Doran Martell

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Doran Martell
Mathia Arkoniel DoranM.jpg
by Mathia Arkoniel ©

Title Prince of Dorne
Lord of Sunspear
Allegiance House Nymeros Martell
Culture Dornish
Born In 247 AC or 248 AC[1], at Sunspear[2]
Spouse Mellario of Norvos
Book(s) A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (appears)
A Dance with Dragons (appears)
The Winds of Winter (appears)

Played by Alexander Siddig
TV series Season 5

Prince Doran Nymeros Martell is the head of House Martell, the Prince of Dorne, and the Lord of Sunspear. He is a cautious, pensive man who does not wear his emotions on his sleeve. He has a bad case of gout and has trouble walking. He attempts to appear neutral in the War of the Five Kings, but has shown a desire to avenge his murdered sister Elia Martell. He is rarely seen in public because of the gout, as he does not want to appear weak to his enemies.


Doran was the first born child of his parents, and thus heir to his mother, the Princess of Dorne. After his birth, his mother had several miscarriages and gave birth in total five times.[3] Doran's younger siblings are Mors and Olyvar, who both died in the cradle, Elia, who was killed in the Sack of King's Landing in 283 AC, and Oberyn.[4] Because of the early deaths of Olyvar and Mors, the multiple miscarriages his mother suffered,[3] and the difference in age with his surviving siblings, Doran was raised alone.[4] He squired at Salt Shore at the age of nine.[4]

Doran met his wife, Lady Mellario of Norvos, while traveling through the Free Cities. They fell in love and Mellario returned to Dorne with Doran. During their betrothal, Doran's siblings, Elia and Oberyn, traveled through the south of Seven Kingdoms on a quest to find suitable matches, while Doran stayed behind as castellan of Sunspear.[5] Although Mellario was high born enough to become his wife, most marriages between nobles in Westeros are political marriages and a love match is very uncommon. In the end, Doran and Mellario had three children: Arianne, Quentyn, and Trystane.[6]

Although they married out of love, the marriage was not very happy. Mellario could not get used to Dornish customs.[7] At a tender age, Quentyn was send to be fostered by Lord Anders Yronwood, to serve first as a page, then a squire,[8] until finally being knighted.[9] Quentyn's fostering was done to make peace with the Yronwoods, as enmity between the two houses had arisen after the death of Lord Edgar Yronwood, who had died of the wounds he had taken in a duel against Prince Oberyn, Doran's younger brother.[10] Mellario did not approve of Quentyn's fostering, as she believed Quentyn to be much too young at the time, and as Norvoshi don't foster out their children.[8] When Doran planned to send their daughter Arianne to Tyrosh, to serve as the cupbearer to the Archon, and so she could meet with her betrothed in secret, Mellario threatened to harm herself, should Doran steal another one of her children. Doran thus kept Arianne in Dorne.[11] Still, this was not enough for Mellario. She never forgave Doran for sending her son away, and eventually went back to Norvos.[8]

Prince Doran moved from Sunspear to the Water Gardens in 298 AC, when his gout was not that bad. Two years later, though, Doran is no longer able to walk, and so is usually confined to a wheelchair. He does not wish to have his enemies know how feeble he has grown, and thus remained at the Water Gardens, far away from curious eyes.[4] At the Water Gardens, the summer home of the Martells, he watches the children at their play, sitting quietly on the terras amongst the orange trees. He avoids the commoners and only sees his trusted courtiers and advisors.[4]

Doran's mother died shortly before Robert's Rebellion, and Doran succeeded her. In 279 AC, Doran's sister Elia was betrothed to Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. She wed him in early 280 AC, tying House Martell and House Targaryen together once again.[12] Doran becomes furious, however, when Rhaegar seemingly abducts Lyanna Stark, shortly after Elia birthed Rhaegar his second child, Aegon. As a result, Doran is slow to provide aid to the Targaryens. Only after Rhaegar returned from the south, Doran sends ten thousand Dornishmen, who are under the command of Doran's uncle, Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard, as Doran realises that the fortunes of House Martell are tied with the fortunes of House Targaryen, and that one day, Elia will be a Queen, and Aegon will one day be King.[3]

However, Doran's uncle is killed at the Battle of the Trident,[13] and Elia and her children are killed during the Sack of King's Landing, weeks later.[14][15] Angered, Doran's brother Oberyn wanted Dorne to rally for Prince Viserys, the surviving Targaryen heir. Ravens flew and riders rode, with secret messages, but after Lord Jon Arryn came to Sunspear, the year after the Rebellion had ended, with the body of Lewyn, sat down with Doran, all talk of rebellion ended.[16] The Martells still harbor hate for the Lannisters.[17]

Doran and his brother Oberyn worked in secret for years, planning on bringing an end to the reign of Robert Baratheon and destroying House Lannister. Oberyn travelled to Braavos where Viserys Targaryen and Daenerys Targaryen were being kept by Ser Willem Darry and signed a secret pact, which the Sealord of Braavos witnessed, promising Viserys the hand of Arianne Martell in return for Dorne's help in claiming the Iron Throne.[11]

Recent Events

Prince Doran - by Jacqui Davis ©

A Clash of Kings

Doran originally refuses to swear allegiance to Joffrey I and considers supporting Renly Baratheon. However, Tyrion Lannister is able to gain his allegiance by sending him Myrcella Baratheon and betrothing her to his son Trystane Martell, offering justice for his murdered sister Elia, and giving him a seat on the king's small council.[18] Once Myrcella is safely in Dorne, Doran is to send his armies to the high passes, giving the marcher lords something to worry about.[19]

A Storm of Swords

Not being fit enough to journey to King's Landing, Doran sends his brother Oberyn to claim both the seat and justice.[10]

A Feast for Crows

When Oberyn died in King's Landing, Doran refuses all suggestion of going to war for vengeance.[5] He returns to Sunspear to show his people that he still holds power, and has Oberyn's warlike, bastard daughters, the "Sand Snakes", imprisoned to maintain the peace.[4]

After his daughter Arianne Martell's foiled attempt to crown Myrcella, Doran reveals to her that he had been working secretly for the fifteen years since Elia's death to rob Lord Tywin Lannister of all he held dear, and that he planned to ally House Martell with Daenerys Targaryen.[9][8][11]

A Dance with Dragons

Prince Doran in contemplation - by Raymond Bonilla ©

When Ser Balon Swann arrives at Sunspear, a feast is held in his honour. His daughter Arianne, now fully aware of his plans, sits to his right. Oberyn's daughters Obara, Tyene and Nymeria are also present, as well as Ellaria Sand, Areo Hotah and half the nobility of Dorne. Doran is presented with the skull of the The Mountain.

Ser Balon states that Cersei Lannister wishes him to bring Myrcella back to King's Landing to visit her brother. Prince Doran or a retainer is invited to fill the vacant Dornish seat on the small council, while Prince Trystane is invited to see the city. Doran states that traveling by ship may be easier, but this unnerves Ser Balon, who states that a voyage by sea would be too dangerous. Doran agrees he is probably right.

In a private chamber, Doran Martell reveals to Tyene, Obara, Nymeria, Areo Hotah and his daughter that the party would be ambushed by brigands shouting "halfman" during the journey to King's Landing, Trystane would be killed in the attack, and Ser Balon will falsely claim that he saw Tyrion Lannister. This plan was orchestrated by Cersei Lannister and shocks those present.

Prince Doran says he was informed of this plot by a "friend" in King's Landing and was dubious himself until Ser Balon confirmed his suspicions by trying to persuade him to avoid a voyage by ship (which would have disrupted all of Cersei's arrangements). The Sand Snakes are enraged, but Doran will not allow them to harm Ser Balon as he was under the protection of the guest right.

To stop this scheme from coming to fruition, Doran had Ser Balon brought to Myrcella and finds out about her injuries by Gerold Dayne. Myrcella lies (under Arianne's direction) and claims that Ser Gerold also killed Arys Oakheart. Myrcella then begged Ser Balon to bring Dayne to justice. Doran had Obara escort Ser Balon to High Hermitage, and he is currently hunting for Darkstar.[20] Doran then sent Nymeria to King's Landing to claim the vacant seat on the small council, and Tyene to the great Sept of Baelor to befriend the New High Septon.[21]

While Doran waits for word from his son, Quentyn, he hears that a fleet of ships are sailing to Westeros and readies the armies of Dorne to strike.

The Winds of Winter

Doran sends Arianne to the Stormlands to meet the alleged Aegon Targaryen.[22]

Quotes by Doran

Words are like arrows, Arianne. Once loosed, you cannot call them back.[4]
- Doran to Arianne Martell

I have worked at the downfall of Tywin Lannister since the day they told me of Elia and her children.[11]
- Doran to Arianne Martell

I am not blind, nor deaf. I know you all believe me weak, frightened, feeble. Your father knew me better. Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him. I was the grass. Pleasant, complaisant, sweet-smelling, swaying with every breeze. Who fears to walk upon the grass? But it is the grass that hides the viper from his enemies and shelters him until he strikes.[21]
- Doran to the Sand Snakes

Quotes about Doran

[Doran] is a cautious man, a reasoned man, subtle, deliberate, even indolent to a degree. He is a man who weighs the consequences of every word and every action.[16]
Tywin Lannister to Tyrion Lannister

Your father keeps his secrets well, Prince Quentyn. Too well, I fear.[23]
- Barristan Selmy to Quentyn Martell

Your father married for love, it's said. How much joy has he had of that?[24]
- Gerris Drinkwater to Quentyn Martell

Doran plays to win, whether at cyvasse or the game of thrones.[25]
- George R. R. Martin

Family tree

Princess of Dorne
Mellario of Norvos
Rhaegar Targaryen
Various women
Oberyn "the Red Viper"
Ellaria Sand
Rhaenys TargaryenAegon Targaryen
Obara SandNymeria SandTyene SandSarella Sand
Elia SandObella SandDorea SandLoreza Sand

See also

References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at House Martell.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of House Martell.
As with the A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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