Oberyn Martell by MagaliVilleneuve©
|Alias||The Red Viper|
|Allegiance|| House Martell|
Second Sons (formerly)
|Born||In 257 AC or 258 AC|
|Died||In 300 AC, at King's Landing|
|Book(s)|| The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)|
A Game of Thrones (mentioned)
A Clash of Kings (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (appears)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
|Played by||Pedro Pascal|
|TV series||Season 4|
Prince Oberyn Nymeros Martell, known as the Red Viper, is a member of House Martell and is Prince Doran's hot-headed younger brother. He has eight bastard daughters, called the Sand Snakes, the four youngest of which are by his current paramour, Ellaria Sand. In the television adaptation Game of Thrones Oberyn is portrayed by Pedro Pascal.
Appearance and Character
- See also: Images of Oberyn Martell
Oberyn is a forceful, lusty man with a quick wit and barbed tongue. He studied at the Citadel for a while, and apparently forged several maester links but eventually grew bored and left the order. Oberyn had traveled the world, and even founded his own mercenary company. He had a very close relationship with his sister Elia and they were inseparable as children. Some rumors hold that he is bisexual. His squire (and one of his many rumored lovers) is Daemon Sand.
Oberyn rides a black stallion with a mane and tail the color of fire. He wears a pale red silk cloak and a shirt armored with overlapping discs of bright copper. His helm is adorned with a copper sun and he owns a steel round shield in the Dornish style that is decorated with the sigil of House Martell.
Oberyn is an exceptional fighter, his speed and skill with both spear and sword are renowned. In battle, along with his brightly-polished round shield, Oberyn wields an ash spear eight feet long with a steel spearhead and spike. He chooses to wear lightly armored greaves, vambraces, gorget, spaulder and steel codpiece, in addition to supple leather and flowing silk. He wears a helm without a visor and scales of gleaming copper over his byrnie. 
In his youth, Oberyn was fostered at Sandstone. When in his teens, Oberyn travelled with his mother, the ruling Princess of Dorne, and his sister, Princess Elia Martell, and met multiple potential marriage candidates for his sister, visiting castles at Starfall, the Arbor, Oldtown, the Shield Islands, and Crakehall. Oberyn spent his time mocking Elia's suitors. The last castle they visited was Casterly Rock, where they arrived shortly after the death of Joanna Lannister in childbirth. According to Oberyn, his mother and Lady Joanna had planned to wed either Oberyn to Cersei Lannister, or Elia to Jaime Lannister, or both. Lord Tywin Lannister, however, was unreceptive of the suggestion, stating that his daughter would marry Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. He offered the newborn Tyrion Lannister as a husband for Elia instead, which was seen as an insult.
At the age of sixteen, Oberyn was found in bed with the paramour of Lord Edgar Yronwood, so the lord challenged him to a duel. The duel was to first blood, given the prince's youth and high birth, and both took cuts. Edgar's wounds festered and killed him. Oberyn has been known as the "Red Viper" ever since by friends and foes alike, due to rumors that he fought the duel with a poisoned blade. Afterward, Oberyn was sent to Oldtown and then to Lys in temporary exile (though none called it such) in order for House Martell to make peace with House Yronwood, and Prince Quentyn Martell was sent as a ward to House Yronwood.
Oberyn traveled extensively in the Free Cities, where he learned much about poisons and perhaps even darker arts. He had studied at the Citadel, going so far as to forge six links of a maester's chain before he grew bored. He had soldiered in the Disputed Lands across the narrow sea, riding with the Second Sons for a time before forming his own company. It is said that he beds both men and women, and has begotten eight bastard daughters, called the Sand Snakes. Oberyn, however, does not let his children grow up wanting: he takes responsibility for them, and actively seeks to help raise all his children (something few lords do when it comes to their bastard offspring). He teaches them how to defend themselves and allows them great independence in growing up.
Prince Oberyn was unhorsed by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ser Barristan Selmy at a tourney at Storm's End. He was also present during the tourney at Harrenhal in 281 AC, where he danced with Lady Ashara Dayne.
Oberyn had a close relationship with his sister Elia. It is currently unknown where Oberyn was during Robert's Rebellion, possibly having remained in Dorne or been serving in Essos in a free company.
During the Sack of King's Landing, Ser Gregor Clegane raped and murdered Elia and also killed her son, Prince Aegon Targaryen. Another Lannister knight, Ser Amory Lorch killed her daughter, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. After hearing of these deaths, Oberyn attempted to raise Dorne for the exiled Prince Viserys Targaryen. The new Hand of the King, Lord Jon Arryn, travelled to Sunspear in the year following the war, and was able to keep the peace, but Oberyn has desired revenge ever since. After the war, Oberyn seldom left Dorne.
Oberyn is primarily responsible for giving modern revitalization to the ongoing feud between his House and the Tyrells, because he accidentally crippled Willas Tyrell in a tourney. Oberyn struck Willas's breastplate clean, but the boy's foot caught in a stirrup as he fell and his horse fell on top of him. Oberyn sent his own maester to help treat Willas, who holds no grudge against Oberyn. The two correspond via raven message as both share a passion for horses.
Oberyn and his brother Doran, Prince of Dorne, worked in secret for years planning on bringing an end to the reign of King Robert I Baratheon and destroying House Lannister. Oberyn traveled to Braavos, where Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen were living with Ser Willem Darry. Oberyn and Willem signed a secret marriage pact, with the Sealord of Braavos as witness, promising Viserys the hand of Princess Arianne Martell in marriage, in return for Dorne's help in reclaiming the Iron Throne from House Baratheon.
A Storm of Swords
Prince Oberyn comes to King's Landing to claim the seat on the small council on on behalf of Doran Martell, the Prince of Dorne, and obtain justice for his sister Elia Martell's murderer, as was agreed with the acting Hand of the King, Tyrion Lannister. However, it soon becomes clear that the new Hand, Lord Tywin Lannister, means to forgo that promise. Tywin plans on lying to Oberyn and claiming that the now-deceased Ser Amory Lorch was responsible for the deaths of Elia, her daughter Rhaenys, and her son Aegon, although Amory had only killed Rhaenys during the Sack of King's Landing.
When Tyrion is accused of Joffrey's murder, Oberyn is one of the judges. The day before a judgement is to be pronounced, Oberyn offers to be Tyrion's champion in a trial by combat, if Tyrion tells who is guilty of the murder of Elia. Tyrion takes Oberyn up on his offer. He denies any involvement of his father, Tywin, but tells Oberyn that Amory killed Rhaenys and Ser Gregor Clegane killed Elia and Aegon. Oberyn knows already that Gregor will be his adversary.
Despite his enormous physical disadvantage, the agile Oberyn wounds his opponent several times. The Red Viper cripples Gregor by finding chinks in his armor, severing his hamstring after the Mountain tires from chasing him, and breaking his spear in Gregor's belly. Rather than killing Gregor, Oberyn insists that Gregor confess to Elia's murder. The prostrated Gregor trips Oberyn and smashes his armored fist into Oberyn's face, dashing out the prince's brains after first destroying his teeth and knocking out his eyes. Before killing Oberyn, however, Gregor roars his guilt in killing Elia and Aegon for for all to hear.
A Feast for Crows
Oberyn achieves posthumous vengeance by having coated his spear in a special kind of poison, which Qyburn believes to have been manticore venom, leaving Gregor to die slowly and in tremendous agony.
A Dance with Dragons
Quotes by Oberyn
|“||Ellaria: You're going to fight that?
Oberyn: I'm going to kill that.
– Oberyn and Ellaria Sand
|“||Elia Martell, Princess of Dorne, you raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children.||”|
|“||If you die before you say her name, I will hunt you through all seven hells.||”|
Quotes about Oberyn
|“||Oberyn has always been half-mad.||”|
|“||The man's infamous, and not just for poisoning his sword. He has more bastards than Robert, and beds with boys as well.||”|
|“||He knew the man only by reputation ... but the reputation was fearsome.||”|
|“||Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him.||”|
|Obara Sand||Tyene Sand||Elia Sand||Dorea Sand|
|Sarella Sand||Obella Sand||Loreza Sand|
References and Notes
- ↑ See the Oberyn Martell calculation.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 2, The Captain Of Guards.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
- ↑ The Winds of Winter, Arianne I
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 40, Princess In The Tower.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 24, Bran II.
- ↑ So Spake Martin: Various Questions Concerning Tywin, Oberyn, Gregor, the North, and Sansa, April 15, 2008
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 43, Daenerys VII.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 38, The Watcher.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
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