[WARNING: This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Game of Thrones.]
While season 5 of Game of Thrones was controversial for a number of reasons, the biggest shock almost certainly came at the very end. Jon Snow, one of the few de facto good guys left on the show, was stabbed repeatedly in the torso by his fellow brothers of the Night's Watch. And though we didn't exactly see him "die" by the time the credits rolled, it was pretty obvious that his death was imminent.
But in the world of Game of Thrones, death is not always the end, and fans of the books and show have come up with numerous theories for how the character could return. Still, Jon Snow actor Kit Harington swears that he's not coming back ("next season") and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss keep saying that Snow is definitely dead, leading those less skeptical viewers to be very sad about the whole thing.
And President Obama is among them. At the Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel on Friday, director David Nutter, who directed the season 5 finale, revealed that Obama said to him: "You didn't kill Jon Snow, did you?" To which Nutter responded:
"Mr. President, Jon Snow is deader than dead."
Obama apparently also told David Nutter that he "keeps killing his favorite characters," a reference to the Red Wedding episode 'The Rains of Castamere,' which Nutter also directed.
This isn't the first time that someone associated with Game of Thrones has said, without equivocation, that Jon Snow is dead. Of course, no one is really arguing that he's not dead; rather, most fans believe that he's dead and will be coming back to life, which is why Melisandre was shown returning to the Wall at the very end of the episode. Tellingly, neither Nutter nor Benioff and Weiss have said Jon Snow is dead and never coming back.
Just as a recap, fan theories for how Snow could return include: Melisandre resurrecting him via blood magic (a la Beric Dondarrion), Jon Snow warging into Ghost (a la Bran), or some combination of the two (perhaps Snow will warg into Ghost until Melisandre has resurrected his body, at which point he can return to said body without losing a piece of himself).
I'm sure you're thinking: But what about Kit Harington saying he's not returning ("next season")? Well, it's certainly possible that Snow could take a break from the show until season 7, sort of like how Bran Stark didn't appear in season 5. But that's a pretty big break to take for one of the bigger, more popular characters in the story.
The other possibility is that Harington is just, well, fibbing. This wouldn't be the first time actors or producers have lied about some secret element of a major film or television property to preserve its secrecy. We all remember Marion Cotillard swearing up and down that she wasn't playing Talia in The Dark Knight Rises, and then there was the time Simon Pegg said Benedict Cumberbatch was absolutely not playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.
On the other hand, it's also possible that Snow really is just dead and never coming back. That seems unlikely, though, given the role his mysterious parentage has played in both the books and the show. Plus, Kit Harington has been spotted in Belfast - which is where they shoot the Wall scenes - and his hair and beard have grown back (this is more important than you might think, since Harington has said he hates the long hair and only keeps it because he's contractually obligated to for the show).
But maybe most importantly, earlier in 2015, Harington, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss attended a discussion about Game of Thrones at the Oxford Union where Harington was asked what other character he'd like to play on the show. His response? "I'd like to be a warg. I'd like to put myself into a wolf." Then, Weiss said: "Two words. Season 6."
So don't fret, Obama. While nothing is ever for certain with this sort of thing, the safe bet is that Jon Snow is coming back, whether he's "deader than dead" or not.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Do you think Jon Snow is coming back? Do you think Kit Harington will return as well? Drop us a line in the comments.
Game of Thrones season 6 will premiere in Spring 2016 on HBO.