Updated: 23rd April 2018

Game of Thrones premiere: forget Jon Snow we need to talk about Melisandre

Weve been bothering with life and death questions about Jon Snow for a year but the biggest revelation of the shows return belonged to the Red Woman

The season six premiere of Game of Thrones started the same way the fifth season ended, with Jon Snow lying in the snow in a pool of his own blood after being betrayed by the men of the Nights Watch. The big question in the year between that finale and the premiere was whether Jon could really be dead, whether there was some way to bring him back to life.

By the end of the episode, no one cared whether Jon Snow was dead or not. Instead, we all wondered how the hell Melisandre, the Lord of Lights most devoted servant, was still alive. Shes always been a gorgeous man-eater who gave birth to the shadow that killed Renly Baratheon and forced his brother Stannis to sacrifice his own daughter to the one true god. We knew something crazy was going on with her but who imagined that she was possibly centuries old, a woman who went from a pin-up to something completely different by removing a necklace? .

It turns out that the red stone she wears around her neck is enchanted and either transforms her into a comely younger woman or at least makes people see her as one. Is it a gift from the Lord of Light? Is it powered by Kings blood? Is that why she needs so much of it? Does she take it off every night, or was she making an exception now that Stannis is gone? And how does one get their hands on such a necklace?

We know quite a bit about Melisandre and her motives, but this highlights how little we really know about her or how her magic works. Considering shes been hiding this huge secret for so long, what else dont we know? Apparently, fans of the books will know that it has been hinted at and Carice Van Houton, who plays the Red Woman, said in an interview in 2012 that her character was well over 100 years old.

This is one of those revelations that is not only a shock, but leads us to more questions. Ironically, most of those questions are about Jon Snows death. The biggest theory was that Melisandre, who took a scandalous interest in Jon Snow when she first arrived at Castle Black, would raise him from the dead. However, the only time weve seen one of the Lord of Lights priests resurrect someone (back in season three) it was a fresh corpse. Now that Jon Snow has been lying around for a day and a night, is he still eligible for a second life?

Davos Seaworth, who discovered and is protecting Jons body, certainly thinks so: he is going to turn to Melisandre for help. Will we get the answers to all our Jon Snow questions next week? Will Melisandre have to show the world what she really looks like in order to give him a second chance? Or is he really, really, actually dead? Were going to have to wait until Melisandre gets up from her nap to find out. It might take a long time. After all, she is very, very old.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us