Note: Trigger warning for the main body of the text and potential spoilers. Please don’t watch or read if you are not up to date with Season 4 of Game of Thrones. You have been warned!
Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne is the Red Viper who comes to King’s Landing for retribution over the death of his sister Elia Martell. During the War of the Usurper, where Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark rise up against Mad King Aerys, Westeros is plunged into civil war with banners called, allegiances made, fealties sworn and battles to be fought.
The war ends when Aerys was killed by Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, but not before The Mountain Gregor Clegane brutally raped and butchered Elia Martell and her children.
The clip, above, is from Season Four of Game of Thrones with Pedro Pascal (Oberyn) and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and sees Martell warn Tyrion that Tywin Lannister and Gregor Clegane, his vassal, are in danger and that he has intentions to avenge his sister’s brutal murder.
This scene is one of a number of quality interactions between Oberyn and Tyrion, and I like the exchange. Most of the time new characters are introduced on Game of Thrones it takes them a while to settle in and to get to grips with, or to start rooting for. There are some characters like Janos Slynt, Bran Stark and Balon Greyjoy that you actively want to see take a fall but from the instant that Pascal was on the screen as the Red Viper, I was enthralled.
Pascal’s contribution to Season 4 was short but for me he will be one of my favoured characters and one of the characters I will be most upset with losing. Given how the show has been rumoured to deviate from the books, on one major plot point in Season 5, I was hoping they could do the same for Oberyn.
It wasn’t to be, but at least The Mountain’s debt was paid.