Is Jon Snow Really Dead on Game of Thrones? – Vanity Fair
There are big time spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 10, â€œMotherâ€™s Mercy.â€ Iâ€™ve never been more serious about a spoiler warning. If you havenâ€™t seen the finale yet, proceed with caution. If you have, charge right in. But donâ€™t say we didnâ€™t try to warn you, because we really, really did.
Okay, well, that was a big deal. It would appear that Jon Snow is dead and gone for good, wouldnâ€™t it? Given George R.R. Martinâ€™s tendency to kill off main characters, itâ€™s not the most inconceivable outcome. And in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kit Harrington and the showâ€™s creators are being really adamant that Jon Snow is done. But is that really the end of Jon Snow? There has been an awful lot of prophecy built up around the character and Martin has always refused to confirm heâ€™s actually dead. While that doesnâ€™t make Snow bulletproof, it does mean the desire to see him resurrected is more than just wishful thinking. Here are the most popular theories behind his return.
Wait, So Does This Happen in the Books? Yep! You now know exactly as much as book readers do about the fate of Jon Snow. In the books the last we saw of the poor Commander, he lay dying from multiple stab wounds. Olly doesnâ€™t stab Jon in the booksâ€”Olly is a show-invented characterâ€”but otherwise itâ€™s close enough. The only difference between you show watchers and us book readers now when it comes to Jon Snow is weâ€™ve had four years since A Dance with Dragons came out to think of creative ways to bring back Jon Snow. Wanna hear them? Here we go.
Jon Snow Could Warg into His Direwolf I mean, it will seem like a bit of a copout next season if this ends up being the solution. Especially since they didnâ€™t establish Ghost as being anywhere near Jon. Nor have we seen Jon warg in the show. But we have seen characters like Bran and Orell throw themselves into their animals, so this could be a temporary solution for Jon. In the books, the last word he says as he goes down is â€œGhost,â€ which is why people generally buy the warg explanation. Kit Harrington alluded to the warg theory during a panel event earlier this year. He told the audience, â€œIâ€™d like to be a warg. Iâ€™d like to put myself inside a wolf.â€ (As you might imagine this got a lot of laughs.) Show creator D.B. Weiss then said, â€œTwo words for you: Season 6.â€ It all seems like a joke, but maybe not. And even if theyâ€™re not joking, â€Jon Snow is a wolf nowâ€œ doesnâ€™t sound like a permanent solution, does it? So what happens next?
Melisandre Could Bring Him Back from the Dead This is one of the more popular theories. Now that Stannis is (presumably) dead, Melisandre is in search of a new messiah to champion and sheâ€™s been eyeballing Jon Snow all season. Do we know that Melisandre can bring people back from the dead? Not specifically, no. But we do know that people who follow the Lord of Light a.k.a. Râ€™hllor can. Back in Season 3, Melisandre met Thoros of Myr; a Red Priest who had resurrected his friend Beric Dondarrion several times. In the books, Thoros resurrects someone else important, but in the showâ€™s narrative, it was necessary to establish that resurrections can and do happen in this universe. Melisandre looked rather scandalized by Thorosâ€™s antics, but itâ€™s a good idea the show went out of its way to link these two up (they donâ€™t meet in the books) so we would know that Melisandre had this option in her back pocket. And, hey, her magic is running hot as sheâ€™s brimming with the power of Shireenâ€™s royal blood.
What Do You Mean She Needs a New Messiah? Well, Melisandre believed Stannis was Azor Ahai reborn. Donâ€™t remember who that is? Well, if you have 16 minutes to spare, you can watch this fantastic, in-depth video explaining the whole Ahai myth. If you want a shorter version: thousands and thousands of years ago there was something called the Long Night in which the Others (a.k.a. White Walkers) laid waste to the realms of men during a long winter. According to legend there was a hero who put a stop to the long night and he was called by many names throughout the fictional lands of Westeros, Essos, and beyond. The Prince that Was Promised, the Last Hero, the Stallion Who Mounts the World, Azor Ahai, etc. These are probably all the same savior figure and, according to a widespread prophecy, heâ€™s destined to be reborn and save the world once more. Melisandre had been operating under the assumption that Stannis Baratheon wass that chosen one born of smoke and salt.
So Jon Snow Is Melisandreâ€™s Own Personal Jesus? Jesus. Neo. The Chosen One. TheBoy Who Lived. The Avatar. The Ring-bearer. The Great Lion. The Slayer. The Golden Child. It doesnâ€™t really matter what you want to call it, every epic yarn has one. We donâ€™t have to believe that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai, just as long as Melisandre does. But, hey, maybe he is the Prince That Was Promised.
What Hints Have There Been that Jon is Azor Ahai? This gets a little complicated so bear with me. One of the biggest efforts the show has made to indicate Jonâ€™s Chosen One status was that business he did with his sword at Hardhome. Like King Arthur or Godric Gryffindor, Azor Ahai has a legendary sword called Lightbringer. In the books Samwell Tarly says, â€œI found one account of the Long Night that spoke of the Last Hero [a.k.a. Azor Ahai] slaying Others with a blade of dragonsteel. Supposedly the could not stand against it.â€ Melisandre spoke of the legend of Lightbringer back in Season 2 saying, â€œIn the ancient books it is written that a warrior will draw a burning sword from the fire.â€ In the books (though not the show), when he saved Lord Commander Jeor Mormont’s life from a wight attack at Castle Black, Jon Snow set a fire that damaged Longclawâ€™s hilt, melting silver on the bear’s head pommel and burning the crossguard and grip. Mormont gave the sword to Jon so the blade he used on that White Walker, Longclaw, was technically pulled from a fire.
The sword and Melisandreâ€™s fascination with Jon Snow have been the showâ€™s biggest indications that heâ€™s someone special. In the books there are other signs. Melisandre says, â€I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai and Râ€™hllor shows me only snow.â€œ Apparently, Râ€™hllor has a sense of humor. In the books, Jon dreams of being armored all in ice clutching a burning sword which he uses to kill his wildling girlfriend, Ygritte. In the legend, Azor Ahai forged his legendary sword by plunging it into the heart of his beloved wife Nissa Nissa. Finally, Azor Ahai is supposed to be descended from Aerys (the Mad King) and Rhaella Targaryen. If rumors about Jonâ€™s parentage are true, Aerys and Rhaella could be his grandparents. So there you have it, Jon Snow, the poor Bastard of Winterfell, could very well be the Prince That Was Promised.
So Is Jon Snow Now Definitely the Only Person Who Could Be Azor Ahai? Okay, I know what youâ€™re thinking. If anyone is going to be a cool reincarnation of the savior of mankind it should be Daenerys Targaryen. And itâ€™s true, Dany has a lot of Azor Ahai-ish qualities. She was born in salt and smoke (her tears, Drogoâ€™s pyre), she awoke stone dragons, she sacrificed a loved one, and sheâ€™s certainly of the Aerys/Rhaella Targaryen bloodline. They are her parents. So why isnâ€™t Daenerys Azor Ahai? Well, she might be! Thereâ€™s a part of the prophecy that says â€œthe dragon has three headsâ€ and many take that to mean Azor Ahai will actually be three peopleâ€”probably the three dragon riders. (You can read all about dragon riders here.) So that means Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and, oh yes, probably Tyrion Lannister will together form the prophesied savior. Hey, if weâ€™re going for Jesus analogies, why not go for the whole trinity? And Jon and Dany together form, you guessed it, a song of ice and fire.
So What Will Azor Ahai Do? Well, according to legend Azor Ahai will wake dragons from stone. (Check.) He will defend the realms of men against the White Walkers. (Working on it.) And heâ€™ll likely pair up with the Children of the Forest to defeat the Others. (Thatâ€™s what happened last time, and Martin is really big on history repeating.) How convenient, then, that Jonâ€™s â€brotherâ€œ Bran has been chilling with the CotF all season presumably learning how to make magic grenades and tap into the mystical tree root network. If Azor Ahai reborn and the CotF fails, the realms of man will fall. No pressure, Jon and Dany.
Could Anyone Other Than Melisandre Bring Jon Snow Back? Sure! Have you thought about the Nightâ€™s King? He loves resurrecting people. You can read all about that theory here.
If Kit Harrington Is Coming Back, How Are They Going to Keep This Under Wraps? I have no idea. Like I said, theyâ€™re being pretty clear with the â€œheâ€™s goneâ€ business in that Entertainment Weekly interview. But, on the other hand, there are already rumors that heâ€™s filming in Belfast. So it may be a season-long guessing game . . . until itâ€™s not. What, is Kit Harrington just not supposed to do press or anything until the premiere? Good luck, HBO, you have your work cut out for you.
We should touch on one last major book spoiler that could still happen in the show. Proceed with caution.
Are they gone? Good.
Is This Why They Never Brought Back Lady Stoneheart? As long as there is a single second of airtime left in the Game of Thrones TV series I, personally, will cling to the hope that Lady Stoneheart a.k.a. Catelyn Stark will make an appearance. But it makes sense that Weiss and David Benioff cut out Thoros of Myr bringing her back in order to maximize the impact of Jonâ€™s potential resurrection. If youâ€™ve already had one Stark come back from the dead, a second Stark is sort of ho-hum-old-hat. But now once Azor Ahai is reborn, could there still be room for Catelyn to return? Maybe. Be still my stony heart.