This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 6. Not potential spoilers. Not theoretical spoilers. Not fan theories that could reveal some spoilers. Actual spoilers.
Consider yourself warned in triplicate.
There’s no way they could have expected to keep the secret for very long. It’s a wonder that they made it this far.
Since the finale of season 5, the question of Jon Snow’s fate has loomed large over the production of Game of Thrones. At first, we wanted the show to go further than the books and show us what happened after Lord Commander Snow is unceremoniously stabbed by members of The Night’s Watch. It didn’t. Then we wanted showrunners and even actor Kit Harington to comment, giving us some kind of insight as to whether or not Jon was really dead. And if he was dead, why all the chatter about who his mother might be? They didn’t. They even went as far as lying to the Leader of the Free World about Jon’s status, or at the very least leaning on a technicality (technically Jon Snow is very much dead. Whether or not he comes back to life shortly after death is another story entirely.)
All summer long, news outlets across the world have been on Kit Harington Hair Watch. His everyday life has become fodder for speculation. And up to this point, that’s all it has been: speculation. The fact that he’s been in Belfast, where Game of Thrones has been shooting the landscapes of The North, doesn’t necessarily mean that he is in alive and well in season 6. It could be that he just loves hanging out with his friends on set. Or HBO is running some kind of long-form ruse to keep the fan blogs guessing.
That’s all over as of today, as The Daily Mail has picked up photos of Harington not just on set, but in what appears to be traditional Stark family garb, filming a snowy battle scene. The battle scene in question is rumored to be a late-season battle that involves Snow, his Wildling friends, some other Northern lords who have rallied around the Stark cause and on the other side, those pesky Boltons:
Kit Harington was spotted filming #GameOfThrones on set in Belfast… and it looks like Jon Snow is very much alive! ?? #got
A photo posted by ??Follow @15secondsofYUM?? (@15secondsofpop) on Sep 25, 2015 at 12:29pm PDT
This all adds up quite nicely with what we’ve assumed about season 6. The Mail believes that the woman under the umbrella in the photos is Carice van Houten, who plays Melisandre (though it’s hard to say for sure.) It’s long been believed by book readers that The Red Woman will be the one to bring Jon back from his cold, stabby dance with darkness. And it stands to reason that Snow’s first order of business, after dispatching some justice to the likes of Olly and Alliser Thorne, would be to head south and try to take down the Boltons. Especially if and when he finds out what happened to Sansa.
We already know that season 6 will include one scene about The Tower of Joy, which is believed to be the scene in which Snow’s parentage will be revealed: that he’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, a baby given to Ned Stark, who promised to keep him safe from Robert Baratheon. This would give Snow a far different purpose, one that involves restoring the Stark name in the North and perhaps rallying an entire country around the fight against the forces of Winter.
A lot of this is still conjecture: fan theories combined with rumors from within the production. We don’t know exactly how Jon Snow’s story will play out in season 6. But now we know that it absolutely will play out. And it will do so with him standing, fighting and mostly being alive.
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