Think Jon Snow is really dead? You know nothing, as a certain Game of Thrones character would say. Snow, the beloved hero of George R.R. Martin’s story who was seemingly murdered by his fellow members of the Night’s Watch at the end of last season, is the star of a new teaser image that HBO has posted to promote the upcoming sixth season of Game of Thrones.
As you can see, HBO has announced that the new season will start in April 2016, which isn’t too much of a surprise. What is surprising is that Snow is front-and-center and appears to be alive, although it’s hard to really tell.
But let’s be honest: Why would HBO use Snow as its lead image for the sixth season if he wasn’t a major part of it? After all, the image we see of Snow in this teaser looks nothing like the last image we saw of him at the end of season 5. Here’s the GIF for those of you who don’t remember:
Personally, I’ve never believed that Snow was really dead. There are simply too many hints both in the books and from author Martin himself that suggest that Snow will indeed by alive next season in some form. Here are the two main ways I think Snow could survive multiple stab wounds based on precedent set in the text:
- Melisandre could just resurrect him. In the books, red priests and priestesses have the power to bring people back to life, presuming they died recently and they weren’t, say, beheaded. In the books (but not the show), a red priest brought Catelyn Stark back to life after she died in the infamous “Red Wedding.” And in both the books and the show, character Beric Dondarrion is revived by a red priest after suffering several deaths. So the precedent is there for Melisandre to bring Snow back to life, especially since she ever-so-conveniently turned up back at The Wall at the end of season 5.
- Snow could zap his consciousness into his wolf. We know that the Stark children have psychic connections with their pet dire wolves and that the young Bran Stark is able to take over the body of his wolf (and other creatures) if he so chooses. While Jon Snow has never done this directly, he does have the same kind of connection to Ghost that Bran has to his wolf and it’s entirely possible he could leap into the wolf in a moment of extreme distress. This also offers context for why Melisandre kept telling Snow to keep his wolf nearby toward the end of A Dance With Dragons.
At any rate, it looks like I’ll be getting the definitive answer about Jon Snow’s survival come April.