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cteresa

AFFC Reread Project - Dorne

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"I dare more than you dream"...

Forshadowing?

When Dany gets to the 7kd, will he raise his banners or aid her quietly? The above makes it one, but his behavior makes another.

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Why could Arianne still not be allowed to marry after Viserys death?

If Dorne was going to someday rise up against an Iron Throne controlled by Baratheons and Lannisters, Doran could not safely involve another party (Arianne's husband) into the mix. It would be a dangerous complication to an already complicated plan. Untill the Iron Throne is under a Targaryan, Drone will be held solely by Martells.

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We've been told throughout the series that "tears are a woman's weapon," yet Arianne is unique among the female POVs in actually using them this way almost instinctively. And, of course, they work.

I'll add my voice in partially blaming Doran for Arianne's lack of training. He didn't give her anything important to do even after he found out about Viserys's death.

That is interesting - how often we've been told that, yet very few of the women or girls do cry.

I liked Doran immediately and, just as immediately distrusted Arianne. Arianne's scheming doesn't get her very far. I believe she was toying with Arys all the time, not a speck of love there - just lust and a conquest, not much different than her cousins, well, the older Sandsnakes. It seems to me that Arianne has been nursing this hurt for so long, she failed to see some things she should have. Mayhaps Marcella would still be comely. I would like to know who ratted her out, as well.

I also agree with the comparison of Tywin and Doran. Both thinking old plotters who don't go roaring into rash moves like Cersei and Arianne. Although I loathed Tywin, he kept things from falling apart. Who will hold back Euron?

I would like to retire to the Water Gardens.

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Honestly, what surprised me most in these chapters was how deep Oberyn's character truly was. In SOS he was just a scoundrel, although a likeable one. Here, he is revealed to be an attentive father, obviously caring lover to Ellaria Sand for years - he had four daughters by her, right? - and someone who is well-loved by the Dornish people. I find it interesting that Oberyn and Doran are two sides of the same coin - just different kind of snakes. I wonder how Elia fit in, since a coin can only have two sides. By the way, it was pretty obvious by SOS how close Oberyn and Elia were, but I would never guess that he was that close to Doran, too. Maybe it's due to the fact that they were just different enough and alike enough to form a successful unity - after all, things were going pretty well in Dorne during Doran's absence.

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Re: Who betrayed Arianne?

In the very first Dorne chapter three of the Sandsnakes visit Prince Doran: Obara, Lady Nym and Tyene. They all suggest a course of action for Doran to take now that Oberyn is dead, and Tyene suggests the exact thing Arianne later tries to do: crown Myrcella and start a war. This is no coincidence, since Tyene and Arianne are the best of friends and share all their plans with each other (which is the reason for Doran not trusting Arianne in the first place). Most likely they hatched this one together. I think Doran knew what his daughter was up to the moment Tyene suggested that plan. Doran's reaction seems to support this idea, IMO. He is silent for a time before he answers her, and after Tyene leaves he gives the order to arrest the Sandsnakes, something he did not do after Obara's visit, for example.

Tyene's motives for going to Doran intrigue me, however. Did she see that their plan was folly and tried to save everybody's ass by revealing it to him? Or did Arianne send her, hoping that her father would agree to their plan so that she wouldn't have to act behind his back? Or did they think that Tyene not going to him like her sisters would make him suspicious, but didn't realise that revealing the real plan might not have been the smartest thing to do?

The only reason for why Doran didn't arrest Arianne right away as well that I can think of is that he wanted to give her a lesson - which he did, of course, though it backfired somewhat.

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Does that make him aware of the details of Arianne's escape plan? I.e. the day they made their escape, the method and the direction they escaped to? It seemed like he was informed about these by one of the people she escaped with or a close servant. Personally I suspect he of the night. He played both sides like a fiddle to push Dorne into war with the Lannisters.

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I think Doran was able to deduce all that quite easily once he knew the essentials of her plan. He knows who her friends are and where she could expect to get help. Sunspear is mostly surrounded by desert and sea, so Arianne didn't have that many options to choose from. Couple that with her friendship with one of the Orphans and the fact that she's travelling with a young girl... As to the timing of her trip, well, it shouldn't have been too difficult to have her and possibly her friends watched. Darkstar's involvement was probably the only thing that did come as a surprise.

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I liked Doran immediately and, just as immediately distrusted Arianne. Arianne's scheming doesn't get her very far. I believe she was toying with Arys all the time, not a speck of love there - just lust and a conquest, not much different than her cousins, well, the older Sandsnakes.

You think so? While I don't think she really loved Arys in the way he loved her, she seemed extremely upset over his death in the "Princess in the Tower" chapter.

Arianne struck me more as foolish and careless than truly manipulative. She didn't really think about what would happen if they got caught, and when Arys paid with his life it actually horrified her.

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I could have put this in the Samwell & Prologue reread thread, but think it makes better sense here, as I am going to focus on the Sand Snakes, particularly Sarella.

Also, apologies to Happy Ent for stealing a feather from his cap and taking the trees as my clue. *bows to HE*

Prologue & Chapter 2, the Arboreal Perspective

Sarella is the odd one out among the adult Sand Snakes, emphasized by her distinction from Obara particularly, and underscored by the symbolic trees of the prologue and chapter one: as different as apples from oranges.

In the prologue, we see Sarella playing a game - shooting apples. "Throw the apple" is in fact the second piece of dialogue in the book, and Sarella speaks it.

The apple is a windfall - that is, fruit past ripe, withered. The second is even wormy. The last apple is actually plucked from the tree - perhaps ripe, but not yet over-ripe. This one, Sarella misses. Could this be symbolic of the three plots of her older siblings, the first two pointless, but the third an attempt that is "ripe" but misses its mark?

Immediately following the prologue with its prominent apple trees and game-playing Sand Snake, we are transitioned to Dorne, with more fruit trees growing on a terrace by the water (The setting of the prologue is the terrace of the Quill and Tankard, chapter 1 begins on the terrace of the Water Gardens) more sand snakes, but both are very different.

From apples to oranges.

Intriguingly, the Sand Snake to confront Doran at the Water Gardens is Obara, the one most prominently contrasted to Sarella, hating Oldtown as much as her sister loves it. She even mentions sacking Oldtown for its wealth.

Sarella, too, is sacking Oldtown for its wealth - but of knowledge.

Obara wants blood, echoing the blood oranges, well past ripe, and Tywin's death. While this may not yet have occurred chonologically when Obara confronts Doran, in the narrative, Tywin is already dead at Tyrion's hands. When we do see Tywin at his laying out, he too is well past ripe. Oberyn has already been avenged, by the man he championed. Obara's revenge is indeed pointless.

So if the oranges represent blood and vengeance, what do Sarella's apples represent? My guess? Knowledge.

As we see in the chapter "The Princess in the Tower", Arianne has the opportunity to educate herself regarding the political situation, as shown literally by the books Doran has provided, and figuratively in the cyvasse board - both of which she neglects. I will point out that cyvasse is a game.

Arianne only briefly considers Sarella during her imprisonment. Tellingly, the reminiscence is of Sarella "forever pushing in where she didn't belong".

Marwyn's advice to Samwell is to forge his chain as quickly as he can. This would seem to be exactly what Sarella is doing.

Also, between the prologue and the last Samwell chapter (where Sarella hears all of Sam's tidings, twice), we see that Sarella is aware not only of events beyond Dorne, but beyond the Wall, and beyond Westeros. She is in a position to have the broadest possible view of events, as symbolized by the glass candle in Marwyn's chamber.

Contrast this with Arianne in her tower. She is looking for allies - among her servants, among the Sand Snakes, among her intimate circle of Dornish friends - but in spite of her position (figuratively, as heir to Sunspear and Dorne, and literally, high in Sunspear where the broad view available is mentioned twice) she lacks the sophistication to think beyond the familiar.

Let's go back to our first blood orange: Obara. Her weapon is mentioned as a whip. This symbolizes punishment, which is what she wants. It is also a hand-weapon. It has some reach, but not a great deal. A clever person can be said to be "sharp as a whip", but Obara doesn't take her thinking beyond personal satisfaction. When Doran attempts to instruct her, she interrupts and is impatient, even condescending.

Contrast this with Sarella. Her weapon is a bow. It has range, dependent upon good aim and clear vision. It can send an arrow beyond the vicinity of its wielder. Tellingly, Sarella is the only Sand Snake not in Dorne at all. When Sarella meets Sam, she hears his whole story:

Alleras listened intently. He blinked from time to time, but he never laughed and never interrupted.

The next Sand Snake we meet is Tyrene. She is contrasted to Obara not just in terms of beauty, but of nobility. One of the colors she wears is cream, a color of the haughtily aristocratic House Arryn. Another symbolic tie to Arryn is her invocation of the Fowler words, "Let Me Soar", echoing Arryn's "As High as Honor". Her mother is describes as having "the noblest blood of Old Volantis", a Valyrian colony. Her gown is lilac, the color or Targaryen eyes. Her weapons are hidden knives. I am not sure what to make of that, except those are also hand-weapons. They can have range, but not a long one with any accuracy, if thrown. Her goal is select assassinations against noble targets.

By contrast, Sarella specifically downplays her blood. Noble though she may be, she does not seem to put much stake in it, deflecting Leo Tyrell's gibe with the riddling answer, "I am no lord's son". Her mother was a merchant of the Summer Isles, and she seems not to lack for coin. She is the one buying drinks for her friends, celebrating earning her copper link. Copper means "history" at the Citadel, but is also a color and metal of Dorne. She feels no need to compensate for her bastardry with noble pretensions as Tyrene does. Nor, though the Tyrells are enemies of her house, does Sarella seem to especially mind Leo Tyrell, or take offense from his aspersions.

Arianne meets Doran at his arrival, but having discussed her already, I will pass to the last significant Sand Snake, her closest companion, Tyrene. This closeness is significant, I think, as Tyrene's goal is Arianne's own, the arrow at a plucked fruit that misses its mark.

Tyrene's mother is mentioned as having been a Septa, and she is described as "gentle", "sweet", and "innocent". These are all outward traits of Arianne, who we know to be plotting a treason. Tyrene's weapon is poison, and she refers directly to the poison which Oberyn used on Clegane, claiming familiarity with it.

Sarella does not present an innocent guise, but (paradoxically) presents herself as a playful enigma, as if daring anyone to guess her secret. We only know the color of one of her links, and that is copper, but a silver link, for medicine, has been explicitly described in a previous prologue (Cressen's) as also demonstrating a knowledge of poisons. Sarella will not lack this knowledge, if she does not possess it already. She departs with the other novices and acolytes, after the medical lecture is mentioned.

The final tree we see in relation to Sarella in AFfC is one she passes with Samwell, leading him to the Ravenry, where Maester Marwyn awaits him. In the courtyard of the oldest part of the Citadel, they pass an ancient weirwood, onscured with moss, but not yet dead. We don't see weirwoods anywhere in Dorne, I think, but we see one here, where Sarella is. What this is significant of, I will leave for others to discuss.

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