Dorne is the large peninsula which makes up the southernmost part of Westeros, and is one of the constituent regions of the Seven Kingdoms. The lords of the ruling House Nymeros Martell style themselves "Prince" and "Princess" in the Rhoynish fashion.
The Martells rule from their capital, Sunspear, outside of which sprawls the shadow city. Notable houses include Allyrion, Blackmont, Dayne, Fowler, Jordayne, Qorgyle, Santagar, Toland, Uller, Vaith, Wyl, and Yronwood.
- 1 Geography
- 2 People
- 3 Economy
- 4 Military strength
- 5 History
- 6 Recent Events
- 7 Houses
- 8 Quotes
- 9 References and Notes
Dorne is the hottest region of Westeros. The region is rocky, mountainous, arid and dry, and features the only desert on the continent. Dorne is bordered by the Sea of Dorne to the north, the islands known as the Stepstones to the east, and the Summer Sea to the south. Stretched between them is the mountain range known as the Red Mountains, which separates Dorne from the stormlands to the north and the Reach to the northwest and west. There are two major passes, the Boneway and the Prince's Pass, which go through the Red Mountains to the Dornish Marches of the stormlands. The Prince's Pass leads to Nightsong, while the Boneway leads to Summerhall. Sunspear and the Water Gardens, both controlled by the ruling House Martell, are located in southeastern Dorne.
Most of Dorne south of the Red Mountains is an arid wasteland. Eastern Dorne largely consists of dry, stony soil ill-suited for agriculture, while western Dorne contains deserts of red and white sand. The lords of House Vaith, for instance, are known as the Lords of the Red Dunes, while nobles of old who settled desert oases called themselves the Lords of the Wells. Sand dogs live in the desert.
Dorne's rivers provide some fertile lands and even during a long summer there is enough rain and other supplies of water to keep Dorne habitable. Inland water is almost as valuable as gold, and wells are jealously guarded. The major Dornish river is the Greenblood in southeastern Dorne, which is formed by the Vaith and the Scourge near Godsgrace. The trading port called Planky Town is located at the mouth of the Greenblood along the Summer Sea. The Brimstone in southern Dorne flows past the Hellholt to the Summer Sea. The Torentine has its source in the Red Mountains of western Dorne and ends at Starfall along the Summer Sea. The Wyl flows across the Boneway in northern Dorne to the Sea of Dorne. There is another river in northern Dorne which flows near Yronwood to the Sea of Dorne, but its name is as yet unknown.
The southern coast is some four hundred leagues long. It is ridden with cliffs, whirlpools, and hidden shoals, with few safe landings.
Dorne is the least populous of the Seven Kingdoms. Dornishmen differ both culturally and ethnically from other Westerosi due to the historical mass immigration of Rhoynish people and their relative isolation. Dornishmen have adopted many Rhoynish customs on top of their First Men and Andal origins. Dornishmen have a reputation for hot-bloodedness and sexual licentiousness, and are still viewed with some mistrust and rivalry by the people of the neighboring Dornish Marches and the Reach. Dornish bastards of noble origin are given the surname Sand. Dornish paint their silks instead of sewing coats of arms.
Dorne provides many exotic products which are uncommon in the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. These products include olives, lemons, pomegranates, plums, cloth, spices, and blood oranges. Lemon orchards, and presumably other plants as well, are watered by a spider's web of canals. Because of the hot climate, in the deserts of Dorne water is most valueble, and every well is zealously guarded. Famous is also the use of spicy dragon peppers.
The Dornish produce their own wines, often called "Dornish reds". These wines are generally sour, though they occasionally can be more rich of taste. Strongwines from Dorne are as dark as blood, with a sweet taste.
Fabled are the sand steeds bred by the Dornish. These horses are slim and swift, with elegant heads, long necks, and flowing manes. They are considered to be the most beautiful horses in the Seven Kingdoms. Though they are smaller than regular warhorses and lightboned, unable to bear the weight of armor, they can run for near two days and a night before tiring, needing only a few drinks of water over the course of a day and a night.
In Sunspear's shadow city, numerous bazaars can be found. Before crossing the deep sands of the Dornish desert for the Prince's Pass, caravans take on supplies at Sunspear. Ships from across the narrow sea find the Planky Town a convenient harbor and come there to trade. As the port is located at the mouth of the Greenblood, often the orphans of the Greenblood come to trade, spreading the goods up and down the river.
The Martells are believed to be able to raise fifty thousand soldiers, both by Dornishmen and people from other provinces of the Seven Kingdoms. However, when, following his conquest of Dorne, King Daeron I Targaryen wrote his book called The Conquest of Dorne, he exaggerated the quantity of his opponents to enhance his victory. House Martell has never corrected this claim, in order to make Dorne appear stronger. Dorne's true military numbers have not yet been revealed, though George R. R. Martin has previously stated that Dorne is roughly equal in military strength to the north and Vale.
In the time before the Andals, King Ferris Fowler led ten thousand men against King Garth VII Gardener, during the Golden Reign. At the time, House Fowler ruled one of the three most powerful kingdoms in Dorne, the other two being House Dayne of Starfall and House Yronwood of Yronwood. In 37 AC, a rebel known as the Vulture King gathered a following of thirty thousand. More recently, House Martell sent ten thousand soldiers to fight in the Battle of the Trident, in 283 AC.
The First Men settled Westeros by crossing the land bridge across the narrow sea called the Arm of Dorne. During their great war with the First Men, the children of the forest allegedly broke the Arm with the hammer of the waters in an attempt to stop them coming.
First Men houses who established themselves as prominent kings included House Dayne, the Kings of the Torrentine; House Fowler, the Kings of Stone and Sky; and House Yronwood, the Bloodroyals who styled themselves High King of Dorne. A rival High King of Dorne was also chosen from a dozen houses along the Greenblood.
Dorne has had a violent history, particularly with the houses of the Red Mountains, who lived by raiding across the borders into the Dornish Marches, feuding with each other endlessly. The various Dornish kings, the Kings of the Reach, and the Storm Kings fought border wars beyond count and made countless raids across mountains and marches even when at peace, leading to their great enmity.
During the Andal invasion of Westeros, most Andals avoided Dorne, aside from adventurers such as the Ullers, Qorgyles, and Vaiths. The Allyrions, Jordaynes, and Santagars also established their own realms. The Martells defeated two First Men houses, the Wades and Shells, claiming territory near the mouth of the Greenblood.
House Nymeros Martell
Centuries ago, Dorne was a coalition of First Men and Andal petty kings and lords, with no ruler strong enough to seize control of the entire region. Seven hundred years ago, or alternatively a thousand years ago, the Rhoynish Wars forced the people of the Rhoynar to flee their homeland along the Rhoyne in Essos. Led by their legendary warrior-queen, Nymeria, they left in a fleet of ten thousand ships, eventually making landfall at the mouth of the Greenblood in Dorne. Nymeria allied with Lord Mors Martell of the Sandship, and with his support conquered the entire peninsula in Nymeria's War, uniting it with House Nymeros Martell of Sunspear as its ruler.
While the monarchs from the rest of Westeros used the title "king", the new rulers of Dorne used the Rhoynish title "prince" instead. Although no longer kings, the Yronwoods, the second most powerful house in Dorne, continued to call themselves "the Bloodroyal".
The Rhoynar brought their own gods with them to Dorne, but they have largely disappeared in favor of the Faith of the Seven. Nevertheless, many Rhoynish customs, including inheritance regardless of gender, have been absorbed into Dornish society. Descendants of the Rhoynar who have not assimilated into Dornish society are known as orphans of the Greenblood.
Three centuries ago, Aegon I Targaryen claimed the Seven Kingdoms and invaded Westeros. During Aegon's Conquest, he subjugated each of the Westerosi monarchs one by one, except Dorne. One of Aegon's sisters, Rhaenys Targaryen, flew on her dragon, Meraxes, above the Dornishmen guarding the Prince's Pass, but each Dornish castle she visited was abandoned. When she came to Sunspear, she was met by Meria Martell, Princess of Dorne, who warned that the Targaryens would face peril if they attacked Dorne.
In 4 AC, however, Aegon the Conqueror announced another campaign, which became the First Dornish War. Whereas other kings and lords had taken to the field against Aegon, or clustered in castles, the Dornish refused to give open battle and allow Aegon to deploy his dragons. Instead, they turned to ambush and raids, striking quickly and then slipping back into the desert or through the mountain passes, where even the dragons could not find them. Aegon's younger sister-wife, Queen Rhaenys, participated in this war, which eventually lead to her death. Meraxes was also killed, being hit in the eye by a scorpion at the Hellholt. In time, Aegon pulled away from Dorne.
Despite Dornish independence, House Targaryen continued to claim the Iron Throne's control over the land as part of the Seven Kingdoms. It is said that even Dorne was upset by the death of the Conciliator, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, in 103 AC.
In 110 AC, Dorne joined the Triarchy in the war against Prince Daemon Targaryen for control of the Stepstones. King Viserys I Targaryen considered wedding his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, to the Prince of Dorne, and thereby bring Dorne under control of the Iron Throne, but Rhaenyra eventually wed Ser Laenor Velaryon instead.
The Conquest of Dorne
In 157 AC, shortly after his ascension, King Daeron I Targaryen began to plan his invasion of Dorne, intent on "completing the Conquest". Daeron attacked Dorne with three separate hosts; One led by Lord Lyonel Tyrell, which marched through the Prince's Pass, entering Dorne at the western end of the Red Mountains; One led by Alyn Velaryon, who came by sea; And one by the Targaryen king himself, which came through the Boneway. Within a year, the Targaryen armies arrived at the gates of Sunspear and battled their way through the shadow city. In 158 AC, the Prince of Dorne and forty of the most powerful Dornish lords bent their knees in the Submission of Sunspear. However, rebels continued to cause trouble. In 159 AC, after he had consolidated his rule, Daeron I returned to King's Landing, leaving Lord Lyonel Tyrell to keep the peace in Dorne. Although the loyalty of the dornish nobility was ensured by taking fourteen highborn hostages, the smallfolk continued to rebel against Targaryen rule.
Lord Lyonel was eventually murdered at Sandstone, the seat of House Qorgyle, and within a fortnight the Targaryen conquest was undone. Daeron returned to Dorne in 160 AC, winning several victories in the Boneway, while Lord Alyn Velaryon descended on the Planky Town and the Greenblood as he had done the first time. In 161 AC, the Dornishmen agreed to meet to discuss terms and renew their fealty. However, the meeting was a ploy to kill King Daeron I. Daeron died together with three of his Kingsguard knights, while another was captured, and a fifty yielded.
With Daeron's death, the conquest of Dorne came to an end. It is said that ten thousand men had died conquering Dorne, but many more died trying to hold it; According to Maester Yandel, Daeron lost another forty thousand men during the three years after his conquest had completed, but according to Benjen Stark the true number was fifty thousand.
Unifying the Seven Kingdoms
With the death of his brother, the Iron Throne passed to King Baelor I Targaryen, whose first act as king was to grant pardon to the Dornish hostages. Baelor walked barefoot from King's Landing to Sunspear, personally escorting the hostages (who rode on fine horses) back home. The Prince of Dorne and Baelor came to an agreement regarding a peace. As part of the terms of the agreement, Baelor agreed to betroth his young cousin Daeron to Princess Myriah Martell, the eldest child of the Prince of Dorne. As both were still young children, the marriage took place later during Baelor's reign.
Prince Daeron's father, King Aegon IV Targaryen, a veteran of Daeron I's conquest of Dorne, planned to launch an unprovoked war against Dorne. In 174 AC, he made his attempt. He turned to the pyromancers of the ancient Guild of Alchemists to built "dragons" of his own design, wood-and-iron monstrosities fitted with pumps that shot jets of wildfire. Aegon wanted to drag them through the Boneway, but they never came that far. All seven burned down in the kingswood. Likewise, the huge fleet Aegon IV had constructed for his invasion never reached Dorne either, but instead was broken and scattered by storms on route to Dorne. After these failures, Aegon IV never spoke of Dorne again.
Prince Daeron inherited the Iron Throne in 184 AC, and ascended the Iron Throne as King Daeron II Targaryen. One of his earliest significant acts after assuming the throne was to begin negotiations to unify Dorne under Targaryen rule. Negotiations lasted two years, but eventually Daeron and his good-brother, Prince Maron Martell, now the ruling Prince of Dorne, reached an agreement. Maron was betrothed to Daeron's younger sister, Daenerys. When they were wed in King's Landing in 187 AC, Prince Maron knelt before the Iron Throne and swore his oaths of fealty, placing Dorne under Targaryen rule.
Due to the peacefully negotiated unification, the Martells were allowed to continue using the title Prince of Dorne, unlike their lordly counterparts in the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. They additionally had won several concessions, resulting in significant rights and privileges for the Dornish lords that the other great houses did not. Additionally, Dornish influence at the royal court of King's Landing grew. All of these concessions resulted in dissatisfaction among some lords, and was one of the seeds from which the First Blackfyre Rebellion eventually sprang.
During the First Blackfyre Rebellion, Prince Baelor Targaryen, the eldest son of King Daeron II and Queen Myriah, commanded a host from Dorne and the stormlands, with whom he achieved a decisive victory in the Battle of the Redgrass Field.
The Dornishmen closed their borders and successfully prevented the Great Spring Sickness from reaching Dorne. Prince Aegon Targaryen and Ser Duncan the Tall visited Dorne after the tourney at Ashford Meadow.
The mother of Doran Martell had served at the Targaryen court as a lady-in-waiting to Princess Rhaella Targaryen prior to inheriting the rule to Dorne. In 279 AC, she betrothed her daughter Elia Martell to the crown prince, Rhaegar Targaryen. In early 280 AC, Prince Doran Martell saw his sister wed to Rhaegar at the Great Sept of Baelor. Later that year, Elia gave birth to her first child, Rhaenys. Her second child, Aegon, was born near the new year of 282 AC. However, Rhaegar disappeared with Lyanna Stark, one of the events which sparked Robert's Rebellion.
When Rhaegar disappeared with Lyanna Stark in 282 AC, not long after Aegon's birth, it started a chain of events leading to Robert's Rebellion, in which the North, and several houses from the stormlands and Vale (later joined by several houses from the riverlands) fought against the Iron Throne and House Targaryen. Prince Doran Martell was furious about the way his sister had been treated by Rhaegar. Consequently, he was slow to lend any aid to the Targaryens. Late in the war, Doran agreed to send ten thousand Dornishmen to fight in the loyalist army, under the command of his uncle, Prince Lewyn Martell of the Kingsguard, understanding that Elia, as the wife to the crown prince, would one day become queen, and that her son Aegon would one day be king.
However, Rhaegar died at the Battle of the Trident, as did Doran's uncle, Lewyn. King Aerys II Targaryen, convinced that Lewyn had betrayed Rhaegar on the Trident, refused to send Elia and her children to Dragonstone alongside his own wife and new heir. Not long after, during the Sack of King's Landing, Elia and her children were brutally killed.
After lifting the siege of Storm's End, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell travelled to the Red Mountains of Dorne to liberate his sister Lyanna, who apparently was held at the tower of joy. There, Eddard and his six companions battled three knights of the Kingsguard: Arthur Dayne, Oswell Whent, and Lord Commander Gerold Hightower. Eddard and his friend Howland Reed were the only survivors. Eddard had the tower torn down to build cairns for the eight deceased. According to a semi-canon source, Lyanna Stark was found dying inside the tower by her brother, Eddard, after the fight.
Furious after King Robert I Baratheon proved to be accepting of the deaths of Elia and her children, Doran's younger brother Oberyn send messages all over Dorne in an attempt to raise a rebellion for Viserys Targaryen during the year after the rebellion. Lord Jon Arryn, Hand of the King, traveled to Sunspear to return Prince Lewyn's bones. There he spoke with Doran, ending all talks of rebellion.
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne, remains at Sunspear because of his health. His younger brother, Prince Oberyn Martell, leads a Dornish retinue to King's Landing to take Doran's place on the small council. Seeking vengeance for his murdered sister Elia Martell, Oberyn is killed by Ser Gregor Clegane during Tyrion's trial by battle.
A Feast for Crows
Oberyn's daughters, the Sand Snakes, demand vengeance for their father and want to lead the angry Dornish against the Baratheons, Lannisters, and Tyrells. Oberyn's cautious brother, Prince Doran, has the Sand Snakes seized, however.
Doran's daughter, Princess Arianne Martell, plots to crown Myrcella and place her on the Iron Throne, since Myrcella is older than her brother, King Tommen I Baratheon. Her plan falters on the Greenblood, however. Ser Arys Oakheart of the Kingsguard is killed by Areo Hotah, while Myrcella is wounded by Darkstar, Ser Gerold Dayne. With the exception of Darkstar, Arianne and her fellow conspirators are taken into custody.
Later, Doran reveals to Arianne there was a secret marriage pact to wed her to the exiled Prince Viserys Targaryen and her brother, Prince Quentyn Martell, to Viserys's sister, Princess Daenerys Targaryen. Viserys was killed at Vaes Dothrak, however.
A Dance with Dragons
Quentyn travels across Essos to Daenerys, now the Queen of Meereen. Daenerys rejects him, however, and Quentyn is killed while attempting to tame one of her dragons amidst the second siege of Meereen.
The Winds of Winter
|| Warning |
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.
House Allyrion of Godsgrace
House Blackmont of Blackmont
House Dalt of Lemonwood.
House Dayne of High Hermitage
House Dayne of Starfall
House Dryland of Hellgate Hall
House Fowler of Skyreach
House Gargalen of Salt Shore
House Jordayne of the Tor
House Manwoody of Kingsgrave
House Martell of Sunspear
House Qorgyle of Sandstone
House Santagar of Spottswood
House Toland of Ghost Hill
House Uller of the Hellholt
House Vaith of Vaith
House Wyl of Wyl
House Yronwood of Yronwood
You may burn us, my lady ... but you will not bend us, break us, or make us bow. This is Dorne. You are not wanted here. Return at your peril.
—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister
—thoughts of Tyrion Lannister
Dorne had seemed a queer place to him as well when first he came here with his own princess, many years ago. The bearded priests had drilled him on the Common Speech of Westeros before they sent him forth, but the Dornishmen all spoke too quickly for him to understand. Dornish women were lewd, Dornish wine was sour, and Dornish food was full of queer hot spices. And the Dornish sun was hotter than the pale, wan sun of Norvos, glaring down from a blue sky day after day.—thoughts of Areo Hotah
He did not conquer here. Elsewhere he burned his foes, him and his sisters, but here we melted away before them, leaving only stone and sand for them to burn. And round and round the dragons went, snapping at their tails for want of any other food, till they were tied in knots.
Dorne is a very special land, with a slightly different cultural basis than the rest of Westeros… it was politically apart for a long time, it was also culturally apart because of the Rhoynar and the traditions they brought, but they didn't influence the rest of Westeros so much.
References and Notes
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: The Coming of the Rhoynar.
- The Lands of Ice and Fire, Westeros.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne.
- A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
- The Sworn Sword.
- So Spake Martin: Interaction (Glasgow, Scotland, UK; August 4-8) (August 04, 2005)
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
- So Spake Martin: Historical Influence for Dorne, February 29, 2000
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 43, Arya VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 2, The Captain Of Guards.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 13, Arya II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 22, Arya II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 38, The Watcher.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 22, Arya IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 1, Tyrion I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 8, Tyrion II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 54, Daenerys VI.
- The Hedge Knight.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Queer Customs in the South.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 55, Jon VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 17, Tyrion IV.
- So Spake Martin: Strength of the Regions (February 18, 2002)
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: The Gardener Kings.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Kingdoms of the First Men.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: Robert's Rebellion.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 37, Jaime V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 50, Daenerys VIII.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: The Andals Arrive.
- So Spake Martin: Event Horizon Chat (March 18, 1999)
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- The Princess and the Queen.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire.
- The Rogue Prince.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: House Tyrell.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 5, Jon I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Dorne Against the Dragons.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Joanna Lannister.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Doran Martell.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 23, Alayne I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 39, Eddard X.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Lyanna Stark.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 46, Daenerys V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer.
- The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
- The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
- George R.R. Martin: "Trying to please everyone is a horrible mistake" Adria's News