Are the Sand Snakes the worst characters on Game of Thrones? No, that would be Olly. But they’re maybe the most disappointing. In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Oberyn Martell’s bastard daughters are cunning warriors; on the TV show, Obara, Nymeria, and Tyene are boring and lack depth. Or, in the case of Obara and Nymeria, “were boring” and “lacked depth.” They were both killed in the second episode of season seven, “Stormborn,” at the hands of Euron “Touring Guitarist for Seether” Greyjoy.
In a now-obligatory exit interview with Entertainment Weekly, actress Jessica Henwick (Nymeria; she’s also on Netflix’s Iron Fist), explained why the Sand Snakes didn’t translate from book-to-screen as well as other characters.
I think that it was hard for [the producers] from a production point of view. In the books, there are seven Sand Snakes and there was a lot of discussions about how many were going to be introduced [in the show]. Originally it was going to be Obara, Tyene and then they couldn’t decide on Sarella or Nymeria. Obviously, I’m very lucky Nymeria ended up being the one they chose. It was always acknowledged that it was going to be very hard to give each of us a storyline. They had to introduce three characters all at once and differentiate them. When you’re limited to an introduction of two lines per character and there are four characters in the scene — during our introduction scene in season five — it’s hard to create a lasting impression. You kind of have to shove a character down the audience’s throat and Game of Thrones’ success is in its multifaceted characters. At the time it was definitely frustrating feeling like there’s so much potential here, and a lot of the stuff that we shot didn’t make the final cut. It was hard. But overall, given the size of the character, I’ve been very happy with how it’s come out. It is what it is. There’s nothing I can say, really. (Via)