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House Martell
"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken."

One of the Great Houses of Westeros. It rules the peninsula of Dorne in the far south of the continent from the castle at Sunspear. Dorne is the only kingdom where primogeniture isn't male-biased and it has a somewhat more permissive culture relative to the rest of Westeros, especially when it comes to sexual mores and bastard children. Though ostensibly loyal to the Iron Throne, it was on the Targaryen side during Robert's Rebellion and has pursued a more isolated role in events since then, given that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's wife Princess Elia was Prince Doran Martell's sister, and she and her children were murdered by Ser Gregor Clegane on Lannister orders.

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    In General 
  • Adaptational Badass: In the books, Dorne doesn't have a naval fleet ever since Queen Nymeria landed on the region, married Prince Mors Martell and burned all her ships as a reminder that she and her people no longer have to travel by sea to find a home for they already have. In the show, Dorne still have a lot of ships, which they provided to Daenarys so she can come home to Westeros.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the books, they're one of the great houses in the best shape after the War of Five Kings with the Reach and the Vale, with their manpower, food supplies, and family members mostly whole and intact, and are making plans that leave them poised to destroy the Lannisters and usurp the crown. Here, they have no such plans, fewer family members, and are eventually all dead. An unnamed member of the House is revealed to have survived Ellaria's coup and taken over Dorne by the end of the series.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Ellaria and Doran have a fairly good relationship in the books, but in the show it is much more antagonistic, due to Ellaria's desire to go to war with the Lannisters and Doran's refusal to do so. She eventually murders him over it, taking control of Dorne for herself.
  • Adapted Out: Here, Arianne and Quentyn do not exist and Trystane is Doran's only child. Also, the only three Sand Snakes to appear are Obara, Nymeria and Tyene, though the others must still exist offscreen since Oberyn is still said to have eight daughters. In the books, Sarella Sand (disguised as maester acolyte Alleras) is part of Sam Tarly's plotline in Oldtown and Elia Sand appears in sample chapters for the upcoming The Winds of Winter.
  • Age Lift: Surprisingly enough, despite that many other characters being older in the shows than the book, the members of House Martell either avoid this or go in the opposite direction: Oberyn and Doran are portrayed by actors slightly younger than the characters were at the same point in the books, and are more than likely around the same age as there; The Sand Snakes so far cast are being portrayed by actresses younger than they were in the books (Tyene is about 22 at her first appearance in the books; her actress is still in her late teens at time of casting).
    • Trystane plays it straight by being aged up 2 years at the beginning (he's 15 when betrothed to Myrcella, rather than 13) and not looking back afterwards; Ellaria's actress is also roughly 40; the character's age is never stated, but she now looks age-appropriate to be Tyene's mother.
  • Amazon Brigade: Obara, Nymeria and Tyene are all warriors who plot with Ellaria to start a war with the Lannisters.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The TV producers aren't certain if they'll eventually be able to introduce Doran's eldest child and heir, his daughter Arianne - who is heir due to the gender-blind inheritance laws practiced in Dorne. They've made a concerted effort to avoid making any definitive statements about how many children Doran has. Keep in mind that this is exactly what they did back in Season 2, when they weren't sure if they would ever be able to introduce Stannis Baratheon's daughter Shireen. At the time, they very carefully stated that "Stannis has no sons", to leave the door open to eventually say that he actually has a daughter — and subsequently, they did manage to introduce Shireen in Season 3, despite avoiding any mention of her existence in Season 2. As of the latest season, Arianne has neither appeared or been mentioned, strongly suggesting she doesn't exist in this continuity; many of her personality traits and plotlines were given to Ellaria Sand instead.
  • Animal Motifs: Snakes. Oberyn is called "the Red Viper" and his bastard daughters are dubbed "the Sand Snakes". In the new opening credits of Season 5, the castle in Dorne (implied to be Sunspear or the Water Gardens) has a snake crawling around the spear. However, in contrast to every other great house except the Tyrells, they don't actually have an animal in their sigil; the Martell sigil is a red sun pierced by a golden spear. From the Books... 
  • Arch-Enemy: The Martells hate the Lannisters at least as much as the Starks do.
  • Badass Boast: Their motto is "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken." From the Books... 
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Unlike in the books where the Martells always stick together despite their disagreements, the two branches, Doran’s and the Sand Snakes led by Ellaria, don’t get along after Oberyn died. It’s even worse when Doran and his son were murdered by them which shows how messed up Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are since Oberyn isn’t alive to set them straight.
  • But Not Too Foreign: House Martell, like much of Dorne, is a union between the Andals and Rhoynar refugees. Indeed, they trace their descent from the Rhoynar warrior-queen Nymeria as much as from Mors Martell.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The bad enmity between House Martell and House Lannister started when Elia was raped and brutally murdered with her children by a Lannister bannerman during the Sack of King’s Landing. Her brother Oberyn was killed by the same bannerman years later when attempting to extract a confession from him during a trial by combat and his paramour Ellaria poisoned Myrcella Baratheon, who is full-blooded Lannister, in response for Oberyn’s death. Then, Jaime vowed to Cersei that they’re going to get back at Ellaria and the Sand Snakes who are her accomplices for their daughter’s death.
  • Enemy Mine: Under Ellaria’s leadership, House Martell made an alliance with House Tyrell who were rivals for a long time and joined forces together with Daenarys Targaryen to overthrow the Lannisters.
  • Ethical Slut: Generally their hat as embodied by Oberyn and Ellaria Sand.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: House Martell is effectively extinct as of Season 6. The only Martells by blood are the Sand Snakes, but they're illegitimate and kinslayers. An unnamed member of the House is revealed to have survived Ellaria's coup and taken over Dorne by the end of the series.
  • Feuding Families: One of the very few things we learn about the Martell brothers during the first three seasons is that they loathe the Lannisters. With good reason, considering one of Tywin Lannister's bannermen, Gregor Clegane, raped and murdered their sister, Elia, during the Sack of King's Landing at the end of Robert's Rebellion, as well as brutally killing her children, Rhaenys and Aegon — all quite probably on Tywin's order. From the Books 
  • Flanderization: Dorne's hat is Eternal Sexual Freedom and an obsession with violence and scheming. Some of this was present even in Oberyn's appearance in Season 4 but balanced with other traits such as a certain nobility, intelligence, and cosmopolitan sophistication. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes however reverse themselves into a bunch of scantily clad, violent back-stabbers who torture and brutally attack people at their weakest and take the obsession with revenge to less than one-dimensional levels.
  • The Ghost: Only occasionally talked about during the first three seasons.
  • In Name Only: The Martell storyline and characters, aside from Oberyn, has only the names in common with their books counterpart; the story and characterization concerning them is pretty much the exact opposite from the books. Doran goes from a patient and calculating Chessmaster to a feeble, weak old man; Ellaria goes from the Only Sane Man trying to avoid a war to a Revenge Before Reason obsessed murderess; Tyrene goes from wanting to crown Myrcella Queen to plotting her murder with Ellaria and the Sand Snakes murder Trystane, whereas in the books the idea of anybody harming him enrages them.
  • Insistent Terminology: The nobles of House Martell are allowed to style themselves "Prince" and "Princess" thanks to the Targaryens basically saying "fuck it, you win" after a 160 year-long failed siege of Dorne and only bringing Dorne into the Seven Kingdoms via marriage.
  • Revenge Myopia: Despite that Oberyn volunteered on the trial by death and that Tywin Lannister and Ser Gregor Clegane are gone for good, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes still want revenge on the Lannisters.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The entire proud family, descendants of Queen Nymeria of the Rhoynar, collapsed with neither a bang nor a whimper, with no noise in fact (on account of both Ellaria and Tyene being gagged), with the deaths of Elia, Oberyn and others going unavenged, the Lannisters still standing unaffected at the time of their defeat, Gregor Clegane becoming stronger than ever, and them contributing nothing to Dany's return to Westeros. Nothing but a terrible waste.
  • Succession Crisis: Due to the deaths of Doran and his only son and heir, Trystane, Dorne has no legitimate ruler who is a Martell. Elia, her children, and Oberyn are long gone and Doran’s older children (Arianne and Quentyn) do not exist in the show. The only ones left are Oberyn’s daughters, who are illegitimate. There's no way in hell that the Iron Throne would legitimize them or allow unmarried bastard women to rule due to their actions for killing Myrcella Baratheon and their own kin. With the elder Sand Snakes dead and Ellaria imprisoned, its even more unclear who governs Dorne now or takes care of the younger daughters. In Season 8, Varys confirmed that there's a new Prince of Dorne; though there's no confirmation yet whether the prince is related to the Martells or from one of the major Dornish houses (Yronwood, Dayne etc.)
  • Team Switzerland: Culturally and geographically isolated from the rest of Westeros, they play this role quite well. The engagement between Myrcella and Trystane is literally the only action taken by them in the War of the Five Kings for a very long time, and that was basically to keep them out of the war! After disposing Doran, Ellaria Sand made an alliance with Olenna Tyrell and Varys to place House Targaryen back to the throne.
  • The Remnant: The legal Martell line is extinct unless the Sand Snakes get legitimized. Given the Sand Snakes (the three oldest ones) are all dead or good as dead by the end of Episode 3 of Season 7, that's largely irrelevant anyway.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: How Oberyn describes their alliance with the Targaryens during Robert's Rebellion: Aerys II was paranoid and hated by the Martells because he kept Elia and her children hostage, and they also blame Rhaegar for causing the mess and for losing the Battle of the Trident (in which several Dornishmen died, including Ser Lewyn Martell). Their only loyalty was Elia and Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys. They didn't have anything personal against Robert's Rebellion until Tywin Lannister's Sack of King's Landing.
  • Thicker Than Water: Averted for the Sand Snakes. They don’t care that they’re committing one of the worst crimes in Westerosi society. Even though Trystane tries to tell Obara and Nymeria that they’re family, they don’t flinch one bit at their cousin's pleas. Likewise for Tyene, who looked very satisfied while she watched her uncle die.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are this in Daenerys' council in Season 7. They're reputed child murderers and kinslayers, which made Tyrion despise them to the point of calling out Ellaria for poisoning his niece, Myrcella. In the war council itself, Ellaria is willing to lay siege on King's Landing and kill many innocent civilians.

    Prince Doran Martell 

Prince Doran Martell
"We do not mutilate little girls for vengeance. Not here. Not while I rule."

Played By: Alexander Siddig

"Many in Dorne want war. But I've seen war. I've seen the bodies piled on the battlefields. I've seen the orphans starving in the cities. I don't want to lead my people into that hell."

The Prince of Dorne, Lord of Sunspear and head of House Martell.

  • Abled in the Adaptation: The show downplayed Doran's gout where, as seen in the Season 6 premiere, he was able to stand and walk with the help of Ellaria. In the books, the gout is so severe that it made his legs deformed, his knees are red and very swollen, while all his toes are purple and more than twice the size they should be which rendered him cripple and needed medical attention to ease the pain.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Despite actually being very near Doran's age, Alexander Siddig looks significantly better than the white-haired, prematurely-wizened Doran described in the books (in which Doran is 10 years older than Oberyn).
  • Adaptational Heroism: His apparent desire to let bygones be bygones and not go to war over the deaths of Elia and Oberyn turns out to be a ruse in the novels; he has in fact secretly been planning revenge against the Lannisters for nearly twenty years via supporting a Targeryen restoration where one of his children will be married to either Viserys or Daenerys, and actually gets the Sand Snakes on his side after revealing this (and the book Snakes are nowhere near as horrible as their show counterparts). In the series, he's completely sincere in his desire for peace and forgiveness even though most of Dorne hates the idea.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Doran switches personalities with Ellaria and becomes tired of the Cycle of Revenge
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the books, everyone thinks he's a Dirty Coward lickspittle who doesn't care at all about his siblings' deaths, when in fact he's The Chessmaster who's been covering the fact that he's been patiently arranging the Lannisters' downfall ever since Robert's Rebellion and Tywin Lannister himself respects him for being a player of the game. In the show, he really does just want to put the past behind him, appease the Lannisters and stay allies with them, and he is also a blind ruler with no talent for palatial intrigue who fails to see that his subjects do despise him after all and would rather support the suicidally risky Ellaria, who manages to take control of Dorne without repercussions after murdering the members of the ruling house.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Well, he already had a beard, but when he first appears in Season 5, his physical appearance is a bit disheveled, despite his rich clothing. Understandable, given that he just heard of his brother Oberyn's death and he is mourning - and this on top of the earlier tragedy that befell him 20 years ago when his sister Elia died. Doran was ten years older than Elia and Oberyn, and in the natural order of things, he never expected he'd live to see either of them die.
  • Being Good Sucks: Doran's one of the most decent and reasonable people in the story, but things can't seem to go his way. His fair, friendly and forgiving nature is rewarded with a dagger to the chest.
  • Berserk Button: He does not tolerate any disrespect, not even from Ellaria.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's patient, warm and caring but when Ellaria Sand finally pushes too many buttons he gets positively frightening by telling her outright that he will have her killed her the next time she misbehaves in his presence.
    Doran: I believe in second chances. I don’t believe in third chances.
  • Death by Adaptation: Ends up killed by Ellaria.
  • Decomposite Character: His portrayal in the show as mentioned above in Adaptational Wimp is simplified to being a weak leader while his plans for revenge to restore House Targaryen to the Iron Throne and desire to destroy House Lannister were given to Ellaria Sand.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: His face says it all when he discovers Ellaria's treachery, as well as the fact his men are fine with it.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: His dynamic with Oberyn — though Oberyn wasn't so much "foolish" as the Red Oni to his Blue Oni. As the TV producers pointed out, the entire reason that Oberyn was free to be such a wild child is because he was not the eldest: it was Doran who had to bear the weight of responsibility, because rule of Dorne passed to him. As a result, Doran does not display the characteristic "hot bloodedness" of the rest of the Martells, but slowly weighs his actions.
  • The Ghost: Doesn't appear onscreen until Season 5. He's invited to the royal wedding, but a case of gout makes him stay at Sunspear, so he sends his brother instead.
  • The Good King: Out of all the Westerosi leaders, he's neck-and-neck with Eddard Stark to be the one who has the most compassion and care for his subjects. He refuses to start a war for his own family's feud, having seen war and the atrocities it causes.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Doran opts for non-violent solutions to his problems, but he warns Ellaria that if she defies his orders again, he'll kill her. Unfortunately that was still far too soft.
  • Good Parents: He loves his son Trystane deeply and has helped him grow into a kind and noble young man. He is clearly happy to see him and Myrcella genuinely fall in love.
  • Handicapped Badass: Doran's disability and chronic illness hasn't stopped him from running a very tight, savvy ship in the third largest of the Seven Kingdoms. With one exchange of words and terms, he defuses the mounting Lannister-Martell conflict in a single stroke.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Far too trusting of people.
  • Nice Guy: Doran's a very friendly man, a noble and just ruler who cares deeply about his people and a good father and father-in-law who makes Myrcella feel welcome and like part of the family and cope with the devastation of being away from her own family.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After quelling the rebellion of Ellaria and the Sand Snakes, Doran gives them a second opportunity, which they promptly use to kill Myrcella Baratheon, Prince Trystane's bride-to-be. Then he himself is killed and Trystane goes with him.
  • No-Respect Guy: Despite being their liege lord, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes saw him as a weak leader who bows down to their enemies and quickly forgives those who rebelled against him. Regardless, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes continue to defy him by poisoning Myrcella and eventually killed him, his son and his trusted bodyguard. His own guards agreed with them and just watched him die due to their dissatisfaction for his inaction against the Lannisters.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Inverted. He does all he can to make Myrcella welcome and by the time Jaime sees her again, she now thinks of Doran as a second father.
  • Only Sane Man: Is noticably more collected and peaceful than both Ellaria and the "Sand Snakes".
  • Orcus on His Throne: A non-villainous example; due to his illness Doran remains largely on his throne in Dorne, leading to Ellaria's criticism of him. He is also mostly confined to a wheelchair.
  • Papa Wolf: His last thoughts before dying are the safety of his son Trystane.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A ruler who advocates peace and stability, refusing to obey the people's desire for war as he wants to protect them. He also categorically shuts down the idea of harming Myrcella as revenge on the Lannisters, reacting to such a suggestion with pure disgust. When Jaime and Bronn infiltrate the palace, Doran effectively places Jaime under house arrest rather than having him tossed in a cell or killed outright and even consents to letting him see Myrcella.
  • Sacred Hospitality: He tells Ellaria that the Martells have broken bread with the Lannisters and that they will not be harmed anymore.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Oberyn. Oberyn was fiery, theatrical, charismatic, an exceptional warrior who nearly defeated The Mountain and a hedonist who loved his sex and booze and obsessed with revenge towards the Lannisters. Doran is reserved, quiet, incapable of fighting or even basic physical activity due to his illness and is far more serious minded with little interest in such pleasures and is quite willing to let all that's gone down between the Martells and Lannisters go if it means avoiding war.
  • Tragic Hero: Despite all his good intentions his trusting and reasonable nature dooms him.
  • Tranquil Fury: He never raises his voice but when he gets truly angry such warning Ellaria that he will not be giving her a third chance, he can be absolutely terrifying all the same.
  • Trauma Conga Line: His sister was brutally raped and murdered, as were her children. His brother dies trying to avenge her. He's subsequently betrayed and killed by his own people and left to die, bleeding on the floor, all for his attempts to avoid bloodshed. His last words are about his son, who he knows will soon share his fate.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He really meant well by giving Ellaria a second chance and she uses it to betray him and murder Myrcella and then him and Trystane, wiping out House Martell.
  • War Is Hell: A firm believer in this and the main reason he is willing to make peace with the Lannisters, now that Tywin is dead.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: By all accounts a great ruler, but because he is not a warrior, Ellaria holds him in disdain. This factors in his downfall.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Like Oberyn, he's virulently opposed to harming children.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Just when it seemed all was going to be okay, Ellaria betrays him.

    Prince Trystane Martell 

Prince Trystane Martell
"We've waited long enough. I want you to be my wife."

Played By: Toby Sebastian

The youngest son of Doran Martell and heir to Dorne.

  • Ascended Extra: He doesn't even physically appear in the books, whereas the show gives him a minor role to play. He's also getting the Martell seat on the Small Council which in the books was taken by Lady Nym. It doesn't amount to much though, as he's killed within a minute of his first appearance in Season 6.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: They're rather prominent.
  • Composite Character: Doran sends him to occupy the Martell seat on the Small Council, which in the books was commissioned to Lady Nym.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: His sociopathic cousin Obara stabs a spear through the middle of his face.
  • Death by Adaptation: Killed in Season 6 by the Sand Snakes.
  • Fatal Flaw: Stupidity born of a lack of or inadequate prescience. It screws him over twice in his few appearances. After seeing the blood on Jaime and Bronn's clothes, he immediately reaches for his sword and gets socked in the face. Surely he must have known that Jaime was The Kingslayer and trying to take him on would be a death wish. Later on, his two bastard cousins have come to assassinate him and he decides to turn his back on the one with the spear because he wanted an honorable fight. This earns him a window through his skull.
  • The Ghost: He's first mentioned in Season 2, but he doesn't appear until Season 5.
  • Honor Before Reason: Do not turn your back on an armed foe, Trystane, no matter what they have promised. It costs him his life.
  • Last of His Kind: The last legitimate male Martell, though it only lasts a minute on-screen until he too is killed.
  • Nice Guy: Much like his dad, Trystane is a kind and noble person. It's not hard at all to see why Myrcella genuinely came to love him.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: He's arranged to be married to Myrcella, but when they meet, they genuinely fall in love and can't wait to get married.
  • Prince Charming: Handsome, pleasant, charming, and romantic.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He notes that a commoner striking a noble would be a death sentence in King's Landing, but is easily talked into allowing Bronn to live...after getting a punch to the face himself.
  • Sherlock Scan: He quickly spots the blood on Jaime and Bronn's stolen clothes when they come for Myrcella, though Bronn knocks him out as he's drawing his sword.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: He gives one to Myrcella when she questions if he ''really' wants to marry her because he loves her. The kiss serves as an answer.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Myrcella. He's a Martell, she's a Lannister (even if she does have a Baratheon name). Those two families tend to be at each other's throats ever since Trystane's aunt Elia was raped and murdered by a Lannister knight, and their entire arranged marriage was an attempt to heal the rivalry between the two houses, but that was before Oberyn died by the hands of the Mountain.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Turning your back on someone with a spear who just told you she's there to kill you isn't just holding the Idiot Ball, it's painting a target on your back in a world where Anyone Can Die.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: A classic Prince Charming. Dies nonetheless.
  • The Wise Prince: He's certainly capable enough that Doran would appoint him to the Small Council in Dorne's place.

    Prince Oberyn Martell 

Prince Oberyn Martell
"Tell your father I'm here. And tell him the Lannisters are not the only ones who pay their debts."

Played By: Pedro Pascal

"'And what about what I want? Justice for my sister and her children."

Prince Doran's younger brother, who is also known as "The Red Viper."

  • Adaptational Heroism: The Oberyn Martell from the books is pretty cool for the most part, but while he was more relaxed compared to the conservative Lannisters, he still had elements of snobbery. Notably he was colder to Tyrion and more insulting towards his dwarfism (even laughing at Joffrey's wedding at the King's japes and at Shae's descriptions of his sex life at the trial). The best example is the story of his visit to an infant Tyrion with Elia at Casterly Rock, which he mentions on his first meeting to Tyrion and uses it as part of a derogatory put-down. On the show, it's placed in a warmer, empathetic context. In the novels, the two of them do become more friendly as time passes, but they bond over their similar interests, like old books.
    • Posthumously, his role in Obara's backstory is cleaned up significantly, with his no longer hitting her mother to convince her to let him take Obara, and nothing about her mother then drinking herself to death.
  • All for Nothing: He wanted revenge on the Lannisters and Gregor Clegane, but his actions indirectly lead to his house's death by his lover and bastards, who also die afterwards — and Gregor is still kicking and committing plenty of atrocities until his brother, Sandor, finishes him off for good near the end. He could have simply agreed to Tywin's offer to at least have Gregor executed, but he wanted full scale revenge and a painful death for Gregor.
  • Arch-Enemy: As with the rest of his family, the Lannisters, but he has a special level of hatred for Gregor Clegane, who killed his niece and nephew, raped his sister, and then murdered her. In that order. He announces this as much in his duel with the Mountain:
    Oberyn: I am the brother of Elia Martell. And do you know why I have come all the way to this stinking, shit-pile of a city? For you.
  • Anything That Moves: According to Tyrion, Oberyn is famous for "fucking half of Westeros." Across Season 4, Oberyn hits on men and women without a care.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He is a good fighter and brag about always drinking before a fight. He should have taken things more seriously though.
  • Ascended Extra: In the book he has only three notable scenes: his arrival in King's Landing, his offer to be Tyrion's champion and his death. In the series he is given a much larger role and his introduction in the season premiere indicated he would be a very important character, which made his sudden death seven episodes later even more of a shock than it was in the book.
  • Badass Boast:
    • "Tell your father I'm here. And tell him the Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts."
    • Before his fight with Gregor Clegane:
      Ellaria: You're going to fight that?
      Oberyn: I'm going to kill that.
  • Badass Bookworm: He studied at the Citadel, which trains the Maesters. Perhaps not coincidentally, he apparently spent most of his time there becoming an expert in poisons.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Oberyn wants more than anything to face the Mountain in single combat. Furthermore he wants to force a public confession from the knight, for his crimes against Elia Martell, in front of King's Landing. He achieves both but it sadly does him no good. An injured Ser Gregor brutally kills him whilst confessing his guilt.
  • Berserk Button: Hates the Lannisters just as much, if not even more than the Starks do. Simply hearing "The Rains of Castamere" is enough to piss him off.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Very protective of his sister Elia, for years he fended off lesser men for her, until he failed when Rhaegar came along, which only led to tragedy and a thirst for revenge during all of Oberyn's adult life.
  • Blade on a Stick: His weapon of choice is a highly ornate spear.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In the books, "This is not the day I die" is Jojen Reed's catchphrase. Unfortunately, Oberyn is not psychic, so the phrase is not used nearly as accurately.
  • Breakout Character: He was instantly a fan favorite and became one of the most popular characters on the show, launching Pedro Pascal to superstardom practically overnight.
  • Broken Pedestal: Oberyn had made fun of all of Elia's suitors, but even he was taken by Rhaegar's charisma and good looks. He was quite disappointed when he cheated on Elia by absconding with Lyanna Stark.
  • Byronic Hero: Handsome, charismatic, intelligent, stunningly deadly, and a good heart hidden under the hatred and hotheadedness. Unfortunately, he puts Revenge Before Reason at the worst possible time.
  • The Champion: For Tyrion.
  • Combat Aestheticist: Gives a show of spear-twirling before his fight with the Mountain and his actual fighting is every bit as awesome.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He uses light armor, constantly moves, and uses Hit And Run tactics against Clegane. He successfully gets Clegane to tire himself out, and manages to seriously wound him. Sadly, he forgets to be pragmatic when it really counts and is killed for it.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Punched so hard all his front teeth fly out, then has his eyes gouged out and skull crushed by The Mountain while fully conscious and screaming. Notably it's even worse than the book version.From the Books... 
  • Cultural Posturing: Oberyn disparages mainstream Westerosi culture a lot.
  • Dance Battler: He favors a lot of jumps and flips.
  • Dashing Hispanic: With Dorne working as a fictional counterpart of Spain. He's hot-blooded, rather flirty with everyone, and a talented fighter and lancer who favors a quick weapon and style. This is also seen in his duel where he shows off to the crowd and wins them over to his side.
  • David Versus Goliath: His duel with Gregor Clegane, at least aesthetically. Actual ability-wise, Gregor was truly David in this scenario and needed his opponent to screw up in order to win.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Witness his friendly talk with a Lannister soldier... while he has a knife planted in the wrist of another. He also shows this in his duel with the Mountain, much to Tyrion's shock and Ellaria's concern. He isn't intimidated by Gregor Clegane and even shows off his skills to the crowd and walks up to the Mountain with a smile before the fight starts.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Though it cost him his life, Oberyn did get Gregor to confess to his part in murdering Elia and her children in front of the entire court, undoubtedly humiliating Tywin in the process.
  • Due to the Dead: On a meta level: the credits roll immediately after he is killed, and there's a slow, mournful version of the main theme playing over them, instead of the usual triumphant fanfare. It comes across as a send-off, akin to a character on TwentyFour getting the "silent clock".
  • Eating the Eye Candy:
    • "Two Swords":
      • He and Ellaria ogle over a couple of whores.
      • When Olyvar is taking his shirt off too slowly, Oberyn pushes away the garment so that he can look at the prostitute's bare chest more closely.
    • "The Lion and the Rose":
      • He and Ellaria are visibly appreciative of a scantily-clad female contortionist.
      • He later propositions Loras at the Purple Wedding by giving the young man a smouldering stare, which can only be interpreted as, "I want to eat you for dessert tonight." Loras looks very interested.
  • Enemy Mine: The reason he decides to champion Tyrion. He knows he will face the Mountain, finally getting his chance to avenge his sister and her children. The fact this also ruins Cersei's efforts to have Tyrion killed is a nice bonus.
  • Erotic Eating: In "The Lion and the Rose," he and Loras sensually chew on food to signal their sexual interest towards each other.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He is first seen at a brothel picking out a prostitute for a threesome with himself and Ellaria. He then propositions Olyvar for a foursome. When a Lannister soldier interrupts his foreplay by singing "The Rains of Castamere," Oberyn casually stabs him through the wrist (reminding them that longswords make poor weapons in close quarters), then goes back to making out with Ellaria after he runs away. He also tells the Lannister guard that he'll live if he gets medical attention quick enough, showing that for all his love for fighting he's not needlessly cruel.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • For all his hatred of Tywin, not to mention a clear desire for vengeance against his house, he would never murder a Lannister child to punish them. Considering his nephew and nieces were murdered by Lannister men, it makes sense he would never want to lower himself to their level.
    • He keeps a stern Disapproving Look during the extremely distasteful War of the Five Kings parody that Joffrey had arranged for the royal wedding banquet.
    • During Tyrion's trial, he's probably the only person in the room (besides Jaime, Margaery and Loras) who doesn't seem to suspect Tyrion of anything at all.
    • When he visits Tyrion in his holding cell, he recounts a story of how it's obvious how much Cersei hates him; even when he was a baby, Cersei would blame him for Joanna's death and physically assaulted him (in a very cruel manner) before Jaime made her stop. It's clear that as much as Oberyn hated the Lannisters, he found her treatment of Tyrion very disturbing, which makes sense considering how close he was to his own sister.
  • Eye Scream: He screamed, Ellaria screamed, and those of us who saw it coming? We all screamed when Gregor gouged his eyes out before crushing his head, just like Elia was killed.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His lust for vengeance clouds his better judgment at the most crucial moment. Had he simply killed Gregor, which he could have done near-effortlessly, he'd have emerged from his fight unscathed.
    • For that matter, his fearlessness. Oberyn is incredibly self assured, confident in both his sexual prowess and fighting ability. Unfortunately, it's this same confidence that leads him to his grave; had he been a bit more cautious and wary, he likely wouldn't have gotten so close to the Mountain at the end of their duel.
  • Foil:
    • To Tyrion Lannister as noted by him in his first appearance. Both of them are second sons of their family who have a notorious reputation for being different from the norms of Westerosi society. Tyrion for his profligate Depraved Dwarf image and Oberyn's reputation as a Wild Card Depraved Bisexual. Tyrion is unable to take his lower-class lovers as wives, is forced into a political marriage against his will, and remains despised by his family. Oberyn is accepted in Dorne, and by his brother and sister, and enjoys a lifelong romance out of wedlock with a bastard, Ellaria Sand, and has several children. All this without even putting in a token effort to fit in. Like Tyrion, he's highly intelligent, sophisticated, and more culturally attuned and sensitive to the world than most nobles.
    • To Ser Loras Tyrell. They share a lot in common: both are formidable warriors who hail from a relatively liberal region of Westeros, non-heterosexual, are in a loving relationship with a person that they can't marry, dearly care about their only sister, brothers of a queen, hate the Lannisters, but are nevertheless allied to the family through political marriage, driven by revenge after the murder of a loved one, and dress in a manner which would be considered somewhat effeminate by people outside of their homeland. However, Oberyn is more passionate, with barely restrained Tranquil Fury and quite clear about his true feelings and sexuality. Loras is calm and restrained for the most part, more attentive to decorum and his responsibilities to his family at a Decadent Court, so he tries his best to conceal his true feelings and orientation beneath a genteel facade, becoming a Stepford Smiler with a lot of Suppressed Rage.
  • Fragile Speedster: In his duel with Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, he eschews armor in favor of mobility, knowing that any direct hit from Clegane's BFS is likely to be a One-Hit Kill no matter how much armor he wears. He uses a combination of superior speed, movement, angles, and a ranged weapon to keep and close distance when necessary to utterly dominate the fight. Unfortunately for him, the Mountain's freakish strength and endurance and his own Suicidal Overconfidence make it his own downfall as well as the Mountain's.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Prior to the trial by combat in “The Mountain and the Viper”, notice the squire who is wiping the blade on Oberyn’s spear with a cloth? You probably thought he’s cleaning it. But in the next episode, it turns out that he placed the manticore poison on the blade which Pycelle found out while tending on the comatose Ser Gregor Clegane.
  • Funny Background Event: In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, when the guests at the Sept of Baelor are clapping for Joffrey and Margaery, Oberyn turns his head slightly to the left so that he can catch a glimpse of Loras. Oberyn swings both ways, and Margaery is a gorgeous woman, yet he clearly thinks that her brother is more attractive. This doubles as a Mythology Gag, as some of the characters in the novels consider the Adonis-like Loras to be prettier than his classically beautiful sister.
  • Gaydar: It works when he pursues Loras, whose orientation is the worst kept secret in the Seven Kingdoms, but it gives out a wrong signal when he probes Varys (who is asexual).
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Horrifically averted. They show everything from his teeth getting knocked out, the fingers going into his eyes, and eventually, his skull collapsing.
  • Head Crushing: After gouging his eyes out, Gregor squeezes his head so hard that it pops clean open.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Oberyn dearly loved his big sister Elia as well as his little niece and nephew, and is still heartbroken (and utterly filled with rage) over the circumstances of their horrifying deaths 20 years later.
  • The Hedonist: Oberyn's attitude to life can be described as such: "Live life to the fullest, suck the marrow, play hard, love hard, hate hard." He's fully aware this means he may well not live to be old, and he just doesn't care.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Oberyn doesn't wear a helmet for his fight against Gregor, despite Tyrion's advice. In the books, he did wear a helmet, it didn't help him one bit against the Mountain when he gets his one hit at him
  • Hot-Blooded: Famous for his temper. Upon learning that Oberyn is in the capital, Tyrion Lannister remarks that they must find the good Prince before he kills somebody, or several somebodies.
  • In-Series Nickname: "The Red Viper." From the Books 
  • Irony: In death, Oberyn ends up doing much more to expedite the downfall of the Lannisters than if he'd won his duel with Gregor, regardless of whether or not he got a confession from him. Had he won the duel, then Tyrion would have been found innocent, then likely either disowned or Reassigned to Antarctica, and would have had less reason to seek vengeance on the rest of his family by aligning with Daenerys. Instead, Tyrion is sentenced to death, and during his escape he murders Tywin. This in turn causes Tommen to become a puppet king of Cersei, resulting in his reign and his life ending in disaster, and results in Cersei's own, even more disastrous reign, ending in her own death, and Jaime's. Meanwhile, Ellaria ends up getting revenge for Oberyn's death by murdering Myrcella. As a result of this, by the end of the series Tyrion is the only prominent Lannister who remains alive.
  • Large Ham: He's fiercely brash, cocky and passionate by nature.
  • Leitmotif: Fittingly, Oberyn gets a dark, enigmatic Spanish guitar track.
  • Madness Mantra: Years of rage over his sister's brutal death come to the surface when he faces off against the Mountain as he repeats the same line over and over again.
    Oberyn: Elia Martell! You raped her! You murdered her! You killed her children!
  • Master Poisoner: Being known as "The Red Viper", he's very knowledgeable about poisons which Tywin initially suspects that he might have a hand for poisoning Joffrey. And despite being brutally killed by the Mountain, he managed to inflict Manticore poison on him from his poisoned spear, giving him a slow and painful death.From the Books 
  • Monologuing: Crosses this with Madness Mantra during his duel with the Mountain. It gets him killed.
  • Morality Chain: Judging by how quickly her character turned to the worse after his death, he was this to Ellaria.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Just look at that guy and his open-chested shirt.
  • Nerves of Steel: Witness him smiling and twirling around after Gregor Clegane breaks his first spear. This man has balls the size of Harrenhal.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: He raises Tyrion's chin with his index finger in "Two Swords" to make the shorter man look him in the eye when he speaks of Elia's grisly fate.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: He engages in this with Cersei and Tywin in "The Lion and the Rose."
  • Pet the Dog: Oberyn may be hot-blooded, short-tempered, and single-mindedly driven by vengeance, but he has his softer moments.
    • In spite of his unremitting hatred of her family, Oberyn assures Cersei of her daughter's safety and happiness in Dorne in "The First of His Name", and promises to send Myrcella a gift from her mother — a ship — along with Cersei's regards. He admitted to Tyrion that he knew Cersei was putting on an act to get his sympathy but felt that she was semi-sincere anyway.
    • In Tyrion's literal hour of need he recounts the moment that he met him as a child. Oberyn and his sister Elia were expecting nothing short of a hideous monster due to the tall tales they'd heard travelling to Casterly Rock. But when Cersei unveiled him, neither could contain their disappointment, it was just a small child in their eyes. He caps this touching moment off by declaring he will fight as Tyrion's champion.
      Oberyn: We didn't try to hide our disappointment. 'That's not a monster,' I told Cersei, 'It's just a baby.'
  • Polyamory: While he and Ellaria are perfectly happy together, they're not at all averse to sharing their bed with others. Several others.
  • Poisoned Weapons: He frequently employs them, as Gregor Clegane discovers. His daughter, Tyene, took it up from him as well.
  • The Power of Hate: The real reason he's at King's Landing. The speech he gives to Tyrion is laced with so much undiluted loathing it must be seen to be believed.
    • Considering the man he is most fixated on taking his revenge on is Gregor Clegane, arguably the most dangerous fighter in all Westeros and beyond, he certainly needs all the hate he can get.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Subverted, he aparently gets his revenge on the Mountain at the cost of his own life, but Qyburn prevents Clegane from dying from the wounds and the poison inflicted by Oberyn.
  • Reaction Shot: When Tyrion tells him that he no longer partakes in whores because he's now married, Oberyn has a puzzled frown, as if to say, "Huh? What does marriage have to do with it?"
    • When Varys tells him that he's asexual, Oberyn's face can only be described as "does not compute".
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Michele Clapton describes Oberyn's style in this featurette as "It's actually quite a feminine look, but he wears it in a really masculine way." This probably explains why the pendant of his necklace features flowers. His clothing is also noticeably brighter and more colourful than what we typically see on Westerosi males.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: At the trial in "The Laws of Gods and Men," Oberyn's the only judge who doesn't take the witnesses's testimonies at face value. In the History and Lore video for "House Martell" and his version of "Robert's Rebellion", even he thinks Aerys was insane for summarily killing Rickard and Brandon Stark when they asked for Lyanna and that the King should have disciplined Rhaegar for causing the mess to start with. He also notes that the Dornish fought for Elia's honor and her children more than they did for the Targaryens and while he considers Robert a usurper, he doesn't begrudge him and he also accepts that Tywin and Jaime backstabbing Aerys and taking King's Landing fell under I Did What I Had to Do. However the deliberate murder and rape of Elia and her children so as to clear the path for the next dynasty was a clear Moral Event Horizon.
  • Rebel Relaxation: He's unapologetically laid-back around public figures , thus showing his distate for King's Landing and the Royal Court in general and his casual defiance of Tywin Lannister in particular.
  • Red Baron: Commonly known as "The Red Viper."
  • Revenge: He's in King's Landing to pay his debts, meaning he hates the Lannisters more than perhaps any other character due to the murders of his sister (Elia, Rhaegar Targaryen's wife), his niece (Rhaenys), and nephew (Aegon VI) at the hands of Gregor Clegane, The Mountain, on Tywin Lannister's order.
    • Revenge Before Reason: This kills him. Oberyn could have easily finished off Gregor during their duel, but his insistence on keeping the Mountain alive until he confessed to murdering Elia gave the brute the time needed to kill Oberyn. Even more than in the books since Tywin actually agreed in giving Gregor to him, but Oberyn wanted the Lannisters to pay too so forcing a confession was even more important than just killing the Mountain.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Oberyn is quite critical of the Sheltered Aristocrat trope and believes in the opposite. He's widely traveled across Westeros and Essos, knowledgeable of different cultures and ways of thinking and even studied at the Citadel in Oldtown, as opposed to learning from a Maester at Castle.
    Oberyn: It is a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner we were born and never get to see any of it. I don't want to be most of us.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The pink rose patterns on Oberyn's wrap around belt and Loras' sleeves at the Purple Wedding are identical. Only the fabric's background colour is different, and in Oberyn's case, it's actually green, one of the House Tyrell colours that is missing from Loras' outfit. This subtly hints at the two characters' attraction towards each other and their similarities. (See Oberyn's Foil entry for more details.) It's probably not a coincidence that the five-petal floral design on Oberyn's necklace is a simplified version of the embossed/enameled five-petal flowers on Loras' armour.
  • Shirtless Scene: He has one in "Breaker of Chains".
  • Slasher Smile: Has these sometimes.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Ser Bronn states quite accurately that a man would have to be crazy to not have some fear of the Mountain and we see from the onset of their battle that Oberyn doesn't fear him at all. He wins his fight against Gregor Clegane... but instead of walking away, he keeps tormenting him, shouting for the Mountain to admit his guilt at killing Elia Martell. Unfortunately for Oberyn, Gregor is Not Quite Dead, and manages to yank Oberyn to the ground and kill him swiftly and gruesomely.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: One of his outfits has stylized blazing suns with a spear, the sigil of his house.
  • Taking You with Me: Probably why he risked getting within arm's length of Clegane; even dying would be worth it if he could get the Mountain to confess to his crimes. It works; the Lannisters' reputation is shattered beyond the pale when Gregor confesses that he did in fact rape and gruesomely murder Elia and her children. Hell, if you want to stretch it, the revelation that Elia and her children were murdered on Tywin's orders could be considered part of what pushed Tyrion to kill his father before fleeing Westeros. So he did achieve everything he set out to do in life.
  • Tempting Fate: He is very relaxed and confident on the day of his duel with the Mountain, and it costs him. He even rebukes Tyrion when the later questions him on not wearing a helment.
    Oberyn: Today is not the day I die.
  • Tragic Hero: His sister's death has haunted him for years, and he won't find peace until she is avenged. Although Oberyn dominated the fight with The Mountain, his overconfidence with The Mountain's seeming helplessness caused Oberyn to lose his guard... and it cost him his life.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Oberyn is angry, he doesn't shout or scream. He remains genial and seemingly calm, punctuated by a sudden burst of carefully planned violence.
    • He is one of the two characters that Tywin Lannister did not manage to chew out in a conversation, the other being Lady Olenna Tyrell. But unlike Olenna who seemed to enjoy the talks, Oberyn's hate for Tywin oozes from his body.
    • Then subverted during his fight with Ser Gregor. Oberyn gradually degenerates into a screaming berserker until he's got the Mountain on his back with a spear in his belly.
  • Troll: Cannot resist taking subtle verbal jabs at anyone with the last name of Lannister.
  • Visual Pun: His schtick as the "Red Viper of Dorne" is backed up by his weapon of choice, a polearm with a wavy blade known as a "snake spear."
  • Warrior Poet: Literally. In "First of His Name," he writes a poem to one of his eight daughters.
  • Warrior Prince: Pedro Pascal studied wushu to get into the part - and it shows. Just look at these moves!
  • Weapon Twirling: Oberyn is not shy about showboating mid-combat, though he dials it back significantly when he's starting to lose the upper hand.
  • Wild Card: He's described as such by the writers. Oberyn can be counted on for being violent, promiscuous, and hating Lannisters, but everything else is up in the air. It should be noted that he is this in-universe, however, to the viewer, he is far more reliable. His motive is clear, and, aside from co-presiding over Tyrion's trial, his methods are pretty straightforward.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Tywin asks Oberyn if he had given advice to Tyrion on what poison to use on Joffrey when they met. Oberyn states that while he hates the Lannisters and especially Tywin, he would never visit the Sins of Our Fathers on children who have nothing to do with the family grudge.
  • Xanatos Gambit: He had his weapons coated with manticore venom, an infamous poison that is apparently impossible to cure and promises a slow, agonizing death. It ultimately didn't matter if he won or lost his duel with Gregor; as long as Oberyn got in a hit, the poison would ensure Gregor's death and vengeance for Elia.
  • You Killed My Father: Is absolutely obsessed with taking his revenge on Gregor Clegane especially, but Tywin and the Lannisters in general due to the nightmarish rape and murder of his sister and her children. This is actually what gets him killed. He could have just left Gregor to die with a spear in his chest, but he just has to hear him say he did it, and confirm that Tywin ordered him to, so he gets close enough for Gregor to turn the tables.

    Ellaria Sand 

Ellaria Sand
"Don't leave me alone in this world."

Played By: Indira Varma

"Timid bores me."

Prince Oberyn's mistress, or "paramour". Ellaria is a noble-born bastard of House Uller, one of House Martell's major vassals - though unlike the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, bastardy doesn't really carry much of a stigma in Dorne.

  • Adaptational Personality Change: Ellaria gets all of Doran's Irrational Hatred.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the books, Ellaria was the Only Sane Man trying to convince the Sand Snakes to let go of their feud with the Lannisters when she pointed out that the people responsible for Elia and Oberyn's deaths are dead. Here, she's a War Hawk who wants to march to King's Landing and send Myrcella back to her mom, one finger at a time, and eventually becomes a remorseless murderer.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the books, Ellaria is praised for being strong enough to Turn the Other Cheek, but in the show Ellaria is a myopic revenge-obsessed nutcase.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Ellaria desperately tries to beg for her daughter's life when she realises Cersei intends to kill Tyene in retaliation for Myrcella's death.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Per the Dornish mixed heritage combining Rhoynish, Andal, and First Men lineages.
  • And I Must Scream: Cersei punishes Ellaria for murdering Myrcella by having her chained in a cell and forcing her to stare at her daughter Tyene's decomposing corpse until she dies of natural causes. May have escaped this fate when Daenarys burns all of the Red Keep to the ground and she was crushed by debris.
  • Arch-Enemy: To the Lannisters.
  • Asshole Victim: Though Cersei is a worse person and Ellaria's fate is pretty horrific, let's not forget that Ellaria murdered Myrcella, who was an innocent young girl. She also murdered the rest of the Martell family to seize power for herself. She brought this fate on herself.
  • Badass Boast: Her response to Cersei's attempts to mock her bastard heritage. "I have a thousand brothers and sisters."
  • Bastard Bastard: As her surname 'Sand' suggests, she's the bastard daughter of a Dornish nobleman. Unlike the other bastards in the cast, she really doesn't let this bother her at all, thanks to Dorne's far more casual attitude towards illegitimate children. However, she eventually takes this privilege too far and goes off the deep end by murdering Myrcella and then killing off legitimate Martells and completing a palace coup.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Along with the High Sparrow, she's the primary antagonist of the King's Landing-Lannister storyline in Season 5.
  • Big Bad Slippage: Watching Oberyn’s death by the hands of the Mountain broke her so badly that she’s hellbent in wanting to avenge him by committing Revenge by Proxy and killing those who oppose it.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Breaks down in supplication for Doran for her failed "rebellion" and makes a play for Jaime's sympathy and gives an entreaty to understanding Jaime's proclivities with his sister and likening it to base-born women coupling with noble-born princes, while also claiming to forgive Jaime and Myrcella. Of course it's all an act, as her murder of Myrcella proves.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: She had a hidden dagger on her bracelet, which she used to kill Doran in “The Red Woman”.
  • Brutal Honesty: She chastises any attempt to wiggle around speaking the plain truth, including that she herself is a bastard.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Murdering Myrcella makes her a mortal enemy of the Lannisters, those who always pay their debts tenfold. And Cersei indeed pays it by poisoning Ellaria's daughter with the same poison used to kill Myrcella and forcing Ellaria to watch her daughter dying in the cells.
  • Composite Character:
    • From Season 5 to Season 6, her character no longer resembles her book counterpart. Season 5 sees her agitating for open war with the Lannisters like the Sand Snakes and threatening to undermine Prince Doran's authority like Arianne Martell in the books, though her plan is most similar to that of Darkstar.note 
    • While Doran Martell in the show became an Adaptational Wimp, his vengeful qualities and his plans to ally with Daenerys Targaryen from the books were merged with Ellaria. Several of his lines from A Feast for Crows were even given to her:
      Ellaria: Vengeance. Justice.
      Varys: Fire and blood.
  • Crusading Widow: Seeking revenge for Oberyn's death in Season 5. She even recruits her daughter and stepdaughters to help her and racks up quite a body count by Season 7 which includes her daughter, stepdaughter, while she herself is subjected to a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Defiant to the End: Towards Cersei. At least, until she reveals her plans for her and Tyene, at which point she starts begging.
  • Didn't Think This Through: She never considers the consequences of her actions. Killing Myrcella just gives Cersei a more justified reason to go after her while murdering Doran and Trystane Martell and taking over the leadership of Dorne leaves more problems. When Euron Greyjoy ambushes their ship and kills two of her stepdaughters, she and her own daughter are captured and delivered to Cersei who poisons the latter and forces the former to watch her die and rot for the rest of her life. In the end, not only Ellaria destroys one of the great Houses of Dorne but also leaves the region into a power vacuum.
  • Dirty Coward: Only makes her move against Doran when the opportunity to blindside him arises and all his guards are on her side.
    • When Euron's men board Yara's ship, she cowers away in a corner and only watches as her daughter Tyene fights off half a dozen Ironborn before being overwhelmed and both taken prisoner.
  • Does Not Like Men: Oberyn is the only male she and her daughters are shown to like; every other interaction with a male usually has them mocking them, seducing them, or fighting and killing them. When she kills Doran, she vows "Dorne will never be ruled by weak men again."
  • Dramatic Irony: "The Winds of Winter" shows her partnering up with Olenna Tyrell - the person directly responsible for poisoning Joffrey, leading to the Trial by Combat that got Oberyn killed. If anything, Oberyn's death is more Olenna's fault than it is any of the Lannisters'.
  • Drugged Lipstick: She poisons Myrcella by kissing her.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Her driving motivation is getting revenge for her lover Oberyn's death, whom she loved very much. She also loves her daughter Tyene and seems at least fond of her stepdaughters and is last seen begging for Tyene to be spared and trying to reach her.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Is seen having sex with female prostitutes who mention they can be attracted to women "when they look like her".
  • Evil Aunt: To Trystane, trying and eventually succeeding in murdering his betrothed, then arranging his murder to take over Dorne.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Ironically, she becomes one to Tywin Lannister. Like Tywin, she places a high value on her family members and seeks retribution for sleights they have suffered. However, while Tywin has an absolutely awful relationship with his children, Ellaria gets along well with Oberyn's bastards. Additionally, Tywin's demand of retribution for wrongs done to his house are in the name of commanding respect; Ellaria wants revenge for Oberyn's death solely for her own petty vengeance and kills other family members of his to that end.
    • Also one to Oberyn himself. Like Oberyn, she is obsessed with getting vengeance on the Lannisters for causing the death of a family member. However, in the process she stoops to lows Oberyn never would have: killing innocent little girls and other Martells.
  • Evil Gloating: When Doran is bleeding and dying, she rubs it in that he was weak and petty and tells him that his son Trystane will surely die.
  • Evil Makeover: She adopts an antagonistic role in Season 5 onward, followed by swapping out her orange and yellow outfits in Season 4 for dark blues and blacks with shorter hair.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change/Important Haircut: In Season 5, her long curls are gone and replaced with a shorter hairdo that makes her look tougher. It also signifies her becoming a Crusading Widow seeking revenge for Oberyn's death at the hands of Gregor Clegane.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: So much so that when surrounded by Euron's Ironborn, she begs to be killed in the spot because she knows this is what will happen to her if taken to Cersei, which is exactly what happens when she poisons Tyene and forces Ellaria to watch in chains her daughter die and watch her body decompose, while being forbidden from dying herself. Subverted since she may have been killed through Daenarys rampage in King's Landing during Season 8.
  • Foil:
    • To Cersei. Ellaria can enjoy an open relationship and have children with a man who is not her husband, while Cersei has to hide it. After Oberyn's death, she becomes just as spiteful, vindictive and underhanded as Cersei, and perhaps even worse than her in some ways.
      Cersei: Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls.
    • To Roose Bolton. Like him, Ellaria had bastard children who helped in the dirty work and she personally killed her own liege lord so she and her supporters can rule Dorne after seeing how ineffectual he is. But with different reasons and motives: Roose, being a scheming man, killed Robb Stark because he knew that the North is losing the war due to Robb’s bad political decisions and that killing him earned him a pardon from the crown by making him the new Warden of the North and legitimizing his bastard son as a Bolton and his heir while Ellaria, being a Revenge Before Reason woman, killed Doran because of his unresponsiveness to avenge his siblings’ death; however killing Doran’s only heir and poisoning Myrcella would unlikely get the crown to legitimize Oberyn’s bastard daughters and would unleash the wrath of the Lannisters particularly from Cersei.
    • Also one to Ramsay Bolton in Season 6. They're both bastards from highborn houses who enjoy good lives in spite of their social status, and they both kill the current lords they serve (Doran and Roose) and their heirs in order to take over their lands and plot war against an enemy their lord did not approve of. However, Ramsay does what he does because the presence of another heir and his loss of Sansa endangered his own status, while Ellaria does what she does out of a warped sense of "vengeance" for Oberyn.
    • To Lord Rickard Karstark, who's also driven by grief after his son was killed by Jaime Lannister and due to Robb’s inaction particularly for not punishing Catelyn for freeing Jaime, he murdered two Lannister boys. Unlike Ellaria, Rickard was beheaded and prior to his execution, he called out to Robb that "You are no king of mine", which is eerily similar to how Ellaria told the dying Doran that "You are not their prince".
  • Forced to Watch: Cersei's revenge for Myrcella's murder is to give the same slow-acting poison to Ellaria's own daughter Tyene and then leave them chained in the dungeon just a few feet from each other, prepared to force-feed Ellaria if necessary to make sure she lives to see Tyene die.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Despite the fact she and Tyene were taken alive by Euron, when Daenerys and her allies meet Cersei face-to-face, they never question her about their fate. It's at least justified in Tyrion's case, as he hates Ellaria for murdering his innocent niece and so probably doesn't much care what happens to her.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Goes from a lowborn Hot Consort to the de-facto ruler of Dorne after killing Prince Doran.
  • Genocide from the Inside: She kills Doran and arranges Trystane's death, killing off House Martell so she and her daughters can take control of Dorne.
  • Good Stepmother: She gets along well with Obara and Nym, Oberyn's daughters from previous flings.
  • Hate Sink: The narrative makes it very clear that Ellaria’s actions are irrational, shortsighted, and against Oberyn’s wishes. And after killing his brother and nephew, Ellaria has officially joined the ranks of the Freys and the Boltons.
  • Has a Type: She is bored by timid girls, and is only attracted to those with a vivacious personality.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Her desire to avenge Oberyn's death made her want to torture and murder Myrcella, a young girl — something she and Oberyn had previously criticized Myrcella's family for allowing. She also desired to avenge the Lannisters for killing Elia, but instead ended up murdering her own brother-in-law and nephew, killing more Martells than the Lannisters ever did. The Lannisters likewise did their actions in the context of war, which didn't make it right, certainly, but that generally considered more acceptable than cold-bloodedly murdering people because they were in your way. Also, despite all her posturing to Doran as he lay dying that he was 'weak' and therefore unfit to rule Dorne, she had little problem with licking his bootstraps and begging for his forgiveness when faced with the very real possibility of him having her killed. Or at least until she was in a position to give it to her brother-in-law In the Back.
    • She’s even more hypocritical in that after overthrowing Doran and taking control of Dorne, she didn’t seem to be doing much in the following episodes while everyone else in Westeros was minding their own business. She only got her ass moving when Olenna Tyrell came to Dorne to forge an alliance with them after Cersei killed her family in the Green Trial and when Varys requested their help to bring Daenerys to Westeros.
    • In the Histories and Lore segments narrated by her, Ellaria openly shows her disdain of the Westori prejudices against women and bastard children. She is second only to Cersei and Ramsay in being an example of why women and bastards should never be given high privilege and authority. It also doesn't help that Ellaria is incredibly petty, sexist, dismissive towards women she considers weak, and is willing to torture and kill an innocent girl to get revenge on her family.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Many people have alluded towards her good looks.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Sure, she doesn't want Oberyn to hurt people — but she seems to get pretty turned on when he does.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • She desperately wants vengeance on the Lannisters for Oberyn's death, but it was a fair duel that Oberyn himself volunteered for, not a murder. Her thirst for revenge not only leads her to enact Revenge by Proxy on Myrcella, something Oberyn frowned upon, but killing Oberyn's brother and nephew for being too "weak," read, not supporting the act, either. One must also ask how she intends to rule Dorne, when she was never Oberyn's wife and thus has no legal claim to any Martell holdings, nor do the Sand Snakes since they're bastards. Not to mention that if they were to marry to continue their claim, they would lose the name of their house anyway, rendering it all moot. All in all, her logic is so tortured she may well be going insane for all the "sense" it makes.
    • This gets even worse in Season 7 when in a scene with Tyrion after he calls them out for killing his beloved niece Myrcella who is innocent, Ellaria then says that no Lannister can be innocent and then blames Tyrion for Oberyn's death, noting that if it hadn't been for him, Oberyn wouldn't have fought the Mountain. Bear in mind that Tyrion was framed for a crime he didn't commit, was well on his way to the chopping block or the Night's Watch until Oberyn volunteered and that Tyrion was worried that Oberyn was being too cavalier by drinking and making out with Ellaria before the duel, and furthermore, personally committed Patricide by killing Tywin (and so avenging Oberyn), and yet somehow that's still not enough. Also fighting the Mountain was the whole point behind's Oberyn's visit!
  • Insult Backfire: Cersei thought that insisting on her surname Sand would humiliate her. As it turns out, she is proud of it.
    Cersei: Can't say I've ever met a Sand before.
    Ellaria: We are everywhere in Dorne. I have ten thousand brothers and sisters.
  • It's All About Me: By the time of Season 6, the only thing that matters to her is her vengeance and her family, rather than any desire to avenge Oberyn.
  • Kick the Dog: She threatens to cut off Myrcella’s fingers and send each of them to her mother. Then, she poisons the poor girl who dies in her father's arms, then she murders Doran when he receives news about Myrcella’s death, and has the two older Sand Snakes commit kinslaying on their own cousin. To add more salt to the wounds, she tells the dying prince that he doesn't deserve to rule Dorne and that his own guards despise him for his inaction against the Lannisters.
  • Killed Offscreen: Though we never see her again past Season 7, it's known that she was being kept prisoner in the Red Keep to watch her remaining daughter slowly die and kept alive against her will. Daenarys bringing the Red Keep down with Drogon provided Ellaria with the sweet release of death.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Her conspiring against the Lannisters and murder of Myrcella eventually results in two of her step-daughters being brutally killed, and her and her remaining daughter imprisoned and utterly at the mercy of Euron and Cersei. Who are not feeling very merciful. Ultimately taken to its culmination with her having to watch Tyene die in the exact same way that she inflicted on Jaime; helpless to stop Myrcella from dying and unable to comfort her. Cersei takes special pleasure in telling them that Qyburn even manufactured the very same poison.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Watching her lover die really snapped Ellaria, in that she doesn’t care who’s really at fault for his death and that her actions resulted to bringing Dorne into another pointless war. In her broken state of her mind, she thinks that what she’s doing is for Oberyn’s sake despite the fact that Oberyn himself would neither approve of nor forgive Ellaria for what she had done if he was alive.
  • Love Makes You Evil: She loves Oberyn very much and his death becomes the catalyst of making her commit heinous acts.
  • Mama Bear: For all her faults, Ellaria still loves her daughter, Tyene. When Cersei intends to poison Tyene similar to how Ellaria poisons Myrcella, Ellaria tries to fight and beg for Cersei to spare her daughter.
  • Mercy Kill: Has this done unintentionally by Daenarys to her when the Targaryen conqueror has Drogon destroy the Red Keep. Considering she was forced to be kept alive by Cersei to watch her daughter die slowly in front of her and then live the rest of her days with regrets, this is an escape for Ellaria.
  • Misplaced Retribution: She murders Myrcella to get back at the Lannisters for Oberyn's death, even though Myrcella is a kind and innocent girl who had nothing to do with Oberyn's death - she wasn't even in King's Landing at the time.
  • The Mistress: Since Ellaria's a bastard, even Dorne's more tolerant culture would never permit her to become the official wife of a prince, meaning Oberyn's free for a marriage alliance. It doesn't really matter to them, though, since they're essentially married in all the ways that count.
  • Moral Myopia: Ellaria plots to "avenge" Oberyn (who died avenging his sister, niece, and nephew) by murdering his brother, nephew, and niece-in-law.
  • The Mourning After: After Oberyn is brutally killed by Gregor Clegane. The worst part? She watched it happen.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In her debut scene, we get treated to her entertaining herself with the assistance of a female prostitute. She also wears an open-chested, nearly backless dress.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: In a literal sense, because she's a bastard. Her plans worked because of sheer luck and Doran happens to be too forgiving. When she killed Myrcella, Doran, and Trystane, she did it to simply start a war and had no other plans on what do next afterwards despite her complaints of Doran not doing anything. She only got the opportunity to get involved in the war she wanted when Cersei gave Olenna Tyrell a reason to rebel after the Green Trial and that Varys came to Dorne for assistance to bring Daenerys to Westeros.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: A particularly nasty example. After capturing her and her daughter Tyene, Cersei has them chained up in the dungeons, poisons Tyene in the same way Ellaria poisoned Myrcella and then informs Ellaria that she'll be left here and kept alive to watch her daughter die and rot before her eyes.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: The last thing she said to Oberyn was "Don't leave me alone in this world."
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Cersei throws her in the dungeons of King's Landing with the intent to keep her alive so Ellaria can watch Tyene die and the decomposition of her corpse. Indira Varna has confirmed that her last appearance on the show is in ''The Queen's Justice''. At any rate, we won't be seeing Ellaria again.
  • Regal Ringlets: Has curly hair and, while not quite royalty, she is The Mistress to Prince Oberyn and enjoys a privileged position.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Despite having it spelled out to her very clearly what kind of political and social fallout could occur if Dorne were to go to war with Westeros, she still goes ahead and poisons Myrcella.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Her choice of wardrobe tends to be very modern for the setting because her gowns are open-chested and sometimes backless. The only other prominent, non-prostitute female character in Westeros who habitually exposes as much skin is Margaery Tyrell, whose dresses often display her cleavage and her back. Dorne and The Reach are the two most liberal regions on the continent, so the avant-garde/risqué cuts of their outfits signify their respective cultures' relatively progressive attitudes. In Ellaria's case, it could also symbolise how she doesn't really care what anyone else thinks of her; she'll do whatever she wants.
  • Sanity Slippage: The blatant Insane Troll Logic of her actions in Seasons 5 and 6 suggests she has taken Oberyn's death way too hard.
  • Screaming Woman: She reacts about as well as you'd expect to Oberyn's extremely gruesome death.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Her desire to take revenge on the Lannisters pushes her to become just as bad as them, culminating in her murdering her own family members to seize power and killing the innocent Myrcella, crossing lines that Oberyn and Doran abhorred.
  • Smug Snake: Puns aside, she and the Sand Snakes are way too pleased with themselves for their successful plot against Doran Martell, but they not only fail to recognize that Dorne going to war to take revenge on the Lannisters will accomplish absolutely nothing, but also that it is an incredibly bad idea which will likely kill thousands and which could very easily backfire on them. In Season 7, it does, Euron Greyjoy kills two of the Sand Snakes and Cersei poisons Tyene with the same poison used to kill Myrcella and forces Ellaria to watch her daughter die until she rots in chains.
  • The Sociopath: By the time of Season 5 to Season 6, she becomes this. Cold, unfeeling, manipulative, feigning good intentions and superficial charm, and killing remorselessly and gloating over the dead bodies of her own relatives. She does, however, still love her daughter very much, suggesting she's not completely unfeeling.
  • Spiteful Spit: When she is brought before Cersei, she spits at her feet.
  • The Starscream: Carries out a coup against Doran to instigate war against the Iron Throne.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: She and Tyrion don't much care for each other, but reluctantly work together in Season 7 due to their goals aligning. She hates him because he's a Lannister and she also blames him for Oberyn's death, as he died fighting for Tyrion – she also thinks him weak for not wanting to get thousands of innocent civilians killed. Tyrion, meanwhile, hates her for murdering his innocent niece.
  • Token Evil Teammate: To 'Team Daenerys' in Season 7. She's totally up for burning King's Landing to the ground to defeat Cersei, even if it gets innocent civilians killed, which Daenerys refuses to do. Ellaria gets her wish in the penultimate episode, though at that point, she herself has lost all her daughters to Cersei's forces and was imprisoned in the dungeons of the Red Keep, unable to enjoy Cersei's loss to Daenarys and even getting killed when the Keep collapses in on itself.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Ellaria was always feisty, but she was less Hot-Blooded than Oberyn and even kept him somewhat in line. After his death, she becomes much more bitter, vindictive and rage-driven.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Literally. She is a bastard raised with more privileges than any other Kingdom and she spits on the Martells' mercy by murdering her liege lord and his heir, and usurping his kingdom. Doran also pardons her for her first rebellion and she repays him by murdering him and his son, calling them both 'weak' while she's at it, and then preparing to throw his land and people into the very bloody conflict he was trying so desperately to avoid solely to sate her own selfish desire for revenge.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last time we ever seen her is when she is imprisoned by Cersei in the Red Keep during Season 7 Episode 3 and her fate has remained unknown ever since. It is implied that she died when Daenerys carpet-bombed King's Landing and destroyed the Red Keep.
  • Widow's Weeds: She technically isn't a widow, but she and Oberyn were married in all but name and she begins wearing much darker clothes after his death as a sign that she's grieving for him. Also, since Dornish culture considers the paramours of highborn men to be almost-wives, Ellaria is essentially treated as Oberyn's widow once she goes home to Dorne after his death.
  • The Woman Behind the Man: With Doran and Trystane dead, Ellaria is the de facto leader of Dorne instead of the Sand Snakes, particularly Obara, who are supposed to be the heads of House Martell. But after Olenna Tyrell's disparage on Obara and Nym in "The Winds of Winter", it's probably best for Ellaria to be in charge since the Sand Snakes seemed to lack the charisma and diplomacy skills that Oberyn had.
  • Would Hurt a Child: She suggests torturing poor, sweet Myrcella in revenge for Oberyn's death. She succeeds in this task by poisoning her. Then she orders the death of her own nephew Trystane.

    Princess Elia Targaryen, née Martell 

Princess Elia Targaryen

Played By: N/A

"The last time I was in the capital was many years ago. Another wedding. My sister Elia and Rhaegar Targaryen, the Last Dragon. My sister loved him. She bore his children. Swaddled them, rocked them, fed them at her own breast. Elia wouldn't let the wet nurse touch them. And beautiful, noble Rhaegar Targaryen left her for another woman."
Oberyn Martell

The younger sister of Prince Doran and older sister of Prince Oberyn, and wife of Prince Rhaegar. Gregor Clegane killed her children in front of her, then raped and murdered her, when Tywin Lannister sacked King's Landing.

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Oberyn states that she genuinely loved her husband, but he "left her for another woman" – Lyanna Stark. In Season 7, it's revealed that Rhaegar had their marriage annulled so he could marry Lyanna.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not too clear how much Elia knew of Rhaegar and Lyanna's relationship; given she was present at the tourney where Rhaegar crowned Lyanna 'queen of love and beauty' instead of her, it's likely she knew of his attraction to her, but we don't know if she was aware the two consensually ran away together or that Rhaegar had his marriage to her annulled.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rhaegar spurned her at a tourney in favor of Lyanna Stark, and later the two eloped to Dorne, where Rhaegar had their marriage annulled so he could marry Lyanna. Oh and he named the son he had with Lyanna the same name as the son he had with Elia. This starts a war during which the Mountain killed Elia's children in front of her, raped her and murdered her.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Even by the standards of the series, her death was horrific and appalling. The Mountain murdered her children in front of her, raped her while still covered in her children's blood and then, depending on conflicting stories, either cut her in two or bashed her skull in. It's made even nastier given that Elia, by all accounts, was a sweet and kind woman who was the last person to deserve such a fate.
  • Culture Clash: According to Oberyn in the History and Lore video, Elia found the shock of living in the Wretched Hive capital and the Decadent Court hard to live in, since she was raised in the much more open and warmhearted environment of Dorne.
  • Doting Parent: Oberyn tells Tyrion that Elia personally attended to her children and refused to have wet nurses touch and breast feed them.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Oberyn says that in Dorne, Elia "walked among vipers and none would bite her".
  • Girl Next Door: Oberyn states that while she wasn't especially beautiful, she was a highly kind, pleasant and normal woman and that she did not really match the brooding and dark Rhaegar Targaryen.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: If the rumors about what The Mountain did after he had "his way" with her are true. In Season 4's "The Mountain And The Viper," a wounded Gregor declares he crushed her skull with his bare hands and demonstrates how on her brother Oberyn.
  • Hostage Situation: During Robert's Rebellion, she was kept in King's Landing as a glorified hostage along with her children on the orders of her father-in-law, Aerys, to ensure her family stayed loyal to the crown (the Martells themselves saw this as unnecessary and frankly insulting, as they would always fight for whichever side Elia was on). Subsequently, Elia and her children weren't sent away to safety like Queen Rhaella and Prince Viserys and were murdered during the Sack of King's Landing.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Her children Rhaenys and Aegon were murdered in front of her, shortly before she herself was killed.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: For her at least, her marriage to Rhaegar was this. Rhaegar was apparently not so keen, given his kidnapping of Lyanna and the revelation that they actually eloped together.
  • Posthumous Character: She was brutally murdered by Gregor Clegane years before the series started. Her death started a feud between the Martells and Lannisters.
  • Princess Classic: Was apparently this to an extent; though not a great beauty, she was said to kind and loving, devoted to her children and could walk among vipers without them attacking her. Unfortunately, she lived in Westeros.
  • Rape as Drama: Lots of people died in the war, but the rape that came beforehand is what made her death so horrifically memorable.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: To Lyanna for Rhaegar. It didn't end well for any of them, but poor Elia really got the worst end of it.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: The way her brother Oberyn talks about her suggests this trope.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Her final years sees her beloved husband Rhaegar run away with another woman, sparking a civil war, while living in the court of a psychotic king (who had planned a contingency to burn the capital with him, her, and his grandchildren in it) only to become a horrific casualty of the war crimes resulting from the Sack of King's Landing.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Season 7 states that Rhaegar annuled their marriage in secret shortly before her death, and remarried to Lyanna, effectively stripping Elia from her titles and position. Oh, and Rhaegar appointed a Septon from Dorne, Elia's home region, to do it, which is more or less the medieval equivalent of sending divorce papers by fax. Yikes.

    New Prince of Dorne 

New Prince of Dorne

Played By: Toby Osmond

The new prince who rules Dorne after the demise of Ellaria Sand. His name and relation to the Martells are unknown.

  • Ambiguously Related: Exactly how he's related to the Martells is unrevealed in the show. Word of St. Paul from his actor is that he's a younger brother of Doran and Oberyn.
  • Democracy Is Bad: Like the other remaining lords of Westeros, he scoffs at Sam Tarly, for the latter has proto-democratic ideas that are a little too advanced for the Medieval Stasis of Westeros, when it comes to elect a new king at the very end of the show.
  • Minor Major Character: He is one of the lords of the Seven Kingdoms, and he only shows up for one scene, doesn't talk save for voicing his approval to elect Bran Stark as king and his name is not even mentioned. Basically, he's the ruling Westerosi house lord with the smallest amount of screentime and exposition in the entire show. He shows up in the finale not because he is an important character to the plot in and of himself, but in order to show that Dorne has not been completely forgotten.
  • No Name Given: His name is not pronounced during his only appearance in "The Iron Throne".
  • Remember the New Guy?: He's never been mentioned in the show prior to Season 8 (where Varys mentions him before his debut), especially not in the Dorne storyline, where it seemed all Martells were dead (it is not known if he's a Martell at all).

Martell Household and Retainers

    Areo Hotah 

Areo Hotah
"The prince does not wish to be disturbed."

Played By: DeObia Oparei

Doran Martell: You haven't had to use that axe of yours in a long time. I hope you remember how.
Areo Hotah: I remember how.

The longserving and loyal captain of Doran's household guard.

  • Adaptational Dumbass: In the books, part of what makes Areo so effective as the captain of Doran's guard is his incredible talent for observation. He also holds a healthy distrust of the Sand Snakes - he would have never left Tyene an opportunity to stab him in the back.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the books, Hotah is an incredibly skilled warrior. In the show, he never gets to show his skills and is taken out by a stab to the back.
  • Blade on a Stick: Wields a bejeweled but very sharp-looking glaive (which is called an axe more than once).
  • Blood Knight: He's spirited when told by Prince Doran that he'll have to use his axe again, after being idle a long time in that regard. When Areo meets Jaime, he declares that he would have very much enjoyed fighting the Lannister back when Jaime had his sword hand.From the books 
  • Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: Looking at his skin color, it's quite clear he's not from Dorne.
  • Demoted to Extra: Though Areo is only just a bodyguard, his past and opinions about Dornish culture are detailed in his POV chapters and he's close to Princess Arianne Martell. In the show, nothing has been said about him aside from being Doran’s bodyguard and then, Tyene Sand offs him in a hitch with a knife.
  • The Dreaded: A subtle version, but when the usually Hot-Blooded stab-it-if-it-moves Sand Snakes are confronted by Areo, they immediately surrender.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Gets killed suddenly by a quick stab in the back and doesn't even get a close-up for his death scene.
  • Heroic Build: Areo is massive.
  • Implied Death Threat: When Ellaria storms out after unsubtly threatening to undermine his liege's authority, he looks expectantly at Prince Doran while touching his blade. Doran quietly stands him down by shaking his head.
  • The Lancer: To Doran.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Areo might be enormous, but he's also a quick hand with his blade.
  • Praetorian Guard: He's the captain of the household guard for the ruling family of Dorne.
  • Race Lift: In the books, he is described as being a bearded caucasian with white hair, from the Free City of Norvos. In the TV show, he is being played by a bald and beardless black actor.
  • Scary Black Man: Justified as he is a prince's bodyguard, so he needs the intimidation factor. Having a foreigner as your bodyguard makes sense too, when conspiracy often runs along family lines. That being said he's more of the reserved, silent intimidation type; verbally he's as polite as befits a captain of the guards.
  • Undying Loyalty: To House Martell.