Forum: Research Questions

Discussing: Wedding Laws

Wedding Laws

In Numenor, was there any specific forms of some sort that needed to be signed or filled to enable a couple to be married, or did they just marry.

Also, while we're on Numenoreans, could anyone please tell me whether Tar-Miriel/Ar-Zimraphel's reign was usurped from her by Pharazon as soon as her father died, or did she reign for a few years (3 years I think, as mentioned in Celandine's fic A Choice Once Made)

Anything is greatly appreciated!
--Elithien

 

 

Re: Wedding Laws

The three-year interval was my own insertion. The story of Tar-Miriel and Ar-Pharazon is one that seems to have been long in flux (various versions in the Silm, UT, and HoMe), but in the Silm Tolkien says something like "when the king died, Ar-Pharazon wedded Tar-Miriel by force and usurped the throne" which implies that it all happened fairly rapidly. Afraid I don't have time to look up the exact details. I needed that three years for plot purposes, you see.

I'm not aware of any information on Numenorean bureaucratic marriage forms. There was no religious ceremony, and I doubt there was a civil ceremony or registration required. My assumption for marriage in ME in pretty much all cultures is based on that of medieval Catholic Europe - basically if the two persons say "I take you as my spouse," then they are married. All family or public notice and celebration are optional, though desirable.

Celandine

 

 

Re: Wedding Laws

Hi, Elithien; I see nothing on forms, only mentions of wedding feasts.

As to Tar-Miriel - I can't find a specific statement, just some indications:
In Unfinished Tales it says that Ar-Pharazon ruled for 64 years. Given the date of death of Miriel's father Tar-Palantir in 3255, and Ar-Pharazon's death in 3319, that adds up to 64 years. UT gives years ruled for all the rulers, but does not list any for Tar-Miriel.
The accounts do say that it was after they were wedded that the sceptre was taken by Ar-Pharazon, so it depends when they were married. There are fragments in HoMe 12, Peoples of Middle-earth, that show Tolkien wrote parts of the story where Miriel consented to the marriage, as opposed to being forced into it. You could always have her delay her marriage until a mourning period was over.

Hope this helps.
Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Wedding Laws

Thanks Celandine and Lyllyn for a clearing a few things up for me!

 

 

Re: Wedding Laws

Hello everyone

Elithien, I'm guessing you're asking this for that Jewelled Memoirs story you are starting up on, and I see you've gotton what you need, but please excuse me, I must extend on this.

There was no religious ceremony, and I doubt there was a civil ceremony or registration required

Cel, is it specifically said somewhere in the books that there was no religious and civil ceremony some place which I hace missed or is it your own interpretation of things?

Pharazon usurped the sceptre from Miriel and wedded her so he might, let's say, justify his role as king. Would there not have to be some type of ceremony, afterall with the wedding of Pharazon and Miriel for example, he would be taken as the queen's consort, or in his case, the King of Numenor. Wouldn't there have to be some ceremonial thing, both religious and civil?

Though the worshiping to Eru and reverence for the Valar had waned in the days of Miriel and Pharazon, once the Numenoreans were very religious (at least for 3 days in a year).

Also with forcing Tar-Miriel into marriage, I think there would have to be more than just:

"Hey be my wife!"

"No, I don't love you and we're related."

*nag* *push* *force*

"Hey be my wife now!"

"Oh, alright."

*Wedding song plays in the background*

Erm...sorry about the sarcasm. I cannot help it.

To usurp the sceptre in the above type of format would have been easy enough for Ar-Pharzon, at least to me, but to get her to marry him, against her will, without any religious or civil ceremony is a little odd. There really isn't anything binding them together. There isn't anything that's stopping Miriel from walking out of Armenelos and joining Amandil whilst Pharazon isn't looking.

Well this is only my own 2-cents contribution. If I'm wrong, please do point out. I probably am wrong, but oh well.

Does anyone have any reference to wedding laws for the Elves? Perhaps the Numenoreans would have their own ceremonial traditions along the same line.

What does everyone else think?
Cuthalion

 

 

Re: Wedding Laws

Wow! Good argument!

Anyone out there, do add your contributions. I want to see Cuthalion be able to make her way through this one.

--Elithien

 

 

Re: Wedding Laws

Does anyone have any reference to wedding laws for the Elves? Perhaps the Numenoreans would have their own ceremonial traditions along the same line.

Michael Martinez gives a summary of what's in Tolkien about weddings in Parma Endorian, particularly about wedding customs amongst the Eldar.

(I lifted some of this and played with it for Gondorian wedding customs in chapter 1 of A Game of Chess.)

 

 

Re: Wedding Laws

I was under the impression that sex = marriage in these sorts of societies so rape could be considered a form of 'forced marriage'. Can't help you with any quotes tho. Sorry.

 

 

Re: Wedding Laws

I was under the impression that sex = marriage in these sorts of societies so rape could be considered a form of 'forced marriage'.

That was my interpretation too--that even if Tar-Miriel consented to the marriage in public, it was because Ar-Pharazon raped her in private (rather like what happened to Mary Queen of Scots), and either traumatized or humiliated her so much that she felt she had no choice but to agree to the marriage.

If you think this means there's a fic germinating, you'd be right.

Regina

 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to Research Questions

Stories linked to the forum