Game of Thrones Season 6 gave a shocker to its fans in its very first episode when it showed that the Red Priestess, Melisandre (Carice van Houten) was actually an incredibly old woman. Soon after, the internet was abuzz with lots of fan theories surrounding her appearance.
The theory of Melisandre’s necklace
According to this theory, Melisandre is a crone, over a 100 years old and was able to hide her ageing self by using a special kind of magic called “glamor magic” that can cast “light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye” (as described in Martin’s books).
The power of the magic, some believe, resides in the red necklace worn by the Red Priestess. As shown in first episode, she turns into her real self as soon as she removes that necklace. The necklace was seen changing its color as she was taking it off.
Many believe that there were hints about the magical necklace sprinkled throughout the series like when Melisandre’s necklace glows after drinking poison.
This revelation and the power of the necklace changes the way we look at things that have happened in the past such as Stannis Baratheon’s seduction and the attempted seduction of Jon Snow in season five.
How can the necklace change Melisandre’s appearance?
There is no doubt in the fact that Melisandre possesses magical powers! Though it is not apparent from the TV series, the books reveal such kind of magic called a “glamor”.
Avid readers might be aware of this magic as George R.R. Martin demonstrates its power in the latest book, A Dance With Dragons. In that, Melisandre tells Jon Snow that she has been given the power to create illusions by the Lord of Light:
“Call it what you will. Glamor, seeming, illusion. R’hllor is Lord of Light, Jon Snow, and it is given to his servants to weave with it, as others weave with thread.”
In the same book, the Faceless Man explains Arya Stark about the “glamor magic”:
“Mummers change their faces with artifice,” the kindly man was saying, “and sorcerers use glamors, weaving light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye.”
Moreover, Melisandre, in A Dance With Dragons, explains that the illusion could be strengthened by using certain objects with a strong connection to a person. She uses Mance’s example to explain this:
“The bones help,” said Melisandre. “The bones remember. The strongest glamors are built of such things. A dead man’s boots, a hank of hair, a bag of fingerbones. With whispered words and prayer, a man’s shadow can be drawn forth from such and draped about another like a cloak. The wearer’s essence does not change, only his seeming.”
And in the case of Melisandre, it is the ruby necklace worn by her that strengthens the illusion of her age.
Well, from the looks of it, we would all love to have that necklace!
Let us know what you think about this theory in the comments.