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Melisandre: Flames, Fates, and Finales



The times are getting shorter and shorter (no less than they’re right here within the northern hemisphere), main us to the Winter Solstice and the longest night time of the yr. It’ll be a Lengthy Night time.

Probably due to the extra-long darkness, December has a number of traditions that remember with mild. Perhaps lighting candles is one’s factor, perhaps tossing a Xmas go online the hearth … perhaps some have glowing, adorned timber indoors or have jazzed up the neighborhood with dazzling illumination on homes.

With the month’s concentrate on lighting up the night time defiantly within the face of the longest seasonal darkness, December is an applicable month to verify in on Melisandre of Asshai. Recreation of Thrones‘ fiery purple witch can be the primary to inform us about issues being darkish and filled with terrors.

Melisandre: And that’s simply the shopping center parking tons.

A lot of the prophetic and vision-adjacent characters from A Music of Ice and Hearth both haven’t made it into the present or have had a restricted position, however Melisandre is definitely the present’s stand-out prognosticator in addition to the present’s main supply of arcane exposition. She provides us context on legendary figures like Azor Ahai and his flaming sword Lightbringer, in addition to particulars on the prophesied Prince (or Princess) that was Promised. Her experience all however ensures that she’ll be essential within the coming struggle with the White Walkers and the falling of one other Lengthy Night time on Westeros.

Melisandre will certainly be again in Season Eight.

We all know this, as a result of Melisandre has advised us so whereas chatting with Varys in Season Seven.

Melisandre: I might solely be a distraction if I stayed.
Varys: The place would you go?
Melisandre: Volantis.
Varys: Good. In the event you don’t thoughts my saying, I don’t assume you need to return to Westeros. I’m unsure you’ll be protected right here.
Melisandre: I’ll return, pricey spider. One final time. I’ve to die on this unusual nation. Identical to you.
Varys: 😐


Straight up, it’s truthful to be skeptical of Melisandre when she performs the position of fortune teller. She picked the incorrect candidate for Azor Ahai reborn in supporting Stannis Baratheon, which had disastrous penalties together with convincing Stannis to sacrifice his daughter in hopes of a magical benefit towards the Boltons.

However a lot of that was resulting from defective extrapolation from incomplete knowledge. Melisandre legitimately noticed the Bolton banners struck down at Winterfell. However it wasn’t Stannis and his Stormlanders doing that. It was Jon’s northern coalition and the Knight of the Vale, who ultimately defeated the Baratheon-routing Boltons.

But when Melisandre has seen in her flames that she’ll be returning to Westeros and by no means leaving the land alive, we’d as nicely consider her. She’s accomplished this trick earlier than.

Melisandre: Demise by hearth is the purest dying.
Matthos: Uh, thanks?

Anybody predicting that Melisandre will die in Season Eight isn’t making all that loopy a press release. At this level it’s arduous to foretell who may reside with absolute certainty. The present is tough on its forged of characters, and being an fascinating or compelling character doesn’t present a lot plot armor.


There have even been memorable characters who have been launched and killed off in the identical episode.

A more durable problem than predicting if Melisandre will die in Season Eight or not (she is going to) is in deciding who might be complicit in her demise, like a recreation of Westerosi Clue. It’s not that it’s onerous to seek out potential suspects – it’s that there are such a lot of candidates who may need her lifeless.

Within the North…

On the finish of the sixth season, Melisandre discovered herself exiled from the dominion of the North. Davos Seaworth accused Melisandre of sacrificing his beloved princess Shireen to the bloodthirsty god R’hllor. Davos had demanded justice be accomplished in Winterfell, however large-and-in-charge Jon Snow was reluctant to condemn Melisandre to dying.

Probably Jon felt like he owed Melisandre for bringing him again to life.

Or perhaps that is simply extra proof that Jon can’t execute lovely red-heads.

Ygritte: Hey! I assumed I used to be his one and solely commuted sentence!

However Jon decreed that if she returned to the North, she can be hung.

Stannis: Hanged. She’s not a tapestry.
Me: Wonderful.

Davos accepted Jon’s judgment with good grace, but when he encountered Melisandre once more, no matter geography, he may take issues into his not-complete arms.

Apart from Jon and Davos, there are extra characters within the North who haven’t any love for Melisandre.

Arya Stark didn’t fairly have Melisandre’s identify on her listing, however she had her description.

The Purple Lady

Arya had put Melisandre on the homicide record for her half in taking Gendry a prisoner with permission from the Brotherhood with out Banners. Though “the Red Woman” was on the record for a number of seasons, that exact entry appears to have been omitted lately. However that omission may be simply as simply corrected if Arya comes throughout Melisandre once more. And people two ought to cross paths within the upcoming season. Melisandre has predicted this occurring.


I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring again at me. Brown eyes. Blue eyes. Inexperienced eyes. Eyes you’ll shut ceaselessly. We’ll meet once more.

Melisandre appeared quite shook when speaking to Arya – perhaps that’s when she received her first perception on her final destiny, and has been simply dwelling with that fatalistic information ever since. However I don’t need to simply fall into some assumption, to decide to an extrapolation from incomplate knowledge. That’s the type of fallacy that Melisandre falls prey to.

Arya had Melisandre on her listing due to Gendry, and our good-looking blacksmithing bastard has much more of a cause to have a grudge towards the Pink Lady. She not solely kidnapped him, however she then lobbied Gendry’s uncle Stannis to burn his baseborn nephew alive, in order to reap the magic of a blood sacrifice.

Melisandre: He didn’t complain once I bedded him.
Gendry: The leech on my penis sort of ruined that. I reserve the fitting to complain.
Roose Bolton: Penis-leeching? Inform me extra.

However despite the fact that Gendry has a proper to carry a grudge, he has been fairly level-headed when nose to nose with Beric Dondarrion, who bought him out to Melisandre. Gendry put aside any animosity and discovered widespread trigger with the Lightning Lord towards the specter of the White Walkers. Gendry is perhaps prepared to let bygones be bygones if he met Melisandre once more.

Gendry: I reserve the correct to complain.
Arya: Me too! (That could possibly be a hashtag.)
Brienne: Me too!

Brienne of Tarth avenged the dying of her liege King Renly Baratheon by executing the fratricidal Stannis. Brienne is aware of that Renly was slain by shadowy sorcery, and it doesn’t take an excessive amount of detective work to infer that Stannis’s shadowbinder from Asshai may need made that occur. Regardless of that, Brienne took no motion towards Melisandre, aside from looming in an intimidating style over the purple witch and saying that she’d personally killed King Stannis.

I’m not saying that Brienne woud search to homicide Melisandre, however she wouldn’t hesitate to behave if she felt the Pink Lady was a hazard to these she’d sworn to serve and shield.

A type of whom Brienne has sworn to guard is Sansa Stark, the Woman of Winterfell. In contrast to Arya, Sansa has had no direct dealings with Melisandre, however Sansa’s experiences through the years have cast her into somebody very totally different from the little woman who eagerly went to King’s Touchdown within the hopes of marrying a prince and having his infants.

“My skin has turned to porcelain, to ivory, to steel.”
— A Storm of Swords, Sansa V

Sansa Stark had simply handled a serious drawback in Littlefinger making an attempt to worm his approach into energy and affect at Winterfell. Melisandre is not any Littlefinger, being one who speaks plainly and brazenly. Perhaps a bit too plainly.

Melisandre: I one-hundred-percent am suggesting you murderize Princess Shireen with hearth. This isn’t a metaphor.
Stannis: Holy [expletive]!
Melisandre: Did you actually say “bracket expletive bracket” simply now?
Stannis: What if I did?

However Melisandre’s attraction to energy is obvious, as is making an attempt to get the highly effective to comply with her agenda. A death-sentence within the North would cramp the Purple Lady’s fashion in preventing the White Walkers, and she may misinterpret rigidity between Sansa and Jon (and Daenerys) as a gap for her to curry favor and push her agenda. Sansa has many causes to be mistrustful, and Melisandre’s actions may deliver her to satisfy the business-like methods of both of Sansa’s preventing cadre: Arya or Brienne.

However why would Melisandre even be within the North, risking deadly penalties?


It might be reckless for Melisandre to hazard herself by breaking exile and returning to the snowy kingdom, however frankly that’s precisely the place she’s wanted together with her esoteric information and command of fireside magic, towards the specter of the icy White Walkers.

However her violating border safety of the North won’t be all that dangerous for her. The present has established that Melisandre’s youthful and engaging look is from a magic glamour that she employs to hide her true, historic type.

(Until her crone facet can also be from a glamour, however that doesn’t change the purpose being made…)

Nobody within the North (or south, one supposes) is aware of about Melisandre’s glamours. She might even come to Jon’s courtroom and supply magical help incognito.

However she may hit an sudden snag when crossing paths with Arya.

Arya: You probably did say we’d meet once more.
Melisandre: *gulp* I … I’m unsure what you imply.
Arya: Brown eyes. Blue eyes. Inexperienced eyes. Your eyes.

Arya’s coaching on the Home of Black and White, enjoying the Recreation of Faces that relied on supernatural consciousness of hidden truths could be the top of any clandestine operation from Melisandre.

Melisandre: I might have gotten away with it too. If not for that meddling child.

However perhaps Melisandre will safely keep out of the North. There nonetheless locations to die in Westeros additional south.

The South…

Despite the fact that virtually all the motion (and the actors) could be discovered within the North, there’s storied alternatives for Melisandre additional south (at the very least south of the swampy Neck.)

Melisandre advised Varys that she was going to go to Volantis earlier than she returns. There’s another person on the present who we all know will probably be crossing the Slender Sea between Westeros and Essos and returning: Cersei Lannister’s pirate admiral Euron Greyjoy.

Euron on the present has vital variations from his ebook counterpart, however continues to be largely minimize from the identical narrative sailcloth. One factor lacking from the present’s Euron is his supernatural focus. Ought to Euron encounter Melisandre, both in Volantis when he’s choosing the Golden Firm or coming throughout her whereas being on the waters, a few of the magical parts from the books may come again into play.


There isn’t any Victarion Greyjoy on the present, and the less-mystical Euron has a Victarion really feel. Victarion within the books has a captive Purple Priest, so Euron taking Melisandre captive would hit on the Victarion cylinders as nicely, just like how Jorah Mormont took on traits of the kingmaking exile Hand Jon Connington.

One shouldn’t rule out Melisandre actively looking for Euron Greyjoy out. Together with her hopes dashed by Stannis not being Azor Ahai reborn, and hedging her bets that both Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen might be the Prince(ss) that was Promised, Melisandre is perhaps casting as extensive a internet as potential and need to decide if the Ironborn Pirate King is perhaps the prophesied one. A case may be made that seafaring raider Euron was figuratively born of salt and smoke.

Melisandre’s actions in doing so aren’t as loopy as they could appear. One function of a personality motivated by magical visions is that it’s onerous to complain once they do issues for the comfort of plot. Which could provide a unique purpose for Melisandre coming into contact with Euron. Theon Greyjoy is on his method to intercept his murderous uncle in hopes of rescuing the captive Yara Greyjoy. If Melisandre believes Theon and Yara are essential within the battle towards the White Walkers (why not?) she might present help to Theon, bringing her to Euron.

Nevertheless Melisandre may come into Euron’s orbit, whether or not as a pal, foe, or fated encounter, she’d be in peril. It’s not as specific on the present as it’s within the books, however Euron is a monster. One’s life expectancy is inversely proportional to how shut one is to him. However Melisandre expects to die in Westeros – this unusual land – and not on the ocean the place it will be extra doubtless with the Greyjoy king. However perhaps Euron would convey the Pink Lady to Cersei as a present, as he did with Ellaria and Tyene Sand.

Cersei may need much less of a beef with Melisandre than she did with Ellaria and Tyene, however Melisandre did help the usurper Stannis Baratheon within the uncorroborated slander that Joffrey and her different youngsters have been illegitimate. And Cersei has had an disagreeable run-in with witchy prophets earlier than. It’s not onerous to think about Cersei blaming Maggy the Frog for the prediction foretelling the dying of her youngsters, and her destiny of dropping all to a youthful, lovely queen.

Melisandre may come to Cersei’s courtroom, with full information of the hazard she’s in in coping with the risky Lannister, and supply magical help to Cersei with the intent of sabotage, in an echo of Mirri Maz Duur’s treacherous outreach to Daenerys within the first season. If Melisandre needs to serve the Prince(ss) who was Promised, however can’t be within the North, manipulating Cersei right into a place of weak spot may be an admirable transfer.

An admirable transfer, and a daring one since Cersei doesn’t play properly with others, notably with different ladies.


Cersei: You’re so lovely. Are you, by probability, youthful than me?
Melisandre: I assure that you’re far younger than I’m, your Grace.

However one shouldn’t be too fast to assign honorable intentions to Melisandre. She may come again from Volantis with a mission to offer official assist to Cersei’s faction, as a result of it’d align together with her personal mysterious functions. Though this could be sudden, it wouldn’t be all that atypical for Cersei. If Cersei has a superpower, it will be persistently managing to fail upwards.

  • Ned Stark discovers her darkish secret, and she’s in peril of being uncovered? A boar takes out King Robert.
  • The Religion Militant goes to place her on trial? The Nice Sept is wired to blow up, because of Mad King Aerys.
  • Dany has overwhelming forces and goes to besiege King’s Touchdown? King Euron’s magic pirate ships save the day.

Regardless of what number of elephants the Golden Firm brings with them from Essos, these pachyderms aren’t fire-proof. Dany shall be coming again south with dragons. Cersei will want a magical arsenal, not only a typical military.

But when Melisandre sides with Cersei, her affinity for hearth shall be put to the check. Melisandre has predicted that she’ll die in Westeros, and if she’s not cautious, it’ll be from dragonfire.

Davos: She did inform my son Matthos that “death by fire is the purest death.”

The Dragon’s Lair …

Of all of the factions vying for management of Westeros (even when they don’t know that they’re vying for management, as a result of they know nothing) Melisandre in all probability has the least quantity of unwell will with Daenerys. When Dany was absent from Meereen, it was emissaries from Melisandre’s faith who  helped restore peace – and laid down some fairly strong Public Relations work for Dany because the Mhysa Messiah. Melisandre personally introduced Daenerys the gospel of her being the Princess that was Promised.


Dany has no purpose (but) to remorse listening to Melisandre’s diplomatic counsel about King within the North Jon Snow. The alliance between Starks and Targaryens is definitely an excellent transfer in appearing to counter the in any other case overwhelming forces of the Night time King. However sooner or later, Jon’s secret Targaryen standing shall be revealed, which could make Daenerys expertise the basic George RR Martin “heart in conflict with itself.” If there finally ends up tensions between Dany and Jon (even when these tensions are all in Dany’s head) – Melisandre must play it rigorously.

Daenerys has no purpose to be distrustful of Melisandre’s loyalties, however she has no purpose to belief anybody. And she or he has the instance of Mirri Maz Duur of a witch bearing magical guarantees.

If the present had completed extra with the masked seer Quaithe and her prophecies and dream visitations to Dany, Melisandre may need extra of a constructive affiliation with the Targaryen queen.

Daenerys: Quaithe was the one individual throughout my time in Qarth that wasn’t making an attempt to tear me off someway.
Ser Jorah: I wasn’t making an attempt to tear you off, Khaleesi.
Daenerys: Simmer down, man.

Melisandre spending time with Daenerys may even be a method to usher in some mystical content material analogous to Quaithe’s vision-visits within the books.

However Melisandre has a vulnerability that she won’t even understand. She’s completely Workforce Jon. Despite the fact that he banned her from his kingdom on ache of dying, Melisandre introduced Jon again to life. He’s a miracle in her private mythology and if he’s revealed to be a reliable Targaryen with an arguably higher declare to the Iron Throne than Dany, she’s going to be elated. Which may have deadly penalties relying on which Targaryen she’s spending time with.

In fact, if Melisandre realizes simply how a lot magic blood there’s among the many individuals she’s associating with, it may be exhausting for her to not fall into some previous, dangerous habits.

Melisandre: Wait, you each are Targaryens? Reward be to R’hllor! I’ll have the ability to harness unimaginable magical powers if we sacrifice both of you to the Lord of Mild in a bonfire ceremony! Which one among you two ought to we burn alive and screaming?
Jon: Uh…
Dany: I’m open to the concept somebody right here is about to be set on hearth.

It’s attainable that Melisandre can keep on Daenerys’s good aspect (in addition to Jon’s if she stays out of the North.) However there’s one other individual on the Dragon workforce that she ought to be nervous about.

Varys: I don’t assume it is best to return to Westeros. I’m unsure you’ll be protected right here.

Melisandre didn’t solely predict her personal demise, she predicted Varys the Spider’s demise as nicely. It had only a trace of menace from her to him, in response to an virtually nakedly unveiled veiled menace from Varys.


There’s nothing extra ironic than somebody making certain a prophecy involves be by making an attempt to short-circuit it.

If Melisandre is welcomed to Daenerys’s courtroom, Varys may contemplate her the motivating drive in no matter type his demise may take, and he’d proceed to step into the basic “kill the prophet to kill the prophecy” technique. (That by no means works, youngsters.)

Think about Daenerys considers Melisandre an ally and asset, and Varys kills the Purple Lady. Dany already gave Varys a “one strike and you’re out” speech in Season Seven. Varys may seal his personal destiny in harming Melisandre.

Varys: Typical Varys.
Melisandre: Self-fulfilling prophecies for the win!

I’m keen on the thought of Varys killing Melisandre and dooming himself. There’s applicable groundwork laid, not solely with Varys and Melisandre’s cliffside chat, however Varys’s interactions with the purple priestess Kinvara in Meereen. Kinvara had given Varys fairly a begin by discussing the spooky particulars of his castration.

Melisandre: For the document, that wasn’t me.
Varys: Don’t care. All you buxom purple priestesses look alike to me.

One also needs to think about the likelihood that none of those deadly fates befall Melisandre. No being hung hanged for enterting the Northern forbidden zone, no vengeful killing by Davos, and no execution introduced on by the paranoid considerations of queens.

It’s potential No One kills Melisandre.

No One …

I’m not insinuating that the Faceless Males assassinate her. (However that might be badass.)

Melisandre is previous. Tremendous previous. I wouldn’t be stunned if after serving to the plucky and flawed heroes cease the White Walker apocalypse, an exhausted and historic Melisandre removes her glamour and lets time meet up with her. The struggle to finish the night time and convey the daybreak may require all of her supernatural reserves.

Old Mel

Gendry: Wait, she wasn’t actually amazingly lovely? I’m glad I reserved the fitting to complain.
Sandor Clegane: You nailed that? Har har.

If Melisandre have been to run out in such a approach, she’d be a part of the ranks of a really unique set of characters in Recreation of Thrones who didn’t die by violence.

(Or from problems of giving start. Please, no extra shadow murderer birthings.)

We’ll simply have to attend for Season Eight to see what occurs.

Ready and attending to the top…

Though this function was largely an incomplete examination of how Melisandre might probably influence the plot on a personality foundation in Season Eight, from figuring out that she’s fated to die, I hope the function can even converse to a bigger level that’s introduced up by followers of the present and followers of the books.

Season Eight will full Recreation of Thrones, exposing main plot factors and character beats that may ultimately be within the conclusion of George RR Martin’s epic A Track of Ice and Hearth.

Not everyone seems to be completely satisfied that the conclusion of the ebook collection can be previewed by the tv present. Notably as a result of individuals boycotting the present will be unable to flee these particulars that shall be extensively disseminated via all types of avenues. I respect their emotions on this matter, and acknowledge the emotions are legitimate. I feel it’s protected to say that almost everybody, together with the present runners, would have most popular that the ultimate e-book A Dream of Spring had been revealed and made obtainable for adaptation, as an alternative of HBO having to create unique parallel content material to what GRRM has in his head.

Reportedly, George RR Martin shared the endpoints of every character’s journey to Weiss and Benioff, so they might plan accordingly not solely of their adaptation (what has to stay in, what can safely be excised) but in addition in the event that they needed to proceed on with out supplies to adapt. Watching the present, we’re going to study these finish factors.

Will that break The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring for us, once they come out?

Has figuring out that Melisandre goes to die ruined Season Eight? I don’t assume so.

Melisandre is a vital character, if not a serious one, and the potential of her interactions with the opposite characters within the story is complicated and deep. Figuring out that she’s going to die builds in suspense on how that’s going to return about. It’s partaking.

When the present concludes, we’ll have some perception in how the books will deal with the story, however even when the books cleave strictly to the plot factors of the present (which it may possibly’t – there’s already been too many divergances and unadapted materials to cope with) the execution of the writing will convey a degree of satisfaction that may’t be ruined by spoilers.

George’s writing within the first 4 books of A Music of Ice and Hearth led to the present being greenlit. I’ve religion that George will convey us one thing nice within the last books, no matter what we see within the present.

I feel we should always mood our expectations on what affect the present could have on the books.

As a result of watching Recreation of Thrones is like Melisandre staring into the flames. We’ll see issues, we’ll know issues. But when we’re making guesses on the books, we’re nonetheless extrapolating from incomplete knowledge. Identical to Melisandre, who proved to be taken abruptly when her interpretations of the out there knowledge have been flawed.

Watch out about that.


Melisandre: No matter. I’m nonetheless going to be lifeless in Season Eight.
Me: Have you learnt the way you’ll die?
Melisandre: In fact.
Me: How?
Melisandre: That may be telling.
Me: Wonderful.

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