updated 06/02/2014 AT 3:30 PM ET
•originally published 06/02/2014 AT 10:30 AM ET
Major Game of Thrones spoilers below.
Oberyn Nymeros Martell, the mercurial Prince of Dorne known as “The Red Viper,” died Sunday night in King’s Landing. He was 42 years old.
Martell had traveled to the capital to avenge the death of his sister, Crown Princess Elia Martell, at the hands of Ser Gregor Clegane during the sack of King’s Landing 17 years prior. After serving as a judge at the murder trial of Tyrion Lannister, Martell volunteered as Lannister’s champion during a trial by combat against Clegane.
Martell suffered a fatal head-squishing during the trial and died on the scene.
A ravishing pansexual with an immense appetite for life, Martell quickly became a favorite among certain observers of the royal court – a move that may have sealed his fate, considering the shortened life span positive attention seems to bring in Westeros. He was an expert in poisons, and was considered by some to be a suspect in the murder of King Joffrey for which he eventually served as judge. He was a proud proponent of Dorne’s unique history and culture, and bore a lifelong grudge against the Lannister family, whom he considered responsible for the death of his sister.
“When it comes to war, I fight for Dorne,” he told a prostitute weeks before his death. “When it comes to love, I don’t choose sides.”
Martell was born in Dorne, the younger brother of future Prince Doran Martell. He studied at the Citadel during his youth before serving with the Second Sons sellsword company in Essos, where he spread stories about attempting to seduce an Unsullied.
Martell is survived by his paramour, Ellaria Sand, as well as his eight daughters, by various women.
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