Carice van Houten’s Melisandre suddenly became the most loved character on Game of Thrones, after suffering 11 months of hate for sacrificing Shireen to the Lord of the Light in season 5. The reason, as we all know by now, is her prayer in episode 2 which brought Jon Snow back to life. Speaking to Business Insider, van Houten reflects on the fan reaction and how she feels about this sudden change of hearts:
“I’m loving it! It’s really great going from the most-hated character on the show to the most-loved character. It’s really funny… After all this time, I’m one of the cool guys instead of being that awful, evil witch that I was before. And the reactions I like best are the people who actually appreciate the acting and the vulnerability in the acting, which I quite like to do. And the fact that they appreciate characters being more dimensional. There’s no good and evil. I don’t believe in that.”
So does the resurrection bring Melisandre’s confidence back? Van Houten doesn’t think so:
“This is definitely going to give her a little boost, but she’s not back yet. It was a big identity crisis we started with. Yes, it gives her some points, but she’s not the old Melisandre yet.”
Speaking of old, we all saw how old Melisandre is in the season premiere, when she removed her magical necklace. Though shocking, fans quickly compared it to another scene when she was bathing without her necklace [Season 4 Episode 7] and it didn’t change her appearance. One unlikely explanation is that she was probably hiding the necklace underwater. But probably the best explanation right now is that Selyse was able to see Melisandre’s true form and though she looks somewhat horrified, she is also quite fascinated by Melisandre’s abilities and her stash of powders & potions. We also hear Melisandre telling Selyse that she is a true convert and there is no need to use magic tricks on her. This hasn’t been confirmed yet but it does seem like a logical explanation.
Van Houten thinks that that the missing necklace in season 4 is a question for the writers but also hints at a possible explanation in future:
“There’s so much mystery and magic around this woman, we’ll figure out what that’s about.. That’s a question for the writers. They know way more than me. They’ll have the perfect answer.”