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Helman Corbray

In defense of the King.

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Posted (edited)

Let's defend King Robert, the First of his name.

Well, I think it's clearly obvious why many people hate him... But there are instances in the books when he remembers the youth in the Vale who truly makes me feel bad for his current state as a sad guy who never wanted a crown or a family, and drinks to forget about It. 

Robert seems to be that big funny loudy friend you is aways visiting, to eat and drink and tell jokes all night long. 

He is also the old chap who will aways stand by your side no matter what, and from time to time would need a hand at thinking a little bit more.

The King also seemed to demonstrate affection towards Mya Stone and some other of his bastards.

Of course there is the cruel hatred by the Targaryens... But idk maybe fighting your way thrown a war and facing near death changes a man's head.. 

He seems to care about his kingdom as well, as he told Ned the only reason not to abdicate, was because Joffrey and Cersei would be awful rulers.

That being said, i think King Robert, while having issues as a father (And in dire need of a psicologist) is a nice guy, who ended up getting a hard job and couldn't menage to deal with It.

I mean, there is plenty of people who lose Control of their life because of stress nowdays... Imagine being head of state of a whole continent and hating It every single day.

So, feel free to agree and disagree.

 

Edited by Helman Corbray
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Robert I ruled during long summer and only major war during his reign was rebellion of IB. So his era will be remembered as a very good time for everyone who lived in Westeros. Another thing is that everything went wrong as soon as he died. So may Jolly Robert rest in piece.

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4 hours ago, Loose Bolt said:

Robert I ruled during long summer and only major war during his reign was rebellion of IB. So his era will be remembered as a very good time for everyone who lived in Westeros. Another thing is that everything went wrong as soon as he died. So may Jolly Robert rest in piece.

Robert's reign will be a small note in the future history books.  He will be remembered as The Usurper who bankrupted the realm.  He took a prosperous kingdom and ruined it.  The legacy of his reign will be a crushing debt and the chaos of the war of the five pretenders. 

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Robert was mostly an indifferent king, and since there have been lots of interesting times under terrible Targaryen kings, that puts him above the average.

12 hours ago, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

Robert's reign will be a small note in the future history books.  He will be remembered as The Usurper who bankrupted the realm.  He took a prosperous kingdom and ruined it.  The legacy of his reign will be a crushing debt and the chaos of the war of the five pretenders. 

We just have Littlefinger's word about all those debts, there hasn't been any austerity we can observe in the actual running of the kingdom. The kingdom as the typical person observes it was not "ruined". The war of the five kings will be considered a significant part of Robert's legacy, but I doubt anyone will remember that Tywin Lannister lent some money he never got back.

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16 hours ago, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

Robert's reign will be a small note in the future history books.  He will be remembered as The Usurper who bankrupted the realm.  He took a prosperous kingdom and ruined it.  The legacy of his reign will be a crushing debt and the chaos of the war of the five pretenders. 

No he will be remembered as the first Man to ever usurp the Iron throne from the greatest dynasty that has ever existed. Blackfyres envy him no doubt. People normally remember the biggest or most famous thing a man did. Most westerosi are more aware about how Aegon conquered the continent, not how he ruled throughout his many years as king. 
When a King has accomplished something of great significance. People tend to forget the worst from him. 

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Posted (edited)

Robert is an incredibly sinful man. He literally possesses in a great amount and lives a life full of every one of the seven deadly sins. Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Pride, Envy, Greed and Wrath. Yes, you understand why he was the way he was but that doesn't excuse the way he was. If he never became King and was just Lord of the Stormlands , he still would have ended up as the same kind of man.  He was a bad person, a bad father, and a bad king. Just because there are worse people , that doesn't make him good.

Edited by House Of Wolves

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Robert is (was) a physically impressive man. But mentally, there isn't much going on there. A man of simple truths and simple needs. He had a certain appeal, and the right blood. Him becoming king was an agreeable thing for the victorious rebels. But there was no great meeting of minds to decide exactly who would be the best at being a king. Monarchy doesn't work like that. Robert's refusal of the IT could of lead to further bloodshed as all manner of lords would declare for themselves. For the sake of the realm, he had to put his arse in that spiky chair. 

On 4/10/2020 at 1:57 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

Robert's reign will be a small note in the future history books.  

Small note? He overturned a three hundred year old dynasty. Historians tend to love that stuff. 

On 4/10/2020 at 1:57 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

He will be remembered as The Usurper who bankrupted the realm.  He took a prosperous kingdom and ruined it. 

So you're just ignoring the machinations of LF?
 

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Robert was a terrible ruler.  He inherited an overflowing treasury from King Aerys Targaryen and brought the realm into such a sad, sorry state that it is today.  The economy is broken.  A kingdom that held together for 300 years is now broken up.  The Baratheon family could not even manage their first succession.  The Targaryens, despite all of the challenges they faced, managed to handle succession for three hundred years.  Robert and his dogs will not be remembered fondly.

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On 4/9/2020 at 10:01 PM, Helman Corbray said:

Let's defend King Robert, the First of his name.

Well, I think it's clearly obvious why many people hate him... But there are instances in the books when he remembers the youth in the Vale who truly makes me feel bad for his current state as a sad guy who never wanted a crown or a family, and drinks to forget about It. 

Robert seems to be that big funny loudy friend you is aways visiting, to eat and drink and tell jokes all night long. 

He is also the old chap who will aways stand by your side no matter what, and from time to time would need a hand at thinking a little bit more.

The King also seemed to demonstrate affection towards Mya Stone and some other of his bastards.

Of course there is the cruel hatred by the Targaryens... But idk maybe fighting your way thrown a war and facing near death changes a man's head.. 

He seems to care about his kingdom as well, as he told Ned the only reason not to abdicate, was because Joffrey and Cersei would be awful rulers.

That being said, i think King Robert, while having issues as a father (And in dire need of a psicologist) is a nice guy, who ended up getting a hard job and couldn't menage to deal with It.

I mean, there is plenty of people who lose Control of their life because of stress nowdays... Imagine being head of state of a whole continent and hating It every single day.

So, feel free to agree and disagree.

 

Okay, well, you know he chose to rule.  And he can't complain much about Joffrey.  He didn't take the time to raise the boy.  Did he even try to be a good husband to Cersei?  No.  I find it hard to have sympathy for Robert because I am strongly in favor of House Targaryen.  So there is that.  But you cannot deny the mess that Robert, Jon Arryn, and Ned Stark created.  The Targaryens had their challenges over the course of their rule but it never got to the point where the realm was actually fractured.  Robert and his friends destroyed the realm in less than 20 years.  That is bad.  

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Posted (edited)

I disagree that Robert was any sort of nice guy. He was friendly and likable sometimes which is not the same thing as someone who can be counted on in tough times. He bailed on Mya. He didn't protect any of his bastards except Edric and I have my doubts about how much Robert was involved in that. He loved Ned, maybe most of all, but he drug him out of the North where he was happy because Robert wanted to drink, whore, and not do his job. Not a great friend at all.

Robert's greatest quality is that while he didn't want the job and refused to do it for the most part, he recognized that someone competent needed to do it or everyone would suffer. So he took the role of king, being the fearsome warhammer should anyone threaten when he didn't want it and then put in competent people to rule in his place. I wish more real life rulers were so honest with themselves about their deficiencies. It's a vastly underappreciated quality in a leader. I prefer a Robert any day over some know-it-all mouth-breathing idiot.

 

Edited by Lollygag

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Robert lived on adrenaline and testosterone.  Not exactly the tools one would need to govern a kingdom.  He should have handed the kingdom to Tywin Lannister and contented himself with the role of figurehead.  How his reign will be recorded in the history books is dependent on who wins at the end. 

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On 4/11/2020 at 9:50 AM, Aline de Gavrillac said:

Robert was a terrible ruler.  He inherited an overflowing treasury from King Aerys Targaryen and brought the realm into such a sad, sorry state that it is today.  The economy is broken.

The economy seemed to be doing fine when Robert was alive. He wasn't messing around with tariffs out of spite or beginning and then abandoning grand projects like Aerys.

Quote

The Targaryens, despite all of the challenges they faced, managed to handle succession for three hundred years.

They fought multiple civil wars over it. Robert didn't make the same foreseeable mistakes as Viserys, since as far as he knew there was nothing impeding Joffrey from succession, nor did he try to muddy his succession by legitimizing bastards.

23 hours ago, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

Okay, well, you know he chose to rule

His bannermen chose him, Robert says he would have preferred Ned or Jon Arryn on the throne.

Quote

And he can't complain much about Joffrey.  He didn't take the time to raise the boy.

Even Ned couldn't have fixed Joffrey. He was the twisted product of incest, and he had Cersei encouraging all his worst instincts and threatening to kill Robert in his sleep for punishing Joffrey.

Quote

But you cannot deny the mess that Robert, Jon Arryn, and Ned Stark created.  The Targaryens had their challenges over the course of their rule but it never got to the point where the realm was actually fractured.  Robert and his friends destroyed the realm in less than 20 years.

The realm was whole and functional while Robert reigned, with just a brief Greyjoy rebellion that the rest of the realm united to put down. It was the Lannisters who destroyed it.

22 hours ago, Lollygag said:

He loved Ned, maybe most of all, but he drug him out of the North where he was happy because Robert wanted to drink, whore, and not do his job. Not a great friend at all.

The King is supposed to have a capable Hand. Ned was recruited for the good of the realm, not his own personal happiness.

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On 4/11/2020 at 11:27 PM, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

Okay, well, you know he chose to rule

Well I don't really think so. He said to Ned he was the one who should have seated in the Iron Throne, but Ned answered he couldn't, because of Robert's proximity to the bloodline. 

In my opinion he was crowned out of duty rather than power hunger, and this created a snowball effect. 

You see how he was nice and kind to Mya when he was young with a healthy mind, but as he grew old and broken, he could not find any patience for his own kids and felt ashamed. 

Well, the strong argument I have to think he was good and the job killed him, was the fact that Ned never felt comfortable befriending foul, corrupt and scheming men (It may be the attributes I dislike, that's why I seem to like Robert.   

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On 4/11/2020 at 11:50 AM, Aline de Gavrillac said:

managed to handle succession for three hundred years

Killing all of their dragons in the process, and slaughtering themselves in five or six wars. 

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On 4/13/2020 at 2:12 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

The economy seemed to be doing fine when Robert was alive. He wasn't messing around with tariffs out of spite or beginning and then abandoning grand projects like Aerys.

Seemed to be.

In truth it was verging on collapse due to Robert's financial irresponsibility. Not helped by complicit advisors. But even when he had competent advice, he didn't care.

Quote
Ned was stunned. "Are you claiming that the Crown is three million gold pieces in debt?"
"The Crown is more than six million gold pieces in debt, Lord Stark. The Lannisters are the biggest part of it, but we have also borrowed from Lord Tyrell, the Iron Bank of Braavos, and several Tyroshi trading cartels. Of late I've had to turn to the Faith. The High Septon haggles worse than a Dornish fishmonger."
Ned was aghast. "Aerys Targaryen left a treasury flowing with gold. How could you let this happen?"
Littlefinger gave a shrug. "The master of coin finds the money. The king and the Hand spend it."

This is reinforced when Robert demands vast sums* be found for a pointless tourney despite being 6 million in debt.

*Credible rough analysis of financial value can be found. Using one based one a 3 copper cost for a loaf of bread in an Arya chapter, with bread costing around $3/loaf today, meaning a copper penny is worth about $1, the prize money for the Hand's tourney that Robert wanted to offer was worth about $400 million to the winner. 
Even if you change that downward by a factor of 10(!), at $40 million prize money for the champion knight, for a King in a massive financial hole its recklessly extravagant, and symptomatic of Robert's behaviour.

On 4/13/2020 at 2:12 PM, FictionIsntReal said:

The realm was whole and functional while Robert reigned, with just a brief Greyjoy rebellion that the rest of the realm united to put down. 

Thats a rather rosy-tinted view.

 

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54 minutes ago, Helman Corbray said:

Killing all of their dragons in the process, and slaughtering themselves in five or six wars. 

Thats one war every 50 years.
 

Robert only ruled for about 15, and he had one war, even if you don't count the mess he left when he died.
Thats 3x worse than the Targaryens.

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On 4/11/2020 at 9:27 PM, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

Okay, well, you know he chose to rule.  And he can't complain much about Joffrey.  He didn't take the time to raise the boy.  

He definitely didn't try and Cersei made sure Joff was nothing like Robert

On 4/11/2020 at 9:27 PM, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

Did he even try to be a good husband to Cersei?  No.

He did try to make the relationship work far more than Cersei but I wouldn't characterize either of them as good spouses. Personally Cersei wins the worse spouse in my book as she does arrange for her husbands murder / death on at least two occasions.

On 4/11/2020 at 9:27 PM, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

 I find it hard to have sympathy for Robert because I am strongly in favor of House Targaryen.  So there is that.  But you cannot deny the mess that Robert, Jon Arryn, and Ned Stark created.  

Ned fought for his life and basically was a hermit for 15ish years. You can't really lay fault as his feet for the governance of the realm unless you want to bring in a whole host of other characters.

On 4/11/2020 at 9:27 PM, Prince Rhaego's Soul said:

The Targaryens had their challenges over the course of their rule but it never got to the point where the realm was actually fractured.  Robert and his friends destroyed the realm in less than 20 years.  That is bad.  

There was open civil war with dragons. Imagine the Wo5K with dragons. That's far worse than what happened after Robert died.

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5 hours ago, Helman Corbray said:

You see how he was nice and kind to Mya when he was young with a healthy mind, but as he grew old and broken, he could not find any patience for his own kids and felt ashamed.

He's just ashamed of Joffrey, because Joffrey is awful. Joffrey upsetting him is what made him talk about bringing Mya to court.

4 hours ago, corbon said:

This is reinforced when Robert demands vast sums* be found for a pointless tourney despite being 6 million in debt.

It's certainly a lot of money for a single person, but not compared to the finances of the realm. The treasury didn't get completed by tourneys with high prizes. It helps sometimes to think in terms of "real" consumption rather than "nominal" figures of money. Robert just isn't causing that much consumption.

Quote

Thats a rather rosy-tinted view.

That's what people experienced.

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35 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

It's certainly a lot of money for a single person, but not compared to the finances of the realm. The treasury didn't get completed by tourneys with high prizes. It helps sometimes to think in terms of "real" consumption rather than "nominal" figures of money. Robert just isn't causing that much consumption.

I think he is.

Look at the trip to visit Ned.
300 people. for several months.

Thats enormously expensive. While english monarchs used to use such royal progresses as a financial tool - their hosts had to bear much of the costs - to keep some nobles checked, there aren't that many places to stay at through the the months travelling to Winterfell and back. Which means the corwn is bearing the costs.
Apparently a three day visit by Elizabeth I and her court to Sir Thomas Egerton cost him the equivalent of around $10 million. So that $100million/month.

He could have used a raven. Or  even a much smaller party and taken a ship(s) to Whiteharbour.

Everything else was wasteful expense because Robert is financially irresponsible. Enormously so.

I would agree that Littlefinger is probably making it considerably worse. But its Robert's wastefulness that gives him much of the opportunity.

35 minutes ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That's what people experienced.

Yes. Because it was being hidden. But they were running out of time before it could stay hidden.

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Posted (edited)

While I'm not particularly fond of Robert as a king, I think that one of the most common criticism that is made at him (that he led the realm to bankruptcy) is grossly exaggerated.

Ned comes from the North, and is a very austere man. He can't conceive that the crown is six million gold pieces in debt that has spent mostly in feasts and tourneys. However, it should be taken into account:

  • Any new king that reached the throne after a civil war needs to gain the love of all the lords and the common people. Hosting feasts and tourneys is an excellent way to do that. It should be seen as an investment in publicity for the new dynasty. It's a way to ensure the loyalty of many subjects if the Targaryens tried to return.
  • Robert was wise enough to borrow from his vassals. Tywin or Mace were in no position to enforce the collection of their debt. In fact, having so much gold owed by the crown made them dependent on Robert, and forced them to become his supporters (if the Baratheon line was ousted, they may never see their money back).
  • The cost of organizing the Tourney of the Hand is estimated at 100 k dragons. In perspective, a 6,000 k dragons debt doesn't seem that high. Plenty of countries have external debts of two times their GDP. The UK has 3 times, and the Netherlands 5. Non of them are described as bankrupt states. We don't know the gross product of the Seven Kingdoms, but it seems that it would be a relatively moderate debt.
  • After the Civil War, the crown would have had to finance the reconstruction efforts. Fixing the damages of the sieges, rebuilding the fleet, paying the veterans,..

 

On 4/10/2020 at 4:01 AM, Helman Corbray said:

He is also the old chap who will aways stand by your side no matter what

Not really. He was ready to take away from Jon Arryn's son the title of Warden of the East that the lords of the Eyrie had held for centuries. He bent on all the demands of Cersei at Castle Darry. When Jaime crushed Ned's leg and had his men/friends killed, Robert completely abandoned him.

It seems to me that his greatest weakness is that he doesn't dare to oppose the Lannister faction at court. He probably knows he should, but he probably doesn't have the strength or the will to do it.

On 4/11/2020 at 9:20 AM, House Of Wolves said:

Robert is an incredibly sinful man. He literally possesses in a great amount and lives a life full of every one of the seven deadly sins. Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Pride, Envy, Greed and Wrath.

Probably we could dispense him of greed, couldn't we? After all, he is often criticized for his prodigality. Still, six of seven ain't bad.

On 4/11/2020 at 9:20 AM, House Of Wolves said:

If he never became King and was just Lord of the Stormlands , he still would have ended up as the same kind of man.  He was a bad person, a bad father, and a bad king.

I'm not sure. I believe a huge reason of why he become what he is the horrible marriage to Cersei. If he had married some other woman, probably he'd still be a somehow careless ruler, but wouldn't have become such a sad caricature.

Edited by The hairy bear

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