A long winter looms for “Game of Thrones” fans awaiting the April premiere of the new season. But, like a three-eyed raven, HBO quietly delivered one bombshell of a message this week in the form of a Season 6 poster featuring Jon Snow.
HBO tweeted the image with the message: “April #GoTSeason6 #GameOfThrones.” It was also posted on Facebook.
At the end of Season 5, Jon, played by Kit Harington, was stabbed again and again by members of the Night’s Watch, and was left to die cold and alone in the snow.
Monday’s poster is the first major hint of Jon’s return since pictures of Harington at an airport in Northern Ireland, where parts of the series are filmed, went viral in July. He was later spotted on set in costume filming seemingly pivotal battle scenes.
“Let’s just say that ‘Game of Thrones’ will remain a part of my life for a while, I’ll probably be in my 30s when it’s over,” Harington said in September.
It remains unknown what this news might mean. Some fans have already suggested that Jon will be resurrected by Melisandre but will lose a piece of his soul in the process.
▪ Jon Snow is alive: Standing upright is usually a good indication of being alive.
▪ He will be featured heavily: Game of Thrones wouldn’t give its first poster over to a dead character, nor one who is alive but is barely featured. We pretty much knew this given how much time Harrington has spent on set.
▪ Season 6 will probably begin airing on April 24: While the poster only confirms the month, the 24th is a pretty safe bet because that is when Martin Scorsese’s “Vinyl” concludes and vacates Game of Thrones’ usual Sunday night slot.
▪ Jon is alive but clearly isn’t A-OK: Each rebirth carries a heavy toll. We could end up seeing a sort of zombified Jon Snow.
▪ Is something up with his eye? Jon was stabbed repeatedly in the gut, so why would his eye be bleeding? Is it a reference to the One-Eyed Raven?
Still unresolved are the identities of Jon’s parents.
According to A Wiki of Ice and Fire, an extensive fan site, many readers believe that Jon is not the son of Eddard Stark. Instead, he is the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Eddard’s sister, Lyanna Stark. Rhaegar and Lyanna disappeared together to the Tower of Joy early in Robert’s Rebellion. There, it’s believed, Rhaegar left a pregnant Lyanna to defend his family’s dynasty.
This would mean that Jon is actually a Targaryen, which would make him heir to the Iron Throne.
Last summer, we learned that Bran Stark, Jon’s brother from another mother, will definitely be back for season six.
Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright confirmed that he’s returning after sitting out season five, Entertainment Weekly reported.
“I can’t say a lot, but I am back this season, and it’s going to get particularly interesting with Bran,” Wright told the Irish Examiner. “He has some interesting visions.”
At the time, he said he doesn’t know whether Harington would return after his apparent death scene.
“I don’t know (if he will come back). He’s said he’s not,” Wright said.
Stars Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and others skirted that pointed question last summer during a panel at Comic-Con in San Diego. Fans were speculating that somehow Jon would be back.
“We couldn’t wait for him to be gone, actually,” Williams joked when asked about Jon’s death. “That hair. So annoying.”