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One of the well-known names, but mostly as Arya’s pet. Princess Nymeria, a warrior princess who was not following conventions is an interesting character in The Song of Ice and Fire. She is not the most popular one, but her name bears history for Arya.
Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar was a princess of the Rhoynar. After the Rhoyne was conquered by the Valyrian Freehold, Nymeria led the Rhoynar to Dorne, where she took Lord Mors Martell of Sandship as her husband. Nymeria is regarded as a warrior-queen, even though she was not a warrior in the traditional sense of carrying and wielding weapons.
We bring you no less than 8 answered questions about her, including the context of her name – why is she so important? What does she represent? Find out here.
Who is Princess Nymeria?
A thousand years ago, Nymeria was the warrior-queen who led the Rhoynar refugees to Dorne. She is a descendant of House Martell and House Dayne and is credited with establishing Dorne as a single realm under Martell’s control.
Nymeria was the master of the Rhoynar refugees and is known as the father of reunited Dorne in the A Song of Ice and Fire books. Nymeria was the reigning Princess of Ny Sar until the Valyrians routed the Rhoynar city-states’ alliance.
After Nymeria died, her oldest child, her daughter with Mors Martell, took her place. And if she had a younger son by a different spouse who would have obtained Dorne’s rule after her, she was able to uphold the Rhoynar’s gender-blind fair primogeniture rules throughout her lifespan.
House Nymeros Martell gained dominance over Dorne after years of war and conquest, with Nymeria reigning as Princess of Dorne for well over two decades.
During Nymeria’s reign, the Dornish followed many Rhoynish rituals and rules that are still in use today.
Princess Nymeria was said to be lovely. Princess Nymeria was described as strong-willed and indomitable by Maester Yandel, and she was said to have cunning, talent, and wisdom.
She was known as a warrior for her abilities as a skilled military strategist and commander of troops, close to how Tywin Lannister was regarded as a dangerous war-leader in his later years despite no longer wielding his sword.
Having said that, many of the Rhoynar refugees in her army were women, since Rhoynar women were taught to serve alongside their husbands, and the majority of the men had died battling the Valyrians.
How did Princess Nymeria conquer Dorne?
The warrior queen then led ten thousand ships through the narrow sea to the southern Westeros coasts of Dorne.
She allied with House Martell of Sunspear, marrying Lord Mors Martell and sinking the Rhoynar fleet. The remainder of Dorne was invaded by the Martell-Rhoynar coalition.
Princess Nymeria led the Rhoynar in exile from the Rhoyne after the Rhoynish army was defeated by the Valyrian dragonlords in the Second Spice War.
The surviving Rhoynar, mainly women, youngsters, and the disabled, arrived at the mouth of the Greenblood in southeastern Dorne after years of roaming.
Nymeria joined forces with Mors Martell, Lord of the Sandship, whose lands were dwarfed by strong kings like House Yronwood.
Nymeria and Mors’s effort to retake Dorne took years to complete since they had to defeat various lords and lesser kings in line.
While the Martells gained the assistance of the Fowlers, Tolands, Daynes, and Ullers, Mors fought King Yorick V Yronwood, whose followers included the Jordaynes, Wyls, Blackmonts, and Qorgyles, for nine years.
How did Princess Nymeria rule Dorne?
Following in the footsteps of the Rhoynar people, House Martell assumed the title of Prince of Dorne.
They also merged the Martell sigil, a spear, with Nymeria’s symbol, a red sun, resulting in House Martell’s new heraldry.
As the local Dornish community mixed with the Rhoynish immigrants, a variety of customs were developed, including fair royal succession, which allowed women to reign in their own right and even carry on the family name.
Dorne was the last of the Seven Kingdoms to be united as seven distinct independent kingdoms, 700 years before the Targaryen Invasion.
During her long reign, Nymeria resisted a dozen coup attempts, two rebellions, and two invasions by the Storm King, Durran the Last, and King Greydon Gardener of the Reach.
Her heirs commanded the forces of House Martell as Nymeria became old and infirm. Dorne was formed as a principality rather than a kingdom because Nymeria favored the Rhoynish form of prince and princess.
Who has Nymeria married?
Nymeria’s first marriage was to Lord Mors Martell of the Sandship, whom she referred to as the Prince of Dorne. Nymeria had four daughters with Lord Martell.
Since the Dornish followed the Rhoynar succession customs, Nymeria was succeeded as Princess of Dorne by her eldest daughter by Lord Mors rather than her son by Ser Davos.
Given the number of people Nymeria had with her when she married Mors, House Martell’s power increased tenfold almost immediately.
Mors’ small Sandstone keep grew into a massive palace and part of Sunspear’s fortifications. Nymeria, on the other hand, was the driving force behind it all.
So the old House Martell became House Nymeros Martell of Nymeria’s line in Rhoynish, and she became the family’s matriarch.
The original flag of House Martell was a golden spear, which was later replaced with Nymeria’s Rhoynish sigil – a red sun in an orange field.
The House Martell banners we see on the display are simply that – a golden spear breaking the red sun on an orange field.
As the Princess of Dorne, she had crowned Mors Martell her co-ruler and the Prince of Dorne. On the night of her wedding, she set fire to the ships that took her to Dorne, stopping her people from returning to the sea.
This was because when she was roaming after leaving the Valyrians, some of her people had lost heart, turned their backs on her, and returned only to be enslaved. She was determined to keep her people free.
Did Princess Nymeria had kids?
Nymeria had four daughters by Lord Martell.
Nymeria remarried to the elderly Lord Uller of Hellholt after his death in battle, but the marriage was childless.
Following Lord Uller’s death, she remarried to the handsome Davos Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. She had one son with him.
After her death, her eldest child, a daughter fathered by Prince Mors, took her place.
Why did Arya Stark name her direwolf Nymeria?
Nymeria is a direwolf who has a bond with Arya Stark.
Grey Wind, Lady, Summer, Shaggydog, and Ghost are her littermates. She is named after Rhoynar Princess Nymeria.
Nymeria is a historical figure of great fame, grace, intellect, and bravery, but she was also a multiple-married lady, an independent warrior, Dorne’s co-ruler, and a complete nonconformist.
There’s a reason she’s one of Arya’s positive examples and idols, and why she’s a highly controversial choice in the North and among mainstream public opinion.
Why did Arya Stark claim her name is “Nymeria”?
For instance, there’s Arya and Nymeria’s amazing friendship.
Despite only being together for a short time, Nymeria and Arya are so inseparably connected that Arya wargs instinctively into Nymeria almost every night, even though they are on opposite continents.
On her journeys, Nymeria has also saved Arya’s life. Nymeria is also a source of power for Arya, but she is unaware that it is Nymeria, whom she refers to as the “night wolf.”
There are also suggestions that Arya’s attachment to Nymeria is the reason she cannot and will not become faceless.
They are known to be “meant” for the Stark girls, and only them, from the beginning, since they are representative of the Starks.
And, of course, they later reflect the Stark identity in a non-symbolic way. So Nymeria is not only a part of Arya, but she is also a sign of her Stark personality. Nymeria and Arya are linked.
Nymeria’s tale and destiny have consequences for Arya because they have such a similar bond and symbolic significance for her. By all accounts, Nymeria is a part of her. Arya is related to Nymeria’s pack in other ways than just by Nymeria. On her journeys across the Riverlands, she encounters some members.
Arya, in truth, can’t tell herself apart from Nymeria. Arya is seeing and feeling what is happening to Nymeria. As a consequence, when she addresses Nymeria’s pack, she refers to them as “her packmates.” So Arya isn’t only closely affiliated with Nymeria; the whole pack is.
Why did Arya choose the name Nymeria for the ship?
Arya has gone absolutely solo. There is a chasm between her and her “Women,” and she has shown no confidence in or aptitude for leadership. And she has abandoned all things Stark.
Arya also seems to have a curious affinity with ships and the sea, as Old Nan tells her about a child who stowed away on a ship and had adventures.
The Braavosi sailors dedicate a lot of time to training Arya to tie knots and other techniques. Season 4 finishes with an image of a victorious Arya at home on a ship.
Arya’s experience selling shellfish from her cart shows her how to converse with sailors and bring them in their place. Finally, in Braavos, Arya informs Sam that her father was the oarmaster on the ship Nymeria.
Arya isn’t domesticated, and it stands to reason that her wolf isn’t either. She is heartbroken to have been this close to the wolf as he runs away. And she knows the wolf is behaving just as she would if she were the wolf. This is why she was almost obsessed with this name as it was an identity, one of the many.