SPOILER ALERT – STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE LATEST EPISODE!
So for all those fellow Game of Thrones fans, a big twist happened at the end of last nights episode. It was revealed that the Red Woman Melisandre is much older than she looks, much much older. We can only guess that this was possible through the use of a glamour spell but it throws up a lot of questions about her and her role in the series.
1. If she is ancient, are her prophecies actually true or is she just lying to manipulate other people?
Despite what she told Stannis about his future, the Red Woman has always seemed to have her own agenda and in particular she seems interested in kings and their potential children. Stannis, Gendry, Jon Snow… While Jon Snow is not a king the R+ L = J theory that says he may be Targaryan suggests that he could have royal blood. Melisandre seems awfully interested in sleeping with potential royals. Could that be to do with her glamour spell? Or does she have something worse in mind?
2. Who is she really rooting for?
Is she just out for herself or is she secretly a Daenerys supporter and is destabilizing the political system, removing all of the other candidates, ready for Daenaerys or someone else to take the throne.
3. Who will replace Stannis?
Melisandre has always appeared to advocate Stannis but without him what is her next move? I find it hard to believe that she would champion the Onion Knight given how much they disagree and his lack of faith in The Lord of the Light. So what does this mean for her and her belief that Stannis was Azor Ahai?
The rest of the episode was equally fascinating and started out the season with several story threads to follow. We learn that Jon Snow is most definitely dead at the moment and that his friends and the Onion Knight may in fact die for not siding with the new lord commander.
We see Ramsay show some long overdue human qualities as he grieves over Myranda’s death promising cruelty against Sansa and Theon. The Ramsay aspect also shows how tenuous his power is as his father threatens that without Sansa, he will have no heir and therefore his father’s new child may well take his place as the next heir.
We see Sansa and Theon rescued by Brienne and Podrick and see Cersei and Jamie looking more vulnerable than ever. Margaery is still locked away. Arya still seems to be being trained by that girl from the temple, though in a very brutal manner. The Sand Snakes overthrow and kill the Prince and his son in Dorne.
Across the narrow sea, Tyrion and Varys observe more unrest over the narrow sea while Daenerys escapes becoming a dothraki slave only to be told she must stay in a temple with the other Khal’s widows for the rest of her life.
It’s the final scene in which Melisandre strips bare, takes off her necklace and shows a much older body, a very bold move for a television show. Although it’s not entirely shocking you get the sense that this is foreshadowing much more important events yet to come.
The theme of the episode seems to be vulnerability. Many characters who once had great power are shown in a much more vulnerable light, highlighting just how fragile power is in Game of Thrones. Overall it was a very good start to the new season, posing a lot of questions and setting us up for a new direction. One clever detail that keeps showing up in each season is how the winter is progressing further and further south and more and more scenes are filled with snow. Sansa walking through icy water and hiding under a snow-covered tree seems to foreshadow the coming winter storm and you get the feeling it’s going to be one hell of a winter.
Game of Thrones, season 6 episode 1, The Red Woman: what has Melisandre been hiding? – review, and 8 things we …