Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand
Despite Oberyn Martell's death, "Game of Thrones" Season 5 will see many more Martells, but not in King's Landing. The series will be heading to Dorne. HBO

Season 5 of “Game of Thrones” is still a full year away so don’t get too excited. But in the interim to aide in your agony during this waiting process, we are analyzing all the new characters for Season 5 and we are starting with the Sand Snakes. If you don’t know who the Sand Snakes are just yet, you will soon learn mainly because if you watched Season 4 of “Game of Thrones” then you most certainly know their father, Oberyn Martell aka the Red Viper. In episode 8 of Season 4 “The Mountain and the Viper,” fans witnessed the gruesome death of Martell at the hands of the Mountain.

The Red Viper wasn’t the first Martell in King’s Landing, however he was the first one that fans directly met. The Red Viper’s sister Elia Martell was the wife of crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the brother of Daenerys Targaryen, and she too like her brother was killed at the hands of the Mountain. During the original sack of King’s Landing, which took place during Robert’s Rebellion, Tywin Lannister ordered the death of Elia, and her two children in order to ensure the crown for Robert Baratheon. After discovering the truth about her murder, and bidding his time in order to strike at the right moment, the Red Viper joined the small council of King Joffrey Baratheon in order to do one thing—seek vengeance.

The Red Viper volunteered as the champion of Tyrion Lannister in order to fight the Mountain and force him to confess his crime. But things didn’t go quite as planned and though the Red Viper mortally wounded the Mountain, the huge knight wended up overpowering the Red Viper and crushing his head, killing him instantly. In addition to his horrified paramour, Ellaria Sand, the Red Viper is survived by his 8 children, who are known throughout Westeros as the Sand Snakes.

So which of these Sand Snakes will make it to Season 5 of “Game of Thrones?” Recent casting rumors reveal that only the three eldest Sand Snakes will be cast in Season 5, Obara, Nymeria and Tyene Sand. There are 8 Sand Snakes in total, they are all the infamous bastard daughter of Prince Oberyn Martell, but have different mothers. The youngest for Sand Snakes are Oberyn’s daughters by his now grieving paramour, Ellaria Sand. The three oldest Sand Snakes are companions of their royal cousin, Princess Arianne who will also be featured in Season 5. Now that we know what Sand Snakes are set to appear in “Game of Thrones,” let’s figure out exactly who they are.

The Sand Snakes
Tumblr fan art depicting the three eldest Sand Snakes, Obara Sand, Nymeria Sand, and Tyene Sand. Despite being sisters through their father, the Red Viper, all three look very different. Tumblr.com

Obara Sand, the eldest, is the daughter of a whore from Oldtown. While most noble don’t recognize their bastard children, Prince Oberyn taught his 8 daughters everything he knows and Obara matches her father in ferocity. She also is said to have inherited his skill with the spear, being the most warrior-like of the group, who also notably sports a whip. As opposed to her sturdily built sister, Nymeria, whose mother was a noblewoman from Old Volantis, is elegant and refined. She is an exotic beauty with dark eyes, and silky black hair which she wears in an intricate braid bound with cooper wires.

Lastly, Tyene, the daughter of a septa, is the closet to her cousin Princess Arianne, who like the Sand Snakes will play a large role in the Dorne storyline of Season 5. Tyene is notable for her skills in herb craft and poison, her father, who studied at the Citadel taught her these arts known mainly by maesters. Tyene is fair haired with striking blue eyes, and though beautiful, she is regarded as treacherous and deadly due to her skill with poisons.

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