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Warning: spoilers for the upcoming sixth season of Game of Thrones ahead.
No, seriously. Huge spoilers. If you want to remain as unspoiled as the snow of a Northern winter, check out one of our delightful, non-game-changing articles. You have been warned.
HBO's Game of Thrones is so phenomenally popular that cliffhangers are pretty much unnecessary to hook viewers into coming back after a hiatus, but that hasn’t stopped the show from leaving some characters’ futures unknown for the better part of a year. The biggest cliffhanger at the end of Season 5 was the fate of Jon Snow, who was seemingly stabbed to death in a Caesar-esque assassination plot by members of the Night's Watch. As it turns out, however, the dead Bastard of Winterfell isn’t quite so dead… and he’s returning to Winterfell in Season 6.
Reports from the set indicate that a scene was rehearsed at Winterfell (in Northern Ireland) recently. Watchers on the Wall notes that scene definitely involved Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Littlefinger, and Ramsay Bolton. A giant is also reportedly involved. Fans of Game of Thrones have spent the months since the Season 5 finale concocting theories about just how Jon Snow could come back. The folks behind the scenes as well as actor Kit Harington have gone to pretty great lengths to debunk rumors, but Jon Snow couldn’t really be dead. After all, the biggest current threat to Westeros comes from the ice zombies beyond the Wall; would the show really kill off the major point-of-view character from that storyline?
If Snow did die, the most logical theory has been that Red priestess Melisandre – rather conveniently arrived back to the Wall after ruining Stannis’ life – will resurrect Jon or some amalgamation of the character. We’ve already seen proof via Beric Dondarrion that resurrection is possible with the help of the Lord of Light. Melisandre’s motives have been murky as of late, but she could be the key to what's happening.
Jon Snow being present in this scene at Winterfell is not the only big surprise. Sansa was last seen with Theon Greyjoy. The two leapt from the walls of the Bolton-controlled Winterfell – possibly to their deaths – to escape Ramsay. Having Jon and even Littlefinger with her will likely guarantee her some safety from Ramsay’s cruelties, but it still takes a stiff spine to face her tormenter once more. We can only hope that she’ll be able to exact some serious revenge on Ramsay at some point. (And hopefully punch Littlefinger in the face.)
This rumored spoiler should be a nice reassurance to those of us who were too anxious to wait until spring for news of Jon Snow and Sansa Stark, but the wait for Season 6 has become just a little bit harder. Even book-readers are squirming by this point now that the show has caught up to the source material. Winter is coming before we get a new episode, but at least we now have some new material for our theories.