The “siege perilous” is the seat held empty by Merlin at King Arthur’s round table.
It is a place of supposed honor reserved for the worthy one who will accomplish the improbable.
To be granted the seat is often a curse, crushed beneath its pressure and politics.
The trap is to provide a seat at the right hand of power, which draws forth the ambitious and unfailingly proves them undeserving. The king is always gracious in the offer; the ambitious are fools or naively pure of heart. If the seat is legitimately claimed, then the king is stronger for it.
Either way, the opening up of a space adjacent to power is brilliant: a void begs to be filled while distracting from those who set the game board.