“I wasn’t going to wait around for you forever, you know,” Oberyn says breezily. He always speaks breezily, her little brother, and Elia rolls her eyes as he extends an arm to her. Then, more seriously, “I hope you’re not unwell, sister.”
She gives him a look that she hopes channels mother, because of course Oberyn would know. He knows that her health has always been fragile. She grips his arm more tightly than normal as she says, “Do I look peeky?”
“You are as radiant as the sun ever was, sweet sister,” Oberyn says and he kisses her cheek in a very ostentatious way, and Elia swats him with her free arm while still gripping him tightly.
“Well, I suppose the sun must shine, even in the north,” she says. She knows that somewhere, the Stark boys would moan at her calling Harrenhal the North, but it is a gray day today, and she is wearing more layers of silk than she had in King’s Landing. I woke in the night shivering. And I haven’t bled.
“How long before your husband crowns you do you think? Do you think he can truly best Barristan the Bold?”
“You don’t think he can?” Elia asks as they mount the dias.
“I do think he can, but it is a good deal less exciting than if he’d…” Oberyn looks around. The King isn’t present yet. “Than if our mystery knight were in the final tilt. I’d sooner see him face Ser Barristan.”
“You’re a dreamer,” Elia remarks.
“And stories of princes are boring.”
Oberyn settles himself in the seat next to her, and looks down at her arm. She’s still gripping him tightly now, and his eyebrows knit together slightly. “Are you unwell? You do look pale today,” he asks under his breath.
Rhaenys was hard on me, and I haven’t bled, she wants to say. But she knows Oberyn well enough to know that if she tells him any latent fear of what was to come, he’d be paralyzed by it. Her brother was fierce and could slay thousands of knights in battle, but knowing he could do nothing to ease her pain and fear… If Rhanys loves this one half so much as I love my brother, I’ll be content. “I slept poorly,” she says. “And should speak with a maester.”
“I shall find one at once,” Oberyn says, making to rise, but Elia doesn’t let go of his arm.
“It’s not urgent. I know what I think it is,” she says. Oberyn looks confused, and Elia shifts in her seat and rests a hand lightly, for a moment, over her belly. Oberyn’s eyes light up and he opens his mouth, but Elia cuts him off. “Not just yet,” she says. “No words. I want to know for true before anyone says a word.”
Oberyn kisses her cheek again, and then they rise for the king has arrived. He ignores them both, and Elia breathes deeply. It is easier when the king ignores them. “Have you told your husband of your suspicions?” Oberyn asks quietly as the crowd begins to cheer. Rhaegar and Barristan ride past on their horses, looking properly gallant. Is she imagining it, or is the crowd less excited than they had been for the mystery knight?
“Not yet,” Elia says. “Perhaps tonight, when I know.”
“And he’ll bed you with flowers in your hair,” grins Oberyn. “Or is he the sort to stay away when the deed’s done, poor gallant fool of a man?”
“Oh hush,” Elia says and they ride.
Barristan rides well, but Rhaegar rides better, and Elia leans forward in her seat as Rhaegar rises his horse onto his rear legs and collects the blue wreath. She lets go of Oberyn’s arm for the first time since she’d found him that morning, and prepares herself to rise and smile. But Rhaegar keeps riding and she doesn’t rise at all. She watches as he gives that flower to a different woman and this time, it is Oberyn who grabs her arm with a grip like iron.
What are your thoughts on the Dorne revenge plot? It seems to be cool to shit over Doran & Oberyn even trying to get justice for Elia (Jon Arryn rewarded it) or bothering to worry about the Dornish common folk (the Tyrells & Lannisters don't care about their own). Ask about the North or the Riverlands, it is justified & lauded but Dorne is all about the 'water gardens are going to burn.'
I think there are two points of discussion here: the implications of the plot GRRM wrote, and the way fandom discusses it vis-à-vis the other revenge-driven plots. As far as the second point go, there is definitely a conversation to be had about how factions in fandom latch onto the obvious fallibility of Doran’s actions but ignore them from other characters, even though the vengeance commentary runs through so many stories from the very first book. It’s in Robert’s, Robb’s, Arya’s, Dany’s, Sandor’s, Tywin’s, Tyrion’s and others. There is also a tendency in many fandoms to deny PoC the space for a story about vengeance without utterly vilifying them for it, which has to be a point of criticism in a story that is filled to the brim with revenge quests because Doran should not be held to a different standard than the other characters. And I’ll raise you the tendency to dismiss a powerful scene such as Oberyn’s screaming at Clegane to “say her name” and reduce it to a mere manifestation of Oberyn’s desire for vengeance. Oh, you’ll have to pry this scene from my cold dead fingers.
However, I do not want this to be conflated with legit interpretation of the story Martin gave us and the imagery and foreshadowing he drops, or criticism of Doran’s motives and plans. It is not productive to take any and every discussion about the repercussions of Doran’s plans and the grievous mistakes he makes to be an attempt to shit over him and Oberyn. The theory about the Water Gardens burning isn’t an attempt to punish Dorne for daring to want revenge for Elia and her children, no one is reveling in it or thinks it’d be just, but as much as I really don’t want it to happen, it does fall in line with GRRM’s pattern when it comes to portraying the end results of revenge plots, and the progression of the Dornish storyline does not look promising. King’s Landing exploding and the Water Gardens burning are the Red Wedding and the Sack of Winterfell of the Dornish plot. You see the mistakes the characters are making and the path they are going to lead to, you want to scream at them to stop, turn back, don’t do this. But you know they are walking right into their doom.
It all goes back and back, Tyrion thought, to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance on in our steads.
…Archmaester Brude, who was born and raised in the shadow city that huddles beneath the crumbling walls of Sunspear, once famously observed that Dorne has more in common with the distant North than either does with the realms that lie between them. “One is hot and one is cold, yet these ancient kingdoms of sand and snow are set apart from the rest of Westeros by history, culture, and tradition. Both are thinly peopled, compared to the lands betwixt. Both cling stubbornly to their own laws and their own traditions. Neither was ever truly conquered by the dragons. The King in the North accepted Aegon Targaryen as his overlord peaceably, whilst Dorne resisted the might of the Targaryens valiantly for almost two hundred years, before finally submitting to the Iron Throne through marriage. Dornishmen and Northmen alike are derided as savages by the ignorant of the five ‘civilized’ kingdoms, and celebrated for their valor by those who have crossed swords with them.”…
dispense with the notion that elia was some quiet, passive doormat
“Elia even made the noise that young girls make at the sight of infants, I’m sure you’ve heard it. The same noise they make over cute kittens and playful puppies. I believe she wanted to nurse you herself, ugly as you were.”
She doesn’t give a shit that Tyrion’s a dwarf, she’s wants to coddle him and treasure him, never mind who saw or cared; indeed, it’s quite possible one of the reasons Cersei chose to harm Tyrion in that scene was precisely because of Elia’s joyful reaction and Oberyn’s lack of one.
For that matter, outside of Jaime I believe Elia’s the one person in this series that we know of who not only held no negative feelings about Tyrion from Day 1, but adored him so much she’d have taken him back to Sunspear if she could.
“As children Elia and I were inseparable, much like your own brother and sister.”
Oberyn is wild and tempestuous, the Dornish Brandon. So why, when we also know that he and Elia were thick as thieves, do people for some reason think she was nothing like him? Why make her quiet, reserved, and demure instead of someone who’s outgoing and mischievous, traits that enrich her character instead of fall right into line of what Westeros thinks of her? When we get expansions on characters in this series we learn that they have much more to them than initially met the eye, yet most people portray Elia as exactly what the realm thinks she is.
Oberyn’s anecdotes are meant to dispel that presumption, not reinforce it.
Beyond that, I’ve also seen people compare her to Doran as though he’s docile himself. He’s not. He’s plotted to destroy the Lannisters in the bloodiest way possible for almost 20 years. He may be more patient than Oberyn, but he’s just as vengeful.
“Elia found it all exciting. She was of that age, and her delicate health had never permitted her much travel. I preferred to amuse myself by mocking my sister’s suitors. There was Little Lord Lazyeye, Squire Squishlips, one I named the Whale That Walks, that sort of thing. The only one who was even halfway presentable was young Baelor Hightower. A pretty lad, and my sister was half in love with him until he had the misfortune to fart once in our presence. I promptly named him Baelor Breakwind, and after that Elia couldn’t look at him without laughing.”
She’s eager for adventure, quick to laugh, lighthearted, and greatly disliked being cooped up. Baelor Hightower is the heir to the Reach’s second-most powerful house–and she repeatedly laughs at his expense right in front of him.
Incidentally, Barristan is the only person who says she was “gentle,” which I’m sure she was in public, yet even he also says she was clever and witty. That says quite a bit about her, given that outspokenness in women is looked down upon in that patriarchal society.
So please quit painting her as this delicate, sedate flower. Every indication we have says she was the polar opposite.
(As an aside, because I also often see people suggesting Elia was in love with Rhaegar to one extent or another, their personalities really wouldn’t have been that compatible. Her, almost certainly extroverted and vivacious, versus him, who was bookish, reserved, and, according to Barristan, didn’t have it in him to be happy. It’s exceedingly plausible that, especially given Aerys’s bullshit, Elia may not have even liked Rhaegar that much, let alone loved him. Barristan, who romanticizes the crap out of Targs, can only muster up the word “fond” when describing how Rhaegar felt about her, and doesn’t remark at all about what Elia felt, which in and of itself insinuates that she had no particular affection for him. I would imagine they respected one another to a degree, but love? Hardly.)
(Also ALSO, let the theory that she was fine and dandy with what Rhaegar did die a fiery death. She would have hated him for that, not put up with it and she most certainly would not have supported it.)
Tywin Lannister: I grant you, it was done too brutally. Elia need not have been harmed at all, that was sheer folly. By herself she was nothing.
Tyrion Lannister: Then why did the Mountain kill her?
Tywin Lannister: Because I did not tell him to spare her. I doubt I mentioned her at all. I had more pressing concerns. (…) Nor did I yet grasp what I had in Gregor Clegane, only that he was huge and terrible in battle. The rape…even you will not accuse me of giving that command, I would hope.
game of thrones s4 one week challenge : day 3 - favourite quote :“ But if the Mountain killed my sister, your father gave the order. Tell your father I’m here. Tell him the Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.”
So, i dont have ONE Elia Martell, i have several, each of thm depends of the teor of the post, but, basically, the one i use as “my” Elia, is turkish actress Nur Aysan, she is known for her role in the series “Magnificent Century”.
1)Elia Martell’s character is one of the most misterious and the one we most receive false tips about it: So, i’m sure that as far as the next book comes, we will know more on Elia’s personality and motivation. To me, what proves that Elia’s character is full of false tips, is that she is often regarded as “ugly”, “weak”, “not fit for a prince”. Yet, Meera comes with the “But there were others fairer still. One was the wife of the dragon prince, who’d brought a dozen lady companions to attend her” is about Elia being beautiful. Other point i take, is Jaime Lannister’s dream of Rhaegar telling him “I left my wife and children in your hands.” Jaime dreamt of what Rhaegar, and his once fellows of kings guard, would tell them. He knew Rhaegar, he knew that the prince would never accept the fate of his family, which, comes to my second cannon…
2)Elia’s relationship with Rhaegar wasnt “forced marriage” nor “lack of love”: He needed a Visenya and nobody better than the “The knight of the Laughing tree” aka Lyanna Stark, to give birth to her. Elia and Rhaegar lived isolated in Dragon’s stone for 5 years, they were isolated, i highly doubt they didnt interact as a couple there, all this time. I’m sure they were “partners in crime” and, as much as Rhaegar actions were fool and lead everyone to the grave, i’m sure Elia supported him against his mad father, that lead’s me to my third cannon…
3) Elia supported Rhaegar, she was his rock. But it doesnt mean that she, being a dornish, and sister to Oberyn, make her out to be a “open minded” wife and ok with Rhaegar and Lyanna’s supposed relation: Yes, Elia was dornish. Yes, Elia was Oberyn sis. Yes, she grew up in a good place for women to be in. Nothing of that makes her ok with Rhaegar abduction of Lyanna and making a baby in her. She was daughter of a ruling woman, for sure she knew the implications of Rhaegar’s actions, as well she knew his whole plan. That doesnt make her to be ok with. Elia was a victim of the whole situation.
4) Elia was a good mother, sweet and kind, good hearted, with a sweet wit & very smart: Elia knew and was somewhat prepared to fit the role she was in. She was going to be a future queen. She was all the “sweet” things, and as im sure Rhaegar trusted her, he also found her to be very smart. She could be a good mother, good wife, good sister and good crow princess as well. I’m also sure she tried to reason with Aerys, but he was already mad…
5)Somewhere or someone stated, i cant remember where or in which chapter, that “Elia fought like a tigress against Clegane”: I have no doubts on that. I’m sure that we will find out that she, indeed, being a “fragile health” did all she could to defend her Aegon, until her last breath. She was Nymeria’s descendent after all.
This whole story-line is so muddled. This doesn’t make the Dornish women look smart and bad ass. It makes them look stupid and reckless and evil.
This whole “revenge” plot doesn’t even seem to be driven by Oberyn’s death anymore. It’s driven by Ellaria, the Sand Snakes and their egos. They want to start a war that they are definitely not prepared for, just to show the rest of Westeros that Dorne is not ruled by a “weak” man and that any offence, past or present, will be atoned for.
They’re hypocrites. Avenge 2 Martells, but murder 2 others because they’re “weak”? Do they honestly think that the Sand Snakes will be able to rule Dorne?
Oberyn would hate his daughters and his lover for what they’ve done to his family. He loved his brother and sister, and to kill the only family he had left would have been unforgivable to him.
She narrowed her eyes. “What is our heart’s desire?”
“Vengeance.” His voice was soft, as if he were afraid that someone might be listening. “Justice.” Prince Doran pressed the onyx dragon into her palm with his swollen, gouty fingers, and whispered, “Fire and blood.”