Prince Oberyn, known as the Red Viper of Dorne, is the younger brother of Doran Martell, the Prince of Dorne, and the late Elia Martell, wife of Rhaegar Targaryen, the late Prince of Dragonstone and heir to the Iron Throne.
Prince Oberyn is the younger brother of Prince Doran Martell and Princess Elia Martell; like most members of House Martell, he is styled "Prince" instead of "Lord". Oberyn is known for being an accomplished warrior, but Tyrion implies that he is just as infamous for his sexual appetite. Oberyn's official paramour is Ellaria Sand.Tyrion Lannister meets the lords of Dorne outside King's Landing, only to find out that Oberyn will be representing House Martell at the king's wedding, and not his brother, reigning Prince Doran. The Dornish lords tell Tyrion that Oberyn in fact arrived in the city before dawn. It doesn't take Tyrion long to realize that Oberyn is in one of Littlefinger's brothels. Oberyn assists his paramour Ellaria in choosing a whore for her own enjoyment before selecting Olyver to satisfy himself. Oberyn's fun is cut short when he hears Lannister men singing the Rains of Castamere, which sends Oberyn into a quiet rage. Before one of them could draw his sword, Oberyn drives his dagger through the man's wrist, though he assures the man's compatriot that he can be saved, if his injury is treated immediately. Tyrion arrives, and interrupts the fight. Leaving the brothel, Tyrion asks Oberyn why he came to the capital. Oberyn, much to Tyrion's discomfort, relates the story of how Gregor Clegane, Tywin's bannerman, raped and murdered Elia Martell and slaughtered her children. He then warns Tyrion that the Lannisters weren't the only ones who paid their debts.
Later, Oberyn attends Joffrey's wedding, where he meets Tywin Lannister and Cersei Lannister. He introduces Ellaria to them; however, after they clearly express their distaste for bastards, Oberyn discreetly argues with the two Lannisters over the cultural differences between the Dornish and the rest of Westeros. Oberyn also gives Loras Tyrell a very flirtatious look, which leaves Loras blushing.
In the days following Joffrey's death, Oberyn and Ellaria visit the brothel again. Oberyn grows angry with Olyver when the prostitute rejects Ellaria's advances (as he doesn't have the taste with women), but Ellaria calms him down. Oberyn then discusses his approach to sexuality (not restricting himself to intimacy with one sex and having as much sex as possible before old age) with Olyver. The small orgy is broken up by the sudden arrival of Tywin. After briefly discussing Oberyn's experience studying poisons at the Citadel, the Hand asks Oberyn to be the third judge at Tyrion's trial. Oberyn initially refuses, confirming that he blames Tywin for Elia's death, but he reconsiders when Tywin offers Oberyn in particular and Dorne in general a seat on the Small Council. Tywin explains that he wants to reunify the realms because he knows that one day, Daenerys Targaryen will return... and the last time dragons assaulted Westeros, only Dorne stood against them. Oberyn is pleased that Tywin has, in a roundabout fashion, admitted that he needs Dorne.
|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|
|Doran Martell||Elia Martell|
|Rhaegar Targaryen |
|Trystane Martell||Myrcella Baratheon||Rhaenys Targaryen |
|Aegon Targaryen |
Oberyn's bastard daughters
- "May I tell you a secret? You're not a golden lion. You're just a pink little man who's far too slow on the draw."
- ―Oberyn to a Lannister soldier
- "The Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts."
- ―Oberyn to Tyrion Lannister
- "In some places, the high-born frown upon those of low birth and in others the rape and murder of women and children is considered distasteful."
- ―Oberyn to Tywin Lannister
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Prince Oberyn is the hot-headed younger brother of Prince Doran Martell. He has eight bastard daughters, called the Sand Snakes, the four youngest of which by his current paramour, Ellaria Sand.
Oberyn has a lined face with thin eyebrows, black "viper" eyes and a sharp nose. His hair is lustrous and black with only a few silver streaks and recedes from his brow into a widow's peak. It is rumored that he has sexual relations with his squires when Ellaria is unavailable. It is not unusual for lords and ladies in Dorne to be openly bisexual, due to the relaxed attitude towards sexuality among the Dornish.
Oberyn is called "the Red Viper" by friend and foe alike due to his penchant for coating his weapons in lethal poisons, so that even a glancing wound will prove fatal.
Although Oberyn is known to have studied to become a Maester in his youth - successfully forging several links of his chain - he is noted to have studied the poisoner's art while travelling the Free Cities, not at the Citadel, as the show specifies.
|Lord:||Prince Doran Martell||Heir:|
|Title(s):||Prince of Dorne · Lord of Sunspear|
|Ancestors:||Prince Maron Martell · Princess Daenerys Martell · Queen Myriah Martell|
|Current members:||Prince Trystane Martell · Prince Oberyn Martell · Ellaria Sand|
|Deceased members:||Princess Elia Martell|
|Household:||Princess Myrcella Baratheon · Septa Eglantine · Ser Arys Oakheart|
|Overlord:||House Baratheon of King's Landing|