Prince Doran Martell is the Lord of Sunspear and the ruling Prince of Dorne. Nearly a decade older than his two siblings, Elia and Oberyn, Doran holds a deep affection for them. As a young man, Doran toured the Free Cities. In Norvos, he met his future wife, Mellario, who returned with him to Dorne. The pair was wed, and quickly had their first child, Arianne. Two sons followed during the next decade. Doran inherited the rule over Dorne from his mother near 279 AC, and became closely allied with House Targaryen when his sister Elia married crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen. The violent deaths of Elia and her two young children at the hands of House Lannister have left Doran with a deep desire for revenge, and although he halted his brother Oberyn's rebellion quickly, he has since worked on destroying all Lord Tywin Lannister, whom Doran considers responsible, holds dear.
Doran's marriage falls apart when he and Mellario are unable to overcome the differences between the customs of Dorne and Norvos. She leaves him and her children, returning to Essos. He becomes alienated from his daughter Arianne, when his secretive behavior leads her to believe he does not love her. Doran's health begins to suffer as well, as he develops gout which slowly takes away his ability to walk. His illness makes him appear much older than he is in truth. Unwilling to appear weak in the eyes of his enemies, he rarely goes out into public.
At the start of the War of the Five Kings, Renly Baratheon wrongly assumes that House Martell will support him. A betrothal between Myrcella Baratheon to Doran's youngest son, Trystane, and the promise of justice for Elia and her children, as well as other benefits, lead to Doran professing loyalty to King Joffrey I Baratheon. However, he refuses to involve his troops in battle unless Dorne itself is at danger, leaving the army of Dorne mostly intact after nearly two years of war. Read more...