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, many lords and some ladies have paramours, chosen for love and lust rather than for breeding or alliance. The Dornish 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 most notable paramour presented in the series to date has been Ellaria Sand, to whom a degree of social deference is expected by virtue of her relationship with Prince Oberyn Martell.[2] While esteemed as a high-ranking woman by the Dornish, in King's Landing her presence at the high table at the wedding of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell would have been taken as an insult by the noblewomen seated near her.[2] Olenna Redwyne refers to her as a "whore".[5]

It was a closely held secret that Prince Lewyn Martell kept a paramour despite the Kingsguard oaths of chastity.[6] Ser Barristan Selmy and his other sworn brothers were aware of this, but kept his secret.[7]

The Citadel does not allow its novices to keep wives or paramours, at least not openly.[8]

Some known paramours

Quotes

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

—Prince Oberyn Martell
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.[7]

See also

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 The World of Ice and 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 and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  4. So Spake Martin: ConJose (SAN JOSE, CA; AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 2) (August 29, 2002)
  5. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.
  8. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
  9. The Rogue Prince.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  11. The Princess and the Queen.
  12. The World of Ice and Fire, The Free Cities: Braavos.
  13. The Sworn Sword.
  14. The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
  15. The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.

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