House Martell of Sunspear is one of the great houses of The Seven Kingdoms and is the ruling house of Dorne in the deep south of Westeros. ‘Nymeros’ derives from “the line of the great warrior queen, Nymeria. Their seat of power is in Sunspear.
The Martells in the old days took a spear as their sigil , whilst Nymeria of The Rhoynar used the sun as theirs. Nymeria wed Lord Mors Martell, thus their sigils became one, a gold spear piercing a red sun on an orange field. Their words are Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. Their motto derives from Aegon’s conquest of Westeros. The first Targaryens, Aegon I, Visneya and Rhaenys conquered six of the seven kingdoms. Aegon tried to conquer Dorne but the Dornish used guerilla warfare to win. His dragons were useless in such a battle. He left Dorne to themselves and gave them titles of prince/princess. Dorne remained this way for two hundred years. The Targaryen’s tried to conquer Dorne and failed many a time over the years. (most renowned under Daeron I and later by Aegon IV). Dorne did eventually join the fold through marriage between the two houses. The alliance was a dual one, with the would-be King Daeron II marrying Princess Myriah Martell & Prince Maron Martell later getting married to Daeron’s sister, Daenerys. Since the old days, the Martells of Sunspear have ruled Dorne in the name of the King Of The Iron Throne while retaining their title, Prince or Princess Of Dorne.
Prince Oberyn Martell
Oberyn was a very passionate man. He believed in justice where it’s due. He was also known for bedding whores, male and female alike and he is the father to the renowned Sand Snakes. Oberyn travels to Kings Landing in A Storm Of Swords/Season 4 for King Joffery’s Wedding AKA The Purple Wedding. Joffery bites the dust from poisened wine but as viewers we know that it was Petyr Baelish & Olenna Tyrell who put the murder together. Tyrion is accused and is sentenced to death. Yet again, Tyrion is find himself in a near death situation. The following is a dialogue that occurs between Oberyn & Tyrion in his cell.
Tyrion: If you want justice you’ve come to the wrong place.
Oberyn: I disagree. I’ve come to the perfect place. I want to bring those who have wronged me to justice, and all those who have wronged me are right here. I will begin with Ser Gregor Clegane who killed my sister’s children and then raped her with their blood still on his hands before killing her too. I will be your champion.
(Credits roll and then fanbase gets hyped).
To cut a long story short, between Tyrion getting accused and the trial combat, there is a trial. He says he wants a trial by combat which pisses many people off. Oberyn fights the Mountain and then gets his head crushed like a grape with my thumb. Pop! Even now, talking of Oberyn’s demise is a heartwrench for the fandom. Oberyn has travelled the free cities and even founded a sellsword company. Prince Oberyn was played to a flawless degree by Pedro Pascal.
Prince Doran Martell
Doran is a cautious man. He analyses every situation intently. Doran suffers from gout and is confined to a wheelchair. He is very intelligent. In A Clash Of Kings, Doran was originally going to support Renly Baratheon as he was averse to Joffery but when Tyrion Lannister sent him Myrcella to be betrothed to Trystane he changed his mind. In A Storm Of Swords, he sends Oberyn to Joffery’s wedding as he is “unfit” to attend to obtain revenge for their sister and their neice and nephew.
In A Feast For Crows he imprisons the Sand Snakes to stop them going to war over Oberyn’s death and to keep the peace. His daughter Arianne, tries to crown Myrcella, Doran foils the attempt and tells her that he has been scheming for fifteen years to rob Tywin Lannister of all he holds most dear. After all the following quote is said by Tyrion to Cersei but I believe this quote applies to Doran in regards to Tywin Lannister. I will hurt you for this (Elia & Oberyn). A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid.” Everything that Doran says is gold. All his lines are intelligent and meaningful.
“I am not blind, nor deaf. I know you all believe me weak, frightened, feeble. Your father knew me better. Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him. I was the grass. Pleasant, complaisant, sweet-smelling, swaying with every breeze. 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.”
Doran Martell To The Sand Snakes In A Dance With Dragons
Even Tywin Lannister fears him and Tywin doesn’t fear anyone.
“Doran is a cautious man, a reasoned man, subtle, deliberate, even indolent to a degree. He is a man who weighs the consequences of every word and every action.”
Elia Of Dorne
Thinking of Elia makes still makes me feel sad and we have never been introduced to her as main protagonist (alive). She was Princess Of Dorne and married to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. At the Sack Of Kings Landing, Aerys’ best friend, Tywin Lannister came into the fold late to “save him”. Not so. He came to show his allegiance to Robert Baratheon. He had his personal killer, often referred to as “Tywin Lannister’s Mad Dog”, that is Ser Gregor Clegane, The Mountain. He raped her, killed her children then cut her in half with his sword.