Eager to get fans thirsting for Game of Thrones season 8 (opens in new tab), HBO have released special Twitter emojis (opens in new tab) for every single major (and some minor-ish) characters so you can pledge your allegiance to your favourite character, and pray to the Nine that they don’t end up dead.
Along with Daenerys, Jon, Sansa, and others, you’ll find Melisandre, who’s currently trying to seek out the Prince who was Promised (a prophesied saviour of mankind and chosen one of the Lord of Light, Melisandre’s fire god). As a devout Priestess of R’hllor, she draws her power from the ruby at her throat. Yet as you can see below, this powerful talisman is missing from her emoji both in the image and on Twitter itself if you type in her hashtag (#Melisandre for those of you who are curious). But why?
Okay, so I’ll be the first to say that it could just be one big mistake. In the posters that Game of Thrones tweeted out the ruby is intact, after all (see below). Whoever designed the emojis might have forgotten to colour the middle section in red, or in Game of Thrones season 8 Melisandre could have just moved the jewel to being a bracelet, or a ring.
Yet that seems like a strange move for the Red Priestess, as her ruby necklace has pretty much become her trademark bit of jewellery, like Daenery’s silver dragon chain or Sansa’s Needle necklace. The other explanation for her ruby being missing is that Twitter has accidentally dropped a huge spoiler for what’s in store for her in Game of Thrones’ final season.
Without her ruby, Melisandre should revert to looking her age, as in Game of Thrones season 6 episode 1 (opens in new tab) when she took off her necklace the usually bewitching Red Priestess became an elderly woman. Actress Clarice Van Houten told Access Hollywood (opens in new tab) that Melisandre is actually over 100 years old, so as one of her direct links to R’hllor, the ruby is definitely what gives her this powerful glamour (a magical illusion that often disguises someone’s true appearance).
That’s not all it does, though; it protects her from Maester Cressen’s poison, pulsing after she drinks the doped wine, and in A Dance with Dragons it keeps her warm at the Wall and helps her glamour Mance Ryder as his loyal follower and friend Rattleshirt. So considering how powerful the ruby clearly is, lacking it is definitely a big deal.
So why might Melisandre be lacking her scarlet jewel in Game of Thrones season 8? Perhaps her link with R’hllor has become so powerful that she no longer needs an object to channel his power. Or she might not be Melisandre at all, but a Faceless Man disguised as her who can’t find her necklace (although that does seem like rather sloppy work on the assassin’s behalf).
Perhaps she’s given the ruby to Jon or Daenerys, the two strongest candidates for being the Prince who was Promised, as being close to the dragons and their fire might be enough to keep her link to R’hllor strong. Who knows. Well, HBO do - but whether this is a mistake or a massive hint about things to come remains to be seen.
Hungry for more Game of Thrones goodness? Here’s everything we know so far about the Game of Thrones ending (opens in new tab) courtesy of the cast - but be warned, spoilers abound!