Corvo the Crow

The Marriage Game

57 posts in this topic

Marriage is an important part of the politics of Westeros, and not everyone house can marry into the othes as they please, Petyr Baelish a son of Drearfort can never marry Catelyn Tully, a daughter of Riverrun, nor can Edmure Tully, a son of Riverrun can marry(under normal circumstances)  a daughter of The Twins. So who marries who and who is not a match for who would be an indication of houses power, wealth and prestige.

Of examples of marriages that happened,

Quote

"Osgrey maids wed Florents, Swanns, and Tarbecks, even Hightowers and Blackwoods."

 

With this quote it also seems that whether the member marrying is a male or a female and very likely it would be different for heirs and spares and the rest.

 

What are some other examples of marriages that happened or can't happen? Please add them with quotes if possible.

 

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Aegon 5 married a Blackwood.  Any time a Targaryen married outside the fam it's marrying below their station.  The Targaryens are gods marrying down whenever they married.

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5 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Marriage is an important part of the politics of Westeros, and not everyone house can marry into the othes as they please, Petyr Baelish a son of Drearfort can never marry Catelyn Tully, a daughter of Riverrun, nor can Edmure Tully, a son of Riverrun can marry(under normal circumstances)  a daughter of The Twins. So who marries who and who is not a match for who would be an indication of houses power, wealth and prestige.

For what it's worth, Edmure can absolutely marry a Frey.  The norm seems to be that Lords Paramount marry their children to their vassals, and intra-Kingdom marriages are very rare until the Southron Ambitions bloc comes into play (the Starks, for example, are pissed that Rhaenys marries their sister to an Arryn).

Hoster Tully is a savvy political operator and a highly ambitious man, and THAT is why he won't marry Edmure to a Frey.  He won't marry him to anyone else in the Riverlands, you'll note.  Baelish is a different story, since that is WAY down the noble chain, but the Freys, despite being nouveau riche, are still sworn to Riverrun and thus marriagable material.

4 hours ago, Bullrout said:

Aegon 5 married a Blackwood.  Any time a Targaryen married outside the fam it's marrying below their station.  The Targaryens are gods marrying down whenever they married.

This isn't necessarily true.  The Targaryens marry outside their family all the time.  Lot of Velaryon and Arryn matches early on in the dynasty.  Aegon V is only allowed to marry a Blackwood because (a) the Blackwoods are a prestigious and powerful vassal of Riverrun, and much more importantly (b) Aegon wasn't even considered as being in line to the throne at the time of his marriage.  Thus, the Blackwoods were just prestigious and old enough of a family that marrying a Targaryen wasn't considered shocking or upsetting the social order, and Aegon was far enough out of the line of succession that his marriage was of relatively less dynastic worth and thus didn't need to be watched as closely (unlike, say, Prince Duncan and Jenny of Oldstones or even Sybelle Spicer's parents).  I am far more interested in how Aelinor Penrose was considered an appropriate match for Aerys I.

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I think a good rule of thumb is that marry a social equal, or one link up or down on the chain, is socially acceptable.  So for example, it would be appropriate for a Tyrell to marry a Tarly (their direct vassal), but not a Hunt (who are sworn to Tarly).  Doling out marriages like that is a smart way of playing feudal politics on every level of the chain, and one has to remember that each constituent Kingdom is more interested in keeping it's own house in order (not House) than it is in marrying somewhere else.  Depending on the region, other factors come in, too.  The Vale seems particularly snooty about marrying below station.  Wealthy Houses like the Redywnes and Hightowers, or the Freys, obviously command a little more attention in the marriage market than their social peers or even social betters (as in, a Redwyne is a more attractive marriage prospect than a Crane, despite both being direct vassals of Highgarden).

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The last two times a Baratheon man tried to marry a Stark woman, war broke out across the seven kingdoms and the reigning king died. Lyanna & Robert - Sansa and Joffrey.

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Well, I guess it’s more controversial when a great house marries someone to a lesser house in another kingdom. That would explain the controversy when Tytos Lannister arranged a marriage for Genna to Emmon Frey. I think that someone can marry into the lesser houses of their kingdom. Tytos Lannister married Jeyne Marbrand, while Ned’s paternal grandmother is a Locke.

7 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Marriage is an important part of the politics of Westeros, and not everyone house can marry into the othes as they please, Petyr Baelish a son of Drearfort can never marry Catelyn Tully, a daughter of Riverrun, nor can Edmure Tully, a son of Riverrun can marry(under normal circumstances)  a daughter of The Twins. So who marries who and who is not a match for who would be an indication of houses power, wealth and prestige.

Of examples of marriages that happened,

 

With this quote it also seems that whether the member marrying is a male or a female and very likely it would be different for heirs and spares and the rest.

 

What are some other examples of marriages that happened or can't happen? Please add them with quotes if possible.

 

And Hoster not thinking Petyr was worthy caused a whole can of worms to open.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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A significant part of this is how close the people are to the line of succession to thier various houses. A marriage to a lord or heir is considered worth more than that of a cousin or youngest son. This is probably why Aegon the Unlikely is allowed to marry a Blackwood - he's far down the line of succession at the time.

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12 hours ago, cpg2016 said:

For what it's worth, Edmure can absolutely marry a Frey.  The norm seems to be that Lords Paramount marry their children to their vassals, and intra-Kingdom marriages are very rare until the Southron Ambitions bloc comes into play (the Starks, for example, are pissed that Rhaenys marries their sister to an Arryn).

Hoster Tully is a savvy political operator and a highly ambitious man, and THAT is why he won't marry Edmure to a Frey.  He won't marry him to anyone else in the Riverlands, you'll note.  Baelish is a different story, since that is WAY down the noble chain, but the Freys, despite being nouveau riche, are still sworn to Riverrun and thus marriagable material.

This isn't necessarily true.  The Targaryens marry outside their family all the time.  Lot of Velaryon and Arryn matches early on in the dynasty.  Aegon V is only allowed to marry a Blackwood because (a) the Blackwoods are a prestigious and powerful vassal of Riverrun, and much more importantly (b) Aegon wasn't even considered as being in line to the throne at the time of his marriage.  Thus, the Blackwoods were just prestigious and old enough of a family that marrying a Targaryen wasn't considered shocking or upsetting the social order, and Aegon was far enough out of the line of succession that his marriage was of relatively less dynastic worth and thus didn't need to be watched as closely (unlike, say, Prince Duncan and Jenny of Oldstones or even Sybelle Spicer's parents).  I am far more interested in how Aelinor Penrose was considered an appropriate match for Aerys I.

--------------

I think a good rule of thumb is that marry a social equal, or one link up or down on the chain, is socially acceptable.  So for example, it would be appropriate for a Tyrell to marry a Tarly (their direct vassal), but not a Hunt (who are sworn to Tarly).  Doling out marriages like that is a smart way of playing feudal politics on every level of the chain, and one has to remember that each constituent Kingdom is more interested in keeping it's own house in order (not House) than it is in marrying somewhere else.  Depending on the region, other factors come in, too.  The Vale seems particularly snooty about marrying below station.  Wealthy Houses like the Redywnes and Hightowers, or the Freys, obviously command a little more attention in the marriage market than their social peers or even social betters (as in, a Redwyne is a more attractive marriage prospect than a Crane, despite both being direct vassals of Highgarden).

Your wealth shouldn't command any attention unless it is your daughter you are marrying to someone. Look at the size of the dowry Roose gets, he gets Walda's weight in silver! He offers for her daughters/granddaughters weight in silver and yet we don't hear  many Frey girls married to any houses of note. Walder himself has married the daughters of many a old and prestigious house (Royce, Blackwood, Crakehall...) But these are daughters, so he wouldn't be the one paying the dowry, he may have just agreed on a much lower dowry than the brides worth.

 

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21 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Edmure Tully, a son of Riverrun can marry(under normal circumstances)  a daughter of The Twins. So who marries who and who is not a match for who would be an indication of houses power, wealth and prestige.

Edmure Tully marrying the daughter of one of his bannermen really isn't that surprising. Granted, it might not have been a Frey because Hoster didn't like Walder but if there had been a political need for it outside of Robb's "whoopsie" then there is nothing off about him marrying a Frey if there was a political need for it at the time. Having said that, it is very likely that Hoster would have tried to get him a wife from outside the Riverlands. He had intended Lysa to marry Jaime Lannister while Catelyn was going to marry Brandon Stark. Thus, it is very likely he would have tried to find Edmure a wife from one of the ruling houses one of the other regions, possibly a Tyrell or Redwyne girl from the Reach.
 

21 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Petyr Baelish a son of Drearfort can never marry Catelyn Tully, a daughter of Riverrun

This is definitely true. Being the ward of Hoster Tully could have earned Petyr some lands and a small holdfast to go with it had he not sniffed around the Tully girls and made a fool of himself. He could have also got himself the daughter of one of the smaller Riverlander houses. Certainly not a Great House or even a primary bannerman, but a noblegirl nonetheless. Heck, maybe even a Frey! There are plenty of Frey girls to go around.
 

21 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

What are some other examples of marriages that happened or can't happen? Please add them with quotes if possible.

 

OK - so, in regards to the North, Rickard Stark clearly wanted Brandon to marry Catelyn to big up the Starks in Southron politics. Traditionally, the Stark picked wives either from among their own cadet branches or their bannermen. Hence, had Catelyn actually married Brandon then it is possible that Ned would have married a Northern girl in order to keep the bannermen sweet. That said, given that Rickard had already accepted Robert Baratheon to be a husband for Lyanna, then it isn't beyond the realms of possibility he would have tracked down a non-Northern girl for him. We know that Lord Rodrik Ryswell would have liked to get Ned for Barbrey Ryswell, which would be interesting as it would have made Roose and Ned brothers-in-law.

Another crazy pairing would have been if Joanna had survived giving birth to Tyrion -- she almost certainly would have tried to engage Oberyn to Cersei. Can you imagine that, Cersei in Dorne?

I suppose something I wonder about is this current generation (Robb, Joffrey etc.) of kids. Had Jon Arryn not been murdered, would Robert ever have broached the subject of Joffrey and Sansa marrying? Who would Ned have arranged for his own kids to marry -- would Robb have got himself a Northern wife or would Ned (or even Catelyn) have sought a wife from outside the North? Same for Sansa, had Ned not been obligated into the role of Hand of the King would she have ended up with a different possibility for husband and would Jon Arryn have sought someone else for Joffrey?

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23 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Aegon's son Duncan. Married far below his station, caused all sorts of problems.

Gerold Lannister too married below his station when he married Rohanne Weber. Atleest in my opinon. 

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2 hours ago, Faera said:

Who would Ned have arranged for his own kids to marry

Robb and Meera Reed, or Alys Karstark. Bran and Lyanna Mormont.

Though Sansa would still want to marry with someone fancy, from far away and exotic lands, and preferably a prince, or at least son of high Lord. Joffrey, Loras Tyrell or Tristan Martell.

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2 hours ago, Faera said:

I suppose something I wonder about is this current generation (Robb, Joffrey etc.) of kids. Had Jon Arryn not been murdered, would Robert ever have broached the subject of Joffrey and Sansa marrying? Who would Ned have arranged for his own kids to marry -- would Robb have got himself a Northern wife or would Ned (or even Catelyn) have sought a wife from outside the North? Same for Sansa, had Ned not been obligated into the role of Hand of the King would she have ended up with a different possibility for husband and would Jon Arryn have sought someone else for Joffrey?

Well, for Robb and Sansa:

Robb marrying in the North: Alys Karstark (betrothed to Daryn Hornwood), Meera Reed, any of the Mormont girls, one of Greatjon's daughters, 

Robb marrying south: Asha Greyjoy, Myrcella Baratheon, Arianne Martell, Margaery Tyrell, Shireen Baratheon

Sansa marrying in the North: Smalljon, Jojen Reed, any of the three Karstark boys, Daryn Hornwood, Cley Cerwyn. Surprised Roose Bolton didn't offer his son Domeric for a betrothal (he's born 279-281 AC, anyone who says he's a contemporary of Lyanna is lying).

Sansa marrying south: Joffrey, Tommen, Theon, Sweetrobin, Willas, Loras, Quentyn, Trystane, Tyrion, any of Kevan's sons, Tyrek Lannister. 

Offhand, I think Ned was a fool not to recognize a mad king in the making.

Edited by Angel Eyes

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39 minutes ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Gerold Lannister too married below his station when he married Rohanne Weber. Atleest in my opinon. 

How much of a fuss did that raise?

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45 minutes ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Gerold Lannister too married below his station when he married Rohanne Weber. Atleest in my opinon. 

Rohanne Webber was a lady in her own right, though however small, it would put her into a higher position then the daughter of an average lord for most. As brother to  Tybolt, he wouldn't have his own lands unless some oppurtunity presented itself like it did for Kevan's line, so a young and pretty lady with her own lands is a very good marriage partner for all the spares, perhaps even the heirs (Mooton's daughter and heir marries Dickon Tarly)

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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

Robb marrying in the North: Alys Karstark (betrothed to Daryn Hornwood), Meera Reed, any of the Mormont girls, one of Greatjon's daughters, 

1
1 hour ago, Megorova said:

Robb and Meera Reed, or Alys Karstark. Bran and Lyanna Mormont.

 

Given Bran wanted to make the Kingsguard, had he not had his accident, he probably would have been warded somewhere in the South, squired for someone in KL and never got a proper betrothal that got seen through. (God, imagine him having to deal with fully-grown Joffrey, especially if he still got to marry Sansa.)

How about the Manderly girls Wynafryd or Wylla? Surely good ol' Wyman "Too Fat" Manderly would try to secure a Stark boy for at least one of them. He holds a lot of sway in the North and Ned might want to sure up that connection, seeing as they are very loyal.

I could also definitely see Ned wanting a match between Robb and Meera for sentiment sake since he and Howland were besties; same reason Robert wanted Sansa for Joffrey. Then there is Theon Greyjoy - would he have married him to one of his daughters, or found him another safe Northern wife?

Edited by Faera
Just adding another thought. Again.

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With the last Lord of Winterfell (Eddard) marrying a Southern Lady (Catelyn), Robb, as heir to Winterfell, would be expected to marry a daughter of the North. Most likely a Karstark, Umber, or possibly a Manderly.  Though the Manderly maid would have to convert and follow the Old Gods and raise her children to do so as well. Two consecutive Lords of Winterfell marrying outside the North would offend many Northerners. 

Also I highly doubt Margaery Tyrell or her family would want her to become the next Lady of Winterfell. I'm sure she and her family would much rather have her marry Edmure Tully, the next Lord Paramount of the Riverlands. The North is cold and isolated compared to the Riverlands and far away from Highgarden. It also lacks tourneys and balls and court life in general.

Sansa would be the one most likely to marry outside of the North. If not Joffrey then most likely Robert Arryn. 

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I think a Stark-Reed marriage would’ve been likely, so Robb Stark and Meera Reed or Arya Stark and Jojen Reed. 

It makes sense to marry Bran to a female heir like Wynafryd Manderly or Shireen Baratheon (presumably the heir to Dragonstone) to give him a seat in his own right, unless he decided to go south to become a knight, in which case Rickon would be the spare. He’s more of an age with someone like Eddara Tallhart (a Stark-Tallhart marriage seems well overdue given their proximity). 

Sansa would be a good fit for southern life, she could wed the Blackwood or Royce heir if Ned wanted to reinforce their tradition of intermarrying. Although I’ve seen it theorised she was meant to marry Theon to tie the Starks and the Greyjoys together. 

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On 11/8/2017 at 4:46 PM, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Aegon's son Duncan. Married far below his station, caused all sorts of problems.

Jenny was just a common, peasant girl was she not?

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1 hour ago, Jaehaerys Tyrell said:

I think a Stark-Reed marriage would’ve been likely, so Robb Stark and Meera Reed or Arya Stark and Jojen Reed. 

I actually think the crannogman lifestyle would agree with Arya given their culture allowing women to become huntresses. So, it might worked out well for her, if Ned and Howland didn't hook up Robb and Meera first.

1 hour ago, Jaehaerys Tyrell said:

He’s more of an age with someone like Eddara Tallhart (a Stark-Tallhart marriage seems well overdue given their proximity).

Given Bran seemed pretty serious about becoming a knight, and even now is resentful not to be able to be one, I think he very likely would have gone South to ward, squire, get his knighthood, win acclaim and try and make the kingsguard.

Yes, the Tallharts are well overdue a Stark match, so they probably would get Rickon for Eddara.

1 hour ago, Jaehaerys Tyrell said:

Although I’ve seen it theorised she was meant to marry Theon to tie the Starks and the Greyjoys together. 

That would make sense, though I imagine a more glamorous life down South would have appealed to Sansa more. Not that she'd have had a choice -- Ned would have had the final say.

50 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Do we have any idea who Domeric was betrothed to, if he was betrothed to anyone.

I don't remember. We really don't know much about Domeric, other than he served as his aunt Barbrey's page and was fostered in the Vale. If he were to have some non-Northern wife, it might have been a Redfort woman.

Edited by Faera

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