Jon Snow has been resurrected just as we all guessed, but we also don’t quite know what that means, yet. His story on Game of Thrones could go anywhere from here. Perhaps his brush with death will affect his memory, and that’s why he looked so panicked as he took that first breath. Or perhaps he’ll breath fire now, as tribute to his probable Targaryen ancestry. Maybe he’ll decide to become a Red Priest, feeling a debt to The Lord of Light for saving him. He also might be a mythical hero who is fated to save the world. Or he’ll be part-White Walker now. We could keep wildly speculating, but luckily there are lots of clues to be found in the show, in the fan theories, and in Kit Harington’s series of increasingly “did I really sign up for this?” interviews. Let’s take a closer look at the facts.
He won’t be the same mopey bastard we’ve known
In the Game of Thrones universe, nobody escapes death easily. They either suffer horrible fates, or they return from the dead less than what they were before. We know this from Jon’s fellow resurrection survivor, Beric Dondarrion, who tells Arya in Season 3 that he comes back “less.”
We also know this from sentiments George R.R. Martin has offered in interviews:
I do think that if you’re bringing a character back, that a character has gone through death, thats a transformative experience. . . My characters who come back from death are worse for wear. In some ways, they’re not even the same characters anymore. The body may be moving, but some aspect of the spirit is changed or transformed, and they’ve lost something.
Jon will be different from the man we’ve known for five seasons, then. Anything you thought was essential to his character — his honor, his terrible PR skills, his hair — is no longer a given.
He’ll be fiercer
Emerging from death “transformed” and “less” than what he was begs the question, what will Jon be like? We predict he’ll be more of a dick, because Game of Thrones thrives off supplanting fantasy convention. If he continued to be honorable, that would simply be fulfilling the Chosen One narrative so prevalent in the genre. To turn it on its head, he must be different.
Kit Harington shed some light on this in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly:
At first, I was worried that he’ll wake up and he’s the same, back to normal — then theres no point in that death. 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. Hes 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 doesnt want to be brought back.
The key sentences to latch onto are “Jon’s never been afraid of death, and that’s made him a strong and honorable person,” and “It literally puts the fear of god in him. He doesn’t want to die ever again.” If Jon was honorable because he didn’t fear death, his new fear will mean our prediction is right. He’s going to be more of a dick, and that’s wonderful for both his character and the show.
His hair will be different
If you were attached to Jon’s signature mop, it’s time to give it a funeral pyre. Take your last look at it.
As we reported yesterday, a new Jon means new hair. And according to Kit Harington, the man bun is about to replace the mop. This grainy photo that made waves on the internet a few months back is not Harington getting his hair out of his face between takes — that’s Jon’s new look.
His reign as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch will end
The Night’s Watch Vow goes as follows:
Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”
Death has officially released Jon from his duties. And now his watch has ended. Our time of watching him at The Wall is probably dwindling, then. Where will he move on to? Funny you should ask.
He’ll kick Ramsay’s ass
This is the part where I tell you to turn back if you don’t want spoilers for the rest of the season. Granted, this is based on educated speculation, trailer screenshots, and leaked information, but we can map it out enough to say it’s dark and full of spoilers.
Episode 9 of Game of Thrones is always “Shit Goes Down O’Clock.” Ned lost his head in episode 9, “Blackwater” was episode 9, the Red Wedding was episode 9, and “The Mountain and The Viper” was episode 9. As we know from showrunner David Benioff’s comments, this season will feature the show’s biggest battle ever. We can take a wild guess that it will go down in episode 9.
Now, from a combination of trailer screenshots like this one of Ramsay and his men:
And shots like this one sideways horses and someone who looks a lot like Jon, a blurry figure on the far right:
We can take an educated guess that episode 9 will feature an epic battle for the North between Jon’s forces and Ramsay’s. Some fans are already calling it “The Battle of the Bastards” while others are calling it “Snowbowl” — playing off the name of another popular fan theory (Cleganebowl, which states The Hound and The Mountain will fight to the death). Sophie Turner was reportedly spotted at the scene, so we can also expect a Jon-Sansa reunion.
Now, this battle looks insane. There are sideways horses, flying mud, Jon’s hair has practically morphed into its own character. And unless the show kills Jon just a few episodes after resurrecting him — and going through a year’s effort to conceal that information from a public who guessed it five years ago — he will win this battle and finally get rid of Ramsay Bolton once and for all. The show needs to set itself up for its ultimate endgame, which will not involve a human villain but the more formidable White Walkers.
Resurrected Jon will be darker, then; he’ll have a fly new look, and he’ll kick ass and take names, driving the plot in intriguing directions. In other words, get hype for a new and improved Jon. He’s exactly the invigoration Game of Thrones needs.