Warning: This post is dark and full of Game of Thrones spoilers…
Fans watched with intrigue last night, as in the final moments of its sixth season premiere, Game of Thrones gave viewers a shocking reveal/twist, that didn’t really make anyone scream as much as it made them go “oooooohhhh”. The reveal of course, was when Melisandra (Carice van Houten) derobed, took off her red necklace, and looked in a mirror, only to reveal that in actuality, she’s an old woman. Like centuries old.
This wasn’t necessarily news, as many fans had presumed that Melisandre was older than her appearance let on, with the actress herself even confirming that the character was older than viewers or book readers might think years ago. Though I don’t quite believe that anyone had thought we’d ever actually see the character’s real age, past her glamour.
While recently speaking with Entertainment Weekly as well following last night’s premiere, van Houten commented on the reveal:
“I was really happy when I read that we were going to reveal that this year. I don’t think a lot of people will see that coming. It makes her immediately more vulnerable, but also more wise and even more mysterious. There’s also a vulnerability in her age.”
The character’s true age, also gives some much-needed context as to why Melisandre is able to kill and order people to be killed so easily (*cough* Shireen *cough*), since her age makes her see individual lives on a much smaller importance, and instead lets her focus on the larger majority:
“That’s why she was able to say, ‘This is just a small war, it’s all relative compared to the big war were going to face. [Her age] makes everything even more meta. Definitely, that’s where all that stuff comes from.”
The reveal came at a moment of real defeat and desperation for Melisandre as well, who I think has lost a large amount of her faith in the Lord of Light and her crusade, since both of her Chosen One possibilities have now died (Stannis and Jon Snow). It turns out, that despite her preaching and monologues, Melisandre really has no idea how she does any of her magic either:
“She has no idea how she does it. A magic necklace? Wow.”
The entire episode was surrounded in this overwhelming sense of sorrow and, was I felt, one of the series’ most melancholy and somber yet. So in a reveal that could have been more horrifying that anything else, I felt like when Melisandre took her necklace off, it was more of a melancholy moment than anything else. Something that served as a visual identifier of not only where Melisandre herself is at in the story now, but also, where a large majority of the other characters are as well.
Game of Thrones airs every Sunday night on HBO.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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