A certain supposedly dead member of the Stark family has been spotted wandering around Belfast. Does that mean fans can stop fretting over Jon Snow? Mostly.
Jon Snow died at the end of Game of Thrones Season 5 and precious few people in the audience bought it. Sure, actor Kit Harington has conducted what feels like scores of interviews swearing he is definitely not appearing in Season 6 at all, he’s done with the show as far as he knows and he even inadvertently insulted the people of Belfast where The Wall scenes are filmed after saying their homeland had a “wonderfully depressing tourist board.” If Jon is completely, 100 percent dead, then why is Harington hanging out with the cast in Belfast during preproduction of Season 6?
A source told io9 (and yes, I know the dreaded “source” is vague, but io9 is a reliable outlet) Harington was spotted in Belfast with several other cast members. Perhaps showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss somehow convinced Harington to come back long enough to play a dead body in the premiere, but that seems like the sort of thing that could have been shot in advance to keep the actor from having to travel all the way back to Belfast.
Harington’s presence in Belfast does not mean he will be in the entirety of Season 6, but it certainly points toward some sort of appearance, possibly one that would set up a big return for Jon in Season 7. He could be filming flashbacks (Bran Stark, who will be returning in Season 6, is known for mentally bouncing through time, thanks to his greensight) or flashforwards, for that matter. Either way, Jon staying dead has never been a particularly plausible theory no matter what Harington or the showrunners have said on the matter.
Thanks to his not-so mysterious parentage, Jon is quite literally the son of ice and fire. Given how quickly Melisandre high-tailed it to The Wall after hearing whispers from her Red God, Jon’s destiny being tied to the legendary Azor Ahai is all but a foregone conclusion. While dead usually means dead on Game of Thrones, resurrections have happened more than once, and killing off Jon Snow permanently would be like J.K. Rowling knifing Harry Potter in the back halfway through the books. The hero of the piece can die, but even in the wild and dangerous world of Westeros certain narrative beats must be respected — in other words, the hero also has to rise again.
Unless Harington decided to fly back to Belfast to hang out with his buddies instead of, you know, auditioning for roles now that he is supposedly out of a job, it seems like the long con has come to an end. Now that his presence is more or less settled, let’s move on to more important questions like when Jon returns, who or what will he be?