A king is the male ruler of a monarchy or realm. Kings usually inherit their position by birth and rule for life or until abdication, though some like Aegon the Conqueror and Robert Baratheon become kings through conquest. The consort of a king is called queen, as is a woman who rules in her own right.
The offspring of kings and queens hold the title of prince or princess.
- "Oh, I'm a monster? Perhaps you should speak to me more softly then. Monsters are dangerous... and just now kings are dying like flies."
- ―Tyrion Lannister to King Joffrey Baratheon.
- The Six Kingdoms, ruled by the Kings of the Andals and the First Men of various houses chosen by a Great Council as part of an elective monarchy. Previously ruled by House Lannister, before that House Baratheon, and before that House Targaryen. Current monarch is Bran I the Broken.
- The Kingdom of the North, ruled by the Kings in the North (also called Kings of Winter) of House Stark. Current monarch is Sansa Stark.
- The Bronze Kingdom, ruled by the Bronze Kings of House Royce. Last monarch was Robar II Royce.
- The First Men, led by the First King.
- Andalos, led by the King of the Andals. Last known monarch was Hugor of the Hill.
- Astapor, ruled by the Emperors of Astapor. Last known monarch was Cleon.
- The Giants, led by Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg.
- The Kingdom of the Mountain and the Vale, ruled by the Kings of the Mountain and the Vale of House Arryn, and before that, the Mountain Kings. Last monarch was Ronnel Arryn.
- The Kingdom of the Reach, ruled by the Kings of the Reach of House Gardener. Last monarch was Mern IX Gardener
- The Kingdom of the River and the Hills, ruled by the Kings of the Rivers and the Hills of House Mudd and House Justman.
- The Kingdom of the Rock, ruled by the Kings of the Rock of House Lannister. Last monarch was Loren I Lannister.
- Qarth, ruled by the Kings of Qarth. Last monarch was Xaro Xhoan Daxos.
- The Free Folk, occasionally led by the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Last monarch was Mance Rayder.
- The Night's Watch, ruled by the Night's King.
- The Red Kingdom, ruled by the Red Kings of House Bolton. Last monarch was Rogar Bolton.
- The Kingdom of the Stormlands, ruled by the Storm Kings of House Durrandon. Last monarch was Argilac Durrandon, though his daughter Argella informally ruled as Storm Queen after him.
- Meereen, ruled by Daenerys Targaryen, the Queen of Meereen.
- The Kingdom of the Isles and the Rivers, ruled by the Kings of the Isles and the Rivers of House Hoare. Last monarch was Harren Hoare.
- The White Walkers, ruled by the Night King.
There are two main types of queens: a Queen Consort and a Queen Regnant.
A Queen Consort is the wife of a king, and gains the position due to marriage. She may marry him before or after he becomes king, though if she marries him before, she only becomes a queen when he is crowned king. Queen Consorts can wield various unofficial powers, given that they usually come from wealthy and influential families. A Queen Consort's main power comes through her influence on her husband, however, and she does not rule in her own right.
A Queen Consort may, however, become a "Queen Regent" if her husband dies while their children are still below the legal age of inheritance. A Queen Regent does then become acting ruler of a kingdom, though depending on the woman, she may either rule directly or through the aid of various advisers. She can attend meetings of the small council. Once her child comes of age and occupies the throne, the queen is referred to as a Dowager Queen/Queen Dowager, or informally as the Queen Mother. A widowed queen who had no children with her king is the Dowager Queen/Queen Dowager, but can never be known as Queen Mother.
A Queen Regnant inherits the crown in her own right, as the child of a previous monarch. Due to the male-preference inheritance system in Westeros (and much of the rest of the world), Ruling Queens are rare - a daughter will usually be skipped over for her younger brother, or even other close male relatives. Unlike a Queen Consort, a Queen Regnant possesses all of the full powers of an active monarch, issuing orders directly.
The monarchy of the Iron Throne, which unified the Seven Kingdoms, has existed for three centuries yet has never had a Queen Regnant. The one woman who came close to such a position was Rhaenyra Targaryen, but the controversy over allowing the first ruling queen led to a civil war in which her younger half-brother Aegon II proclaimed himself the rightful heir. Subsequently, Aegon II was officially held to be the rightful king during this time, though the throne later passed to Rhaenyra's son Aegon III.
The husband of a Queen Regnant would be known as a King Consort.
Due to the near-extinction of House Targaryen, and the supposed deaths of all other possible male heirs, Daenerys Targaryen laid claim to the Iron Throne as a Queen Regnant, as the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen. She was technically considered to be a "rival claimant", since she had not actively ruled the Seven Kingdoms until her brief ascension following the Battle of King's Landing. However, as the Crown of the Seven Kingdoms was itself established by Aegon the Conqueror, and Daenerys was seemingly his only direct legitimate Targaryen blood heir, the Iron Throne was thought to belong to Daenerys following the death of her brother, Viserys. This belief was however false, since Daenerys's paternal nephew, Jon Snow, whose parentage (as the legitimate son of Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the eldest son of King Aerys II, thereby having a stronger claim to the Iron Throne) was disguised with a bastard status for his own protection. While Robert Baratheon was descended of a Targaryen grandmother, he held his titles by right of conquest, not by right of blood or law. Upon her ascension, she was technically only Queen Regnant through right of conquest, since the right of blood dictates Jon's position as King.
Due to the onslaught of Daenerys's actions in her conquest of Westeros and obvious signs of megalomania, Daenerys was reluctantly assassinated by Jon. Both customs in the right of conquest and blood inheritance were disbanded following the Great Council of 305 AC, whereupon the Westerosi monarchy became elective, with no restrictions on gender or familial inheritance.