In Game of Thrones we see the Red Woman Melisandre remove a necklace which presumably acts as a glamour and gives her the appearance of a young woman. When she removes it we see that she is in fact rather old and decrepit. Considering her god is known to bring people back to life, particularly those he still has a use for, it is not unreasonable to imagine that she has extended life in order to fulfill her Lords' wishes. So just how old is she? I'd prefer answers to focus on TV show canon, but in lieu of that references to the book work.

Not a duplicate of What is the explanation for Melisandre (Red Woman) seeing her reflection as old and frail? for two reasons:

  1. That question is completely different and the answer only tangentially happens to pertain to my question. If, however, I accepted the response of the actress as a valid source then I would probably support the duplicate anyway because, hey, I got my answer, right? Which of course leads to:
  2. The actress, as noted in this answer, states she does not know how old the character is, has not read the books, and is merely speculating.

In my opinion that leaves this question still canonically unanswered.

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    A gentleman does not ask a lady her age!
    – Hans Olo
    May 18, 2019 at 7:14
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    It covers the same aspect of the same character, but it's obviously a different question. Here, he's specifically asking how old.
    – lly
    May 19, 2019 at 12:06
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    @user1129682 but it doesn't answer my question. As started in my edit. The current existing answer to my question quotes the actress as not knowing how old the character is. That makes an answer with her as the source speculation and not definitive. Maybe there currently is no definitive answer but we may get one in later books.
    – user97938
    May 20, 2019 at 13:38
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    If I remember correctly, she was involved in erecting The Wall. So, she is thousands of years old.
    – user931
    Jun 1, 2019 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


Over 100 years old.

Here are some excerpts from interviews.

This latest turn of events actually shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Way back in 2012, Melisandre actress Carice van Houten told Access Hollywood, “I don’t know how old she is, but she’s way over 100 years, so she is a wiser spirit, in a way, but it’s difficult for me to say too much because A — we want it to at least stay sort of a mystery and B — I didn’t read the books.” As you can tell, this interview was given long before the HBO show went into intensive spoiler lockdown. In an interview after Sunday’s season 6 premiere, show-runner David Benioff calls her “Several centuries old.”

Similarly, the actor who played Maester Cressen, Oliver Ford Davies, told journalists in 2013 that, according to van Houten, Melisandre is “400 years old.” She offered that fact up by way of explaining why her character survived poison in Season 2, Episode 1, and his character croaked.

Game of Thrones: How Old Is Melisandre? - VanityFair

So, we don't know exactly but well over 100 is a safe bet.

  • Some more info and sources about this topic here.
    – lly
    May 19, 2019 at 12:07

We Don't Know

Her exact age is never told in show or books. Melisandre describes herself as been doing her thing for "years beyond count". This is vague however it does at least imply that she is older than she looks.

Melisandre had practiced her art for years beyond count, and she had paid the price. There was no one, even in her order, who had her skill at seeing the secrets half-revealed and half-concealed within the sacred flames.

A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

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