Here's Why Game of Thrones' Introduction of a New Red Woman May Be Significant

May 18, 2016

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.

With the resurrection of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in the second episode of Game of Thrones' sixth season, viewers were shown that Melisandre's (Carice van Houten) powers extend beyond birthing murderous shadow demons and masterfully disguising her real age. In fact, bringing the former Lord Commander back to life was a trick that even the Red Woman herself didn't know she had up her sleeve, compelling her to believe the Lord of Light let Jon return for a reason. "I will do as Jon Snow commands," she told Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) on Sunday. "He is the Prince That Was Promised."

Basically, this means Melisandre now considers Jon to be the reincarnation of legendary hero Azor Ahai, the messiah-like figure who she originally thought was Stannis (Stephen Dillane). But before we delve too deep into what that could mean for Jon, let's talk about the promo for this week's episode.

The preview — which shows Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Varys (Conleth Hill) talking to a woman wearing a Melisandre-esque outfit complete with what appears to be a similar necklace — seems to indicate that viewers will finally be introduced to another Red Woman. Identified as actress Ania Bukstein by HBO, the new priestess is seen chatting with the pair in the throne room of Meereen. "Knowledge has made you powerful," she says. "But there's still so much you don't know."

Now, let's rewind to the third episode of season five when we first saw Tyrion have an encounter with a priestess of R’hllor (the religion of the Lord of Light). In the scene, the youngest Lannister is in the midst of his journey to Meereen when he witnesses her preaching to the masses. "The Lord of Light hears your voice," she says. "He has sent you a savior. From the fire she was reborn to remake the world. The Dragon Queen."

Ania Bukstein in Game of Thrones, season 6, episode 5.Ania Bukstein in [object Object] Helen Sloan—HBO 

As this is, presumably, a reference to Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), it doesn't seem like too big of a stretch to assume that the Red Woman we're about to meet — who has been living in the same part of the world — will be of a similar mindset. And if she believes that Dany — not Jon — is the One Who Was Promised, it may have significant implications for future storylines. First, it could mean the two camps are both right, and that the reincarnation of Azor Ahai is not one person, but three — a fan theory commonly referred to as the three heads of the dragon.

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In turn, this could also support the idea that Dany isn't the only Targaryen still standing. In addition to the popular R+L=J theory — i.e., that Jon Snow isn't Ned Stark's bastard but rather the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen — some fans also believe that Tyrion is actually the son of Joanna Lannister and the Mad King, making him —you guessed it — a Targaryen.

"The Door," the fifth episode of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season, airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

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