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A Manwoody Grown

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  1. A Manwoody Grown

    Bran: a rightful heir?

    Jon and Dany's "legitimate" heir to the iron throne is whoever is the next highest-ranking descendant of Aegon the Conqueror. Bran & Sansa aren't descended from any Targaryens at all, so he's not eligible (although it's quite likely at this stage that there aren't ANY other descendants of the Conqueror except Dany, Jon, and various bastards like Gendry or exiles like Brown Ben Plumm. What happens next isn't legally clear - we know that at the time of the Conquest there were Westerosi lords descended from Aegon's recent ancestors, but it's not clear if that would legally count or not.) Ironically, you have hit on an interesting issue that arose periodically during European feudalism. When one person inherited multiple different titles, those titles *should* have continued to follow the same rules after their deaths, potentially splitting back up along different lines. But sometimes, the heir to one title would also demand the other titles even if they had no independent claims to them. IIRC the Italian Wars of the 16th Century played out this way, with a French king claiming the previous king's holdings in Italy had passed to him even though the new king had no personal inheritance claim to those holdings.
  2. It even precedes the Council of 101. Jaehaerys had to be hardline in opposing female inheritance because otherwise his nieces Aerea and Rhaella would have had a stronger claim to the throne than he did, since they were the daughters of his older brother and his older sister (the fact that he nonetheless recognized them as his heirs shows how ad hoc the whole system was).
  3. Yep, the show writers didn't know what they were talking about there. Although it's interesting to note that while you're describing the general inheritance rules in Westeros, Fire and Blood suggests that over the years House Targaryen painted itself into a trickier precedent. Specifically, there's a legal precedent set by Jaehaerys I inheriting the throne despite his older brother having had two living daughters. This was obviously mostly an ad hoc situation emerging from the chaos of Maegor's rule, but a lawyerly person could argue that this would make Jon the preferred heir even if, say, Rhaegar had been Dany's younger brother. Of course, as everyone's noting, power resides where men believe it resides, and all that really matters is who's able to defend their claim with force or diplomacy.
  4. I strongly suspect the annulment is a show creation. Martin went out of his way to create a genealogy where Aegon the Conqueror was polygamous and sons by both of his wives each became king. Rhaegar embracing polygamy despite knowing how incredibly legally and politically problematic the practice was fits well with his history of taking crazy actions to fulfill his perceived prophetic role. And having Jon be of questionable legitimacy (since many would outright refuse to accept a son of a second wife legitimate) helps play up the uncertainty of whether Jon could or should press a claim against Dany.
  5. A Manwoody Grown

    Destiny of Jon Snow

    I don't think the Night's Watch as we know it really exists in the same way anymore - sure, they were happy to tell the Unsullied that it would be the same traditional punishment as before, but that was a convenient lie to resolve the whole issue. At this point, the vast majority of "Night's Watch" left are just the wildlings. Even loyal members like Sam have mostly gone back south now that they have the option. Whatever Night's Watch that remains is going to look at lot more like what Stannis (and Ned before him) was planning for the Gift - a loosely organized collection of wildling communities centered on Castle Black but mostly just living as independent vassals of the kingdom of the North. At this point, I'm not sure there's a functional distinction between "King Beyond the Wall" and "Lord Commander of the Night's Watch." The other kingdoms will likely still send criminals up there, but it will be functionally more like sending them into exile in a lawless frozen land rather than to a well-organized penal colony.
  6. I may be a bit late to this topic, but it seems clear to me that Queen Jaehaera was killed by a faceless man hired by Alyn Velaryon and his allies. During discussion of the peace delegation to Braavos, we get the curious tidbit about Ser Denys Harte being rumored to have hired a faceless man. As someone on reddit noted, the minor House Harte is only mentioned in a few places. Probably the most prominent mention is of Hazel Harte, the mother of Daenaera Velaryon - the girl who went on to replace Jaehaera. We also get repeated references to Alyn Velaryon sending out messages to his wife while he's circling Westeros to engage with the Greyjoy fleet between the news of Jaehaera's death and the eventual selection of his ward Daenaera as queen. Of course, soon afterward Alyn benefited from a second mysterious death that also fit the faceless men m.o. - that of Dalton Greyjoy. While being killed by a salt wife is perfectly plausible, the lack of clear details or motive in the murder, and the fact that the killer disappeared into the waves after the attack both suggest a faceless man killing. If so, Martin seems like he's hinting that this second murder was arranged through the message that Alyn sent to his wife Baela from Oldtown. While he was no coward, he may have anticipated that any engagement would obliterate the Velaryon fleet as Lord Peake had intended, and decided to go for a less honorable end to the war instead.
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