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Arranged Marriage

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"We who are of noble blood may not follow the wishes of our hearts."

An Arranged Marriage is, quite simply, the idea that someone is going to choose your spouse for you.

The way an Arranged Marriage is treated by the plot will be dependent on place and time. For most of human history, arranged marriages were the norm because "marriage" was less about the union of two souls and more about the union of two families. The rise of the "Marry for Love" ideal didn't really start in Western culture until the 16th century, and there are places on Earth where it still hasn't. Additionally, the "Marriage Before Romance" trope often went hand-in-hand with arranged marriages. While the priority is, again, the union of two families, that union is dependent on the stability and comfort of the two people getting married, so the two families would try their best to come up with a Perfectly Arranged Marriage. The couple's happiness just wasn't the main goal the way it is in Western marriages today.


However, the one thing that is almost always present in an arranged marriage is tension. Most people don't really want to marry a total stranger (much less have sex with them), and if that total stranger turns out to be a complete rogue and a cad, it may be necessary for the heroes to spring into action and rescue the hapless member of their group who is being forced to walk down the aisle. (Of course, being Big Damn Heroes, they'll have to do so in the most overblown and dramatic way possible.) Sometimes, the person in the arranged marriage takes matters into their own hands and becomes a Runaway Fiancé. The "aggrieved" party may claim Breach of Promise of Marriage in response, as arranged marriages tend to be viewed as legally binding commitments by those who initiate it. Alternately, there's a Love Triangle. The character of the suitor is less likely to be important in those cases, but they generally won't look kindly on the outsider's interference.


(It's worth noting that historically, an arranged marriage would not usually be to a complete stranger as far as most people were concerned. Most marriages took place between families that knew each other well—perhaps as vassal and liege, business partners, or (for the vast majority of the people that weren't merchants or noblemen) simply neighbors and friends. At least in the context of Europe, prospective spouses would have opportunities to interact socially and form an opinion of each other, and their feelings would naturally factor into their parents' thinking on the matter. The modern stereotype did, however, often apply to the political marriages of the royalty and high nobility, where the spouses might not even speak the same language in extreme cases.)

Conversely, an Arranged Marriage can be used to lock the hero and heroine together so that their disputes can not end with one of them washing their hands of the other.

A common tactic is for the daughter of a wealthy but common family to be matched with the Impoverished Patrician, for his title: Nobility Marries Money. Occasionally, it's the other way around, with a titled daughter and a moneyed son. Families may even pledge infant children in marriage pacts that cannot be concluded until many years later.

Both in fiction and in Real Life, royal children (sons as well as daughters) were used as pawns in the political game cementing alliances and peace treaties with their marriages. You might say it was their job to take part in such Altar Diplomacy.

The Arranged Marriage is Not to Be Confused with: a Childhood Marriage Promise (whereby a prepubescent couple voluntarily pledges their own non-legally-binding, future troth); a marriage which may arise out of convenience; or a marriage that arises from some kind of cultural mistake. For clarity's sake, the Arranged Marriage trope will deal only with more binding, traditional types of unions.

See also Parental Marriage Veto, You Have Waited Long Enough, Old Man Marrying a Child, Homosocial Heterosexuality, Royal Inbreeding, and Marriage Before Romance. A Shotgun Wedding is a short-notice forced marriage. If someone agrees to an Arranged Marriage but loves someone else, Courtly Love may be involved. If the people doing the "arranging" in the marriage aren't the parents, that's a Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage.

Often involves Prince Charmless and Rebellious Princess. At least recently, one of the potential spouses was as likely as not to try to defy this. When the audience really doesn't want this marriage, expect the Big Damn Heroes to show up right at the Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace line.

To see the types of follies and foibles associated with modern dating services, see Dating Service Disaster. Supertrope to Perfectly Arranged Marriage. Subtrope of Marriage of Convenience. Contrast Marry for Love. Compare And Now You Must Marry Me. Compare and contrast Fourth Date Marriage, where the couple likewise barely knows each other but it was Love at First Sight.


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  • An example in Haou Airen, with Hakuron and Reilan.
  • An anime example occurs in Cheeky Angel, whereby the heroes discover one of their group is entangled in an Arranged Marriage from which they must extricate her via a Zany Scheme.
  • Ranma ½'s entire plot revolves around the chaos created by two former training partners determined to force their children to wed, despite the vehement protests of the children in question (and, in the eyes of some readers, despite the ridiculously dysfunctional relationship between said children). Adding even more chaos to the mix is the fact that the son, through no intention of his own, has gathered an Unwanted Harem consisting of a Bifauxnen Unlucky Childhood Friend who is also engaged to him (he made a promise to take care of her always as kids, though he didn't remember that, and shortly afterwards his father agreed to engage him to her — and then stole her dowry and Ranma both and ran off, leaving her behind), an Accidental Marriage to an Anime Chinese Girl with large breasts, and a Stalker with a Crush who is enacting her own warped version of a Rescue Romance (he saved her from a fall, having accidentally knocked her off the roof in the first place, so she's decided he's her destined lover). Then there's the guy who's in love with his female form (and who also happens to be the strange girl's brother).
  • Among the reasons why Urusei Yatsura's Ryuunosuke is sometimes considered the inspiration for Ranma (squabbling father and only child, vicious battles, gender confusion, father's a freaking maniac) is because she also has an Arranged Marriage made between her father and one of his own friends, and thus a fiancé named Nagisa she'd rather do without. In her case, though, she has to deal with a Yamato Nadeshiko Wholesome Crossdresser rather than a Covert Pervert Tsundere.
  • One of the subplots of Gankutsuou: Eugénie de Danglars is initially arranged to marry Albert de Morcerf, but after a scandal in the Morcerf house, her father breaks the arrangement and makes a new one with Andrea Cavalcanti, to her horror.
  • Macross 7:
    • Miriya unintentionally sets off the series' central Love Triangle by setting up an omiai between her daughter Mylene and Gamlin Kizaki.
    • Then she messes things up again in Encore 2 by trying to convince Mylene and Basara to marry while at the same time she sets up another omiai between Gamlin and Miho Miho, one of the Bridge Bunnies. Of course it's justified that she thought she was dying at the time.
  • In Happy Negative Marriage, Keitaro is introduced facing company policies and customs that favor married employees, and is then forced into an omiai by his mother and his boss. Turns out the prospective bride is quite appealing to his tastes.
  • Kaoru Hanabishi and Aoi Sakuraba of Ai Yori Aoshi are matched in an arranged marriage as young children, to cement a relationship between their powerful corporate households. This is an odd example, however, in that like the previously mentioned Gankutsuoh example, the engagement is technically broken off (Kaoru left his family after being orphaned and then terribly abused by his grandfather): the series' drama results from the two main characters genuinely falling in love and still wanting to get married, but not being able to do so for the whole scandal it'd bring.
  • Minamo's parents suggest to her (often) to try a modern arranged dating/marriage in the Azumanga Daioh anime. Fellow teacher, best friend, and pain in the rear Yukari shrugs the idea off and says to just do whatever she wants.
  • Sayaka in Kaitou Saint Tail is trapped in an unhappy engagement that centers around a veil belonging to the other family; if Saint Tail steals it and returns it to Sayaka's fiancé, she'll be free to go. The only problem is that Sayaka has a tremendous crush on Asuka Jr. Meimi quickly helps the poor girl anyway, but the situation muddles her feelings even more.
  • Present in the Ero-OVA series, Moonlight Lady: it was originally arranged for Suzuna Kuraki to marry her cousin, Io Azuma. When he grew up to be a "total pretty boy" instead of a "hunk", it was then decided that she would marry Kouichi Hayama.
  • In the last episode of Doki Doki School Hours Mika-sensei attends an omiai, which leads her students to fear losing her. Without much reason, though.
  • In Maison Ikkoku Shun Mitaka is introduced to his eventual wife Asuna Kujou by way of an omiai arranged by his uncle. He objects strongly to the union, partially because he is in love with Kyouko, but also because of her large number of dogs, which he is deathly afraid of. After accidentally proposing to her due to a misunderstanding, he warms up to the idea a bit more.
  • In Happy Marriage?! the plot revolves around this.
  • One story in School Rumble features Harima and Tenma saving Eri from an arranged marriage (mostly by accident).
  • Ouran High School Host Club:
    • The final arc of the anime shows Tamaki being engaged to a girl named Eclair Tonnerre, which creates havoc in the club. When that becomes an obvious non-starter for everyone involved, the engagement is broken off, but both Tamaki and Kyouya's fathers show interest in marrying their respective sons to Haruhi, the spunky protagonist.
    • An earlier arc also features two students in an arranged marriage to seal a business alliance between their families. It's clear that they love each other, but he thinks he's too dull for her and wants to study abroad so he can become more worldly, and she's 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.
  • One episode of Magical Project S revolves around a potential arranged marriage for one of the teachers.
  • In Futari Ecchi, main characters Makoto Onoda and Yura Kawada (later, Onoda) meet in an omiai. They actually like each other so much that they end up Happily Married, and the manga follows them in their daily life and principally in their attempts to improve their sex life.
  • In Basilisk, Oboro Iga and Gennosuke Koga were engaged since childhood as a part of the truce between the Iga and Koga clans. It certainly helped that they came to genuinely like the idea when they knew each other better.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Lacus Clyne was in an arranged engagement with Kira's old friend Athrun Zala before falling for Kira. After their break-up and getting together with Kira and Kira's twin sister Cagalli, respectively, they remain friends. At the same time, Flay Alster was engaged to Kira's friend Sai Argyle, and she breaks off said engagement after her father dies to pursue Kira. The PLANTS are also known to be enforcing arranged marriages among their population, in an attempt to counter their falling birthrates. It doesn't seem to be helping.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny we get to see Cagalli's fiancé from childhood, Yuna Roma Seiran. It doesn't work well for him.
  • In Ojamajo Doremi, Aiko's divorced father goes to an omiai with the daughter of his boss, the sweet Midori, much to Aiko's distress since she still hopes to get her parents reunited. Ironically, Kenji wanted to marry Midori because he believed Aiko needed a motherly figure. They don't go through it.
  • Koshiro from Koi Kaze works at a marriage-arranging company and setting up omiais is part of his job. At one point his boss also arranges an omiai for Koshiro himself, since clients would rather be assisted by someone who is married. Koshiro blatantly refuses to attend it though, because he and his sister are hopelessly in love with each other.
  • Yamazaki from Welcome to the N.H.K. unwillingly attends an omiai arranged by his parents. He immediately falls in love with the woman and gets married to her shortly after.
  • In Gravitation, Eiri Yuki is engaged to a young girl named Ayaka Usami, who sincerely likes him and tries to go through the engagement. However, she does realize that it won't be the best option, so she pulls an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy so Yuki can be with Shuichi. After she gets better, Ayaka starts dating Hiroshi Nakano, Shuichi's male Unlucky Childhood Friend.
  • Code Geass has a few of these, as one would expect from a series with so many royals:
    • Cool Big Sis Milly Ashford is engaged by her family to Earl Lloyd Asplund. She manages to sneak her way out of it. Lloyd doesn't mind. Well, not too much. He was just in it for the cool mecha, anyway - Milly's family owns the first true Knightmare Frame, Ganymede.
      • Before Lloyd, the Ashfords tried to set Milly up with various nobles in the hope of restoring their status. According to official info, she screws up the dates by acting overly goofy and exuberant and getting the men sick on roller coasters. The novels (authorized but not written by an official writer) say that she simply kicks them in the junk instead.
    • First Prince Odysseus and the figurehead Empress of China are arranged to get married by Britannian Prime Minister Schneizel and the Chinese Eunuchs. And the Black Knights use this to stage a Gambit Roulette.
      • After saving the Chinese Empress, Diethard floats the idea of arranging a political marriage between her and one of the Black Knights, which Lelouch mentally admits is not a bad idea; before Lelouch can get a word in edgewise, all of the Black Knights' higher-up female members (except Kallen, who is absent) shoot it down and call Diethard an idiot.
    • In the pre-series Picture Dramas, Suzaku's father and Japanese Prime Minister Genbu Kururugi attempts to force Nunnally to marry him so that Britannia would think twice about the possibility of invading. Suzaku attempts to change it to himself, because he was disturbed by his 50+ year old father marrying an 8 year old crippled blind girl - but apparently Suzaku, too, had his own arranged marriage, and the Sumeragi clan wouldn't approve Lelouch and Kaguya. When Lelouch finds out, he convinces Genbu and Kirihara, a pair of much older, highly intelligent and vastly more experienced men to let the matter go... completely off screen. Damn. (Word of God says he bought them off with information about Britannia's new super-weapon, the Knightmare Frame; still something that would have been cool to see, though.)
      • In the Nightmare of Nunnally, manga, Nunnally is set to marry Suzaku so that Genbu can become related to the royal family and have a place in the post-war administration of Japan.
  • Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka has Yuuhi being arranged to marry Junichi, since Junichi's parents saved her father. Yuuhi doesn't approve of it, but that may change.
  • In Requiem of the Rose King multiple couples have these including Henry and Margaret, Anne and Edward the other Edward and Elizabeth.
  • Domyoji Kaede, the main antagonist of Boys over Flowers, arranges for both of her children to marry the children of wealthy entrepreneurs in order to acquire their companies for the family's vast corporate empire. When her children Tsubaki and Tsukasa prove to be unwilling, she resorts to less than ethical means to browbeat them into it with mixed success.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Konoka Konoe is usually in an Arranged Marriage of some kind, set up by her grandfather. This causes her great annoyance since most of the suitors she's set up with tend to be somewhere around twice her age or older. She generally either turns them all down without a look or runs away and hides till they're over. Later events imply that another problem with the above mentioned suitors may have been their gender.
    • When Negi Pactios with Ku Fei, she states that he is now "committed to become her groom." She's pulling his leg, though. Chamo comments that FeiNegi is possible, given what his descendant Chao looked like.
  • Ikoku Irokoi Romantan features a wedding aboard a Mediterranean cruise ship, meant to improve relations between two powerful yakuza groups. The bride and groom have been friends since childhood, and go into the wedding willingly, if not happily. This being a yaoi title, the unhappy bride throws the groom out of their cabin on their wedding night, and the groom promptly goes off and gets shagged by a hot Italian seme.
  • In Diamond Daydreams, the main point in Atsuki's story is her struggle against her looming Arranged Marriage.
  • Bubblegum Crisis. Lenna's parents arrange for her to meet a prospective suitor, and she is surprised to find that she actually likes him. But she decides to return to Tokyo to rejoin the Knight Sabers anyway.
  • In Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid Melissa Mao reveals that she joined the Marine Corps after becoming a Runaway Bride from an Arranged Marriage.
  • In Pumpkin Scissors, Alice is engaged to be married to a high-ranking noble named Lionel Taylor. However, this went against her wishes to stay unmarried and continue working for Section III. She was even willing once to go as far as to try and get her fiancé to call off their engagement.
  • The premise of Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen, although the people getting married in question set it up themselves to put an end to the war between their respective countries. Hilarity Ensues, surprisingly.
  • The "Flower Festival" arc of Rosario + Vampire involves Mizore trying to escape an arranged marriage with a leader of the powerful "Fairy Tale" group. Hilarity emphatically does not ensue.
  • Haruka in Moyashimon is the daughter of an executive and is in an arranged marriage, with the caveat that she won't have to marry until she is done with the university. Naturally, she intends never to graduate, and an attempt by her father to push matters leads to him and the fiancé exposed to point-blank Surstr?ng.
  • Apparently, the parents of Miyabi "Professor" Oomichi of GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class already arranged her a husband—despite she's only a tenth grader. A later chapter showed that she was not particularly pleased with that, and was glad that the omiai was delayed.
  • The Rose of Versailles covers arranged marriages from several angles:
  • Narrowly averted in episode 19 of Twin Princess of Wonder Planet when the Evil Chancellor arranged a marriage between Princess Mirlo and the very young son of a rich man. When the father learned the reason was entirely due to the Water Drop Kingdom being broke, the father called it off.
  • A Bride's Story starts with one between the two main characters. They get along pretty well despite the fact she's from another culture, making her a tomboy compared to the other women, and there being an 8 year age gap between them (she's 20, he's 12).
  • Less prominent, but the OAV Tenchi Muyo! storyline features Aeka betrothed to her half-brother Yosho; she's happy with the idea... until she falls into Tenchi's Unwanted Harem, of course. She does imply that she wouldn't necessarily mind if Yosho did ask her out, however.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler has both an arranged marriage and a omiai set up:
    • Nagi and Wataru are arranged to be married, presumably for the Sanzenin fortune. While Nagi and Wataru are antagonistic to the idea, both are 13, and show signs that there are the beginnings of love between them, hinting that they might not be entirely opposed.
      • Since Nagi no longer will be the inheritor of the Sanzenin fortune, whether it still stands at all hasn't been touched on.
    • Saki and Kaoru are set up on a omiai by their families. Both admit to being interested in other people, so nothing comes of this.
  • In Fairy Tail, this turns out to be the indirect cause of the events in the Phantom Lord arc, as Lucy's father Jude hired Phantom to bring her back home just so he could have her participate in one of these for his business opportunities. However, Lucy did come back... for entirely different reasons.
  • Sachiko and Suguru have an arranged marriage in Maria Watches Over Us. Given that they're both cousins, and their family is incredibly rich, the marriage is to ensure the family business remains in the family. It's eventually called off.
  • Featured between Nozomu and Miu in Stepping on Roses (Hadashi de Bara wo Fume), which is likely a source of their dysfunction. Since protagonist Sumi and male lead Soichiro both marry for money, however, they're not that much better off to start with.
  • Bleach:
    • In a flashback arc, it's revealed that Masaki was originally adopted into the Ishida family as part of the matriarch's plan to set up an Arranged Marriage between Masaki and her son Ryuuken. The family's beautiful maid, Kanae Katagiri, is told that the reason the Arranged Marriage will never work as the matriarch hopes is because they will never be Happily Married; additionally, this is followed by a short rant about how the best future for the Quincies is to Marry for Love instead of blood purity or status. While it's clear that Masaki is unhappy with the situation, the twist is that the desire to marry for love is not her confession, it's Ryuuken's, and Kanae says he's very kind for thinking that way. The arranged marriage eventually falls through, and both Masaki and Ryuuken get to Marry for Love - to Isshin and Kanae respectively.
    • In the Amagai filler arc, Lurichiyo, the heir to the Kasumioji clan, is set to mary Shun, who actually looks forward to being married to her. One of her friends has a similar arrangement, which she is not very happy about, and arranges to meet Lurichiyo and her other friends one last time before she's married.
  • Childhood friends Wako and Sugata are in an arranged marriage in Star Driver.
  • In The Secret Agreement, Iori is the heir to an Impoverished Patrician family and has to marry into wealth. He doesn't see his marriage as an obstacle to his relationship with his lover, Yuuichi, simply because it's always been a fact of life and he doesn't feel he has to love his wife.
  • In Men's Love, Daigo's father tries to force him into a marriage that will be favourable for the Mercury company, to the extent of bribing and threatening Daigo's lover to break up with him.
  • In Happy Yarou Wedding, Kazuki shows up at his brother's doorstep claiming he's there to drop off marriage candidate portfolios for him. When Akira confronts his father about trying to arrange a marriage for him his father replies that he knows better than to try to interfere with his life and that the candidates were actually arranged for Kazuki, not Akira.
  • Ciel and his cousin Elizabeth in Black Butler have been engaged since they were young. While they aren't going to actually marry anytime soon, it doesn't stop Elizabeth from pouring her affections onto Ciel which in the manga includes a bold Declaration of Protection from Elizabeth herself, and he cares for her in his own way.
  • The plot of Flower Flower revolves around a princess arriving in a country to be arranged to a prince only to reject him as he's a Wholesome Crossdresser. She chooses his younger sibling instead, unaware that she's marrying another woman.
  • Jenny Doolittle of Bodacious Space Pirates is set up in an arranged marriage, as much to prevent her from gaining control of her family's shipping firm as to solidify an alliance. She shoots her way out of it, then hires the Bentenmaru to get her to safety.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
  • In Beelzebub, Himekawa was revealed to have been engaged to his childhood best friend Kugayama since birth. The issue is that, well...he didn't exactly know that Kugayama was female in the first place. Traditionally, the heir of the Kugayama family is male, and thus she was raised a male. However, when she was young she gained a crush on Himekawa, and her feminine feelings conflicted with her masculine upbringing. Her grandfather, who cared about her deeply, decided to arrange the marriage so that way she could be a woman freely without an restraints. Though due to her not wanting to damage her relationship with Himekawa, she never told him about it, and her eventual betrayal made it so that Himekawa really hasn't been able to trust anyone through a bond of friendship, until Oga came along. He then started bonding with the rest of the Tohoshinki. Then, he met Kugayama again and the truth finally came out. Himekawa has admitted that Kugayama is perhaps the only person he will always consider a friend, and it's implied that while he is probably still confused about his feelings on this arrangement (and that fact that she's in love with him), his feelings do run deeper than platonic friendship.
  • Princess Veronica and Prince Eugene of Bokura no Kiseki are set up in a political marriage to help cement an alliance between their respective countries of Zerestria and Moswick. Though this doesn't stop Moswick from invading and killing everyone in Veronica's castle shortly afterwards.
  • One plot arc in Kamisama Kiss involves Himemiko being in an arranged marriage with Nishiki despite the fact that she is in love with Kotarou. Things get violent before the situation is resolved.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Wufei was involved in one of these with a girl from his colony named Meiran (who called herself "Nataku"). It wasn't always a happy marriage (indeed, they were bickering through their own wedding ceremony!), but at the same time, they did care deeply for one another. Wufei still misses her.
  • In Sword Art Online, Kirito finds out in the second arc that his girlfriend/in-game wife, Asuna, is a rich girl who is technically engaged to the current Big Bad, Sugou. Sugou is all set to marry Asuna and inherit her father's company while Asuna is still in a coma due to being trapped in VR (and it says something about him that this is pretty low on his list of misdeeds). Asuna hates him, but her parents aren't aware of her feelings; Sugou notes that if her father understood how she felt about him, he'd call the marriage off in a heartbeat. Later books show that Asuna's family have been setting up omiai between her and some other wealthy suitors, but Asuna makes it pretty clear she has zero intention of going along with this. When her mother tries to force the issue and says that Asuna should respect their choices, Asuna reminds her of the fact that she chose Sugou as well, and look how well that went. Her mother points out that Asuna's free to reject the suitors, but makes it clear that she won't stand for Asuna getting together with Kirito.
  • What pretty much kick starts the plot in Engaged to the Unidentified, where on her sixteenth birthday Kobeni suddenly finds out that apparently her long-departed grandfather set her up with the grandson of one of his old friends from the countryside... And said surprise fiancé suddenly moves into her family's house in the city, with his bratty younger sister in tow as a "chaperone".
  • In episode 7A of Sakura Trick, it was revealed Kotone's rich parents already arranged to marry her off. She reacted by moving away from her Big Fancy House to her cousin Shizuku's home. The existence of Schoolgirl Lesbians-level romance going on between Kotone and Shizuku does not help. Kotone's betrothed eventually appears and is revealed to be a woman.
  • In Sakura Gari, Viscount Kawamori really wants Souma to marry his daughter Kanako, as he desires to have a genius businessman like Souma as his right hand. Souma at first refuses, later starts thinking it over... but then the series ends.
  • In Haikara-san ga Tooru, Benio and Shinobu wre engaged since birth to compensate for a love match that was annulled many years ago. They find out several years later: she's really not thrilled because she doesn't want to marry, he's kinda amused by the prospect, and then things start rolling around...
  • In Citrus, Student Council President Mei Aihara was initially engaged with a homeroom teacher named Amemiya, set up by her grandfather (and the Aihara Academy's chairman); however, this was called off when the main character and Mei's step-sister (and eventual love interest) Yuzu Aihara discovered and reported that Amemiya was marrying Mei for the status and money; he already had a girlfriend. Eventually, it is revealed that arranged marriages are common practice for wealthier families to maintain financial stability; Himeko Momokino and Suzuran Shiraho say this is the case for them. Mei is then put into another arranged marriage, this time with Udagawa, Yuzu's manager at her job. This, too, is called off and Mei ultimately marries Yuzu.
  • Common practise among the vampires of Karin. Partially because the vampires are slow to abandon traditions and partially because there's simply not enough of them left to go around.
  • Full Moon:
    • Mitsuki's rival Madoka Wakamatsu fled an arranged marriage and got plastic surgery in order to pursue her dreams of being a singer. The guy was Nachi; he got plastic surgery and started a singing career just to be closer to Madoka.
    • There's also Mitsuki's grandmother Fuzuki, who was betrothed to a very rich man named Kimiharu as a teenager. She and her best friend Moe both ended up falling for a violinist named Seijuurou, but Seijuurou only returned Fuzuki's feelings. He asked Fuzuki's parents for her hand, and Kimiharu was then passed off to Moe by Moe and Kimiharu's families, which were already bound by businesses. Needless to say, the whole thing ended very badly: Moe mistakenly believed that Fuzuki and Seijuurou had betrayed her (they didn't; Fuzuki was about to reject the engagement to Seijuurou because she didn't want to betray Moe, and the kiss they shared was a Last Kiss), fell into despair, barely managed to fend off an Attempted Rape from Kimiharu and then went the Spurned into Suicide way, which led her to become Yui Meroko. Fuzuki was so heartbroken that she called off the marriage to Seijuurou, cut all ties to him, and became comepletely embittered towards music as a whole.
  • If I See You In My Dreams gets kicked off by an omiai. Lead male Masao was tired of being a virgin Unlucky Everydude, lead female Nagisa was totally burned out by bad suitors, and so they met in an arranged date...
  • In Ojojojo, Haru's father gives her a week to choose from a list of suitors, and she accepts in an effort to make him happy despite having already fallen in love with Tsurezure. It's quickly canceled when she changes her mind and refuses, and her father accepts her decision without any hesitation. One of the suitors (a British noble named Chris), ends up becoming part of the main cast, eventually ending up in a relationship with Haru's best friend Akane.
  • Detective Conan:
    • Almost happens when Sato's mother arranges an omiai date between her and Shiratori. Bad thing, Sato does have a guy she likes (Takagi) but he's caught up in a very weird case. Then, she tells Shiratori that if Takagi doesn't come by sunset, she WILL marry him instead. Takagi manages to get baaaaaarely in time so the arrangement falls through, some time later he and Sato get properly together... and so do Shiratori and his True Love, Kobayashi-sensei.
    • Similarly, Kogoro and his doctor Yoshiaki Araide consider an arranged marriage between Kogoro's daughter Ran and Yoshiaki's very hot son Tomoaki. Conan isn't pleased at all. It doesn't go through... because Yoshiaki is killed. After the murder case is resolved, Ran and Tomoaki prefer to just stay as friends.
    • The upcoming marriage of Kaede Katagiri and Kikuhito Morizono turns out to be this, and the one who arranged it was the Morizono clan's family butler, Akio Shigematsu. Problem is... Kaede was in love with Shigematsu's adopted son and fellow butler, Yuji Sakuraba, and they had to break up but still liked each other. Seeing this, Shigematsu changed his mind and tried to convince Kikuhito to cancel the wedding - but Kikuhito, thinking that the butler would blackmail him (since he knew that he was messing around with the family company) and that Sakuraba was trying to steal Kaede away, killed Shigematsu and tried to frame his rival in love.
    • This trope is vital to the resolution of the " White Sandy Beach Murder Case". The Dr. Jerk Tanaka was offered a very good arranged marriage to his boss' daughter, so he killed his beautiful ex-girlfriend Mitsuko Sekine so she wouldn't get in between and then made it look like she had been Spurned into Suicide after learning that he'd get married. Bad thing, Mitsuko's best friend Tomoko immediately suspected him, and since Conan and the Mouris were there she told Kogoro to investigate. Conan rather easily found out the truth and, through Kogoro, he unmasked Tanaka as the killer.
  • In The Bride of Adarshan, Prince Alexid and Princess Eustinia are arranged by their countries to be wed as part of an alliance treaty. Awkwardly for Alexid, who is 20, his bride-to-be is half his age. They eventually get married for real though but act more like each other's moral support, opting to wait until Eustinia is a bit older.
  • The World is Still Beautiful:
    • This is what kickstarts the plot to begin with: the Dukedom of Rain has to send one of its princess for the Sun King Livius to marry. Nike just happens to be it, chosen via rock-paper-scissors. Despite the rocky start, the two come to love each other.
    • In Chapter 30 when Luna reunites with Nike and Livius, she reveals she's just been put in an arranged marriage with the much older Marquis Claude Fortis. She decides to sabotage it by getting Nike to crossdress and pose as her fiancé. He offers to drop it after he's done with his plan to save Luna's family, which depended on the engagement, but by that point the two have fallen for each other and so the engagement goes ahead.
  • Yomi and Noriyuki in Ga-Rei -Zero-. Unfortunately, Noriyuki's father breaks off the engagement when Yomi's life starts to go downhill.
  • In Sand Chronicles, Fuji's mother tries to get him to do an omiai to ensure he marries the most suitable girl for his wealthy status, to his chagrin since he wants to marry the woman he loves. He leaves before it begins.
  • In My Wife is the Student Council President: Hayato and Ui's parents arranged their engagement, pretty much on a whim. Ui is on board with it from the beginning, but Hayato is understandably reluctant to accept the fact that he suddenly has a wife... However, it quickly becomes clear that the two are perfect for each other, and Hayato falls in love with Ui before he even notices.
  • Attempted multiple times in City Hunter, as the police superintendent, unable to have a male child and heir, obsessively tries to arrange one for his eldest daughter Saeko... Who, not be thrilled by the idea and refusing to marry a man weaker than herself, beats up the suitors until they need to be hospitalized under the guise of a strength test. Then one day, to her horror, a suitor passed the test...
  • One Piece:
    • In the Dressrosa arc, Don Chinjao arranged a marriage with his grandson Sai and the daughter of the Nipposui Army, thus leading Chinjao to attack Sai when he thinks that his grandson has decided to marry Baby 5. When Sai retaliates, bending his grandfather's Drill Dragon Nail head in the process, Chinjao, proud of his grandson, names him Don and cancels his arranged marriage.
    • In the Zou arc, an arranged marriage is revealed to be set up between Sanji, the third son of the Vinsmoke Family and Pudding, the 35th daughter of the Charlotte Family. The reason for this is because Charlotte Linlin, a.k.a. Big Mom, wants to have the power of Germa 66, which is led by the Vinsmoke Family. Vinsmoke Judge doesn't want to give any of his precious children to her, but since defying Big Mom is way too risky, he wants to give her the son he never saw as a son. Although it ultimately turns out that it was all a ploy to get the entire Vinsmoke family together in one place unarmed, so her family could assassinate them all in one flew swoop, giving Big Mom control over the entirety of their Germa 66.
    • Arranged marriages are Big Mom's modus operandi for obtaining more power for herself. She arranges political marriages between her children and potentially strong subordinates and organizations who wish to ally with her, creating a bond between her and her new allies. Trying to escape these marriages is one of Big Mom's Berserk Buttons, as she has explosive cuffs she'll use on potential runaways and is perfectly willing to send hitmen after one of her own daughters who successfully ran away from such a marriage.
  • Reiko from Yuureitou was engaged to a man by her adopted mother despite her huge disapproval. Reiko breaks off the engagement herself after telling him she wants to live as a man but wants them to become like brothers. It doesn't work out as she expected. Tetsuo later meets him again years later, with his ex-fiancée now being horribly disfigured. He doesn't seem to recognize his disfigurement but he also doesn't recognize Tetsuo is living as a man. Tetsuo plays along with his delusions even as he dies to save him.
  • Star Driver:
    • Wako and Sugata are supposed to marry on the basis of Wako being a Maiden and Sugata having inherited Samekh's mark, of the most powerful Cybody on the planet. This is why main character Takuto tries his best to not interfer in their relationship despite having fallen in Love at First Sight with Wako. It's made even more complicated when Wako develops feelings for him too, but her old, existing feelings for Sugata stay as well. By the end and through Word of God, it's implied the three of them stay together as they are.
    • In the past, Ryousuke and Sora (Takuto's mother) were this too. However, whereas Sugata and Wako appear to be in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, Ryousuke acts very distant towards Sora. Then Head (Takuto's father) arrives and the whole thing goes down the drain.
  • This forms the basis of the second arc of High School D×D. Starter Villain Raiser Phenex has a marriage arranged with the unwilling Rias Gremory, using the excuse of depleted number of pure-blooded Devils to make her family (who are normally entirely supportive of Rias' independence) agree. It's obvious to everyone he's just playing the system and wants a Ms. Fanservice like Rias to himself. It ends with Issei crashing the engagement party and loudly declaring before the assembled upper escelons of hell that Rias's virginity belongs to him, followed by issuing an Engagement Challenge that gives Issei his first chance to shine as the badass he is.
  • In My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Catarina accidentally gets engaged to the charming Prince Gerald, which should have been exciting since the first time they met she fell in love at first sight. However, when she sees him again she's (mentally) aged nearly twenty years and, worse, recognizes him as an otome game love interest who is secretly a bored asshole, so she wants out of it. But she can't call the engagement off. Later, her best friend Mary gets engaged to Gerald's brother Alan and by the game's script should have fallen in love with him, but falls for Catarina instead after Catarina accidentally steals one of his lines. And by the time Alan realized he's in love with Catarina, he tries to break his engagement with Mary just to discover that Mary is unwilling to break the engagement and let him have a free reign to pursue a woman she loves.
  • Krulcifer in Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle faces the threat of this from her family and so makes Lux pretend to be her boyfriend for a week to at least temporarily hold them off. This proves insufficient when her family's butler plans for Krulcifer to marry Barzeride, a high-ranking nobleman. Krulcifer proposes that they settle things with a two-on-two duel. Lux and Krulcifer win, but Barzeride calls in his private army intending to kill Lux and pretend to be the actual victor. This in turn is interrupted when Lux's other friends defeat said army and record Barzeride's wrongdoing. With Barzeride disgraced and imprisoned, the engagement is called off... and Lux is considered an acceptable suitor instead.
  • Vinland Saga: Halfdan "Iron Chain", a powerful Icelandic farmer, betroths his son Sigurd to Gudrid, a member of Leif Eriksson's household and thus a way for Halfdan to expand his influence to the Greenland colonies. Neither Sigurd (who has a lover) and Gudrid (who wants to become a sailor) wants this, but feel duty-bound to obey their respective families. Gudrid ends up stabbing Sigurd (nonfatally) and running away, joining the protagonists in a Stern Chase with Sigurd seeking to recapture her to reclaim his honour.
  • Vampire Knight: All pureblood marriages seem to be this in order to keep the pure blood line.
  • Citrus: It's implied early on that most girls at the school are in arranged marriages for financial stability. Through her grandfather, Student Council President Mei is engaged with a teacher named Amemiya in the first few chapters, although she clearly isn't enthusiastic about it, doing it for the school's sake. Main character Yuzu then reveals to the entire school that Amemiya already has a girlfriend and is in the marriage for the resulting social status and money, leading to the engagement's cancellation. Two other students, Himeko and Shiraho, later say they are in arranged marriages and imply Mei is in one, too, which is confirmed as Mei is then engaged with Manager Udagawa, also via her grandfather, although Udagawa is a nice person. The engagement is called off when Yuzu proposes to Mei instead.
  • In the The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time manga, Ruto ran off and hid in Lord Jabu Jabu because her father was going to marry her off the next day.
  • Tales of Wedding Rings:
    • Krystal, as the Princess of Light, has the power to name a Ring King by marrying him; Prince Marse of the Empire was chosen for this honor. Except when Sato, Krystal's childhood friend from Japan, accidentally stumbled into the wedding, Krystal immediately kissed him instead, both sealing their marriage and making him the new Ring King. Prince Marse is surprisingly okay with this and gives Sato all the help he needs.
    • Turns out that the reason Prince Marse wanted to become Ring King in the first place is because he was in love with Saphira, one of the princesses promised to the Ring King. They thought that if he became Ring King, they could be together. Saphira was initially pissed that Marse broke their promise, but Saphira's sister Saphir stole the ring and married Sato before anyone knew what was happening, leaving Saphira free to have a normal relationship with Marse.
  • In Maya's Funeral Procession, Reina is arranged to marry Taku, but is reluctant to do so, both because she only sees him as a brother, and because she falls in love with Maya. In the end, Maya commits suicide after learning that she and Reina are half-sisters, and Reina marries Taku despite not loving him.
  • Imouto ni Fianse wo Yuzure to Iwaremashita: Eliana is set to marry Prince Alvin at the beginning, though she later is replaced by her younger sister, Luna.
  • In Blue Ramun, protagonist Jessie's betrothal to her clanmate Yuan was organized by their tribe when they were still quite young. It's not a binding contract (as Jessie would be free to marry any other member of their tribe if she liked) but it's considered a good match as they're close in age (15 and 17) and they've been friends for years. Yuan recognizes that Jessie's feelings for Guard Captain Eagle threaten their arranged marriage, so he pressures her not to become too involved with Eagle — ostensibly so that they can maintain the purity of their tribe's bloodline (because marriage outside the tribe is forbidden), but also because he genuinely likes Jessie.

  • Marriage A-la-Mode, a series of six paintings by William Hogarth, depicts the arranged marriage between the son of the bankrupt Earl of Squanderfield and the daughter of a wealthy bourgeois alderman. The marriage is a disaster almost from the start; the couple are completely uninterested in each other, with Viscount (later Earl of) Squanderfield gambling and bedding a syphilitic young girl and the Countess carrying on an affair with the lawyer Silvertongue and neglecting their child. Ultimately, the Earl is killed in a duel with Silvertongue when he discovers the affair, while the Countess poisons herself after Silvertongue is hanged for her husband's murder.

    Comic Books 
  • Starfire (Princess Koriand'r) of DC Comics has twice been married to men from her home planet and both times she went through with the marriages to satisfy family and political obligations. The first time this happened, Starfire was romantically involved with Robin (Dick Grayson) and she didn't understand why Grayson was so upset. She said that in her culture, marriage was merely a social obligation; she did not believe that her marriage to another man should interfere with her romantic relationship with Grayson.
  • Runaways:
    • Karolina and Xavin are brought together by one of these. This might've been tricky to do as Karolina is a lesbian... but Xavin is a shapeshifting Skrull and can get around this problem.
    • A darker example from the same series was Klara Prast and her husband. Poor Klara was sold off to her husband at a young age because her parents found out she was a mutant. Mr. Prast beat her, sent her off to do dangerous work to earn money to buy booze, and then demanded that she perform... marital duties. Thankfully, she decided to leave him when the Runaways offered to take her back to the present, though, ironically, she almost declined because of her fear of the above-mentioned happy couple.
  • Superman: In the Post-Flashpoint Krypton parents often choose their children's spouses via gene-matching, although this custom was being phased out by the time of Kal and Kara. A Supergirl story showed Alura wanting to get her daughter gene-matched, and Kara complaining she wanted to choose her partner freely.
  • In Usagi Yojimbo, the series' premiere Action Girl, Tomoe Ame, is roped into an arranged marriage engagement by her young lord who gets talked into by a villainous adviser on the idea that she should be happy. Whether that kid will realize that he should have had the simple logic and decency to ask if she wanted it (she does not, but is too loyal a proper samurai to protest) is unanswered for now.
  • In a Secret Invasion: The Inhumans storyline, the Inhuman Queen Medusa needs an alliance with Ronan, the ruler of the Kree Empire. He demands Medusa's sister Crystal as his bride. Over Crystal's objections, Medusa agrees.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Princess Sally's parents were the result of an Arranged Marriage, but they're happy together. Sally's father, on the other hand, tried to set up an arranged marriage between Sally and her fellow Freedom Fighter Antoine D'Coolette. She wasn't thrilled about the idea but went through with it because she felt it was her duty. The groom turned out to actually be Antoine's Evil Twin, however, and the marriage was hastily annulled.
  • Relative Heroes: Allure's hand in marriage on her 17th birthday was promised to the son of Posidon when she was still an infant by her mother in exchange for Allure having supernatural beauty and essentially being a Living Aphrodisiac, though she did at least get a Compelling Voice out of the nightmarish deal. She's able to finagle her way out of the engagement by finding a loophole in the wording.
  • In Scion, King Dane arranges for his daughter Ylena to marry King Bron in order to end the war between the kingdoms. What no one knows, however, is that "Dane" is actually Mai Shen in disguise and the real Dane has been abducted.
  • In the shortlived Furry series, Tales of the Fennick, the series began with a prologue story with a mother telling her story to her children about how as a girl she was being maneuvered for an arranged marriage by her parents who were losing patience with her continually and defiantly exercising her lawful right to refuse the beaus they are offering. However, she found her last beau is actually no more enthusiastic at their meeting than herself. However, a combination of the boy showing that he is a genuinely kind and charming fellow and the chance meetings with gossipy friends who assume they are engaged puts them in an awkward position as they are both growing to like each other. In response, make a secret pact to stall any wedding plans by pretending to have a long engagement so their friends and family will leave them alone. As it is, the mother admits to her daughter that this was simply a mutual rationalization to allow them both to submit to social expectations while feeling that they have some free choice in the matter since they married in the long run. At this, the young daughter playfully declares she is not going to marry, but become a soldier like her father. The mother humors her about this in the prologue story, but in the series proper, the mother is shocked to learn that her now-adult daughter is now an even more strong-willed, if more quietly defiant, girl than herself who is still serious about following through on that intention and imitating her mother's self-deceptions is not going to be enough for her.
  • Jena Makarov is put in this position twice in Nikolai Dante: once to Mikhail Deriabin, and once to Arkady/Dmitri. Both end in blood.
  • One Captain Marvel issue (Carol Danvers, the former Ms. Marvel) involved an alien society where women had the right to marry whomever they pleased, but men could be married off at will by their families, whether they liked it or not. A friend of Carol's had inadvertently gotten engaged to a prince, and while she had the ability to back out, the prince told Carol that he couldn't ascend the throne without getting married and that making men able to marry freely would be one of his first official acts as a ruler. He asks her to marry him, but she already has a boyfriend, so she refuses. Ironically, she ends up essentially fighting a duel against another woman for his hand (she enters the duel to protect her friend). She wins, of course, and now that she is essentially engaged to the prince, she uses her new authority to give him the right to marry whomever he wants and recommends that all men be allowed to do the same.
  • X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Plourr was betrothed to her cousin, Count Rial Pernon, in childhood by her father. On assuming the throne of Eiattu, Plourr accepts this arrangement, partly as he's her strongest supporter.
  • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld: Prince Topaz initially has a politically-driven betrothal with Lady Sapphire, but backs out at the last minute.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Prince Gaston of Barania promises King Ersatz of Skizofrenia that he will get his nephew Philippe, heir to the Baranian throne, engaged to Ersatz's daughter. Philippe is completely uninterested and has already proposed to the woman he loves, which Gaston uses as his "proof" Philippe is losing his mind (as Philippe's fiancé is not royalty) in order for Gaston to imprison Philippe and take over Barania.
  • During Maxima of Almerac's time with Extreme Justice it was revealed that part of the reason she'd been obsessed with finding a mate, preferably Superman, was that if she didn't, royal protocol dictated she'd have to mary a fellow Almaracian named Ultraa, whom she despised. The same applies to the DC Rebirth version of Maxima, who is even less interested in marrying Ultraa, and is able to prove that the tradition is based on a lie.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • Gypsy Tales: The council of elders, from "Káló, the Gypsy Lad", arranges for Káló and Gilze to marry. At first, Káló is unwilling but has a change of heart when Dimkárta reveals that Zurdána, the woman he falls in love with, "only toys with the lads of the dry land, making fools of them".

    Fan Works 
  • Arranged marriages are a sub-theme of A.A. Pessimal's Discworld tale Gap Year Adventures. Rivka ben-Divorah has a Yenta pursuing her across a continent to keep reminding her it's now time to find a husband who should preferably be a good -m -fearing Cenotian boy in a profession. Klatchian graduate Assassin Miriam bint-Alhazred is sympathetic, explaining how the first thing that happened to her on graduating as an Assassin was to be trapped into an arranged marriage. note  Mariella Smith-Rhodes becomes horribly aware that her own mother has plans for her. Mother has graciously accepted she isn't that into Tim Bellamy. however, Horst Lensen is expressing an interest in you, and he's a good boy with a stake in a vineyard and winery. Then her brother Danie is sent to Ankh-Morpork to court a very acceptable young woman from a good Boer farming family, who is therefore a very good catch as a daughter-in-law.note  As both his parents put it - Boer soek'n vrou! - the farmer needs a wife.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction Maternal Instinct, Queen Chrysalis' daughter, Crown Princess Pupa, is arranged to be married to her first cousin, Prince Morphin. It is evidently a common practice in Changeling society, as well as marriage within the family, though the latter is particularly attributed to the royal family and other nobility.
  • More popular than it has any right to be in Harry Potter fanfiction, in which it's frequently used as a contrived device for hooking up two characters who wouldn't otherwise give each other the time of day. Usually, it takes the form of a Ministry decree that all purebloods must marry a muggle-born, causing either a) Lucius Malfoy to purchase Hermione Granger's contract for his son, or b) Severus Snape to do the same to "save" her from the previous.
  • It's also very popular in The Lord of the Rings fanfiction, especially to get a Mary Sue together with Legolas, or to give her something to spunkily run away from... straight into Legolas' arms.
    • Some fans tend to believe that the higher class Hobbit families (mainly Brandybuck and Took) marry through arrangements, which is a good way of adding fanfic drama. This belief seems to come from the fact that Merry is an only child, Pippin has three older sisters and no brothers, and only one child of his own (a son), which could suggest that the parents simply get separate bedrooms once an heir has been born. There is, however, no indication in Tolkien's work that this is actually the case.
  • In Sweeney Todd fanfiction (yes, it exists), Benjamin and Lucy Barker are sometimes said to have had an arranged marriage, which is odd as (a) arranged marriages were nearly kaput by the nineteenth century, (b) it seems unlikely that Lucy's parents would aim no higher than a barber, and (c) the way the man who used to be Benjamin remembers Lucy gives every indication of it having been a love match. Of course, the arranged marriage is often used to undermine their marriage in a case of Die for Our Ship.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Fanon has an arrangement called j'fallen in the Trill culture. The Symbiosis Board itself occasionally sets up two Joined Trills for marriage on the justification that their children will be of better stock and more likely to be among the Joined elite of the society. How well it works depends on the author.
  • Played for laughs in the Frozen fanfic What About Witch Queen? when Original Character Kai learns that his father, an Arendellan baron, wants to marry him off to Queen Elsa. Kai is rather terrified of the possibility, as he's convinced this would be just a great catastrophe and that Elsa doesn't even notice him. His father consoles him that he'll wait until the end of war before pushing for the marriage.
  • Heavily implied by Gratuitous Japanese and a conversation with a character's father in Kyon: Big Damn Hero. Between Kyon and Tsuruya. Confirmed later, and they're not too happy — though this is less because they dislike each other, but because they both realize what will happen when Haruhi finds out. Turns out, Haruhi isn't near as angry as they thought she would be and Kyon and Tsuruya come to terms with their engagement.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Some fanfics use the concept in various ways. Those who like the Link/Zelda pairing may use it to get them together, such as having him be the long-lost prince of another country or having him save her from an arranged marriage she doesn't want. Those who prefer other pairings may use it as a way of ensuring that Zelda is taken out of the pool of available persons.
    • There are more than a few works that have Ganondorf and Zelda in an arranged marriage to either end a war or unite the Hylians and Gerudo.
  • Naruto
    • Fanfics tend to use this for Hinata, often to get her together with Neji (and potentially as a way of explaining why she is not with Naruto). It's often assumed the Hyuuga (and occasionally the Uchiha) don't encourage marriages with people outside of their clan, though the series itself doesn't allude to this and no one batted an eye at Hinata marrying Naruto.
    • Many fics that pair Naruto and Temari together usually go this route as a part of Suna’s peace treaty in response to the failed Konoha Crush.
  • There's a complicated example in Through a Looking Glass, Darkly: Jack was genuinely in love with Grace. Then his parents brainwashed her into being someone more suitable. By the time we catch up to them, he's given up on getting the girl he fell in love with back, and considers his engagement with her to be purely political and arranged by his parents.
  • In the Code Geass Fanfic Dauntless (Allora Gale), Lelouch is forced into one with a noble girl named Abigail after being discovered and brought back into the Royal Family. Surprisingly, she ends up turning into quite the Ensemble Dark Horse.
    • Schneizel was also supposed to marry a European (what specifically, not noted) noble, but he keeps putting it off because he knew there would be no real point to it as Britannia was going to attack the EU eventually.
  • In One Piece: Parallel Works, Aki is in an arranged marriage, which fuels the events of the Noblesse Oblige Saga.
  • In the How to Train Your Dragon fanfic Crash Courses in Marriage, Hiccup and Astrid are roped into an arranged marriage. To their parents' credit, they thought the kids wouldn't have any problem with this considering their big public smooch at the end of the first story. As it is, they are not enthusiastic at all at being forced but admit they are each other's best choice in better circumstances and decide to cooperate.
  • In The Tainted Grimoire, this is part of the plot of the St. Galleria arc.
  • In the Death Note AU Dark Fic The Faceless, Light's parents arranged it so that he would marry Misa for her fortune.
  • In Memoirs of a Master, Shifu's girlfriend, Yeying, is seemingly being pushed around by her parents to submit to an arranged marriage to an old creditor and only saved by the fact that she was made the student of Master Oogway, which means he has full In loco parentis authority of her, and the turtle would never allow a student of his to be treated like that. Much later, it is revealed that this was all part of a masterful plan by her parents to protect her from being forced into that marriage until she married someone she loved and was skilled enough to defend herself. The end result is that her parents and Shifu are merrily taking wagers of how and how fast Yeying would send the creditor packing.
  • Aside of the aforementioned cases, several real-life country unions/pacts/colonizations/etc. are seen as this in Hetalia: Axis Powers fandom. the most popular cases are: the Auld Alliance between Scotland (an Original Character at the moment) and France, the Kalmar Union between Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, either the Iberian Union or the the Anglo Portuguese Alliance for Portugal, etc.
  • Harmony Theory: The griffons and changelings have eugenics programs. The Solar King also has the power to arrange this. He uses this power to betroth Star Fall to his son.
  • The Mixed-Up Life of Brad: Marriages like this are rather common among pony nobility. Thanks to the talents of Princess Cadence, who can make ponies fall in (or out) of love as needed, they are happier than human arranged marriages.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Psyches are bonded to members of the same sex with the Psyche Master choosing the partners. Empath, as it turns out, has been bonded to Polaris Psyche.
  • A Growing Affection: Even though it is frowned upon and cannot be enforced in the Leaf Village, Hinata's grandfather seems to enjoy doing this. Hyouta arranges a groom for Hinata and hand-picked Hiashi's second wife.
    • Nyoko tries (and fails) to arrange her own marriage to Naruto, knowing her father will accept it and afraid she will get forced into a bad arrangement otherwise.
  • Nav gets forced into one with Gilda in Diaries of a Madman, due to him causing a political scandal. Eventually, he finds a way out of it.
  • Zig-Zagged in What Hath Joined Together. Since marriage options depend on your social class, one can either marry a few ponies or not marry at all, and as an alicorn, Twilight Sparkle only has the high-ranking unicorn Captain Ironhoof as a legitimate suitor. After being narrowed down, regular dating occurs, and ponies like Princess Cadance play matchmaker to help those relationships go smoothly (though, Cadance doesn't exactly like the idea, even though she was fortunate enough to get a husband she adored).
  • The plot of The Marriage Stone, where Harry has to marry Snape in order to avoid the machinations of the Ministry, but before long the marriage may determine the fate of the world.
  • Discussed in "To Absent Friends". Vulcans usually do arranged marriages but T'Var's parents thought it more logical to let her seek her own mate.
  • From Kiryuuin Chronicles, we apparently have this and a Shotgun Wedding with Ragyou's marriage to her abusive husband, while she was pregnant by someone else with Satsuki and she notes that her parents picked him for her, along with the fact that she wasn't really given a choice, aside from being disowned. Naturally, she hoped it'll work.
  • In A Most Sensible Idea, Frodo is entered into an arranged marriage with Thorin in order to open up new trade routes with the Misty Mountain. At the end he doesn't go through with it - Bilbo, who has been chaperoning him, falls in love with Thorin and marries the dwarf himself.
  • Wearing Robert's Crown: Unsurprisingly, very few of the marriages in the fic are anything but politically arranged. Cersei, in particular, protested hers loudly. Most of them seem to work out though.
  • In One Year, Hitomi, one of Yu's old friends, is engaged to a somewhat older man, and will marry after she graduates from high school. Hitomi's fairly conflicted about this, since she knows that since her grades are mediocre at best, her job prospects aren't much better, but she also knows that she'll have little freedom and will most likely be strongly discouraged from seeing her friends again. As for the man himself, Hitomi knows that he is a kind person at heart, but also that he's subservient to his family like she is to hers, and as such, does not love or fully trust him.
  • Since A Man of Iron is based in Westeros, marriage is more about political gain than love.
    • As in the source material, Robb ends up engaged to a Frey girl. Contrary to canon, Ned Stark intends to honour the betrothal, only asking to screen Lord Frey's daughters and granddaughters to find the most suitable one for his son. Walder Frey is ecstatic about it.
    • In the past, Houses Martell and Stark sought to bring their families together via a marital pact, but it didn't go anywhere since Horard Stark's only offspring was male - Antony Stark. When Tony adopts and legitimizes Jon Snow as his heir, Oberyn Martell remembers the pact and presents his eldest daughter as a bride for the teen.
  • In War of the Biju, Fugaku Uchiha intended to arrange one between his youngest son Sasuke and the Hyuuga Clan's heiress, Hinata — most likely to ensure the Hyuuga Clan's loyalty under the new regime should Uchiha Clan's coup succeed. He died before anything came of it.
  • Avoiding one is the main motivation for Alys Boleyn's actions in the early story of Forum of Thrones. After her father betrothed her to Dante Karstark against her will, she ran away from home, leaving her father and her fiancé to try and follow her.
    • Alisa Karstark's backstory holds a remarkable similarity, only that she ran away from home to avoid being married to a member of House Forrester.
    • The marriage between Darren and Mileena Reyne is one of these. At least from her side, it is also a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • In a sidestory of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, the elders of the Blackthorn Dragon Clan attempt to pressure Clair into one, on the grounds that they need to secure an heir for the future of the clan. Some of the candidates include fellow Gym Leaders Falkner and Morty, as well as a couple of Drayden's grandsons, but they all fall through due to various reasons.
  • A Northern Dragoness revolves about fulfilling the Pact of Ice and Fire, which is giving a royal princess to marry the heir to the North. On Daena's side, this is a Perfectly Arranged Marriage - because she's so desperate to escape her brother's madness she would marry anyone. Jonnel has many more reservations about the matter.
  • In the For Want of a Nail Frozen fic Darkness Burning, Anna ends up in an arranged marriage. Elsa is too scared to marry, so their parents have Anna get married instead. Both sisters are resistant at first but Anna goes along for Elsa's sake (and because her parents said that she only had a choice of a few suitors or else they'd stop trying to arrange a marriage). Anna ends up marrying Hans' brother Joachim with some nudging from her parents. They get along well and fall in love eventually, however they initially didn't get along and Anna admits to sometimes doubting whether they're a good match.
  • Camellias (based on a series of fanart) is a RWBY Alternate Universe Fic where Blake and Weiss are in an arranged marriage. Upon meeting at age ten, Weiss has a fit because Blake is a faunus girl, but things go along much smoother when they meet again several years later.
  • Robb Returns features a number of arranged marriages that weren't present in canon.
    • After Domeric and Sansa fall in love, Ned and Roose sit down to discuss a marriage contract.
    • As in canon, Robert plans to marry Sansa to his eldest son Joffrey. However, he finds out that Sansa is already betrothed to Domeric Bolton. Ned argues that such marriage is key in ensuring House Bolton's loyalty, and cancelling it would cause a huge rift between the Starks and Boltons, and the current situation with the Others demands a unified North. Fortunately, Robert decides to let the issue go without much fuss.
      • He then suggests two other marriages between their respective children: Bran and Myrcella, and Arya and Tommen. Ned doesn't oppose these but warns Robert that for a Kindhearted Cat Lover like Tommen, a Tomboy Action Girl like Arya might be too much to handle.
  • The MLP Loops:
    • Were a thing in 177.21. Applejack was with someone she thought might have been a pony version of Thorin Oakenshield (but didn't know whether he was Awake or not), Fluttershy was with Caramel, Rainbow Dash with her old bully Hoops, Octavia with Prince Blueblood, and Twilight was with Flash Sentry.
    • In Loop 202.12, Filthy Rich's marriage to Spoiled Milk was an arranged one, but Filthy wound up having a one-night stand with Applejack, whom he admitted was the one he really wanted to marry, after being told. She got pregnant, and Diamond Tiara - who was subsequently raised by Filthy and Spoiled, though with the promise that if she found out about her birth mom and wanted to rejoin her, she could - was the result.
  • The Caligula Effect Placebo has Natsuki and Eli, both members of upper-class families, whose marriage was arranged... very close to birth. As Eli put it, "They realized a Yuasa and a Minobe were pregnant around the same time and ran to sign the papers". However, both of them have since found people to actually love, even if they can't annul the marriage in Mobius.
  • Cold Nights: In the epilogue, Tomo's parents keep on trying to get her to marry, despite the fact she's been dating Yomi for five years.
  • Avatar: Blood in the Air: Iroh has an arranged marriage to Huan Yu.
  • In RWBY: Scars, Jacques tries to marry off his daughter Weiss to Cardin's father Maximus. Not only is Weiss not into men, but she's also not interested in marrying a man old enough to be her father.
  • Restraint: As kids, Zuko and Mai were arranged to be married. They did end up married, but for completely unrelated reasons. After Zuko was banished, Mai was engaged to Zuko's father Ozai. This is why Mai was so ready to die at Boiling Rock.
  • Storm Clouds And Grey Skies: Leia's grandmother wants her to marry a merman of her choosing because she's worried about Leia's love life. Leia doesn't want to, but she also doesn't want to disrespect her grandmother by declining. Claire convinces her to speak up for herself.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): Jacques Schnee tries to arrange a marriage between his daughter Weiss and Jaune. When Jaune points out that he's already getting married, Jacques says that multiple wives are an option, as are mistresses and concubines. Weiss is sitting there the entire time, and not amused. Especially since she's one of the only girls in the story without any romantic interest in him.
  • RealityCheck's Nyxverse: Attempted in Alicornundrum, wherein Prince Blueblood's father gets Night Light, the father of Twilight Sparkle (who recently became an alicorn and was coronated as a Princess a few chapters earlier), drunk enough to sign a marriage contract between Twilight and Blueblood (in an attempt to sire a new unicorn heir to the throne) without Night Light realizing it until the next day. Twilight and her parents, of course, are understandably outraged over this, and Twilight convinces Lord Blueblood to sign an annulment immediately afterward. Upon reviewing the marriage contract, Celestia declares it invalid, only for Lord Blueblood to attempt to take it to court... which enrages Celestia so much that she immediately proceeds to verbally lay it onto him as to just how illegal the contract is, including such charges as statutory rape, pony trafficking, blackmail, and treason - upon which the terrified Lord Blueblood immediately accepts the annulment. To say nothing of the fact that Celestia herself imposed all of the laws against the above charges, thereby preventing such contracts from being implemented in the traditional sense.
    Celestia: "I could not keep parents from bullying their children into agreeing, but I could hinder them from damning their children to a fate they never wanted before they were old enough to even object. In the end, thank the Maker, that little bit I did was more than enough to choke the practice out. DID YOU IMAGINE FOR A SECOND THAT I WOULD REFRAIN FROM BRINGING MY FULL POWER AND WRATH TO BEAR AGAINST ANYONE WHO TRIED SUCH A THING WITH MY MOST BELOVED STUDENT?"
  • Surprising Butterflies: It's mentioned likely that Mion will likely be forced into an arranged marriage because she's her clan's heir. She realizes this but still wants to Marry for Love instead.
  • The Arrangement is a webcomic where Ganondorf and Princess Zelda are arranged to be married. This is done in hopes that Ganondorf won't be tainted by Demise. The arrangement starts when Ganondorf is five (and Zelda is only a few years older than him), but they aren't due to get married until Ganondorf comes of age.
  • According to the artist of Rebuild of Pocket Monsters: The Animation, both Professor Oak and his son were in arranged marriages. However, arranged marriages aren't common in Ash's time.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts/Game of Thrones fanfic A Song of Fire, Ice, and Hearts, Robert Baratheon forcibly engages Roxas to his daughter, Mycrella. This is because he believes Roxas to be the son of Ventus, who happened to be one of Robert's best friends before the latter grew angry with him because his rebellion caused the deaths of innocents and ended their friendship. Despite what happened, Robert still saw Ventus as his friend and regrets the day he left, so he wants to make Roxas a prince because Robert believes he'll be making it up to Ventus.
  • Sasha and the Frogs: Much like the main series, Sprig and Maddie are part of an arranged marriage. However, it is broken much earlier.
  • In the backstory of A Strange Engagement, Stan Pines entered a High Stakes Poker Game involving Bill Cipher, Him, Aku, Danny Phantom, Morrigan, Grim, and Sirzechs Lucifer. During the game, the topic of families came up, which eventually led to all of the drunken players betting marriage contacts involving their respective kids (and in Stan's case, his newly born great-niece and nephew). Stan won the contracts (among other riches), which force Dipper and Mabel in the present to enter a magically bound arranged marriage with several children of the Underworld.
  • Happens as part of Nonon's backstory in Natural Selection. She was originally forced into a loveless marriage by her father. When her fiancé basically said he was planning to force her to give up her band conductor dreams, it proved to be the final straw for her after a long life of acting as her father's business proxy, leading to her running away from home and eventually joining Satsuki's crusade against REVOCS.

    Films — Animation 
  • Corpse Bride's main character Victor was engaged to Victoria Everglot by their parents, because she's the daughter of a poor nobleman and he's the son of a nouveau riche fishmonger. It's an ideal match in that respect, but they both feel nervous about whether they're going to get along. As it turns out, it's a Perfectly Arranged Marriage and they're attracted from the first meeting. Of course, he then runs out of the wedding rehearsal in a wretched fit of anxiety and accidentally gets engaged to a zombie, but it works out eventually.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Sleeping Beauty had an Arranged Marriage between Princess Aurora and Prince Philip from different kingdoms. In contrast to the prevailing modern view of Arranged Marriages as loveless, Aurora falls in love with Philip before she discovers that he's her betrothed husband, making the Arranged Marriage one of true love. The main drama comes from Aurora telling Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather that she's fallen in love with Phillip and Phillip telling his father that he's fallen in love with Aurora. In both cases, however, neither of them know who it is that they've fallen in love with, leaving all adult parties to believe that they've fallen in love with a peasant.
    • In The Lion King (1994), Simba and Nala are betrothed, much to their confusion ("I can't marry her — she's my friend!" "Yeah, it'd be so weird.."). They eventually get their own Falling-in-Love Montage as adults.
    • Mulan begins with her trip to a matchmaker in hopeful preparation for an advantageous marriage. Naturally, this ends in disaster, setting Mulan up nicely for The Call which comes a few hours later (and for the love match that eventually results).
    • In the direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II, she and her friends are given an Escort Mission to conduct three princesses to their intendeds. At odds with Western ideals, the girls don't object to their arranged marriages, though they all end up in conventional romances and (presumably) marry for love.
    • In Pocahontas, Kocoum asks for Pocahontas' hand and her father betroths her to him - she has no say in it. It doesn't go through since Kocoum is later shot to death by Thomas.
    • In Aladdin, the Sultan desperately tries to get Jasmine to marry. However, he does give her the option of choosing her husband herself and refuses to choose anyone she hates. He even allows her to marry Aladdin, a commoner.
    • Made the subject of a brief gag at the start of The Emperor's New Groove: Emperor Kuzco is shown a lineup of potential bride-candidates, whom he casually insults and dismisses. After he has turned away, one of the gals can be seen being physically restrained from attacking him.
  • In The Swan Princess, Derek and Odette are betrothed as children by their parents and forced to spend every summer together. This leads to a musical montage of them growing up hating each other, until one summer (having grown up), they realize that they've actually fallen in love.
  • In Brave, the firstborn sons of the three lords compete to the Highland Games to win Merida's hand for marriage. Merida does not want to be married right now and wants her freedom so she actively sabotages their chances by entering the archery contest (As she was "the firstborn of a Lord", she was technically perfectly allowed to compete). And at the end of the movie, the three sons reveal they weren't exactly thrilled either at the idea of getting married just yet, only keeping quiet out of loyalty or respect for their fathers.
  • In Alpha and Omega, Kate is to be married to Garth, to prevent war between rival packs. That plan is disrupted when she and her omega friend, Humphrey, are darted and relocated to a distant American park. As the pair struggle to get back to Jasper, Garth inadvertently falls for Kate's omega sister Lily and thus both are in an awkward situation when Kate returns. Even though both confess their true feelings with Lily perfectly willing to substitute for Kate, the packs don't accept this and go to war that sparks a caribou stampede that threatens the pack leaders, but Kate and Humphrey's rescue of them convince them to change their minds.
  • In Shrek 2: It's heavily implied that this was the case for Princess Fiona and Prince Charming. But rather than being about politics, it was how the king was going to pay back the Fairy Godmother for turning him into a human so he can marry Lillian, by having Charming marry Fiona and eventually become king of Far Far Away. However, their plans are foiled when Fiona falls in love with Shrek and marries him instead. Harold attempts to break them up (even putting a hit on Shrek) but eventually he changes his mind when he sees how genuine Fiona's feelings are for Shrek and how much she despises Charming, though it costs him greatly.
  • Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights: The Prince in the gender-flipped version of Aladdin was supposed to marry the Princess of Serendibe but she disappeared back when she was a little girl. Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Aliyah-Din was revealed in the end to be the Princess of Serendibe.
  • In The Book of Life, although there's no official agreement, General Posada is clearly planning to have Maria marry Joaquin. Joaquin genuinely did want to marry Maria, but not if she had to be forced; and they end up not marrying after all.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie Arranged is about two school teachers, one Jewish and other Muslim, who become friends by sharing the highs and lows as their families arrange their marriages.
  • In Aquaman (2018), Arthur's mother Atlanna is in an arranged marriage with King Orvax, which was the reason why she escaped to the surface many years ago. She conceived Orm from this relationship, although it's worth noting that she had him after she was forced to go home.
    • Mera is betrothed to Orm as a further incentive to seal Atlantis and Xebel's alliance. The two do not have affection for each other otherwise, and when Mera betrays him by saving Arthur from the Ring of Fire, he orders for her execution.
  • In Atlantics, Ada has been arranged to marry Omar. Though her friends say she is lucky for the opportunity to rise in status by marrying a wealthy man, she is bitterly unhappy about it and only complies because her parents force her to, as she loves Souleiman.
  • In An Autumn Afternoon, Shuhei tries to find a suitable husband for his daughter Michiko. He worries that if he doesn't, she'll end up an Old Maid.
  • In Avatar, Neytiri is the daughter of the chief and the priestess. She is to be the next priestess and must bond with the next chief, who is supposed to be Tsu'tey. Naturally, when he finds out she slept with Jake Sully, he's not pleased. They do mend fences later, though, and Tsu'tey names Jake his successor as chief before dying, preserving the tradition.
  • The Bare-footed Kid uses this as a plot point. The owner of the Four Seasons Weaver, Madam Pak Siu-kwan, was bethrothed to a boy from a neighbouring rich family when she was still a child, but as luck would have it, the boy she was engaged to died before reaching adulthood. In order to preserve family honour, she is forced to remain single for the rest of her life.
  • In Beyond Sherwood Forest, Marian's father and Prince John plan to marry her to Leopold of Austria in order to cement a political union between John and Leopold that will end in Richard's assassination.
  • Pick a Bollywood movie. Any Bollywood movie. Arranged marriages have been common in India for centuries now, so the country's film industry reflects this. It's only recently that Indian parents are moving away from this, though most couples still need parental permission. And as in reality, some movies follow the "get married first, fall in love later" path arranged marriages are intended to follow, while others never quite manage the second part of the arrangement.
  • In Cinderella (2015), the Duke tries to get Kit to marry the princess of a neighboring kingdom. The King wishes this, too, but eventually concedes to Kit's desire to marry someone he loves, regardless of class. Lady Tremaine, in exchange for helping the Duke prevent Ella and Kit from meeting again and marrying, tells him she would like Drisella and Anastasia to have arranged marriages to wealthy men, and a higher position for herself.
  • This trope is the entire driving force behind the plot of Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America. Finding that his parents have arranged for him to marry a hopelessly servile young woman who has been trained all her life to mindlessly obey him, Prince Akeem devises a scheme to travel to the United States (under the pretense of "sowing his royal oats") and find a bride who will love him for who he is and not for his royal status.
  • In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Jen was in one of these, much to her dissatisfaction and her lover's.
  • In Double Wedding, Margit has set up Irene and Waldo because they both are made for each other in her eyes. But Waldo’s lack of initiative has led to a four-year engagement between the two.
  • In East is East, it's George's repeated attempts to arrange marriages for his British-born sons that finally causes their Culture Clash relationship to boil over.
  • Ever After involves an arranged marriage between Prince Henry and a Spanish princess chosen by his parents. Both Henry and the bride are in love with other people; the bride sobs loudly and begs "no, no, no, please don't, please don't..." throughout the ceremony, ultimately prompting Henry to call off the wedding so they can both be happy.
  • Between Julio and Belinha in Flying Down to Rio, which Roger (who falls quickly in love with Belinha) swears to break up as she also fell for Roger.
  • The Gamers: Hands of Fate has the heroine Myriad enter one of these to seal a political alliance. She and her groom were both involved in other romances beforehand, and don't even bother to pretend they aren't continuing them. He even gives Myriad a vital clue for her quest to get her lover resurrected as a wedding gift.
  • Jug Face: Ada's parents arrange her to be married to Bodey after he asks them for her hand.
  • In The Karate Kid Part II, it's revealed that Mr. Miyagi left Okinawa so he wouldn't have to fight his best friend over his friend's bride-to-be Yukie, with whom he'd fallen in love. Miyagi discovers that Yukie has refused her family's arrangement and remained single, awaiting his return and refusing to be a Trophy Wife. Now if he'd just left an address, she could have written and told him so saving them both a lot of time. (Of course, one scene in the first movie indicates that Miyagi was a widower, so that might not have worked...)
  • In The Lady Vanishes, Iris is arranged to get married as soon as she returns to England. It's Defied, however, when she chooses to marry Gilbert instead.
  • Wu Luan and Qing were engaged in Legend of the Black Scorpion until her father decided to call it off due to shifts in politics. It was a Perfectly Arranged Marriage on her side, but he barely seemed to notice her.
  • The Lodgers: A sinister example in which twins Rachel and Edward have been groomed since birth to become sexual partners and concieve the next generation of incestuous twins. A hereditary curse mandates their compliance, and resistance is punished by the eponymous Lodgers.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail features an attempted arranged marriage between a noble's son and a maiden with "huge... tracts of land." When the son protests he'd "rather...just...sing," his father attempts to substitute Sir Lancelot, who arrives on the scene believing he's rescuing a beautiful girl instead of the son.
  • In Mustang, four arranged marriages are planned. Only one will happen.
  • Many of the works of Yasujiro Ozu, considered to be one of the three undisputed masters of Japanese Cinema, deal with this, including his famed "Noriko" trilogy: Late Spring, Early Summer, Tokyo Story.
  • Given measured historical treatment in Perfume. Nobleman Antoine Richis arranges the marriage of his daughter to a wealthy, handsome, and good-natured nobleman he knows well. His daughter protests that she doesn't know if she loves him, but ultimately bends to her father's wishes.
  • In The Princess Bride, after the supposed death of her true love, Buttercup is forced to marry Prince Humperdinck. At first, she's resigned to go along with it, but she eventually plans to kill herself after the ceremony. That is, assuming her groom doesn't do her in first.
  • In Masaki Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion, the son of a prominent samurai is ordered by his daimyo to marry a concubine who has fallen from favor. At first, he objects, but as in some of the other examples on this page, the couple eventually finds happiness. Later, the daimyo's primary heir dies and he demands the concubine back. The samurai (played by Toshiro Mifune) refuses, as he wants his son to have the happiness he was denied in his own loveless Arranged Marriage. This ends about as well as you'd expect.
  • In Spaceballs, Princess Vespa of Druidia is arranged to marry Prince Valium for the simple reason that as a princess she has to marry a prince, and Valium is the only unattached prince left in the known galaxy. At least until Lone Starr discovers his true heritage.
    Minister: Excuse me, I'm trying to conduct a wedding here, which has nothing to do with love!
  • In The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, crown prince Karl Heinrich is forced to marry a foreign princess, which means he must give up the simple barmaid that he's fallen in love with.
  • Drives the plot of Tanna. Wawa's tribe offers her in marriage to a hostile neighboring tribe as a peacemaking gesture, but Wawa is in love with a fellow tribesman and refuses to go through with it. The tribe must then consider whether the custom of arranged marriage is still appropriate.
  • Mariko and Noburo for business purposes in The Wolverine.
  • The 2004 Czech film, Želary, puts an interesting spin on this trope. The main character, Eliska, works for an underground resistance movement in the Nazi-occupied city of Prague, Czechoslovakia. When her conspirators are captured, the resistance sends her to a remote mountain village with a new identity to hide from the Gestapo. To keep her under the radar, she is ordered to marry one of the local farmers to avoid attracting attention. She is understandably pissed off about this arrangement and acts coldly towards her intended. Of course, the man she marries is quiet, kind, and chivalrous, so there's only so many directions that their relationship could go.
  • Get Your Man starts with the betrothal of a young boy and an infant girl. It's Played for Laughs because the boy is obviously annoyed and the girl is, well, just a baby. The movie then timeskips to the two being reunited again as adults.
  • Stealing Heaven: Fulbert has this planned out for Héloïse with some rich young man in Paris.
  • In Faithful Heart, Marie's abusive foster parents force her to marry Petit Paul. Why are they so keen on their adoptive daughter marrying an unemployed drunken lout? For the Evulz, apparently. If they just wanted to get rid of her, they could have let her marry Jean.
  • In Santa Girl, Cassandra Claus, the daughter of Santa Claus, is engaged to marry the son of Jack Frost to merge the family businesses. She hasn't actually even seen Jack Jr. since she was a baby, and would much rather go to college in the real world than be forced to run the business. When Cassie complains to her dad, he points out that he and her late mother were also arranged to be married: his family owned the only flying reindeer farm in the world, and she was the daughter of Chris Kringle.

  • There are vast numbers of historical romance novels built around this plot.
  • In Caraval, Scarlett's father has arranged for her to marry a count whom she has never met.
  • Katherine Kerr's Deverry Cycle features this for Deverrian nobles. It's extremely significant at several points across the books, although unusually it's presented as neither wholly good or bad. Both male and female characters comment on it, knowing full well that marriages are for political alliances, not love. There's even an in-universe saying about it: "Men like me marry to please our clans, not ourselves."
    • Some of the arranged marriages turn out rather badly ( Maryn & Belyrra, Rhodry & Aedda), while others work out happily Blaen of Cwm Pecl considers how lucky he was in his arranged wife at one point.
    • Those characters whose marriages are not arranged are also a mixed bag. Kerr doesn't treat arranged marriages as unambiguously good or bad in and of themselves - it's how the individuals respond to it that matters.
  • Interestingly, Jhumpa Lahiri focuses on both arranged marriages and love marriages, while her subjects are mainly Bengalis (northeastern Indians). It's somewhat justified because Bengalis tend to be more liberal about marriage than other Indians.
    • Interpreter of Maladies has "The Third And Final Continent", which features an Indian couple who have had an arranged marriage slowly adjusting to life in America. Ultimately, they come together after the man's landlady formally accepts their marriage, signifying their inclusion into American culture. On the other hand, "This Blessed House" revolves around a couple who have had an arranged marriage and cannot properly communicate with one another, with the husband grudgingly acquiescing to his wife's eccentric needs.
    • The Namesake zig-zags this. While Gogol and Moushimi dated for a year before getting married, Moushimi feels as though she was pressured into the union by her family (since she is playing it safe by marrying an Indian man) and ultimately sees the marriage as arranged. She feels unfulfilled by Gogol's inability to relate to her superior Western education, and this leads to her having an affair with an American man and eventually breaking off her marriage.
  • As noted in the Film folder, Buttercup and Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride. As in the film, she's more or less resigned to the whole thing because her true love is dead, but the circumstances and length of the engagement are somewhat different. It's a bit more complex in the book, since in order to be eligible to wed the prince, she has to be made a princess and sent to royalty school. The people have no idea that Buttercup is actually one of their own; they're simply told that Prince Humperdinck is betrothed to "Princess Buttercup of Hammersmith," with Hammersmith being a minor 'lump of land' attached to the kingdom of Florin.
  • Jelka Tolonen in David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series has been arranged to marry the son of her father's life-long friend
  • In the Chivalric Romance Havelock the Dane, the Princess Goldborough is married off to a kitchen boy, because he is a strong, handsome, and impressive fellow, and her guardian had promised to marry her to the best man he could. Unfortunately for the guardian, he was also the rightful king of Denmark in hiding. Once he claimed his throne, he brought his army to claim hers, as well.
  • In David Eddings' The Belgariad:
    • The Accords of Vo Mimbre decree that an Imperial Princess of Tolnedra shall marry the lost heir of Riva when he finally returns as prophesied, a prophecy the secular Tolnedrans don't believe in. Centuries later Princess Ce'Nedra finds out that she's going to get stuck with the bill, which just came due. In a rather moving explanation, she says essentially, "I'm an Imperial Princess, an asset of the House of Borune. I won't get to choose my husband, I'll be married where I can best serve the House. I've known this all my life." Fortunately, the two kids eventually fall in love anyway.
    • The Belgariad plays with this trope a lot, probably because it focuses on the doings of kings and lords. Large portions of the prequel novel Belgarath the Sorcerer have him running around brokering arranged marriages in accordance with divine plan. But things generally work out for the couples because Destiny grants happiness to people who accept their fate.
  • In Eddings' Elenium, Queen Ehlana's parents were married as one of these; Sparhawk's father arranged for King Aldreas to marry a princess from the neighboring kingdom of Deiros in order to keep the king from trying to marry his own sister. Just prior to the beginning of the trilogy, the high-ranking churchman Annias tried to convince Ehlana to enter such a marriage with her cousin Lycheas, the son of the same aunt, but she refused - partly because she simply can't stand her cousin, but also because she fears that Lycheas is her half-brother through their parents' incestuous affair. They aren't. The reason Annias was pushing for the union is because he is the father of Lycheas.
    • In the sequel trilogy The Tamuli, the Emperor of the Tamul empire has nine wives, one from each kingdom that makes up the empire. He and his first wife were married when they were children.
  • In Teresa Edgerton's Celydonn series:
    • The Grail and the Ring: Princess Tinne was forced into marrying one of the Sons of the Boar (who faked an omen to pressure her into agreeing to it).
    • The Moon and the Thorn: Lord Macsen makes it a condition of his support that Mahaffy Guillyn marry his daughter Tiffanwy.
  • In Barbara Hambly's Circle of the Moon, it is mentioned that Raeshaldis (known simply as the Eldest Daughter in her own family), ran away from an Arranged Marriage to study Functional Magic. She is not happy to learn that one of her younger sisters — much younger — now looks like being forced into the match instead.
  • In Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings sequence:
    • In the Farseer trilogy, Verity, the second son of the ruler of the Six Duchies, has an Arranged Marriage with the only daughter of the ruler of the Mountain Kingdom. The arrangement gets off to a very bad start.
    • The sequel trilogy The Tawny Man features another Arranged Marriage between Verity's son Dutiful and Elliania of the Outislands.
      • Both of those marriages actually turn out quite well, actually. A more realistic instance is the web of custom relating to marriage-based alliances among the Bingtown and Rain Wild Traders, who often pressure their children to make advantageous matches. Though no main character is ever involved in one, several are threatened with the possibility on occasion.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones's Castle in the Air, Prince Justin of Ingary ran away from such a marriage with the Princess Beatrice.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolfblade, Ragnar is told how the Navigators marry: to whom they are told to marry.
  • In the Liaden Universe books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, aligned clans Korval and Erob trade off having members of their clans marry each other every other generation or so. Val Con was technically one of those promised to marry someone of Erob. However, he disappears for many years and ends up marrying on his own an ex-mercenary he meets on another world altogether. As it turned out, her grandmother is a lost member of Clan Erob, who shipwrecked while pregnant and never returned home. It's pointed out that had Val Con known he was doing what he was "supposed" to do, he certainly wouldn't have done it!
  • Hands Held In The Snow: One of the main characters, Emi L'Hime, is engaged against her will to a noblewoman from a foreign land, marking an extremely rare case of same-sex arranged marriage in fiction.
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy, there are at least three cases:
    • Rebellious Princess Aravis's Wicked Stepmother had arranged a marriage for her to get rid of her and win power within Calormen (the fiancé was a high-ranked Smug Snake). She was at first Driven to Suicide, but after her mare Hwin talks her out of it, her inner Tsundere kicks in and she and Hwin run away to Narnia.
    • Queen Susan the Gentle and her younger brother King Edmund the Just travel to Tashbaan (the capital of Aravis's homeland of Calormen) to consider an offer of marriage to Susan from Crown Prince Rabadash. She ultimately doesn't want to marry the Prince, having seen his true colors, but Rabadash plots to force her go through with it anyway. They escape back to Narnia, and when Rabadash attempts to seize her by force, he ends up failing in the most humiliating way possible.
    • When Aravis ends up in Tashbaan she meets up with her best friend Lasaraleen who has already married a very wealthy nobleman and it's hinted it was an Arranged Marriage as well. Unlike Aravis, though, Lasaraleen doesn't seem to mind.
  • This is par for the course for the nobility of The Reynard Cycle. As a result of this, the Countess Persephone ends up marrying the man who (inadvertently) killed her father. The union is surprisingly civil.
  • George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series includes several, as befits a fantasy series with somewhat higher pretensions to historical accuracy than the average. In fact, virtually every marriage between nobles (which the majority of the main characters are) is this trope by definition, although it ranges from finding a son or daughter a good political match that they also approve of, to outright forcing someone to marry.
    • Traditionally, there is a not-insignificant period of betrothal before marriage, during which the young couple can get to know each other, but in times of war and backstabbing, like the current events of the series, there are quite a few speed-marriages.
    • The first volume devotes much effort to contrasting the marriage of Lord Ned Stark and Lady Catelyn Tully with that of King Robert Baratheon and Queen Cersei Lannister; while both were arranged to form political alliances, the former grew to love each other and build one of the least dysfunctional families of the series, while the latter shared a mutually abusive and adulterous relationship. Somewhere in between we find the marriage of Princess Daenerys Targaryen and the barbarian warlord Khal Drogo, which grows from something terrifying if not outright abusive into mutual respect and considerable passion. The series being what it is, however, there's a good chance for any relationship to come to an unhappy ending. All three men are dead by the end of the first book, for various reasons.
    • The backstory of the series involved a failed Arranged Marriage between Lord Robert Baratheon and Lady Lyanna Stark, whose betrothal was derailed when Lyanna was kidnapped by and/or ran off with Prince Rhaegar (who broke his own arranged marriage to his wife Elia Martell in the process). The nature of Robert and Lyanna's match is also complicated; Robert believed himself to be genuinely in love with her, but Lyanna doubted they'd be happy together because of his unfaithfulness, and in present day her brother Ned acknowledges that Robert didn't truly know her.
    • Another one in the backstory involved a betrothal between Ned's elder brother Brandon and Catelyn Tully. Sadly, that betrothal failed when Brandon was executed on the orders of the Mad King, which led into the above arranged wartime marriage between Ned and Catelyn.
    • The series itself starts with the betrothal of Lady Sansa (Ned and Catelyn's daughter) and Prince Joffrey (Robert and Cersei's son) to try and "redo" the failed Robert and Lyanna match. Sansa is initially besotted with Joffrey and believes it to be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, not realizing Joffrey is a sadistic psychopath. By the time she figures out his true colours and that he's not even Robert's proper son, she's forced to remain betrothed to him while a prisoner at his court in a much darker version of this trope. Ironically, at the same time Sansa's going through this, her sister Arya is on the run with Robert Baratheon's illegitimate but actual biological son Gendry, and they develop a genuine Stark-Baratheon bond in a vastly different way than anyone expected, with an organic friendship and Ship Tease totally removed from arrangements between noble houses and without even knowing Gendry is a Baratheon.
    • Sansa's betrothal to Joffrey is eventually dissolved and she's forced into different arranged marriage with Tyrion Lannister, a deformed dwarf whose old enough to be her father. (He isn't happy about the situation either.) This marriage actually goes ahead, although thankfully Tyrion doesn't force her to consummate it and is actually one of the kindest people at court.
    • Sansa gets hit with yet another arrangement after escaping King's Landing, and she's betrothed to Harry Hardying, second in line to Lord of the Vale, while masquerading as Petyr Baelish's bastard daughter.
    • Robb Stark is a speedily-arranged-marriage-due-to-war case, as he agrees to marry one of Lord Frey's daughters in exchange for access to their bridge during his battle campaign. He later breaks the agreement to marry another girl... which leads to the Freys massacring him and most of his family.
    • As part of the same agreement Arya, his little sister, is promised to Elmar Frey. This is a rather dubious example, however, as Arya is on the run at the time and no one involved in negotiating the match even knows if she's still alive to fulfill the deal. Robb also wryly comments that "Arya won't like that [the marriage] one bit" and her other brother Bran says outright that she'll never go along with it. Ironically, Arya (still disguised as a commoner) later runs into her betrothed and is unimpressed by his wallowing over his "lost Princess" and tells him she hopes she dies.
    • Later, most of Westeros believes that Arya has been forced into a - horrifically abusive - arranged marriage with Ramsay Bolton, who has taken over her family's lordship of the North. However, this "Arya" is actually impostor Jeyne Poole, whom the Boltons forced into pretending to be Arya. Arya is yet again unaware of the match, having left the country altogether.
    • Lady Margaery Tyrell is a much more proactive and willing example, as she helps organize multiple arranged marriages for herself - first to Renly Baratheon, then to Joffrey Lannister, and finally to his younger brother Tommen - in order to secure her Queenship. She's incredibly pragmatic about the whole thing - including not minding that Renly is gay, Joffrey is sadistic, and Tommen is half her age - and capable of manipulating all three of them. The only problem is they keep dying on her.
    • Princess Myrcella Baratheon and Trystane Martell are a more conventional arranged-as-children case and are given several years to get to know each other when Myrcella is sent to his family court in Dorne. In a miraculously happy example, they actually develop mutual affection for each other and seem happy with the match.
    • It should be noted that any marriage agreement given focus in this series, instigated for any reason whatsoever, will find a path to lead directly to bloodshed. Backing out and sending the other party into a tiff, calling the heirs' legitimacy into question through sneaking around, sitting next to your wife just in time for the Gambit Roulette wheel to clunk into place. The only exception is Ned and Catelyn... except for the little fact that Catelyn's other suitor was Petyr Baelish.
    • It is actually noted in the story that relationships built on love have caused quite a bit of suffering and sorrow for the realm, and even then, you could probably count the amount of love-based relationships on one hand, perhaps two.
    • Variant with the Valyrians prior to the Conquest, where there was a standardised policy of arranging a marriage between...the oldest son and daughter of the same family. Aegon the Conqueror tried to have it both ways by marrying his older sister out of duty and his younger out of love, although apart from Maegor I all the Targaryen kings descended from the younger.
    • King Aegon V arranged betrothals for his five children, but all but one broke them off in favor of love matches (one married a commoner, two married each other in defiance of their father's desire to phase out the family incest tradition, and one just wanted to spend time with his boyfriend). As he himself had been able to marry for love before becoming king (due mostly to having been so far down the line of succession that getting him a politically-advantageous match hadn't been a priority), Aegon reluctantly accepted their choices, though it majorly ticked off the noble families to whom he had promised them, impeding the implementation of his reforms and in one case even resulting in a brief rebellion.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head, Princess Ysabo is told she will marry a knight, and when she asks why she must, the knight hits her. Her servant is distraught — that she would question it.
  • Rhian's proposed marriage to Lord Rolf in Karen Miller's Godspeaker Trilogy, which just allows the High Priest Marlan to run the kingdom by proxy. Rhian, of course, has other ideas.
  • In Andre Norton's Witch World series, Arranged Marriages are the norm for the nobles of High Hallack. The parties are married by proxy when one or both are young children; they may not meet until it is time for them to begin living together, usually when the younger member of the pair is about sixteen.
    • The short story "Amber Out of Quayth": Ysmay's marriage is arranged as part of a deal with an amber trader, as her dowry is an amber mine that her family hasn't got the resources to exploit. She accepts the arrangement because it isn't very different from what she could have expected if a war hadn't resulted in a glut of unmarried women on the market.
    • The Crystal Gryphon: Kerovan's marriage with Joisan is arranged at the beginning of the book, when they are both children; his father wants to safeguard Kerovan's position and make it clear that his son will be his heir, while her family has received a prophecy that the wedding is necessary for Joisan's future. Incidentally, it is made clear, after one of Joisan's cousins falls in love with her when she is grown, that while the right of bride refusal exists (so that Joisan could refuse to complete the contract), that exercising such a right invariably brings about a blood feud between the families involved, so in practice it is not used. Joisan is very angry when accused of encouraging the cousin.
    • Year of the Unicorn: the terms of the Were Riders' treaty with the Dalesmen in the Invaders' War was that in exchange for their help, they would receive thirteen brides of noble birth, to be delivered at the beginning of the Year of the Unicorn. One of the girls volunteered, since various powerful lords would be obligated to help her family afterward, but none of the other girls had a choice.
  • Many of Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael novels have this as an element of their romantic B-plots, reasonably enough, considering they're set in a time and place when arranged marriages were closer to the norm than the exception for anyone in the merchant class or higher.
    • The Devil's Novice: Meriet Aspley's elder brother is about to conclude an Arranged Marriage contract with a neighbouring landowner's daughter, with the ceremony taking place late in the book (since it provides an excellent means of putting all the suspects in one place). Fortunately, Meriet's brother and the girl are in love.
    • An Excellent Mystery: Brother Humilis arranged a marriage for himself with a very young girl prior to going on Crusade, since he knew he'd be gone for years and wanted to have children. However, when he returned, he entered a monastery rather than completing the contract. She then supposedly entered a convent; the plot is set in motion when it is realized that she never arrived at the convent.
    • The Hermit of Eyton Forest: The boy's grandmother is trying to force him into an Arranged Marriage with the grown daughter of a neighbouring landowner. Neither potential spouse is keen on this.
    • One Corpse Too Many: Hugh Beringar and his betrothed are on opposite sides of a civil war; she is trying to escape from Shropshire and the marriage, while he is trying to find her.
    • Dead Man's Ransom: The young Welsh hostage Hugh hopes to exchange for a captive Sheriff Prescott has been betrothed to a girl 'who is very well indeed and if I must, she'll do.' from childhood. Then he meets the Sheriff's beautiful daughter....
    • The Leper of St. Giles: A beautiful young heiress has been forcibly betrothed to a much older baron by her abusive guardians. They know about the handsome young squire who loves her, but they don't know that her long-lost grandfather is hovering nearby, determined to see his grandchild happy.
    • Summer of the Danes: Heledd has been betrothed to a man she's never seen by Owain Gwynedd. She, however, is determined to take her fate into her own hands and that includes marrying a man of her choice.
  • In Jennifer Roberson's Chronicles of the Cheysuli, the protagonists are attempting to fulfill a prophecy that requires a child with certain bloodlines. Consequently there's, on average, about one arranged marriage per book, some of which work out and some of which...really don't.
  • Meghan Sayres' Anahita's Woven Riddle is about an Iranian girl who defies a traditional arranged marriage by declaring that she will only marry the one who solves the riddle she weaves in her carpet. The winner is the first man she meets other than her Unlucky Childhood Friend.
  • This is played around with in War and Peace, given that the financial future of the Rostovs seems to depend on whom their children marry. There is a short-lived conflict between Nikolai and his parents when he chooses to marry the nice (but technically poor) Sonya, but he had to do a lot of "should I go for personal happiness or the happiness of my family" soul-searching first.
    • The fact that Nikolai ends up with the wealthy Maria would indicate that he ultimately chose the latter; however, there was an attraction between them from their first meeting, and the Distant Finale portrays him as honestly in love with her. It is of course perfectly possible to fall in love with a 'Good' match.
  • Anna Karenina plays with this trope. It, much like the Jane Austen books below, was written during a period in which the wealthy were moving from arranged marriages to marriages by choice. It dedicates an entire chapter to the confusion this creates for Kitty's poor mother, as it's unfashionable to flat-out arrange a marriage, but it's lower class to allow her daughter to choose on her own. She has no idea what her role is, and while her situation Played for Laughs (much like that of Pride and Prejudice's Mrs. Bennett), it's at least given some thought.
  • All the female characters in Moment in Peking ended up in arranged marriages. Since this was the norm for their time and place, they simply learned to deal with it.
  • In Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles, this pops up twice. First, in Dealing With Dragons, Princess Cimorene's parents try to pawn off their difficult daughter on the braindead Prince Therandil and tell her she has no choice; Cimorene runs away instead. In the next book, Searching for Dragons, King Mendanbar of the Enchanted Forest finds himself eternally arguing with his steward, who pressures him to get married to ensure an heir. Three guesses who ends up married to whom, and the first two don't count.
  • In Patricia C. Wrede's The Seven Towers, Prince Eltiron's domineering father betroths him to Princess Crystalorn from a neighboring kingdom. Both characters are horrified by the idea, but once they meet and survive the book's plot together, they rapidly slide into a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, having captured Dejah Thoris, the Jeddak of Zodanga insists on her marrying his son as the price of peace with Helium. Her grandfather rejects it.
  • In Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series it is several times explained that elite women are expected to marry where suits their menfolk's interests without complaint. Some of these marriages are disastrous, others work out quite well. Nor are the girl's feelings invariably ignored.
    • One of Julius Caesar's reasons for breaking his Julia's engagement to Brutus is he's become aware that she does not love him, and happily she does have a crush on Pompey who's an even better political match. Years later young Octavius includes his sister's liking for the man on his list of reasons for accepting the suit - admittedly after the political and financial qualifications have been considered.
  • Somewhat averted in the Judge Dee series. Though arranged marriages were the rule in Ancient China the Judge encounters a truly amazing number of couples making love matches - sometimes with his assistance. "I'd better resign as a magistrate and set up business as a professional matchmaker!" he grumbles in The Haunted Monastery. In all fairness genuine Chinese literature shows that love matches were not out of the question, providing one had the good sense and good taste to fall in love with a suitable person. This cultural ambiguity is lampshaded by Judge Dee's own household. His marriage to his First Lady was arranged; his marriages to his Second and Third were not.
  • The book Serving Crazy With Curry presents two more modern approaches to this trope- a) the protagonist's older sister asks her parents to arrange a match when she becomes disenchanted with dating (the resulting match is less than successful), and b) the protagonist's grandmother decides to help her by finding some appropriate Indian men to present to her.
  • Jane Austen's books are full of references to this trope. The older generation usually sees it as the norm, with the younger generation preferring to Marry for Love. Real Life society was undergoing a similar transition at the time.
    • Sense and Sensibility: Edward's mother arranges a marriage for him with the rich Miss Morton. He refuses, so he is disowned, and an Arranged Marriage between Miss Morton and his brother Robert is put on the table. The heroine Elinor wonders, to her brother's disbelief, if Miss Morton gets a say in this. Colonel Brandon's Back Story also includes him and his first love being separated by an arranged marriage.
    • Pride and Prejudice: Lady Catherine claims she and her sister privately arranged a marriage between her daughter Anne and her nephew Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth supposes that this is the reason for Darcy's indifference to Caroline Bingley... until Darcy proposes to her halfway through the book, which makes it clear he doesn't consider himself bound by any such arrangement.
      • Also from P&P: Mrs. Bennet tries to force Elizabeth to marry Mr. Collins against her will. This is only prevented when Mr. Bennet makes it clear he sides with Elizabeth in disliking Mr. Collins, in one of the best lines in the book:
        Mr. Bennet: Very well. We have now come to the point. Your mother insists upon your accepting it. Is it not so, Mrs. Bennet?
        Mrs. Bennet: Yes, or I will never see her again.
        Mr. Bennet: An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day, you must be a stranger to one of your parents. - Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.
    • The clash between the old and new attitudes towards this trope is best shown in Mansfield Park: Maria Bertram's Jerkass aunt arranges a marriage for her with the rich but ditzy Mr. Rushworth. Her father, although satisfied with the match himself, later offers to break it off in the engagement phase because he can see she doesn't love him; Maria chooses to go through with the loveless arranged marriage. The tragic irony is that Sir Thomas Bertram later (unsuccessfully) tries to convince the heroine, his niece Fanny Price, to marry a man she doesn't love. Guilt and misery ensue for all.
    • In Love and Freindship, the proposed bridegroom's rejection is a satire.
      My Father, seduced by the false glare of Fortune and the Deluding Pomp of Title, insisted on my giving my hand to Lady Dorothea. 'No, never,' exclaimed I. 'Lady Dorothea is lovely and Engaging; I prefer no woman to her; but know, Sir, that I scorn to marry her in compliance with your Wishes. No! Never shall it be said that I obliged my Father.'
  • The protagonist of Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey finds himself first promised to marry Constance Oxblood, and later to Violet deMauve.
  • The financially-motivated version is brought up on some occasions in The Death of the Vazir Mukhtar, as it was pretty popular mong European nobility in general and in early 19th century Russia in particular. Some characters refer to the main character's marriage with Princess Nina Chavchavadze as this, but note that the couple itself has been in love for quite some time prior to this.
  • The Sandarians in Michael McCollum's Antares series practice arranged marriages, befitting a monarchic society like theirs. Crown Prince Philip was betrothed at the age of three. Fortunately, he and his fiancée have fallen in love by this point.
  • The overarching plot of The Pillars of the Earth is set off by a broken Arranged Marriage, which becomes a major local scandal.
  • Rare non-period Western example: In The Westing Game, Angela Wexler and Violet Westing are pressured into de facto arranged marriages by their social-climbing mothers, who care more about bagging a son-in-law with an impressive title (doctor or senator) than about their daughters' happiness. Neither bride-to-be copes well with the situation....
    • Author Ellen Raskin is making a point. The book was written in the early 1970s, and the Violet Westing story took place about 25 years earlier. Back then, women were supposed to care more about the social status, and earning ability, of their prospective husbands, than about companionability or character, although times were changing. This is why Violet was doomed, but Angela manages to scramble out at the 11th hour. Not to mention that Angela's mother had bucked the system and married for love herself and didn't think it had turned out so well.
  • The twelve-year-old Rindi, from the Morris Gleitzman book Bumface, is the child of a Middle Eastern ex-pat family living in Australia, who is being heavily pressured into an arranged marriage with a much older man by her family. Much of the plot of the book consists of her and Angus coming up with Zany Schemes to get her out of it.
  • Star Wars Legends gives an unusual take on this in the X-Wing Series, that also crosses into the High-Class Call Girl trope. The Kuat system of planets apparently uses an unusual form of marriage, to prevent inbreeding in the nobility, where middle-class families may choose to raise one of their children as Telbun, where in they receive advanced training in academics, athletics, and social behavior. At the end of the training the Telbun are required to take a retinue of tests to determine their standing in terms of intelligence, health, genetics and social behaviors. The noble families then bid on a Telbun to act as a consort (and servant) for a member of the family. In the event of a child, the Telbun helps raise it, though the Telbun is not considered part of the family himself/herself.
    • The main reason this crosses into the high class call girl trope is that the Telbun's original family is compensated for the Telbun's services.
      • Truth in Television. Buying concubines was an established custom in many polygamous cultures.
    • One of the Adventures novellas had one of these be arranged between two groups. Neither one of the happy couple took it well, and instead began spending time on a space station, where they met a mechanic and a woman that lived on the space station. Eventually, following an attempt to take over the station by a Hutt, the two royals both found out that the people they had met on the station were actually alter egos of each other, leading for it to be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • A hilarious example is found in Georgette Heyer's A Lady Of Quality. The lady of the title encounters a young couple whose parents are pressuring them into such a match. The girl, desperate, resolves to run away - with the assistance of the boy! This becomes less peculiar when it is revealed that they have been best friends from childhood, which also explains the total lack of romantic chemistry between them. Never-the-less another character predicts that they will eventually fall in love, once they mature a little and learn to see one another as an attractive man/woman rather than the kid they've known all their lives.
  • Judith, the teenage protagonist of the young adult novel The Minstrel's Tale, is forced into one of these by her stepfather. Not only is she deeply put off by her bridegroom, who is at least thirty years her senior, but on the night of their betrothal dinner she falls in love with the young minstrel who comes to play and sing for them. So she runs away.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Aral Vorkosigan's first marriage, mentioned a few times in the books, was arranged. It did not turn out well.
    • Barrayar has an interesting twist on the arranged marriage as, while being most common among the Vor elite, some of its mechanics were in common use among the lower classes as well. In particular, the concept of the Baba, a respected 3rd party that acts as a go-between. Even if the marriage isn't arranged by anyone other than the particulars, the bloke might have his family send a baba to the woman's family, who then asks the woman. It is a kind of crutch for the socially awkward, as the woman doesn't need to reject the man to his face, and the man doesn't have to ask her directly.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The People of the Black Circle", Conan the Barbarian laughs at Yasmina's offer of reward.
    "Would you make me your king?" he asked sardonically.
    "Well, there are customs-" she stammered, and he interrupted her with a hard laugh.
    "Yes, civilized customs that won't let you do as you wish. You'll marry some withered old king of the plains, and I can go my way with only the memory of a few kisses snatched from your lips. Ha!"
  • In Alien Tango Kitty learns Martini is betrothed in one of these, not that he or his arranged bride ever agreed.
  • Shows up in Buddenbrooks, with Jean and Tony's first marriage
  • The novel Starcraft Ghost: Nova reveals that the Old Families of the Terran Confederacy were, pretty much, aristocracy. Nova's parents had no love for each other and married only because their families wished to merge their fortunes. The marriage contract allowed each partner to have a live-in lover, as long as no children were produced out-of-wedlock. In fact, Nova treated her father's mistress almost like a big sister and she was on good terms with her mother's jig. Other contract clauses include the distribution of power and responsibility. Nova's father is in charge of all business decisions, while his wife controls anything related to the family. Attempts by either party to infringe into the other's "area of influence" is grounds for divorce.
  • In the Dragon Jousters series by Mercedes Lackey, arranged marriage is common among nobles, but required for Altan monarchs — the oldest pair of male twins among the royal clans must marry the oldest set of female twins among the royal clans. Kaleth and Marit fall deeply in love with each other, but Toreth and Nofret... well, Toreth states openly that he would never interfere with Nofret seeking pleasure elsewhere, and sees no reason why she would interfere with his pleasures. Part of the Magis' plans to take over Alta involve establishing themselves as a fake royal clan, declaring two of their members twins, and forcing a marriage between them and Marit/Nofret once Toreth is murdered and Kaleth disgraced.
  • In Emperor: The Field of Swords, Julius Caesar has to promise his daughter's hand in marriage to Pompey in order to secure the latter's support in his bid for consul.
  • In the Star Trek Novel Verse, this is the foundation of Andorian culture, a result of their low birth rate and general infertility. Having four sexes and a thin window of opportunity for successful births, they need to get their young adults making babies as soon as possible. Quads are brought together after genetic mapping to determine likely success in breeding. Andorians are taught to revere the four-way marriage bond above all else: One alone cannot be Whole, nor two, nor three. The social implications are explored in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch in particular.
  • This is the entire concept of the book Matched. The government chooses your job and who you marry, and you're not allowed to refuse.
  • In the Hex Hall series a witch is betrothed on her thirteenth birthday. Sophie's father arranged her engagement without ever having met her and without telling her that she was engaged never mind who to. However, it's established that it's done more out of tradition than anything else as either party can say no.
  • In Dream of the Red Chamber Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu slowly form a very close relationship, but in the end, Baoyu's mother and aunts decide whom he gets to marry, with dramatic results.
  • Used somewhat oddly in The Chronicles of Amber, where Corwin's brother Random is forced to marry a woman in punishment for having seduced and eloped with Queen Moire's daughter, who later committed suicide. Moire explains that the girl, being blind, has no suitors, and would gain great rank from marrying a Prince of Amber...and would eventually recover from whatever harm he did her. To everyone's surprise, it turns out to be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage instead.
  • In Charles Dickens' last novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Rosa Bud and Mr Drood are to enter into a marriage arranged by their late fathers.
  • Elizabeth Bathory and Ferencz Nadasdy in Count and Countess, as was the norm for that time period.
  • Camille and his cousin Thérèse in Thérèse Raquin. It was his mother's idea, and Mme. Raquin is the only one who's particularly happy about her brilliant plan.
  • In The Silmarillion, the villainous forced version almost happens to Lúthien, the princess of Doriath. She and Beren are in the middle of their quest to try to fulfill her father's ironic, impossible Engagement Challenge: steal a Silmaril from Angband. Celegorm and Curufin, ruthless elven princes determined to get the Silmarils for themselves at any cost, kidnap Lúthien and try to force her father to "give" her to Celegorm. Fortunately, Celegorm's awesome dog, Huan, helps her escape.
  • Heralds of Valdemar:
    • In the first book of the Collegium Chronicles, Healer-Trainee Bear is betrothed without his consent (or even awareness) by his parents, whose only criteria seems to have been the odds that any resulting children would have the Healer's Gift. Bear refuses to cooperate but has to have his father violently thrashed to get the rejection to stick.
    • The reasons and political maneuvering behind the various forms of arranged marriage among the nobility are a theme of Closer to Home. Many of the young ladies (and, more to the point, their parents) are hoping to land wealthy merchants who will parade them at social functions, instead of older nobles merely looking for someone to provide an heir and a spare. The Double Standard between ladies, who are expected to be faithful at least until the aforementioned heirs are produced, and young men, for whom mistresses and visits to brothels are winked at, is explored. The main characters, members of the more sexually liberated Heralds, decide that something ought to be done about a culture that raises girls to aspire to no more than a good match.
    • In the first published Valdemar novel, Arrows of the Queen, Talia gets told on her thirteenth birthday by her father's wives that she is old enough for marriage and that one will be arranged for her from the offers her father received. This prompts her to declare that she doesn't want to be married and would rather be a Herald, and then she runs out of the house, to be Chosen shortly after. Later, the Queen has to send Heralds down to the Holderkin to inform them that their kids do have the right to refuse arranged marriages (though such children will be disowned by the Holderkin).
  • In Altraterra series by Yvonne Pioch, Anne, a 14-year-old girl, is forced by the Magical Academy to marry Miraz, her brother's teacher. Notably because unlike many other works, which relegate the consequences to Fridge Horror territory, here it is explicitly stated that the sole purpose of said marriage is to produce a male heir, and as soon as possible. Since Anne has a crush on Miraz, she willingly agrees. then her brother, who made a Face–Heel Turn, intervenes...
  • In Enchantress from the Stars, Evrek is clearly Elana's designated fiancé. The chemistry between them is... less than stellar.
  • Every marriage in Pentexore is arranged via the Abir in Dirge for Prester John, though the people feel free to make that work or not, and take lovers whether they are happy or not with their spouse.
  • The reader learns this in passing about a magistrate in Charles Dickens' Barnaby Rudge.
    He mistrusted the honesty of all poor people who could read and write, and had a secret jealousy of his own wife (a young lady whom he had married for what his friends called "the good old English reason," that her father's property adjoined his own) for possessing these accomplishments in greater degree than himself.
  • Pretty much how things work in the world of A Brother's Price. Men are rare and valuable, traded either for other men or for great sums of money, and these marriages are chosen by the women of the family, with sisters having the loudest voice in the proceedings. Eldest Whistler does want to be sure that her brother will be happy in whatever marriage he ends up a part of.
  • In Kingsbury's Courtship Rite, more-or-less the core of the story is the reluctance of the maran-Kaiel five-family to comply with the arranged marriage to Oelita the Gentle Heretic, ordered by the Kaiel clan's Prime Predictor. The five are in love with another woman, Kathein, and had planned to marry her, so they are outraged by the order, and decide to revive the ancient Death Rite, used to test heretics for their fitness to live, and use that to "court" Oelita. During the course of the rite, though, they start to fall in love with Oelita, complicating matters immensely, especially since Oelita is not exactly feeling wooed by these attempts on her life. Did we mention that everyone except Oelita is a cannibal? It's an odd story.
  • In The Stone Prince, the eponymous prince has been pretty much beaten by his mother into being unable to express his feelings (hence the title), and his only current relationship (which is gay) happens to be one he fought a civil war to preserve when his mother disapproved. By the start of the novel, she thinks it's time for him to get married — to a member of the kingdom's most powerful noble family, which hints at rebellion if their candidate doesn't become his consort. Complicated further by the fact that the bride-to-be's brother is the prince's former lover, the noble family was split down the middle by the prince's rebellion, and the ruler has a nasty habit of slaughtering her enemies.
  • In Apollo's Grove, the Oracle of Delphi dies and is replaced by a woman named Lyssa, who comes from a formerly wealthy family that's willing to let her leave because she no longer has value as a marriage asset. Her father forcibly takes her back when he regains his wealth and Lyssa once again becomes an option for an arranged marriage.
  • Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's The Death Gate Cycle plays with this trope. King Stephen and Queen Anne are involved in a political marriage that fused their long-warring nations together, and they hate each other and are constantly bickering in public. In private, they love each other dearly, and use appearances to keep control of the kingdom(s), particularly those courtiers who actually do bear the old hatreds. It's also a good chance for them to yell at each other.
  • The Psi Lords of Takis have an unusual variation of this going on in the Wild Cards series. As they are running a Super Breeding Program, arranged marriages for eugenic (and sometimes political) purposes are the norm. However, monogamy is not an expected aspect of the deal. The only real restriction is that Psi Lords are only supposed to procreate as specified by the breeding plan. Otherwise, both male and female Psi Lords indulge in affairs and employ concubines. Takis in general has a distinctly relaxed attitude about sexuality, largely driven by the fact that the Psi Lord ruling class has culturally divorced love, marriage, procreation, and sex into different things.
  • Paladin of Shadows: The traditional setup for the Keldara is to have marriages arranged by the Fathers and Mothers (leaders, pretty much) of the Keldaran families.
  • In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, Nelis casually mentions that his sister was "ringed" young to the son of his father's best friend.
  • In The Infernal Devices, Tessa was going to be forced to marry the Magister had she not been rescued by Will. She was obviously not very happy about it.
  • In Summers at Castle Auburn, Elisandra Halsing has been engaged to Bryan since they were infants. The royal family traditionally takes brides from the Halsing family.
  • The Apprentice Rogue: The premise of the plot; a princess from a neighboring kingdom has been engaged to the local king and needs an escort to the ceremony and her new home.
  • Averted in theory, but Millicent's marriage to Mr. Hattersley looks like one in practice in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She writes to Helen that she only said "maybe," but her mother has already started the wedding planning and it's too late now...
  • In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Isobel is in London because she fled such a match. She had to sell her engagement ring for the money.
  • In Stephanie Burgis's A Most Improper Magick, their stepmother is trying to arrange one for Elissa, so they can keep their brother out of debtors' prison. Angeline observes that the worst part is that the Wrong Genre Savvy Elissa finds it romantic.
  • Oberon and Titania's marriage in Terra Mirum Chronicles brought some balance between the Seelie and Unseelie fae courts.
  • In Debra Doyle and James MacDonald's Knight's Wyrd, Will has an arranged marriage, a betrothal to Isobel — arranged when they were both three. When he hears that he will meet death before the year is out, and his brother will inherit (so she won't have a child), he has misgivings.
  • Elemental Masters series:
    • Arranged marriages are common in the series among upper-class mages. The reasoning is that it's best to marry someone you won't have to hide your Elemental magic from, and if you get along well with him/her that's a bonus.
    • The generations-long pact between the Prothero family and the Selch in Home from the Sea makes each Prothero part of an arranged marriage.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, Nastasia expects one. She calmly says if her father marries her off to someone obnoxious, it would only be because the kingdom needed her to marry him, and if she and her husband dedicate themselves to their marriage, they will grow to love each other. Besides, were arranged marriages so much more unhappy than love matches?
  • Simona Ahrnstedt seems to love this trope!
    • Exaggerated/deconstructed example: Beatrice Löwenström in Överenskommelser is forced by her uncle into marriage with a man, who's like forty years older than her and treats women like dirt under his shoes. And it does NOT end well for her! She was lucky to survive the wedding night and that the old creep died only a couple of days afterwards...
    • Reconstructed example: Illiana and Markus in "Betvingade" are forced to marry each other, but it turns out well enough.
    • Subverted/defied example: Gabriel Gripklo in "De skandalösa" makes a promise to his mother that he will marry a girl from the aristocracy. But he falls in love with Magdalena, the story's female protagonist, and has to break that promise.
  • Swedish writer Elisabet Nemert has a reconstructed example in her novel "Ödets hav". Aurora, the story's female protagonist, is forced into marriage with her uncle's friend's son, but it turns out well enough.
  • In Sarah A. Hoyt's Darkship Thieves, Thena tells Kit she's always been expecting this. Despite the immense pressure her father would bring to bear.
  • Standard practice in Annals of the Western Shore. In the Uplands, marriages are arranged to preserve the gift of each family's lineage and bring beneficial gifts into the family. Ogge Drum deliberately insults the Caspros in Gifts by offering a mentally disabled niece as Orrec's bride. In the lowland city-states, marriages between great families are arranged for the usual land/money/political purposes.
  • Age of Fire: Tighlia forces RuGaard to mate with her granddaughter Halaflora in order to both solidify his adopted position in the Imperial Line and to pair off the two most unwanted members of the family. RuGaard isn't happy about this, since he'd already made plans to mate with his long-time Love Interest Nilrasha (whose reaction to the news implies Tighlia threatened her into accepting), but he learns to love Halaflora's gentle nature. And then she dies in an incident that may or may not have been Nilrasha eliminating the competition.
  • Princess Sophia is married to a Swedish duke at the beginning of The Kingdom of Little Wounds. She's barely twelve at the time, but her father needs the marriage and the alliance desperately.
  • The Goblin Emperor: Maia's future empress is decided by a vote in parliament. Almost all marriages between nobility are arranged for political reasons.
  • In The Red Vixen Adventures Lady Sallivera is initially pleased with her parents arranging for her to be married to their countess' heir, the Viscount Kevinaugh Highglider. It wasn't until afterward that she realized what a monster he was.
  • In Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen prequel, the Kharkanas Trilogy, this gets deconstructed together with Runaway Fiancé. Faror Hend, daughter of a noble house that's been decimated in the war just past, gets betrothed to an accidental war hero in order to elevate him to nobility and create a new Great House. Several characters go out of their way to pity her and comment on how there's no way for young Faror Hend to come to love the almost twice her age Kagamandra Tulas, so she joins the military and gets herself posted as far away from the capital as possible, only to get the news that he's on his way to see her, and immediately jumps to conclusions and bolts for it again. Kagamandra Tulas, on the other hand, feels guilty for ruining the life of his young betrothed by being saddled with him and all he wants to do is tell her he would be content enough with her doing whatever she wants, as long as she's happy and safe. Sharenas Ankhadu points out how both of them are self-absorbed idiots and seriously need to talk to each other.
  • In Wither, Rhine is kidnapped and forced to marry Linden.
  • SOP on Darkover for both political and genetic reasons. When Rohanna Aillard is married to Gabriel Ardais both realize they are going to have done some work if they want a successful and happy marriage. When we see them again decades later it is clear they have put in the necessary labor.
    • A couple of generations later potential marriage partners are introduced and the match conditional on their liking each other. It is also implied that the council elders will rearrange their breeding plans to permit love matches provided both partners are Comyn.
  • In Children of the Black Sun, Mira, daughter of the leader of the Wolf Clan, has an arranged marriage to Duke Osebian, a relative of the semi-foreign King. She's sour about it, and her clan is taking no chances of that sourness being upgraded to disobedience — she gets drugged and shipped off involuntarily just in case she kicks up a fuss. It still doesn't work, though.
  • In Apparatus Infernum, Ritsuko wasn't set up with one specific partner but was given a list of choices who would not be unacceptable to her family. As of the start of the series, she has just given up on the last of them, which is within her rights but has left her family Very Disappointed to the point of ostracism.
  • The Sano Ichiro series takes place during Japan's Edo Period when arranged marriages were common as ways of establishing power among the daimayo. Miai, or a meeting between families to arrange a marriage plays an important role in several books. The main character is no exception; Sano undergoes a miai and is wed in the fourth book to Reiko, an Edo magistrate's daughter. It takes some time for them to get used to each other. They finally bond over the mystery Sano is working on and eventually turn into Happily Married.
  • In L. Sprague de Camp's Viagens Interplanetarias setting, arranged marriages are the norm on the planet Krishna, a fact that upsets the occasional human who falls in love with a Krishnan. However, in nearly all cases the Krishnans themselves are totally unbothered by arranged marriage, as they consider marriage to be an important lifetime social and financial arrangement too important to be dictated by something as fickle and ephemeral as love. Several characters even express horror of the very idea of marrying for love.
  • In Homecoming by Anne B Walsh Vani and King Malak are prophesied to marry.
  • Marriages of state are common in Safehold, due to its dynastic culture. Cayleb Ahrmahk uses several to solidify the bonds of the Empire of Charis. He offers to marry Sharleyan unite their respective kingdoms of Charis and Chisolm into the foundation for the Empire. He arranges similar marriages for his younger brother and adopted son in order to secure the princedoms of Emerald and Corisande. Several other marriages are noted over the course of the books, and a good number of them are also Perfectly Arranged Marriages.
  • Fiyero from Wicked was betrothed to a girl from a neighboring tribe as a child. They were married at seven but unable to even meet until age twenty. He is married to her and has several children with her, but rarely sees her and instead prefers being with Elphaba, who he even has a son with.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive):
    • Jasnah begins the process of arranging one between Jasnah's cousin Adolin and her ward Shallan. She's initially worried that Shallan will be upset she was not consulted about this, but Shallan is actually surprisingly amenable. She always expected to have her husband chosen by her father, and the one time she chose a suitor, he turned out to be an assassin. The fact that Adolin is a prince certainly doesn't hurt.
    • For his own part, Adolin finds the idea of having someone else pick a wife for him kind of relaxing, given that his own efforts have led to him offending every single eligible woman in camp.
    • And when they finally do meet, both of them fall head over heels for each other. Sanderson seems to like this trope a lot. Justified in that Shallan has a Dark and Troubled Past with a fear of being locked away and a dislike of the idea of a fawning noblewoman, and Adolin is a Book Dumb soldier who has somehow managed to offend every single unmarried woman in the warcamp, largely by not treating them like objects of worship (but also by being a little forgetful of minor things like names). Adolin falls for Shallan's different attitude and refusal to stay away from dirty places or hard tasks, and Shallan loves the fact that Adolin is a literal Knight in Shining Armor who doesn't treat her like a fragile toy to be kept safe from danger.
  • In the novella A Taste of Honey, Aqib has made his peace with the idea that his father will choose his future wife, as the latter married for love and brought down the family's standing, making it Aqib's duty to better it again through a properly arranged marriage. This is exactly what happens when a proposal from the Sovereign House arrives and Aqib marries the Blessèd Femysade, even though he has to be beaten by the Corporal into agreeing to the marriage. While not a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, Aqib arranges himself with his fate and loves Femysade in a way, eventually.
  • A childhood marriage contract is a key plot point in Way of Choices where Xu Yourong's grandfather promised her hand to the disciple of a Taoist who saved his life. Various characters have various reactions to this, her parents are horrified while she's more ambivalent.
  • These are common among noble society in The Young Ancients though virtually no one in the story winds up with the person they were originally engaged to.
  • Survivor Dogs: Moon's parents wanted her to be mates with a dog named Hunter. After Moon's pack caught a sickness, Hunter ran off and didn't come back until after the sickness had gone. Moon chased him off for his disloyalty.
  • In The Blind Assassin, Iris's father arranges her marriage to Richard in the hopes that it will save the family company and ensure a better future for at least one of his daughters.
  • In The Long Price Quartet, one is arranged between Ana Dasin of Galt and Danat, Otah's son and heir.
  • Xandri Corelel spends six months living on Karrckchak, working as an attoaong, or matchmaker. Every Ongkoarrat who isn't sex-repulsed is required by law to find someone to reproduce with. Attoaongs create partnerships of all kinds, from lovers to friends to business associates and in groups from two to twenty, but Xandri only works with romantic couples.
  • By the time Prince Hans is an adult in the Frozen tie-in book A Frozen Heart, all of his 12 older brothers married off so that his homeland, the Southern Isles, can secure better trade deals with neighboring kingdoms.
  • Ariane, the heroine of the medieval bodice-ripper Enchanted, is forced into this by her father, who considers her Defiled Forever after her rape (even worse, he doesn't believe she was raped and that it's she who seduced her assailant). Either way, her original intended wants nothing more to do with her and so he forces her into another marriage so that he can look like a father sending his daughter off with her husband rather than exiling her.
  • In The Arts of Dark and Light, young noblewoman Severa ends up in an arranged marriage to shore up her family's relations with another noble house as a civil war draws nigh. Fortunately, it turns out that her husband is not that much older than herself, and they get along rather well once they get to know each other.
  • A recurring plot point in The Castle of Llyr, the third novel of The Chronicles of Prydain, is that King Rhuddlum and Queen Teleria of the isle of Mona hope to forge one of these between their son, Prince Rhun, and Princess Eilonwy. The actual outcome is left open-ended until the very end of the book, when Eilonwy assures Taran that she has zero intention of going along with such a thing, noting that "there's a limit to letting people make up your mind for you".
  • In Crier's War Dinara is raised up by two women: Red Hand Reyka and her human lover.
  • Forest Kingdom: In book 1 (Blue Moon Rising), Julia has one with Prince Harald. She has no intention of actually fulfilling it though, and leaves the kingdom with Prince Rupert in the end.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Best Friends Whenever: Daisy was promised in marriage to Sebastian following the deaths of her parents, although she doesn't want to go through with it.
  • These are a common political tool in Game of Thrones among the nobility of Westeros. Some are happy, such as Ned and Catelyn, and others are not, such as Robert and Cersei. Many are against the will of one or both parties, such as Daenerys and Drogo or Tyrion and Sansa. The political consequences also make breaking a marriage pact Serious Business.
    • In fact, breaking a marriage pact is what gets Robb Stark murdered as he had an agreement with Lord Frey to marry one of his daughters and breaks the betrothal in "Valar Morghulis" by marrying Talisa Maegyr.
    • Arranged marriages happen to Sansa so often that she's basically pimped out to unconsummated marriages. First, there is Joffrey, which she views as a Perfectly Arranged Marriage until he shows his true colours. After Joffrey repudiates her, the Tyrells plan to marry Sansa to Loras for her claim to Winterfell. When Tywin finds out, he declares that she shall marry Tyrion instead, which she does, as mentioned above, unwillingly. Tywin orders Tyrion to impregnate Sansa. He chooses not to impregnate her yet, but when she is ready. Seeing as the both of them are soon on the run and neither had bothered to consummate the marriage, no one in Westeros seems to really acknowledge or care as to whether or not she is still married to him. When Tyrion is in serious danger of being executed, Sansa's Aunt Lysa begins to plan a marriage with Robin Arryn. Later, Lord Baelish and Lord Bolton marry her to Ramsay after the bastard is made heir to Winterfell. It goes exactly as one would expect, with him treating her cruelly until she finally snaps and escapes with Theon's help.
    • Fat Walda with Roose Bolton, although he did get to choose which wife he wanted. It was more 'arranged' from her point of view than his. In the books, Fat Walda was actually ecstatic about the arranged marriage, and fully aware that he chose her to get his weight in silver as a dowry - she was outright proud that being overweight actually helped her for once. She knows it wasn't a marriage for love, but few marriages are in Westeros, not even Eddard and Catelyn. The arranged marriage meant that she went from being an overweight and put-upon minor granddaughter of Walder Frey to being the wife of the new ruler of the North, head lady of a new Great House. As a result she is very grateful to Roose. For his part, Roose seems to like her - at least as much as he's capable of "liking" anyone.
    • Cersei with Robert, as mentioned above. She initially saw it as a Perfectly Arranged Marriage up until Robert came to her drunk and called her by his late betrothed's name on their wedding night.
    • Tywin commands Cersei to marry Ser Loras. She's not amused, but this one falls through as Tywin is not there to enforce it, what with his terminal bowel problems.
    • Tommen is betrothed to Margaery after Joffrey's death, and she quickly sneaks into his bedroom to suss him out before Cersei has the chance to alienate the relationship.
    • Daenerys to Khal Drogo, as mentioned above, to secure an army for her brother. Later, she arranges her own second marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq, showing how much she and her circumstances have changed.
    • Stannis Baratheon is in an Arranged Marriage to Selyse of House Florent.
    • Renly Baratheon is in an Arranged Marriage to Margaery Tyrell. An amiable one, although largely sexless for obvious reasons.
    • As part of the negotiations that produced the arranged marriage Robb failed to actually have, Catelyn also promised her younger daughter Arya to Walder Frey's son. However, Arya never finds out about this arrangement and with everyone who was aware now dead, it's a moot point.
    • Like Ned Stark, Lord Selwyn Tarth originally planned to marry off his daughter for political advantage. Unlike Ned, he eventually relented and taught her to fight like she wanted.
  • Vulcans in the Star Trek universe have a quite complicated marriage arrangement process. This often involves telepathically bonding the intended spouses in childhood, and breaking one's marriage commitment carries dire consequences (especially when one or both of them are in their pon farr mating cycle).
    • Explored with T'Pol in Star Trek: Enterprise, who had to debate whether to enter an arranged marriage which would entail her leaving the ship and returning to Vulcan. Although she refuses, the fourth season episode "Home" shows that her suitor has not given up and T'Pol is required to go through with it, even though she has fallen in love with Trip Tucker by that stage. Her husband divorces her voluntarily however when he realises the marriage is not working - after having already pulled strings to help her overthrow the Vulcan government.
    • Also in the Star Trek universe, Betazoids have arranged marriages; this is explored in the TNG episode "Haven."
  • An episode in the first season of Blackadder spoofed the "royals using marriages to form alliances" phenomenon. In one scene, the king calls his elder son Harry to inform him of a marriage he wants to arrange for him. Harry then pulls out a scroll and recites a long list of the women (and one man) he's already engaged to. This episode also spoofed the young ages at which said marriages took place when, in the end of the episode, Edmund is married to a 9 year old princess. The final episode of the third season involved King George III announcing that he wished his son to marry a rosebush. Not just any rosebush; a specific rosebush.
  • The British miniseries I, Claudius has the hapless title character, a 48-year-old man, being forced to marry his teenage relative, Messalina. (This is at the behest of Claudius's Evil Nephew, the insane Emperor Caligula, who thought it would make for a funny joke.) The marriage seemed happy at first, until Messalina started showing her true gold-digging, nymphomaniac colors. She was eventually executed after a failed plot to depose Claudius and make one of her lovers ruler of Rome. As I, Claudius is actually based on the real-life Claudius, this is an example of Truth in Television.
  • In one episode of Pushing Daisies, a man offers his daughter's hand in marriage as a bet in a dim sum poker game.
    • And loses. Of course, his opponent was cheating...
  • In the Power Rangers RPM two-parter "Ranger Yellow," the Yellow Ranger is coerced into an arranged marriage by her filthy-rich parents. The marriage was decided on when she was five, and they probably would've let her decline had the Venjix computer virus not nearly wiped out humanity, leaving her parents with only enough money to pretend to be filthy rich until she married someone who was still rich.
    • Used in Super Sentai by Juken Sentai Gekiranger a couple of years earlier. Ran/GekiYellow is taken to an omiai of the modern variety. Not wanting to break up the team (or lose the only female member in Ken's case) the guys attempt several plans that backfire rather spectacularly. The situation is eventually resolved when Ran convinces her mother that her responsibility as GekiYellow is more important.
  • On Farscape, John is forced to marry a Sebacean princess because her DNA has been intentionally poisoned and she can't have children with anyone else. Eventually he just leaves her pregnant, frozen as a statue for 80 cycles with the man she loves. It Makes Sense in Context. He fully intended to go through with it to avoid death by Scorpius, though Aeryn is not amused.
  • In one episode of Father Brown Joan is the bookworm daughter of a millionaire, being pushed into an arranged marriage with a handsome but impoverished Upper-Class Twit. At the start the engagement is treated very much like a business, with Robert casually giving Joan his grandmother's engagement ring saying that she can have it resized. As the story goes on we see Robert becoming impressed by Joan's intelligence, and later he is shown to be quite kindhearted. It doesn't hurt that the couple can commiserate about not meeting their parents expectations. By the end, with the scandal that follows the affair at the center of the episode, Lady Malmort is resigned to the fact that the deal is dead but Joan clearly isn't going anywhere.
  • In Rome Vorenus and Niobe have a discussing with their eldest daughter about arranging a marriage between her and a senator, and she doesn't seem to object. The parents point to themselves as an example of loving married couples, with Niobe adding "strange marriage it would be if you loved them from the start" as if the idea was completely foreign to her.
    • Season two also has Posca marrying Jocasta, courtesy of Atia's arrangements. Jocasta is upset and cries through the ceremony, but they end up becoming one of the most loving couples in the entire show.
      • The crying was probably mostly about her entire family having been murdered only slightly before. Not that she was very thrilled about the marriage either, as it was direct result of the aforementioned event.
  • In one episode of Night Court, a young, beautiful woman is brought in, who turns out to be a princess of a small island nation, who is desperately trying to get out of an arranged marriage. As she tells Harry, her fiancé is a hulking, ugly, violent brute who is known to eat children. (He thinks she's exaggerating, until she shows him a photograph of the guy; unfortunately, the viewers never see it, and we have to take her word for it.) Unfortunately, Harry isn't able to do anything as far as legalities are concerned, but when he finds out how superstitious their culture is, he's able to teach her a few tricks that make her convince them to annul the arranged marriage herself (and possibly even make advances for women's lib there in the process).
  • Rayyan of Little Mosque on the Prairie ends up in a traditional arranged marriage by her father. She doesn't mind, though, as she has time to get to know her prospective groom before he proposes, and has the power to call it off at any time. It ends badly, but not because of the arranged part.
  • Divya of Royal Pains is drifting towards accepting her arranged marriage to a childhood friend. At the beginning, she tried to call it off, but when the engagement ceremony came around, she couldn't bring herself to do it. However, it's not like she couldn't call it off or she hates the guy (he's kind of clueless and cheerful, actually); she's simply not certain she should be married to him. Meanwhile, Evan keeps hoping....
    • So he's handsome, rich, nice and she likes him a lot, and he wants to marry her but she is not certain she should marry him? What an Idiot!. On the other hand if she has feelings for Evan....
  • Season 9 of Degrassi: The Next Generation introduced an Arranged Marriage plot for Sav Bhandari. His traditional Indian parents arrange a girl to come meet him from India, who competes with his white-Canadian girlfriend Anya. Anya has sex with Sav in the limo to try and keep him, resulting in a teen-pregnancy-scare plot.
  • In Babylon 5, the Centauri have Arranged Marriages of the forced variety. This results in a culture that believes weddings should be somber affairs with tears and recrimination, while funerals are joyous affairs. To celebrate a wedding is seen as bad luck.
    • In fact, when Londo's service pleases The Emperor, the latter offers to grant Londo any request. Londo asks for a divorce from his three wives (one of whom hates his guts, one of whom tries to suck up to him, and one of whom is The Vamp). The Emperor agrees, but requests that Londo keep one wife to continue his line. In the end, Londo chooses his first wife, the one who hates him and doesn't hide it. Why? Because he knows exactly where he stands with her, while the other two are manipulative liars. What he doesn't realize is that she's the most faithful of them all, having given her blood for a much-needed transfusion that saved his life on the condition that Dr. Franklin keep her identity secret.
    • A first season episode had Vir's cousin and his girlfriend running away to escape arranged marriages. Londo wants to send them back to their families but eventually he breaks down and has his family foster them so they can decide who they marry.
    • Vir himself has an appointed fiancée who is beautiful and willing - and expresses pretty much every thought Adolf Hitler ever had about Jews about the Narn, up to an including actively participating in genocide. And she considers Vir to be strange and troubled because he disagrees with her.
  • An episode of Chuck includes a sub-plot where Lester (an Indian Jew) is pressured to marry a girl from his hometown. When he tells it to Big Mike, Big Mike assumes this is because he is Indian. However, Lester's parents are from Saskatchewan, Canada. Apparently, their culture is a mix of Canadian, Jewish, and Indian culture, which is shown when Lester sets up a "traditional" den at the Buy More, which is a mix of both cultures, with Lester himself wearing an Indian robe and a fur hat. The girl is also from a Canadian-Jewish-Indian "Hinjew" family, whose parents are pressuring her to marry Lester. She is initially put off by his "traditional" exhibit, but he reveals that he just did this to impress her. She warms to him a little... until he puts her on the spot and sings to her. Embarrassed, she leaves, calling off the wedding.
  • Young Blades: An arranged political marriage between King Louis XIV and the princess of a newly rich kingdom drives the plot of "The Girl from Upper Gaborski". The princess whines and complains about it for the whole episode, leading to this bit of marital advice:
    Queen Anne: A state marriage is like a state dinner: you might not like the menu, but it's impolite to show it.
    Cardinal Mazarin: If you would, think of Louis as... asparagus.
    Queen Anne: Eat your vegetables in public, dear, but have your dessert in private.
  • Practically all marriages featured on The Borgias are based on political alliances (this is Truth in Television for the time period, of course), with poor Lucrezia being saddled with a violent rapist, and thirteen-year-old Gioffre having to marry Sancia of Naples - a woman about twice his age, who sees nothing wrong with screwing Gioffre's older brother Juan mere minutes before consummating her marriage with Gioffre himself.
  • Season 3 of Merlin , when Uther attempts to coerce Arthur into marrying Princess Elena for political betterment.
  • In Downton Abbey, Patrick and Mary pre-series one.
  • In the first episode of Chinese Paladin, Xiaoyao is asked to marry and protect Ling'er as the price for the medicine he's after. It is, fortunately, a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • The second season of Timeless had an episode where the team went back to 1981. They initially think they're there to prevent Rittenhouse from interfering in the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, but they then meet a young Agent Christopher (their boss in 2018), who is just a Washington police officer at this time. When she is wounded during the assassination attempt, her family tries to get her to give up law enforcement and settle down to a marriage they arranged. She initially agrees, but Lucy and Jiya convince her not to, showing her pictures of her with her future wife (Agent Christopher is a lesbian) and children.
  • The Blacklist had an episode that dealt with arranged marriages, where the girls are school-age and much too young to be wives and mothers. The Blacklister they're going after is someone who helps the girls by killing their husbands so they can leave.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Raj, upset with being the only member of the group still single and feeling increasingly alone (especially with his heterosexual life partner getting married), decided to have his parents select an arranged marriage candidate for him (in the first of two instances). The date goes well, the girl is pretty, charming, has chemistry with him...and is also a lesbian that wanted to use him as her beard (although in a twist she thought he was gay as well and it would be a mutual thing). The poor guy was feeling so lonely he actually considered going through with it, before his friends intervened and bought him a puppy.
      • In Season 12, Raj again asks his dad to give him an arranged fiancée. But this time, he only agrees to an arranged marriage after he had gotten rid of his selective mutism and thus got to play the field but failed to find true love. And this is still in reaction to his male friends having wives or girlfriends, notably Sheldon getting married and Stuart dating his coworker.
    • At one point, Raj tells his parents that he wants to marry for love, and his father tells him that only idiots do that—you'll end up unhappy either way; at least if it's arranged you'll end up in a beneficial arrangement. His wife points out that they married for love. Raj's father quickly claims that they're the exception. Also they divorced later on.
  • In Leonardo, Lisa's backstory is escaping an arranged marriage. Lorenzo de'Medici is expected to marry the Duke of Pisa's daughter, Angelica. Since he's a He-Man Woman Hater and she's an Ice Queen who only defrosts with Lovable Rogue Mac, he tries to tell his father that it's not going to happen.
    Piero: That's fine. I'll just explain to the Duke of Pisa that the wedding is cancelled. That the treaty between Pisa and Florence is to be abandoned because my son and his daughter don't love each other.
    Lorenzo: Are you being sarcastic?
  • Prince James and Princess Abigail in Once Upon a Time. James (when he was a humble Farm Boy) had previously vowed that he would marry for love, not money (and his mother approved, even when it seemed like the only way to save the farm).
  • One Heroes, it's implied that Noah and Sandra Bennet's marriage started as this when he first started to work for the Company. Thompson, his former partner, suggested that a wife would be a good anchor for Bennet in order to keep him from being completely Married to the Job. He then comments that the kindly waitress serving them would be a good fit once she was out of earshot. It turns out from her name tag that it's Sandra.
  • Parodied in Goodness Gracious Me: parents compromise with their westernised Punjabi son by setting him up with an arranged shag.
    We put an advert in the paper .. We've had a lot of responses, but we think this girl is the easiest.
  • The pilot of NUMB3RS reveals that Amita's parents tried to set her up in one of these. Her "fiancé" is back in India, while Amita moved to the US when she was little. When asked if she plans to marry him, she replies that she won't, as she doesn't like the guy at all. In a later season, Amita and Charlie start dating. However, Amita admits to Charlie that the fact that he's not Indian will be a problem for her parents. At a dinner with her parents, an old friend of Amita's shows up at the invitation from her parents in an obvious attempt to set them up. Only one problem - the guy is gay. Also, they reveal that, after meeting Charlie face-to-face, they have warmed up to him.
  • The Americans has the two protagonists Philip and Elizabeth, who are KGB Agents living in America as a married couple.
  • On Salem, Anne's parents plan to marry her off to Cotton Mather.
  • The Reality TV series Married At First Sight plays this straight, pairing couples who have never met before the bride walks down the aisle. The pairs are matched by experts, who are available throughout the experiment, and at the end of each season couples are given the option to divorce. Seeing as this is Reality TV, in the first season all three pairs have some good chemistry but also some issues (a pair who have great sexual chemistry but poor emotional intelligence; an Ugly Guy, Hot Wife match who are Birds of a Feather under the hood; a couple with a wife from a huge loving family and a husband who has walls up and an ailing mother). At the end of five weeks, the decisions were as follows: get a divorce, stay together and stay together.
  • In Night and Day, Natalie Harper and Rachel Culgrin plot and scheme to bring about a marriage between Jane and Sam, their daughter and nephew respectively.
  • Arrow: Ra's al Ghul forces his daughter Nyssa and Oliver Queen into one, much to the Nyssa's disdain (Oliver also flinched when it was announced, implying his discomfort). At the end of the next episode, Nyssa attempts to stab Oliver during the wedding. Although later events make it clear that they got the marriage annulled (if it was even valid in the first place), Nyssa occasionally snarks about it, such as greeting Oliver's sister as her sister-in-law.
  • Sense8: Subverted. Kala's marriage to a young, wealthy man who she is not in love with is not an arranged marriage. He genuinely loves her, and everyone thinks she loves him back. But it still carries most of the Arranged Marriage tropes, as she's only going through with it because she knows he's a perfect match and doesn't want to disappoint her family.
  • In Shadowhunters, the Lightwoods are planning one for Alec as a means of restoring the family power and honor.
  • In Victoria, attempts are made both before and after her ascension to the throne to marry Victoria to various foreign or distantly related princes. One such suitor, her cousin Albert, actually does end up marrying Victoria, but it is a love match as well.
  • Supergirl (2015): Rhea tries to force Mon-El and Lena into one of these to create an heir and legitimize her invasion of Earth. They both refuse initially, but go along with it once Rhea starts threatening hospitals. Fortunately, the ceremony gets interrupted and they team up to escape.
  • The White Queen:
    • Lord Warwick arranges a match between his first daughter Isabel Neville and George of Clarence without King Edward IV's consent.
    • He later does the same with his second daughter Anne Neville, who marries Edward of Lancaster against her will.
    • His own marriage to his wife was also a planned union.
      Countess Warwick: Do you think I married for love? No, it was an agreement, a contract.
    • Margaret Beaufort is very bitter at her mother Lady Beauchamp for forcing her to marry Edmund Tudor, and later Henry Stafford.
    • The Duke of Buckingham and Catherine Woodville are around 10 and 8 years old, respectively, when they have to walk down the wedding aisle. The boy groom is visibly grumpy during the ceremony, and Queen Elizabeth states that he's sulky.
    • Elizabeth of York and Henry Tudor are betrothed by their mothers, and Elizabeth hates it.
  • All My Children's An Li's mother wanted to take her back to their native China to force her into one of these. Her friend Brian offered to marry her himself so that she wouldn't have to leave the place she'd known for most of her life to marry a man she'd never met.
  • Sunset Beach's Rae's parents also wanted to do this. Though she tried to stand her ground, especially since she'd genuinely fallen in love with someone else, she caved in when they threatened to disown her, breaking her boyfriend's heart and nixing one of the show's first storylines.
  • The Witcher (2019): Queen Calanthe planned on one for Pavetta, despite her objection.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: In High Atlantic society, it is common for witches to make five-year marriage contracts between the major families.
  • Never Have I Ever: Kamala's family is trying to set her up with a husband. At first she's secretly very reluctant, as she has a boyfriend (who's not Indian, and they're also having sex, neither of which they'd like). However, after she meets her would-be groom, she's smitten by his good lucks and charm, dumping her boyfriend. After her past relationship is revealed, he actually expresses approval since it makes her more interesting. They both agree to not rush into marriage however.
  • The Arrangement (2017): Megan is offered a marriage contract to Hollywood star Kyle right after they first start dating, in "order to protect his brand". How this affects their lives is one of the main themes in the series, and it's also Zig-Zagged in that it's justified due to invoked (In-Universe) Executive Meddling acting as Shipper on Deck; deconstructed in that it's a fairly political marriage, a la The White Queen and Played for Drama as well in that the question is whether Megan will have a Sanity Slippage because of it.

  • The folk song "Annachie Gordon":
    Down came her father and he's standing on the floor
    Saying, Jeannie, you're trying the tricks of a whore
    You care nothing for a man who cares so very much for thee
    You must marry with Lord Saltan and leave young Annachie
  • Emilie Autumn's "Marry Me":
    "Marry me", he said, through his rotten teeth, bad breath, and then: "Marry me instead of that strapping young goatherd", but when I was in his bed and my father had sold me I knew I hadn't any choice, hushed my voice, did what any girl would do."
  • In the English folk ballad "The Tree They Grow So High", the young woman protagonist blames her father for marrying her to a mere boy half her age. She comes to love the boy afterward and bears his child, just before fate snatches her dear young husband from her.
  • "Alice Childress" by Ben Folds Five. The couple has broken up because they have different ideas about how life works. Includes the line "An arranged marriage is not so good."
  • "Jock o'Hazeldean" is about a bride eloping from an arranged marriage with the eponymous hero.
  • "The Pocket Knife" by PJ Harvey from Uh Huh Her is about a bride who waits to be married against her will and keeps a pocket knife with her, just in case:
    Please don't make my wedding dress
    I'm too young to marry yet
    Can you see my pocket knife?
    You can't make me be a wife
    How the world just turns & turns
    How does anybody learn?

    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Feudalism: Zeus arranged the marriage between Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty to the deformed Hephaestos-apparently to stop the other gods from squabbling about her. Although that did not stop Aphrodite from dallying around in any way...
    • For that matter, Aphrodite arranged for Helen of Troy to fall in love with Paris, as reward for Paris giving a golden apple to her instead of to Hera or Pallas Athena. Of course, since Helen already was married, this led directly to the Trojan War (at which point Paris learned why it's generally a bad idea to slight Hera). This indicates how little Aphrodite cared about the idea of marriage in the first place.
    • Aphrodite and Ares' (illegitimate) daughter Harmonia note  was given away in an arranged marriage to the mortal nobleman Cadmus, a distant descendant of Poseidon and founder of the Kingdom of Thebes. Apparently they were happy, but what happened to their kids...!
  • According to Christian martyrology, in order to escape an arranged marriage to a pagan king, a Rebellious Princess named Wilgefortis pleaded to God to make her repulsive in appearance so she could remain unmarried and keep her vow of virginity. Soon she grew a beard, utterly repulsing the suitor who called the arrangement off, and for this her evil father had her crucified. With time, Wilgefortis was canonized and became the patron saint for women trapped in abusive marriages.
  • Fairly common in The Bible, often perfectly. Isaac and Rebecca, for example, were arranged when Isaac's father, Abraham, sent his servant Eliezer to find a suitable wife in the family's homeland. Jacob also arranged Rachel and got a couple of other wives (one of them being Rachel's big sister Leah) in the process.
  • Annals of the Western Shore has this common to its societies. The Uplands do it to manage their inherited magic powers in Gifts. In Powers, it's done for the standard political and financial reasons.


  • There is no GATE; we did not fight there:
    • Betrothals and arranged marriage are perfectly common and expected amongst the nobles of the Empire. Kytheus is expected to eventually be married to a Lady of another province to secure supplies and an alliance for Rhavenfell.
    • The choice of Kytheus' eventual main wife was left to the players of the quest in a poll that listed each of the advantages that would come with them. The Quest GM also wrote a number of interludes from the perspectives of each possible spouse in order to showcase their personalities. The resulting arguments and deliberations were... heated to say the least.

  • Gilbert and Sullivan use this as a plot device several times:
    • In Princess Ida, Hiliarion was two years old and Ida one when they were betrothed. Straw Feminist Ida, now 21, wants no part of this arrangement; but if her father Gama fails to deliver his daughter as agreed, it will mean war.
    • In The Gondoliers, Casilda and the Crown Prince of Barataria were not merely betrothed, but actually married as infants. This is news to the bride.
      Duke: When you were a prattling babe of six months old you were married by proxy to no less a personage than the infant son and heir of His Majesty the immeasurably wealthy King of Barataria!
      Casilda: Married to the infant son of the King of Barataria? Was I consulted? [Duke shakes his head.] It was a most unpardonable liberty!
      Duke. Consider his extreme youth and forgive him.
    • In The Grand Duke, Grand Duke Rudolph was betrothed in infancy to the Princess of Monte Carlo, but the arrangement has a sunset provision he hopes to exploit.
  • Shakespearean examples:
    • Shakespeare's most poignant use of this trope may have occurred in Romeo and Juliet, whereby Juliet finds herself forcibly betrothed to Count Paris (by this point, she's already married to Romeo, but her parents don't know that). His steady, mature love may actually have made him a better match for Juliet than the Hot-Blooded Romeo. (But how dramatic would that have been?). Romeo and Juliet was published in 1597.
      Juliet: Is there no pity sitting in the clouds
      That sees into the bottom of my grief?
      O sweet my mother, cast me not away!
    • In All's Well That Ends Well, the king arranges a marriage between his ward Bertram and Helena. That ends better, once Bertram has been persuaded to accept it.
    • A Midsummer Night's Dream features Hermia, who is betrothed to Demetrius despite being in love with another man, Lysander; matters are further complicated by the fact that Hermia's friend Helena is in love with Demetrius. He used to love and court her but dropped her for a better marriage to Hermia. The matter is finally resolved when Oberon and Puck enchant Demetrius to go back to Helena; when he cancels the previous arrangement, Hermia's father allows her to marry Lysander instead.
    • In Two Gentlemen of Verona, Sylvia's father insists that she marry Tyrio, when in fact she's in love with Valentine.
  • Fiddler on the Roof, taking place in an early 20th-century Slavic Jewish community where Old Traditions (Arranged Marriage) were rapidly clashing with New Ideas (marrying for love), discusses this as a tradition; the original books suggested that it was a good idea, while the musical adaptation was more neutral on the subject. Each of Tevye's teenage daughters ultimately ended up with the man she wanted, but each suffered the consequences: Tzeitel lives in abject poverty with Motel, rather than the relative comfort she would have had with Lazar Wolf; Hodel winds up in Siberia and Chava is disowned. The practice was to keep marriages within the Jewish community, but the musical points out that this is why the system fails.
    • Tevye and Golde's duet "Do You Love Me?" addresses the belief that an arranged marriage can ripen into love, while "Matchmaker", sung by the daughters, addresses both the pros and cons of arranged marriages.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac:
    • It's implied Count De Guiche married Cardenal Richelieu’s niece only to improve his connections at the Court.
    • De Guiche tries to set up one for Roxane, as she says in Act II Scene VI:
      Roxane: [who has unmasked] That dandy count,
      Whom you checkmated in brave sword-play
      Last night... he is the man whom a great lord,
      Desirous of my favor...
      Cyrano: Ha, De Guiche?
      Roxane: [casting down her eyes] Sought to impose on me... for husband...
  • While the Commedia dell'Arte had no fixed plot (it was rather a set of stock characters), generally whatever the day's plot was involved this. The parents were generally Pantalone, a rich old merchant, and Il Dottore, an old doctor; usually Il Dottore's daughter was engaged to Pantalone but in love with his son, but they occasionally swapped parents. The plots were made up mostly of these four and a variety of servants and acquaintances that could work for any of them trying to unite the lovers and either get rich or laid.
  • In The Lady's Not for Burning, Alizon's parents have arranged for her to marry Humphrey, the mayor's nephew. When she arrives at the beginning of the play to prepare for the wedding, she mentions that she's only met Humphrey once. She finds a kindred spirit in Richard, the mayor's clerk, and she and Richard elope at the end of the play.
  • Naughty Marietta: The motivation for the heroine being in The Big Easy.
  • In Knickerbocker Holiday, Mynheer Tienhoven arranges for his daughter Tina to marry Governor Stuyvesant, though she remains in love with The Hero, Brom.
  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever has Melinda Welles' family making elaborate preparations for her to marry Sir Hubert Insdale. She quashes the proposal simply by saying "no" to him.
  • Parodied in The Rivals. Sir Anthony Absolute announces to his son Jack that he's arranged for him to be married to a wealthy heiress. Jack refuses to go along with the arrangement since he already loves Lydia. Then he finds out that Lydia is the wealthy heiress in question, and makes a show of allowing himself to be reluctantly persuaded.
  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: In part one, Mrs. Hawking, the titular protagonist declares that her father "sold her like a sheep" to her husband the Colonel. In part four: Gilded Cages, it's revealed that her father, Governor Stanton, agreed to spare a starving village in Singapore from some oppressive policies if she consented to the wedding.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: The play takes place in a medieval setting during a war and focuses on the alliances made by various members of the nobility. Sealing alliances via arranged marriages comes up a lot.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The wedding between Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner was one of these in BattleTech, having been negotiated in a secret treaty between the Lyran Commonwealth and Federated Suns at the very end of the Third Succession War. By all accounts, it was a very happy marriage (even though the wedding day also saw Hanse launch the Fourth Succession War) both politically — merging the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth into the Federated Commonwealth (though the Commonwealth itself ended badly after both Hanse and Melissa had died) and personally, with both falling in love with each other, even despite the significant age difference between them — Hanse was 45 at the time of the wedding, Melissa was 18.

  • At least two of the girls in Little Apple Dolls have backstories of being betrothed to men. It never ends up well. In one of the cases he locked the girl in a cage, apparently was going to steal her soul, and planned to turn her into a demon. She opted to kill herself instead. Mind you, she was seven when she died.

    Video Games 
  • Nagamasa and Oichi in all Samurai Warriors which was forged to create an alliance between Nagamasa and Oichi, but does not end well.
  • Persona:
    • Go through Mitsuru's Social Link for enough time in Persona 3 and you'll discover that, to stabilize the Kirijo Group after her father's death, the board of directors has arranged for her to marry a much older man. She seems to have accepted it, but (judging by the proper answers to the dialogue prompts) the main character isn't fooled.
    • In Persona 5, Haru, a party member and, like Mitsuru, representative of the Empress arcana, is forced into another such marriage and is somewhat more open about her dislike of it.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, the Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca has an arranged marriage to Lord Rasler of Nabradia intended to promote an alliance. He dies soon after (not a spoiler since it happens in the opening tutorial). Also note that unlike most examples of this trope, they were actually quite happy with each other after a little bit of friction.
    Rasler: A marriage of convenience. A symbol of the alliance between Nabradia and Dalmasca. This is how they see our match.
    Ashe: They do, do they?
    Rasler: These roles we play. I must admit I find it... wearying.
  • In Final Fantasy XV, Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir to the Lucian throne, is betrothed to Lady Lunafreya Nox Fleuret of Tenebrae. While there is insufficient information to conclude that they actually want to marry each other, there is likely no friction due to them being Childhood Friends. Despite having been estranged due to Niflheim's invasion of Tenebrae and Lunafreya being held captive, both are said to cherish their childhood memories of each other.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins:
      • In the City Elf origin, you have an arranged marriage to another city elf. It's out of necessity or perhaps tradition rather than politics (elves are treated as second-class and relegated to slums). How your character views the situation is up to you - it's entirely possible that you're happy with the situation and so is your spouse. Of course, it still doesn't end well when the local nobility decides to have some fun.
      • Arl Howe tries to set one up between the Human Male Warden and his daughter Delilah (or a Human Female Warden and his son Thomas) in the Noble Origin, but seeing how the story turns out, it never comes to pass. Then, in Awakening, you actually meet Delilah, who wasn't at all pleased about being set up with the Male Warden and has since married a commoner in Amaranthine, with a child on the way.
        Delilah: He's so much better than that stuck-up Cousland boy that father kept trying to set me up with.
        Warden: I'm right here.
        Delilah: Oh. Er. That was you, wasn't it? Awkward!
      • It's possible to arrange a political marriage during the Landsmeet when resolving the question of who will rule Ferelden. This can be established either between Alistair and Anora, between Anora and Male Cousland, or between Alistair and Female Cousland, even if they are not in a romance.
      • Anora herself states that her marriage to Calian was an arranged one, though they grew to love each other. The World of Thedas, vol. 2 more or less corroborates this, as the two were raised as close friends and went on adventures together.
    • Dragon Age II:
      • Leandra Amell, the player character's mother, was facing one when she met and fell in love with the apostate mage Malcolm Hawke. She eloped with him rather than spend her life in a loveless marriage. However, supplemental material indicates that she didn't really mind the arrangement until she met the dashing mage; as of the time of the game, she and her former betrothed, the Comte de Launcet, are still on friendly terms.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition
      • During Josephine's romance arc, her family betroth her to a young nobleman, whom the Inquisitor can challenge to a duel for her hand in marriage. However, after seeing that the two are legitimately in love rather than just being a fling, the lord in question calls off the duel and is happy for them. (Oddly, this never comes up if Josephine is not romanced, in which situation the betrothal would work out just fine; presumably it still takes place and she simply never brings it up since it's not a problem.)
      • Dorian's conflict with his family centers on his refusal to enter an arranged marriage partly due to being gay and partly because he and his betrothed just plain don't like each other. He ended up fleeing altogether when his father tried something very, very ugly. Dorian's parents themselves were arranged in a loveless political marriage for the sole purpose of breeding a strong mage. The fact that they otherwise hate each other neatly explains both Dorian's determination not to end up in the same situation and why they have no other children who could have kept the line going.
      • As it turns out, one of these factors into Varric's romantic history - not for him, but for the girl he wanted to marry. They were going to elope, but she left him at the altar and went through with the arrangement her parents put together instead.
  • Arranged marriages in Fire Emblem only lead to problems with irrevocable consequences:
    • Fire Emblem Akaneia: This is what happened to Prince Hardin of Aurelis and Princess Nyna of Archanea, for lineage-preservation and political reasons. While Hardin loved Nyna, she thought well of him but didn't romantically love him and actually was in love with Camus, and she agreed to marry Hardin because of her counselors' pressure on her and the desperate need to save Archanea. It's easy to guess who exploits Hardin's bad feelings over the whole matter and turns him into a major villain in Mystery of the Emblem... It's Gharnef. At the end Nyna goes to one horribly Break the Cutie process, Hardin only comes to his senses as he dies in Marth's arms, and after briefly seeing that Camus was Not Quite Dead (under the identity of Sirius), Nyna hands Archanea to Marth and Caeda, then gets the Hell away of everything.
      • The Macedon noblewoman Lena and the Archanean nobleman Jeorge were supposed to marry Prince Michalis and Midia respectively. Lena got the Hell out of Macedon and ultimately got together with Julian, whereas Midia defied her and Jeorge's families by choosing Astram (much to Jeorge's relief).
    • Fire Emblem Elibe: This is what happened to King Desmond and Queen Hellene for financial and political reasons. Desmond was embittered by not being able to choose the woman he wanted to marry - who ends up as his mistress bearing his daughter instead - and his just as embittered wife venomously taunts him over the fact that their son will be King of Bern and that his daughter will be nothing. This is what led to him conspiring to take his son out of the picture by any means, culminating with attempting to assassinate him and having it backfire (and Hellene also unintentionally neglected her own son's well being for being overly ambitious). And who is their son? It's Zephiel.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance: This is what was going to happen to Astrid for financial and political reasons. Astrid hated her family's decision of arranging a wedding consisting of her and a noble from Begnion, and she greatly despised the man in question. This is what led to her running away from her family to have a life that wasn't run by other people. Who she was supposed to marry? Lekain. Ashera knows what could have happened to poor Astrid if she ended up going through it.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the A-Support of Bernadetta and Ferdinand reveals that they were arranged to be wed but the latter called it off after hearing some frightening rumors about the former. However after getting to know her better, he says he would've been happy to go through with it. In their paired ending, they do end up marrying.
  • In Star Ocean: The Second Story, the prince of Krosse and the princess of Lacuer have an arranged marriage. If you trigger a certain series of Private Actions in Krosse, however, you can stop the wedding so that one of them can be with their true love. However, it's implied that the other royal did actually have feelings for their arranged partner.
  • In Super Paper Mario, The Chaos Heart can only be awakened to its full, reality-sundering power by the marriage of two individuals never meant to be together. Count Bleck invades Mario's reality to abduct Peach and Bowser for his attempt to engender a Reality-Breaking Paradox, and Nastasia is forced to take control of Peach to get the doom train out of the station (Peach, naturally, would never agree to wed Bowser).
  • In Final Fantasy Legend II, the New God Venus arranges the marriage between Nills (Julius in Japan) and Flora (Olivia), despite the latter's relationship with Leon (Anthony) whom Venus has banished from her city due to his damaged leg. It's up to the protagonists to stop the marriage from taking place.
  • In The iDOLM@STER 2 the Takane route involves one.
  • Both Crusader Kings games feature arranged marriages, as would be appropriate for a game based in the Middle Ages. The second one particularly focuses on the "contract between two families" aspect; since alliances are between relatives, the only way to ally with people outside your own dynasty is through intermarriage — yourself or one of your close relatives to them or one of their relatives.
  • In Dragon Quest VIII, Princess Medea and Prince Charmles have an arranged marriage. When the heroes (with Medea transformed into a horse pulling their cart) go on a mission with Charmles, she sees firsthand that his name may as well have an extra "S" at the end. In the end, with her own father's blessing (and even Charmles's father going along with it, though how strongly depends on which ending you earned), Medea runs off with the hero instead. If the true ending is obtained, she is able to marry the hero with no obstacles, because the agreement was for her to marry a prince of Argonia, not Charmles specifically. Turns out the hero's father was the king of Argonia's older brother.
  • In Odin Sphere, the fate of valkyries too wounded in battle to continue their careers as warriors is to be married off and serve as housewives and child-bearers. They consider it a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Discussed in Tales of Graces by Malik, Asbel, Richard, and Hubert. While Malik plays observer to it, the other three show disdain for it. Hubert mostly dislikes it because he thinks the person you marry should be your choice. Asbel and Richard agree and bemoan the marriage proposals they get.
    Asbel: I don't think someone should pick their wife like something out of a catalogue.
  • Tears to Tiara 2 has an interesting twist. Hanno, the Governor-General of Qart Hadast, arranges a marriage between his daughter Elissa and Hamil to cement an alliance with Hispania. She agrees and sets out for Hispania. She's taken by slavers. When she and her bodyguard Daphnis were about to die fighting, Hamil and the party pulls a Big Damn Hero moment. The result is that Elissa rejects the proposal because of her Love Epiphany. Hamil himself is much relieved as well.
  • For what little the lore has, League of Legends gives us how the Queen of Freljord, Ashe, arranged it herself that she's married with Tryndamere the Barbarian King in order to represent Freljord as a nation and stabilize politics. Their marriage seems steady despite how any romantic feelings between the two are unknown (although Fanon would depict them as Happily Married).
    • And then the Freljord event happened and proved the marriage had the exact opposite effect. The union was all Ashe's rival Sejuani needed to convince every other clan to rebel in a concerted show of contempt for trying to use a coward's game of politics to take power over a land where the strong survive. And this happened just in time for the evil Ice Queen sealed in the coldest, least-habitable corner of the land to rear her head just when any chance of uniting against a common foe was completely off the table. Great move, Ashe.
  • In Might and Magic: Heroes VI, Emperor Liam Falcon attempts to end the feud between the Wolf and Griffin Duchies by organising a wedding between Irina, daughter of Griffin Duke Slava, and Wolf Duke Gerhart.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Optional follower Borgakh the Steel Heart is the daughter of the chieftain of the orc stronghold Mor Khazgur, and joins up with the Dragonborn to escape an eventual arranged marriage to another stronghold. This is accomplished either with a Speechcraft check, in which case she runs away with you, or by paying off her bride-price so the stronghold doesn't lose out on what they'd get for her.
  • The Spirit Engine 2 has Ferwin, caught in the traditional business-pact-marriage. It's complicated further by the fact that there's another woman who he does love and wants to marry her instead. This causes him to become a Runaway Fiancé.
  • The fourth licensed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation game has this as part of the overall mystery of the murder of an Indian doctor in his bed while his blind wife was sitting downstairs. In fact, preventing it was the motive. The doctor was forcing his daughter into marrying a scumbag from the family's homeland - specifically the son of the doctor's old friend. The daughter kept refusing, even (rightfully) getting her fiancé charged for stealing her father's credit card and supplies from their surgery. Her father was insistent on the marriage and even had the charges dropped (again, the fiancé stole from him). She also tried to get her father's medical license revoked for malpractice (also justified as he performed a surgery he wasn't trained for on his own wife and blinded her more out of a sense of pride than anything), but the charges never stuck because the mother was willing to take the abuse to protect her daughter and her family's honor. Near the end, he made an ultimatum to the daughter: go through with the marriage or be cut off from her mother. Then it turns out that the mother isn't completely blind...
  • Channing and Gloria of Lunarosse are caught in one since the beginning of the game due to business purposes. They don't like each other at all to start with, but the two can develop a genuine relationship depending on how the game plays out.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • In Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Celia is engaged to a man from outside of town. She is ambivalent and later outright throws it off, in part due to her feelings for you. She'll marry Marlin if you don't marry her. If you get all of Celia's heart events but marry another woman, Celia will appear at your house and call you about about how you broke her heart and how she threw off her arranged marriage because of you only for you to betray her.
    • In the Japanese version of Harvest Moon DS, Muffy's parents try to arrange a marriage for their Christmas Cake of a daughter. Muffy refuses. The English version changes it into a blind date.
    • In Harvest Moon 2, the mayor wants his daughter Maria to marry an unspecified man. Maria, however, doesn't want to. This leads to her staying at Sara's until her father convinces her to come home.
  • In Miitopia, the Princess of Greenhorne is in love with her childhood friend, the son of a besmirched noble, but she is meant to be married to the Prince of Nekdsor, who is a cowardly, disdainful and insufferable douchebag. Though, when her face is stolen by the Dark Lord, the Prince runs away sobbing with fear while her friend bravely goes to save her without any hesitation, despite being hopelessly outmatched. The Princess's father saw it all, and realized that he was far better than the Prince of Neksdor, cancelling the engagement.
  • Haven (2020): One of the reasons that Kay and Yu left the Apiary is because Kay was set up with a "Mate". He didn't even glance at her profile before they ran away, but Yu convinces him to at least take a look.
  • Yes, Your Grace: The Player Character's two oldest daughters are just old enough to marry and a year away from usual marriage age respectively. Marrying off the oldest of the two is a non-negociable element of the game's plot, but things are more open with the younger one: two different offers for her show up over the course of the game, and the player can choose to take neither and let her run off with her lover instead.
  • Oracle Of Askigaga: The princess of Hachisuka is set by her father to marry the prince of Askigaga to bring peace, but she doesn't like it, wanting to personally mow down the opposing army instead.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ai and Forbesii in Tick! Tack! are arranged to be married. Ai likes the idea, but Forbesii doesn't really care. He doesn't hate her, but he's fallen for his maid in the last year instead.
  • Kaori in Crescendo (JP) intended to go through with an omiai arranged marriage (and presumably does so offscreen on the occasions when the player fails to achieve her good ending or chooses a different path).
  • Played very straight in Long Live the Queen, with the twist that you, the Crown Princess, get to arrange your own marriage. Nearly all of these marriages are purely political in nature, although you and your spouse may or may not end up developing mutual respect at the very least, depending on who you choose. However, if you do manage to make it to the end of the game without getting engaged, you have the option to instead wait for love, and this causes you to end up with an unnamed Earl who's good at baking. It's also possible to marry a guy and end up with a lovely lady on the side, or to outright refuse marriage and instead cycle through a bunch of lovers, discarding them whenever you get bored.
    • The player also has an opportunity to arrange someone else's marriage in order to end a war, but said person will not be very happy if she does.
  • In Akatsuki no Goei this was mostly a thing with the previous generation. Genzou was engaged to a woman named Yuri until Masaki eloped with her and took her to the prohibited district and Akiko married some random guy despite having a thing for Kaito's dad as well. He died, though, so she likes flirting with her daughter's boyfriend.
  • Guenevere: The game opens on the day of Guenevere's arranged marriage to King Arthur - player choice can determine whether it is to be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage or a nightmare.
    • Morgana also had an arranged marriage to King Lot of Orkney prior to the beginning of the plot.
  • Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem takes place during a political summit which is held every seven years to strengthen diplomatic ties between the eponymous Seven Kingdoms. One of the main goals of the summit (and the game) is to form a politically advantageous marriage arrangement that will not make the participants miserable.
  • Hatsuhime from Yo-Jin-Bo was intended to be married to a ten-year-old by her retainer Yahei, because said ten-year-old was the only "suitable" match for a princess to be found in the entire clan.
  • Leanna of Crystalline is nearly coerced into one by her father, but he backs down when she threatens to give up her family name.

    Web Comics 
  • Introduced in strip 27 of Xawu.
  • The Severin family in Muted make their living off these. The daughter of the Head Matriarch must summon a demon on their 21st birthday with the explicit purpose of wishing for a rich husband.
  • It's the central plot for the two main characters, Miharu and Kazuo, in Red String. It's also the center of the subplot for Miharu's cousin Karen and her betrothed, Makoto.
  • In Tsunami Channel, Yamato Nadeshiko Haruna arrives and stays because she has promised with the protagonist, or so she claims. It's eventually discovered that she was in a tightly arranged promise before, made when she was still a child. However, she and her fiancé eventually fell in genuine love with each other, but the boy got a mortal disease and dissolved the promise a couple of days before his death. Obviously, she was devastated, until the professor Hasegawa showed her a photo of the protagonist who, coincidentally, was too similar to her dead fiancé. This reveal is done by her new arranged fiancé who was a friend of the dead one.
  • The Cyantian Chronicles: Tira and Caite. Twice.
  • 8-Bit Theater: In Elven society pre-marital courtship consists of an elaborate system of blackmail and counter-blackmail. And that's mild compared to what went on a few centuries earlier.
  • The first story arc of The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! involved a squicky forced political marriage between Green-Skinned Space Babe Princess Voluptua and Starfish Alien Ahem.
  • No Rest for the Wicked: The backstory of the comic is that (Princess) November ran away from home in order to escape a Standard Hero Reward with the unnamed "Boy", a naive Fearless Fool peasant who managed to rescue a huge treasure from a haunted castle. The Boy seems genuinely smitten with her, however; between November's own story arcs, the comic features him traveling around the world with an upbeat spirit, hoping to find her. Well, she is the youngest, if you catch my drift.
  • And for a modern Western example? Ozy and Millie has Ozy betrothed to one of his more distant cousins, Isolde. There is a notable age difference, as only one of them is physically mature. Ozy 'talks' his way out of it: after an exceptional performance at a family sporting event, he breathes fire on the betrothal papers. His father objects to the idea; it's described by a matriarch-like figure that it'd be the best way for Ozy to really do good for his family, given the species gap.
  • Rabbit society in Kevin & Kell is fond of this trope:
    • The concept was introduced not long after Coney's first word when rabbits started trying to arrange a marriage between their sons and Coney. Even considering Coney's freakish in their eyes because she's half-wolf, they still want to do so because they know she doesn't attack her own family. Kell refuses and says Coney will marry for love.
    • Kevin was supposed to have married who would be his rival in the school board elections, Fran Caudal, but Fran's parents called it off because Kevin had no fear (and therefore abnormal in their eyes).
    • Angelique had arranged a marriage between Lindesfarne and a hedgehog without telling Kevin, only bringing it up — and that it hasn't been broken off — when she got engaged to Fenton. Turns out though that the hedgehog, Quinn, was dating Lindesfarne's best friend Rhonda, and they got married so Lindesfarne was free to break the contract and marry Fenton.
      • And Quinn's parents, who were very enthusiastic about the marriage (to the point of putting in quill-proof rubber walls in anticipation of children) vowed to force a divorce between Quinn and Rhonda until Rhonda defended them against her jilted ex-boyfriend.
    • Long ago, the marriage of George and Martha Fennec had been one of these, done to add some diversity to their respective gene pools. Except they hated each other and eventually divorced when they caught each other cheating.
  • Mose in Templar Arizona is betrothed to an 11-year-old girl back in Egypt that he's never met in the flesh. His current friend-with-benefits, Tuesday is not happy about it.
  • Wildy of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures is due to be married to one of five possible candidates, they seem relatively okay with this.
  • In Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, Glon has to marry three orc ladies for political reasons when his mother is crowned Queen of Black Mountain. At first, he loathes the idea, but he soon grows to like them. The situation is not quite Perfectly Arranged Marriages, but Glon does enjoy their company, turning to them for advice and taking one of his wives along on at least one adventure.
  • In Erstwhile, the king persuades the prince to agree to one of these. After all, it's been seven years. He agrees and hopes the bride will manage to make him forget his lost love.
  • In Ebin and May, Emperor Houman's strategy for taking over neighboring kingdoms seems to be to marry into the royal family on the pretext of forming an alliance, then invading and using his marriage to legitimize his rule, later killing off the wife when she's no longer useful.
  • The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal begins this way, when Amal calls off the marriage his parents set up for him and comes out to them, prompting them to disown him. His ending up drunkenly agreeing to drive cross-country with a total stranger is what sets the plot rolling.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Sleipnir O'Hara had a political marriage waiting for her back home until she decided to run away with Theopholous DuMedd.
    • This trope is discussed between Baron Klaus Wulfenbach and his son Gilgamesh. Gil isn’t too keen on the idea and quickly proposes to the girl he likes instead.
    • Jiminez Hoffmann accidentally arranges his own marriage when he proposes a way to end a generations-long war by arranging a marriage between the Talpini prince and the Arguron princess. Of course, there's a species barrier - the Argurons are more or less human, but the Talpinis look like giant moles - but that's easily fixed. The Talpini king has adopted Hoffman as his son, so he can get married to the princess instead!
  • In Housepets!, it's not actually a marriage, but Spirit Dragon had her avatar, Tarot, take Peanut for a boyfriend in order to block Pete from taking him as an avatar. His potential character class could not power up quickly if in a relationship.
  • Freefall: It's revealed that Mr. Kornada is related to Ecosystems Unlimited's CFO Mr. Ishiguro by way of an arranged marriage to Ishiguro's aunt, intended as a framework for the merger of their respective families' companies. Mr. Ishiguro himself was also set up for arranged marriage, but showing his parents what a disaster bringing Kornada into the fold turned out to give him enough leverage to talk his way out of it.
  • In Eons Ago, Starscream was involved in one long ago on Cybertron. It was called off when his fiancée died.
  • Hooky: Monica and William have one of these, due to being a princess and prince. However, things get complicated after the time skip and Monica has developed feelings for Dorian, while William is torn between his duty as a future king and the possibility of his reciprocating Damian's feelings.
  • Princess Princess: Amira's parents were trying to set her up with various princes whom she found boring (and, since she's only shown as attracted to Sadie, probably wouldn't work out regardless). She ran away to become a hero again.
  • Suitor Armor: Princess Kirsi is betrothed to a prince. She's (initially) excited and has romantic notions about it, but her husband-to-be does not seem interested in her, barely willing to even chat.

    Web Original 
  • Limyaael's Fantasy Rants: Limyaael's thoughts on the arranged marriage plot device.
  • In Mother of Learning, Kirielle's marriage six years in the future has already been planned out.
  • Imperium Nova allows you to arrange marriages between members of your house and those from others. The lower status house gains status from the marriage and the higher status house often loses status but dowries can be offered to soften the blow. It also decreases feud score.
  • In May Xnocens, Princess May's marriage was going to be one of these. She doesn't object. July does, but only because he thinks the union will release Idius March. He tries to keep the whole thing from going through by stabbing her.
  • Receiver of Many:
    • Persephone's and Hades's marriage was arranged as a part of peace agreement between Hades and Zeus when Persephone was still in Demeter's womb. Despite a rocky start, they end up as in a much happier and healthier relationship than many other divine marriages.
    • Hephaestus and Aphrodite. Because of how powerful Aphrodite is, she was married off to one man who couldn’t challenge Zeus’ rule. In contrast to Hades and Persephone, they are both unhappy with this union. Faithfulness is not in Aphrodite’s nature and she doesn't feel much for Hephaestus, so she is having affairs left and right. Hephaestus himself is very much aware of this trait of his wife as well as the fact why he was chosen to be her mate, which he found to be more insulting than her affairs or bastard children.
  • As kids, Isis and Horitio from Lilium -Sims 2 were arranged to marry another set of siblings named Estella and Baltazar. The plot revolves around Iris having feelings for her brother, not her husband.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia:
    • Played for Laughs in an early episode, where Sprig is betrothed to the local baker's daughter in exchange for pizza dough. Everyone is fairly nonchalant about "selling" Sprig, including Sprig himself (he's creeped out by who he's marrying, sure, but doesn't protest the deal at all and expresses optimism that they can learn to love each other).
    • Happens again with Sprig and his childhood friend Ivy. When Sprig's grandfather and Ivy's mother realize they're close, they immediately decide to start them courting as part of a profitable business arrangement for both sides. Sprig points out that he's already engaged to someone else, but everyone ignores him.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender's final episodes of the first season, Sokka falls for Princess Yue, who is very unhappy to be headed for an arranged marriage to Hahn. She gets out of it by becoming the moon spirit, and by Hahn having a played-for-laughs death (Come on, thrown off a boat into Arctic waters? Dude is dead).
    • Fire Lord Ozai and Princess Ursa were also an arranged marriage. Since she is Avatar Roku’s granddaughter, Ozai and his father wanted to marry the two bloodlines. Ursa was actually engaged to another man when he proposed. This might hint that Zuko and Mai may have been arranged for each other early on as well, although they're so genuinely in love with each other (even blushing around each other as children) that it doesn't really matter anyway.
    • Sokka and Katara's grandmother, Kanna, was once arranged to be married to Waterbending Master Pakku, who saw her as the "love of his life". She ran away from the Northern to the Southern Tribe to avoid him and the Northern Tribe's traditions, and Pakku grew incredibly bitter and misogynistic as a result. It appears to have been the traditions were the problem rather than Pakku's person, however, because months after Pakku - having had a change of heart after meeting Katara and realising Kanna's actual reasons to leave - travelled to the Southern Tribe, he and Kanna properly got married, this time in mutual love.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: Just in case you forgot that Mira Nova was a princess (and considering how Action Girl she is, it's pretty easy), one episode has Mira finding out about an arranged marriage that has been set up for her. She tries to issue an Engagement Challenge—her foppish fiancé has to complete Star Command Basic Training—but to her horror, he passes with flying colors. Fortunately for her, he decides to become a Space Ranger rather than settle down.
  • Danny Phantom has an episode in which Sam is stuck in an arranged marriage with the ghostly Prince Aragon, after his sister spent half the episode finding the perfect human bride.
  • BoJack Horseman: Happened with Beatrice Horseman in her youth when father heavily pushed her to accept Corbin Creamerman since their families could profit from a sugar-cream alliance to make a profitable ice cream empire. It's implied that it would've been a Perfectly Arranged Marriage when they started to get to know each other better. Then she got pregnant with BoJack from Butterscotch.
  • on The Fairly Oddparents, Mark did a Heel–Face Turn to avoid an arranged marriage to Princess Mandie.
  • In Harley Quinn (2019), King Shark returns to his home in the ocean so he can marry Tabitha of the hammerheads to prevent a war between the kingdoms. Neither of them want to go through with it, so King Shark confronts his father and makes a big show of decline. When he returns to the surface, he reveals that he changed his mind minutes later and went through with it because he couldn't refuse his father.
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes has Lucius arranging for Beezy to marry the Weavil Princess in order to get a large amount of treasure from them (which they were willing to sacrifice in order to get rid of her).
  • An episode of The Simpsons followed Apu attempting to dodge an arranged marriage by claiming to already be married. After sufficient hilarity ensues, the ruse is discovered and the wedding goes forward over Apu's objections. However, his bride Manjula turns out to be a good match for him, and they remained happily married... until they had octuplets. Their marriage pretty much derailed from there.
  • (Princess) Starfire almost went through with one of these in Teen Titans; she'd been told it would end a war but in fact it was a ruse by her big sister Blackfire.
    • Based on a story in the original comics, in which she actually does go through with it. The husband would later die.
  • An episode of Timon & Pumbaa had Timon help Pumbaa escape an arranged warthog wedding. Since only the bride can call it off, Pumbaa was made to be as disgusting as possible to be unappealing. The bride is instead in love with him because she loved his bad boy look, only to cancel the wedding when Pumbaa confesses that he is actually a nice guy.
  • Winx Club:
    • There was one between Prince Sky and Princess Diaspro but Sky doesn't love her, so he calls off the wedding. Lucky Bloom.
    • Early in season 2, Brandon almost married Amentia, princess of the Underealm, who had a crush on him, much to his and Stella's horror. Fortunately for both, Amentia made up her mind in the last moment thanks to Amore (Stella's bonded pixie) and marries a fellow underealmer who doubles as her childhood friend, who does love her a lot.
    • One that actually worked out was between Princess Aisha and Nabu. The circumstances are similar to that in the Sleeping Beauty example: When Aisha sees Nabu for the first time, she doesn't know it's him, and he doesn't tell her that he is either. Both were hostile to the idea, but they fell in love anyway. After their parents call off their wedding, Nabu proposed to Aisha, who accepted. Only to get Killed Off for Real.
    • In Magical Adventure when Sky seemingly breaks off his wedding with Bloom just after proposing to her, Oritel tries to set Bloom up with several other guys (including but not limited to the nerdiest character in the show, an Elvis Impersonator and a supposed Specialist who managed to cut his own hair and pants while showing his prowess with the sword), but Bloom manages to blow them all off.
  • On The Proud Family, Penny had a budding romance with a Chinese-American boy, only to discover that his parents had arranged for him to marry some girl whom he'd never met. The boy thinks it's no big deal since they wouldn't get married for years anyway, but Penny refuses to be "the other woman." The issue is resolved when the boy meets his fiancée; the two immediately hate each other so much that the whole thing gets called off.

    Real Life 
  • There's a reason that royalty is often involved in Arranged Marriage plotlines: For Western historical examples, you need only read up on European royal houses from the last few centuries. Such tight inbreeding often resulted in diseases like schizophrenia becoming commonplace in such families, not to mention the horror that was known as the Hapsburg Chin.
    • It's also the reason infidelity was so tolerated among men. You had to marry the princess to pump out the required legitimate heirs. What you did outside of business hours wasn't your wife's concern. On the other hand, any woman, even one with no enemies, could find herself on the wrong side of an executioner's axe (or could doom her lover to that fate) by having an affair - in some cases, even a merely emotional affair. The logic behind that Double Standard is simple to understand: if the woman had an affair, there could easily be an illegitimate heir, which could have caused problems in theory. In reality, though, an illegitimate heir was often the healthiest thing the queen could provide her husband, and often there was no way to know.
  • Arranged marriages were fairly common right up to the 20th century in many western countries and still fairly common in African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries even today. As much as 90% of Indian marriages are still arranged. Expect societal disapproval if you choose your spouse yourself.
    • If you're rich, then you'll probably be under the most pressure to marry well. A rich person wanting to marry someone poor or even relatively poor would face tremendous amounts of resistance from family. This is true of Indians, but it's also an age-old story that you see across many cultures and time periods, including present-day white Americans. And it may well be true that 90% of Indian marriages are arranged, but that doesn't mean they're all forced. Many arranged marriages are consenting relationships. They're just done for more practical reasons than love because it's expected that you can grow to love just about anyone, so you may as well pick someone suitable and reliable to start with.
    • Dinesh D'Souza describes his sister's 'arranged marriage' as a process by which her parents vetted the prospects and made a shortlist who were then 'invited to dinner with suspicious frequency' and left the final choice of groom to the girl.
  • Among certain segments of society, they're still common even in Western countries. For example, Orthodox Jewish couples still largely meet via the services of a matchmaker, though websites such as Saw You At Sinai are trying to streamline the process. However, only the most conservative Hasidic families still practice the most extreme version of this trope; most will meet via a matchmaker but date for a month or two before deciding whether or not to marry. The combination of formality and desire to marry someone "compatible" has resulted in the infamous "shidduch problem" amongst Western Orthodox families whereby many singles remain single out of the inability to really find someone they connect to using this system.
  • For members of the Unification Church, "Moonies," all marriages amongst the flock are arranged by Reverend Moon himself (or were, until his death in 2012) or the couples' parents.
  • Some very conservative Christian groups practice "betrothal," meaning that they believe fathers have the authority to determine whom their adult children marry via Arranged Marriage or Parental Marriage Veto.
  • It's also pretty common for good friends who have opposite gender children to refer to them as a future husband and wife, although they're usually joking.
  • Arranged Marriage: Roman style is described by Pliny in one of his letters. He's been asked to look for a suitable husband for a friend's daughter and lists his candidate's qualifications in this order: family background; personal character; career prospects, appearance, and finally fortune which is probably placed last out of piety rather than its real importance. The physical description, interestingly, is clearly included for the girl's benefit.
  • Arranged Marriages are still practiced in South Korea as well, though they are becoming increasingly rare. Matchmakers and parents are usually very careful, though. They will scrutinize and vet a potential suitor for a period (a few weeks to a few years) before allowing the marriage to happen, allowing the couple to date and get to know each other during that period. That way they avoid most of the issues that could happen in arranged marriages of other cultures. Marrying for money is also discouraged.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Marriage Of Alliance


Sprig Meets Maddie

In the Plantar's search for pizza ingredients, Sprig is forced into an arranged marriage with the local baker's daughter, Maddie.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArrangedMarriage

Media sources:

Main / ArrangedMarriage