WARNING: Spoilers abound in this article. If you have not watched up to the Season 5 finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones or read all of George R.R. Martin’s books then please proceed with caution.
Ever since the Season 5 finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the fate of Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington) has been a hot topic of debate. One group believes Jon Snow is as dead as one can be on Game of Thrones, gone the way of Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) and most of the Stark family. However, there is also a large group of fans that follow the L+R=J theory and are expecting Jon Snow to either be healed by Melisandre (Carice van Houten), warg into his direwolf or rise from the flames like a Targaryen when his body is burnt to prevent Jon Snow from becoming a white walker – although that is a whole other theory all together.
After the Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones, Kit Harington confirmed his death via media interviews. While this made it seem fairly straight forward that Jon Snow was really dead, fans did point out that Harington told Entertainment Weekly Jon Snow was “not coming back next season,” leading to the notion that Jon Snow may return in subsequent seasons after that. After all, Bran Stark spent the entirety of Season 5 on the bench, why couldn’t Jon Snow?
After that, David Nutter, one of the directors of Game of Thrones told President Obama that Jon Snow was dead for real and it seemed like it was game over, Jon Snow was dead and gone and the Game of Thrones conspiracy theorists could forget all about the L+R=J theory and get on with the rest of their lives.
Then Kit Harington turned up at Wimbledon still sporting his Jon Snow locks. Considering he is contractually obligated to keep his hair long while playing Jon Snow, the fans went wild again. Although, perhaps Harington just likes his hair long? But then he was spotted in Belfast along with the rest of the cast. Belfast is one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones. It also happened to be right at the time of the table read for Season 6.
Now that the Belfast appearance of Kit Harington has died down, HBO has muddied the water even further by releasing their official “Honor The Fallen: The Memoriam Collection” doll series – minus Jon Snow. This had led fans to, once again, call out for HBO to admit Jon Snow will survive in Season 6 of Game of Thrones. However, as Vanity Fair pointed out, many of the deaths from Season 5 of Game of Thrones were omitted. Shireen, Barristan, Mance Rayder, and Maester Aemon were also absent from the collection. The only character who died in season 5 who made the collection is Stannis Baratheon, another character who had an ambiguous death in Season 5, but HBO insist is “really dead” as well.
But could fans be starting to be over the fate of Jon Snow? Or could all the hoopla, in fact, get Jon Snow killed? As Vinnie Mancuso from The Observer pointed out, the death of Jon Snow is something viewers actually need to see. In the digital age, fans have everything at their fingertips. Some can’t even remember a time when a season finale meant you knew nothing until the next season aired – and that’s not even in a sexy “You know nothing, Jon Snow” kind of way. Fans had to wait. And wait. And then wait some more. Networks could drip out the occasional rumour or sighting via a magazine to remind fans of the show, but otherwise you watched something else on TV. Today, with people being able to take a photo of Kit Harington getting off a plane in Belfast and post it to the internet immediately, nothing is a surprise any more. Perhaps Jon Snow just being dead would be the greatest shock on the show so far?
What do you think, is HBO messing with fans or is it proof that Jon Snow will survive in Season 6 of Game of Thrones? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
[Images credit: HBO screen capture]