"Yesterday, my mom and dad told me I was getting engaged to the grandson of my grandfather's best friend. We're Japanese-American so it wasn't that unusual. So today I met my new fiancee and realized that it was the same guy that I spent 3 hours with on Facebook, debating whether Pokémon was better than Yu-Gi-Oh!. I think it's fate."No one likes an Arranged Marriage, especially those so betrothed. They'll rip their clothes, gnash their teeth and swear to... was that them necking in the atrium? Despite their initial opposition, the couple who have been betrothed discover they not only like each other, but love each other, and make it perfectly clear that even if they weren't in an arranged marriage they'd still choose to marry or at least start dating. Drama being what it is, you can expect their earlier attempts to undo the arranged marriage will mature and succeed, and their parents set them up with a new fiancée or fiancé that they do hate. Expect one or the other to have to swallow their pride and come out and say they do love the other. A variant is that both meet outside of the home environment (before or after the declaration) without immediately recognizing each other. Maybe they ran away from home entirely, only to happily embrace "a fellow in misery" — and later commiserate about their bossy parents. Eventually, once they recognize one another, their shared common ground helps them fall in love. Sometimes this perfectly arranged marriage doesn't come about randomly, but intentionally by parents, like a Batman Gambit scenario. One or more of the parents involved who knows both well enough has arranged the marriage since both are highly compatible and could naturally fall in love. In fact, this is the purpose of an 'arranged marriage' in the first place. It is akin to a matchmaking service, and the couple will generally have some sort of courtship before tying the knot, and it's very rare for someone to be forced to marry a person they despise. Even a Gold Digger would want a decent relationship if for no other reason than to help in securing the knot. In other cultures however, especially feudal societies, marriages would be struck between noble houses to secure alliances, build power, get closer to the throne, etc. In cases like this, the couple's individual romantic tastes are a very low priority, as they see the marriage as a duty to their families. But then it turns out they love each other after all. This trope is frequently used as a justification for the use of the Arranged Marriage and Altar Diplomacy tropes to audiences with Western sensibilities, who are often uncomfortable with the concept of forced marriage. It's not a violation of free will if both want to get married, after all. Compare Marriage Before Romance for when a couple has gone through with a marriage for other reasons than love and only then starts to develop feelings for one another. Expect a lot of arguing and bickering to contrast with the more idealised love story of the unwed protagonists, ending in a big Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moment, to the surprise of everyone, most of all themselves.
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Anime and Manga
- Ai Yori Aoshi is this without the Slap-Slap-Kiss start. The difference occurs because the families had annulled the arranged marriage before the plot even began, and they felt otherwise. Slap-Slap-Kiss wouldn't really be funny in the guy's case due to the Abusive Grandfather.
- In Black Butler, 10 year old Ciel has an Arranged Marriage with his cousin Elizabeth. Interestingly enough, even from the beginning there's no objections or Slap-Slap-Kiss from either side, and both of them take it as being natural and are rather fond of each other. Of course, they are only kids...
- It ought to be noted as well that three years later in the manga, despite all the awful things that happened to Ciel that left him orphaned, abused, atheist, and a little too grown up for his age, Ciel's love for Elizabeth is even stronger. And she does her best to protect him, now what she has taken a level in badass.
- Shaman King, between Yoh and Anna. She, at least, is definitely in love with him (she comes right out and admits it at least once, although not to Yoh's face). Yoh's feelings, while a little more ambiguous, definitely include affection for Anna (albeit mixed in with a healthy dose of fear). During the Osorezan Revoir Arc -where we see Anna and Yoh's first meeting- it's explicitly shown that it was Yoh who was the first to fall in love. By the second half of the manga we see just how much Yoh cares for Anna; he puts her above everyone else he knows. For example, when the X-Laws tell him to quit the Shaman Fight in exchange for bringing Ren back to life, he starts off by thanking everyone else for helping him get that far, then apologises to Anna and Anna alone, even though there were others who would have been disappointed, because one of his reasons to become Shaman King was a promise made to her.
- In Maison Ikkoku, Shun Mitaka is introduced to Asuna Kujou by way of an omiai arranged by his uncle. She is head over heels in love with him. He, on the other hand, objects strongly to the union at first, partially because he is in love with Kyouko, but also because of her large number of dogs, of which he is deathly afraid. However, after accidentally proposing to her due to a misunderstanding, he warms up to the idea a bit more, and eventually falls in love and marries her.
- Yura Kawada and Makoto Onoda, the main couple in Futari Ecchi. In a variation, the relationship is arranged via a matchmaking service.
- In Basilisk, Gennosuke Koga and Iga-no-Oboro's betrothal is arranged in order to put an end to the long-standing war between their respective families. Conveniently, they both fall in Love at First Sight (as kids, in the anime; as adults, in the manga). Later, things go straight to hell And they end up Together in Death.
- In a sort-of variation, it's mentioned in the manga that Gennosuke actually was not the first option for Oboro. Her grandmother Ogen had thought at first of engaging Oboro to her second-in-command, Tenzen Yakushiji, but decided against it since she didn't fully trust him. Considering that Tenzen turned out to be a ninja version of the Evil Chancellor and the series' specially cruel and sadistic Big Bad, she was right. Obviously, that didn't stop him from trying to get Oboro as his puppet bride after Ogen's death.
- Mai-Otome goes through the setup for this with Mashiro and Takumi - both escape from an arranged meeting that Mashiro's staff hopes will lead to better things and meet incognito in the poor side of town. Mashiro is definitely crushing big-time on Takumi by the end - and then he gives a scathing critique of her performance as queen, and his aides announce that the purpose of the visit was to announce the complete isolation of Takumi's kingdom.
- Played with in The Vision of Escaflowne, with Princess Millerna Sarah Aston and Prince Dryden Fassa. She and Dryden are a mild version of Belligerent Sexual Tension as Millerna's put off by his Rich Idiot with No Day Job facade and Dryden is a snarky Guile Hero. (Not to mention Milly has a huge crush on Allen). They grow fond of each other as the series advances, and then they get married - and then the trouble starts. And when it's all solved, Dryden calls off the engagement: he cares for Millerna, and might be in love with her at that point, but he feels he still has to work hard to become truly worthy of marrying a girl like her.
- Used in 70s shoujo manga Haikarasan Ga Tooru, where the Hanamura and Ijyuin clans arrange a marriage between Benio Hanamura and Shinobu Iijyuin before they were even born. Plucky Girl Benio refuses the idea at first, but when she sees that Shinobu is a genuinely Nice Guy who does care for her, she starts falling for him. And then, they become Star-Crossed Lovers. Until the Bittersweet Ending, that is.
- There's also a variant in this: Benio and Shinobu's engagement was arranged as a sort-of compensation for a love match that couldn't be consummated, between Benio's now-deceased grandfather and Shinobu's beloved grandmother that raised him instead of his parents. Therefore, Shinobu initially accepted the arrangement more calmly than Benio because he wanted to fulfill a promise to his grandma that was made decades ago, and then he met Benio and fell for her genuinely.
- Teharu Kosukegawa in Change 123 finds out that his father has engaged him to marry the daughter of the man who saved him from a bear. Kosukegawa, who is already in a close relationship with Motoko (Multiple Personalities notwithstanding (they're even helping)), and naturally goes up to the country to politely turn her down. Until the girl in question turns out to be Motoko.
- The premise of the series Sore wa Totsuzen, Unmei no Aite ga or Suddenly, the Marriage Partner Showed Up. In the near-future, a Japanese government organization called the Coupling Center proposes matches based on genetic compatibility. A person has the right to turn down a coupling, but no protagonist has done so yet. The Pilot chapter was about a sibling pair determined to have superior genetic compatibility, and the series seemed determined to address the very real issues of such a system making matches that violated existing social mores and personal psychology, but after that it slipped into more conventional romance fare with other couples, using the Coupling Center as a plot device to shortcut past Cannot Spit It Out territory and other romantic obstacles. (The brother/sister pair are shown still struggling with so much as a kiss in their Distant Finale epilogue of volume 1, at least, making it clear they haven't been able to overcome the Westermarck Effect yet.)
- Juda and Alexandra in Anatolia Story... sorta. When Ilbani sees how well the two are getting along, he checks that Juda's legal spouse died in the plague and then decides to arrange for the two to be officially wed. Side materials confirm that the two were very Happily Married.
- Macross 7: Possibly Mylene and Gamlin. It's pretty clear that Gamlin loves Mylene and would have no problems with marrying her. Mylene, for her part, likes Gamlin well enough, but it's an open-ended question (including to herself) whether she loves him or not. Another complication to the matter is that Mylene is, at the end of the series, a mere 15 years old, and really isn't too interested in thinking about marriage just yet.
- The Wallflower: local bishonen lady killer Ranmaru has wealthy parents who set him up in an arranged marriage. He initially tries to get out of it by making the bride to be, Tamao, hate him. Though he could easily just break off the engagement himself, its pretty clear he has no intention of doing so and as the story progresses it seems he really does develop genuine feelings for her.
- It helps that she just might be the only woman alive who is willing to love him despite his ladykiller antics. Heck she might be the perfect match for Ranmaru because she may be too innocent or otherwise strong willed to be thrown off by Ranmaru's usual antics. Ranmaru himself is affected by this as the only time he ever seems to show any guilt about his womanizing is when he's forced to see how it hurts Tamao.
- One Piece plays with the trope.
- An Arranged Marriage is set up between "Black Leg" Vinsmoke Sanji, roped against his will, and Big Mom's 35th daughter, Charlotte Pudding, The two are perfect for each other, with Love at First Sight on both parts, similar tastes, and the groom's charms and gentlemanly behavior immediately work on the Nice Girl bride. However, there are some major problems: first Sanji is a member of the Straw Hats and doesn't want to leave his crew and dreams behind, and second the other person who arranged the marriage is Sanji's very abusive Archnemesis Dad Vinsmoke Judge. Since simply backing off the marriage isn't an option because of the parties that organized it, the bride decides to sacrifice her happiness with her groom-to-be to help him escape... but the groom, whose Parental Substitute and True Companions are being threatened if he doesn't comply and loves his bride a lot, rejects this when she not only learns of his Dark and Troubled Past, but brings up the matter directly to him. Only time will tell what will happen with these two. Unfortunately for Sanji, Pudding is evil while acting like sweet and is in fact planning to kill him along with the rest of the Vinsmoke family just so Linlin can take away their cloning technology. Perfectly Arranged Marriage? It was a Honey Trap... Fortunately, after a short Heroic B.S.O.D., Sanji keeps his Nerves of Steel and decides to return to the Straw Hats to fight back, soon finding out Pudding's heartbreaking reasons to be the way she is. And a while later, Pudding is actually falling in love with Sanji, as he was among the first persons who truly treated her well.
- Big Mom's other daughters, Praline and Chiffon. Praline is head over heels in love with Aladine, and Chiffon and Bege are deeply devoted to each other and their child Pez. The marriages Big Mom arranged for them are so happy, in fact, that they're willing to betray Big Mom for their husbands.
- An earlier arc in Ouran High School Host Club featured two students in an arranged marriage to seal a business alliance between their families. However, they do already love one another: the boy is an Insecure Love Interest who wants to go abroads so he can be more appealing to his girlfriend, but said girlfriend is hurt because he made the decision without consulting her. Of course, the Host Club can't help but make sure the misunderstandings get cleared up... using the most convoluted means as possible.
- Gambit and his ex-wife Bella Donna Boudreaux met when the two were both eight years old before they would be betrothed to one another to end the feud between the Thieves' and Assassins' Guilds. The two became best friends naturally and deeply loved each other. Gambit only left her behind because he didn't want to take her away from everything and everyone she loved.
- Doctor Strange's manservant Wong was betrothed as a child to a girl who wasn't even born yet. Nevertheless, he has no problem falling in love with Imei once they meet, though she dies before they can get married.
- This happened with the former king and queen Maximillian and Alicia Acorn in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. This was a case of Because Destiny Says So, since the Acorn family consulted with The Source of All to decide who the royal family should marry.
- The main characters of Terms Of Engagement have this. Saito realizes how perfect the match is when he finds out his fiance Tokio has spent the fic disguised as two different people, secretly terrorizing him and his best friend, running a spy ring and executing a Batman Gambit.
- Child of the Storm has Frigga mention that she and Odin are this, despite the age gap, once she realised that most of the gruffness was a front.
- Chapter 10 of a Detective Conan fic, 30 Hugs: Heiji and Kazuha. In a slight variation, they had the Slap Slap part down just fine, but it wasn't until after they found out about the marriage that they realized the Kiss part sounded pretty nice too. They still freaked out about it immediately upon realization, but calmed down and came to their senses eventually.
- In Through A Diamond Sky, it's implied that Tron and Yori were "bundled" as one of these when their Users decided to team them up. Of course, it kinda helped that their Users became Happily Married.
- In Blind, a Naruto Fan Fic, 99% of arranged marriages with a Hyuga end up this way. How you ask? Well, the bride and groom are told at the age of 3 who they're arranged to marry but told that the other person doesn't know. They then have the option of trying to win the other person's love but have until they are 15 as they have to tell their spouse about the arrangement and when they're 16 they marry whether there is love or isn't. Many chose former.
- There are a lot of Éomer/Lothíriel fanfics running around to the tune of this trope.
- In Harry Potter and the Restored Legacy, by Crossoverpairinglover, Lucius and Narcissa are described to be this way....unlike most fanfics where it is definitely not.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia fanfiction, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise is described as such by the fans of the Austria/Hungary couple. If not, well, either of them will be subjected to Die for Our Ship. (Most frequently Austria.)
- In the A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic Ned Stark Lives, where Ned Stark isn't executed by Joffrey, Robb Stark returns to the Twins to fulfill his marriage pact as part of the agreement made to stop the Lannister siege of Riverrun. He is extremely apprehensive at first, given that the Freys tend to be physically unattractive and that he had no say in the matter, but when he meets Roslin Frey, his squire's sister, he falls for her. The marriage goes along very well, even though the Freys were planning to betray the Starks just moments ago, and only stopped when Walder Frey became aware of the inevitable backlash that would happen.
- In the Code Geass Alternate Universe Fic Mosaic, Suzaku married Euphemia for political reasons, but that doesn't stop the couple from loving each other.
- In Our Blades Are Sharp, Lord Bolton sends his son Domeric at Winterfell hoping for a betrothal with Sansa Stark. They hit it pretty well, which pushes Ned Stark to agree to the match. Of course, they still have to marry, and this being Westeros...
- Robb Stark and Myrcella Baratheon have shades of this, with Robb trying to write bad poetry to the princess and Myrcella daydreaming about Robb crowning her Queen of Love and Beauty. As with the above, unfortunately, there is no guarantee about a wedding at the end of the line.
- In no matter how bright a torch may burn, Peggy Sue Sansa-in-Cersei, knowing that not all of the royal couple's marital issues came from Cersei, has a painful chat with Robert, who believes this trope was in effect with him and Lyanna Stark. Sansa proceeds to deconstruct this outlook and forces him to acknowledge that in the end he didn't really know Lyanna, and that had she survived, he would not have been satisfied with her either. Her devotion pays off, and later their relationship improves, first in appearance, then in private, until they start moving closer to the trope, with Robert as the gregarious, approachable king and Cersei as the quiet, devout and clever queen.
Films — Animated
- In Corpse Bride, Victor is apprehensive about being put into an arranged marriage... until he actually meets his bride-to-be, Victoria, and finds her gentle intelligence very appealing.
- Disney's Sleeping Beauty. "Father, you're living in the past. This is the Fourteenth Century!" declares Prince Phillip. Luckily the girl he met in the woods turns out to be the princess he's promised to. It works with the princess herself as well. Aurora aka Briar Rose is rather understandably devastated when she finds out about her arranged marriage to Prince Phillip (and not to mention that the poor girl has just found out that she's a princess, meaning her whole life up until then was a lie), until she discovers that Prince Phillip and that nice guy she met in the forest are the same person. The True Love's Kiss that Phillip gave Aurora to wake her up certainly helped.
- In The Lion King, Simba and Nala both recoil a bit when they're told that they were betrothed when they're children. Simba's initial reaction has nothing to do with not liking Nala (they're best friends, after all), and everything to do with him apparently being at the Girls Have Cooties age. The cubs also bring up the point that, because they're best friends, it would be "too weird." However, neither makes much attempt to foil the marriage, as Simba goes into self-imposed exile for unrelated reasons long before it becomes an issue. When they meet again as adults, they follow the rest of the trope to the letter.
- The Swan Princess toys with this. Prince Derek and Princess Odette, the heirs of two neighboring kingdoms, are betrothed to each other by her widowed father and his widowed mother, who are good friends and want to unite their realms. Forced to spend every summer together, the two generally dislike each other and have to be physically forced into the same space. Then one day they meet each other after puberty, and it's Love at First Sight. Derek demands that the wedding be arranged, but when Odette asks him why, he replies that she's beautiful...and when she asks "What else?" he replies, "What else is there?" (cue the mass Face Palm from the guests.) Odette promptly refuses to marry him, but they are happily married in the end, so the trope is ultimately played straight.
- Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights: In the gender-flipped version of Aladdin, the Prince was supposed to marry the Princess of Serendibe but she disappeared back when she was a little girl. Aliyah-Din was eventually revealed to be the lost Princess.
- The marriage in the end of The Legend of Su-Ling. Su-Ling didn't know that Chang was actually the Emperor's son and was angry about being forced to marry him. Chang also didn't know that his father was forcing him to marry Su-Ling and he returned home so that the peasants wouldn't suffer his father's wrath. When they both saw each other, it worked out just fine.
- The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina: The title characters (not their names at the time) were betrothed as babies...Well that was lucky, wasn't it! They even had a backup just in case one came home but not the other.
Films — Live-Action
- The first of the Sisi movies with Romy Schneider and Karl Boehm describes Sisi and Franz's love deals as this, as the Lonely Rich Kid Emperor is fascinated by the Manic Pixie Dream Girl lead female who comes as her Proper Lady older sister/his betrothed's travel companion. She's smitten back with him, but is reluctant to accept his feelings because she doesn't want to hurt her beloved older sister, so he plays a small Batman Gambit to get her engaged to him instead and, after Sisi is a bit more comfortable in the imperial court, they get married. In Real Life however, things weren't exactly that way: Sisi never got used to the strict etiquette and that badly affected her, both had affairs, two of their children died, and even after their relationship was somewhat more stable - Sisi was stabbed to death in Switzerland, and Franz never got over it.
- Inverted in the fantasy film Krull, where the hero and his girlfriend are the children of two rival kings who choose to marry against their fathers' wishes to form an alliance against the movie's Big Bad; inverted because the kids arrange it instead of the parents. The princess gets kidnapped during the wedding and the hero goes off to save her. Their love turns out to be the final weapon that offs the main villain.
- Emperor Pu Yi and Empress Wang Rong are described as such in The Last Emperor, since Pu Yi says that his dream girl is "a modern wife who could follow the new dances and was educated outside China" and she fits in perfectly. It doesn't last.
- Not exactly marriage, but in My Sassy Girl the male lead puts off his aunt's attempts to introduce him to her late son's former girlfriend because he is already interested in the female lead. The female lead meanwhile has been putting off meeting her dead boyfriend's cousin at his mother's request because of her budding interest in the male lead. At the end of the movie it's revealed that the male lead's aunt is the female lead's dead boyfriend's mother. This startling coincidence convinces the pair to give their romance another chance.
- In a bit of a roundabout way in Catching Fire/Mockingjay. President Snow does not arrange Peeta's and Katniss' marriage per se, but they know they will have to play the role of lovebirds for the rest of their lives unless they want the Capitol to punish them (and murder their friends and family), so marriage will be inevitable. Katniss suggests the marriage in the hopes of appeasing Snow a bit and Peeta very reluctantly agrees to it (he's in love with her, but doesn't want her to marry him because she has to). In the end, she marries him out of genuine love, and they live as happily ever after as a pair of deeply traumatized young adults can.
- A Brother's Price has examples of this, in an unique way, as the marriages in the book are not arranged by the parents (who are asked for their opinion, though) but by the brides (plural). One sister may be in love, she will then talk to her sisters, and if the majority of them agrees, the wedding takes place. Can result in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage for the sister who were not in love initially, but doesn't always..
- Occurs twice in the Realm of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb; in both cases a Farseer prince was engaged to a foreign princess to secure an alliance and the couple ended up falling in love. The second one ended quite well, the first one less so.
- In Rick Griffin's Ten Thousand Miles Up all marriages on the Generation Ship White Flower II are bureaucratically arranged, but main character captain Ateri and his wife Jakari are very much in love with each other.
- In "The Riftwar Cycle'', Prince Arutha is head over heels over Princess Anita, and is extremely lucky that their marriage is also extremely politically beneficial for the Kingdom.
- Of course, in this case the marriage wasn't technically arranged. Their fathers had been considering arranging said marriage, but then the Riftwar broke out and they found themselves occupied with that and never got around to actually betrothing their children before they both died. Arutha proposed to Anita on his own initiative after the war ended.
- In The Belgariad, this crops up frequently Because Destiny Says So... Destiny being a Sentient Cosmic Force of Prophecy who likes to reward cooperation:
- Garion and Ce'Nedra are foreordained by fate and betrothed by a five-hundred-year-old treaty between their countries. True to the trope, they engage in quite a bit of Slap-Slap-Kiss, but also played with in that neither are told about the arrangementnote until after they get acquainted and fall in love anyway.
- Garion's ultimate ancestors Riva and Beldaran are another example: Beldaran's father Belgarath makes the arrangements to her considerable trepidation, but they fall in Love at First Sight and remain devoted to each other for the rest of their lives.
- Another notable case happens in Polgara's backstory. In order to alleviate the Arendish civil wars, it was necessary to wed off two teenaged members of opposing houses, who naturally hated each other. Polgara's solution was to lock them in a room together and wait 'til the shouting stopped and the giggling began'. It works; the couple emerges hand in hand apologizing for their previous behavior and stating their willingness to do their duty.
- Barak and Merel are introduced as a subversion: while Barak was thrilled to marry the object of his infatuation, she despised being forced into wedlock, and they turned out not to get along at all. Eventually double-subverted once Babies Make Everything Better (by the third baby, at least) and they sort out their differences.
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms does this for Liu Bei and Lady Sun (or Sun Shang Xiang in the period operas), despite the fact that it didn't turn out so well in actual history.
- Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality:
- In With a Tangled Skein, as Niobe and Cedric manage to sort out problems such as her being several years older and not fond of the prospect of marrying a man so much younger. With a bit of maturing by both parties and a dash of Rescue Romance, they settle into a happy albeit unfortunately short marriage.
- In Wielding a Red Sword, this is invoked. Mym and Rapture (prince and princess in India) are put in an arranged marriage by their parents, which allows them to hear each other's thoughts and feel each other's feelings, meaning they can't help but get to know each other. So they stay in different parts of the castle, thinking that putting some distance between them will lessen the effect. Not only does that not work, but they soon find out that there is a spirit/demon/creature thing that will terrorize the princess if she's away from the prince, and due to the castle's first effect, he feels her fear. And worst of all, by the time they finally come around and learn to love each other, the princess's nation falls out of favor with the prince's, and the prince's parents stick another princess in the castle with him so he can do it all over again. This time, he and princess #2 opt to escape.
- In Piers Anthony's Xanth book Roc and a Hard Place, the King of the Nagas and Grossclout, probably the most powerful of the non-planetary demons, arrange for the marriage of Princess Nada and Prince D. Vore. Knowing that both will object to the arrangement, they and Metria come up with the idea of plonking them in a tower of the floating cloud castle where Roxanne Roc is undergoing community service. The two combine their resources to escape, then kill a monster together once they hit Xanth proper, as Vore proposes to Nada. (The monster started the fight.) When Nada and Vore hear their parents had arranged the match already, and set them up, they almost call things off... but decide not to.
- Robert Louis Stevenson's The Black Arrow has a particularly good example. Joanna Sedley gets kidnapped from her first arranged marriage by the hero's Wicked Uncle, who intends to force her to marry the hero. The hero, Dick Shelton, ends up running for his life from outlaws with her, except that he doesn't know who she is and vice versa, and it's all very complicated and loaded with UST.
- Machado de Assis wrote a short about a couple falling in love with each other while teaming up to prevent their own Arranged Marriage.
- In The Mote in God's Eye, aristocrats Rod and Sally return from their expedition to the Moties to find they are being shepherded into an arranged marriage. Fortunately, they'd already fallen in love.
- In Warbreaker, Siri and Susebron fall in love. This is particularly surprising, given that he originally seems like an Evil Overlord and she's been sent to keep him from invading her country.
- In By Schism Rent Asunder, King Cayleb of Charis marries Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm in what was originally a cold-blooded political move to unite their kingdoms. When they finally meet, it is Love at First Sight.
- Prince Nahrmahn of Emerald and his wife Princess Ohlyvya were betrothed at a young age, and eventually ended up falling in love, much to their mutual surprise. (And benefit, as the practically-minded Ohlyvya tempers some of Nahrmahn's... more volatile characteristics.)
- Done deliberately with Irys and Hektor. They clearly like each other but both are unwilling to make a move due to the circumstances. Sharleyan decides to deal with it by making their arranged marriage a condition of the peace treaty between Charis and Corisande.
- The comedy/satire Leonce and Lena by Georg Bachner.
- In The Swans War trilogy, a marriage is arranged between Lady Elise and Prince Michael by their evil relatives. Both of them like each other very much when they meet and agree to do everything they can to avoid being forced to marry. That is because an alliance of their houses will empower their evil relatives even more and can produce a heir to the mythical, non-existent throne of the country, ushering in a devastating war.
- Signe and Guibor de Barbentain, in A Song For Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay. An unusual example, in that it is not supposed to please modern sensitivitities - all nobles are in arranged marriages, most of them polite and civil, some downright unhappy. Signe and Guibor are introduced as a true exception, an arranged marriage that also happens to be a lovematch. Of course, when they are introduced, Guibor has been dead for a year, and Signe is an old woman left with happy memories.
- In Kushiel's Legacy, Queen Ysandre de la Courcel married Cruarch Drustan mab Necthana because they loved each other. The fact that their marriage saved Terre D'Ange from an invading horde and restored Drustan to his throne is, in fact, coincidental.
- Llewelyn and Joanna in Sharon Kay Penman's Here Be Dragons.
- A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Eddard "Ned" Stark and Catelyn Tully. She was engaged to his older brother Brandon and he was (or at least was rumored to be) in love with a woman called Ashara Dayne. Brandon was killed as part of a mass execution that kicked off a war, and their marriage was hastily set up to keep a Stark-Tully alliance. They have six children (Well, Ned has six. Cat only has five) and are still having good sex as the first book starts.
- Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo, who unexpectedly become very close soon after their marriage and are quickly eager to start a family. (Though many claim it's more of a case of Stockholm syndrome than love)
- Also, Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey genuinely come to love each other, despite the wedding itself turning out... badly.
- Zigzagged with Joffrey Baratheon and Sansa Stark. It's set up as preteens, then Sansa genuinely falls for Joffrey. Then he showed his true colors by killing her father and everything went to hell, with Joffrey lavishing cruelties on Sansa whenever possible.
- Weirdly enough, Roose Bolton and Fat Walda Frey. Roose was allowed to pick whatever Frey girl he wanted when it came to choosing a bride, with the stipulation that he would receive the girl's weight in silver as dowry. Based on who Roose Bolton is, you wouldn't expect any marriage of his to turn out well. He even burns Walda's love letters when she writes to him. But by the fifth book, he mentions that he's "become oddly fond of [his] fat little wife," and their marriage actually seems quite happy.
- Tommen Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell get along famously, although due to the age difference (Tommen is eight and Margaery is sixteen) the relationship is totally devoid of any romance, with Tommen seeing her as more of a Cool Big Sis figure.
- So far, Trystane Martell and Myrcella Baratheon. Both are too young for their relationship to be romantic yet, but are said to be very close.
- Every arranged marriage, whether on the Roman or the Indian side, in the Belisarius Series.
- In Victoria Ugryumova's Doppelganger for the Jester, a political marriage between The Emperor and a Princess Classic turns out to be so happy for both parties that even his closest advisers wonder whether he is sick or something. His answer? "Gods, I can't believe I've fallen in love with my own wife." It doesn't end well.
- Lynn Flewelling's Tamir Triad offers us Duke Rhius and Princess Ariani (parents of the main character); as Rhius put it: "I was in love with Ariani and her brother was in love with my holdings.". Played straight since they deeply loved each other when they married. Then Ariani turned mad after her son was killed right after birth to save his twin sister and started hating her husband since he knew and allowed.
- Discworld: Lords and Ladies: It's not an arranged relationship, since they were already romantically involved, but it is literally an arranged marriage when Granny Weatherwax basically intimidates Verence into skipping the marriage proposal and going straight to the part where he sets a date for the wedding, sends out invitations, and gets the dress made without even consulting Magrat about it.
Magrat: It was all arranged! It was all set up before I even got here! I never had a chance to say yes or no!
Nanny: Well, what would you have said if you had had the chance?
Magrat: Well, I...
Nanny: You'd still be marrying the king today, would you?
Nanny: You do want to marry the king, don't you?
Magrat: Well, yes, but...
Nanny: That's nice, then.
- In The Long-Nosed Princess by Patricia Hallowell the eponymous Princess Felicity is arranged to marry the very handsome prince of a neighboring country but he rejects her insultingly at first sight breaking her heart. Not because she's fallen in love but because he's destroyed her self image. Later while on his way to court another princess he is attacked by Felicity's animal friends and she nurses him back to health. Why does he find himself thinking of Felicity constantly while courting the incredibly beautiful princess? And what is he going to do about that grinning fool of a Prince Harry who thinks he's going to marry Felicity?
- King Kelson of Katherine Kurtz Deryni series has truly rotten luck with his brides. His first marriage is a politically important match to a princess of a rival house who, better still, has been raised to regard him as hellspawn. Kelson is incredibly nervous but the girl is young and beautiful - and he is seventeen - so by the time the wedding day rolls around he's convinced he's falling in love and there are indications that the girl may be too. Unfortunately Kelson is widowed before the ceremony ends. In the next book he falls in love with a perfectly acceptable princess - who due to convolutions of plot is rendered politically impossible as his wife. It is she who arranges for Kelson to marry his final prospect, a cousin who is a really ideal match from the political point of view. At first Kelson, still desperately in love with the other lady, can hardly bear the thought of marrying elsewhere but as he gets to know Araxie better the marriage becomes less and less distasteful to him...
- In the 1632 series, Prince Ulrik of Denmark and Princess Kristina of Sweden are headed this way. They aren't in love yet (something to do with him being in his thirties and her being only nine), but they are very close. Another example is Ludwig Guenther and Emilie. Despite the disparity in their ages (he is in his fifties, she is 19), they are consistently presented as loving, mutually supportive, and politically on much the same page.
- John Moore's Heroics for Beginners has this with the main character and his love interest; they met and fell in love before her father started looking for a husband for her, and so she intentionally became cold and unpleasant to all other potential suitors to put them off. Mention is also made of another prince whose family refused to let him marry until he was thirty and then betrothed him to a six-year-old girl; ten years later, he is the most envied man on the continent.
- In Dune, Duke Leto Atreides' bound-concubinage to Lady Jessica is arranged by the Bene Gesserit as a means to get to the Kwisatz Haderach; Jessica was supposed to have a daughter who could be bred to a Harkonnen son and take the throne from there. However, Jessica and Leto do fall in love, and Jessica chooses to bear him an heir, Paul, who as it turns out is the Kwisatz Haderach—and that kicks off the whole epic.
- Additionally, the marriage of Count Hasimir Fenring to the Bene Gesserit Sister Margot, seems to have been quite happy despite having been arranged for political reasons (not genetic ones, however, as Hasimir is a "genetic eunuch"—sterile due to inbreeding).
- The prince in The Little Mermaid is told to marry the princess of a neighboring kingdom, but he wants to marry the lady who helped him at a temple It turned out that said lady was the princess, since she had been sent to live in the temple for a while. And ironically, the eponymous Little Mermaid made that happen by not letting him see her before she left, and thus lost the chance to marry him herself.
- In "Castle in the Air'', a former soldier asks Princess Beatrice to marry him as his Standard Hero Reward. She only refuses on the grounds that she's already been engaged to Prince Justin, but decides that the marriage was arranged without her consent and thus she'll go and marry the soldier, for love. At the end, it's revealed that the soldier was Prince Justin under an enchantment. He and Beatrice go on and get married.
- Not technically arranged, but in Orson Scott Card's Enderverse short story "Teacher's Pest" government agents manipulate Theresa and John Paul together, hoping that they'll get married and produce genius babies. They're smart enough to figure out what's happening, but, as John Paul says "even in cultures with actual arranged marriages, you're not forbidden to fall in love with your spouse."
- In the Honor Harrington novels, the Mesan Alignment arranges marriages as part of a centuries-old breeding program. They do make a point of trying to bring about this trope, probably because spousal murder would put a crimp in their plans. They certainly succeeded with Albrecht Detweiler and his wife Eveline.
- In The Curse of Chalion, Royesse (Princess) Iselle arranges her own marriage—for rather urgent political reasons—to the crown prince of a neighboring kingdom whom she's never seen, pausing briefly to collect the rumor that he is "well-favored" (which she cynically says people will say about any prince who isn't a perfect fright), before returning to more important practical considerations. When she finally meets him, they've practically already bonded over their shared love and admiration for the main character, Iselle's heroic secretary, and by the morning after the wedding, he observes that they look like a couple madly in love.
- Lampshaded in Words of Radiance, second book in The Stormlight Archive. Early in the book, Princess Jasnah of Alethekar begins to set up an Arranged Marriage between her student, Shallan, and her cousin, Adolin. When Adolin hears about this, he muses that letting somebody else pick a wife for him might be kind of relaxing, since Adolin is a Serial Romeo who's managed to offend every single girl in the royal court. Once they meet, it turns out they get on pretty well despite their personalities not being an obvious match.
- Shallan deals with the news fairly well, too: as the only daughter of a minor noble house, she had grown up assuming she'd end up in a political marriage of one sort or another. To find out her groom-to-be is, by most accounts, the most eligible bachelor in Alethkar is not too shabby.
- In Wraith Kings: Radiance, bride and groom are from drastically different races, consider each other ugly, and hate the idea of getting married. But their wit and Brutal Honesty about all of the above bond the two. Before vows are even spoken, they've reached an understanding.
“We’ll manage well enough together, Ildiko of Gaur.”
She briefly touched his shoulder. “I believe you, Brishen of Bast-Haradis.”
- Between Hannah and Daniel in The Queen's Fool, although it is a bit zig-zagged. First she doesn't want to marry at all and would rather stay at court when Daniel leaves to Calais. They exchange a few letters and she falls in love with him by the time she has to leave the court. They get married, but their relationship is poisoned by Daniel's mother and sisters, eventually resulting in her running away from him, only to realize that she really loves him when Calais is taken by the French, she escapes to Englans, and he gets captured.
- The Discreet Princess has one arranged by the villain. To explain; the Evil Prince's last wish is for his Prince Charming brother to marry the titular character and murder her as soon as they are alone. Once the misunderstandings are cleared up, the two enjoy a very long and happy marriage.
- The Hunger Games has the Capitol pressuring Katniss and Peeta into an engagement (and later on Peeta lies that they have gotten married in secret, with the audience buying it wholesale). In truth they are only together because the government demands it of them. However by the end of the series they are in love with one another and spend the rest of their lives together, eventually starting a family.
- The book "When Dimple Met Rishi" is based on this, with the two's parents arranging for them to meet at a summer conference.
Live Action TV
- The Golden Girls: Rose's cousin Sven is scheduled for an arranged marriage, but falls for Blanche instead. When the arranged bride shows up, she's a gorgeous Swedish girl, and he drops Blanche like a hot potato.
- George and Susan on Alien Nation, being former slaves, were paired up by an overseer.
- On Angel. Not exactly a marriage, but Cordelia's objections to her required ritual "com-shuk" with the "Groosalug" get a lot less strenuous once she gets a good look at him, and even less so once they start to talk. A very sweet (if eventually doomed) relationship results.
- Uther promises Arthur to Princess Elena, who comes with her father for the wedding. She is quite a nice person, even when unknowingly being possessed by a faerie. Arthur and her get along very well, but realize there is zero romantic attraction between them. They then mutually agree to call off the wedding and part amicably.
- After Guinevere is Mistaken for Cheating and banished from Camelot, Arthur becomes engaged to Princess Mithian on the rebound. She's beautiful, charming and witty. She effortlessly integrates herself at court and proves herself to be quite politically savvy. Their marriage will solve the land dispute between their kingdoms. They get along well and have plenty of things in common. In many ways she's designed to be a better match for Arthur than Guinevere, and had they met at any other time or place (or in any other story) they probably would have ended up Happily Married. But unfortunately for Mithian, Arthur comes to realize that he's still deeply in love with Guinevere, and can't bring himself to give her up - not even for the perfect woman.
- Rome: Jocasta's family are killed in a mass proscription set up by Antony and Octavian, leaving her with nothing. She is subsequently married off to Posca, a former slave of Julius Caesar. Posca's relationship with Caesar has left him wealthy and influential, but his ex-slave status (which causes him to still be looked down on in Roman society) and the fact that he is far older than her means Jocasta is scared and in tears at the thought of marrying him. Posca, however, proves to be a doting husband and Jocasta becomes very visibly fond of him.
- Downton Abbey: Sort of. There is no arranged engagement between Mary and Matthew, but her parents and grandmother seem to think it would be awfully convenient if they fell in love. They Do , but can't be together for various reasons until they get engaged during the Series 2 Christmas Special.
- In the backstory, Lord and Lady Grantham are themselves a quasi-example: although there was no direct arrangement between their families, Robert married Cora for her money and her money alone. Cora loved Robert from the beginning, and Robert quickly grew to feel the same towards her, to the point where he became deeply ashamed of his initial motivations. By the time we meet them, they're clearly happy together.
- Game of Thrones:
- It's revealed in "Game Of Thrones S 5 E 6 Unbowed Unbent Unbroken" that although Myrcella Baratheon was shipped off to Dorne for a marriage alliance — or rather, to keep House Martell from marching against House Lannister — by this episode she is very much in love with Trystane Martell who reciprocates that love. Too bad for them then that the families' feud isn't over...
- By "Lord Snow," Daenerys and Khal Drogo seem pretty damn happy together.
- According to the History and Lore videos, Catelyn Tully believed she would have this with Brandon Stark, who she was initially betrothed to. She ended up having this with his younger brother Ned when Brandon was murdered as their although their marriage was political, they're mostly very compatible (but not without a major setback at the beginning when Ned brought home another woman's child, though it later turned out that the child wasn't even his and he wasn't guilty of adultery - but she eventually got over this "adultery" anyway and after that their marriage was pretty smooth sailing).
- Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey appear to be this at first, but it gets subverted when it turns out the Freys are just invoking this trope to catch their guests off guard.
- How Sansa initially views her engagement to Joffrey. In Season 3, Sansa thinks that Loras would be an ideal husband for her when they're betrothed.
- John and Esme are married off to one another on Peaky Blinders in order to bring their families together and stop an all-out war. John is none too pleased when he first finds out, but doesn't mind much when he sees that Esme is beautiful. They seem quite happy together after a little while, and genuine love one another.
- The Shannara Chronicles: Played with in season 2. Princess Lyria's mother suggests she marry King Ander in order to unite their kingdoms (and to give the queen the opportunity to take advantage of a civil war in Ander's kingdom to easily conquer it while being hailed as a savior). Both Lyria and Ander are in love with other people, but they decide to go through with it for the sake of their respective kingdoms. They become fast friends and close allies, working together to undermine Lyria's mother's ambitions. Ander dies saving Lyria before they can actually be married, so Lyria has to settle for a less iron-clad alliance between their kingdoms.
- In Tom Robbins's Jitterbug Perfume, Kudra's first husband turns out to be awesomer than expected and then promptly dies.
- In The Tempest, Prospero's plan is for Ferdinand (his rival's son) and Miranda to fall in love at first sight so that they'll marry and reconcile a dispute between their families. Which they do. He makes sure Ferdinand means it by pretending to oppose the match.
- The fathers in The Fantasticks intend for their children to marry, so they fake a feud and forbid the boy and girl to speak to each other. It works... at least at first.
- Arthur and Jenny in Camelot have never laid eyes on each other prior to their wedding day. Despite this, they take an instant liking to each other and have a very happy marriage — at least until Lance shows up.
- In The Game of Love and Chance (Le Jeu de l'amour et du hasard) by Marivaux, Silvia and Dorante are engaged without knowing each other. They disguise themselves as servants, meet and fall in love, without either one knowing that the other is their betrothed.
- Given how common arranged marriages are in Legend of the Five Rings, it's natural that at least some of them would be happy. It's actually an Advantage you can take in-game, called "Blessed Betrothal." Besides giving you a spouse you actually like being around, it also gives certain social and economic benefits (since your spouse is more willing to draw on their family's influence to benefit you).
Daidoji Kyobu: (to Rekai, his wife) I loved you from the moment of our betrothal. I feigned outrage so that you would not think less of me.
- BattleTech had the marriage of Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner. The marriage was due to a political arrangement between Hanse and Melissa's mother, Kathrine Steiner, but the couple had extremely strong feelings for each other and succeeded in uniting their two realms into the most greatest military and economic power in the Inner Sphere for several decades.
- We have a few in the Dynasty Warriors games, namely those between Sun Ce and his blood brother Zhou Yu and the Qiao sisters. Despite knowing very little about their future mates and having completely opposite personalities, both couples are shown to be very happy. Same goes for Liu Bei and Sun Shang Xiang. Historically, the marriage between Lady Sun and Liu Bei went terribly. She never permitted him to spend time alone with her, outfitting her maids with weapons to make sure of this, and the instant he went to war with her family she left him.
- The backstory of Dream Chronicles reveals that in the fairy world, fairies go through politically arranged marriages and that love was an alien concept among them until Aeval and Tangle, betrothed to each other, ended up genuinely falling in love and choosing to live in the mortal world so that their son Fidget could marry for love. Unfortunately, Lilith, the fairy Fidget was betrothed to, is not pleased when she finds out that he's married Faye, the human player character. And thus Faye's problems begin...
- The City Elf origin story in Dragon Age: Origins can be like this if you choose the right dialogue. Of course, then it all goes horribly wrong...
- In Odin Sphere, Oswald 'wins' Gwendolyn's hand — complete with a spell that will make her love him — by Standard Hero Reward. As it turns out, the spell wouldn't have been necessary as Oswald genuinely loved her at first sight and goes through the effort trying to have the spell lifted, and discovers (after her literally going To Hell and Back for him) that Gwendolyn loves him without it. Which is a good thing too because Odin had never added the spell in the first place.
- Oichi and Azai Nagamasa in Sengoku Basara. Unfortunately, Oichi's brother Oda Nobunaga (who arranged the marriage in the first place) is the The Demon King, so all happiness went to hell, literally.
- Same thing happened in Samurai Warriors, except Nobunaga was less (but still) brutal, thus while happiness still goes to hell, bittersweet tragedy also happens in play between Oichi and Nagamasa (they still love each other dearly).
- Also in the 4th game and especially its expansion, the first meeting between Sanada Nobuyuki and Inahime is basically the latter trying to shoot him dead and they both get locked in battle. And then Nobuyuki gets offered to marry her and then they realize that they're pretty compatible and loving to each other. They did end up happier than the above, although they did have to deal with the death of their stubborn brother Yukimura...
- In World of Warcraft, an arranged marriage is suggested by Kurdran Wildhammer to stop two other Wildhammer clans from feuding, at first the man involved agrees just because it would be nice to get the families to stop fighting, but after his bride-to-be gets kidnapped and then kills three ten foot tall ogres with a frying pan, he's so smitten he's left in a stupor, and it's revealed she has an attraction to him as well. Any last doubts get cleared up when a Faceless One attacks the wedding, and bride and groom kick its ass equally, putting them both head over heels for one another.
- In the backstory, King Varian and his wife Tiffin had an arranged marriage, but quickly fell madly in love. Unfortunately, it didn't last long.
- Dragon Quest VIII has a roundabout example that almost results in an extremely imperfect arrangement: The kings of Trodain and Argonia agreed to have their children marry if they were opposite sex. They weren't - both kings had only sons - so the agreement carried over to their grandchildren. Unfortunately, Prince Charmles of Argonia is essentially the trope namer for Prince Charmless, and Trodain's Princess Medea (like essentially everyone else both in- and out-of-universe) hates him. But all is not lost: turns out the Hero, a childhood friend of Medea, is also a potential heir to the Argonian throne - his father was the current king's brother - and in the Golden Ending, even Charmles's father supports Medea marrying the Hero over Charmles.
- Rodrik Forrester and Elaena Glenmore are arranged to be married in Telltale's Game of Thrones, but are clearly in love besides. To the point that when House Forrester becomes the enemy of the powerful House Bolton and Elaena is engaged to one of their allies, she becomes a Runaway Fiancé and joins the Forresters.
- Final Fantasy XII has the marriage between Princess Ashe of Dalmasca and Prince Rasler of Nabradia, with the two of them truly in love despite the union being arranged for political reasons. They even lampshade in a cutscene how people are assuming it's all to do with politics.
- The Final Fantasy XV characters Luna and Noctis were friends before international diplomacy demanded they marry, though they didn't know the other reciprocated their feelings. This was convenient both politically and cosmologically, as Luna and Noctis are also fate's bitches, and the world depends on their ability to cooperate.
- A justified example in RuneScape's "Throne of Miscellania" quest. To become the regent of Miscellania, you are required to get engaged to Prince Brand (if female) or Princess Astrid (if male). The royal is initially unimpressed, having been presented with suitors for this purpose by their father before, so you have to actively woo them, show interest in their hobbies, bring them presents, and prove to them that your interest is more than just political. Once you succeed, they and your character fall enthusiastically in love, and agree to the engagement.
- The official object of the Summit in Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem is to achieve these between the delegates of the eponymous seven kingdoms, bringing them together for seven weeks to foster familiarity and determine which of them make compatible couples. The success rate is said to be quite high, although at least one background provides hints that this may not be as true as believed. You as the player character can end up in one yourself if you pursue a Matchmaker-approved relationship with someone you admit to having genuine feelings for.
- The Overture Richard Olsen and Janis Lashway were childhood friends long before there mothers arranged for them to be married. Thirteen years later, the fire between the two is still strong.
- No Need for Bushido: The arranged marriage was an assassination plot on one side. Then both principals skipped, and they look like they're in the process of developing Belligerent Sexual Tension . Eventually, during the siege of the village, they reach this trope. Probably.
- Red String uses the "arranged couple meet without recognizing each other variant" before it turns out the arranged marriage was set up by the boy's mother so he'd at least have the chance to marry a spirited normal girl instead of a stuffy socialite as per his father's wishes. Then his father called it off.
- Garanos: The main character had one of these, but her fiance got kidnapped, and her current quest is to find him again.
- In Girl Genius, the Arguron princess Larana Chroma falls in love with dashing hero Jiminez Hoffman, but is scheduled to marry the prince of the mole-people. Who turns out to be Hoffman, whom the Mole King adopted as his son. And just to stick another fly in the ointment, neither of them knows how the other feels.
- There is no GATE; we did not fight there: Kell and Adrianna, the parents of the main character, were betrothed from birth after their respective parents (and Kytheus' grandparents) secured an alliance of friendship after defeating a hive of monsters. They had a rough start but grew to love each other after Kell proved himself to her.
- In the AlternateHistory.com timeline A More Personal Union, Elizabeth of England devised the marriage between Madeleine Stanley and Henri the Cyclops to strengthen Henri's claim to the English throne, nothing more. Henri and Madeleine are happy together anyway, probably thanks to them growing up together.
- The Simpsons had it happen with Apu. He spends the entirety of one episode trying to get out of his arranged marriage, but when he meets the woman (Manjula) at the wedding he's instantly charmed (And, she points out, if it doesn't work they can always divorce).
- Winx Club had this, although Aisha's objection to being in an arranged marriage wasn't because she didn't like the guy (in fact, she didn't even know that he was her intended), but because she wanted to have the freedom to choose for herself. Once her parents stop making her be in an arranged marriage, it turns out the person she's been dating, Ophir, is actually the arranged marriage guy, Nabu. This relationship also didn't last: the writers did the unthinkable the following season. Nabu was Killed Off for Real! Poor Aisha.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- According to supplementary materials, Ozai and Ursa had this, though they grew distant later on. Subverted in The Search, which reveals that she pretended to love Ozai because the alternative would endanger both her original fiancé and both their families.
- Played with interestingly: Pakku and Kanna were engaged when they were younger, but she apparently didn't love him and ran off to the South Pole, having a more or less happy family with somebody else and becoming Katara and Sokka's grandmother. (Meanwhile, Pakku became really embittered towards women as a whole, and didn't get over it upon meeting Katara). They met decades later, and married in their senior years.
- Subverted in the Family Guy episode "Leggo My Meg-o": a parody of Taken, where Meg and a friend are abducted in Paris by human traffickers. As Brian and Stewie go about trying to find and rescue her in Paris, she is sold at an auction to a wealthy Arab sheikh. She ends up on his yacht, and it turns out the Sheikh's son wants to marry her and make her his princess, with full access to all the riches of his kingdom—and he's a nice guy, about Meg's age, and not bad looking—and if she turns him down, he'll be sad but he'll fly her home on his private jet. Meg thinks her dreams have come true and wants to marry him—but just then Stewie bursts into the yacht's stateroom and shoots the prince dead.
- Certainly the GOAL, if not the reality, of a huge number of arranged marriages in the past. A marriage alliance will hardly pan out if the lynchpin people don't like each other.
- At least four of the children of the Reyes Católicos (Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile—you know, the ones from 1492, Columbus sailing the ocean blue, turning on the Emir of Grenada because God told them to, those guys), the first rulers of united Spain, had marriages like this—with the twist that it never ended well:
- The eldest, Isabel, was betrothed to Afonso, the heir to the Portuguese crown, through a treaty in 1480. When they met in 1490, they quickly fell in love and had a happy marriage. However, it was short, because Afonso died in mysterious circumstances (he fell from his horse even though he was an excellent rider, and his Castilian valet had disappeared without a trace) that benefitted Isabel's parents. Isabel became grief-stricken, and the only reason she did not enter a convent was because her parents never allowed her to. She would eventually marry Afonso's uncle, King Manuel I of Portugal.
- Their only son, Juan, was betrothed to Margaret of Austria as part of an alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximillian I. The two of them fell in love with each other, and, apparently, spent a lot of time in bed together. However, an illness took him before their first anniversary.
- Juana, their third child and (after the business with Isabel and Juan) heiress to the unified kingdom, married Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy, through the same alliance that married Juan and Margaret. The marriage turned out this way... too much. They literally fell in love at first sight,note and they begged to have the marriage formalized the day they met so they could get it on right away. They had six children (including Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, the ruler of the first "empire on which the Sun never sets"). Eventually, things happened, and Joanna started to get jealous—but she still loved Philip deeply. But then he died young, and her grief and her jealousy had some kind of wicked party in her head with a familial disposition towards insanity (in fact, it was something of a minor miracle that both of her parents were sound of mind, given that both were members of the ridiculously-inbred House of Trastamara). Hence the epithet "the Mad" - her father Ferdinand had to become Regent of Castile upon his daughter's ascension instead of ruling jointly until she inherited Aragon upon his death. She also carried around Philip's dead body on her travels, another reason for her to be considered mad. And she had him buried so that she could see his tomb from her bedroom's window. Poor mad girl indeed. Phillip the Handsome's death would require a trope of its own.
- Perhaps their most famous child was their fifth, Catalina—known to history as Catherine of Aragon. Betrothed to the English heir Arthur, Prince of Wales, she actually went ahead and married him; we'll never know how good that marriage could have been, as Arthur died shortly after the wedding. However, Arthur's younger brother, the new heir Henry, was a well-educated and boisterous-but-goodhearted young man whom the English court (after some heming and hawing) decided it would be best if he married his brother's widow—even though this required special dispensation from the Pope. The marriage was very happy for the better part of its 24-year existence (although not happy enough to keep Henry from taking mistresses)—but of course, we all know how it ended...
- The marriage between Princess Elizabeth of Hungary and Landgrave Ludwig IV of Thuringia. It certainly helped that she went to live with his family when they were both children and got to befriend each other first, thus making them also Victorious Childhood Friends. Ludwig was a staunch supporter of Elizabeth's religious and charitable work, despite the disapproval of the rest of his family; after he died, she ran away from both her in-laws and her own family, and preferred to become a nun rather than remarry.
- Partially, King Juan Carlos I of Spain and his wife Sofia of Greece and Denmark. Partially, because they met during a cruise to the Greek Islands that was specially arranged by Sofia's parents Paul and Frederika (the then-Royal Couple of Greece), in hopes that their daughter would find a nice Royal Blood boyfriend while not imposing any specific choices on her. Of course, she did find and get her guy: they've been married for almost fifty years.
- Llewelyn ap Gruffyd, the last native Prince of Wales before it was conquered by the English, arranged a marriage for himself with Eleanor de Montfort, daughter of Simon de Montfort, because the latter was helping him to defend his crown and position. It turned out to be a genuine love match, despite an age difference of more than 20 years; Llewelyn is almost singularly unique among the Welsh princes for never having been known to take a mistress, and when Eleanor went the Death by Childbirth route bringing Princess Gwenllian into the world, Llewlyn lost it. He was persuaded by his greedy younger brother Dafydd to enter a dangerous campaign against the English, something he had been steadily resisting in Eleanor's lifetime, and died in the fight.
- The case of Sisi and Franz Josef spawned one of these. Helena of Wittelsbach aka Nene, the "spurned" older sister, got into an Arranged Marriage with Prince Maximilian from Thurn and Taxis some years later; said union turned out to be a pretty happy one (and in fact, Nene was the only Happily Married among the very unlucky-in-love Wittesbach sisters), until Maximilian died of kidney failure at the age of 36. Nene never remarried, and turned towards philanthropy and managing the family businesses to ease her loneliness.