MBTI: Robert Baratheon- ESTP
Spoilers! You’ve been warned!
“I was never so alive as when I was winning this throne, or so dead as now I’ve won it.”
It can be tough to root for a fat, drunk, whore monger but the more you learn about Robert Baratheon, the more you realize he was just a guy that was put in charge of doing things he didn’t want to do. And that thing he didn’t want to do happen to be a position where nobody can tell you what to do and what not to do.
Fat Rob is an example of the ESTP that wants to win, but doesn’t want the game to be over.
As we went over in the Judgers and Perceivers article, Robert being a Perceiver of course, we discussed how Judgers love to have things finished while Perceivers don’t mind them being left open. It’s the act that Perceivers are drawn to, not the conclusion, and when we meet Robert in season one, we’re seeing the result of what happens when you put a Perceiver in charge of a position a Judger would be much more capable in.
As usual with MBTI, we don’t deal in absolutes (We’re not Sith for God’s sake), and there are always exceptions to the rules. Though it’s not exactly a rule to say that ESTPs don’t like to be in charge, it’s just a generality. ESTPs love to be the Man (or Woman) in their respective circles and/or fields. But it’s the immediate acts that ESTPs are drawn to, not the victory itself. Their Se of course, draws them to these experiences and well, winning just means you did better so that’s what they strive for.
Robert is described in his younger days as not only being good-looking and hulking in size, but the guy you wanted to drink with as much as you didn’t want to fight him. It’s no wonder the ESTP Jaime hates him so much. Aside from cheating on his sister as a past time, the alpha male is inevitably going to clash with the other alpha male in one way or another, and while there are other types to compete for that status, ESTPs are definitely in the top running for the spot.
Robert is said to have the “remarkable ability to turn enemies to friends.” ESTP are also known for their people skills. It’s not that they read minds, but body language. Using this, they can keenly understand what you’re intentions in the moment are and act on that. Their auxiliary Ti and tertiary Fe coexisting, Ti breaks down the information taken in by the Fe that allows the user to better understand the emotions of those they’re dealing with. This doesn’t make them sensitive by any means, but it still gives them a leg-up when it comes to understanding the feeling in the room.
Robert, as an ESTP, also have inferior Ni. It’s this least developed function that causes them to make serious errors in judgement. While it’s normally used in accordance with their lead Se to make decisions that will positively affect the future, it can also be stressed to make the ESTP believe that whatever “hunch” they have is absolutely correct…when it’s in fact, way off.
While it’s not necessarily stupid, Roberts decision to kill Daenerys because she’s pregnant is partially his being manipulated…but his way of wanting it carried out shows that when an ESTP decides what they’ve said is right, God help you Ned Stark if you think you’re go against his word.
Of course, it’s mostly hot air and ESTPs really appreciated kindred spirits that can compete with them in some way or another. Ned telling Robert he’s gotten too fat for his armor is truthful and maybe a bit hurtful, but Robert also acknowledges that Ned is the only one that tells him what he needs to hear and even believes him to be the proper leader of the Seven Kingdoms.
As much as ESTPs may hate someone challenging their authority, anyone who shows themselves to be of friendly competition isn’t thought of as insubordinate but an enjoyable rival.
But as mentioned, it’s the act ESTPs find rewarding rather than the actual reward itself. Like all E–P types, the small print and necessary details are often overlooked or left to those who have the patience that ESTPs don’t. You can see this in the Council meetings Robert wants no part in, as he leaves all of his kingdom to Ned, hoping he can make the best of a situation he’d allow to become dire.