Before we do anything further: MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT! This article is going to be talking directly about one of the big, unexpected deaths that occurred in Game of Thrones‘ dramatic fifth season finale, so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, and by some incredible miracle you still haven’t had this detail spoiled for you as it set the internet ablaze for a week, then TURN BACK NOW.
For the rest of you, watch this 10-minute long video of Tyrion slapping Joffrey and once you eventually get tired of watching that timeless moment (and honestly, I don’t see how you could!) then scroll on down to the main story.
So, Jon Snow died. No, really he’s dead. I mean, director David Nutter even personally told America’s no.1 Game of Thrones fan, US President Barack Obama, that after coming down with a strong case of “being-stabbed-repeatedly-by-your-fellow-Night-Watch-because-they-don’t-like-you-itis”, Jon Snow is most definitely, without a doubt, 100% dead.
Or is he?
Ever since the finale closed on that shot of the erstwhile young Night’s Watch Commander lying in the snow as his life bled out, fans have been poring over every scene, analyzing every clue, all to figure out if the producers of the show were perhaps not just toying with our emotions in the most cruel way. Things seemed dire though when actor Kit Harrington publicly stated that his contract was not being renewed, and showrunner DB Weiss exclaimed unequivocally that “Dead is dead”. This was followed by stories of the remaining cast’s heartfelt send-off for Harrington after filming his final scenes ever. And of course there was the whole Barack Obama thing. Yes, it looked like Harrington’s Snow was indeed gone.
But then the actor attended Wimbledon. And was clearly seen still sporting Jon Snow’s trademark scruffy beard and unruly mane of hair. Many fans immediately started asking why Harrington still appeared to be physically in-character, despite it being weeks after he we supposed to be done with it all.
And now some serious fuel has been poured on the “Jon Snow lives” fire, as the last few weeks has seen Harrington reportedly being spotted several times around Belfast, Ireland, where Game of Thrones is currently prepping to shoot season 6 and have already engaged in the cast read-throughs. Fansite Watchers on the Wall confirmed Harrison’s presence, saying he recently flew into Belfast again with fellow Game of Thrones cast mate Tom Wlaschiha (who plays the Faceless Man Jaqen H’Ghar), complete with a tied up bun of hair in tow.
Clearly, Harrington is doing something on the production. Now it could be that he’s just there to shoot some postmortem funeral scene, but that wouldn’t explain why he’s been spotted around the area this much. The usually pretty friendly actor has reportedly also declined fan requests for pictures of himself, possibly as a means of covering up his appearance at the moment. This may all just be speculation at the moment, but you can’t deny that something smells fishy here.
But if Harrington is back, how did his character survive? We all saw him being turned into a human pin-cushion, and the life leaving his eyes. Well, it’s simple really: That life went somewhere else. In “A Dance With Dragons”, the most recently published chapter in George R.R. Martin’s book series, and which Game of Thrones season 6 adapted, Jon Snow is also apparently killed in a similar manner. However, throughout the book, there are clues that point to the fact that Jon Snow, much like his younger half-brother Bran, is in fact a warg – able to project his consciousness into an animal – but just doesn’t know it.
It is also revealed that when warg’s die, they can transfer their consciousness into an animal permanently, so that their human body dies, but their “soul” lives on in animal form. Ever since the book was published in 2011, the prevailing theory among fans is that Jon Snow actually projected his consciousness to his pet direwolf Ghost at the moment of his death, thus still living on in a fashion. Since George R.R. Martin writes at a glacial pace, and the next book has not been released yet, there’s been no way to confirm this theory.
The problem with applying this theory to the TV version of Jon Snow though, is Game of Thrones have incorporated none of the clues that the book did, which means that a twist like this would have absolutely zero precedent and come across as a very cheap shock tactic. There is of course the option of Melisandre – who just happened to show up at Castle Black just before Snow was killed – resurrecting him using the same Lord of Light magic that the Red Priest Thoros of Myr was seen using in Season 3 to bring Beric Dondarrion back from the dead repeatedly.
Hell, the series showrunners, especially in the last two seasons, have shown that they are not afraid to deviate from the source material, sometimes in dramatic ways, which means that they could even have some other, totally different escape plan for Jon Snow up their sleeves. Personally, I’m hoping they open Season 6 with a shot of them ripping off Jon Snow’s face to reveal that it was only a mask, and he was Tom Cruise the entire time.
Seriously though, do you guys want to see Jon Snow return? Maybe you think his death, one of the most powerful in the series, will be dramatically undercut by having him resurrected in any fashion? Or maybe you haven’t read a single one of the 900+ words I just wrote, because you’re still tjanking snot en trane that they killed off Kit Harrington and his luscious locks in the first place, hey Nick?
Last Updated: July 23, 2015