This will be a one shot essay that is not part of the main Weirwood Leviathan series. A little bit more tinfoil than normal, but I hope you all enjoy it. I’m gonna prove Melisandre has greensight like Jojen, though she isn’t a true greenseer like Bran.
“To eat of human meat was abomination, to mate as wolf with wolf was abomination, and to seize the body of another man was the worst abomination of all.” – Varamyr (ADWD, Prologue)
All three of these have happened. We will get to this…
Star Crossed: The Sea Star and The Red Star
So once upon a time, way back during the reign of Aegon the Unworthy, there was a lady from Lys, descended from a now impoverish Valyrian noble family, and this lady was called Serenei. Serenei of Lys. We know little of her appearance, but she was apparently cold and haughty, and yet noted by many to be the most lovely of Aegon IV’s mistresses. And also she was also the last, with the King taking no more mistresses after her. Though we do know she appeared young and beautiful, Serenei was rumored to practice dark arts to retain her youth and beauty, and was actually rumored to be far older than the King. Yet somewhere around 180 AC., Serenei died in childbed, after giving birth to her only daughter with the King, Shiera Seastar.
“Lady Shiera does. Lord Bloodraven’s paramour. She bathes in blood to keep her beauty” – Egg (The Sworn Sword)
The famously beautiful Shiera Seastar, was one of the Great Bastards of Aegon IV and the lover of Brynden Rivers (much to the jealousy of Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers). She, like her mother, was also rumored to practice dark arts to retain her youth and beauty. Shiera apparently had classic Lyseni/Valyrian features, and wore a famed necklace of sapphires and emeralds to reflect her uniquely mismatched eyes. Now we don’t have any confirmation on what ends up happening to Shiera, as she sort of just disappears from the story with no mention of her death. But from what we do know, Shiera “Star of the Sea” is actually described with an uncanny similarity to Melisandre, “the Red Star.”
Description of Shiera:
“She was the greatest beauty of her age, a slender and elegant woman, slim of waist and full of breast … She had a heart-shaped face, full lips, and her mismatched eyes were strangely large and full of mischief; her rivals said she used them to melt men’s hearts.”
Description of Melisandre from Maester Cressen’s POV:
“Slender she was, graceful, taller than most knights, with full breasts and narrow waist and a heart-shaped face. Men’s eyes that once found her did not quickly look away, not even a maester’s eyes. Many called her beautiful.“
All of the same words are being used to describe these two characters. Slender, slim waist, full breast, heart shaped face, beauty, graceful/elegant, and eyes which captivate men.
Now, some of these are common describing words, while others such as ‘heart shaped face’ are not so commonly used (though it is attributed to Daena ‘the Defiant’ Targaryen the mother of Daemon Blackfyre, as well as Jeyne Westerling, who is actually the great granddaughter of the Essosi blood magic practitioner Maggy the frog). Still, the similarity in description is so congruent it’s uncanny. Not only visually, but Melisandre is also, like Shiera’s mother, apparently older than she appears, like Shiera a practitioner of sorcery, and just as Shiera wore emeralds and sapphires around her neck to match her eyes, meanwhile Melisandre wears a ruby around her neck to match hers.
Coincidence? Maybe. But lets keep going. Because I think the similarity here is intentional, and I think Melisandre is Shiera Seastar’s daughter. Which begs the question, who would be Melisandre’s father? Hmmm….
(Yup, it’s Bloodraven.)
The Red Eyes of House Blackwood
“Those you call the children of the forest have eyes as golden as the sun, but once in a great while one is born amongst them with eyes as red as blood, or green as the moss on a tree in the heart of the forest. By these signs do the gods mark those they have chosen to receive the gift.” – Brynden Rivers (Bran III, ADWD)
So is Melisandre an albino as well? Well she does have pale skin, and she has red eyes too. We often assume that this is just GRRM making her look the part of a Red Priestess, while others assume that all of this is a glamour to make her look the part. But what if it’s a bit of both? What if Melisandre is an albino with the gift of greensight like her father, except she dyes her naturally white hair red as tribute to the Red God? Well sure enough, GRRM has gone on record stating that Westeros has better technology with dyes, particularly red, than medieval Europe did.
Now if we assume from this that Melisandre is the daughter of Brynden Rivers and Shiera Seastar, a lot of things about Melisandre start to make a whole new kind of sense. I’d even say a much better, much more logically consistent kind.
What’s in a name? That which we call Mel
“Strange voices called to her from days long past.“Melony,” she heard a woman cry. A man’s voice called, “Lot Seven.” She was weeping, and her tears were flame. And still she drank it in.”- (Melisandre, ADWD)
What fell upon Sea Dragon Point
You see, a big part of people’s aversion to this theory, is the notion that Melisandre is yet another secret Targaryen, which oddly enough is of very little relevance here. The significance of her bloodline seems mainly from her two (non Targaryen) grandmothers, and the main important thing here is that Melisandre is a secret Blackwood.
Now House Blackwood are actually extremely important to the story. For example, both Lyanna, Ned, and Rhaegar and Robert all have great grandmothers that are Blackwoods. Heck, though I’m not one to speculate about Dawn Age lore, if not a Stark I wouldn’t be surprised if the Last Hero were an ancestor of the Blackwoods. The Blackwoods show up constantly in the background of our story. And House Blackwood of Raventree Hall, a House that resides in the Riverlands, claim to have long ago ruled most of the Wolfswood until they were driven out by House Stark.
Which brings me to the conclusion that the Blackwoods (possible relatives of the extinct House Greenwood) are actually descended from the ancient Warg King, who ruled from Sea Dragon Point (deep in the Wolfswood) and was an ally of the Children of the Forest till he was defeated by House Stark in the savage ‘War of the Wolves’ during the Age of Heroes. House Stark apparently won the war in a wave of mutilation and then put his sons, beasts, and greenseers to the sword, and then the took the Warg King’s daughters as prizes, effectively taking the warg ability for themselves (which is likely where the Stark warg ability comes from). But as we have seen throughout the story, bloodlines usually don’t die off just like that.
My theory here is that the Warg King was likely Gaven Greywolf of House Greenwood, and when his House was extinguished by the Starks, the survivors fled to the Riverlands and founded House Blackwood, with the ‘Black’ being used to signify mourning.
The Blackwoods being descended from the warg king (Gaven Greywolf perhaps?) is further evidenced by the fact that the Blackwoods are one of the only Houses outside of the North which the Starks had married before Robert’s Rebellion, and in fact Cregan Stark takes a marriage to Black Aly Blackwood in exchanged for allowing a pardon for lord Corlys Velaryon to stand the end of the Dance of the Dragons. And as we know, Cregan was deeply interested in bringing powerful/magic blood into the Stark family, as his participation in the Dance on the side of the Blacks was predicated on the promise of marrying a Targaryen Princess into the Stark family. More on Cregan Stark in Weirwood Leviathan part 7.
Beyond that, just as the Warg King was allied with the children of the forest, the Blackwoods of Raventree Hall in Blackwood Vale, are also deeply reverent to the Old Gods (which is very very unusual at this point outside of the North). Raventree hall is built around an enormous Weirwood under which the Blackwoods bury their dead (a dead Weirwood in fact, as it was supposedly poisoned by the Brackens, who the Blackwoods hate).
The Warg King’s Red Shadow
Which brings us back to Melisandre. If we look at Melisandre as a secret Blackwood, a descendant of the Warg King, with the gift of greensight, then certain things about Melisandre start to fall into place.
- For example, Melisandre’s vision/encounter with Bloodraven becomes far more significant, as he would actually be her father. Note that this is literally the paragraph before she has a flashback to her childhood.
“Melisandre has gone to Stannis entirely on her own, and has her own agenda.” – GRRM
- The fact that Melisandre, a total and unwavering believer in the Lord or Light, has (unlike Moqorro) come to Stannis on her own and with her own agenda, and is naming a different Azor Ahai than all the other Red Priests, makes more sense if we consider her visions may be coming from to her differently.
- The reason that a young (potentially albino) slave girl named Melony, was ever bought by the Red Temple and brought to into the order of Red Priests, makes more sense, as Valyrian heritage and red eyes may have indicated possession of magical power or sight (or at least would have been appealing to red priests on a superstitious level). Just as theorists often believe Varys may have been used as a sacrifice due to his blood, Melisandre may have been bought by the Red Temple of R’hllor for hers.
- Melisandre’s abilities being even more powerful at the Wall than they were at Asshai, suddenly becomes very logical if Melisandre is a Blackwood with the gift of greensight. The Wall was supposedly built with the help of the Children of the Forest (Snowgate even has a Weirwood gate), is thus likely woven with spells and magic of the Old Gods, and is in the North, where there are more Weirwoods, and thus the Old Gods have more power.
“May I touch your … wolf?” The thought made Jon uneasy. “Best not.” “He will not harm me. You call him Ghost, yes?” “Yes, but …” “Ghost.” Melisandre made the word a song. The direwolf padded toward her. Wary, he stalked about her in a circle, sniffing. When she held out her hand he smelled that too, then shoved his nose against her fingers. Jon let out a white breath. “He is not always so …” “… warm? Warmth calls to warmth, Jon Snow.” Her eyes were two red stars, shining in the dark. At her throat, her ruby gleamed, a third eye glowing brighter than the others. Jon had seen Ghost’s eyes blazing red the same way, when they caught the light just right. “Ghost,” he called. “To me.” The direwolf looked at him as if he were a stranger. Jon frowned in disbelief. “That’s … queer.” – Jon ADWD
- And the fact that the (albino) direwolf Ghost, a creature of the North, so quickly takes to Melisandre, a priestess of Asshai, makes all the more sense this way. In fact, the other character for whom this occurs is Jojen Reed, who is also gifted with greensight. If Melisandre is a Blackwood, she would consequently not only have the gift of greensight, making her a likely a warg with power over beasts, but she’d be a descendant of the Warg King.
- Even still the relationship to Ghost may go even further than that…
And here comes the tinfoil that was promised…. Melisandre and Ghost… may sort of have the same father.
In the first chapter of A Game of Thrones, after watching Lord Stark execute Gared, the Stark party happens to encounter a dead direwolf mother, who happens to have just given birth to six direwolf pups, one for each of the Stark kids, including Jon Snow. Coincidence? or did the Old Gods(Bloodraven) send them to the Stark children? I’m going to say the latter. I can’t stress enough the importance of this event, as GRRM has gone on record stating that this was literally the eureka moment which he came up with which inspired the entire series. Martin’s very origin idea for A Song of Ice and Fire, is this scene. So forgive me if I really read into it.
“When Martin was between Hollywood projects in the summer of 1991, he started writing a new science fiction novel called Avalon. After three chapters, he had a vivid idea of a boy seeing a man’s beheading and finding direwolves in the snow, which would eventually become the first non-prologue chapter of A Game of Thrones.”
There is a potential in canines, where a female is able to have a litter with children from more than one male. So Ghost as the lone albino pup, mirrors Jon’s status among the Stark children, as being related and yet somehow separate. The white, red eyed Ghost, is the first pup to open it’s eyes, which reflects not only the sentinel like Weirwoods, but the ever watchful albino Brynden ‘Bloodraven’ Rivers. Which leads me to the assertion, that not only did Bloodraven send the Direwolves to the Stark children, but he committed the abomination of warging into a direwolf and mating wolf with wolf. I believe that Bloodraven warged into the wolf which fathered Ghost, and it is for this reason that Ghost came out as an albino. Now I’m sure some of you are thinking: “Um, excuse me. Isn’t the idea of a person warging into an animal and having sex a little too weird for this story?” Well…
Crazy idea yes, but not too much when kept as more of a background element. Not only has GRRM written much stranger plotlines, but it’s specifically mentioned in the ADWD prologue that mating wolf with wolf while warging is a taboo, which indicates that somewhere in the story, this is relevant.
The Raven Brings the Sight
And there you have it folks. Here are out conclusions:
- Melisandre is the daughter of Brynden Rivers and Shiera Seastar.
- Melisandre and her maternal grandmother, and her mother, use dark arts to appear younger than they are. Her original name Melony is a combination of both her grandmother’s names.
- Melisandre is an albino Blackwood warg who’s red eyes indicate the gift of greensight. She probably dyes her hair red. Yet she likely never learned of her telepathy like warging ability because it never developed, because all animals die very quickly in Asshai.
- The reason Melisandre has declared a different Azor Ahai than the rest of her order is that she is receiving her visions a little differently due to her bloodline.
- Melisandre is stronger at the Wall than Asshai because she is closer to the Weirwoods and the magic of the children of the forest, her ancestral magic. The red eyed Melisandre, like the unnaturally green eyed Jojen Reed, has the gift of greensight. Except unlike Jojen, Melisandre has spent her life far away from the source of her sight.
- Bloodraven sent the direwolves and created Ghost by warging into a direwolf and committing the taboo act of mating wolf with wolf. This is bizarre to think about, but not so bizarre that Martin hasn’t explicitly mentioned it as a possibility.
- In a bizarre sense, when Ghost met Melisandre, it was a meeting between magic warging half siblings, hence why Ghost is so immediately friendly to her.
And the implications?
“Strength of the beast, go into the man.” – Mirri Maz Durr (Daenerys VIII, AGOT)
- If Melisandre sacrifices Ghost to Bring Jon Snow back to life, does that actually make her a kinslayer?
- Has Bloodraven or the Old Gods, or both, used the fact that Melisandre has greensight to make her diverge from her order? making guiding her towards Jon and towards the front of the battle against the Others?
“When the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.” – Melisandre (Davos III, ASOS)
- Given what we know now, could Melisandre play the part (among many other things) of a bleeding red star in some way?
“From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire.” – (Daenerys IV, ACOK)
- GRRM has already set up Melisandre’s ability to cast shadows. Now that her power have greatly increased at the Wall, where the Old Gods are strong, what sort of shadow will Melisandre cast?
- Will Jon’s time within Ghost make him warm up to Melisandre much like Ghost did?
- And is Shiera Seastar Quaithe, or did Shiera die in childbirth like her mother? and if Shiera still lives, why would she be living in the same city as her daughter and never contacting her?
- In a way, Melisandre has adopted total faith in the Lord of Light as a replacement father for the one she never had. And in doing so, and in burning the weirwoods, she has replaced her natural father (who is now part of nature), with an otherworldly father outside of nature. Yet it is the pull of her own nature which has caused her to diverge from the order of red priests, and she may unconsciously be serving the children of the forest.
Well we’ll just have to wait for the answers. for now I invite you to speculate.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this one shot essay, and I do hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be getting back to the Weirwood Leviathan series now, and I’ll leave you all with now with the sounds of Chris De Bugh…