Random question but what would Shaera and Jaehaery's wedding ceremony be like? Did he just pop a cloak on her and then they (maybe eat some food?) went onto the bedding? I doubt there would be a Septon there but didn't they marry in the Sept? Questions!! Haha, but thank you!!
Thanks for the question, Anon.
Hmm, hard to say. This is all we know about it from TWOIAF:
In 240 AC, a year after Prince Duncan’s marriage, Prince Jaehaerys and Princess Shaera each eluded their guardians and were secretly married. Jaehaerys was fifteen and Shaera fourteen at the time of their wedding. By the time the king and queen learned what had happened, the marriage had already been consummated. Aegon felt he had no choice but to accept it.
Somewhere, Jaehaerys and Shaera would have needed to find a septon willing to marry two people likely known to have been already betrothed (the betrothals of royal princes and princesses are matters of national importance, and those engagements probably would have been celebrated at court). (I wonder if it was more difficult or not to find a septon willing to break these betrothals specifically to wed them incestuously; the Faith had long since given up on trying to stop the Targaryens from wedding as the custom of Valyria dictated, but breaking the two betrothals still would have carried a fair bit of scandal, and to do so for the cause of incest … well, it might have made some septons uncomfortable.) What I imagine re: the officiating septon is that Jaehaerys and Shaera told him the betrothals had been made without their consent, and that they were consequently legal nullities. If the septon were a traditionalist sort (or the family septon of a member of the eloping party - see below), or a member of a lordly household whose head railed again reforming Aegon, he might have been amenable to Jaehaerys and Shaera’s arguments. Indeed, considering Jaehaerys was now heir to the Iron Throne, a traditionalist House might have willingly performed a traditional Targaryen marriage, forging ties with a prince who would, hopefully, reverse his father’s radical reforms when he assumed the throne (I’m reminded of Tsarevich Alexei, only surviving son of Peter the Great’s first marriage, who in his youth was surrounded and greatly influenced by reactionary priests, who encouraged his separation from his father’s policies.)
As far as the actual ceremony … I guess, depending on how romantic they were feeling, they might have done a version of the cloak ceremony (even sneaking out a properly Targaryen-emblazoned cloak), but I doubt that was the make or break of the ceremony’s legitimacy (and I’m sure if anyone involved felt it was important, Jaehaerys could have used whatever ordinary cloak he was actually wearing). The really necessary part (besides the vows before the septon) would have been the consummation: after all, non-consummation is the only known way that a marriage can be annulled in the Faith (though certainly not the only way at all), and it’s specifically the fact of consummation that Yandel cites regarding Aegon’s feeling he had no choice but to consent. Of course, how they convinced their father that the marriage had been consummated (did they just say it, or did they have witnesses swear they saw the bloody sheet, or was Shaera “examined” afterward, or something else) is unknown.
Now, it could be that there were more reasons Aegon felt that the marriage was legitimate than simply the fact of consummation. We don’t know what argument Tywin used to ensure that that his son’s marriage was undone “as if [Tyrion and Tysha] had never been wed” according to the septons involved, but the fact that the officiant was a “drunken septon”, the sole witnesses appear to have been pigs, and Tyrion had bribed the septon into performing the marriage all probably helped his position. Were there other facets of the wedding of Jaehaerys and Shaera that made it appear more legitimate, and thus (in Aegon’s mind) inviolable? Did Jaehaerys and Shaera bring along a few of their fellow young people at court to act as witnesses (lady companions to Shaera, say, or fellow squires serving with Jaehaerys)? Did they even go to the family sept of one of these companions to be wed - if, say, there were scions of Crownlands families serving at court - hoping to find a more willing septon (a little like how Arianne thought she could crown Myrcella at the Hellholt, seat of her uncle’s paramour’s family)? We’ll have to wait for the inevitable D&E tale that recounts this marriage to explain more fully.
The Queen Regent (NFriel)