Characters: A Song Of Ice And Fire House Martell
This is a listing of members of House Martell who appear in the Fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Visit here for the main character index.
For the main Dorne entry, see here.
House Nymeros Martell*
"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
- Martell House Words
is the ruling house of the desert land of Dorne. They are mixed with the Rhoynar race, which invaded Dorne under the command of the Warrior-Queen Nymeria. They were the only kingdom of the seven to resist conquest by the Targaryens, instead joining the realm via dynastic marriage; in the meanwhile, there were a number of wars between Dorne and the Reach, and the distrust between House Martell and House Tyrell lasts to this day. They now hold a bitter grudge against House Lannister because, during Robert's Rebellion, one of Tywin Lannister's knights raped and murdered their princess, Elia Martell, for the crime of being Rhaegar's wife, and killed her two children (and for protecting her killer). They had taken a mostly isolationist approach to the War of the Five Kings, but eventually get involved (albeit for the moment still indirectly) after the events following Joffrey's infamous wedding. Their sigil is the sun and spear.
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Tropes related to House Martell
- Alliterative Name: Manfrey Martell, the current castellan of Sunspear.
- Animal Motifs: Snakes. Despite not being their sigil. Oberyn is called "the Red Viper", his bastard daughters are dubbed "Sand Snakes", while Arianne wears snake-shaped bracelets
- Best Served Cold: House Martell has been planning to unseat House Lannister for its complicity in the death of Princess Elia and her children by allying with the surviving Targaryens: first by attempting to marry Arianne to Viserys, then Quentyn to Daenerys, and finally, with Golden Company and the presumably dead Aegon VI.
- Blade on a Stick / The Power of the Sun: Their sigil is a sun with a spear through it; allegedly these are the Dornishman's two favorite weapons.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The Martells sigil is the sun and a spear. Their capitol city is Sunspear.
- The Clan
- Color Motif: Gold representing pride, Orange the Dornish sand and Red the Martell temperament.
- Femme Fatale: Quite a few.
- Feuding Families / Sitcom Archnemesis: To House Tyrell, an enmity dating back centuries when there were plenty of wars between Dorne and the Reach, to the point that having both Martells and Tyrells in the Red Keep presents problems to whoever deals with their lodgings. Oberyn Martell and Willas Tyrell's Odd Friendship is an exception.
- Targaryens are Valyrian. Martells are Rhoynar: both have forms of Culture Clash with much of the rest of Westeros, if in somewhat differing ways, thanks to the historical Valyrian persecution of the Rhoynar in Essos that drove them to Westeros in the first place. Westeros has changed both (arguably the Targaryens more than the Martells), while they've also kept their distinct flavours. However, they still share more in common with each other than they do with much of the continent.
- Martells rule a hedonistic kingdom in the desert. Starks rule what is seen as a domain of frozen waste. Doran, Oberyn & Elia's relationship mirror that of Eddard, Brandon & Lyanna.
- Even more so then that; whereas the Starks lineage is infamous as The Kings That Knelt, the Martells are proud to be the only unconquered kingdom of Westeros. And while the Starks are the in-universe poster family for Honor Before Reason, the Martells are marked by their pragmatic and sneaky approach to life. And yet in spite of these differences, both families have a major hate-on for the Lannisters, even though they were on opposite sides of Robert's Rebellion.
- Hot-Blooded: Even by Dornish standards. Ironically averted by their current lord, Prince Doran.
- Revenge Before Reason: Something Prince Doran is trying desperately to subvert, which many family members see as weakness.
- Revenge Myopia: It's pointed out that those people who killed Oberyn & Elia are now dead, yet Prince Doran and the Sand Snakes still plot the destruction of House Lannister.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Oberyn and Doran.
- Brains and Brawn: Oberyn is the Brawn to Doran's Brain. Doran says that Oberyn is a snake, and Doran is the grass that hides the snake until the right time to strike. It's also implied by Doran that both Oberyn's over-aggressiveness, and Doran's over-passivity, are intended to obfuscate the level to which the two actually work together as a coordinated team to advance the interests of Dorne.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Oberyn is red while Doran is the blue.
- Rebel Prince and Wise Prince
- Team Switzerland: Tries to play this in the War of the Five Kings, but grudgingly ally with the Lannisters after they betrothed Trystane to Myrcella. Turns they were never this at all, as it turns out Doran has really just been biding his time until the day when he can finally destroy House Lannister and place House Targaryen back on the throne. Those plans of his have run into a few snags though along the way, however.
- This Is Unforgivable: Relations between House Lannister and House Martell and Dorne have been infamously strained since the rape and murder of Princess Elia Martell during Tywin Lannister's sack of King's Landing, as well as the murders of her children. Oberyn's Mutual Kill against Gregor Clegane probably did not help matters either.
Prince Doran Martell
Prince Doran Nymeros Martell
"Who fears to walk upon the grass? But it is the grass that hides the viper from his enemies and shelters him until he strikes."
Older brother of Oberyn and Elia and ruling Prince of Dorne. Doran is afflicted by severe gout and is confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk. He has a reputation for being extremely patient and cautious. During A Feast for Crows, Doran reveals to Arianne that he's been secretly plotting to destroy the Lannisters and place the Targaryens on the throne.
- Amicably Divorced: He and his wife are separated because of his treatment of his son Quentyn, but it's indicated that he still cares for her.
- Batman Gambit
- Best Served Cold
- The Chessmaster: He's been patiently moving his pieces into place for seventeen years.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Though calmer about it, he is as heartbroken and enraged over his sister's death as Oberyn. Now that Oberyn, his little brother, is dead too, Doran probably isn't doing well internally. Who knows how he will take it when he finds out what happened to Quentyn?
- Fatal Flaw: Doran is too secretive, which causes the people he needs for his plans to be Locked Out of the Loop, and end up being Spanner in the Works for his own plans.
- Friend to All Children: He doesn't really interact with them, but his favorite pastime is watching children playing in the pools in the gardens.
- Genius Cripple: He's described as wheelchair-bound due to extreme gout. And yet, he's more dangerous than any other great lords who are on their feet. Even Tywin speaks of him with respect.
- He Who Fights Monsters: He absolutely hates Tywin and Gregor for the deaths of Elia and her children, but even after both are dead, Doran still wants the utter destruction of House Lannister. What did Tywin do with the Reynes and Tarbeckes again?
- Hidden Depths: He appears to be the Non-Action Guy while he's actually plotting to restore the Targaryens to power and get revenge on Tywin Lannister. Due to his infirmity he acts through his family, particularly Oberyn.
- The Needs of the Many: He's perhaps the only Lord of the Seven Kingdoms (including the Starks) who puts the security and wellbeing of his subjects over avenging a bloody vendetta, even the deaths of his own sister and brother. He keeps reminding his children that Dorne has the smallest population of the seven kingdoms and while they can defend their territory well, fighting the Crown is a different matter. As is typical of the series, Doran's price for showing compassion for his subjects and refusing to have them die for his revenge, is to be derided as a lazy and indolent Prince by his own family.
"Until the Mountain crushed my brotherís skull, no Dornishmen had died in this War of the Five Kings. Tell me, Captain, is that my shame or my glory?"
- No Respect Guy: The Sand Snakes and eventually his daughter Arianne, repeatedly mock him for being patient and lenient, despite him being their liege lord. At one point one of them derides his willingness to forgive and forget, which he points out is the only thing keeping them out of prison.
- Papa Wolf
- The Patriarch
- Revenge: His motivation.
"I have worked at the downfall of Tywin Lannister since the day they told me of Elia and her children. It was my hope to strip him of all that he held most dear before I killed him, but it would seem his dwarf son has robbed me of that pleasure. I take some small solace in knowing that he died a cruel death at the hands of the monster that he himself begot."
- Smart People Play Cyvasse: Averted. While he does own a set of his own, he doesn't play, stating that he plays only the games he can win.
- Wham Line
"Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood."
- Xanatos Speed Chess: While he doesn't move his pieces as fast as others, he's shown he can be flexible and adapt to the circumstances. Inadvertently, however, half his plans rely on people that seem to be intent on tempting their fate.
Prince Oberyn Martell
Prince Oberyn Nymeros Martell
The Red Viper
"I have hungered for a long time. Though not for food. Pray tell me, when will the justice be served?"
The younger brother of Prince Doran, Oberyn comes to King's Landing to take up his brother's seat on the small council, and to obtain justice for Princess Elia's murder. He is a fierce and hot-tempered man who has founded his own mercenary company, studied at the Citadel, and fathered many bastard children (all female). When Tyrion is accused of Joffrey's murder, Oberyn volunteers to champion him in a trial by combat, knowing that he will face Gregor Clegane, the rapist and murderer of Elia
- 100% Adoration Rating: Judging from how everyone in Dorne grieved him so passionately, Oberyn was very loved by the Dornish.
- Action Dad
- Anything That Moves: "Oberyn Martell? He has bastards all over Dorne, and beds with boys as well."
- Also apparently applicable his mistress, as Oberyn casually mentions that they've been looking for a blond woman for a threesome. In the context of screwing the queen. As spoken to her brother. And then proceeds to insult the queen. Very accurately, in fact.
- Appropriated Appellation: Even his friends call him the Red Viper, the nickname he got after allegedly poisoning his sword in a duel. Even if the rumor wasn't true, he doesn't hesitate to use the tactic against Gregor Clegane.
- Badass Bookworm: Spent time at the Citadel and forged six links of a maester's chain.
- Big Brother Instinct: Implied with his need to avenge Elia's death, though Elia was slightly older than him.
- Bi the Way: The most flagrant example of Dorne's more liberated view of homosexuality. His paramour Ellaria Sand is the same way. To him, it's not a big deal. To non-Dornish, he's a Depraved Bisexual.
- Blade on a Stick: He fights with a poisoned spear at times. Also, when he does an Ogami Itto imitation, he asks a young bastard daughter to choose between him and the girl's mother (a prostitute) by pointing to her choices: a spear, or the girl's crying mother. When she chooses the spear, he says: "I told you she was my daughter".
- Broken Ace: A peerless warrior, poet, scholar. A loving father and beloved brother. One of the most famous men in Dorne. And possessed by a need to avenge his sister, nephew and niece so great it borders on madness.
- The Casanova: Possibly the biggest one in the series.
- Combat Pragmatist: He poisons his weapons and has no qualms against fighting dirty. Unfortunately, he forgets to be pragmatic when it really counts.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Came very close to pulling one off. And on Gregor Clegane, no less.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Depraved Bisexual: Most of the other nobles of Westeros view him this way, as a combination of his crippling of the heir to Highgarden, his frequent use of poisons in battle and, well, just see Anything That Moves and Bi the Way. He's just quite loose for the general setting, and he seems to prefer his women the same way. Also because his long-term paramour—basically his wife, except they're not married—is a bastard daughter, which makes her a completely unfit consort in the eyes of the rest of Westeros for even a lowly Knight, let alone the younger brother of one of the great lords.
- The Dragon: To Doran himself. He plays his Hot-Blooded reputation so House Martell's rivals and enemies won't suspect the two actually work together.
- If Robert Baratheon had not physically degenerated and had been a good parent, he'd be Oberyn.
- Like Arya Stark, Oberyn specializes in an acrobatic form of combat and wants to avenge his murdered family.
- Fragile Speedster: Oberyn's fast enough to maneuver around The Mountain until the knight tires out and leaves himself open to be severely wounded, but he's killed the moment he decides to take his time.
- Genius Bruiser: Oberyn is a noted warrior as well as a former student of the Citadel.
- Genre Savvy: Enough to poison his weapon. Even though he loses the combat and dies for it, he still has his revenge on the Mountain.
- Good Counterpart: To Gregor Clegane. They lead similar lives (loose cannon Warrior Prince beholden to a royal family/loose cannon Black Knight beholden to the royal family) and generally do the same kind of things (lots of sex and lots of fighting with very different styles), but Oberyn is very obviously A Lighter Shade of Grey whereas Gregor is pure evil.
- Good Parents: One of his better qualities was that he was a good father to his illegitimate daughters (the Sand Snakes). He took responsibility for them, raised them to take care of themselves, and allowed them freedom that most legitimate girls in Westeros can't even dream of. His mistress Ellaria Sand is also a good mother.
- Hidden Depths: While Oberyn plays his evil reputation to the hilt, there are hints in ADWD from his brother and his paramour that he wasn't as violent or thoughtless as people believed.
- Jerkass: He poisons his weapons. Also, his behavior to Tyrion was very haughty and bullying at first. Not to mention the above interaction with Obara's mother.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Normally, the type of slow, horrifying death he inflicts via manticore poison would be either a Kick the Dog or Moral Event Horizon, but when the person you do this to is Gregor Clegane, who in universe is known for killing Oberyn's niece and nephew and raping his sister before he killed her it's this instead.
- Kidanova: Not stated directly, but indicated. His older brother is 52 and ten years older than him, so Oberyn is roughly 42. The oldest of the Sand Snakes is almost 30. Do the math.
- Madness Mantra: When his duel with The Mountain is near it's climax, "You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children." becomes this for him. It's clear that he isn't just trying to psych his opponent out anymore. He's overwhelmed with nearly twenty years of insane fury over the injustice that was done to his family.
- Master Poisoner
- Mutual Kill: Him vs. Gregor Clegane.
- My Girl Is a Slut: Oberyn loves this trope.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Sadly, it was the worst, and last decision of his life.
- Nerves of Steel: Absolutely fearless when entering a duel with the most feared knight in Westeros, Gregor "The Mountain that Rides" Clegane.
You're going to fight that?
- Not So Different: From Tyrion Lannister. They are both seconds sons, both highly educated with acerbic wits, both are known for their sexual escapades, and both hate Tywin Lannister and the majority of House Lannister's actions. Leads to an awesome but short-lived case of Enemy Mine between the two near the last act of A Storm of Swords.
- Odd Friendship: With Willas Tyrell, apparently.
- Pet the Dog: Does this on a few occasions, most notably by championing Tyrion, voicing regret for accidentally injuring Willas Tyrell in a jousting match (and revealing that the two are friendly and regularly correspond despite the hatred between Houses Martell and Tyrell) and expressing a sense of guilt over turning Elia against one of her other suitors, because this led her to marry Rhaegar instead, and we all know how that turned out...
- Poisoned Weapons: He frequently employs them, as Gregor Clegane discovers.
- Rated M for Manly: Undeniable.
- Really Gets Around: He's never been married, so he has no trueborn children, just eight baseborn daughters by five different women, known collectively as The Sand Snakes. However, it's implied by other characters that he loves them as much as any father would. He does have a "paramour," Ellaria Sand, but as far as can be known she never stopped him from having sex with other people
- Rebel Prince: His reputation for consorting with low women and other men and use of poisons (considered cowardly) aren't exactly Prince Charming qualities.
- Red Baron: Known as "the Red Viper."
- Revenge: For Elia's death.
- Revenge Before Reason: To the point where it gets him killed.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- Three-Way Sex: His paramour Ellaria Sand and he are very open to experimentation, and Oberyn specifically notes the urge to share a beautiful blonde. However when Cersei is suggested to him he flatly turns her down, saying he'd prefer to share a bed with a hundred scorpions.
- Underestimating Badassery: When Tyrion tries to warn him about how powerful a warrior Gregor Clegane is, Oberyn nonchalantly states that he's killed big men before. To be fair, the fight was totally under his control. He just took his need to dominate his enemy too far and left himself open at the worst possible moment.
- War Hawk: Oberyn pressed for war when Elia and her children died. He also keeps doing things that might provoke war by flaunting his bastard paramour and hinting that his family is trying to turn Princess Myrcella against the Iron Throne.
- Warrior Prince: This should be obvious by now.
- Why Don't You Just Stab Him?: Oberyn had already killed The Mountain so he decided to take his time. He really shouldn't have.
- Your Head Asplode: This is how The Mountain kills him. In the most graphic way imaginable.
- You Killed My Sister: His motive for fighting The Mountain. He's basically an Inigo Montoya Expy, so it fits rather well.
Princess Elia Martell
Princess Elia Nymeros Martell
"Elia and her children have waited long for justice. But this day they shall have it."
— Prince Oberyn Martell
A princess of Dorne and the sister of Doran and Oberyn. She married Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, and by him birthed Rhaenys and Aegon. Elia was murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane during the sack of King's Landing.
- Arranged Marriage: To Rhaegar.
- Brainy Brunette: Cersei mentions in one of her chapters that Elia had black hair, and Barristan claims that she was known to have a sharp wit.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: She was raped by Gregor Clegane while he still had the blood and brains of her dead infant son (whom he also killed) on his hands. He then smashed her head open and killed her.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Her death is this to Oberyn and Doran. In the fourth book it's revealed Doran and Oberyn have been plotting to help overthrow the current dynasty for a long time, all in revenge for her death.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: For Oberyn, she was his Gwen, thanks to the very marriage to Rhaegar that ultimately killed her may not have taken place, except for his jokes turning her off her initial marriage prospect. Instead, it could have been Cersei Lannister in the firing line if the Rebellion had still gone ahead in some way.
- Ill Girl: Her health was always problematic, and she was bedridden for a year after Rhaenys's birth and nearly died giving birth to Aegon.
- Mama Bear: "Fought like a tigress" against Gregor Clegane to save her children. It...went badly.
- Posthumous Character: In a very Family-Unfriendly Death way, poor lass.
- Proper Lady: By all accounts, she was the very picture of a good Queen, aside from her health.
Prince Lewyn Martell
Princess Arianne Martell*
Princess Arianne Nymeros Martell
"I want Sunspear, and my father's seat. I want Dorne. I want justice."
As Prince Doran's eldest offspring, Princess Arianne is the heir to House Martell and all of Dorne. She's also unmarried at the age of 23. She believes her crippled father Doran means to pass her over in favor of her younger brother Quentyn, and so plots to secure her own rights. She seduces the Kingsguard knight Arys Oakheart, with a scheme to crown Myrcella and kickstart a war. She fails and he is killed. She is imprisoned in a high tower by her father, who reveals that he has been planning a Batman Gambit to return the Targaryens to power
Prince Quentyn Martell*
Prince Quentyn Nymeros Martell
"I want to go back to Yronwood and kiss both of your sisters, marry Gwyneth Yronwood, watch her flower into beauty, have a child by her. I want to ride in tourneys, hawk and hunt, visit my mother in Norvos, read some of those books my father sends me. I want Cletus and Will and Maester Kedry to be alive again."
Prince Doran's second child. In A Feast for Crows,
Arianne discovers that he has been assigned a mission: he has been sent to woo Daenerys and bring her back to Westeros with her three dragons
. He narrates in A Dance with Dragons
, so be aware that everything in spoiler markings here is from that book.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted, which is a problem when All Girls Want Bad Boys. He's shy around girls and has only kissed a girl once, despite his friends pointing out that Daenerys would actually prefer a man with experience.
- Arranged Marriage: The same one Arianne was stuck in. Because Viserys is dead, he's sent in his sister's stead.
- Butt Monkey: He doesn't even know how to talk to girls, but is sent across the sea on a mission that could determine the fate of Westeros, to woo "the most beautiful woman in the world". He arrives just in time to watch her marry someone else. Things get worse for him from there. It doesn't help that he is constantly described as being less attractive than his best friend and feels way out of his depth on such a mission.
- Character Death: Charbroiled by Rhaegal. He dies three days later from his horrific injuries.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He dies due to extremely severe burns after being toasted by Rhaegal. It is even remarked that his eyes boiled and became a pool of pus and his flesh melted off and part of his skull was exposed.
- Determinator: He will do anything to win Daenerys's hand. He gets himself killed in the process.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Daenerys is already betrothed to someone else by the time he arrives, and then he dies horribly.
- The Dutiful Son: All he did was meant to fulfill his father's hopes, it ended up getting him killed.
- The Everyman: Out of his depth, under-confident, not especially attractive, and even a bit nerdy.
- Man on Fire: He doesn't live to tell the tale.
- Missing Mom: At an early age, Quentyn was sent to Lord Yronwood as a diplomatic gesture by his father on account of Oberyn killing Lord Anders Yronwood. This drove a wedge in his parents marriage and she ended up leaving Doran and living in Norvos. Quentyn contemplates visiting Norvos to meet his mother, but he ends up dead instead.
- Shadow Archetype: To Daenerys' other potential suitor Victarion Greyjoy, who also contrast with Daario and Hizdahr, her suitors in Meereen.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Of the "naÔve and well-meaning" variety.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Martell plot gets an awesome reveal at the end of A Feast for Crows, and Quentyn travels across the known world to reach his queen, losing close friends in the process, gets a foreshadowing scene with Dany where she mentions that even though she is married to Hizdahr zo Loraq, "the dragon has three heads"... and then he gets himself burned to a crisp when he attempts to take Rhaegal and Viserion from their pit.
- Spanner in the Works: To his own father's plans. Though in his defense, he did everything his father expected him to do but just unlucky for, in Barristan's words, having come too late. His failure of wooing Daenerys leads him to plan an ill-conceived dragon heist that led to his death and unleashing dragons on the city leading to lots of deaths.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Not only does Quentyn think he's in a heroic tale of good and evil, he thinks that he's The Hero, when his status as The Everyman reduces him to The Chick and even The Load. It takes Rhaegal charbroiling some sense into him to disabuse him of the notion, but it also gets him killed.
Prince Trystane Martell
Prince Trystane Nymeros Martell
Prince Doran's second son and youngest child. He is the younger brother of Arianne and Quentyn.
- Arranged Marriage: He is betrothed to Princess Myrcella Baratheon, Queen Cersei's daughter.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Although they are both too young for the wedding to actually take place, he and Myrcella immediately became inseparable friends after her arrival in Dorne.
- Flat Character: Unlike his older siblings, he doesn't really have that much characterization (or appearances in the text).
- Graceful Loser: When playing Cyvasse with Myrcella.
- Nice Boy: According to the accounts given of him, he's a good-natured boy who doesn't mind losing games of Cyvasse (a Westeros board game) to his betrothed.
"Even weeping, she has a strength in her."
Oberyn's paramour, the bastard daughter of Lord Harmen Uller, and the mother of his four youngest bastard daughters (Sand Snakes).
- Bi the Way: While in King's Landing she and Oberyn are eager to share a beautiful blonde woman for Three-Way Sex, and Oberyn later hints to Tyrion that Ellaria possibly lusts after Cersei Lannister.
- Brainy Brunette: Down-to-earth and practical, with black hair.
- Ethical Slut
- Good Parents: Her and Oberyn are this. She loves and takes good care of her own four daughters, and seems to get along very well with the four oldest Sand Snakes (who are Oberyn's daughters from earlier love affairs).
- Mama Bear: Towards her four young daughters.
- The Mistress: Subverted, since Oberyn isn't married to anyone during the time they're together. However, it's implied that Ellaria would have remained his mistress if an Arranged Marriage with Cersei had gone through.
- The Mourning After: After Oberyn is brutally killed by Gregor Clegane. What's worse? She watched it happen.
- Nice Girl: Quite polite and charming with, as her (sort of) brother-in-law Prince Doran puts it, "a gentle heart" which he claims is more valuable than pride or valor.
- Only Sane Woman: Back in Dorne she attempts to reason with the oldest Sand Snakes, who want violent revenge for their father's death. She doesn't see the purpose in getting revenge, and brings up some excellent points for why it wouldn't benefit anyone.
- Silk Hiding Steel
- Widow Woman: Subverted in that she and Oberyn weren't married. But since Dornish culture considers the paramours of highborn men to be almost-wives, Ellaria is essentially treated as Oberyn's widow once she goes home to Dorne after his death.
The Sand Snakes
Oberyn's eight bastard children by various women, who are all female. They have yet to play much of a role in the story, other than agitating for war against the Lannisters after Oberyn's death
and being imprisoned by Doran for it.
- Action Girl: Obara Sand most notably, but the narrative implies that all of them are quite capable of defending themselves in one way or another.
- Amazon Brigade: The oldest Sand Snakes.
- Badass Adorable: Dorea Sand, an eight-year-old girl who carries around a morningstar.
- Badass Princess: Despite being bastards, Dorne holds illegitimate children in higher regard than the rest of Westeros, and they are treated almost as if they were Prince Oberyn's trueborn children.
- Cool Big Sis: Ellaria claims that her daughters Elia and Obella look up to the four eldest Sand Snakes as their idols. Ellaria's youngest daughters Dorea and Loreza look up to Elia and Obella.
- Daddy's Girls: They all love Oberyn and remain loyal to him even after his death.
- Little Miss Badass: Eight-year-old Dorea Sand is already wielding a morningstar, using it to knock blood oranges off trees at the Water Gardens.
- Moral Myopia: The eldest Snakes are very vocal about wanting to utterly destroy House Lannister, but are horrified when they hear Cersei is planning to have Trystane killed.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "Sand" is the Dornish surname given to bastards, and "Snakes" is because they are the daughters of Oberyn Martell, "The Red Viper".
- Politically-Active Princess: Though they are illegitimate, Obara, Tyene, and Nymeria are a prince's daughters who take active roles in Dornish politics. Doran even selects Nymeria to take her father's vacant Dornish seat on the Seven Kingdoms' Small Council and sends her off to King's Landing.
- Sibling Team: Obara, Nymeria, and Tyene.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Obara and Sarella (Tomboys) and Nymeria and Tyene (Girly Girls).
"Give me back my spear, Uncle. Cersei sent us a head. We should send her back a bag of them."
The eldest Sand Snake, she is the daughter of a whore in Oldtown. She fights with a whip and spear.
- The Big Girl: She is the largest of the Sand Snake and the most physically adapt out of them.
- Daughter of a Whore: She was born to a whore in Oldtown that Oberyn bedded. When he came to claim her, the whore refused to give Obara up, but Oberyn slapped her and threw a spear at Obara's feet. He pointed at the weapon and then to her crying mother, and let her choose between a spear or tears as her weapon. Obara chose the spear and left her crying mother behind forever.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In order to get revenge for her father's death, Obara wants to attack and burn Oldtown, the second-largest city in Westeros, which had absolutely nothing to do with Oberyn's death. It's also her birthplace and she hates it.
- Hot-Blooded: She is the most outwardly aggressive of the Sand Snakes and cares little for hiding her true feelings or subtlety.
- Jerkass: She's the most brash of the Sand Snakes and she very casually talks about how her mother drank herself to death a year after Obara willingly left her to go live in Dorne with Oberyn.
- War Hawk: Demands that Doran declare war on the Lannisters and their supporters after Oberyn's death, and along with her sisters she tries to stir up discontent in Sunspear to force the issue. She ends up being imprisoned briefly because of this.
- Weapon of Choice: Two of them:
- Blade on a Stick: Her father asked her to choose a weapon, a spear or her tears. She chose the spear, which she pairs with a round steel and copper shield.
- Whip It Good: She is also extremely skilled with a whip.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: She dresses like a man, usually in clothing it would be easy to fight in, but most people in Dorne don't have a problem with that aspect of her personality.
"It ends in blood, as it began. It ends when Casterly Rock is cracked open, so the sun can shine on the maggots and the worms within. It ends with the utter ruin of Tywin Lannister and all his works."
Daughter of a noblewoman from Old Volantis. She specializes in using knives as her Weapon of Choice
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Of the Sand Snakes, nobody would call her the most obviously Hot-Blooded one. Not that she fades into the background, as such, but she makes you work to get to know her.
- Braids of Action: Favours keeping her hair out of trouble by trapping it in braids.
- Femme Fatale: Like most of the others.
- In-Series Nickname: "Lady Nym".
- Knife Nut: She is mentioned to always have a dozen daggers on her person.
- Lady of War: A looker, well-educated, fairly distant and graceful. But, you really need to focus on where the daggers are, just in case they end up in you.
- Lipstick Lesbian / Bi the Way: Nymeria was found to be abed with the Fowler twins, which isn't too much of a hint, until one checks the appendices and discovers that the Fowler twins are both female.
- Ms. Fanservice: On par with Arianne. She often wears very revealing clothing, which Areo Hotah likes, not because of the fanservice, but because it makes it easier to spot if she is carrying any knives.
- Named After Somebody Famous: She is named after Nymeria, the ancient warrior queen who helped House Martell gain control of Dorne.
- Villainous Widow's Peak: A trait she inherited from her father, and she is definitely one of the more villainous Sand Snakes, wanting to kill innocent Tommen.
- Would Hurt a Child: Wants to assassinate Tywin, Cersei, Jaime and eight year old Tommen.
"We could kill him, to be sure, but then we would need to kill the rest of his party too, even those sweet young squires. That would be... oh so messy."
Daughter of a Septa and the closest of the Sand Snakes to Princess Arianne Martell. She specializes in poisons, which she learned from her father.
Daughter of a trader from the Summer Isles. She has a reputation for being very curious.
- The Ghost: She has yet to appear, although she has been referred to as "playing a game" in Oldtown. Interestingly, there is an effeminate, Dornish student of the Citadel in Oldtown named Alleras, which is Sarella backwards, he has a widow's peak like Oberyn, and his father was from Dorne and his mother was from the Summer Isles. Guess what the fandom's assuming.
- Mixed Ancestry
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Maybe; see above.
Oberyn and Ellaria's fourteen-year-old daughter, and a jouster-in-training.
A legendary warrior queen who managed to unite the Rhoynar people and lead them to escape the expansion of Old Valyria, fleeing across the Narrow Sea in allegedly ten thousand ships. Upon landing, she then married Mors Martell and with his support conquered the rest of Dorne.
King/Prince Mors Martell
King Mors Martell
A petty king in the region of Dorne. He married Queen Nymeria as part of the deal for his aid in conquering Dorne.
Princess Mariya Martell
Princess Mariya Nymeros Martell
The Yellow Toad of Dorne
Princess of Dorne during the War of Conquest, old, blind and nearly bald. She offered to aid Aegon against Argilac the Arrogant but she would not bend the knee. She managed to keep the Targaryens from invading Dorne by having the men launch guerrilla attacks on the invading army instead of facing them directly.
Prince Maron Martell
Prince Maron Nymeros Martell
Prince of Dorne during the reign of Aegon IV and Daeron II. He married Princess Daenerys Targaryen as part of the marriage deal that brought Dorne under the rule of the Iron Throne. He also had the Water Gardens built as a gift to his wife.
Queen Myriah Martell
Princess Myriah Nymeros Martell
The sister of Prince Maron. She married King Daeron II as part of the deal that brought Dorne under the rule of the Iron Throne.
"Protect. Serve. Obey. Simple vows for a simple man."
Doran's bodyguard and confidante, Hotah was born in Norvos and has served House Martell since his boyhood. A quiet, serious older man, he loves Doran and his children very much. An absolutely devastating fighter, he always keeps his axe sharp.
- An Axe to Grind: Wields a longaxe in combat.
- Badass Grandpa: He is a fearsome fighter, and utterly destroys Ser Arys Oakheart, a trained knight of the Kingsguard, in a brief battle.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Arianne explicitly tells Arys Oakheart that Hotah is terrifying once he is roused.
- The Captain: In addition to his bodyguard duties, Aero is the Captain of the Guard of Sunspear.
- Cargo Ship: In an in-universe version, he is a celibate warrior who is "married" to his axe, which he refers to as his "iron wife". He is rather obsessive about sharpening it.
- Church Militant: Was trained by the "bearded priests of Norvos."
- The Dragon/The Lancer: Given the Grey and Gray Morality of the series, it's easy enough to see him as either to Doran.
- Hired Guns: Formerly.
- Like A Daughter To Me: How he views Princess Arienne, who he affectionately refers to as "little princess". However, his loyalty to Doran wins out over his love for her and he quickly and efficiently destroys her plot to crown Myrcella and imprisons her, although it pains him greatly to do so.
- Martial Pacifist: Established very quickly within his first POV chapter. He's peaceful and friendly in behavior and thoughts, but is also constantly evaluating the fighting prowess of those around him in case trouble should happen.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: He was the last of six children born to a poor family in Norvos, and was thus sold to the bearded priests.
- Odd Name Out: Has the distinction of being one of only two POV characters not from Westeros (the other being Melisandre).
- The Quiet One: His second chapter is even titled "The Watcher."
- Undying Loyalty: To Doran. It's actually a creed for him.
Prince Doran's personal Maester, Caleotte accompanies his prince wherever he goes.
- The Good Chancellor: Despite being rather meek around the Sand Snakes, Caleotte offers smart and sensible advice to Prince Doran, who respects his counsel.
- The Medic: He is in charge of treating Doran's gout, and does what he can to ease his pain.
- Oh, Crap: He gets very frightened when Doran places his hand on Tyene Sand's head to give her a blessing, and rushes to his side after she leaves to inspect his hand for puncture marks.
- Older Than They Look: His smooth and fat face makes it difficult to tell how old he is.
- Old Retainer: He has been serving Doran before even Aero entered his service.
- The Smart Guy: Unsurprising since he is a trained Maester. Caleotte even managed to create a wheelchair for Doran to use which makes getting around much easier and less painful for him.
Garin of the Orphans
Garin of the Orphans
A milk-brother of Arianne and one of her closest friends.