Aging, death, inheritance, and posterity are all recurring ideas in the story. The Lion in Winter is also about aging, death, inheritance, and posterity. Today, a person who is fifty years old is considered to be middle-aged, with many years left to live. In medieval times, however, a fifty-year-old man was regarded as being close to the end of his life. Henry, who is fifty, remarks at one point that he is the oldest living man he knows. Yet he is also aware of the fact that he is approaching death, which adds a sense of urgency to his need to decide on an heir.