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Author Topic: How eligible is Morgan, really?  (Read 8308 times)

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Offline AnnieUK

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How eligible is Morgan, really?
« on: May 24, 2010, 02:43:11 pm »
Just on my umpteenth reread of the Deryni Chronicles and something hasn't sat well with me for a while.

In DR and DC there is mention of various ladies lying in wait for Alaric at various functions with a view to being the next lady of Corwyn.  In DC the ladies in waiting (most) are saying that Bronwyn isn't good enough for Kevin because she is Deryni, and I wondered just how "eligible" a bachelor Alaric would actually be?

OK, he's a duke, and probably third or fourth most powerful/important man in the kingdom after the king, Nigel and (arguably) Ewan.  But even if he had caught the eye of a number of women (heck I'd have been there at the front shouting "pick me, pick me" a la Donkey in Shrek) but how would that have squared with their parents?  Can't imagine too many people of a status to have their daughter marry a duke who would be wild about the idea of Deryni grandchildren.  I can imagine the conversation - "Yes, he's handsome dear.  Step away from the scary Deryni person."  Wouldn't any family that allowed this alliance come under suspicion themselves?  I don't think there were any other openly Deryni nobility at the time (correct me if I'm wrong).

I got the impression that the reason he got away with marrying Richenda and her not being suspected of being Deryni having married him was that people assumed she was married off to him for Alaric to keep an eye on her and stop Brendan becoming a threat to the crown in later life.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 03:48:32 pm by AnnieUK »

Offline farhomer

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2010, 02:53:20 pm »
As far as the parents went he probably wasn't very eligible.  It also states in DC that the ladies liked Duncan, even though he was a priest.  The only reason a parent might agree to their daughter marrying Morgan was if they were in dire financial straights or closet "half'deryni" themselves or from an area of the 11 kingdoms that don't fear the deryni.

Offline Alkari

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2010, 07:39:16 pm »
Interesting question, especially as you'd think there may have been some subtle pressure on Morgan to marry and produce an heir as soon as possible.   The duchy had been without a duke for almost two generations, given that Alyce inherited at a young age from her mother, and then there was the regency for Alaric until he came of age.  

As for a half-Deryni not being 'desirable' in the eyes of parents - well, maybe I am a little more cynical or realistic about this.   ;)   Corwyn is obviously a rich duchy, and people are often willing to make some amazing compromises with their supposed consciences where money and power are concerned!   I suspect that the lure of wealth, rank and prestige as Corwyn's duchess would have been attractions that outweighed the drawbacks of being married to a Deryni for many women, and their parents.   Not to mention, of course, the distressing tendency of some RL women to marry men thinking that they can 'reform' them.   I could just see one or two of these women hoping that under their wifely influence, Alaric Morgan could be persuaded to reform by renouncing his powers and becoming a good son of the Church.

Another attraction for both possible wives and their families is the obvious benefits of Morgan's Royal Court connections: he had long been King Brion's closest friend and confidant.  The social status that would give any woman could not be ignored, and in 'The Knighting of Derry', Morgan himself mentions the benefits of royal favoritism.  

Certainly the Deryni factor may have weighed against him in some families, but I suspect that the main reason Morgan hadn't married was simply Morgan himself - he hadn't found the right woman.  He'd been very independent and self-assured from a young age, and I don't see him as a person who could be persuaded to marry a woman who wasn't his intellectual match and whom he didn't at least respect.   A bit of subtle Deryni truth-reading would certainly have shown him those women who were only after his money and his rank!  

« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 11:08:24 pm by Alkari »

Offline AnnieUK

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2010, 03:06:56 am »
Just started rereading ITKS and it had been without a confirmed duke for a lot longer than that.  I'd forgotten that the last "of age" duke they had was Duke Stiofan, who was Alaric's great great grandfather.  There was Ahern, Alaric's uncle, but I don't think he ever made it to the 25 he needed to be to be confirmed as duke (not got that far yet).  (Did the Statute of Ramos get changed before Alaric, or did Brion just go ahead and confirm his status at 14 anyway?)  Anyway, with the title going down the female line for so long you'd have thought there would be a heck of a lot of pressure on Alaric to secure the succession, otherwise it was going to go down a female line again through Bronwyn.

I agree though that he probably dug his heels in.  It hadn't even occurred to me (sad, eh) that he could truth read potential brides to see their motives. 

Offline Alkari

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010, 10:22:30 pm »
I was wondering about that 25 year age-limit too, AnnieUK.  Though maybe a king like Brion just quietly ignored it in practice, and allowed Morgan to have all due authority in the duchy anyway.   I'm quite sure that all the lords operating as his regents would have been more than happy to see their duke reach the age of majority and then knighthood.

As for truth-reading potential brides, it certainly would be a useful tactic for someone in Morgan's position!  But I also think it was very much that Morgan wanted more on a personal level than just a politically convenient marriage.   Despite the fact that we see a number of arranged marriages, he would have hoped for a relationship offering more than mere tolerance or 'affectionate convenience'.   His parents were obviously happily married, even if for much too short a time; he and Bronwyn grew up at Culdi, and we know from DC that Jared and Vera were very happily married.  His sister Bronwyn was going to marry for love; Nigel and Meraude are happily married, also a love match as we see from KKB, and there were also Brion and Jehanna.  

And being Alaric Morgan, he dug his heels in and managed to adroitly avoid / evade the approaches from all those other eligible ladies!  
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 05:41:16 am by Alkari »

Offline Shiral

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 01:45:41 am »
   

And being Alaric Morgan, he dug his heels in and managed to adroitly avoid / evade the approaches from all those other eligible ladies!   


Being   Morgan, he probably escaped more than one  unwanted match by playing the "sinister Deryni Duke" card and emphasizing why maybe he wasn't such a good catch for merely ambitious or greedy young ladies. Perhaps he even insinuated or suggested why deceiving him or trying to snare him was also a bad idea. Alaric was quite the rebel in his youth. ;) As a major peer in the realm, he would have been under pressure to secure his ducal succession, I'm sure.  I aso agree that he was surrounded by examples of emotionally healthy marriages and  he's the last man to allow himself to get shoved into a match he didn't want with a woman who coveted only the weath and power his status would give her. So fortunately, he held out for the right woman and so he and Richenda could have a good marriage together.

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Offline Alkari

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2010, 03:17:47 am »
Being  Morgan, he probably escaped more than one  unwanted match by playing the "sinister Deryni Duke" card and emphasizing why maybe he wasn't such a good catch for merely ambitious or greedy young ladies.

Indeed.  A tendency to dress all in black, wear light mail at even state functions, and rapidly produce a variety of hidden weapons when required, does tend to produce a suitably sinister impression ;D  

Though apart from mere 'good story' reasons, I must admit to being intrigued as to why Richenda's parents, both Deryni and with her mother's family coming from Andelon (relatively near Corwyn), didn't think that Morgan might be a suitable and very eligible match for their daughter, and try to introduce them.   Did Bran really initiate the match for property purposes, as Richenda suggests in HD?  Or were her parents motivated by fear that the status of Deryni was still too insecure to risk her marrying the openly Deryni Morgan?  Did they think that marriage to Bran and keeping her identity secret would protect her if there was another wave of anti-Deryni persecutions?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 05:46:43 am by Alkari »

Offline BalanceTheEnergies

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2010, 11:55:35 pm »
On top of everything else, the clergy might have something to say in the matter. Members of the nobility are somewhat closely related (Morgan and Duncan are related through their fathers as well as through their mothers). A Deryni-hating clergyman with sufficient clout could use a distant connection to veto a match on (spurious) grounds of consanguinity by refusing to grant a required dispensation.
Dubito ergo sum

Offline Alkari

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2010, 03:55:24 am »
But consanguinity is not an issue in the Alaric/Richenda match.  

The Church may have been a problem for prospective brides given its general attitude to Deryni, although I don't see that they could have prevented Alaric marrying at all.  Some of the more hardened opponents may have warned women about the risk of damage to their immortal souls if they married a Deryni, but it seems that this was not exactly a deterrent to Morgan's attractiveness to the ladies.  ;)   And I suspect more than a few of those ladies are rather / very jealous of Richenda - widow of a traitor who should have been in disgrace somewhere, and yet she just walks in and less than a year after Bran's death, she marries the most eligible bachelor in the kingdom apart from Kelson himself.  

I've sometimes wondered how much of the opposition which she experienced at first in Corwyn from Morgan's men may have been very subtly stirred up by a few jealous women. The men may have grumbled a bit at first, but she *is* very beautiful, and they probably would have just ended up muttering about Morgan's infernal luck in getting such a beauty, making a few crude jokes, etc etc.  The women might not have been so "appreciative"!  
  




Offline Evie

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2010, 09:38:54 am »
And being Alaric Morgan, he dug his heels in and managed to adroitly avoid / evade the approaches from all those other eligible ladies!  

Yep, I can see this too.  Just as Kelson did not too many years later.  I find myself laughing at Kelson sometimes.  "I want a match of the heart, not just a marriage of state."  Well, OK, but boyo, do you ever put yourself in situations where getting to know a lady well enough to cultivate a heart match is even possible?  Um, not so much!  It takes more than the occasional smile and wave at your fanbabe gallery during archery matches, you know, lad.  You've got to actually make an effort to talk to the lasses!  You know, ask them to dance once in a while.  Instead, before he finally settles down to his "You can make me marry Araxie but you can't make me like it!" courtship (thank God she was able to win him over anyway! She won serious brownie points with me for not smacking him upside the head! ), he seems to almost bend over backwards to flee all opportunities to get to know a girl better.  Makes me want to sit the young man down and say, "You know, faithfulness to the woman you love is a wonderful, honorable quality, but Rothana's already told you 'No,' so let's move on, dearheart...."

I think that being Deryni would scare some ladies away, but the sheer number of ladies' portraits being shoved across Kelson's desk at him would seem to indicate that it's hardly an insurmountable impediment.  Then again, Kelson is a King.  On the other hand, I'm still astounded that there aren't at least some stirrings of a match for Dhugal by the end of KKB.  I mean, you'd think a man who's Duke and Earl of a fairly sizable portion of northwestern Gwynedd would be making the Oksana Ramseys of the world swoon!  I can just hear them now, "Honey, if you can't manage to land in a Haldane's lap, you might want to consider that nice young Border Duke at Kelson's right hand...."  But not a whisper of that in the books yet (that I recall, at least), and it's definitely not because of Dhugal's lack of interest in the ladies!  Stealing kisses at the dance, indeed....  
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 12:41:37 pm by Evie »
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Offline wombat1138

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2010, 03:49:02 pm »
According to Sofiana, Richenda's marriage to Bran Coris was "outside our faith", though I didn't notice a definite cite in the "Histories" trilogy whether Sofiana is simply referring to a Torenthi-type Orthodox Christianity or to whatever the analogue of Islam is called. (The Torenthi ambassador with the big kitty was a practitioner of the latter, I think.) So there might've been some awkwardness from Richenda's family after all.

OTOH, I don't think Sofiana made any comments about Rothana signing up with the Latin-rite convent in Meara... though actually, I can't remember Sofiana saying *anything* about Rothana in the "Histories", which can't be right.

My thought is that Richenda's family had been quietly living as undercover Deryni for generations, maintaining a reputation among the nobility as good and loyal subjects-- maybe they just didn't want to draw attention to themselves by marrying a daughter to the most prominent Deryni in the kingdom, who at the time was gleefully lurking in black with an ominous air and a metaphorical target on his chest.

Offline Alkari

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2010, 07:02:57 am »
According to Sofiana, Richenda's marriage to Bran Coris was "outside our faith", though I didn't notice a definite cite in the "Histories" trilogy whether Sofiana is simply referring to a Torenthi-type Orthodox Christianity or to whatever the analogue of Islam is called.
....
My thought is that Richenda's family had been quietly living as undercover Deryni for generations, maintaining a reputation among the nobility as good and loyal subjects-- maybe they just didn't want to draw attention to themselves by marrying a daughter to the most prominent Deryni in the kingdom, who at the time was gleefully lurking in black with an ominous air and a metaphorical target on his chest.

I agree with you about her family keeping a low profile and living quietly as loyal subjects.  Indeed, in HD Kelson refers to reports that she and her family were always "the soul of Crown loyalty".   As such, there would be nothing to indicate to anyone that they could be Deryni, had Richenda married Morgan earlier.  Certainly, she would have been regarded with no more suspicion than any of those other very eligible ladies whom Morgan was so carefully avoiding! 

I suggest that her family was Christian, probably more of the Eastern Orthodox type, rather than the Deryni world's equivalent of Islam.  Richenda helped with the ceremony when they conferred Haldane powers on Nigel in TKJ, and Kelson tells Nigel that "The Warding was drawn partly from the tradition that Richenda grew up in.  Other than the Moorish elements that have crept in over the years, it's supposed to be fairly close to the form Camber might have used."   She certainly seems to fit in very easily with the normal religious observances in Gwynnedd - for example, we see her making her confession to Duncan after she tried to stop Bran taking Brendan in HD, there are references to her going to Mass, we see her at Mass and the St Camber chapel in KKB.   



Offline BalanceTheEnergies

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2010, 01:05:19 pm »
On the consanguinity matter: I did say "spurious" to describe the purported barrier. I can't imagine any well-placed clergyman would let the truth get in the way of a good story, especially if it thwarted an evil Deryni in some way. Such a person wouldn't balk at making up a tale out of whole cloth, possibly with forged documents to back it up. (People like that can justify breaking all the Commandments if the effect is to strike at the evil Others.) Even if it didn't ultimately stop the match, an investigation could buy time, perhaps for an assassination attempt or something else.

Alkari: I take your point in re the women of Corwyn. Women are often the arbiters of respectability.

As for the "outside our Faith" business of Richenda's marriage to Bran Coris, I expect there may be a difference of opinion among various family members. Some may stand on the distinctions between Latin Rite and Eastern Orthodoxy, while others will weigh other considerations and defend their views by pointing out, "There is but one Christ." If folk tend to marry their neighbours, and in that region, some of the neighbours are Orthodox, then interfaith marriages will happen. I seem to recall references to "Cardiel cousins" at a family gathering that included Sofiana, and Thomas Cardiel serves in the Latin Rite; perhaps his precedent explains the lack of uproar over Rothana's choice of convent?

And of course, Richenda's family likely preferred to keep a low profile. Any association with Morgan will bring with it the glare of attention. Since Richenda has a considerable and thorough training in arcana, it would've required some discretion on the part of the family to pass that training on without falling afoul of the Church authorities. While that was doubtless easier to manage in the east, there's still no point in courting attention and trouble. The family were Haldane subjects after all, and if they were Orthodox in religion, they might have had some trouble from the Latin Rite clerics dominant in Gwynedd. Torenth being largely Orthodox and such a long-term rival to Gwynedd, it would be easy to conflate religious and political loyalties, with troubling results.
Dubito ergo sum

Offline BalanceTheEnergies

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 09:05:03 pm »
Did the Statute of Ramos get changed before Alaric, or did Brion just go ahead and confirm his status at 14 anyway?

Quote
I was wondering about that 25 year age-limit too, AnnieUK.  Though maybe a king like Brion just quietly ignored it in practice, and allowed Morgan to have all due authority in the duchy anyway.

I think Brion changed the law, either generally or particularly for Alaric Morgan, in light of Morgan's service in the conflict against the Marluk. In Rising, when Morgan recalls being with Brion at the ruined Saint Neot's (the day Kelson was born), he recalls himself being in black and no longer Brion's squire, but duke in his own right. Perhaps Brion knighted him on the field and confirmed his title that day, with legislative action in council afterwards. Perhaps that will be covered in the upcoming sequel.
Dubito ergo sum

Offline Jerusha

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Re: How eligible is Morgan, really?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2013, 09:26:18 pm »
In Swords Against the Marluk, Brion confirmed Morgan as Duke of Corwyn after the battle. It was not in accordance to the Statutes of Ramos, but Brion did it anyway, in reward for service against the Marluk.  I suspect there will be more detail in CM3.  The knighting would have come later.  (I really want to read that story.)
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