If someone asked you what your thoughts were on Kit Harington back in 2010, your reply would most likely be “who?” However, this young actor from London, England quickly rose to fame playing everyone’s favorite bastard on HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones.
Kit Harrington plays Jon Snow, the bastard son of Eddard Stark… that is, unless you believe the “R+L=J theory”; but we’ll talk more about that later. Jon’s character quickly became a fan favorite, playing the role of the underdog who wears his heart on his sleeve. He has all the components of a favorable protagonist: he’s a skilled sword fighter, he has a good heart, he’s good looking, and until last season’s finale, he was Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. So it’s not hard to see why he became so many people’s favorite character on the show… until he shared the same traitorous fate as Gaius Julius Caesar that is – damn you, Olly!!
The question remains… is Jon Snow really dead? It seems like everybody’s talking about the possibility of Jon Snow’s return. Fans just don’t want to accept the fact that one of their favorite characters is no longer around. Some of the theories out there are pretty convincing, and just might be the shred of hope GOT fans are looking for. So to add to that hope, we have put together a list containing some of the most intriguing theories surrounding Jon Snow’s fate. However, do keep in mind author George R.R. Martin‘s favorite saying: “Valar Morghulis” – All Men Must Die.
10. Belfast Sightings
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, actor Kit Harrington has been seen hanging out in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital where much of GOT is filmed. He has also been spotted alongside his fellow Night’s Watch brother, Ben Crompton, who plays Eddison Tollett On the show.
Although this may seem like a clear indicator of Snow’s return, he may just be filming a funeral scene; after all, not all of the Night’s Watch was against him when he was voted in as Lord Commander. Another possibility – though less likely – is that he is filming flash back sequences. However, this would be quite odd considering producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have only filmed one flashback sequence in five seasons, not to mention we have known Jon Snow from a young age.
9. Maester Aemon’s Foreshadowing
As everyone knows, Jon’s death is a direct result of his decision to invite the Wildlings back to The Wall. If you recall, the fifth episode of season five is called “Kill the Boy”, which may be seen as a clue, especially if you remember the conversation Jon has with Maester Aemon during this episode.
Jon goes to Aemon asking for advice regarding his decision to bring back the Wildlings; Aemon’s answer? “Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.”
Now, at the time, we assumed he was speaking figuratively, but after Jon’s death, it’s hard not to wonder if this was a clever use of foreshadowing hidden in the dialogue – it wouldn’t be the first time, as Benioff and Weiss have proven to be pretty sneaky.
8. The Beautiful Death Poster
For all those Game of Thrones fans that never heard of the “Beautiful Death” posters, you’re missing out. As everyone knows, there are a lot of deaths in GOT, some of which have a sort of eccentric beauty to them. This is where the “Beautiful Death” posters come in: HBO reached out to digital marketing agency 360i and artist Robert Ball to create a series of posters depicting some of the more memorable deaths throughout the seasons.
Each poster is cleverly designed, with a fitting art style that complements the mood of the show. However, the poster that was created for season 5, episode 10 – featuring Jon Snow’s demise – makes one wonder: it depicts the death of Stannis Baratheon instead. Stannis was a major character, but to be fair, his death was far less impactful compared to Snow’s. It just seems like an odd choice… unless Jon Snow is still alive, that is.
7. Showrunners Rewrite
Producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are no strangers when it comes to the idea of book to TV modifications, yet now they have surpassed the timeline of the books and may very well rewrite Jon Snow’s fate altogether. This would equally tick off and reward GOT fans, depending on what direction Martin decides to go with Jon Snow’s fate in the books.
Both Weiss and Benioff have taken their fair share of flack thus far regarding their book to TV adaptation changes, but some of these scenes did make for quite the conversation starter. Take Shireen’s tear jerking fiery death, for example; this blasphemous sacrifice to the Lord of Light was never in the books, but it got people talking regardless. Benioff and Weiss have proven that they’re not scared to make big changes and might even be more murderous than Martin himself.
6. Generational Saga
George R.R. Martin has dropped many clues involving the direction of his fantasy saga, some of which have been brought up in the argument involving Jon Snow’s fate. Martin has been quoted saying: “My trilogy is almost a generational saga, telling the life stories of these five characters.”
The five characters he named were Daenerys, Tyrion, Arya, Jon, and Bran. Now, he is god in the world of Westeros, so if he wants to bring a character back to life, so be it. If he really meant to kill off Snow for good, it seems strange that he would go ahead and make this statement about his book series.
5. Beric Dondarrion
This theory involves a character that isn’t as memorable as others – unless you’ve read the books, that is. We’re talking about Beric Dondarrion, Lord of Blackhaven and the head of House Dondarrion.
In season one, he is ordered to arrest Gregor Clegane, alongside the warrior-priest Thoros of Myr. If this doesn’t jog your memory, he is the guy with the flaming sword, who fights the Hound and gets cut in half, only to come back to life moments later. Since Dondarrion has the ability to cheat death, many people believe he is the key to Jon Snow’s resurrection.
4. The Dragon Rider Theory
This theory is one of the more far-fetched, but it would be pretty awesome if you think about it. Supposedly, Jon is believed to be one of the three dragon riders along with Daenerys and Tyrion. The theory is based off of Dany’s hallucinatory stroll through the House of the Undying; many fans believe the series will end with Dany riding off on Drogon, only to be flanked by two of the supposed dragon riders on Viserion and Rhaegal. Now, if this theory ends up being true, Jon can’t be dead – he is one of the only other characters rumored to have Targaryen blood. Which brings us to…
3. Azor Ahai
Azor Ahai, also known as “the prince that was promised”, refers to the prophecy in the ancient books of Asshai. It states: “Azor Ahai is to be reborn again as a champion sent by R’hllor. This will occur after a long summer when an evil, cold darkness descends upon the world.”
Three people are rumoured to be this chosen hero: Daenerys, Stannis, and of course, Jon Snow. Melisandre plays a big part in this theory; she was certain that Stannis was Azor Ahai, but her new found interest in Jon Snow has led many to believe she will resurrect Jon Snow as the prophecy states a hero will be reborn – which also points back to the theory involving Aemon’s foreshadowing “Let the man be born”.
Jon is rumoured to have kings blood according to the R + L = J theory, which speculates that Jon isn’t the bastard son of Ned Stark, but actually the child of Ned’s sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen.
2. A Renewed Contract
This isn’t really a theory but more of a fact that leads us to believe we haven’t seen the last of Jon Snow. It has been confirmed that several GOT stars’ contracts have been renewed for season seven. These actors include Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, and Natalie Dormer.
Considering the fact that Kit Harington’s name was among the GOT actors returning for season seven, we can only assume Jon Snow isn’t dead, or that he will be returning as Azor Ahai. Even if he isn’t in season six, it doesn’t mean he won’t make a return; Jon’s brother Bran never made an appearance in season five, yet he will be returning in the next season.
1. Martin’s Hint
If anyone has the biggest influence on the truth behind Jon Snow’s fate, it would have to be author George R.R. Martin. As we mentioned earlier, Martin enjoys giving small riddle- like hints regarding different storylines in his books. And that’s exactly what he did when he was asked about the death of Jon Snow, replying with, “Oh, you think he’s dead, do you? My readers should know better than to take anything as gospel.”
Now, if this isn’t a clear give away, we’re not sure what is. After considering all the different theories, this statement should be the deciding factor: Jon Snow is NOT dead, and if he is, he will be reborn. So don’t worry GOT fans, Jon’s watch has yet to end, for this night and all the nights to come.