Joyeuse
None So Dutiful (?)
Alex Kingston
Alex Kingston as Joyeuse Florent Martell
Name: Joyeuse Florent Martell
Aliases: Lady Joy
Faction: Dorne
Organization: House Martell
Occupation: Merry Wife
Rank: Princess
Age: Nov 21 84 (38)

"Of course admirers are different, one can afford to be frivolous with those, as one might be in choosing stockings or handkerchiefs, small luxuries hardly made to last — but a husband, now, he has more in common with jewellery. Only the best stones are worth having. They might be reset now and again, they might need a little careful polishing, but they'll become one for a lifetime."

Description

Joyeuse Hastwyck is a woman of medium height (5'5" in her bare feet) and generous personality: always in motion, always alight, always alive. The rich hue of her mass of curly dark red hair owes much to a powder imported from Braavos in tiny and expensive stone jars, but the mischief in her heavy-lidded grey-green eyes is all her own fault and suffices to subtract several years from her age (more, in good lighting). Her complexion seems sometimes peachy and sometimes dusky (another powder?), and the creases in her skin are those of a woman who laughs, not a woman who frowns. She has long-fingered hands with perfectly rounded fingernails, slender wrists and pleasantly plump forearms, and a tendency all over toward feminine opulence as she makes her reluctant approach to middle age.

In winter she dresses (almost) as a Westerosi lady; but in the present glorious summer, she has changed again into the Dornish silks of her youth, which waft and flow about her in vivid shades, promising a great deal but on the whole revealing little. She likes red, green, blue, gold: cheerful, vivid shades: belted not with leather but silken cords woven through with gold thread. Behind her ears, in the hollow of her throat, in one or two other places, she is in the habit of dabbing a heady, spicy scent: in the midst of the Reach, she smells like Dorne.

Background

What it is important to understand about Joyeuse, the old Lord Hastwyck's widow, is that she is not a wicked woman. She just likes to enjoy herself.

She was brought up at Brightwater Keep, the daughter of a Florent father and a Tully mother: a pretty, biddable, musical child. Then in 99 AC, at the age of fifteen, she was dispatched to Dorne to be the bride of a Qorgyle of Sandstone, an experience for which nothing in her life before that date had prepared her.

Of course she wasn't the only one — several marriages were made at that time across the borders of Dorne and the Reach, to calm the waters after another of the inevitable periods of hostility which bring such a roaring trade to local coffin-makers. Making love, not war; breeding children rather than killing them. Cultural differences and remembered animosities made the lives of the Westerosi ladies grafted on to Dornish houses a bitter business in the early years, before they'd learned Dornish ways and borne Dornish babies; one threw herself off the battlements of her new husband's holdfast, one fled and got halfway to Highgarden before she was brought back, which show of spirit raised her status considerably. And as for Joyeuse Qorgyle? The colours and odours and extravagances of the court at Sunspear enchanted her. She enjoyed the sunshine and the light, bright silk robes which suited her so well. She became a better rider and even learned a little of the arts of self defense. Before long she acquired a taste for astringent Dornish wines — and thrillingly naughty Dornish men.

Expecting to live out her days in Dorne (and having a Florent's unfondness for House Tyrell) Joyeuse unhesitatingly took the side of Dorne in its quarrels with the Reach, and adapted herself with tremendous ease to certain Dornish customs, carousing by night and sleeping whenever and of course wherever she wished. Darion Qorgyle had legitimate siblings, and nieces and nephews, before him in the line of succession; he had no great need of a wife to keep house and bear children, and a preference in any case for the company of men, and let her have her freedom as long as she didn't kick up a prim Westerosi fuss about the manner in which he enjoyed his. Thus she bore a daughter for her husband (in 100) and another (in 104) for the bastard of House Uller who was for many years her paramour; she was always amenable to other adventures, but these were undertaken purely in response to the urges of the moment (and the bottle) and left no lasting mark, nor any issue by which to commemorate her transitory passions.

In the year 110 AC her Qorgyle husband died of a surfeit of bandits; this scarcely rated as an upheaval in the routine of her life, and any comfort she might have required she found in her paramour's eager embrace. Alas, the following months saw a great deal of dynastic trouble at the Hellholt: her beloved was mixed up in it in a way she has never fully understood, and in 111 AC he was slain by an unknown assassin (though Joyeuse has her suspicions). All at once the woman who had for over a decade believed Dorne the finest place in the world, the Dornish her true people, and all Dornish things automatically superior to their Westerosi equivalents, found her blinkers removed — and her position, as the widowed foreign mother of Maldrid Sand's child, precarious. Wanting nothing more than to get away from her lost paradise, she departed Dorne in a hurry, leaving her legitimate daughter in the protective embrace of her father's family at Sandstone, carrying her bastard daughter away with her and placing her in the motherhouse at Bechester, deep in the Riverlands, where she hoped a septa's robes would keep her safe from those fiendish Lords of Hellholt. Well, what else could she do? Alone, widowed twice over, with very little money, she was facing the awkward prospect of begging the support of her Florent kin — and she couldn't take a bastard home with her to Brightwater Keep. Not if she wanted to be let in.

It transpired she didn't take herself home either.

Her second marriage was, peculiarly, though you'd have to have seen it to believe it and even then you might not, for love. The elderly Lord Gylbert Hastwyck of Holyhall, a respectable man and a grandfather, whose mourning for his wife lost in childbirth some eighteen years previously was regarded as a high and poetic example of the chivalry of the Reach, met this exotic young widow at a tourney at Highgarden (Joyeuse never could resist the rumour of a tourney), heard her tragic tale, and in short order lost his head, his heart, his freedom, and his strongbox. His pleasure was to spoil his new bride, and Joyeuse's pleasure was certainly to be spoiled. She had a natural and rather innocent delight in all the treats he lavished upon her and never thought twice about where the money was coming from. Matters reached their zenith when, in response to Joyeuse's aesthetic distaste for his ancestral keep (and the way its inhabitants regarded this interloper, with her foreign ways), he built a pretty manse overlooking the Whispering Sound, where they might potter about together undisturbed by such considerations as administering lands, maintaining a minimum standard of propriety, his waning fortune, his children's disapproval. They did entertain friends; being convenient to Oldtown they had quite a little court, over which Joyeuse reigned as a capricious and inebriated queen.

She cuckolded him constantly but no matter who pointed this out he never could see it. She really did dote upon him; his devotion was returned in adequate measure, particularly during his final illness. The fever claimed him at last in the second month of 121 AC: Joyeuse passed several months mourning him privately (though not too privately) in their love nest with the sea view, before taking herself off to Oldtown to resume the normal enjoyments of her life. Gylbert, bless him, had thoughtfully left her in possession of their manse, the land upon which it sits, and the farms which support it — and an unknown sum of money regarding which the Hastwycks still rage. The impoverished new lord of Holyhall is reputed to have an artist's sketch of Joyeuse in his bedchamber, and to practice his marksmanship by throwing a knife at her first thing every morning.

Still, what does it matter to Joyeuse Hastwyck if a handful of jealous and unreasonable connections by marriage don't much care for her? She's an experienced yet youngish, altogether rather attractive widow, amply provided for financially, and with a reputation for hard drinking and loose behaviour — everyone else of the masculine persuasion tends to like her no end…


Her stay in Oldtown in the year 121 AC didn't last out the year. She was visiting her manse by the sea when plague struck the city, and word fortuitously having reached her she remained sequestered beneath her own solitary roof for several long, anxious weeks, not knowing whether friends and lovers were dead or alive… By the time she showed her face again in a safe yet decimated city, rumours — vicious, nasty, utterly unfounded rumours! — had begun to circulate regarding her friendships with the Tully heir, and a scion of House Baratheon, and an Arryn boy too. It was a lot of nonsense, of course, but it contributed to the rather abrupt decision she took a few weeks shy of the year's end, to close her manse and repair to King's Landing.

Perhaps none of her acquaintances in Oldtown expected to see her again — but, after a year, she has returned. In the meantime she seems to have acquired rather handsome new horses to draw her carriage, any number of new gowns in the capital's absolutely latest styles, and a remarkable quantity of large and glowing white-golden pearls: a necklace of multiple strands, various earrings and bracelets and rings, and loose pearls too for her maid to stitch as required onto various hairpieces to match those gowns. She's radiant. Delighted. Altogether pleased with herself. If anything she looks a year younger, rather than… the other thing. Clearly King's Landing (or, er, wherever she may have strayed) has been good to her.

But as for her journey back to the Reach! Oh! She did mean to arrive a good solid luxurious week before her dear, dear Marsei's (they met twice) marriage to Prince Dhraegon Targaryen — but her carriage broke down… (It's absurd to say that when it did she shacked up for a week with the youngish and rakish local lord.) Dreary little misfortunes of this nature come to us all sooner or later. The wheel of fate turns, and it turns.


In early 123 AC Lady Joy (as she is known to her friends) upped and left Oldtown for Dorne, to pay a long visit to her daughter, Lady Vanora Toland. Before long her name became linked with that of Prince Auberyn Nymeros Martell; and on the 25th day of the 6th month, they were married in a small ceremony in the sept at Starfall.

RP Hooks

  • A relic from the last round of cross-border marriages intended to improve relations between Westeros and Dorne. Do you find yourself now rowing in the same boat?
  • Connected by birth or marriage or a child's blood with the houses Florent, Tully, Qorgyle, Uller, Hastwyck, and Martell. Are you, too?
  • Frequents taverns and theatres and tourney-grounds, or anywhere else she can find something to drink and an amusing fellow to chat with for a while.
  • Perhaps, if you're a Reachlord, you used to visit the Hastwycks to enjoy, er, the sea view?

Quirks

  • Neither Fish Nor Fowl

Ten years in Dorne wrought deep changes in Joyeuse: she has been just as long in the Reach again, but she is not and never will be purely Dornish or purely Westerosi. She has family on both sides of this ancient conflict. She can see both sides, she risks suffering no matter which gains the advantage of the other; perhaps that accounts for her distaste for too much martial talk.

  • Chequered Reputation

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a married woman who enjoys her husband's confidence (or, indeed, his blind trust) can get away with things a chaperoned maiden could hardly dream of. Yet not all the habits which are regarded as perfectly normal amongst the Dornish nobility, are considered acceptable for a lady on the other side of the border — and Joyeuse has never mended her ways, because she doesn't truly consider them broken.

She has kept quiet about being the mother of a bastard, but any Dornish visitor to Oldtown could reasonably know about her younger daughter, or even tell someone; and anyone sufficiently tuned in to Reach gossip will have heard about the circumstances of her second marriage (e.g. how she ruined that man, much to the misfortune of his first wife's children), her fondness for masculine company, her easy, flirtatious manners.

  • Impeccable Bloodlines

All the same one can't deny that she is by birth half Florent and half Tully, or that she has two three perfectly creditable marriages under her belt. Whatever you may think of the reports of her extracurricular adventures, in Dorne or elsewhere, she can't be dismissed as a common strumpet.

  • Functional Alcoholic

Joyeuse likes a drink. Or six. Don't worry, though, she can hold it. She's been practicing day and night for years.

  • Wealth: Comfortable

Her first husband left her a little something, her second husband a bigger something; and she has since married into the princely house of Dorne. The rest of her days will, indeed, be spent in comfort.

IC Events

Joyeuse Logs

Related Logs

Logs featuring Joyeuse.

Logs that refer to Joyeuse.

Relationships

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Prince Auberyn Nymeros Martell
Husband ~ The delightfulest man in all the world.

Thadeus

Thadeus
Second Cousin ~ A relation whose company Joyeuse found most congenial when they met, by chance, in the Maidenday Gardens; and then her occasional but really rather sincere lover in the last months of 121 AL. Perhaps he was one of the casualties of her sudden departure from Oldtown at the end of that year — or perhaps she was a casualty of his public display of desire for Visenya Targaryen? — but they parted for a time, only to be drawn straight back into one another's company the very next time they were in Oldtown simultaneously. She has since discovered him to be a rather worse cad than she supposed; he has tested even a heart as forgiving as hers, and been found wanting not only as a lover, but as a friend.

Amadys

Amadys
Dear Acquaintance ~ Joyeuse had the good fortune to witness this gentleman's debut in the role of the Pirate King, in The Pirates of Pentos at the Whimsy Theatre; a handful of hours thereafter she made his personal acquaintance, and found his performance offstage still more compelling. The subject of marriage did once arise, but fortunately they recovered their senses.

Torren

Torren
Former Acquaintance ~ The sarcastic flirting of this handsome young Prince of Dorne once did much to enliven Joyeuse's visits to Sunspear; but she never supposed it meant anything, and he quite slipped from her thoughts till she happened to hear of his marriage to Princess Visenya of House Targaryen. Now he's her nephew-by-marriage. Curious, isn't it, how these things end up?

Lorn

Lorn
New Acquaintance ~ The Lannister heir simply stared and stared until Joyeuse felt she had to introduce herself. She has now become this young lion's native guide to the social jungles of Oldtown.

Loryn

Loryn
New Acquaintance ~ The young man into whose lap Joyeuse fell at her cousin Marsei's wedding in December 122. Literally. He was awfully sweet about it and asked her to a party later on, so all's well that ends well. Really, he's the most delightful Tyrell this Florent lady has ever met.

Jurian

Jurian
New Acquaintance ~ A prince Joyeuse mistook for another and managed at length to charm. He thinks much of himself, but that's the case with any Targaryen — and now he seems to have changed his lofty mind again and decided to ignore her. Still, she's quite certain she made the right decision, not to trade her favours for a bottle of wine, even if it was the '06.

Madrighal

Madrighal
Musical Acquaintance ~ Joyeuse heard this minstrel's music at at a party at the Garden Isle Manse, where his Horse Pursuit in particular made rather an impression. It seems she made one herself, too…

Gallery

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