Obara Sand is the eldest child of Prince Oberyn Martell and an Oldtown whore. She is the oldest of the Sand Snakes, a group she and her half-sisters formed. When her father, Oberyn, got killed after traveling to King’s Landing, Obara and her sisters sought vengeance. However, Doran Martell, the Prince of Dorne, sent Areo to lock her and her sisters to prevent carnage.
- Name: Obara Sand.
- Allegiance: House Martell.
- Date of Birth: 271 or 272 AC in Oldtown.
- Culture: Dornish.
- Religion: Faith of the Seven.
- Father: Oberyn Martell.
- Sisters: Nymeria Sand, Tyene Sand, Sarella Sand, Elia Sand, Obella Sand, Dorea Sand, Lorenza Sand.
- Hair Color: Brown.
Appearance and Personality
Obara is a long-legged, big-boned woman with close-set eyes and brown hair. She is a formidable warrior who inherited her father’s martial prowess. Her hands are callused and rugged, making it appear as though they were of a man.
Obara moves angrily with the demeanor of someone vexed. Having the same hair as her mother, she takes many features from her father, including her fiery nature. She ties her hair in a knot to enable her to fight better.
Obara is hot-tempered and prone to anger easily. She dresses like a man, wearing a golden over brown mottled sandsilk cloak and a linen tunic with a belt engraved with copper suns. She arms herself with many weapons, including a spear, a whip, and a round shield of copper and steel.
Though there is little information on her childhood, Obara was born to an Oldtown peasant prostitute. Upon learning he had a daughter, Oberyn traveled to Oldtown and requested to have his daughter. However, the woman tried fighting against having her daughter taken away from her.
To prove the child was his, Oberyn placed the girl between himself and her mother and stated that whoever she went to would keep her. The young baby crawled to Oberyn, and he took her to Sunspear. Heartbroken from losing her child, the Oldtown woman drank herself to death in one year.
Upon getting to Sunspear, Obara got strong and became a confident rider. Her intense training and martial pursuits made her a fierce and capable warrior feared by many.
Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire Novels
A Feast for Crows
After Oberyn Martell gets killed while fighting for Tyrion Lannister, news of his death and Gregor’s confession of killing Elia Martell and her children reach Dorne. Obara Sand meets her uncle, Prince Doran Martell, at the Water Gardens and demands vengeance from him, stating that she wants to travel to King’s Landing and slay Gregor’s liege lord, Tywin Lannister. She also requests to burn down Old Town. Doran tells her he will think about her proposal.
Nymeria meets Doran and requests that he crowns Myrcella Queen, according to Tyene’s plan, to incite chaos and draw the Lannisters to Dorne, where they will get killed. With the suggestions from Obara and her sisters, Doran sends Areo Hotah, his guard, to arrest the three eldest Sand Snakes and their sisters.
A Dance with Dragons
After getting released, Obara learns of the near-fatal attempt on Myrcella’s life and gets pleased. She and her sisters attend the feast organized by Doran to welcome Ser Balon Swann, who brought the Mountain’s skull. Obara gives a helping hand to Maester Caleotte by placing his skull on a marble shelf. When a toast gets made in King Tommen I Baratheon’s name, she allows her cup to get filled to the brim and throws it to the ground before storming out of the hall.
Obara discusses Gregor’s death with Areo Hotah, Arianne Martell, Ellaria Sand, and Prince Doran and suggests that Dorne go to war with House Lannister. Later, she leads Balon Swann to High Hermitage so he can hunt down the rogue knight, Ser Gerold Dayne, for mutilating Myrcella’s face.
Appearance in Adaptations
In HBO’s television series, Game of Thrones, Obara’s character got portrayed by Keisha Castle-Hughes. She appeared in seasons 5, 6, and 7 and starred in 8 episodes. After Oberyn Martell gets killed, Obara meets Ellaria Sand, the paramour of her father, and learns that she captured the merchant that smuggled Jaime Lannister into Dorne.
When Ellaria tells Obara that she should choose either peace or war, she agrees to join the campaign against the Lannisters, believing her uncle Doran Martell, is incompetent. She and her sisters confront Jaime, but the fight gets broken up by Areo Hotah, and she gets locked in a prison cell with her sister and Bronn. She watches as Tyene poisons Bronn and almost kills him before giving him the antidote to the Long Farewell poison.
Obara later joins Myrcella on a boat back to King’s Landing. On the journey, Myrcella dies after getting poisoned. Ellaria sends Obara to King’s Landing to kill Prince Trystane, her cousin, and she ambushes him. Though he pleads for his life, she kills him, committing kingslaying, an act forbidden by Westeros.
Ellaria meets with Olenna Tyrell and swears loyalty to Daenerys Targaryen and her claim to the seven kingdoms and Westeros. When Daenerys’s fleet arrives in Dragonstone, the Martell and Greyjoys’ fleet gets sent to Sunspear to stage an attack against King’s Landing, but on the way, Obara and her sisters get ambushed by Euron Greyjoy. Though she tries to fight him, she is no match for his strength, and he stabs her in the stomach.
Obara Sand: The Fiery Warrior
Obara’s character is one of anger and restlessness. As she saw the world through a convoluted tube of rage and war, she could never reason for any other solution besides killing and burning anyone who offended her or stood in her way. Though brave, her anger was a disadvantage that never provided her any benefit besides a continuous taste for blood and vengeance.
Did Obara believe in harming innocent people for her cause?
Unlike the television series, Obar and her sisters had a code of honor that they followed strictly. The code prevented them from killing innocent people who had nothing to do with causing them harm.
Who are the Sand Snakes?
The Sand Snakes are the bastard daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell. They are combat trained and have many skills ranging from poison use to seduction. They got their name from the combination of the Dornish bastard surname, Sand, and their father’s nickname, the Red Viper.
What happened to Obara and her half-sis in Game of Thrones?
In season 7, the Martells pledged allegiance to Daenerys and her cause and planned to sail and attack King’s Landing. However, on the journey, Obara and her half-sister, Nymeria, get surprised by an ambush from Euron. She gets stabbed and killed. Her body gets impaled in front of Euron’s ship, while Nymeria gets hanged.
Why did Obara perform cold-blooded murder in the series?
In the series, the Sand Snakes did not follow a strict code of conduct that prevented them from killing anyone. In honor of her father, Obara began killing opponents that would hamper her plans of killing Cersei and the rest of the Lannisters. Her emotions caused her to rage in retaliation for her father’s death.