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TV Tropes Monday: Heir Club for Men

Tweet of the Day: Thursday Special ~ At the Border


Henry the VIII, you remember him, of Anne Bolin, the Anglican Church, and the dead wives (some of which he ordered disposed of by means most fowl). You see Old H did this not only because he was the president of the Heir Club for Men, but also a member. He, like the long line of kings before him, most of them from the Platagenet line, which had their own troubled presidency/membership in the trope club, sought an heir to the throne. But not just any heir, but a male heir, for only a man could rule England in peace and in war. So Henry went to incredible lengths to sire a healthy baby boy that would grow up to be Henry IX.

As if often the case with this trope, a quick check of any relevant history book (or Wikipedia) will show that now such person came to be. This trope then was in full effect during Henry’s reign. Your story may have a similar situation, with a desperate king, patriarch, or other male head of household desperately trying to father a son to carry on his legacy. And the child must be legitimate too, no foundlings or brothel boys unless you’re William the Bastard and he had to kill his way to the throne. Failure to produce a male heir tends to kick off a Succession Crisis.

The irony of Henry’s tale is that England survived by dispensing with the club all together. Henry was succeeded not by one but two of his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth whose reigns would see England reach no heights of power as well as terror.

The King is Dead, Long Live the Queen!


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