There's a scene in the most recent season of GoT where Tyrion brings up the issue of succession to Daenarys. He reminds her that she's likely infertile and goes on to suggest she do something about a successor naming two examples: "The night's watch have one method. The ironborn [...] have another".

These particular examples are notable because they're both (sort of) democracies. They have a form of election to select their next leaders, but more peculiarly they hold elections specifically in the event of the current ruler's death. In the real world, this just isn't done; not even in democracies. A pre-existing well-defined line-of-succession is a critical deterrent against assassination. One would think Tyrion who is presented as a political genius would understand at least this much.

So what exactly is he proposing she do about succession?

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    Come up with a way to make sure her line (and ideals carries on). Whether that is creating an election process, her picking someone to carry on, trying for a baby (even if she thinks she;s infertile). – TheLethalCarrot Apr 6 '18 at 14:12
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    Interestingly Tyrion gets first-hand experience of true democracy amongst the hill tribes of the Vale in the books. At the time he's not very impressed, but it's possible both books and TV are going down the route of Tyrion suggesting democracy as an alternative to monarchy (and it definitely fits with Daenarys' "break the wheel" speech). – delinear Apr 6 '18 at 14:19
  • @delinear Well technically he's already suggested democracy, albeit in an indirect wya. – TheLethalCarrot Apr 6 '18 at 14:20
  • The critical point of my post was less about holding elections and more about when they're held (namely, in the event of death). In the opening chapter of "Storm of Swords" we see just how disastrous this policy is. The POV character is about to assassinate Lord Commander Mormont specifically because he knows that in the resulting chaos no one's going to bother to come looking for him. – dspyz Apr 6 '18 at 14:22
  • Is Tyrion suggesting they hold elections for her successor right now? Who would vote in them? What if the result isn't someone she trusts? – dspyz Apr 6 '18 at 14:23

The complete conversation is as follows and as is evidenced Tyrion is mainly worried about carrying on the succession he isn't proposing anything yet. He implies that a democratic solution could be an answer by suggesting the Night's Watch's elections and the Ironborns Kings Moot but get's cut off before he can complete the sentence. Tyrion hasn't actually suggested anything he is just worried about the succession continuing and even if he has a suggestion Dany wouldn't hear it.

Tyrion Lannister: Because I believe in you and the world you want to build. But the world you want to build doesn't get built all at once. Probably not in a single lifetime. How do we ensure your vision endures? After you break the wheel, how do we make sure it stays broken?

Daenerys Targaryen: You want to know who sits on the Iron Throne after I'm dead?

Tyrion Lannister: You say you can't have children. But there are other ways of choosing a successor. The Night's Watch has one method, The Iron born folk, although many flaws

Daenerys Targaryen: We will discuss the succession after I wear the crown.

Tyrion Lannister: Your Grace, I saw hundreds of arrows fly towards you when you fought on Blackwater Rush, and I saw hundred of arrows miss. But any one of them could have found your heart and ended you.

Daenerys Targaryen: You've been thinking about my death quite a bit, haven't you? Is this one of the items you've discussed with your brother in King's Landing?

Tyrion Lannister: I'm trying to serve you by planning for the long term.

Daenerys Targaryen: Perhaps if you'd planned for the short term, we wouldn't have lost Dorne and Highgarden. We will discuss the succession after I wear the crown.

Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 6, "Beyond the Wall"

However, the ending to Season 7 could have put Tyrion's mind at rest when he saw the potential for #BOATBABY. Though of course he seems to look more worried than happy about the situation.

Tyrion see's Jon entering Dany's cabin

An important point mentioned by @Anthony Grist in the comments is also relvant here. Just because he wanted to discuss the matter and start thinking about it right now doesn't mean he wants anything to happen straight away. For all we know Tyrion has no idea for what should happen with the succession but just wanted to open the discussion up so there was a possibility there.

  • Sure, but if he wants to discuss the matter now, then presumably that means he wants her to do something about it now; before she "wears the crown". And I just can't imagine what he thinks she should do at this very moment (given the examples he chose). – dspyz Apr 6 '18 at 14:40
  • @dspyz Well we don't know because she wouldn't discuss it. – TheLethalCarrot Apr 6 '18 at 14:41
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    @dspyz That's a leap. Wanting her to start thinking about it now does not mean he wants her to immediately take action. – Anthony Grist Apr 6 '18 at 14:47
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    I find it odd because to me it seems critical that she should choose a successor right now before she wears the crown. This is an important thing for any leader to do (if only as a deterrent as I mentioned before; consider what happened to Renly Baratheon because he failed to name a successor) and Tyrion is absolutely right to bring it up. But he seems to be confusing the matter by talking about democracy, which is certainly not important or relevant at the moment, and seems generally counter-productive. – dspyz Apr 6 '18 at 14:55
  • @dspyz She can't have children (or think she can't) so he's bringing up a democracy as an alternative. As for if it's critical or not that depends on your viewpoint. Tyrion thinks her vision is more important and should be maintained no matter the outcome. Dany thinks her vision doesn't matter at the moment until the war is won. Why pick a successor if you're only going to lose? – TheLethalCarrot Apr 6 '18 at 14:57

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