Doran Martell

In Game of Thrones, Prince Doran Nymeros Martell, or Doran Martell, is the Prince of Dorne, head of House Martell, and Lord of Sunspear.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Doran Martell is married to Lady Mellario of the Free City of Norvos and has three children; Princess Arianne Martell, Quentyn, and Trystane. After the death of his sister, Doran started planning revenge against the Lannisters. When Oberyn travels to King’s Landing, he meets Tyrion Lannister, who got accused of killing Cersei Lannister’s son, Joffrey, and becomes his champion in a trial by combat; this results in tragedy.

Doran Martell Personal Details

  • Name: Doran Nymeros Martell.
  • Year of Birth: 247 or 248 AC.
  • Allegiance: House Martell.
  • Titles: Lord of Sunspear, Prince of Dorne.
  • Wife: Lady Mellario of Norvos.
  • Siblings: Mors Martell, Olyvar Martell, Elia Martell, Oberyn Martell.
  • Children: Arianne, Quentyn, Trystane.
  • Culture: Dornishmen.
  • Religion: Faith of the Seven.

Appearance and Personality

Prince Doran Martell is a middle-aged man with a walking disability that arose due to gout. He is a cautious and calm man who perfectly times his actions and words when facing an obstacle. Due to his gout, Doran rarely appears in public and instead moves in a palanquin. He does this to prevent his enemies from knowing he is incapable of walking. Due to his illness, his body is shapeless, and the joints of his knees, toes, and hands are red and swollen.

Though many consider Doran weak, he is a careful man who never forgot what happened to his sister during the Sack of King’s Landing in Robert’s Rebellion. The deaths of Elia and her children still ring in his mind, and since their demise, he has been plotting revenge against the House Lannister. Though he is Oberyn’s brother, there is a significant age gap because of the miscarriages and deaths of his siblings, Olyvar and Mors.


Early Life

Doran was born as the first child and heir of his mother, the Princess of Dorne. Though he had siblings, they never grew to become adults and died in infancy. As an only child, Doran spent most of his time at the Water Gardens. At age nine, he went to Salt Shore, where he squired for Lord Gargalen. While squirting, his mother conceived a child, Elia. Because she was born one month premature, he thought his sister would not make it. However, she survived, and a year later, Oberyn was born.

On becoming a young man, Doran toured the Free Cities of Essos. He visited Norvos and met Lady Mellario, who eventually would become his wife. Though it was rare to marry out of love, Doran and Mellario deeply loved each other. When she left her parent’s house, Areo Hotah followed her and eventually entered House Martell’s service. 

In 273 AC, Doran’s mother traveled through the South of the Seven Kingdoms looking for suitors for her children, Oberyn and Elia. During this time, Doran stayed back as Castellan of Sunspear. His wife conceived his daughter Arianne, and in 279 AC, he became the ruler of Dorne. He later had a son Quentyn. Oberyn dueled Lord Edgar Yronwood after he got caught in bed with the lord’s wife. Though Oberyn sustained wounds, Edgar died, and Doran sent his brother into temporal exile.

Rhaegar Targaryen

Around the same time, Doran became ruler of Dorne, his sister, Elia, got betrothed to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, King Aerys II Targaryen’s heir. After one year, they got wedded, and Elia gave birth to two children, Prince Aegon, and Princess Rhaenys.

After the tourney at Harrenhal, Rhaegar crowned Lyanna Stark the Goddess of Love and Beauty, and a year later, he allegedly kidnapped her, sparking the rage of Lord Rickard Stark and his son Brandon. After their deaths, a rebellion against the throne started. Furious at how his sister got treated, Doran delayed sending troops to aid the Iron Throne. However, he sent ten thousand men because of his sister. Rhaegar Targaryen eventually got killed at the Battle of the Trident by Robert Baratheon.

Following Rhaegar’s death, Lord Tywin Lannister sacked King’s Landing and ordered Ser Gregor Clegane and Ser Amory Lorch to kill Elia and her children. With House Targaryen defeated, Robert became King. Angry at the deaths of his sister and her young children, Oberyn decided to raise an army to support Prince Viserys Targaryen.

However, Lord Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, traveled to Sunspear with the bones of Prince Lewyn, the commander of the Dornish forces. Though Doran openly accepts the treaty, he and his brother begin secretly plotting Tywin Lannister’s destruction. Doran sent his brother to secretly wed Arianne Martell to Prince Viserys with Ser Willem Darry as a witness.

To end the hostility between Dorne and the Yronwoods, Droan sends his son Quentyn to serve as a page to Lord Ormond Yronwood; this strains the relationship between him and his wife, Lady Mellario. As she did not understand Dornish customs, she believed her son was too young to get fostered away from him. When she learned Doran planned on sending Arianne to Tyrosh as a cupbearer to the Archon of Tyrosh, Lady Mellario threatened to harm herself. She eventually returned to Norvos.

As Doran had betrothed his daughter to Prince Viserys, he tried to mask everything by bringing old suitors for her, including Lord Walder Frey and Lord Estermont. Though he believed he was getting the suitors to clear up any form of suspicion, Arianne saw things differently as she stumbled across a letter where Doran told his son Quentyn that he would inherit Dorne one day; this made Arianne hate her father. After he got infected with gout, Doran retreated to the Water Gardens.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

After Joffrey Baratheon gets crowned King, he orders Doran Martell to appear at court in King’s Landing and swear allegiance to the Iron Throne. However, Doran tells Lord Eddard Stark that the older brother of Elia Martell will do no such thing as he still harbored hatred for the Lannisters for what they did to his sister and her children.

A Clash of Kings

After stating his claim to the throne, Renly Baratheon assumes that Doran will support him. However, Tyrion Lannister agrees to wed Myrcella Baratheon to Trystane Martell and offer justice for Elia and her children’s death in hopes of getting an alliance. Tyrion gives Doran a seat on the small council, and he accepts and agrees to support King Joffrey Baratheon. When Myrcella gets sent to Done, Doran sends his armies to the high passes, and Tyrion hopes for him to send them to the borders to make the marcher lord rethink their loyalty to Stannis Baratheon.

A Storm of Swords

Due to his gout, Doran sends his brother, Oberyn, to King’s Landing to claim his seat on the small council. However, during Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery, he chokes and dies. Cersei blames Tyrion, and he gets arrested. Oberyn meets Tyrion, and he explains that Gregor Clegane killed Elia. The Red Viper agrees to fight for Tyrion but gets killed in the trial by combat.

A Feast For Crows

After Oberyn’s death, his daughters ask for revenge against the Lannisters. To prevent harm to Myrcella, Doran orders Areo to arrest his nieces. Meanwhile, Arriane plans with Ser Arys Oakheart of the Kingsguard to crown Myrcella Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Before the plot comes to fruition, Areo stops it, and Doran has his daughter confined. He later reveals he had planned for her to marry Prince Viserys, but he got killed. The Prince of Dorne then sends his son to bring Queen Daenerys Targaryen from Essos to Westeros.

A Dance with Dragons

When Ser Balon Swann of the Kingsguard, Doran has his daughter Arriane convince Myrcella to lie about what had happened to her. He gets presented with the skull of Ser Gregor Clegane in front of Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes. Doran later reveals his plan to Oberyn’s eldest daughters, Obara, Tyene, and Nymeria. He then sends Nymeria to claim the small council seat, Tyene to the Great Sept of Baelor to befriend the new High Septon, and Obara to escort Ser Balon to High Hermitage and hunt down Darkstar.

Appearance in Adaptations

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Alexander Siddig portrayed Doran Martell. He appeared in seasons 5 and 6 and starred in 5 episodes. Doran was the head of the ruling house of Dorne and the father of Trystane Martell. After his brother got killed, the Sand Snakes went on a revenge streak, killing Myrcella and Trystane. Doran got stabbed by Oberyn’s paramour.

Doran Martell: The Intellect

As the ruling prince of Dorne, Doran was a capable leader who understood that controlling his emotions would bring the deserved revenge he craved. Though his sister got killed, he level-headedly began plotting vengeance against the Lannisters and dined with his enemies to prevent them from suspecting anything was amiss; this makes him one of the most intellectual people in the series.


What is Doran Martell’s plan?

Doran Martell planned to restore Viserys Targaryen on the Iron Throne and destroy House Lannister. However, his plans went into shambles when Viserys got killed. However, he turned to another option; Daenerys. He began planning to restore Dany to the Iron Throne while destabilizing the Lanister’s hold on power.

Why is Doran Martell a prince?

Doran is a prince because it was the title the Rhoynar used. Before Aegon Targaryen’s arrival, Nymeria, the Rhoynar Princess, joined forces with the Martells to create Dorne. According to custom, she became the Princess of Dorne, and the tradition of naming the ruler either a prince or princess passed down through generations.

Did Doran love his siblings?

Yes. Doran got furious when he learned how Prince Rhaegar Targaryen treated his sister, Elia Martell. When she got killed, he was angry and started planning vengeance. He also loved Oberyn.

Was Tyrion working for Doran?

No. Tyrion was not working for the Martells. He was working in the interest of House Lannister. Though he disliked his father, he never wanted to ruin his family and even lied to Oberyn, telling him that Gregor Clegane killed Elia Martell of his free will.

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