We haven’t heard a lot about what role Melisandre will have in Game of Thrones season 7, but we know she’ll feature in it. From the brief glimpse we got of her in the season 7 trailer, it looks like she’ll make her way to Dragonstone, which means she could come into contact with Daenerys and company.
As reported by Express, actor Carice van Houten recently gave an interview where she ever-so-slightly teased where the character is going. She didn’t give away any plot spoilers, of course, but did say we could see a more vulnerable side to Melisandre in the episodes to come.
This sounds like it’s a continuation of Melisandre’s character arc in season 6, when she was coming to grips with the idea that she had made the wrong call by backing Stannis, and that she had burned his daughter Shireen at the stake for nothing. “It was very hard to defend her for a long time, I was struggling hard,” she said. “But I was very happy when there was that moment when she actually confesses she was wrong and that made her human for me.”
That happened at the end of season 6, when Davos confronted Melisandre about her behavior and Jon Snow banished her from the North. We can expect more of that in season 7. “[A]s an actor that was the nicest thing to play, to finally let that bubble break a little bit. To show some sort of vulnerability.”
And van Houten has reason to feel vulnerable nowadays. In August of 2016, shortly before filming on season 7 began, she gave birth to her first child, and her priorities understandably shifted. She even said she “broke down” on set soon after the birth. “It was a little too early. He was at home and I remember one scene I did, I was in the green room and I just broke apart. I just said, ‘I just want to go home to my baby.’”
It all became unimportant to me. It’s a great important show but once you’ve just had a baby, nothing else really matters.
It’s a good thing (or a horrible thing, depending on your point of view) that van Houten filmed Shireen’s death scene before she gave birth, because she admits now that she doesn’t think she could “done the scene with Shireen” after becoming a mother.
I remember reading it and I thought this was the worst scene I ever shot. But I couldn’t really feel what it meant, I just knew it was horrible. And now I can’t watch anything on TV with children or animals or anything – you’re just an open wound once you become a parent.
We’ll see exactly what Melisandre gets up to when Game of Thrones season 7 premieres on July 16.