When Cersei Lannister laments that she has not seen her daughter Myrcella Baratheon in over a year, Oberyn Martell informs her that the last time he saw Myrcella she was swimming in the Water Gardens with two of his daughters, laughing in the sun.
In the booksEdit
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Water Gardens are located on a beach next to the Summer Sea, three leagues to the west of Sunspear on a coastal road. They were raised by Prince Maron Martell as a gift for his new bride, Princess Daenerys Targaryen to mark the union of Dorne to the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. Pale pink marble paves the gardens and courtyard. Terraces overlooking the numerous pools and fountains of the Water Gardens, shaded by blood orange trees, can be reached via a fluted pillar gallery leading to a triple archway.
The Water Gardens are pleasant in autumn: hot days, cool nights, the salt breeze blowing in from the sea, and fountains and pools to admire and play in. It is one of the few places, if not the only one, in the Seven Kingdoms where highborn and lowborn children can play as equals. One day when the sun was hot, Princess Daenerys she took pity on the children of the servants and guards and allowed them to play in the pools with the highborn children, starting a tradition that is still kept in Dorne to this day.
In the books, Prince Doran Martell is known to have taken residency at the Water Gardens for some time, and is known to enjoy taking his mind off his troubles by watching the children playing in the pools.