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Panos Targaryen

Pretty much every European medieval/early modern elective monarchy in real life ended up becoming hereditary

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You know that, I know that, but for the tits and dragons crowd it's all good. Write for the audience and use fan service too.

Same really as the children's story's trope that the wise prince or princess because the wise ruler int he end and they live happily after. Disappointing and not sophisticated at all. Two years to write this.

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Posted (edited)

Any system that even remotely resembles a democracy could work only if people other than lords could own land and commoners are given basic education.

I come from a democratic country where only people belonging to several regions (with higher literacy rates) use their votes effectively. People belonging to the other regions with very  low literacy rates usually vote for whomever their chief (could be religious or communal figures) tells them to.

So in Westeros where most of the land is owned by feudal lords and commoners are not given any kind of education democracy won't work. The commoners will be forced to vote for whomever their lords tell them to. Even elective monarchy is not going to survive past a couple of terms, after which one or two families will consolidate all the power and it will effectively become hereditary.

Edited by athmystikal

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1 hour ago, King Jon Snow Stark said:

The Pope is technically a monarch and he is elected. He picks the people who will pick his replacement. 

Tricky to have a hereditary succession when a vow of Celibacy is required for the position.

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And the majority of the Church's assets are outside of the Vatican and not in a single connected land mass.  Pretty hard to take over the Catholic church by force of arms.  

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Larger than Average Finger said:

Tricky to have a hereditary succession when a vow of Celibacy is required for the position.

True true. But you could try to get your nephew or cousin after you die. 

Edited by King Jon Snow Stark

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Posted (edited)

I  liked what they did there. (though it would have made more sense if all kingdoms simply became independent) I would have  rolled my eyes if it all ended with democracy as Sam suggested. Lords would never voluntarily give away their power and the people of Westeros have no class consciousness or bourgeoisie to organize and demand it from them. It was just too big step for Westeros at that moment and I liked that script writers for once had enough thought to make the lords react the way they did and not like 21st century people. Even Sansa smirked at, from their perspective, such a silly idea. Entire point of the ending was for it not to be perfect. How the hell can they know all elective monarchies failed if they didn't have one.

Edited by Lazar Srećković
repetitive words

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On 5/21/2019 at 8:58 AM, ummester said:

I also think that GoTs started as an old mans show

Do you think this because the books were written by an old guy?

By the way though, some version of the Holy Roman Empire continued to exist up to WWI -- it even managed to reconstitute itself after Napoleon -- which, of course, Poland was the mirror reverse, partitioned out of existence in the late 18th century and not reconstituted until after WWI.   

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2 hours ago, Zorral said:

Do you think this because the books were written by an old guy?

Not sure, possibly - there is probably a correlation. But more just because of the kind of show it was. Slow moving and focused on patriarchal ideals. It was kind of about a bunch of old men arguing over what kind of world they wanted to leave their children and then they killed each other in the process and their children went on to become mostly insane.

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On 5/21/2019 at 12:33 PM, Panos Targaryen said:

Source: Wikipedia

Holy Roman Empire: Although officially an elective monarchy, from 1440 to 1740 a Habsburg was always elected emperor, the throne becoming unofficially hereditary. This continued from 1740-1806 when the new line of Habsburgs took over, until the fall of the HRE.

Anglo-Saxon England: A system of elective monarchy existed in Anglo-Saxon England, with the Witenagemot being able to elect and depose kings. This ended with the Norman Conquest and William the Conqueror's accession.

Dutch Republic: In the Dutch Republic of the 17th and 18th Century there was the office of the Stadtholder, whose power fell short of those of a monarch, and which was elective. In theory anyone could be elected Stadtholder, though in practice it was restricted to members of the House of Orange. The House of Orange and its adherents tried to increase the powers of the Stadtholder to approximate those of a Monarch, to make it officially hereditary (which it became in the later part of the 18th Century) and finally to transform it into a full-fledged hereditary Monarchy – as it was in 1815.

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: Became hereditary constitutional monarchy with the Constitution of 3 May 1791.

Sweden: Originally, the Kings of Sweden were elected by all free men at the Mora Thing. Elective monarchy continued until 1544, when the Riksdag of the Estates designated the heirs of King Gustav Vasa as the heirs to the throne.

Denmark: The Danish monarchy was officially elective, although the eldest son of the reigning monarch was usually elected. This continued until 1660, when an absolute and officially hereditary monarchy was instituted by Frederick III.

Norway: In the tradition of Germanic monarchy the king had to be elected by a representative assembly of noblemen. Men eligible for election had to be of royal blood; but the eldest son of the previous king was not automatically chosen. During the civil war era the unclear succession laws and the practice of power-sharing between several kings simultaneously gave personal conflicts the potential to become full-blown wars. Over the centuries kings consolidated their power, and eventually a strict succession law made Norway a principally hereditary kingdom.

France: Medieval France was an elective monarchy at the time of the first Capetian kings; the kings however took the habit of, during their reign, having their son elected as successor. The election soon became a mere formality and vanished after the reign of Philip II of France.

Bohemia: Since medieval times, the King of Bohemia was elected by the Estates of Lands of the Bohemian Crown. Since 1526, when the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I assumed the Bohemian Crown, it was always held by the Habsburgs, who expected this situation to go on indefinitely. In 1618 the Bohemians chose to exercise in practice their legal right to choose a King at their discretion, and bestowed the Bohemian Crown on Frederick V, Elector Palatine. However, the Habsburgs regarded this as an act of rebellion, imposed their rule over Bohemia in the Battle of the White Mountain and in the aftermath abolished the Bohemian Elective Monarchy and made exclusive Habsburg rule the de jure as well as de facto situation.

Just saying. The "wheel" was not "broken". With a "Stark" monarch beyond the Wall (hopefully what Jon has become in the end), a Stark monarch in the North, and a Stark monarch in the South, as well as probably a Stark being the first to discover the continent west of Westeros (which will no doubt be fought over and colonized in the future by the powers of Westeros like the Americas were in real life) Stark hegemony is assured in the continent.

When Bran dies/becomes a tree childless there will be no election, just a brief diplomatic and political squabble before Sansa or her ancestors assert their rights over the kingship of Westeros. Elective monarchy in general is not sustainable, much less so in a medieval society, even more less so when one House controls the entire continent anyway. 

Anyway, the idea that an elective monarchy is automatically "progress" over a hereditary one is a big assumption, and very Whigish. It seems to me that historically countries in a more primitive and "newborn" state, when things are chaotic and the main powers of the land are warlords, start as elective, and then as they become more sophisticated and advanced hereditary monarchy becomes the norm. So actually, historically speaking elective monarchies are more "primitive" than hereditary ones.

There's no reason for democracy and revolution to be themes in ASOIAF, it can still be a positive story without them. You know what would be a realistic scenario where Westeros' political system becomes more "advanced"? Absolute monarchy and/or enlightened absolutism. 

The Visigoth kingdom, and its successor the Asturian kingdom...

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The book and show has a example of this ready, the kingsmoot, where the lords and captains of Iron Island became such a underused practice because the last time it was used before Euron the lord with the most swords and axes killed whoever did not like the idea of his line ruling forever

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On 5/21/2019 at 1:31 PM, Panos Targaryen said:

True. I'm a fan of absolute monarchy in fantasy cause typically feudalism is the only form of monarchy portrayed, so I tend to overemphasize absolutism as being the next logical step in the evolution of Westeros' system of government in my posts

So, if Daenerys hadn't gone coocoo and shanked, she would've 'broken the wheel' even without the 'proletariat socialism' idealism of her 'rally'?

Become a sort of Illuminated Despot by imposing her will directly onto the people through the force of her dragons and armies?

 

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On 5/21/2019 at 1:58 PM, ummester said:

I also think that GoTs started as an old mans show, with politics, blood and boobs - then somewhere along the line it became a global phenomenon and got dumbed down. When it got dumbed down, they had to dumb down the political realism (coz you know kids and their attention spans :) - yeah, sure, I'm stereotyping but its mostly true) . Anyways, my point being is that yes, an elected monarchy, to a person who knows a lot about medieval history, as you all seem to, is probably stupid - but, for a dumbed down audience, it shows a little bit of change without there being enough to upset Westerosi tradition, which I think is the thematic point.

It started with Tyrion cavorting with three prostitutes at Winterfell when he was supposed to be present with the rest of the royal family being formally welcomed by the Warden of the North and his family.  Hard to dumb things down from there surely?  I gave Season 1 6/10 and found no reason to watch further seasons as the show was ok for what it was worth but offered so much less than the books.

A Great Council was required to choose Aerys's successor after the Targaryens were deposed and a mere 20 or so years later we see that repeated to choose Bran as the new monarch.  It's not progress at all, just a return to stability after a period of conflict, there's an obvious reason and desire to choose the old familiar system to remove a dangerous power vacuum.  The expectation is that Bran will be "Good king Bran" but the system is as dependent as ever on the personality of the monarch and his relative power vis-a-vis internal challengers.

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The problem is that the show and presumably Martin are projecting the lessons of the 20th century and the French Revolution into the Middle Ages. Which is why they belabour Dany being a tyrant, her breaking the wheel to be evil when slow change is preferable and the core problem to be the pursuit of power by families.

This is a horrendous bastardisation of how nations transitioned out of the Middle Ages into the Early Modern Period. You have to break the power of the nobility and the feudal magnates. That does mean having a relatively (comparing them to totalitarian regimes as presented her is absurd) stronger centralised state. But because George is ideologically opposed to that he has to make it so the answer isn’t absolutism. Even though it was the answer to the problems of feudalism historically.

Let’s say Dany does become an unpopular monarch with the nobility. What she would probably do is create her own power base so she isn’t beholden to these over mighty subjects. That means armies, which means taxes, which means the burdens of government increase so you get assemblies and eventually something approaching a parliamentary system. Alternatively you get ancien regime France which is still a massively better alternative for the people of Westeros.

All of the Lords of Westeros are tyrants oppressing the peasants. An elective monarchy will only secure those privileges and powers.

At it’s core the show and books blame Westeros problems on the Iron Throne when in fact they are entirely the result of feudalism and having a weak decentralised state. However the show glorifies the Starks and the other houses as being a pillar of Westeros rather than parasitic organisations.

Danys speech would be remarkably different if she said “Iam going to end feudalism”. 

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13 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Alternatively you get ancien regime France which is still a massively better alternative for the people of Westeros

Picture Daenerys being fantastic as Louis XIV if she had the finesse to wrangle the Sansas, Margaerys and Renlys of Westeros into an internal vying of fashion trends on anything from clothes to gardens to palaces.

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40 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

At it’s core the show and books blame Westeros problems on the Iron Throne when in fact they are entirely the result of feudalism and having a weak decentralised state. However the show glorifies the Starks and the other houses as being a pillar of Westeros rather than parasitic organisations

Which automatically will have the audience resisting any scenario that contradicts 'Starks ftw'.

Even going with that progressionI really want ressurection!barbie Jon to go primal, old school, hanging people from Weirwoods.

That would be in keeping with the North being it's own nation with it's own ways, warts and all.

That would be a bitch of a KitN.

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