House of the Dragon could redefine Game of Thrones’ sketchiest character
What is this, a crossover episode?
In the year 2022, we’re very used to a cinematic universe. After the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Extended Universe, and the Star Wars galaxy, fans have become fluent in speculative theories, adept at spotting Easter eggs, and accustomed to enough crossovers that it’s rather the rare standalone film or TV show that is worth remarking upon.
That’s what makes the Game of Thrones universe so interesting. Three years after the finale of its flagship show, the franchise is finally moving on with House of the Dragon, a prequel series. The only problem? It’s set 200 years in the past, making a crossover pretty much impossible — but not completely out of the question.
There’s only one Game of Thrones character who has been around long enough to appear in House of the Dragon: Melisandre, the Red Witch. You may remember her for her many prophecies, her hand in bringing back Jon Snow from the dead, and her iconic scarlet wardrobe. But in one particular episode (Season 4, Episode 7), we saw her for who she really is.
After removing the necklace that acts as a glamor, Melisandre turns into a wizened old lady, a far cry from the powerful, agile sorceress image she maintains in the rest of the series. But just how old is this old version of Melisandre? She is certainly way older than most people are expected to survive, as we see in her demise after Arya defeats the White Walkers.
A definitive answer on Melisandre’s age is hard to find, but co-creator David Benioff said in an Inside the Episode featurette that the character is “several centuries” old, which makes her lifespan more than long enough to warrant a House of the Dragon appearance, as the show is memorably set 172 years before the birth of the Targaryens in Game of Thrones.
The timeline matches up, but what would Melisandre do in House of the Dragon? After all, she’s from Asshai in Essos, a far cry from the Westeros-based action of the series. Well, as a (relatively) young priestess, she may have traveled all over, including to the epicenter of the era’s political machinations.
Seeing as House of the Dragon has already delved into the topic of prophecies, Melisandre could be the perfect addition to the lore. Not only would it directly tie the events of Game of Thrones to House of the Dragon, but it could shed some light on how Melisandre came to know about the Azor Ahai prophecy that would drive so much of Game of Thrones Season 8.
Melisandre may be the Yoda of Game of Thrones — older than she looks, speaks in riddles, and always seems to pop up in everything. Just as Baby Yoda brought The Mandalorian more in line with the rest of Star Wars, a young Melisandre may just do the same for Game of Thrones.
House of the Dragon is now streaming on HBO Max.