Season 6 of Game of Thrones came back in full swing this past Sunday with their season premiere that posed more questions than it answered. As a fan of the series, I sat with millions of others as we watched the events from last season bleed into the new one. One of those questions centers around the Red Witch: Melisandre.
[SPOILER AHEAD – IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE SEASON PREMIERE, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED – this article is dark and full of spoilers]
If you are like me, the final moments of episode one were weirdly intriguing. Melisandre’s character has always been implied to be much older than she appears but this was the first chance fans had been able to see that aging evidence up close and (very) personal.
The episode came to a close with Melisandre standing morosely in front of an aged mirror as she slowly began to undress. The final piece, her trademark neck-wear, came undone and was gingerly set among her other belongings. The camera panned out to reveal a fully nude, and young, Melisandre standing there listlessly. This alone was confusing to fans as it seemed to be completely pointless and out of the blue. Nudity isn’t anything new to the franchise but it always had some form of purpose. Then, after a brief return to the mirror, the focus once again falls onto the Red Witch but definitely not the one we know and loathe. She now stands decrepitly hunched and aged beyond recognition. This moment was so delicately done that the weight of her decision to reveal her true self, even if only to herself, came through in a stunning clarity.
But here’s the thing – this doesn’t match up with her appearances in previous seasons and I am so glad I am not the only one that noticed. Fans around the world began to draw attention to a seemingly glaring plot-hole. The final scene of the opener implied that the magic to keep her youthful appearance was tied to the amulet around her neck. But that can’t be the whole story – case and point:
Melisandre took off her necklace here and she didn’t got old!? what is this? Explain? pic.twitter.com/iPmyy911An
— CIVIL WAR TODAY! (@tasharowmanoff) April 25, 2016
The scene shown above is from episode 7 in season 4 that shows a very naked Melisandre with a neck suspiciously bare of any neck adornments. Perhaps she drank a potion or utilised some other means to control her appearance to others for a brief amount of time – she is a witch after all – but only time will tell with the season back on air Sunday nights on HBO.
What about you Game of Thrones fans? Any theories?