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Ellaria Sand

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Ellaria Sand: "When was the last time you left this palace? You don't know your own people. Their disgust for you. Elia Martell raped and murdered, and you did nothing. Oberyn Martell butchered, and you did nothing. You're not a Dornishman. You're not our prince."
Doran Martell: "My son, Trystane..."
Ellaria Sand: "Your son is weak, just like you. And weak men will never rule Dorne again."
— Ellaria Sand[src]

Ellaria Sand is a major character in the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons. She initially appeared as a recurring character in the fourth season, debuting in "Two Swords". She is portrayed by starring cast member Indira Varma. Ellaria is the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne and a bastard of House Uller, carrying the bastard surname "Sand" like all bastards in Dorne.

Biography

Background

Ellaria is the mother of four of Prince Oberyn Martell's eight bastard daughters. Her eldest daughter is Tyene. Like Oberyn, Ellaria is attracted to both men and women.[2]

Season 4

EllariaBastardsVid

Ellaria partakes of King's Landing's entertainment.

After their arrival in King's Landing, Ellaria and her lover, Prince Oberyn Martell, head to one of Littlefinger's brothels. Oberyn examines three whores while Ellaria lies on the bed, asking her which one she would like. She says that she doesn't want a timid one and he eventually finds one to her liking. When Olyvar calls Ellaria "my lady", she calls him out for using a lie to address her and tells him to call her what she is: a bastard. When Oberyn hears men singing the Rains of Castamere in the next room, Ellaria tries to stop him but can only watch as Oberyn takes out his rage on the Lannister men-at-arms. She proceeds to passionately kiss him as Tyrion Lannister and Bronn enter the room seeking Oberyn.[3]

OberynEllariaPW

Ellaria Sand and Oberyn Martell are greeted by Tywin and Cersei at Joffrey's wedding.

Ellaria and Oberyn attend Joffrey's wedding, where she is introduced to Tywin Lannister and Cersei Lannister. Cersei subtly mocks her bastard status, instigating a debate over the cultural differences between the Dornish and the rest of Westeros. She and Oberyn later witness the poisoning of King Joffrey.[4]

Oberyn and Ellaria - Breaker of Chains

Ellaria and Oberyn are interrupted.

In the days following Joffrey's death, Ellaria and Oberyn again visit the brothel. On this occasion, Ellaria is serviced by Marei and another woman; Ellaria steals a kiss from Olyvar, who apologizes and says he simply hasn't developed the taste for women. Ellaria soothes Oberyn's anger at the suggestion that she is an "acquired taste", by reminding him that this means he has Olyvar to himself. Ellaria leaves when Lord Tywin unexpectedly shows up and asks to meet privately with Oberyn, but says that Oberyn need only call if he needs her.[5]

Ellaria terrified - The Mountain and the Viper

Ellaria screams in horror as she watches the brutal death of Oberyn.

During Tyrion's trial by combat, Ellaria, in spite of having heard tales of the Mountain for years, is somewhat disturbed to see exactly how large he really is, expressing with disbelief, "you're going to fight that?!". Ellaria watches with Tyrion from the sidelines and is delighted when it looks like Oberyn has won. When Oberyn demands that Gregor confess his crimes before he dies, he meets Ellaria's eyes and she nods approvingly. Her delight turns to shock and horror when the Mountain gains the upper hand on Oberyn and crushes his skull, at which she can do nothing but scream.[6]

Season 5

5x02-03

Ellaria confronts Prince Doran.

At the Water Gardens, Ellaria, still in mourning clothes, observes Trystane Martell and Myrcella Baratheon from a distance. She approaches Prince Doran Martell, but her path is initially blocked by Captain Areo Hotah. Ellaria threatens Areo before the captain is ordered by Doran to stand down. Angrily, Ellaria scolds Doran for his apparent inaction at the news of Oberyn's death. Doran plans to bury and mourn his beloved brother, but Ellaria and Oberyn's daughters want the Dornish people to take up arms and avenge their fallen prince. She also voices her contempt for Myrcella and wants to harm her in order to take revenge on Cersei for falsely putting Tyrion on the show trial that led to Oberyn's death. Doran strictly forbids this, stating that under his rule, they will not mutilate little girls for revenge. Ellaria voices doubts that Doran will remain in power if he continues to do nothing and leaves.[7]

Sand Snakes torture with scorpions

Ellaria plots with the Sand Snakes.

She later meets with Obara, Nymeria and her daughter Tyene, telling them that Doran will mourn for Oberyn but won't do anything. As Obara points out that they have no army without the support of the Prince to challenge the Lannisters Ellaria says that they won't need an army because they have Myrcella. Nymeria informs her that there's perhaps a problem, presenting her the merchant captain who smuggled Jaime Lannister to Dorne and tried to sell this information to Obara, just to end buried in the sand. Ellaria realizes that Jaime has come for Myrcella and asks the three which way they choose, Doran's or hers. Tyene is the first one declaring for her, followed by Nymeria and then Obara, who makes her point by telling how she first met Oberyn, when she made her choice, and then she uses her spear to kill the captain.[8]

Ellaria and the Sand Snakes return to the Water Gardens to kidnap Myrcella and use her for their revenge against the Lannisters. They swear, by the words of House Martell, to do what is needed to avenge Oberyn. However, Prince Doran had forseen their attempt to take Myrcella and his guard, led by Aero Hotah, arrests the Sand Snakes and Ellaria for their treachery.[9]

Meeting in dorn jaime myrcella

Ellaria is present when Jaime Lannister is brought before Prince Doran.

Ellaria is later brought before Doran to receive Jaime, though she is openly hostile towards him, calling him Kingslayer and refusing to drink a toast to Tommen as the new King. On her way out, she insults Doran, who in turn threatens to kill her if she speaks to him like that again. Later, Doran issues Ellaria an ultimatum: pledge allegiance to him, or die. She tearfully complies. She later visits Jaime in his quarters and makes amends with him, knowing that neither he nor Myrcella played any part in Oberyn's death, but expresses her knowledge that Myrcella is not Jaime's niece, but his daughter. Before leaving, she mocks him for not being born centuries ago into the Targaryen family, in which position his incest would have been accepted.[10]

Myrcella-ellaria-kiss

Ellaria poisons Myrcella.

As the Sand Snakes say goodbye to the expedition back to King's Landing, Ellaria kisses Myrcella on the lips. As the ship is away in the horizon, Ellaria wipes blood from her nose and takes an antidote for the poison coated on her lips, which has just taken Myrcella's life on the boat, and walks away silently, contemplating what will follow when Doran finds out that she has betrayed him and put his son's life in danger.[11]

Season 6

Doran being stabbed

Ellaria betrays and murders Doran Martell.

Ellaria Sand takes a stroll in the Water Gardens, with Areo Hotah and her daughter Tyene following. As she aids her prince to his seat, they discuss how her paramour Oberyn would have been a terrible ruler, and Doran a terrible adventurer. After Doran tells Tyene what a brilliant woman her mother is, flattering Ellaria, Maester Caleotte arrives with a message informing him that Myrcella was poisoned, but before Doran can react, Ellaria stabs him with a concealed knife while Tyene dispatches Areo and Caleotte. Dissatisfied with Doran's decisions, the other guards simply stand and watch. Ellaria reprimands the prince for allowing the Lannisters to get away with the deaths of both his siblings. Slowly bleeding to death, Doran begs for his son's life. Ellaria refuses, as Trystane Martell's death is also a part of her coup, already having sent Obara and Nymeria to ambush and kill him.[12]

Jaime Lannister later receives word in King's Landing that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes have taken over Dorne and will likely soon declare war on the Lannisters. [13]

Some time later, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes meet with Olenna Tyrell, who is now in mourning after the deaths of her son and grandchildren at the hands of Cersei Lannister. Ellaria suggests that they must work together now for survival, as Queen Cersei has declared war on both of them. Olenna objects, saying that survival is not what she is after. Ellaria agrees, and Varys reveals himself, with both of them declaring that they are after "Vengeance, Justice, Fire and Blood.", indicating that Ellaria has become a supporter for the claim of Daenerys Targaryen on the Iron Throne. [14]

Appearances

Season Four appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children
Season Five appearances
The Wars to Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother’s Mercy
Season Six appearances
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter

Family Tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Ruling Princess Martell of Dorne
Deceased
 
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Consort of the Princess of Dorne
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Lewyn Martell familytree
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Doran Martell family tree
Doran Martell
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House-Martell-heraldry
Mellario of Norvos
 
Elia-family-tree
Elia Martell
Deceased
 
Rhaegar-family-tree
Rhaegar Targaryen House-Targaryen-Shield-Icon
Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown tree
Various women
 
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Oberyn Martell
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Ellaria Sand Sand mini shield
of House Uller
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trystane Martell family tree

Trystane Martell Martell shield icon

Deceased
 
Mycella Season 5 family tree pic

Myrcella Baratheon KL Baratheon shield icon

Deceased
 
Rhaenys tree
Rhaenys Targaryen House-Targaryen-Shield-Icon
Deceased
 
House-Targaryen-heraldry
Aegon Targaryen Targaryen-small
Deceased
 
Obara Sand familytree
Obara Sand Sand mini shield
1st Sand Snake
Fathered on a Dornish peasant
 
Nymeria Sand familytree
Nymeria Sand Sand mini shield
2nd Sand Snake
Fathered on an Eastern noblewoman
 
Martell bastard
Sarella Sand Martell bastard
4th Sand Snake
Fathered on a Summer Islander ship captain
 
Tyene Sand familytree
Tyene Sand Sand mini shield
3rd Sand Snake
Eldest of Ellaria's daughters
 
Martell bastard
Four youngest Sand Snakes Sand mini shield
(Elia, Obella, Dorea, Loreza)
 

Quotes

Spoken by Ellaria

"You think I disapprove, why? Because people disapprove of that sort of thing where you are from? They disapproved of Oberyn and me where you are from. Here, no one blinked an eye. A hundred years ago, no one would have blinked an eye at you, if you'd been named Targaryen. It's always changing, who we're supposed to love, and who we're not. The only thing that stays the same is we want who we want."
―Ellaria to Jaime Lannister about love.[src]
"Why don't you use the right words. I'm a bastard, and she is a whore."
―Ellaria to Olyvar at the brothel.[src]
Cersei Lannister: "Can't say I've ever met a Sand before."
Ellaria Sand: "We are everywhere in Dorne. I have ten thousand brothers and sisters."
— Ellaria stands up to Queen Cersei's mockery of her bastard surname.[src]
Ellaria Sand: "You're going to fight that?"
Oberyn Martell: "I'm going to kill that!"
— Ellaria and Oberyn before the trial by combat[src]
"Don't leave me alone in this world."
―Ellaria's last words to Oberyn Martell.[src]
"Oberyn is dead, and this Lannister girl skips about the Water Gardens, eating our food, breathing our air."
―Ellaria to Doran Martell[src]
 
"You must choose. Doran's way and peace, or my way, and war."
―Ellaria to the Sand Snakes[src]
 
"No wonder you can't stand, you have no spine."
―Ellaria to Doran[src]

Spoken about Ellaria

"Your mother is a wonderful woman."
―Doran to Tyene[src]
"The woman who murdered my niece has overthrown House Martell and taken control of Dorne."
―Jaime Lannister to Kevan Lannister[src]

Image Gallery

Behind the scenes

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Ellaria Sand is the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell. She is the bastard daughter of Lord Harmen Uller, the Lord of Hellholt - thus she is one of the "Sandy Dornishmen" of the central desert of Dorne, who possess particularly dark skin, burned brown by the hot desert sun. Her hair and eyes are also black. She is described as not explicitly beautiful, as she is no longer a young woman and has borne four children, though still attractive and eye-catching, with an exotic, sensuous flair. Like her partner Oberyn, she expresses sexual interest in both women and men. It is not unusual for lords and ladies in Dorne to be openly bisexual, due to the relaxed attitude towards sexuality among the Dornish. She's rumored to worship a Lysene love godess and is dubbed "The Serpent's whore" - the serpent in question being Oberyn Martell - by Olenna Redwyne.

Ellaria is the mother of the four youngest of Oberyn's eight bastard daughters, who are all collectively known as the "Sand Snakes". Ellaria's four daughters with Oberyn are Elia, Obella, Dorea, and Loreza Sand.

In the books, Ellaria doesn't advocate war against the Lannisters, much less exacting revenge by harming Myrcella. In fact, she urges against war, because she is worried the cycle of revenge will continue until even her youngest daughters are eventually consumed by it. The role of going against Doran's orders by trying to spark a war is at first taken up by the three eldest Sand Snakes: Obara, Nymeria and Tyene. In fact, Obara is the one who approaches Doran in the Water Gardens and accuses him of inaction. However, the Sand Snakes act independently instead of under Ellaria's directive, and are soon reined in by Doran anyway. Later, it is Arianne, Doran's daughter and heir, who urges for war and actually puts a plan in motion using Myrcella, though it doesn't involve harming her either.

During Arianne's failed plot, Myrcella is the target of an assassination attempt by one of Arianne's own supporters: Ser Gerold Dayne, the Knight of High Hermitage, head of a lesser branch of House Dayne, though Arianne was unaware of Dayne's motives. Unlike in the show, Myrcella survives the injury but is left disfigured, and Doran orders a manhunt for Dayne.

The television series, however, appears to have somewhat swapped Ellaria and Doran around from the books. In the novels, it is not Ellaria who pushes for war against the Lannisters, and while Doran initially appears to seek peace, he later reveals to his family that he secretly intends to ally House Martell with Daenerys Targaryen to gain revenge for Oberyn and Elia.

See also

References

v  d  e
Lord: Heir:
House-Martell-Main-Shield
Seat: Sunspear Lands: Dorne
Title(s): Prince of Dorne · Lord of Sunspear
Ancestors:Princess Nymeria · Prince Mors Martell · Prince Maron Martell · Princess Daenerys Martell · Queen Myriah Martell
Current members:Ellaria Sand · Obara Sand · Nymeria Sand · Tyene Sand · Sarella Sand · Elia Sand · Obella Sand · Dorea Sand · Loreza Sand
Deceased members:Prince Lewyn Martell · Princess Elia Martell · Prince Oberyn Martell · Prince Doran Martell · Prince Trystane Martell
Household:{Areo Hotah} · {Caleotte}
Overlord:House Baratheon of King's Landing

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