Areo Hotah

Areo Hotah is a calm yet deviously calculating man who judges his opponent by how they act and react to the world.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Areo Hotah is the captain of the household guard for Doran Martell, the Prince of Dorne. Initially a guard for Lady Mellario of Norvos, he grew to become one of Doran’s trusted confidants and helped the prince thwart the Sand Snakes and Princess Arianne’s plan of avenging Oberyn Martell. At a young age, he got sold to the religious leaders in the Free City of Norvos. From there, he swore a vow with his axe and became a guardsman for Lady Mellario. He accompanied her to Sunspear, where he became the personal bodyguard of Prince Doran Martell, the ruler of Dorne.

Personal Details

  • Name: Areo Hotah.
  • Title: Captain of the Martell Guard at Sunspear.
  • Place of Birth: The Free City of Norvos.
  • Allegiances: Holy Guard, House Nymeros Martell.
  • Culture: Norvoshi.
  • Religion: The Bearded Priests.
  • Hair Color: White.

Appearance and Personality

Areo is a broad-chested man with snow-white hair. He is tall and wields a long axe with a shaft that is six feet long. While at Norvos, he wore a cape made from heavy horsehair and a studded tunic and his iron halfhelm had the crest of sharpened spikes embedded into it. Upon getting to Sunspear, he changed his attire as the blazing heat in the city prevented him from wearing heavily armored clothes. In Dorne, he wore a copper-scaled shirt and a wavy yellow sandsilk to stop the sun from heating the copper.

As a former member of the holy guard at Norvos, Aroe Hotah is calm and rarely talks. He judges combat prowess by looking at others and observing how they react to the world. His quiet nature made him a confidant of Doran Martell, the Prince of Dorne. Though he is fierce and feared by many, he is gentle and has affection for the people he cherishes.


Areo Hotah was born in Norvos as the youngest of six children. At a young age, he got sold to the Bearded Priests of Norvos. When he reached 16, he completed his training and got wedded to his long axe through a ritual involving getting branded on the chest. After becoming a member of the holy guard, he became a guardsman for the family of Lady Mellario. 

When Lady Mellario married Prince Doran Martell, she moved to Sunspear, and Areo accompanied her as her guard. Upon reaching the city, he got culture-shocked to see the wild customs of Dorne, from women dressing callously to spicy foods and intense heat.

Upon getting to Sunspear, Areo entered the service of House Martell when Lady Mellario married Doran. He watched as Doran and Mellario’s children grew up and developed a close relationship with them, especially Princess Arianne Martell, whom he grew a father-like love for and called little princess. Areo became the captain of the guard for the Martells, and when Mellario returned to Norvos, he stayed behind as the guard of his new master, Doran.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Feast for Crows

When Doran Martell’s health deteriorates, he moves to the Water Gardens, and Areo accompanies him. Doran learns of Oberyn’s death at the hands of Gregor Clegane, and Obara Sand, Oberyn’s daughter, meets him and requests that he lets her take revenge on the Lannisters for killing her father. He denies her request to go to war with the Lannisters, stating that her father died in a trial by combat. 

Later, Areo watches as Nymeria Sand asks for permission to kill Myrcella Baratheon and travel to King’s Landing to kill Tywin Lannister. Doran refuses, and she leaves. Tyene Sand also comes forward, requesting Dorne to lure the Lannisters to Sunspear and kill them. Believing that the Sand Snakes will concoct a plan against Myrcella, Doran instructs Areo to put all of Oberyn’s daughters in custody. 

Doran learns that his daughter, Arianne, is plotting with Ser Arys Oakheart to make Myrcella Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Realizing that the plan will send the seven kingdoms into further chaos, he sends Areo to end the conspiracy. 

When Areo confronts Arianne, Arys charges toward him, and he kills the knight. Arianne gets captured and taken back to Sunspear to await an audience with her father. After many weeks of confinement, Areo takes her to see Doran and stays watching as Arianne narrates how she found the letter from Doran stating that he will make Quentyn his heir.

A Dance With Dragons

Areo Hotah attends the feast where Ser Balon Swann of the Kingsguard presents Gregor Clegane’s skull to Doran Martell. He notes that Balon is more formidable than his brother, Arys, whom he had slain easily. To prevent further conflict, Doran meets with Arianne, Obara, Nymeria, and Tyene. He tells his daughter to convince Myrcella that Arys got killed by the rogue knight Darkstar.

Appearance in Adaptations

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Areo Hotah’s character got portrayed by DeObia Oparei. He appeared in seasons 5 and 6 and starred in 6 episodes. There were many noticeable differences between the Areo of the books and the show. The most noticeable difference was in appearance.

When Jaime travels to Sunspear to retrieve Myrcella, he gets into a confrontation with the Sandsnakes. Areo Hotah tries to calm the situation, but when Jaime does not back down, he places his long axe blade on the knight’s neck. Jaime surrenders and gets taken into custody for trying to kidnap Myrcella.

Prince Doran travels to the Water Gardens, escorted by Tyene and Ellaria, and learns of his brother’s death. As he talks to Ellaria, Maester Caleotte rushes in to deliver the news of Myrcella’s death. Doran realizes his brother’s paramour is responsible, but before he acts, Tyene stabs Areo, and Ellaria stabs him.

Areo Hotah: A Soldier that Served, Obeyed, and Protected

‘Simple words for a simple man;’ is the statement that defines Areo’s character. As the captain of guards, he was in a position to affect the politics of Dorne. However, he chose to remain the watcher. He remained the fierce warrior who watched events unfold, and his willingness to only serve, obey, and protect, made his character uniquely simple.


Is Areo Hotah a great fighter?

Areo Hotah is an exceptionally skilled fighter. Having been trained at the temple of the religious leaders in the Free City of Norvos for all his childhood, he is more disciplined than most knights in Westeros. However, compared to the greats, Areo is good. However, he cannot defeat people like Robert Baratheon, Barristan Selmy, and Jaime Lannister in one-on-one combat.

Why did Areo kill Ser Arys Oarkheart with ease?

To put it simply, Areo was better than Arys, and the kingsguard was unprepared for the sudden confrontation. As Arys and Arrriane made a plan not involving conflict, Areo took them by surprise.

Is Areo the strongest fighter in Dorne?

There are not many fighters mentioned in Dorne. However, Areo is not the strongest. Oberyn seems to be a better-skilled fighter than the captain of the guards, but it is hard to conclude if the Red Viper is a better fighter because there is little knowledge of Areo’s prowess.

Who will win in a duel between Areo Hotah and Sandor Clegane?

Though Areo is a skilled fighter, he is no match for Sandor Clegane, who is better and faster. Sandor is so freakishly scary that even Jaime admits that in all of Westeros, only he, Gregor Clagane, and Ser Barristan Selmy can bring down The Hound.

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