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Westeros Blog: A Prince Returns

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Prince Rhodry Nymeros Martell has made his triumphant return to Sunspear, after having spent some time at Godsgrace awaiting word from the four corners of Dorne regarding what remnants of the king’s army exist. Ser Perrin Blackmont, reconciled with the prince after the debacle at the Battle of Godsgrace, was left in command of much of the force that Rhodry brought back from the Tor, with orders to mobilize them if the king’s forces to the north at Yronwood attempted to venture back into the depths of Dorne. As for himself? Rhodry seemed intent on shedding the last of his responsibilities as his brother’s commander in the field, now that there was little likelihood of bloodshed.

He and the other knights and commanders who arrived were cheered through the Threefold Gate as they passed through the shadow city. The prince was greeted by his brother, Prince Marence, and much of his court. A feast was prepared, as appropriate—but the first reminder of the prince’s contrary nature became clear, when he swiftly disappeared to his own apartments in the Tower of the Sun, of which he is Keeper. What followed after were wild rumors: that he was preparing to depart Sunspear for good, that he had invited a pillow house-worth of girls to celebrate his return, that he sent his assistant Lady Elysa Dayne scurrying about for councillors, armorers, and guards as if he was preparing to fight a new war.

And it’s true, that even now Salt Shore is still under siege, with fresh reports from Ser Manfryd Qorgyle and Lord Andrey Blackmont indicating it will be a month yet before they have siege engines capable of battering down Salt Shore’s well-founded walls. Does Prince Rhodry forsee an attempt to storm the town, whether by land or by sea? And what of Wyl on the Boneway, still held by the king’s hand, or Yronwood where a force more than 6,000 strong sits?

Few could put it past the vicious prince. His elder brother Prince Marence may say nothing against the continuing siege—indeed, he has had supply arranged with the help of the Dalts and the Allyrion—but the slow nature of a siege is hardly to Rhodry’s taste. Yes, he may well be preparing to argue that Salt Shore be stormed… or perhaps, instead, he’ll argue for an assault on the Dornish Marches, a punitive measure to win back some of the wealth the Young Dragon and his reavers stole from Dorne. And the worst of it? There are those who would be eager to make the attempt, though thousands have died in the effort to free Dorne, or perhaps because of it.

Many notable knights and lords are gathered in Sunspear, and all of them, it seems, are intent on securing a say in the future of Dorne. Prince Marence is beset with petitions for audiences, with requests for certain grants and exemptions in light of the war and recent heroic efforts. Too much power is gathering at the Old Palace, and that with a cautious prince left to try and control it as cracks begin to appear in Dornish unity, cracks that may make the difference between peace and war in the coming years.

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