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Red Temple

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fieryheartofthelordoflight.png

The Red Temple of Volantis is the church establishment of the faith in the Lord of Light R'hllor. The Red Priests appear to have ambiguous supernatural powers, which are believed to be the gifts from the Lord of Light himself. The faith of the Lord of Light is the predominant religion in the Free Cities and reaches to Asshai, with the Red Temple almost unheard of in Westeros. The religion is focused of fire and light through which followers receive prophetic visions. The religion also states that the current world is "hell", but the Lord of Light will save his faithful followers. They also believe in the Prince That Was Promised, a chosen warrior to fight the coming darkness.

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    In General 
  • A House Divided: Melisandre initially supported Stannis as The Chosen One (and later Jon Snow) while Kinvara and the rest of the Red Temple believe it is Daenerys. In Season 7, Melisandre seems to have settled on them both being important.
  • Activist Fundamentalist Antics: In this series, people who worship the Old Gods, the Seven, or some other deity tolerate each other and accept the existence of those other deities to varying degrees. The worshipers of the Lord, on the other hand, stubbornly criticize anyone who has faith in another religion.
  • Black and White Morality: A major theme, at least one Melisandre espouses. By Season 7, she has mellowed out considerably, and has even come around to religious tolerance.
  • Breeding Cult: Melisandre's shadow babies. It is unknown if other red priestesses have the same ability or if male red priests may impregnate women with them. This ability may well stem not from Melisandre's red priestess training but from being a shadowbinder.
  • Casting a Shadow and Light 'em Up: The Lord of Light is the god of both flame and shadow, shadow in this case being directly caused by light, and it is not considered the same as "darkness".
  • Color Motif: A strong emphasis is put on the color red.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Has a lot in common with Zoroastrianism, due to the whole "Light Is Good vs. Dark Is Evil" dynamic with R'hllor and the Great Other. The author also modeled it on the real life Christian heresy of Catharism which was brutally suppressed in the Albigensian Crusade.
    • Also, much like the early Christian doctrines, they have a strong belief that there is only one "proper" deity and another evil entity diametrically opposed to that deity; any other faiths are snuffed out where they can be (at least Melisandre works to do so).
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Thanks to Adaptational Villainy (with Davos outright calling R'hllor evil), they are considered a sinister scary religion. But it has to be said that it is the only religion in the show with men and women serving on parity in the priesthood, with a female Pope to boot and they don't seem to have any of the issues about sexual purity that the Sparrows and the Seven does. The Essosi Temple are likewise involved in abolitionism.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: So what if the God of Flame is evil? Winter is coming and whatever power it channels through its agents, such as Melisandre and Thoros of Myr, is needed to help defeat the Army of the Dead.
  • Good Is Not Nice: If He is good that is.
  • Kill It with Fire: Unsurprisingly, this is a means that the Lord's worshipers use to punish nonbelievers/honor their deity.
  • Jerk Ass Gods: The Lord is believed to appreciate human sacrifices, and his followers need little provocation to start burning non-believers. After the White Walkers are defeated he seemingly abandons those that accomplished it for him without a backwards glance.
  • Love Goddess: The Lord is a fertility deity.
  • Religion Is Magic: The Lord's devout followers have shown magical abilities to bring people back from the dead, predict the future (with varying degrees of success), and survive without food or water for extended periods.
  • The Sacred Darkness: The Lord's shadows are said to be this compared to the darkness of the Great Other.
  • Seer: The priests and priestesses in service to The Lord seem to be gifted with pyromancy (in the classical sense). How accurate they are, however, tends to vary.

    Lady Melisandre 

Lady Melisandre

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/melisandre_6.png

Played By: Carice Van Houten

"There is only one hell...the one we live in now."

A mysterious red-headed eastern priestess who worships 'The Lord of Light'. Originally convinced that Stannis is the Messiah of her religion, she did all in her power to support his claim on the Iron Throne and convert him to her religion. Following Stannis' failed siege of Winterfell and death, Melisandre begins to doubt her path and even her God, wondering if all she had done was for nothing.


  • Adaptational Villainy: TV Melisandre is considerably more callous than her book counterpart. She mocks the death of Davos's son, instead of expressing regret about it, shows no regret about having to sacrifice Gendry, does not offer Cressen a chance to save himself after he tries to poison her, pushes Stannis to sacrifice Shireen, and later keeps her own part in the fall of Stannis a secret. She also lacks several of the Pet the Dog moments that her book version had.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The show's dialing down of the prophecy and visions generally makes the skepticism Melisandre attracts more justified on the show. In the books, her powers increase when she arrives at the Wall and her visions seen in flames become more powerful and vivid, to the point that Jon Snow eventually starts believing in it. On the show, Jon Snow is entirely skeptical and dismissive of her. He eventually banishes her from Winterfell, rather than execute her as Davos asked, partly because Melisandre did resurrect him. Also, in the books she uses her magic to burn an eagle that was being controlled by a warg, killing it and driving the warg insane as a result, during Stannis's attack on the wildlings. On the show, she has no role in the battle whatsoever.
    • Averted in the Battle of Winterfell where she shows the full extent of her power and really pulled her weight throughout the whole episode, leaving little doubts about her magical capabilities.
  • Affably Evil: When not being incredibly creepy, Melisandre is surprisingly personable.
  • Analogy Backfire: She attempts to compare Shireen's uncle being sacrificed to her god being akin to childbirth. The suffering and pain before the joyous end result. Shireen quickly points out that mothers don't tend to be burnt to cinders afterwards.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Though certainly a dark influence on Stannis, for starters using Blood Magic to help him, she seems to truly believe he is Messiah/The Chosen One, and wants to see him on the throne, and in "Mhysa" tells Stannis to spare Davos as the threat of the White Walkers will demand his aid in spite of his treasonous actions. At the least she's a Well-Intentioned Extremist/Knight Templar, who despite everything she did, is loyal to Jon Snow and plays a part in his victory over the Boltons.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: She point blank asks Jon Snow if he is a virgin in the Season 5 premiere. Ends up on the receiving end of these in Season 6.
  • Back for the Dead: She leaves the story early in Season 7, only to return in Season 8 only moments before the Battle of Winterfell can begin. After serving her part in the battle, she allows herself to age into dust.
  • Badass Boast: She does this with her catchphrase:
  • Because Destiny Says So: Most of her actions are based on the future events that are revealed to her in the flames.
  • Black and White Insanity: "A man is good or he is evil." Though, what she defines as good or evil might not mesh with what others, or the viewer, defines as good or evil, making it more akin to Blue and Orange Morality.
  • Blood Magic: Uses this to create shadow assassins. She also claims that her spells using Gendry's blood resulted in the deaths of Robb Stark and Joffrey Baratheon (and eventually Balon Greyjoy too), but it's ambiguous as to how true this is (not to mention Balon dies after Stannis in the show, so he's not really going to benefit from it). She also believes burning Princess Shireen will clear the snowstorm blocking Stannis' army from Winterfell.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: How she appears to people who are not converts to R'hllor.
  • Break the Believer: By the beginning of Season 6, Melisandre's faith in her prophecies has been thoroughly shaken after Stannis's assault on Winterfell against the Boltons fails miserably. Seeing Jon Snow's cold and lifeless body lying on a table back at the Wall is the final nail in the coffin. However, after Davos talks her into trying to resurrect Jon and she succeeds, she regains her faith, now believing that Jon is the chosen one. Although it is clear she's not nearly as certain about herself or her choices as she once was.
  • Break the Haughty: Seasons 5 and 6 end up being this for her. For much of the series up until that point, she was rather self-righteous and utterly convinced her path was right, using that to justify numerous atrocities (as nothing done in the name of R'hllor could be unjust, right?). However, when her scheming ultimately contributes to the downfall of Stannis and she realizes he probably wasn't The Chosen One after all, she has breakdown, sincerely regretting the things she did to aid him and questioning herself and her religion. Davos giving her a scathing "Reason You Suck" Speech for burning Shireen and getting banished from the North by Jon Snow is the icing on the cake. Following this, she displays a more humble and self-reflective attitude, using her knowledge and abilities to help people, but not trying to shove her beliefs down their throats or talk them into burning anybody.
  • Broken Bird: In Season 6's first episode where she is in Heroic BSoD after Stannis's defeat and her crisis of faith concerning the Lord of Light. She gets herself banished from Winterfell upon admitting she killed Shireen.
  • Burn the Witch!: Inverted. She is a witch that burns people for speaking against her religion.
  • The Bus Came Back: She returns to Dragonstone briefly in Season 7, before departing again.
  • But Now I Must Go: Leaves Dragonstone in Season 7 after telling Dany about Jon.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Though it also doesn't help that her audience is Selyse.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Not her hit points, mind. She mentions that the energy required from Stannis to produce another son would kill him and that his "fires" are burning dangerously low from their last coupling.
  • The Chooser of The One: According to herself, she's the middlewoman between the Lord of Light and his chosen servant Stannis, and later Jon Snow.
  • Cold Ham: In normal conversations, her speech mannerisms are theatrically subdued but still full of gravitas. Everytime she's doing ceremonies or preaching about the Lord of Light, however, she goes full-on Large Ham.
  • Composite Character: A minimal one, with the Ghost of High Heart, a woods witch and seer that meets Arya and senses her dark future.
  • The Corrupter: Before Stannis met her, he was a rigid, uncompromising, but morally fair and just man. Once she arrives, he slowly starts doing stuff that he otherwise wouldn't do, and neglects Davos's repeated interventions, all for the service of a destiny that Melisandre made him glimpse in the flames. This culminates in him burning Shireen as a Human Sacrifice. Indeed, Davos calls her out as this, and Jon Snow banishes her as a result.
  • Court Mage: For Stannis.
  • Crisis of Faith: She appears to have one after Stannis - whom she believed to be the Prince that was Promised - falls in battle and Jon Snow – who she thought could actually be the Prince instead – is stabbed to death by mutineers and her attempts to revive him seemingly fail. After learning that she did successfully bring Jon back, her faith appears to be restored, but she is no longer as confident in herself and accepts she has made some serious errors of judgement when it comes to interpreting her Lord's will.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Was born a slave and presumably the rest of her past was not pleasant.
  • The Dark Chick: As well as being Stannis's dragon.
  • Death Glare: She tends to give a creepy, fixated and foreboding look to people when she departs dissatisfied from a situation.
  • Death Seeker: She tells Lord Varys she will die in Westeros. In "The Long Night", she returns to Winterfell despite having been banished on pain of death to assist the Stark-Targaryen forces. She tells Davos that she'll be dead by the end of the night no matter the outcome; she survives the battle but after the White Walkers are defeated she considers her job to be done and allows herself to die.
  • The Determinator: Melisandre believes utterly in her Lord of Light, and nothing will stop her from attaining her goals. Her new goal is the War for the Dawn when Azor Ahai will defeat The Great Other. She won’t knock off until that’s completed or her death is needed in order for it to happen.
  • Deus Sex Machina: She sleeps with Stannis, and the resulting 'son' takes care of Renly.
  • Driven to Suicide: In a much more dignified and noble fashion than the usual despair associated with this trope, Melisandre casts aside her enchanted brooch after she completes her duty during the Battle of Winterfell and calmly ages into nothingness, functionally killing herself to atone for her crimes.
  • Dirty Coward: Abandons Stannis after he loses half his army. Subverted after her exile and subsequent attitude adjustment.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Rather than being a foaming-at-the-mouth fanatic, Melisandre is always poised and eerily calm, and sometimes smiling peacefully, even when she's watching someone dying of poison, being burnt alive or birthing a demon spawn. The victim doesn't matter, random unbeliever, the King's kin and Princess Shireen. It's all the same to the Lord of Light. Loses this in Season 6, instead becoming a Broken Bird.
  • The Dragon: To Stannis, who is possibly the only character in fiction to have both a Dragon and a Lancer (Davos).
  • Dying as Yourself: After the Army of the Dead has been destroyed, she walks out to the open field, removes her necklace, strips naked, and falls over dead, her mission accomplished.
  • The Exile: Jon banishes her from Winterfell, and states that if she returns, she will die.
  • Evil Gloating: Taunting Davos about how she was left behind because of him at Blackwater. As he is being dragged away she delivers a slightly humorous yet dark line.
    Melisandre: I will pray for you...
  • Evil Redhead: In a Well-Intentioned Extremist way, but yes. Much is made of her red hair and red color scheme.
  • Evil Sorceress: She boasts magical abilities, although it's handled in a subtle, non-flashy way. Melisandre herself mentions that most of her more flamboyant displays of power are actually clever fakes, used to impress the impressionable. The limits of her true powers are seen in the Battle of Winterfell, setting Winterfell's moat and the Dothraki's swords aflame.
  • Evil Virtues: Melisandre is ambitious, determined, honest, loving (in a way), loyal, passionate, patient, resourceful, and selfless. She also burns people alive, and resurrects heroes.
  • Exact Words:
  • Exposed to the Elements: Everyone else at the Wall is well wrapped up, but Melisandre seems perfectly happy in a simple silk dress. Lampshaded when Jon specifically asks her if the cold doesn't bother her, and she replies "The Lord's Fires live within me," and holds his hand to her cheek to show how warm she is. Jon is rather unsettled. Starting in "The Red Woman", she starts wearing cloaks and thicker dresses more often, suggesting that whatever 'fires' she had are beginning to burn out.
  • Express Delivery: Davos is understandably shocked when he sees it.
  • Fair Weather Friend: Ultimately proves to be one when she abandons Stannis once things start to look bleak.
  • Femme Fatale: Though she does seem to genuinely care for Stannis.
  • Fiery Redhead: Quite literally, although her intense passion for the Lord of Light is hidden under a Cold Ham facade.
  • Foil:
    • She loves wearing red, has With Us or Against Us as one of her defining traits, tells a king things that may very well lead to his ruin, and always goes against the advice of his best friend, plus she uses sex as a weapon. Cersei would be proud.
    • To Davos. Both are extremely loyal to Stannis and want him to become king. But Melisandre does out of religious fanaticism, while Davos acts out of gratitude to Stannis for raising him in society. Melisandre has impressive magical powers, while Davos is one of the most completely down-to-earth characters on the show.
    • Melisandre also has one in Thoros of Myr. Both are foreign Red Priests. But Thoros had a crisis of faith before the series' events, while Melisandre's belief is unwavering. Melisandre is also serving a king and trying to prevent an apocalypse, while Thoros has the considerably more lowly aim of trying to protect the Riverlands people from the high lords.
    • Also to Jorah Mormont, banished by the person she sees as a hero and whose life she saved on the pain of death after the revelation of a painful secret she had kept hidden.
    • Even to Stannis. He claims that doing good does not negate doing evil, nor the other way around, which is why he both rewards and punishes Davos for his smuggling. As far as Melisandre is concerned, a person is good or evil, and that is it.
    • Perhaps obviously, the High Sparrow: except for a few momentary lapses, she's absolutely as fanatically devoted to her faith as he, and doesn't exhibit any sort of hypocrisy or intention to profit from it. At height of her power, she was just as willing as the Faith Militant to punish perceived sinners and substantially more willing to kill them (apparently skipping her Westerosi counterpart's obsession with painful repentance and going straight to the burning alive part). Their dogmatic convictions are different (of the sexual and moral purity versus ideological and psychological purity sort), though Melisandre didn't seem to have the decency to give moments' thought to the starving poor as the Sparrows do. Unlike the Sparrow though, Lady Melisandre eventually sees the errors of her actions, and feels guilty for her crimes and tries to reform and do whatever good she still can in "the wars to come".
  • Fan Disservice:
    • She unveils her robe in "Garden of Bones" to reveal herself to be hugely pregnant and gives birth to a shadow monster. In a later episode she seduces Gendry, but only to catch him unguarded and harvest his blood for a magical ritual, including a Groin Attack.
    • She's actually a really wrinkly old lady. This is revealed in a full frontal scene.
  • Foreseeing My Death: She tells Lord Varys that she is destined to die in Westeros, when she returns. When she returns to Winterfell to help fight the White Walkers in "The Long Night", she tells Davos not to worry about executing her, because she'll be dead by the time the sun comes up. She's right.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Her Well-Intentioned Extremism and her creepy, frigid personality have outraged and alienated pretty much everyone she has tried to help in the fight against the White Walkers, even before Jon and Davos exiled her under pain of death if she ever returned to the North.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She was born into slavery and credits the Lord of Light with saving her from it, hence her devotion to him.
  • The Fundamentalist: She regards other gods as false to the point where she burns non-believers alive. Loses this in Season 6, even after resurrecting Jon Snow, and by Season 7, she has mellowed out.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: The bad angel on Stannis's shoulder, with Davos as the good angel.
  • A Good Way to Die: Her mission accomplished, she walks out onto the battlefield, removes her ruby necklace, and dies.
  • The Heavy: While Stannis is pretty dangerous on his own, Melisandre's dark magic is his greatest weapon and allows him to gain a substantial lead in the Game of Thrones during the early part of the War of the Five Kings (allowing him to take over Renly's army without spilling any of his own soldiers' blood). In fact, according to Melisandre, if she had accompanied Stannis to the Battle of the Blackwater, he would have won.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In Season 6. After Stannis' death, Melisandre's faith is broken, but Ser Davos convinces her to resurrect Jon Snow — her most unambiguously heroic act in the series. Afterwards, she regains her faith to a lesser extent, remains a part of Jon's team until he exiles her, and is overall less morally extreme than she was under Stannis.
  • Hello, Nurse!: The reaction of most men to her before the burning people alive/scary magic starts.
  • The Heretic: Unknown to herself, she is this by supporting Jon Snow as The Prince who was Promised while the Red Temple supports Daenerys.Note: 
  • Hot Witch: It works on so many levels! Or...maybe just two. She has prophetic powers that allow her to see future events in flames and she is able to perform dark magic. She is a beautiful, seductive woman with red hair and always dresses in red robes. She also takes an aggressively militant stance against other religions of Westeros and most people are afraid of her. Her beauty is subverted when it turns out that she's an ancient crone using a glamour spell to make herself appear younger.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Does not appear in the series until Season 2.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: In a stark contrast to her fiery hair and clothing, Melisandre's eyes are an intense blue. This is different from the books, where her eyes are red, although the blue color reflects firelight quite well, which achieves a similar effect.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: This is her response when Davos confronts her about burning Shireen. She regrets Shireen and doesn't defend her murder but that her actions nonetheless led to Jon Snow's victory and resurrection, since the same Lord that commanded her, in her views, to kill Shireen, also led her to resurrect Jon Snow. Davos is unconvinced and demands her execution, while Jon Snow banishes her instead.
  • In Mysterious Ways: She finally realizes this about the Lord of Light and his visions in Season 6, becoming more hesitant and self-critical in the process.
    Melisandre: I serve the Lord of Light, I do what he commands?
    Jon Snow: How do you know what he commands?
    Melisandre: I...interpret his signs...as well as I can.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Red Woman.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Burning people alive (and singing while they die).
    • Taunting Davos about the burning death of his son, Matthos, at the Battle of the Blackwater.
    • Seducing Gendry, tying him to the bed and using him as a human blood bank, by applying leeches onto him to acquire his blood. Particularly cruel is that she got him aroused enough so that one of the places she stuck a leech had a lot of blood to gorge itself on!
    • Quoting Ygritte's Catchphrase to Jon, presumably just to spite him after he rejects her advances.
    • Suggesting Stannis to burn Shireen to ensure his victory and doing it shortly after. This is particularly jarring due to her previous Pet the Dog moments towards the girl. Comes back to bite her when Davos reveals her treachery to Jon, causing her dismissal.
  • Kill It with Fire: Her modus operandi until the death of Stannis.
  • Knight Templar: For the Lord of Light. She loses this as she's gradually broken down during Season 6. While she still believes in him, she clearly lacks the same fundamentalism she had before.
  • Lady of Black Magic: She is an enigmatic priestess of the Red Temple with an eerily calm and ladylike demeanor, conducting herself with poise and serenity despite her fanatical beliefs. As a shadowbinder from Asshai, she can use Blood Magic to create shadow assassins. At the Battle of Winterfell, she shows her true magical capabilities, setting the Dothraki's swords and Winterfell's trenches on fire with incantations in Valyrian.
  • Lady Macbeth: Skeptics and detractors see her under this light, bordering on The Vamp.
  • Lady in Red: Wears a scarlet dress and is definitely a seductress.
  • Last Of Her Kind: Now that Thoros of Myr is dead, she is the last established Red Priest(ess) in Westeros.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: In Season 5, she's still supporting Stannis as the Lord of Light and switches her allegiance to Jon Snow after Stannis' death, unaware that back in Asshai, her fellow red priests have decided it's actually Daenerys Targaryen who the prophecy refers to.
  • Magical Accessory: Her necklace, which includes a red gem that glows whenever she uses her powers and may help her to augment or channel her abilities. In Season 6, when she removes the necklace to sleep her true, ancient form is revealed, suggesting she uses the necklace to maintain her youthful appearance. In Season 8, following the defeat of the White Walkers she removes the necklace and drops it on the ground; the gem stops glowing and she soon reverts to her true age and dies.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name is quite similar to Melisende, an Old French name (and an older form of Millicent) meaning "strong in work", which seems appropriate for her Determinator attitude.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Melisandre is extremely sexy. Even Davos and Stannis, two men who are respectively faithfully married and a passionless killjoy, are attracted to her.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It's clear in Season 6 that she does feel guilty about what she did to Shireen and Stannis. She can't bring herself to admit her actions, and when interacting with Jon, she is far more hesitant and reluctant about her prophecy and magic prowess than before, though not so much that she wouldn't try to bring him back again as a matter of prophecy, against his wishes.
  • Mysterious Backer: To Stannis.
  • Never My Fault: A particularly memorable example when an enraged Davos confronts her about her sacrificing Shireen, when she starts giving excuses in sharp contrast to her usual poise, and one of the first times she's shocked speechless.
    Melisandre: The army was trapped. The horses were dying. It was the only way!
    Davos: You burned a little girl alive!
    Melisandre: I only do what my lord commands!
    Davos: If he commands you to burn children your lord is evil!
    Melisandre:...We are standing here because of him. Jon Snow is alive because of it.
    Davos: I loved that girl like she was my own. She was good, she was kind, and you killed her!
    Melisandre: So did her father. So did her mother. Her own blood knew it was the only way!
    Davos: The only way for what? They all died anyway!
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: She tries speaking with Stannis as he prepares to march on Winterfell, but he ignores her and pushes her aside.
  • No Body Left Behind: After deliberately allowing herself to die via Rapid Aging, her body turns to dust ala Avengers: Infinity War.
  • No-Sell: Early on, Maester Cressen attempts to assassinate her by drinking a poisoned cup of wine and then immediately offering it to her in an incredibly obvious ploy. Unfortunately for him though, she simply watches the effects start to take hold on him before calmly finishing the glass anyway, completely unaffected by it (presumably due to her witchcraft).
  • Not So Stoic:
    • She is shocked briefly when Stannis tries to strangle her in "Valar Morghulis" after her god fails to deliver him victory at the Battle of Blackwater Bay. However, she quickly regains her composure and assures him that his defeat is merely a temporary setback that will do nothing to change his destiny as the "Warrior of Light".
    • She's also pretty clearly upset at Davos in "Valar Dohaeris".
    • She shows outright shock for the first time when she discovers that Lord Beric has been brought back to life six times, and is extremely unnerved by what she sees in Arya's eyes.
    • Seems slightly perturbed by Selyse's fanaticism after witnessing her suggest to Stannis that he beat Shireen for being sinful (i.e. having Greyscale).
    • She rolls up via horse at the Wall after leaving Stannis, and when Davos asks her about both the king and Shireen, she looks slightly somber and disturbed.
    • Throughout the sixth season, she's incredibly shaken and depressed because of her visions. This further increases when she tries reviving Jon, only for it to look like she's failed for several minutes. Despite his return, she still mopes about.
    • She's visibly taken aback when Brienne reveals that she served Renly Baratheon, and that they have met before.
    • Davos calls her out for murdering Shireen, and Jon banishes her from Winterfell. The look on her face says it all.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: With the War for the Dawn won and her duty in seeing the Prince That Was Promised to her destiny complete, Melisandre wanders into the snowy fields outside Winterfell, removes her enchanted brooch, and disintegrates into nothing more than dust on the winds of winter.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite being a rather fanatical and ruthless witch, she does have a few very minor moments of kindness.
    • Her talk to Gendry outside of King's Landing about his true heritage was not necessary in her overall plan to drain him of blood for magic, and given her talking about her own past as a slave, it seems she genuinely wanted him to not think less of himself for being a "nobody".
    • Her interaction with Shireen, while creepy and condescending, shows her giving Shireen some genuine affection and (again creepy) attempts at comfort without the usual level of insane fanaticism. Considering the way Shireen's own mother treats her, this was probably the only sign of maternal affection she had seen in possibly ever.
    • Her interactions post-Season 5 border on this. She receives one from Davos.
  • Prophecy Twist: Melisandre's visions finally did come true — just not in the manner she expected or wanted. Melisandre finally sees the banners of House Bolton fall down and Jon fighting in Winterfell, both of which she had earlier claimed to have seen in the flames. In a bit of Character Development, Melisandre has grown savvy about this, which is why she didn't inform Jon about her visions before the battle as she did to Stannis, merely telling him "don't lose". She also can tell that both she and Lord Varys will die in Westeros.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Melisandre was kicked out of Winterfell by Jon Snow in the Season 6 finale.
  • Rapid Aging: How she dies, and by her own choice at that.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Her hair reaches down to her waist, adding to her mystical nature.
  • Really 700 Years Old: While she'd hinted it before, when she removes her necklace, she instantly ages into an ancient wrinkled woman who's centuries old.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After doing her part to ensure the defeat of the Night King, she allows herself to die as punishment for her prior crimes.
  • Resurrected for a Job: This is why she brings Jon Snow back to life.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: She deserts Stannis as he marches to war, heading to the Wall instead. Jon kicks her out of Winterfell.
  • Sexy Priest: She wears a very revealing dress/gown and is occasionally a Ms. Fanservice. Some characters actually think that this is the main reason Stannis converted.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Appears almost instantly behind Jon Snow to remind him that he has a meeting with Stannis.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In "Mhysa", goes from being totally onboard with burning Davos for helping Gendry escape to grudgingly admitting that they need him alive as soon as she reads the contents of Aemon's letter about the forces coming to attack the Wall. Stannis also seems to realize just how bad things must be if she's agreeing to it.
  • The Rival: To Davos, for Stannis's favor. After Stannis's defeat at the Blackwater, Davos falls out of favor in a big way (both for insisting Stannis leave Melisandre behind, and for trying to kill Melisandre in front of Stannis on Dragonstone), though Stannis does not replace Davos as Hand of the King. After Melisandre returns with Gendry, Stannis experiences some moral pangs about what Melisandre plans for him, and so Davos's star rises again when Stannis consults him on the proper course. Stannis ends up disagreeing with Davos, and so Davos frees Gendry against Stannis's orders, and Stannis sentences him to death, but Melisandre, of all people, insists Davos is still needed, and so he continues to serve as Stannis's Hand. Davos rises still further in Season 4, when he successfully negotiates a huge loan from the Iron Bank to fund Stannis's renewed efforts.
  • The Tease: Teases Davos about his desire for her and to see what's beneath her robe in "Garden of Bones", leading to some extreme Fan Disservice for Davos (and the audience), when she takes off her robe and turns around naked, revealing that she's hugely pregnant, and then gives birth to a horrific shade thing right in the cave, while poor Davos watches. He did get to see what was under her robe, though he was probably never tempted by her again.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Melisandre is essentially this to Team Dragonstone and later Team Stark, being a practitioner of dark magic. Even many viewers who think that Stannis's claim is the most valid will doubt that his gaining the throne would be the best outcome since it would put the whole kingdom under Melisandre's influence.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Starting from "The Sons of the Harpy", she's becoming more callous than usual, coldly spiting Jon Snow when he rejects her advances and suggesting that Stannis burns Shireen to ensure his victory. She has softened post-Season 5.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Post-exile, she's more open-minded and patient.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: In regards to Stannis. She often suggests and encourages his more ruthless actions, the pinnacle of which is burning his own daughter alive as a sacrifice.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Lord of Light and, by extension, Stannis Baratheon, whom she is firmly convinced is the "Warrior of Light." She later becomes this to Jon Snow. In Season 8, she actually returns to Winterfell despite both Jon and Davos having sworn to kill her in order to help them fight the White Walkers.
  • The Unfettered: She's willing to go to the extremes when it comes to serving her Lord and defeating the Great Other, justifying her actions such as burning people alive as being 'morally good' because they all serve the purpose of saving the world. Come Season 6, however, she's started to believe that she may effed up in places and becomes more moderate.
  • The Vamp: To those that consider worship of the Lord of Light a Religion of Evil.
  • Villainous BSoD: After realizing that Stannis has no chance of beating the Boltons, and thus isn't, after all, the Chosen One she thought he was. So basically all her work for the past few years was all for nothing. She regains her composure when Jon Snow is revived, although she still shows moments of depression.
  • Villainous Rescue: When Stannis sentences Davos to death, Melisandre — who at this point has been his main rival — speaks against it because she has seen that Davos has a different destiny in the flames.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Averted. She attempts to bring Jon Snow back, but he does not instantly revive. It is only after she departs that he comes back to life.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She is the only person south of the Wall who seems to know about the White Walkers and believes that her actions are the best to defeat them, likening herself to a Knight in Shining Armor. It can also be argued that since she believes death by fire to be "the purest death", she probably believes as well that she is doing a favor to the people that she burns alive.
  • With Us or Against Us: Her basic attitude which goes hand-in-hand with her religious mania.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Has no qualms about sacrificing Shireen to fuel her magic. At first, Stannis shoots down the idea, but he finally consents.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Stannis sleeps with her, despite being married. She even tells his wife before he gets to, and Selyse is absolutely fine with it because she's such a religious nutjob she considers it an honor. She later admits she was wrong to burn Shireen. This doesn't save her from banishment.

    High Priestess Kinvara 

High Priestess Kinvara

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kinvara_5.png
"Knowledge has made you powerful, but there's still so much you don't know."

Played By: Ania Bukstein

The High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, summoned by Tyrion and Varys to Meereen to help Daenerys.


  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Her basic appearance and demeanor.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Varys tries to mock her for her fundamentalism and her religious certainty. Kinvara insists that she's in a religion with a God who absolutely does exist and does empower his initiates, as Varys can attest.
  • Composite Character: She is based on Benerro, the (male) High Priest of Volantis, and Moqorro, the High Priest who Tyrion met on his journey across Essos.
  • Foil: To the High Sparrow, another religious head who supports popular uprising against unbelievers, only where the Sparrow was speaking against the Throne, she is supporting Daenerys as a Prophet.
  • Gender Flip: Both of her book counterparts were male.
  • High Priest: As her title suggests.
  • Jumped at the Call: She is quite eager to get on board with Tyrion and Varys' schemes and needs little convincing to give official backing to the regime of Meereen.
  • Lady in Red: Her red dress is as revealing as Melisandre's.
  • Older Than They Look: She's wearing a choker quite similar to the one worn by Melisandre and has the same unnaturally youthful features, suggesting that it's also a glamour.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: The High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, the Flame of Truth, the Light of Wisdom, the First Servant of the Lord of Light.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Has very dark hair, fair skin and is a Sexy Priestess to boot.
  • Self-Deprecation: When Varys accuses her of fanaticism and cites Melisandre, Kinvara concedes his point:
    Kinvara: Everything is the Lord's will, but men and women make mistakes. Even honest servants of the Lord.
  • Sexy Priest: A good looking priestess who is wearing a revealing dress similar to Melisandre's.

    Red Priestess 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_priestess.png

Played By: Rila Fukushima

A slave of apparently eastern origin (presumably Yi Ti, the Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Imperial China). According to the Volantene tattoo on her face, she was trained as a prostitute. It seems that she was eventually bought by the Red Temple in Volantis and was trained as a Red Priest.


  • Gender Flip: She's been changed from male in the books to female here.
  • Held Gaze: She singles out Tyrion for a long creepy stare-off.
  • Meaningful Look: She exchanges a rather intense eye-lock with Tyrion.
  • Sexy Priest: Tyrion certainly appreciates her beauty.
    Tyrion Lannister: The only red priest we had in King's Landing was Thoros of Myr. This one's much better looking.
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    Thoros of Myr 
A priest of the Red God. He joined the Brotherhood Without Banners.

See the Brotherhood Without Banners page.


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