‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6 Premiere: The Big Melisandre Reveal

Carice_van_Houten_2013-2The end of “Game of Thrones” Season 6 premiere revealed a complete shocker. This time it did not involve a character dying, but it did reveal a rebirth of some sort.

Melisandre (played by Carice van Houten), who is also known as The Red Woman or Red Priestess who seduced Stannis Baratheon in the early season, showed her true side. Without the necklace that she has worn since the first season, Melisandre is actually a frail old woman who has been hiding her true form. Just how old is she? Speculations are that she’s 200-years-old, but there have been earlier stories that say she’s close to 400.

Van Houten told People that final scene in “Game of Thrones” Season 6 Episode 1, which ran for a few minutes only, took more than six hours to make. “It’s not just one face that they glue on you. But it’s worth it because of what you look like after. It was quite nice, it was like a zen practice for me, I quite enjoyed it,” the actress said.

Van Houten also stated that so far, she’s had this makeup done twice during the filming, which should give the fans some hints as to how often the old lady should appear on the show in the succeeding episodes.  She also said she loved her character’s revelation as it gives introspection to who Melisandre is. “It makes the character immediately more vulnerable and sad,” she said. “To make an old woman look at herself in the mirror as a young woman and then as her true age, that’s quite painful.”

Succeeding episodes to “Game of Thrones” Season 6 should explain why Melisandre is actually an old woman, and it could also unleash the storyline that has been abuzz on the internet since Jon Snow’s death in Season 5. Apparently, the witch will help Jon Snow come back from the dead, but it’s still unclear how and for what reasons.

Cath “Game of Thrones” Sunday nights on HBO.