House of the Dragon, like Game of Thrones before it, is very much a rumination on the nature of power and what people will do to try to attain it. Though the fantasy element in Game of Thrones is sometimes slight, it’s always there, particularly in the presence of Melisandre, the priestess who is the power behind Stannis’ throne.

Enigmatic and terrifyingly powerful, she is one of the series’ most important characters. While there are, unsurprisingly, many layers to her personality, there are still a number of quotes that actually do a very good job of summing up her personality and her character.

“There's Only One Hell, Princess. The One We Live In Now.”

Season 4, Episode 2, “The Lion And The Rose”

One of the things that makes Melisandre such a fascinating person is her ability to look at the world with a clear eye. In this particular quote, she makes it clear just what she thinks of the mortal world in which she finds herself.

It is, perhaps, one of the most powerful quotes that she ever utters, particularly since it not only sums up her personality but also the truth. She’s wise enough to know that, in fact, the world as it currently exists in the series is a hell, particularly for the many common people caught up in the wars that have shaken the realm.

"For The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors."

Season 5, Episode 9, “The Dance Of Dragons”

Few lines sum up Melisandre’s personality more than this one. From the moment that she appears in the series, it’s clear that she truly does believe that the night is something to be feared. All of the actions that she takes–the burnings of innocents, the manipulation of Stannis’ fears and ambitions, and everything in between–are but emanations from this particular motivation.

She will do anything to beat back the darkness that she sees stretching out to engulf and destroy the world. It’s what makes her both so terrifying and yet so utterly understandable.

“And In That Darkness, Eyes Staring Back At Me."

Season 3, Episode 6, “The Climb”

Arya is, of course, one of the best characters on Game of Thrones and one of the bravest of the Starks. Melisandre, in her typical fashion, is able to see into the heart of Arya in a way that few others do.

Whatever her other flaws as an individual, Melisandre is one of those people who truly seems to be able to see others, not as they might want to see themselves, but instead as they are. Just as importantly, it is also one of those cryptic statements that, throughout the series, were one of this character’s trademarks.

“Death By Fire Is The Purest Death.”

Season 3, Episode 1, “Valar Dohaeris”

Though she might be one of the most powerful characters in this series, Melisandre is still someone who doesn’t value life, either her own or that of others, too highly. Indeed, as this quote makes clear, in some ways, she welcomes it, and she clearly thinks that others should do so as well.

For Melisandre, like so many others of her faith, fire is the best way to leave this world. As is so often the case, this quote is what makes her one of this series’ most fascinating and terrifying creations.

“A Man Is Good Or He Is Evil.”

Season 2, Episode 4, “Garden Of Bones”

This is one of Melisandre’s best quotes, and it’s also one that neatly sums up her personality. She has a very rigid view of the world and those who live in it. From her point of view, there is a danger in ambiguity, which is precisely why she tends to view everyone through the lens of their being either good or evil.

Though this doesn’t really take account of how complicated the real world is, it is precisely what gives her the drive and determination to see her visions through to their end.

"Death Is Coming For Everyone And Everything."

Season 3, Episode 8, “Second Sons”

Like all great fantasy series, Game of Thrones features an existential conflict, one which will determine not just the fate of Westeros but also all of the world. Melisandre has given her life to try to allow humanity to have victory in this conflict.

Thus, this quote neatly sums up her entire way of viewing this battle. For her, the darkness is all-consuming, and she is one of those who rightly sees it for the threat that it is. Indeed, this is clearly the burden that she has to bear, and it helps to add nuance and complexity to some of her more heinous actions.

“You Are More Than They Could Ever Be."

Season 3, Episode 6, “The Climb”

From the very first, it was clear Melisandre was someone with a unique access to the future. She makes this clear many times, but most notably when she gazes at Gendry and utters these cryptic words. Of course, this is also a foretaste of how she will use his royal blood in her sorcery.

As so often with Melisandre, every quote reveals so much about her personality and her way of looking at the world and those who live in it. Everyone, even a king’s bastard, is but a game piece for her to use as she sees fit.

“The True War Lies To The North, My King."

Season 3, Episode 10, “Mhysa”

There are, of course, many battles in Game of Thrones. For Melisandre, however, the only one that matters is that which will erupt between the Night King and the rest of the world. It becomes the one thing that she cares about more than any other, and this is reflected in this particular quote.

In fact, it’s not going too far to say that it is the defining characteristic for her. As she consistently shows, she has built her entire life around fighting back against the threat from the north.

“The Lord Of Light Stands Behind Him.”

Season 2, Episode 1, “The North Remembers”

Stannis is a member of House Baratheon, one of the most notable noble houses in Westeros. Even so, he doesn’t always have the support he needs to claim the throne. For Melisandre, though, all of that is immaterial.

The only thing that truly matters is that he is the one who is blessed by the Lord of Light. So central is her faith to her identity that she is willing to ignore the political realities of Westeros in order to guide Stannis. It’s a decision that will have dreadful consequences for both of them.

“There's No Need To Execute Me, Ser Davos.”

Season 8, Episode 3, “The Long Night”

Melisandre and Ser Davos often engage in significant arguments, and it’s clear that the latter has nothing but contempt for the former. For her part, however, Melisandre seems to not be exactly sure what to think of Seaworth.

However, with this quote, she reveals just how ready she is for death. It seems that her entire life has been leading up to this point, and for this reason, she is willing to accept it. It is, to be sure, a very chilling quote, but it reveals just how much Melisandre has prepared herself for her own inevitable extinction.

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