9 Memes That Perfectly Sum Up Oberyn Martell As A Character

ytsfreeSeptember 12, 2022

This article contains references to violence and murder

“… The Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts,” Oberyn said just before he became another debt whose repayment the Martells would have to seek maybe for thousands of years. Oberyn Martell was a great fighter and a sensible person if you consider his conversation with Tywin and Tyrion Lannister, but he was too proud for his own good.

He knew how to crack jokes and find humor even in the most serious of circumstances including at Tyrion’s trial. However, his untimely death was like a writing-off for House Martell in Game of Thrones as the Sands never stood a chance against Cersei. There was little to laugh about his horrific death, but, as these memes show, the same can’t be said about his hilarious personality on the show.


His Love For Dorne

Despite his pride and condescending character, a part of Oberyn was honorable, and he was a real Dornish statesman. He knew that hurting little children, even for revenge, didn’t happen in Dorne (although he underestimated Elaria’s hatred for the Lannisters). He loved Dorne though, and was willing to restore its glory – even if it meant giving his life (which is why he agreed to fight The Mountain).

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He also hated the Lannisters and could have killed Myrcella by himself and brought her head to Cersei, but Dorne would have lost its honor and been forced into war. He also had the chance to disobey and even topple Dorian as the prince of Dorne the same way the Sands did, but he respected Dornish customs too much.

His Carelessness

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Being vengeful was no excuse to be careless around The Mountain because there was too much at stake. He knew that The Mountain worked for Tywin Lannister and that he would never be able to kill Tywin in King’s Landing (but he had his judgment clouded).

All he needed to do was focus on the combat, kill The Mountain and be done with it. Instead, his attempts into getting The Mountain to confess the crimes he committed against his sister allowed the Lannister guard to regain control of the battle, and, in the end, Oberyn lost.

His Relationship With Cersei

Cersei and Oberyn were like ex-lovers who had this sense of understanding; they had lots of things in common, but a deep-lying hatred for each other. He couldn’t understand why Cersei hated Tyrion so much, having had to protect Tyrion from her when he was a baby and still having to fight for him when she thought he killed Joffrey (which was quite strange, since there were a number of other characters who were responsible for Joffrey’s downfall).

When Cersei told him to deliver the ship as a gift to Myrcella, Oberyn obliged and even reminded Cersei that her daughter was safe and happy in Dorne. However, when she claimed that she wanted revenge against Tyrion, Oberyn disagreed. He did the same thing when Cersei displayed her displeasure in The Sands at the Purple Wedding. A part of Oberyn understood Cersei, but mostly, he hated her because she behaved like Tywin.

His Dark Sense Of Humor

When everyone was listening to Shae as she explained how Tyrion had used and viewed her as his property, Oberyn asked her to repeat the funniest part of her testimony to get a laugh out of the crowd. He never took life too seriously, which made him one of the most likable characters.

He had a way of getting a light moment out of serious situations, including the battle for his life. He did the same with Varys, making fun of him without actually presenting it as an insult.

His Honor

Looking back on the show, it has become Dorne had a chance of forming an alliance with The Crown and Oberyn would have had a better chance of defeating the Lannisters from within. He had a seat on the Small Council, Cersei’s daughter in Dorne and the Lannisters at war. With all the cards in his hands, all he needed to do was wait for the right time and then execute the perfect revenge for his sister and her children.

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He didn’t even need to sign up as Tyrion’s champion but his honor told him that a confession from Gregor was the only way to get what he and all of Dorne needed. He was too attached to Elia and the past to see the future that lay in front of him.

His Misplaced Priorities

Oberyn was supposed to be the protector of House Martell and Dorne as a whole. He had eight daughters, Elaria Sand and Doran who depended on him. When Doran allowed him to go to King’s Landing, the priority was to avenge Elia Martell in a smart way that would end the Lannister dominance in the capital.

Oberyn lost sight of the goal and focussed only on Gregor Clegane. The fight between Cersei and Tyrion was none of his business. It was good for House Martell to let the Lannisters fight each other. He instead became another pawn in the fight and died in the process only making things worse for House Martell. It really was a shame that he joined the other GoT characters who died too soon.

False Courage

Jamie and Bronn refused to fight The Mountain despite being closer to Tyrion than Oberyn (and probably even better fighters). Oberyn could swing a spear better than most people he ever faced in battle, but the best fighters use strategy and caution concurrently, especially when facing formidable opponents like The Mountain.

While a helmet wouldn’t have changed his fate in the fight, a little caution would have. With all of Gregor’s armor, he should have guessed that a single stab couldn’t finish off The Mountain (who is one of the strongest Kingsguards of all time). Besides, when fighting, he should have kept the opponent in his sight to avoid surprises.

His Pettiness

“Are you dying? No, no, you can’t die yet. You haven’t confessed,” Oberyn told Ser Gregor before removing his spear from The Mountain’s chest instead of finishing him off. Oberyn’s pettiness started long before he faced The Mountain in the Trial by Combat though. When he arrived in King’s Landing, he stabbed a Lannister on the hand in the brothel for a simple argument.

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When he met Varys, who also hated the Lannisters, instead of discussing important matters, Oberyn only wanted to know whether Varys which part of Essos he came from. While being free-spirited was good, he should have known when to put frivolous issues aside and get important things done.

A People Pleaser

Oberyn didn’t make many enemies, even in King’s Landing, despite trying to avenge his family against the Lannisters. Most of it was because he tried to make everyone happy. When he cracked the joke during Tyrion’s trial, he was only trying to get the crowd’s attention rather than an explanation from Shae. He did the same with his entrance into the arena to face The Mountain.

Deciding to fight The Mountain wasn’t the right way to avenge his sister in the first place, and he knew it, but he did it anyway because he could get the crowd to cheer him. Trying to please everyone got him killed in the end as he delayed finishing off Ser Gregor Clegane while trying to get the most glorious death out of the combat.

NEXT: Game Of Thrones: 9 Most Powerful Enemies Jon Could Face In The Snow Sequel


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