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Lord Varys

Annulment vs. 'setting aside a wife/marriage'

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

That's not a departure.  It is 100% consistent with what I said.  Both parties may join orders and take vows of celibacy (in theory this must be by mutual agreement).  Neither may remarry.

The vow of the Kingsguard includes not only celibacy, but requires being unmarried -- you will have no wife.

Ergo, the point of forcing his wife into the silent sisters was that her vows apparently dissolved their marriage, thereby making him eligible to join the Kingsguard.

ETA: A quick Google shows that in the Middle Ages, canon law allowed one to seek a kind of dissolution of a marriage if a spouse was unable to provide sex.. and if the Church agreed, the petitioning spouse could in fact remarry while the impotent/frigid one could not. If they suddenly found themselves capable of sex (i.e. they tried to remarry), the Church would tell them the original marraige was back on.

So, this is likely what GRRM is thinking of: vows of celibacy will lead to a dissolution of the marriage that allows the non-sworn partner to remarry... or, in this case, not marry, and become a bachelor so that they can become a  Kingsguard knight.

Edited by Ran

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Ran said:

The vow of the Kingsguard includes not only celibacy, but requires being unmarried -- you will have no wife.

Ergo, the point of forcing his wife into the silent sisters was that her vows apparently dissolved their marriage, thereby making him eligible to join the Kingsguard.

The situation does not violate traditional medieval Christian teaching.  By analogy, it does not violate Faith of the Seven either. 

Semantic arguments are irrelevant.  I'm sure loose language was used historically as well.  

A Kingsguard is required to have no wife, lands, children, so he can devote himself wholly and completely to the Kingsguard.  If his wife joins the Silent Sisters, then (in theory by mutual agreement) they now owe each other no support and no services.  Each now devotes himself wholly to his and her respective Order.

Or, if you want to quibble about the language of the vows, she is still his wife, but he does not "have" her.

The marriage would be "dissolved" for all purposes except remarriage.  That would still require death of one spouse, or an annulment.

Sure, GRRM can do what he likes, and depart from history.  But nothing about the Fireball example departs from historical precedent. 

 

Edited by Platypus Rex

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9 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

That's just the thing. Marriage rules for the royals are based on expedience. The septons seem to promote a traditional Christian-style monogamous marriage, but whether it's strictly followed really depends. As you said, Tywin brutally exiles Tysha from Casterly Rock, even if she was Tyrion's lawful wife. Doesn't he get the septon who conducted the ceremony to undo it or something? The rules are different for Targs altogether.

We don't know how Tywin did it. Tysha being declared a whore should technically not affect the sworn marriage vows. You can marry a whore, too, can't you?

This underlines the fact that marriage as a social construct is only as a strong as society and the individuals in it make it - i.e. if nobody cares that Tyrion is allegedly already married when he marries Sansa, the fact that he already has a wife becomes a non-issue.

Something like that should happen rather often with exotic marriages beyond the Wall or such made beyond the Narrow Sea. Also, the Faith/Westerosi view on 'salt marriages' clearly is that they are no marriages if the Ironborn in question also has a rock wife.

9 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

It seems that what really keeps most non-Targ marriages going is how wealthy and powerful the wife's family is. Robert is only married to Cersei because of the power and wealth of Casterly Rock. He doesn't kick her out of the castle because he fears Tywin's wrath. Had the Lannisters lost their prestige, I'm sure Cersei would have been quickly replaced with a new bride.

What makes the thing we are mainly discussing so interesting is the fact that both Renly and Cersei thing Robert might/can do just that. I'd agree that this would cause trouble with Tywin, but nobody seems to believe Robert would care about such trouble.

9 hours ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

The point is, if the king really wanted to get rid of a wife or even take on a new one, there are plenty of ways to do that, mainly by getting the High Septon on his side. It would be fine as long as the first wife's family doesn't rebel. And the smallfolk don't seem to particularly care about it. When Rhaegar ran off with Lyanna, the smallfolk weren't outraged. In their version of the story, Rhaegar "loves" Lady Lyanna, unlike in Robert's version where he kidnaps her. 

It seems that the easiest way is annulment because of non-consummation (and possibly some other grounds for annulment). But the setting aside thing apparently is possible just by the king's own decision, without subjecting himself (or the prince in question) to a proper investigation of the case by the Faith or High Septon. That implies that this is an altogether different procedure, something that goes back to the king's own authority.

And actually, Robert's love for Lyanna and her being the reason for the war seems to be part of his legend. We hear more about that at this point than about Rhaegar's love for Lyanna - the latter is only told by Targaryen loyalists and Targaryens themselves. Rhaegar is not seen as a tragic hero dying for love by the majority of people in Westeros - after all, Robert won his war. And those people who still idolize Rhaegar do so quietly - even Cersei never told anyone about 'her feelings' for Rhaegar.

3 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

I don't see how to do this without getting into the ideals of the Catholic Church, specifically the medieval catholic church, and the historical practices of church officials (which, arguably, are not necessarily in conformity with the ideal).  That's what Westerosi annulment is obviously based on.

In theory, once married, then always married.  In order to obtain an annulment, one must prove that no valid marriage ever occurred.

Various reasons have been given for annulling marriage.  Some of these have been (arguably) mere pretexts, endorsed by (arguably corrupt) church officials, because of political considerations and/or in exchange for financial incentives.

Yeah, annulment in Westeros is basically a variation of Catholic marriage annulment as it still exist to this day.

3 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

Setting her aside is no problem.  Sending one's wife elsewhere is rather mild on the list of kingly abuses.  

Oh, but we are not talking about sending the wife away. We are talking about an end of the marriage. Spouses are not required to live together or spend time with each other if they happen to live in the same castle. Marriages such as Selyse-Stannis only exist on paper.

The concept of 'setting aside a wife/marriage' seems to imply that you are open to take a new wife because the marriage is essentially over.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ran said:

A quick Google shows that in the Middle Ages, canon law allowed one to seek a kind of dissolution of a marriage if a spouse was unable to provide sex.. and if the Church agreed, the petitioning spouse could in fact remarry while the impotent/frigid one could not. If they suddenly found themselves capable of sex (i.e. they tried to remarry), the Church would tell them the original marraige was back on.

Under (modern) canon law, marriage contracted between persons who are incapable of having sex is invalid and null from the start.  The would-be partner who is capable of having sex may still marry, because he/she is still capable of making meaningful marriage vows.  The partner who is incapable may not marry, because his/her condition renders the vows meaningless. 

This is one of the rationales for "annulment".

Developing impotence or incapacity during marriage, does not count.  If it is valid at the start, it remains valid until death.

If you feign impotence to get out of a marriage; and then saying "I'm fixed now, and want to marry this other girl"; the ecclesiastic authorities might not fall for your crap.  They'll say "Oh yeah?  If you are capable of having sex after all, then I guess your original marriage is still valid after all".

This is what I suspect you are referring to.

But maybe you have a source that says that medieval canon law was different.

 

Quote

So, this is likely what GRRM is thinking of: vows of celibacy will lead to a dissolution of the marriage that allows the non-sworn partner to remarry... or, in this case, not marry, and become a bachelor so that they can become a  Kingsguard knight.

No.  Vows of celibacy and incapacity are different things.

Edited by Platypus Rex

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As for the Fireball example:

That's neither annulment nor setting aside a marriage as such. Joining holy orders is likely seen as a higher calling which allows a married couple to end their marriage and one/both spouses can then become septons, septas, begging brothers, silent sisters, Warrior's Sons (like Lancel!), etc.

However, we also know and see that the lord husband decides whether a wife is allowed/forced to take holy orders (Fireball's wife) or not (Queen Naerys). It is also clearly something a minor knight or lord could decide within his home - would Daemon Targaryen need to petition his royal brother to set aside his marriage if he could also just beat his bronze bitch into becoming a silent sister?

In that sense, I think it is rather obvious that forcing your wife into holy orders is only plan C - the route you take if you can get neither an annulment - the most elegant solution - nor set the marriage/wife aside (which seems to be something only kings and the royal family can do with permission of the king).

Any lesser man has to get rid of his wife the Fireball way.

40 minutes ago, Ran said:

ETA: A quick Google shows that in the Middle Ages, canon law allowed one to seek a kind of dissolution of a marriage if a spouse was unable to provide sex.. and if the Church agreed, the petitioning spouse could in fact remarry while the impotent/frigid one could not. If they suddenly found themselves capable of sex (i.e. they tried to remarry), the Church would tell them the original marraige was back on.

Historically and theologically (annulments are still a thing in the Catholic Church) impotency/frigidity is indeed one of the grounds to get an annulment. Others include forced marriages, a spouse not understanding what marriage is or what entering into a marriage means for him/her, a spouse not ever intending to have children or being unfaithful from the start, a fake marriage.

Barrenness usually is not a ground for an annulment in the Catholic version, but there is a hint that it might have something to do with 'the setting aside a wife/marriage' concept in Westeros, since the reason the council of Aerys I urge him to set aside Aelinor is the fact that their marriage remains childless.

Visenya's apparent barrenness is also the reason why Aegon I is pushed to take a new wife after the death of Queen Rhaenys, and Maegor cites Ceryse's alleged barrenness as justification for taking a new wife in Alys Harroway.

In fact, I don't interpret Maegor's second marriage as him insisting to become/wanting to be a bigamist. For him, his marriage with Ceryse is effectively over. He does not want to have two wives - at least not back then - he just wanted to be rid of the old barren wife to try to have a son with the new one - sort of like Henry VIII with Anne Boleyn. His conundrum was that he could not possibly get an annulment or set aside Ceryse Hightower - the High Septon himself, Ceryse's uncle, had officiated at his wedding, so the marital bond between Maegor and Ceryse should be seen to be as rock-tight as very few marriages in the history of Westeros (and it is interesting that another High Septon also married Rhaegar to Elia).

And since King Aenys was apparently never inclined to set aside his brother's wife for some reason - independent of the fact that this would have been a foolish act, anyway, causing massive uproar in the Realm - Maegor basically had to improvise and try to sort of declare his own marriage to be over and his wife to be replaced by Alys Harroway who was married to him by his own mother.

That Ceryse is no longer Maegor's proper wife can easily be deduced from the fact that they later have a second wedding and bedding after their reconciliation in the Hightower. This wouldn't have been necessary if events in 39 AC hadn't effectively ended the marriage.

3 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

No.  Vows of celibacy and incapacity are different things.

The Faith seems to know the concept of getting out of a marriage by taking holy orders. A husband or wife can get out of a marriage by taking them. This was usually not the case in the real world Catholic Church/middle ages (at least to my knowledge).

It is also quite clear, I think, that vows sworn are not valid retroactively - i.e. a married man taking the black, forging a chain, becoming a septon, or joining the KG can do so but his marriage ends from that moment on. And it doesn't seem he has to ask his wife's permission for that.

But this is part of the thing I referred to as plan C above - higher callings basically trump marriage vows and can allow you to get out of there. But this doesn't enable the spouses to take other spouses. The spouse taking the holy orders, etc. cannot remarry, whereas both the man and the woman should be able marry again if they get an annulment or the marriage is set aside (whatever this means).

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Robert could've even annul his marriage if he wanted to, or 'set Cersei aside'. It's only plot convenience that he didn't. 

The man was practically the whole time engaged in a drunken and sexual debauch with various women, so Renly saw a chance to use this and increase his influence in court by bringing Margaery in. It would've meant a civil war with Tywin, of course, but Renly wasn't very smart to see this as dangerous, or was ready to risk the consequences. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

 

But this is part of the thing I referred to as plan C above - higher callings basically trump marriage vows and can allow you to get out of there. But this doesn't enable the spouses to take other spouses. The spouse taking the holy orders, etc. cannot remarry, whereas both the man and the woman should be able marry again if they get an annulment or the marriage is set aside (whatever this means).

I'm not sure where the certainly about this comes from. The Kingsguard knights cannot have wives, period. Fireball was not married after his wife took her vows. I'm not sure why this then means he couldn't remarry. Just as a woman ought to have been able to remarry if her husband took the black. The vows are holy vowes and seem to me to have the force to break ones old ties.

I think one reason for this distinction from the monastic vows of the Middle Ages (since these are generally the holy orders that were being taken by men otherwise married back then) is that all I can find in those vows are a promise of chastity rather than an abjuring of the marriage vow, whereas we're explicitly told that the Kingsguard vow requires having no wife as well as being chaste.

Edited by Ran

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

This underlines the fact that marriage as a social construct is only as a strong as society and the individuals in it make it - i.e. if nobody cares that Tyrion is allegedly already married when he marries Sansa, the fact that he already has a wife becomes a non-issue.

No one knows that Tyrion had a wife back in the Westerlands a decade or so ago. People in Casterly Rock or the area may know (because gossip), but no reason to believe anyone at KL knew that Tyrion was ever married. Tywin makes sure that the marriage ends before anyone knows it happened (and also before Tysha gets pregnant). 

Legal marriage should technically give the each spouse some property rights, so it's not a just a social construct. But not sure what these are in Westeros. In Qarth, we know that there are unique gift exchanging customs between the spouses. GRRM never specifies these things for Westeros. 

10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It seems that the easiest way is annulment because of non-consummation (and possibly some other grounds for annulment). But the setting aside thing apparently is possible just by the king's own decision, without subjecting himself (or the prince in question) to a proper investigation of the case by the Faith or High Septon. That implies that this is an altogether different procedure, something that goes back to the king's own authority.

Non-consummation is the only way to annul a marriage, rather than the easiest way. Irl, some jurisdictions allow a marriage to be annulled if the couple is close blood relatives. In Westeros, incest doesn't have a blanket ban. 

Setting aside a marriage is probably the Westerosi term for divorce. I think things like unfaithfulness, deception, criminal acts (treason) are grounds for a divorce. But Robert, as you said, has king's authority and could declare his own marriage dissolved. Pretty much all highborn marriages are decided for political reasons to make alliances. If these alliances are no longer of any use, I'm sure there's a way for the lords and kings to get rid of their unwanted spouses. 

As for the Ironborn, they have a rock wife (an ironborn) and many salt wives (kidnapped women). This is perfectly fine because the Ironborn follow the Drowned God, not the Seven. Only the Seven so far demands monogamous marriage. The Old Gods, maybe, considering Ned only has one wife (or because Catelyn follows the Seven). The Targs could enter polygamous or polyandrous marriages in accordance with their native customs. 

So in Westeros there's king's law, where the king can make up the law as they like, but also social customs based on religion. Marriage most likely falls under jurisdiction of the gods (social custom) rather than the law, which is why we don't see laws for divorce or separation. No one goes to jail for things like abandoning a spouse, which could be a crime if there were actual marriage laws. 

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8 hours ago, Ran said:

I'm not sure where the certainly about this comes from. The Kingsguard knights cannot have wives, period. Fireball was not married after his wife took her vows. I'm not sure why this then means he couldn't remarry. Just as a woman ought to have been able to remarry if her husband took the black. The vows are holy vowes and seem to me to have the force to break ones old ties.

Oh, I meant that in a scenario where one spouse - the lord husband - forces his dear wife to become a septa or silent sister (the other way around is basically unthinkable) - the (former) spouse taking or being forced to take holy vows can, for obvious reasons, never take another spouse. The spouse getting rid of his spouse that way certainly could.

And that is the important difference I see between this thing I called plan C - which is basically forcing your spouse into holy orders the way Bittersteel did (or a wife like Queen Naerys asking her lord husband to end their marriage in such a fashion) - and a proper annulment or 'the setting aside' thing.

In what would be plan A or plan B it seems obvious that both spouses can (re-)marry. An annulment means neither of them was properly married in the first place, and the wife/marriage being set aside seems to be the same thing.

In that sense plan C is basically just one of the many private ways a husband could end a vexing marriage - not as worth as getting the wife executed (Maegor) or beating her to death (Megette's husband; the guy who got the Rule of Six). It does not involve outsiders ruling on the validity of the marriage as such.

In general, though, we have to keep in mind that George seems to use the phrase 'setting aside a wife/marriage' also to refer to a successful annulment - i.e. Tommen's marriage to Margaery can later be set aside because it wasn't consummated, Rogar talking about setting aside the marriage of Jaehaerys and Alysanne because it wasn't yet consummated, etc.

This could, perhaps, mean that setting aside a wife like Cersei - whose marriage was consummated and who had given the king three healthy children - actually also qualifies as an annulment, possibly because of some of those other grounds for annulment that existed in the middle ages and still exist in the Catholic Church today.

And this is something George should be asked about: How can marriages in Westeros be dissolved? Because it is quite clear that non-consummation cannot be the only criteria.

Are some of the criteria we mentioned relevant to the Faith - say, is a forced marriage valid in the eyes of the Faith (a case can be made that it is valid in the North, considering how Rodrik Cassel views the status of the Ramsay-Donella marriage)? How about a marriage under false pretenses - are Jeyne Poole and Ramsay Bolton truly married despite that fact that Jeyne lied when she claimed she was Arya Stark? How about those marriages by proxy (Asha's marriage to Erik Ironmaker)? And so on.

What about childless marriages? Barren/frigid wives and impotent husbands?

8 hours ago, Ran said:

I think one reason for this distinction from the monastic vows of the Middle Ages (since these are generally the holy orders that were being taken by men otherwise married back then) is that all I can find in those vows are a promise of chastity rather than an abjuring of the marriage vow, whereas we're explicitly told that the Kingsguard vow requires having no wife as well as being chaste.

But we all agree that you can join the KG or take the black, etc. if you are married, no? You swear no longer to take a wife thereafter, to father no children then, etc. The vows don't mean you cannot have been married in the past or have fathered children in the past. We see this with Lancel. He is a married man who takes holy vows and abandons his lady wife and lordship. One assumes a man who has children and a living wife can still abandon them both and become a black brother or a knight of the Kingsguard. For the KG this is effectively confirmed since many a man in the series is offered to take the black despite the fact that he is still married (Ned, for instance).

For the KG the pool of candidates usually don't involve men are married - after all, it would be stupid to consider such men since there are only seven positions anyway, and accepting already married men would be weird. The Fireball example showed that Glendon Ball himself did not want to appear as a married man, forcing his wife into the silent sisters before there was an empty spot in the KG. But I don't think it is out of the question that a great knight with close ties to the king could convince him to allow him to join the KG even if he was married at the time - because the swearing of the vows would effectively end the marriage, just like it ends a marriage when you take the black. But from a practical point of view it is clear why this wasn't done - it would not only look weird, but KG don't remove themselves to the end of the world.

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33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Are some of the criteria we mentioned relevant to the Faith - say, is a forced marriage valid in the eyes of the Faith (a case can be made that it is valid in the North, considering how Rodrik Cassel views the status of the Ramsay-Donella marriage)? How about a marriage under false pretenses - are Jeyne Poole and Ramsay Bolton truly married despite that fact that Jeyne lied when she claimed she was Arya Stark? How about those marriages by proxy (Asha's marriage to Erik Ironmaker)? And so on.

What about childless marriages? Barren/frigid wives and impotent husbands?

Another thing is cheating:

If the wife of cheats she would be death or a silent sister. Obvious. But would the marriage be still valid? Or would it be an annulment (because the vows were not fullfilled) and the children would be declared bastards?

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On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 1:44 AM, Ran said:

I'm not sure where the certainly about this comes from. The Kingsguard knights cannot have wives, period. Fireball was not married after his wife took her vows. I'm not sure why this then means he couldn't remarry.

Because the original marriage was never annulled.  Obviously.

On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 1:44 AM, Ran said:

Just as a woman ought to have been able to remarry if her husband took the black.

You have provided no evidence that women were free to remarry after their husbands took the black.

On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 1:44 AM, Ran said:

The vows are holy vows and seem to me to have the force to break ones old ties.

Marriage vows are also holy vows.  The idea that vows are made to be broken seems a rather dubious start to making holy vows.

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2 hours ago, Platypus Rex said:

Because the original marriage was never annulled.  Obviously.

You have provided no evidence that women were free to remarry after their husbands took the black.

Marriage vows are also holy vows.  The idea that vows are made to be broken seems a rather dubious start to making holy vows.

Then why in the world does Fireball send his wife into the silent sisters? If talking holy vows forbidding you to have a wife can count as not having a wife, all Fireball had to do was take the Kingsguard vows.

But he didn't, because obviously it doesn't work that way. The vows of the silent sisters were necessary to free him to join the sworn brotherhood of the Kingsguard. 

It's fairly clear that Martin is not being perfectly congruentb with Catholicism. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Ran said:

Then why in the world does Fireball send his wife into the silent sisters?

To reassure those considering him for the Kingsguard that he was (a) in a position to keep his vows to the Kingsguard; and (b) that he had not just treacherously broken his vows to his wife, as his wife has already voluntarily taken religious vows.

Quote

If talking holy vows forbidding you to have a wife can count as not having a wife, all Fireball had to do was take the Kingsguard vows.

And treacherously abandon his wife, breaking his holy vows to her?  Do they want oathbreakers on the Kingsguard?

Quote

But he didn't, because obviously it doesn't work that way. The vows of the silent sisters were necessary to free him to join the sworn brotherhood of the Kingsguard. 

The reason the concept of annulment plays such a prominent role in Catholicism is because, under Catholicism, marriages are, not dissolvable EVER.  Marriage is "till death do us part", or it never was at all.  

As soon as any sect of Christianity decided that marriage was dissolvable, however rare the exception, then annulment ceased to play any prominent role in that sect's ideas of marriage.   This is what happened, for instance, as soon as some Protestants, based on their interpretation of Matthew, decided that adultery was grounds for divorce.

I assume the Faith of the Seven has a similar approach.  Because otherwise, why would annulment be such a thing?  Additionally, the books give us NO examples of remarriage after divorce being sanctioned by the Faith of the Seven.

According to you, a man can get a divorce any time.  He just has to make an even holier set of vows, or induce his wife to do so  That's an exception you can drive a whole convoy of trucks through.  Why have not we heard more of this?  If you could remarry after sending your wife to the Silent Sisters (that was your position, yes?) then why have we not heard more about it?  Surely, wanting to leave your wife and marry another girl is more common than wanting to leave your wife and join the Kingsguard or the Night's Watch!

The vows of the Night's Watch are that he will "take no wife".  That is, he will not get married.  Notice that nothing about the language of the vow indicates that he cannot already have a wife.  He also swears that he will sire no children.   So, presumably, this means he cannot live with his wife in matrimonial bliss, even if he has a wife.

The Kingsguard vows are modeled on the Night's Watch vows.   I can find nothing supporting your argument that the language of the vow requires him to not even "have" a wife.

Quote

It's fairly clear that Martin is not being perfectly congruentb with Catholicism. 

Well sure, the Catholic church does not have a "Night's Watch" or a "Kingsguard" or "Silent Sisters".  But you have still not provided a single example of the Faith of the Seven allowing a validly married person to remarry while his/her spouse was still alive.

Edited by Platypus Rex

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7 hours ago, Ran said:

Then why in the world does Fireball send his wife into the silent sisters? If talking holy vows forbidding you to have a wife can count as not having a wife, all Fireball had to do was take the Kingsguard vows.

But he didn't, because obviously it doesn't work that way. The vows of the silent sisters were necessary to free him to join the sworn brotherhood of the Kingsguard. 

Well, we don't know any details about the Fireball thing there. And we should keep in mind that Aegon IV was the guy who made the offer - the guy wasn't exactly the most honest man in Westeros, was he?

My idea would be that Aegon actually told Fireball that it would be more easy for him to get push him through as a KG if he no longer had a wife when there was an opening in the order. We do know that the normal choosing of a suitable KG is a bureaucratic procedure - with people drawing up a list of suitable candidates which the Lord Commander revises before he present it to council and the king, etc.

And if we now assume for a moment that Aegon IV might have to push through Fireball against a Lord Commander Aemon Targaryen it makes sense why the king may have encouraged Fireball to get rid of his wife.

But that's just my idea.

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On 6/25/2019 at 1:04 AM, Lord Varys said:

My idea would be that Aegon actually told Fireball that it would be more easy for him to get push him through as a KG if he no longer had a wife when there was an opening in the order.

Aegon could push through whoever he well pleased. No one vetted Sandor Clegane, and no one stopped Joffrey, of all people, from naming him to the Kingsguard without his actually being a knight.

But I agree with you, in any case!  It's what I've been arguing for from the get-go, in fact, that he had no wife once she joined the silent sisters. (As far as I can see, the Catholic "higher calling" business didn't end a marriage -- the monk was still a husband, the nun still a wife -- so we have something distinctly different going on in Westeros.)

 

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Aegon could push through whoever he well pleased. No one vetted Sandor Clegane, and no one stopped Joffrey, of all people, from naming him to the Kingsguard without his actually being a knight.

Sure, he could, but perhaps he did not want to do? I mean, there are strong hints that the man was all/most mouth. He tried to conquer Dorne and never tried again after it failed miserably, he besmirched and blackened the reputation of his sister-wife and brother and son by underhanded means but never openly attacked/condemned them nor disinherited Daeron (which he could have done). Instead of making Barba Bracken his second wife after Naerys recovered (which he could have at least tried) he gave in to pressure, sent her away and dismissed her father as Hand. He seems to have been the kind of guy who calculated how far he could go and never pushed beyond a certain point.

His one truly radical act came on his deathbed when he did not have to suffer the consequences.

I find it not hard to believe that Aegon IV may have both secretly feared the Dragonknight and may have not been able to influence the appointments and management of his KG the way other kings were.

Joff/Cersei were in agreement over Sandor's appointment and Barristan's dismissal. And after Selmy was gone the KG was without a Lord Commander until Jaime returned. What we learn about the proper procedure under Kevan's aegis - when he and Cersei discuss the replacement of Oakheart - implies that normally a king does not just push through a candidate.

In that sense, one certainly can see the Unworthy telling Fireball something along the lines of 'You know, it would be much easier to get you a white cloak if you weren't married. You might want to do something about that.'

3 hours ago, Ran said:

But I agree with you, in any case!  It's what I've been arguing for from the get-go, in fact, that he had no wife once she joined the silent sisters. (As far as I can see, the Catholic "higher calling" business didn't end a marriage -- the monk was still a husband, the nun still a wife -- so we have something distinctly different going on in Westeros.)

Yeah, especially if we take the NW as the prime example on which the KG vows are based. You can go to the Wall if you are married and have fathered children. But you no longer are married after you have taken the black.

Joining a monastery isn't the same as entering religious orders as such. You could/can live there as a layperson and you even can join a religious order without actually being ordinated a priest. It might be that you can join a septry like the one of Quiet Isle without actually being ordinated a septon (that would be the distinction between laybrothers and those monks who are actually priests - if that goes, then married men and women might be able to that without their marriages technically ending. But if any of them actually became proper septons and septas their marriages would then likely be over.

Queen Naerys definitely seems to have intended to end her marriage for good by joining the Faith. One thus assumes she actually wanted to become a septa.

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14 hours ago, Ran said:

 

Aegon could push through whoever he well pleased. No one vetted Sandor Clegane, and no one stopped Joffrey, of all people, from naming him to the Kingsguard without his actually being a knight.

By that logic, no logic can be applied to the situation.  At most, it would not be not about whether joining the Silent Sisters ended the marriage, but (maybe, possibly, and perhaps by distant implication) about whether Aegon VI and Fireball THOUGHT it would end the marriage.

But certainly, there is nothing about the situation that anticipates remarriage for either party. 

14 hours ago, Ran said:

But I agree with you, in any case!  It's what I've been arguing for from the get-go, in fact, that he had no wife once she joined the silent sisters. (As far as I can see, the Catholic "higher calling" business didn't end a marriage -- the monk was still a husband, the nun still a wife -- so we have something distinctly different going on in Westeros.)

 


When, exactly, did you demonstrate that something distinctly different was going on in Westeros?  I know you keep saying so.  But the last time I checked, you were not GRRM.

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Joff/Cersei were in agreement over Sandor's appointment and Barristan's dismissal. And after Selmy was gone the KG was without a Lord Commander until Jaime returned. What we learn about the proper procedure under Kevan's aegis - when he and Cersei discuss the replacement of Oakheart - implies that normally a king does not just push through a candidate.

Right.  There's a lot of tradition surrounding the kingsguard.

10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

In that sense, one certainly can see the Unworthy telling Fireball something along the lines of 'You know, it would be much easier to get you a white cloak if you weren't married. You might want to do something about that.'

Sure.  But we can also alter the language a bit.  He might have said something along the lines, "You know, it would be much easier to get you a white cloak if you were not still living with your wife in connubial bliss.  Old habits, you know."

Or maybe he did say what you speculate.  But there is no reason to suppose the private comments of Aegon IV and Fireball would perfectly reflect the marriage doctrines of the Faith of the Seven.

And in the end, Fireball's strategy did not work, anyway.

10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, especially if we take the NW as the prime example on which the KG vows are based. You can go to the Wall if you are married and have fathered children. But you no longer are married after you have taken the black.

What is your source for the bolded?  Maybe the suggestion that brothers of the Night's Watch no longer have families?  That his wife is duty?  That his mistress is honor?  Okay, maybe, that might distantly suggest that the Night's Watch regards the marriage has dissolved.  But at most that suggests the attitude of the Night's Watch.  It can hardly suggest the attitude of the Faith of the Seven.

10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Joining a monastery isn't the same as entering religious orders as such. You could/can live there as a layperson and you even can join a religious order without actually being ordinated a priest. It might be that you can join a septry like the one of Quiet Isle without actually being ordinated a septon (that would be the distinction between laybrothers and those monks who are actually priests - if that goes, then married men and women might be able to that without their marriages technically ending. But if any of them actually became proper septons and septas their marriages would then likely be over.

Why?  Isn't it more likely that, either they would be married septas?  Or, if that is impossible, that their Septas vows would be null and void?  In any event, Silent Sisters are apparently not the same thing as Septas, so the same rules would not necessarily apply.

10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Queen Naerys definitely seems to have intended to end her marriage for good by joining the Faith. One thus assumes she actually wanted to become a septa.

Where is this from?  But yeah, I'm sure she would have liked a permanent separation.  Perhaps she would have even wanted an annulment of her coerced incestuous marriage.  But a permanent separation plus a life of celibacy, would have rendered the annulment not strictly essential.

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9 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

Or maybe he did say what you speculate.  But there is no reason to suppose the private comments of Aegon IV and Fireball would perfectly reflect the marriage doctrines of the Faith of the Seven.

Well, in the end the Fireball case is not really all that important. He just wanted to rid himself of his wife somehow so he could become or could increase his chances to become a KG. We have no reason to assume that he wanted to properly and legally do away with his marriage. He would have been all about appearances and not at all about legality or theology.

9 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

And in the end, Fireball's strategy did not work, anyway.

Because the king had changed by the time a spot was available. 

9 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

What is your source for the bolded?  Maybe the suggestion that brothers of the Night's Watch no longer have families?  That his wife is duty?  That his mistress is honor?  Okay, maybe, that might distantly suggest that the Night's Watch regards the marriage has dissolved.  But at most that suggests the attitude of the Night's Watch.  It can hardly suggest the attitude of the Faith of the Seven.

The Faith of the Andals accepted and included the concept of the Night's Watch into their culture, just as they included the concept of the First Night. When you take the black you turn your back on your birth family, your wife, and your children (assuming you have any). You also never return (permanently) from the Wall and most black brothers never even visit their former homes and families. Even if the theology of the Faith would want to interpret the marriages of black brothers as still valid that would be a completely academic and pointless viewpoint considering that the spouses no longer live together, no longer have sex, no longer are allowed to/able to protect and care for each other, etc.

The main reason why it is clear that marriage ends when you take the black is the vow itself - 'I will take no wife.' It would be a massive injustice if that truly applied only to the poor sots who came to the Wall as bachelors. Not to mention that no black brother ever referred to the wife he left at home.

9 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

Why?  Isn't it more likely that, either they would be married septas?  Or, if that is impossible, that their Septas vows would be null and void?  In any event, Silent Sisters are apparently not the same thing as Septas, so the same rules would not necessarily apply.

Septons and septas break with their birth families and 'the outside world' to an even greater degree than black brothers - like maesters, they give up their family names and thus their family identity. We don't know anything about married septons and septas, and presumably celibacy and chastity are part of the vows of a septon/septa. Neither would be possible if they could remain married.

9 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

Where is this from?  But yeah, I'm sure she would have liked a permanent separation.  Perhaps she would have even wanted an annulment of her coerced incestuous marriage.  But a permanent separation plus a life of celibacy, would have rendered the annulment not strictly essential.

We know Naerys was very pious and wanted to be a septa:

Quote

She loved Aemon best of her brothers, for he knew how to make her laugh—and he had something of the same piety that she possessed, while Aegon did not. She loved the Seven as dearly as she loved her brother, if not more so, and might have been a septa if her lord father had allowed it. But he did not, and Viserys instead wed her to his son Aegon in 153 AC, with King Aegon III's blessing. 

And we know that Naerys did want to end her marriage after the birth of her son:

Quote

Queen Naerys—the one woman Aegon IV bedded in whom he took no pleasure—was pious and gentle and frail, and all these things the king misliked. Childbirth also proved a trial to Naerys, for she was small and delicate. When Prince Daeron was born on the last day of 153 AC, Grand Maester Alford warned that another pregnancy might kill her. Naerys was said to address her brother thus: "I have done my duty by you, and given you an heir. I beg you, let us live henceforth as brother and sister." We are told that Aegon replied: "That is what we are doing." Aegon continued to insist his sister perform her wifely duties for the rest of her life.

We also know that King Baelor took the vows of a septon after he had annulled his marriage to Daena to ensure he could never marry again:

Quote

The king had not only ended his marriage to Daena, but he had made sure he would never wed again by taking a septon's vows, aided and abetted by a High Septon who was becoming increasingly influential in the kingdom. 

If a septon could be married then it makes little sense that taking a septon's vows prevents you from marrying in the future.

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