Paramour

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A paramour - by Sedone Thongvilay. © Fantasy Flight Games
A Dornish paramour beckons - by Federico Piatti. © Fantasy Flight Games
A jealous paramour - by Xia Taptara. © Fantasy Flight Games

A paramour is the unmarried lover of a noble.

About

In Dorne, lords and ladies can have paramours, chosen for love and lust rather than for breeding or alliance. Dornishmen are not greatly concerned if a bastard is born to a paramour.[1] Dorne gives a degree of social status to paramours, despite the "unchaste" nature of the relationship. Outside of Dorne, a Dornish paramour's status is less certain. They may be afforded the esteem granted in their homeland by the diplomatic-minded, or they may receive treatment ranging from slight social disdain to moral condemnation.[2]

That same varying treatment also applies to paramours of non-Dornish nobles, even the mistresses of kings.[3] A paramour can be of the same sex as their lover. Each partner in a marriage can have their own paramour, though it depends on the rank of the partners.[4]

The Citadel does not allow its novices to keep wives or paramours, at least not openly.[5]

History

When Lord Lyonel Hightower was forbidden by the High Septon from marrying his widowed step-mother, Samantha Tarly, he kept her as a paramour and fathered six children on her, before the election of a new High Septon allowed their marriage. The relationship was deemed highly scandalous.[6]

It was a closely held secret that Prince Lewyn Martell kept a paramour despite the Kingsguard oaths of chastity.[7] Ser Barristan Selmy and his other sworn brothers were aware of this, but kept his secret.[8]

Recent Events

A Storm of Swords

A degree of social deference is given to Ellaria Sand by virtue of her relationship with Prince Oberyn Martell.[2] While esteemed as a high-ranking woman by the Dornishmen, in King's Landing her presence at the high table at the royal wedding of King Joffrey I Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell would be taken as an insult by the noblewomen seated near her. Ellaria is instead placed at a place of honor near the dais.[2] Olenna Redwyne refers to her as a "whore".[9]

Some known paramours

Quotes

And this is Ellaria Sand, mine own paramour.[2]

Prince Lewyn was my Sworn Brother. In those days there were few secrets amongst the Kingsguard. I know he kept a paramour. He did not feel there was any shame in that.[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Queer Customs of the South.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
  3. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  4. So Spake Martin: ConJose (SAN JOSE, CA; AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 2) (August 29, 2002)
  5. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.
  9. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  10. The Rogue Prince.
  11. 11.0 11.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  12. The Princess and the Queen.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
  14. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Braavos.
  15. The Sworn Sword.
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
  17. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.