The last time we saw Melisandre, she was foreshadowing her and Varys’ death at the end of Game of Thrones Season 7. While Season 8 of Game of Thrones hasn’t brought her up or suggested she’d be appearing anytime soon, that could all change in Episode 3’s Great Battle of Winterfell. Melisandre said her destiny was to die in Westeros, but a brazen new theory posits that the Red Woman is already in Winterfell in disguise and ready to help fight the White Walkers.
Redditor u/jt-clark argues that the Red Witch may have already made her Season 8 return in Episode 2; we just didn’t realize it at the time.
“She used her ruby to glamour herself as this little girl with a burn scar,” they write.
Melisandre isn’t exactly a master of disguise, but we do know she has the ability to mask her appearance. We saw her true form (an extremely old woman) in Season 6, so it’s possible she could use similar magic to take on a new identity in Season 8. After all, the Red Witch isn’t exactly popular with many of Winterfell’s current inhabitants. She’s even on Arya Stark’s infamous kill list.
If the theory proves to be true, it means Melisandre knew that Ser Davos and Gilly would convince her to hide in the Winterfell crypts for safety. This complements the theory about the Night King turning the deceased Starks and the women and children hiding in the crypts into the undead. Considering that Melisandre has no combat training, her powers would be far better utilized against the Night King’s plan. Though, how she’ll use them to help is anyone’s guess.
It’s possible she might even surprise us all by bringing those dead Starks back to life to fight for the good guys.
Melisandre has played a pivotal role in Game of Thrones, but she seemed proudest of the fact that she had brought Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen together in Season 7. Instead of calling it a day and going home to Volantis permanently, Melisandre hinted that she’s seen her own death and it happens in Westeros. Ever the loyal servant to the Lord of Light may have gone to Winterfell to help in the fight against the Night King and his army because she already knows it’s where she’ll die. Knowing she isn’t well-liked, using the glamour lets her walk freely through Winterfell.
This theory is equal parts plausible and clever. After all, it doesn’t go unnoticed that the little girl Melisandre uses to disguise herself has a distinct Greyscale mark on one side of her face. Shireen Baratheon had that same scar, and Game of Thrones drove that point home by using Shireen’s distinct musical theme during the Season 8 scene.
It’s a mark that certainly got Ser Davos’ attention. Given that Melisandre had a hand in Shireen’s death, it’s both strangely poetic and cruel that she might use the scar in her glamour. However, the Red Woman always makes decisions based on her interpretation of the Lord of Light’s wishes, and if using the mark as part of the disguise got Ser Davos’ attention enough to knowingly send her to the crypts, then so be it.
Perhaps Melisandre feels guilty for Shireen’s death and for helping Stannis for so long, or maybe she’s doing it as a last chance for redemption in the eyes of Jon Snow. Whatever her reasons, Melisandre being back in Winterfell makes sense. If she’s to die on this continent, the Battle of Winterfell will surely be her last stand (as it will be for many) and, since she also predicted Varys would die in Westeros (and he also happens to be headed for the crypts of Winterfell), it would be a strange but fitting reunion before their demise.
Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.