[WARNING: This post contains spoilers and theories related to Game of Thrones Season 6.]
As production of Game of Thrones continues all over the world, trickles of information have come from sources connected to the production and fans who've been lucky enough to see some of it first hand. Even the most skeptical Game of Thrones fan is still speculating on how and if Jon Snow survived the betrayal of the Night's Watch at the end of Game of Thrones Season 5.
After months of denials, and wild speculation, Watchers on the Wall broke the news that Kit Harrington was on set filming a battle scene last week. Jon Snow lives, but what does his return to the land of the living mean?
In the report from Watchers on the Wall, several Stark bannermen are noted to take part in the battle, primarily the Umbers. Greatjon Umber's fate is uncertain, but at least in the source material, he survived the infamous Red Wedding as a captive of the treacherous Freys. Casting news has already revealed that Greatjon's son, Smalljon, will appear in Season 6.
Reportedly, the Boltons, co-conspirators in the Red Wedding and current lords of Winterfell, also take part in the battle. From Game of Thrones Season 5, fans know that the smallfolk of Winterfell didn't take kindly to their new Bolton lords. However, because no Northern residents other than the Boltons and Sansa Stark appeared in Season 5, it wasn't clear if the distaste for Roose Bolton, Ramsey Bolton, and their methods went beyond Winterfell. A battle between the Umbers and the Boltons all but confirms that it does.
As explained by fansite A Song of Ice and Fire University, the Grand Northern Conspiracy is an elaborate theory about the surviving members of the Stark family, the lords of the North, and who has legal claim to lordship of Winterfell. According to the theory, Robb Stark legitimized his half brother, Jon Snow, and named Jon as his heir shortly before his death at the Red Wedding. Jon Snow received and refused a similar offer from Stannis Baratheon, both in the novels and in Game of Thrones, due to his vows to the Night's Watch. Vows to the Night's Watch are until death, and Jon Snow certainly looked dead in the final shot of Game of Thrones Season 5. Could that technicality finally free Jon to seek vengeance for the deaths of his father and brother?
Of course, for the moment, it's not a sure thing that Jon Snow and the Northern Conspiracy will feature in Game of Thrones in Season 6 or any other season, but all signs seem to point in that direction.
Watchers on the Wall's sources suspect that the battle sequence won't appear until Episode 9 of Season 6, meaning fans will have to wait until sometime in June, 2016, to know whether Jon Snow lives as Jon Stark.
[Image via HBO]