Does this mean Jon Snow is alive in Game of Thrones season 6 - and if so, how?
Published 24/11/2015 | 07:46
It's been rumoured for months that Game of Thrones fan favourite Jon Snow – who was apparently killed off at the end of season five – would be making a comeback in the show's forthcoming sixth season.
Actor Kit Harington has been spotted out and about near the show's Belfast set, and the internet (or at least the Game of Thrones-obsessed part of the internet) has been flooded with stories about the star reportedly filming battle scenes, and leading an army of Northerners to war.
But just in case any Game of Thrones fans had any lingering doubts, HBO – the US channel behind the hit fantasy show – today posted an image of Snow on its official Game of Thrones Twitter page, along with the word "April". (The implication is that season six will be returning, as expected, in April 2016. Or that Snow's name has been inexplicably changed to April.)
And while those sceptical about Harington's acting skills might express some doubt, it's clear the character is meant to be alive in the picture, if not exactly well: he appears to be standing, with his head downcast and blood pouring from his eye.
Last month, the website Watchers on The Wall reported that Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa Stark - ostensibly Jon's half sister, if you accept the "official" version of the character's parentage) had been spotted on the Game of Thrones set in Ireland, at a location being used to film a battle between back-from-the-dead Jon Snow and an army of Northerners, and the evil Boltons.
Some reports even suggested that Sansa would be joining Jon, and fighting alongside him in the battle.
Jon’s return: key questions:
How does he come back to life?
It's not guaranteed, but we’re pretty sure sorceress Melisandre and her Red Magic will have an important part to play here.
Thanks to Beric Dondarrion, we've already seen that those who follow the Red God have the power to bring people back from the dead. And after Stannis Baratheon's tragic, daughter-burning downfall at the end of season five, it looks as if Red Priestess Melisandre may have woken up to that:Jon, rather than Stannis, could be "Azor Ahai" (a mystical leader from the past, whom the prophecies say will be reborn to save Westeros).
Another, possibly less likely fan theory suggests that Jon could have learnt to "warg" like his brother Bran, and that he may have transferred his consciousness into his Direwolf, Ghost, in the moments before he died.
Does dying count as a Night's Watch ‘get out of jail free’ card?
When he joined the Night’s Watch, Jon’s vow - "I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children; I shall wear no crowns and win no glory; I shall live and die at my post" - meant that he was bound to serve the brotherhood for the rest of his life. In fact, the vow specifically states that the speaker's watch "shall not end until my death".
But, as far as we're aware, there are no rules for what happens if one of the brothers of the NIghts Watch dies, then returns to life. The implication is that through his death, Jon may have been freed from his contract, allowing him to leave The Wall, take arms against his family's enemies and fulfill his true destiny, whatever it may be.