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 Seven Kingdoms, ruled by the Kings of the Andals and the First Men of House Lannister, before that House Baratheon, and before that House Targaryen.
- The Kingdom of the Iron Islands, ruled by the Kings of the Iron Islands from various houses, currently House Greyjoy.
- The White Walkers, led by the Night King.
- The Bronze Kingdom, ruled by the Bronze Kings of House Royce.
- The First Men, led by the First King.
- The Empire of Astapor, ruled by the Emperors of Astapor.
- The Giants, led by the Kings of the Giants.
- 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.
- The Kingdom of the Reach, ruled by the Kings of the Reach of House 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.
- The Kingdom of Qarth, ruled by the Kings of Qarth.
- The Free Folk, led by the King-Beyond-the-Wall.
- The Kingdom of Nightfort, ruled by the Night's King.
- The Red Kingdom, ruled by the Red Kings of House Bolton.
- The Kingdom of the Stormlands, ruled by the Storm Kings of House Durrandon.
- The Kingdom of Meereen, ruled by the Kings of Meereen of House Targaryen.
- The Kingdom of the North, ruled by the Kings in the North of House Stark.
- The Kingdom of the Three Daughters.
- The Kingdom of the Isles and the Rivers, ruled by the Kings of the Isles and the Rivers of House Hoare.
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, or informally as the 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 false belief of death of all other possible male heirs, Daenerys Targaryen lays claim to the Iron Throne as a Queen Regnant in her own right, because she is the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen. She is still technically considered to be just a "rival claimant" as she has not actively ruled the Seven Kingdoms or sat the Iron Throne itself. However, as the Crown of the Seven Kingdoms was itself established by Aegon the Conqueror and Daenerys is still believed by many to be his only seemingly direct legitimate Targaryen blood heir, the Iron Throne is thought to belong to Daenerys. This belief is however false, because Daeneys' paternal nephew Jon Snow is the legitimate son of Princess Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the oldest son of King Aerys II, and by the line of succession in the Westeros, Jon has a better claim to the throne than his aunt Daenerys. While Robert Baratheon was descended of a Targaryen grandmother, he held his title by right of conquest, not by right of blood or law. If Daenerys is successful in her Invasion of Westeros, she could be queen only by right of conquest, not by right of blood because those rights belong to Jon Snow.