Doran Martell is the Prince of Dorne and the Lord of Sunspear. He is the head of House Martell, the ruling house of Dorne. He is the older brother of the late Princess Elia, who was murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane in the Sack of King's Landing, and Prince Oberyn, known as The Red Viper, also killed by Clegane.
He suffers from a severe case of gout, which prevents him from walking and restricts him to a wheelchair.
Unlike his more hotheaded and aggressive brother, Oberyn, Doran is a pensive, calculating and patient man who always waits and observes before making his next move. Despite their different personalities, the two brothers are very close.
Prince Doran is expected to arrive at King's Landing for the Royal Wedding. Due to his poor health, however, his younger brother Oberyn travels to the capital instead.
During Joffrey and Margaery's wedding, Tywin Lannister inquires after Prince Doran's health, revealing that he suffers from gout and is unable to walk. Oberyn reassures Tywin that his brother is fine.
Prince Doran is overlooking the Water Gardens with Captain Areo Hotah when Ellaria Sand approaches him. Angered, she berates Doran for simply doing nothing when he learned how Oberyn was murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane. Doran reminds her that Oberyn died fighting in a trial by combat, which by law is not considered murder. Doran intends to bury and mourn his brother, but Ellaria and Oberyn's daughters want Dorne to take up arms and avenge Oberyn. She also wants to harm Myrcella Baratheon in order to send Cersei Lannister a message. Doran reassures Ellaria that, as Oberyn's paramour, he will always love her, but he strictly forbids her from harming Myrcella while he rules. Ellaria doubts that Doran will remain in power if he continues to do nothing, and then storms off. Hotah and the Prince exchange a look as she departs, the former meaningfully indicating his axe, but Doran shakes his head and returns his attention to the Water Gardens.
Doran watches with Areo as Myrcella and Trystane take another walk through the Water Gardens. The prince comments that ther betrothal is dangerous as their Houses hate each other and they needed to be protected from those who would harm them. He asks Areo if he remembers how to use his longaxe, as it has been a long time that he hasn't used it. Areo reassures him that he remembers how to use it.
Jaime Lannister later arrives at the Water Gardens and tries to take Myrcella but is stopped by the Sand Snakes who also try to take Myrcella for their own ends. As Nymeria tries to take Myrcella, Areo arrives with the Prince's guard and arrests them all on Doran's orders. Ellaria is also arrested for leading the Sand Snakes
Sometime later, Doran invites Jaime to eat and drink with him, Trystane, Myrcella and Ellaria. He inquires why Jaime came to Dorne with stealth to take Myrcella rather than send a raven or a messenger. When Jaime reveals that Myrcella's necklace had been sent as a threat to King's Landing, Doran deduces Ellaria was the one who sent the message. Jaime makes a comment about his upcoming beheading but Doran tells him that he can't behead him and that, having seen war before, he doesn't want to inflict it on his people, despite vocal cries from his bannermen for it. He offers to send Myrcella back to King's Landing on the condition that Trystane accompany her and that their engagement stand, to secure the alliance between Dorne and the Iron Throne. He also demands that Trystane be granted Oberyn's seat on the Small Council. When she hears Doran appeasing the Lannisters, Ellaria stands and tells him that he doesn't have a spine, which explains his inability to walk. Before she storms out, Doran restrains her and warns her that, if she speaks to him as such again, her life would be short, something he doesn't want as she is mother to four of his nieces.
Once Ellaria leaves, Jaime asks about his companion, Bronn. Doran asks what they would do to a commoner who struck a prince in King's Landing. Jaime takes the blame, claiming that Bronn had only been following his orders. Doran defers to Trystane to decide Bronn's punishment. Trystane agrees to release Bronn but requests that Areo slap him as he had been slapped, to his father's approval.
Later, he summons Ellaria before him, along with the three imprisoned Sand Snakes. He tells his brother's lover that her rebellion is over and that he will grant her mercy if she swears loyalty to him. If she doesn't, she dies. A tearful Ellaria kneels and kisses his ring. He then threateningly tells her that he believes in second chances, but he doesn't believe in thirds.
Doran, Ellaria, and the Sand Snakes are present for Princess Myrcella's departure for King's Landing with Jaime, Bronn, and Trystane. He bids her farewell, and allows Ellaria to give Cersei's daughter a kiss, though he is unaware that she has coated her lips with a fatal poison. Myrcella dies from the poison, though only after their boat has left the shore, staining the already tense relationship between the Martells and the Lannisters.
While walking through the Gardens with Ellaria, Doran admits to her that he always envied Oberyn and wanted to travel like he did, though Ellaria consoles him by claiming Doran was better-suited to rule that Oberyn was. The warm moment, however, is shattered when Maester Caleotte brings news of Myrcella's death, which Doran realizes was Ellaria's doing. Before he can react, however, Areo Hotah is stabbed in the back by Tyene, and Doran is stabbed in the chest by Ellaria and thrown from his chair. Ellaria voices her contempt for Doran for his inaction for the deaths of Elia and Oberyn, while the palace guards, also dissatisfied with Doran's rule, stand and watch. Before succumbing, Doran begs Ellaria to spare Trystane, but she refuses and has him killed by Obara and Nymeria.
Doran Martell, the governing Prince of Dorne, suffers from gout and is confined to a wheelchair. A firm and diplomatic leader, Doran stayed largely neutral in the War of Five Kings. He has continued that stance even after death of his younger brother Oberyn in King's Landing. Scomful of his passivity, Oberyn's lover Ellaria Sand murdered the prince and arranged the deaths of Myrcella Baratheon and Tristane Martell.