to cope with his various psychological and neurological issues he possessed; can we say with a 100% certainty he develops into the same person he does in the main timeline? (If the answer to that is yes I guess we can just get rid of the idea that criminals can be reformed since no experiences after the age of 21 can change a persons behaviors.) 

1 hour ago, Lynesse said:

We learn about both the tooth chipping incident and Robert repeatedly raping Cersei from the same source, Cersei's POV, her own thoughts. Accepting one as factual while discounting the other without any evidence is illogical. And how someone can equal chipping a tooth to years of violent rapes just boggles my mind.

I'm having a pretty civil conversation with you here, I don't see how the ad hominem part of this post is necessary. I never said that alleged years of violent rapes were equal to one situation in which Cersei hit her husband the king (something she has repeatedly said should result in the person doing it to lose their hand) with an object we know to be a lethal weapon. 

As for believing Cersei on one thing and not the other, Cersei has shown a tendency to exaggerate and magnify wrong doings done to her while downplaying or denying the wrongs she has done to others. This extends to Joffrey and his "boldness" and her obliviousness to how her actions harm others unless she takes pride in them. ex. Thinking Kevan is mad about the wine she threw in his face instead of her seduction, manipulation, and near murder of his son Lancel. Accentuating the multiple "betrayals" of others, her own misogyny towards Sansa Stark etc. This quote sums up Cersei's behavior when it relates to things done to her versus things she does to other people: 

Quote

Cersei turned on him in green-eyed fury. "Are you utterly witless? Did you read what he says? The boy Joffrey, he calls him. And he dares to accuse me of incest, adultery, and treason!"

Only because you're guilty. It was astonishing to see how angry Cersei could wax over accusations she knew perfectly well to be true. If we lose the war, she ought to take up mummery, she has a gift for it. Tyrion waited until she was done and said, "Stannis must have some pretext to justify his rebellion. What did you expect him to write? 'Joffrey is my brother's trueborn son and heir, but I mean to take his throne for all that'?"

"I will not suffer to be called a whore!"

Finally, if we are going to use modern real world psychology to analyze character behavior within a fantasy world and use it as definitive evidence that a person will always be a criminal and deviant why not just go all the way and use anthropometry and characterology to prove that anyone who looks like a swarthy Neapolitan or does not possess standard societal definitions of appropriate appearance is destined for a life of crime and deviancy without any other corroborating evidence? (I'm obviously being a good bit facetious here.)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's impossible to rape someone without treating them like an object. It's impossible to rape someone without feeling entitled to their body.

 

Those had been the worst nights, lying helpless underneath him as he took his pleasure, stinking of wine and grunting like a boar. Usually he rolled off and went to sleep as soon as it was done, and was snoring before his seed could dry upon her thighs. She was always sore afterward, raw between the legs, her breasts painful from the mauling he would give them. The only time he'd ever made her wet was on their wedding night.” AFFC, Cersei VII

 

I don't understand how anyone can read this passage and not come to the conclusion that he is using her like an object and meeting his needs at the expense of hers, which is the essence of intimate partner abuse, that's what it is. That means, using real world psychology, which we absolutely can do since the characters are very realistically drawn, that Robert is an intimate partner abuser, and research across cultures has shown that the cause of this behavior is the combination of narcissism and culturally conditioned misogyny, and that an abuser will abuse any intimate partner eventually. This isn't just my informed opinion, this is fact. I dare you to find a psychotherapist who will tell you differently.

 

Even he obviously knew at some level that he was hurting her and that what he did was wrong, as we see when she confronts him about it. This also shows that he has been abusing her like this since the very first year of their marriage.

 

For Robert, those nights never happened. Come morning he remembered nothing, or so he would have had her believe. Once, during the first year of their marriage, Cersei had voiced her displeasure the next day. "You hurt me," she complained. He had the grace to look ashamed. "It was not me, my lady," he said in a sulky sullen tone, like a child caught stealing apple cakes from the kitchen. "It was the wine. I drink too much wine."”AFFC, Cersei VII

 

She struck him after he'd raped her. How is striking a rapist who raped you and then tries to gaslight you and shows no sign of taking responsibility, let alone intending to stop that behavior worse that raping?

Had the chipped tooth been that dramatic of an injury, another POV would have mentioned Robert having it.

Besides, a chipped tooth is nothing at all compared to being raped, which is a massive trauma. (Btw, I haven't been able to find a text passage where a drinking horn is used to kill someone.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert might have been happy for a bit being married to Lyanna, but as Ned tells him, he did not know Lyanna. He only saw her beauty, but not the iron underneath. And Robert comments on Lyanna's beauty when he visits the crypts. As far as I remember, that's the only thing he says about her and that she wouldn't shame him like Cersei did. 

One thing I always found interesting is the difference of the telling of Harrenhal between Ned and Howland's (through Meera) is the way the characters choose to remember the event. Ned chooses to focus on Robert's valor during the melee, a reminder of Robert's prowess on the battlefield. But Howland who doesn't know Robert Baratheon focuses his storytelling on one of Robert's least appealing qualities, his drinking. And then the promise that he would unmask the KotLT. I'm sure this did nothing to endear him to Lyanna.

I'm sure she would have done her duty, but at the end of the day, I think their marriage would have been a miserable thing. 

But this question can easily be turned around. Would Cersei have been any different had she married Rhaegar? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 7:35 AM, Skahaz mo Kandaq said:

Doubtful.  He was born an ass.  He and Brandon Stark are quite similar.  

Why all the Brandon Stark hate ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×