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Oberyn Martell

Last edited on April 23, 2014
by Ragestorm
Oberyn Martell
Oberyn Martell
First seen
Last seen
Appeared in
3 episodes (see below)
Mentioned in
Also known as
The Red Viper of Dorne
Date of birth
Doran Martell - brother
{Elia Martell} - sister
Trystane Martell - nephew
Ellaria Sand - paramour
Sand Snakes - bastard daughters
{Rhaegar Targaryen} - brother-in-law
{Rhaenys Targaryen} - niece
{Aegon Targaryen} - nephew
Portrayed by


"Tell your father I'm here - and tell him the Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts."
―Prince Oberyn Martell to Tyrion Lannister[src]

Oberyn Martell is a major character in the fourth season[1]. He is portrayed by Pedro Pascal and first appears in "Two Swords".[2] He's a member of House Martell, the ruling family of Dorne.

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.[3]

Prince Oberyn trained at the Citadel in his youth, in order to become a Maester. Although he ultimately abandoned his studies, he became well versed in the use of poisons in the process.[4]

Season 4

Cercei Tywin and Oberyn
Cercei and Tywin greet Oberyn Martell.
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.[5]
Oberyn confronts Tywin over his sister's murder.

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.[6]

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.[7]


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

Family Tree

Doran Martell
Mellario of Norvos
Elia Martell
Rhaegar Targaryen
Oberyn Martell
Ellaria Sand
Trystane Martell
Myrcella Baratheon
Rhaenys Targaryen
Aegon Targaryen
Sand Snakes
Oberyn's bastard daughters


"If the Mountain killed my sister, then your father gave the order."
Oberyn to Tyrion Lannister[src]
"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[src]
"The Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts."
Oberyn to Tyrion Lannister[src]
"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[src]
Olyver: "Everyone has a preference"
Oberyn: "Then everyone is missing half the world's pleasure. The Gods made that, and it delights me. The Gods made this... and it delights me. When it comes to war I fight for Dorne, when it comes to love... I don't choose sides."
Olyver and Oberyn Martell[src]
1 of 5

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.

See also


v  d  e
Lord: Prince Doran Martell Heir:
Seat: Sunspear Lands: Dorne
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