'Game of Thrones' season 4 is still almost a year away, but there are plenty of reasons to be excited for the HBO fantasy drama's return. Reason #1: we're gonna get one of the coolest new characters next year.
Fans of the show's source material, the book series 'A Song of Ice and Fire,' are familiar with the character of Oberyn Martell, a.k.a. the Red Viper, who pops up in the second half of 'A Storm of Swords,' the third book of the series. The Red Viper comes from the southernmost region of Westeros, Dorne, which we haven't even glimpsed on the series yet. He arrives in King's Landing in season 4, and will become an invaluable ally to Tyrion Lannister -- though not to the rest of the Lannister family.
See, his sister Elia was married to Daenerys's brother, Rhaegar, and she was murdered, along with her infant children, by Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in Tywin Lannister's violent takeover of King's Landing. So yeah, you might say that Oberyn has an ulterior motive in coming to King's Landing.
Now we have a face to associate with the character: Chilean actor Pedro Pascal has been cast in the sure-to-be beloved role. The actor, who has recently appeared in shows such as 'Graceland' and 'Red Widow,' was announced today as the Red Viper by EW.
"This was a tough one," said executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on Oberyn's casting. "The Red Viper is sexy and charming, yet believably dangerous; intensely likable, yet driven by hate. The boys love him, the girls love him, and he loves them all back. Unless your last name is Lannister. We found a fellow who can handle the job description and make it seem effortless. He wasn’t easy to find and he won’t be easy to stop."
That is very high praise indeed, and I couldn't be more excited to see what Pascal does with the job. After all, 'Game of Thrones' has an incredible track record with casting, and I can't see how this will be any different.
'Game of Thrones' season 4 will premiere next spring on HBO.