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It’s the question Game of Thrones fans have been asking ever since the show went off the air last summer: Did Jon Snow actually die?
The Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch was seemingly killed off in the season five finale, “Mother’s Mercy,” betrayed and stabbed by fellow members of his sworn brotherhood. The final image of the season was Jon Snow (Kit Harington) flat on his back, blood pooling in the snow, his eyes staring heavenward.
What happens next? No one knows for sure, save for the cast and crew of Thrones, and author George R.R. Martin, the writer responsible for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels on which the HBO show is based. But everyone has their own theories about if and how Jon will return — including his own on-screen family members.
Case in point: Sean Bean, who played Jon’s father Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark on the first season of the fantasy series.
Bean, no stranger to death throughout his career, and intimately familiar with the experience as far as Thrones goes (Ned’s execution was the centerpiece jaw-dropper in season one, a declaration of what this show is willing to do with its principle players), has a take on what happened to Jon … and he doesn’t think it looks good.
“It kind of didn’t look like it, I have to admit, but who knows?” he said about whether or not he thinks Jon survived the season five stabbing. “Anything could happen. I guess that’s the big question.”
“It used to be: Who’s Jon Snow’s dad? Now it’s: Is Jon Snow really dead? But I think he probably is. What do I know?”
Many fans share Bean’s assessment of Jon’s fate, both in terms of the prediction that the character died and the ultimate uncertainty that goes with the “death.” But many of those same fans also believe the character will somehow return from the grave in the forthcoming sixth season.
Also worth noting is how Bean discusses the mysteries behind Jon’s parentage. As far as the people of Westeros know, Ned is Jon’s father; no mystery there. It’s his mother that Ned refuses to identify.
But savvy fans and crackpot theorists have long held onto the notion that Ned is not Jon’s dad as we’ve been led to believe. Instead, the theory posits Ned’s dead sister Lyanna and the long deceased prince Rhaegar Targaryen as Jon’s true parents.
Such lineage would leave Jon with both ice and fire coursing through his veins, a huge part of why fans believe there’s more story to tell of the “late” Lord Commander.
There’s reason to believe this aspect of Jon’s past will come into play on the show as soon as next season, and while it’s a throwaway comment, Bean framing the mystery as “Who’s Jon Snow’s dad?” rather than “Who’s Jon Snow’s mom?” should raise many already arched eyebrows a little higher.
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