Water Gardens

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Dorne and the location of the Water Gardens
Dorne and the location of the Water Gardens
Water Gardens
Dorne and the location of the Water Gardens
The Water Gardens by Cris Urdiasles

The Water Gardens is a palace with gardens and waterworks that serves as a private retreat to House Martell, the rulers of Dorne.


The Gardens are located on a beach next to the Summer Sea, three leagues to the west of Sunspear on a coastal road.[1]

Pale pink marble paves the gardens and courtyard. Terraces overlooking the numerous pools and fountains of the Water Gardens, shaded by blood orange trees, can be reached via a fluted pillar gallery leading to a triple archway.[1]

The Water Gardens are pleasant in autumn: hot days, cool nights, the salt breeze blowing in from the sea, and fountains and pools to admire and play in.[2] Children from all stations and areas of Dorne are sent to the Water Gardens to foster, where they play together at the beach, pools and fountains, and in the water.[1][3][4] The shoulder-riding game is popular among the children in the pools.[1][3]


The Water Gardens were raised by Maron Martell, Prince of Dorne, as a gift for his new bride, Princess Daenerys Targaryen, to mark the union of Dorne with the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.[2] Daenerys began the tradition of hosting children at the Water Gardens, initially the kin of lords but eventually also smallfolk.[4]

The young Arianne Martell often played in the pools and fountains of the Water Gardens with Tyene Sand, Garin, Andrey Dalt, and Sylva Santagar. Sometimes they were joined by Nymeria Sand and Sarella Sand, as well as the Fowler twins and the Archon's green-haired daughter.[3]

Recent Events

A Feast for Crows

A Martell guard at the Water Gardens, art by Aaron Riley © Fantasy Flight Games

Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne, resides at the tranquil Water Gardens, having moved there from Sunspear in 298 AC. The prince watches generations of children play there as he relaxes and thinks. He is protected by thirty guards and their captain, Areo Hotah.[1] In Doran's absence, Sunspear is administered by Ser Manfrey Martell, Ricasso, Alyse Ladybright, Maester Myles, and the prince's brother, Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper. Oberyn visits Doran at the Water Gardens twice a fortnight.[2]

After the death of Oberyn fighting Ser Gregor Clegane, his eldest daughter, Obara Sand, pressures Doran to seek vengeance. The gout-ridden prince reluctantly leaves the Water Gardens to return to the Old Palace of Sunspear.[1] Doran later tells Ser Arys Oakheart that he intends to return to the Gardens with Princess Myrcella Baratheon.[2] Doran's daughter, Princess Arianne Martell, takes Myrcella away from Sunspear in a failed attempt to crown her, however.[5]

After Cedra sneaks a message from Arianne, who is imprisoned in Sunspear, Doran has the servant reassigned to the Water Gardens. Doran tells Arianne that Ellaria Sand and her daughters are ensconced at the Water Gardens.[3]

A Dance with Dragons

Prince Quentyn Martell recalls that while visiting his father, Doran, at the Water Gardens, Doran explained his plan to wed Quentyn to Daenerys Targaryen.[6]

After a feast welcoming Ser Balon Swann to Sunspear, Prince Doran intends to bring him to the Water Gardens where he will hear the story of the wounded Myrcella.[4]

The Winds of Winter

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.

Doran sends Arianne from the Water Gardens as an envoy to Aegon Targaryen in the stormlands. She is joined by Nate, who tends seven ravens from the Water Gardens. Dorea Sand remains at the palace.[7]

Characters who have played in the Water Gardens in their childhood


During A Song of Ice and Fire:


The Water Gardens are my favorite place in this world.[4]

Chapters that take place at the Water Gardens