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Who Is Nymeria? The Princess Rhaenyra Wishes To Become In House of the Dragon

By Rishabh Shandilya
September 12,2022

Thousands of years ago, the warrior queen Nymeria crossed into Dorne from Essos, fleeing the dragonlords of Valyria. After she landed, she burned her ships, all 10,000 of them, so no cowards could slink home. What a woman. Dornish in spirit before she ever was in flesh.

In House of the Dragon, we often see Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen sneaking out of the crowd and taking some much-needed time off under the Weirwood tree to explore the Targaryen history.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen under Weirwood Tree

The Weirwood is a common kind of broadleaf tree in Westeros. It stood prominently in Winterfell’s godswood, and it was there that the Stark brothers would gather to talk about the status of their household and other topics. The Weirwood is easily recognizable thanks to its striking white surface and vibrant crimson foliage. Some Weirwood trees even have human features etched into their bark, lending them a ghostly, spectral appearance.

We often find the Princess alone with a book in hand reading the endeavors of Nymeria, an ancient princess who sailed across the sea to escape the Dragon Lords. In a way, Rhaenyra feels connected to Princess Nymeria since he also yearns to be free.

But who exactly is Princess Nymeria? Let’s find out.

Nymeria & Rhoynish Wars

The Spice Wars

The Spice Wars

Once upon a time, a warrior-queen named Nymeria escorted a group of refugees from Rhoynar to the safety of Dorne. She is considered to be the progenitor of the realm of Dorne, which the Martell family rules, and a progenitor of both Martell and House Dayne.

Nymeria possessed a castle in the city of Ny Sar, which she reigned over during the Rhoynish Battles. Prince Garin rallied the noble houses of Rhoynar to clash their spears and swords against Valyrtia. Princess Nymeria was the lone voice of dissent, telling the other monarchs that they would be defeated in battle if they joined him.

But the other kingdoms silenced her with shouts and combined their forces with Prince Garin, and especially Nymeria’s troops were willing to support his quest. In spite of her reservations, Nymeria was dragged into the massive coalition.

Dragon

Dragon Breathing Fire GOT

When Prince Garin attacked the Kingdom and won, the Valyrians sent three hundred dragons to attack the Rhoynar. The royal was taken captive, and the rest of Garin’s army was decimated.

Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar learned of Garin’s loss and the slavery of her men, and she foresaw a similar destiny for her kingdom, which was located farther upstream. Since the majority of the men had died fighting with Garin’s army, she responded by packing every remaining vessel on the island and fleeing.

The Legend of 10000 Ships

“We will build ten thousand ships as Nymeria once did and take a sail with all our people to the land beyond the sunset”.

Princess Nymeria

Princess Nymeria and the 10000 ships

Many years ago, the Rhoynar established a borough alongside the Rhoyne River. The growing strength of the Valyrian Realm as well as its dragons almost overwhelmed the Rhoynar maybe seven centuries prior to the Targaryen Invasion.

After the Rhoynish Wars ended, Nymeria escorted the remaining refugees out of Essos in a flotilla estimated to number in the thousands of vessels. After a long journey, Nymeria arrived at the Summer Island of Abulu. She lost almost 100 vessels to the ocean and had many of her supporters forsake her to remain on the island.

She finally settled her tribe in Dorne, which is located in southeastern Westeros. Upon arrival, the warrior-queen ordered the destruction of all Rhoynar vessels to ensure that the inhabitants would not have strong reservations about leaving. Dorne had always been fragmented into a number of smaller territories, and this situation persisted until the present day.

Mors Martell, and Nymeria

Mors Martell, and Nymeria Fanart

Because of his admiration for Nymeria, provincial king Mors Martell wed her and combined her armies with his. Between the two of them, they finally overcame the Dothraki and united all of Dorne under the Martells’ rule from Sunspear.

When Nymeria first arrived, Dorne was weak, and starving nation where feuding nobles fought over scarce resources like water and arable soil. Conquering a country that is already fragmented shouldn’t be too difficult for a skilled military force like the Rhoynar.