- "You think I disapprove, why? Because people disapprove of that sort of thing where you are from? They disapproved of Oberyn and me where you are from. Here, no one blinked an eye. A hundred years ago, no one would of blinked an eye at you, if you'd been named Targaryen. It's always changing, who we're supposed to love, and who we're not. The only thing that stays the same is we want who we want."
- ―Ellaria to Jaime Lannister about love.
Ellaria Sand is a major character in the fifth and sixth seasons. She initially appeared as a recurring character in the fourth season, debuting in "Two Swords". She is portrayed by starring cast member Indira Varma. Ellaria is the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne and a bastard of House Uller, carrying the bastard surname "Sand" like all bastards in Dorne.
After their arrival in King's Landing, Ellaria and her lover, Prince Oberyn Martell, head to one of Littlefinger's brothels. Oberyn examines three whores while Ellaria lies on the bed, asking her which one she would like. She says that she doesn't want a timid one and he eventually finds one to her liking. When Olyvar calls Ellaria "my lady", she calls him out for using a lie to address her and tells him to call her what she is: a bastard. When Oberyn hears men singing the Rains of Castamere in the next room, Ellaria tries to stop him but can only watch as Oberyn takes out his rage on the Lannister men-at-arms. She proceeds to passionately kiss him as Tyrion Lannister and Bronn enter the room seeking Oberyn.
Ellaria and Oberyn attend Joffrey's wedding, where she is introduced to Tywin Lannister and Cersei Lannister. Cersei subtly mocks her bastard status, instigating a debate over the cultural differences between the Dornish and the rest of Westeros. She and Oberyn later witness the poisoning of King Joffrey.
In the days following Joffrey's death, Ellaria and Oberyn again visit the brothel. On this occasion, Ellaria is serviced by Marei and another woman; Ellaria steals a kiss from Olyvar, who apologizes and says he simply hasn't developed the taste for women. Ellaria soothes Oberyn's anger at the suggestion that she is an "acquired taste", by reminding him that this means he has Olyvar to himself. Ellaria leaves when Lord Tywin unexpectedly shows up and asks to meet privately with Oberyn, but says that Oberyn need only call if he needs her.
During Tyrion's trial by combat, Ellaria, in spite of having heard tales of the Mountain for years, is somewhat disturbed to see exactly how large he really is, expressing with disbelief, "you're going to fight that?!". Ellaria watches with Tyrion from the sidelines and is delighted when it looks like Oberyn has won. When Oberyn demands that Gregor confess his crimes before he dies, he meets Ellaria's eyes and she nods approvingly. Her delight turns to shock and horror when the Mountain gains the upper hand on Oberyn and crushes his skull, at which she can do nothing but scream.
At the Water Gardens, Ellaria, still in mourning clothes, observes Trystane Martell and Myrcella Baratheon from a distance. She approaches Prince Doran Martell, but her path is initially blocked by Captain Areo Hotah. Ellaria threatens Areo before the captain is ordered by Doran to stand down. Angrily, Ellaria scolds Doran for his apparent inaction at the news of Oberyn's death. Doran plans to bury and mourn his beloved brother, but Ellaria and Oberyn's daughters want the Dornish people to take up arms and avenge their fallen prince. She also voices her contempt for Myrcella and wants to harm her in order to take revenge on Cersei for falsely putting Tyrion on the show trial that led to Oberyn's death. Doran strictly forbids this, stating that under his rule, they will not mutilate little girls for revenge. Ellaria voices doubts that Doran will remain in power if he continues to do nothing and leaves.
She later meets with Obara, Nymeria and her daughter Tyene, telling them that Doran will mourn for Oberyn but won't do anything. As Obara points out that they have no army without the support of the Prince to challenge the Lannisters Ellaria says that they won't need an army because they have Myrcella. Nymeria informs her that there's perhaps a problem, presenting her the merchant captain who smuggled Jaime Lannister to Dorne and tried to sell this information to Obara, just to end buried in the sand. Ellaria realizes that Jaime has come for Myrcella and asks the three which way they choose, Doran's or hers. Tyene is the first one declaring for her, followed by Nymeria and then Obara, who makes her point by telling how she first met Oberyn, when she made her choice, and then she uses her spear to kill the captain.
Ellaria and the Sand Snakes return to the Water Gardens to kidnap Myrcella and use her for their revenge against the Lannisters. They swear, by the words of House Martell, to do what is needed to avenge Oberyn. However, Prince Doran had forseen their attempt to take Myrcella and his guard, led by Aero Hotah, arrests the Sand Snakes and Ellaria for their treachery.
Ellaria is later brought before Doran to receive Jaime, though she is openly hostile towards him, calling him Kingslayer and refusing to drink a toast to Tommen as the new King. On her way out, she insults Doran, who in turn threatens to kill her if she speaks to him like that again. Later, Doran issues Ellaria an ultimatum: pledge allegiance to him, or die. She tearfully complies. She later visits Jaime in his quarters and makes amends with him, knowing that neither he nor Myrcella played any part in Oberyn's death, but expresses her knowledge that Myrcella is not Jaime's niece, but his daughter. Before leaving, she mocks him for not being born centuries ago into the Targaryen family, in which position his incest would have been accepted.
As the Sand Snakes say goodbye to the expedition back to King's Landing, Ellaria kisses Myrcella on the lips. As the ship is away in the horizon, Ellaria wipes blood from her nose and takes an antidote for the poison coated on her lips, which has just taken Myrcella's life on the boat, and walks away silently, contemplating what will follow when Doran finds out that she has betrayed him and put his son's life in danger.
|Season Four appearances|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Season Five appearances|
|The Wars to Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother’s Mercy|
|Doran Martell||Elia Martell|
|Rhaegar Targaryen 15px|
of House Uller
|Trystane Martell||Deceased||Rhaenys Targaryen 15px|
|Aegon Targaryen Vaizdas:Targaryen-small.png|
|Obara Sand 16px|
1st Sand Snake
Fathered on a Dornish peasant
|Nymeria Sand 16px|
2nd Sand Snake
Fathered on an Eastern noblewoman
|Sarella Sand 16px|
4th Sand Snake
Fathered on a Summer Islander ship captain
|Tyene Sand 16px|
3rd Sand Snake
Eldest of Ellaria's daughters
|Sand Snakes 16px|
(Elia, Obella, Dorea, Loreza)
- "Don't leave me alone in this world."
- ―Ellaria's last words to Oberyn Martell.
Behind the scenesRedaguoti
- On the Season 4 Blu-ray, Ellaria narrates the Histories & Lore videos on "The Bastards of Westeros".
In the booksRedaguoti
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Ellaria Sand is the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell. She is the bastard daughter of Lord Harmen Uller, the Lord of Hellholt - thus she is one of the "Sandy Dornishmen" of the central desert of Dorne, who possess particularly dark skin, burned brown by the hot desert sun. Her hair and eyes are also black. She is described as not explicitly beautiful, as she is no longer a young woman and has borne four children, though still attractive and eye-catching, with an exotic, sensuous flair. Like her partner Oberyn, she expresses sexual interest in both women and men. It is not unusual for lords and ladies in Dorne to be openly bisexual, due to the relaxed attitude towards sexuality among the Dornish. She's rumored to worship a Lysene love godess and is dubbed "The Serpent's whore" - the serpent in question being Oberyn Martell - by Olenna Redwyne.
Ellaria is the mother of the four youngest of Oberyn's eight bastard daughters, who are all collectively known as the "Sand Snakes". Ellaria's four daughters with Oberyn are Elia, Obella, Dorea, and Loreza Sand.
In the books, Ellaria doesn't advocate war against the Lannisters, much less exacting revenge by harming Myrcella. In fact, she urges against war, because she is worried the cycle of revenge will continue until even her youngest daughters are eventually consumed by it. The role of going against Doran's orders by trying to spark a war is at first taken up by the three eldest Sand Snakes: Obara, Nymeria and Tyene. In fact, Obara is the one who approaches Doran in the Water Gardens and accuses him of inaction. However, the Sand Snakes act independently instead of under Ellaria's directive, and are soon reined in by Doran anyway. Later, it is Arianne, Doran's daughter and heir, who urges for war and actually puts a plan in motion using Myrcella, though it doesn't involve harming her either.
During Arianne's failed plot, Myrcella is the target of an assassination attempt by one of Arianne's own supporters: Ser Gerold Dayne, the Knight of High Hermitage, head of a lesser branch of House Dayne, though Arianne was unaware of Dayne's motives. Unlike in the show, Myrcella survives the injury but is left disfigured, and Doran orders a manhunt for Dayne.
- Ellaria Sand on A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
- Arianne Martell on A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
- Gerold Dayne on A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)
- ↑ Doran clearly states in "The Dance of Dragons" that Ellaria is mother to "four" of his nieces - though Tyene wasn't Ellaria's daughter in the novels.
- ↑ "The Dance of Dragons"
- ↑ "Two Swords"
- ↑ "The Lion and the Rose"
- ↑ "Breaker of Chains"
- ↑ "The Mountain and the Viper"
- ↑ "The House of Black and White"
- ↑ "Sons of the Harpy (episode)"
- ↑ Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
- ↑ "The Dance of Dragons"
- ↑ "Mother's Mercy"
|Lord:||Prince Doran Martell||Heir:|
|Title(s):||Prince of Dorne · Lord of Sunspear|
colspan="5"| Areo Hotah
colspan="5"| House Baratheon of King's Landing