Featured Game of Thrones Interview Sand Snakes

Keisha Castle-Hughes (Obara Sand) talks about her place in the Sand Snakes

This coming Sunday, we will finally meet the bastard daughters of Oberyn Martell, known as the Sand Snakes. The show has been hyping the debut of the Sand Snakes for what seems like forever (but really, only since last July). So far, Obara, Nymeria, and Tyene Sand have been presented as some of the most bad-ass women the show has ever seen. But, as Keisha Castle-Hughes (Obara Sand) says in a new interview with Vanity Fair, although her character is “thirsty for Lannister blood,” she also has compassion.

“I was immediately drawn to Obara. She’s the oldest of all the Sand Snakes, and I am the oldest of five siblings, so I understood that dynamic very well.”

“She’s a daughter who adores her father and misses him. She isn’t one to cry, but what she wants in life is to be exactly like him and to make him proud,” the actress says. “She also has love for her sisters. Obara looks after them; but they fight, they are annoying, and they drive her crazy. She has love in her heart, deep down under all the armor.”

Unlike her sisters, Obara Sand wears armadillo-style armor (which is based directly off her father’s armor from “The Mountain and the Viper” last year) everywhere. Castle-Hughes says that’s because she always wants to be ready for battle. As for the nipples on her breastplate, which seemed at the time like an attempt to troll George R.R. Martin (and which the costumer admitted was a mistake), she loves them. “It’s Game of Thrones! You still have to keep it sexy!”

Despite the claims to sexiness, Castle-Hughes is glad of one thing her character doesn’t have to do—get naked while someone else spews plot exposition everywhere.

“Oh my gosh, to think how many people watch the show, like my fifth grade teacher or the parents of my daughter’s friends, that would be embarrassing,” she admits. “I’m so happy that Obara doesn’t have an ounce of sexuality!”

With her Season 5 debut upon us, there’s one thing that does give Castle-Hughes pause. The actress was big into Game of Thrones before the casting call ever went out for these roles, and even admits to cosplaying as Dany at parties. Now, not only can she not dress up like Dany for premieres, since she’s walking red carpets, but her friends have pointed out soon that people will be cosplaying as her. “Mindblowing.” she calls it.

For more on Castle-Hughes’ career, including her life in New Zealand, check out the full interview here.