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Why weren’t Robert’s brothers princes

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It seems that the Baratheon dynasty abandoned the Targaryen practice of having every member of the royal family have a princely title. Even distant relatives could still claim to be princes. Why did Robert change that?

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It is unclear.

Robb's siblings all became princes(ses) the moment he donned his crown, meaning that technically Robert's brothers should also have become princes the moment he donned his crown - like Brandon, Rickon, Sansa, and Arya Stannis and Renly were Robert's presumptive heirs when he was crowned king.

I have long argued that this is just a mistake on George's part - just as it would be on Robert's part. Styling his own brothers princes would add more royal gravitas to his family and help overshadow the fact that they are usurpers. Even more so after Robert made his brothers powerful lords in their own right. Being the Prince of Dragonstone and the Prince of Storm's End sounds altogether different than being a mere lord.

Edited by Lord Varys

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Daenerys was never called a princess when Viserys was alive either if I remember correctly, she was either referred to as "khaleesi", "sister", "the child" or "the Dothraki whore". Maybe Stannis and Renly were princes, people just didn't call them that? Or GRRM just forgot about this.

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Just now, miyuki said:

Daenerys was never called a princess when Viserys was alive either if I remember correctly, she was either referred to as "khaleesi", "sister", "the child" or "the Dothraki whore". Maybe Stannis and Renly were princes, people just didn't call them that? Or GRRM just forgot about this.

Wrong. Daenerys was styled princess while her brother, Viserys III, was still alive. In fact, she is actually styled Princess of Dragonstone, making her the chosen and anointed heir of her brother, King Viserys III (in exile).

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3 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Wrong. Daenerys was styled princess while her brother, Viserys III, was still alive. In fact, she is actually styled Princess of Dragonstone, making her the chosen and anointed heir of her brother, King Viserys III (in exile).

Yes, you are correct. Dany has so many titles from The Breaker of Chains to The Mother of Dragons that it's easy to forget some in the middle of those. I guess the answer to this thread's question then is just that the author chose things to be this way, I don't see any logical answer to this.

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Because House Baratheon was divided into three branches. 

House Baratheon of Dragonstone becomes the royal branch if every member of House Baratheon of King's Landing dies. 

House Baratheon of Storm's End becomes the royal branch if every member of the other two branches dies. 

If this is really the case, Princess Myrcella was always above Stannis and Renly in the line of succession to the Iron Throne. 

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Perhaps because House Stark was the royal house of the North before the Targaryens came as far as that royal blood is concerned Bran and Rickon might as well have always been princes so it was probably more socially acceptable. Renly and Stannis on the other hand were the sons of the Lord of Storm's End with no direct male line to a previous monarch.

Basically Bran and Rickon are direct descendants in the male line from the last King in the North and as such would be princes of the blood, whereas despite being the brothers of the new monarch Renly and Stannis lack that hereditary pedigree and wouldn't be princes of the blood, might be that it would be seen as tacky for them to just start going by princely titles especially when they're lords in their own right of their own respective branches of House Baratheon. 

Or more likely GRRM didn't think about it too much. 

 

Edited by Trigger Warning

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1 hour ago, Lumosaca said:

Because House Baratheon was divided into three branches. 

House Baratheon of Dragonstone becomes the royal branch if every member of House Baratheon of King's Landing dies. 

House Baratheon of Storm's End becomes the royal branch if every member of the other two branches dies. 

If this is really the case, Princess Myrcella was always above Stannis and Renly in the line of succession to the Iron Throne. 

I thought Myrcella wasn’t in the line of succession thanks to Rhaenyra tarnishing the idea of a female ruler thanks to the Dance of the Dragons.

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1 hour ago, Lumosaca said:

Because House Baratheon was divided into three branches. 

House Baratheon of Dragonstone becomes the royal branch if every member of House Baratheon of King's Landing dies. 

House Baratheon of Storm's End becomes the royal branch if every member of the other two branches dies. 

If this is really the case, Princess Myrcella was always above Stannis and Renly in the line of succession to the Iron Throne. 

Thats definitely a baratheon thing because  the summerhall branch of house targaryen were princes hence prince of summerhall

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10 minutes ago, BigBoss1 said:

Thats definitely a baratheon thing because  the summerhall branch of house targaryen were princes hence prince of summerhall

Maybe. Selyse Florent seems to have become Selyse Baratheon after marrying Stannis, while Cersei Lannister and Elia Martell were never mentioned as Cersei Baratheon or Elia Targaryen. This may indicate that House Baratheon of Dragonstone was never part the royal family before Robert's death.

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2 hours ago, Lumosaca said:

Because House Baratheon was divided into three branches. 

House Baratheon of Dragonstone becomes the royal branch if every member of House Baratheon of King's Landing dies. 

House Baratheon of Storm's End becomes the royal branch if every member of the other two branches dies. 

If this is really the case, Princess Myrcella was always above Stannis and Renly in the line of succession to the Iron Throne. 

No, they were all part of one house, especially before Robert gave his brothers lordships of their own - which he definitely did only some time (in Renly's time possibly a lot of time) after his coronation. And even then a king's brother remains a king's brother - and thus a member of the royal family.

58 minutes ago, Trigger Warning said:

Perhaps because House Stark was the royal house of the North before the Targaryens came as far as that royal blood is concerned Bran and Rickon might as well have always been princes so it was probably more socially acceptable. Renly and Stannis on the other hand were the sons of the Lord of Storm's End with no direct male line to a previous monarch.

Basically Bran and Rickon are direct descendants in the male line from the last King in the North and as such would be princes of the blood, whereas despite being the brothers of the new monarch Renly and Stannis lack that hereditary pedigree and wouldn't be princes of the blood, might be that it would be seen as tacky for them to just start going by princely titles especially when they're lords in their own right of their own respective branches of House Baratheon. 

No, that doesn't fly. We know that Bran becomes a prince because Robb becomes a king, not because both are descended from some long-dead king of old.

Stannis and Renly - just as Robert - are great-grandsons of a king. They do have a lot of royal blood in their own right.

58 minutes ago, Trigger Warning said:

Or more likely GRRM didn't think about it too much. 

That seems to be more accurate.

1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

I thought Myrcella wasn’t in the line of succession thanks to Rhaenyra tarnishing the idea of a female ruler thanks to the Dance of the Dragons.

Myrcella is repeatedly mentioned as immediate heir to Joffrey and Tommen. She gets more importance after Stannis and Renly are declared traitors, but she is already considered when Ned and Littlefinger discuss the claims and parentage of Joffrey and Tommen - not as a potential heir with as strong a claim as the boys, but still with a claim.

Just as Stannis sort of considers Shireen and not Renly his heir after he crowns himself - after all, he can offer Renly to name him his heir, he doesn't hold the view that Renly technically already is his heir.

27 minutes ago, Lumosaca said:

Maybe. Selyse Florent seems to have become Selyse Baratheon after marrying Stannis, while Cersei Lannister and Elia Martell were never mentioned as Cersei Baratheon or Elia Targaryen. This may indicate that House Baratheon of Dragonstone was never part the royal family before Robert's death.

They all take the names of their husbands in a sense. But some women are better known by their birth names (Cersei, Elia, Selyse) whereas others are better known by their marriage names (Lysa, Catelyn).

Stannis was Robert's brother and presumptive heir until Joffrey was born in 286 AC - which means about three years after Robert's coronation.

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54 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

No, that doesn't fly. We know that Bran becomes a prince because Robb becomes a king, not because both are descended from some long-dead king of old.

 

Obviously Robb's ascent to the throne is the catalyst for it my point was that the resurgence of the King in the North may be seen as more of a return of the old dynasty whereas Robert is creating a new dynasty, Bran and Rickon are part of that continuation of the royal line claiming their rightful place whereas Renly and Stannis are just brothers of the man that claimed the crown of another dynasty and not part of the direct royal line, again the concept of princes of the blood isn't really about having royal ancestors it's part of being the direct male line. Viserys and Rhaegar were princes of the blood being the direct line of the monarchs of House Targaryen, Robert wasn't despite his Targaryen blood ties, again I doubt this is the reasoning and it's more likely GRRM didn't think of it but it's not that far fetched that it follows some real world precedents in that the idea of Renly and Stannis going by prince may be a bit taboo even if Robert did claim the crown since they were not descended from a king that sat the Iron Throne specifically through the male line which is the important caveat.   

Edited by Trigger Warning

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8 minutes ago, Trigger Warning said:

Obviously Robb's ascent to the throne is the catalyst for it my point was that the resurgence of the King in the North may be seen as more of a return of the old dynasty whereas Robert is creating a new dynasty, Bran and Rickon are part of that continuation of the royal line claiming their rightful place whereas Renly and Stannis are just brothers of the man that claimed the crown of another dynasty and not part of the direct royal line, again the concept of princes of the blood isn't really about having royal ancestors it's part of being the direct male line. Viserys and Rhaegar were princes of the blood being the direct line of the monarchs of House Targaryen, Robert wasn't despite his Targaryen blood ties, again I doubt this is the reasoning and it's more likely GRRM didn't think of it but it's not that far fetched that it follows some real world precedents in that the idea of Renly and Stannis going by prince may be a bit taboo even if Robert did claim the crown since they were not descended from a king that sat the Iron Throne specifically through the male line which is the important caveat.   

Robert is a Targaryen, too, he just doesn't bear the name. The founder of his dynasty is an (alleged) Targaryen bastard, and he himself is the great-grandson of a more recent Targaryen king.

The Baratheons are much more royal (in the Targaryen sense, not the Durrandon sense, from whom they are also descended) than the Starks of the main series - because they have immediate royal ancestors, not ancestors who last wore crowns 300 years ago.

Robert may call himself 'Baratheon' but he is as much a Targaryen as Harrold Hardyng is an Arryn - and many people agree that Lord Harrold would take the Arryn names should he ever become Lord of the Vale. Meaning that Robert could have called himself Targaryen, too, and may have done so had he inherited the crown after some freak accident killed Aerys II and his entire family rather overthrowing them because he had grown to hate them.

In fact, the Baratheons are essentially a cadet branch of House Targaryen from the start. They are not a new royal dynasty, they are a continuation of the old dynasty. The fact that they don't call themselves 'Targaryen' doesn't really mean anything. If Laenor Velaryon, Jacaerys Velaryon or Daemon Blackfyre had ruled as kings they would have been Targaryens, too, never mind that they would/may have gone by a different house name. It wouldn't have been a *new dynasty* but rather a continuation of the old one under a different name.

A truly new dynasty would be one who has no blood ties with the old dynasty, i.e. a real and proper overthrowing and replacement of the previous dynasty. But that's not what happened.

Nobody in the books ever mentions anything about Bran being a prince because his ancestors had been kings - it is made quite clear Bran is a prince because his brother down at Riverrun had been proclaimed king. That's the explanation. And this consists a contradiction to the fact that Robert's brothers were never styled princes.

People have come up with a lot of ways to try to explain that away - but the fact remains that the books don't even see that as a problem.

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On 7/14/2019 at 4:07 PM, BigBoss1 said:

It seems that the Baratheon dynasty abandoned the Targaryen practice of having every member of the royal family have a princely title. Even distant relatives could still claim to be princes. Why did Robert change that?

 

On 7/14/2019 at 4:37 PM, The Hoare said:

Perharps because Steffon wasn't a king

Hoare has the right of it.  I believe it.  They were not the sons of a king whereas Prince Viserys, Prince Rhaegar, and Princess Daenerys are the children of a king.  There is a difference.  Stannis and Renly were not royal-born.  

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Fascinating question on Bran's intended title.  I say intended because it was only intent and hope that gave him that temporary title of prince.  It's the north harking back to the glory days when they ruled themselves.  Bottom line, it's just a title.  Stannis and Renly functioned like princes.  Behind Robert's heirs they are but still they behaved like princes.  

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On 7/14/2019 at 8:42 PM, Trigger Warning said:

Perhaps because House Stark was the royal house of the North before the Targaryens came as far as that royal blood is concerned Bran and Rickon might as well have always been princes so it was probably more socially acceptable. Renly and Stannis on the other hand were the sons of the Lord of Storm's End with no direct male line to a previous monarch.

Basically Bran and Rickon are direct descendants in the male line from the last King in the North and as such would be princes of the blood, whereas despite being the brothers of the new monarch Renly and Stannis lack that hereditary pedigree and wouldn't be princes of the blood, might be that it would be seen as tacky for them to just start going by princely titles especially when they're lords in their own right of their own respective branches of House Baratheon. 

Or more likely GRRM didn't think about it too much. 

 

Yes and I think this has something to do with the Northmen proclaiming Robb as King and openly reclaiming the royal bloodline and possibly more specifically the Kings of Winter.  Northmen are not like other men according to Catelyn.

Edited by LynnS

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Bran was the direct heir to Robb, also Rob could have just decreed the title with a letter patent. I don’t think there’s strict rules on titles in Westeros 

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13 minutes ago, hnv said:

Bran was the direct heir to Robb, also Rob could have just decreed the title with a letter patent. I don’t think there’s strict rules on titles in Westeros 

But that's not what he did. He just became a prince in everyday talk because his brother suddenly was a king.

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49 minutes ago, hnv said:

Bran was the direct heir to Robb, also Rob could have just decreed the title with a letter patent. I don’t think there’s strict rules on titles in Westeros 

Stannis was direct heir to Robert for a while too

 

13 hours ago, 300 H&H Magnum said:

 

Hoare has the right of it.  I believe it.  They were not the sons of a king whereas Prince Viserys, Prince Rhaegar, and Princess Daenerys are the children of a king.  There is a difference.  Stannis and Renly were not royal-born.  

Aegon VI at some point wasn't son of a king but was still prince of the blood.

On 7/14/2019 at 10:56 PM, Trigger Warning said:

 

Obviously Robb's ascent to the throne is the catalyst for it my point was that the resurgence of the King in the North may be seen as more of a return of the old dynasty whereas Robert is creating a new dynasty, Bran and Rickon are part of that continuation of the royal line claiming their rightful place whereas Renly and Stannis are just brothers of the man that claimed the crown of another dynasty and not part of the direct royal line, again the concept of princes of the blood isn't really about having royal ancestors it's part of being the direct male line. Viserys and Rhaegar were princes of the blood being the direct line of the monarchs of House Targaryen, Robert wasn't despite his Targaryen blood ties, again I doubt this is the reasoning and it's more likely GRRM didn't think of it but it's not that far fetched that it follows some real world precedents in that the idea of Renly and Stannis going by prince may be a bit taboo even if Robert did claim the crown since they were not descended from a king that sat the Iron Throne specifically through the male line which is the important caveat.   

Do we know how the iron born dealt with this? Their line descends from the old Greyjoy kings elected at the kingsmoots but i remember Victarion was still a lord even tough he was brother to two kings?

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