Player of Thrones: Melisandre The Red Priestess
By Thoros on in Editorial.

Welcome once again to the Player of Thrones.

Player of Thrones posts will be utilized to highlight new characters from HBO’s Game of Thrones, and also return to some familiar faces.

I encourage you to discuss what role you think this character plays in the Game of Thrones. If you do choose to talk about the character with spoilers, please remember to use our spoiler veil of magic.

With that being said our second feature is focusing on a player that we are all familiar with. After hearing some of your comments on my twitter page @WiCThoros I have been enlightened to bring you a feature on The Red Priestess Melisandre. 

gotm11

For the night is dark and full of terror. The Great Other plagues our world and unleashes its evil amongst our lands. Beyond the wall the power of The Great Other grows, and should he win, the dawn will never rise again. He is the god of death, cold, and darkness, pulling you towards an eternal slumber.

Praise be to R’hllor, the Lord of Light, the God of Flame and Shadow, the Heart Fire who seeks to defeat this great evil. Praise be to R’hllor for he is the one who brings back the dawn. Praise be to R’hllor for gifting us with his finest priests who may help defeat The Great Other. Praise be to R’hllor for he has spoken through flame to one priestess, Melisandre, to help fight back The Great Other and save our world from darkness. For the night is dark and full of terror.

 

melisandre

Melisandre: The Red Priestess

 

Lady Melisandre has devoted her life to serving the Lord of Light, casting out those who defy him and bringing forth the Azor Ahai, Stannis Baratheon. She travels long and far from the shadowlands of Asshai to advise Stannis of how to save the world from eternal darkness.

Asshai, known to be a port city amongst The Shadowlands of Essos (the eastern continent where Daenerys Targaryen is carrying out her campaign), holds to a lot of arcane power and mystery. Certain people from Asshai practice the magic of Shadowbinding, or manipulating shadows to do the will of the binder. As a young slave, Melisandre learned the ways of shadowbinding. She was then sold to the Red Temple to become a priestess of R’hllor.

As Melisandre spent many years developing and trusting in the power of R’hllor she has been given the honor of receiving visions in flame from him. One vision changed her sole mission of serving R’hllor, and that vision was of Stannis Baratheon pulling the burning sword Lightbringer from the flames thus convincing Melisandre that he was Azor Ahai reborn again.

Azor Ahai is a legendary hero who fought off the darkness of The Great Other during The Long Night and returned the light of dawn. He was chosen by R’hllor to fight off this great evil and preserve the light. Azor Ahai forged a sword named Light Bringer and crippled The Great Other and his darkness. Now that The Great Other has returned, according to prophecy so must Azor Ahai.

Melisandre sails to Dragonstone, where Stannis Baratheon has garrisoned, and thus begins her journey with us the reader and viewer. Melisandre converts Stannis and the majority of his following  to The Lord of Light, thus burning the idols from The Faith of Seven. He removes Lightbringer from the fire and is now convinced that he is Azor Ahai as Melisandre had envisioned. Stannis is still not convinced of the Lord of Light’s power. With a few different attempts Melisandre finally convinces him that he is the Warrior of Light and the the power of R’hllor is real.

 

Melisandre_and_Stannis

Lady Melisandre and Lord Stannis Baratheon

 

This is a summary of what it took to convince him:

  • Avoiding death by poison from Maester Cressen
  • Murdering Renly Baratheon with a shadow creature by Shadowbinding
  • Not being present at the Battle of Blackwater and Stannis’ forces being heavily depleted by Wildfire. She convinces Stannis had she’d been there she could have saved them.
  • Foreseeing Ser Davos’ attempt on her life in the Flames.
  • Leeching Gendry and allowing Stannis to participate in casting them into the fire to represent the three false kings. (Robb Stark, Jofferey Baratheon, and Balon Greyjoy) Two of which now have perished.

Melisandre believes after the leeching that the real fight is not for the Iron Throne but for mankind. A raven is sent from the wall stating that they are under attack and need more men. She confirms for Stannis with a vision from R’hllor in the flames that this information is indeed correct. She convinces Stannis to put on hold his quest for the Throne and to focus on what is coming, Winter.

I love the fact that Melisandre is a big picture character. She is able to overlook the political battles of men and notice that there are greater dangers building. She is on a mission of faith to protect the realm and those she feels are there to save it. Her faith provides her with the tools to support Stannis in his quest. She becomes the closest advisor to him and does it with such ease. Although constantly doubted and questioned by many people she stays true to her visions from her god R’hllor.

For me as a reader and watcher, I feel she is one of the most important characters to the happenings in Westeros. She now has the full trust of Stannis and can advise him on how to use his host. With a strong army, a great lord with claim to the throne, and the Lord of Light at her back, she is a force to be reckoned within the Game of Thrones.

Done in the light of the Lord.

What do you think of Melisandre? Do you feel like she is manipulating or supporting Stannis? How do you feel about the Lord of Light and The Great Other? Do you feel she has what it takes to be on or advising the Throne? Let’s discuss in the name of the Lord of Light…


44 Comments

  1. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Mordor!

    Those eyes and eyebrows…

  2. jentario
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Dildo Baggins

  3. Mar-Tella
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Hodor

    Her powers are open to interpretation, as per her chapter in adwd

  4. House Mormont
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Also, Lightbringer was given power when Azor Ahai killed his wife with it

    I’d love to know what happened when Melisandre first got to Dragonstone

  5. Rosalie
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I hate her.

  6. Joffrey'sWail
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Melisandre is absolutely terrifying. Carice van Houten does an amazing job portraying her as someone utterly devoted to the LoL and completely confident in herself and her god. I would wager that nobody else on the show is so secure in their beliefs.

    Plus she’s absolutely gorgeous to boot. And that exotic Asshai accent via Amsterdam is the cherry on top!

  7. Bex
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t care for Melisandre until her POV in ADWD, where we get a first look in her head

    I am excited to see how she and Kit play off each other while Stannis is at the wall.

  8. smitzz
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    She’s a very important character , she is manipulating Stannis and Thoros was supposed to try to manipulate Robert to convert to R’hllor , I can’t wait to see how it all plays out and the reasoning behind it all.

  9. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The most critical aspect of Melisandre is revealed in ADwD for those paying attention. She does not need to eat or sleep. She does not digest food. She does not feel the cold and we already know from Maester Cressen that poison has no effect upon her.

    All of this is for the very good reason that Melisandre is not alive; she is UNDEAD. Her appearance and sense of fiery warmth Jon Snow feels radiate off of her is maintained by the same glamour that she uses on Mance Rayder. Her complexion is often frequently filmed in the show as very whitish grey. She frequently does not look “normal” and this is deliberate.

    It is even possible, though unlikely, that Melisandre does not entirely comprehend her own situation or that she is not alive. She was likely poisoned or suffocated by the Temple of Rh’llor as a slave and then immediately brought back to life with very little brain damage. She only hazily recalls her name as a slave (“Melony”). We have no idea how old she is — but she may be very, very old.

    “Melisandre asked the Lord of Light to show her the king, but all she could see was Snow.” For those paying close attention to her POV chapter in ADwD, Mel also confirmed what we all know by now: Jon is the True King. She’s just missing the clues that are right before her eyes.

  10. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Bex:
    I didn’t care for Melisandre until her POV in ADWD, where we get a first look in her head

    I am excited to see how she and Kit play off each other while Stannis is at the wall.

    Yes, it was very interesting that her first PoV appeared shortly before Jon got betrayed and stabbed.

    Steel_Wind,
    Is she dead, really? Or is she using a spell on herself? The show seems to indicate that she does eat.

  11. Hizdadfs zo Fazlofp
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I love the character and believe she is being true to her beliefs, while staying dedicated to her cause.

    Carice is amazing.

  12. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,
    Is she dead, really? Or is she using a spell on herself? The show seems to indicate that she does eat.

    She does eat from time to time to keep those around her more comfortable. ADwD is quite clear that she does not need to eat, nor sleep and that when she does eat or drink she does not digest. She’s undead, a fire wight like Berric Dundarrion, but presumably deliberately created — not accidentally like Berric.

  13. Katsuragi
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I love her character! She’s one of my top 3 because of the level of intrigue I have invested in her. Her chapter in ADWD has so many interesting tidbits that I hope we see more fleshed out in TWOW. Many people believe that she’s evil but I feel (as GRRM has stated) she’s totally misunderstood.

    Plus…

    We all know she’s going to resurrect Jon.

    So she can’t really be evil! Right?

  14. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind:
    It is even possible, though unlikely, that Melisandre does not entirely comprehend her own situation or that she is not alive. She was likely poisoned or suffocated by the Temple of Rh’llor as a slave and then immediately brought back to life with very little brain damage. She only hazily recalls her name as a slave (“Melony”). We have no idea how old she is — but she may be very, very old.

    I am fascinated by that possible aspect of her. Could it be that Red Priests and Priestesses must die and become unknowingly undead before they assume their title and are bestowed with “powers” and immunities? Sort of like the Iron Isles’ practice with their Drowned God, except with R’hlorr magic involved. I’d like to know more about the actual health status of Thoros, Moqorro and Euron (?) then.

  15. GeorgerrmartinFan
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind:
    The most critical aspect of Melisandre is revealed in ADwD for those paying attention. She does not need to eat or sleep. She does not digest food. She does not feel the cold and we already know from Maester Cressen that poison has no effect upon her.

    All of this is for the very good reason that Melisandre is not alive; she is UNDEAD. Her appearance and sense of fiery warmth Jon Snow feels radiate off of her is maintained by the same glamour that she uses on Mance Rayder. Her complexion is often frequently filmed in the show as very whitish grey. She frequently does not look “normal” and this is deliberate.

    It is even possible, though unlikely, that Melisandre does not entirely comprehend her own situation or that she is not alive. She was likely poisoned or suffocated by the Temple of Rh’llor as a slave and then immediately brought back to life with very little brain damage. She only hazily recalls her name as a slave (“Melony”). We have no idea how old she is — but she may be very, very old.

    “Melisandre asked the Lord of Light to show her the king, but all she could see was Snow.”For those paying close attention to her POV chapter in ADwD, Mel also confirmed what we all know by now: Jon is the True King. She’s just missing the clues that are right before her eyes.

    What a twist would it be if Jon actually proves to be dead. Then the true king of Westeros would be dead and shit will really hit the fan.

  16. Ragman's Harbor
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I, for one, like her a great deal. I love when I speak with my Unsullied friends and they all say they hate that bitch. While I try to make them see she’s not evil. She just does evil things for a greater and good purpose. And maybe she is right. Maybe it is only a battle between R’hllor and the Great Other. Fire and Ice. I do think she is right, just not the Stannis of it all. Even though I like Stannis and I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the Iron Throne

  17. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    GeorgerrmartinFan: What a twist would it be if Jon actually proves to be dead. Then the true king of Westeros would be dead and shit will really hit the fan.

    We know this will not happen. The first serious magic we see in the series is Miri Mazdur bringing Kal Drogo back from the dead. It is presented by her as a trick; that she cannot do it completely as what animates him in life cannot be restored as his living spirit is gone.

    Kal Drogo was not a warg; Jon is and his spirit is in Ghost. As only death can pay for life, it’s not looking good for Ghost.

    The ice cells used to preserve those two corpses sit like a Checkov’s Gun throughout most of ADwD. They are mentioned many times to no particular purpose by GRRM. My guess is that Mel is going to stash Jon’s body there for a time and disguise one of those corpses so that it is burned instead of Jon’s.

    Jon is sworn to the Night’s Watch. Until his funeral is held “and now his watch has ended” is intoned, he is not released from that vow and a legal impediment to his taking the throne of the King of Winter — and the Iron Throne — remains.

    Once Jon is restored, Melisandre no longer has plot armor. At that point, she’s just swirling round the drain waiting for the right moment to meet the Lord of Light.

  18. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    Carice has said she was told that her character is over 100 years old. I think she was either resurrected or her magic conceals her age and her appearance is just a glamour.

  19. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Steel_Wind,

    Carice has said she was told that her character is over 100 years old. I think she was either resurrected or her magic conceals her age and her appearance is just a glamour.

    I think it is likely that it is *both* of those things; they are not mutually exclusive.

  20. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Just because the Others exist, and just because magic exists, it does not therefore necessarily mean that a God or that even many gods exist. One is not proof of the other.

    GRRM is an avowed atheist IRL. IMO, GRRM is not gong to be giving fact based explanations of actual deities in his great American novel series. The distance from magic to “Rh’llor is the one True God” is a logical leap that is parsecs wide.

  21. Felagund
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I _really_ would have liked to see what she would have been capable of doing with the wildfire… If my expectations are correct, I think King’s Landing would be a pile of burnt/melted stone and ashes by now o.O

  22. Jaqen is Q
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    Where does he say he’s an atheist?

  23. Rat Bastard
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    The flipside to that is that one need not believe in God(s) in order to write stories that include them. This *is* fantasy, after all.

  24. Thoros
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Ragman’s Harbor:
    I, for one, like her a great deal. I love when I speak with my Unsullied friends and they all say they hate that bitch. While I try to make them see she’s not evil. She just does evil things for a greater and good purpose. And maybe she is right. Maybe it is only a battle between R’hllor and the Great Other. Fire and Ice. I do think she is right, just not the Stannis of it all. Even though I like Stannis and I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the Iron Throne

    You make a terrific point. Keep in mind that she believes that Stannis is Azor Ahai and that she is only following his lead and command while advising him. She only killed Renly because Stannis asked her to. She leeched Gendry because he told him to. People think she’s evil because she is serving the Lord of Light.

  25. We Hear Ours Growing, Winter Blood Unbowed
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    There are some interesting theories about Melisandre being the daughter of Bloodraven and Shiera Seastar (Targaryens), and of her fulfilling the Azor Ahai, bleeding red star, AND king’s blood awakening a dragon prophecies by resurrecting Jon Snow in the Godswood beyond The Wall… thoughts?

  26. mariamb
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always suspected that, without the glamour, Melisandre would look similar to Lady Stoneheart. Dead + old, I guess. Magic is concealing something.

    Because of that chapter in ADWD, she has become – for me, anyway – a character to watch. She will certainly have an impact on Jon’s “current predicament.” I like the fact that she often misreads her visions…that despite her self-assurance she is not necessarily interpreting those visions properly.

    Melisandre’s beliefs/followers make me consider the difference between faith and blind faith.

    Any thoughts about her conversation with Thoros in S3? Was she surprised that he had the power to resurrect Beric because this was something that she could not (yet?) do?

  27. Thoros
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    mariamb: Any thoughts about her conversation with Thoros in S3? Was she surprised that he had the power to resurrect Beric because this was something that she could not (yet?) do?

    Remember, with the dragons being born it enhanced their powers.

  28. mariamb
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Thoros,

    With that in mind…

    would that now confirm for her that she can also (now) resurrect the dead? If Thoros – clearly a lesser priest than she – has this newly found power, than she must as well. If so, then that conversation is setting the viewer up for her resurrection of Jon? (something that readers have expected)

  29. Thoros
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    mariamb,

    Quite possibly…

  30. The Dragon Demands
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    That should be “done in the light of the Lord”

  31. King stannis
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Jaqen is Q,

    I too want proof

  32. Turncloak
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Team Dragonstone!

  33. Hollyoak
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind:
    The most critical aspect of Melisandre is revealed in ADwD for those paying attention. She does not need to eat or sleep. She does not digest food. She does not feel the cold and we already know from Maester Cressen that poison has no effect upon her.

    All of this is for the very good reason that Melisandre is not alive; she is UNDEAD. Her appearance and sense of fiery warmth Jon Snow feels radiate off of her is maintained by the same glamour that she uses on Mance Rayder. Her complexion is often frequently filmed in the show as very whitish grey. She frequently does not look “normal” and this is deliberate.

    It is even possible, though unlikely, that Melisandre does not entirely comprehend her own situation or that she is not alive. She was likely poisoned or suffocated by the Temple of Rh’llor as a slave and then immediately brought back to life with very little brain damage. She only hazily recalls her name as a slave (“Melony”). We have no idea how old she is — but she may be very, very old.

    “Melisandre asked the Lord of Light to show her the king, but all she could see was Snow.”For those paying close attention to her POV chapter in ADwD, Mel also confirmed what we all know by now: Jon is the True King. She’s just missing the clues that are right before her eyes.

    I think you posted this exact theory a few years ago.

    I really like it and it creeps me the f**k out.

  34. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: I think you posted this exact theory a few years ago.

    I really like it and it creeps me the f**k out.

    I did. Since then, there has been no GRRM material released to confirm or deny it, so I’m sticking with it.

    The only thing which we have seen which would tend to point against it is in the TV series, and Mel’s incredulous questioning of Thoros’ miraculous power (which somebody else in their order must have had once upon a time if SHE is alive now too) and her questioning of the Lightning Lord about his having “seen the other side”.

    That seems to be inconsistent with the idea she is undead. That is, unless she doesn’t really know it (which I have some difficulty with), or simply cannot remember being dead for a brief period of time and almost nothing of her life before that (which I have no difficulty with).

    It is entirely possible that the TV series and the books will end up being different from one another when it comes to Melisandre’s true nature. I guess we’ll see and the beauty of the TV series is that we won’t have to wait all that long for the answers.

  35. Steel_Wind
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Jaqen is Q:
    Steel_Wind,

    Where does he say he’s an atheist?

    I am told that he’s more forthcoming privately, but publicly, you might look below for some of those quotes. There are others.

    http://askanatheist.tv/2011/07/15/famous-atheist-george-r-r-martin/

  36. chris
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    As for the existence of God or gods, in the world of ASOIAF I’d say the answer is… all of them!
    Well… okay we’ve actually not seen anything to lend credence to the existence of The Seven, the faith most similar to our familiar bureaucratic organized religions, or the Drowned God…
    But the Old Gods of the North sure seem to exist in some amorphous woodsy natural way with such feats as warging and seeing through the weirwoods.
    And the Lord of Light? Well, we have Beric and Stoneheart, the shadow baby, the antiaircraft fire that brought down Varamyr’s eagle, and numerous truly accurate visions seen in the fires including Davos assassination plot and even Stannis, yes Stannis, witnessing the Battle of the Fist.
    I’d say at least some of these gods must exist to some degree in the stories, much as the Greek gods exist in Greek legends.
    Is there fanaticism? Sure.
    Deluded belief. Yup. Thanks Selyse.
    But the supernatural or cosmic are definitely real enough to influence events.

  37. Meg
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    She came to life for me on the show. “You’ve chosen the darkness, Ser Davos…I will pray for you.” is one of my favorite lines in the show. The delivery is just so good. Total diva!

  38. Hollyoak
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind: I did. Since then, there has been no GRRM material released to confirm or deny it, so I’m sticking with it.

    The only thing which we have seen which would tend to point against it is in the TV series, and Mel’s incredulous questioning of Thoros’ miraculous power (which somebody else in their order must have had once upon a time if SHE is alive now too) and her questioning of the Lightning Lord about his having “seen the other side”.

    That seems to be inconsistent with the idea she is undead. That is, unless she doesn’t really know it (which I have some difficulty with), or simply cannot remember being dead for a brief period of time and almost nothing of her life before that (which I have no difficulty with).

    It is entirely possible that the TV series and the books will end up being different from one another when it comes to Melisandre’s true nature. I guess we’ll see and the beauty of the TV series is that we won’t have to wait all that long for the answers.

    Right. I think book lore and show lore on Melisandre will differ. I do wonder if George really has all this figured out. Melisandre certainly was curious about Thoros, wasn’t she?

  39. Lex
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Melisandre has real powers, sees things in the flames… but is bad at interpreting those visions.

    I couldn’t believe how dumb she seemed in ADWD, when she kept asking the flames to show her Azor Ahai, but complained that it just showed her Jon Snow. Duh…

  40. Hexonx
    Posted April 16, 2014 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the post. I do feel some of the back story is a bit spoilery though as she doesn’t reveal some of that until later in the books.

    Thoros: She only killed Renly because Stannis asked her to. She leeched Gendry because he told him to. People think she’s evil because she is serving the Lord of Light.

    I’m not one that necessarily thinks she is evil but she actually wanted to burn Gendry. She only leeched him because Stannis wouldn’t let her.

  41. Ashara D
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    chris:
    Steel_Wind,

    As for the existence of God or gods, in the world of ASOIAF I’d say the answer is…all of them!
    Well…okay we’ve actually not seen anything to lend credence to the existence of The Seven, the faith most similar to our familiar bureaucratic organized religions, or the Drowned God…
    But the Old Gods of the North sure seem to exist in some amorphous woodsy natural way with such feats as warging and seeing through the weirwoods.
    And the Lord of Light?Well, we have Beric and Stoneheart, the shadow baby, the antiaircraft fire that brought down Varamyr’s eagle, and numerous truly accurate visions seen in the fires including Davos assassination plot and even Stannis, yes Stannis, witnessing the Battle of the Fist.
    I’d say at least some of these gods must exist to some degree in the stories, much as the Greek gods exist in Greek legends.
    Is there fanaticism?Sure.
    Deluded belief.Yup.Thanks Selyse.
    But the supernatural or cosmic are definitely real enough to influence events.

    But is this really proof of the existence of gods or the existence of POWER? Some can wield it, some cannot; that does not mean that there is an all-powerful being behind it, just a leader of the wielders. George’s apparent atheism would suggest that the point he is trying to make is that there are no gods, just followers of power, much like the happenings in King’s Landing. Varys’s aversion to magic and his speech about doing things for The Realm suggests a humanist bent. He acts to create peace for the people and doesn’t care who’s ass is in the chair. Power is not God; power is power.

  42. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Ashara D: But is this really proof of the existence of gods or the existence of POWER? Some can wield it, some cannot; that does not mean that there is an all-powerful being behind it, just a leader of the wielders. George’s apparent atheism would suggest that the point he is trying to make is that there are no gods, just followers of power, much like the happenings in King’s Landing. Varys’s aversion to magic and his speech about doing things for The Realm suggests a humanist bent. He acts to create peace for the people and doesn’t care who’s ass is in the chair. Power is not God; power is power.

    It is quite interesting how the two get mixed up and confused throughout the “real” world as well. Thanks for that comment.

    Given GRRM’s extensive ruminations on various “faiths” in ASoI&F, including the practices of following the Old Gods, the Seven (with lengthy discussions on the High Septon and Faith Militant), Rh’lorr, the Great Other, the Drowned God, the Harpy (?) and various other deities worshiped throughout Westeros and Essos, we could come to the conclusion that GRRM is more of an agnostic than an atheist. It will be interesting to see how that aspect of ASoI&F plays out in the coming books, especially the Faith Militant (Lancel) angle and with Mel up North.

  43. Blind Beth
    Posted April 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    I’m half convinced this is true, but I also think it’s possible that she is alive but very old, like 80-90 years old. Being very elderly would explain her needing very little food or sleep. A big point is also made of how much her eyes itch and hurt when she stares into the fire–are they rheumy with age?

    Either way–elderly, undead, animated dead–it’s pretty clear she’s using a glamour on herself and is not actually a beautiful young woman who radiates body heat. I’m intrigued to find out more about her in Winds.

  1. […] Martell, The Red Viper Melisandre, The Red Priestess Jojen and Tommen Reed, The Crannogmen Petyr Baelish, […]


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