‘The Winds Of Winter’ Plot Spoilers: Will Jon Snow Die? Plus Will He Avenge The Starks?

Jon Snow
Discover what is in store for Jon Snow in "The Winds of Winter." And who his mother is! HBO

Warning! There are multiple "Game of Thrones" spoilers within this piece. Please do not proceed if you have not yet finished "A Dance with Dragons" in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Despite the show spoilers, most of these thoughts are just theories from readers and viewers of "Game of Thrones." If you don't care about spoiling the HBO series, then read on because the Jon Snow story just gets better and better! 

“The Winds of Winter” does not yet have a confirmed release date, but George R.R. Martin is making one thing clear -- Jon Snow survives. This comes as a big surprise to readers. At the end of book five “A Dance with Dragons,” Jon Snow was allegedly killed by none other than the men of Night’s Watch. Jon Snow’s journey in “A Song of Ice and Fire” has been a story of success despite losing most of his family at the hands of the Lannisters. In book five, he rises to the rank of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but it soon becomes apparent that the new appointment wasn’t favored by all of his brothers. With his new rank and title, Jon attempts to rally the Night’s Watch in a march south to save his family's castle, Winterfell and avenge the Starks. In addition to suggesting violating nearly 8,000 years of traditions, the Night’s Watch had enough of Ned Stark’s bastard, an assassination attempt occurs led by Bowen Marsh, which readers believed to be successful. Although now Martin has unintentionally stated that Jon is, in fact, alive. In an interview with io9, Martin explained how the story has grown throughout his telling of the central story. "Some major characters -- yes, I always had plans, what Tyrion's arc was going to be through this, what Arya's arc was going to be through this, what Jon Snow's arc is going to be. I knew what the principal deaths were going to be, and when they were coming. That would be the closest thing."

But even though Martin has confirmed that Jon Snow’s arc continues, there is a twist. Jon Snow’s death seems almost unavoidable after the betrayal, and it seems unlikely considering Martin’s writing style that the tragic end, would in fact just be an unsubstantiated cliff hanger. There is more to Jon Snow’s story and we think the main arc of his plot line begins with his death. I know I just said that Martin has confirmed Jon Snow survives, but I never said he didn’t die first. Snow will most likely start off “The Winds of Winter” dead, which accounts for his exclusion as a point of view character in tis installment. But as book six progresses, Jon Snow will most likely be resurrected, in one of two ways.

Supernatural magic, and the undead play a large role in the “Game of Thrones” spawned series, so it makes sense that Jon would be resurrected using otherworldly means. Melisandre is currently at Caste Black with the men of the Night’s Watch and Stannis’ army. Due to her presence at the Wall, and her growing interest for Snow, many fans believe that Melisandre will resurrect Jon Snow through the kiss of life. Fans of “Game of Thrones” and “A Song of Ice and Fire” have witnessed the pure magic of the R’hllor before when the Red Priest Thoros of Myr resurrected Beric Dondarrion, and then Beric resurrected a dead Catelyn Tully, who becomes Lady Stoneheart. But this gives Melisandre true power from the Lord of Light, something that hasn’t yet been confirmed. A similar theory suggests that instead of Melisandre delivering the kiss of life, it is Lady Stoneheart, who resurrects her husband’s bastard child. This would certainly bring the Stark storyline full circle, additionally there are not many other characters like Lady Stoneheart that has the potential to reunite the Starks.

Another fan theory regarding Jon Snow’s resurrection states that Jon most likely warged into his direwolf Ghost before his body’s ultimate death. Jon has the ability to stay alive through his host, but he would be living, breathing and thinking as a wolf. Despite all of the Starks' children ability to warg, and the prologue of “A Dance with Dragons” clearly explaining to readers the manners and effects of warging before Jon ultimately wargs into Ghost upon his betrayal of his brothers, this would be a bit of a disappointing end to his character. While Ghost has played a role in the series, and his ability as a warg would be exciting, essentially he is still an animal. Finally the last and most exciting theory is that Jon is resurrected and his second life involves Ghost, but not as a simple warg.

Jon Snow will be resurrected by Melisandre, but again not with the kiss of life, instead she will perform a burning ceremony following the Azor Ahai prophecy. The red priestess will finally make the necessary connections when staring into the flames. In chapter 31 of “A Dance with Dragons,” Martin hinted at the possibility of Jon being the true Azor Ahai. “I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R'hllor shows me only Snow,” these are Melisandre’s thoughts, but it’s not until his death that she knows what she must do. However, this is not the first time that Jon’s destiny as the hero who defeated the Others has been hinted at, Jon has a dream in “A Dance with Dragons” where he is standing atop of the Wall in black armor with a flaming sword. Jon’s consciousness will most likely warg into Ghost’s mind, then Melisandre will burn his body with his sword, Longclaw, after the flames extinguish he will be reborn. This will not be the first time fans of “Game of Thrones” witness live emerge from flames. However the reborn Jon Snow while not be exactly the same, instead he will return to fulfill his destiny as a hybrid between his human self and his direwolf Ghost. Jon will emerge from the flames with white hair, which connects to his supposed origin as the third Targaryen as the love child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and to the “ice,” and the blood red eyes that Ghost possessed, which would give him the necessary “fire.” Some fan theories even claim that Jon will then yield his flaming sword, the real Lightbringer, and plunge it into the heart of Melisandre, fulfilling the Azor Ahai prophecy and readying himself to fight the White Walkers. 

What do you think?
Donovan Longo

Donovan Longo, staff reporter, joined the Latin Times team in February 2013 and has quickly become our resident pop culture expert. As a native New Yorker and Fordham University alumni, Donovan has always had her finger on the cultural pulse and is here to get you in the know.  As a follower of Donovan’s writing you will undoubtedly win a game of thrones, survive a zombie apocalypse, fall in love with a vampire and outsmart the CIA.