February 21, 2024

In between The last of us and next season the mandalorian, Peter Pascal It will rule the television landscape for a while. But this is not his first time in a popular series. In 2013, Pascal appeared in the hit show Game of Thrones, although, unlike his last roles, he was not exactly a leading man. Pascal plays Oberyn Martell, the charismatic prince of Dorne, but unfortunately the character didn’t last long. The series was famous for its willingness to kill off characters, so it can be hard to remember everyone who died quickly.


Still, Pascal’s Oberyn makes an impression. Oberyn has a significant impact on the story as Dorne’s introduction, but he does much more than that. He stands out in King’s Landing for his unapologetic nature, flamboyant personality, and general disdain for all things Lannister. And that gives the viewer the opportunity to make an impression in just seven episodes. Despite the limited time he gets, Oberyn plays an important role in the show, shedding light on the events of Robert’s Rebellion that most characters ignore. And who can forget his death, however brutal it was Game of Thrones? It’s Oberyn’s death that sets the rest of Dorne’s plot in motion, meaning that the other characters remember him long after he’s gone. With Pascal’s masterful portrayal, Oberyn dominates any scene. Granted, Pascal had a lot to work with as the character has a rich history and unique personality.

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Who is Oberyn Martell?

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Image via HBO

With the title “Prince”, people may get the wrong impression of his role. The culture of Dorne is different from the rest of Westeros. Oberyn has no claim to the Iron Throne, nor any new relationship with Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy). They use “prince” and “princess” instead of “sir” and “lady” when referring to the Martell family. This is only the beginning of the Dornish culture that Oberyn presents. As the younger brother of Prince Doran (Alexander Siddig), which is the seat of the Martell family, Oberyn won’t inherit anything, but he doesn’t seem to care. He represents his brother, who cannot make a long journey. Oberyn also shows undying devotion to his family. He is a skilled fighter, known for his skill with staff. His unique and deadly fighting style and knowledge of poisons earned him the nickname “Red Viper”. In his youth he trained as a master, but became bored. He then lived in Essos for several years, becoming a mercenary with the Second Sons and trying his hand at fighting in the trenches. Basically, Oberyn tried a little bit of everything.

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Generally, Oberyn does what he wants. Although Dorne is forgiving about the bastardization, it’s a big deal for the rest of the kingdom that Oberyn travels with Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), his base born lover. Both enjoy the freedoms of their culture, visiting brothels together and sleeping with both men and women. Unlike elsewhere in Westeros, Oberyn’s mild sexuality is tolerated in Dorne. Oberyn is also the father of eight bastard daughters who are collectively called the Sand Serpents. These women have a reputation as talented warriors, just like their father.

When does Oberyn appear?

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Image via HBO

In Season 4, Oberyn travels to Kings Landing to visit King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) marriage instead of his brother. This is a bit of a stretch for the Lannisters, who were sent their second son rather than head of house, but with the history of tension between the Martells and the Lannisters since Robert’s Rebellion, Tywin (Charles Dance) does not retaliate. Oberyn befriends Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), ignoring the bad blood between their families. Oberyn’s anger lies primarily with Gregor “the mountain” Clegane (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) and Tywin Lannister for the violent deaths of his sister and her children during Robert’s Rebellion. As Rhaegar Targaryen’s wife, Elia was always a target, but it is rumored that Gregor killed her on Tywin’s orders after killing and raping her children.

After Joffrey’s death, Oberyn will be asked to judge Tyrion’s trial. Although he is hesitant to work with Tywin, he accepts in exchange for a seat on the Small Council. He also promises to allow Tywin to fight Clegane. Despite his attitude, Oberyn does not tolerate political drama. Instead, he tells everything how it is, even when he offends others. Things take a turn for Oberyn when Tyrion’s trial turns into a trial by combat. Still seeking revenge, he visits Tyrion, who tells him that Oberyn will not find justice in King’s Landing, but Oberyn insists that everyone responsible for his sister’s death is out there, and all he has to do is act. The Mountain ready to fight for Cersei (Lena Headey), who accuses Tyrion of killing Joffrey, Tyrion still needs a champion. So Oberyn volunteers.

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Image via HBO

The trial is the perfect opportunity to kill Mendia without consequences. But Oberyn refuses to wear heavy armor, despite the size of his enemy. During the fight, Oberyn teases and reveals the Mountain, his spear spinning and shaking. Oberyn surprises the audience but not Clegane. He reminds Mendia of what he did to Elia, trying to get recognition. The mountain knocks him down and breaks the spear, but Oberyn dodges it, getting his new shield weapon and continuing to fight. But it doesn’t end well for him. Clegane’s brute strength overwhelms Oberyn’s talents. Taking him back down, the Mountain knocks out Oberyn’s teeth and cuts out his eyes. Clegane finally confesses his crimes against Elia and her children before crushing Oberyn’s skull, leaving him to die in a bloody display. His death is one of them Game of Thrones’ more graphic and therefore more memorable. But Oberyn’s quest for justice does not end with him. By making a small cut in the mountain, Oberyn gets his way, at least partially. After lacing his blade with Manticore venom, the Prince of Dorne ensured that the Mountain would not survive the battle. If not in Qyburn (Anton Lesser) experiments, Gregor Clegane would eventually die from Elia Martell’s treatment.

Oberyn’s importance

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Image via HBO

Oberyn’s quest to avenge his sister (and ironically, his refusal to wear the helmet) may have resulted in her death, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important part of the story. By putting himself front and center in the story of Robert’s Rebellion, Oberyn proved that Westeros had not yet recovered from the war. But more than that, her death prompts Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes to seek revenge, targeting Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free). This results in the takeover of Dorne. And it all started with Oberyn’s loyalty to his sister. The character of Oberyn is loved by the people of Westeros and those who are watching. Although he was only there for a short time, he was a fascinating addition Game of Thrones. And Pascal played the role so well that it’s no wonder Oberyn is a fan favorite.

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