Stannis Baratheon seems to be an unforgiving follower of the rule of law. In particular, he seems to ground his claim to the Iron Throne very firmly in the fact that he is the rightful heir to it.

How would he react if Daenerys Targaryen showed up to make her claim? Would he stand aside and recognize her as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne? Or would he still hold his claim to be better than hers (and if so, what would be his reasoning)?

Another way to formulate this question is: how does Stannis view Robert's Rebellion? Does he view it as illegitimate, and just goes along with it because it suits him or because there is no one around (yet) to support the Targaryen claim? Or does he view it as legitimate, in which case how did it differ (in Stannis's mind) from, say, Balon's rebellion?

A Dance With Dragons spoiler:

The question asks about Daenerys's claim, but it applies equally to Aegon's claim.

  • I could be mistaken, but I thought in Westeros women didn't have any rights to the throne? Aug 13, 2012 at 8:34
  • 2
    @anthonygrist - You're not mistaken. Only the Dornish allow a woman to succeed a throne. Aug 13, 2012 at 15:43
  • 10
    @AnthonyGrist I think only the Dornish allow an older sister to come before a younger brother. I think Westeros women can inherit if there are no sons remaining.
    – Nick
    Aug 13, 2012 at 15:45
  • Westerosi women can inherit if there are no immediate males (brothers), however, after the Dance of Dragons, Targaryen successorship allows females to inherit only if there are no males left in the entire line! So Dany is way way way down the line, she just happens to live in a time where she's the only confirmed Targaryen...
    – Möoz
    Apr 14, 2015 at 22:08

9 Answers 9


There is a very good dialogue between Davos and Stannis about his claim. I believe it is in A Storm of Swords. After the battle of the Blackwater, Ser Axell suggests that Stannis take Lord Celtigar's castle and kill everyone there, as punishment for their lord's "treason" in bending the knee to Joffrey. In the discussion, Stannis says that it is every man's duty to stay loyal to his king, to which Davos responds: As you stayed loyal to King Aerys?

In the aftermath Stannis recollects to Davos (paraphrasing from memory):

My blood or my liege? My brother or my king. That was a hard choosing, Davos.

This to me suggests that if not for the fact that Aerys had been mad, Stannis might not have joined the rebellion at all. However that may be, it is clear and has been shown many times that Stannis holds the law and what is right and proper in very high regard. The principal example GRRM gives us is that even though Davos saved Stannis and all his men during the siege of Storm's End, by smuggling in food, he still cut off his fingertips as punishment for his previous smuggling.

One good act does not wash out a bad. Or one bad one a good.

When his Hand, who is also his wife's uncle (I think), sues for peace with the Lannisters behind his back, Stannis throws him in the dungeons and lets Melisandre burn him. Because "it is the law".

No, if Stannis was made aware of Daenerys and her claim, and the power she has amassed, I believe he would give it considerable thought. He knows for a fact that she lives, and that Viserys - the true King - lived, but has written them off because Viserys was who he was (most likely mad). He sat on King Robert's small council and heard Varys' reports over the years. But he most likely knows nothing of her current conquests, her dragons and her armies. And he does not know the ruler she has become.

I cannot say for sure - and we may never know, since there is a real possibility that he dies before they ever meet - but I believe he would consider her claim legitimate. And therefore, he would have no choice but pledge her his allegiance.

However, I do not think at this point that the Iron Throne is his primary goal, but the battle against the Long Night and the Great Other. Believing that he is Azor Ahai born again may be something that would cause him to oppose Daenerys, since he cannot give up his power to someone who would not take his battle seriously. But I think that Melisandre will be the link there, as she can clearly see stronger links to the prophecy of Azor Ahai in Daenerys than in Stannis.


The Black Flame, Moqorro, has already joined up with Victarion, who will join up with Daenerys. Moqorro is on a mission from the High Priest Benerro to guide and help Daenerys. It would be a very interesting meeting, should Melisandre and Stannis meet Moqorro and Daenerys.


I very much doubt that Stannis would view any Targaryen claim to the throne very favorably. Legitimacy by right of conquest is a very real thing in Westeros, and I would think that Stannis is just enough of a realist to accept that.

You raise two interesting cases: Robert's rebellion, and Balon's.

In Robert's case, Stannis's loyalty was to his liege and head of his house Robert. Stannis has commented many times that while he didn't particularly like Robert, he did recognize him as the source of his legitimacy and thus followed his orders. So when Robert called his banners, Stannis viewed it as completely legitimate.

In Balon's case the decision was even easier. To Stannis, Balon was rebelling on the legtimate power of the land which was Robert. So he dutifully fought Balon on Robert's orders.

When Robert died with no issue, Stannis's view was that the legitimacy of law rested on him now according to Westeros's laws. So it has become his duty to fight off all pretenders to the throne.


There has never been a ruling queen of the Seven Kingdoms in her own right since Aegon the Conqueror meaning that with Viserys's death succession rights to the Iron Throne would pass to the eldest male in a descendant house of House Targaryen which is House Baratheon. Under Westerosi precedent the throne cannot pass to a woman which makes Stannis the lawful heir to Robert and Viserys.

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    Could you provide a canon quote to back up this assertion?
    – Valorum
    Feb 21, 2014 at 19:57

This is a pretty simple question with a simple answer, Stannis would do everything in his power to stop danaerys. After Roberts rebellion the targaryans were usurped from the throne and therefore lost any claims and chance of inheritance which were given to the Baratheons. Therefore any targaryans such as Danaerys, Aegon and possibly Jon technically have no right to the throne. If you disagree with this reasoning then just think about how the iron throne was formed by Aegon the conquerer which was by right of conquest where he usurped the 7 kingdoms through fighting.

Then there's the whole problem of gender rules in succession where if Jon and young griff are actually legit Danaerys has no right to the throne. So even if Stannis did a complete 360 and decided to support the very people his brother had fought to usurp there is no way that he would allow danaerys to rule and would be more likely to bend the knee to young griff or Jon (still wouldn't happen).

To be honest I'm kinda sick of all the danaerys fanboys and girls who don't see that she would be a pretty bad ruler. Just look at meereen for one where she can't control a single city never mind a continent. She is only a kid and makes many poor decisions throughout her rule despite having good advisers. Furthermore wouldn't it be for the best if the targs stay away from the throne since their blood is heavily "incestral"(can't think of the word) and half of them are mad which is not good ruler material. Just look at the real world now and see how most European royal families have diminished or are given little power.

Sorry about the rather long answer I sort of got sucked in and couldn't stop so it might seem a little ranty at times.


I doubt that he would recognize her claim since she has no real claim. Laws of conquest give him the best claim to the throne, not her. He's all about the law.

  • Until she gets the legitimacy by right of re conquest :p (don't worry, no spoilers, just wishful thinking...)
    – Kalissar
    May 14, 2013 at 14:07
  • Not just wishful thinking - it seems to me that conquest is a valid strategy for the Game. Power is power, my dear Watson oops Balish. Sep 8, 2014 at 14:58

He would ask her to bend the knee and if she didn't he would wage war with her.

She legally has no claim to the Iron Throne

It is as Eddard Stark said:

Stannis Baratheon is Robert's true heir


Apparantly I am the only Targaryen supporter here. Daenerys has the rightful claim, or Jon if he isn't a bastard. By supporting Stannis' conquerer claim, Stannis can't be the rightful heir, because then Joffrey would be the rightful claim, because he sat on the iron throne and "conquered" it. We are talking about the seven kingdoms, which were created by the Targaryens. So if we look at the bloodright, only a Targaryen can have a rightful claim. And guess what: We have one. Or maybe two. Excuse my bad English but Stannis does not have a rightful claim, because Robert, a traitor to the realm can't be the rightful king.


Stannis is all about that law and Stannis the King under Targaryen law since Targaryen law doesn't let woman rule and the Baratheon's are the closest living relatives to the Targaryens.


it doesn´t allow women IF THERE IS ANY MALE CLAIMANTS but since they are not, Daenerys is the last Targaryen and she is the Lawfull heir of the iron throne, Stannis would not bend knee however because of the rights of conquest of his dead brother.

And Dany may not even go to westeros, she´s already queen of Mereen

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