Melisandre’s arrival in this week’s episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ set the stage for the future of the series and lent credibility to a longstanding fan theory.
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Game of Thrones, or rather, the people in charge, gave us a gift at this weekend’s San Diego Comic Con. Usually, at this point in the year, the show has just ended and the GoT panel features the gag reel and a few little extras from the past 10 episodes. Still reeling, we often soak of whatever news the showrunners and cast are willing to share since it’s a long actual winter until dreams of spring become a reality.
This year things were a bit different for Game of Thrones fans. With the season only just getting started there was an entire season’s worth of footage to share! The trailer looked seven weeks ahead, with all kinds of exciting moments to look forward to. Some of the quick clips we saw were featured heavily in tonight’s “Stormborn” (S7E2).
Though one of the biggest reveals was the Red Woman herself, Melisandre (Carice van Houten). A prominent figure throughout the series, season six in particular saw her successfully bring Jon Snow (Kit Harington) back to life only to end with her banishment from Winterfell. And with the reveal of Arya (Maisie Williams) in the Riverlands at the end of last season, it seemed more than likely that a girl would cross another name off her list on her way to King’s Landing.
But Game of Thrones had other ideas and instead Melisandre has found herself at Dragonstone and an audience with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). It was an unexpected twist, and certainly one I didn’t see coming (being one of those people who believed with confidence that Mel was definitely in the Riverlands). Her appearance in the SDCC trailer all but confirmed that she was the “unexpected visitor” that referenced in the official episode synopsis who meets Dany.
An interesting place for Melisandre to seek out, considering the option I saw for her was joining up with Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye) and what’s left of the Brotherhood Without Banners since they’re clearly somewhere in the North. But things get even more compelling when we learn why she is there.
Melisandre has every reason to turn against Jon for banishing her, though on some level I hope she realizes it was the literal least he could do in repayment for bringing him back (though he does acknowledge he won’t need her to repeat the trick – should he die again he’d like to stay that way). Instead, Mel comes to Dany with a theory. And her theory lends a lot of credibility, something larger that fans have been speculating about for years.
One of the most important parts of their meeting was when Mel explained her intent. This isn’t the first Red priestess that Dany has met. Back in season 6, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) asks a High priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis for help in persuading the people to follow Dany. This turns out to be easy because for Kinvara (Anika Bukstein) believes that Dany is the “one who was promised” according to a prophecy of R’hllor. In tonight’s Game of Thrones episode, Melisandre tells Dany “I believe you have a role to play, as does another.”
This is the first acknowledgement that both Jon and Dany fit the requirements for “The Prince that was Promised”. Sometimes this is also referred to Azor Ahai reborn. But there is reason to believe that the Prince and Azor Ahai might actually be two separate people.
To varying degrees, in recent years it has been proven that they are very likely different names for the same person (or persons) but there is still enough evidence to the contrary to keep the fires stoked on the debate. And with Melisandre’s confirmation that Dany and Jon have a role to play in the Great War, we’ll likely see just how the prophecy plays out for either one of them or potentially both.
The biggest wrench in the whole thing is Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and his flaming sword.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO. Be sure to tune in!
And be sure to check out all the great GoT content we’ll be rolling out weekly! What do you think about the episode? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments!