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Characters / A Song Of Ice And Fire Marcher Houses

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This is a listing of the noble houses of the Dornish Marches that appear in the Fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Visit here for the main character index.

For the main Stormlands entry, see here.

The Dornish Marches


The Dornish Marches is an area of southern Westeros in the border region between the stormlands, the Reach, and Dorne. The marches are predominantly in the southwestern stormlands and extend east to the Sea of Dorne.

The marcher lords of the stormlands have a very strong martial tradition and have formidable castles, as they defended against Dornish incursions for thousands of years. Marcher houses include House Caron of Nightsong, House Dondarrion of Blackhaven, House Selmy of Harvest Hall, and House Swann of Stonehelm. The eastern region of the marches around Stonehelm is known as the Red Watch. The marches are known for producing excellent bowmen.note 

  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Protecting the Marches means a more martial culture is expected.
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  • Gate Guardian: The first line of defense for the Stormlands against Dorne.

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     House Caron 

House Caron of Nightsong
"No Song So Sweet"
Caron House Words

House Caron of Nightsong is one of the principal noble houses in the Stormlands, sworn to Storm's End. They rule from Nightsong and hold the title Lord of the Marches, although they do not hold dominion over other marcher lords and the Dornish Marches.

Their blazon is a field of black nightingales on yellow.

Tropes related to House Caron:

  • The Exile: Deposed and replaced by House Foote after the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Famous Ancestor: Lord Royce Caron, a initial member of the Council of Seven, the group who managed King Aegon III's regency. He resigned his post one year into the regency for unknown reasons.

Lord Bryce Caron

Bryce the Orange

Head of House Caron, Lord of Nightsong, and Lord of the Marches. A member of Renly Baratheon's Rainbow Guard until Renly’s death, after which Bryce switched his allegiance to Stannis.

  • Badass Cape: The rainbow cloak he wore when in the Rainbow Guard.
  • Duel to the Death: During the Battle of Blackwater Bay, Bryce faces Ser Philip Foote in single combat and is slain.
  • In-Series Nickname: Bryce the Orange during his time in the Rainbow Guard.
  • Mauve Shirt: He is a recurring character throughout A Clash of Kings before his death near the end of the novel.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Convinces Stannis to send Melisandre back to Dragonstone before the assault on King's Landing, lest his victory and kingship be attributed to her spells. Had Bryce not done this, she may have been able to change the outcome of the battle, particularly during the wildfire trap.
  • Praetorian Guard: When in the Rainbow Guard.
  • Sole Survivor: All of his immediate family (father, mother, brother, and several sisters) were killed by a chill in 289 AC. He was the only Caron to survive, aside from his bastard half-brother.
  • Turn Coat: Defected to Stannis after Renly was assassinated.

Ser Rolland Storm

The Bastard of Nightsong

Bryce Caron's bastard brother. He contests that he is now Lord of Nightsong over Philip Foote, who was awarded the title after slaying Bryce at Blackwater Bay.

  • Church Militant: He worships the Warrior heavily, which is one of the reasons why he is opposed to Melisandre.
  • Colonel Badass: He commanded Stannis' rearguard at the Battle of the Blackwater, buying enough time for Stannis to escape safely before escaping back to Dragonstone himself. He is later left in command of Dragonstone after Stannis takes most of his soldiers north to defend the Wall and rally the North.
  • Covered with Scars: He had the pox as a child, resulting in his face becoming heavily scarred.
  • Heroic Bastard: Befriends Ser Davos Seaworth and conspires with him to save the life of Edric Storm from Melisandre. Later holds Dragonstone against the Tyrell forces.
  • The Exile: Due to supporting Stannis.
  • Last of His Kind: He is the sole surviving member of House Caron.
  • Mouth of Sauron: As Castellan of Dragonstone.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Stannis. He is one of the King's Men whom Davos gathers to counteract the influence of Melisandre on Stannis. When Davos sends Edric away with some of the King's Men, Rolland is the only member of the conspiracy to remain with him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: His fate is unknown as of the fall of Dragonstone to the Iron Throne host commanded by Ser Loras Tyrell.

Historical Carons

Lord Pearse Caron

See the Dunk & Egg characters page.

     House Dondarrion 

House Dondarrion of Blackhaven

House Dondarrion of Blackhaven is an old house from Blackhaven in the Stormlands, sworn to Storm's End.

The Dondarrion line was founded when a messenger from the Storm King was ambushed by two Dornishmen while riding on a stormy night. An arrow killed his horse and his sword broke when he fell. When he thought he was doomed, a bright purple lightning bolt struck the Dornishmen killing both. The man was thus able to deliver his crucial message on time. For this, the Storm King raised him to lordship, and he became the first Dondarrion. The marcher lords' castle is located in the Dornish Marches near the Boneway, controlling the pass to Dorne. Their sigil is a forked purple lightning bolt on black field speckled with four-pointed stars. Their motto is unknown.

Not to be confused with the Storm Kings of House Durrandon, which have their own page.

Lord Beric Dondarrion

See the Brotherhood without Banners page.

Historical Dondarrions

The Bastard of Blackhaven

The Bastard of Blackhaven was a bastard of House Dondarrion during the reign of the Storm King Argilac Durrandon.

     House Selmy 

House Selmy of Harvest Hall

House Selmy of Harvest Hall is one of the principal noble houses from the Stormlands. Its seat is Harvest Hall in the Dornish Marches. They blazon their arms with three stalks of yellow wheat on brown.
  • Bit Character: The family itself plays little part in the story.
  • Continuity Snarl: According to semi-canon sources, House Selmy are only landed knights. In the appendix of A Dance with Dragons, however, the head of the house, Arstan Selmy, is listed as a full lord, making the Selmys marcher lords.
  • The Ghost: Lord Arstan Selmy has yet to make an appearance in the series.
  • Out of Focus: They have not been heard of since Renly died.

Ser Barristan Selmy

See Daenerys' page.

     House Swann 

House Swann of Stonehelm

House Swann of Stonehelm is one of the primary noble houses of the stormlands. They are marcher lords ruling from Stonehelm over the lands surrounding the Red Watch on Cape Wrath in the eastern Dornish Marches. They blazon their arms with argent and sable a swan counter charged.

Tropes related to House Swann:

  • Damsel in Distress: Jeyne Swann, who was captured by the Kingswood Brotherhood alongside her septa. Their rescue by Ser Barristan Selmy is one of his many famous deeds.
  • Famous Ancestor
    • Ser Byron Swann, a knight who lived during the Dance of the Dragons. According to The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling by Grand Maester Munkan, Byron tried to slay the dragon Vhagar by polishing his shield into a mirror to reflect back Vhagar's image so he could get close and kill him, much as the legendary Serwyn of the Mirror Shield famously did to the dragon Urrax. However, Tyrion Lannister notes that this makes little sense, since Vhagar was Prince Aemond Targaryen's dragon and the Swanns were supporters of Aemond's brother Aegon II. Instead, Tyrion notes that Byron attempted this against Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen's dragon Syrax, which is supported by Byron's squire recording that the knight died fighting Syrax.
    • Lord Gawen Swann was an Ashford tourney participant. His fool named Matarys Targaryen the "Even Younger Prince".
  • Punny Name: Their surname.

Lord Gulian Swann

The Lord of Stonehelm and head of House Swann. He is well past forty, which he uses as an excuse to stay at Stonehelm.

  • Nice to the Waiter: When Davos approaches several lords to get them to join Stannis, Lord Gulian agrees to meet with him as a courtesy despite refusing to join Stannis, which is far politer than how many of the lords responded to Davos' request.
  • Playing Sick: To remain in his castle instead of marching to join his liege lords.

Ser Donnel Swann

Donnel the Constant

The eldest son and heir of Lord Gulian.

  • Badass in Distress: Captured by Ser Elwood Harte at the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • The Ghost: Also discussed several times, he has yet to actually appear in the series.
  • Ironic Nickname: Ser Jaime mockingly dubs him Ser Donnel the Constant due to his constant switching sides.
  • Turn Coat: He first declares for Renly, then for Stannis, then bends the knee to Joffrey after being taken hostage.

Lady Ravella Swann

See the Riverlands Houses page, listed under House Smallwood.

Ser Balon Swann

Historical Swanns

Johanna Swann

The Black Swann

Niece of Lord Swann who was born near the end of the first century after Aegon's conquest, Johanna was taken as a slave and sent to Lys, where she became a very powerful courtesan.

  • High-Class Call Girl: So high class that she ends up in charge of Lys in all but name.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Black Swan was her courtesan nickname.
  • Made a Slave: She was captured on the Stepstones by members of The Triarchy, and after her uncle refused to pay the ransom for her, Johanna was sent to Lys to be a bedslave.
  • Sex Slave: Started out as one after being captured, but ended up gathering power and becoming a highly influential and powerful woman.
  • The Woman Behind the Man: What she became in later years.

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