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Needs to be rewritten and flow improved, also westeros/Essos separated, for reference see Concordance.

Monarchy and Nobility

Authority derives from the king. Nobles receive their status either from birth or from the largesse of a king or lord. Lords are not bound by law or custom to support their relatives; some do, by giving their kin posts and positions or by granting them vassal holdfasts. A lord is expected to arrange matches for his children and any unwed younger siblings. [1]

It is possible for the king to redistribute lands and titles as he sees fit; he may also sign bills of attainder to strip lords of their lands and incomes. [2] Though a lord could conceivably hold more than one title, it is unusual for noble holdings to be divided or combined[3]. Territorial disputes between landowners are adjudicated by the king or his Hand[4] or by their liege-lord[5]


On extremely rare occasions, the lords of the kingdom may be gathered together to decide some great matter. The last time a Great Council was convened, it chose the next king of the Siedem Królestw, overriding the proper lines of inheritance to give the crown to the youngest son of Maekar, Aegon V ahead of his elder brothers[6].

Lords in Westeros once had the right to the First Night i.e. the custom of bedding newly-wed common women before their husbands. Queen Alysanne convinced King Jaehaerys I Targaryen to abolish it [7][8] but it is still practiced illegally in some parts of Północ[9].

Zobacz także: Laws & Justice

Inheritance

Inheritance laws in Siedem Królestw are not clear-cut. Most nobles of Siedem Królestw, influenced by the Andalowie traditions, practice male-preference primogeniture, while customs of Dorne and possibly the Żelazne Wyspy are different from the other kingdoms. In Dorne, no distinction is made between sons and daughters, with children inheriting in order of birth regardless of gender[10]. It is unclear whether women can inherit in their own right in the Żelazne Wyspy. In the rest of the Seven kingdoms a man's eldest son is his heir, followed by his second son, then his third son, and so on. In theory, the youngest son is followed in the line of succession by the eldest daughter, after whom come her sisters in birth order[10], but in practice usually its sons... and then whoever can manage to convince the local overlord that he ought to inherit or the sword can be all the hereditary justification that is needed, as in the case of Robert Baratheon. Still there many examples of ladies who rule in their own right: Lady Arwyn Oakheart is prominent in Reach, much as Anya Waynwood is in Dolina Arrynów and Maege Mormont is in Północ.

Noble titles (e.g. Lord of a certain place) and lands are passed on within families; Rycerzhood is not inherited but is conferred on individuals independently due to merit, not birth. In the Great Houses, where elder siblings inherit a significant title and lands, small holdings and keeps may be granted to their younger brothers, who hold their lands as bannermen[11]. Variations may arise, particularly in relation to the place of daughters: though by law a daughter should inherit before her uncle or cousin[12], a male relative may stake a claim and be judged a better choice to be heir[13]. A lord may lay out specific terms for inheritance or pass over their offspring in his will. It invites legal wrangling after their death, and potentially violence during it, but it has happened. Lord Tywin Lannister is rather infamous for refusing to ever acknowledge his son Tyrion as his heir, despite the letter of the law saying the Rock should be his or for example, if his heir is a daughter without a husband, he might specify that she must wed by a certain time or the inheritance will pass to a cousin.[14]

The role of legitimised bastards throughout the Siedem Królestw is also unclear i.e. whether they follow trueborn daughters, or join the line of succession in order of birth as if they were trueborn. Unlegitimised bastards have no legal claim. Heirs born into a different house drop their birth surname when they come into their inheritance, adopting the name of the inherited house as their own[13]. Therefore, in theory is it all but impossible for a noble house to become extinct: with enough research, each line can be traced back to the Age of Heroes and is highly unlikely to have no modern descendants.

Marriage

Marriage customs vary considerably between the lands and major faiths, i.e. followers of the Old Gods, the Wiara w Siedmiu, R’hllor, and the Utopiony Bóg. All appear to be religious ceremonies between one man and one woman (who should not be more closely related than first cousins), involving the exchange of vows in the presence of particular sacred witnesses e.g. a Septon, a heart tree[15], or a priest/ess. Followed by the feast, where the bride and groom eat and drink with the everyone and Finally, there is the bedding.

While we know old Valyria to allow a varied traditions, allowing the marriage between brother and sister, which the Targaryens has brought to the Seven kingdoms. However they were never excepted by the general population, to the extent that such unions are deemed ungodly and even accursed.

Marriage Contracts

While marriages to women who have not reached their majority or even their first flowering have happened, they are rare. Moreover, bedding these girls before they are at the least flowered is seen as perverse. Generally, weddings are postponed until the girl has passed into maidenhood with he flowering, although betrothals may happen earlier[16]

Marriage contracts are often arranged between noble houses, but they can be broken later[17]. Contracts are most often arranged on behalf of offspring or unmarried younger siblings. Although a lord cannot force the marriage if their dependent refuses to say the vows, this would carry serious consequences [1]. It is not uncommon for a noble maiden, betrothed early, to wed within the year following her first flowering[18]. Most women outside of Dorne take the names of their husbands, although not in all cases. If a woman is of higher birth or station than her husband, for example, she may use his name little if at all

Lords do not necessarily arrange marriages for their vassals or household Rycerzs, but they would be wise to consult him and respect his feelings when arranging their own matches [1]

Legality and Annulment

Vows said at swordpoint are not held to be valid[19], and in theory a person cannot be declared to be married if they refuse to say the vows[20]. However, there are still issues of consent. Marriages may be conducted between children or even babies; this is unusual and tends to occur when inheritances are the chief concern[21].

In the cult of the Utopiony Bóg, it is possible for someone to be married by proxy without their consent and without saying the vows for oneself[22].

In the Wiara w Siedmiu, a marriage that has not been consummated can be set aside by the Wielki Septon or a Council of Faith[15]. An annulment granted by the Wielki Septon requires no witnesses and must be requested by at least one of the wedded pair [23]. The role and procedure of a Council of Faith is unclear.

Consumation

Główny artykułs: Bedding, i First Night

Women are generally expected to be virgins on their wedding night, more so for Noble women. Witnesses may be called upon to witness the bedding of a newly wedded couple, the ceremony is usually take place following the feast.[24]. However, it is known that horse riding can break a girl’s maidenhead, so few families are insistent on physical proof.[25]

Lords in Westeros once had the right to the first night (the custom of bedding newlywed common women before their husbands), but Queen Alysanne convinced King Jaehaerys I Targaryen to abolish it. [26]

Age of majority

Zobacz także: Nameday

For boys fifteen is considered almost a man grown (sixteen is age of majority)[27] A girl is not considered a woman until her first menstruation, or flowering as the folk of the Seven Kingdom say. More precisely, she is a maiden who is both still a child and a woman at the same time.[28] Eleven is seen as old enough for a girl to be betrothed, but marriage tends to wait a few years.

It is not uncommon for a noble maiden, betrothed early, to wed within the year following her first flowering and normally expect to be married by twenty(Smallfolk tend to marry a bit later). Noble boys of about seven or eight are often sent to other noble houses to be raised until they reach the age of majority. The boys serve as pages and squires, acquiring training in arms, law, and courtesy.

Hospitality

Główny artykuł: Guest right

The obligations of hospitality are taken very seriously in Westeros. After hospitality has been offered and accepted, the guest is afforded the Prawo gościny by the host, which protects the guest, at least for the length of the stay. It is a sacred rule as old as the Pierwsi Ludzie. The most proper way of receiving the guest right is by the "bread and salt", which means to share food with your host.

See Also

  • Bastards, children who are born to parents who are not properly wed.
  • Kinslaying, the practice of killing a member of your family.

Refernces

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