Bow Before The Sun
History and Geography of Dorne
The First Men settled Westeros by crossing the land bridge across the narrow sea called the Arm of Dorne. During their great war with the First Men, the children of the forest allegedly broke the Arm in an attempt to stop them coming.
One thousand years ago, Dorne was a coalition of Andal states and petty kingdoms, with no ruler strong enough to seize control of the entire region, until the Rhoynar migration which forced the people of the Rhoynar to flee their homeland along the Rhoyne in Essos. Led by their legendary warrior-queen Nymeria, they left in a fleet of 10,000 ships, making landfall at Dorne. Nymeria made alliance with Lord Mors Martell of Sunspear, and with his support
conquered the entire peninsula, uniting it with House Nymeros Martell as its ruler. While the monarchs from the rest of Westeros used the title “king”, the new rulers of Dorne used the Rhoynish title “prince” instead. The second most powerful house in Dorne is House Yronwood; the head of the house continues to hold the title “The Bloodroyal”, recognizing the Yronwoods’ status as petty kings prior to the victory of the Martells.
The Rhoynar brought their own gods with them to Dorne, but they have largely disappeared in favour of the Faith of the Seven. Nevertheless, many Rhoynish customs, including inheritance regardless of gender, have been absorbed into Dornish society. Descendents of the Rhoynar who have not assimilated into Dornish society are known as orphans of the Greenblood.
Dorne has had a violent history, particularly with the houses of the Red Mountains, who lived by raiding across the borders into the Dornish Marches, feuding with each other endlessly. Dorne, the Reach, and the Stormlands fought border wars beyond count and made countless raids across mountains and marches even when at peace, leading to their great enmity.
Seven centuries after the Andal invasion, Aegon the Conqueror invaded Westeros and in his War of Conquest subjugated all of the Andal kings one by one, except Dorne, which successfully resisted the Dragon King. Whereas other kings and lords had taken to the field against Aegon, or clustered in castles, the Dornish refused to give open battle and allow Aegon to deploy his dragons. Instead, they turned to ambush and raids, striking quickly and then slipping back into the desert or through the mountain passes, where even the dragons could not find them. In time, Aegon pulled away from Dorne.
A century and a half later King Daeron I Targaryen, the Young Dragon, managed to do what his ancestor could not and successfully subdued the kingdom. Unfortunately, Dorne almost immediately rose in rebellion. In the resulting conflict, forty thousand soldiers gave their lives, forcing the Targaryens to pull away from Dorne. After Daeron’s death, his brother and successor Baelor the Blessed made peace with Dorne instead, marrying off his cousin, another Daeron, to Myriah Martell. When this prince ruled as Daeron II, he made another marriage pact, offering his younger sister Daenerys to the ruling Prince of Dorne Maron Martell, finally joining Dorne to the rest of the Seven Kingdoms through a peaceful alliance.
Before officially joining the realm, the Dornishmen fought alongside Daeron II’s forces (being led by his half-Martell son Baelor Breakspear), helping to suppress the Blackfyre Rebellion.
Even though they are no longer independent and now owe allegiance to the Iron Throne, the ruling Martells still use the title prince, unlike their lordly counterparts in the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. The Dornish were loyalists who supported the Targaryens during the War of the Usurper, as Elia Martell was married to the crown prince, Rhaegar Targaryen. Lewyn Martell commanded ten thousand Dornishmen in the Battle of the Trident, in which Lewyn and Rhaegar were killed. After lifting the Siege of Storm’s End, Eddard Stark fought three members of the Kingsguard at the tower of joy in northern Dorne. The Dornish were livid because of the deaths of Elia and her children in the Sack of King’s Landing, but Jon Arryn, the Hand of the new king, Robert Baratheon, was able to make peace with Prince Doran Martell.
- A Wiki of Ice and Fire
Dorne provides many exotic products which are uncommon in the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, in particular, citrus fruits and Dorne’s own special wines. Lemons, olives, and pomegranates come chiefly from Dorne. Many of these plants are grown with the aid of canals that bring water from streams and rivers. Dorne is also famous for the sand steed, a type of slim but swift horse bred in only in Dorne, which can run for near two days before tiring. Ships from the Free Cities such as Volantis trade at the port town Planky Town, which is located at the mouth of the river Greenblood, allowing transport of goods across the land. Caravans take on supplies at Sunspear before crossing the deep sands to reach the Prince’s Pass.
Dorne is the hottest region of Westeros. The region is rocky, mountainous, arid and dry, and features the only desert on the continent. Dorne is bordered by the Sea of Dorne to the north, the islands known as the Stepstones to the east, and the Summer Sea to the south. Stretched between them is the mountain range known as the Red Mountains, which separates Dorne from the Stormlands to the north and the Reach to the northwest and west. There are two major passes, the Boneway and the Prince’s Pass, which go through the Red Mountains to the Dornish Marches of the Stormlands.
The Prince’s Pass leads to Nightsong, while the Boneway leads to Summerhall. Sunspear and the Water Gardens, both controlled by the ruling House Martell, are located in southeastern Dorne. Dorne’s rivers provide some fertile lands and even during a long summer there is enough rain and other supplies of water to keep Dorne habitable. Inland water is almost as valuable as gold, and wells are jealously guarded. The major Dornish river is the Greenblood in southeastern Dorne, which is formed by the Vaith and the Scourge near Godsgrace. The trading port called Planky Town is located at the mouth of the Greenblood along the Summer Sea. The Brimstone in southern Dorne flows past the Hellholt to the Summer Sea. The Torentine has its source in the Red Mountains of western Dorne and ends at Starfall along the Summer Sea. The Wyl flows across the Boneway in northern Dorne to the Sea of Dorne.
- A Wiki of Ice and Fire