The Ice Priestess of Asshai
Many called her beautiful. She was not beautiful. She was blue, and terrible, and blue.
The artist who made this figurine of Melissandre was privately commissioned by GRRM to draw her in ice colors.
The quote from the artist: “Melisande of Asshai. In the book series she’s the red woman, a witch of fire and light, but George saw this color scheme I used on a drow sorceress and thought it would be an interesting variation for the miniature.” I saw this in 2013. The site with the quote has been down for while but you can see the figurine at official Dark Horse site here.
“The Lord of Light cherishes the innocent. There is no sacrifice more precious. From his king’s blood and his untainted fire, a dragon shall be born.” (Melisandre, “Davos V” A Storm of Swords)
That is why Melissandre said “good” when asked if Jon was a virgin in the show. She didn’t want to sacrifice Jon with him dying never experiencing a woman.
“Two kings to wake the dragon, the father first and then the son, so both die kings.”
If two kings wake the dragon, first the father than the son, so both die as kings. Then it should works the same with queen daughters too.
“Your Grace, if you are dead —”
“— you will avenge my death, and seat my daughter on the Iron Throne. Or die in the attempt.”
I think the huge shock will be Melissandre sacrificing Stannis (it need not be directly) and heir, Shireen to wake Bran, the stone dragon made of ice.
Melissandre kept seeing Stannis in her flames when she looked for her savior. The flames don’t lie. She was only misinterpreting them. It was through Stannis The Mannisblood, that her savior will come. Not Stannis himself that her icy savior of fire will be born.
But the hero she awakens may not be the one she originally expected. The new “life” she awakens may not just be in Jon, but also be in herself.
Perhaps in giving Jon the kiss of life “as all memory of warmth left his body” as Bran sees in his vision, she absorbs the coldness of death from Jon. As she is dead she may never die, but rises again, harder and colder. Or she get’s Othered, or perhaps her ruby falls off or some other reason and and her true nature is revealed. It may even shock her old self. Just as Rattleshirt was shockingly done with the “bloody fools” of the Freefolk.
Here is Jon’s interaction with unRattleshirt:
Jon was aghast. “Your Grace, this man cannot be trusted. If I keep him here, someone will slit his throat for him. If I send him ranging, he’ll just go back over to the wildlings.”
“Not me. I’m done with those bloody fools.” Rattleshirt tapped the ruby on his wrist. “Ask your red witch, bastard.”Melisandre spoke softly in a strange tongue. The ruby at her throat throbbed slowly, and Jon saw that the smaller stone on Rattleshirt’s wrist was brightening and darkening as well. “So long as he wears the gem he is bound to me, blood and soul,” the red priestess said.“This man will serve you faithfully. The flames do not lie, Lord Snow.”-ADWD, Jon IV
Enter the IcePriestess: unMelissandre
GRRM commissioned a custom painted figurine for his personal collection where Melissandre is colored in blue tones holding a blue flame. I don’t know if her true controller is not (her father?) Bloodraven or some other power beyond The Wall, or she may become wighted/or othered. Or perhaps her true form is of an ice sorceress.
There is also the seemingly cheesy deus ex machina skinchanging of Mance into Rattleshirt. It is seems very deus ex machina and out of left field for GRRM to have Mance to be saved and switched like that and be under the control of Melissandre through the ruby. It sounds a bit too far fetched and out of place until you realize it is not about Mance. It is literary scaffolding for a major plotpoint. It is about Melissandre herself who has the biggest red ruby on her throat controlling her. Then this minor deus ex machina is just a set up for the reveal so it is not a truly huge deus ex machina controlling Melissandre and her own plot twist.
Above all else, horror needs a witness. Seylse will lose everything she loved and everything she believed in and will be powerless to stop Melissandre. That is why GRRM stresses that The Queens men are Melissandre’s men, not Selyse’s. But does that point to Melissandre as being the Nights Queen?
If there is one thing we know after the War of Five Kings playing their game of thrones, they came with five queens.