Jon Snow alive or dead? Game of Thrones season 6 episode 2 finally had the answer
Warning: Huge spolier alert!
This is the mother of all Game of Thrones spoilers, so if you haven't watched season 6 episode 2 yet, please click away now.
Jon Snow is alive.
How it went down
It might sound like I'm being reductive, but this is literally what happened (though obviously I'm paraphrasing): Ser Davos went to see Melisandre and was like: 'Can you make him not dead please?' She was all: 'Nah, I don't reckon, but I'll give it a shot.'
Swift cut to her being by Jon's deathbed, a couple of spell utterances and a hair trim later - along with a cut to his direwolf Ghost springing up (more on that later) - and Jon opens his eyes and gasps for breath. For one of the most-debated cliffhangers in TV history, it was remedied pretty damn perfunctorily. Seriously, why did Melisandre spend the last episode staring at her breasts in the mirror when she could have been saving the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch? Priorities.
First thing to note
Kit Harington has done a sensational job lying to the press the past 11 months. Bravo, sir.
What this means
If there's one thing we learned from Beric Dondarrion's resurrections (all eight of them), it's that coming back to life through magic isn't a complete cure. He explained in season 3 how each resurrection took a piece of his soul/psyche/spirit/whatever with him, so we can certainly expect an altered Jon, perhaps a more cold one.
This might be exactly what Westeros needs though. The one problem with Jon was he was widely-accepted as a bit of a drip, so perhaps a Jon Snow with an added dose of badassness/aloofness will be a good thing. That said, he already had the personality of a flannel, so I bet he's going to be even less fun at dinner parties/mead-fuelled feasts henceforth.
What was the deal with Ghost?
Interestingly, Melisandre's magic initially didn't seem to work. Ser 'enough of this magic sh*t' Davos and chief wildling Tormund Giantsbane started to leave the room when Jon remained lifeless, as did Mel, and it wasn't until Jon and Ghost were alone that Jon started breathing again.
It's likely Jon's conscious lived on in Ghost while he was dead, and it was transferred back at this moment. I like to think Ghost has returned to being a regular direwolf now, thinking about chewing a good bone instead of wondering how best to artfully catch snowflakes on one's beard.
The moment is almost certainly a nod to Jon's warging abilities. They've been glossed over in the show but are discussed in the books, even if they might not be as powerful as his brother Bran's
What now for Jon?
He's got a lot to catch up on and may need his very own season 5 recap, but the main things on his mind will be: ensuring his sister Sansa is safe when Brienne delivers her to Castle Black, and taking on the pursuing Ramsay and his army (perhaps with a band of wildlings who declare their allegiance to the good name of Stark?). Oh, and there's the small matter of about a billion White Walkers looming who can only be killed with swords that tragically are completely out of stock.
There's also his heritage to look into. Way back in season 1, Ned told him: "The next time we see each other, we'll talk about your mother, I promise." Given that Ned was a good guy and didn't seem the type to cheat on Catelyn, a lot of people think Jon's mother will turn out to be a lot more than a bit part like 'Tavern Wench 1'. Specifically, there's the L+R=J theory which would see his family history intertwine with Daenerys', and what a fearsome duo those two would be.
Kit Harington is very, very sorry
The actor may feel a tinge of guilt about having to lie to the entire world for the past few months but, finally, the secret is out and his conscious may be laid to rest. Jon Snow is alive, and Kit Harington is a liar.
Harington took to Entertainment Weekly to make his apologies to fans. "Sorry!" he exclaims in a recorded video. "I’d like to say sorry for lying to everyone. I’m glad that people were upset that he died. I think my biggest fear was that people were not going to care. Or it would just be, 'Fine, Jon Snow’s dead.'"
"But it seems like people had a, similar to the Red Wedding episode, kind of grief about it. Which means something I’m doing — or the show is doing — is right."
What else happened in the episode?
Three major developments really: 1) Hodor said something that wasn't Hodor! 2) Ramsay stabbed his father to death and fed his newborn baby brother to the dogs. Classic Ramsay. 3) Balon Grey joy died, as prophesised, at the hands of Euron on a rope bridge in the Iron Islands.
What will happen next week?
The third episode of season 6 is cunningly-titled Oathbreaker. Most assumed this was to do with Brienne and her 'Oathkeeper' sword, but in light of tonight's events it probably refers to Jon.
He swore a life-long oath to the Night's Watch, but may have to break it to go fight the Boltons/White Walkers. Presumably it won't be that tough a decision, as this is more important business than making penis jokes at The Wall and p*ssing in the snow.
What does death even mean in a Westeros where it can be reversed with some simple chanting?
Who can say. Death is now no longer a fixed end, but simply an ailment that is permanent if Melisandre can't be arsed to get on a horse and come and find your corpse. This worries me - the next time a beloved character dies, I feel like viewers will just instantly expect them to be revived. Closing thought: Westeros should get Uber for Red Priest resurrections.
Independent News Service