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House Martell

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House Martell
A golden sun pierced by a spear
Princes of Dorne
Lords of Sunspear
Military strength
Cadet branches
Date of founding
Ancestral weapon

House Martell is one of the Great Houses of Westeros. It rules the peninsula of Dorne in the far south of the continent from the castle at Sunspear. Though loyal to the Iron Throne, it has pursued a more isolated role in events since Robert's Rebellion.

House Martell's sigil is a golden sun pierced by a spear. Its words are, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken."


In the books

In the Song of Ice and Fire novels, House Martell does not play a major roles in events until the third and fourth books in the series, only being referenced in the first two.

House Martell was originally a tiny, obscure noble house of Dorne back when the peninsula was home to numerous small, warring states, approximately one thousand years ago. The Rhoynar, refugees from a war against Valyria on the eastern continent, made landfall in Dorne and allied with Lord Mors Martell. After a brief war, Mors named himself the ruler of the unified Kingdom of Dorne, adopting the title 'Prince' rather than 'King'.

When Aegon I Targaryen invaded Westeros, he conquered six of the seven kingdoms extant at that time, but the Dornish refused to give open battle where Aegon could destroy them with his dragons, instead resorting to hit-and-run attacks which severely damaged his army through attrition. Aegon agreed to leave Dorne to its own devices. A century and a half later, Dorne was briefly occupied by the armies of King Daeron I, but overthrew them in a bloody rebellion. Eventually, roughly a century before the events of the series, Dorne joined the Seven Kingdoms through a peaceful marriage alliance.

The Martells were loyal vassals of the Iron Throne, with Princess Elia Martell marrying Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and bearing him two children. During Robert's Rebellion, the Martells were unhappy with Rhaegar's betrayal of Elia by taking Lyanna Stark as his paramour and sparking a war over the matter. Still, they supported King Aerys II Targaryen's bid to retain the throne, predominantly due to Aerys effectively holding Elia as a hostage to ensure their loyalty. The Martells lost many soldiers at the Battle of the Trident and Princess Elia and her children were brutally killed during the Sack of King's Landing by Lannister soldiers. Though House Martell swore fealty to King Robert Baratheon after the war, they have harbored anger and resentment towards the Lannisters ever since and have adopted a mostly isolationist policy ever since, not mixing with the other houses unless totally necessary. While it mixes with the Great Houses less, it makes up for this by having stronger relations with the Free Cities of Essos than the rest of Westeros.


  • Prince Doran Martell, the current Lord of Sunspear and Prince of Dorne.
    • Lady Mellario of Norvos, his wife.
    • Princess Arianne Martell, his oldest daughter and heir, since Dornish law upholds equal primogeniture, regardless of gender.
    • Prince Quentyn Martell, his oldest son, fostering with Lord Yronwood.
    • Prince Trystane Martell, his youngest son.
  • Prince Oberyn Martell, Doran's younger brother, called the 'Red Viper'.
    • The 'Sand Snakes', Prince Oberyn's bastard daughters:
      • Obara Sand, born of a whore of Oldtown.
      • Nymeria Sand, called 'Lady Nym', born of a noblewoman of Volantis
      • Tyene Sand, born of a septa.
      • Sarella Sand, born of a trader of the Summer Isles
      • Elia Sand, born of Oberyn's Paramour, Ellaria Sand
      • Obella Sand, born of Oberyn's Paramour, Ellaria Sand
      • Dorea Sand, born of Oberyn's Paramour, Ellaria Sand
      • Loreza Sand, born of Oberyn's Paramour, Ellaria Sand
  • Princess Elia Martell, Doran and Oberyn's sister, married to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Slain in the Sack of King's Landing along with her two children.
  • Prince {Lewyn Martell}, a knight of the Kingsguard during the rule of Aerys II Targaryen. Slain at the Battle of the Trident.

With unspecified familiar relationship to the main branch there is also:

  • Ser Manfrey Martell, castellan of Sunspear. A cousin of Doran Martell, it is not stated of which degree.

Sworn to House Martell

  • House Dayne of Starfall
  • House Jordayne of the Tor
  • House Yronwood of Yronwood
  • House Wyl of Wyl
  • House Toland of Ghost Hill
  • ​House Dalt of Lemonwood
  • House Allyrion of Skyreach
  • House Santagar

Image gallery

See also

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House Martell
Lord: 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: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 · Prince Doran Martell · Prince Trystane Martell
Household:{Areo Hotah} · {Caleotte}
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing

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