The Dornish Marches is an area of southern Westeros in the border region between the stormlands, the Reach, and Dorne. The marches are predominantly in the southwestern stormlands and extend east to the Sea of Dorne.
The hundreds of leagues of the marches consist of grassland, moors, and plains, with a portion of the Red Mountains to the east. Despite being so close to the deserts of central Dorne, the highlands of the marches have a rather cold climate.
The marcher lords of the stormlands have a very strong martial tradition and have formidable castles, as they defended against Dornish incursions for thousands of years. The eastern region of the marches around Stonehelm is known as the Red Watch. The marches are known for producing excellent bowmen.
Marcher houses include House Caron of Nightsong, House Dondarrion of Blackhaven, House Selmy of Harvest Hall, and House Swann of Stonehelm. The Carons style themselves Lord of the Marches, but they do not have dominion over their fellow marcher lords.
The Kingdom of the Reach included western marches from Horn Hill to Nightsong, and Lord Mace Tyrell, the Lord Paramount of the Reach, includes Defender of the Marches among his titles. Most of the marches are now in the stormlands, however, aside from the Tarly lands near Horn Hill. Starpike, the seat of House Peake in the Reach, is also part of the marches.
For over a thousand years the marches were common battlegrounds between the stormlands, the Reach and Dorne until the last century, when Dorne joined the Seven Kingdoms. Having been conquered by the Storm Kings, it serves as an effective buffer zone between the old enemies.
During Aegon's Conquest, Dornish parties raided across the marches. Dornish under Lord Fowler burned Nightsong as part of the First Dornish War. Marcher lords such as Samwell Tarly participated in the Vulture Hunt during the reign of King Aenys I Targaryen.
Qoren Martell, Prince of Dorne, refused to involve Dorne in the Dance of the Dragons. Once his daughter Aliandra became Princess of Dorne, however, she encouraged her bannermen to gain her favor by raiding the marches.
After Dorne joined the Seven Kingdoms peacefully, King Daeron II Targaryen raised Summerhall in the Dornish Marches. Resentment by the marcher lords toward the Dornish influence at Daeron's court was one of the causes of the First Blackfyre Rebellion.
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
The acting Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister, sends Princess Myrcella Baratheon to Dorne in hopes of repairing relations with Sunspear. As another concession, he offers several castles in the Marches to Dorne. Once Myrcella arrives, Prince Doran Martell has pledged to mobilize Dornish hosts in the Prince's Pass and the Boneway to keep the marcher lords in their castles rather than aid Stannis Baratheon. The Dornish refuse to invade after Stannis takes Storm's End, but Tyrion hopes the marcher lords will remain in their lands.
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons
- A Game of Thrones, Map of the South
- The Swanns of Stonehelm are marcher lords.
- The Lands of Ice and Fire.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- So Spake Martin: Summerhall, June 19, 1999
- So Spake Martin: The Stormlands, August 05, 2000
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 2, Sansa I.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: The Men of the Stormlands.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 63, Daenerys V.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 55, The Queensguard.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach.
- A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
- According to the unabridged The Westerlands sample, King Maekar I Targaryen was slain at Starpike, while The World of Ice & Fire states Maekar was killed on the Dornish Marches.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Queer Customs of the South.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Dorne Against the Dragons.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Daeron II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maekar I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30, Eddard VII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 20, Tyrion V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 44, Tyrion X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 13, Arya II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 2, The Captain Of Guards.