I have a theoretical question about the inheritance laws of the thrones in real life monarchies (that is inspired by fictional events depicted in the TV show Game of Thrones).

Is such a question on topic here?

  • I don't think it should really matter what it was "inspired by". However, if you are a GoT fan, you should by now realize exactly how little "laws" mattered at the top end of Feudal society. – T.E.D. Aug 17 '17 at 13:46
  • @The question is about the inheritance laws in Monarchies, and it would apply to modern monarchies (the ones where you don't kill people to become king/queen) as well. The question is are theoretical question laws regarding ascending to the throne are on topic. – SIMEL Aug 17 '17 at 13:59
  • Well, we are much better with practice here than theory. (Arguably, the only real good theories are the ones that stand up to practice) – T.E.D. Aug 17 '17 at 14:32
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    For example, there was a time when Denmark owned what is now the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The King's heir passed through a maternal line. However the (German) inheritance laws in the southern half of that principality (the "Holstein" part) didn't allow that. So legally, the two parts would have to go different ways. Except that the Danish king simply changed the law. Then the Prussians and Austrians declared war and took the entire principality away from Denmark. The moral here is that the "Law" is what the guy with the best army says it is. – T.E.D. Aug 17 '17 at 14:47
  • @T.E.D., Obviously that laws are written by the victors, and that there are many cases where the law is not adhered to by the people who are in charge. I still want to ask about what should (according to the law) happen in some theoretical case. – SIMEL Aug 17 '17 at 14:51
  • Focus your question towards the historical application of what you want to investigate. 'Has there every been a case in a monarchy where whatever situation actually occurred' Then watch comments and edit your question if necessary. Relating to modern monarchies might take it off topic as Politics, relating to GOT might get downvotes as counter-factual. Make sure you look at other questions which may be similar, there are 407 hits on Monarchy here. – justCal Aug 17 '17 at 18:40

Yes, the question is on-topic, because I found that the exact question that I wanted to ask was already asked and answered:

Was there a case where a king died while the heir to the throne was unborn?

  • I would like to point out that the top answer there only touches on what's supposed to happen, before going on to explain what typically does happen. (A legit counter-point would be that's because I wrote it). – T.E.D. Aug 23 '17 at 15:40

@Jasia points out that if you ask about the inheritance customs of a specific monarchy, then you're in scope and everything I say is not relevant. He is correct, but OP is asking about fictional monarchies.

I would vote to close a question about inheritance laws in monarchies. Different monarchies have different laws/customs/traditions. Salic law applies to France, but not to England. Inheritance law is different in Scotland than in England despite the fact that they share a monarch. In Belgium, the monarch must be Catholic, but in England that is illegal. Some Saxon kingdoms permitted women to rule; some required that the new king share a lineage with the old king; other Saxon kingdoms forbid women to rule and permitted anyone who could muster the forces to "inherit". Polish kings were elected according to Eldridge Gerry. Paris was worth a Mass. At the end of the Elizabethan period, it was a crime punishable by death to discuss inheritance of the crown. Venetian Doges were elected by a multi-step process in order to guarantee that the process would be controlled by corruption and could never be completed without corruption. There are no readily identifiable class of inheritance laws in monarchies any more than there are chore divisions in marriages.

On top of that, "Monarchy" is a form of government ( a class of similar, but not identical types of government.) It doesn't really make sense to ask "What is the law that binds the class of individuals who make laws?" Autocratic monarchs could set their own rules for inheritance, and could break them a year later (Henry II, IIRC) Constitutional monarchs must adhere to their constitution (England after the Glorious Revolution).

The point is that if you're asking about history, you need to ask about the history of a specific monarchy at a specific time. Otherwise the answer is like dividing by zero - undefined and explicitly out of scope of the subject.

  • Without sending an invitation to a debate, "What is the law that binds the class of individuals who make laws?" was/is actually a helluva good question ... for lawyers! – J Asia Aug 21 '17 at 12:05
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    I can also see that most questions presumes law is in the form of an Act of Parliament, not thinking/realising that so much of what we call laws are actually customs (i.e. norms, traditions). This peculiar perspective is, in the British Isles, not that peculiar because of Common Law. That's why "you need to ask about the history of a specific monarchy" will make it a question of facts, events, etc -- which would then qualify it as a question within history SE. – J Asia Aug 21 '17 at 12:12

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