Before you start reading this post, I would like to warn you that this post contains spoilers from the 1st episode of season 6. So if you haven’t yet watched the episode, stop reading further.
Game of Thrones season 6 took off where season 5 ended. Jon Snow is dead and he stays dead throughout the episode and hardly has any screen time. The limelight is stolen by Melisandre after whom the episode was named: The Red Woman. However we were wrong in interpreting the meaning of the episode name.
Most of us believed that she would play an important part in resurrecting Jon Snow but we witnessed something unexpected. The Game of Thrones season 6 premiere showed us Melisandre’s big secret and that’s her real age.
We have been used to seeing the seductive, young red haired priestess of the Lord of Light who is always ready to drop her clothes and make love when she’s not looking into the fire and making predictions. However we had no idea (at least most of us) that it was just a facade and the latest episode revealed what some Game of Thrones fans have been speculating since years.
In an interview way back in 2012, Carice van Houten had this to say about Melisandre. “She definitely has certain powers. I don’t how old she is, but she’s way over 100 years, so she is a wiser spirit, in a way.“. Her co-actor Oliver Ford Davies, who had played the role of Cressen in season 2 had said something similar during an interview in 2013.
In season 2, there was a scene where Cressen and Melisandre drank the poison from the same cup and Melisandre seemed to be immune to the poison, while Cressen died. While talking about the scene, Davies had said this: “In between takes I said to her ‘I’m not quite up to speed on this, why don’t you die?’ And she said, ‘I’m 400 years old. And I thought, oh, well, fair enough, that’s a lesson learned. If you’re trying to poison somebody, check first that they’re not 400 years old.’”
So both the actors had revealed this information almost 4 years ago but it went largely unnoticed. However, they weren’t alone in revealing the information about Melisandre’s age. During this week’s Inside the Episode segment, showrunner David Benioff revealed that, as per an early conversation with George R.R. Martin, Melisandre was “several centuries old.”