Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Lee-Sensei

Who do bastards marry?

Recommended Posts

Very vague question :)

Let us narrow it down - unacknowledged Bastards are smallfolk and marry other smallfolk.

Acknowledged bastards marry whoever is appropriate for the station given to them by their noble parent.

For all intents and purposes Jon Snow and Edric Storm were "a Lord's son". So they would marry some Lord's daughters.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An obvious answer would be other bastards. Part of the Red Wedding arrangement was for Joy Hill, Gerion Lannister's bastard, to marry a Frey bastard.

Aside from that, a high Lords bastard could marry a small Lord's bastard, but it would still probably not be seen as much of an honour- if the bastard was popular with their father, it could be at least a good way of sucking up. Then there would be the option of a high commoner, like a well off merchant trying to get their foot in the door of power. 

Of course, there are lots of options for not marrying- Night's Watch, the faith or the citadel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been wondering about this, too, as it applies to the Great Bastards.

According to the wiki, Aegon IV had about fifteen confirmed / rumored bastards. While on his deathbed, he legitimized them all. (Edit: I see he legitimized only the boys, which narrows the field down from 15, but hard to say how many are now included or whether Aegon acknowledged all of the rumored male bastards.) Many of them were probably already married at that point or preferred not to marry. One of his rumored bastards (Jeyne Lothston) had become Aegon's own mistress. But some of them probably increased in social status somewhat after they were legitimized, and might set their sights on better matches. On the other hand, Aegon IV created a succession crisis by legitimizing all these illegitimate children and his successor would be in charge of arranging dowries, positions at court, access to the inner circle, etc. So maybe there was no practical change in their status. Or maybe they lowered their own status by picking the losing side in a Blackfyre rebellion.

They are a specialized group, I realize, so the outcomes for them won't reveal a general rule for matches for bastards. (Wouldn't "Matches for Bastards" be an interesting Westeros-based reality tv show? I'm picturing the old "Dating Game" show . . . except with all these one-eyed, battle-maimed, harp-playing, innkeeper, warlock, courtesan and pirate contestants.)

I'm sure there's a reason that GRRM gave us the story of Rennifer Longwaters, the undergaoler at the Red Keep with the touch of king's blood. People kept track of their patrimony, even if it was from the wrong side of the blanket.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High-born bastards don't marry anyone, as it's an insult to whoever agrees to such a union. For common folk, nobody would much care.

Acknowledged bastards sometimes get given holdings in their own right, but they need to be "legitimised" first. All of Aegon IV's great bastards were considered real children because he decreed them so; their marriages were as valid as those of their true-born siblings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really would vary on a case-by-case basis. There's a whole lot of factors going on.

Is the bastard recognized like Edric Storm and Jon Snow? Or not like Myra Stone or even completely unknown like Gendry.

Is the bastard legitimized like the great bastards?

How powerful is the family? Are they royal, high lords, lords, petty lords, knights etc

Is it the head of the family's bastard or a brother or cousin.

Who was the mother? A commoner? A noble? Someone scandalous like a septa?

Where was the bastard raised? Their own keep like Jon Snow, or another like Laurence Snow at Deepwood Motte. A brothel or the streets?

Is the bastard talented at fighting like Sam Stone, Walder Rivers, Rolland Storm etc. Or if not maybe is the bastard smart or cunning? Are they an imbecile.

How big is the family, is it Frey huge, average or down to it's last few scions desperate for an heir.

Take Gendry and Edric Storm. Both have the same father but normally Gendry would never marry anyone other than a commoner. He was fleabottom raised and never recognised. Sure he's the spitting image of Robert Baratheon and physically impressive but that means nothing without the other factors. Edric Storm on the other was recgnised by Robert Baratheon, raised in one of the most important castles in the Kingdom. He has a King for a father and a noble-born mother. He would likely be raised in full martial tradition.

It's quite likely he would marry well still.There's a whole spectrum of nobility from King to landed knight. Plus all the off branches of the family tree. For example he might marry a minor Dondarrion daughter and have a place of importance in their keep as a Master of Arms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oddly enough bastards probably have the most free agency when it comes to marriage. They're not often used to foster marriage alliances, they can marry "beneath" them without an eyebrow being batted, and have enough noble blood for a highborn marriage to grudgingly be accepted under the right circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Lord Lannister said:

Oddly enough bastards probably have the most free agency when it comes to marriage. They're not often used to foster marriage alliances, they can marry "beneath" them without an eyebrow being batted, and have enough noble blood for a highborn marriage to grudgingly be accepted under the right circumstances.

If Robert wanted, he could have repeated the Baratheon-Stark marriage alliance with Jon and Mya. But nooo, it had to be Joffrey and Sansa. 

Edited by Angel Eyes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Yukle said:

High-born bastards don't marry anyone, as it's an insult to whoever agrees to such a union. For common folk, nobody would much care.

Bullshit.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Yukle said:

High-born bastards don't marry anyone, as it's an insult to whoever agrees to such a union. 

Of course they do. Walder Rivers is married to a lady from house Charton, Daemon was married before he was legitimized. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Of course they do. Walder Rivers is married to a lady from house Charton, Daemon was married before he was legitimized. 

Wouldn't really call House Charton high-born. They get money from the agreement and it makes no difference to their prestige.

I suppose Daemon doesn't help my case, but it's worth mentioning that Aegon showered him with wealth throughout his life, so a marriage to him was a way to earn the king's favour.

Aside from a few exceptions, then, high-born bastards aren't worth much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean Alayne Stone is Littlefingers bastard and she might marry the next in line to the tile Lord Paramount of the Vale, so yeah I some circumstance I guess bastards do marry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One can marry a bastard expecting the bastard to be legitimized eventually. That'd be case with Alayne Stone most probably, that'd be Harry's motive. Bastard daughter of the (acting) Lord of The Vale is not a bad catch if Harry doesn't have a reason to expect that he's going to inherit The Vale one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Yukle said:

Wouldn't really call House Charton high-born.

well they are, they are a Lordly house and were once kings, they are likely more prestigious than House Frey

 and a hundred years of conflict saw petty kings from the Houses Blackwood, Bracken, Vance, Mallister, and Charlton contending with one another for supremacy.

they are important enough to be mentioned as 'notable' during the Green's vs the Blacks

By nightfall two thousand men were dead, amongst them many notables, including Lord Frey, Lord Lefford, Lord Bigglestone, Lord Charlton, Lord Swyft, Lord Reyne...

and important enough to be referenced during the war with the Stormlands

Thus it was a stumbling, starving host of stormlanders who finally faced Harwyn Hardhand at Fairmarket, where Lothar Bracken, Theo Charlton, and a score of other riverlords had joined him. 

What are your criteria for 'high born'? 

 

3 hours ago, Yukle said:

 

They get money from the agreement and it makes no difference to their prestige.

Not sure what that had to do with your original argument? 

3 hours ago, Yukle said:

I suppose Daemon doesn't help my case, but it's worth mentioning that Aegon showered him with wealth throughout his life, so a marriage to him was a way to earn the king's favour.

Just as the marriage to the bastard of any prominent noble would, OP's asking about Jon Snow and Edric Storm, they would easily be able to find nobles wives given who their fathers are

3 hours ago, Yukle said:

Aside from a few exceptions, then, high-born bastards aren't worth much.

the same could be said for the cousins of main branches. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bernie Mac said:

SNIP

Got to agree with everything said. Where one stands vertically in the social system (King-LP-Major lord-Minor lord-landed knight) and horizontally within a family (heir, sibling, mainline, cousin etc), will all play a role.

Jon Snow would definitely be able to marry a noble of a lower level, maybe a not of the mainline if they're a major house, maybe of the mainline if they are a minor house and so on.

Edited by GallowsKnight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well in real life, William the conqueror was a bastard who was a force general and took Englean and married at will.

John of Ghaunts bastards were legitimized because he was powerful.

Edward the IV’s children were named bastards by evil Richard the third to gain the throne. Edward would have been most shocked, but he was dead and his wife’s family were killed or imprisoned. The boys were the princes in the tower.

Henry the eight tried to promote a male bastard who died in his teens..and that was from a lack of male heirs

Elizabeth the first was named a bastard, but she did well in the end, although Catholics were encouraged to assassinate her. Their were a lack of appealing heirs at the time.

So it seems, martial prowess, status and wealth, timing, religion, and expediency were factors.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, HoodedCrow said:

 

Henry the eight tried to promote a male bastard who died in his teens..and that was from a lack of male heirs

It should also be noted that Henry Fitroy married the oldest daughter of the premier Lord in Henry's kingdom, the Duke of Norfolk. 

A bastard can marry as high as any noble. Had Ned lived we could have even seen a case of Jon marrying a more prestigious wife than his brothers (depending on the support of his father and perhaps his own merit). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

It should also be noted that Henry Fitroy married the oldest daughter of the premier Lord in Henry's kingdom, the Duke of Norfolk. 

A bastard can marry as high as any noble. Had Ned lived we could have even seen a case of Jon marrying a more prestigious wife than his brothers (depending on the support of his father and perhaps his own merit). 

That seems a stretch...I expect maybe he'd come close to marrying as a prestigious wife as Rickon(if Bran wasn't crippled) and that is because he's the youngest child of 5 and a third son. But marrying as prestigious as Robb or Bran(if wasn't cripples of course), yeah I just don't see it. The great houses in general would likely not offer their most desirable females to an awknowleges and favored bastard who may have peasant mother(fitroy had a noble mother-as does edric which is key), even if they wanted to garner some influence with Ned

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

well they are, they are a Lordly house and were once kings, they are likely more prestigious than House Frey

 and a hundred years of conflict saw petty kings from the Houses Blackwood, Bracken, Vance, Mallister, and Charlton contending with one another for supremacy.

they are important enough to be mentioned as 'notable' during the Green's vs the Blacks

By nightfall two thousand men were dead, amongst them many notables, including Lord Frey, Lord Lefford, Lord Bigglestone, Lord Charlton, Lord Swyft, Lord Reyne...

and important enough to be referenced during the war with the Stormlands

Thus it was a stumbling, starving host of stormlanders who finally faced Harwyn Hardhand at Fairmarket, where Lothar Bracken, Theo Charlton, and a score of other riverlords had joined him. 

What are your criteria for 'high born'? 

 

Not sure what that had to do with your original argument? 

Just as the marriage to the bastard of any prominent noble would, OP's asking about Jon Snow and Edric Storm, they would easily be able to find nobles wives given who their fathers are

the same could be said for the cousins of main branches. 

It sounds like their house declined like the Westerlings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×