How to Get Married in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
The marriage system in Bannerlord is essential if you want to retain your legacy in the realm of Calradia and, perhaps more importantly, continue playing once your character has died. Your character won’t live forever in this game, and whether by death in combat or the slow decay of time, they will eventually die. If you don’t have an heir at the point of the death, you won’t be able to continue playing. It is therefore essential that you find a marriage partner relatively early on, and take care of your children by overseeing their development in the same way that you forged the path of your own character during the creation process.
Use the Encyclopedia to Find a Marriage Partner
The easiest way to find a prospective marriage partner in Bannerlord is by using the encyclopedia, which can be accessed by pressing the “N” button on your keyboard by default. Once open, select the Heroes tab to bring up a list of names, each of which is a person of significance in Calradia that you can find and meet. There are numerous categories on the left hand side of the encyclopedia page which you can use to refine your search for a marriage partner. You can search by Relation (whether you’ve met the person before), Gender (Male or Female), Status (Alive or Dead), Culture (Vlandia, Sturgia, Khuzait, Empire, Battania, Aserai, Vakken, Nord, Darshi), Occupation (Wanderer, Noble, Faction Leader), and Marital Status (Married or Not Married).
How to Choose a Good Marriage Partner
It goes without saying that the most important categories to search for here are people who are alive and not married. The rest will depend on your personal preference for what you want in a marriage partner. You won’t be able to marry someone of the same sex by default, but there are numerous mods out there which can change this. If you’re playing without mods, be sure to search for someone of the opposite sex, and if you want to use the marriage to gain influence in a particular faction, search by that faction and for nobles only within it. This should give you a decent handful of results for each faction, as shown in the screenshot below with a search for Sturgian nobles.
You can inspect the basic details of a prospective marriage partner by clicking on their name in the encyclopedia. This will reveal their attributes, skills, clan, culture, occupation, age, and their base relation rating to you. The relation rating will usually be at a base level of 0 or -1, but this can be improved once you establish a connection to the person by speaking with them and performing favors for them.
The encyclopedia entry for a potential marriage partner will also include a brief description of their reputation, which will indicate whether the person has a friendly, neutral, or hostile disposition. You can therefore make your decisions based on the behaviours that you intend to enact yourself, to ensure that the person doesn’t disapprove if your dispositions differ significantly. For example, if the person you intend to propose to has a reputation of being considerate to others, and you also intend to be considerate (by not killing too many prisoners, slaving, and being generous with the management of your faction), they’re probably a good match. If you marry someone with a reputation which doesn’t align with your own behaviour, you may find it difficult to maintain cohesion in the relationship, in the same way that occurs for party cohesion when you recruit too many companions who have conflicting personality traits.
The last thing you may want to consider when inspecting the encyclopedia page for a marriage partner is their Friends, Enemies, and Family. As noted above, if you intend to marry someone of a particular faction in order to improve your chances of gaining influence within that faction, you should take note of the family of the prospective marriage partner, and consider whether they are suitably placed within the hierarchy of the faction to provide you with the best chances of rising to the top. Enemies should also be considered if you want to avoid conflict with a faction who may be near enough to your own borders and settlements to create trouble for your faction stability later on.
How to Win the Affection of a Potential Marriage Partner
Once you’ve established that you’re interested in marrying a particular person by introducing yourself to them, you’ll need to get to know them a bit better to win their affection. The process of winning the affection of a potential marriage partner comes in the form of two sets of dialogue approval checks. The first are a set of three checks which relate to general mutual interests and ambitions. You should have a good chance of success for each of these, with at least 70%+ success rate for each check. The dialogue options are mostly the same for each prospective marriage partner, but this will also depend on which attributes you have invested the most in. Any attributes that you have a sufficiently high level in to increase your chances of compatibility will be marked with green text, while those which are too low or incompatible are marked with red text. Naturally, you should avoid the latter and seek out the former. If you find that with each person you talk to your chances are below a 70% success rate, try improving your skills and attributes before speaking with them, or other romantic interests, again.
After going through the motions of the first set of three dialogue checks, you’ll need to wait a couple of days before you can speak with them again for the second set. You can do this by travelling around the map, or just waiting in a specific settlement until enough time as passed. When you’re ready, speak with the person again (and don’t forget to save if you think your chances of success might be low!) to go through the motions of a second set of dialogue approval checks. The first of these should be a relatively easy approval, but the second is often much more difficult. You can expect to have as low as 40% success rate for the second check, which relates to how you respond regarding the approval of the prospective marriage partner’s family. Note that you should not select “I will try to earn your family’s trust, then” at the end of the conversation. If you do, the next time you speak with the marriage partner, they will act as if you tried and failed. Instead, try to succeed with the approval check, however low it might be. If you fail, you can always reload the save.
How to Gain the Approval of a Faction Leader
Once you’ve succeeded in all five dialogue approval checks, your prospective marriage partner will ask you to seek the approval of their faction leader. This is actually much easier than it sounds, provided you have the resources required. All you need to do is use the encyclopedia to track the faction leader down, then offer them enough money or goods for an approved transaction. A good 3000 denars should be enough to win them over (and to cover expenses of the marriage), but if you don’t have enough denars, try offering some of your best gear or resources. You can always come back later, once you’ve got enough denars to cover the cost. You will know that the amount proposed is enough when the trade hand icons at the top of the trade window is green.
How to Begin a Family, Have Children and Gain an Heir
Once you’ve satisfied the requirements of the faction leader, a message will appear to hail your new marriage! But you’re not quite done yet. If you married someone who is part of a military force, you will inherit all of their troops. This means that they will join your party, so you’ll need to pay for them and feed them to keep them happy and healthy. Your new spouse will be part of your army, so they will be with you wherever you go. This means that you can simply wait and rest at any settlement in order to have a child together. You shouldn’t have to wait more than a few weeks for a child to arrive. If you married someone who wasn’t part of a military force and instead spent their time in a keep, you can let them stay there while you go out adventuring. However, this comes with the risk of your spouse being captured by enemy forces if the settlement is attacked.
To avoid the risk of your spouse being captured, you can bring them into your party as soon as you’re married by selecting the “Take Hero To Party” option when you visit them. They will then remain in your party and go wherever you go. This means that you can wait at any settlement for a child to arrive, rather than be restricted to the original settlement where you first met your spouse. When the child is born, you’ll have to take care of them and guide your development, keeping in mind that you will likely be playing as them when your original character dies, thereby continuing your clan and legacy.