Difference between revisions of "Great Council"

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The '''Great Council''' is a council that is formed when the inheritance of the throne is unclear. In [[Westeros]] history, there have been at least two '''Great Councils''' to decide the [[Targaryen]] succession to the [[Iron Throne]].
 
The '''Great Council''' is a council that is formed when the inheritance of the throne is unclear. In [[Westeros]] history, there have been at least two '''Great Councils''' to decide the [[Targaryen]] succession to the [[Iron Throne]].
  
==Great Council in {{Date|101}}==
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==Great Council of {{Date|101}}==
 
===Prelude to the Council===
 
===Prelude to the Council===
King [[Jaehaerys I Targaryen|Jaehaerys I]]'s eldest son and first heir [[Aemon Targaryen (son of Jaehaerys I)|Aemon]] had died in {{Date|92}}, which cause Jaehaerys to choose his second born son [[Baelon Targaryen (son of Jaehaerys I)|Baelon]] over Aemon's daughter [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Aemon)|Rhaenys]] as his new heir. Baelon, however, died in {{Date|101}}, causing Jaehaerys to be in need for a new heir yet again. Instead of letting the King decide on his own, a Great Council was called together to settle the matter.{{Ref|tpatq}}
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King [[Jaehaerys I Targaryen|Jaehaerys I]]'s son and heir, Prince [[Aemon Targaryen (son of Jaehaerys I)|Aemon]], had died in {{Date|92}}, which caused Jaehaerys to choose Aemon's younger brother, Prince [[Baelon Targaryen (son of Jaehaerys I)|Baelon]], as his heir, passing over Aemon's daughter, Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Aemon)|Rhaenys]] - an act that would cause the Second Quarrel. Prince Baelon, however, died in {{Date|101}}, causing Jaehaerys to be in need for a new heir yet again. Instead of having the King decide on his own, a Great Council was called together to settle the matter.{{Ref|tpatq}} This was the first Great Council to have ever been called.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}}
  
 
===The outcome of the Council===
 
===The outcome of the Council===
The Great Council of {{Date|101}} was held at [[Harrenhal]].{{Ref|tpatq}}
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The Great Council of {{Date|101}} was held at [[Harrenhal]].{{Ref|tpatq}} Lords came from all over the realm.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}}
  
Candidates for the crown included Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Aemon)|Rhaenys Targaryen]], Prince [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys Targaryen]], Ser [[Laenor Velaryon]], and Lady [[Laena Velaryon]]. The lords assembled favored the male claimant over the female by twenty to one, although supporters of Rhaenys included Houses [[House Baratheon|Baratheon]], [[House Stark|Stark]], [[House Dustin|Dustin]], and [[House Manderly|Manderly]]. [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys Targaryen]] was ultimately chosen by the assembled nobility.{{Ref|tpatq}}
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There were a total of nine lesser claims, all of which were heard and dismissed. Amongst these nine lesser claims were Princess [[Rhaenys Targaryen (daughter of Aemon)|Rhaenys Targaryen]] and her daughter, Lady [[Laena Velaryon]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}} The [[House Stark|Starks]] of [[Winterfell]], Dustins of [[Barrowton]], and [[House Manderly|Manderly's]] of [[White Harbor]] had spoken in favor of Rhaenys,{{Ref|TPATQ}} as well as Rhaenys' uncle, Lord [[Boremund Baratheon]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Baratheon]}
  
===Later references===
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This left two final candidates for the crown: Prince [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys Targaryen]], the eldest son of Prince Baelon and his sister-wife, Princess [[Alyssa Targaryen|Alyssa]], and [[Laenor Velaryon]], the son of Princess Rhaenys, and the brother of lady Laena.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}}
Following the death of King [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys I]], his [[small council]] examined the annals of the Great Council. They determined that the houses which had dissented during the Great Council were likely to support the claim of [[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] instead of [[Aegon II Targaryen]].{{Ref|tpatq}}
 
  
==Great Council in {{Date|233}}==
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Primogeniture favored Laenor, as his mother, Princess Rhaenys, was the daughter of Prince Aemon, who had been the eldest living son of King Jaehaerys. Yet proximity favored Viserys, who, in addition, had been the last Targaryen Prince to ride the dragon [[Balerion]], before the Black Dread had died in {{Date|94}}. On the other hand, Laenor had recently acquired a dragon of his own, [[Seasmoke]].
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In the end, what mattered most for the many lords in the realm, was that the male line would take precedence over the female line. In addition, Prince Viserys was twenty four years old, while Laenor was only seven. Yet Laenor had one big advantage over Viserys: he was the son of Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], the wealthiest man of the Seven Kingdoms. Corlys' fame, reputation and wealth did much to support Laenor's claim. Lord Borremund Baratheon supported Laenors claim (his sister [[Jocelyn Baratheon|Jocelyn]] was Laenor's grandmother),{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Baratheon}} as did Lord [[Ellard Stark]], Lord [[House Blackwood|Blackwood]], Lord [[House Bar Emmon|Bar Emmon]] and Lord [[House Celtigar|Celtigar]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}} They were too few, however. While the maesters never revealed the actual numbers,{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}} it was rumored that Prince Viserys had won by twenty to one votes.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}}{{Ref|TPATQ}} Amongst those who had spoken in favor of Viserys, was Viserys' younger brother, Prince [[Daemon Targaryen]], who had gone as far as assembling a small army, when it was rumored that Lord Corlys Velaryon was readying a fleet to defends the rights of Laenor,{{Ref|TWOIAF| Viserys I}} Lord [[Grover Tully]] of [[Riverrun]],{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Tully}} and Lord [[Tymond Lannister]] of [[Casterly Rock]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Lannister Under the Dragons}}
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[[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys Targaryen]] was ultimately chosen by the assembled nobility,{{Ref|tpatq}} and while he was not present for the final deliberations, King Jaehaerys I named Prince Viserys the new [[Prince of Dragonstone]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}}
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===Consequences of the Council===
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According to Archmaester [[Gyldayn]], in the eyes of many, the council of {{Date|101}} established an iron precedent on matters of succession: that the Iron Throne could not pass to a woman, or to a male descendant of a woman.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Jaehaerys I}}
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King [[Viserys I Targaryen]] had named his daughter, his only surviving child by his first marriage, Princess [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], his heir after the death of his second born son, Prince [[Baelon Targaryen (son of Viserys I)|Baelon]]. After three sons had been born in his second marriage, Viserys would be asked about the succession repeatedly, but Viserys chose to ignore the precedents of {{Date|101}}, and Rhaenyra remained his heir until his death. Viserys even fired his [[Hand of the King]], Ser [[Otto Hightower]], because Hightower would keep asking the king about the matter.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Viserys I}}{{Ref|TRP}}
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Following the death of King [[Viserys I Targaryen|Viserys I]], and the start of the coup for the throne by the [[greens]], Viserys' [[small council]] examined the annals of the Great Council. They determined that the houses which had dissented during the Great Council were likely to support the claim of [[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] instead of [[Aegon II Targaryen]].{{Ref|tpatq}}
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==Great Council of {{Date|136}}==
 
===Prelude to the Council===
 
===Prelude to the Council===
King [[Daeron II]]'s heir, Prince [[Baelor Targaryen (son of Daeron II)|Baelor]], had perished in an accident during a [[Trial of Seven]] in {{Date|209}}, leaving his eldest son [[Valarr Targaryen|Valarr]] to inherit the crown.{{Ref|THK}} However, later that year the [[The Great Spring Sickness|Great Spring Sickness]] killed King Daeron and both of Baelor's sons, Valarr and [[Matarys Targaryen|Matarys]].{{Ref|TSS}}{{Ref|TMK}} This in turn left [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Maekar I)|Daeron]]'s second son [[Aerys I]] to inherit.{{Ref|TSS}} Aerys left no issue, and upon his death in {{Date|221}} the crown was passed to his youngest brother, who reigned as King [[Maekar I]], the fourth son of King Daeron II. At the death of Maekar at the hands of a rebellious lord in {{Date|233}}, a council was convened to decide who would inherit the [[Iron Throne]] since both of Maekar's eldest sons were dead and their inheritors were only children.
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King [[Aegon III Targaryen]] ascended the throne in {{Date|131}} at the age of eleven. It would be five years before the King would be able to rule in his own right, but instead of naming ''one'' regent, in the conclusion of the [[Dance of the Dragons]], a council of seven regents was named, who would rule together with the [[Hand of the King]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
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The original council of seven consisted out of the following members: Lady [[Jeyne Arryn]], Lord [[Corlys Velaryon]], Lord [[Roland Westerling]], Lord [[Royce Caron]], Lord [[Manfryd Mooton]], Ser [[Torrhen Manderly]], and Grand Maester [[Munkun]]. Out of these seven, only Munkun would serve the entire term ({{Date|131}} to {{Date|136}}).{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
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===The outcome of the Council===
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Every time a member of the council of regents died or resigned, the council elected a replacement. However, when suddenly three spots on the council became available, a Great Council was called to name new members. The Great Council elected [[Willam Stackspear]], [[Marq Merryweather]] and [[Lorrent Grandison]] by lot.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
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These three members served with the other four regents until the sixteenth nameday of King Aegon III, when he dismissed them all.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon III}}
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==Great Council of {{Date|233}}==
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===Prelude to the Council===
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King [[Daeron II Targaryen]]s original heir, Prince [[Baelor Targaryen (son of Daeron II)|Baelor]], had perished in an accident during a [[Trial of Seven]] in {{Date|209}}, leaving his eldest son [[Valarr Targaryen|Valarr]] to inherit the crown.{{Ref|THK}} However, later that year the [[The Great Spring Sickness|Great Spring Sickness]] killed King Daeron and both of Baelor's sons, Valarr and [[Matarys Targaryen|Matarys]].{{Ref|TSS}}{{Ref|TMK}} This in turn left [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Maekar I)|Daeron]]'s second son, Prince [[Aerys I Targaryen|Aerys]], to inherit, and Aerys was thus crowned as King Aerys I Targaryen.{{Ref|TSS}} Aerys left no issue, and upon his death in {{Date|221}} the crown was passed to his youngest brother, who reigned as King [[Maekar I Targaryen]] (Aerys' other heirs, Prince [[Rhaegel Targaryen|Rhaegel]] and Rhaegel's son, Prince [[Aelor Targaryen|Aelor]], had predeceased Aerys). At the death of Maekar at the hands of a rebellious lord in {{Date|233}}, the inheritance was unclear, and a council was called by Maekar's [[Hand of the King]], Lord [[Brynden Rivers]], to decide who would inherit the [[Iron Throne]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}
  
 
===Outcome of the Council===
 
===Outcome of the Council===
Maekar's oldest son, [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Maekar I)|Daeron]], called "Daeron the Drunken", was a dissolute whore-monger who had died of a sexually transmitted pox, and left only a feeble-witted daughter, [[Vaella Targaryen (daughter of Daeron)|Vaella]], as a possible heir. His second son, [[Aerion Targaryen]], was a cruel madman who had died in {{Date|232}} as a result of drinking wildfire in the mistaken belief it would turn him into a dragon. He had left an infant son with the ominous name of [[Maegor Targaryen (son of Aerion)|Maegor]] as only heir, who was only a year old. [[Maester Aemon|Aemon]] and [[Aegon V Targaryen|Aegon]] had not expected to inherit the throne with two grown sons ahead of them. Aemon was already a chained [[maester]] serving at his brother Daeron's castle.{{Ref|ACOK|6}} Aegon was a man grown, but mistrusted by the lords due to his time spent squiring for Ser Duncan the Tall, being called "half a peasant". A final unexpected contender for the throne was [[Aenys Blackfyre]], fifth son of Daemon Blackfyre, who had written from Tyrosh, hoping to win the throne with words when his predecessors had failed to win it with swords. The [[Hand of the King]], [[Brynden Rivers]], offered him safe conduct to Westeros.
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Maekar's eldest son, Prince [[Daeron Targaryen (son of Maekar I)|Daeron]], called "Daeron the Drunken", had died of a sexually transmitted pox prior to {{date|233}}. Daeron's only issue was Princess [[Vaella Targaryen (daughter of Daeron)|Vaella]], a feeble-witted, simple girl.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}{{Ref|ACOK|6}}
  
Vaella was passed over almost immediately, being both female and simple. Few spoke for Maegor, as he was an infant and many wanted to avoid a lengthy regency, there were also fears that he may have inherited his father's madness. In an attempt to avoid the crowning of Aegon, some lords attempted to have Maester Aemon released from his vows, but he declined and nothing came of it. As the lords were debating, Aenys Blackfyre arrived. He was immediately arrested and dragged to the Red Keep to be executed by Bloodraven, in breach of his promise of safe conduct. Aenys' head was presented to the council as a warning to Blackfyre sympathisers.
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Maekar's next son, Prince [[Aerion Targaryen|Aerion]], had died in {{Date|232}}, when he drank wildfire in the mistaken belief it would turn him into a dragon.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}{{Ref|ACOK|6}} Aerion's only issue was an infant son, Prince [[Maegor Targaryen (son of Aerion)|Maegor]], who had been born {{Date|232}}, not long before Aerion's death.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}
  
Soon after this the lords present chose Aegon and he was crowned as the fifth of his name, his first act being to arrest Brynden Rivers for murder.
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Maekar's third son, [[Maester Aemon|Aemon]], had taken his maester's vows in {{Date|217}}.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}
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Maekar's youngest son, Prince [[Aegon V Targaryen]], had served as a squire of a [[Duncan the Tall|hedge knight]] in his youth, which had led to some of the lords mistrusting him, as they felt that Aegon's wandering with the hedge knight had lef the Prince "half a peasant".{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}
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The claim of Princess Vaella was immediately dismissed. Only a few spoke up for the claim of Prince Maegor, but his ascension would mean a long regency, and in addition, it was feared that Maegor might have inherited Aerion's madness and cruelty. Thus, Maegor's claim was dismissed as well.
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Prince Aegon's claim seemed as the obvious choice, but due to the prince's wanderings in his youth, there were enough lords who hated him, and thus, an effort was made to offer the throne,{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}} quietly, to Aemon. Aemon, however, refused the crown.{{Ref|ACOK|6}}
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As the Great Council was debating the matter of succession, a fifth claimant appeared. [[Aenys Blackfyre]], the fifth son of the Pretender [[Daemon I Blackfyre]], had written to [[King's Landing]] from [[Tyrosh]] when the Great Council had first been announced, hoping to gain the throne with words, as swords had failed his family three times already. The [[Hand of the King]], [[Brynden Rivers]], had offered him safe conduct to Westeros.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}
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Upon arrivel, however, Aenys was immediately arrested and dragged to the [[Red Keep]], where he was executed. His head was presented to the council, to serve as a warning against every lord who might still have sympathies for the Blackfyre's.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}
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A majority of the council elected Prince Aegon soon thereafter, leadign to the ascension of King [[Aegon V Targaryen]], "Aegon the Unlikely".{{Ref|TWOIAF| Maekar I}}
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===Consequence of the Council===
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The first act of King Aegon V would be to arrest the man who had gotten him elected. [[Brynden Rivers]] was arrested and sentenced to death for breaking the word of the Iron Throne, having arranged the execution of Aenys Blackfyre. Aegon would later offer Rivers the option of going to [[the Wall]], which Rivers would accept. He travelled to the Wall together with [[Aemon Targaryen (son of Maekar I)|Aemon]], and served in the [[Night's Watch]] from {{Date|233}} until he disappeared beyond the Wall in {{Date|252}}.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aegon V}}
  
 
==Attempts to call a Great Council==
 
==Attempts to call a Great Council==
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==={{Date|37}}===
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King [[Aenys I Targaryen]] considers calling a Great Council, when four different rebels begin to harass [[Westeros]], and the King has no idea how to handle the situation. During this Great Council, he had wanted to discuss how best to deal with the situations. The Great Council was never called, as others acted more swiftly than the king, thereby solving the troubles.{{Ref|TWOIAF| Aenys I}}
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==={{Date|130}}===
 
==={{Date|130}}===
 
In {{Date|130}}, after the fall of [[King's Landing]], Dowager Queen [[Alicent Hightower]] suggested assembling a Great Council, to decide which claimant should ascend to the throne, [[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] or [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon Targaryen]]. [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], however, refused to grant the wish.{{Ref|tpatq}}
 
In {{Date|130}}, after the fall of [[King's Landing]], Dowager Queen [[Alicent Hightower]] suggested assembling a Great Council, to decide which claimant should ascend to the throne, [[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] or [[Aegon II Targaryen|Aegon Targaryen]]. [[Rhaenyra Targaryen|Rhaenyra]], however, refused to grant the wish.{{Ref|tpatq}}
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==={{Date|171}}===
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Followign the death of King [[Baelor I Targaryen]], there were those amongst the smallfolk, and also a few of the lords, who felt that Princess [[Daena Targaryen]], the eldest of the three remaining children of King [[Aegon III Targaryen]], Baelor's father, should inherit the throne. Theyw ere too few, however. Recalling the Great Council of {{Date|101}}, as well as the [[Dance of the Dragons]], remembered as the last time a woman had ruled, it was decided to crown Prince [[Viserys II Targaryen|Viserys Targaryen]] King, instead of Princess Daena, who due to her ten year imprisonment in the [[Maidenvault]], as well as her defiance of birthing a bastard whilst married, was seen as wild and unmanageable and had little support.
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==={{Date|281}}===
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The announcement of the [[Tourney at Harrenhal]] by Lord [[Walter Whent]] gave reason for suspicion. It was rumored that there had been a "shadow host", who had been providing Lord Walter with the funds to pay the magnificent prizes which were promised. These rumors were widely believed in {{Date|281}}, and are still believed at the present. Whilst a dozen names have been put forward for the identity of this shadow host, over the years one name seemed compelling: Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen]].{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Year of the False Spring}}
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The tale tells that Prince Rhaegar had arranged the tourney, by sending Ser [[Oswell Whent]], his friend, and Lord Walters broter, as a go-between. Providing the gold for prizes, the Prince had wanted to lure as many lords and knights to Harrenhal as possible. But the Prince's interests would not have been the tourney itself. His intent would have been to gather as many of the lords of the realm together, to call an informal Great Council, hoping to discuss ways and means of dealing with the madness of Rhaegar's father, King [[Aerys II Targaryen]]. History suggests both a regency, or a forced abdication as possibilities of the hoped outcome.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Year of the False Spring}}
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If this was truly Prince Rhaegar's intent, nothing came from it, as King [[Aerys II Targaryen]], warned of these rumors by his [[Varys|master of whispers]], decided to attend the tourney personally, despite not having lef the [[Red Keep]] for four years.{{Ref|TWOIAF| The Year of the False Spring}}
  
 
==={{Date|283}}===
 
==={{Date|283}}===
Line 38: Line 94:
 
:''Main article: [[Kingsmoot]]''
 
:''Main article: [[Kingsmoot]]''
  
A kingsmoot is a Great Council-like ceremony held amongst the [[Ironborn]], where all longship captains are allowed to cast a vote as to who should be chosen as the new Iron King. The kingsmoot is traditionally held on Nagga's Hill on Old Wyk.{{Ref|aFfC|1}}
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A kingsmoot is a Great Council-like ceremony held amongst the [[Ironborn]], where all longship captains are allowed to cast a vote as to who should be chosen as the new Iron King. The kingsmoot is traditionally held on Nagga's Hill on Old Wyk.{{Ref|aFfC|1}}{{Ref|TWOIAF| Driftwood Crowns}}
 
The last Kingsmoot was called in late {{Date|299}} by the priest [[Aeron Greyjoy]], after the death of King [[Balon Greyjoy]].{{Ref|aFfC|2}} In early {{Date|300}}, [[Euron Greyjoy]] was chosen as the new Iron King.{{Ref|aFfC|19}}
 
The last Kingsmoot was called in late {{Date|299}} by the priest [[Aeron Greyjoy]], after the death of King [[Balon Greyjoy]].{{Ref|aFfC|2}} In early {{Date|300}}, [[Euron Greyjoy]] was chosen as the new Iron King.{{Ref|aFfC|19}}
  

Revision as of 19:14, 6 December 2014

The Great Council is a council that is formed when the inheritance of the throne is unclear. In Westeros history, there have been at least two Great Councils to decide the Targaryen succession to the Iron Throne.

Great Council of 101 AC

Prelude to the Council

King Jaehaerys I's son and heir, Prince Aemon, had died in 92 AC, which caused Jaehaerys to choose Aemon's younger brother, Prince Baelon, as his heir, passing over Aemon's daughter, Princess Rhaenys - an act that would cause the Second Quarrel. Prince Baelon, however, died in 101 AC, causing Jaehaerys to be in need for a new heir yet again. Instead of having the King decide on his own, a Great Council was called together to settle the matter.[1] This was the first Great Council to have ever been called.[2]

The outcome of the Council

The Great Council of 101 AC was held at Harrenhal.[1] Lords came from all over the realm.[2]

There were a total of nine lesser claims, all of which were heard and dismissed. Amongst these nine lesser claims were Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and her daughter, Lady Laena Velaryon.[2] The Starks of Winterfell, Dustins of Barrowton, and Manderly's of White Harbor had spoken in favor of Rhaenys,[1] as well as Rhaenys' uncle, Lord Boremund Baratheon.{{Ref|TWOIAF| House Baratheon]}

This left two final candidates for the crown: Prince Viserys Targaryen, the eldest son of Prince Baelon and his sister-wife, Princess Alyssa, and Laenor Velaryon, the son of Princess Rhaenys, and the brother of lady Laena.[2]

Primogeniture favored Laenor, as his mother, Princess Rhaenys, was the daughter of Prince Aemon, who had been the eldest living son of King Jaehaerys. Yet proximity favored Viserys, who, in addition, had been the last Targaryen Prince to ride the dragon Balerion, before the Black Dread had died in 94 AC. On the other hand, Laenor had recently acquired a dragon of his own, Seasmoke.


In the end, what mattered most for the many lords in the realm, was that the male line would take precedence over the female line. In addition, Prince Viserys was twenty four years old, while Laenor was only seven. Yet Laenor had one big advantage over Viserys: he was the son of Lord Corlys Velaryon, the wealthiest man of the Seven Kingdoms. Corlys' fame, reputation and wealth did much to support Laenor's claim. Lord Borremund Baratheon supported Laenors claim (his sister Jocelyn was Laenor's grandmother),[3] as did Lord Ellard Stark, Lord Blackwood, Lord Bar Emmon and Lord Celtigar.[2] They were too few, however. While the maesters never revealed the actual numbers,[2] it was rumored that Prince Viserys had won by twenty to one votes.[2][1] Amongst those who had spoken in favor of Viserys, was Viserys' younger brother, Prince Daemon Targaryen, who had gone as far as assembling a small army, when it was rumored that Lord Corlys Velaryon was readying a fleet to defends the rights of Laenor,[4] Lord Grover Tully of Riverrun,[5] and Lord Tymond Lannister of Casterly Rock.[6]


Viserys Targaryen was ultimately chosen by the assembled nobility,[1] and while he was not present for the final deliberations, King Jaehaerys I named Prince Viserys the new Prince of Dragonstone.[2]

Consequences of the Council

According to Archmaester Gyldayn, in the eyes of many, the council of 101 AC established an iron precedent on matters of succession: that the Iron Throne could not pass to a woman, or to a male descendant of a woman.[2]


King Viserys I Targaryen had named his daughter, his only surviving child by his first marriage, Princess Rhaenyra, his heir after the death of his second born son, Prince Baelon. After three sons had been born in his second marriage, Viserys would be asked about the succession repeatedly, but Viserys chose to ignore the precedents of 101 AC, and Rhaenyra remained his heir until his death. Viserys even fired his Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower, because Hightower would keep asking the king about the matter.[4][7]

Following the death of King Viserys I, and the start of the coup for the throne by the greens, Viserys' small council examined the annals of the Great Council. They determined that the houses which had dissented during the Great Council were likely to support the claim of Rhaenyra Targaryen instead of Aegon II Targaryen.[1]

Great Council of 136 AC

Prelude to the Council

King Aegon III Targaryen ascended the throne in 131 AC at the age of eleven. It would be five years before the King would be able to rule in his own right, but instead of naming one regent, in the conclusion of the Dance of the Dragons, a council of seven regents was named, who would rule together with the Hand of the King.[8]

The original council of seven consisted out of the following members: Lady Jeyne Arryn, Lord Corlys Velaryon, Lord Roland Westerling, Lord Royce Caron, Lord Manfryd Mooton, Ser Torrhen Manderly, and Grand Maester Munkun. Out of these seven, only Munkun would serve the entire term (131 AC to 136 AC).[8]

The outcome of the Council

Every time a member of the council of regents died or resigned, the council elected a replacement. However, when suddenly three spots on the council became available, a Great Council was called to name new members. The Great Council elected Willam Stackspear, Marq Merryweather and Lorrent Grandison by lot.[8]

These three members served with the other four regents until the sixteenth nameday of King Aegon III, when he dismissed them all.[8]

Great Council of 233 AC

Prelude to the Council

King Daeron II Targaryens original heir, Prince Baelor, had perished in an accident during a Trial of Seven in 209 AC, leaving his eldest son Valarr to inherit the crown.[9] However, later that year the Great Spring Sickness killed King Daeron and both of Baelor's sons, Valarr and Matarys.[10][11] This in turn left Daeron's second son, Prince Aerys, to inherit, and Aerys was thus crowned as King Aerys I Targaryen.[10] Aerys left no issue, and upon his death in 221 AC the crown was passed to his youngest brother, who reigned as King Maekar I Targaryen (Aerys' other heirs, Prince Rhaegel and Rhaegel's son, Prince Aelor, had predeceased Aerys). At the death of Maekar at the hands of a rebellious lord in 233 AC, the inheritance was unclear, and a council was called by Maekar's Hand of the King, Lord Brynden Rivers, to decide who would inherit the Iron Throne.[12]

Outcome of the Council

Maekar's eldest son, Prince Daeron, called "Daeron the Drunken", had died of a sexually transmitted pox prior to 233 AC. Daeron's only issue was Princess Vaella, a feeble-witted, simple girl.[12][13]

Maekar's next son, Prince Aerion, had died in 232 AC, when he drank wildfire in the mistaken belief it would turn him into a dragon.[12][13] Aerion's only issue was an infant son, Prince Maegor, who had been born 232 AC, not long before Aerion's death.[12]

Maekar's third son, Aemon, had taken his maester's vows in 217 AC.[12]

Maekar's youngest son, Prince Aegon V Targaryen, had served as a squire of a hedge knight in his youth, which had led to some of the lords mistrusting him, as they felt that Aegon's wandering with the hedge knight had lef the Prince "half a peasant".[12]


The claim of Princess Vaella was immediately dismissed. Only a few spoke up for the claim of Prince Maegor, but his ascension would mean a long regency, and in addition, it was feared that Maegor might have inherited Aerion's madness and cruelty. Thus, Maegor's claim was dismissed as well. Prince Aegon's claim seemed as the obvious choice, but due to the prince's wanderings in his youth, there were enough lords who hated him, and thus, an effort was made to offer the throne,[12] quietly, to Aemon. Aemon, however, refused the crown.[13]

As the Great Council was debating the matter of succession, a fifth claimant appeared. Aenys Blackfyre, the fifth son of the Pretender Daemon I Blackfyre, had written to King's Landing from Tyrosh when the Great Council had first been announced, hoping to gain the throne with words, as swords had failed his family three times already. The Hand of the King, Brynden Rivers, had offered him safe conduct to Westeros.[12]

Upon arrivel, however, Aenys was immediately arrested and dragged to the Red Keep, where he was executed. His head was presented to the council, to serve as a warning against every lord who might still have sympathies for the Blackfyre's.[12]


A majority of the council elected Prince Aegon soon thereafter, leadign to the ascension of King Aegon V Targaryen, "Aegon the Unlikely".[12]

Consequence of the Council

The first act of King Aegon V would be to arrest the man who had gotten him elected. Brynden Rivers was arrested and sentenced to death for breaking the word of the Iron Throne, having arranged the execution of Aenys Blackfyre. Aegon would later offer Rivers the option of going to the Wall, which Rivers would accept. He travelled to the Wall together with Aemon, and served in the Night's Watch from 233 AC until he disappeared beyond the Wall in 252 AC.[14]

Attempts to call a Great Council

37 AC

King Aenys I Targaryen considers calling a Great Council, when four different rebels begin to harass Westeros, and the King has no idea how to handle the situation. During this Great Council, he had wanted to discuss how best to deal with the situations. The Great Council was never called, as others acted more swiftly than the king, thereby solving the troubles.[15]

130 AC

In 130 AC, after the fall of King's Landing, Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower suggested assembling a Great Council, to decide which claimant should ascend to the throne, Rhaenyra Targaryen or Aegon Targaryen. Rhaenyra, however, refused to grant the wish.[1]

171 AC

Followign the death of King Baelor I Targaryen, there were those amongst the smallfolk, and also a few of the lords, who felt that Princess Daena Targaryen, the eldest of the three remaining children of King Aegon III Targaryen, Baelor's father, should inherit the throne. Theyw ere too few, however. Recalling the Great Council of 101 AC, as well as the Dance of the Dragons, remembered as the last time a woman had ruled, it was decided to crown Prince Viserys Targaryen King, instead of Princess Daena, who due to her ten year imprisonment in the Maidenvault, as well as her defiance of birthing a bastard whilst married, was seen as wild and unmanageable and had little support.

281 AC

The announcement of the Tourney at Harrenhal by Lord Walter Whent gave reason for suspicion. It was rumored that there had been a "shadow host", who had been providing Lord Walter with the funds to pay the magnificent prizes which were promised. These rumors were widely believed in 281 AC, and are still believed at the present. Whilst a dozen names have been put forward for the identity of this shadow host, over the years one name seemed compelling: Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.[16]

The tale tells that Prince Rhaegar had arranged the tourney, by sending Ser Oswell Whent, his friend, and Lord Walters broter, as a go-between. Providing the gold for prizes, the Prince had wanted to lure as many lords and knights to Harrenhal as possible. But the Prince's interests would not have been the tourney itself. His intent would have been to gather as many of the lords of the realm together, to call an informal Great Council, hoping to discuss ways and means of dealing with the madness of Rhaegar's father, King Aerys II Targaryen. History suggests both a regency, or a forced abdication as possibilities of the hoped outcome.[16]


If this was truly Prince Rhaegar's intent, nothing came from it, as King Aerys II Targaryen, warned of these rumors by his master of whispers, decided to attend the tourney personally, despite not having lef the Red Keep for four years.[16]

283 AC

It is believed that Rhaegar Targaryen, had he succeeded at the Battle of the Trident, would have wished to call a Great Council to determine what should be done about Aerys II Targaryen.[17]

299 AC

After realizing that Joffrey Baratheon was not the biological son of Robert Baratheon, Catelyn Stark suggests to Renly Baratheon that he, Stannis Baratheon, and Robb Stark, who had all been crowned as kings, should set aside their claims and call for a Great Council to determine who should be king. Renly Baratheon laughed at the suggestion.[18]

Variants

Kingsmoot

Main article: Kingsmoot

A kingsmoot is a Great Council-like ceremony held amongst the Ironborn, where all longship captains are allowed to cast a vote as to who should be chosen as the new Iron King. The kingsmoot is traditionally held on Nagga's Hill on Old Wyk.[19][20] The last Kingsmoot was called in late 299 AC by the priest Aeron Greyjoy, after the death of King Balon Greyjoy.[21] In early 300 AC, Euron Greyjoy was chosen as the new Iron King.[22]

References and Notes