|This article is about bad matches. You may be looking for a Match Fail.|
When an elf associates themselves romantically with another elf who is not on their Match Lists, they are deemed a Bad Match. The matchmakers give a hundred options per packet, with five packets total, so not choosing one of them may make your child not as "genetically pure" as they could be if you were to marry someone who was a match in your matchmaking packet. You might also marry somebody related to you accidentally if it's a bad match, which, considering the elves' indefinite lifespan, is a big possibility.
The Matchmaking Process
The Elves take a questionnaire to determine which elves are suitable for each other for marriage. The matchmakers work to make sure elves with different talents and physical features end up together. After all of the factors are taken into consideration, the matchmakers release a list of 100 names. There are five different lists that can be released, going from Top Tier, Second Contenders, Third Considerations, Fourth Runners-Up, and Final Alternatives.
Bad Match Qualifications
When an elf marries another elf without their name being on their lists it is considered a 'bad match'. A bad match is when certain elves are classified as incompatible by the matchmakers. This happens when they are in the same gene pool, because one of the elves is Talentless (or a Pyrokinetic who is forced to pretend they're Talentless because their ability was banned), or if their personalities don't match.
Known Bad Matches
- Kesler Dizznee and Juline Dizznee
- Brant and Jolie Ruewen (Engaged, but never officially married, as Jolie was killed by Brant before they could wed)
- Timkin Heks and Vika Heks (Unconfirmed, but it's rumored one of their relatives fixed their lists so that it looked like they were a good match though they were not. Also, Timkin is Talentless, while Vika is not, which would normally cause them to be a bad match.
Treatment of Bad Matches
Bad matches are one of the bigger prejudices in the Elvin world. Being a bad match often causes emotional distress. Since usually one of the members of a bad match is Talentless, people tend to treat them as lesser, such as seen with the Dizznees. Bad matches without talentless are also treated as lesser, though. People like Heks family often mock Dex's parents. With the case of Kesler and Juline, their "friends" started to avoid them and Juline was afraid to have children in case being a bad match affected them. Some elves think that if a couple that is a bad match has kids, they will have disabilities or be Talentless (which is usually not true). They also believe that if you have multiple children, that only the first child will be fully talented, and the rest will have issues (usually not true; see the Vackers,) though it might be due to the fact that as an immortal species, having too many children might be seen as detrimental to them, as they have already given most of Earth to the humans, which they mention reproduce extremely fast and in big numbers, by Elvin standards.
- Sophie Foster, due to her upbringing, does not see a bad match as anything socially unacceptable. Instead, she feels upset on behalf of her bad-matched friends, such as Kesler and Juline, for all the scorn they receive. She is even considering not getting a list in the first place and just marrying whoever she wants to, even though if she does that no matter who she decides to marry, even if they were on her list that she didn't apply for, would be a bad match. During Flashback, Sophie finds out she's unmatchable because she doesn't know who her birth parents are. She tries to find them in Legacy because she is afraid that Fitz will not accept her being unmatchable. This causes her to debate whether she should find her biological parents or just live her life with the mess of being a bad match. In the end, after discovering her biological mother, she decides to stop searching for her biological parents. Dex also mentions that he doesn't want to get a list when Fitz brought the subject up because he thought that it would be saying that the matchmakers' way was "right".
- Timkin and Vika Heks may or may not be a bad match. According to Marella, Timkin has a brother-in-law working in the Matchmaking Office who rigged the results. Since Timkin is Talentless, unlike Vika, this could be true. A Talentless will usually not be paired with an Empath, and instead with a fellow Talentless.