Going into Season 6 of Game of Thrones, I had a very different idea of the mysteries that the premiere episode, "The Red Woman," would be addressing — namely, the question of whether Jon Snow is really, truly 100% dead. But, instead of answering that question definitively, the tricky HBO series offered a serious and somber reveal concerning the Red Woman herself, Melisandre, who is not what she seemed. The revelation left me with more questions than answers: How is the Red Woman so old? Is Melisandre on Game of Thrones immortal?
If I had to guess, I would say Melisandre isn't necessarily immortal, because that would imply she doesn't age. As the closing scene of "The Red Woman" made clear, she definitely does age, she simply hides it very well. But, Melisande certainly revealed how powerful she truly is. If she can stay alive for hundreds of years (I'm guessing, since her age isn't ever actually specified on Game of Thrones) and hide her true form, that must mean she's capable of some seriously powerful magic. Not simply the kind of magic that helps her communicate with R'hllor, the Lord of Light, or birth murderous shadows, but a kind of magic we haven't even seen before.
In fact, Vox conducted an investigation into what magic Melisandre could be using to appear young based on those books in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series that have been released. It seems Melisandre is using a magic glamour "weaving light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye." Since Melisandre's abilities are tied to the Lord of Light, it makes sense that she could have control over light and erect a glamour — but it must take a lot of power, power that could be used elsewhere in Castle Black.
Certainly, given Melisandre's disillusionment when she realizes that her vision from R'hllor doesn't appear to be true in the case of Jon Snow — and wasn't correct in the case of Stannis Baratheon at the end of Season 5 — the Red Woman seems to have lost her fighting spirit. Does this mean Melisandre won't resurrect Jon Snow? Well, based on this new revelation of the Red Woman's powers, I certainly think she has the ability to bring Jon back, no matter how long he's been dead. But, her faith has been tested and it may leave her spiritually — and, subsequently, physically — weakened.
However, since Melisandre will have a bigger role in Game of Thrones Season 6 it may be the case that her storyline follows her crisis of faith, and perhaps resurrecting Jon Snow plays a big part in that. This particular resurrection would certainly help to reaffirm her faith in her visions from R'hllor and again demonstrate her powerful magical ability. But, if that's the case, it may be some time before she actually does resurrect Jon Snow — that is, if she does at all since this is just a theory. We'll have to keep watching Game of Thrones season 6 to know anything for sure!
Images: Helen Sloan/HBO; Giphy (2)