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View Full Version : real life Hand of the King?



SoulReaver
April 27th, 2016, 04:19 PM
just wondering if there's ever been an analogous to GoT's hand of the king - in western history or even in all of human feudal history (2nd in command to the village chief doesn't count of course :| I mean vast kingdoms/empires/etc.)

the closest thing I can think of is the sultan's Grand Vizier in the turkish/ottoman/whatever empire since he essentially wielded the sultan's powers (in the latter's absence), had no equal & was only accountable to the sultan
and in western history...none? (AFAIK)

Gatefan1976
April 27th, 2016, 06:01 PM
The lord high steward is probably the closest fit.

Who Knows
April 28th, 2016, 01:28 AM
The title "Prince Regent" springs to my mind.
When a monarch dies & his heir is a minor his uncle (bearing the title Prince Regent) rules the country until the little Prince (& now King) becomes of age
Also when the elected ruler is certified as mad, insane, a fruit cake, somebody (Uncle, cousin, younger brother) can be appointed as 'Prince Regent'
That is the closest I can come to Hand of the King, but of course the Regent is not appointed by the king, nor can the King dismiss him & choose somebody else.

SoulReaver
April 29th, 2016, 10:48 AM
The lord high steward is probably the closest fit.I heard about that one but did he have any equals? was he answerable to the king alone?
and most importantly in the king's absence did he represent the king & have all (or most) of the king's powers? both in interior & foreign policy?

SoulReaver
April 29th, 2016, 10:50 AM
The title "Prince Regent" springs to my mind.
When a monarch dies & his heir is a minor his uncle (bearing the title Prince Regent) rules the country until the little Prince (& now King) becomes of age
Also when the elected ruler is certified as mad, insane, a fruit cake, somebody (Uncle, cousin, younger brother) can be appointed as 'Prince Regent'
That is the closest I can come to Hand of the King, but of course the Regent is not appointed by the king, nor can the King dismiss him & choose somebody else.like the cardinals Richelieu in France for instance
but their power's limited in time (until the king comes of age) and they don't really "represent" the king since they are the (temporary) king

SoulReaver
April 29th, 2016, 10:53 AM
come to think of it wouldn't it be risky for a king to have 1 single king's hand?

there's a risk the hand could seek to overthrow the king especially since he could go about his plans without having to worry about rivals (since he's the only #2) that's why a dictators tend to have several seconds in command so as to "divide & conquer"

P-90_177
April 29th, 2016, 02:11 PM
come to think of it wouldn't it be risky for a king to have 1 single king's hand?

there's a risk the hand could seek to overthrow the king especially since he could go about his plans without having to worry about rivals (since he's the only #2) that's why a dictators tend to have several seconds in command so as to "divide & conquer"

Except the Hand is not the King. The King has royal and noble blood of a particular line. Generally the masses tend to respect that in old Monarchies. They can't imagine anything else.

SoulReaver
April 29th, 2016, 02:29 PM
Generally the masses tend to respect that in old Monarchiesand monarchies tend not to care about the masses
in monarchies the masses respect authority so if an usurper takes over they'll accept the new king (by will or by force)

Gatefan1976
April 29th, 2016, 04:31 PM
I heard about that one but did he have any equals? was he answerable to the king alone?
and most importantly in the king's absence did he represent the king & have all (or most) of the king's powers? both in interior & foreign policy?
Well, that depends on how the ruling council is set up.
They could be "number 2" or "first among equals".
As to his powers when the king is away, yes, they speak with the kings voice and authority when the king is absent. He certainly could deal with internal policy, as for foreign policy, I am honestly not 100% sure. I would imagine larger things like formal alliances with foreign powers would still need the kings say so in the end, but I would -assume- that the steward would certainly be able to open diplomatic lines and negotiate things like trade treaties in the Kings absence.

Daniel L Newhouse
February 9th, 2019, 02:12 AM
Marc Antony was Julius Caesar's "master of horse."