In Game of Thrones Van Houten is playing the role of Melisandre of Asshai. She was confirmed in the role on 19 July 2011. She is a new starring cast member for the second season. Van Houten discussed her role in an interview with Cyril Falisse from the Ferryman Critical on February 22, 2012. She said "I think I am only in episodes 1, 2, 4 and 10 or something. You are not going to see me that much but in season 3 that we are going to shoot this summer I'll come back with a vengeance." Regarding her role she said "I'm [Stannis'] right hand. I manipulate him. I take the decisions for him almost. I wouldn't say I'm a very sympathetic character. I have a great wig, great red hair. I hope I did it right."
Carice van Houten was previously asked to audition for a different role when season 1 was shot, but schedule conflicts prevented her from auditioning. She was asked to come back to audition during shooting of season 2, and was cast as Melisandre.