Rebecca Rosen


The television show Game of Thrones has developed a tremendous following in recent years. The show takes place primarily in the fictional state of Westeros, a feudal society that mirrors many of the legal structures of medieval England. As such, many of the laws and customs of Westeros seem antithetical to the beliefs and values of modern viewers. In an attempt to posit a more just outcome following the death of Westeros’ king (the action which springboards the primary power struggle), this Article applies California law to the disposition of King Robert’s property. Shockingly, this Article finds that California’s marital presumption laws are as unsettling as some of the laws found in Westeros itself.

This Article argues that the current marital presumption laws are outdated and badly in need of reform. Using the disposition of King Robert’s property as an example, this Article critiques the modern California Family Code’s approach to paternity disestablishment. Part I provides a description of the marital presumption rule. Part II applies it to situations such as King Robert’s where the father incorrectly believed that a child was his own. Part III concludes by suggesting how the law should be altered to create a more just outcome to situations of mistaken paternity.

While more information can be gleaned from A Song of Fire and Ice book series, this Article relies on the information obtained through the HBO series unless otherwise indicated. Additionally, this Article only addresses the disposition of property as it would occur under California law.