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Game of Thrones: Let's talk about casting Oberyn Martell

Season three is still 46 days away, but it is never too early to begin speculating on casting. We asked readers to submit their choices for some of the roles that will likely be added in season four. Now we’re going to take a closer look at the key roles and the top fan choices for each. Starting with the Red Viper.
Oberyn Martell, known as the Red Viper, is the younger brother to Prince Doran Martell, head of House Martell and ruler of Dorne. Dorne and the Martells have not had any screen time in the TV series to date, but their importance grows in later books. Oberyn Martell in the books is a great warrior, in his 40s, with dark eyes and dark hair streaked with silver. He comes to King’s Landing to serve on the Small Council. Let’s take a look at some of the fans’ top picks for the role.

Oded Fehr
This Israeli-born actor should look familiar to US filmgoers, as he has appeared in a couple of popular film franchises. These include The Mummy movies as well as the Resident Evil series. More recently, he has taken on a number of TV roles, appearing on Covert Affairs, V, Law & Order: LA and NCIS. At 42, he is the perfect age for the role and he matches pretty closely the books’ description of the Red Viper. However, it seems the majority of his work has been confined to US-based productions, so it’s up in the air whether he would have a chance at getting cast in this mostly UK-based cast.

Naveen Andrews
Andrews is a British-born actor of Indian descent. He is most well-known for playing Sayid Jarrah on Lost. He has also appeared in the films The English Patient and Grindhouse. He has the right age and at only 5’9″ matches the small stature of the Oberyn in the book. I don’t think he quite matches the look I had in mind for the Martells, (I always pictured them looking more Middle Eastern, not Indian) but that is only personal preference. He hasn’t done much since Lost ended, so presumably he would jump at the chance to take a role on the show.

Alexander Siddig
This classically trained theater actor was born in Sudan but raised in London. He has appeared in a number of Hollywood movies, including Kingdom of Heaven, Syriana, Clash of the Titans and the Neil Marshall film Doomsday. He has also had roles in television including stints on 24 and the Cinemax series Strike Back. That last one gives him a bit of an HBO connection as Cinemax is owned by HBO. Age and looks are a match, the one issue may be his availability. He is currently appearing on the Starz show Da Vinci’s Demons and that may cause a scheduling issue.

Cliff Simon
Simon is a South African actor who has made his bones on TV. He is perhaps most well-known for starring as Ba’al on Stargate SG-1. He has also appeared in 24, NCIS: Los Angeles and the daytime soap Days of our Lives. At 50 years old, he is the oldest actor listed here, although I suspect that wouldn’t be an issue. They may even be looking to age the character up anyway to remain consistent with the rest of the characters. His work so far doesn’t speak to an abundance of acting talent, but that may not be entirely his fault. If he knocks the audition out of he park, he may be a good fit.


If I had to pick, I'd probably choose Siddig, but that's only because I've seen him act.

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