In the shocking finale to season five of Game of Thrones, Teen Ice Caesar (aka Jon Snow) was betrayed by his fellow Wall-Buds and stabbed repeatedly, eventually collapsing in a pool of his own blood and - presumably - dying. But is he REALLY dead? No way.
See, George RR Martin has something of a rep these days - that he likes to kill off important, beloved characters just to get his rocks off. And, to some degree, that's true - he killed (seemingly) main character Ned Stark in his first book, a bunch of other Starks in some other books, and - well, if you have Stark blood in you, odds are you're not long for this world. So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that Jon Snow also met an unfortunate end...except he's totally gonna be fine. Jon's getting resurrected, and here's why.
1. Samwell basically told us he would
In Hardhome, the writers of Game of Thrones gave the audience once of the hardest winks they've given us on this show since that time in season 3 when Catelyn found that heart-shaped stone - when Samwell Tarly gave Olly a quick talk about what the hell Jon Snow was thinking with his plan to bring the wildlings south of the Wall - and the first wink (and less important one) was this:
"Sometimes a man has to make hard choices, choices that might look wrong to others but you know are right in the long run."
See, Sam's ostensibly talking about the tough decision Jon is making in his role as Lord Commander to bring the wildlings south. We know now that he was also telling a conflicted Olly that he should stab the hell out of Jon for (in Olly's eyes) committing an unforgivable sin.
But the second wink comes right after, when Sam says:
"I've been worrying about Jon for years. He always comes back."
HE. ALWAYS. COMES. BACK.
And if you can't trust Sam the Slayer, who can you trust?
2. Everyone's being REAL careful about Jon's status
Per Entertainment Weekly's interview with Kit Harrington:
I was talking to Dan Weiss and he said Jon is really dead. But George R.R. Martin left open the possibility the character might not be dead in the books. And then that cast salary contract story came out last year and it had your name among those receiving raises for season six and an option on a seventh. So let me ask you: Is Jon really dead?
This is my understanding of it. I had a sit-down with Dan and David, we did the Tony Soprano walk [letting an actor know they're being whacked]. And they said, "Look, you're gone, it's done." And as far as the salary thing goes, that angered me when that story came out. I don't know where it came from, but it was inaccurate in many ways. It's going to put questions into your head and into fans' heads that things are not what they are. Quite honestly, I have never been told the future of things in this show, but this is the one time I have. They sat me down and said, "This is how it is." If anything in the future is not like that, then I don't know about it - it's only in David and Dan and George's heads. But I've been told I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm not coming back next season. So that's all I can tell you, really.
So - he's dead right? And that's that?
NOPE. There's a lot of dodgy language there - "This is my understanding of it", the talk about the salaries, "That's all I can tell you, really" (if he were dead, there wouldn't BE anything to tell), etc.
Sure, Jon IS dead - but as we've seen with characters like Beric Dondarrion and Gregor Clegane, "dead" isn't a permanent impediment in Game of Thrones - especially when there's a red priestess of R'hllor hanging out in the same location, who just lost her previous savior and might be in the market for a new one. Maybe one secretly descended from a long line of kings?
3. The casting for season 6 re-confirms the most over-confirmed fan theory of all-time
Season 5 did something weird, something that hadn't been done in the TV show - it had a flashback, to the time Cersei visited Maggy the Frog and the swamp-witch told her how crummy her life was going to be (there were some specifics, but it's besides the point). And, based on the casting notices that have gone out for season 6 of Game of Thrones, they're gonna do it again.
But this one's gonna be DIFFERENT - book readers knew about the whole Maggy the Frog thing - season 6 looks like it will be portraying a flashback to a scene that has never been written about in the books (except obliquely) and might be the most important moment in modern Westerosi history: the clash at the Tower of Joy.
Quick explanation: towards the end of Robert's Rebellion, Ned Stark (RIP), Howland Reed (dad to those two weird swamp-psychics who hung out with Bran), and some others arrived at the tower to rescue Ned's sister, Lyanna, who was being held there by members of the Kingsguard, including Ser Arthur Dayne - who known as the Sword of the Morning, as he wielded the sword, Dawn (which - according to legend - was forged from a falling star), and was heralded as one of the finest knights and deadliest fighters there ever were. Ned 'n his squad took on Dayne and his crew, and in the end the only survivors were Ned and Howland. They reached Lyanna, but she was dying, made Ned promise her some stuff, yadda yadda yadda.
The popular, well-founded fan theory that goes along with this is that Lyanna was lying in a pool of blood due to complications with her birth...to Jon Snow. She made Ned promise to protect the child from Robert, who - if he knew Lyanna had had a child with his enemy Rhaegar Targaryen - would have the child killed. So Ned pretended Jon was HIS bastard child to save Jon's life, and here we are today.
Why do we think the first scene of season 6 will be a flashback to this moment? Because of this casting notice:
Legendary Fighter: A man in his thirties or forties who is a great swordsman and a paragon of knighthood. He carries a hugely famous sword on his back. The show is seeking a very impressive swordsman for the role- the best in Europe, for a week of filming fight scenes for a season 6 role. His ethnicity/race isn't specified, unlike many other roles.
First off, it was included in a casting round-up where MOST of the characters were named - for a character who is the paragon of knighthood and carries a hugely famous sword, you'd think this character was important enough to be named...unless they were worried the name would give away the secret (here's a video on House Dayne if you were curious about them and why Dawn was such a hugely famous sword).
The point is - if they're revealing Jon's true parentage by flashing back to the Tower of Joy, it's for a reason. And that reason isn't going to be to rub salt in the wounds of Jon Snow fans.
4. I'd really, really like him to not be dead
I mean - what? Are we gonna have to follow around Davos at the Wall? Melisandre? Olly? With Samwell gone, there's NO ONE at the big ice wall I wanna follow around. But the Wall is too important of a location for them to just ditch entirely. Maybe Olly is a secret Targaryen too?
5. George RR Martin is definitely going to make Jon Snow turn into a goddamn direwolf in the books so it'd be cool if the show offered an alternative resurrected Jon for me
The prologue of each Game of Thrones book is meant to slyly inform information that will come in handy later - and A Dance With Dragons (the book where Jon gets turned into swiss cheese) opens with the last moments in the life of Varamyr Sixskins, a skinchanger/warg who's dying and looking for a way out.
The books also - unlike the show - go to great lengths to demonstrate that pretty much EVERY Stark kid (not just Bran) are wargs, although most of these are reserved for implied references and dreams (so even when it's happening, the Stark kids think they're just having some freaky nightmare). This includes Jon, who has a strange psychic connection with his direwolf, Ghost.
Anyways, Varamyr attempts to throw his consciousness into another wildling in a last ditch effort to extend his life - but it fails, and he ends up taking over the mind of one of his wolves. The chapter even explicitly details how easy and natural it is to slip into the mind of a wolf, and how Ghost (who's nearby when he gets stabbed) would make for a second life worthy of a king. The implication of all of this is that Jon's going to take over Ghost's mind (maybe inadvertently) and continue surviving that way.
Which is a bullshit way. GIMME UNDEAD JON, NOT ANIMORPH JON.
6. C'mon, what else is Kit Harrington gonna do?
I mean, I like Kit Harrington as Jon, but he's done dick all outside of Game of Thrones, and I don't really think he's got much of a career outside of this (prove me wrong, Kit!). He did that crummy looking Pompeii movie that bombed, he's got the "Napoleon Dynamite in Blades of Glory" role in an upcoming HBO faux-documentary about the world's longest tennis match, which is mostly starring Andy Samberg, and that's it.
He NEEDS this. We NEED this. Let him live!
7. PLEASE DON'T LET HIM BE DEAD
Look at him - the shitty wispy beard, the perma-sad eyes, the shampoo'd curls...he doesn't deserve this. He's just a lost puppy.
PLUS HE SHATTERED AN ICE ZOMBIE MASTER AND GOT THE "BRING IT, BRO" FROM ANOTHER ICE ZOMBIE MASTER AND THAT SHIT NEEDS TO GET RESOLVED AT SOME POINT GODDAMMIT. HIM AND STANNIS (WHO TOTALLY DIDN'T DIE EITHER) AND SYRIO FOREL (WE NEVER ACTUALLY SAW HIM DIE SO HE COULD TOTALLY BE ALIVE) AND SHIREEN (MAYBE THAT WAS JUST ONE OF THE FACELESS MEN OR SOMETHING DISGUISED AS SHIREEN AND DAVOS SNUCK HER OUT BEFORE SHE GOT BURNED?) ARE ALL GONNA BE FRIENDS AND KILL SNOW ZOMBIES TOGETHER FOREVER.