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Tyene Sand

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"You want a good girl, but you need the bad pussy."
―Tyene Sand to Bronn[src]

Tyene Sand is a recurring character in the fifth and sixth seasons, though she was alluded to in Season 4. She is played by Rosabell Laurenti Sellers and debuts in "Sons of the Harpy".



Tyene Sand is the third of the eight bastard daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell, known as the "Sand Snakes". She is also his eldest daughter by his paramour, Ellaria Sand. Tyene fights using a pair of long daggers, though her other signature weapon is her skill with poisons - a tactic she learned from her father. Like her father, she is known to coat her blades with poisons, making a single scratch lethal.[1]

Tyene can feign being soft-spoken and childlike, but this is just an act to keep her enemies off guard, as she is just as fierce as her older sisters.[2]

Tyene is the youngest of the four adult Sand Snakes, and more impetuous than her older sisters Obara and Nymeria. Where Obara will face threats head-on (confident in her martial prowess), and Nymeria will stand back and analyze the situation to make a precise strike at her enemy's weak points, Tyene tends to heedlessly charge ahead. This is exemplified by her choice of daggers as her main hand-held weapon: they are quick on the draw, allowing her to lash out quickly, before even her older sisters can restrain her.[3]

Season 4Edit

Oberyn mentions his eight bastard daughters to Queen Cersei Lannister.[4]

Season 5 Edit

When Ellaria Sand goes to the Water Gardens to scold Doran for his inaction to Oberyn's murder, she tells the Prince that Dorne must go to war against the Lannisters, and points out that the Sand Snakes, who have the love of their people, agree with her, and that they will avenge their father if Doran does not.[5]

Tyene, Nymeria, and Obara meet with Ellaria, who embraces her daughter Tyene warmly. They discuss rallying Dorne to go to war against House Lannister. When the conversation shifts to Myrcella Baratheon, Obara reveals information she received from a merchant captain that Jaime Lannister has been smuggled into Dorne. Ellaria insists that they must stop Jaime from reaching Myrcella. They are presented with a choice: side with Doran and have peace, or side with Ellaria and have war. Tyene is the first to speak, saying she will always side with her mother, and then Nymeria and Obara also agree to side with Ellaria.[6]

Rosabell Laurenti Sellers-Photo Macall B. Polay HBO Tyene Sand

Tyene fighting Jaime and Bronn in the Water Gardens.

When the Sand Snakes make their attempt to kidnap Myrcella, Tyene battles Bronn with the help of her sister Nym while Obara goes after Jaime Lannister herself while her sisters battle Bronn. Although she manages to wound Bronn in the arm with one of her daggers, the battle is quickly broken up by Areo Hotah and the rest of Doran's personal guard. After a tense confrontation, Obara commands her sisters to drop their weapons, and Tyene does so. They, along with Jaime, Bronn and Ellaria Sand, are taken into custody.[7]

The Sand Snakes are imprisoned for their part in Myrcella's attempted kidnapping, with Bronn in the cell next to them. Tyene seduces Bronn from behind the bars of her cell, all while asking about the cut she inflicted on him during their earlier fight. Unknown to Bronn, Tyene coated her daggers with a poison called The Long Farewell, and her attempts to seduce him were in an effort to raise his heart rate, hastening the poison's course through his body. His vision blurs, his nose bleeds, and he collapses along a wall in his cell. Tyene removes an ampoule containing the antidote from her necklace and offers it to Bronn, but only if he tells her that she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Barely coherent, he replies that she is, and is thrown the ampoule. He manages to drink it before passing out.[8]

As Tyene and Nymeria are playing a game of reflexes with each other, Areo Hotah arrives at their prison cell to escort the three Sand Snakes to the Water Gardens. Tyene is forced to watch along with the other Sand Snakes as Prince Doran forces Ellaria to swear her allegiance to him in the Water Gardens, bound at the wrist. [9]

Tyene and her sisters later watch as Princess Myrcella departs for King's Landing along with Jaime, Bronn, and Prince Trystane. Tyene sexually jokes with Bronn and promises that they may see each other again. After Ellaria seals Myrcella's fate with a poison kiss, Tyene offers a cloth for her mother to wipe the blood from her nose, an effect from the poison coated on her lips, as they watch Myrcella's boat from afar. Though the young Lannister is killed, Ellaria survives, drinking up the antidote. [10]

Season 6Edit

Tyene and Ellaria are with Doran when a maester appears to deliver a message, bearing news of Ellaria's murder of Myrcella. Before the prince has a chance to react Tyene stabs Areo Hotah in the spine, killing him immediately before Ellaria assassinates Doran.[11]

Appearances Edit

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 Season 6, Episode 8 Season 6, Episode 9 Season 6, Episode 10

Family TreeEdit

Ruling Princess Martell of Dorne
Consort of the Princess of Dorne
Lewyn Martell familytree
Lewyn MartellKingsguard mini shield
Doran Martell family tree
Doran Martell
Mellario of Norvos
Elia Martell
Rhaegar Targaryen House-Targaryen-Shield-Icon
Unknown tree
Various women
Oberyn Martell
Ellaria Sand Sand mini shield
of House Uller
Trystane Martell family tree
Trystane Martell
Mycella Season 5 family tree pic

Myrcella Baratheon KL Baratheon shield icon

Rhaenys tree
Rhaenys Targaryen House-Targaryen-Shield-Icon
Aegon Targaryen Targaryen-small
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)

In the booksEdit

"Tyene Sand" in the TV series seems to basically be a condensation into one character of two of Oberyn's daughters from the novels: Tyene Sand and Elia Sand.

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Tyene is Oberyn's third daughter, whom he fathered on a septa from the Reach. As a result of having an Andal mother, unlike the other Sand Snakes she does not have classic Dornish physical features. Instead has a pale complexion with golden hair, blue eyes, and an almost otherworldly innocence about her. She dresses in elegant white and blue silks, and appears as chaste as the Maiden of the Seven. However, her gentle appearance is just an act: while maintaining a sweet and pious persona, she is regarded as the most treacherous of the Sand Snakes - to her enemies; she is fiercely loyal to her own family. Tyene shares her father's great knowledge of poisons. She keeps numerous poisons hidden in her clothing at all times, including several poison-coated small blades and needles, from which even a single, unnoticed pin-prick can kill.

Of all the Sand Snakes, Tyene is the closest to princess Arianne. The two of them have been like sisters since they were little girls, learned to read, ride, and dance together, sharing meals and beds and jewelry, and almost shared their first man as well.

Elia Sand, meanwhile, is Oberyn's fifth daughter. Ellaria Sand is the mother of the four youngest of the eight Sand Snakes, and Elia is her eldest daughter. The younger four Sand Snakes barely appear the fourth and fifth novels (when the other Sand Snakes are introduced) due to their young ages: Elia Sand is only fourteen in the fifth novel, and the Loreza the youngest is only six. However, a preview chapter was released from the beginning of the sixth novel, The Winds of Winter, by which time Elia Sand is just old enough to begin accompanying the older Sand Snakes. As a result Elia Sand is very impetuous and reckless, wanting to make a name for herself. She is a skilled horse rider and fond of jousting, and her preferred weapon is a lance for mounted combat. Overeager to earn the fame and renown of the older Sand Snakes and her father before them, Elia charges around on her horse announcing "I'm Lady Lance!" to all she meets hoping that she will earn it as a nickname, the way her father became known as "the Red Viper", even though Elia has yet to see any combat. Both Tyene and Elia are companions of their cousin Arianne Martell, Doran's daughter and heir.

The TV series's version of Tyene Sand therefore seems to be a condensation of book-Tyene and book-Elia Sand into one character. This may have been due to worries about time constraints: given that there are already three Sand Snakes, "Elia Sand" might never appear in the TV show itself (though she has been mentioned by name in dialogue during Season 4). Similarly, during Season 2 the producers were seriously worried that Shireen Baratheon would never appear in future seasons - and in House Tyrell, Loras and Margaery actually have two older brothers in the novels (Willas and Garlan) but they were also apparently cut for time. Elia Sand, however, is the only one of Ellaria's children to ever appear prominently in the novels so far: indeed, the few scenes between Ellaria and Elia are the only presentation of a Woman of Color having a mother-daughter relationship in any of the novels. Otherwise it is only mentioned that Ellaria has daughters with Oberyn. The writers may have weighed this into this decision to combine the characters, wanting to actually show Ellaria having a mother-daughter relationship on-screen.

Like book-Tyene, TV-Tyene is stated to be very skilled with poisons, her signature weapon. The difference is that, apparently to make her a bit more "active", the TV show changed this from subtley killing enemies with a scratch from a poisoned ring, to coating her daggers with poisons so she can take part in melee combat (though this does echo how her father coated his spear in poisons). Like book-Elia Sand, TV-Tyene is the eldest of Ellaria's daughters, but the youngest of the adult Sand Snakes - Ellaria's younger daughters are only small children, but Oberyn had older daughters from prior relationships. The actors have said that TV-Tyene has a youthful tendency to charge recklessly into danger without thinking, which also matches the impetuous nature of book-Elia Sand, trying to prove herself to her older sisters.

One result of combining the two characters is that book-Tyene and book-Elia have different physical appearances due to having different mothers from different ethnicities. Book-Elia has the darker features of Dornishmen, while book-Tyene has classic Andal features of blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. Given that TV-Tyene is supposed to be Ellaria's daughter, she logically wouldn't look nearly as Andal/Northern European, so the TV show cast dark-haired Italian actress Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (just as book-Elia Sand looks more like Ellaria because she is her daughter). While this is closer to Ellaria in appearance than book-Tyene, did point out that the actress still doesn't look quite like TV-Oberyn and TV-Ellaria (i.e. they could have cast a Latina or South Asian actress).[12] Even so, this is not outside the realm of possibility when it comes to Dorne, which is a very multiethnic society, instead of having a rigidly uniform appearance. For example, Oberyn's squire Daemon Sand is a bastard of House Allyrion, who are classic olive-skinned "Salty Dornishmen" from the river valleys and coasts, but he has bright blue eyes and light sandy brown hair - apparently taking after the appearance of his non-Allyrion parent. Even the "Stony Dornishmen" of the mountains on Dorne's western border are basically Andal in appearance, blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Therefore it is not implausible that TV-Tyene simply inherited a bit more in appearance from one of Oberyn's or Ellaria's parents (or even grandparents), who happened to be Andal (i.e. one of Ellaria's parents might have been a Stony Dornishman from House Dayne or House Yronwood).

In the beginning of A Feast for Crows, Tyene is the third of the Sand Snakes who confronts Prince Doran about his failure to avenge their father. She waits for him at the Old Palace in Sunspear. She is aware of Obara's plan to declare a war against the Lannisters and Nymeria's plan to poison Tywin, Cersei, Jaime and Tommen, but has a different plan: since Dornishmen fight best at home, they will crown Myrcella (who is the lawful heir of the Iron Throne, not Tommen, by the Dornish inheritance law) in order to provoke the Lannisters and the Tyrells to come down to Dorne; then the Dornish troops shall bleed them in the passes and bury them beneath the blowing sands, as happened many times before. Doran says grudgingly that he will think about that. Tyene is angered, claiming he thinks too much, like her dather said, and accuses him of cowardice. Then she apologizes and leaves. Maester Caleotte examines Doran's palm to make sure he was not pricked by one of Tyene's needles. Doran gives orders to imprison Tyene and the other Sand Snakes, to make certain they will not ignite a war.

Princess Arianne attempts to carry out Tyene's plan, and it nearly costs Myrcella's life: while she, Myrcella and their escorts are on the way to Hellholt where she plans to crown Myrcella, they are intercepted by Areo Hotah. During the confusion moments, one of the escorting knights, Ser Gerold "Darkstar" Dayne, slashes at Myrcella and escapes. Myrcella survives but is horribly disfigured.

After Ser Balon Swann arrives at Dorne to take Myrcella back, Doran releases his nieces. He asks his nieces if he can trust them to serve him in their father's place. Tyene answers for all the three of them they will serve him loyally and obediently. Doran orders Tyene to travel to King's Landing, disguised as a septa, and try to befriend the new High Septon. Tyene swears that she will serve her uncle. Currently, she is on the way to King's Landing.

It should be note that as much as Tyene and her sisters are angry at their uncle for lack of action against the Lannisters, none of them has ever harmed him or Trystane; even if they had such intentions, Areo Hotah would have never allowed Tyene to take him down so carelessly as happened in the show: he always watches the Sand Snakes very carefully when they are around his prince (perhaps even more closely than he watches other people), knowing how deadly they are, ready to react to any potentially harmful move on their behalf. At one occasion, when Tyene raised her hand during a conversation with her uncle, Areo immediately brought the butt of his longaxe down upon the marble with a thump and warned her “My lady, you presume. Step from the dais, if it please you.” Tyene assured him innocently "I meant no harm, Captain. I love my uncle, as I know he loved my father".

See alsoEdit


v  d  e
Lord: Heir:
Martell mini flag
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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