'Game of Thrones': Melisandre Actress Carice van Houten Hints at Major Return for Final Season

Carice van Houten says Melisandre's return to Game of Thrones will be one to remember.

When fans last saw the red priestess in Season 7, Melisandre urged Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) to summon Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to Dragonstone in order for him to enlist her armies to combat the Night King and the army of the dead.

Dany then agrees to meet with Jon, and now the pair are closer than ever — at least until he reacts to news of his true parentage. The Season 8 premiere was notably Melisandre-less as Jon took his new Queen to Winterfell to meet his sisters, Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Williams), and brother/Three-Eyed Raven, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright).

Despite working with Jon at Castle Black, and bringing him back to life, the red priestess was banished from the North at the end of Season 6 after Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) discovered she was behind Stannis (Stephen Dillane) burning his own daughter, Shireen (Kerry Ingram), at the stake to secure some a prophecy.

"You've seen the Night King, Jon Snow," Melisandre said at the time, urging him to pardon her. "You know the Great War is still to come, you know the army of the dead will be upon us soon, and you know I can help you win that war."

Despite that, Jon warned Melisandre she would be executed if she ever returned, and while she achieved her mission to bring Daenerys an Jon together for the battle to come, she promised Varys (Conleth Hill) she would be back from Volantis.

"I will return, dear spider. One last time. I have to die in this strange country, just like you," she said.

While van Houten avoided spoiling any details about upcoming episodes, the actress told Yahoo News she was "surprised" by the way her character's story will end.

"Every year I have no idea where my character ends up. Yeah, I was surprised, in fact. In a good way," she told the outlet.

The actress teased that while she fans will love the way the show wraps up, and others will not, the ending of the series felt like the only way it could have happened.

"The ending is the way it should end, as in this is what the writers [envisioned] ― the organic ending to their writing," van Houten said. "I don't think there's a wrong or a right, really. It's just what it is."


The actress hesitated to confirm any details, but hinted that fans will find out soon enough what brings Melisandre back to Westeros.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.