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Kit Harrington explains how death has changed Jon Snow

Published May 6th, 2016 7:40PM EDT
Kit Harington Jon Snow Death
Image: HBO

We’re two episodes into the new season of Game of Thrones, and we’ve already seen more than half-a-dozen people meet the gods of Westeros. Death is one of the recurring characters in the popular HBO series, and it often takes away some of our favorite heroes. It did so with Jon Snow, albeit temporarily, which was a major upset for fans. By now you’ve heard that he returned from the dead even if you don’t watch the show, so we haven’t really spoiled anything at this point. But if you don’t want to know how Jon Snow’s resurrection impacts the show, then stop reading now, as some huge spoilers follow below.

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One of the conclusions you may have drawn after last week’s episode is that a Jon Snow-Melisandre partnership would be almost invincible. As long as she doesn’t die, she could revive Jon Snow every time he’s killed. But that’s not going to be the case, and Jon Snow did not just become immortal. Death will still stalk him, and next time he dies, he may stay dead for good.

The revelations come from Kit Harington’s exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly. The actor revealed the hardships he had to endure to keep the Jon Snow secret. But Harington also revealed what death means for his character, and for the entire show.

“At first, I was worried that he’ll wake up, and he’s the same, back to normal — then there’s no point in that death,” Harington said. “He needs to change. There’s a brilliant line when Melisandre asks: ‘What did you see?’ And he says: ‘Nothing, there was nothing at all.’ That cuts right to our deepest fear that there’s nothing after death. And that’s the most important line in the whole season for me. Jon’s never been afraid of death, and that’s made him a strong and honorable person. He realizes something about his life now: He has to live it because that’s all there is. He’s been over the line, and there’s nothing there. And that changes him. It literally puts the fear of god into him. He’s seen oblivion and that’s got to change somebody in the most fundamental way there is. He doesn’t want to die ever again. But if he does, he doesn’t want to be brought back.”

Whether this is a scripted ruse from the show’s producers or not, this particular detail is pivotal to season 6. It tells us that Jon Snow’s spirit wasn’t hanging around in ghost form in his direwolf. And it ensures that we’ll still be on the edges of our seats every time Jon Snow is in danger, given that he doesn’t want Melisandre to perform her revival trick again.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.