[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Game of Thrones ahead.]
Among the most talked about items of discussion going into the season 6 of the ever popular fantasy drama Game of Thrones on HBO was the ultimate fate of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the long-running protagonist and late Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. After having been stabbed multiple times by his brothers in black, things were looking pretty bleak for the bastard son of Ned Stark, no matter what spells and incantations of prayed resuscitation might be later provided by the likes of the Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice Van Houten).
After closing the last Game of Thrones episode of season 6 in a state of abject despair and self-pitying reflection, with a particularly eerie shot of Melisandre in supernatural repose, this past Sunday saw the episode 'Home' digging even deeper for a cure to Jon Snow's apparent and untimely mortal end. Luckily enough for fans of the recently appointed Lord Commander, Melisandre's prayers to R'hllor, the Lord of Light, proved fruitful - though shuffling off the mortal coil will leave a lasting impression on Jon Snow going forward.
During a recent interview with EW, Harington goes at length in an intensely interesting and thematically nuanced dissection of a post-resurrection Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, before citing lines from a conversation with Melisandre presumably arising in the upcoming episode 'Oathbreaker' this Sunday. Speaking to his own take on the recent miracle, Harington stated:
"At first, I was worried that he’ll wake up and he’s the same, back to normal, then there’s no point in that death. He needs to change. There’s a brilliant line when Melisandre asks: ‘What did you see?’ And he says: ‘Nothing, there was nothing at all.’ That cuts right to our deepest fear, that there’s nothing after death. And that’s the most important line in the whole season for me. Jon’s never been afraid of death, and that’s made him a strong and honorable person. He realizes something about his life now: He has to live it, because that’s all there is. He’s been over the line and there’s nothing there. And that changes him. It literally puts the fear of God into him. He’s seen oblivion and that’s got to change somebody in the most fundamental way there is. He doesn’t want to die ever again. But if he does, he doesn’t want to be brought back."
Clearly post-resurrection Jon Snow will not be the same person that he was before now that he has crossed over the threshold of the living and entered the realm of the dead. Judging from Harington's take on the character and his motivations surrounding the recent miracle, it would sound like the stakes will be made all the higher - with Jon forced to be made more aware of his own mortality than ever before, and all without the aid and comfort of any one of the many Gods of Westeros to guide him in future Game of Thrones episodes.
Harington certainly isn't taking his return to life lightly, which suggests that the next time the Lord Commander falls in battle he might not get up again. Jon Snow is no Beric Dondarrion, as his journey going forward will be one fraught with the difficulties and recurring fear of having already died once.
Game of Thrones season 6 will continue with ‘Oathbreaker’ at 9pm EST on Sunday, May 8th.