Arslan Senki, and the Many Claims to the Throne

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Cliffhanger season ender tho

Arslan Senki is all kinds of hype. It’s anime’s equivalent of Game of Thrones (I used to say the same about Akame ga Kill, but, eh). Fuujin Ranbu ended up being shorter than I expected, but it’s all well and good if they’re hyping us for a killer (and proper) second season in the hopefully-near future.

I’m gonna preface this point early on and say that I haven’t read ANY of the Arslan Senki novels/manga and all I’m gonna be spewing is just conjecture from what I know from the show. If you’ve watched the first season and Fuujin Ranbu, then we’re good to go. And, if it so happen that you’ve read the novels, do share your thoughts down below!

Now, the overarching conflict thus far in Arslan Senki is securing the throne to the Kingdom of Pars. Based on what I/we currently know about the series (which is really just based on what the anime has covered so far) the claim to the kingship of Pars is up in the air (so to speak, not literally of course), as far as who’s supposed to be sitting at the throne.

Narrowing it down to (in my opinion) the three likeliest candidates;

Hilmes/Hermes/Silver Mask

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Hilmes has the most legitimate claim to the throne as the direct heir in the lineage of the “original” Parsian monarchy. Well, at least traditionally, but we can assume as much – I mean, Andragoras wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble of allegedly killing the then-king Pars, had he had an equal or even greater claim to the throne than the crown prince Hilmes. That being said, Hilmes has been out of the picture for far too long, and now has a loooong way to go to get that throne – and not without its fair share of troubles.

His primary obstacle to overcome is that he’s widely presumed to be dead. I’d reckon it’d be hard to convince people otherwise because it would then imply foul play within the present monarchy. While Andragoras is known to be ruthless enough to actually have had a hand in the ordeal, I doubt people would get behind the idea so long as he sits as king. So Hilmes kinda loses out on good graces of the general populace by virtue of being a ghost, essentially. Plus, he’s kind-of a prick.

Hilmes gets a massive boost in legitimacy through the Rukhnhabad, so it should be fun to see how the whole thing turns out.

Andragoras

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The guy’s thirst for power is absurd considering what he “supposedly” did to get to where he is now. I mean, killing his brother, taking his wife, almost killing his nephew, now exiling his own “son” so he can take his army – oh, let’s not forget how he broke out of imprisonment pretty much through sheer will (and some obscure chain martial art that he apparently knows). Thanks to his antics he managed to seize the throne and has since been considered the King of Pars.

Andragoras’ campaign lies in the order of authority. That is to say, so long as Hilmes is considered dead, he’s the king. Thus all he needs to secure is Hilmes’ head on a spike. Maintaining that authority is gonna be the hard part. His alleged act of regicide aside (which is already a big, treasonous, deal), word is starting to get around about Arslan’s true parentage. The latter may not mean much upon first glance, but it may just be the loose thread that finally unravels the truths that Andragoras has been hiding.

Arslan

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Arslan is sorta at a weird spot in the argument as we don’t really know his true parentage (kinda like how Jon Snow was for most of GoT). He’s either just some kid from the streets (which he was, for some time) who one way or another became the “crown prince”, or he’s from some kind of special ancestry of kings. Whichever way it is, our protagonist is without a doubt the compassionate king that Pars needs at the moment.

Whether or not he is the king the people want is pretty much underlying theme of The Heroic Legend if you ask me. Should it happen that Arslan does not in fact have any royal blood running through his veins, proof of his legitimacy as king shifts to the will of the people. vox populi, vox dei. The voice of the people is the voice of God. If the people want Arslan to be their king, then it plainly shall be. Arslan is abolishing slavery. Why not sac’ the monarchy and trade it in for democracy? (though this might be a bit too extreme)

The key is that the people need to want Arslan as king – and really that’s what he’s been doing for most of the show; convincing people that a ruler does not need to be oppressive and dictating, and that a peaceful and orderly rule is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Now I was gonna write something about the Lusitanians, but yeah, their hold of the Royal Capital doesn’t really amount to much.

So instead I’m gonna end this post with whom I believe are the crucial king-makers for the coveted throne.

Tahamenay/Tahamine

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She knows something. And whatever that something is might just be the missing piece we need to get the whole picture. What was so important about the message she intercepted from Kishward? Why did she plead Andragoras for “her” child? Not “our” child. Hers. We’re hearing all of this stuff about Arslan not being the son of Andragoras, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be the son of Tahamenay. Outside of being Andragoras’ wife, Tahamenay isn’t royalty (as far as I’m aware) by her own name. So if she had conceived Arslan before Andragoras took her, then it would explain Arslan’s situation.

The popular theory is that Arslan was taken by Andragoras as his own so that Tahamenay would agree to be his wife – keeping Arslan as his hostage in a way. But there has to be more the story. Otherwise why is that such a big deal? Why is Andragoras so dead-set on keeping Arslan away from the crown?

Daryun

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The Marzbans of Pars were and still are respected symbols of authority in the public eye, and now have an additional purpose as figureheads of each campaign’s military unit – for Andragoras, he has Kubard and Kishward as the more prominent ones; for Hilmes, he has Sam; and for Aslan, Daryun. Having them around for fights is neat and all, but they also serve a secondary purpose as people that an army can get behind. Whoever can rally the greatest army, that is to say which Marzban can commandeer the most respect, will give their candidate a huge advantage in the wars to come.

At present, the only name that strikes genuine fear and admiration is the Mardan fu Mardan Daryun himself (even pirates know who he is!). Being a one-man-army is enough honestly, but what Daryun offers to the table in terms of political sway is just too OP. Don’t get me started on Narsus.

Etoile

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This one’s a bit of a long-shot (more ship-py, really) but here it goes. Lusitania is depicted in the story as some militant state with crazed religious people, but Etoile tells us otherwise. The Lusitanians follow the Yaldaboath faith. It jsut so happens that people in power managed to twist that faith into something that fueled extremism – which ultimately led to the Lusitanians invading the Kingdom of Pars. The Yaldaboath faith itself isn’t bad, just that it’s what the Lusitanians recognize as the very mandate of the gods. Which is similar, if not the same reverence the Parsians give to the crown.

Should the two come together, that is to say if someone from the crown can introduce if not wholly inculcate the Yaldaboath faith to the people, then all should be a-okay between Pars and Lusitania. However, the only reasonable Lusitanian we’ve seen so far is is Etoile. Likewise, the only representative of the crown that’s open to peace-talks Arslan. So, put two-and-two together and we come with a pretty simple solution – political marriage, anyone?

So what do you guys think? Who should be sitting at that throne? How does he get there?😀

I mean, it is The Heroic Legend of Arslan, so we all know who wins in the end. Probably. Does he? xD

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