The following post contains spoilers for Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones.
As Game of Thrones hurtles toward its very final hour, Sunday’s episode of the show at last revisited an old secret — quite literally, at that.
In the latest installment of the HBO drama, which brought the dreaded Battle of Winterfell to fruition, Ser Davos Seaworth became the first character (that we know of, at least) to learn a secret of Melisandre’s that was first revealed in the show’s Season 6 premiere.
As you may recall (and if you don’t, you can refresh your memory here), the Red Priestess has long hid from the rest of Westeros that she is actually an old woman, and not the young, gorgeous creature that she appears to be. At the end of “The Red Woman,” Melisandre sadly removed the choker she always wears around her neck, instantly transforming into an ancient crone before climbing into bed.
Melisandre’s true identity has since gone unaddressed, making Sunday’s episode the first time Thrones has revisited the topic since 2016. Throughout the hour, Melisandre repeatedly offered help to Winterfell’s defenders, first by lighting up hundreds of soldiers’ swords with flames, then by setting the entire trench around the castle ablaze to ward off wights. She also gave a crucial pep talk to Arya, who was later responsible for offing The Night King just as he was about to harm Bran.
After the battle concluded and The Night King’s army had fallen, Melisandre seemed to realize her work (in this realm, at least) was done. She walked away from the castle and into the snow, removing her necklace as she did so — and after the choker came off, Melisandre returned to her true, elderly form and collapsed to the ground. As for Davos, he saw the entire thing, albeit from a distance.
Of course, Melisandre and Davos had a history of their own, even before he witnessed her transformation and death. Melisandre had previously been exiled from the North for sacrificing Shireen Baratheon, who had become like a daughter to Davos throughout Thrones‘ earlier seasons. Even as Melisandre returned to Winterfell to assist during Sunday’s big battle, it was clear Davos had no interest in making amends — but she had come to accept his resentment toward her. “There’s no need to execute me, Ser Davos,” Melisandre insisted. “I’ll be dead before the dawn.”
Were you surprised that Davos was the one to learn Melisandre’s secret? And how did you feel about the big reveal? Drop all of your reactions in a comment below!