Fools in Dorne

Fools in DorneI can’t find it in myself to like Ser Arys Oakheart, or feel sad for him. I just finished the chapter (SPOILERS) where Arianne’s rebellion fails. I know I’m supposed to feel pity for Oakheart. He was just trying to make his two girls happy —Myrcella by keeping her happy and Arianne by helping her with her plan. When Hotah catches Arianne’s little cadre in the act, Oakheart does what I suppose is considered the honorable thing according to the songs and tales of Westeros and sticks with his side, sacrificing himself clearly in a vain attempt to save what, if anything, could be saved of Arianne’s machinations.

Here’s the thing though, Oakheart should have spent more time polishing Arianne’s plans in whatever way he could. Gathering what little support he could or just…I don’t know…doing more than whatever Arianne did like the lovesick puppy he was. After all, what was at stake was his life, his love (err the person Oakheart loved) and Myrcella, his raison d’être. Instead though Oakheart just followed Arianne’s lead and got himself killed.

I had actually hoped that Oakheart was smarter than he was and actually tipped off Hotah and Prince Doran to Arianne’s scheme. Alas no, he just turned out to be a fool and not in the romantic sense, in the dumb sense. It’s just all really aggravating.

On the larger issue in question though, whether a war between Dorne and the Iron Throne would be a good thing I think it’s impossible to say. Right now King’s Landing is pretty weak and distracted with other conflicts so Dorne, which has stayed out of the fighting up till now, could probably survive. On the other hand, there’s no telling who would turn out to be the victor in the end. The sense I got from the Dorne chapters up till here is that the hunger for war among the Dornishmen is not at all thought out and more about a longstanding desire for revenge. It just doesn’t seem that smart.

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11 thoughts on “Fools in Dorne

  1. It seems to be part of the plan that the books visit all of Westeros, hence the Dorne chapters and Brienne’s expedition to the crownlands. Neither seems to be of much value to the story as a whole, and I don’t know why someone struggling to complete the series wouldn’t simply cut them.

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  2. Geography is a problem here.

    There’s really only the two passes out of Dorne heading north, the Prince’s Pass and the Boneway. Taking the Prince’s Pass means marching through the Reach–something Mace Tyrell and his marcher lords are not likely to permit. The Tyrells and Martells have been rivals for quite some time now.

    And the Boneway doesn’t really go anywhere all that useful. Into the Stormlands, yes, there’s really no good way of getting to King’s Landing from where that takes you out. You need to go right past three castles, including Storm’s End, to get around the mountains. Not exactly the kind of things you want to leave to take you from the rear, and Storm’s End has never fallen by siege, so no dice there.

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        • Really when you think about it Dorne and the North are really very alike in many ways. Each are strongly distinctive from the rest of the continental Kingdom; Dorne by their heritage from the Rhoynish, the North by their having never been conquored by the Andals, each are geographically seperated from the rest of the Kingdom by highly daunting geographical barriers; Dorne by mountains and the North by the Neck and neither of the regions were brough into the Kingdom by force of arms directly; the North surrendered to the Tagaryens and Dorne was brought in through marriage. They’re like north-south parenthesis to the rest of Westeros and they are the parts of the Kingdom that could most easily seperate both strategically and culturally.

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