Ellaria Sand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ellaria Sand
A Song of Ice and Fire character
Game of Thrones
Ellaria Sand.jpg
Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand
First appearance
Last appearance
Created byGeorge R. R. Martin
Portrayed byIndira Varma
(Game of Thrones)
AliasThe Serpent's Whore
Significant otherOberyn Martell

Ellaria Sand is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of high fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin and its television adaptation, Game of Thrones. The character is portrayed by Indira Varma in the TV show.[1] Ellaria first appears in A Storm of Swords (2000), and while she is only mentioned in A Feast for Crows (2005), she returns in A Dance with Dragons (2011).

Character description[edit]

Ellaria Sand is a bastard from Dorne but is not discriminated against for this, as Dorne's views and customs towards children born out of wedlock differ from those of the rest of Westeros, where bastards are often discriminated against.[2] She is the paramour of Oberyn Martell, as even in Dorne a Prince cannot marry a bastard. She is the mother of the youngest four Sand Snakes (Oberyn's bastard daughters). Like Oberyn, she is bisexual.[2]


In the novels, Ellaria Sand is mostly a background character. She is not a point of view character; rather, her actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of other people.[citation needed]


A coat of arms showing a yellow spear piercing a red sun on a field of orange
Coat of arms of House Martell


A Storm of Swords[edit]

Ellaria comes with Oberyn to King's Landing, as part of Tyrion Lannister's efforts to win them to the Iron Throne. Oberyn, however, clearly wants revenge for his sister's death, apparently committed on the orders of Tywin Lannister, during King Robert's rebellion.[2] Oberyn wants Ellaria to sit with him at Joffrey Baratheon's wedding, causing trouble when Olenna Tyrell calls her "the serpent's whore". Later, when Tyrion is condemned for poisoning Joffrey Baratheon, Oberyn acts as his champion in a Trial by Combat against Ser Gregor Clegane, who had raped and murdered Oberyn's sister, Elia Martell, during the Sack of King's Landing. Oberyn wounds Gregor with a poisoned spear but is killed by Gregor. Afterwards, Ellaria returns to Dorne.

A Dance with Dragons[edit]

Gregor Clegane apparently dies of the poison after spending days in agony (Oberyn having treated the poison to work slowly). His skull is sent to Dorne, where Oberyn's brother, Doran Martell, the ruling Prince of Dorne, sees it. Despite Gregor and Tywin's deaths, Oberyn's bastard daughters want revenge. Ellaria argues against revenge, saying all those they want revenge against are dead and the Lannisters they are now targeting took no part in their kin's deaths. She reminds them Oberyn died for trying to avenge his sister's death and worries they will get killed if they try to get vengeance for him, and will draw her daughters into the cycle of revenge. Doran sends her back to her father, Lord Harmen Uller of Hellholt with her youngest daughter Loreza Sand.[3]

TV Series[edit]

English actress Indira Varma portrays Ellaria Sand.

Season 4[edit]

Ellaria Sand's storyline in this season is very similar to her storyline in A Storm of Swords.

Season 5[edit]

Ellaria goes to Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne and Oberyn's brother, to try to persuade him to take revenge for his brother's death. However, Doran refuses, as Oberyn's death was caused by trial by combat, and therefore by Westerosi law, Gregor Clegane did not murder Oberyn.[4] Ellaria soon realises after this that Jaime Lannister is sailing for Dorne, and Ellaria presumes correctly that Jaime is planning to rescue his and Cersei's daughter Myrcella, who is in Dorne and betrothed to Doran's son, Trystane. When Jaime arrives at the Water Gardens, a residence of House Martell where Myrcella and Ellaria are situated, the Sand Snakes, Oberyn's bastard daughters, one of which is Ellaria's daughter, attack Jaime and Bronn, acting under orders from Ellaria. However, the skirmish ends when Jaime, Bronn, the Sand Snakes and Ellaria are all arrested by the Martell guards. Soon after this, Doran and Jaime reach a deal where Trystane will still marry Myrcella, but the two will live in King's Landing and Trystane will be granted a seat on the Small Council. Ellaria is threatened with death by Doran if she ever defies him and she feigns allegiance to him. She kisses Myrcella goodbye at the docks, secretly wearing lipstick coated with a slow-acting poison, which kills Myrcella on the ship headed for King's Landing.

Season 6[edit]

After Doran Martell realises that Myrcella has been murdered, Ellaria stabs Doran, while in King's Landing, Obara and Nymeria, who had snuck onto the ship headed to King's Landing, kill Trystane. This makes Ellaria the de facto ruler of Dorne.[5] A while later, Ellaria meets Olenna Tyrell, whose son and grandchildren have been killed by Cersei, the present Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Ellaria then reveals her allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen. Later, Martell and Tyrell ships can be seen in Daenerys' fleet heading for Westeros.[6]

Season 7[edit]

Ellaria and the Sand Snakes arrive in Dragonstone with Daenerys and her fleet. They discuss the conquest of Westeros. Daenerys sends Yara and Theon Greyjoy and their fleet to take Ellaria and the Sand Snakes back to Dorne so they can gather their army. On their way, Euron Greyjoy attacks them and burns Yara's fleet. He kills Obara and Nymeria and captures Yara, Ellaria and Tyene. He later takes them to King's Landing and gives Ellaria and Tyene to Cersei as a gift.

In the dungeons Cersei recalls the death of Oberyn Martell and explains how much she loved Myrcella. Then she kisses Tyene using the same poison that Ellaria used to murder Myrcella. She tells Ellaria that she will be watching Tyene die and after Tyene's death, she will be kept alive to watch as her daughter's body rots away.

Family tree[edit]

TV adaptation[edit]

Ellaria Sand is played by the British actress Indira Varma in the television adaption of the series of books.[7] She won the Empire Hero Award along with the rest of the cast in 2015.[8][9] She was also nominated, along with the rest of the cast for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2016.[10]


  1. ^ "The Official Website for the HBO Series Game of Thrones - Season 5". HBO.
  2. ^ a b c A Storm of Swords, Chapter 38: Tyrion V.
  3. ^ A Dance With Dragons, Chapter 38: The Watcher.
  4. ^ Fowler, Matt (April 19, 2015). "Game of Thrones: "The House of Black and White" Review". IGN. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Hunt, James (April 25, 2016). "Game Of Thrones Season 6: 10 Ups And 2 Downs From 'The Red Woman'". What Culture. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  6. ^ Calia, Michael (June 26, 2016). "'Game of Thrones' Season 6 Finale Recap: 'The Winds of Winter'". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "Indira Varma: From Game of Thrones to Man and Superman". The Independent. February 17, 2015. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  8. ^ Barraclough, Leo (March 30, 2015). "Interstellar wins Film, Director at Empire Awards". Variety. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  9. ^ "Empire Hero Award 2015". Empire. Archived from the original on July 14, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  10. ^ "SAG Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. January 30, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2017.