Conquest of Dorne

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Baelor in the Boneway.png
Baelor I does a walk of penance through the Boneway, as depicted by Arthur Bozonnet in The World of Ice and Fire.

Date 157 AC
Location Dorne
Belligerents
Iron ThroneHouse Martell
Notable commanders
King Daeron I Targaryen+
Alyn Velaryon
Lord Lyonel Tyrell+
Strength
unknownunknown number of Dornishmen
Losses
10,000 from warfare[1]
50,000 from occupation and rebellion[1]
King Daeron I Targaryen+
Lord Lyonel Tyrell+
Rickon Stark+
unknown
For the book, see The Conquest of Dorne.

The conquest of Dorne was the war of the Young Dragon, King Daeron I Targaryen, against Dorne. Upon ascending to the Iron Throne, Daeron wanted to complete the campaign his ancestor Aegon the Conquerer had begun, and marched south to conquer Dorne in 157 AC. Daeron was only 14 years old at the time.[1] Although Daeron quickly conquered Dorne, the Dornishmen successfully rebelled four years later.

Background

Shortly before House Targaryen's War of Conquest, Princess Meria Martell, the ruling Princess of Dorne, offered an alliance to Aegon Targaryen against the Storm Kings. Aegon, looking not for alliances but for submission, did not accept, instead began his conquest. His sister-wife, Queen Rhaenys Targaryen, led an army into Dorne. However, the Dornish refused to give battle, and instead hid, melting away in their mountains and deserts. Rhaenys captured holdfasts, but it made no difference, for there was no man to be found, only women and children. Eventually, Rhaenys flew to Sunspear on her dragon Meraxes, where Princess Mariya told her to leave and that she was not wanted in Dorne. Rhaenys left with Dorne untaken.[2]

Following Aegon's conquest of the other kingdoms of Westeros, the Dornishmen resisted the Targaryens in the First Dornish War.[3]

The Conquest of Dorne

Young Daeron I Targaryen had long felt that the continued independence of Dorne represented unfinished business for the Targaryens, and upon his ascension he vowed to rectify his ancestor's mistake. He ascended to the throne in 157 AC, and marched south, defeating the Dornishmen in battle. He used a goat track to bypass the Dornish watchtowers on the Boneway. Meanwhile, Alyn Velaryon, Daeron's naval commander known as Oakenfist, broke the Planky Town and sailed up the Greenblood while most of the Dornishmen's strength was occupied in the Prince's Pass.[4] Daeron wrote about his victory in his book, The Conquest of Dorne. In order to make it seem more glorious, Daeron exaggerated the strength of the Dornishmen.

After the Submission of Sunspear, the Young Dragon left Lord Lyonel Tyrell of Highgarden to rule Dorne for him. The Dornishmen proved cunning and impossible to rule, as they had done before.[5] Lord Tyrell moved with his train from one keep to the next, chasing rebels and keeping the knees of the Dornishmen bent. It was his custom to turn the lords of the keeps he stayed in out of their chambers, to sleep in their place. One night, finding himself in a bed with a heavy velvet canopy, he pulled a sash near the pillows to summon a wench. When he did so, the canopy opened and a hundred red scorpions fell upon him. The news of his death led to a rebellion throughout Dorne, and in a fortnight all the work of the Young Dragon was undone.[6]

Baelor I saves Aemon Targaryen from a viper pit, as depicted in The World of Ice and Fire.

The conquest of Dorne lasted a summer[1] and ended with Daeron's death in 161 AC at the age of 18 while trying to put down the Dornish rebellion.[7] The Dornish betrayed him while meeting under a peace banner, possibly in the Prince's Pass. Three Kingsguard, including Alester and Ser Olyvar the Green Oak, died at the side of the Young Dragon, while a fourth shamefully yielded. The wounded Aemon the Dragonknight was taken prisoner.[8][9]

After the death of Daeron, Dorne successfully separated itself from the Seven Kingdoms.[10] It is said Daeron I lost ten thousand men taking Dorne and another fifty trying to hold it.[1]

Aftermath

After King Daeron’s death, the newly-crowned Baelor I Targaryen desired peace with Dorne. Walking the Boneway barefoot, legend has it he walked into a snakepit to rescue his cousin, Aemon the Dragonknight, while being bitten many times by the vipers. It is said that the venom could not hurt Baelor because he was so holy. It is possible the snake pit from the story was Dorne itself, and the vipers the Dornishmen. Ellaria Sand remarks that Baelor was bitten many times, and should have died from it.[11]

Baelor did not die, and returned to King's Landing having negotiated a marriage between his cousin Daeron and the Dornish Princess Myriah Martell, sister to the then-ruling Prince of Dorne, as a means of making peace with Dorne.[12]

Daeron II Targaryen, who became king in 184 AC, negotiated a marriage between his sister Daenerys to Prince Maron Martell, who at the time was the ruling Prince of Dorne. It was this marriage that made Dorne an official part of the Seven Kingdoms, which took place in 197 AC, according to semi-canon sources.[13]

Quotes

The arms of House Martell display the sun and spear, the Dornishman’s two favored weapons, but of the two, the sun is the more deadly.[14]
- excerpt from The Conquest of Dorne

References

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