Aenys died after ineffectually ruling for five years, and Maegor seized the throne ahead of Aenys's son Aegon, and continued to persecute the Faith. Maegor himself died without issue after ruling for six years, and was succeeded by Aenys's third son Jaehaerys. A wise and capable negotiator, King Jaehaerys I ended the eleven-year long Faith Militant Uprising by offering the Faith's leadership a compromise: they didn't have to praise the incestuous marriage practices of the Targaryens, they simply had to acknowledge it.
The Faith had been defeated militarily, but Jaehaerys's terms were generous including a complete grant of amnesty so long as the Faith Militant was disbanded , so they accepted the offer. Ever since, the Faith continued to officially consider brother-sister incest to be an abomination, but treated the Targaryens as exceptional due to their royal status. Meanwhile, the Targaryens continued to wed brother to sister for three hundred years whenever possible, though in some generations in which no daughters were born they did have to marry outside the family.
In fact, there were three successive generations of Targaryen kings - Daeron II , Maekar , and Aegon V - who all married outside the family.
Aegon V even tried discouraging further incestuous marriages but ultimately capitulated when his son and daughter, Jaehaerys II and Shaera, married without his permission. Even so, the Targaryens generally tried to marry within the family whenever possible, preferring to seek out cousins of the royal line rather than marry complete strangers. Such was the case when Rhaegar Targaryen married Elia Martell , as House Martell had entered into a marriage alliance with the Targaryens a century before and were thus cousins to the main line.
At several points the Targaryens intermarried with House Velaryon , a family in the Crownlands which was one of their original followers who escaped the Doom of Valyria. Given that they had already intermarried with the Velaryons before, each subsequent union was therefore with a cousin of some degree. Moreover, on certain occasions, the Targaryens would marry their nieces and nephews. Rhaenyra Targaryen 's second husband was actually her own uncle, Daemon Targaryen, her father's younger brother.
As far as is known, a Targaryen never outright tried to marry their own child, the way Craster the wildling did. Formal laws of Consanguinity do not appear to be as strict in the Seven Kingdoms as they were in the real-life Middle Ages. The exact legal definition of incest in the Middle Ages has a long and complex history, but ultimately settled upon defining any relationship between third cousins or closer as incestuous.
In contrast, the common nobility of the Seven Kingdoms appear to have no restriction even on marrying first cousins. Tywin Lannister himself married his own first cousin, Joanna Lannister - her surname was already "Lannister" before they were married, as she was the daughter of a younger brother of Tywin's own father, Tytos Lannister.
Nor is this a peculiarity of House Lannister, as members of House Tyrell have also married their first cousins: Mace Tyrell 's younger sister Mina married her own first cousin Paxter Redwyne. Mace and Mina's mother Olenna Tyrell , born Olenna Redwyne, is the sister of Paxter's father and thus his paternal aunt. Even House Stark has been known to practice first cousin marriage, in the not too distant past: the parents of Eddard Stark himself were first cousins once removed, Rickard Stark and Lyarra Stark.
Lyarra's surname was "Stark" even before she was married. Even Beyond the Wall , incest is considered an abomination. Wildling men prefer to take wives from far-away villages rather than from their own village and clan, and it is considered a great sin to marry relatives. The Old Gods of the Forest, worshiped by both the Free Folk and the Northmen, don't have as many formal rules as the Faith of the Seven, but their religion still maintains a few fundamental social prohibitions, one of which forbids incest.
While the wildlings have no knowledge about genetics, they believe correctly that inbreeding may result in weak and sickly children. Thus what Craster is doing with his daughter-wives is considered an abomination even by the other wildlings, and not remotely acceptable behavior by their own standards. The views regarding avunculate marriage - between an uncle and a niece or an aunt and a nephew - might differ between the Faith and the Old Gods.
This is a closer degree of kinship than first cousin marriage an avunculate relationship shares on average one fourth of their DNA, compared to one eighth between first cousins. The Valyrians were known to wed uncle to niece or aunt to nephew if no siblings were available: Maegor forcibly wed his half-niece Rhaena , and Rhaenyra married her uncle Daemon. And although the High Septon strongly protested against a marriage between Prince Maegor and Rhaena though the protest was mainly due to Maegor's practice of polygamy , in the north, Serena Stark had been wed to her half-uncle, Edric, while her sister Sansa Stark had also been wed to her half-uncle Jonnel Stark.
The Targaryens were also open to aunt-nephew marriage: Daenerys speculates that had her eldest brother Rhaegar's son Aegon lived to rule as Aegon VI, she probably would have been married to him as a political match and thus, potentially, Daenerys would have no reservations about marrying her own nephew Jon Snow - Rhaegar's secret son by Lyanna Stark - to secure a political alliance. Aegon, who is revealed to be alive in the fifth novel, plans to marry Daenerys, and does not see anything wrong about that, too.
In real life, avunculate marriage was sometimes allowed with special compensation in medieval Christianity, Judaism, and others. Among the Ancient Greeks, King Leonidas of Sparta was married to Gorgo - his own half-niece, though the Spartans explicitly considered this to not be incest, but marriage to a full niece to be incest incidentally, Gorgo was played by Lena Headey in the film adaptation of George R. Martin explained that the Targaryens' incestuous marriages are inspired by Ptolemaic Egypt BC.
Cleopatra herself, last of the Ptolemaic Dynasty, was the product of incestuous marriages: her father's parents were brother and sister, and her mother's parents were an uncle and niece she also nominally married her own under-aged brother. Like the Targaryens, the Ptolemaic dynasty practiced incestuous marriages in an effort to "keep the bloodline pure". Martin said he did this because he was intrigued by the effect heavy inbreeding would produce in the Targaryens: accentuating both their values and their flaws, as genius and madness can be two sides of the same coin.
The medieval Catholic Church initially imposed restrictions on a person marrying their relatives to the seventh degree, but later at the Fourth Lateran Council in changed this to within four degrees. This does not refer to "seventh cousins" or "fourth cousins". The old Roman method for reckoning degrees of relationship was to count "acts of generation", thus a person is one degree away from their parents, two degrees away from their grandparents, three degrees away from their uncles, and four degrees away from their first cousins.
Thus it was forbidden to marry blood relations up to a second cousin once removed or a first cousin thrice removed , but third cousins could marry.
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After the barbarian invasions, however, a new complication arose, in that the Germanic system of reckoning blood relatives was different from the Roman system. The Germanic system was based on how many parental generations back two people possessed a common ancestor: siblings share common parents so they are only one degree removed instead of two degrees as under the Roman method , and first cousins are two degrees removed from each other, as their closest shared relatives are their grandparents instead of being four degrees away as under Roman law.
The problem that arose from this change is that while the method for reckoning degrees of blood relationship had changed, the strict wording of the Church's laws restricting marriage "within seven degrees" was not updated to take into account the fact that the definition of what a "degree" was had changed.
As a result, everything up to marriage between sixth cousins was considered forbidden - which was practically impossible to avoid. But Freud had a wet-nurse , and may not have experienced the early intimacy that would have tipped off his perceptual system that Mrs.
Freud was his mother. The Westermarck theory has out-Freuded Freud. Some sociologists and anthropologists have criticized the validity of research presented in support of the Westermarck effect and the contention that it serves as an ultimate demonstration for the viability of natural selection theory in explaining human behaviour. For example, a study by Eran Shor and Dalit Simchai demonstrated that although most peers who grew up closely together in the Israeli kibbutzim did not marry one another, they did report substantial attraction to co-reared peers. The authors conclude that the case of the kibbutzim actually provides little support for the Westermarck Effect and that childhood proximity cannot in itself produce sexual avoidance without the existence of social pressures and norms.
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Jesse Bering cites several studies that seem to contradict the standard view of the Westermarck effect as an innate learning process; instead, it may be a cultural phenomenon. People seem to have sexual preferences toward faces that resemble their parents' or their own. If correct, this would suggest that Freud's idea of the Oedipus complex had some merit to it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations.
November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Incest: A Biosocial View.
Studies in anthropology. New York : Academic Press. American Journal of Sociology. Scientific American. Retrieved 18 September Accidental incest Avunculate marriage Child incestuous abuse Consanguine marriage Cousin marriage notable cases in the Middle East Covert incest Incest between twins Parallel and cross cousins Snokhachestvo. Frank Prohibited degree of kinship Ten Abominations.