Melisandre the Red Woman
Credit: HBO

Melisandre surprised us at the beginning of this Game of Thrones season with some pretty shocking abilities nobody (including herself) knew she was capable of. Now, her real-life counterpart Carice Van Houten has surprised us on her Insta with a picture of a girl nobody would believe become the powerful Red Woman.

The young Carice looks so innocent that it’s hard to imagine how she could later transform into a woman who would give birth to a murderous demon shadow baby. (To be fair, it’s hard to imagine that of anyone, but in this case, we believed when her character actually did it.) The black and white portrait from 1991 shows a totally different person, slyly smiling happily at the camera rather than coldly glaring down enemies of the Lord of Light.

Of course, we know the actress completely transforms her real persona to play her GoT character. And this isn’t the first time we’ve gotten a glimpse into the more innocent, blonde, and carefree days of the actress. She had previous posted another throwback pic that had our heads spinning.

It’s crazy to see how much a few years (not to mention sporting some gorgeous red hair) can change up a person’s look. And while we may have forgiven Melisandre (a bit) for some of her former misguided choices, it’s nice to be reminded that she’s just an actress playing a role (she’s still toast when Davos finds out about Shireen, we think). And no better way to remind us that she’s not actually the Red Woman than to show some pictures of the kind-faced girl she was before the Lord of Light ever entered her (or anyone’s) mind.