Features and Columns · TV

‘Game of Thrones’ Casts Its Season Four Spark-plug, The Red Viper of Dorne

By  · Published on June 29th, 2013

One of the most entertaining and vibrant characters in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has finally been confirmed to appear in the HBO show Game of Thrones. Throughout the first three seasons of the massive hit drama, the land of Dorne has only been mentioned in passing. It’s the hot, dry, sand-covered land at the southernmost point of Westeros, far south of King’s Landing, where Joffrey sits the Iron Throne; south of Casterly Rock, the yet unseen homeland of the Lannisters; and south yet of Oldtown, another location we haven’t seen, despite its status as one of the largest cities in all the land (it’s where Maesters train). But as season four dives deeper into the second half of Martin’s “A Storm of Swords,” the third book in the series, Dorne will play a much larger part in the politics of ruling over the Seven Kingdoms. Chief among them is their prince, their most fierce warrior, The Red Viper.

And now we have our Red Viper of Dorne

Pedro Pascal, best known for his recent TV roles in Graceland and Red Widow, has been cast as Prince Oberyn Martell, The Red Viper of Dorne for the upcoming fourth season. Without giving too much away for non-book readers, Oberyn will come to King’s Landing this coming season as a representative of Dorne. He brings an interesting bit of drama with him. He’s the youngest of three Martell royal siblings, which includes his elder brother Doran, who sits as the Prince of Dorne. With Doran unable to travel, Oberyn is sent King’s Landing to claim his seat on the small council, part of the new relationship between the Martells and the Lannisters (remember when Tyrion sent his niece off to Dorne?). Of course, Oberyn is not a mild-mannered, thoughtful guy like his brother. He’s a hot-headed warrior who is as charming as he is deadly. And he’s still a little upset about the death of his sister, Elia, who was married to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. She was murdered during Robert’s rebellion against the Mad King.

So you can imagine that things will be a little tense between The Red Viper and the Lannisters of King’s Landing. He’s sure to bring some much-needed adversarial conflict to the world of the Lannisters, as they seem to be riding pretty high after season three.

It should also be noted, albeit vaguely, that The Red Viper is a fan favorite from the books (myself included). He’s the kind of danger you’d love to have around for a long, long time. [via EW]

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)