Making Game of Thrones Production Sand Snakes Season 5

Designing Game of Thrones Season 5: Dornish Weaponry

The behind-the-scenes feature blog Making Game of Thrones posted a new video today, in which weapons designer Tommy Dunne talks about designing the distinctive weapons of the Sand Snakes as well as Areo Hotah’s longaxe. The truly exciting part of the video, though, is actually seeing the Sand Snakes in action for the first time. Check out the video below to see Jessica Henwick, Keisha Castle-Hughes, and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers in full Sand Snake regalia!

Probably for visual reasons, Hotah’s axe has been extended a full foot (Dunne says the one he designed is seven feet, whereas the one in the books is described as a full foot shorter). Dunne focuses on three other weapons as well: Obara’s spear, which is similar to her father Oberyn’s spear from Season 4; Nymeria’s whip, which extends from a snake’s mouth on the handle “like a tongue”; and Tyene’s daggers, which are kris blades. The weapons are all showcased in the video in some form or another, with Jessica Henwick in particular getting a graceful crack at Nymeria’s whip, which should put Indiana Jones on notice.

The weapons with which the Snakes are associated presents another slight change in adaptation from the books to the TV show. In the books, Obara is skilled with both the spear and whip, Nymeria is the dagger specialist (usually concealing about a dozen of them on her person at once), and Tyene is a wicked poison-maker. The changes may have just been done to allow Tyene to have a more distinctive weapon, one that is both visual and physical in nature. Nonetheless, all three of the actresses look at-ease with them, and there is no nipple armor in sight, all of which bodes well for Oberyn’s bastard daughters in the upcoming season.


  • Look at the beautiful work on that axe and tell me the Sand Snakes’ costumes are in any way comparable. Go on.

    These ladies are accomplished warriors and courtiers. They wouldn’t go to combat with exposed skin any more than they would show up in court in armor. They wear the right things at the right times for the right reasons… except, apparently, for the show. Ugh.

    I sincerely hope I am wrong about this and those outfits are the equivalent of their “work-out” gear.

  • Cadeyrn,

    I have to agree with you on this. I made a long post over at WotW discussing this very issue. The costumes don’t represent who they are, they make Nym and Tyene in particular look very ‘comic con cosplay-esque’, and I don’t even think those two look Dornish, and they particularly lack the features of their father.

    The costumes don’t seem great. Obara’s is okay, and does look similar to Oberyn’s, in that it resembles an armadillo, but the other two just don’t work. I feel like a light breeze would render the other two completely naked in a middle of a fight.

  • Only one of those three are known for their fighting prowess. All three are still deadly as ever, yet only one is somewhat of a “warrior”. I’ve no issues with their wardrobe, especially since this was a weapons designer video and not costume.

    But yea, I agree that axe is beautiful.

  • Notice Areo Hotah’s fight choreography. It does look like he will be decapitating someone.

  • Am I the only one that saw the 3 or 4 second front on shot of the nipple armor?? I don’t know how you guys could have missed it??

  • jay,
    We saw it, but fans focus to much on “nipples on a breastplate joke” from the books.

    They look great, even Obara where i had the most doubts. She phisically seems nothing like the caracter. Obara is more like Brienne, tall and big-boned woman.

  • Areo’s Glaive is sweet, and being from NZ Obara’s look of “I’ll kill you then go about my day like nothing happened” has sold me on her, much excite.