From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
Melisandre of Asshai is a sorceress, shadowbinder, and priestess to R'hllor, the Lord of Light. She is a beautiful woman, and always wears long, red robes, as is custom for the red priests. Because of her red clothing, red eyes and hair the color of burnished copper, she is often referred to as the red woman. She is never seen without a red gold choker around her neck, containing her ruby. Melisandre is skilled with magic, which she enhances further with various smokes and powders which are concealed in her robes. She has the ability to see visions in the flames, and has complete faith in the power of her god. To others, she pretends to works her magic with ease, even when it costs her great efforts, and presents herself as mysterious, serene and powerful.
Melisandre was sold as a slave to a Red Temple of R'hllor at a young age. She has practised her art for "years beyond count". She eventually travels to Dragonstone in search of a prophesied prince named Azor Ahai, a hero destined to defeat R'hllor's enemy, the Great Other, and wake dragons out of stone. The prophesied prince is said to be born amidst smoke and salt, and Melisandre believes that this points to Dragonstone, a castle surrounded by storm and salt, with stone towers shaped like dragons, located below the Dragonmont, a smoking vulcano. She comes to believe that Stannis Baratheon, the Lord of Dragonstone, is Azor Ahai reborn. She becomes a confidant to Stannis' wife, Selyse Florent, converting her to the faith of R'hllor. Read more...
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