Leave it to Arya Stark to needle Game of Thrones viewers during the off-season.
Maisie Williams, who plays Arya on the HBO fantasy series, appeared at the 2016 U.K. Critics’ Circle Awards on Sunday, where she won the Young British/Irish Performer of the Year award. During the event, she stopped to talk about what’s ahead on Thrones — specifically, the fate of her on-screen half-brother, Jon Snow.
“It was awful,” Williams said about the aftermath of Snow’s death in season five. “Everyone felt so sad about it. And I felt so mean, because I’d speak to people, and they’d be like, ‘Jon Snow…is he back?’ And it’s really heartbreaking, because they’re like, ‘Yeah, but he’s coming back though.’ It’s a great twist, but I can’t say that he’s going to be alive.”
Williams’ parting quote about Jon Snow raises some eyebrows. While most fans agree that Kit Harington’s brooding hero will recover from his apparent demise at the hands of his traitorous Night’s Watch subordinates, the idea that he won’t “be alive” sparks some unpleasant possibilities for the actor’s return.
Take these three options as examples:
1. Black and Wight
What if The Night’s King resurrects Jon? The commander of the White Walkers took a keen interest in Jon in the final moments of the climactic “Hardhome” episode, after all. Viewers and Snow alike have seen firsthand this cruel creature’s ability to zombify the dead. Was this a sign of things to come for Jon — and if so, will “Snow Wight” retain any of his living personality on his journey back from the dead?
2. The Re-Branding Process
Another option is that Snow is actually dead, but his body-hopping half-brother Bran Stark will inhabit his corpse. In the past, Bran has used his magical abilities as a warg on his protector Hodor, both to calm the man down and to use him as a veritable murder machine. Many fans believe Bran will guide Jon’s spirit back into his body, but what if Bran simply occupies Jon instead, leaving Kit Harington to play Isaac Hempstead-Wright’s character moving forward?
3. The Dance Number
The least pleasant option of them all: Jon Snow is actually dead, and Kit Harington will only show up in season six as a frozen corpse. Don’t forget that Charles Dance once teased a return to Thrones, despite his character’s death in the season four finale. He lived up to his word, albeit as nothing more than a cold body on a slab. Perhaps that’s the “twist” Maisie Williams is teasing for a not-“alive” Jon, even if it’s not a “great” one.
However it shakes out, viewers will have a better sense of Jon Snow’s fate when Game of Thrones returns April 24.