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Vaith

Brienne the Beauty: An Unforeseen Queen?

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I'm going to talk about a scenario that I don't necessarily think will happen in the series, but would be a pretty fun and compelling result if it came true. :)

I'm definitely not to credit for various aspects of this theory! Just trying to have a discussion. We'll start by discussing how Brienne of Tarth could end up becoming Brienne, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men and the Rhoynar, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm. 

Heir to the Iron Throne

From TWOIAF:

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The Sapphire Isle, as some call it, is ruled by House Tarth of Evenfall Hall—an old family of Andal descent that boasts of ties to the Durrandons, the Baratheons, and more recently to House Targaryen. Once kings in their own right, the Lords of Tarth still style themselves "the Evenstar," a title that they claim goes back unto the dawn of days.

Well, so what? Does this mean Brown Ben Plumm can be king of Westeros? Well, it's not hard to imagine both of these houses dying out...

  1. Tommen and Myrcella are doomed by prophecy and larger plot inconvenience, I am sad to say...
  2. Aegon is the mummer's dragon -- it doesn't matter whether he is true or not, he is someone for Daenerys to fight and defeat. I don't see him surviving long.
  3. I think it's not hard to imagine a futile end for Stannis and Shireen. With the War for the Dawn coming, their ends are likely to happen in the cold north.
  4. Jon and Dany... well, the ending of ASOIAF is going to be bittersweet. I'm not sure of a conventional, happy ending where our teenage heroes secure an obvious birthright and rule happily ever after.
  5. There's no obvious end for Edric Storm, but as a bastard he can be somewhat discounted.

So, how does Brienne factor into this? Well, let's say Aegon or Dany temporarily re-establishes Targaryen rule in Westeros. After the extinction of House Baratheon and Targaryen, the line of Aegon V is most likely extinct. So let's look to his sisters. Well, Rhae and Daella are suspiciously unmarried in the TWOIAF tree, even though on his deathbed, Aemon refers to:

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Will I talk with Egg again, find Dareon whole and happy, hear my sisters singing to their children?

As many have already theorised, Brienne may be descended from either Rhae or Daella and be the next in line to inherit the Iron Throne through the Targaryen succession. And, possibly -- through the Baratheon succession too. If the Tarth-Baratheon link is through a Baratheon woman who married into House Tarth, then Brienne might be a potential heir, too.

Because of this, if some Great Council were to be held at the end of the series, Brienne may be supported by both Targaryen-succession supporters and Baratheon-succession supporters, Brienne is a candidate that could combine all their interests.

Now there's the issue that Selwyn is alive, but there's no way of telling if that'll be the case at the end of the series. I think he might die if these other characters do, so that a character more beloved by the readers can become the surprise heir to the Seven Kingdoms.

There's also the other factors at hand -- that Brienne has already been molded as an heir (to Tarth), her kind attitude and chivalrous virtues giving her queenly qualities -- even her being the Younger, More Beautiful Queen -- what if she shocked Cersei by being both the woman who Jaime grew to love, and the queen regnant of the Seven Kingdoms? And the fact that she probably has some link to Dunk. He'd have gone from orphan to Lord Commander to a likely ancestor of the royal line of Westeros!

Now, do I think this will happen? No, I think it's more likely that the Seven Kingdoms will be independent at the end of the series, with the throne itself destroyed. But if GRRM is going to pull a wild card on us, and surprisingly make an unforeseen character sit the Iron Throne? Well, I think Brienne would be the most likely candidate!

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The mother could also be Aegon IV's sisters, Elaena or Rhaena, in which case the Martell's would have a better claim, and assumedly the Velaryons would as well. However, in the scenario in which all 4 of the greatest military strengths from the 7 kingdoms were defeated, the iron throne would go to whoever had the largest army. Honestly, it would be more likely that the throne would go to a Tyrell, Greyjoy, or even Robert Arryn.

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18 minutes ago, Aurane said:

The mother could also be Aegon IV's sisters, Elaena or Rhaena, in which case the Martell's would have a better claim, and assumedly the Velaryons would as well. However, in the scenario in which all 4 of the greatest military strengths from the 7 kingdoms were defeated, the iron throne would go to whoever had the largest army. Honestly, it would be more likely that the throne would go to a Tyrell, Greyjoy, or even Robert Arryn.

Aegon IV had no sisters aside from his sister-wife, Naerys.

Elaena and Rhaena were Daeron I and Baelor's sisters. All of Elaena's marriages are known: first to Lord Plumm, then to Ronnel Penrose, then to Michael Manwoody.

The most recent Velaryon link was Rhaenys's marriage to Corlys 200 years ago. Meanwhile, in TWOIAF, this link is "recent", which I imagine means in the previous century or so.

The scenario about Brienne being a potential heir is if a great council is called, not some random warlord declaring himself king of Westeros.

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I popped in expecting just silliness.  This is pretty good stuff to thing about, @Vaith One thing I've learned is that those idiots in Westeros are always attempting to fit square pegs into round holes.   Brienne is no more odd fit than say Jaehaerys I or Cersei.  Lots of reasons how they came to power and lots of ways they could not have risen to the top.   Fate seems to drive so many successes.   I throw Brienne in the same category as Jon or Sansa.   They are unlikely on the surface, for many reasons.   But at least with Jon, there is something just innately good in Brienne--something simply right with her.    Will fate drive her to the top as queen over LC of King/Queens Guard?   Nay I think not, but she will be integral in changing a good many things and people during her adventure.   However, Brienne's sense of justice would serve the entire world, not just Westeros, very well.   She's good and I hope she finds the social/political power to play all her cards.   As you point out, Brienne actually has a lot going for her that is often over looked.   She is connected to the throne through blood twice, she is the heir to Tarth, she has been taught and trained.    

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Regardless of pedigrees or legitimacy (and thanks for the intriguing research!), Brienne the Maid of Tarth seems like a good choice for Queen - maybe a "Virgin Queen" as Elizabeth I was said to be (since she didn't marry), because any male "consort" would feel empowered to act as The Sovereign, right?

Brienne has a strong core of ethics and responsibility, empathy and compassion. She's lived in the world of men, but as a despised outsider, so she sees the ugliness of what we now call "toxic masculinity" as well as understanding the (in my opinion) better parts of being a man:  strength, practiced skills , defending the weak, keeping your word. As the story progresses, she's been all over Westeros, meeting with the high, the low, the religious, the deeply profane, crooks and criminals and just regular folks, etc. She's been through hell, all seven of 'em and it looks as if she's just getting started. And, contrary to what everyone keeps telling her to her face and many readers assume, she's not stupid.

If pedigrees get stacked up and Brienne is in the running, she would probably be the best choice for Queen - assuming (1) Westeros gets over its cocked-up belief that only a man's arse is fit to touch the Iron Throne, and (2) Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, stays in Essos, which seems increasingly likely. If so, the two Queens might have a good and productive alliance, which will be needed to fight the menace of the Others and the impending Long Night II.

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Petyr's requested tapestries have to be for something.    They can point the way to Brienne, and Sansa can secure a bond with Brienne upon their meeting.    Maybe this succession solution is rolled out once everyone sees the nightmare impasse looming ahead that's likely to break the kingdom unless a clear answer presents itself.  Strangely, then, the suitors who jested at her expense must then return to kneel and to woo her for the right to keep their heads attached to their necks.

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4 hours ago, zandru said:

Regardless of pedigrees or legitimacy (and thanks for the intriguing research!), Brienne the Maid of Tarth seems like a good choice for Queen - maybe a "Virgin Queen" as Elizabeth I was said to be (since she didn't marry), because any male "consort" would feel empowered to act as The Sovereign, right?

 

Not necessarily - Brienne could choose someone who she knows is unambitious for a husband, and she'd be the one empowered to sit the Iron Throne. But I don't see a romantic story for Brienne outside of her relationship with Jaime, and I think Jaime being her king and getting some happy ending is really quite unrealistic, personally. 

4 hours ago, zandru said:

Brienne has a strong core of ethics and responsibility, empathy and compassion. She's lived in the world of men, but as a despised outsider, so she sees the ugliness of what we now call "toxic masculinity" as well as understanding the (in my opinion) better parts of being a man:  strength, practiced skills , defending the weak, keeping your word. As the story progresses, she's been all over Westeros, meeting with the high, the low, the religious, the deeply profane, crooks and criminals and just regular folks, etc. She's been through hell, all seven of 'em and it looks as if she's just getting started. And, contrary to what everyone keeps telling her to her face and many readers assume, she's not stupid.

It's quite a contrast to the parable of Aegon VI that we'll probably be getting -- Aegon is not some perfect commoner king, because he was still raised to be so. Brienne would have truly earned that position by sharing in the suffering of Westeros.

4 hours ago, zandru said:

If pedigrees get stacked up and Brienne is in the running, she would probably be the best choice for Queen - assuming (1) Westeros gets over its cocked-up belief that only a man's arse is fit to touch the Iron Throne, and (2) Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, stays in Essos, which seems increasingly likely. If so, the two Queens might have a good and productive alliance, which will be needed to fight the menace of the Others and the impending Long Night II.

With a lot of ruling ladies already due to war (Lady Oakheart, Waynwood, Lefford, Cerwyn, Dany's claim being a thing, and even Cersei being Lady Lannister), I don't think a Great Council would snub her solely on that basis. :)

I think in this scenario, Dany is likely to go west, but sacrifice herself to save the world in ADoS, with Brienne being our wild card figure on the Iron Throne.

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19 hours ago, zandru said:

She's been through hell, all seven of 'em and it looks as if she's just getting started. And, contrary to what everyone keeps telling her to her face and many readers assume, she's not stupid.

I couldn't agree more. She is such a likeable person, with a good sense of justice, with a heart of beauty.
*Unless GRRM makes changes in her!*

Love this idea!

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There won't be an iron throne left.  Westeros will be covered by ice.  The only people left are scattered survivors doing the hunting, scavenging, and gathering to stay alive.  A central ruler is not needed at that point.  

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That would be out of the left field, but possible. The question i have is this though, who will be her King? Can't be Jamie if we are going by the Bittersweet angle.

So Tyrion?

 

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4 hours ago, Sire de Maletroit said:

There won't be an iron throne left.  Westeros will be covered by ice.  The only people left are scattered survivors doing the hunting, scavenging, and gathering to stay alive.  A central ruler is not needed at that point.  

I agree that there probably won't be an Iron Throne, but because of wildfire -- I think the Others are going to be stopped by the series's end. This is just one possibility where the institution of the throne survives, however.

4 hours ago, MagicPen said:

That would be out of the left field, but possible. The question i have is this though, who will be her King? Can't be Jamie if we are going by the Bittersweet angle.

So Tyrion?

I think Tyrion is going to be somebody who sacrifices himself in the end, too. Besides, I don't think he's as perfect of a ruler as people think he may be. I don't think her husband would be that important, though. :)

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