Ashara Dayne

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Ashara Dayne
Ashara dayne by elia illustration-d5c4w97.jpg
Illustration by Elia Fernandez©

Allegiance House Dayne
Culture Westeros
Died In 283 AC, at Starfall
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (Mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (Mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)

Ashara Dayne was a noblewoman of House Dayne, the sister of the famous knight Ser Arthur Dayne. She committed suicide shortly after the end of Robert's Rebellion.



Ashara was tall, with long dark hair and haunting violet eyes.[1][2] She had a reputation for great beauty. Many men were infatuated with her, including Barristan Selmy and, according to rumor, Eddard Stark.[3]


Ashara was a lady-in-waiting to Princess Elia Martell. She was present at the Tourney at Harrenhal, where she danced with several men, including Eddard Stark after his brother Brandon spoke with her.[4]

After the events of the Tower of Joy, Ned Stark went to Starfall to inform House Dayne of Ser Arthur's death and return to them his greatsword, Dawn. Ashara jumped from the top of one of the towers of Starfall, called the Palestone Sword, on the cliff atop the sea. Her body was never recovered.[3] After these events, Ned Stark returned to Winterfell with the infant Jon Snow, whom he claimed as his bastard son, refusing to name the child's mother. This sparked rumors that Ashara had been the mother of Stark's bastard,[4] and that grief at learning that her lover had been responsible for her brother's death was the cause of her suicide.[1][3]

Ser Barristan Selmy believes that Ashara gave birth to a stillborn daughter. According to Selmy, a man dishonored her at Harrenhal during the tourney and got her with child. Selmy's account is ambiguous. In Selmy's account, it was grief at the death of her child, perhaps grief at the loss of the man who "dishonored" her or shame of the "dishonoring" that led to Ashara's suicide. Also, Selmy thinks he could have prevented Ashara's suicide if she had known of his feelings for her; he thinks this would have led her to seek his aid rather than that of a Stark.[2]

References in the books

A Song of Ice and Fire

In Meereen, alone on the terrace of the Great Pyramid, Ser Barristan remembers Old Lord Whent’s tourney at Harrenhal and thinks of whom he would have chosen as Queen of Love and Beauty,

Rhaegar had chosen Lyanna Stark of Winterfell. Barristan Selmy would have made a different choice. Not the queen, who was not present. Nor Elia of Dorne, though she was good and gentle; had she been chosen, much war and woe might have been avoided. His choice would have been a young maiden not long at court, one of Elia’s companions … though compared to Ashara Dayne, the Dornish princess was a kitchen drab.

Even after all these years, Ser Barristan could still recall Ashara’s smile, the sound of her laughter. He had only to close his eyes to see her, with her long dark hair tumbling about her shoulders and those haunting purple eyes. Daenerys has the same eyes. Sometimes when the queen looked at him, he felt as if he were looking at Ashara’s daughter ...

But Ashara’s daughter had been stillborn, and his fair lady had thrown herself from a tower soon after, mad with grief for the child she had lost, and perhaps for the man who had dishonored her at Harrenhal as well. She died never knowing that Ser Barristan had loved her. How could she? He was a knight of the Kingsguard, sworn to celibacy. No good could have come from telling her his feelings. No good came from silence either. If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and crowned Ashara queen of love and beauty, might she have looked to me instead of Stark?

He would never know. But of all his failures, none haunted Barristan Selmy so much as that.[2]


Unknown Dayne
Gerold "Darkstar"

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 67, The Kingbreaker (Barristan III).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn.
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