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‘Game of Thrones’ Refresher: Who is the Lord of Light?

As mentioned in my last article, I’m re-watching Game of Thrones in anticipation for the seventh season. Like most of you, it’s like watching the show for the first time, because there’s so much to detail and intricacy to each character and plot line. Last time I tackled the Easter-eggs that hint Tyrion is a Targaryen, and this time I’m going to dive into the Lord of Light: Who is she/he, WTF does it have to do with who ends up on the Iron Throne, and does she/he have anything to do with the Targaryens (you know, because of the whole fire thing.)

Let’s get into it!

Who is the Lord of Light?

The Lord of Light, aka R’hllor, is “the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow”. Per the super-reliant Wikipedia:

“The religion is based on a dualistic, manichean view of the world: R’hllor, the god of light, heat, and life, and R’hllor’s antithesis the Great Other, the god of ice and death.[6] They are locked in an eternal struggle over the fate of the world; a struggle that, according the ancient prophecies from the books of Asshai, will only end when Azor Ahai, the messianic figure, returns wielding a flaming sword called Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and raises dragons from stone.”

Azor Ahai is the savior rumored to be Jon Snow, but the show has yet to touch on this. TBD on if Benioff and Weiss will bring this part of George R. R. Martin’s mythology into the TV series.

What does this religion have to do with Targaryens?

Long story short, this Lord feeds off believers and receives/gives power from/through fire. It’s said that the “magic of R’hllor” started to dwindle once the Targaryens and their dragons became less and less. Melisandre goes wherever she feels the “fire” and “power” is the strongest, which is why she left Stannis. She hints that his light is fading in season 3, and ultimately leaves his side in later seasons when he goes full-on bonkers.

What kind of power does the Lord of Light have?

Priests and priestesses seem to be the folks that carry out the Lord’s bidding, and of course we all know Melisandre as one of the Lord’s main team members. Who could forget Meli’s infamous “birthing scene.”

Can we also just quickly note how her stomach goes completely back to normal immediately after giving birth? Being 7.5 months pregnant myself at the moment, this is the most unrealistic part of the scene. If this is how The Lord of Light works, #SignMeUp

As powerful as she is, Melisandre herself was taken aback when she saw one of the religion’s priest’s powers—a power she appeared did to possess not (at the time.) In season 3, we meet the Brotherhood Without Banners. These jokers are very Robin Hood-esque, and they pick up runaways Arya, Gendry, and Poddrick as they escaped from Tyrion’s hold at Harrenhal. The Brotherhood seems to be friendly enough, unless the Lord wills them to do otherwise. They capture The Hound, who then is given a trial by combat with the leader of the Brotherhood, Beric Dondarrion. If you don’t remember, The Hound strikes down Dondarrion, who would be nothing other than dead from his injury.

To everyone’s surprise, the drunken priest of the Brotherhood kneels beside his leader, performs a chant, and voila! He’s brought back to life!

When Melisandre visits the Brotherhood to pick up Gendry (to use his blood for one of her rituals), she can’t believe that the drunken priest has brought his leader back six times. Could this be when she first learned of the power to bring someone back? A-la Jon Snow?

The Lord of Light also has the power to bring visions to his priests/priestesses through fire. Melisandre uses “King’s Blood” in fire to see visions of what the Lord wants her to do, or what the Lord wants the her to foresee, but it all depends on how she interprets those visions. As we all recall, she didn’t do the best job interpreting when it came to Stannis and, unfortunately, his daughter. We see the religion’s “vision” power again in season 6 when Varys is visited by a Red Priestess while at Meereen, and she tells him something of his past that only he would know.

Oh, and the Lord of Light also must have the power to put youth-potion into chokers, because fans were #blessed with this lovely scene in season 6:

What does the Lord of Light have to do with who ends up on the Iron Throne?

Yet, another TBD. Melisandre keeps having a bigger part to play in the game with each new season, and the best bet is that she and her Fire God somehow help confirm Dany’s destiny, since R’hllor seems to draw power from fire, and Dany’s got plenty of it.

More Game of Thrones news/theories:

Check out our Talking TV With Liz and Lindi Podcast, where my Pure Fandom co-founder Lindi and I break down the latest Game of Thrones theories and recapping the new season:

Is Tyrion a Targaryen? These clues in early ‘Game of Thrones’ seasons may prove it

This ‘Game of Thrones’ theory claims Jaime is the Prince That Was Promised—not Jon

The 8 most important things from ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 trailer

5 Ideas for HBO’s 4 possible ‘Game of Thrones’ spinoffs

5 mind-blowing ‘Game of Thrones’ theories that could happen in the final seasons


Follow @Pure_Fandom on Twitter for more Game of Thrones news!

Featured image: HBO

Written by: Liz Prugh


Liz Prugh

Liz is the co-founder of She loves geeking out over any and all sci-fi/fantasy and always thinks vampires are cool. You can currently find her co-hosting the Pure Fandom Podcast and writing about pop culture. Nerd out with her on Twitter @lizprugh.

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