Jon Snow’s Resurrection Feature Image Credit: HBO via Tech Insider
Since the beginning of Game of Thrones, back when the beloved Eddard/Ned Stark was beheaded before our disbelieving eyes, we were only beginning to grow accustomed to the death of popular and influential characters. That is why we were still shocked when the Red Wedding took place and we witnessed the unexpected and untimely demise of Catelyn and Robb Stark.
However after that point, it became more clear that George R.R. Martin takes pleasure in being cruel to his fans in the kindest of ways. In other words, he toys with our perceptions, crossing boundaries that break the limits of our imaginations. He plunges us through the extremities of the emotional spectrum from disgust and despair to joy and relief. But only because that’s exactly what we want most from him. That’s what makes us Game of Thrones fans.
But even after all the deaths of major characters and watching the surviving Starks suffer the individual afflictions of their familial curse of misfortune, it was still difficult for many Game of Thrones fans to believe that Jon Snow would stay dead. Until this point, while often outraged and disappointed, the Game of Thrones fan community has tended to accept major character deaths as final occurrences. If a character died then he/she was no longer part of the show.
For some reason though, when Jon Snow was presumed to be dead at the end of Season 5, while fans were of course appalled in the show’s usual fashion, there was also a tremendous backlash of denial. It seemed that it was only moments after Jon Snow had taken his last breath before Jon Snow resurrection theories started flying around the internet. But why? Why did the death of Jon Snow plunge fans into a firm and resolute denial while other outrageous deaths were lamented yet accepted?
After HBO released Season 6 trailers and promotional materials that prominently featured the dead Jon Snow, it was all but confirmed that he was being resurrected. The conversation solidified from a matter of “if” Jon Snow would come back to life to a matter of “how” and “when.” People figured that if HBO was keeping Kit Harrington in the Season 6 ads then there was a good chance he was going to return in the show as well. But before that subtle confirmation, why did so many fans still feel the denial and see the resurrection coming?
One reason could be that by Season 6, we had already lost an overwhelming amount of characters from the beginning and it seemed that the ones who stayed alive were going to keep on fighting if they made it this far. Another reason could be Jon Snow’s prominence in the show. HBO and George R. R. Martin have chosen to make Jon Snow a major focus while leaving out or failing to explain other seemingly important details from the book series. It could also be that by Season 6, we’ve seen previously unbelievable magic in effect such as the resurrections the Brotherhood Without Banners perform as well as whatever animates the undead wights and white walkers.
However, if you’ve ever delved into the online world of Game of Thrones lore theories or happen to be a Game of Thrones lore sleuth yourself, you may already be thinking of an answer. We’ll call it the Game of Thrones Jon Snow Royalty Theory. We have never known the identity of Jon Snow’s mother. And while it’s believed that Eddard/Ned Stark is Jon Snow’s father, we don’t know this for sure either. The Jon Snow Royalty Theory suggests that perhaps Jon Snow’s mother was Lyanna Stark and that the father was actually Rhaegar Targaryen.
If this were true, it would mean that Jon Snow has royal blood and would thus have a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. This may be the true reason that Jon Snow’s death caused such a massive denial gut reaction among fans. Jon Snow may have a larger role to play in the central Game of Thrones plot than previously imagined. Through this lens, one can look back and see numerous foreshadowings and subtle details hinting toward this possibility.
What do you think? Why was it so hard for fans to accept Jon Snow’s death? Is it the Jon Snow Royalty Theory? Was the foreshadowing too obvious? Do you have your own theories? Or were you someone who actually didn’t see this coming at all? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.