Life Ruiner of the Week: Oberyn Martell

What has us moved to distraction this week? Who’s filling our thoughts when we should be working? What has us spending more money than we should? Where are we spending more time than is prudent?

What’s the Life-Ruiner of the Week?

May 30: Oberyn Martell

With this week’s Game of Thrones hiatus (and with my best Game of Thrones discussion buddy out of the country), I’ve had more time than usual to stew about the show, its characters, and my worries about their fates.

I’ve read the first four of George R.R. Martin’s novels, so I have a general understanding of where this season is going (who’s to live and who’s to die, etc.). That said, the show’s been throwing some interesting curve balls our way this season and I’m more than a little worried about everyone I’ve come to love during my journey through Westeros (and Essos, of course — but not yet Sothoryos or Ulthos (I know! Two whole unexplored continents?! A reader’s dream!)).


Oberyn Martell by Ali-Radicali on deviantART

The focus of my obsession this week is the dynamic (and sexy) Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper. Ever since he swaggered onto the pages of A Storm of Swords, Oberyn has been close to my heart. In a world full of lies and political plays, Oberyn is refreshingly honest. Oh, he’s playing a game just like everyone else, but he has no qualms about speaking his mind and insulting certain Lannisters who desperately deserve it. I like that in a man.

He’s also one of the characters I think the show gets right. Pedro Pascal’s Prince Oberyn is just as fierce, passionate, and ultimately lovable as Martin’s written character. And, of course, his accent is riveting. I also love that the showrunners have taken his rumored bisexuality and made it canon. Game of Thrones’ Oberyn is openly bisexual. He discusses it with multiple people on several occasions, and during some of the conversations he isn’t even naked. This is not to say that the depiction of Oberyn’s sexuality is not entirely unproblematic, but it’s a step in the right direction of which I approve heartily.

The last time we saw Oberyn, almost two weeks ago in “Mockingbird,” he had just, in his typical dramatic style, agreed to champion Tyrion in his trial by combat. Now, he did this because he saw the perfect opportunity to avenge his sister’s death and kill Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane without any annoying consequences. But I also like to think that he did it because he likes Tyrion, at least as much as he could ever like a Lannister.

I am breathless with anticipation about the forthcoming fight between the monstrous, and seemingly unbeatable, Clegane and my beloved, and deadly, Prince Oberyn. Who will win? (Okay, I know who wins, but I’m not telling you!) And more importantly, how awesome will this fight scene be? Could it make me fall even more in love with the Red Viper? It’s highly likely.

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