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Why does Doran not simply invade the Stormlands?


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#1 Lord Varys

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Considering the fact that sending Arianne to Griffin's Roost with only a small party could severely backfire on Dorne (the Golden Company could take her hostage to force Doran to declare for Aegon, or Arianne could die on the journey, creating a succession crisis in Sunspear upon Doran's death), we have to ask the question why Doran did not send Arianne to the Boneway, to invade the Stormlands with his army. He could inform the Iron Throne that he is dealing with the sellswords on behalf of King Tommen, and then decide whether to back or turn against the Golden Company when Arianne and her army has made up her mind. That way, he could also have bought himself and the Golden Company more time since the administration in King's Landing would not consider the Golden Company their top priority if they knew Dorne would take care of them. This could enable the Dornishmen and the Golden Company to attack the Lannisters/Tyrell as one force, taking them by surprise.

In the ADwD Epilogue, this option was actually discussed (brought up by Pycelle, I believe), and the fact that Lady Nym is going to arrive as Dorne's representative on King Tommen's Small Council should also help to convince the Lannisters/Tyrells that Dorne has no interest in joining the Golden Company.

I think we should discuss this whole thing...

#2 NitzanLeo

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:29 AM

I think the advantage Doran has in this whole scenario is that whether he decides to side with Aegon or with KG (which we know he won't), the other side won't know until the first battle they'll encounter together. This all being said from the GC/KG viewpoint. I'm sure our favourite prince has it all figured out. I believe that in the event of a Dornish-GC siege of KG, Lady Nym can make use of herself and escape. Seeing that Varys, who we can assume--as one of the theories surrounding his motivation states--will help Lady Nym escape, and is still in King's Landing, then I'm not too scared for the little sweetheart. Though I doubt that it'll bubble down to that. I think there will be a more diplomatic victory for Doran should a war erupt.

#3 Stallion That Mounts Texas

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

Interesting theory, but there are several problems:

1. There would not be a succession probelm. Arianne has a another brother (Tyrstane).

2. Connington knows that Dorne is central to his hopes and would never risk Doran's wrath.

3. What would Dorne gain by doing this? Why not leave their armies intact until it is absolutely necessary. Sit back and see what the other two sides will do and join the winner. If Connington defeats the Tyrell army on the way to the Stormlands, join him then.

4. We know Dorne has two armies ready to go, but we still don't know their actual strength in numbers. It has be speculated to be b/t 25k-35k. If Dorne goes to war, it will leave the country wide open for attack.

A cost/benefit analysis would be against this plan and show Doran is taking the proper course.

#4 Lord Varys

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:27 PM

There won't be any succession crisis, but if Arianne would be killed, and Doran dies as well, Dorne would go to young Trystane. And I don't see anyone left in Sunspear who could rule Dorne in his name, and deal with the vengeance plots and threats of war hanging in the air...

#5 By the Old Gods Not theNew

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

I agree in theory that sending Arainne in strength would have been a more cautious and strategic move, however for plot reasons I think Doran's breaking out of his mold by taking greater risks. Doran's taking a huge risk by sending Arainne w/ such a vulnerable party into a warzone to treat w/ an unknown invader.

For all of the disbelief the Dornish express w/ regard to JonCon/Aegon they nevertheless seem rather trusting w/ regard to Arainne's safety. They don't believe they are who they say they are but they trust them w/ the life of the Princess of Dorne. Really? It seems like Doran is taking a huge leap of faith on the hopes that it is Aegon, which is what the sample chapter seems to be setting up. All of Dorne is hanging it's hopes on one Dragon or the other. Daemon Sand hopes for Dany, while secretly i suspect both Arainne and Doran hope for Aegon.

Edited by By the Old Gods Not theNew, 11 January 2013 - 01:33 PM.


#6 Lord Varys

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

I actually would have liked to get a chapter depicting the conversation between Doran and Arianne in detail, after they received the raven from Griffin's Roost. If Connington had invited Arianne and/or Doran to meet with him at his castle, the trip would make much more sense.

On the other hand, the whole thing about 'war' meaning to stay at home strongly suggests that Doran has thought things through. If the Golden Company would take Arianne hostage and force her to write a message to Sunspear, there is an established code to ensure that things go there way. But this is not going to free Arianne if she should be used as a hostage.

My question is more why the Dornishmen don't use the opportunity to stark making their way towards King's Landing. The invasion of the Golden Company gives them pretext enough. Not only is the rule of King Tommen threatened, but also Dorne itself. The Stormlands have been invaded by foreigners, and they are in close vicinity to Dorne. Doran would not even need to explain his actions to the Iron Throne by claiming he wanted to assist King Tommen, but rather by stating that 'this amount of lawlessness is a threat to the sovereignty of Dorne, and thus needs to be dealt with'.

That way, Dorne and the Golden Company could take the Tyrells and Lannisters utterly by surprise. Or only the Golden Company, if Quentyn and Dany would make their way. In fact, by allying with Aegon Doran and Arianne would themselves in the ideal position to get rid of him should Dany and Quentyn ever arrive. My guess is that this is going to be the reason why Arianne will declare for Aegon for the meantime.

But going to the Stormlands without the army in the Boneway (or without ordering them to meet them at Griffin's Roost) makes little sense if you ask me. Doran could write to KL that he sends his men to deal with the Golden Company while informing Connington that Arianne and the army would be coming, and that it would be wise of him to not try anything to stop them. This would give Arianne a much better position as an envoy during her negotiations with Connington and Aegon.

#7 Stallion That Mounts Texas

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

You presume Dorne is in a bad bargaining position. It is Connington who is asking for Dorne's help b/c of the relation with Aegon. Connington has no reason to threaten Doran by imprisoning Arianne. It would be the worst move he could possibly make.

As to invading KL. Mace Tyrell is still in the city with about 30k troops, a city watch and Lannister guardsmen. More than enough to hold the city for a quite some time. Remember, neither Dorne or Aegon has power at sea. Why march on KL with no hope of taking it? In the mean time, Mace could send to the Reach and the West to assemble new hosts and aid him.

Another problem is logistics. A Dornish army is likely to run afowl of the Marcher Lords at the border. The loyalty of these houses is uncertain at best, but no way they just let a huge Dornish army cross their lands for free. There are just too many variables and unknowns right now. Doran is doing the right thng.

#8 Lord Varys

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

Well, I guess if Dorne declares for Aegon, the army in the Boneway will team up with the Golden Company, but the army in the Prince's Pass will invade the Reach, most likely taking Highgarden before the Tyrells can react. That way, Mace would be forced to split his forces even more, and they might even be able to force him to leave Tommen's camp if Willas and Olenna become Dornish hostages...

As to the Marcher Lords: Since 'the enemy' (i.e. the Golden Company) has already conquered vast parts of the Stormlands, my guess is that they would gladly accept help and assistance from their Dornish neighbors. But the Dornishmen would not have to ask them. If they tell the lords they do this in the name of the Iron Throne, who is going to stop them? Hindering their crossing would be outright rebellion. The Marcher Lords would be caught between the Dornishmen and the Golden Company if they would resists, and that would only go bad for them.

#9 Whitering

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

Ya, Highgarden is being pressed by the Ironmen and a lot of men will be away on that front.

#10 Triskele

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:39 PM

Doran's caution is warranted here is it not?

First off...he doesn't know enough about Griff and Young Griff yet...neither their strength nor their legitimacy. And if there's a threat to the realm it's much more likely that it's a threat to the Tyrells and KL than to Dorne, right?

#11 Kasrith

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:46 PM

As to invading KL. Mace Tyrell is still in the city with about 30k troops, a city watch and Lannister guardsmen. More than enough to hold the city for a quite some time. Remember, neither Dorne or Aegon has power at sea. Why march on KL with no hope of taking it? In the mean time, Mace could send to the Reach and the West to assemble new hosts and aid him.


I agree that Doran is doing the right thing at the moment, and patiently waiting it out (although not convinced Arianne will likely do the same without his council), but as far as sea power goes I think it's safe to saw that the Lord of Waters is (or would be) on their side.

#12 sifth

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:06 PM

Don't forget the Iron Men. With all the trouble The Golden Company and probably Dorne as well are causing for the South, this leaves key strong hold in the South as easy targets for Iron Born attack. Old Town, High Garden or Casterly Rock could all belong our favorite pirate by the end of the next book if everyone remains focused on these new threats


I'm just so happy to see the Lannister and Tyrell lands destroyed considering all of the crap these two families got away with, ha ha ha

#13 The Real Summer Islander

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:02 AM

Pure speculation... You could easily ask what happens if he goes on this course.. technically he is loyal to the iron throne with trystane betrothed to myrcella... Treason means death, and doran will take extra caution with some of the sand snakes sent to KL. The game is played in other ways..


#14 Stallion That Mounts Texas

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:38 AM

I agree that Doran is doing the right thing at the moment, and patiently waiting it out (although not convinced Arianne will likely do the same without his council), but as far as sea power goes I think it's safe to saw that the Lord of Waters is (or would be) on their side.

I've had my suspicions that Aurane Waters was working with/for Varys, but no definitive proof as of yet. I do find it interesting that the Golden Company is in control of half of the Stepstones. If thats the case, then they most likely have run across Waters and other sell sails.

Don't forget the Iron Men. With all the trouble The Golden Company and probably Dorne as well are causing for the South, this leaves key strong hold in the South as easy targets for Iron Born attack. Old Town, High Garden or Casterly Rock could all belong our favorite pirate by the end of the next book if everyone remains focused on these new threats


I'm just so happy to see the Lannister and Tyrell lands destroyed considering all of the crap these two families got away with, ha ha ha

Well these strongholds won't be easy pickings by any means. In AFFC, we see just how much trouble the ironmen are having getting into Old Town. The Hightowers are no wimps. They control more men that any other lords in the Reach and are just as rich as the Lannisters. Casterly Rock is massive and likely full of Lannister troops. Also the Lannisters have a fleet guarding Lannisport that they can call upon. Last we checked, Mace Tyrell had 10,000 men at Highgarden. Willas Tyrell is no fool. He will not leave the capital of the Reach unguarded. Thats why the ironmen need dragons. They just don't have the manpower to hold these places.

Pure speculation... You could easily ask what happens if he goes on this course.. technically he is loyal to the iron throne with trystane betrothed to myrcella... Treason means death, and doran will take extra caution with some of the sand snakes sent to KL. The game is played in other ways..

Great point on the Sand Snakes. It will not endanger Nym by openly defying the iron throne. He would need to get her out first. Knowing this, Mace Tyrell would be wise to keep an eye on her.

#15 sifth

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

I Iron Throne wouldn't dare hurt Nym, not if they want Myrecella back in one piece. The Lannisters must realize that a bastard niece is no princess and a scale works both ways


I still wonder what the Lannisters would do if Tommon dies, given their current position


as for my other point. In Sam's final AFFC's chapter we learn that Old Town was nearly taken by the Iron Men, thanks to one of Euron's clever tricks. That alone should say how dangerous they are

#16 ns_gold

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:46 AM

I think its smart considering he still seems to be waiting for Dany. If he comes out and either openly supports/attacks Aegon and Dany sides the other way, his main goal of aligning with the her and her dragons is lost. If Dany wants to side with Aegon then it looks good that he sent his daughter to treat with them, if she goes against them he still has the armies of Dorne waiting to move for her. It seems to me its smarter to sit back and wait until all the cards are on the table before declaring one way or another.

#17 Stallion That Mounts Texas

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

I Iron Throne wouldn't dare hurt Nym, not if they want Myrecella back in one piece. The Lannisters must realize that a bastard niece is no princess and a scale works both ways


I still wonder what the Lannisters would do if Tommon dies, given their current position


as for my other point. In Sam's final AFFC's chapter we learn that Old Town was nearly taken by the Iron Men, thanks to one of Euron's clever tricks. That alone should say how dangerous they are


Iromen were trying to breach Oldtown security by dressing in the clothes and flying the colors of a foreign vessel. One of the men Oldtownd's security hailed them in the language of the nation they were posing as, and they could not hail back.

Said nothing about the city almost being taken. Given that kind of security, it shows how hard it will be for Euron. The city is huge (second only to KL) and filled with Hightower troops. If the ironmen got in, they could likely do some damage, but conquering the city would require numbers the ironmen don't have.

#18 miguel sanchez

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

I think the answer to the question posed in the subject title, is the lesson of the water gardens. Doran is cautious, he doesn't want to enter a war until he feels certain of victory. And there are many unknown factors for him, most of which are known to us.

#19 Luckycooky

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

Because hi is not sure if hi will win or to claim it long enough and when hi does it. There is no way back from when hi atacks to stromlands what is the main land of the current king of westeros there no way back.
Doran will enter the war but not till hi is sure off vicorty.

and like Tyrion said in Dance whit dragons there is know way hi can win the iron Throne whit only Dorne. Whit Agon there thinks change but not so much hi will support Danny, and will help Agon a bit But the i know Dannys reaction on Agon Actions hi will not give him his full support

kind of wise thing to do

Edited by Luckycooky, 12 January 2013 - 01:42 PM.


#20 Lion of Judah

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:27 AM

I never looked at it that way, but Dorne just does not have the strength to invade anywhere. They can defend their shores, but even Lady Toland expressed skepticism about their ability to do so.