Game of Thrones ended Season 7 on a pretty dire note for Jon Snow and Co. in Westeros, as the Night King on the back of dead Viserion took down the Wall and began to lead his dead army into the Seven Kingdoms. As of the finale, almost all of the key characters have chosen a side in the Great War. There is still one player missing, however, as she left the action way back in the third episode of the season. Yes, Melisandre has not yet returned from Volantis, and a new theory proposes that she'll come back with an assist that would be pretty awesome to behold.
Melisandre departed the main plot of Game of Thrones after she finally got Jon and Dany to meet on Dragonstone. Before leaving Dragonstone, she revealed to Varys that she was going to Volantis, but that she would return one more time, as she was destined to die in Westeros. According to a pretty creative theory concocted by a Game of Thrones fan on Reddit, Melisandre won't be alone when she returns in Season 8. She'll bring an army with her that is straight out of the pages of the fifth book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire saga, called A Dance with Dragons.
In A Dance with Dragons, Tyrion learns of a group based out of Volantis known as the Fiery Hand, which is comprised of slave soldiers tasked with defending the temple of the Lord of Light. There are never any more or any less than one thousand soldiers in the Fiery Hand, as a new member would join the group as soon as an existing member died. These soldiers wear ornate armor and orange cloaks, carrying spears with points in the shape of flames. If the Fiery Hand exists on the show as it does in the books, it would make sense for Melisandre to have gone to Volantis in order to fetch them to fight in the Great War.
Of course, the Fiery Hand's role is technically to guard the masssive temple to the Lord of Light in Volantis, and the slave group probably doesn't have the option to just abandon their posts to fight a war against ice zombies on another continent. That said, if Melisandre can convince the leaders of her faith that Jon (or Dany) is the Prince that was Promised, it would make sense that the Fiery Hand would be deployed to help. A thousand fiery fighters would certainly be an asset to the humans of Westeros in the Great War.
Given that the odds are pretty stacked against Dany's forces thanks to the army of the dead in the North and Cersei's intended assault from the south, she and Jon may need all the extra soldiers they can get. If Melisandre does fetch the Fiery Hand and brings them to the North, that could definitely be the end of her story. Jon warned that she would be killed if she ever returned to the North because of what she did to Shirren, and her name is currently still on Arya's kill list because of what she did to Gendry. Melisandre has made enemies of the two stabbiest of Ned Stark's kids -- even if one of them is technically the son of a Targaryen -- and her own prophecy that she'll die in Westeros could come true quickly after a return to the North.
Unfortunately, we have a while to wait before we see Melisandre in action again, with or without the Fiery Hand. It hasn't even been confirmed if we'll get Season 8 of Game of Thrones in 2018. Hopefully we'll find out approximately when we can expect the next batch of episodes sooner rather than later. If you need a fix of the Game of Thrones cast in the meantime, check out our breakdown of where the stars can be seen next during hiatus, and don't forget to take a look at our fall TV premiere guide.