By now, I'm assuming you've seen the new trailer, and your head is as bursting with questions about the upcoming season as mine is, so let's start from the top — who is that who is that woman talking to Varys in the Game of Thrones trailer? You know the one I mean. The dark-haired, blue-eyed woman talking to Varys in the throne room, right around 56 seconds into the trailer released via Facebook on Apr. 11. At first I thought she was Melisandre, because my brain was so overwhelmed by all the other information flooding into it in this trailer, but, after a second pass, it definitely isn't. It's a new character, someone we haven't met before, at least in the show. I'm wondering how she fits into all of this, and if we crossed paths with her in the book.
We see her in the throne room in Dany's palace in Meereen, interacting with Varys and walking away from Tyrion Lannister, so we at least know where she's based. But that's also an area of the world that we don't have a ton of context left on from the books, so she could be anyone. Even the posts listing new characters for GoT Season 6 made no mention of her, which seems odd, given that she's a big enough player to be featured in the trailer.
On the Game of Thrones Season 6 wiki, in a list of "new minor cast members," I found a listing for "Ania Bukstein as TBA", a casting announcement that had been made, albeit vaguely, in January 2016. We have no information on the role she'll be playing, except the speculation that it will be small and within the "Essos" storyline.
That jives with my Red Priestess theory, but the Russian-born Israeli actress Bukstein is definitely the woman from the trailer, so I consider this a huge step in the right direction of figuring out her deal.
While we wait for Bukstein's role to be expanded beyond TBA, dissecting every single part of the trailer for more clues and hints about the upcoming season seems like a legit way to spend my time. And I know it's how you'll be spending yours too.
Images: HBO (2)