Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
While I’m doing all this posting about the house sigils of A Song of Ice and Fire, I guess I should explain why I like the Martells so much, seeing as how my posting of them just said they were my favorite. I’m drawn to celestial imagery, so when I first read the appendix to A Game of Thrones, the Martell sigil drew me in. (Part of why I put House Arryn so high was because of the use of the crescent moon it that sigil.)
While we weren’t introduced to any Martells until A Storm of Swords or saw Dorne until A Feast For Crows, what we were told intrigued me. The Dornish resisted dragon-mounted conquerors, lived in a region with more “exotic” foods, and ruled from a castle called Sunspear. How could they not be awesome? And then, when we met Oberyn, my interest in them was sealed. In a medieval world, Oberyn had some pretty progressive views, including believing in gender equality (something all of Dorne does to a degree, as the first-born child is heir, rather than first-born male). He trains his bastard daughters to be independent, and they respond by becoming educated and formidable warriors. His brother Doran then reveals himself to be a pretty magnificent bastard/chessmaster. It’s clear that the Martells value intelligence just as much as strength, which earns them a lot of points in my book.