Melisandre has played a mysterious but major role on Game of Thrones since Season 2.
The Red Woman literally birthed the plot that killed Renly Baratheon, setting off a power struggle in Westeros that has seen many stake claim to — and lose — the Iron Throne, including her lover Stannis Baratheon.
Her true allegiance has always been to the Lord of Light, and serves as his priestess. Worshippers of the Lord of Light believe that a Prince That Was Promised will save Westeros from the Long Night — an endless winter.
Melisandre initially thought Stannis Baratheon was the prophesized prince. Then she believed Jon Snow to be the savior, even resurrecting him from death.
Recent episodes have revealed that the prince is not necessarily a man; in High Valyrian the word “prince” is gender-neutral, meaning the figure may be female. That has led some to speculate that Daenerys Targaryean may be the Prince That Was Promised. The Lord of Light followers worship and employ fire in their rituals, and Dany and her dragons manifest that element.
Melisandre in Season 7
Melisandre has had limited screen time in Season 7, and the remainder of her time as player and prophetess may be nearing it’s end. In the fourth episode, entitled The Queen’s Justice, Melisandre revealed to Varys she was leaving Dragonstone for the distant Volantis. Furthermore, she foreshadowed her own death.
She explained that she was departing before Jon Snow’s and Ser Davos Seaworth’s arrival because she left on bad terms with them (particularly the latter and her role in the sacrificial death of Shireen Baratheon). And then she offered one final cryptic prophecy to Varys, saying: “I will return, dear spider. One last time. I have to die in this strange country, just like you.”
Melisandre’s portrayer, actress Carice Van Houten, confirmed to People that she will not be appearing for the rest of Season 7.
“I was happy that she returned at all,” Van Houten says. “I don’t know whether she’s gone away forever or whether she’s going to die alone, I have no idea, so I was very very glad she came back and she came back with an important position. It’s unfortunate that I’m only in it for so little, but it also means that she is really in it not for herself. She takes the risk to bring the message across and even if it means it puts her in a situation where Jon Snow could see her again and kill her.”
The Red Woman’s future now seems as clouded as her prophecies, but we’re betting that she will return for the show’s final season!