consanguineous marriages


It Stays in the Family

Hwarang could be pretty much called a story of wasted relationship potential. I’ve been waiting for the interaction between KIM Sam Maek Jong and KIM Yeo Wool since the end of episode 5, but they have barely spoken since then. What’s the point of introducing such an intriguing, fictional character, and then completely waste and ignore such an epic opportunity?

Yeol Wool’s mother is the sister of the previous king WHICH MAKES HIM BOTH MAEKJONG’S COUSIN AND HIS COUSIN ONCE REMOVED. Queen Ji So is King Beopheung’s daughter who married her uncle, Beopheung’s younger brother (meaning Maek Jong is the former’s king GRANDSON AND ALSO HIS NEPHEW) = Ji So is YEO WOOL’S COUSIN and Maekjong’s father is YW’S UNCLE. That’s consanguine marriage in practice for you.

That’s the reason why I was so intrigued by their first meeting because judging from Maekjong’s face he’s aware about YW’s indentity and their connection.

The Family Tree of Early Goryeo Dynasty based on Moon Lovers : Scarlet Heart : Ryeo (2016 SBS) and Empress Cheonchu (2009 KBS).

  • Goryeo society’s love and marriage : Free love (including premarital sex), simple marriage ceremony, mostly monogamy (some exceptions in noble class), free divorce and free remarriage.
  • But fidelity was very important virtue. Adultery was a sin.
  • Inheritance by equal distribution regardless of gender. Daughters inherited their parents’ fortune equally. Goryeo women’s social status was much higher than during Joseon period.
  • Consanguine marriages between half siblings, uncle/niece, aunt/nephew, cousins were very common. Actually, King Taejo’s 7 out of 9 daughters married their half brothers. (The rest 2 princesses married the last king of Shilla who surrendered to Goryeo.)
  • Most Goryeo Princesses took their mother’s last name. That’s why Princess Yeonhwa’s last name is “Hwangbo” (her mother’s last name) instead of Wang (her father’s).
  • Of course, there were some exceptions. Queen Mundeok (Wang So’s 3rd daughter) took her grandmother’s last name (Yoo) instead of her mother’s (Hwangbo). Queen Heonae and Queen Heonjeong (Wang Wook’s two daughters) took not their mother’s but their grandmother’s (Hwangbo)  because their parents died young so they were raised by their grandmother.  

The show does an amazing job adressing the controversial issues featured heavily in the story - polygamy, consanguine marriages and infidelity. They don’t shy away from it or beat around the bush. Instead they adress it head-on, without fuss or embarrassement, as something completely ordinary and normal, because it was really something ordinary and normal. Some viewers might feel disgusted by it or find it unsettling, but those were the realities of the royal life during the Goryeo Dynasty. And while the drama might have taken some creative licence with history in order to fit it to the Scarlet Heart story, it’s actually very faithful, realistic and authentic regarding the way people lived their lives and married in that era. Seven out of nine Taejo’s daughters married their half brothers and he himself had 29 wives (and that’s only the official ones, not counting the concubines). So when Yo discusses with So and Yeon Hwa the possibilty of marriage between them, even though he is already married and she is their half-sister, it’s indeed something completely normal and common in that day and age. And the whole cast and crew have done an amazing job to deliver this whole atmosphere perfectly.

“You’re not asking me to put a value on you, are you? Rather than a woman of high value, I want one who will treasure me. Someone who would not be concerned about this ugly face of mine.” - Wang So

“How much fun would it be to turn an animal into a human? Sometimes I am curious about that.” - Yeon Hwa

When Wang So challenges Yo about their sister, it isn’t because he would really care about her becoming his wife. He is motivated by sibling rivarly, his dislike and jealousy he feels towards his brother. His subsequent comment about the kind of woman he wants only proves it. Wang So yearns for complete acceptance of everything he is, scar and all, genuine love and affection and tha ist in diametrical opposition to what Yeon Hwa wants. She isn’t denying or protest Yo’s animal comparison of So nor is she defending him. She sees him as a curiosity, an unfortunate being that she can improve and transform into something grand. She doesn’t want to accept him, she wants to change him. 

Tokyo Ghoul :re Chapter 33 Spoilers
Kanae: Mirumo sama. Shuu sama will eat anything, whether its human or ghoul. And it seems like he cant control his kagune
Mirumo: Shuu kun.. this is the result of the repetitive consanguineous marriages us Tsukiyama had. It controls our RC cells
Mirumo: (it would be good if he could get used to be a Kakuja)
Mirumo: But it is impossible for us based on our family history
Mirumo: (if you continue to cannibalize, you will.. soon break-!)
Mirumo: Wa—!!!
Kanae: Mirumo sama
Mirumo: Yes…
Kanae: …how is it
Mirumo: Its completely distraught
Mirumo: What can we do.. to fill Shuu kun’s heart

CCG’s meeting

Sasaki: Ghoul related to Rosewald family?
Akira: Yes
Matsuri: Those kagune traces, is similar with the Rosewald I fought in the past.. Look at this, the right one is the Kagune traces from the [Massive Abduction] and the left one is the Kagune traces of [Rosewald] which was gotten by someone
CCG member: Both of them are the same no matter how you look at it
Matsuri: Nope, the matching point of these two data is 27% out of 109 point rate. Normally if we think about this insignificant value. That the difference between two is [they are not close relatives but one with a distant blood related people]. In other words, this is Rosewald’s survivor. If this survivor resides in Tokyo, then the massive abduction is this guy’s work-

Mutsuki: …Sensei, close relatives have a higher probability isnt it?
Sasaki: Siblings have a probability of 50% while twins have a probability of 90% or higher.. Just the traces left behind will be slightly different. [Rabbit]’s traces of Kagune from the murder scene of associate special investigator and that from attack scene has a similarity of 64% I heard
Mutsuki: …but over 50% means that it excludes the probability of being a twins isnt it?
Sasaki: un, the result of the investigation is like this. There is a pattern, which means…
Mutsuki: …means?
Sasaki: A hunter…

Ayato proposes to rescue Hinami to Tatara.
Tatara: We cant do that. With the prison director called Haisaki around and they have strenghten their guards there. We cant break into Cochlea twice …How many times do I have go tell you this
Miza: We need Fueguchi’s ability… that kind of ability is rare, Tatara
Tooru: (Hinami chan…)
Ayato: The strategy this time, it wont be successful and we will receive more damage
Tatara: Ayato… you. Since when you can participate in strategizing? This shouldnt be coming out from your mouth
Ayato: …
Takizawa: kuhehe…
Ayato: …whats so funny… Takizawa
Takizawa: Nothing, just this spectacle of treating a ghoul as precious comrade is funny I will eat pastry its so tasty so fun
Ayato’s face changes
Ayato: What did you say… Hinami went to stop you
Takizawa: Chan Hina went there to help Sasaki. Ayato kyun
Ayato: …tch
Tatara put his hand on Ayato’s head to stop him from going further
Ayato: Stop it Ayato. The ones who acted selfishly were you and Fueguchi. Instead of doing that, why dont you train yourself more
Ayato: Tatara..
Ayato: Yamori, Bin.. eversince they are gone… I only listened to you since you were the one who took me into Aogiri
Tatara: Yes. A stray dog is a stray dog… Ayato. Whats foolish is the influence of Shachi?
Ayato: …

Ayato’s flashback to when Hinami first entered Aogiri
Naki: A new member. There, the name is… [Udekuchi Shinari]?
Gagi: Gou
Ayato: Whats with the name sounds like some part of a body
Hinami was crying while hugging her knees
Hinami: ..sniff..sniff..
Ayato: Ugh.. stop crying. Its disturbing, you brat
Hinami lifts up her head
Hinami: kusu… *laughing*
Ayato: Whats so funny!?
Hinami: So-sorry. Its because your face when you get angry is the same as onee chan’s. I am relieved. Are you … Ayato kun?-

Eto: its sad (firstly)
Noro: kusukusu, ketaketa

Sasaki pays Hinami a visit
Sasaki: Fueguchi san, good afternoon
Sasaki passes Hinami a book
Sasaki: Here
Hinami: ..uun.. thanks for always bringing things to me.. onii chan
Sasaki: !?
Sasaki: …is an interrogation fine with you?
Hinami: The new members consist of S rate and above Ghouls. The number is…

Interrogation finishes
Sasaki: Thank you for your hard work
Hinami: The same goes to you onii chan
Sasaki recalls some words
Kaneki: I am me, you are you
Sasaki: …Fueguchi… do I… make you feel like I am the [onii chan] you speak of? I am… my own personality to come in contact with the memories with other people. The feelings from that time… the painful ones, the happy ones. They overlap and forms them, thats what I think. Therefore, no matter where I go… I will not become Kaneki kun… I am… sorry…
Hinami: I too think that way. Sasaki san is Sasaki san. Even now I ak confuse. Your memories and personality are different. Oniichan is… no longer here.. but… how to say this… The way you overthink things like this, its just like onii chan. When I was upset, you brought me a book just like this. Even now, I dont know what to do. I think that maybe alot of other people are feeling like this too. Its because we really like onii chan
Sasaki: … thats all for today, I will come again…

Sasaki: (That girl… is a ghoul… I am a ghoul investigator… when that time comes, that girl will… is it fine that way? But, what can I do… [I want to save her]… I…?)

Kijima: First rank Sasaki sure has a good relationship with ghouls
Sasaki: Err…
Sasaki looks at Kijima’s face
Sasaki: (A scar…)
Kijima: [How do I know your name?]
Kijima: You are a famous investigator. Very famous, ne.
? Investigator: Kijima san, we are done with the interroga.. ah
Kijima: … I am [Kijima]. We will be working together on a case regarding [Roze]. Lets go ? kun
? Investigator: Excuse us..
Sasaki: …

Next issue, pursue the Rosewald family-!?
P/S: Is Roze Kanae??!

Archduchess Maria Clementina of Austria, 1798-1881, daughter of Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily. 1810s. artist uknown.

In 1816, Archduchess Clementina married her uncle Leopold, Prince of Salerno, her mother’s youngest brother.  Shocked?  The Hapsburgs were notorious for their consanguineous marriages.  Her parents were double first cousins; nor was Clementina’s marriage the first uncle/niece marriage among the Habsburgs. One can say it was the rule rather than the exception.

Carlos II of Spain (1661 - 1700), dubbed “The Hexed”, was the product of an uncle/niece marriage and his grandfather Philip III was also born of an uncle/niece marriage.  Indeed, it is now believed that excessive inbreeding led to the extinction of the Spanish Habsburgs, ending with Carlos II in 1700, dead at age 39, suffering all his life from various genetic disorders. (read: Demise of the Spanish Habsburg Dynasty)

Scientists also point out the high rate of stillbirths, infant, and child mortality in the Habsburg families. Only about 60 percent of infants survived to age 1 and only half of the children born to the dynasty survived to age 10.  Given these statistics, it is interesting to note that three of Archduchess Clementina’s  four children died within their first year.  Only one child, Princess Maria Carolina, survived into adulthood and she married her first cousin Henri d'Orléans, Duc d'Aumale. They had seven children.  Sadly, three were stillborn and two died within the first year. Her two surviving sons didn’t live past the age of 21, leading to the eventual demise of the d'Orleans line.