Forced Marriage

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Tropes and genres
Related tropes/genresArranged Marriage, Darkfic, Marriage, Marriage Law Challenge, Marriage of Convenience, Non-con, Rapefic
See alsoAlternate Universe, Dub-con, Emoporn
Unwanted Marriage by Valeriy Grebenyuk – The forced marriage of Sansa Stark to Ramsay Bolton from Game of Thrones.
Related articles on Fanlore.

Forced Marriage is a narrative trope, where one or both spouses enter into the marriage unwillingly. Sometimes this marriage comes from a bridenapping,[1] where mostly the bride is kidnapped to forcibly marry an unrequested suitor.

There is considerable overlap with arranged marriage fanworks as the couple been married often have little involvement in choosing their spouse.

Forced marriage works are particularly common in Royalty AUs, Historical AUs or fandoms which provide a canon basis for forced marriage.

Example Fandoms

  • Harry Potter's Marriage Law trope is well known in fandom. In this scenario a muggle born and a pure blood magician are forced to marry to ensure the continuation of the magical population. In some Voldemort Wins AUs, pure blood couples are forced to marry to maintain pure magical bloodlines.
  • Game of Thrones provides a canon basis for forced marriages and this is a popular trope in fanfiction.
  • A varitation of this trope is popular in Phantom of the Opera fandom, especially in Erik/Christine stories. In canon, the Phantom attempts to force Christine into marrying him by threatening Raoul's life. A lot of Phantom of the Opera fanfiction are AUs where he manages to do this.

Example Fanworks

Archives, Communities & Resources


  1. ^ portmanteau of bride kidnapping, see more in bridenapping Wikipedia page.
    The term is sometimes confused with elopements, in which a couple runs away together and seeks the consent of their parents later. In some cases, the woman cooperates with or accedes to the kidnapping, typically in an effort to save face for herself or her parents. In many jurisdictions, this used to be encouraged by so-called marry-your-rapist laws. Even in countries where the practice is against the law, if judicial enforcement is weak, customary law ("traditional practices") may prevail.