A Mating Bond is a special and very rare bond between two individuals. It is higher than the bond between a regular married couple and considered very sacred. Members of the fae species are able to sense their mates, but only if the other side is fae. If their mate is mortal, then this sense will be dulled. Not very often does a fae have a mortal mate.
Traditionally, when the mating bond snaps into place between a male and female, they throw a party so the female can offer the male food. Once a female has done this, she has accepted the bond. The pair can also be officially mated by a priestess.
Once the bond is accepted, the couple falls into some kind of sexual frenzy that can last from a few days to several weeks. During this period of time, males are very protective and possessive over their mate and will see any other male as a threat and likely attack them.
The mating bond does not guarantee the couple will be happy and in love forever. In fact, there are multiple cases of unhappily mated couples like Rhysand's mother and Rhysand's father or Tamlin's parents. This happens because the general idea of the mating bond is that both individuals are complete equals, but not necessarily romantically matched. With mating bonds concerning a male and female, the bond is also based on which pairing would create the strongest offspring.
It is possible for same-sex couples to be mates, but alternate ceremonies for traditions such as the offering of food are unknown (it can be assumed, however, that simply one or both members offer the other food, regardless of gender).
A mating bond can also be rejected. If a male is rejected by a female, the loss of his mate has the capability to drive him into madness.
If the bond snaps between two individuals and one is already married, the situation must be treated very delicately. The males will always feel an intrinsic sense of entitlement to their mate and could go as far as to waging a duel or even war against their chosen lover.
If one of the mated pair dies, the loss is unbearable for the other as it feels like they have lost a part of their soul. Many fae often decide they don't wish to live without their mate.
- Rhysand and Feyre
- Cassian and Nesta
- Lucien and Elain
- Kallias and Viviane
- Rhysand's father and mother
- Drakon and Miryam
- Tamlin's father and mother
- Alis' sister and brother-in-law
- The mate bond is similar to the real world idea of soulmates, but much, much stronger.
- Mates can feel the other's emotions through the bond. It's unclear if every mated pair can mentally communicate or only Daemati has this ability.
- The bond is described to appear as a link between the minds of the two Fae represented by different structures such as a bridge or string.
- A mating bond can reveal itself at different times depending on the couple. For some, it snaps into place right when the pair meet (ex. Elain and Lucien), but for others, it can be years before the bond is discovered (ex. Viviane and Kallias).