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Protector of the Realm

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"Lord Eddard Stark is herein named... Protector of the Realm. To rule as Regent... until the heir come of age."
―Ser Barristan Selmy[src]

Protector of the Realm is a title in the Seven Kingdoms, the holder of which is considered to be head of state. The title is usually held, ex officio, by the King of the Andals and the First Men, who also holds the title of Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. During the minority of a child monarch, however, a Regent is named as Protector of the Realm until the heir comes of age. Protectors of the Realm who are not of royal birth are addressed a (My) Lord Protector. The title was (presumably) created by the Targaryen Kings when they unified the Seven Kingdoms into a single realm during the War of Conquest.

History

Season 1

King Robert Baratheon's full title is "King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm".[1]

Robert's last act

Robert signs his proclamation naming Eddard Protector of the Realm in "You Win or You Die".

Barristan

Ser Barristan Selmy reads Robert's proclamation.

After King Robert is mortally wounded by a boar while hunting, he dictates his final orders to Hand of the King Eddard Stark, naming Lord Stark as regent and Protector of the Realm until his heir comes of age. Renly Baratheon correctly assumes that the dying Robert has given orders to this effect, as does Petyr Baelish. After Robert dies, Eddard arrives at court to find Joffrey Baratheon seated on the Iron Throne and introduced as both the new king and Protector of the Realm. However, Eddard has Ser Barristan Selmy read King Robert's final order before the royal court, naming Lord Stark as Regent and Protector of the Realm. Eddard proclaims that Joffrey has no claim to the throne, and orders the City Watch under Janos Slynt to take Joffrey and Cersei into custody. This sparks a standoff between Stark's personal guards and the Kingsguard, as Joffrey demands that Stark and all of his men be killed. Just then, Baelish and the Goldcloaks betray Eddard, killing all of his men and taking him prisoner. Joffrey then continues to technically hold the title of Protector of the Realm, though his mother Cersei still acts as Queen Regent.[2]

Season 4

When Tommen Baratheon ascends to the Iron Throne following the death of Joffrey, he declares Tywin Lannister Protector of the Realm as he is still a child and unable to command the military forces of the realm.[3]

Season 5

Margaery Tyrell suggests that the title has reverted to King Tommen following Tywin's death.

Known Protectors of the Realm

Officials

Image Shield Name Term Titles
Aegon the Conquerer House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Aegon I Targaryen, the Conqueror 1 – 37 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
Aenys I Targaryen House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Aenys I Targaryen 37 – 42 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
King Maegor the Cruel House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Maegor I Targaryen, the Cruel 42 – 48 AL King of the Andals and the First Men

During the interregnum between the coronation of Aegon II until his majority of age the title of "Protector of the Realm" fell to his Hand.

Image Shield Name Term Titles
HL5 Jaehaerys The Conciliator House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Jaehaerys I Targaryen, the Conciliator 50 – 103 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
Viserys I Death House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Viserys I Targaryen 103 – 129 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
King Aegon II Aegon-II-Shield-Icon Aegon II Targaryen, the Usurper 129 – 130 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
Aemond One-Eye Aegon-II-Shield-Icon Aemond Targaryen 130 – 131 AL Prince Regent
Aegon II Aegon-II-Shield-Icon Aegon II Targaryen, the Usurper 131 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
House-Stark-Main-Shield Cregan Stark 131 AL Hand of the King

Lord Paramount of the North

During the interregnum between the coronation of Aegon II until his majority of age the title of "Protector of the Realm" fell to his Regents.

Image Shield Name Term Titles
AegonIIITargaryenFamilyTree House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Aegon III Targaryen, the Dragonbane 136 – 157 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
DaeronITargaryenFamilyTree House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Daeron I Targaryen, the Young Dragon 157 – 161 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
Baelor the Blessed House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Baelor I Targaryen, the Blessed 161 – 171 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Viserys II Targaryen 171 – 172 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Aegon IV Targaryen, the Unworthy 172 – 184 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
Daeron II House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Daeron II Targaryen, the Good 184 – 196 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
Baelor Breakspear House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Baelor Targaryen 196 – 209 AL Hand of the King
Daeron II House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Daeron II Targaryen, the Good 209 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Aerys I Targaryen 209 – 221 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
MaekarITargaryenFamilyTree Maeker-Shield-Icon Maekar I Targaryen 221 – 233 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
Bloodraven Brynden Rivers, Bloodraven 233 AL Hand of the King

Lord Regent of the Seven Kingdoms

Aegon the Unlikely House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Aegon V Targaryen, the Unlikely 233 – 259 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
Aerys II Targaryen Mad King House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Aerys II Targaryen, the Mad King 259 – 281 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
RobertBaratheon House-Baratheon-Main-Shield Robert I Baratheon, the Usurper 281 – 298 AL King of the Andals and the First Men
S04E02 - Joffrey Baratheon Cropped House-Baratheon-of-King's Landing-Main-Shield Joffrey I

Baratheon, the Illborn

298 – 300 AL King of the Andals and the First Men


Lord Paramount of the Stormlands (De Jure)

Tywin Lannister in The Laws of Gods and Men House-Lannister-Main-Shield Tywin Lannister 300 - 301 AL Hand of the King

Lord Paramount of the Westerlands

S04E08 - Cersei (profile) House-Lannister-Main-Shield Cersei Lannister, the Lioness 301 - 302 AL Queen Regent


Lady Paramount of the Westerlands

Kevan-603 House-Lannister-Main-Shield Kevan Lannister 302 – 303 AL Hand of the King

At the coronation of Cersei Lannister as Cersei I, she was proclaimed "Protector of the Seven Kingdoms", a  de facto equivalent title that of Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, but leaving those titles vacant de jure.

Claimants

Image Shield Name Claim Titles
Aegon Targaryen son of Aenys House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Aegon Targaryen 42 - 43 King of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)
Image Shield Name Claim Titles
Daemon Targaryen The Dance of Dragons Blacks-Main-Shield Daemon Targaryen 129 - 131 AL Prince Consort (Claimant)
Rhaenyra on King's Landing Blacks-Main-Shield Rhaenyra I Targaryen 131 AL Queen of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)
Image Shield Name Claim Titles
Daeron the Black Dragon House-Blackfyre-Main-Shield Daemon I Blackfyre, the Black Dragon 184 – 196 AL King of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)
House-Blackfyre-Main-Shield Daemon II Blackfyre 196 - 212 AL King of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)
Image Shield Name Claim Titles
Maelys the Monstrous House-Blackfyre-Main-Shield Maelys I Blackfyre, the Monstrous ? – 259 AL King of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)
Image Shield Name Claim Titles
EddardStark House-Stark-Main-Shield Eddard Stark 298 AL Hand of the King

Lord Regent of the Seven Kingdoms (Claimant)

Renly profile House-Baratheon-of-Storm's-End-Main-Shield Renly I Baratheon, the King in Highgarden 298 – 299 AL King of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)

Lord Paramount of the Stormlands

Stannis S05E09 House-Baratheon-of-Dragonstone-Main-Shield Stannis I Baratheon, the King in the Narrow Sea 298 – 302 AL King of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)

Lord of Dragonstone

Lord Paramount of the Stormlands (De Facto from Renly's death)

Image Shield Name Claim Titles
Viseryspromoheadshot House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Viserys III Targaryen,
the Beggar King
281 – 298 AL King of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)
Dany finale s6 winds of winter House-Targaryen-Main-Shield Daenerys I Targaryen, Mother of Dragons 298 AL – present Queen of the Andals and the First Men (Claimant)


Queen of Meereen


Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the title of Protector of the Realm applies to the military command of the armies loyal to the Iron Throne, and is usually held by the King himself. Presumably, the holder of the office commands the four Wardens, who in turn are charged with commanding military forces in the four different cardinal directions of Westeros (North, South, East, and West).

In some instances, however, the title was granted to the Hand of the King or to a Prince Regent when the King was incapable or inexperienced in matters of war, or was otherwise incapacitated. Such was the case of King Daeron the Good, who named his own son and Hand of the King, Prince Baelor "Breakspear", as Protector of the Realm during and after the First Blackfyre Rebellion. Similarly, during the Dance of the Dragons Prince Daemon Targaryen, who commanded the armies of claimant Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, held the title of Protector of the Realm. Meanwhile, on the opposing side of the war led by Rhaenyra's half-brother King Aegon II Targaryen, Aegon's II's younger brother Prince Aemond Targaryen was named Prince Regent and Protector of the Realm, after Aegon II was incapacitated after suffering grievous wounds in battle.

References

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