[This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Game of Thrones season 5.]
Game of Thrones has become somewhat infamous for ridding itself of key characters. George R.R. Martin, the author of the books that the show is based on, has never balked at the idea of killing off the main players in the story, which can either lead to great storytelling or fan outrage - sometimes both.
The finale of season 5 was no different, with one of the series' leads being killed off, much to the fans' chagrin. Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, saw his end in the episode Mother's Mercy, ending season 5 on a very emotional note. Killed by those who Snow once considered to be his brothers, he was repeatedly stabbed until the camera stayed on his dying face, as a pool of blood spilled out next to him.
However, recent developments would have us believe that Snow may in fact be still alive. A report from Vanity Fair indicates that Kit Harington will be absent from the Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel this year. During the show's past appearances at the event it's become common for characters who have been killed off to show up for panels. In 2013, Jason Momoa crashed the stage, kissed Emilia Clarke and declared that he wasn't dead after his character, Khal Drogo, was killed off - and Jon Snow is a far more central character than Drogo. While this could be nothing more than a scheduling conflict, it would not be too much of a stretch to consider that HBO is leaving Harington out for a reason.
Also absent from the Comic-Con panel line-up are Martin and series creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, which conveniently means that no one with an overview of where the series is heading will be present to answer fan questions about Jon's fate. Harington has already stated that he will not be returning for next season, but could this really all be some clever plan from HBO to deceive fans?
This is just the latest development in all of the Jon Snow conspiracy theories making the rounds in recent weeks. Despite the seemingly conclusive end for Jon Snow, many still theorize that he could somehow return. For one, the fate of Snow is still unclear in the books as Martin purposely left some ambiguity to the hard-hitting scene. As we have previously discussed, Snow's biological parents might not be who they seem to be, but rather could actually be Lyanna Stark (Ice) and Rhaegar Targaryen (Fire).
If that is indeed the case, then it seems the original book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, could be a story just about Jon Snow. It's important to note that the TV show at does not always stick to the same exact plot line as the books, which might be the case here. But if the theories are true and Snow is indeed the central focus of the series, then it seems his return is not only coming, but imminent. Whatever the case is, it's still too soon to tell whether the fate of Snow established in the season finale is a permanent one, as there is evidence to support both sides.
What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Is Jon Snow still alive, despite what the season finale would have you believe? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Game of Thrones season 6 airs in spring 2016.
Source: Vanity Fair