Prince Oberyn Martell

The Red Viper


The younger brother of Prince Doran Martell, Prince Oberyn is one of the most infamous members of the Martell family. Known for his underhanded tactics—he’s called the Red Viper for his penchant for coating his weapons with poisons—and his rash and unpredictable manner, he’s a wild card in the Seven Kingdoms, and wherever he goes trouble seems to follow.

The Red Viper is a tall and slim man approaching his middle years. He moves with a liquid grace, with fluid movements suggesting an uncanny ease and perfect familiarity with his body. His features are melancholy, with lines wrought by the loss of his beloved sister, Elia. He has thin arched eyebrows above large black eyes, a narrow pointed nose, and black hair streaked with silver, which is receding, emphasizing his sharp widow’s peak.

According to Oberyn, a septon once claimed that he was proof of the gods’ goodness, for if they were cruel the Red Viper might have been born before his brother Doran and been heir to Sunspear. Oberyn can be cruel or fickle, but above all, he is vicious. He is like an unbroken stallion, a free spirit that goes and does what he pleases. He cleaves to his own principles, seeing life and living in ways few others can match or even understand. If there’s one constant to this mercurial man, it’s his hatred of House Lannister and his thirst for revenge for the death of his beloved sister. The Red Viper has bided his time, but the season for caution is long past and now he plots to exact the price for her death.


Oberyn Martell has a fearsome reputation. His indiscretions and trysts, dubious honor in battle, and impetuous nature combine to make him one of the most infamous figures to emerge from Dorne in recent memory. As a boy, he was adventurous and capricious, free from the responsibilities of rule since his elder brother Doran would inherit. Rather than outgrowing the exuberances of childhood, he embraced them, and his wild nature has stayed with him throughout his adult life.

While there are many exploits attributed to Oberyn in his youth, one of the most notorious events was when he was found with Lord Yronwood’s paramour. The Yronwood lord was a massive warrior, well known for his skill in battle and for his terrible temper. Yronwood called out Oberyn to fight a duel to the first blood. Both men were cut, and the duel satisfied, but while Oberyn healed, Yronwood did not. His injury festered until he eventually succumbed to the toxins that coursed through his body. It was said Oberyn fought with a poisoned blade that day, hence the moniker the Red Viper.

After, Oberyn left Dorne to explore the Free Cities. There he dabbled in the dark arts, learning the secrets of poisoning and far more, only to return to the Seven Kingdoms to study at the Citadel. He stayed there long enough to forge six links of a maester’s chain, and then he moved on again. He fought in the Disputed Lands, rode with a mercenary company for a time, and had many exploits of love, battles, wars, and more.

Some years ago, Oberyn faced young Willas Tyrell in a joust, which resulted in a tragic accident that left the boy maimed when his foot caught in his stirrup. Even though the Red Viper sent his own maester to attend to Willas, people whispered that the accident was intentional. Forever after, the Tyrells have nursed a deep and abiding hatred for Oberyn.

Prince Oberyn Martell

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