Oberyn Martell

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Oberyn Martell Depicted By: Pedro Pascal

 Appearance in Season:  4

 Called As: The Red Viper of Dorne

 Origin: Sunspear


House Martell

The Citadel (formerly)

 Culture: Dornishmen

 Religion: Faith of the Seven


Brother – Doran Martell

Sister – Elia Martell

 Nephew – Trystane Martell

Paramour – Ellaria Sand

Daughter – Obara Sand

Daughter – Nymeria Sand

Daughter – Tyene Sand

Daughter – Sarella Sand

Daughter – Elia Sand

Daughter – Obella Sand

Daughter – Dorea Sand

Daughter – Loreza Sand

Brother-in-law – Rhaegar Targaryen

Niece – Rhaenys Targaryen

Nephew – Aegon Targaryen

Uncle – Lewyn Martell

 Life Status: Dead

About Oberyn Martell

Oberyn is a member of House Martell, the ruling family of Dorne. Oberyn is famous for his fighting skills, passionate temper, and sexual appetite.

Prince Oberyn, known as the Red Viper of Dorne is Doran Martell’s younger brother and the late Elia Martell wife of Rhaegar Targaryen, the late Prince of Dragonstone and heir to the Iron Throne. Oberyn travels to King’s Landing to attend Joffrey Baratheon’s royal wedding in his brother’s place with the hidden agenda of avenging his sister’s rape and murder by Tywin’s Bannerman, Gregor Clegane. Clegane offers to volunteer for Tyrion Lannister in a trial by combat and Oberyn gets a chance to kill him, however he manages to severely wound and poison Clegane but he himself is ultimately killed.

Biography of Oberyn Martell

Oberyn like most members of House Martell is styled with the title “Prince” and not as “Lord”. His nickname stands as “Red Viper” on account of his knowledge of poisons and for his unusual, deadly style of combat. Oberyn is popular for being an accomplished warrior; however he is also well-known for his sexual appetite that is desirable of both men and women and regarding him Tyrion Lannister tells Bronn that he is “famous for fucking half of Westeros”. Ellaria Sand lover of Oberyn, who is his wife in all but name, and Doran noticed that Ellaria made him happy. She has also given birth to five out of his eight bastard daughters, all of whom he has acknowledged and imparted his love and care. Oberyn named his fifth daughter Elia Sand after his late sister.

Oberyn was trained at the citadel while he was young, so as to become a maester. He ultimately found no interest in studies and gave up studying, but he managed to forge several links in a maester’s chain, and in the process became well versed with the use of poisons. Once an older nobleman caught Oberyn in bed with his mistress and challenged Oberyn to a duel to first blood; Oberyn won the duel, and some days later the older man died from festering wounds which he probably acquired as Oberyn had poisoned his blade. In his youth Oberyn travelled to Essos, and for some time served in the mercenary company called the Second Sons. There he once went to the city of Astapor and saw the Unsullied, about whom he joked that they were impressive in the battlefield, but not in bed. Oberyn lived in Essos for five years. Oberyn fought duels in the pits of Meereen and learned some of his combat techniques during that time.

Despite his liberal attitude towards intercourse and his wayward ways he was devoted to his family and vouched his love to Ellaria. He was very close to his sister Elia and could not digest the truth behind her death. Consequently he had a strong hatred for the Lannisters, and especially Tywin Lannister, who he believed had ordered his sister’s murder. Despite their opposing personalities, Oberyn was also close to his elder brother, Doran.

game of thrones - Oberyn and Ellaria

Oberyn Martell in season 4

Tyrion Lannister confronts the lords of Dorne outside King’s Landing, and finds out that Oberyn will be representing House Martell at Joffrey Baratheon’s wedding, and not his brother, the ruling Prince Doran. The Dornish lords inform Tyrion that Oberyn has arrived in the city before dawn. Tyrion realizes that Oberyn is in one of Littlefinger’s brothels. Oberyn helps Ellaria in choosing a whore for her enjoyment, and selects Olyvar to satisfy himself. Oberyn’s fun is over when he listens to Lannister men singing “The Rains of Castamere”, which angers Oberyn. Before one of the men could draw his sword, Oberyn pierces his dagger through the man’s wrist; nevertheless he assures the man’s companion that he can be saved if treated immediately. Tyrion appears on the scene and intervenes in the fight. While leaving the brothel, Tyrion questions Oberyn as to his intentions of visiting the capital. Oberyn narrates the story of how Tywin’s Bannerman Gregor Clegane Raped Elia Martell, then murdered and also killed her children. Oberyn then sounds a warning to Tyrion that the Lannisters weren’t the only ones who paid their debts.

Oberyn attends Joffrey’s wedding, wherein he meets Tywin Lannister and Cersei Lannister. He introduces Ellaria to the duo; but after they clearly express their dislike for bastards, Oberyn argues with them that there was a huge cultural difference between the Dornish and the rest of Westeros. Oberyn gives Loras Tyrell a seductive look and makes him blush.

game of thrones - Oberyn at Joffrey's wedding

A few days after Joffrey’s death, Oberyn and Ellaria visit the brothel again. Oberyn gets angry with Olyvar when the prostitute rejects his advances, but Ellaria pacifies him. Oberyn then discusses his varied sexual appetite desiring both men and women. They are interrupted by the sudden arrival of Tywin. They briefly discuss Oberyn’s expertise with poisons, and then the Hand of the King requests Oberyn to be the third judge at Tyrion’s trial. Oberyn refutes by saying that he held Tywin responsible for his sister’s death. Tywin then offers him a seat on the Small Council. Tywin expresses his concern regarding the two realms requiring to be united in the face of Daenerys Targaryen’s return one day, and asserts that the last time the dragons assaulted Westeros, only Dorne was successful in keeping them at bay. Oberyn is happy that Tywin has eventually admitted that he needs Dorne and finally accepts the offer. As a bonus Tywin offers him a chance to confront Gregor Clegane in private.

Tommen Baratheon is coronated as King. Oberyn spends sometime in the gardens to write a poem to his fifth daughter Elia. Cersei visits him and requests a dialogue. They talk about their children and Oberyn reveals that he has eight daughters. Cersei inquires about her daughter Myrcella, and Oberyn replies that she was fine, and the last that he had seen her was when she was playing with two of his daughters in the Water Gardens in Dorne. Cersei asks him to deliver a gift to Myrcella, and then departs. Oberyn promises to have it sent to Sunspear, although he is left wondering to himself whether he should sympathize with a Lannister or act otherwise.

Oberyn finally takes up his seat on the Small Council. In a typical manner he complains loudly about the early meeting, pretending to be more concerned about the glamorous title that he would receive rather than the matters of state, and refuses to rise when Lord Tywin enters the room. Despite the fact, Tywin seems to be more interested in his opinion compared to Mace Tyrell, the new Master of Ships. Oberyn warns the Small Council as not to overlook the threat that the Unsullied posed on the battlefield.

game of thrones - Oberyn at the small council meeting

Post the meeting, Oberyn meets Varys in the Throne Room, and the Dornishman surprises him with his familiarity with Essos. Oberyn discloses that he spent many years in Essos, and finds out that Varys was originally from Lys, consequently Varys is disturbed as he has no noticeable accent. The men indulge in some awkward banter, wherein Varys makes it clear that unlike Oberyn who was given in to pleasures, he was focused on the Iron Throne.

Finally Tyrion’s trial begins. King Tommen cleverly recuses himself from the trial, and appoints his grandfather Lord Tywin, Lord Mace and Prince Oberyn as judges. Many witnesses are called for the prosecution, and they all give testimony supporting the accusations against Tyrion. Oberyn occasionally questioned the witnesses, sometimes displaying great insight and at times just for his own amusement. Oberyn is pleased when Tyrion demands trial by combat.

game of thrones - Tyrion's trial

After a few days of his demand of trial by combat, Oberyn visits Tyrion in the dungeons and narrates the story of his disappointment in their first confrontation. As a child, he and his sister were told stories of the “Lannister Monster” and his extravagant deformities. As part of a childhood visit to Casterly Rock, Cersei showed Tyrion ceremoniously to Elia and Oberyn. Oberyn tells Tyrion that he saw only a baby and no monster. Cersei had told Elia and Oberyn that Tyrion killed her mother, and then ruthlessly assaulted Tyrion until Jaime stopped her. Oberyn discloses that he seeks justice for his sister, and Tyrion replies that he would find none in King’s Landing. Oberyn retaliates by saying that the setting was perfect, where all whom he seeked revenge towards were close at hand. With the intentions of beginning with Gregor Clegane, Oberyn offers his service as Tyrion’s champion in the upcoming trial by combat.

Oberyn arrives at the trial wearing simple light armor and wielding a light spear with a heavy blade. After seeing his opponent a mountainous beast, Ellaria is concerned about his life, but Oberyn is confident. Tyrion is also worried about Oberyn’s lack of helmet and light armor; moreover Oberyn resorts to drinking before the match. Oberyn assures Tyrion that he drinks before every battle and that his preferred fighting style was hindered by heavy armor. Before the match starts, he promises Ellaria that he would not die.

game of thrones - battle of Oberyn and Clegane

As the battle begins, the Red Viper impresses the crowd with a stunning display of spear twirling before engaging Clegane, whom he taunts playfully. Clegane ignores and attacks him ferociously. Oberyn manages to swiftly duck and avoid his swings and pokes and prods him with a spear, demanding him to admit the rape and murder of Elia Martell and her children. He shouts in a loud and vengeful voice: “You raped her! You murdered her! You killed her children!” Clegane knocks him off his feet twice and cuts his spear in half, but cannot wound him; Oberyn simply evades his swings and walks over to his squire for a new spear. In the meantime, he wears down Clegane, knocks of his helmet and inflicts minor wounds through gaps in his armor.

Oberyn finally stabs Clegane in the stomach and severs his hamstring. The knight falls to his knees. Then Oberyn lunges and stabs him through his breastplate, causing the knight to cough blood and fall on his back. Oberyn once again demands that he admit to Elia’s death and name the real protagonist, pointing accusingly at Tywin.


However as Oberyn stalked around his unmoving opponent, he is caught unexpectedly when Clegane trips him and pulls him down, grasps him around the neck, and slams his fist into his face, knocking out his teeth. Clegane gouges out Oberyn’s eyeballs with his thumbs, and while Oberyn wails in agony, Clegane confesses to his crime.

He ruthlessly crushes Oberyn’s skull and kills him, while Ellaria screams in horror. Alas Tyrion Lannister per the rules of trial by combat falls to the hands of destiny.

game of thrones - Oberyn's death

While Clegane is being treated for his wounds, Pycelle and Qyburn find out that Oberyn had his spearblade coated with Manticore venom that caused Clegane’s severe wounds to horribly putrefy, leaving him in a catatonic, decaying and agonized situation.

Later in season 5 Ellaria avenges his death by killing Myrcella Baratheon while on her way back to King’s Landing.


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