‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 6 Poster Takes Aim At Jon Snow Speculation

Above: HBO teases audiences with Jon Snow season six poster for 'Game Of Thrones'
Above: HBO teases audiences with Jon Snow season six poster for 'Game Of Thrones'

The people at HBO and the showrunners for Game of Thrones are geniuses – evil, rotten to the core because they’re playing with our emotions and stoking fires that had previously died down geniuses.

Season 6 of the series with a fanatical following and factions made up of “Book Readers” and “Non-Book Readers” doesn’t kick off until April, but the promotional material for the new string of episodes started to drop on Monday and the first image struck right to the heart of the big cliffhanger-slash-mystery that everyone wants solved in the upcoming season:

Is Jon Snow actually dead and is he going to stay dead?

The image, featured above, shows the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch with blood painting his face. His eyes are blackened and obscured by his hair. There is, as was often the case in the previous five seasons, zero emotion on his visage. Nothing about the image gives fans any real clue one way or the other whether Snow, who was stabbed repeatedly by fellow members of the Night’s Watch and left bleeding out at the close of last season, is dead or alive.

Which is why it’s brilliant.

All it does is re-ignite the fiery debates about whether this central character who has been such a vital part of everything taking place throughout the realms is going to appear in the 10-episode run that is still several months away from beginning. It’s perfect marketing and promotion and has set the Game of Thrones-loving corners of the Internet ablaze because, well, we’ve all been waiting until it was okay to start nerding out about Game of Thrones again and preparing to roll out our theories and ideas on whether Kit Harrington’s character was going to turn up or not.

Regardless of whether Jon Snow comes back next season or not, you have to tip your cap to the GOT team for having this be the first Season 6 image circulated. It’s a glorious “here you go, you bunch of savages” move that feeds the insatiable masses and instantly becomes a trending topic. Well done, you bunch of wonderful jerks.

The more important and larger issue here is whether Jon Snow dead and/or will he return in Season 6?

Here’s what we know for sure: Harrington said he’s not coming back and HBO President Michael Lombardo told reporters that Jon Snow is all the way dead.

Of course, both of those things could be misdirection plays because (a) why would Harrington spoil his return and (b) Snow could be dead now, but alive in the future, allowing Lombardo to play the “I said he was dead, but I didn’t say he wasn’t going to be brought back to life” game.

Over the years, we’ve come to learn that just about anything can happen on Game of Thrones – anyone can die and people can be resurrected, we’ve seen it happen in the past – so doubting the lasting demise of such an integral character is understandable. (Note: it’s also why I’m not quite sure Stannis Baratheon is dead either, since we didn’t actually see Brienne chop his head off last year).

There are myriad theories out there about how Jon Snow could have survived a collection of his supposed brothers plunging their daggers into him “For the Watch,” with a couple of them sounding pretty reasonable (I’m an R+L=JS subscriber myself), so teasing the fact that he just might not actually be dead with this poster is perfect and bound to get people talking about their favourite theories and potential twists once again.

And with Season 6 premiering later than previous seasons (late April as opposed to late March like year’s past), that only means more time to take deep dives into The World of Ice and Fire on the Internet before the new episodes arrive.

More than anything, Monday’s arrival of the Jon Snow poster prompts one question for me: is it April yet?

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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