Among the many shocks of last night’s “Game of Thrones” season finale was the apparent death of a character long thought to be safe: Jon Snow.
Because no good deed in this series goes unpunished, the new Lord Commander was was stabbed in the gut by his Night’s Watch brothers for rescuing (some of) the Wildlings from their city beyond the Wall, Hardhome, as the White Walkers closed in.
Sure, Kit Harington says showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weisstold him that he was done. And the camera certainly lingered on Jon Snow and his rapidly draining blood long enough to imply that he was dead. But killing him wouldn’t just be bad for business, it would be bad for the show's largerplot. We look at six ways he could have survived.
Melisandre works her voodoo
The Red Priestess has been known to work wonders with, ahem, various bodily fluids. And why would she return to Castle Black instead of trying her luck elsewhere in Westeros? After the Lord of Light seemingly abandoned Stannis, Melisandre needed to ally herself with the next best contestant in the Game of Thrones. Jon Snow only barely turned her down the first time, and owing Melisandre his life is a great way to see things from her point of view.
(Though if this is the solution, expect somesnickering from the “Robin Hood: Men In Tights” fansin the audience.)
Still loyal Night’s Watchmen
One-third of Jon Snow’s brothers in arms supported his candidacy for Lord Commander, presumably some of the same men who accompanied him to Hardhome and saw what Westeros is up against in the White Walker army. Surely, they couldn’t let their leader die by the hands of his own brothers who remain blind to the real threat facing themand all of the Seven Kingdoms when winter arrives.
Maybe Tormund Giantsbane and the remaining Wildlingsdidn’t clear out as completely as they’d promised after landing at Castle Black. Stationing spies close to the Wall would not only keep them apprised of the White Walkers’ approach, but also if the Night’s Watch should decide their arrangement was no longer agreeable to them.
Since the mutineers just left Jon Snow to his fate, the Wildlings could easily scale the castle walls, drag him to, say, his direwolf Ghost’s enclosure, tend to the most grievous wounds and be out before first light.
Joining the White Walkers
Even if Jon Snow is dead, he doesn’t have to stay that way. We don't know if the White Walkers can reanimate anything but freshly dead corpses, but seeing as many of their Hardhome siege forces were little more than skeletons, there’s probably no such thing as too far gone when it comes to the undead.
And it would be the ultimate irony if Jon Snow's plan to hold back the White Walkerscould’ve saved the residents of Castle Black, only him to come back as a zombie and kill them himself.
Brotherhood Without Banners
Remember the band of outlaws from Season 3 whose leader fought the Hound? The trial by combat ended withBeric Dondarrionbeing struck down, but he was resurrected (as he had been several times before) byThoros, a priest of the Lord of Light.
Dondarrion carries the scars of each of his deaths, and says he otherwise loses pieces of himself with each return to life, but just once shouldn’t be that bad. Although, this would also leave Jon Snow indebted to the Lord of Light, and that didn't exactly workout for Uncle Stannis.
Deus ex machina
How Jon Snow cheats death can be as fantastical as the writers want it to be — a la the wayward Drogon swooping into the fighting pit to carry Daenerys away from danger — because him dying simply doesn’t make sense.
It would make all the foreshadowing of his mother's identity meaningless, even though it was implied that she could be even more royal than his father, Ned Stark. (One of the popular theories is that the Mother of Dragons is not, in fact, the last of the Targaryens.) The Night’s Watch would backslide into being a defensive force rather than the proactive army it's been becoming since Jon Snow arrived there.
Plus, he’s been a reliable source ofpopular memes, so he’s good for business right here in the real world. But most importantly, in an endlessly bleak series, Jon Snow was the viewers' safe harbor — and right now, we need him more than ever.
.@GameOfThrones If I wanted to watch week after week of false hope, misery and ever-present, never-ending dread I have my own life.— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) June 15, 2015