I was thinking about Chapter 7 of “Suddenly I Became a Princess One Day,” particularly this scene:
and it got me thinking about The Obelian Royal Family and heirs to the throne. By all indication (that I hear) of the novel, and in our telling thus far, Athanasia seems to have a secure spot as future Emperor (rather, Empress) of the empire. I’m not going to question that, mostly because that’s what I wish for, but still want to examine the royal family from the interesting tidbits we’ve received so far.
The full family tree has yet to be uncovered, but judging by the information Lucas provides we can kind of see the start of Athanasia’s family tree (assuming that the names Lucas lists are in order of succession):
Claude may or may not be from the same coupling as his brother (I’ve seen two different translations, one where Claude is a concubine’s child and one where he is simply the second son)–this tree assumes he is the second son. Note though that the first set of image’s credits Claude’s mother who is
not the Empress” as being the reason he is not given a proper “royal” name.
Additional note: Athanasia share’s Claude’s name as “___ De Alger Obelia” –
“De” is an article meaning “of the [family+place]” – “Alger” has meaning as “Spear” in old english, but in Greek might be “Algier” which means “the peninsula” -and “Obelia” has meaning “pointed pillar” in Greek. Given Claude’s from of dress and the influence of Greek/Roman names–I think the royal family’s name points to something about the Empire of Obelia.
Taking into account Chapter 7, we know that firstborn children, rather sons, are heirs to the throne and that your status as the crown prince is immediately assigned with one’s name as all heirs are given names associated with eternity or immortality. These names can only be granted (permitted really) by the Emporer of the time. Each potential heir to the throne has to have eyes like jewels to be considered a member of the family’s direct line. Additionally, the jewel-like feature of their eyes is completely unique to their family as it ties directly to the special kind of magic that only the Obelian royal family possesses. Women, from the current understanding, have not been considered potential heirs (hinted to in chapter 7) until Claude’s approval of Athanasia’s name.
Knowing this, there are two things I wonder about often:
1. The line of succession, who has the throne? We don’t know enough, I believe, to know how succession rules act outside of the preference for males of the direct line. We’ve not yet encountered a point where there could be an indirect heir as all heirs have the jewel eyes (signifying direct decent). Moreover, we don’t yet have a true fight for the thrown, only mentions of it from Claude’s past. I’d like to assume it is like European succession, but nothing has been set in stone regarding the rights to rule for Obelia besides what I’ve stated above. If we take a guess, then I would like to state that it may be possible that, even though Anastasios has been overthrown by Claude, Jannette could claim the throne as a rightful heir. She is, after all, the first-born daughter of the former heir (possibly former Emporer) and has, at this point in the text, proven to have been born ahead of Athanasia. Who knows? Still, with Claude as the current emporer, it makes sense that Athanasia is heir before her cousin regardless of the age if we follow rules with the English line of succession.
2. What is special about the royal family’s magic? My theory is that this magic is “dark magic” and “light magic” (but we don’t know enough about the common/uncommon magical elements in the story yet to accurately guess). Claude seems to be able to pass dreams to Athanasia when he touches her (chapter 16 and again in chapter 20), and she can maybe peer in when he is asleep whether he wants her to or not. To have called a divine being into existence, “Blackie,” which is something Claude doesn’t know about makes me think that Athanasia has more magical power than her father and possibly Jannette (even though Jennette was created to beat out Claude’s magic). It’s (possibly) why Athanasia’s divine animal can break even Lucas’s spell that seemed to aim to harm Athanasia in some way upon their initial meeting.
Food for thought.
Chapter 38 seems to show Athy beginning to use magic! Check it out:
“Rather then women not being considered potential heirs, wouldn’t the case really be that Athanasia is technically an illegitemate child as Diana was not married to Claude? As you said, the heirs are given names of immortaility, and it’s a big thing. By acknowledging Athanasia’s name Claude was in a way confirming her as his heir and child which is no small matter.”
I don’t think that Athanasia’s birth to Diana is an issue in this story because heirs seems to be defined more so by their inherent eye color/jewel-like quality than by birth and since no one mentions Athanasia’s birth as being bastardize.
Claude mentions in chapter seven, “To dare giver her own child such a name, and a girl at that,” which may imply what you’re are thinking in terms of illegitimacy but could also imply that Claude as the Emperor and father of Athanasia should have been the one to traditionally decide on her name. Given the context of the story and the importance of names in the imperial family, I think the statement implies the latter more than some sort of illegitimacy over her birth by Diana. Additionally, the statement out-right points to Athanasia’s sex being an issue (”and a girl at that”).
In later chapters, when images of other former rulers are shown, vaguely via blurred images on Claude’s bedroom walls, we see that all of them appear to be male:
Which has lead to my conclusion above.