Fourth Dornish War

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Fourth Dornish War
4th Dornish war.jpg
Date 83 AC
Location Sea of Dorne
Result House Targaryen victory
House TargaryenHouse Martell
Notable commanders
House Targaryen.svg King Jaehaerys I Targaryen
House Targaryen.svg Prince Aemon Targaryen
House Targaryen.svg Prince Baelon Targaryen
House Baratheon.svg Lord Boremund Baratheon
House Martell.svg Prince Morion Martell
Forces of House Baratheon on coast.
Dornish spearmen
pirates of the Stepstones
sellsails from Myr
corsairs of the Pepper Coast
NonePrince Morion Martell
Entire Dornish force

The Fourth Dornish War, known among smallfolk as Prince Morion's Madness and the War of the Hundred Candles, took place in 83 AC.[1]

Unlike the Second and Third Dornish Wars, which were against bandit lords (who may have had indirect support from the Martells), the fourth war was actively led by House Martell itself.


During the Third Dornish War, the Iron Throne took up arms against the Vulture King, who had been raiding the stormlands. The Vulture King was eventually defeated by a force led by King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and Lord Rogar Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End.

The Prince of Dorne had kept his armies out of the conflict. Regardless, his son, Morion Martell, regarded it as a slight against Dorne that knights of the Iron Throne had marched into the Red Mountains of Dorne without being harmed, whilst the armies of Dorne left the Vulture King to his own fate. When he succeeded his father, Prince Morion decided to rectify this, and began to plan an invasion of the Seven Kingdoms.[1]

Morion planned to invade the stormlands by ship. As Dorne lacked strength at sea, he hired pirates from the Stepstones, sellsails from Myr, and corsairs from the Pepper Coast. This took him the best part of a year. Although Morion had hoped to take Jaehaerys unaware, the king on the Iron Throne had spies in Morion's own court, and friends among some of the Dornish lords, and was therefore warned far in advance of the plans made by the Dornish prince.[1]


In 83 AC, Prince Morion was ready to attack and sailed his spearmen to Cape Wrath to begin his invasion. The Fourth Dornish War consisted of a single battle, and lasted a single day. King Jaehaerys and his two eldest sons, Prince Aemon and Prince Baelon, awaited the Dornish on Vermithor, Caraxes, and Vhagar, whilst Lord Boremund Baratheon awaited the Dornish with his army at Cape Wrath.[1]

As the Dornish fleet was sailing north on the Sea of Dorne, Jaehaerys and his sons struck first by descending from the skies with their dragons. Though the Dornish responded by filling the air with scorpion and crossbow bolts, none of the projectiles pierced the dragons' scales. Dragonflame destroyed the Dornish fleet.[1]


For half a year following the battle, burned bodies of the Dornish crew washed up on Cape Wrath. Jaehaerys, Aemon, and Baelon received a riotous welcome on their return to King's Landing, as they had won a war without losing a single man, something not even Aegon the Conqueror could boast.[1]

Morion's fate is as yet unknown, although Mara Martell became the Princess of Dorne in Sunspear in the aftermath of the failed invasion.[1]

Additionally, the foreign pirates, sellsails, and corsairs were less troublesome to the Seven Kingdoms for a time.[1]


One by one, the ships went up in flame. The ships were still burning as the sun went down, "like a hundred candles floating on the sea."[1]

—writings of Gyldayn


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.