- There is no such thing as a "King of Westeros" or "Queen of Westeros", but that term redirects to this page.
This article includes content relating to the Dance of the Dragons, and therefore contains potential spoilers for House of the Dragon, as revealed in GRRM's writings. Anyone wishing to remain completely spoiler free for the new show should avoid any articles displaying this tag.
- "I now proclaim Cersei of the House Lannister, First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms."
The King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men (feminine equivalent being Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men), often shortened to King/Queen of the Andals and the First Men, is the monarch and head of state of the Six Kingdoms. The monarch formerly ruled as the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, the unified realm which made up the entire continent of Westeros with the exception of the lands beyond the Wall in the frozen north. Until its destruction, the monarch of the unified Kingdoms sat on the Iron Throne in the capital city King's Landing in the royal palace known as the Red Keep.
In the aftermath of the Battle of King's Landing, the Iron Throne was destroyed and the formerly hereditary monarchy was transformed into an elective one during the Great Council of 305 AC, with the lords and ladies of the Seven Kingdoms electing each new ruler, the first and incumbent elected monarch being King Bran the Broken. The monarch also takes the title of "Lord of the Six Kingdoms", with the North having been granted independence.
The king or queen simultaneously possesses the title Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, which refers to the seven independent kingdoms that existed prior to their unification in the Targaryen Conquest. As of the North's independence after the ascension of Brandon I, the title is Lord of the Six Kingdoms.
The ruler usually also holds the title and office of Protector of the Realm, the commander of the armies of the Seven Kingdoms (led by the four Wardens). The office of "Protector of the Realm" is sometimes given to someone other than the current monarch, particularly during a regency when the ruler is under-aged, though if the current ruler does not possess great martial skill he may simply choose to delegate the office to someone else.
The office of the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms is often referred to as the Iron Throne, in reference to the eponymous throne on which the King holds court. The position was created when Aegon the Conqueror succeeded in his conquest of Westeros, unifying the independent kingdoms of the Isles and Rivers, the Rock, the Reach, the Mountain and Vale, the Stormlands and the Kingdom of the North. The Principality of Dorne was later united to the realm through marriage-alliance.
Upon her ascension to the Iron Throne, Queen Cersei Lannister was named the Protector of the Seven Kingdoms by Qyburn. This title combines the ranks of Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, and was created by Cersei.
The king or queen is formally addressed by his or her subjects as "Your Grace" or "Sire", and in official events referred to employing the following structure: "Name" of the House "Name" the "ordinal number" of His/Her Name, King/Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lord/Lady of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm". For example, Robert Baratheon is formally referred to as "Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of His name" etc. If a king has not yet reached the legal age of majority, however, a regent will be named to rule until he comes of age.
"King of Westeros"
There is no such thing as the "King of Westeros", and this term does not officially exist within the Game of Thrones TV series.
"Westeros" is the entire continent, stretching far north to the lands beyond the Wall, which are unmapped. The "Seven Kingdoms" are the large unified realm which covers most of the continent of Westeros, but which stops at the Wall. After the Targaryen Conquest, the term "Seven Kingdoms" became a geographical term, referring to how Westeros south of the Wall used to be divided into seven independent kingdoms.
On several occasions, dialogue in the TV series has referred to the King of the Andals and the First Men as the "King of Westeros", but this is not an official term in the novels. Stannis has been referred to as this a few times in the novels, apparently to emphasize that he means to extend his rule to the lands beyond the Wall.
For that matter, the term "King of the Seven Kingdoms" doesn't technically exist either: the proper title is "King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms."
List of monarchs of the Seven Kingdoms
Targaryen dynasty (1–280 AC)
- This particular section contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon. Anyone wishing to avoid spoilers for the upcoming prequel series should not click [Expand].
- Aegon I Targaryen ("the Conqueror", "the Dragon"), 1–? AC
- Aenys I Targaryen
- Maegor I Targaryen ("the Cruel")
- Jaehaerys I Targaryen ("the Conciliator", "the Wise", "the Old King")
- Viserys I Targaryen
- Aegon II Targaryen ("the Usurper", "the Elder")
- Aegon III Targaryen ("the Dragonbane", "the Unlucky", "the Broken King")
- Daeron I Targaryen ("the Young Dragon")
- Baelor I Targaryen ("the Blessed")
- Viserys II Targaryen, ?–172 AC
- Aegon IV Targaryen ("the Unworthy"), 172–184 AC
- Daeron II Targaryen ("the Good"), 184–209 AC
- Aerys I Targaryen, 209–? AC
- Maekar I Targaryen
- Aegon V Targaryen ("the Unlikely"), ?–258 AC
- Aerys II Targaryen ("the Mad King"), 258–280 AC
Baratheon dynasty (280–303 AC)
Lannister dynasty (303–305 AC)
Targaryen restoration (305 AC)
Elected monarchs (305 AC–present)
After the assassination of Daenerys Targaryen, the Great Council of 305 AC decides that the Six Kingdoms (the North being allowed to secede) is to be transformed into an elective monarchy. The first monarch elected by the lords and ladies of Westeros is Bran Stark.
Claimants and pretenders
During the Targaryen dynasty
- This particular section contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon. Anyone wishing to avoid spoilers for the upcoming prequel series should not click [Expand].
- Aegon (II) Targaryen; son of Aenys I, not to be confused with the actual Aegon II.
- Rhaenyra I Targaryen; although she briefly sat on the Iron Throne and was considered a queen throughout Westeros, it was agreed that she would not be counted in the succession to appease the remnants of the Greens after the war.
- Daemon I Blackfyre ("the Black Dragon"), 196 AC
- Daemon II Blackfyre
- Haegon I Blackfyre
- Daemon III Blackfyre
- Maelys I Blackfyre ("the Monstrous"), 258 AC
During the Baratheon and Lannister dynasties
- Viserys III Targaryen ("the Beggar King"), 281–298 AC
- Daenerys I Targaryen ("Stormborn", "the Mother of Dragons", "the Dragon Queen", "the Breaker of Chains"), 298–305 AC; successfully took the throne in 305 AC
- Renly I Baratheon ("the King in Highgarden"), 298–299 AC
- Stannis I Baratheon ("the King in the Narrow Sea", "the Warrior of Light", "the Lord's Chosen", "The Prince That Was Promised"), 298–302 AC
Behind the scenes
The line of monarchs of the Targaryen dynasty in the TV series generally matches that of the one presented in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Although very few of the Targaryen kings are referenced in the TV series itself, all of their names, and their relative position in the sequence in relation to each other, has been established, either in props or in the Histories & Lore featurettes. Though generally assumed to follow the book series, the genealogy of all kings has not technically been established in the TV continuity. One major difference to the line of kings in the book series is the removal of Jaehaerys II Targaryen, who in the book series is the son and successor of Aegon V and the father and predecessor of Aerys II. The removal is intentional, possibly made to simplify the Targaryen family tree as Aemon relates his genealogical connection to the rest of the Targaryens to Jon Snow in Season 1.
In Episode 3 of Season 4, "Breaker of Chains", Tywin Lannister relates the story of King "Orys I", who ruled for less than a year before being murdered by his brother. There is no Orys I in the books and though the context of Tywin's story (he mentions three kings to Tommen, the other two, Baelor I and Robert I, were rulers of the Seven Kingdoms) suggests Orys was a Targaryen king, it is also possible that Orys was a local ruler in one of the kingdoms before the Targaryen conquest. In Episode 9 of Season 5, "The Dance of Dragons", Mace Tyrell tells Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank about King "Maegor III", who tried to outlaw usury in the Seven Kingdoms. As this Maegor III is specified to have ruled the Seven Kingdoms, his status as a Targaryen king is less open to interpretation and his regnal number also implies the existence of a "Maegor II". It is possible that "Maegor III" could be a mistake by Mace Tyrell (in-universe) or a mistake by the writers (out-of-universe).
Though it would contradict the books, there is technically "room" for further kings in the sequence of rulers in the TV continuity. As stated, the relative order of the kings mentioned above is known and matches the books, but as opposed to the books, the regnal dates for most kings have not been mentioned. Though the relations of some are known (Aegon I is mentioned to be Aenys I's and Maegor I's father, Aegon IV is mentioned to be the son of Viserys II and the father of Daeron II, who in turn is mentioned to be the father of Aerys I and Maekar I, and the succession Maekar I - Aegon V - Aerys II is explicitly confirmed), for many it is currently left unclear whether their genealogy matches the books or not. For instance, Maegor I is mentioned as having been succeeded by his nephew in "Maegor the Cruel", in the books this is Jaehaerys I, but the name "Jaehaerys I" is only mentioned once explictly in the TV continuity, in "The Rains of Castamere", with no indication as to when he reigned or who he succeeded. Though they are known to have reigned in the same order relative to each other as in the books, the successions from Jaehaerys I to Viserys I, Aegon III to Daeron I, Daeron I to Baelor I, and Baelor I to Viserys II, and the genealogies of these kings relative to each other, are never explicitly confirmed in TV continuity material, meaning that the insertion of additional kings is possible while still maintaining internal consistency.
In the books
Dorne and the Rhoynar
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the full title used is actually "King of the Andals and the Rhoynar, and the First Men", Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm". It's probable that "the Rhoynar" was omitted in Season 1 for the sake of not confusing viewers who haven't read the books with too much information, because Dorne and the Rhoynar wouldn't be introduced until Season 4. Corroborating this, very few references were made about Dorne at all before Season 4, compared to the earlier novels which referred to it and House Martell often - the TV series held off on giving this much long exposition, until Oberyn Martell was physically introduced on-screen in Season 4 (though on the other hand, Season 1 didn't actually explain who "the First Men" or "the Andals" were in on-screen dialogue either, only in supplementary materials).
When Season 4 did eventually air, however, the shortened title "King of the Andals and the First Men" continued to be used. Even during King Tommen Baratheon's coronation scene in "First of His Name", with Prince Oberyn Martell standing prominently among the nobles assembled in front of the Iron Throne, Tommen is still crowned using only the shortened title "King of the Andals and the First Men" - excluding "the Rhoynar", even though as a Dornishman Oberyn is himself descended from the Rhoynar. However, in the season finale, Daenerys is presented using the full title.
It would appear that the TV series initially chose to continue using the shortened title "King of the Andals and the First Men" because it is what they had been using for three seasons, and they wished to remain internally consistent (the other option was to suddenly start using the full title without explanation, introducing a rather large retcon that this is what they should have been saying all along).
This isn't necessarily an inexplicable situation within the TV-continuity itself: Dorne was actually independent from the Targaryen realm for two centuries, and when they entered united with the Iron Throne they were allowed special privileges (such as maintaining their own equal primogeniture system, and even styling their ruling family as "Princes of Dorne", not "Lord Paramount of Dorne". Thus it is possible that, in the TV continuity, the Targaryen kings simply never referred to themselves as Kings "of the Rhoynar" as well, even after the marriage-alliance (but still as "Lord of the Seven Kingdoms"), to acknowledge the fact that Dorne is still "ruled" by its own Princes, even if it is now subject to the Iron Throne (further acknowledging that Dorne is essentially a semi-autonomous region of the Seven Kingdoms). It might have been one of the conditions of the marriage-alliance in the TV continuity.
As explained in the article for "Lord of the Seven Kingdoms", all of the Targaryen kings starting with Aegon I himself styled themselves as "King of the Andals and the Rhoynar, and the First Men" and "Lord of the Seven Kingdoms" - despite the fact that Dorne remained independent. Aegon I had declared himself king of all of Westeros just before his army even landed on the continent, Dorne included. While Dorne had been able to resist his armies and dragons through guerrilla warfare, Aegon himself never acknowledged that this was a permanent state of affairs. Aegon and all of his heirs considered themselves the de jure kings of the Rhoynar and of Dorne, even if they had no de facto control over it (comparable to how medieval English kings would at times hold titles of lordship over "Wales", "Ireland", and "France", despite not controlling all or even most of these territories). At no point (as readers sometimes have assumed) did Aegon ever "promote" the Riverlands into being considered the "seventh" kingdom (the Riverlands were occupied by the Iron Islands when he invaded and not an independent "kingdom", instead making up the "eighth" kingdom of sorts). Dorne was always the seventh of the "Seven Kingdoms", the Targaryens just refused to ever officially acknowledge that they did not actually control it - in the novels' continuity. In the TV continuity, therefore, the Targaryen kings may have just acknowledged for the first two centuries of their dynasty that they didn't actually rule the Rhoynar people in Dorne, and that one of the special privileges of Dorne uniting with the Iron Throne through marriage-alliance one century ago is that the Targaryens didn't suddenly add "King of the Rhoynar" to their title.
One notable exception to this occurred, however, when the TV series was not internally consistent and used the original full title from the novels, including mention of "the Rhoynar" - in the Season 4 finale, "The Children", when Missandei introduces Daenerys Targaryen as "Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar, and the First Men". Moreover she was speaking in Low Valyrian at the time, so her lines were actually written in on-screen subtitles. This was not even consistent use for Missandei and Daenerys within Season 4 itself: earlier in episode 4.6 "The Laws of Gods and Men", Missandei introduced Daenerys as only "Queen of the Andals and the First Men" (again with on-screen subtitles, so this wasn't just a mistake by the actress but in the script). In the middle of Season 4, as already noted, no mention was made of the Rhoynar in the title even at Tommen's coronation in episode 4.5, when Oberyn Martell was standing in front of the audience.
No official word has come down to make sense of this, but it appears to simply be a mistake by the scriptwriters, i.e. they accidentally wrote the full book-version of the title and forgot their own change to the continuity. This conclusion is reinforced by a comment George R.R. Martin himself made:
- "It is true that the Targaryen succession on the series is different than the one in the novels; most notably, the Mad King's father Jaehaerys II was dropped, as was established way back in season one. In much the same way as the Rhoynar have been dropped from the royal titles, "King of Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men," etc."
This strongly implies that there was an actual sit-down meeting of the writers back in Season 1 when they formally established the principle that the title in the TV continuity was officially going to be shortened to just "King of the Andals and the First Men", and as a scriptwriter in Season 1 Martin was aware of this. The title was also consistently given as "King of the Andals and the First Men" throughout Season 5, omitting the Rhoynar. The single use of the full book version of the title in the Season 4 finale therefore simply appears to be a script error and not canonical.
In the Season 6 premiere, however, Daenerys once again switched back to introducing herself as "Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men", without explanation."The Red Woman"
At this point it is again unclear what the title is "officially" supposed to be in the TV continuity. The TV writers could have retained the original version which omitted "of the Rhoynar", or they could have initiated a retcon by adding in "of the Rhoynar" from Season 4 onward: instead they inconsistently flip-flopped between the two forms. It is possible that the two terms are simply interchangeable.
In the three hundred years between the Targaryen Conquest and the War of the Five Kings, there has never been a ruling queen: a female heir of the current monarch inheriting power in her own right. The first four Targaryen kings all had male heirs who were also their eldest child. However the fifth Targaryen king, Viserys I, only had one surviving child by his first wife before she died, a daughter named Rhaenyra Targaryen. With no other heirs, Viserys I and his court raised Rhaenyra with the expectation that she would be the first ruling queen. However, Viserys I remarried late in life, and had several sons with his second wife, the eldest of which was his son Aegon II.
When Viserys I died this sparked a succession war between Rhaenyra and Aegon II, known as the Dance of Dragons, which raged from 129 to 131 AC (about 170 years before the War of the Five Kings). Aegon II ultimately had Rhaenyra fed alive to his dragon, but her supporters continued to fight in the name of her children, and not long afterwards Aegon II himself died childless. As the only remaining heir of Viserys I or Aegon II, Rhaenyra's own son Aegon III inherited the throne (Aegon III's own sons both died childless, and ultimately Rhaenyra's younger son Viserys II succeeded to the throne).
After the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryens revised the official royal succession laws to follow an extreme form of male-preference primogeniture, placing female heirs behind all possible male ones, i.e. if all of a king's sons died childless, his own younger brothers would inherit instead of his daughters (their nieces). Such was the case when after both of Aegon III's sons died childless, his daughter Daena was skipped over in succession for Aegon III's younger brother Viserys II. These altered inheritance laws ensured that there was no ruling queen in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. Many historians point to the succession of Rhaenyra's son Aegon III after Aegon II died as proof of the legitimacy of Rhaenyra's claim to inheritance in the civil war, and while she lived she did personally use the title of queen. Officially, however, Rhaenyra is considered a rival claimant and is not counted in the formal line of succession. Any possible future ruling queen by the name of "Rhaenyra" would be titled "Rhaenyra I", not "Rhaenyra II". As this would lead to controversy over whether to acknowledge Rhaenyra's claim during the Dance of Dragons, subsequent generations of the Targaryen family simply avoided the issue by never naming any subsequent daughters "Rhaenyra".
At the end of season 6, where King Tommen Baratheon commits suicide after the destruction of the Sept of Baelor, Cersei Lannister has proclaimed and crowned herself as Queen of the Andals and the First Men. Cersei considered herself the first true ruling queen in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. Although Cersei's claim to the Iron Throne was not explored in detail, it may have derived from her being the widow of King Robert I and the mother of Joffrey I and Tommen I, effectively the heir to the Baratheon dynasty seeing as House Baratheon was extinct at the time of her coronation.
- King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men on A Wiki of Ice and Fire
- Iron Throne on A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon)
Notes and references
- "The Winds of Winter"
- "A Golden Crown"
- Tywin Lannister served as Hand of the King for 20 years ("The Kingsroad"). He resigned when Jaime Lannister was appointed to the Kingsguard at the age of 16 ("The Iron Throne"). Jaime Lannister was born in 262 AC, meaning that he became a Kingsguard in 278. Tywin thus served as Aerys II's Hand of the King from 258 to 278, meaning that Aerys became king in 258 AC.
- See Timeline – in the book series, Robert became king in 283 AC; in the series, his rebellion was earlier and he became king in 280 AC, per the Season 1 prop for The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms.
- "You Win or You Die"
- "The Lion and the Rose"
- "Breaker of Chains"
- "The Bells"
- "The Iron Throne"
- Though he is hailed simply as "Bran the Broken" in the episode, the Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide confirms that he still rules as a member of House Stark
- The War of the Ninepenny Kings occured very late in Aegon V's reign. Aegon V died in 258 AC.
- "Fire and Blood"
- "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
- "Mother's Mercy"
Aegon I (1–? AC) · Aenys I · Maegor I · Jaehaerys I · Viserys I · Aegon II · Aegon III · Daeron I · Baelor I · Viserys II (?–172 AC) · Aegon IV (172–184 AC) · Daeron II (184–209 AC) · Aerys I (209–? AC) · Maekar I · Aegon V (?–258 AC) · Aerys II (258–280 AC) · Daenerys I (305 AC)
Cersei I (303–305 AC)
Bran I (305 AC–present)