The nobility of Alderaan is responsible for ruling the planet and choosing the reigning monarch in often vicious, always intricate games of local politics. Each noble house bears the family name of its original founders, and many nobles can trace their lineage back over hundreds of generations. However, noble blood is not a requirement for house membership; in less traditional houses, it is not unheard of for an ambitious servant or farmer to rise above his or her station.
Three main houses currently compete for Alderaan's throne: House Organa, House Thul and House Ulgo. Although these three are the most powerful houses on Alderaan, might is not the only path to survival. In many cases, a larger noble house will take a smaller, like-minded one under its protection. Referred to as a “vassal,” these smaller houses typically provide support and fealty to the larger. A strategic alliance can mean the difference between ultimate ambition or permanent extinction.