House Martell: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken

Mar 12

House Martell: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken

House Nymeros Martell of Sunspear, better known as House Martell, rules over the land of Dorne. House Martell is not only separated from the other houses of westeros by culture, geography and history, but also by the way they address themselves. This Westeros house refers to themselves as princes, instead of Kings or Lords. More than a 1,000 years ago, the Rhoynar traveled across the sea following Nymeria, a warrior queen. Since so much of this house’s blood line has Rhoynar blood running through it, the family Martell is known to be hot headed, ill-tempered, do not forgive easily if at all and the woman are rumored to be wild.


A 1,000 years ago, the land of Dorne was ruled over by a different lords that always argued amongst each other. The Red Mountains protected this area of the mainland from invaders, until Nymeria brought 10,000 ships to its shores. After Nymeria married one of the lords, Mors Martell, her warrior, along with Martell’s, took over the land of Dorne and became rulers over the area.

From that time on, House Martell had to fight many wars and battles with neighboring lands, even during times of peace. Since the Martell’s are not quick to forgive, the damage these wars caused the Dornish is not quickly forgotten.

When the Targaryen came to the land of Westeros, they attempted to take rule over all of the lands in the Seven Kingdoms. House Martell fought against this vast army and maintained control of Dorne, unlike the other lands in the kingdom. The way the Dornishmen accomplished this task was by never meeting Targaryen’s troops on the field of battle. Instead, the Dornishmen would scatter and escape the clutches of the dragon. Even though Dorne was briefly ruled by Daeron I, he lost more than 20,000 men battling the rebelling Martells.

Later Daeron II would make peace with the land of Dorne and bring it into the kingdom by marrying Myriah, a Dornish princess, and marrying his sister to the Dornish prince that currently ruled over Dorne.

Recent Events

For more than 150 years, House Martell and the Targaryens were close allies. However, after Rhaegar Targaryen married Elia, another Dornish princess, he would run off with Lyanna Stark. This broke the bond that once held the families together. House Martell would only provide limited support to the Targaryen through the end of the War of the Usurper. Lewyn Martell, the uncle of Doran Martell, led a Dornish forces at Trident, Lewyn died there, as did Rhaegar.

Shortly after losing at Trident, House Lannister would attack and takeover King’s Landing and at the time, kill Elia and her children. Doran was furious and had Prince Oberyn Martell raise the spears of war with Viserys Targargen. King Robert Baratheon’s Hand, Jon Arryn, traveled to Dorne to make peace and carried with him the bones of Lewyn. Since then, House Martell has remained relatively quiet and Robert has been happy to keep it that way.

Even though House Martell has sworn allegiance to King Robert, the Dornish people and Martell people have harbored deep anger for House Lannister. This has caused the house to isolate themselves from the rest of the kingdoms and lands. Very rarely did House Martell mix with the other houses, unless it was absolutely necessary.

House Martell would even stay neutral during the War of Five Kings. Later they would ally with House Lannister. For this allegiance, House Lannister had to pay a price. Castles and lands on the marches, a seat on the council, marriage between Trystane Martell and Myrcella Lannister and the head of the person that brutally murdered Elia and her children, Sir Gregor Clegane.

Eventually, Prince Oberyn Martell would become prince of Dorne and would start pressing House Lannister for the head of Sir Clegane, but it became quite clear that Tywin Lannister, lord of House Lannister, would renege on that promise.

Main Characters

Prince Doran Martell is the ruler of the family Martell, Dorne and all of its holdings. Doran is over the age of fifty and has gout. He is very cautious and others cannot tell what he is thinking most of the time. Doran masks his emotions and keeps them to himself most of the time. He rarely makes a public appearance because the gout affects his walking and he does not want to be seen as weak. Even though Doran has stayed neutral through the War of Five Kings, he secretly wants revenge for the murder of Elia and her children.

Quentyn Martell is the oldest son of Prince Doran and the second child. He is said to be short and stocky. Rarely does Quentyn smile or show his emotions, like his father and is considered to be a very serious person. Currently, Quentyn is being fostered Lord Anders Yronwood, where he serves as squire and page. Lord Anders also knighted Quentyn after he turned down the position Prince Oberyn Martell held.

Trystane Martell is the second son of Prince Doran. Trystane would become engaged to Myrcella Baratheon, as part of an agreement between House Lannister and House Martell to ally them together against Lannister’s enemies. However, there is a problem developing in the betrothal.

Arianne Martel is the oldest daughter of Prince Doran and the heir to his throne, as is custom with the family Martell. Even though she is 23 years of age, she is still not married and it is not because she is not beautiful, she is actually quite lovely. Arianne is known to have a bad temper, but is calculating and gets what she wants, even if she has to take it.


House Martell SigilHouse Martell’s sigil is a circular shield with an orange background and fiery sun that is being pierced by a spear. The motto reads, “Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.”

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