This is your warning. If you are not caught up with the latest episode of Game of Thrones there will be spoilers. Also, in case you do not know. I have not read all of the books, but I do seek out spoilers more than one should.
Sunday night was the season finale of season five of Game of Thrones. In case you don’t know anything at all about Game of Thrones, let me take a moment to tell you about it.
Game of Thrones is an HBO series based off a series of books called A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The first book, A Game of Thrones, was released August 6th, 1996. Since then there have been four more released for a total of 5 books. The last book, A Dance With Dragons was released on July 12th, 2011.
The it is a High Fantasy, that is relatively light on the actual fantasy elements, but is heavy on the world building. They are multiple POV novels that have a massive cast of characters all over the world, spanning Westeros and Essos. When I say there is a massive cast of characters I mean it. There are a ton of POVs each with their own story.
However, the main thing about the series, be it the books or the show is the extremely grim nature of it. In most books or shows, you have a protagonist and you journey through the story with them as they work to reach their goals. Antagonists will get in the way, problems may arise, things may not go well, the protagonist may not even succeed, but an end will be reached. With the sheer number of POVs we have it is clear that not all of these POVs are not protagonists. Heck, a number of them are straight up antagonists and we are watching them wreck havoc. What makes this show so dark is that often many of the characters we learn are not so stand up. Some protagonists are protagonists because of situation rather than value. Some are just better than others. Many of the characters have a darkness to them. When you watch bad things happen time and time again it can get hard to watch. No one wins on this show. In the rare case someone does, it tends to be an antagonist and they don’t generally get to relish that win for long. In many ways this mirror elements of real life.
Yet, there is this paragon of light among all the darkness in this show and that is the Stark family. The rulers of Winterfell of the North. They were raised well by Ned Stark, despite the occasionally venomous Catelyn Stark’s presence. It is their light that we follow through the show and how they endure. What is surprising that even now, those who remain of the Stark family are still beacons of light even as corruption pollutes them. They have morals and they are a fascinating group to watch. One of those family members is Jon Snow. Though he doesn’t have the name, he is every bit a Stark as the rest and is truly the best of them all. Unlike the other Stark’s his heart remained light. He did what was for the greater good rather than for himself.
Watching the blood drain out of him in the season finale was a gut punch like no other.
You have to understand, of all the Stark’s he’s the only one who never let the hatred that was around him seep in even a little. There was no influence placed upon him. He took what he learned from his father about being a good man who did right and applied it to his life. There is not a single other character who was as good on this show, except for maybe Rickon and Tommen and they are both children. With his death we lost light on this show. We lost hope. And damn, it really hurts.
Not only that, but Jon was a sign of hope. As a character, his leadership skills had grown. He proved that he was able to make tough decisions. Most importantly, he proved that even when he made a tough call he was more than willing to whisk himself as an assurance. He was a fierce fighter and we had just learned his Valyrian steel sword could slay a White Walker. He was going to lead the fight against the White Walkers. The people stood a chance with Jon. Not any more. The white Walkers will come and eliminate the already weak Night’s Watch at Castle Black who will be too distracted by exacting revenge on the Wildlings within their walls who could have helped. Then it will be all downhill for all of Westeros. And after his own men mutinied against Jon, I really hope they get what they deserve.
Yet, if I were Jon Snow, I wouldn’t feel that way. I get the nasty feeling that Jon Snow may be saddened by what his men did and may be weary, but he would still protect them. Because that’s the kind of guy who Jon Snow is.
Now, I’m going to get a little theoretical here, so if you don’t want to read then you’ve been warned.
I don’t believe that Jon Snow will remain dead. As I mentioned he’s the last real hope. Jon’s light returning to the world will rely entirely on the repugnant Melisandre and the Lord of Light (see what I did there). We saw a few seasons ago that men can be resurrected by Red Priests. Jon conveniently has one right there with him. One who looked on at him terrified. One who in one version didn’t leave his side, and in the other quickly returned before the event. I’d be hard pressed to see why Melisandre would leave Stannis’s side to do such a thing when she stood by him for so long. If Melisandre truly believed that he was Azor Ahai, she would have stayed so she could resurrect him when he met his fate. She didn’t though. She fled immediately barely making it back before Jon’s assault. This resurrection will no doubt use a lot of fire because Melisandre has a thing for it and well, Jon may be half Targaryan.
You might be wondering who Azor Ahai is. You can certainly look it up, but let me tell you real quick my understanding of him. Azor Ahai existed a long time ago and he used a firesword called Lightbringer. With Lightbringer he fought the darkness. It is believed that the Lord of the Light will have Azor Ahai be reborn to save the world again from darkness.
This second coming of Azor Ahai may come with the rebirth of Jon Snow. This would be an interesting turn of events as Azor Ahai is also a dark character and Jon would have a major internal struggle. Thankfully, he’ll also be able to shed his ties to the Night’s Watch as his death would have unbound him.
Maybe I’m just reeling from all my denial that Jon Snow isn’t actually dead. He is after all my favorite character on the show. Maybe I just wanted some hope to remain in this world among on all the shit that is constantly being flung about. I’m not sure, but something inside me is just struggling to believe that Jon Snow is truly gone from the show in the way that Ned Stark is gone from the show. I just can’t believe it and as such his traumatic death didn’t have the impact that any of the other deaths did this episode. I just don’t believe that this is the last we see of Jon Snow.
If I’m wrong, which I very well could be, I don’t know how I’m going to go on. Jon Snow was my connection to the show. It’s who I tuned in to see what would happen next. Sure, I’m curious about what Tyrion is up to. And what some of the Stark children are doing, but Jon was the heart for me. If it is truly cut out with no return, I know I will struggle to be invested in the show for much longer as I find myself rooting for terrible things to happen to a number of the characters. So I don’t just want Jon Snow, I need him. He will be sorely missed.
Any one else of the denial train? Well, chu chu, this is the last train departing the station. Join me and we can talk about where the hell Ghost is and how he better not be hurt.