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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]].
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[[File:Marc Simonetti RoyalP.jpg|thumb|right|650px|The Great Council of 101, as depicted by Marc Simonetti in ''[[The World of Ice & Fire]]''.]]
  
==Great Council in {{Date|101}}==
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A '''Great Council'''{{ref|FAB|Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession}} or '''great council'''{{ref|FAB|The Sons of the Dragon}} is a council of [[Westeros]]i nobles gathered to resolve contentious issues. In [[Westeros]]i history, there have been at least two Great Councils to decide the succession to the [[Iron Throne]], while a third decided the [[regent]]s of an under-aged king.
===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}}
 
  
===The outcome of the Council===
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The [[kingsmoot]] was a similar ceremony held amongst the [[ironborn]], where all longship captains were allowed to cast a vote as to who should be chosen as the new [[rock king]], [[salt king]], or [[High King of the Iron Islands]].{{Ref|aFfC|1}}{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Iron Islands: Driftwood Crowns}}
The Great Council of {{Date|101}} was held at [[Harrenhal]].{{Ref|tpatq}}
 
  
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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==History==
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===37 AC===
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King [[Aenys I Targaryen]] considered calling a great council in {{date|37}}, when four rebels—[[Harren the Red]], [[Jonos Arryn]], [[Lodos the Twice-Drowned]], and the [[Vulture King (Aenys I)|Vulture King]]—began to harass the [[Seven Kingdoms]] and the king could not decide how to handle them. During this proposed gathering, the assembled nobles would have discussed how best to deal with the situations. A council was never called, however, as others acted more swiftly than the king, thereby solving the troubles.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I}}{{ref|FAB|The Sons of the Dragon}}
  
===Later references===
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===Great Council of 101 AC===
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}}
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====Prelude====
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When King [[Jaehaerys I Targaryen]]'s son and heir, Prince [[Aemon Targaryen (son of Jaehaerys I)|Aemon]], died in {{Date|92}}, Jaehaerys chose 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]]. The decision caused the [[Second Quarrel]] between king and queen.
  
==Great Council in {{Date|233}}==
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Prince Baelon died in {{Date|101}} while serving as [[Hand of the King]], and Jaehaerys again needed an heir. Supporters of both 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, reportedly formed armies. The king summoned from the [[Citadel]] his only surviving son, Archmaester [[Vaegon Targaryen|Vaegon]]; whether Jaehaerys offered him the throne, or only wanted advice, is unknown. Vaegon suggested that lords, maesters, and the Faith discuss the candidates in a Great Council. Jaehaerys agreed, promising to accept whatever the council decided.{{Ref|fab|The Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession}}
===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.
 
  
===Outcome of the Council===
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As the first Great Council,{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I}} no one knew how many would attend. The Crown wanted room for at least five hundred lords and entourages, so the great castle of [[Harrenhal]] was chosen to host. More than a thousand lords came from throughout Westeros, gathering over a half year; some arrived as the council was ending.{{Ref|fab|The Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession}} The nearby town of [[Harrenton]] was briefly the fourth-largest settlement of the realm, behind only [[King's Landing]], [[Oldtown]], and [[Lannisport]].{{ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I}}
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 or 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 he King]], [[Brynden Rivers]], offered him safe conduct to Westeros.
 
  
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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====Outcome====
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The council met for thirteen days. It discussed and dismissed nine lesser claims, such as from three rival [[bastard]]s of Princess [[Saera Targaryen]], and an alleged bastard of King Jaehaerys. The two final candidates as heir were Prince Viserys and Laenor Velaryon.{{Ref|fab|The Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession}} 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]].{{ref|FAB|Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession}}
  
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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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's fame, reputation and wealth did much to support Laenor's claim. Lord [[Boremund Baratheon]] supported Laenor's claim (his sister [[Jocelyn Baratheon|Jocelyn]] was Laenor's grandmother),{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Stormlands: House Baratheon}} as did Lord [[Ellard Stark]], Lord [[House Blackwood|Blackwood]], Lord [[House Bar Emmon|Bar Emmon]] and Lord [[House Celtigar|Celtigar]],{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I}} the  [[House Dustin|Dustins]] of [[Barrowton]], and the [[House Manderly|Manderlys]] of [[White Harbor]].{{Ref|TPATQ}} They were too few, however. While the [[maesters]] never revealed the actual numbers,{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I}} it was rumored that Prince Viserys had won by a twenty to one vote.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I}}{{Ref|TPATQ}} Amongst those who had spoken in favor of Viserys, was Viserys's younger brother, Prince [[Daemon Targaryen]], who had gone as far as assembling a small army, when it was rumored that Lord Velaryon was readying a fleet to defend the rights of Laenor.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I}} Lord [[Grover Tully]]{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Riverlands: House Tully}} and Lord [[Tymond Lannister]] also supported Viserys.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons}}
  
==Attempts to call a Great Council==
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Prince Viserys was ultimately chosen by the assembled nobility,{{Ref|tpatq}} and while he was not present for the final deliberations, King Jaehaerys I named Viserys the new [[Prince of Dragonstone]].{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I}}
==={{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}}
 
  
==={{Date|283}}===
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====Consequences====
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]].{{Ref|AFFC|8}}
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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|The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I}}
  
==={{Date|299}}===
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King [[Viserys I Targaryen]] 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 was asked about the succession repeatedly, but he chose to ignore the precedents of {{Date|101}}, and Rhaenyra remained his heir. In {{date|109}} Viserys dismissed Ser [[Otto Hightower]], his [[Hand of the King]], because Otto kept asking the king about the matter.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I}}{{ref|FAB|Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession}}
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.{{ref|acok|33}}
 
  
==Variants==
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Following the death of Viserys, at the start of the coup for the throne by the [[greens]], Viserys's [[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|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens}}
===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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===130 AC===
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}}
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During the [[Dance of the Dragons]], the [[Iron Throne]] was contested by Queen [[Rhaenyra Targaryen]] and King [[Aegon II Targaryen]]. After the [[fall of King's Landing]] in {{date|130}}, Dowager Queen [[Alicent Hightower]] suggested assembling a great council to decide which claimant should ascend to the throne. Rhaenyra, however, refused to grant the wish.{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold}}
  
==References and Notes==
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===Great Council of 136 AC===
{{references|2}}
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====Prelude====
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King [[Aegon III Targaryen]] ascended the throne in {{Date|131}} at the age of eleven at the conclusion of the [[Dance of the Dragons]]. It would be five years before the king would be able to rule in his own right, but instead of naming one regent, a council of seven regents was named to rule with the [[Hand of the King]].{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
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During the [[regency of Aegon III]], the original council of seven consisted of 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 served the entire term ({{Date|131}} to {{Date|136}}).{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}
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====Outcome====
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In the aftermath of the [[Lysene Spring]], a gathering of the lords to [[King's Landing]] was called in {{date|136}} to name new members after deaths and resignations. Although not formally called a Great Council according to [[Gyldayn]],{{ref|FAB|The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency}} [[Yandel]] considers it as such.{{ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}} This was the largest gathering of nobles since the Great Council of {{date|101}}. Most attendees originated from the [[crownlands]], [[riverlands]], [[stormlands]], and the [[Vale of Arryn]], while others included [[House Lannister|Lannister]] envoys from the [[westerlands]], Lord [[Torrhen Manderly]], Lord [[Lyonel Hightower]] with Lady [[Samantha Tarly]], and a large contingent with Lord [[Unwin Peake]].{{ref|FAB|The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency}}
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The gathering selected [[Willam Stackspear]], [[Marq Merryweather]] and [[Lorent Grandison]] by lot,{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}} while Lord Manderly was chosen as [[Hand of the King]]. King Aegon III dismissed the regents once he reached his sixteen nameday.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III}}{{ref|FAB|The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency}}
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===Great Council of 233 AC===
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====Prelude====
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King [[Daeron II Targaryen]]'s heir, Prince [[Baelor Targaryen (son of Daeron II)|Baelor]], died after a [[trial of seven]] in {{Date|209}},{{Ref|THK}} making his eldest son [[Valarr Targaryen|Valarr]] the heir. However, later that year the [[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's second son, Prince [[Aerys I Targaryen|Aerys]], to inherit, and he 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's other heirs, Prince [[Rhaegel Targaryen|Rhaegel]] and Rhaegel's son, Prince [[Aelor Targaryen|Aelor]], had predeceased Aerys). The inheritance was unclear after Maekar's death in the [[Peake Uprising]] of {{date|233}}, so a council was called in [[King's Landing]] by Maekar's [[Hand of the King]], Lord [[Brynden Rivers]], to decide who would inherit the [[Iron Throne]].{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I}}
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====Outcome====
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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|The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I}}{{Ref|ACOK|6}}
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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|The Targaryen Kings: 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|The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I}}
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Maekar's third son, [[Aemon Targaryen (son of Maekar I)|Aemon]], had taken his maester's vows in {{Date|217}}.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I}}
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Maekar's youngest son, Prince [[Aegon V Targaryen|Aegon Targaryen]], had served as a squire of Ser [[Duncan the Tall]] 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 left the prince "half a peasant".{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: 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|The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I}} quietly, to Aemon. Maester 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]], Lord [[Brynden Rivers]], had offered him safe conduct to Westeros. Upon arrival, 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 [[House Blackfyre]].{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I}}
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A majority of the council elected Prince Aegon soon thereafter, leading to the ascension of King [[Aegon V Targaryen]], called "Aegon the Unlikely".{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I}}
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 +
====Consequences====
 +
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 later offered Bloodraven the option of going to the [[Wall]], which Brynden accepted. He travelled to the Wall together with Maester [[Aemon Targaryen (son of Maekar I)|Aemon]], serving in the [[Night's Watch]] from {{Date|233}} until he disappeared [[beyond the Wall]] in {{Date|252}}.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V}}
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===281 AC===
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[[File:PPRhaegarHarrenhalTourney.jpg|thumb|right|550px|The [[tourney at Harrenhal]] as depicted by Paolo Puggioni in ''[[The World of Ice & Fire]]'']]
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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 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, Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen]] is the most compelling.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring}}
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 +
Rhaegar allegedly arranged the tourney by sending Ser [[Oswell Whent]], his friend, and Lord Walter's brother, as a go-between. Providing the gold for prizes, the prince wanted to lure as many lords and knights as possible to [[Harrenhal]] to call an informal Great Council. Hoping to address the madness of his father, King [[Aerys II Targaryen]], Rhaegar possibly desired a regency or a forced abdication.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring}}
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Aerys, warned of these rumors by his [[master of whisperers]], Lord [[Varys]], decided to attend the tourney personally, despite not having left the [[Red Keep]] for four years.{{Ref|TWOIAF|The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring}}
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===283 AC===
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Before departing [[King's Landing]] during [[Robert's Rebellion]], Prince [[Rhaegar Targaryen]] told Ser [[Jaime Lannister]] that he intended to call a council to determine what should be done about King [[Aerys II Targaryen]].{{Ref|AFFC|8}} Rhaegar was slain by Lord [[Robert I Baratheon|Robert Baratheon]] at the [[Battle of the Trident]], however.{{ref|AGOT|4}}
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 +
==Recent Events==
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===''A Clash of Kings''===
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After realizing that King [[Joffrey Baratheon|Joffrey I Baratheon]] is not the biological son of the late King [[Robert I Baratheon]], [[Catelyn Stark]] suggests to [[Renly Baratheon]] that he, his brother [[Stannis Baratheon|Stannis]], and [[Robb Stark]], who have all been crowned during the [[War of the Five Kings]], should set aside their claims and call for a Great Council to determine who should rule. Renly laughs at the suggestion, however.{{ref|acok|33}}
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 +
===''A Feast for Crows''===
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A [[kingsmoot]] is called in late {{Date|299}} by [[Aeron Greyjoy]], a [[priest of the Drowned God]], after the death of [[Balon Greyjoy]], [[King of the Isles and the North]].{{Ref|aFfC|1}} In early {{Date|300}}, [[Euron Greyjoy]] is chosen as the new king by the [[ironborn]] assembled at [[Old Wyk]].{{Ref|aFfC|19}}
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 +
==Quotes==
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{{quote|'''Alicent''': Let us together summon a great council, as the [[Jaehaerys I Targaryen|Old King]] did in days of old, and lay the matter of succession before the [[lord]]s of [[Seven Kingdoms|the realm]].<br>
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'''Rhaenyra''': Do you mistake me for [[Mushroom]]? We both know how this council would rule.{{ref|FAB|The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold}}|[[Alicent Hightower]] and [[Rhaenyra Targaryen]]}}
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{{quote|'''Catelyn''': Let the three of you call for a Great Council, such as the realm has not seen for a hundred years. We will send to [[Winterfell]], so [[Bran Stark|Bran]] may tell his tale and all men may know the [[House Lannister|Lannisters]] for the true usurpers. Let the assembled lords of the [[Seven Kingdoms]] choose who shall rule them.<br>
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'''Renly''': Tell me, my lady, do [[direwolves]] vote on who should lead the pack? The time for talk is done. Now we see who is stronger.{{ref|ACOK|33}}|[[Catelyn Stark]] and [[Renly Baratheon]]}}
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==References==
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{{References|2}}
  
[[Category:Terms]]
 
 
[[Category:Events]]
 
[[Category:Events]]
 
[[Category:House Targaryen]]
 
[[Category:House Targaryen]]
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[[Category:Terms]]
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[[es:Gran Consejo]]
 
[[es:Gran Consejo]]
 
[[fa:شورای بزرگ]]
 
[[fa:شورای بزرگ]]
 
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Latest revision as of 01:16, 4 June 2019

The Great Council of 101, as depicted by Marc Simonetti in The World of Ice & Fire.

A Great Council[1] or great council[2] is a council of Westerosi nobles gathered to resolve contentious issues. In Westerosi history, there have been at least two Great Councils to decide the succession to the Iron Throne, while a third decided the regents of an under-aged king.

The kingsmoot was a similar ceremony held amongst the ironborn, where all longship captains were allowed to cast a vote as to who should be chosen as the new rock king, salt king, or High King of the Iron Islands.[3][4]

History

37 AC

King Aenys I Targaryen considered calling a great council in 37 AC, when four rebels—Harren the Red, Jonos Arryn, Lodos the Twice-Drowned, and the Vulture King—began to harass the Seven Kingdoms and the king could not decide how to handle them. During this proposed gathering, the assembled nobles would have discussed how best to deal with the situations. A council was never called, however, as others acted more swiftly than the king, thereby solving the troubles.[5][2]

Great Council of 101 AC

Prelude

When King Jaehaerys I Targaryen's son and heir, Prince Aemon, died in 92 AC, Jaehaerys chose Aemon's younger brother, Prince Baelon, as his heir, passing over Aemon's daughter, Princess Rhaenys. The decision caused the Second Quarrel between king and queen.

Prince Baelon died in 101 AC while serving as Hand of the King, and Jaehaerys again needed an heir. Supporters of both Prince Viserys Targaryen, the eldest son of Prince Baelon and his sister-wife, Princess Alyssa, and Laenor Velaryon, the son of Princess Rhaenys, reportedly formed armies. The king summoned from the Citadel his only surviving son, Archmaester Vaegon; whether Jaehaerys offered him the throne, or only wanted advice, is unknown. Vaegon suggested that lords, maesters, and the Faith discuss the candidates in a Great Council. Jaehaerys agreed, promising to accept whatever the council decided.[6]

As the first Great Council,[7] no one knew how many would attend. The Crown wanted room for at least five hundred lords and entourages, so the great castle of Harrenhal was chosen to host. More than a thousand lords came from throughout Westeros, gathering over a half year; some arrived as the council was ending.[6] The nearby town of Harrenton was briefly the fourth-largest settlement of the realm, behind only King's Landing, Oldtown, and Lannisport.[7]

Outcome

The council met for thirteen days. It discussed and dismissed nine lesser claims, such as from three rival bastards of Princess Saera Targaryen, and an alleged bastard of King Jaehaerys. The two final candidates as heir were Prince Viserys and Laenor Velaryon.[6] 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.[1]

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's fame, reputation and wealth did much to support Laenor's claim. Lord Boremund Baratheon supported Laenor's claim (his sister Jocelyn was Laenor's grandmother),[8] as did Lord Ellard Stark, Lord Blackwood, Lord Bar Emmon and Lord Celtigar,[7] the Dustins of Barrowton, and the Manderlys of White Harbor.[9] They were too few, however. While the maesters never revealed the actual numbers,[7] it was rumored that Prince Viserys had won by a twenty to one vote.[7][9] Amongst those who had spoken in favor of Viserys, was Viserys's younger brother, Prince Daemon Targaryen, who had gone as far as assembling a small army, when it was rumored that Lord Velaryon was readying a fleet to defend the rights of Laenor.[10] Lord Grover Tully[11] and Lord Tymond Lannister also supported Viserys.[12]

Prince Viserys was ultimately chosen by the assembled nobility,[9] and while he was not present for the final deliberations, King Jaehaerys I named Viserys the new Prince of Dragonstone.[7]

Consequences

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.[7]

King Viserys I Targaryen 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 was asked about the succession repeatedly, but he chose to ignore the precedents of 101 AC, and Rhaenyra remained his heir. In 109 AC Viserys dismissed Ser Otto Hightower, his Hand of the King, because Otto kept asking the king about the matter.[10][1]

Following the death of Viserys, at the start of the coup for the throne by the greens, Viserys's 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.[13]

130 AC

During the Dance of the Dragons, the Iron Throne was contested by Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and King Aegon II Targaryen. After the fall of King's Landing in 130 AC, Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower suggested assembling a great council to decide which claimant should ascend to the throne. Rhaenyra, however, refused to grant the wish.[14]

Great Council of 136 AC

Prelude

King Aegon III Targaryen ascended the throne in 131 AC at the age of eleven at the conclusion of the Dance of the Dragons. It would be five years before the king would be able to rule in his own right, but instead of naming one regent, a council of seven regents was named to rule with the Hand of the King.[15]

During the regency of Aegon III, the original council of seven consisted of 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 served the entire term (131 AC to 136 AC).[15]

Outcome

In the aftermath of the Lysene Spring, a gathering of the lords to King's Landing was called in 136 AC to name new members after deaths and resignations. Although not formally called a Great Council according to Gyldayn,[16] Yandel considers it as such.[15] This was the largest gathering of nobles since the Great Council of 101 AC. Most attendees originated from the crownlands, riverlands, stormlands, and the Vale of Arryn, while others included Lannister envoys from the westerlands, Lord Torrhen Manderly, Lord Lyonel Hightower with Lady Samantha Tarly, and a large contingent with Lord Unwin Peake.[16]

The gathering selected Willam Stackspear, Marq Merryweather and Lorent Grandison by lot,[15] while Lord Manderly was chosen as Hand of the King. King Aegon III dismissed the regents once he reached his sixteen nameday.[15][16]

Great Council of 233 AC

Prelude

King Daeron II Targaryen's heir, Prince Baelor, died after a trial of seven in 209 AC,[17] making his eldest son Valarr the heir. However, later that year the Great Spring Sickness killed King Daeron and both of Baelor's sons, Valarr and Matarys.[18][19] This in turn left Daeron's second son, Prince Aerys, to inherit, and he was thus crowned as King Aerys I Targaryen.[18] 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's other heirs, Prince Rhaegel and Rhaegel's son, Prince Aelor, had predeceased Aerys). The inheritance was unclear after Maekar's death in the Peake Uprising of 233 AC, so a council was called in King's Landing by Maekar's Hand of the King, Lord Brynden Rivers, to decide who would inherit the Iron Throne.[20]

Outcome

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.[20][21]

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.[20][21] Aerion's only issue was an infant son, Prince Maegor, who had been born 232 AC, not long before Aerion's death.[20]

Maekar's third son, Aemon, had taken his maester's vows in 217 AC.[20]

Maekar's youngest son, Prince Aegon Targaryen, had served as a squire of Ser Duncan the Tall 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 left the prince "half a peasant".[20]

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,[20] quietly, to Aemon. Maester Aemon, however, refused the crown.[21]

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, Lord Brynden Rivers, had offered him safe conduct to Westeros. Upon arrival, 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 House Blackfyre.[20]

A majority of the council elected Prince Aegon soon thereafter, leading to the ascension of King Aegon V Targaryen, called "Aegon the Unlikely".[20]

Consequences

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 later offered Bloodraven the option of going to the Wall, which Brynden accepted. He travelled to the Wall together with Maester Aemon, serving in the Night's Watch from 233 AC until he disappeared beyond the Wall in 252 AC.[22]

281 AC

The tourney at Harrenhal as depicted by Paolo Puggioni in The World of Ice & Fire

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 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, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen is the most compelling.[23]

Rhaegar allegedly arranged the tourney by sending Ser Oswell Whent, his friend, and Lord Walter's brother, as a go-between. Providing the gold for prizes, the prince wanted to lure as many lords and knights as possible to Harrenhal to call an informal Great Council. Hoping to address the madness of his father, King Aerys II Targaryen, Rhaegar possibly desired a regency or a forced abdication.[23]

Aerys, warned of these rumors by his master of whisperers, Lord Varys, decided to attend the tourney personally, despite not having left the Red Keep for four years.[23]

283 AC

Before departing King's Landing during Robert's Rebellion, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen told Ser Jaime Lannister that he intended to call a council to determine what should be done about King Aerys II Targaryen.[24] Rhaegar was slain by Lord Robert Baratheon at the Battle of the Trident, however.[25]

Recent Events

A Clash of Kings

After realizing that King Joffrey I Baratheon is not the biological son of the late King Robert I Baratheon, Catelyn Stark suggests to Renly Baratheon that he, his brother Stannis, and Robb Stark, who have all been crowned during the War of the Five Kings, should set aside their claims and call for a Great Council to determine who should rule. Renly laughs at the suggestion, however.[26]

A Feast for Crows

A kingsmoot is called in late 299 AC by Aeron Greyjoy, a priest of the Drowned God, after the death of Balon Greyjoy, King of the Isles and the North.[3] In early 300 AC, Euron Greyjoy is chosen as the new king by the ironborn assembled at Old Wyk.[27]

Quotes

Alicent: Let us together summon a great council, as the Old King did in days of old, and lay the matter of succession before the lords of the realm.
Rhaenyra: Do you mistake me for Mushroom? We both know how this council would rule.[14]

Catelyn: Let the three of you call for a Great Council, such as the realm has not seen for a hundred years. We will send to Winterfell, so Bran may tell his tale and all men may know the Lannisters for the true usurpers. Let the assembled lords of the Seven Kingdoms choose who shall rule them.
Renly: Tell me, my lady, do direwolves vote on who should lead the pack? The time for talk is done. Now we see who is stronger.[26]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 1, The Prophet.
  4. The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: Driftwood Crowns.
  5. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Fire & Blood, The Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  8. The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 The Princess and the Queen.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  11. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
  12. The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
  13. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
  17. The Hedge Knight.
  18. 18.0 18.1 The Sworn Sword.
  19. The Mystery Knight.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
  22. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
  24. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
  25. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  26. 26.0 26.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
  27. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.