Ten thousand ships

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Nymeria leads her army to Dorne.
Art by Roman Papsuev
Valyrian invasion and the subsequent Rhoynar flight

According to legend, ten thousand ships were used to transport the surviving Rhoynar after their defeat by the Valyrian Freehold in the Second Spice War.[1] This Rhoynish migration occurred about a thousand years before the start of A Song of Ice and Fire.[2] The Rhoynar people fled Essos and eventually settled in Dorne in Westeros. By allying with Queen Nymeria and the Rhoynar, House Martell was victorious against the other Dornishmen in Nymeria's War.[3]


Prince Garin of Chroyane led the Rhoynar to early victories in the war, but his army of 250,000 men was crushed by 300 dragons commanded by the dragonlords of Valyria. The warrior queen Nymeria, Princess of Ny Sar, managed to unite the surviving Rhoynar, most of whom were women,[4], children, and the elderly,[1] and they began an evacuation from the Rhoyne, allegedly fleeing in ten thousand ships,[5] although Beldecar states the number was inflated.[1]

Nymeria led the Rhoynar first to the Basilisk Isles, where they were attacked by corsairs. She refused the corsairs' offer to settle on the Isle of Toads, and the Rhoynar continued on to Sothoryos, where they struggled to survive at Basilisk Point, Zamettar, and Yeen.

After an unsuccessful year in Sothoryos, the Rhoynar set sail and travelled again, this time for three years. They were welcomed at Naath, but left when they become afflicted with a deadly illness on the isle. Nymeria led them next to Abulu in the Summer Islands, which became known after as the Isle of Women, but they were unable to grow enough food on the isle. Some Rhoynar then followed Druselka back to Essos and the Rhoyne, but this group was slain or enslaved by the Valyrians.[1]

After years of arduous journeys full of storm, disease, and slavery,[6] Nymeria led the surviving Rhoynar to Dorne in southern Westeros. Some Rhoynish ships landed on the Stepstones or surrendered to slavers from Lys and Tyrosh, but the remaining ships landed at the mouth of the Greenblood in Dorne.[1] Nymeria made common cause with Mors Martell of Sunspear, whose lands were meagre compared to those of the various Dornish kings. On the day she wed Mors, Nymeria had her fleet burned to affirm that the Rhoynar would not return to Essos.[6] With Nymeria's vast host joined to their strength, the Martells were able to unite the entire peninsula of Dorne in Nymeria's War.[3]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Arya Stark names her direwolf "Nymeria" in honor of Nymeria of the Rhoynar.[7]

A Feast for Crows

Ser Arys Oakheart notices a tapestry of Nymeria and her ten thousand ships at Arianne Martell's secret room in Sunspear's shadow city.[8]


Our wanderings are at an end. We have found a new home, and here we shall live and die.

Nymeria in Dorne[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: Ten Thousand Ships.
  2. Chapter 8 and Chapter 18 of A Dance with Dragons indicate the Valyrians defeated the Rhoynar 1,000 years ago, which is repeated by Maester Yandel in The World of Ice & Fire, "Ten Thousand Ships".
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24, Bran IV.
  5. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 60, Sansa VI.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
  7. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 7, Arya I.
  8. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.