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Game of Thrones Character History: Oberyn Martell

A character history of Oberyn Martell from the books of Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones aired its finale a year ago, yet it is still fiercely discussed in all social media platforms. It defined an era of television unlike any show in history. However, there is a lot of depth in the characters that appeared in the show. The show-runners simply couldn’t dive into their character histories. The politics of the Iron throne and time restrictions just did not allow it. We, however, do not have those restrictions here. That is why we will now explore the history of an iconic Game of Thrones character that we all wished we saw more of – Oberyn Martell played by Pedro Pascal.

Related: House of the Dragon: Perfect Prequel for Game of Thrones?

His personality

Oberyn was born in the 257th year after Aegon’s conquest (AC – The year Aegon began his conquest for Westeros). For perspective, the show begins in 298 AC. Doran Martell described him as “dangerous and unpredictable”, but still harsh. He has quite a sharp personality but has been bloodthirsty for years to avenge the brutal death of his sister Elia Martell. As we all know, Elia was raped and killed by the Mountain in the sacking of King’s landing by Tywin Lannister. Her death made Oberyn much more bloodthirsty than ever before, as two of them were very close to each other. He even secretly planned the downfall of Tywin Lannister with his brother Doran for many years.

Red Viper of Dorne in exile

Oberyn Martell’s reputation began after his duel with Lord Edgar Yronwood at the age of 16. He was found sleeping with the Lord’s paramour (lover) and thus, the Lord challenged him to a first blood duel. Both the men bled, but Lord Edgar died a few days later due to his wounds. It was rumored that Oberyn had used a poisoned blade. Consequently, he was forever named the Red Viper of Dorne.

As a result, he was exiled to Essos where he spent a lucrative life. He traveled to many of the free cities and learned several arts. Some of them included poison as well as some mystic arts that enhanced his warrior skills. He also joined a sellsword company in Essos where he perfected his fighting skills. After returning to Westeros, and also went to the Citadel to learn the trades of Maesters. He even managed to forge six links of their chains, with each chain representing a skill. However, he never finished the chain and left shortly after because it was too boring for him.

Oberyn’s personal life

He was openly famous to have intimate relations with both men and women. George RR Martin made sure that he included many characters that represented the LGBTQ community well in the series. Moreover, Oberyn had 8 bastard daughters of his own, 4 of which were born to his current paramour Elaria Sand. However, he was unlike traditional lords of Westeros with regard to his illegitimate children. He owned and took good care of his bastard daughters while training them arms for their self-defense. He did not restrict their lives at all and gives them the freedom to live their lives the way they want to. Due to their fierce nature, his bastard daughters were nicknamed Sand Snakes.

Pedro Pascal’s portrayal in Game of Thrones

Game-of-Thrones-Character-History-Oberyn-Martell-Pedro-Pascal
Oberyn Martell’s concept picture from A Song of Ice and Fire vs Pedro Pascal’s portrayal in the show.

Pedo Pascal was praised widely for his representation of Oberyn Martell. Although he was a part of the show for barely half the season, the audience loved him. His witty remarks and rash behavior were hailed, and even book readers agreed that his portrayal was immense. So much so that many book readers agree that whenever they read about Oberyn in the books, only Pedro Pascal comes into their mind. Sean Keane describes the impact of the character well in this article.

Although Oberyn Martell graced the screen for 7 episodes of Game of Thrones, his impact was immense. He is constantly missed by many fans, who wished they had seen more of him in the show. ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ fans wished the same too, but when has George RR Martin ever spared a fan-favorite character? This was a character history of Oberyn Martell for all those fans who wished to see more.

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