Oh he’s a giant tragedy, isn’t he. He started off the brazen hero, fighting for notions of honor and chivalry when his intended bride had been whisked away by the cuckold Rhaegar Targaryen. He’s Menalaus, and Ned Stark/Jon Arryn his Agamemnon. He’s the champion that could’ve been the hero of the story if the story had ended after his rebellion against Aerys. He was himself used as a weapon with which Westeros could justify the usurpation of the Mad King. Targaryen rule was failing, they believed, and the tyranny of Aerys Targaryen was the main crux of the rebellion. It wasn’t entirely about Lyanna. We don’t even know if Lyanna had gone willingly with Rhaegar or if Rhaegar had abducted her. As far as Robert was concerned, it was a matter of honor and of principle. He’s a spectacle that commanded sweeping charisma. He was loved for his tenacity, the über jock of Westeros. You’d cheer for him from the stands. But the beauty of the series is that the story doesn’t end when he’s victorious. The story begins when he’s in decline. He suffers from the short-sightedness of someone who doesn’t care for politics. He’s a selfish man, who thinks only of his pleasures because why not? He was a golden child. He was considered the “true steel” among the Baratheons after all, and I imagine he’s the kind of obnoxious fellow you’d shake your head at fondly because of his good-natured antics. That is, until he comes to power, and his charisma becomes routinized by the demands of everyday rule. He doesn’t measure up to par because he might be someone for whom you’d go to war but war is not the only measure of a king. He’s driven by his ego, and maybe that’s one of the most poignant characteristics that is constant among the Baratheon brothers. They’re proud, and when they fail they’re embittered. Robert, after the rebellion, became corrupted by his bitterness and this brought to light his character flaws. He’s generous but he’s thoughtless. He doesn’t have the finesse required of a politico. He made friends, yes, but they’re for his own benefit. He doesn’t have the foresight of a statesman in the sense that he failed to make calibrated decisions to safeguard next generations. He didn’t even mold his heir, Joffrey, one of the reasons why Joffrey turned out the way he did. He looked up to his father, but his father was naked power and brute strength and with Joffrey at the helm at such a young age, this inadvertently made him a purposeless tyrant, self-centered and fed by his untethered wants. His marriage was terrible, because he was embittered by the fact that he didn’t get the woman that he wanted to marry. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that maybe one of the reasons why he was so keen on marrying Lyanna was because she was a Stark, and the Starks have become a warm blanket for him. He sees Ned as more of a brother than his own brothers by blood. He grew up fostered with him in the Vale. They would’ve been united by marriage, and Robert would have gotten what he wanted. He’s like the very personification of Storm’s End, built to safeguard his interests against those that threaten them. He’s a simple man in that sense, imo, he couldn’t sacrifice his pride for his duty to Cersei and the political dimension to their marriage. He’s a tragedy in this way, I think, because he was his own worst enemy. In battle, when he won he was celebrated. But in fighting himself, when he won, he fell.