That the succession proved to be relatively smooth was a reflection of Agha Mohammad Shah’s effective establishment of royal hegemony invested in this case in his family. Not only had he eliminated rivals from other clans, he had shown impressive ruthlessness in dealing with any potential threats (real or otherwise) from within the extended Qajar family. What threats might now exist chiefly lay abroad, and in this Agha Mohammad Shah, upon his coronation, had proclaimed that he intended to enjoy as much power as any previous sovereign. His decision to launch a punitive expedition into Georgia was a clear indication that his imperial ambitions were as important to him as his royal and dynastic ones. As befits a monarch whose worldview was shaped by the Shahnameh, Agha Mohammad Shah was known to encourage his troops into battle with recitations from the epic. But as already indicated, the image he presented to the world was underpinned by a realism that would sadly evade his successors.