This has been probably one of the most difficult rules for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” to fill, but it’s done, and producers seem to be happy with who they were able to land.
Prince Oberyn Martell, known as the “Red Viper,” will arrive in King’s Landing in Season 4 of the critically acclaimed series, and when he does, he will come in the form of Pedro Pascal.
Pascal’s name might not be the most familiar, but his face should be. He played Eddie in the 1999 episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” called “The Freshman.” Except then, he was known as Pedro Balmaceda.
After earning a recurring role in the CBS series “The Good Wife,” Pascal was set to play Ed Indelicato in NBC’s attempt to bring back “Wonder Woman,” but that series died in the pilot stage.
Pascal then had a smaller role in “The Adjustment Bureau” as Paul De Santo, and has since had recurring roles in two series, “Red Widow” and “Graceland.”
But who is Oberyn? Entertainment Weekly described the character as “brash, charming, cunning.” He’s a prince of Dorne, one of the Seven Kingdoms, and he’s a little peeved that his sister Elia was murdered by “The Mountain” — Lannister knight Gregor Clegane — when Mad King Aerys was overthrown by Robert Baratheon in the history leading up to the beginning of “Game of Thrones.”
Clegane has been played by two actors in the series, Ian Whyte and Conan Stevens.
Oberyn has a nicknane, the “Red Viper,” but it’s not clear — at least from the EW description — of where that name came from.
“The Red Viper is sexy and charming, yet believably dangerous, intesely likable, yet driven by hate,” showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss said in a statement. “The boys love him, the girls love him, and he loves them all back. Unless your last name is Lannister.”
The two said they found an actor in Pascal “who can handle the job description and make it seem effortless.”
“He wasn’t easy to find, and he won’t be easy to stop.”
“Game of Thrones” will return for its fourth season on HBO in 2014.