The Shocking Melisandre Twist That Game Of Thrones Just Gave Us

Spoilers for tonight’s Game of Thrones Season 6 premiere episode are all over this article. If you haven’t caught the episode, yet, do yourself a favor and check out one of our other excellent articles.

Game of Thrones has not always been the most quick-paced program on television, but the Season 6 premiere certainly got through a ton of material in a short amount of time. For instance, we saw Dany meet a new Khal, Sansa and Theon run into Brienne and Pod, Ser Davos buy some time on the wall, the Sand Sand Snakes take over Dorne and Cersei learn her daughter was dead. However, perhaps the most shocking moment came in the final moments when we saw the Red Priestess Melisandre for who she really was. The answer: She’s not really a drop-dead gorgeous woman who looks as if she's still in her prime. Instead, she’s an aged witch with thinning hair and sagging skin.

If you are caught up on the series, you already know that we don’t know many of the details related to Melisandre and her real identity. In the final moments of the first episode, Ser Davos was attempting to bargain for some more time with his small posse of men (also keeping Jon Snow’s body safe). Elsewhere, Melisandre was readying for bed. We saw her stare at herself in the mirror and remove her robe—so if you were looking for nudity in the episode, you certainly got it. She then removed her twinkling red necklace and sat it down on the table in front of her, changing into an old, old woman right before our eyes. A vial filled with liquid was also lying on the table. The actress has mentioned in the past that her character is old, but we didn't know she was hiding her true appearance from the other characters on the show.

melisandre old

While a lot of the actors and actresses related to Game of Thrones have come out and made some comments about what to expect from their characters in Season 6, Carice Van Houten (who plays Melisandre on the series) has not been particularly open about what is coming. At one point, she did note "she has some potions" and has done some magical stuff in the past. Obviously, this is a woman who can make shadow babies that then kill kings, so we shouldn’t underestimate her. That doesn’t make the impact of the twist any less shocking or strange, however.

Game of Thrones spent a lot of time on The Wall this weekend, but most of the big moments were spent on Jon Snow’s death and the subsequent take over of those who murdered him--which should still be a big deal moving forward. Because of this, the Melisandre moment was more of an afterthought, but we wouldn’t be given that nugget of a hint about her identity if it wasn’t going to come back up at some point in Season 6. If Melisandre is as old as she currently looks like she is, who’s to say she didn’t have a hand in Robert’s Rebellion or even Aegon’s Conquest from years and years before the events in HBO’s fantasy drama were set. I can’t even begin to tell you how old Melisandre really is at this point.

Regardless of how old she may or may not be, a whole lot of fans had a really polarized reaction to the epic nude scene, which makes sense, given Game Of Thrones porn is apparently really, really popular. In fact, Pornhub recently put together a list of the GOT characters that get the most porn-related searches. You definitely won't be shocked at #1, but you may be shocked at the rest. Click over to the next page for the full results...

To find out more, catch Game of Thrones on HBO on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET. For what everything that is coming up on Game of Thrones, check out our what we know guide.

Photo courtesy of HBO

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.