(The season five finale of Game Of Thrones was more than a month ago now, but maybe there are still some people who don’t know who the [REDACTED] in this headline refers to. If so, are you really that busy? You have time to read The A.V. Club, you could catch up on your DVR. Anyway, spoilers ahead.)
HBO recently promoted its “Honor The Fallen: Game Of Thrones In Memoriam Collection”—a fancy way of saying the company has figurines of dead characters to sell—which includes such fallen characters as Oberyn Martell (death: face explosion), Joffrey (death: poison and hubris), and The Hound (death: technically unknown; left for dead by Arya after suffering grievous wounds). Jon Snow was not among those fallen toys, leading to more speculation that he may not be dead. Also supporting the “Jon Snow lives” arguments: Kit Harington’s hair flows long and curled like Jon Snow of old; his co-star Emilia Clarke thinks he might return; and on July 20, Harington flew to Belfast, a filming location for Game Of Thrones (on the same flight, according to Watchers On The Wall, as Tom Wlaschiha, who plays Jaqen H’ghar).
On the “Jon Snow dies” side, Harington said, “I’ve been told I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season. So that’s all I can tell you, really.” (Although: “next season.” That’s a qualifier.) Showrunner Dan Weiss simply said, “Dead is dead.” But is dead really dead? A Song Of Ice And Fire author George R.R. Martin left Jon Snow’s death ambiguous, leading fans to speculate that, though stabbed, he might not be dead. In his final scene in A Dance With Dragons, members of the Night’s Watch mutiny against him, just like in the show. The text goes:
When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold…
Neither the book nor the show actually show him die. Melisandre returns to the Wall before Jon dies in the show, while in the book, she never left. Sure seems like she has a part to play on the Wall if the show brought her back, and the fact that she arrives before Jon Snow is stabbed lends credence to the theory that she can save him. Another fan theory posits that Jon doesn’t feel the fourth knife go in because he’s inhabited his direwolf’s body, as the last word he utters as he’s stabbed is the direwolf’s name, “Ghost.”
Which means a collection of dead character toys that doesn’t include Jon Snow probably means nothing, but might mean something.