A paramour is the unmarried lover of a noble.
In Dorne, it is common for lords and ladies to have paramours, chosen out of love and lust rather than political alliances. Dornishmen are not greatly concerned if a bastard is born to a paramour. Dorne gives a degree of social status to paramours, despite the "unchaste" nature of the relationship. Outside of Dorne, a Dornish paramour's status is less certain. They may be afforded the esteem granted in their homeland by the diplomatic-minded, or they may receive treatment ranging from slight social disdain to moral condemnation.
That same varying treatment also applies to paramours of non-Dornish nobles, even the mistresses of kings. A paramour can be of the same sex as their lover. Each partner in a marriage can have their own paramour, though it depends on the rank of the partners.
The Citadel does not allow its novices to keep wives or paramours, at least not openly.
When Lord Lyonel Hightower was forbidden by the High Septon from marrying his widowed step-mother, Samantha Tarly, he kept her as a paramour and fathered six children on her, before the election of a new High Septon allowed their marriage. The relationship was deemed highly scandalous.
It was a closely held secret that Prince Lewyn Martell kept a paramour despite the Kingsguard oaths of chastity. Ser Barristan Selmy and his other sworn brothers were aware of this, but kept his secret.
A Storm of Swords
A degree of social deference is given to Ellaria Sand by virtue of her relationship with Prince Oberyn Martell. While esteemed as a high-ranking woman by the Dornishmen, in King's Landing her presence at the high table at the royal wedding of King Joffrey I Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell would be taken as an insult by the noblewomen seated near her. Ellaria is instead placed at a place of honor near the dais. Olenna Redwyne refers to her as "the serpent's whore", in reference to Prince Oberyn's nickname of "the Red Viper".
Some known paramours
- Mysaria, to Prince Daemon Targaryen
- Ser Harwin Strong, to Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (allegedly)
- Unnamed paramour, to King Aegon II Targaryen
- Sylvenna Sand, to Essie
- Samantha Tarly, to Lord Lyonel Hightower (they eventually marry)
- Lord Alyn Velaryon, to Princess Aliandra Martell (suspected, not confirmed)
- Rue, to Lord Alyn Velaryon (possibly)
- The nine mistresses of King Aegon IV Targaryen:
- Lady Falena Stokeworth
- Lady Cassella Vaith
- Bellegere Otherys
- Lady Barba Bracken
- Lady Melissa Blackwood
- Lady Bethany Bracken
- Lady Jeyne Lothston
- Lady Serenei of Lys
- Shiera Seastar, to Lord Brynden Rivers
- Several unnamed paramours, to King Aerys II Targaryen
- Unnamed paramour, to Prince Lewyn Martell
- Unnamed draper's wife in King's Landing, to Ser Preston Greenfield
- Unnamed paramour, to Lord Edgar Yronwood
- Ellaria Sand, to Prince Oberyn Martell
- Daario Naharis, to Queen Daenerys Targaryen
And this is Ellaria Sand, mine own paramour.
Prince Lewyn was my Sworn Brother. In those days there were few secrets amongst the Kingsguard. I know he kept a paramour. He did not feel there was any shame in that.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Queer Customs of the South.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: ConJose (SAN JOSE, CA; AUGUST 29-SEPTEMBER 2) (August 29, 2002)
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 13, The Soiled Knight.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 59, The Discarded Knight.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- ↑ The Rogue Prince.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- ↑ The Princess and the Queen.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Braavos.
- ↑ The Sworn Sword.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
- ↑ The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.