ByElise Jost, writer at
"It's a UNIX system! I know this!" Twitter @elisejost
Elise Jost

There's a lot to look forward to in the preview for Sunday's Season 6, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones, but there's one outfit that's caught our eye: A red dress that isn't worn by Melisandre, the priestess that brought everyone's favorite bastard back to life.

She's not Melisandre's replacement, but who is she exactly? Is Game of Thrones about to be taken over by the religion of R'hllor, the Lord of Light? Here are five things you need to know about the mysterious Kinvara.

1. The New Priestess Is Played By Ania Bukstein

Ania Bukstein
Ania Bukstein

The 33-year-old is an Israeli actress born in Russia. She's also worked as a singer, voice actress and model, and it's interesting to note that she looks much younger than Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and pretty young for a High Priestess.

Kinvara was originally thought to be played by Melanie Liburd, whose early line readings had leaked online at the end of last year, but it's Bukstein who ended up taking the role.

2. She's The First Servant Of The Lord Of Light

Kinvara confronts Tyrion and Varys / HBO
Kinvara confronts Tyrion and Varys / HBO

Her full title is "High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, the Flametruth, the Light of Wisdom, and First Servant of the Lord of Light." Since the structure of the R'hollor religion isn't perfectly clear, it's difficult to tell if that positions her above Melisandre.

Will they become rivals? Can she be considered the leader of the religion? In any case, her title implies that she's extremely powerful.

3. Could She Be More Powerful Than Melisandre?

Melisandre / HBO
Melisandre / HBO

It's Kinvara's outfit that hints to her powers. The two High Priestesses have dresses of the same color, but most importantly, similar necklaces. Would it have the same effect as Melisandre for Kinvara to remove her necklace?

4. She's In The Books, But Under A Different Name

Kinvara / HBO
Kinvara / HBO

If you're scratching your head at the name Kinvara, it's because she didn't appear in A Song of Ice and Fire. However, in the books she's male and known as Benerro, the High Priest of Volantis who roots for Daenerys.

Also in the books, Benerro sends the priest Moqorro to Meereen to convert people to his cause, but the teaser already shows that Kinvara felt it was worthwhile to make the trip herself. In the leaked audition tape, we heard Kinvara announce to Tyrion and Varys that she would build a network of priests in order to help spread her conviction that Daenerys was chosen by the Lord of the Light.

5. She Thinks Daenerys Is Azor Ahai

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys / HBO
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys / HBO

Adding to her rivalry with Melisandre before the two have even met, Kinvara believes Daenerys is Azor Ahai, "the One Who Was Promised" — unlike Melisandre, who maintained that the Chosen One was the late Stannis Baratheon.

But just like Melisandre, she's going to have to work hard to convince people of her revelation.

6. This Could Lead Her To Form An Alliance With Tyrion

Tyrion and Daenerys straight chillin' / HBO
Tyrion and Daenerys straight chillin' / HBO

As always on Game of Thrones, it's a nice coincidence that Kinvara is here to support Daenerys, because Tyrion could well use her help in convincing the Meereenese that Daenerys isn't a cold conqueror — after all, she did save them. The priestess is obviously thinking more in the long term, but it would clearly be in her interest to reconcile the city of Meereen with the Mother of Dragons.

In the leaked dialogue, she tells Tyrion and Varys:

"We serve the same queen. If you are a true friend, you have nothing to fear from me."

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on Sunday night.

What do you think of this new character on Game of Thrones?

Sources: Yahoo, ScreenCrush


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