Assuming at the end of Robert’s Rebellion, everything occured exactly as presented, except Viserys dies somewhere along the way. and
Spoiler for book 5
Aegon was killed succesfully
After the fighting instead of Robert seizing power, they turn to the SDMB to judge who is the “correct” successor based on the laws of succession of Westeros. So based on what we know of the family trees, and the paternalistic method of succession is it possible to say who the legal successor should be (Maybe it is Robert?) or is there just not enough information?
Yeah, I always assumed they ran semi-salic, like the english (it is inspired by the War of the Roses, thematically, so that makes sense).
There seems to be some evidence of that: we know of at least one noble title that ran out of male heirs on screen (the dancing man folks, I forget the name), and so their hall and titles went to the husband of the last surviving daughter. We even see, in a glimpse, him trying to deal with “replacing” the ancestral name in a diplomatic way, quartering his arms with his wifes, that sort of thing.
I though that was why there was such a fuss of Myrcellas marriage, more so than Tommens. Because her husband would be de facto king if both brothers died childless.
Well, Robert’s genealogical claim was about as solid as jello and mostly functioned as a convenient fiction. His actual claim was one of conquest and (after his alliance marriage to Cersei) the support of powerful Houses (Stark, Arryn, Lannister and Tully, i.e., most of the North and Midlands).
To answer the OP, Dany would be the next heir, at least until she married. Then her husband, whoever that might be, would be king. The only thing I’m not entirely sure of is who the regent would have been, given that Dany was very young when Robert’s War ended. Most likely (assuming that Dany was THE only survivor of her House) someone from House Tyrell, given their close alliance with the Targaryens. Of course, this is assuming that the alliance that successfully pulled down the Mad King actually lays aside their grievances with the Targaryens and just pulls back and says, “Okay…you lot can come in, clean up and take back over.”
In Westeros (except for Dorne) a man’s sons inherit before his daughters, but his daughters inherit before his brothers. Illegitimate children don’t factor into the line of succession unless they are legitimized. Kings can legitimize bastards, but I don’t recall any mention of whether one can legitimize one’s own bastards.
So the answer to the OP’s question is Dany. Not that it matters. A major theme of ASOIF is power, how one obtains it, how one exercises it, and how one loses it, with special emphasis on the fact that governments based on hereditary aristocracies tend to have serious flaws.
The sad (fascinating?) thing is, an infant queen, and a popular regent might have been just the thing for Westeros. It would mean a 15-20 year reset of all the “what is the mad Targaryen doing now?” that had been a major focus of politics for generations.
And the people who didn’t like the Targaryens would be able to see her as “almost not Targaryen” because she would be raised in the family of the regent, probably betrothed to some infant or toddler boy from day one. People would have time to get used to her. And a good PR manager would be able to spin all sorts of great images about the sweet baby queen, who’ll be such a good ruler when she grows up.
I’m thinking of the situation in Regency England, where one of the very few effective things standing between the monarchy and a complete sweep of violent republicanism was little baby Charlotte, the heir, and only popular member of the royal family. This was also more or less the case while Queen Victoria was little, though not quite so dire.
It could have worked, with the right people behind them.
IIRC semi-salic law was used for the Iron Throne; meaning a woman can’t inherit until the male line is completely extinct. (ie she comes after her brothers, uncles, & male cousins). Her consort would become king jure uxoris and nominally be co-ruler (though everyone would expect her to let him run things while she focused her attention on babies); just like a Lady’s husband.
Oh that was poorly worded by me. I know a king can legitimized his own bastards, which is what started the whole Blackfyre thing. I was wondering if a lord can legitimize his own bastards. I seem to remember something about Ramsey Bolton being legitimized by the king, and I wondered if Roose couldn’t have legitimized Ramsey himself. Or if any other non-king character could legitimize his own bastards, or if he needed royal approval.
I think the most a Lord can do on his own his allow his bastard to tradional “bastard surname” of that area (Snow, Rivers, etc). He needs the King’s permission to fully legitimize one and make him his heir.