Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Lord Varys

Sex and stuff - How different is Dorne?

Recommended Posts

This is from 'Queer Customs of the South' from TWoIaF:

Quote

There are other customs besides that mark the Dornish as different. They are not greatly concerned if a child is born in wedlock or out of it, especially if the child is born to a paramour. Many lords—and even some ladies—have paramours, chosen for love and lust rather than for breeding or alliance. And when it comes to matters of love, that a man might lie with another man, or a woman with another woman, is likewise not cause for concern; while the septons have often wished to shepherd the Dornishmen to the righteous path, they have had little effect.

This seems fine, but do we have actually textual evidence in the main series that this is the case? I don't think so.

Let's start with paramours:

Aside from Oberyn Martell I don't recall any Dornish in the main series - nor have the historical texts elaborated much on that practice. Neither the consorts or the hypothetical paramours of most of the Prince(sse)s of Dorne we learn via Gyldayn or Yandel are mentioned (aside from Nymeria's and Aliandra's consorts, if I remember correctly).

The only hint in that direction seems to be the fact that Quentyn Martell is urged to make the Drinkwater twins his paramours later in life - but here we are talking about a Martell prince, not the average Dornishman, not even the average Dornish noble. Here it is also made clear that the legitimate daughters of some landed knights are no fit consorts for a prince of Dorne, meaning the Martells are very picky and snobby as to who can marry into the family.

In addition, we do know that the other great lords of the Seven Kingdoms - and even the archmaesters of the Citadel - do keep paramours and mistresses. Various Targaryens, Lord Tytos Lannister, Lord Lyonel Hightower, etc. It may be that the Dornish are less secretive about affairs, but at this point we have no indication that the supposed tolerance of Dornish culture causes the people there to have more paramours than in the other regions.

If George had wanted to send that message it could have been done rather easily - Doran Martell could have had a nurse of common birth who acts as his paramour and closest companion and advisor, various Dornish lords showing up in the background in various parties could have been depicted as being accompanied by both consorts and paramours, there could have been various Dornish heirs/lords where it is unclear whether their technical lord father or one of the paramours of their lady mother is the biological father of those children - this could have been done very effectively with Doran, Elia, and Oberyn.

If we have a ruling lady or a Princess of Dorne who entertains (a) paramour(s) while also having a consort then it is quite obvious that the parentage of any children she has while she has sex with multiple male partners is questionable. In that sense - and if Doran's mother actually entertained paramours while her children were born - Doran, Elia, and Oberyn could be half-siblings rather than full siblings. This is an interesting conundrum in a world where illegitimate children are branded with humiliating 'bastard names' and have (usually) no place in the line of succession - and this is also the case in Dorne.

Which leads as to bastards in Dorne:

The Dornish attitude to bastardy is not really different than the attitude in the other Seven Kingdoms. If they were truly less concerned about that then it is odd that they also brand such children with bastard names, marking them as different and apart from trueborn children. Bastards can and are raised by their noble fathers at various castles. We have a lot of 'the Bastard of Castle X' nicknames, and this extends both to bastards born by common mothers (Joy Hill, Ramsay Snow) as to bastards fathered by a nobleman on a noblewoman.

The status of bastards is as shitty in Dorne as it is elsewhere as both Arianne and Oberyn/Ellaria Sand make clear:

Quote

Elia was her cousin, but half a child, and Daemon Sand... things had never been the same between her and the Bastard of Godsgrace after her father refused his offer for her hand. He was a boy then, and bastard born, no fit consort for a princess of Dorne, he should have known better. 

The fact that a bastard is no fit consort for a princess of Dorne also implies that this is the reason why Ellaria Sand - the woman Oberyn Martell apparently seems to have truly loved - never married him. It is not that they did not want to marry, Ellaria was not good enough to actually marry a prince of Dorne. That Oberyn was willing to marry is made pretty clear when he and Ellaria both entertain the notion of him marrying Cersei.

If noble bastards are not fit to marry Dornish nobles/princes then it doesn't really matter whether they are publicly more present than they might be in certain other regions. If bastardy is still pretty much bastardy then the differences are at best superficial. After all, the crucial problem of bastards is that they don't have the same rights as 'trueborn children', right?

Finally, the issue of homosexuality:

At this point, we have yet to meet a gay (couple) from Dorne - we have two bisexuals - Oberyn and Daemon Sand - and the latter seems to be ashamed that he supposedly slept with Oberyn:

Quote

The Bastard of Godsgrace was one of Dorne's finest swords as well, as might be expected from one who had been Prince Oberyn's squire and had received his knighthood from the Red Viper himself. Some said that he had been her uncle's lover too, though seldom to his face. Arianne did not know the truth of that. He had been her lover, though. At fourteen she had given him her maidenhead. Daemon had not been much older, so their couplings had been as clumsy as they were ardent. Still, it had been sweet.

If the Dornishmen were truly more tolerant/open about homosexual acts then there is little to no reason why Daemon should be ashamed of that - or that the entire thing should be more a rumor rather than a public thing nobody has to be ashamed (unless Oberyn actually abused and/or raped his poor squire, which her certainly would have been capable of doing considering his character).

Am I overlooking something here? Or are the differences just supposed to be just very superficial?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't know that many Dornish characters so we have to go by what we are told and the characters we know. It's true that many people in Westeros have mistresses/lovers but Dornish paramours seem to be treated with more respect and closer to a spouse. Cersei thinks that Oberyn bringing Ellaria Sand as his wedding plus one is scandalous but also kind of shrugs it off and thinks that is just how the Dornish are. The closest examples to that I can think of are Lady Sam being Lyonel Hightower's paramour, which is viewed as unusual and the High Septon condemns it, though that might just be because she was his father's widow, and Aegon IV's many mistresses that became defacto queens, which is viewed as disgraceful by pretty much all of Westeros. The Ironborn also have salt wives but they are often glorified slave mistresses and everyone hates the Ironborn anyway.

I disagree with the point about bastards. We get a lot of clear information that bastards are treated pretty well and there are a bunch of Sand characters.  The Dornish nobility still internalize the values of the broader Westerosi nobility, which is why a bastard isn't a fit consort for the Dornish ruling family, but that does not mean they are treated the same as the rest of Westeros, The rest of the Westerosi nobility, even where a bastard has a prominent place, generally views bastards with suspicion. For example, Jon and Ramsay are probably the best treated bastards, but they are still mopey about their bastard status and are viewed with suspicion by other characters for their bastard status. Edric Storm is well treated but he's not allowed anywhere near court. The exceptions are the Ironborn, where salt kids are treated pretty well and can inherit although houses descended from salt wives are viewed with suspicion, and the dragonseeds, which seems to be a special case.

Homosexuality is hard to tell because we don't have that many examples for Dorne and we know the rest of Westeros is relative tolerant of it.

Edited by SerBronnsMullet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Let's start with paramours:

Aside from Oberyn Martell I don't recall any Dornish in the main series

There's the previous Lord Yronwood, who died in a duel against Prince Oberyn over a paramour. I think this is very telling of the fact that paramours are seen differently in Dorne. It was treated as an honor issue, and Lord Yronwood made it completely public by dueling Oberyn instead of trying to hide it.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Various Targaryens, Lord Tytos Lannister, Lord Lyonel Hightower, etc.

Prince Daemon Targaryen and Aegon the Unworthy are widely seen as immoral men. Tywin thought that her grandfather's paramour was "" woman scarcely one step above a whore". And even the Faith ended accepting that Lady Sam was Lyonel's wife.

But nobody denies that the lords of the six Northern kingdoms have paramours. It's only that in Dorne is not seen as somethning that tarnishes the reputation of the Lord, and more importantly, the paramour.

Ellaria Sand is invited to Doran's feast as treated nearly as Oberyn's widow would have been. Compare that to how Tytos' paramour was dismissed by Tywin.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If George had wanted to send that message it could have been done rather easily

At least as far as I'm concerned, he already sent the message across by having Oberyn bring Ellaria at Joffrey's wedding.

4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The Dornish attitude to bastardy is not really different than the attitude in the other Seven Kingdoms. If they were truly less concerned about that then it is odd that they also brand such children with bastard names, marking them as different and apart from trueborn children.

Treating the bastards better does not equal to treating the bastards as if they were trueborn children.

At fourteen, Daemon Sand, thought that it was a viable idea to ask Prince Doran for her heiress' hand. Meanwhile, at fourteen, Jon is so aware of his condition that he thinks that "it might give insult to the royal family to seat a bastard among them." And this is Jon, who is treated far better than most bastards are (to Catelyn's annoyance).

The Jon case also shows us that it is very unusual that a lord raises his trueborn children together with the bastards. Yet we see that when Arianne was young he used to play with Daemon Sand and his bastard cousins in the Water Gardens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

There's the previous Lord Yronwood, who died in a duel against Prince Oberyn over a paramour. I think this is very telling of the fact that paramours are seen differently in Dorne. It was treated as an honor issue, and Lord Yronwood made it completely public by dueling Oberyn instead of trying to hide it.

Yeah, okay, that's another example, but since that guy was supposedly pretty old already we don't know whether he still had a wife in addition to a paramour. Paramours who replace wives seem to be very common in Westeros, e.g. Tytos.

12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Prince Daemon Targaryen and Aegon the Unworthy are widely seen as immoral men. Tywin thought that her grandfather's paramour was "" woman scarcely one step above a whore". And even the Faith ended accepting that Lady Sam was Lyonel's wife.

Tytos' paramours seem to have been vilified by her dear stepchildren because they exploited the old man and because they clearly rose above their station. Tytos' last paramour effectively behaved as if she was the Lady of Casterly Rock. That kind of thing does not seem to be tolerated in Dorne, either, no?

12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

But nobody denies that the lords of the six Northern kingdoms have paramours. It's only that in Dorne is not seen as somethning that tarnishes the reputation of the Lord, and more importantly, the paramour.

Not sure if paramours tarnish the reputation of the lord all that much. 

12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Ellaria Sand is invited to Doran's feast as treated nearly as Oberyn's widow would have been. Compare that to how Tytos' paramour was dismissed by Tywin.

There is a huge difference there. The Martells are close - or rather Doran and Oberyn were. Doran loved his brother and he also loves his brother's children. Ellaria is the partner of the late brother of the Prince of Dorne and the bastard of a Dornish lord, she is not some commoner. If Ellaria had been no noble bastard but a commoner/whore becoming Oberyn's paramour then I'd say this means something. The way it is it just underlines that Oberyn's paramour and his bastard children were accepted by the Prince of Dorne.

12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

At least as far as I'm concerned, he already sent the message across by having Oberyn bring Ellaria at Joffrey's wedding.

That can be seen as part of his plans to provoke the Lannisters. Since custom in KL does not allow for such things - which Oberyn would have known - he should have left Ellaria at home.

12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Treating the bastards better does not equal to treating the bastards as if they were trueborn children.

As I said - then the differences are only superficial or cosmetic.

12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

At fourteen, Daemon Sand, thought that it was a viable idea to ask Prince Doran for her heiress' hand. Meanwhile, at fourteen, Jon is so aware of his condition that he thinks that "it might give insult to the royal family to seat a bastard among them." And this is Jon, who is treated far better than most bastards are (to Catelyn's annoyance).

Jon Snow also thought it was a good thing to pretend he could be Lord of Winterfell when playing with Robb. It is clear, though, that trueborn Martells do not marry bastards. They can at best become paramours which means there is no meaningful difference there. Bastards don't inherit.

12 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

The Jon case also shows us that it is very unusual that a lord raises his trueborn children together with the bastards. Yet we see that when Arianne was young he used to play with Daemon Sand and his bastard cousins in the Water Gardens.

In Catelyn's opinion it is unusual. Joy Hill is raised at Casterly Rock, Aurane Waters was raised on Driftmark, Rolland Storm presumably in Nightsong, etc.

Noble children can play with various children - of noble or common birth - in all the castles. We see that at Winterfell and elsewhere. But class differences are always seen and felt, it is not different in Dorne, or else, as I said, Ellaria and Oberyn would be married and nobody would have any issue with Daemon Sand presuming to marry Arianne. Nor would Quentyn consider a marriage with Drinkwater twins to be beneath him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Tytos' last paramour effectively behaved as if she was the Lady of Casterly Rock. That kind of thing does not seem to be tolerated in Dorne, either, no?

We don't really know, but my personal feeling is that it would be accepted. Ellaria Sand behaves herself as if she was Oberyn's wife.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

That can be seen as part of his plans to provoke the Lannisters. Since custom in KL does not allow for such things - which Oberyn would have known - he should have left Ellaria at home.

If Oberyn brought Ellaria to KL as a provocation to the Lannisters, then Doran wouldn't have her at Balon Swann's reception when he wants to reconcile with them.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Jon Snow also thought it was a good thing to pretend he could be Lord of Winterfell when playing with Robb.

That was when Jon was a "little boy". I was comparing two fourteen years olds.

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

It is clear, though, that trueborn Martells do not marry bastards. They can at best become paramours which means there is no meaningful difference there.

There can be meaningful differences as to how bastards are treated, and still consider them an inadequate marriage for the future Princess of Dorne.

Access to public offices, likelihood of inheriting if not trueborn sons are available, options of marrying into a minor noble house,...

1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

In Catelyn's opinion it is unusual. Joy Hill is raised at Casterly Rock, Aurane Waters was raised on Driftmark, Rolland Storm presumably in Nightsong, etc.

How do you know that Catelyn's opinion is unusual? How do you know that Joy Hill, Auranne Waters and Rolland Storm were raised in their respective castles? I don't recall that being said in the text.

And it's not only Catelyn's opinion. Ned says about Jon: "You know I cannot take him south. There will be no place for him at court. A boy with a bastard’s name . . . you know what they will say of him. He will be shunned." If Eddard thinks that a bastard has no place in King's Landing court (even the son of the Hand of the King), but the court of Sunspear is filled with bastards, I think that we could easily deduce that the Dornish are more tolerant in this regard.

Edited by The hairy bear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

it's not only Catelyn's opinion. Ned says about Jon: "You know I cannot take him south. There will be no place for him at court. A boy with a bastard’s name . . . you know what they will say of him. He will be shunned." If Eddard thinks that a bastard has no place in King's Landing court (even the son of the Hand of the King), but the court of Sunspear is filled with bastards, I think that we could easily deduce that the Dornish are more tolerant in this regard.

Good points all. GRRM has already explicitly stated, in and out of the texts, that Dorne's attitudes towards bastards, paramours, homosexuality, etc. are more permissive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to Doran and him not having a paramore.....It is mentioned in either an Arrianne or Aero chapter, I'll try to find it, that Prince Doran and Lady Mellayrio married for love. considering they seem to be currently estranged, perhaps Doran is simply heartbroken, and has no wish to take a paramore.

and with 3 teenage children, he doesn't really need to marry again either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

[snip]

I think we've not seen enough of Dorne to know if this is false. Of course TWOIAF is written with anti-Dornish bias, but none of this is particularly startling given GRRM's comments about Dorne, as Ran said above. 

Some would argue that Nymeria and the Fowler twins being "abed" refers to the three being an item, but I don't think this is confirmed. 

Regarding the concern about women with paramours and pregnancies, Yandel does not say they are kept at the same time as husbands. This could refer to unmarried women, widows, women estranged from their husbands, and lesbian women, whose children (if any) are not going to be mistaken for another. In my view, this is the main difference between mistresses and paramours: a mistress is definitely someone on the side, while the institution of paramourship is marriage without being marriage (because you are estranged, of the same gender, they are unsuitable for you due to being commoners/bastards/lesser nobles, etc.) This is probably why Lady Sam is a "paramour", but Tytos had "mistresses" - the former wanted to marry Lord Lyonel and wasn't going to be set aside at any moment. For this reason, I imagine men in Dorne would be less likely to just take paramours on the side, since their wives have more agency there.

And lastly, marriage ranking/succession does not have to be how they treat their bastards better - a little respect as fellow nobles and understanding of their differences is all there needs to be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2019 at 12:00 PM, The hairy bear said:

We don't really know, but my personal feeling is that it would be accepted. Ellaria Sand behaves herself as if she was Oberyn's wife.

If Oberyn brought Ellaria to KL as a provocation to the Lannisters, then Doran wouldn't have her at Balon Swann's reception when he wants to reconcile with them.

That was when Jon was a "little boy". I was comparing two fourteen years olds.

There can be meaningful differences as to how bastards are treated, and still consider them an inadequate marriage for the future Princess of Dorne.

Access to public offices, likelihood of inheriting if not trueborn sons are available, options of marrying into a minor noble house,...

How do you know that Catelyn's opinion is unusual? How do you know that Joy Hill, Auranne Waters and Rolland Storm were raised in their respective castles? I don't recall that being said in the text.

And it's not only Catelyn's opinion. Ned says about Jon: "You know I cannot take him south. There will be no place for him at court. A boy with a bastard’s name . . . you know what they will say of him. He will be shunned." If Eddard thinks that a bastard has no place in King's Landing court (even the son of the Hand of the King), but the court of Sunspear is filled with bastards, I think that we could easily deduce that the Dornish are more tolerant in this regard.

With regards to Jon, Eddard never seemed to be the brightest man. 

He never asked King Robert, nor did he think of another place for Jon to be.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I don't think that reminding Robert of the existence of a boy who is actually the son and heir of Rhaegar Targaryen would qualify as "bright". He is the one who dreams of killing Rhaegar every night, and thinks that dragonspawn must be killed regardless of their age or innocence.

If Jon's identity is ever revealed or suspected, it would pose great danger to both the realm and Jon. I don't see why keeping Jon close to him is a bad decision. And that is without even considering the promise Ned made to his dying sister.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 11:09 AM, Back door hodor said:

In regards to Doran and him not having a paramore.....It is mentioned in either an Arrianne or Aero chapter, I'll try to find it, that Prince Doran and Lady Mellayrio married for love. considering they seem to be currently estranged, perhaps Doran is simply heartbroken, and has no wish to take a paramore.

and with 3 teenage children, he doesn't really need to marry again either.

 

While I too get the impression that Doran still feels love for his wife, I would think that the advanced gout probably has more to do with him not having a paramour, especially if it has gotten into his hips and loins. Sex probably isn't too much on his mind and, as we've seen, he is not big on confidants or sharing secrets at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

While I too get the impression that Doran still feels love for his wife, I would think that the advanced gout probably has more to do with him not having a paramour, especially if it has gotten into his hips and loins. Sex probably isn't too much on his mind and, as we've seen, he is not big on confidants or sharing secrets at all.

Agreed his physical condition is a factor, I was thinking more in terms of companionship than lust

The line I remember about Doran was that his marriage was the one thing that he did that was out of his cautious character, perhaps he regretted the way thier relationship turned and did not want to repeat his mistakes.

I would agree though I highly doubt he is capable of intercourse(I don't know much about gout)and even if he is, it has to be painful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Back door hodor said:

I was thinking more in terms of companionship than lust

 

Yes. I should have been more clear. I meant that he didn't seem to have the need/want for a companion to unburden himself after a hard day of long plotting, but doing nothing. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Three-Fingered Pete said:

 

Yes. I should have been more clear. I meant that he didn't seem to have the need/want for a companion to unburden himself after a hard day of long plotting, but doing nothing. ;)

Haha it does seem time consuming 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ellaria and her children and the Sand Snakes are treated as part of the royal family and I'm sure the children would be considered as good marriage partners.  They just aren't part of the line of succession.   One reason why Oberyn did not marry Ellaria might be political.  A Prince of Dorne would be a suitable husband for the daughter of a lord paramount, like Cersei.

Dorne is probably like 15th century Italy, where noble or clerical children, born out of wedlock, but acknowledged by their parents, had good careers, or good marriages. (Eg the Borgia children, or Caterina Sforza ).  Illegitimacy carried no stigma, but they did not inherit titles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think arianna is also an example of the dornish being different, it cannot hsppening in the rest of westeros that a girl give her body to alot of men before marrying. Lady ashara dayne was dishonered by somebody according barristan, but now i cannot imagine what that means, though dornish noble girls are in fact allready more free. Barristan would have know that too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

W.R.T. Ser Daemon Sand, the Dornish may see nothing wrong with his being the lover of Prince Oberyn, but they are a warrior culture, and might well disapprove if they think that's how he acquired his knighthood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SeanF said:

Ellaria and her children and the Sand Snakes are treated as part of the royal family and I'm sure the children would be considered as good marriage partners.  They just aren't part of the line of succession.   One reason why Oberyn did not marry Ellaria might be political.  A Prince of Dorne would be a suitable husband for the daughter of a lord paramount, like Cersei.

Dorne is probably like 15th century Italy, where noble or clerical children, born out of wedlock, but acknowledged by their parents, had good careers, or good marriages. (Eg the Borgia children, or Caterina Sforza ).  Illegitimacy carried no stigma, but they did not inherit titles.

I am sure a legitimate grandson of Lady Allyrion would be an acceptable match for Arianne, so I don't think marriage standards are entirely the same. Besides, it seems like Oberyn was settling down with Ellaria, and had no reason to marry another woman. So I think it's just in the offices they can have, counsel they can give, respect given.

1 hour ago, Seaserpent said:

I think arianna is also an example of the dornish being different, it cannot hsppening in the rest of westeros that a girl give her body to alot of men before marrying. Lady ashara dayne was dishonered by somebody according barristan, but now i cannot imagine what that means, though dornish noble girls are in fact allready more free. Barristan would have know that too.

Everyone in Dorne probably knows premarital sex doesn't taint you for life. But Barristan doesn't. It's completely reasonable for those from other parts of Westeros to be shocked by standards. Just look at all the gossip Ellaria gets for being so scandalous in ASOS. Hell, look at how Arys treats Arianne in AFFC! He's not going to easily think, "that's just how things are there" when a sexist attitude towards virginity is rather baked into the Westerosi mindset.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the issue is not so much what George says but rather whether we are in agreement whether Dorne is depicted as visibly different from the other kingdoms in a meaningful way. And that's the point of this thread.

On 1/29/2019 at 8:09 PM, Back door hodor said:

In regards to Doran and him not having a paramore.....It is mentioned in either an Arrianne or Aero chapter, I'll try to find it, that Prince Doran and Lady Mellayrio married for love. considering they seem to be currently estranged, perhaps Doran is simply heartbroken, and has no wish to take a paramore.

and with 3 teenage children, he doesn't really need to marry again either.

This was just an example as to how George could have shown that paramours have a different and more accepted social status in Dorne. If Doran had a common nurse as a lover/closest confidant akin to Tytos' two lowborn mistresses, and if she was unanimously accepted by the court at Sunspear and the Martell family then this would a powerful sign that things are really different there.

It could have also been a powerful sign if Arianne had a paramour in AFfC aside from Ser Arys, and were actually to give birth to the bastards of such a person before she herself takes a proper consort.

Another way to show that people have no issue with that kind of thing would have been to give Doran and Oberyn a string of 'stepfathers' of their own age or younger than they were who served their mother as paramours in their last years. If Doran fed and clothed and hung out with such guys long after his mother had passed we would see an actual meaningful difference there.

On 1/29/2019 at 7:00 PM, The hairy bear said:

We don't really know, but my personal feeling is that it would be accepted. Ellaria Sand behaves herself as if she was Oberyn's wife.

But the important difference is that she isn't his wife - and that Oberyn did not marry her. It is very easy for an unmarried prince to make his girlfriend who has given him a string of children effectively his wife if there is no actual wife.

The way to show that things are actually different would be to give Oberyn both a wife and a paramour and then the paramour more or less the same privileges and rights as the proper wife.

But I'm sure the Dornish do not treat their paramours in that fashion, anyway.

There seems to be no good reason why Oberyn Martell didn't marry his Ellaria - aside from the fact that he, as a prince of Dorne, could not possibly marry a bastard.

Oberyn was no longer a young man when he died, so obviously he had resisted all attempts of his mother and brother to arrange a marriage for him. And the older he became the less attractive a match he would be, anyway. So when he decided to live with Ellaria and have a family with her there is actually pretty much no reason for him not to marry him - especially since marrying Ellaria would actually allow him to give his children by her the name Martell. And that would give them a claim to Sunspear and Dorne rather than force them to be at the mercy of their dear uncle and cousin for the rest of their lives (which they are and Elia Sand is very aware of in Arianne II).

More importantly, Doran Martell had three unmarried children none of which was officially betrothed in 298 AC. If the Martells wanted to seal alliances and the like via a marriages then Doran was not in no way dependent on Oberyn. He could use Arianne, Quentyn, and Trystane - as he did. And if Oberyn had married Ellaria he would have had four additional Martell nieces he could use in marriage alliances.

On 1/29/2019 at 7:00 PM, The hairy bear said:

If Oberyn brought Ellaria to KL as a provocation to the Lannisters, then Doran wouldn't have her at Balon Swann's reception when he wants to reconcile with them.

Why not? It is obvious that Doran does can do what he wants at his own court. Balon Swann is just a knight, he is not the king. And even the king could likely not really how the Martells should behave at their own court.

And I'm pretty sure that many a noble lord loving his brother dearly would do exactly what Doran did there - if he had an unmarried brother who happened to have a paramour for long years. The paramour of a married brother might be a different thing.

On 1/29/2019 at 7:00 PM, The hairy bear said:

There can be meaningful differences as to how bastards are treated, and still consider them an inadequate marriage for the future Princess of Dorne.

Access to public offices, likelihood of inheriting if not trueborn sons are available, options of marrying into a minor noble house,...

In the end I'd say the only meaningful difference between children born in wedlock and illegitimate children is that fact. Since the Dornish brand their bastards with the same cruel names as the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, and since they they have exactly the same rights as all the bastards in matters of inheritance there is no meaningful difference there.

Bastards can be loved by their parents just the same way legitimate children can - but if they are legally barred from giving them their names and estates they are not treated differently in the legal sphere.

On 1/29/2019 at 7:00 PM, The hairy bear said:

How do you know that Catelyn's opinion is unusual? How do you know that Joy Hill, Auranne Waters and Rolland Storm were raised in their respective castles? I don't recall that being said in the text.

We know that of Joy Hill, and the fact that Jon is also referred to as the Bastard of Winterfell implies that you don't identify people by their father or mother's castle if they have not been raised there. Then one would identify them as 'the Stark bastard', say, or 'the Lannister bastard'.

On 1/29/2019 at 7:00 PM, The hairy bear said:

And it's not only Catelyn's opinion. Ned says about Jon: "You know I cannot take him south. There will be no place for him at court. A boy with a bastard’s name . . . you know what they will say of him. He will be shunned." If Eddard thinks that a bastard has no place in King's Landing court (even the son of the Hand of the King), but the court of Sunspear is filled with bastards, I think that we could easily deduce that the Dornish are more tolerant in this regard.

Do we know this is actually the reason why Ned doesn't take Jon to court? If Aurane Waters can become Master of Ships then a daresay our good Lord Eddard's view of life at court is not exactly correct.

I think there is a solid basis for another reason as to why Ned Stark may not have wanted to take Jon Snow to court.

In general one should also keep in mind that Yandel was never in Dorne and that it is actually a common trait of his to depict faraway regions as exotic and strange - not just the lands beyond Westeros but also places like the Neck and Skagos, the lands beyond the Wall or the Northern clansmen. And, of course, also the Dornishmen.

So is Yandel giving us an accurate picture of Dorne or only the kind of picture and Oldtown-born maester ingrained in the culture of the Reach would draw of Dorne in a book?

There seems to be no meaningful difference between the words mistress and paramour as far as I can see. Selmy uses the word paramour for Daario in ADwD but doesn't mark it as being a special lover relationship - instead he makes it clear that this is the way Dornishmen like Quentyn refer to lovers and mistresses.

Daario and Dany have a relationship that's completely based on sex on her part. She has no intention to live with him in the kind of longterm relationship Oberyn had with Ellaria. Vice versa, Lord Tytos seem to have been quite happy with the longterm relationships he had with his two mistresses.

In that sense, paramour just seems to be the word the Dornish prefer when they refer to a lover or mistress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...