The much-awaited season finale of Game of Thrones brought a ton of death, devastation and cliffhangers. From Cersei Lannister’s highly-anticipated walk of shame to Stannis Baratheon’s unpredicted meeting with Brienne of Tarth, the latest episode was just a roller coaster of emotions for viewers who could feel their hopes and dreams being crushed by the creators and the writers of the show.
“Mother’s Mercy” also saw the gut-wrenching death of one of the most fan favorite characters on the show: the Lord Commander of Night’s Watch Jon Snow, who is repeatedly stabbed by his own men after being lured into a trap by his young esquire Olly – who suddenly makes Joffrey look like a good boy.
The episode faded to black with Jon (played by Kit Harington) lying in the snow with his blood pooling beneath him and his eyes staring lifelessly into your soul. However, with it being Game of Thrones, you can never quite tell if the character is alive or dead – until their head gets chopped off or their skulls get crushed (and even then, the Mountain was resurrected for the finale.)
While it may seem like the finale was the last we saw of Jon Snow, since he receives somewhat the same fate in the books, some fan theories and speculations suggest otherwise. Take a look:
Wargs Into Ghost
One of the most popular fan theories suggests Jon Snow’s soul enters the body of his direwolf Ghost.
Since young Bran Stark, whose ability to transplant himself in the mind and body of an animal – particularly in to his wolf – only awakened after he took a nasty fall that rendered him handicapped, this traumatic event might be enough for Jon Snow to tap into his power. If all the Stark children are wargs, as suggested by various theories, then Jon just might transfer himself into Ghost while his body dies.
Melisandre’s Fire Magic
The fire priestess is known to bring dead to life. Also, she just so happens to be in the vicinity when Jon Snow gets branded as a traitor and attacked by his night watch brothers.
Melisandre can both resurrect him, and transfer his soul back into a human body in case he turns out to be a warg. As another popular theory suggests, Jon Snow might be Azor Ahai – a legendary figure who is the Lord of Light’s champion and will be reborn to fight the darkness and end the threat of White Walkers once and for all.
If the priestess’s interest in Jon – both in the books and the show – is any indication, our favorite hero can actually be the said prophesized hero, thus the rebirth.
The events of “Hardhome” were the testament of White Walkers’ powers. Not to mention the Night King loves resurrecting people.
After the epic battle between the living and the hordes of undead, the Night’s King seems to have an eye on Jon Snow – particularly after he kills one of the white walkers with a sword made of Valyrian steel (dragon steel which was given to him by Lord Commander Mormont.)
Reborn From Fire
The Night’s Watch burn the bodies of their fallen on a funeral pyre. However, if R+L=J theory is true and Jon Snow is indeed a Targaryen, could the fire bring him back? Also, as previous episodes have shown, the traditional Night's Watch eulogy ends with the phrase, "And now his watch is ended." If Jon does come back this way, he could also loophole his way out of his vows and go on to become the prophesized hero.
No One’s Really Dead…
Come to think of it, there must be reason that the show-runners decided to end the epic episode on a cliffhanger instead of just killing off the character like many of his predecessors who received sudden but brutal and confirmed deaths.
As George R.R. Martin puts it himself, “If there’s one thing we know in A Song of Ice and Fire is that death is not necessarily permanent.”
Unfortunately, it seems more like wishful thinking than anything else, but if any of the above theories turn out to be true, the viewers might see Jon Snow again in the upcoming seasons.
However, there’s also a possibility that:
Jon Might Be Dead After All
This could also simply be the end for Jon Snow.
“Dead is dead,” showrunner Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly. “We would hope that after seeing the scene and the way it’s shot that the answer to that will be unambiguous in the minds of the people watching it,” Weiss said. “It should be pretty clear what happens in by the time you’re done seeing that scene. It’s not an, ‘Oh what just happened scene?’”
Harington also strongly suggested Jon Snow is no more to Entertainment Weekly as well: "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."
But not so fast. Notice how he just said "next season," leaving open the possibility for a future future. After all, Bran and Hodor (Hodor!) weren't in this season.
In future, just to be on the safe side, don’t get emotionally attached to a character on this epic show.