HBO has announced the much-anticipated casting of a popular character to join the ranks of Game of Thrones season 4.
Chilean actor Pedro Pascal has landed the role of Oberyn Martell, nicknamed “The Red Viper,” in Game of Thrones season 4. The sly and charismatic character is a favorite among fans of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and his casting is one of the most highly anticipated since the first season.
Oberyn Martell is the first representative introduced to readers from the southernmost kingdom of Dorne. The younger brother of Doran Martell (prince and ruler of Dorne), Oberyn has a decidedly more progressive and distinct worldview than many of the nobles of Westeros, and has a reputation as a deadly fighter. Oberyn’s arrival in King’s Landing creates quite a stir in the simmering political pool.
The character was not an easy role to fill, according to showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss. “The Red Viper is sexy and charming… intensely likable, yet driven by hate,” they said. “The boys love him, the girls love him, and he loves them all back. Unless your last name is Lannister.”
Pascal apparently checks all of the boxes for the Powers That Be at Game of Thrones. Originally from Chile, the actor has appeared on several American television shows, including The Good Wife, Red Widow, and Graceland.
“We found a fellow who can handle the job description and make it seem effortless,” Benioff and Weiss said. “He wasn’t easy to find and he won’t be easy to stop.”
The casting is one of the first announced for Game of Thrones season 4, and comes only weeks after the conclusion of the well-received (and devastating) third season. We also recently learned that actors from previous seasons will return, including Owen Teale as Alliser Thorne, Kate Dickie as Lysa Arryn, and Dominic Carter as Janos Slynt. (Not very pleasant characters, but they should fold back into the story well!)