HBO's Game of Thrones is still in production on its eighth and final season, and as has been the case every season, plot details are being kept very close to the vest, including what characters may or may not return. We learned last month that one character whose fate was uncertain, Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle), didn't actually survive, when sacrificing himself to save his nephew Jon Snow (Kit Harington), and now it seems the fate of another character, Carice Van Houten's Melisandre, may have been revealed. While the Red Woman only appeared in two episodes in Season 7, and wasn't seen after the third episode, it seems she may be poised to make a return.
As many expected, Melisandre used her magical powers to bring Jon Snow back to life in the second episode of Season 6, although she fell out of favor with the new King of the North towards the end of the season, when Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) tells Jon that she had Stannis Baratheon's (Stephen Dillane) young daughter Shireen (Kerry Ingram) burned at the stake as a sacrifice for her blood magic. When Melisandre admits what she did, Jon banishes her from the North, as she's seen riding south towards the end of Season 6. She surfaced in Dragonstone in the second episode of Season 7, asking Daenerys to meet with Jon Snow, but in the third episode she departed for Volantis, and she was never seen in the rest of the season. A Reddit user named EveryFckngChicken discovered an Instagram video from Carice van Houten that was later deleted, which may have indicated she was heading to film new scenes in Game of Thrones Season 8. Here's what this Redditor had to say below.
"Carice van Houten posted an innocent little Instagram story on her IG account, showing a clip of her driving through the night (dark and full of cars). Obviously in the UK, because of left-hand traffic and big green road signs: (Picture). I wanted to know more, so I drank some wine and asked the Lord of Light for a vision. This is what he showed me in the flames: (Picture). Not as spectacular as an arrow-shaped mountain, I admit, but interesting nevertheless: She's on the A1 near Dromore, driving southwards from Belfast - and guess what's just 6 miles further South on that road? Linen Mill Studios, Corbet / Banbridge. As a reminder: a lot of different things have been filmed at those studios, for example: most ship scenes during last seasons, and reportedly again this season, the siege of Riverrun, the battle at Casterly Rock, and last season the internal scenes in the Winterfell Great Hall: the Big Northern meeting in 701 and Littlefinger's execution in 707. Let the speculation start - what do you think she'll be filming there?"
While there is no actual confirmation that she will be back, the Red Priestess herself all but confirmed it during one of her final scenes in Game of Thrones Season 7. In the third episode of Season 7, Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) noticed Melisandre watching Jon Snow and Davos Seaworth from afar, and despite despising her, due to her use of magic, Varys approaches, correctly guessing that both Jon and Davos aren't terribly fond of her. She confirmed that they don't like her because of the mistakes she made, before revealing that her "days of whispering in kings' ears are done," stating she will stay away from both Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen and return to Volantis, across the Narrow Sea in Essos. When Varys adds that he hopes she stays there for good, she states that she must eventually return to Westeros, because it is her fate to die there, just like it is Varys' fate to die there as well.
There is certainly no confirmation that Melisandre will in fact die in the Game of Thrones final season, but one intriguing possibility could be for Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) to cross another name of her infamous kill list. Melisandre has been on that list after taking Gendry (Joe Dempsie) away in Season 3, so it could be possible that Arya may get her revenge on the Red Woman and end her life after over 400 years. Then again, given how much Jon Snow and Davos Seaworth have for her, they may want to kill her themselves. While still unconfirmed, this theory first surfaced on Reddit.