In Game of Thrones S05E01 "The Wars to Come", Melisandre and Jon Snow had this conversation as they were on their way to the top of the Wall:

Melisandre: Are you a virgin?
Jon Snow: No.
Melisandre: Good.

What's with Melisandre inquiring about Jon Snow's virginity?

  • 7
    Difficult to judge; it didn't happen in the books, and there's no explanation in the show. Perhaps she was gauging his reluctance; a virgin is more likely to back out of her next proposal (maybe), than a seasoned man.
    – Möoz
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 2:35
  • Perhaps this is related to the fact that she may think of him as "king's blood" - see this question. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 6:57
  • 5
    I think it has more to do with Stannis' desire that Jon give up the black and become Lord Stark. Him not being a virgin might suggest to Stannis and Melisandre that he doesn't take the vows of the Watch seriously. Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 0:48
  • @djmadscribbler I like your explanation. Couple that with mine and you've got yourself a decent answer, albeit still speculation.
    – Möoz
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 23:22
  • Could just be to see what she is to expect during
    – user001
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 10:23

4 Answers 4


Since it's not defined there's no way to know for sure but:

We know that Gendry

  1. Had Royal Blood in him
  2. Was a Virgin
  3. His Royal Blood was used in offering to the "Lord of Light" asking for 3 names to be killed.
    3a. "The usurper" Robb Stark (dead)
    3b. "The usurper" Balon Greyjoy (dead)
    3c. "The usurper" Joffrey Baratheon (dead)
  4. Gendry Was supposed to be sacrificed to the "Lord of Light" to make Stannis Baratheon King before he was set free

We see that 3 of the 3 names that were asked to be killed have died but they haven't made their "great sacrifice" for Stannis to become King.

Similarly we see that Jon Snow also has Royal Blood, which could make him a contender for her ritual. She seems to have a little liking for the "young wolf" and may not want to see him dead.

Of course it could just as easily be argued that it is purely to gauge the likelihood of him being swayed to break his vows. As a member of the "Night's Watch" Jon is not supposed to sleep with women (actually it only says take no wife nor father any children, I'm pretty sure there's a little bit of wiggle room in there). If Jon has broken his vow not to sleep with women he might be more willing to break his vow and leave the Night's Watch to help King Stannis.

This theory, however, falls short when you realize that he could have lost his virginity before joining as most of the men there probably have.

  • 1
    Just a quick technicality, Robb Stark is the Young Wolf, Jon Snow is the White Wolf. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 12:09
  • 1
    Small correction, in books 3 names contain Balon Greyjoy and he dies. However in GoT tv series, third name is Cathelyn Tully , not Balon Grey joy , who died.
    – Panther
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 8:55
  • @Panther They definitely say "The usurper Balon Greyjoy" in the TV show, too - see this transcript. Was it a translated version of the show you saw? If so, that's an interesting change - which language was it, and what did they say for Cat instead of "The usurper" (since she's obviously not a usurper)? Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 12:54

I have three theories.

Either it could be that if Melisandre could harness power or some such through intercourse, perhaps taking someone's virginity would grant extra power.

Or, Melisandre has some kind of prophecy concerning a man who is not a virgin.

Finally, and most likely, I think Melisandre is just bad at elevator small talk.


As of S05E04, it would appear the Melisandre asked because she was hoping to have intercourse with Jon Snow in order to get energy of some sort. She tells Jon that when two people come together, energy is created (for light, shadows, etc). I would take this to mean that she is hoping to harness that energy for another purpose (the upcoming battle of Winterfell perhaps). However, Jon turns her down.

  • but does it matter if he was a virgin? Would she not make the move if he was a virgin?
    – HBhatia
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 6:35
  • I believe that Melisandre could think that Jon not being a virgin might suggest that he doesn't take the vows of the Watch seriously Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 17:54

(may be it's late to answer to this but...) I think she maybe wanted to produce a black shadow baby, and maybe it is not possible if the person (in this case Jon) is a virgin person.

  • 2
    The first one was with Stannis, a grown man with multiple children (dead or alive), so that can't be it.
    – cde
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 22:02
  • 4
    @cde The answer says "maybe it is not possible if the person is a virgin", not "maybe it is only possible if the person is a virgin". Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 0:53

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