Winter has finally come to Westeros! The final season of Game of Thrones has officially kicked off, and while many of our beloved characters reunited in the Season 8 premiere — yes, we cried when Jon Snow and Arya Stark hugged for the first time after seven seasons — one character was noticeably missing from the group.
Melisandre, aka the Red Woman — who is known for doing the Lord of Light’s bidding — did not appear in Episode 1, “Winterfell.” Since Season 7 ended nearly two years ago, many fans (including us) have been wondering: Where TF is Melisandre?
So, what happened to the Red Woman?
To recap, the last time we saw the Red Priestess was in Season 7, Episode 3 "The Queen’s Justice." She was standing atop a cliff at Dragonstone watching Jon and Sir Davos’ arrival to the island.
Remember, her role was to finally unite fire and ice, aka Jon and Daenerys Targaryen. Varys walks up behind her asking why she did not head down to the beach to greet the King of the North, since it was her idea to bring the Northerner to Dragonstone.
Melisandre reveals to Varys that she made "terrible mistakes," — Jon and Sir Davos found out in Season 6 that she had a hand in Shireen’s death; therefore, she was banned from the North, and if she ever returned she would be "hanged as a murderer" — and she tells Varys that she is planning to return to Volantis, which is where she was born.
"I would only be a distraction if I stayed," she says to Varys. He then warns Melisandre to never return to Westeros, in which she replies, "Oh, I will return, dear Spider, one last time. I have to die in this strange country, just like you." Wow, spoiler much?!
Where is Melisandre now?
The final moment that fans laid eyes on Melisandre was when she was riding off into the sunset heading for her home nation of Essos in Season 7.
While she did not inform anyone of her plans in Volantis, fans have guessed that she may be working on something important that will help Jon defeat the Night King and his army.
"I hope there is still space in the series for Melisandre, we haven't had any voices in the flame stuff in sometime," one viewer tweeted before another added, "People seem to forget that Melisandre is still in Game of Thrones."
A third chimed in, "Yoooo, do y’all think Melisandre can bring the dragon back that the night king stole?"
Hopefully, Melisandre will make her grand return with a weapon or army that can help defeat the Night King and his foot soldiers. The cast have been tight-lipped on Game of Thrones spoilers, but as Melisandre mentioned in Season 7, she will eventually return to Westeros, and die.
As for how or who will be the one to deliver the final blow to the Red Priestess.. we’ll just have to wait to watch the final five episodes.
Catch Game of Thrones on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.