The Elder Scrolls

Who the heck gave Katariah a crown anyway

Here's a question I keep trying to find an answer to, but literally can't anywhere. Might be I'm not looking hard enough but…

How was Katariah legitimized as Empress? Everything we can say about the succession of the Ruby Throne says that, while cognatic (gender doesn't matter), it doesn't pass to spouses, it passes to blood relations, likely through a primogeniture system that we assume functions more or less properly.

So – Katariah becomes Empress Regent in 3E149, sure. Pelagius III was earning his nickname and we can assume their son together, Cassynder, was too young. That's all great. But then Pelagius III dies in 3E153… and Katariah is crowned Empress? Okay… and she rules for 47 years!?

Katariah is the single and only example we have of the Ruby Throne passing to a spouse. But that's not how the system is supposed or demonstrated to work – she's Empress Regent until Cassynder comes of age, then she's the Emperor's mother. Its like with Cersei in GoT – she's not Queen, she's the Queen Regent until her son comes of age and/or is crowned, otherwise she assumes no role other than Queen Mother until her all children with the king are dead, then kind of shakily becomes Queen… but Katariah's son with Pelagius doesn't die until after she does.

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How was Katariah in any way a legitimate Empress? Like, at all? The only way would be if the Elder Council gave her the title and said she could hold it until death, but that seems kind of off – she wasn't popular with the nobility. Why wouldn't they insist her regency be over when Cassynder comes of age? Something stinks here. Did she just soft coup the entire Septim line?

The only excuse I can see is that Cassynder, who would be a Dunmer, simply wasn't what they consider 'mature' for their people at age, uh, at least 51 when he was crowned. Is that the solution? Because while possible it seems a stretch to me. Dunmer live longer, sure, but there's scant evidence they reach maturity that much later – in fact isn't there the opposite?

Or is it simply a matter of "they didn't care/it doesn't matter."


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