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Marriage

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JoffreyMargaeryHighSepton

The High Septon conducting the marriage between King Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell.

"Your Grace, Your Grace, my lords, my ladies, you stand here in the sight of gods and men to witness the union of man and wife. One flesh, one heart, one soul... now and forever!"
―The High Septon[src]

Marriage is a religious institution in which a man and a woman take vows that allow them to cohabitate, engage in sexual relations and reproduce.

In case of members of noble families, marriages are almost always arranged by the heads of the houses and often seal political alliances. Marriage make both noble families kin, thus obligating each other to provide military aid in case of wars or aggressions from other noble families. If a marriage pact involves children, the marriage, or at least the consummation, is postponed until the boy comes of age or the girl has experienced her flowering.

While marriages between first cousins are allowed, marriages between brother and sister are forbidden. The Faith of the Seven, however, turned a blind eye to the incestuous practices of House Targaryen in exchange for their support and defense of the institition.

Historically, some marriages signaled the adoption of an independent kingdom under the authority of another one. Such was the case of the marriage of a King in the North with the daughter of the last Marsh King, which brought the Neck into the Kingdom of the North, or the marriages of Daeron II Targaryen with Myriah Martell and Maron Martell with Daenerys Targaryen, which brought Dorne under the authority of the Iron Throne.

Ceremony and customsEdit

Marriage ceremonies may vary depending on the religion.

The Faith of the Seven Edit

In the case of the Faith of the Seven the ceremony is conducted by a septon. The bridegroom puts a cloak in his family colors over the bride, symbolically bringing her under his protection and into his house. The septon may then welcomes the attendees to witness the union of man and as "one flesh, one heart, one soul" for the rest of their lives. Sometimes while he speaks the words binding man and wife for eternity he will wrap a strip of cloth to join the hands of bride and bridegroom, symbolizing their union. They are then instructed to look upon each other and say the following words at unison:

"Father, Smith, Warrior,
Mother, Maiden, Crone, Stranger.
I am hers/his and she/he is mine,
from this day until the end of my days".

Afterward the newlyweds may kiss one another.

Following the ceremony, a feast is held for all attendees. After some time, the traditional bedding ceremony may take place and the newlyweds are carried to the marriage bed to spend the night together. The feast continues for the guests.

The Old Gods of the Forest Edit

In the North, where the Old Gods still hold sway, there is no clergy so the wedding ceremony is officiated by the groom and bride's fathers or kin (usually brothers but it can also be a ward of their family).

A ritual is conducted at night during which the bride is led to the weirwood tree in the heart of the Godswood which is lit by candles, where the groom's father demands who comes before the Old Gods. The bride's father presents his daughter who comes to beg the blessing of the Gods for her marriage before asking who comes to claim her:
Roose Bolton: "Who comes before the Old Gods this night?"
Theon Greyjoy: "Sansa, of the House Stark, comes here to be wed. A woman grown, trueborn and noble. She comes to beg the blessing of the Gods. Who comes to claim her?"
Roose Bolton and Theon Greyjoy officiating Sansa Stark's wedding to Ramsay Bolton[src]
The groom steps forward and stakes his claim before asking who gives his bride away. Once the bride's father has introduced himself, the groom's father asks whether the bride will take his son as a husband. Once the bride agrees, the wedding is done:
Ramsay Bolton: "Ramsay, of House Bolton, heir to the Dreadfort and Winterfell. Who gives her?"
Theon Greyjoy: "Theon, of the House Greyjoy, who was... who was her father's ward."
Roose Bolton: "Lady Sansa, do you take this man?"
— Ramsay claims Sansa and Lord Bolton asks her consent.[src]

Sansa Stark was wed to Ramsay Bolton in such a ceremony. Since her father and brothers were all thought to be dead, Theon Greyjoy, who had been Lord Stark's ward, gave her away while Lord Roose Bolton, Ramsay's father, officiated the ceremony.[1]

Secret weddingsEdit

Sometimes a couple who wish to marry for love but are forced by marriage pacts to marry another or wish to marry against their family's wishes may perform secret weddings. These are still lawful, and only require, in case of the Faith of the Seven, a septon to perform the ceremony and the couple to speak their vows.

Prominent marriagesEdit

See alsoEdit


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