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Old 10th May 2009, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Succession in Westeros

So, how does this work in Westeros jf you exclude the ironmen and Dorne?

1. Direct male descendants
2. Brothers and their male descendants

What comes next and how do you order them?
Daughters
Male cousins
Sisters
Distant male relatives
Children from wife's new husband?

Just wondering because Littlefinger wants to marry Sansa off to Jon Arryn's sister's daughter's son (if I'm not mistaken). Would he have a strong enough claim or could some distant Arryn cousin come in and present his own claim and it would end in a might makes right scenario?
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Old 11th May 2009, 01:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

I kind of think it doesn't much matter.

While someone else may, theoretically, be able to present a competing claim, as long as Harry the Heir can get the lords of the vale behind him he'll be just fine. Does anyone really think it's likely that Little Finger won't be able to beg/borrow/bribe enough lords to get behind his guy to preempt a competing claim?

We have every reason to believe that Harry will be a welcome relief to the lords of The Vale, who were furious at Lysa's refusal to come to the Starks' aid and can't be thrilled about the spoiled weakling Robert ruling over them as their lord.

Stannis clearly had the better claim then Renly, but the storm lords unanimously chose the well loved younger brother over the older true king. I don't see why it would be any different in The Vale, especially if Harry gets a god war started right away. The Vale is spoling for a fight.

Little Finger won't have Robert killed until he's in posistion to place Harry the Heir in his place almost immediately. So even if there's another Arryn cousin or something out there, they'll have to move very fast or else Little Finger will just present Harry as a fait accompli.

Or that's what i'd expect anyway...
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Old 12th May 2009, 01:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

Legally it goes

ELDEST SON
YOUNGER SONS
BROTHER
BROTHER'S SONS
UNCLE
UNCLE'S SONS

Daughters only inherit if every other male heir out as far as cousins has been killed.
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Old 13th May 2009, 01:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

well that can't be true Wert... since Cercei is Ruling Lady of House Lannister... Kevan is not Lord Lannister... (since Tyrion can't inherit, being condemned to death). Though i imagine, should Cercei re-marry, her husband would be the Lord, whilst the Name would continue since she was the legal heir. And Sansa, she is the legal Heir of Winterfell (with Bran and Rickon believed dead), whilst there are other Starks who could possibly be the heir, even if they were Karstarks...a link would be created to not allow a name like Stark to die out...even if the last Lord was murdered as a traitor.
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Old 13th May 2009, 03:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

Good point, dg.

I don't know that Sansa has any paternal uncles or even cousins. Robert, Edmure, and the Blackfish are all related to Sansa through the Tully side.

Mayhaps taking a look at the Frey line of succession will help. Theirs is the longest and most complex of all... and yet I don't recall ever hearing of any women in line.

Exclusively male primogeniture seems to prevail, except in Cersei's case. I don't know if this means daughters are included before brothers or if Cersei is a special case being the dowager Queen or if Tywin had specifically laid out the inheritance in his will or if Martin is making Cersei the heir to make his story work.

Then again, doesn't the line of succession for the House of Windsor include women?

Okay, on Wikipedia (forgive me, I know Wikipedia can be fooled) there is a page listing the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom. There are 1,599 people listed. The list seems to have a partiality for males over females.
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Old 13th May 2009, 04:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

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Originally Posted by devilsgrin View Post
well that can't be true Wert... since Cercei is Ruling Lady of House Lannister... Kevan is not Lord Lannister... (since Tyrion can't inherit, being condemned to death). Though i imagine, should Cercei re-marry, her husband would be the Lord, whilst the Name would continue since she was the legal heir. And Sansa, she is the legal Heir of Winterfell (with Bran and Rickon believed dead), whilst there are other Starks who could possibly be the heir, even if they were Karstarks...a link would be created to not allow a name like Stark to die out...even if the last Lord was murdered as a traitor.
Interesting point. Cersei as the Regent may have something to do with that or Tywin may have altered the will (or as the Hand, possibly the law itself) when Jaime got disinherited to stop Tyrion inheriting by any means possible.
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Old 13th May 2009, 07:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

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or Tywin may have altered the will to stop Tyrion inheriting by any means possible.
That would explain it. Tywin once told Tyrion that he'd never inherit Casterly Rock.
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Old 14th May 2009, 02:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

I wonder if they would need the King's approval if they wanted to cut someone out of the succession line?

Let's say if Ned wanted Bran to succeed him instead of Robb, would he have needed the King's approval and would that be difficult to obtain? That seems likely as Randall Tarly sent his son to the watch instead of just writing him out of the will.
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Old 14th May 2009, 10:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

i imagine there would be some scandal created to make out that Robb was not his natural son, but born of his wife's adulterous behaviour whilst he was at war with Robert...
I doubt it would be difficult. Though Robb would certainly NOT take it lying down like Samwell the Wimp did. (yes i know he's no longer that fat tub of lard he started as, but in the beginning he was).
Perhaps a large part of the accusations and trial of Tyrion was Tywin's attempt (successful might i add) of removing Tyrion from any possibility of inheriting Casterly Rock.
I imagine that the traditional line of succession would be rather similar to the English lines of succession which obviously include women, but Sons come before daughters, and daughters come before brothers, nephews and even uncles.
the british line currently goes:
1. Elizabeth II -> 2. Charles, Prince of Wales -> 3. Prince William -> 4. Prince Harry -> 5. Prince Andrew Duke of York-> 6. Princess Beatrice -> 7. Princess Eugenie -> 8. Prince Edward Earl of Wessex-> 9. James, Viscount Severn -> 10. Lady Louise Windsor -> 11. Princess Anne, the Princess Royal -> 12. Peter Phillips -> 13. Zara Phillips.
The succession then continues with the children of the late Princess Margaret, and thence onto the Queen's cousins. As you can see there are many females in the line, higher up than many of the princes. However, even though Princess Anne is older than both Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, she comes in after them, and their children, male and female. This is a good example of the most recognisable royal succession type in the Royal families of the world today, and is called Primogeniture, or sometimes Male Primogeniture - where males are favoured over females and where the senior line of succession always takes precedence over a lesser line. Most Noble families follow the same succession, but they do differ depending on the nature of the rules of succession set out when the Title was created.
There are others that place ALL surviving males of the Line above all females. There are also those that exclude Females all-together, The Japanese Imperial Throne has a succession like this.

Dorne presents us with the only line of Succession that doesn't favour male over female... This is rare, but not unheard of in our own world. Sweden, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands are like this. this is called Absolute (or Equal) Primogeniture. wherein, females receive all the same rights of successsion as males.
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Old 14th May 2009, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

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Originally Posted by devilsgrin View Post
i imagine there would be some scandal created to make out that Robb was not his natural son, but born of his wife's adulterous behaviour whilst he was at war with Robert...
I doubt it would be difficult. Though Robb would certainly NOT take it lying down like Samwell the Wimp did. (yes i know he's no longer that fat tub of lard he started as, but in the beginning he was).
What I meant was to do it without besmirching the good name of your family. My citing of Sam's case was to show that it wasn't as simple as changing a will, like what someone suggested above, as his father had to pack him off to the NW after threatening to kill him if he didn't agree.
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Old 14th May 2009, 12:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

Quote:
Okay, on Wikipedia (forgive me, I know Wikipedia can be fooled) there is a page listing the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom. There are 1,599 people listed. The list seems to have a partiality for males over females.
Did anyone else look for their own name in this list?

...no?
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Old 14th May 2009, 02:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

Very droll, HJ.
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Old 19th May 2009, 10:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

I think that once you get beyond the male sons in order, the issue becomes debatable and other factors can come into play. At this stage I think it becomes less a matter of fixed order of succession, and more a matter of comparing the strength of various competing claims.

The strength of the claim would depend on a lot of things: the closeness of relationship of the claimant to the last holder, a preference for a male claimant, the willingness of the claimant to accept the title, whether the claimant has other titles or duties that might distract them, the power and wealth of the claimant, the claimant's reputation, marriage links, etc.
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Old 19th May 2009, 12:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

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I think that once you get beyond the male sons in order, the issue becomes debatable ....
Nicely put.


Do we know if all the ruling families of the seven** "kingdoms" follow the same rules, given that there are different religious allegiancies involved.






** - Well, six - Dorne has already been mentioned, and I'm not asking about the Iron Throne.
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Old 19th May 2009, 11:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Succession in Westeros

This reminds me a little of the succession dispute in Wheel of Time as well. In principle, the Queen of Andor is supposed to be the female noble with the largest number of bloodlines linking her to Ishara Casalain, the founder of the kingdom. In actuality, the Queen is usually the person with the largest political base and military support and that is all that matters. There are three or four claimants with stronger claims than Morgase and later Elayne in the book, but the Trakands 'win' due to other factors.
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