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Melissandre, R'hllor and the Wall

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Over the years there have been several theories about melissandre. Two that I find interesting are that she is an undead similar to Beric or that the ruby  she wears is used to control her (like she says she can control mance as long as he is wearing his ruby).

However what would be the effect of the Wall on mel if any of these were true? In her ADwD pov she crosses the Wall and she doesn t describe feeling anything diferent.

So if she was an undead what should have happened to her? Are r'hllor afected by the Wall? If not why?

We know that coldhands can t cross the Wall and he seems pretty similar to a r'hllor undead (as he also has his soul inside him)...

On the other hand if her ruby can be used as a "leash" does it mean that on the other side of the Wall she could take off the ruby? Was this what mance did? scaled the Wall and took off his ruby? and then went to winterfell?

And can someone like LSH cross over the Wall?

Another interesting thing is that mel's fire vision can see across the Wall. So what kind of magic does the Wall stop? Can a glass candle also be used to see beyhond the Wall? Like into the heart of winter? Or r'hllor magic isn t affected by the Wall?

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1 hour ago, divica said:

Over the years there have been several theories about melissandre. Two that I find interesting are that she is an undead similar to Beric or that the ruby  she wears is used to control her (like she says she can control mance as long as he is wearing his ruby).

However what would be the effect of the Wall on mel if any of these were true? In her ADwD pov she crosses the Wall and she doesn't describe feeling anything different.

she states that her magic is stronger at the wall 

1 hour ago, divica said:

So if she was an undead what should have happened to her? Are r'hllor affected by the Wall? If not why?

She isn't undead, and R'hillor isn't affected by anything, Mel is. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

We know that coldhands can t cross the Wall and he seems pretty similar to a r'hllor undead (as he also has his soul inside him)...

Do beric and Stoneheart have black hands where old blood has pooled? And who says he has a soul in him. He is stopped by the wards that prevent wights from crossing the wall or entering the children's cave 

1 hour ago, divica said:

On the other hand if her ruby can be used as a "leash" does it mean that on the other side of the Wall she could take off the ruby? Was this what mance did? scaled the Wall and took off his ruby? and then went to winterfell?

The ruby is just a magical tool to maintain the glamour.  Mance has free will. Which is why she had to disguise him as rattleshirt 

1 hour ago, divica said:

And can someone like LSH cross over the Wall?

Probably. 

1 hour ago, divica said:

Another interesting thing is that mel's fire vision can see across the Wall. So what kind of magic does the Wall stop? Can a glass candle also be used to see beyhond the Wall? Like into the heart of winter? Or r'hllor magic isn t affected by the Wall?

It stops the magic of the others 

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1 hour ago, divica said:

Over the years there have been several theories about melissandre. Two that I find interesting are that she is an undead similar to Beric or that the ruby  she wears is used to control her (like she says she can control mance as long as he is wearing his ruby).

However what would be the effect of the Wall on mel if any of these were true? In her ADwD pov she crosses the Wall and she doesn t describe feeling anything diferent.

So if she was an undead what should have happened to her? Are r'hllor afected by the Wall? If not why?

We know that coldhands can t cross the Wall and he seems pretty similar to a r'hllor undead (as he also has his soul inside him)...

On the other hand if her ruby can be used as a "leash" does it mean that on the other side of the Wall she could take off the ruby? Was this what mance did? scaled the Wall and took off his ruby? and then went to winterfell?

And can someone like LSH cross over the Wall?

Another interesting thing is that mel's fire vision can see across the Wall. So what kind of magic does the Wall stop? Can a glass candle also be used to see beyhond the Wall? Like into the heart of winter? Or r'hllor magic isn t affected by the Wall?

That's a lot of question, friend.  

The magic barrier is more than likely very specific.  It filters out a specific threat.  How it does this is magic.  The filter works to stop anyone moving with a very low body temperature?  The filtering scheme may never be explained but Mel seems to have no trouble crossing that boundary.

I could be wrong but Melissandre is alive.  She can birth a shadow baby.  She can have sex.   The part about not eating is the only thing pointing to her being undead because we know that all living things have to eat.  

The wall can only stop something held down by gravity.  Visions are like radio waves.  They can travel through the air and do not have to cross at ground level.  Bran failed to see through the curtain at the end of the world because trees never grew there.  He can only see what the trees can see and what they saw.  

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But Mel does need to sleep, as she tells us herself. Stands to reason that if she needs to sleep, she also needs nourishment. It's obvious there's something going on there w/ Mel... she's not like other people. But I doubt she's undead but think she is glamoured and her physiological needs are different, but they exist. 

ADwD, Melisandre

“Dawn. Another day is given us, R’hllor be praised. The terrors of the night recede. Melisandre had spent the night in her chair by the fire, as she often did. With Stannis gone, her bed saw little use. She had no time for sleep, with the weight of the world upon her shoulders. And she feared to dream. Sleep is a little death, dreams the whisperings of the Other, who would drag us all into his eternal night. She would sooner sit bathed in the ruddy glow of her red lord’s blessed flames, her cheeks flushed by the wash of heat as if by a lover’s kisses. Some nights she drowsed, but never for more than an hour. One day, Melisandre prayed, she would not sleep at all. One day she would be free of dreams. Melony, she thought. Lot Seven.”

 

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Her body is also not bothered by the cold. Even Northerners who grew up close to the Wall would probably get sick and die if they pranced around in the same outfits Mel wears in the freezing climate atop the Wall. I guess she knows this and is purposely wearing silks to scare people into believing she's has strong magics and what not. Still think she should cover up though for decencies sake. A tall, beautiful, scantily dressed  woman floating around Castle Black telling people fortune cookie riddles is going start being distracting at some point.

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2 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Her body is also not bothered by the cold. Even Northerners who grew up close to the Wall would probably get sick and die if they pranced around in the same outfits Mel wears in the freezing climate atop the Wall.

If the theory that she is under a glamour is true (people believe she is much older and glamours herself to look young and, well, hot) then she might be wearing nice warm clothing and only glamouring that pretty red silk dress. I like this theory. 

If any regular person walked around in Melissandre's garb of choice atop the wall there would be no time to develop a illness, it would be death by hypothermia. 

Edited by Lady Dacey

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3 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

But Mel does need to sleep, as she tells us herself. Stands to reason that if she needs to sleep, she also needs nourishment. It's obvious there's something going on there w/ Mel... she's not like other people. But I doubt she's undead but think she is glamoured and her physiological needs are different, but they exist. 

If she's indeed very very old and glamoured to look younger, this could explain her "different" physiological needs. In real life the elderly have a much diminished need for sleep and calories. Melissandre tells us she does not needs to eat, but does so not to scare people off - she could very well believe that, but that doesn't mean it's true, and that what she does eat has been able sustain her. To give a little credence to the idea that GRRM might be taking late age into account when writing the needs of the red priestess, this comes up in the books with Barristan: 

ADWD, The Discarded Knight

The day was young and fresh, and yet he felt bone-tired, as if he'd fought all night. The older he got, the less sleep Ser Barristan seemed to need. As a squire he could sleep ten hours a night and still be yawning when he stumbled out onto the practice yard. At three-and-sixty he found that five hours a night was more than enough. Last night, he had scarce slept at all.

Edited by Lady Dacey

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12 hours ago, divica said:

On the other hand if her ruby can be used as a "leash" does it mean that on the other side of the Wall she could take off the ruby? Was this what mance did? scaled the Wall and took off his ruby? and then went to winterfell?

I was under the impression that the ruby is a camouflaging device, it's just to disguise her true appearance (which was ''confirmed'' on the show). I don't think it controls people or their personalities. Also Melisandre basically has magical powers and stuff which can explain why she doesn't need to eat and doesn't feel cold (she's a witch, so why not; why do elves live forever? they're magical). I don't think she's undead.

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1 hour ago, Lady Dacey said:

If she's indeed very very old and glamoured to look younger, this could explain her "different" physiological needs. In real life the elderly have a much diminished need for sleep and calories. Melissandre tells us she does not needs to eat, but does so not to scare people off - she could very well believe that, but that doesn't mean it's true, and that what she does eat has been able sustain her. To give a little credence to the idea that GRRM might be taking late age into account when writing the needs of the red priestess, this comes up in the books with Barristan: 

ADWD, The Discarded Knight

The day was young and fresh, and yet he felt bone-tired, as if he'd fought all night. The older he got, the less sleep Ser Barristan seemed to need. As a squire he could sleep ten hours a night and still be yawning when he stumbled out onto the practice yard. At three-and-sixty he found that five hours a night was more than enough. Last night, he had scarce slept at all.

The problem with a glamour is that it affects the vision but not the touch. Stannis would feel the diference between old skin (and boobs) from young skin. In adition, if mel was very old she would have certain problems in moving around or having sex for example.

And in her pov it seems she can go on for days without sleep or food. That isn t a normal thing even for the elderly (maybe specially for the elderly that if they aren t careful with their nutrition can easily get sick). Besides, she seems to think that in the future she won t need to sleep at all! 

 

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11 hours ago, Agent Orange said:

That's a lot of question, friend.  

The magic barrier is more than likely very specific.  It filters out a specific threat.  How it does this is magic.  The filter works to stop anyone moving with a very low body temperature?  The filtering scheme may never be explained but Mel seems to have no trouble crossing that boundary.

I could be wrong but Melissandre is alive.  She can birth a shadow baby.  She can have sex.   The part about not eating is the only thing pointing to her being undead because we know that all living things have to eat.  

The wall can only stop something held down by gravity.  Visions are like radio waves.  They can travel through the air and do not have to cross at ground level.  Bran failed to see through the curtain at the end of the world because trees never grew there.  He can only see what the trees can see and what they saw.  

I am pretty sure that in other dicussions people have proven that the Wall stops can stop skinchangers from skinchanging into animals on the other side of the Wall. Besides mel has never seen bloodraven or the Others before arriving at the Wall. So can it be because she is stronger at the Wall or because the place she is having visions is so close to the Wall her vision can pass through the Wall?

And do we know if the others or wights can't cross the Wall? Or do we only know that their magic can t affect the people on the other side of the Wall? Because if the Wall stops them from reviving the dead on the defenders side it is still extremelly useful. 

Do you think shadow babies are made the same way as normal babies?

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20 minutes ago, Lady Anna said:

I was under the impression that the ruby is a camouflaging device, it's just to disguise her true appearance (which was ''confirmed'' on the show). I don't think it controls people or their personalities. Also Melisandre basically has magical powers and stuff which can explain why she doesn't need to eat and doesn't feel cold (she's a witch, so why not; why do elves live forever? they're magical). I don't think she's undead.

I think that "she is magical, so she can do shit" without a structered magic sistem is kind of bad writing.

But as I said in a previous post. If she uses the ruby to glamour herself then stannis would feel that her skin is old and she would have problems moving, riding or having sex because glamour only affect the vision and not the touch and they don t chage the body proprieties of the person.

Besides, we know that it is rumored that in the age of heroes kings lived for hundreds of years. So maybe mel has access to that kind of magic?

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13 minutes ago, divica said:

And do we know if the others or wights can't cross the Wall?

The wights certainly can, they attacked LC Mormont at Castle Black after all, and the castle is on the south side of the wall. 

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2 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

The wights certainly can, they attacked LC Mormont at Castle Black after all, and the castle is on the south side of the wall. 

That is a very good point. Because even though they were carried through the Wall the others could still "activate/control" the wights on the Southern side of the Wall.

This means that either the others can reanimate dead bodies on the other side of the Wall or that the Wall didn t turn off the magic inside the wights when they passed under the Wall.

Which leads to another question. Why would grrm say there is a sistem of caves that passes under the Wall? Are the others going to use it?

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7 minutes ago, divica said:

I think that "she is magical, so she can do shit" without a structered magic sistem is kind of bad writing.

But as I said in a previous post. If she uses the ruby to glamour herself then stannis would feel that her skin is old and she would have problems moving, riding or having sex because glamour only affect the vision and not the touch and they don t chage the body proprieties of the person.

Besides, we know that it is rumored that in the age of heroes kings lived for hundreds of years. So maybe mel has access to that kind of magic?

The source of her magic is her explicitly magical religion, I guess the same way Bran has his through the Old Gods. I don't think it's far-fetched to think that the reason she doesn't feel cold and doesn't need to eat and the ability to survive poison are manifestations of that. Also her not feeling cold and yet emanating heat and smelling like fire makes sense in that a fire-based religion would allow that. And this might also be the reason she's strong at the Wall and why the Wall's magic doesn't have any effect on her - she has the opposite brand of magic.

As far as the glamouring goes, maybe you're right and it doesn't fully change someone's appearance (I don't recall the specifics). I know that in the show it disguised her appearance and that's why I wrote confirmed in quotes, because it might not be the case in the books. But maybe her ruby is extremely strong and can disguise her better than others? O rmaybe she isn't using a glamour at all. Either way the ruby is almost certainly magical in some way (maybe it allows her to have the aforementioned powers).

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13 hours ago, divica said:

We know that coldhands can t cross the Wall and he seems pretty similar to a r'hllor undead (as he also has his soul inside him)...

I was under the impression that Coldhands couldn't go through the Black Gate, not that he could not cross the Wall.

12 hours ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

Do beric and Stoneheart have black hands where old blood has pooled?

Good catch! I think GRRM has, at some point, referred to "ice wights" (e.g., the black hands etc) v "fire wights" (e.g. Beric and Stoneheart) being different things. I have no idea of what the Gregor monster is; probably something entirely different.

6 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

But Mel does need to sleep, as she tells us herself. Stands to reason that if she needs to sleep, she also needs nourishment. It's obvious there's something going on there w/ Mel... she's not like other people. But I doubt she's undead but think she is glamoured and her physiological needs are different, but they exist. 

Exactly! I think this is a woman who's become good at self-delusion, even better than her considerable abilities to delude others. Her chapter, which showed us her doubts and her bag of tricks, was extremely enlightening.

5 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Her body is also not bothered by the cold

Well, so she thinks. But do we EVER see her outside in the cold for very long? She sits inside baking herself in front of her fires constantly; when you do that, you will stay warm and comfortable for a long time when you go outside into the cold. And even then, she's generally right by one of her huge, wasteful bonfires built to placate the sun god and ensure He will rise the next day. And that's the simple explanation of why she doesn't think she's bothered by the cold. Plus, dressing scantily impresses the rubes.

40 minutes ago, divica said:

The problem with a glamour is that it affects the vision but not the touch. Stannis would feel the diference between old skin (and boobs) from young skin. In adition, if mel was very old she would have certain problems in moving around or having sex for example.

Good catch on the tactile sense! On the other hand, the shadow baby birthing deal may not have any relevance to her age, as it's not at all a normal "baby", and she doesn't take the full 9mo to hatch one.

31 minutes ago, divica said:

And do we know if the others or wights can't cross the Wall?

We know that wights CAN. Or at least, they can be transported across the Wall and then reactivated at will. We haven't seen them cross under their own power yet.

Interestingly, Jon can't communicate with Ghost when they're on opposite sides of the Wall. But apparently that skinchanger with the bird could maintain contact when the eagle flew over Castle Black. At least, until Melisandre made it crash & burn (or vice versa). Now that was a disturbing trick.

30 minutes ago, divica said:

I think that "she is magical, so she can do shit" without a structered magic sistem is kind of bad writing.

Thanks for that! I agree. If nothing else, GRRM has been meticulous in fitting fantastical things into a logical, structured framework. (That's why it takes him so long...)

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29 minutes ago, Lady Anna said:

The source of her magic is her explicitly magical religion, I guess the same way Bran has his through the Old Gods. I don't think it's far-fetched to think that the reason she doesn't feel cold and doesn't need to eat and the ability to survive poison are manifestations of that. Also her not feeling cold and yet emanating heat and smelling like fire makes sense in that a fire-based religion would allow that. And this might also be the reason she's strong at the Wall and why the Wall's magic doesn't have any effect on her - she has the opposite brand of magic.

As far as the glamouring goes, maybe you're right and it doesn't fully change someone's appearance (I don't recall the specifics). I know that in the show it disguised her appearance and that's why I wrote confirmed in quotes, because it might not be the case in the books. But maybe her ruby is extremely strong and can disguise her better than others? O rmaybe she isn't using a glamour at all. Either way the ruby is almost certainly magical in some way (maybe it allows her to have the aforementioned powers).

I don t have the quotes here but both the FM describing a glamour to arya and mel describing mance's glamour give the idea it affects how people view the target and that atentive people can even see through the glamour. It has zero effects on the body (unlike the FM abilities).

And while mel's power comes from her religion we know that not all red priests have her powers. We will eventually need a magical system for the red priests powers.

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1 hour ago, Lady Dacey said:

The wights certainly can, they attacked LC Mormont at Castle Black after all, and the castle is on the south side of the wall. 

No, they can't. The wights had to be dragged under the wall by men of the watch. 

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Just now, Dorian Martell's son said:

No, they can't. The wights had to be dragged under the wall by men of the watch. 

You don t know that. It could have been a plot from the others to infiltrate wights in the NW and kill their LC.

How were 2 wights suposed to walk through a closed gate and thousands of NW brothers to kill their LC without subterfuge?

The only things we do know is that either the others can reactivate dead bodies in the Southern side of the Wall if they were killed in the northern or the Wall doesn t turn off the magic inside wights.

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18 minutes ago, divica said:

You don t know that. It could have been a plot from the others to infiltrate wights in the NW and kill their LC.

It was a plot

18 minutes ago, divica said:

How were 2 wights suposed to walk through a closed gate and thousands of NW brothers to kill their LC without subterfuge?

Or they could have climbed over or walked around the wall, or they could have silently waited for the black brothers to open the gates and walked with them, but it is warded with the same magic that keeps the wights out of the children's cave, so they had to be dragged through the tunnel.

20 minutes ago, divica said:

The only things we do know is that either the others can reactivate dead bodies in the Southern side of the Wall if they were killed in the northern or the Wall doesn t turn off the magic inside wights.

We also know that wights have a bit of memory from their old lives because othor found mormont's room and tried to kill him 

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I puzzle over this passage:
 

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

"The bones help," said Melisandre. "The bones remember. The strongest glamors are built of such things. A dead man's boots, a hank of hair, a bag of fingerbones. With whispered words and prayer, a man's shadow can be drawn forth from such and draped about another like a cloak. The wearer's essence does not change, only his seeming."

She made it sound a simple thing, and easy. They need never know how difficult it had been, or how much it had cost her. That was a lesson Melisandre had learned long before Asshai; the more effortless the sorcery appears, the more men fear the sorcerer. When the flames had licked at Rattleshirt, the ruby at her throat had grown so hot that she had feared her own flesh might start to smoke and blacken. Thankfully Lord Snow had delivered her from that agony with his arrows. Whilst Stannis had seethed at the defiance, she had shuddered with relief.

First, Melisandre learned how to glamor long before she ever went to Asshai. 

Secondly, the ruby at her throat channels the fire to itself from Rattleshirt's ruby.  So here we have Melisandre who can walk on lava beneath Dragonstone without harmful effect; but the ruby (that pulses in time with her heart); grew so hot she was in jeopardy of her own flesh burning and smoking?  Perhaps she is drawing on the power of the Wall herself maintaining glamors, fiery swords and Joramun's horn.  Such that the power almost gets away from her or she is drawing too much power.  Sorcery is a sword without a hilt.

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

Stannis Baratheon drew Lightbringer.

The sword glowed red and yellow and orange, alive with light. Jon had seen the show before … but not like this, never before like this. Lightbringer was the sun made steel. When Stannis raised the blade above his head, men had to turn their heads or cover their eyes. Horses shied, and one threw his rider. The blaze in the fire pit seemed to shrink before this storm of light, like a small dog cowering before a larger one. The Wall itself turned red and pink and orange, as waves of color danced across the ice. Is this the power of king's blood?

I wonder just how alive Melisandre is to begin with.  She says she feels, hunger, thirst and tires but says she doesn't need food, drink or sleep; that R'hllor sustains her.  Is it the fire of sacrifice itself that sustains her?  Does she need to 'top up' before shadowbinding or some other sorcery?  Is the price he pays for sorcery some of her own life force?

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Davos II

There was no answer but a soft rustling. And then a light bloomed amidst the darkness.

Davos raised a hand to shield his eyes, and his breath caught in his throat. Melisandre had thrown back her cowl and shrugged out of the smothering robe. Beneath, she was naked, and huge with child. Swollen breasts hung heavy against her chest, and her belly bulged as if near to bursting. "Gods preserve us," he whispered, and heard her answering laugh, deep and throaty. Her eyes were hot coals, and the sweat that dappled her skin seemed to glow with a light of its own. Melisandre shone.

Another curious thing about Stannis' new improved Lightbringer which Aemon examines.  He says the sword is wrong because there is no heat.

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

"His Grace is not an easy man. Few are, who wear a crown. Many good men have been bad kings, Maester Aemon used to say, and some bad men have been good kings."

"He would know." Aemon Targaryen had seen nine kings upon the Iron Throne. He had been a king's son, a king's brother, a king's uncle. "I looked at that book Maester Aemon left me. The Jade Compendium. The pages that told of Azor Ahai. Lightbringer was his sword. Tempered with his wife's blood if Votar can be believed. Thereafter Lightbringer was never cold to the touch, but warm as Nissa Nissa had been warm. In battle the blade burned fiery hot. Once Azor Ahai fought a monster. When he thrust the sword through the belly of the beast, its blood began to boil. Smoke and steam poured from its mouth, its eyes melted and dribbled down its cheeks, and its body burst into flame."

At one point Lightbringer was cold to the touch. It only becomes hot when tempered in the heart of AA's beloved. The question is whether or not Nissa Nissa was the beast itself, a bride of fire in other words, a dragon to which he was bonded or 'wed'?

Compare Dany's transformation in her dragon dream:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Daenerys III

Day followed day, and night followed night, until Dany knew she could not endure a moment longer. She would kill herself rather than go on, she decided one night …

Yet when she slept that night, she dreamt the dragon dream again. Viserys was not in it this time. There was only her and the dragon. Its scales were black as night, wet and slick with blood. Her blood, Dany sensed. Its eyes were pools of molten magma, and when it opened its mouth, the flame came roaring out in a hot jet. She could hear it singing to her. She opened her arms to the fire, embraced it, let it swallow her whole, let it cleanse her and temper her and scour her clean. She could feel her flesh sear and blacken and slough away, could feel her blood boil and turn to steam, and yet there was no pain. She felt strong and new and fierce.

Perhaps Melisandre knows more about the sword than Aemon.  Stannis' sword, whatever it is, hasn't yet been plunged into a fiery heart. 

 

Edited by LynnS

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