Another Game Of Thrones Red Woman Theory Is Currently Messing With Our Minds

Photo: courtesy of HBO.
Once everyone got over the shock of seeing the Red Woman in her true form in Sunday night's Game of Thrones season premiere, quite a few diehards began working on their theories about what it all means. What happens now that Melisandre is an old crone and not a luscious beauty? Some eagle-eyed viewers out there also wanted to know why, exactly, this is the first time we're seeing her without her glamour. They pointed out that way back in season 4, we saw Melisandre (Carice van Houten), take a bath without her ruby necklace, and she didn't look a day over 35. This could have been because the show's writers hadn't been tipped off by George R.R. Martin about what would be revealed about the character two seasons in the future. Or, you could go way deeper, as some Reddit users have (coming to us via Buzzfeed). "The only person to see her like this is Stannis' wife Selyse," Brashendeavors writes on Reddit. "Selyse has this strange expression the entire time. Like she cannot look directly at Melisandre yet also cannot look away. At first you think [her discomfort] is that of a religious 'uptight' person seeing a naked and very sexual woman. But if you re-watch the scene, and pretend to yourself that Selyse is seeing Melisandre as she actually appears, it actually fits better. WE still see the seductress; Selyse sees the hag." There's some more speculation about how this masking magic works, and how much depends on the object, like the ruby Melisandre wears, and how much depends on the beholders' expectations. The same redditor explains: "Because Melisandre saw the hag, because her own belief system was shaken, because she looked in a mirror and saw the hag, [now] for us, the viewer, the enchantment broke." Fair enough. You can dive into all the other theories about this discrepancy on the boards yourself. Here's another theory: There's no way GoT would miss a chance to show van Houten and her un-aged breasts by instead revealing Melisandre's true form any earlier than the story required.

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