Oberyn Martell by Amok©
|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)|| 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 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. At 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. Lord 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 it was not called exile) in order for House Martell to make peace with House Yronwood, Quentyn Martell was sent as a ward to House Yronwood.
Oberyn had 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 bastard girls all over Dorne. The Sand Snakes, men call them.
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.
When Oberyn was young, the ruling Princess of Dorne planned to wed Oberyn or his sister, Princess Elia, to one of Lord Tywin's children, or both of them to his twins. For that purpose, they visited Casterly Rock, where they met Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion Lannister. However, they arrived shortly after Joanna Lannister's death, which left Lord Tywin unreceptive. He offered the newborn Tyrion instead, which was seen as an insult.
Oberyn is also 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 his 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. Willas himself holds no grudge against Oberyn and the two correspond via raven message even after the accident as both share a passion for horses. Prince Oberyn was unhorsed by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ser Barristan Selmy at a tourney at Storm's End.
Events following Elia's murder
Oberyn had a very close relationship with his sister Elia. Following the Sack of King's Landing, when he learned that she was raped and murdered by a Lannister knight, Gregor Clegane, along with her son and how her daughter was killed by another Lannister knight (Amory Lorch), he attempted to raise Dorne for Viserys. The new Hand, Jon Arryn, was able to keep the peace, but Oberyn has desired revenge ever since. He seldom left Dorne in a public capacity thereafter.
He and his brother Doran worked in secret for years planning on bringing an end to the reign of Robert Baratheon and destroying House Lannister. Oberyn traveled to Braavos where Viserys Targaryen and Daenerys Targaryen were being kept by Ser Willem Darry and signed a secret pact that the Sealord of Braavos witnessed, promising Viserys the hand of Arianne Martell in return for Dorne's help in claiming the throne.
A Storm of Swords
Prince Oberyn comes to King's Landing to claim the seat on the small council on Prince Doran Martell's behalf 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 is responsible for all three deaths (Lorch was guilty of the death of only Rhaenys).
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 but tells Oberyn that Lorch killed Rhaenys and Ser Gregor Clegane killed Elia and Aegon. Oberyn knows already that Ser Gregor will be his adversary.
Despite his enormous physical disadvantage, Oberyn using speed manages to wound Clegane several times and cripple him by finding chinks in his armour and severing his hamstring after the Mountain tired from chasing him. As Oberyn approaches Gregor to finish him, the prostrated Clegane grabs hold of Oberyn and smashes his armoured fist into Oberyn's face, killing him: dashing out his brains after first destroying his teeth and knocking out his eyes. Before killing Oberyn however, Clegane 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, leaving Clegane 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.||”|
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 is fearsome...His tourneys, his battles, his duels, his horses, his carnality.||”|
|“||Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him.||”|
|Princess of Dorne||Lewyn|
|Doran||Mellario of Norvos||Mors||Elia||Rhaegar Targaryen||Olyvar||Various women||Oberyn "the Red Viper"||Ellaria Sand|
|Arianne||Quentyn||Trystane||Rhaenys Targaryen||Aegon Targaryen||Obara Sand||Nymeria Sand||Tyene Sand||Sarella Sand||Elia Sand||Obella Sand||Dorea 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 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 70, Tyrion X.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
- ↑ The Winds of Winter, Arianne sample chapter
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 42, Daenerys IV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 66, Tyrion IX.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 38, The Watcher.
- ↑ A Storm of Swords, Chapter 62, Jaime VII.
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