When I set out to write the Icor Tales I wanted the innocence and coming of age vibe of Harry Potter married to the gut wrenching reality of Game of Thrones. The question is how do you put a boy in a medieval world with any sense of reality and maintain that feeling of innocence?
In medieval Britain, marriages would happen as young as nine years old, and the median age was seventeen. But a modern audience is going to find that unacceptable, especially for the good guys. In my first draft I had Rose destined to marry Morefield when she was just 13, but I felt this was going to turn off my audience so I made it a little more restrained. They were to be betrothed, but she would not marry for at least 3 more years.
The courtship rituals came from a description by a real life medieval monk called Fra Lippo Lippi. A courtship would include a formal walk with a chaperone, followed by ‘banns’ posted on a board by the local priest. This would offer time for people to object during the betrothal period. Years later the nuptials would be watched by an audience and the blooded sheets hung from a balcony to prove the legitimacy of the marriage. Only then would the gold dowries be exchanged. The blooded sheets would be handed to the father of the bride to be used in court if the groom decided to abandon is wife.
A modern audience would find the whole thing a little repulsive (I think). So it is unclear at this point how much I will keep for the marriages which may take place at book 2 or book 3 (depending on if I am forced to split book 2 into two).
The fact that the icor tales is set in the future gives me a lot of artistic latitude. What I end up with needs to make sense, but it does not need to be historically accurate, which is a relief because history is awful.