As we know, Tywin Lannister's attack on King's Landing resulted in death of Prince Doran's sister Elia and her children with Prince Rhaegar. The Martells never forgot that it was the Lannister bannermen who did it and Prince Oberyn suspected it was Tywin's payback for Aerys choosing Elia to be Rhaegar's bride instead of Cersei.

When the War of the Five Kings began, it is curious that Doran did not declare for any side. It makes sense why he would not join the following:

  1. Balon Greyjoy - Too distant, small chances of success.
  2. Robb Stark - Too distant, small chances of success.
  3. Stannis Baratheon - Little to no chance of success.
  4. Joffrey Baratheon - Cersei's son, Grandson to Tywin, supported by might of the Rock.

That leaves one man, Renly Baratheon. Renly was right next to Dorne and had a huge army, was beloved by the commons and had the wealth of Tyrells behind him. He had the best chance of victory. If Doran were to support him, he could finally get revenge for Elia and get the new King to destroy House Lannister. Yet, he did not.

If avenging Elia was all that he wanted, why not join Renly?

  • 1
    To make it more convenient for the show to ignore them.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Feb 9, 2018 at 16:25
  • I disagree with you saying that "Robb Stark -... small chances of success". He had all the might of the North behind him until he married Jeyne Westerling!
    – Zuter_242
    May 16, 2021 at 14:51
  • @Zuter_242 North is the least populated and poorest Great Kingdom in Westeros. Apart from Iron Islands of course but Iron Islands don't count. In grand scheme of things? It doesn't count.
    – Aegon
    May 30, 2021 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


While there certainly was a blood feud between Lannisters and Martells, they did not exactly believe the Baratheons to be innocent of the murders. After all, Robert was the leader of the Rebels. And given the sour relations between the two, Doran never came to KL and Robert never visited Dorne.

In addition, there are centuries of enmity between the Stormlander and the Dornish which was not going to end magically. Not to mention, Renly's chief allies were the Tyrells, another one of traditional enemies of the Martells.

GRRM personally commented on why Doran did not consider joining Renly:

Q: [Why did Doran not join Renly against the Lannisters?]

GRRM: Doran plays to win, whether at cyvasse or the game of thrones. Likely he did not see Renly as a winner. The emnity[sic] between Dorne and Highgarden also played a part, I am sure.
The Citadel: SSM - Asshai.com chat


We know that Doran's real end-game is to restore the Targaryens to the throne with his son or daughter as the consort of whoever took the throne.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.