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Alyn Oakenfist

(Spoilers Fire&Blood) Legitimacy at the beginning of the Dance

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So who was the legitimate ruler at the beginning of the Dance is a very complicated question both in lore and amidst the fandom. I'm not here to say which one was the legitimate ruler but rather the various arguments in favor of every. So here are all the arguments I know (feel free to add others in the comments).

Blacks: Primogeniture

Rhaenyra is the first child of Viserys Targaryen so that immediately gives her a very strong claim to the Throne. Not much to be said here.

Greens: Agnatic inheritance

With the best example being the Great Council of 101, the Iron thrones seems to have a strict Agnatic Inheritance, meaning sex comes before seniority or how strong the ancestor claim is. That would clearly make Aegon II heir before Rhaenyra or her strong children (we'll come back to that in a bit).

Blacks: Rhaenyra is the Princess of Dragonstone

This menas several things. One Rhaenyra was the nominated heir before Viserys's death. This also means that Rhenyra held the symbolically (as well as strategically important) seat of Dragonstone. Also many of the lord of the realm pledged to support Rhaenyra's claim to the throne.

Greens: The timing of said vows.

While it is true that most of the lords of the realm pledged to support Rhaenyra, those vows were made before Aegon II's birth, when Rhaenyra was the almost undisputed heir.

Blacks: Widows Law

An argument that is very often overlooked is that acording to the Widows Law the children of the first wife cannot be passed over their inheritance in favor of those of a second wife. It is questionable however if that law applies to the succesion of the Throne.

Greens: Rhaenyra's very strong kids.

So for those who don't know seeing as Rhaenyra's first husband was gay and their ,,kids" looked nothing like either of them but rather like Rhaenyra's favorite Harwin Strong it is highly probable that her first 3 kids were actually bastards. So if you accept Rhaenyra as the heir you accept that after her the man who will sit the Iron Throne will be bastard born.

Blacks: Aegon II's personality

However Aegon II wasn't much more appealing. He frequented brothels and didn't seem to have any interest in being king (it was only through lies and deceit and probably some legitimate fear that he accepted the Throne). Note I'm not including Rhaenyra's personality, because her hate and paranoia seems to have developed during the war starting with the death of her son.

Greens: Aegon II holds the Iron Throne

A very symbolically important thing, Aegon II held the Throne at the start of the war and he was crowned in Kings Landing.

Blacks: Many other people with claims support Rhaenyra.

Two of the strongest claimants to the Throne, Daemon ,, The Rogue Prince" Targaryen as well as Rhaenys ,,The Queen Who never was". They both aligned their claims to Rhaenyra's.

Greens: The Kingsguard.

Following the example of their Lord Commander, Criston Cole, the Kingsguard (with one exception) chose to support Aegon II's claim.

Blacks: The Velaryons.

You might say, hold on are you going to analyse every supporter of either Blacks or Greens. No. However their close ties with house Targaryen, power and Valyrian Blood make the support of house Velaryon very important to the question of legitimacy.

Greens: ,,Purer marriage"

I know it's a bit disgusting, but Aegon II's marriage was as ,,pure" as you can get ensuring ,,purer" descendants.

Blacks: Number of dragons.

Due to both the number of claimants supporting Rhaenyra and her owning Dragonstone, the Blacks had both a huge strategic (you know dragons) and legitimacy (dragons represent house Targaryen) edge.

So that's all I have. Did I miss anything? Who do you think was the legitimate heir?

Edited by Alyn Oakenfist
Typo

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The Iron throne never had a strict succession law. The king would be the one that chooses his heir. In this case Viserys chose his daughter Rhaenyra.

The Kings word is law if he wants the youngest son or the daughter to be his heir than the small council and the nobles have to honour it upon his death. 

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The idea that a king can just name his heir isn't really supported. Even Jaehaerys I called a great Council to ensure everyone accepted it even when they considered the outcome all but assured. Robb does the same before his death, his lord fix their seals to his will to ensure everyone knows his wishes and agrees. He doesn't just say "This is my heir" and expect that to do. You need support for your wishes.

Viserys I came to power because of the rulings of the great council and should have known full well there would be problems after his death because the law didn't back up his own wishes. He could have taken steps to ensure everyone else accepted it especially after a male heir was born but he didn't. Even knowing there were essentially factions during his lifetime. When he was king, and during his first marriage he refused to name his daughter heir over his brother because he believed his wife would give him a son. It was a problem from day one of his rule. The dance with dragons is first and foremost his fault in my opinion. He named after her mother's death and only due to rage at his brother

 

Quote

In 105 AC Aemma died in labor birthing the king's son and heir, whom Viserys named Baelon after his late father, Prince Baelon, but the infant died a day after Aemma. While the king was bereaved, his brother Daemon was observed in a brothel in the Street of Silk making drunken japes with his cronies about the "heir for a day". When word of this reached the grieving Viserys, his grief turned to rage. After the mourning period was over Viserys held a lavish ceremony in 105 AC and had Rhaenyra declared the heir and Princess of Dragonstone in response to his ungrateful brother's ambitions. Hundreds of lords and landed knights did obeisance to the princess and swore solemn oaths to defend her rights of succession. Daemon left the capital in a fury.[4]

From the wiki

The point is law in westeros is somewhat vague by design. Even naming his daughter was just a move against his brother who had upset him.

As GRRM said himself - https://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Category/C91/P210/

Quote

 

A man's eldest son was his heir. After that the next eldest son. Then the next, etc. Daughters were not considered while there was a living son, except in Dorne, where females had equal right of inheritance according to age.

After the sons, most would say that the eldest daughter is next in line. But there might be an argument from the dead man's brothers, say. Does a male sibling or a female child take precedence? Each side has a "claim."

 

Now the Iron throne showed itself to be different already by ignoring Female claims. It's worth remembering that.

In my opinion the son had the best claim because of precedent set up before. If he didn't his father was no King as it's the same rule, but there's arguments both ways.

Edited by DarkLord

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Well seeing as The Iron Throne was still pretty new and without clear laws, I think we only have precedent to influence. There wasn't any clear law that stated the succession and even if there were laws can be repealed if say the monarch wants to appoint his heir. So I don't think there were any laws influencing the succession just a series of factors influencing the candidates legitimacy.

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Didn't Viserys I specifically name Rhaenyra first as heir so his brother who was presumed heir at the time would never become the king.

He later did banish Daemon though he failed to uphold that, and later he even married to Rhaenyra without his consent.

It is obvious that Viserys was very flawed individual, putting fate of the realm in his hands instead of taking account of laws, conventions and decisions of Great Council is detrimental to stability.

There should be taken into account that even Rhaenyra herself when deciding the fate of sucession in Stokeworth and Rosby , when she torn out tongues and executed their lords, they left older daughters elegible to marriage and younger sons, Daemon wanted to marry them to betrayers, while Corlys said they should support their sons.

Here is specific quote:

 

Quote

 

But the Queen’s Hand argued against this, for both girls had younger brothers. Rhaenyra’s own claim to the Iron Throne was a special case, the Sea Snake insisted; her father had named her as his heir. Lords Rosby and Stokeworth had done no such thing. Disinheriting their sons in favor of their daughters would overturn centuries of law and precedent, and call into question the rights of scores of other lords throughout Westeros whose own claims might be seen as inferior to those of elder sisters.


It was fear of losing the support of such lords, Munkun asserts in True Telling, that led the queen to decide in favor of Lord Corlys rather than Prince Daemon. The lands, castles, and coin of Houses Rosby and Stokeworth were awarded to the sons of the two executed lords, whilst Hugh Hammer and Ulf White were knighted and granted small holdings on the isle of Driftmark.

 

So Rhaenyra did herself acknowledged indirectly that her is special case as being named heir.

 

Regarding "purer" marriage people who count blood cells tend to clamor that Rhaenyra was more Targaryen since her mother was half Targaryen half Arryn, while Aegon II's mother was Hightower. 

Though those points are mostly irrelevant if they could ride dragons or have clear appearance of Targaryen to booth, and "blood purity" is contradicting them supporting Rhaenyra's suspiciously looking heirs. 

Edited by Eltharion21

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19 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Well seeing as The Iron Throne was still pretty new and without clear laws, I think we only have precedent to influence. There wasn't any clear law that stated the succession and even if there were laws can be repealed if say the monarch wants to appoint his heir. So I don't think there were any laws influencing the succession just a series of factors influencing the candidates legitimacy.

It followed the laws of the seven kingdoms with the exception of the great council's decision that put preference of males over females. Here it didn't matter though, the son comes before the daughter. The Iron throne wasn't any different from anywhere in the kingdom (Dorne was not in the seven kingdoms at this point) before the ruling of "males first regardless" so I'm not sure it was unclear at all.

The question was if a King can pick his heir, and I don't think he can. There's no example of it happening for the throne. This is basically Lady Jane Grey, the nine day queen, because well the King named her his heir nobody accepted it over Mary 1st.

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6 minutes ago, DarkLord said:

It followed the laws of the seven kingdoms with the exception of the great council's decision that put preference of males over females. Here it didn't matter though, the son comes before the daughter. The Iron throne wasn't any different from anywhere in the kingdom (Dorne was not in the seven kingdoms at this point) before the ruling of "males first regardless" so I'm not sure it was unclear at all.

The question was if a King can pick his heir, and I don't think he can. There's no example of it happening for the throne. This is basically Lady Jane Grey, the nine day queen, because well the King named her his heir nobody accepted it over Mary 1st.

Here's a question though. Does the Great Council decision in 101 act as precedent or did it only affect that particular time and place? Also on the question if a king can pick his heir did Jaehaerys kinda do that after Aemon died (and then later the Council sided with him)?

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There were no succession laws for the Iron Throne. Instead, the ruling king always names and anoints an heir, a process that eventually also includes the formal investiture of the Heir Apparent as Prince of Dragonstone - which is something the king has to formally do, it is not that the eldest son automatically becomes Prince of Dragonstone on his birth (this is very similar to the formal investiture of the Prince of Wales in the UK).

King Aenys first named his Heir Apparent, Aegon, Prince of Dragonstone. But only under Jaehaerys I did this eventually develop into an honor that goes along with being Heir Apparent (and only after Queen Rhaena gave up Dragonstone and retired to Harrenhal) - and we have to wait and see whether this honor always went along with being Heir Apparent. I could, for instance, see that Aegon III bestows Dragonstone on his brother Viserys to give a lordship, a castle, and lands of his own considering it would seem for a very long time that Viserys would found a male cadet branch of House Targaryen that would never inherit the Iron Throne.

But we also see that even eldest sons - while likely seen as treated as a king's heir from the day of their birth - are not formally anointed as such until later in their life. Prince Aemon is not invested as Heir Apparent until the year 62 AC, seven years after his birth. This gives us an indication that a king just having children doesn't necessarily mean that the eldest of those children is the formally acknowledged and anointed heir. And there are many other such cases.

By the time of Viserys I's death Rhaenyra definitely is the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne. Everybody acknowledges that, even the Greens, who repeated begged the king to change the succession in favor of Aegon the Elder, something they would not be doing if they were not acknowledging the king had named Rhaenyra his heir.

In the end it is up to the king to name his heir. There are no laws, only precedents - which can be followed or ignored. Following popular/uncontroversial precedents can help prevent trouble, of course, but no king is bound by law or anything else to honor them.

The first Great Council was not called because King Jaehaerys I could not himself name an heir - it was called because the king wanted to name an heir and prevent the succession war that seemed to be imminent, no matter who the king acknowledged as heir. Thus he thought the best cause of action would be to see which claimant had the most support and name that guy - hoping that the other side would then be discouraged from starting a war because it would be hopeless. And, in fact, I think Jaehaerys I could not name the heir he wanted, because I think he would have preferred his son Vaegon over both Viserys and Laenor.

The problem with the Dance is that after Rhaenyra had been formally invested as Princess of Dragonstone and been done homage as Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne it would have been very difficult to change that, even after the king remarried and had some sons - because lords had actually sworn vows to defend her rights of succession. Aegon IV is in a similar position - Daeron had been installed as Heir Apparent and Prince of Dragonstone for years, had a powerful prince as brother-in-law, and many other allies as well. If Aegon IV had changed the succession in favor of Daemon Blackfyre - even if he had also declared Daeron a falseborn bastard in the same decree - there would have been too many men invested in Daeron's succession to guarantee a peaceful succession (not that the Unworthy would have had an interest in this).

1 hour ago, DarkLord said:

Viserys I came to power because of the rulings of the great council and should have known full well there would be problems after his death because the law didn't back up his own wishes. He could have taken steps to ensure everyone else accepted it especially after a male heir was born but he didn't. Even knowing there were essentially factions during his lifetime. When he was king, and during his first marriage he refused to name his daughter heir over his brother because he believed his wife would give him a son. It was a problem from day one of his rule. The dance with dragons is first and foremost his fault in my opinion. He named after her mother's death and only due to rage at his brother

It is true that Viserys I continued to hope that Aemma would give him a son and that he intended to make such a son his heir rather than Rhaenyra, but Daemon was at best some sort of heir in the air. He was not willing to name Rhaenyra as his heir while he could still have a son, but he also did refuse to acknowledge Daemon as his presumptive heir, refusing to grant him the title Prince of Dragonstone, etc.

The Great Council is interpreted by many as an iron precedent against female (line) inheritance, but that's just an interpretation. In the end, the council did not make a succession law, it merely judged the particular claims that were put forth. It did not make a ruling on eventualities that would be put on the table in later years, like they are when the king has only a daughter and a brother who has enemies among many of the king's lords.

The Great Council also doesn't help the unresolved succession in absence of a male line heir, as the ridiculous discussion we get in FaB when the regents discuss the succession of Aegon III should he die without fathering a child (and prior to the return of Viserys II).

31 minutes ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Well seeing as The Iron Throne was still pretty new and without clear laws, I think we only have precedent to influence. There wasn't any clear law that stated the succession and even if there were laws can be repealed if say the monarch wants to appoint his heir. So I don't think there were any laws influencing the succession just a series of factors influencing the candidates legitimacy.

There was no law guiding the succession of the Iron Throne, just tradition. And the precedents people cite when discussing Targaryen succession are Targaryen cases, i.e. their own succession as Lords of Dragonstone and thereafter. Whether they had succession laws for Dragonstone back before the Conquest we don't know (it would be a rather new thing for them being 'feudal lords' and such, their holdings back in Valyria would not be administrated in this barbaric and uncivilized fashion).

Aegon the Conqueror confirmed all the various (and likely contradicting) succession laws of the Seven Kingdoms he conquered, but that doesn't mean he subjected himself and his family to those laws. Not to mention that it would be essentially impossible which succession law would apply to the Iron Throne. That there was confusion there can be seen from the uncertainty in the informal line of succession for the Conqueror - it is unclear whether Maegor comes before or after the daughters of Aenys, while it is clear that he comes after Aenys' sons. That means the consensus in the Seven Kingdoms before the unification of the laws was that an uncle comes after a son, but in some kingdoms an uncle could come before a daughter while in others he would come after the daughters. This is also why there is confusion after Maegor's death whether Aerea and Rhaella have a better claim than Jaehaerys I. Some would say an uncle comes before a daughter, others would say the opposite (not to mention the fact that Aegon the Uncrowned never ruled, so Aerea and Rhaella are only the grandchildren of a king, not his daughters, giving Jaehaerys I the advantage of proximity - he is a king's son).

Jaehaerys I later unified the laws, meaning that one succession law was in effect for all the lordships of the Realm (which is likely also the reason why it is believed by the time of the main series that a daughter comes before an uncle - something that would not have been the case in all the Seven Kingdoms before the Conquest, considering that there was only one queen regnant that we know of in all the Seven Kingdoms, and that woman ruled in the Reach) but this doesn't bind the Iron Throne as the succession issues arising after the death of Aemon and Baelon show.

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3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There were no succession laws for the Iron Throne. Instead, the ruling king always names and anoints an heir, a process that eventually also includes the formal investiture of the Heir Apparent as Prince of Dragonstone - which is something the king has to formally do, it is not that the eldest son automatically becomes Prince of Dragonstone on his birth (this is very similar to the formal investiture of the Prince of Wales in the UK).

Well this is partly true you don't need to be the prince of dragonstone to gain the throne anymore than you need to be the prince of wales to gain the UK throne, It's land and income for the heir apparent until he is king. That's it. There's no legal link to succession to the throne either in the story or real life.

Aegon the conqueror was lord of dragonstone over his older sister-wife. We don't know all the details and laws but we can say it's similar enough that the male becomes lord first. Of course since they marry their sisters that's probably less of consideration.

3 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It is true that Viserys I continued to hope that Aemma would give him a son and that he intended to make such a son his heir rather than Rhaenyra, but Daemon was at best some sort of heir in the air. He was not willing to name Rhaenyra as his heir while he could still have a son, but he also did refuse to acknowledge Daemon as his presumptive heir, refusing to grant him the title Prince of Dragonstone, etc.

The Great Council is interpreted by many as an iron precedent against female (line) inheritance, but that's just an interpretation. In the end, the council did not make a succession law, it merely judged the particular claims that were put forth. It did not make a ruling on eventualities that would be put on the table in later years, like they are when the king has only a daughter and a brother who has enemies among many of the king's lords.

The Great Council also doesn't help the unresolved succession in absence of a male line heir, as the ridiculous discussion we get in FaB when the regents discuss the succession of Aegon III should he die without fathering a child (and prior to the return of Viserys II). 

 

There are no formal succession laws anywhere. Interpretation is what matters. Like GRRM said it's complex but by the ruling (and even if it wasn't a legal ruling everyone considered it as such) his brother was heir. He might have though to change that by the lords agreeing to his daughter but at best you could argue that's returning to the same state as the rest of the kingdom (a daughter before an uncle). He made no moves at all to confirm absolute primogeniture.

Like I said before though the key issue is "can a king name his heir" and I think the answer is no. There was no example of that before or after that I can recall.

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1 hour ago, DarkLord said:

Well this is partly true you don't need to be the prince of dragonstone to gain the throne anymore than you need to be the prince of wales to gain the UK throne, It's land and income for the heir apparent until he is king. That's it. There's no legal link to succession to the throne either in the story or real life.

Sure, but in Westeros you are in a much better position as Heir Apparent if you also are the Prince of Dragonstone - at least after the tradition developed that those honors go hand in hand. There were kings who were succeeded by the brothers (Daeron I) who likely did not so much as name an Heir Apparent much less than a Prince of Dragonstone before their deaths, to be sure, but that doesn't mean things don't get easier if you are formally acknowledged, invested and treated as heir.

What is quite clear that Aegon the Conqueror himself was bound by neither law nor custom when he named Aenys his heir. He could have chosen Maegor, he could have chosen Visenya, he could have chosen a Velaryon cousin, he could have chosen Orys Baratheon. He was the Conqueror who made Six Kingdoms into one.

It is clear that he wanted his eldest son to succeed, and it is quite likely that the reason for that (aside from the fact that Aenys was the son of the woman he loved and not the son of wife he also had to marry but couldn't get along with later in life) is core values of the world he lived in encouraged him to like the idea to hand everything he had over to his eldest son.

But that doesn't mean he had to do this. Just as Aegon I and Aenys and Jaehaerys I always preferring their firstborn sons means that Viserys I was suddenly bound by law and tradition to follow their example ... he was free to do that, or he could do something else as he did.

1 hour ago, DarkLord said:

Aegon the conqueror was lord of dragonstone over his older sister-wife. We don't know all the details and laws but we can say it's similar enough that the male becomes lord first. Of course since they marry their sisters that's probably less of consideration.

Sure, but Aegon I is not Aenys. Aegon I could have decided to make Maegor his heir rather than Aenys - or somebody else entirely. The Iron Throne is also not Dragonstone, despite the fact that when people start to look for precedents they would look to the Lords of Dragonstone since those were the only Targaryen successions we have before the Conquest.

And you only look for precedents anyway, if there is no clear heir. You cite them to bolster your case why this claim is superior to that one, why this person should get the throne rather than the other, why the king should name this descendant heir rather than the other, etc.

How succession went on Dragonstone we have no clue, nor what role the various sister-wives played. We know Gaemon was married to Daenys and that Aegon and Elaena ruled together - as did Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys, which should not be forgotten. They were also conquerors, and while Aegon seems to have had the final word, they made laws, gave rulings, sat in judgment, issued decrees, etc. as well, making them co-rulers rather than consorts. Alysanne no longer has as privileged a position at court, but she also shared his her brother-husband's rule to a degree, unlike later queens.

1 hour ago, DarkLord said:

There are no formal succession laws anywhere.

There seem to be some, in fact. The whole thing that a daughter comes before a brother seems to be so universally cited and spread that this must be some sort of legal principle that's (almost) universally accepted. At least on the lordly level.

1 hour ago, DarkLord said:

Interpretation is what matters. Like GRRM said it's complex but by the ruling (and even if it wasn't a legal ruling everyone considered it as such) his brother was heir.

As long as the king does not acknowledge or name a presumptive heir there really isn't one. That's the very reason why people pushed Viserys I so hard so early during his reign to name an heir because it was not clear who should succeed him. There clearly were people who thought as per the precedent set by the Great Council Daemon should be the presumptive until the king had a son, but there were also men who thought Daemon was unsuited to ever rule as king ... and the king himself, while undecided until 105 AC, also made it clear he did not really want Daemon to succeed him. So the matter was very much undecided.

1 hour ago, DarkLord said:

He might have though to change that by the lords agreeing to his daughter but at best you could argue that's returning to the same state as the rest of the kingdom (a daughter before an uncle). He made no moves at all to confirm absolute primogeniture.

But he did not really have to do that. Naming an heir is enough - it sure as hell was stupid to recall Otto as Hand, etc. later on. It is certainly the case that it is somewhat arbitary to have a single daughter being favored despite her having three younger half-brothers but that wouldn't have destroyed the kingdom. It would just been some kind of special case. And with the Widow's Law there is actually a legal principle supporting such a choice - it forbids to disinherit the children from a first marriage in a favor of those from a second marriage. Rhaenyra was named Heir Apparent before Viserys I remarried, so she would have been disinherited if Aegon the Elder had been named Heir Apparent in her place. The king could certainly have done that, of course, but there are certainly also legal arguments and precedents to be cited in favor of Rhaenyra remaining the heir aside from just the king's wishes (Marla Sunderland ruling as queen despite her having a brother springs to mind).

There is, of course, also the purity of blood issue - Rhaenyra having the blood of the dragon on both sides, whereas Alicent's children are all only half-Targaryen - which is actually brought up by Lyman Beesbury when the Small Council discuss the issue after Viserys I has died.

1 hour ago, DarkLord said:

Like I said before though the key issue is "can a king name his heir" and I think the answer is no. There was no example of that before or after that I can recall.

The Heir Apparent, if he exists, is named and formally invested, presumptive heirs are acknowledged, too (as Aerys I did more than once during his reign - had he and Aelinor ever had any children they would have supplanted Rhaegel, Aelor, Aelora, and Maekar). Robb acknowledges Bran as his presumptive heir until he has children of his own. Tommen is acknowledged as Joffrey's heir until such a time as Joff has children of his own body. The same with Myrcella or Shireen, etc.

There is no legal automatism or anything of that sort. If a king or even a lord had children or other relations and never once named or hinted at or acknowledged or treated any of his family as his heirs then his succession would be pretty unclear, never mind what's done under normal circumstances.

Even the normal male primogeniture thing only works because the lord or king does not only name and acknowledges his son as his heir, but also grooms him to rule, keeps him close, prepares him from his later role. That's how those people are seen and accepted as the heirs of their fathers, how they form a party of their own which will then help them to deal with troubles and uncertainties when their father eventually dies and they have to take up the mantle.

Without such a preparation even an heir with the best legal claims on the basis of all the precedents might fail to get his/her right. Take Shireen, for instance. She is Stannis' only possible heir, yet he doesn't includes her into his council, doesn't keep her close, doesn't present her to his troops, doesn't groom her for rule. Even if Stannis' position weren't as dire as it is - if he suddenly died his daughter could most likely not carry his torch and might faster suffer a more unpleasant fate than Argella Durrandon, because she has not been prepared for the job.

Or take Tywin's case - he had no heir while he was still alive. Or rather: it was still Jaime despite him being a Kingsguard because Tywin never acknowledged or named Tyrion his heir. And nobody ever referred to Tyrion as the heir to Casterly Rock. This doesn't mean Tyrion couldn't have tried to claim the Rock had his father suddenly died, but he would not do that from the position of acknowledged heir, meaning his position would be weaker than it would have been had he formally be acknowledged as such.

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6 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Didn't Viserys I specifically name Rhaenyra first as heir so his brother who was presumed heir at the time would never become the king.

 

He named heir so his brother would never sit his ass on the Throne and even married to his daughter, the ass on the Throne would've been Rhaenryas.

 

6 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

It is obvious that Viserys was very flawed individual, putting fate of the realm in his hands instead of taking account of laws, conventions and decisions of Great Council is detrimental to stability.

 

Since there was no law, no ruling and no Great Council¡s decisionsobliging Viserys, that's a really weird call, what some people consider should be an iron precedent don't necessarily become an iron precedent.

 

 

 

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Personaly I will always side with the Greens even though my favorite characters are from the Black faction.

The reason being, that I cannot accept a King changing every single law on his own whim.

By all laws of the seven kingdoms, Aegon was Viserys heir. In the end of the day, even though he lost he is the reconized ruler of the period.

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3 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Personaly I will always side with the Greens even though my favorite characters are from the Black faction.

The reason being, that I cannot accept a King changing every single law on his own whim.

By all laws of the seven kingdoms, Aegon was Viserys heir. In the end of the day, even though he lost he is the reconized ruler of the period.

Laws made of whimcs can't be unmade  on the same basis??

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15 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

Personaly I will always side with the Greens even though my favorite characters are from the Black faction.

The reason being, that I cannot accept a King changing every single law on his own whim.

By all laws of the seven kingdoms, Aegon was Viserys heir. In the end of the day, even though he lost he is the reconized ruler of the period.

As we have learned now, there was no law of succession, hence no law binding Viserys I (or any king for that matter) to pick a particular heir over another. There were certainly smarter and less smart choices, especially if you were interested in a peaceful succession.

But nobody questions the right or power of a king to rule on his own succession as he sees fit.

Aegon II is only recognized as king of his era because he was crowned last and actually killed and outlived Rhaenyra - the fact that Tommen has a decent chance to outlive Stannis doesn't make him and Joffrey the rightful rulers - yet they and not Stannis or Renly will counted as the kings of 298-300 AC, not Stannis or Renly. Because they were the ones who sat the Iron Throne.

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On 11/2/2019 at 11:23 AM, The Young Maester said:

The Iron throne never had a strict succession law. The king would be the one that chooses his heir. In this case Viserys chose his daughter Rhaenyra.

The Kings word is law if he wants the youngest son or the daughter to be his heir than the small council and the nobles have to honour it upon his death. 

The Kings word is really only law while he's alive. We see this with Viserys and Robert. Once the King is dead people choose whether to follow the dead kings wishes or not. 

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9 minutes ago, Daemon The Black Dragon said:

The Kings word is really only law while he's alive. We see this with Viserys and Robert. Once the King is dead people choose whether to follow the dead kings wishes or not. 

But that then goes explicitly against the law. You name an heir to have a successor - if it was all against everybody whenever a king died then there would be no Heir Apparent system, no named heir and successor, no Prince(ss) of Dragonstone, no formal investiture or lords formally swearing solemn vows to defend the rights of an heir.

Instead you would have something along the lines of the Ottomans - where all the sons of the sultan had the same right of succession, meaning they usually killed each other until one had the power to take the throne.

But this is not the case in Westeros. People do know who the rightful heir is. And they also do know if they are traitors or not, just as others know whether the followers of a particular pretender are traitors or not.

There is a right and a wrong there - just as there is at the beginning of the Dance. Otto Hightower made Rhaenyra Targaryen the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne and swore a vow to defend her rights ... and then he decided to change his mind and even waited until his king was dead and did not rebel against him to overthrow him or force him to change the succession while he was still alive.

This is the kind of cowardice and scheming treason you see in Stannis and even Ned, too. Instead of telling the king about the (apparently) problematic succession and defying him only after he refused to see the problem, they did nothing of the sort. They hid their true feelings and waited for the king's death to then challenge the succession before the new monarch was installed.

It is true that every monarchy is weakest when the previous monarch dies and his successor has to be installed, but this doesn't mean Westeros doesn't have a system to figure out who that is.

Viserys I had a clear heir - his daughter Rhaenyra - just as Robert I also had a clear heir - his son Joffrey, thanks to both Ned's and Stannis' inability/unwillingness to inform the king about crucial facts.

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3 hours ago, frenin said:

Laws made of whimcs can't be unmade  on the same basis??

They can... I live in a country like this...it only make things worse...

Is awful and no one is ever secured, because everything you take for certain goes out of the window without any warnings.

Edited by Arthur Peres

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

As we have learned now, there was no law of succession, hence no law binding Viserys I (or any king for that matter) to pick a particular heir over another. There were certainly smarter and less smart choices, especially if you were interested in a peaceful succession.

 But nobody questions the right or power of a king to rule on his own succession as he sees fit.

Aegon II is only recognized as king of his era because he was crowned last and actually killed and outlived Rhaenyra - the fact that Tommen has a decent chance to outlive Stannis doesn't make him and Joffrey the rightful rulers - yet they and not Stannis or Renly will counted as the kings of 298-300 AC, not Stannis or Renly. Because they were the ones who sat the Iron Throne.

There were a few laws, maded on tradition, that are much more reliable than a king petty wishes.

A son must come before a daughter was universal on the Iron Throne at that point, Viserys himself was only made king after ignoring the female line in the great council.

Viserys only made Rhaenyra his heir because he didn't want his brother as heir. His whims and blunders, messed up the sucession law, his stuborness stoped him from fixing it.

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46 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But that then goes explicitly against the law. You name an heir to have a successor - if it was all against everybody whenever a king died then there would be no Heir Apparent system, no named heir and successor, no Prince(ss) of Dragonstone, no formal investiture or lords formally swearing solemn vows to defend the rights of an heir.

Instead you would have something along the lines of the Ottomans - where all the sons of the sultan had the same right of succession, meaning they usually killed each other until one had the power to take the throne.

But this is not the case in Westeros. People do know who the rightful heir is. And they also do know if they are traitors or not, just as others know whether the followers of a particular pretender are traitors or not.

There is a right and a wrong there - just as there is at the beginning of the Dance. Otto Hightower made Rhaenyra Targaryen the Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne and swore a vow to defend her rights ... and then he decided to change his mind and even waited until his king was dead and did not rebel against him to overthrow him or force him to change the succession while he was still alive.

This is the kind of cowardice and scheming treason you see in Stannis and even Ned, too. Instead of telling the king about the (apparently) problematic succession and defying him only after he refused to see the problem, they did nothing of the sort. They hid their true feelings and waited for the king's death to then challenge the succession before the new monarch was installed.

It is true that every monarchy is weakest when the previous monarch dies and his successor has to be installed, but this doesn't mean Westeros doesn't have a system to figure out who that is.

Viserys I had a clear heir - his daughter Rhaenyra - just as Robert I also had a clear heir - his son Joffrey, thanks to both Ned's and Stannis' inability/unwillingness to inform the king about crucial facts.

We've seen it happen at least 3 times where the Kings wishes aren't followed after his death. Aenys (with his heir ), Viserys ( with his heir ) and Robert (with his will). It doesn't happen often but it happens in Westeros. Yes there's  systems or laws in place but in the end its up to the people around the King to follow through with his wishes when he dies. Just like Daeron II didn't have to follow through with his Aegon IV wishes once he was dead and marry Daemon off to  Rohanne of Tyrosh. 

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13 minutes ago, Arthur Peres said:

There were a few laws, maded on tradition, that are much more reliable than a king petty wishes.

A son must come before a daughter was universal on the Iron Throne at that point, Viserys himself was only made king after ignoring the female line in the great council.

Viserys only made Rhaenyra his heir because he didn't want his brother as heir. His whims and blunders, messed up the sucession law, his stuborness stoped him from fixing it.

That is simply not the case. There were some precedents, yes, but those do not constitute binding law. Precedents can be ignored or overturned, just as a law of succession could be changed if there were one such for the Iron Throne (which there wasn't) - and remarkably easy at that in a world where all the legislative, executive, and judicial power lies with the king, and he has neither to consult or ask some sort of parliament or council of minister or justices for their input/advice/permission.

If there had been a law of succession barring Rhaenyra's ascent to the Iron Throne then such a law would have been null and void when Viserys I named Rhaenyra his Heir Apparent. But there wasn't - even the idea that the Great Council constituted some sort of iron precedent is an interpretation of its deliverations. The lords assembled to discuss the succession of Jaehaerys I - they did not convene to make a law of succession for the Iron Throne or to set binding rules how later kings should deal with their succession.

It is also rather obvious that Viserys I decree making Rhaenyra his Heir Apparent was a universal decree, making her his heir no matter how many sons he may have by means of a second or third or fourth wife. Else him acknowledging her as his heir would have been as provisional as Maegor acknowledging Aerea as his heir - he explicitly declared her as his heir until such a time as a son was born to him. This was obviously not the case for Viserys I, considering that Rhaenyra remained the heir without the king having to issue another decree or make another ruling after his first son was born in 107 AC.

The precedent that counted here was the one in 105 AC, not the one in 101 AC.

9 minutes ago, Daemon The Black Dragon said:

We've seen it happen at least 3 times where the Kings wishes aren't followed after his death. Aenys (with his heir ), Viserys ( with his heir ) and Robert (with his will). It doesn't happen often but it happens in Westeros. Yes there's  systems or laws in place but in the end its up to the people around the King to follow through with his wishes when he dies. Just like Daeron II didn't have to follow through with his Aegon IV wishes once he was dead and marry Daemon off to  Rohanne of Tyrosh. 

In the former two cases it is very clear who the rightful heir was. In Robert's case we only know who the king should have named his heir had he known the truth about Cersei's children (Stannis) but we cannot say he would have named him - because nobody never told him. Not to mention that as king he would have had every right to ignore 'the truth' and stick with Cersei's children even if they were not his seed - just as the Conqueror treated two boys as his sons who, in my opinion, were likely only his nephews.

As for figuring out an heir - the system is that the king or lord tells the world who his successor is going to be - by publicly naming or acknowleding an heir and treating him as such. And that's usually a child of the king/lord that is groomed to succeed him from childhood.

When such an heir is in place there is usually no trouble at all. Things only get messy when there is no clear heir anymore (as when Jaehaerys I's two elder sons predeceased him) or like when King Maekar died before naming or acknowledging an heir after the death of Aerion Brightflame.

The Dance isn't a war that started out of confusion. It started because a rather small cabal staged a coup and installed a new king during a power vacuum. People knew that this was a coup and wrong - that's why so many Westerosi sided with and rose for Rhaenyra. If it had been more or less universally accepted that she wasn't/couldn't be the heir then nobody would have done much for her. They would have treated her like Borros treated her - or would have offered nothing but excuses. After all, at the start of the war she basically had no support at all, and chances that the Black dragonriders would suddenly run amok targeting carefully neutral bystanders wouldn't have been that high.

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