The Rhoynar are one of the three major ethnic groups from which the humans of Westeros descend, the others being the Andals and the First Men. They were a culture of river-faring people who dwelt on the banks of the immense river Rhoyne in Essos. After being forced to flee in ten thousand ships during the Rhoynish Wars with Valyria, the Rhoynar eventually settled in Dorne in southern Westeros. While most Rhoynar integrated into Dornish society, especially into the so-called "salty Dornishmen", the orphans of the Greenblood have retained their Rhoynish heritage and language. The Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, the king on the Iron Throne, claims to be the King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men.
The Rhoynar lived in city-states along the vast network of the river Rhoyne. They taught the Andals how to work iron, although the Seven-Pointed Star of the Faith of the Seven teaches that the Andals received this gift from the Smith. They used water magic to defend themselves from enemies.
However, the Valyrian Freehold's expansion from the east threatened to overtake the Rhoynar seven hundred years before Aegon's Landing. For some two and a half century, the Rhoynish Wars were fought between the Valyrians and the Rhoynar. In the last of the Rhoynish Wars, Prince Garin led two hundred and fifty thousand Rhoynar to their deaths in battle against the Valyrians. The warrior-queen Nymeria led the surviving Rhoynar in fleeing Essos in ten thousand ships, guiding them to finally land in Dorne in southern Westeros. Nymeria married a Dornish lord, Mors Martell of Sunspear, and helped him consolidate Dorne under his rule through Nymeria's War. The Rhoynar have lived and intermingled with the Dornish since that time.
During and after the Rhoynar evacuation, the Valyrians destroyed the Rhoynish capital, Ny Sar, and many of the other great cities of the realm, including Chroyane, Ar Noy, Sar Mell, and Ghoyan Drohe; their massive ruins are still easily observed from the Rhoyne.
The Rhoynar were a slender people with smooth olive skin, black hair, and dark eyes.
The Rhoynar practiced a number of customs that differ from mainstream Andal culture. They practiced equal primogeniture, granting inheritances to the eldest child regardless of gender. They also tolerated homosexuality. Due to their origin in city-states, the Rhoynar titled their rulers Princes and Princesses. Their influence made these customs standard in Dorne as well.
Other aspects of Rhoynish customs were abandoned in favor of Dorne's Andal culture. The Rhoynar originally worshiped a number of river-themed nature gods. Their primary god was Mother Rhoyne, or Mother River, the personification of the river Rhoyne itself. Other gods include the Old Man of the River, a turtle god, and his adversary the Crab King. Having abandoned their river, however, the Rhoynar adopted the Faith of the Seven in Westeros.
Some descendants of the Rhoynar did not assimilate and continue to practice the traditions of their ancestors. Called the "orphans of the Greenblood", these individuals live on rafts along the river Greenblood and consider themselves orphaned from their Mother Rhoyne.
References and Notes
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, Dorne: Queer Customs of the South.
- ↑ A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The World of Ice and Fire, Ancient History: Ten Thousand Ships.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
- ↑ The World of Ice and Fire, The Free Cities: The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.