31 Things We Learned from the Game of Thrones Women

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Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

28. Grief can be dangerous if it goes unchecked

Ellaria Sand

Ellaria’s grief over Oberyn’s death is understandable, but the actions she takes because of it aren’t.

“We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne,” Oberyn tells Cersei in Season 4. Later, during Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding, he extrapolates upon this: “In some places, the highborn frown upon those of low birth, and in others the rape and murder of women and children is considered distasteful. How fortunate for you, former Queen Regent, that your daughter Myrcella has been sent to live in the latter sort of place.”

This is perhaps the most succinct summary of how Dorne differs from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s worth noting, so it would seem significant to the story. And yet Ellaria disregards the Dornish lifestyle to kill Myrcella, thereby avenging a perfectly legal death. As much as it might break our hearts to admit, Oberyn volunteered to be Tyrion’s champion a trial by combat, knowing full well that his death was a possible outcome. But his own quest for vengeance drove him and then killed him, and Ellaria’s destroyed her. Oberyn’s words to Cersei are rendered empty upon Myrcella’s lifeless corpse.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Should the Lannisters and Martells continue in this vein, neither family will find peace. The cycle of grief will repeat, but they won’t come to know acceptance as they should.