A Read of A Dance with Dragons – Part 32

Chapter 31 – Melisandre

It is never dark in her chambers and the fire must never go out. Melisandre looks into the fire and prays for a vision. She is looking for Stannis and for the girl on a dying horse. She sees a white wood face and a boy with a wolf’s face, memories of her past and the wildwoods. She sees Jon Snow, both wolf and man, and she sees him surrounded by enemies.

Melisandre has kept Devan with her even though he’d rather have gone with Stannis but she thinks Davos has lost enough sons. She needs Jon Snow for something but so far he is immune to her charms. She believes he should have moved into Stannis/Mormont’s chambers, she tells Devan she will have breakfast and asks him to send her Rattleshirt.

She uses powders for her effects and conceals them in her robes. Her supplies are low and she can’t get the ingredients to make more, but she thinks her true magic is stronger than it used to be.

Rattleshirt arrives. She sees shadows all around him. He has put aside his shirt of bones so she tells him it protects him. The ruby he wears in a black iron fetter around his wrist gives him a glamour and Melisandre says he needs the shirt as well. She wants to send him after the girl on the dying horse. She tells him what she just saw in her vision and he says the place is Long Lake.

A horn blows. Only the once, meaning rangers returning. Melisandre leaves Rattleshirt in her chambers and goes to see who has come back. She goes through the Wall gate with two guards. They’re effectively useless but it’s all about the show. On the other side of the Wall there are three eight foot spears with three rangers’ heads on them. Bowen Marsh says they should never have sent the rangers out. Jon orders them taken down and asks Melisandre to walk back with him. He asks if she knows anything of the other six. She has seen an attack on the Wall and says it is Eastwatch, but she’s not certain, what she sees in a vision is not real and has more in common with dreams.

Melisandre asks Jon to come to her chambers. She thinks Jon and Stannis have a lot in common. Rattlesnake is still there and Melisandre tells Jon he’s going after the girl. Jon objects on the basis that Rattleshirt is a rapist and brutal killer. So Melisandre reveals that Rattleshirt is actually Mance Rayder and that she burned the real Rattleshirt.

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What is she up to? She’s trying to reel Jon in. Beware enemies who pretend to be friends, indeed. Who is the girl? I don’t think it could be either Sansa or Arya. Sansa is in the Vale with Littlefinger and Arya is in Braavos. Neither of them is wearing grey and riding north on a dying horse. Who else might it be? Or maybe it’s in the future and it will be Sansa? Not that she seems in a hurry to get away from Littlefinger.

Also, it’s interesting to have some confirmation that Melisandre is as much a fake as the others.

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