For almost a year (longer for book readers) Game of Thrones fans have been fretting over what transpired in the final moments of season 5, wondering whether or not Jon Snow (Kit Harington) was truly dead or if he was not going to meet the same fate as so many before him. Thankfully, early in season 6, all those anxious fans saw their worries subside, at least for now, as the fate of Jon Snow was revealed on the season's second episode, 'Home.'
Snow’s significance to the show’s endgame, whenever it may be, is believed to be pretty important, so even though showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss claimed in very clear terms that Snow was most certainly dead, many still refused to believe that to be the truth. Although Benioff and Weiss happily declared the death of Commander of the Night’s Watch to be permanent, Harington, too, had to join the showrunners in the long-term façade, which took quite the toll on the Game of Thrones star.
In an interview with EW, Harington revealed that he knew the character would be revived early in season 6 all the way back in the summer of 2014, just as the rest of cast received the scripts for season 5.
“At first I thought I would find it fun, this will be a fun game. But I had to lie to a lot of close friends and cast members and crew. The longer it went, the more I felt like I was betraying them. So I did end up letting people in, slowly.”
According to Harington, the producers of Game of Thrones swore him to secrecy not only from the press, but even his fellow cast members. However, not every cast member believed a character as important as Harington’s could really be written off at this point, as Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) never believed him, while Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) believed Harington’s denials wholeheartedly. Harington also revealed the cast learned the truth when scripts for season 6 were sent out last summer.
It was always asking a lot from fans and book-readers to really believe a figure like Snow could be written off this late in the series. With his family lineage still under debate, along with the impending war (and winter) that’s surely on the horizon, Snow had to play a role in some part of it, and with his revival in 'Home,' it certainly appears that will be the case.
If we’ve learned anything through five seasons of the show, it’s that nobody is truly safe from being killed off, regardless of how important one may think they are to the show. And yet, even then it was hard to believe Jon Snow was gone for good. The show has trained its audience well, but given the amount of speculation between seasons 5 and 6, it doesn't sound like too many fans were convinced.
Game of Thrones season 6 will continue next Sunday with 'Oathbreaker' @9pm on HBO.