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Doran Martell

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Doran Martell
Doran Martell Prince of Dorne
Season(s) 5, 6
First seen "The House of Black and White"
Appeared in 4 episodes (see below)
Mentioned in "Two Swords"
"The Lion and the Rose"
Titles Prince of Dorne
Lord of Sunspear
Status Alive
Origin Sunspear
Allegiance House Martell
Culture Dornishmen
Family Mellario of Norvos - estranged wife
Trystane Martell - son
{Oberyn Martell} - brother
{Elia Martell} - sister
{Rhaegar Targaryen} - brother-in-law
{Rhaenys Targaryen} - niece
{Aegon Targaryen} - nephew
Sand Snakes - nieces
{Lewyn Martell} - uncle
Portrayed by Alexander Siddig
"Many in Dorne want war. But I've seen war. I've seen the bodies piled on the battlefields. I've seen the orphans starving in the cities. I don't want to lead my people into that hell."
―Doran Martell[src]

Doran Martell is a recurring character in the fifth and sixth seasons, although he had already been mentioned in the second and fourth seasons. He is played by Alexander Siddig. Doran Martell is the head of House Martell, the ruling Prince of Dorne, and the Lord of Sunspear. He is the older brother of Elia and Oberyn Martell, and the father of Trystane Martell.



Doran Martell is the Prince of Dorne and the Lord of Sunspear. He is the head of House Martell, the ruling house of Dorne, and the older brother of the late Princess Elia, who was murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane in the Sack of King's Landing, and Prince Oberyn, known as The Red Viper, also killed by Clegane.

He suffers from a severe case of gout, which mostly prevents him from walking and restricts him to a wheelchair.[1]

Unlike his more hotheaded and aggressive brother, Oberyn, Doran is a pensive, calculating, and patient man who always waits and observes before making his next move. Despite their different personalities, the two brothers were very close. While Oberyn could indulge in the wayward Dornish ways, challenging whomever he liked regardless of the consequences, Doran was raised to be more responsible as the heir to the Dornish throne. He truly cares for both his people and his family and would never make a decision that would go against the Dornish people's interests. However, this is often against their wishes.

Doran has also been a witness to war and was deeply marked by its consequences. As such, he often tries to find a solution that avoids waging war, even if the honor of House Martell has been offended. This, along with his physical weakness, gives some people the impression that he is weak-willed and can be easily dominated, but this is misleading; Doran is just as ruthless and decisive as any other member of House Martell. He's simply better at hiding it - until the moment that he strikes. [2]

Season 2Edit

Tyrion Lannister, the acting Hand of the King, proposes a marriage alliance to Prince Doran, offering the hand of Princess Myrcella Baratheon to be wedded to Doran's son when both come of age. Queen Cersei Lannister resists the idea, insisting her daughter would be a political hostage under House Martell, who notoriously hate the Lannisters.[3] However, when Prince Doran accepts the alliance, Myrcella is sent to Dorne as a ward of his House.[4]

Season 4Edit

Prince Doran is expected to arrive at King's Landing for the Royal Wedding. Due to his poor health, however, his younger brother Oberyn travels to the capital instead.[5]

During Joffrey and Margaery's weddingTywin Lannister inquires after Prince Doran's health, revealing that he suffers from gout and is unable to walk. Oberyn reassures Tywin that his brother is fine.[6]

Season 5Edit

Prince Doran is overlooking the Water Gardens with Captain Areo Hotah when Ellaria Sand approaches him. Angered, she berates Doran for simply doing nothing when he learned how Oberyn was murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane. Doran reminds her that Oberyn died fighting in a trial by combat, which by law is not considered murder. Doran intends to bury and mourn his brother, but Ellaria and Oberyn's daughters want Dorne to take up arms and avenge Oberyn. She also wants to harm Myrcella Baratheon in order to send Cersei Lannister a message. Doran reassures Ellaria that, as Oberyn's paramour, he will always love her, but he strictly forbids her from harming Myrcella while he rules. Ellaria doubts that Doran will remain in power if he continues to do nothing, and then storms off. Hotah and the Prince exchange a look as she departs, the former meaningfully indicating his axe, but Doran shakes his head and returns his attention to the Water Gardens.[7]

Doran watches with Areo as Myrcella and Trystane take another walk through the Water Gardens. The prince comments that their betrothal is dangerous as their Houses hate each other and they needed to be protected from those who would harm them. He asks Areo if he remembers how to use his longaxe, as it has been a long time that he hasn't used it. Areo reassures him that he remembers how to use it.

Jaime Lannister later arrives at the Water Gardens and tries to take Myrcella but is stopped by the Sand Snakes who also try to take Myrcella for their own ends. As Nymeria tries to take Myrcella, Areo arrives with the Prince's guard and arrests them all on Doran's orders. Ellaria is also arrested for leading the Sand Snakes.[8]

Sometime later, Doran invites Jaime to eat and drink with him, Trystane, Myrcella, and Ellaria. He inquires why Jaime

Doran makes peace with Jaime Lannister.

came to Dorne with stealth to take Myrcella rather than send a raven or a messenger. When Jaime reveals that Myrcella's necklace had been sent as a threat to King's Landing, Doran deduces Ellaria was the one who sent the message. Jaime makes a comment about his upcoming beheading but Doran tells him that he can't behead him and that, having seen war before, he doesn't want to inflict it on his people, despite vocal cries from his bannermen for it. He offers to send Myrcella back to King's Landing on the condition that Trystane accompany her and that their engagement stand, to secure the alliance between Dorne and the Iron Throne. He also demands that Trystane be granted Oberyn's seat on the Small Council. When she hears Doran appeasing the Lannisters, Ellaria stands and tells him that he doesn't have a spine, which explains his inability to walk. Before she storms out, Doran restrains her and warns her that, if she speaks to him as such again, her life would be short, something he doesn't want as she is mother to four of his nieces.

Once Ellaria leaves, Jaime asks about his companion, Bronn. Doran asks what they would do to a commoner who struck a prince in King's Landing. Jaime takes the blame, claiming that Bronn had only been following his orders. Doran defers to Trystane to decide Bronn's punishment. Trystane agrees to release Bronn but requests that Areo slap him as he had been slapped, to his father's approval.

Doran, Ellaria, Areo & Sand Snakes

Doran forces Ellaria and the Sand Snakes to end their rebellion.

Later, he summons Ellaria before him, along with the three imprisoned Sand Snakes. He tells his brother's lover that her rebellion is over and that he will grant her mercy if she swears loyalty to him. If she doesn't, she dies. A tearful Ellaria kneels and kisses his ring. He then threateningly tells her that he believes in second chances, but he doesn't believe in thirds.[9]

Doran, Ellaria, and the Sand Snakes are present for Princess Myrcella's departure for King's Landing with Jaime, Bronn, and Trystane. He bids her farewell, and gives Ellaria a nod, allowing her to give Cersei's daughter a kiss, though she has coated her lips with a fatal poison. Myrcella dies from the poison, though only after their boat has left the shore, while Doran apparently remains unaware that Ellaria betrayed him again.[10]


Season Five appearances
The Wars to Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother’s Mercy

Image galleryEdit

Family TreeEdit

Ruling Princess Martell of Dorne
Consort of the Princess of Dorne
Lewyn Martell familytree
Lewyn MartellKingsguard mini shield
Doran Martell family tree
Doran Martell
Mellario of Norvos
Elia Martell
Rhaegar Targaryen Targaryen-small
Unknown tree
Various women
Oberyn Martell
Ellaria Sand Sand mini shield
of House Uller
Trystane Martell family tree
Trystane Martell
Mycella Season 5 family tree pic

Myrcella Baratheon KL Baratheon shield icon

Rhaenys tree
Rhaenys Targaryen Targaryen-small
Aegon Targaryen Targaryen-small
Obara Sand familytree
Obara Sand Sand mini shield
1st Sand Snake
Fathered on a Dornish peasant
Nymeria Sand familytree
Nymeria Sand Sand mini shield
2nd Sand Snake
Fathered on an Eastern noblewoman
Martell bastard
Sarella Sand Martell bastard
4th Sand Snake
Fathered on a Summer Islander ship captain
Tyene Sand familytree
Tyene Sand Sand mini shield
3rd Sand Snake
Eldest of Ellaria's daughters
Martell bastard
Four youngest Sand Snakes
(Elia, Obella, Dorea, Loreza)

Quotes Edit

Doran Martell: "You would have me go to war."
Ellaria Sand: "The whole country would have you go to war!"
Doran Martell: "Then we are lucky the whole country does not decide."
— Doran Martell and Ellaria Sand in the Water Gardens[src]
"I loved my brother... and you made him very happy. For that, you will always have a place in my heart. But we do not mutilate little girls for vengeance. Not here. Not while I rule."
―Doran Martell to Ellaria Sand[src]
Ellaria Sand: "No wonder you can't walk: you have no spine."
Doran Martell: "You are mother of four of my nieces, girls I love very much. For their sake, I hope you live a long and happy life. Speak to me that way again, and you won't."
— Doran Martell and Ellaria Sand[src]
"Your rebellion is over. You can swear your allegiance to me now, or you can die. [After a long pause, Ellaria kneels and tearfully kisses Doran's ring; she raises her head and stares at him.] I believe in second chances. I don't believe in third chances."
―Doran Martell gives Ellaria Sand an ultimatum.[src]

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Prince Doran is a cautious, pensive man who does not wear his emotions on his sleeve. He weighs the consequences of every action before he makes them, but whatever action he ultimately takes is therefore very deliberate. Tywin Lannister himself warns that Doran's patience and insistence on long-term planning should not be mistaken for indecision or laziness, and considers him a genuine threat.

Doran was the eldest child and heir of his mother, who by the equal primogeniture laws of the Dornish ruled as Princess of Dorne in her own right. It is unknown what noble House his father was from. He had two younger brothers who died in infancy, and his two younger siblings Elia and Oberyn were born a decade after he was (Elia nine years later, and Oberyn a year after that). As a result of their age difference Doran was raised alone, which probably reinforced his tendency to not share his thoughts, though he deeply loved both Elia and Oberyn (similar to how Robb Stark and Rickon Stark were born ten years apart, but still cared greatly for each other).

Doran has three children: Princess Arianne, Prince Quentyn, and Prince Trystane, all born of his wife, Lady Mellario of Norvos. Doran married Mellario for love, not as an arranged marriage; however, the two of them later fell out of love, and Mellario moved back to Norvos.

Doran was devastated by his sister Elia's rape and murder during Robert's Rebellion. A full decade older than his siblings, he never thought he would live to see the day when he heard of her death. The Targaryen loyalists were crushed on the battlefield, with the main Dornish army destroyed at the Battle of the Trident (Doran and Oberyn's uncle Lewyn, a member of the Kingsguard, also died in the battle). Even so, Oberyn was so infuriated by the atrocity of Elia's death that he urged that Dorne should continue the fighting with the aim of placing Viserys Targaryen on the Iron Throne. Doran, however, would have none of it, recognizing that Dorne was in no position to resist the combined power of the victorious rebel armies. Relations with the Iron Throne were deeply soured and it was only through extensive negotiations with the new Hand of the King, Jon Arryn, that Dorne remained loyal to the Iron Throne - but the Martells completely withdrew from the royal court (explaining why they don't prominently appear in the novels before Joffrey's wedding - the middle of the third novel/beginning of the fourth TV season).

At the time of the War of the Five Kings, Doran has a bad case of gout and has trouble walking, preferring to move in a wheeled chair constructed by his maester. He hides his disability so as to not appear weak to his potential enemies. Instead, while still in command of his wits, Doran has semi-retired to the Water Gardens palace, and delegated much of the day-to-day running of Dorne to Oberyn. Doran went about using canes for a time, but he had to switch to using a wheelchair about two years before he first appears in A Feast for Crows (which would make it around the time the war started).

Doran's gout is bad enough that he cannot walk more than a few steps, but he is not a complete invalid, and thus he could have come to King Joffrey's wedding if he truly wanted to, travelling by ship or palanquin. His physical condition was just bad enough, however, to make a convenient excuse for not having to go to King's Landing - enough that the Lannisters couldn't overtly express their displeasure that he did not come. His maester administers him milk of the poppy regularly to dull his pains, but he does not take it on occasions when he needs his head clear, in which he bears the pain silently.

Doran's brother Oberyn takes his place and goes to King's Landing. In the novels the agreement was slightly different: to secure the neutrality of Dorne in the war, the Lannisters betrothed Cersei's daughter Myrcella to Doran's son Trystane, but also offered Doran a seat on the Small Council. Oberyn arrives instead and takes the Small Council seat (simply as an advisor without a specific office). The TV series condensed this somewhat (because the agreement was last mentioned two full seasons before and viewers may have forgotten) to simply say that Doran was supposed to come to Joffrey's wedding, though Oberyn took his place - and then after Joffrey died, Tywin gave Oberyn a seat on the Small Council to try to keep Dorne loyal to the Lannisters. The overall effect is minimal: either way, Oberyn ended up arriving in King's Landing soon before Joffrey's wedding, and wasn't heavily involved in the Small Council before Joffrey's death.

Doran is aware that many of his subjects, nobles and commoners alike, demand to avenge his brother and think he is too meek and weak and cautious, too lenient to their enemies, while they would have welcomed open war with the Lannisters. The Sand Snakes tell him that to his face, comparing him to their father. Obara claims that if Oberyn was alive and Doran was dead, Oberyn would have not waited even one moment before leading his banners north, and the spears would have been raining on the marches. Doran, however, does not yield to the public pressure. He believes in what his mother taught him many years ago: that only madmen fight wars they cannot win; that valor is a poor substitute for numbers; and it is an easy thing for a prince to call the spears, but in the end, the children pay the price. For their sake, the wise prince will wage no war without good cause, nor any war he cannot hope to win.

After hearing the plans that the Sand Snakes have in store to avenge their father, Doran orders to imprison them, to make sure they do not ignite a war. Afterwards, he warns Ser Arys Oakheart that there are many Dornish who may try to kill Myrcella as a payback, and invites him to bring Myrcella to the Water Gardens. He does not, however, order to imprison his daughter Arianne, what almost turns to be a fatal mistake: she concludes that her father wants to keep Myrcella away not from those who wish to harm her, but from those who’d seek to crown her. She attempts to execute Tyene's plan to crown Myrcella, and by that to provoke the Lannisters into war. Arianne and her escorts are intercepted by Aero Hotah, but Ser Gerold Dayne (aka Darkstar) slashes at Myrcella and escapes. Myrcella survives but is horribly injured. In the aftermath, Doran reveals that he has in fact been plotting Tywin Lannister's downfall since Robert's Rebellion: he initially intended to betrothe Arianne to Viserys, but after his death at Khal Drogo's hands, he has sent his son, Quentyn, to Meereen to offer Dorne's support to Daenerys Targaryen. He sends Arianne, Obara, Tyene and Nymeria on seperate missions as part of his revenge against the Lannisters.

The TV series pronounces "Doran" as "Doh-RAN", two distinct syllables with the emphasis on the second one, as opposed to "DOOR-un" with the emphasis on the first syllable - that would sound too much like "Dorne", the kingdom he rules over.

See alsoEdit


v  d  e
Lord: Prince Doran Martell Heir:
Martell mini flag
Seat: Sunspear Lands: Dorne
Title(s): Prince of Dorne · Lord of Sunspear
Ancestors:Princess Nymeria · Prince Mors Martell · Prince Maron Martell · Princess Daenerys Martell · Queen Myriah Martell
Current members:Prince Trystane Martell · Ellaria Sand · Obara Sand · Nymeria Sand · Tyene Sand · Sarella Sand · Elia Sand · Obella Sand · Dorea Sand · Loreza Sand
Deceased members:Prince Lewyn Martell · Princess Elia Martell · Prince Oberyn Martell
Household:Areo Hotah
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing

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