Game of Thrones fans know shocking secrets are par for the course on the addictive HBO drama, but Sunday’s season 6 premiere left many fans speechless when Melisandre’s true form was revealed to be a frail, elderly woman.

“I did six hours of makeup,” says Carice Van Houten, who plays Melisandre on the series. A body double was also used to shoot the scene, in which The Red Woman removes her powerful necklace, which seems to be the source of her beauty and youthful appearance.

“It makes the character immediately more vulnerable and sad,” says Van Houten, who looks forward for what’s to come for Melisandre. “I really loved it,” she says of filming the shocking scene.

Image via Flickr/daveeckelman

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