The “Game of Thrones” season 4 premiere, “Two Swords,” featured plenty of familiar faces as well as a few new characters. During the first episode of season 4, fans were greeted by Oberyn Martell, better known as the Red Viper, and Ellaria Sand, his paramour, in King’s Landing, while Styr and the Thenns were introduced beyond the Wall.
You can read an in-depth and spoiler-filled look at the Red Viper here. Oberyn is sure to be a fan favorite due to his wit, sense of danger and the threat he poses to the Lannisters. Seeing the look on Tyrion’s face as well as Oberyn’s own words, the Martells, like the Lannisters, always pay their debt, is enough of an indication that the Red Viper is at King’s Landing for more than just Joffrey’s wedding.
Oberyn Martell, played by Pedro Pascal, is the younger brother of Doran Martell and hails from Dorne. The introduction of Oberyn serves to not only bring a new character to “Game of Thrones” but introduces House Martell and Dorne. Oberyn’s sister, Elia Martell, was married to Rhaegar Targaryen and killed by Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain, and the Red Viper wants justice for Elia’s death.
Oberyn got the nickname of the Red Viper after rumors surfaced he used poison during a duel when he was a teenager. Oberyn has spent some time at the Citadel, studying as a maester before heading to the continent of Essos. We first meet Oberyn in a brothel with Ellaria, the mother of four of his children. According to Westeros.org, Ellaria is the bastard daughter of Lord Uller, ruler of Hellholt.
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Beyond the Wall, another group of Wildlings were introduced. Styr serves as the Magnar, or lord, of the Thenn and the group serves as a contrast to the much more normal group of Wildlings we have known on the show. Styr and the Thenns will play an important role later on in season 4.