11:00 am EDT, May 4, 2016

What Jon Snow’s fate means for the future of ‘Game of Thrones’

Oh, the places we'll go, the things we'll learn!

This week, Game of Thrones continued to create more questions out of answering others.

Now that we finally know for certain what we all predicted, it’s time to speculate how this will impact Game of Thrones going forward. Yes, of course I’m talking about Jon Snow’s resurrection.

There are larger implications for the future of the show besides the fact that Jon is an active character again. Aside from how different Jon himself might be, we also must consider what his presence means for other characters and plots.

First thing’s first, Melisandre is going to die. She has two things working against her. 1) She did her part in bringing Jon back, so her purpose is done. 2) She’s getting a sympathetic edit, and that never bodes well. Start preparing yourself now, because Melisandre doesn’t have long for this world. It is known (wait, no, wrong religion!).

Now let’s talk about Jon. What Jon Snow are we getting back ? Resurrection is not new to Westeros. Most recently we saw the Mountain brought back to life through ‘scientific’ methods, and he appears to be quite obedient. He’s mute and just does what he’s told, a mere killing machine (although, you could argue that’s all he was in life too).

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Then there’s Beric Dondarrion, resurrected by Thoros through magical means in more or less the same way as Jon. Though Thoros was adept at this feat (he’d done it enough times), every time Beric came back, he lost a bit of himself. Memories would go, and he seemed only capable of (re)living for a singular purpose: revenge.

This was Melisandre’s first attempt at bringing the dead back to life, so it’s possible she might have screwed up somewhere in the ritual, causing Jon to come back a little different from the Jon we know. Even if she did it perfectly, Jon is likely to be a changed man.

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Having died, he has no Night’s Watch oaths to maintain, and seeking revenge on those who killed him would understandably be a high priority. We’ve known Jon to be more merciful than merciless, but will this be reversed after losing a part of himself in death?

And will Jon’s return impact other characters? Sansa is on her way to Castle Black, and after hearing what she has to say (assuming they actually do reunite), Jon will have more vengeance to seek. The Boltons have taken over his home and hurt his family, so it’s likely he’ll rally all he can to help him go after them.

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Back home in Winterfell, Ramsay is planning on storming Castle Black, and if he’d done it earlier, he just might have won. The old Jon probably wouldn’t have been prepared for a man like Ramsay, but the new Jon will give no pity and show no mercy. After having died, Jon might feel he’s nothing to lose, that this is a second chance and he’ll take it guns blazing (swords slashing?). It would be the perfect contrast, the two Snow bastards who each believe Winterfell is theirs, fighting to the death.

Jon coming back is also almost solid proof that R + L = J. From the beginning we’ve heard tidbits of information about Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister, and the mentions last season were particularly blatant and frequent. Even this season, already, we’ve gotten a Lyanna reference, when Bran visited the past. Unless it’s a giant red herring, there’s obviously a reason a long dead woman with seemingly no relevance keeps getting a shout out.

Of course, if it is true that Jon is a Stark and Targaryen, then Dany is not necessarily the ‘rightful’ heir to the Iron Throne. Being half Targaryen also means that Jon has the blood of the dragon, and he has a claim to the Throne and to one of Dany’s dragons.

Side note: He probably won’t get Drogon, since he’s Dany’s favorite. But how funny would it be if Jon just strolls in and Drogon immediately bows down and does what he’s told? That’ll teach Dany the importance of training!

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Having been resurrected by the fire god and having the blood of the dragon also poses an interesting notion of Jon’s overall purpose. It’s long been postulated that the “Ice and Fire” referenced in the book series title is Jon and Dany. But what if it’s just Jon? Jon has gotten ‘looks’ from both sides: Melisandre stared him down when she first saw him, and believes him to be Azor Ahai. The Night’s King also shared what seemed like a telling look with Jon at Hardhome.

We know the war between ice and fire is coming, so what if Jon is a link that connects them? He’s the undead brought back to fight the undead, and put an end to this war. He won’t do it alone, either. Azor Ahai needed a weapon to fight the darkness, and he had Lightbringer. If we’re to assume Lightbringer is a physical sword, it’s most likely Longclaw. In season 5, both Jon and a White Walker were surprised to see Longclaw kill the White Walker. We thusly learned that Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers. But what if it was more than just being Valyrian steel? If Jon is Azor Ahai, why couldn’t Longclaw be Lightbringer, the ‘hero’s sword’ meant to fight the darkness?

Jon coming back opens many doors. There are so many possibilities his presence brings to the show. Is Melisandre finished? Will Jon be the one to kill Ramsay? Is Jon really half Targaryen? And most importantly, will he ride a dragon?!

How do you think Jon’s resurrection will impact the future of ‘Game of Thrones’?

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