Monday, May 26, 2014

When Women Play the Game: The Martells, Pt 2 (Sand Snakes)

The Sand Snakes by Joe Harty
The Sand Snakes--Obara, Nymeria, Tyene, Sarella, Elia, and the rest of Ellaria's children--are of a certain mentality, taught by their father to be cautious with their lives, yet find adventure and joy within them.  They have their mothers' teachings and blood, yet they are very much their fathers' daughters.  As Hotah points out, they all have different colored eyes, yet they are all the Red Viper's.  And they are just as dangerous.  Will that danger and hubris be their downfall?  Let's hope not!  I'm hopeful for the increase in women's power in the series, and House Martell is large part of that. 
Sand Snakes by eskatoad

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

When Women Play the Game: The Martells, Pt 1

The Martells, like the Tyrells, are adored by their people.  They know and play the game of thrones well.  The Martells are, however, later in the main gameplay than the rest.  Their plans have been brewing for years, though, and are now forced to fruition by Oberyn’s death, Viserys Targaryen’s death, and Arianne’s race to crown Myrcella over Tommen.  The Martells, especially the Sand Snakes, are prone to anger and violence.  But like Oberyn, they must patiently await the game to unfold in their favor after knowing that Oberyn and Doran are in cahoots to turn the tides to their advantage. 

After Elia Martell Targaryen was raped and murdered and her children slaughtered at the hands of Gregor Cleagane, Oberyn was hellbent on revenge, his venom building within him for years.  He has not forgotten this slight against him by Tywin Lannister.  With this vengeance and anger he raised his daughters.  They, too, are passionate, sensual, martial, and quick to anger.  All with the Red Viper's intense and piercing eyes, each one takes a piece of Oberyn and intensifies it: Obara is vicious and quick-tempered; Nymeria is swift and noble; Tyene is quiet, deceptive, and knowledgeable of poisons; and Sarella is intellectual and curious.  Jealous of how the Sand Snakes were raised, Arianne was expected to marry a man of her father's choosing, as a proper princess would, while Oberyn advises his daughters: "If you would wed, wed. [...] If not, take your pleasure where you find it.  There's little enough of it in this world.  Choose well, though.  If you saddle yourself with a fool or a brute, don't look to me to rid you of him.  I gave you the tools to do that for yourself" (Chapter 40, “The Princess in the Tower”, A Feast for Crows).  It's best not to even marry a Sand Snake unless he's completely worthy of her, and no one has been yet.  Bastards are accepted in Dorne and even loved, unlike in most of Westeros.  Could this passion lead the Martell clan to rise in the ranks of power or get themselves killed like their family before them?