April 22, 2012 8:23pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Game of Thrones': What is Amiss With Melisandre?
Given all of the infanticide going down in the current season of Game of Thrones, the series seemed long overdue for a birth. Though anyone unfamiliar with the books was probably a bit shocked by the bundle of terror that appeared in the final moment of Sunday's episode. For anyone who hasn't seen "Garden of Bones" yet, take note that there a few major spoilers ahead.
PHOTOS: 'Game of Thrones' Season 2 Preview
After making her grand debut by burning effigies, willingly guzzling (and surviving) a poisoned cup of wine and offering up her womb for an heir to Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), the sorceress Melisandre (Carice van Houten) showed her darkest card yet. She circumvented the traditional nine-month gestation, revealing a fully pregnant belly while on some covert operation for her "lord of light."
Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) stood back, aghast, as she plopped herself down on the floor of a cave and gave birth to what looked an awful lot like the smog monster from FernGully. Dark, smokey and crawling across the the ground, the offspring appeared to be materializing into a fully-formed human figure before the episode came to a sudden end.
REVIEW: 'Game of Thrones' Season 2
So what was it? Readers of George R. R. Martin's source material will know her offspring as a shadow assassin. He's probably not what Stannis had in mind when she offered the would-be king a son of his own, but if he's half as menacing as his introduction, he'll likely prove to useful in the quest for the Iron Throne.
The development is ample payoff for anyone less than impressed with Melisandre. Shy of last season's dragon reveal, it's the most magical thing to happen to Westeros yet and marks her formal introduction as a real power player in the game.
"The night is dark and full of terrors," indeed.