Akish, who has risen to power through secret combinations and murder, knows for a fact that a ruthless man will kill for gain. He is one of these ruthless men and suspects that his son is another. Probably this son was his firstborn and the likely heir to the throne. Akish locked up this potential rival. Apparently, he did not dare kill the son outright for unspecified reasons. However, he died a “natural” death—of starvation.