Welcome back everyone to another “nerdfest” post. The second in less than a week! Yes, like a bear coming out of hibernation I have emerged from a cold winter slumber with a hunger to spread my options far and wide about ridiculously trivial subjects that I admittedly spend far too much time thinking about.
Now with Game of Thrones set to premiere in just a few weeks I felt the need to discuss the one simple, undeniable thing that will happen this season: the return of Jon Snow.
Before I begin I must caution anyone who has not been watching the show or has not read the books that I will be talking about things that may ruin a few key elements in the story for you or, to put it another way: this post is dark and full of spoilers.
I had not read A Dance With Dragons when season 5 aired last year. So when Jon Snow was stabbed by the Night’s Watch and left bleeding on the ground my first reaction was, and I quote, fuck this show.
I seriously considered just walking out and never laying my eyes on it again. Get me invested in yet another character just to kill them for no good reason, I said, screw this. Of course that lasted all of a day before I began reading the book and coming up with theories for next year. And it became obvious that Jon Snow wasn’t really dead for a variety of reasons.
(As an aside I want to clarify I just want to focus on in-story reasons not set pictures or how long Kit Harrington’s hair is, while compelling in “real-life” there are plenty of reasons in the text to support Jon’s non-deadness.)
The thing is of course that Jon Snow isn’t just another character. He has been pivotal to the story from the very start and has been set up repeatedly as being something more than your average, everyday canon fodder. He is one of three characters that the story hinges upon. Daenerys, Tyrion and Jon. This is called A Song of Ice and Fire and each has a part to play. Daenerys: fire, Jon: ice, and Tyrion makes his way between the two uniting them. This is very thematic and makes narrative sense. By killing Jon you break that cohesion and the story falls apart.
But Paul, you say, isn’t that that point? George RR Martin specifically meant for this to subvert the fantasy genre and so by killing a “pivotal” character he proves that this is not a fairy tale and you cannot count on traditional storytelling techniques.