Dynastic rule is hard to ascribe, given the loose traditional definition of the ruling family (on principle, princes were chosen from any family branch, including a previous ruler's bastard sons, being defined as os de domn, "of Voivode marrow", or as having heregie, "heredity" (from the Latin hereditas); the institutions charged with the election, dominated by the boyars, had fluctuating degrees of influence). The system itself was challenged by usurpers, and became obsolete with the Phanariote epoch, when rulers were appointed by the Ottoman Sultans; between 1821 and 1878 (the date of Romania's independence), various systems combining election and appointment were put in practice. Wallachian rulers, like the Moldavian rulers, bore the titles of Voivode ("duke") or/and Hospodar ("lord, master").
Most rulers did not use the form of the name they are cited with, and several used more than one form of their own name; in some cases, the ruler was only mentioned in foreign sources. The full names are either modern versions or ones based on mentions in various chronicles.
For later rulers, see Kings of Romania.