WARNING: Spoilers for the Season 5 finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones abound in this article (as the title suggests). If you still want to read about Game of Thrones but don’t want spoilers, why not check out this fun article about the Game of Thrones parody of the “Dumb Ways To Die” song.
HBO’s Game of Thrones ended Season 5 with the brutal death of a fan favorite, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington). While many book fans were anticipating this cliffhanger, it was a shock to fans who only watch the TV series. However, thanks to book fans having a very long time to think about every small detail of what goes on in the book universe of Game of Thrones, they have had plenty of time to contemplate Jon Snow’s horrible end.
And these fans have come up with a very novel theory involving Jon Snow’s death in Game of Thrones. They suggested Jon Snow was actually the bastard child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. After all, Robert’s Revolt occurred thanks to a tryst between the pair. This would mean Jon Snow is actually one of the prime contenders for the Iron Throne, along with that other Targaryen, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). This also means that Jon knowing his parentage and his potential to rule Westeros is important to the Game of Thrones story line. You can read more on this theory, commonly called the R + L = J theory, here.
But now the actor who plays Jon Snow, Kit Harrington, has spoken to EW and announced that Jon Snow really is dead and gone. There will be no resurrection as devout Game of Thrones fans are hoping for considering all the magic Melisandre (Carice van Houten) has been doing with the blood of kings over all the seasons of Game of Thrones. Kit had the following to say about Jon Snow’s death:
“This is my understanding of it. I had a sit-down with Dan and David, we did the Tony Soprano walk [letting an actor know they’re being whacked]. And they said, ‘Look, you’re gone, it’s done.’… Quite honestly, I have never been told the future of things in this show, but this is the one time I have. They sat me down and said, ‘This is how it is.’ If anything in the future is not like that, then I don’t know about it – it’s only in David and Dan and George’s heads. But I’ve been told I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season. So that’s all I can tell you, really.”
It completely sounds like Jon Snow is dead for good, doesn’t it? But what if killing Jon Snow in the TV series actually saves his character in the books?
For many years now fans have staunchly believed in the R + L = J theory, it’s a valid theory for many reasons after all. But imagine being George R.R. Martin and having to complete a book with fans knowing how it is going to end? Could it be possible that by killing Jon Snow for good in the Game of Thrones TV series it is actually a very clever way of throwing fans off the scent of what is going to happen in the books?
Season 5 of Game of Thrones has been fraught with major story line changes that digress from the book series, so killing Jon Snow could be seen – by R + L = J fans – as one of those major changes. Having Kit Harrington publicly announce he will not be returning to Game of Thrones in Season 6 could, potentially, change the minds of many theorists. Remember too that George R.R. Martin has told HBO how he plans to end the Game of Thrones book series, so this adds even more sway to the fact Jon Snow will die in the books along with the TV series.
Or does it?
Imagine watching Jon Snow die in the Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones and then be completely heartbroken to read the EW interview with Kit Harrington. Now imagine the joy when you read the next installment of the Game of Thrones book series and discover HBO killed Jon Snow but he lived on in the books, taking over Westeros and ruling fairly alongside Daenarys Targaryen? George R.R. Martin gets to, once again, get one up on his fan base.
After all, as Vox pointed out, if Jon Snow dies, what was even the point of the build up to his great lineage secret?
Although, it seems Kit has an answer for this as well when EW pointed out Jon Snow was “destined for greater things”:
“Yeah, but we have to go by what Thrones does. And Thrones treats drama as real life. And people die and don’t accomplish what we think they’re meant to in real life. And I think that’s one of the powerful things about Thrones. The major loss with Jon’s through-line is he never finds out who his mother is and that’s the heartbreaking thing for me.”
What do you think, is Jon Snow dead for good or just dead in the TV series of Game of Thrones? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
[Image credit: HBO Inc.]