22

The title is not really my question, but let me first speak about the spoiler level.

This question points to an event that occur in A Storm of Swords (mid-book ?). Its equivalence in the TV show is Season 3, episode 6 and later. Stop reading if you didn't read/watch this part of the story and don't want to be spoiled. Do not read anything below the spoiler tag even if it's not in a spoiler tag because it would make you understand what is in the spoiler tag.

This is about Tyrion Lannister and his relation with Sansa Stark.

They get married.

But how is this possible ? Tyrion was previously married to Tysha, a whore that (end of ASOS spoiler alert)

actually wasn't a whore

and all we know about her (Tywin Lannister's words) is that

she was sent back to "where whores are sent"

But was the marriage cancelled ? How is that possible ? Tysha surely wasn't a virgin, and nothing is said about her being dead.

So, my question: Did they just divorce? Is that possible? Or maybe Sansa'a marriage with Tyrion is not valid?

  • 4
    Why naturaly assume they got divorced? Polygamy isn't unheard of in fantasy. – Monty129 May 17 '13 at 11:43
  • Well I didn't even think of this. I'm not sure polygamy is allowed in Westeros, but I can't find any evidence right now – Kalissar May 17 '13 at 13:01
  • 4
    If I recall correctly, Tyrion married in secret so there likely aren't many (perhaps any) outside of the Lannister family who even know about it. Given Tywin's reaction when he found out I can't imagine it's something he'd allow to be made public; if there was any official record he likely would have had it destroyed so it would be as if the marriage never happened. – Anthony Grist May 17 '13 at 13:38
  • 3
    I like how you put the marriage in spoilers at the start and then in bold at the end. :-) – Burhan Ali May 17 '13 at 16:58
  • 1
    Are you going to argue the point with Tywin Lannister? – TheMathemagician May 24 '13 at 9:04
22

As far as I remember Tyrion's marriage was annulled by his father.

I don't know about Westeros but in our world this typically means that the marriage is proclaimed as invalid from the start, e.g. the Catholic church allows annulment if it is discovered that the couple are cousins. This is not the same as divorce, since it is considered that the couple have never been properly married at all.

So, to directly answer your question: No, they probably did not divorce - the world of Westeros is sufficiently similar to medieval Europe to presume that annulment means the same there. This would make Tyrion's marriage with Sansa completely valid, at least with respect to that particular issue.

  • 1
    Could you add the reason why Tywin claimed the marriage was not valid ? Would be great. – Kalissar May 17 '13 at 15:11
  • 3
    I don't think it was ever mentioned and it is quite possible that there wasn't any good reason. Although, Tyrion did mention that the septon was drunk during the ceremony, so if I had to pick a reason, that would be it. – Goran Jovic May 17 '13 at 15:28
  • Ok, good enough for me :) – Kalissar May 17 '13 at 15:37
  • 1
    @lfurini - I don't think Goran is stating an actual legitimate claim, but rather the pretense that might be offered. The actual reason why it would be annulled is because Tywin wanted it to be so, with his reason being because he never would have allowed it in the first place. In reality, someone of immense political power wanting it is enough. In reality, that's also the way it was with the Catholic Church, way back when they were one of the main power political power players, as well. – PoloHoleSet Jan 8 '18 at 21:15
  • 1
    @Kalissar If I were to venture a guess, I'd say that it was the claim of fraud. Tywin claimed the girl was a whore and married Tyrion on false pretense with malicious intents. The case of fraudulent identity would be valid imo cus Tyrion didn't marry the girl he was marrying, he had married a whore – Aegon Jan 22 '18 at 11:01
7

The single best example of this is the marriage of Tyrion and Sansa. Tyrion is encouraged strongly to consummate his marriage, because after that has happened, it can't be annulled by the High Septon or similar, if it hasn't been consummated, then it can be ruled invalid. This primarily applies to royal marriages.

In the case of Tyrion and Tysha, it seems that it was declared as never valid, or otherwise annulled, on account of Tasha being declared a prostitute.

Tyrion was under the impression during most of the first books that she was actually a prostitute, and falsely declared her vows. The same was thought by all of the other people involved, with the exception of Tyrion's family, who knew she actually wasn't, at least, not in the traditional sense.

Basically, there seems to be required something to annul the marriage, it has to be declared a sham somehow. Vows said at sword-point aren't valid, for instance.

For more information, take a look at this wiki article.

7

George R.R. Martin talks about divorce and says that it is "uncommon". He mentions in relation to Prince Doran and Mellario of Norvos' marriage:

Sometimes relationships start on a good foot: you become acquainted, there's a great sexual attraction, you establish a relationship, you marry... and then in four or five years you realize that you don't really have anything in common, that at best you've made a mistake and are in a situation that doesn't have any easy solution in a society such as that of the Seven Kingdoms, where divorce simply isn't common. This is an example that it's not only marriages of convenience that fail, but even the marriages for love can fail.
-http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Asshai.com_Interview_in_Barcelona.

This tells us that divorce is possible, but just not very common. I'd say probably because of the social stigma. Prince Doran and Mellario's marriage was one of the failed ones, but they ended up being estranged rather than divorced.

  • 1
    This seems the only answer citing an unequivocal source, and not confusing annulment with divorce, which are different things (at least in our world). – lfurini Jan 8 '18 at 19:37
3

Another example should be added, so as to help you understand divorces in Westeros.

(This was mentioned in GRRM's novelette The Rogue Prince, or, A King’s Brother.)

Prince Daemon Targaryen was wed to the Lady of Runestone in 97 AC, but he got bored of her and asked his brother Viserys, the king, to have his marriage set aside -- get a divorce.

So you can see that marriages could be set aside. (His wasn't, by the way. The king denied to do that).

Quoting Rogues p. 776

Though he (Daemon) had wed the Lady of Runestone in 97AC, during Old King's reign, the marriage had not been a success. Prince Daemon found the Vale of Arryn boring ("In the Vale, the men f*ck sheep", he wrote. "You cannot fault them. Their sheep are prettier than their women."), and soon developed a mislike of his lady wife, whom he called "my bronze bitch", after the runic bronze armor worn by the lords of House Royce. Upon the accession of his brother to the Iron Throne, the prince petitioned to have his marriage set aside. Viserys denied the request [...]

  • 1
    This gives the impression that Kings can annul marriages when that is not the case. the prince petitioned to have his marriage set aside means Prince asked his brother to influence the High Septon to annul the marriage imo. When in fact King Baelor had to petition High Septon to get his marriage to Daena the definat annulled. – Aegon Jul 27 '16 at 13:27
1

Divorce could be possible, because in the book A Game of Thrones, Renly Baratheon was seeking to annul Robert's marriage to Cersei Lannister. Now the reasons had to be quite significant, such as infidelity, infertility, incest, or possibly some political machinations (which each are brought up in the books in one form or another).

As for the commonfolk of Westeros, they are either stuck, or have to settle it in another way (e.g. matricide, like Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides, did with his previous two or three wives).

I haven't read the books in a long time, but these rules are pretty much based on the Old European/Catholic rules.

0

Yes

Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7.

In season 7 episode 5, "Eastwatch", Gilly is reading a passage in a book and reads out that Rhaegar had his marriage annulled.

Gilly: That's true. This High Septon Meynard, he recorded everything. He even recorded his own bowel movements. What does "annulment" mean?
Samwell Tarly: It's when a man sets asside his lawful wife.
Gilly: Meynard says here that he issued an anullment for Prince Rhaegar and remarried him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne. Is that a common thing --
Game of Thrones, Season 7 Episode 5, "Eastwatch"

  • 3
    Annulment and divorce are not the same thing. – T.J.L. Jan 8 '18 at 18:07
  • @T.J.L. Well no but they amount to a very similar thing and I think the distinction is not necessary for the question – TheLethalCarrot Jan 8 '18 at 19:44
  • Also the two top answers about Tyrion are about annulment not divorce. Did you DV those too? – TheLethalCarrot Jan 8 '18 at 19:47

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