Arianne Martell

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House Martell.svg Princess
Arianne Martell
House Martell.svg
Ariannemartell1200 tizianobaracchi by thaldir-d8zs5u8.jpg
Illustration by Tiziano Baracchi, © Fantasy Flight Games

Title Princess
Allegiance House Martell
Culture Dornishmen
Born 276 AC[1]
Father Prince Doran Martell
Mother Lady Mellario

Princess Arianne Nymeros Martell, better known simply as Arianne Martell, is a member of House Martell and is the eldest daughter of Doran Martell, the ruling Prince of Dorne, and his consort, Lady Mellario of the Free City of Norvos. According to Dornish customs, she is the heiress of Sunspear, and the future ruling Princess of Dorne. Arianne is a POV character in A Feast for Crows and The Winds of Winter.

Appearance and Character

As a young girl, Arianne was pudgy and flat-chested, and she would pray to the Seven nightly, hoping that she would be given beauty when she was older.[3] Now a woman in her early twenties, Arianne is buxom and beautiful, with olive skin, large dark eyes and long, thick black hair that falls in ringlets to the middle of her back. She has full lips, a husky voice, and round ripe breasts with huge dark nipples. Favoring her mother Mellario, Arianne is short, standing at five foot two.[4][5]

Arianne is calculating, adventurous, and fierce-tempered. When she sees something she desires, she strives to obtain it at all cost. She does not shy away from using her looks to get what she wants, nor from seducing men to get them to do her bidding, occasionally granting sexual favors in this context.[3] Ser Arys Oakheart thinks that Arianne's nature compares more to her uncle Oberyn's than to her father Doran's.[5] Arianne considers handsome men her one great weakness, in particular when they have an air of adventure and the forbidden.[3][6] Arianne has a vivid sexual imagination[6] and has had sexual experiences from an early age.[5][7]


Early life

Born in 276 AC,[1] Arianne was the firstborn child of her father, Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne, and his wife, Lady Mellario of Norvos. As her father's firstborn, she was Doran's heiress, according to Rhoynish customs and Dornish laws.[4][5] Arianne spent several years of her early life at the Water Gardens. She had two younger brothers, but since Quentyn was sent away as a page to Yronwood at an early age and Trystane was eleven years younger than herself, Arianne was never close to them. Instead, her best companions during childhood were Andrey "Drey" Dalt, Garin (whose mother had been her wet nurse),[6] Sylva Santagar, and her cousin Tyene Sand.[7] While playing the shoulder-riding game in the Water Gardens, Arriane sometimes rode the shoulders of Jeyne or Jennelyn Fowler, or her friend Frynne. Her favorite steed was Garin, since if she rode him, nobody could defeat them, not even Nymeria Sand and the Archon's green-haired daughter.[7]

Tyene in particular was Arianne's best friend, since they were the same age, and thus were as close as sisters.[5] Arianne and Tyene shared everything, including learning how to read, ride, and dance; they even shared a flagon of wine they had stolen at the age of ten, and an early attempted sexual experience with Drey.[7] On occasion, Arianne's older cousin Nymeria Sand would join Arianne and her four companions, and sometimes her cousin Sarella Sand would attempt to join them as well.[7] Once, Arianne crossed the Mander in the Reach, when she and three of her cousins went to visit Tyene's mother.[6]

Arianne once held her young cousin Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, but she was so young at the time that she no longer remembers.[3] She does remember her great-uncle, Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard, of whom she has cherished memories, and who used to tickle her until she could not stop laughing.[5] When Robert's Rebellion ended, Arianne was seven years old.[3] At the age of eight, Arianne became afflicted with redspots, and learned that the disease, while harmless for children, could be lethal for adults.[6]

From a young age, Arianne was half in love with her uncle, Prince Oberyn.[2] At some point, Oberyn brought her, Tyene, Sarella Sand, and Garin to the abandoned holdfast of Shandystone. While Oberyn showed Tyene the best way to milk a snake's venom, and Sarella went exploring, Arianne sat on a rock, dreaming that a tall, hard robber knight, with black eyes and a widow's peak, had taken her there to have his way with her.[6]

Secret Betrothal

Arianne Martell - by Matt Olson ©

Arianne had a close relationship with her father, Prince Doran Martell, when she was a girl. She would run to him when she had hurt herself,[7] and would go give him a good night kiss.[5] However, when Arianne was fourteen years old, she stumbled across a half-written letter from Doran to her younger brother, Quentyn, who was being fostered at Yronwood. In the letter, Doran stated that Quentyn would one day sit in his place and rule Dorne, suggesting to Arianne that Doran intended for her younger brother to succeed him, passing over Arianne entirely. According to her own account, she cried about her discovery for many days.[5] Arianne longed to be a dutiful daughter, but wanted her father to show that he valued her.[2] She began to rebel against her father in small ways.[2] When she was still fourteen, she lost her virginity to Daemon Sand, the Bastard of Godsgrace,[5] (an encounter which she still remembers as clumsy but sweet[3]), and told Doran about it immediately afterwards.[2] Doran did nothing about it, adding to Arianne's feelings that he was "very good at doing nothing".[5]

In truth, Doran was only planning for Quentyn to inherit the rule of Dorne because he intended for Arianne to become Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Unbeknownst to Arianne, her uncle Oberyn had traveled to Braavos years before, where he signed a secret marriage pact in which Arianne was betrothed to the exiled Viserys Targaryen.[7][8] In return for Arianne marrying Viserys, Doran would support Viserys's claim to the Iron Throne.[8] He once planned to reveal the truth about the betrothal to Arianne, and was going to send her to Tyrosh to serve as a cupbearer to the Free City's archon and secretly meet with Viserys. However, Doran abandoned that plan due to suicidal threats from Arianne's mother Mellario, who was already deeply upset that Quentyn had been sent away to be fostered.[7] Doran then planned to tell Arianne about her betrothal and his plans to help restore the Targaryens to the Iron Throne when Arianne turned sixteen. However, he changed his mind over time, and kept the betrothal a secret from Arianne because he felt that she was too willful, and feared that if he told her, she would tell her cousins (particularly Tyene), and there would be no way to ensure the secret would remain a secret.[7]

When Arianne reached the age of marriage, Doran presented her with several suitors, all of whom were elderly lords (including Ben Beesbury, Walder Frey, Gyles Rosby, Eldon Estermont, and Hugh Grandison), while rejecting an offer from Lord Hoster Tully, who had invited Arianne to travel to Riverrun and meet his heir Edmure. Arianne refused all of the elderly suitors, and asked to travel to Highgarden to meet Willas Tyrell. When Doran refused, Arianne and Tyene tried to go on their own, but were intercepted by Prince Oberyn at Vaith. Another time, when Lord Renly Baratheon visited Dorne, she attempted to seduce him, but he seemed confused by her attempts and she was not successful.[7] Because of having read the letter to Quentyn, the insulting marriage candidates Doran presented her with, and Doran's apparent coolness towards her, Arianne became convinced her father hated her.[2] In truth, Doran presented her with the elderly lords as suitors because he feared that it would be suspicious if he did not attempt to arrange a marriage for her, and because he knew that Arianne would refuse them (which she forcefully did),[6] thus keeping her free to marry Viserys.[7]

During those years, Arianne also had suitors from Dorne. Her friend Andrey Dalt and his brother Deziel had both wanted to marry her, and her first lover, Daemon Sand, had even gone to Prince Doran to ask for her hand, though he was rejected. Arianne believed that her father did not wish for her to marry a Dornishman, and also realized that a bastard was not a worthy consort for a princess of Dorne. While her friendship with Daemon was never the same after her father rejected his offer, Arianne took on multiple lovers over the years, including at least one of her childhood friends, as well as Ser Gerold Dayne of High Hermitage.[2][3][6][7]

Arianne had long been dissatisfied with her father and his style of rule, thinking him weak and vacillating.[7] When her father moved to the Water Gardens in 298 AC, Arianne remained in Sunspear. However, instead of being made the castellan, or given a position of power, she was put in charge of "feasts and frolics", while Prince Oberyn was given the highest place of power at Sunspear's court. While her uncle would visit Doran at the Water Gardens twice every fortnight, Arianne was summoned by her father only twice a year, which all further enforced her belief that her father did not want her as his heir.[5]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Princess Arianne Martell - by Katherine Dinger ©

The death of Viserys Targaryen on the Dothraki sea, commanded by his sister Daenerys Targaryen's husband, Khal Drogo,[9] puts an end to the marriage plans Prince Doran Martell had for Viserys and Arianne, and to his hope that his daughter would one day become Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.[7]

A Clash of Kings

As part of an alliance Tyrion Lannister has struck between the Iron Throne and House Martell, Princess Myrcella Baratheon is sent to Dorne as a ward, and to marry Prince Trystane Martell when she turns fourteen.[10] She is accompanied by Ser Arys Oakheart of the Kingsguard as her sworn shield.[10][11]

A Storm of Swords

Lord Tywin Lannister informs his son Tyrion that Ser Arys Oakheart has written in a letter that Myrcella and her betrothed Trystane Martell get on well and that Myrcella has taken a great liking to Princess Arianne.[12]

A Feast for Crows

Arianne and Arys, by Magali Villeneuve©

With Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne, away at the Water Gardens, it fell on Arianne to greet Myrcella and Ser Arys upon their arrival at Sunspear.[5] Arianne tried to seduce the knight, but it took half a year before she was successful.[7] Arianne drinks moon tea to avoid pregnancy.[5]

After the death of Prince Oberyn in King's Landing, Dorne is in uproar, with Oberyn's elder three bastard daughters, Obara, Nymeria and Tyene, in particular arguing to avenge the Red Viper. Doran, who seemingly pursues a conciliatory approach, returns to Sunspear after having spent two years at the Water Gardens. Upon arrival in the city, he is greeted by Arianne, who has ordered a feast prepared in his honor.[4]

Unbeknownst to Doran, Arianne has learned that her brother, Quentyn, has secretly traveled across the narrow sea. Arianne fears that Lord Anders Yronwood, Quentyn's current foster-father, is part of the plan to make Quentyn Doran's heir, displacing Arianne. When the Golden Company breaks its contract with Myr, she fears that Quentyn might have hired them to rob her of her birthright, and that he has Doran's support.[5][6][7] In addition, Doran has arrested the Sand Snakes (including the younger ones, but excluding Sarella, who is absent from Dorne) in an apparent attempt to placate the Iron Throne.[4][5]

To fight the supposed challenge to her own birthright, to avenge Oberyn and Elia, and to free her cousins,[6][7] Arianne puts into motion her scheme: she wants to crown Myrcella as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, based on Dornish law—in which an older sister would inherit before a younger brother—thereby precipitating a war with the Iron Throne and Myrcella's brother, King Tommen I Baratheon. Arianne also hopes that the Dornishmen will rally to this cause with the support of the released Sand Snakes. Arianne assumes this would make her the inevitable choice to replace her father, whom she wants to live out his days as captive at the Water Gardens together with her brother Quentyn.[5][6]

During a tryst, Arianne manipulates Arys into aiding and abetting her plan, promising that Queen Myrcella would permit them to marry despite his Kingsguard vows. Arianne convinces Arys that they need to act before her father brings Myrcella from Sunspear to the Water Gardens.[5] In truth, Arianne has no intention of marrying Arys, whom she likes but does not love.[3][6]

Arianne assembles her closest friends as co-conspirators to help her implement her scheme: Andrey Dalt, heir to his brother Deziel, the Knight of Lemonwood; Garin, an orphan of the Greenblood; and Sylva Santagar, the heir of House Santagar. She also recruits the fierce Ser Gerold Dayne, known as Darkstar, although she does not trust him completely. Meanwhile, Arys has the task of smuggling Myrcella out of Sunspear, using a feigned illness of the princess and her lookalike bedmaid Rosamund Lannister, as well as a stand-in for himself. Arianne and the others wait for Arys and Myrcella at the abandoned holdfast of Shandystone. From there, Arianne plans to head out to the Greenblood and travel with an orphan poleboat westward on that river and the Vaith, then continue by land. The final destination is to be Hellholt, the seat of Ellaria Sand's father Harmen Uller, where Arianne intends to crown Myrcella as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and to raise her own banners. While waiting at Shandystone, Arianne grows increasingly wary of Darkstar, who dismisses her plan as unrealistic and alludes to killing Myrcella.

Arianne Martell and Arys Oakheart - by Sacha Angel Diener

When Arianne's band arrives at the Greenblood, Prince Doran's captain of guards, Areo Hotah, and a dozen guardsmen emerge from the poleboat. Arianne and Darkstar wish to yield, but Arys charges the guards and is killed by Areo's longaxe. While Arianne falls in desperation and nausea, Gerold Dayne seriously injures Myrcella (who loses an ear) then manages to escape Areo's men. While she is being arrested, Areo tells Arianne that someone betrayed her plans.[6][7]

Prince Doran keeps his daughter isolated within the Spear Tower in the custody of Ricasso and Ser Manfrey Martell. The pleasantly-appointed cell has history books, maps, and a cyvasse table, which Arianne does not utilize. She realizes that either Drey, Garin, or Spotted Sylva must have betrayed her, and that Arys died in a suicide charge, which he undertook to wipe out his shame about his relationship with her. Arianne is forbidden contact with the outside world and attended by servants who will not speak to her. Her attempt to send a message to Lord Uller is intercepted by Doran, after which Arianne begins a hunger strike.[7]

After several weeks, Arianne is brought before her father. Doran informs her that Ser Balon Swann of the Kingsguard is traveling towards Sunspear, and Arianne realizes that Doran needs her help to convince Myrcella to lie about what has transpired. When an angry Arianne reveals she had read the letter meant for Quentyn, Doran explains that the letter and his apparent inaction were part of a larger plan to avenge the deaths of Elia and her children at the Sack of King's Landing. He reveals he had only offered Arianne elderly, unacceptable suitors because he had secretly promised her to another. This man has died, however, and Quentyn is on a mission for vengeance and justice for House Martell.[7]

A Dance with Dragons

Arianne is now aware of her father's plans.[13] Doran had first intended to make her the queen of Viserys Targaryen, with Quentyn succeeding Doran as Prince of Dorne.[7] With Viserys having died at Vaes Dothrak, however, Doran now intends for Arianne to become Princess of Dorne, with Quentyn marrying Viserys's sister, Daenerys Targaryen, now the Queen of Meereen.[14]

At the feast welcoming Ser Balon Swann and his companions to Sunspear, Arianne sits on the right side of her father, a place of high honor. Together with Obara, Nymeria, Tyene, and Ellaria Sand, as well as Areo Hotah and half the nobility of Dorne, Arianne and Doran witness the delivery of the Mountain's skull.[13]

Arianne flirts with Balon, but he is not as easily distracted or seduced from his duty as his sworn brother Arys Oakheart was. Arianne has convinced Myrcella to lie to Balon and claim that Arys was slain by Ser Gerold Dayne. Doran has planned for them all to travel to the Water Gardens, where Myrcella is staying, and where Balon can learn from Myrcella what Gerold has done. According to Doran's plan, Myrcella is to plead with Balon to bring Gerold to justice. After Doran reveals to the eldest three Sand Snakes what their respective roles in his plans will be, Arianne wishes them well, and remains with her father after they leave. Doran tells Arianne a fleet has taken to water from Lys.[13]

Unbeknownst to the Martells, the fleet from Lys carries not Quentyn and Daenerys, but Aegon Targaryen and the Golden Company, who invade the stormlands.[15] After having failed to marry Daenerys, Quentyn dies from dragonfire in Meereen.[16][17]

The Winds of Winter

This information has thus far been released in a sample chapter for The Winds of Winter, and might therefore not be in finalized form. Keep in mind that the content as described below is still subject to change.

Doran Martell receives a letter from Lord Jon Connington, revealing the survival of Elia's son Aegon Targaryen. Doran sends Arianne to discover the truth about Aegon and Connington. She travels with several companions, including her new sworn shield Ser Daemon Sand, Joss Hood, Garibald Shells, Nate, Jayne Ladybright, and her cousin Elia Sand. They visit Ghost Hill and take ship to the stormlands.[3] In the stormlands, Arianne and company travel through the rainwood, and explore a cave once inhabited by the children of the forest. At Mistwood, they encounter members of the Golden Company, who have taken the castle, who then escort them to Griffin's Roost. At Griffin's Roost, Arianne learns that the Golden Company, Connington, and Aegon have taken Storm's End, and decides to sail to meet them there.[18]

Quotes by Arianne

Arianne by Bella Bergolts ©

Arianne: Are you certain you are not off to some other bed, some other woman? Tell me who she is. I will fight her for you, bare-breasted, knife to knife. Unless she is a Sand Snake. If so, we can share you. I love my cousins well.

Arys: You know I have no other woman. Only... duty.

Arianne: That poxy bitch? I know her. Dry as dust between the legs, and her kisses leave you bleeding.[5]

—Arianne and Arys Oakheart

Do you see the white [star], Quentyn? That is Nymeria's star, burning bright, and that milky band behind her, those are ten thousand ships. She burned as bright as any man, and so shall I. You will not rob me of my birthright![6]

—thoughts of Arianne

Anger was better than tears, better than grief, better than guilt. Someone told, someone she had trusted. Arys Oakheart had died because of that, slain by the traitor's whisper as much as by the captain's axe. The blood that had streamed down Myrcella's face, that was the betrayer's work as well. Someone told, someone she had loved. That was the cruelest cut of all.[7]

—thoughts of Arianne

I was a foolish willful girl, playing at the game of thrones like a drunkard rolling dice.[3]

—thoughts of Arianne

Pretty boys had ever been her weakness, particularly the ones who were dark and dangerous as well.[3]

—thoughts of Arianne

Quotes about Arianne

Remember, she is Dornish. In the Reach men said it was the food that made Dornishmen so hot-tempered and their women so wild and wanton. Fiery peppers and strange spices heat the blood, she cannot help herself.[5]

—thoughts of Arys Oakheart

Myrcella is the elder, and better suited to the crown. Who will defend her rights if not her Kingsguard? My sword, my life, my honor, all belong to her ... and to you, my heart's delight. I swear, no man will steal your birthright whilst I still have the strength to lift a sword. I am yours.[5]

Arys Oakheart to Arianne


of Dorne
of Norvos


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