That last scene with Melisandre could have massive implications for the final season of 'Game of Thrones'
Although we celebrate the rise of Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, the stuttering recovery of the Starks or the sinister scheming of the Lannisters, there are plenty of characters in the background that help to make Game of Thrones the cultural juggernaut it's been for the last six years.
Of course, you've got Petyr Baelish (otherwise known as Littlefinger), whose schemings all the way back in season one really sparked off the events of Game of Thrones as we know them. Then, there's the likes of Tyrion, who has served both the Lannisters and the Targaryens throughout the show's run.
One of the most influential behind-the-scenes characters, though, is Melisandre, the Red Priestess of the Lord of Light.
She's perhaps best known for bringing Jon Snow back from the dead in season six, but before that, she also murdered Renly Baratheon by giving birth to a shadow demon baby, which brought Stannis Baratheon a little bit closer to the crown before things went decidedly pear-shaped for him.
In recent seasons, she's had less to do after being banished from Jon Snow's company, but a comment she made in a conversation with other resident plotter Varys might have some pretty big implications for the final season as we know it.
Toward the end of the latest season (season seven) of Game of Thrones, the Red Priestess told Varys that she was leaving Dragonstone for the city of Volantis. She did reassure Varys, as well as viewers back home, that this isn't the last time we'll see Melisandre, warning Varys with an eerie prediction.
"I will return, dear Spider, one last time. I have to die in this strange country, just like you."
So far, the Lord of Light has played a significant role in the show's events, but that role could intensify further in Game of Thrones' swansong season. As Redditor Dr_Tibbles astutely observed, Volantis is home to the Fiery Hand, an army of warriors dedicated to the Lord of Light.
"Is Melisandre going to Volantis to get the Fiery Hand? She told Varys last episode that she is heading to Volantis and also that she is going to die in Westeros. So she is obviously planning on returning from Volantis and I'm guessing it will be to bring a small army back with her. From one of Tyrion's chapters in ADWD [George RR Martin's book A Dance With Dragons, on which part of Game of Thrones is based], he travels to Volantis and sees the temple of R'hllor that is guarded by the Fiery Hand."
When you consider that Melisandre also believes that there will be a Prince That Was Promised and that it's either Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen, there's a good chance that we'll see the Fiery Hand in the show's climactic final battle, and that both Melisandre and Varys will meet their grisly end.
For now, though, that's all speculation. We've still got a long way to go before we find out what happens in season eight, with the final season only set to come out in 2019. In the meantime, this latest theory will help us to go into the last few episodes of Game of Thrones even more excited as to how this HBO fantasy epic will spectacularly conclude.
[[citation||Hero Image Credit: HBO]]