Oberyn Martell makes his Game of Thrones debut in the HBO drama’s Season 4 premiere (Sunday at 9/8c), and the Dornish prince with the reptilian nickname “doesn’t waste any time” – star Pedro Pascal‘s words – putting the Lannisters on notice.
A quick history lesson: Oberyn wants Tywin & Co. to pay for the death of his sister, Elia Martell, who met her ghastly end during Mad King Aerys’ overthrow. Since Ser Gregor Clegane was doing Papa Lannister’s bidding at the time, Martell reasons, there’s a blood debt that needs be repaid.
Yet, as the actor is quick to point out, Pascal’s character isn’t your typical, behead-first-ask-questions-later Westerosi warrior. Oberyn is “definitely punk rock,” Pascal says with a laugh. “He’s like, ‘Live life to the fullest, suck the marrow, play hard, love hard, hate hard.”
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These values become clear from Pascal’s first scene in the premiere, when Oberyn skips a formal welcome to the capital, opting instead for the earthly delights (of all flavors) available within Littlefinger’s bordello. And unlike most of the men who visit the parlor, he brings his lady along for the fun.
“I would say she’s the love of Oberyn’s life, and they have four daughters together,” Pascal says, previewing the deeply equal, very atypical relationship between his character and Indira Varma’s (Rome) Ellaria Sand. “He found somebody who’s his match, like ‘I see the world how you see the world’ and ‘Let’s do this together.’”
He adds, laughing: “As far as meeting us in the brothel, that very well may have been her idea.”
Every season so far of the fantasy epic has had at least one OMG moment (see also: Ned Stark’s death, the Battle of Blackwater, the Red Wedding, etc.); this new batch of episodes is no different. But Pascal says that any huge developments this season may not necessarily affect his character’s quest for vengeance. “His focus is so specific” regarding who needs killing and why, Pascal tells TVLine. Anything else that happens “is not part of that equation.”
Real life, however, is a completely different story. After reading his spoiler-filled Oberyn audition scenes, Pascal — whose Mentalist guest arc started at the end of March – jokes, “I thought, ‘I better get this f—ing part, because the fourth season is ruined for me!’”Follow @kimroots