Tony: Yeah, no, I feel the same way. And In many ways it’s
been such an interesting thing, playing this part on Scandal, being in a long,
complicated marriage myself. Umm, you know, thank God, my marriage is not as
extreme as Mellie and Fitzes is. But,
you know, Mellie and Fitz are evolving into a very dear and kind of a mutually,
supportive relationship, that’s not sexual, at all. But it’s loving. And, you
know what it is, the thing that I feel about Mellie is, and there’s aspects of
this that I feel about my wife, Jane. Luckily, Jane and I have a more
well-rounded relationship, but umm, but ahhh, ahhh, the sense of knowing
someone at their core and like knowing someone’s essence and someone’s true
potential. I mean I think the thing that Fitz feels about Mellie right now
,with her whole like wanting to be a politician and all of that. Is Fitz sees,
appreciate’s Mellie’s gifts in a way that even she doesn’t and he’s taken it
upon himself to ahh, help her, to foster that , to umm, to help her realize those things, so
that she can come back, be redeemed from all of
the pain she that she suffered, often, at his hands, you know, starting
with the rape by his father. Which Fitz wasn’t responsible for but Fitz feels
responsible for. You know, umm. How did I not see it? How was I so blind? And
umm, you know and then that, you know, served to deteriorate their marriage.
And that was what really what drove the sexual death of their marriage. And now Fitz knows that. It’s like, and then
of course, the death of their son. For years, cos she wouldn’t…imagine? He
should have been. You know, ten years of celibacy? What? Who could survive
that? Nobody could. You know? Umm, and, ahh, ahh, so they are now at a point
where they forgive each other. And I must say in my marriage with Jane, we are at a point in our relationship where
we forgive each other, not only do we forgive each other alot, we, it sounds
like such a weird thing to say, but we appreciate each other for our frailties.
You know what I mean? We like, she laughs at me and I laugh
at her for our foibles or our weaknesses. Or she’ll give me shit about some
pretty dark stuff. But we can laugh
about it, you know? And umm, ahh, so, and we’d gone through, having, raising
kids, a substantial period, of sort of dis-communication, you know, where you
get so invested in your children, and in your work life and in your
professional life, that you literally don’t communicate with each other.
About…you. You’re not the priority, we’re not
the priority, Ok we’re fine, we’ll get to that, we’ll get to that, we’ll get to
that. And it’s a very dangerous thing in relationships. And thankfully, we’ve,
you know, found our way to the other side of that and are sort of
re-discovering that, now that our kids, our youngest is now in college, and
it’s like, Oh wow. But it’s, I’m finding a lot of commonality, ahh, I feel very
privileged to explore those things in Scandal. And it’s always honest.
Do you think the Lannisters of Lannisport make merchant marriages at all, and if so, how often? It seems Lannisport would be a good merchant city, but Lannisters are Lannisters... maybe?
I think merchant marriages are scorned by the nobility in Westeros:
There are several branches of House Arryn scattered across the Vale, all as proud as they are penurious, save for the Gulltown Arryns, who had the rare good sense to marry merchants. They’re rich, but less than couth, so no one talks about them.
So I would say it doesn’t happen. I think the Lannisters of Lannisport rake in quite a large income from port fees and tariffs, so there’s really no reason for them to marry into the merchant class. Unless it was for love, which would cause quite the scandal.
This is only tangentially related to your question, but for fanfiction purposes, I married Lynora Hill off to a wealthy Lannisport merchant with business dealings across Westeros and Essos. Obviously Lynora is a bastard of the Lannisters of Casterly Rock and not the Lannisters of Lannisport, but I think acknowledged bastard daughters could make merchant marriages, provided there were certain incentives for the merchant.
Imagine you own a dating website called Match16.com (I checked; it doesn’t exist). Because you’re so smart and popular and successful, every single person on Earth uses your website and will faithfully follow your dating recommendations. However, if you match everyone up, and there are two pairs of people such that person A from the first couple prefers person B from the second couple, and person B also prefers A, then A and B will elope and leave their former partners lonely. So don’t do that!
Another important note: the only distinguishing factor of a potential mate is their Myers Briggs type. Body type, age, languages spoken, race, sexual preference - none of these affect the chemistry between any two potential mates. Just mbti. Got it? Great.
So here’s where it gets interesting, even with all of those convenient assumptions: ISFJs are super common, comprising roughly 14% of people, and ISTJs are not far behind. However, ISFJs are “ideally matched” with ESFPs, which make up a far smaller slice of the population. So when you run out of ESFPs, maybe you hook up the remaining ISFJs with ESTPs, their second best match? Well, if you do that, the poor ISTJs will have no one left, and the ESTPs that you paired with the ISFJs will prefer the ISTJs, who in turn will prefer the ESTPs. So that doesn’t work. Now what?
Well it turns out that this silly little conundrum is actually an extremely important problem to mathematicians - and not for the obvious reasons! Turns out that this problem - referred to as the Stable Roommates Problem - is part of a class of matching problems that shows up all over the place in really important ways. For example, a variant called the Stable Marriages Problem is used to match servers and clients on the internet, doctors to patients, and even design efficient markets, which is why the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2012 for an efficient way to solve this problem.
So, being a programmer myself, I quickly set to work coding up a little simulation of 100 representative people. 14 were ISFJs, 2 were INFJs, etc. I used mbti theory and a little bit of intuition to create preference lists for each of them. I think it’s too much to go into every single reason why I designed the preference lists the way I did, but here’s a quick explanation:
My preference list as an ENTP is as follows: INTJ INFJ INTP ENTJ ENFP ISTP ISTJ ISFP ENFJ ESFJ ESTP INFP ISFJ ENTP ESFP ESTJ
My reasoning in making this list is based solely on my type, so I think it’ll apply mostly to all ENTPs, and the same pattern should work for any other perceiver-dom. If you’re a judger-dom, however, I altered it slightly. If you’re an ESTJ, for example, instead of going to ISFP after ISTP, you go to INTP, because INTPs lead with the inverse of your first function, making them preferable to a feeler with whom you’d have much less in common.
Here’s the full chart:
Then, I ran the algorithm, dumped the data into Excel, and made this Radar chart to show the quality of the relationships. The 1′s mean that those types are paired to their ideal match, while the big numbers (like 14) mean that that type is with their 14th best match and thus are going to have a crappy relationship.
As you can see, most people are pretty happy. The island of death is relatively small, and includes several unhappy ENFPs. However, of all the types, I have the most faith in the ENFP’s ability to adapt to a relationship against which the odds are stacked, especially since these unhappy relationships are most frequently between two ENFPs. ISTJs are also among the unhappy spouses, and I think that ISTJs will leverage their patience and dedication to make the most out of a poor situation. The other types are paired with partners relatively close to optimum, so overall, people are quite happy.
This brings up an interesting question, though: Why is it that the frequency of types doesn’t correspond to the frequency of their ideal match type? Why must we have imperfect marriages at all? And how is it that there are so many ENFPs that they’re forced to unhappily consort with one another?
The best I can come up with so far is that ENFPs must be really good at relationships - so good that they can reproduce far more often than expected given their typology. So, uh, kudos to the ENFPs, I suppose? Or perhaps we should be mad that sociocultural influences idealize ENFP relationships so much that ENFPs are unhappily common? You decide.
Inspired from an excerpt from Nashiha Pervin “I thought marriage made a boy into a man. I thought marriage was supposed to be this magical thing that made every guy a better human-being. I thought that maybe, just maybe, if Ahmed was married to someone who had Allah in her heart and reminded him of Islam thay he would change into this incredible person. But marriage isn’t a miracle worker and I was not God.
And that was what I was learning. Love can spark interest. Love can cause two people to step into a relationship. Love can lead to marriage. But love cannot guide a soul to god if God has not chosen to guide that soul to Him. And I think all along I knew that. I just thought I’d be the exception.” - Words from @nashiha_pervin
Change cannot be brought by someone, but must come from one within himself. I need our elders to understand that matchmaking younger couples with this tactic in mind will only lead to disappointment for all three parties.
Hi! Do peasants in Westeros marry out of choice or through arrangement like nobles do?
According to GRRM, the smallfolk in Westeros can have arranged marriages:
Noble houses usually make marriages of convenience to build alliances. As a matter of fact, it’s a common practice not only among the noble class, but also among the middle class and even among peasants: If somebody has a piece of land, he marries his daughter with somebody who has an even bigger piece of land, in the hope that all that land will belong to his grandchildren some day. [SSM]
I think it depends largely on the (non-noble) family’s financial situation. For example, the daughter of one of Lannisport’s master goldsmiths might have her marriage arranged for her by her wealthy father, while a fieldhand’s daughter with zero assets might be free to marry for love. If GRRM chooses to be historically accurate regarding Westerosi peasant marriages, history seems to support my conclusion that arranged marriages are strongly correlated with familial wealth. For example, according to Brown University,
As a result of arranged marriages involving exchange of property, many couples did not wed for love, or even for sexual attraction. Marriages were not infrequently loveless, unhappy affairs and this frustration is reflected in a popular saying of the times: “No man marries without regretting it” (Richards, 34). Only among the lower classes did people marry consistently for reasons of love or sexual desire. In general, however, [arranged] peasant marriages were not common, as there was little need for a formal exchange of property among the poor.
Poor peasant women generally did not marry until much later than those of the upper class; as young children they began working to help provide for their families, and marriage would deprive poor peasants of a much needed worker. Love was a much more public affair in the lower classes. When a peasant woman did reach an appropriate age for courtship, she would most likely court a young man from the same village and would do so publicly. The couple would usually meet at markets and festivals, and according to recorded ballads the woman would be wooed with gifts of food, money and clothes. Marriage was simple and life was hard, but it seemed that the poor really could marry for love.
So I would say that arranged marriages can be found among all walks of life in Westeros, but marriages made for love are probably more common among the smallfolk (like Davos and Marya) than among the nobility. Which isn’t to say that marriages made for love don’t happen among very wealthy nobles; GRRM has said on more than one occasion that Tywin and Joanna Lannister married for love. But if you’re looking for love matches in Westeros, you’d probably have more success finding them among the peasantry, who have much less to worry about regarding property and inheritance.