The final scene in book and season 5 of Game of Thrones has a lot of people thinking about what could be next for Jon Snow. Here are my thoughts on the options.
- Jon Snow dies, just like the scene would have us think he does. The rest of the characters are strong, and Game of Thrones is (in)famous for making us respect drama by being willing to remove characters even if they’re important.
- The Red Priestess saves him via simple resurrection. She arrives right before he is attacked/killed, so perhaps she can show up and simply raise him from the dead, or keep him from dying in the first place.
- He lives by going into his direwolf, Ghost. Ghost was curiously absent during his attack, but the last thing Jon says as he fades out is the name, “Ghost”. This could simply be him wondering where he was, and why he didn’t protect him, or it could be him trying to transfer his essence to him. Remember that Starks are known for this ability, and Bran can already do it, so this raises another survival option.
- Jon goes into Ghost, Melisandre heals his body, and he returns to it soon after. Remember that holy people of The Lord of Light (R’hilor) are able to resurrect people and keep them alive. That is how Thoros has kept Beric Dondarrion alive for so long, so Melisandre could potentially do something similar to John’s body while he lives safely inside of Ghost.
- Jon’s soul goes into Ghost, his body dies, and he is brought back in someone else’s body. This would mean Kit Harrington is in fact off the show, but Jon Snow would still be a character. Kind of.
- Another option is Melisandre could just do the same thing to Jon that Thoros did to Beric, even without Jon going into Ghost beforehand. Beric didn’t go into any sort of soul container first , so it’s obviously not necessary.
So there are a number of options available for Jon to stay alive: he could be resurrected directly with regular magic, he could go into Ghost and be brought back into his own body, he could go into Ghost and come back in another body, or he could be brought back the way Beric was, with some sort of tradeoffs.
The current information out there is that Kit (the actor playing Jon) said he’s done. He said that he’s not in the 6th season and that the writers have said he’s out of the show. But this could simply be selling the death so that it has more impact, and it could all change at the beginning of next season.
I personally don’t think they’ll kill Jon Snow. One thing that became even more prominent in the last season was the fact that Jon was likely half Targaryen. It was strongly hinted that he was the child of Ned’s sister (a Stark) and Rhaegar Targaryen, which, interestingly, would make him half ice (a Northerner), and half fire (a Targaryen). And since the series is called A Song of Ice and Fire, he seems well set up for being part of that.
The other thing for me is that it seems like he’s been set up the entire way to be the main hero, and I just don’t see Martin switching that so deep into the setup. My prediction, as well as many others’, is that Snow will unite with Daenerys, where they will both ride dragons against the white walkers. Again, fire vs. ice.
There’s also the matter of Melisandre seeing Jon in the flames earlier. She kept thinking she’d see Stannis, but she saw Jon instead, and she just called it a mistake. It wasn’t. It was yet another hint that Jon was more special that he appeared.
So my prediction is that Jon is saved, probably by a combination of his native Wharging power linking him to Ghost, and Melisandre’s ability to resurrect through the Lord of Light.
I also think it will in fact be the same actor, as people just love the character at this point, and too much ground work as been laid in the direction of him becoming a primary hero.
The fact that they just hinted strongly at him being Targaryan, that he just killed a white walker with his Valeryan sword, and that Melisandre arrived right before he died all seem to play into him surviving and going on to become
a the main hero.
- Martin has also said on multiple occasions that his reputation for killing characters is overstated, and that the show kills many more characters than he does. So another option is that Jon lives in the books but actually dies in the show, but I think this is highly unlikely. It’s just too much of a divergence.