Game of Thrones The Mountain and the Viper

Warning Season 4 Spoilers Ahead!

One of the most enjoyable parts of ‘Game of Thrones’ season four has been the man from Dorne known as the Red Viper, Oberyn Martell. Played by Pedro Pascal, the charming prince built a following thanks to his views on love, his alignment with Tyrion, and his Inigo Montoya-esque mission of revenge. However, as you saw in the last episode of HBO’s acclaimed fantasy drama, Oberyn’s journey did not end like ‘The Princess Bride’. While he had the Mountain beat, his arrogance and desire to make his sister’s murderer suffer more caused him to let his guard down and have his head smashed in. It was definitely one of the more gruesome deaths on this show and it struck a chord with the show’s audience, but the actor is just as distraught about the Viper’s death (and not just because he’s out of a job on the show).

In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, Pascal shared his thoughts on the trial by combat that resulted in two fan favorite characters receiving a death sentence by discussing why he connected with Prince Oberyn in the first place:

“It’s awful. It’s heartbreaking. I love the character. I fell in love with the character and maybe that helped me play him. The first thing that helped me identify with him was actually a love for him. I found him very delicious. I also found him very, very honorable and very progressive and just an all-around badass, not because he’s a great fighter and because he likes to fuck everything that moves, but because he has morals that I identify with. So it was always very hard for me to kind of like, detach myself from my own heartbreak that the character goes out the way that he goes out.”

Then, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor went a little bit deeper by explaining that Oberyn actually got what he wanted. He got the Mountain to fess up to his crimes, but probably not in the way that the prince had imagined. Thanks to his conversation with one of his co-stars, here’s Pascal’s take on Martell’s biggest misstep of not leaving well enough alone:

“Getting too close and being too far delivered by his own passions. Because ultimately, it is about defeating this man who raped and killed his sister, but before he can do that, before he can end this man’s life, he needs a confession. He needs to hear it. And interestingly I had this great conversation with [Thrones co-star] Lena Headey about Oberyn’s journey, and how even though it ends badly, he still hears the confession, you know? I don’t even need to go on after that once it’s been said out loud. And the ecstasy of achieving that, even though it’s being achieved in the instance of my demise.”

While Oberyn Martell’s death may be a major blow, this season isn’t over yet. There are still two more episodes left and we’re bound to get even bigger surprises than this. But until then, what was your reaction to the death of the Red Viper of Dorne? Will you miss Pedro Pascal from ‘Game of Thrones’? Let us know in the comments below.

‘Game of Thrones’ airs Sundays at 9:00pm on HBO.