“Dead is dead” isn’t just the name of a terrific season five episode of Lost. It’s also the frequently repeated line from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss whenever the subject of Jon Snow comes up.
The 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch was betrayed and stabbed by his fellow brothers in black at the end of season five, and last seen bleeding out in the snow, staring lifelessly at the sky. By all appearances, Jon Snow was dead, and the commentary from Benioff, Weiss, and several others associated with the show all confirmed the beloved character’s fate — and yet, many fans refused to accept Jon’s death, “dead is dead” notwithstanding.
Countless theories persist that Snow will rise following his fatal fall, even if the “when” and “how” of his return remain murky. Speculation was only fueled further when Kit Harington himself was spotted in Belfast just as Game of Thrones was starting to film its sixth season. Despite this, Harington and others have maintained the company line about Jon’s fate … but as we inch closer to the season premiere, it appears that the secrecy is loosening up at least a little bit.
Harington spoke with Time Out London about his future on Thrones, or lack thereof. “I’m not in the show anymore,” he reiterated. “I’m definitely not in the new series.”
He then went on to confirm, for the first time, that he actually did shoot new scenes for season six — even if it’s not exactly the kind of return most fans are hoping to see.
“I filmed some scenes of me being dead,” he said, adding that he knows nothing else about what’s ahead this season. “I don’t have a clue. I know how long I’m a corpse for, but I can’t tell you that!”
Harington wouldn’t be the first Game of Thrones actor to return to the show after his character’s death. Charles Dance reprised his role as Tywin Lannister in season five despite dying in the season four finale, doing nothing more than lying on a slab for a funeral scene. At the very least, Jon Snow’s body was always expected to be featured in season six — and now we know Harington’s locked and loaded for such an appearance.
“It’s some of my best work,” he joked to Time Out.
Still, almost all fans agree and expect to see more from Jon than a cold, lifeless performance — even if Harington and the makers of Thrones aren’t quite ready to admit that Jon Snow is only mostly dead.
Game of Thrones returns on April 24, and Jon Snow almost certainly will return with it — if only as a corpse.