Hear me out on this. I know I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones lately. But I also just rewatched the best medieval fantasy fairy tale/ Peter Falk vehicle ever The Princess Bride. And what struck me other than the fact that it holds up so well is how much Inigo Montoya reminded me of Oberyn Martell. And it’s not just the pretty faces and the accents (although those will be addressed.) It’s that in all of the man- out- for- revenge stories, very few of those protagonists are lovable. Admirable? Sure. Scary? Definitely. Vaguely indistinguishable at this point, but impressive nonetheless? Absolutely. But not often witty or charming. You might want to see Man Out For Revenge get his revenge, but you don’t always want to hang out with them after. Inigo and Oberyn though? Never has killing seemed so endearing.
Now granted, The Princess Bride was a children’s movie from 30 years ago and Game of Thrones is a blood-and-boob soaked HBO show for only those with the strongest of stomachs. Oberyn’s a bit darker, but he might as well be Inigo Version 2.0. Don’t believe me still?
1.) They’re Both Dashingly Handsome
Yes, I know the hair, both head and facial, has not held up that well, but come on.
And this guy? With this face? What are you even talking about? Get out of here with that face.
2.) They’ve Got Those Quick- Underclothes- Removing Accent
Inigo’s accent is so alluring, it convinces a man to move more quickly towards his death. That is an amazing accent. (It’s only the first 30 seconds, but you might as well just watch the whole thing. It’s as good as you remember.)
As for Oberyn while his initial appraisal of the women in Little Finger’s brothel threw me off at first, it only took him saying “close quarters,” and it was basically over for me. (That clip should also serve as evidence for the next three points. Way to be concise, HBO.)
3.) They’re Both Highly Skilled Killer On A Revenge Mission
Inigo Montoya has been studying sword fighting since he was 11- years- old in order to kill the man who murdered his father. He’s looking for the man with 6 fingers on his right hand who just so happens to be the King’s highest advisor. Prince Oberyn is such a deadly killer, his nickname is The Red Viper. He’s now turning his attention to the man he holds responsible for killing his sister and her children Tywin Lannister. Tywin has just been appointed as his grandson’s highest advisor aka the Hand of the King. Do you really need more proof that they’re the same person?! I rest my case. (Eds. Note: Actually that’s not nearly enough proof. I’m going to have to ask you to go ahead and do your full job.)
4.) They Both Have Initially Antagonistic Relationships That Turn Helpful
Alright fine. So aside from what they look like and some more superficial traits/ backstories, there’s also the way they go about exacting their revenge. First up, both men turn possible enemies into partners.
After they help each other rescue or kill the person they’ve been chasing for years, Wesley and Inigo become what appear to be close friends. But let’s remember their initial encounter was supposed to end with one of them dead.
*Sigh. Just sigh*
5.) They Both Befriend A Companion Of Unaverage Size
Don’t listen to Vizzini. You’re rhyming banter is the stuff of dream friendships.
Oberyn is on a mission so he opted to get both Initially Antagonistic Relationship and the Companion of Unaverage Size from one dude. Because he doesn’t have time to fuck around. Unless of course he’s actually fucking around.
If only they had run away together right then. Away from the capital, away from their pasts, away from his godawful family.
7.) They Both Indulge Heavily In Vices
Inigo is a good man, but he’s had a hard life and that hard life has left him with demons. He tends to overindulge in the booze as a result of those demons. Like with other things he’s passionate about when he overindulges, he goes all the way. Is this the best preparation for finding the man that killed his father?
Oberyn on the other hand likes his women. And his men. But he also loves paramour, and it seems like maybe this is just the way things go in Dorne? Clearly he indulges in this “vice”, but unlike Inigo this doesn’t seem to be the result of nor an attempt to suppress any demons. Maybe the guy just likes to get down, and won’t be held by our Puritanical standards? You know what, this one actually seems cool. Point Oberyn. Just make sure you protect against any Westeros STDs.
8.) They Both Have Badass Catch Phrases
This one doesn’t need explanation, right?
9.) They Both Have Shockingly Climatic Final Fights
When I first watched The Princess Bride, I was terrified right before this fight. Sure, it was supposedly a kid’s movie based on a fairy tale, but everyone dies in fairy tales. Even as a kid, I knew not everyone was going to get a happy ending. With Wesley resurrected and reunited with Buttercup, that only left Inigo and Fezzik. And no way in hell was anyone going to kill Fezzik. I only hoped that Wesley would kill the Six Fingered Man in the most painful way possible to avenge his friend. I prepared myself for the worst, and felt my my tiny 8- year- old brain explode when the most badass thing I’d ever seen happened.
That is the shit.
And Oberyn’s fight?
But, you know.
So two different, extremely lovable men out for revenge. One completes his task and rides off with his new friends. The other ends up with his face crushed in front of the love of his life. There’s a lot to learn about how our entertainment values have both changed and stayed the same in the 30 years between the two. But mostly what you should remember is: