The Chosen Claw (or Chosen Claw of the Emperor) is the term used for the one the Emperor chooses to be his next in line, his heir, his Crown Prince. While the next Emperor in line can be Hereditary in nature, it is possible for the Emperor to choose who he thinks should be the best choice for his replacement.[1] This appears to be something akin to an 'adoption'.

This however doesn't mean that the Emperor's chosen will necessarily become the next Emperor. He still has to prove himself, and kill or defeat any rival Hrai (clans). It's possible for the chosen to be dishonored and lose favor, and for the Emperor to choose someone else.

Alternatively other clans could decide to fight the chosen one to kill them, and raise their own position in the Kilrathi caste system, in an attempt to challenge the positon of Emperor.

In recent centuries the Kiranka clan has held the position of Emperor, and stopped civil wars.

At the time of 2654, Thrackath nar Kiranka was made the Chosen Claw (bypassing his own biological father Gilkarg) due to a number of victories and the honor he had accrued. But had to fight off any rivals to that position. It is not known if a number of defeats and setbacks caused by Cadet Wing made him lose his chosen status, reverting it back to his father or someone else.

It's also unclear which emperor was infact in charge at the point of 2654, there may have been two during that period with the former being overthrown soon after Pilgrim's Truth. As the Emperor in that story (whole in body, but suffering from the Kilrathi mange) circa 2654.163 was completely dishonored by successes from the Confederation, and the Pilgrim's taking over their planet for a time, and thus was forced to either commit Zu'kara passing the Empire to the next in line, or possibly had to deal with Kass’richak blood duel challenges from rivals to regain favor and stop a civil war.

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