Game of Thrones, Season Finale

HBO

Warning: major spoilers below! Do not read until you have watched Game of Thrones season five finale, "Mother's Mercy." Seriously, we're talking huge, game-changing spoilers here. 

Raise your hand if you still haven't been able to process how Game of Thrones ripped out our hearts last night. Every. Hand. Should. Be. In. The. Air. And  waving like they very much care.

The season five finale was one of the most brutal episodes of television we've ever seen. The body count was high and each death was more disturbing than the last. But the death that shocked us to our core? Our sweet, sweet angel Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

HBO's fantasy series did the unthinkable during "Mother's Mercy," and had the noble and adorable Jon stabbed to death by his fellow Night's Watch brothers who didn't approve of Jon's mercy towards the Wildlings. Having young Olly (Brenock O'Connor), Jon's protege, deliver the final stab was just too much. 

Game of Thrones, Season Finale

HBO

Harington has been vocal about how Jon is for sure dead, as far as he knows. "I've been told I'm dead," he says. "I'm dead. I'm not coming back next season. So that's all I can tell you, really." 

But we refuse to believe that. Jon Snow is one of the biggest reasons why we watch this show in the first place! Come on, you've seen his face. And thanks to that now-infamous cave scene, you've seen a lot more of him than just his face. He is too precious to lose. The show wouldn't truly take him from us so soon, would it?

When EW asked author and dream-killer George R. R. Martin about his A Song of Ice and Fire saga, the author gave a very cryptic answer. "Oh, you think he's dead, do you?" Martin said in an interview in 2011. "My readers should know better than to take anything as gospel." 

And then when he was re-asked about the topic recently, Martin said: "If there's one thing we know in A Song of Ice and Fire is that death is not necessarily permanent."  

So with that little grain of hope, here's all the best fan theories on how Jon Snow could come back from this seemingly fatal end on the show.

Game of Thrones

HBO

Is Jon a warg?

His younger brother Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) has already showed off his talents as a Warg, someone who can put their mind and spirit/soul into an animal. In his last moments, Jon could have warged into Ghost, his direwolf, preserving his soul while his body died. This theory is one that book readers have long been considering, since the last word he says as he dies in the books is "Ghost," and Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) had a vision in the books that supports this idea:

"The flames crackled softly, and in their crackling she heard the whispered name Jon Snow. His long face floated before her, limned in tongues of red and orange, appearing and disappearing again, a shadow half-seen behind a fluttering curtain. Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again."

Game of Thrones

HBO

The Red Woman

And speaking of Melisandre, the priestess could play a major role in bringing Jon back from the dead. She conveniently arrived at Castle Black the day before his death, after having just lost Stannis (Stephen Dillane), her king of choice. Sure, we've never actually seen Melisandre bring anyone back from the dead, but we have seen it happen on the show before. Remember Thoros of Myr? He was a priest who resurrected Beric Dondarrion a whopping six times using the power of the Lord of Light, aka Melisandre's god of choice. She's been interested in Jon for a long time, there's no way she'd give up on him so soon.

R + L = J

One of the biggest fan theories is that of Jon's true parentage. You really think he's Ned Stark's (Sean Bean) bastard? You know nothing. Everyone is convinced that while Ned raised him, Jon's real parents are actually Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned Stark's sister, Lyanna, both deceased. If he has Targaryen blood in him, and if the Night's Watch burns his body like they do for every fallen brother so they don't come back as a wight, could we see Jon reborn in fire just as Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) was in season one?

Game of Thrones

HBO

A new White Walker?

Or maybe the Night's Watchmen who betrayed Jon will just hide his body rather than give him the proper burning funeral he deserves. If that happens, Jon could come back as a wight (GOT's version of a zombie). That would be super depressing. Also, remember the Night's King, aka the leader of the White Walkers, is pretty closeby in Hardhome, and he seemed very interested in Jon too.

While we can't even imagine our sweet Jon as a reanimated corpse, maybe he could come back as a good wight? In the books there's a character named Coldhands, a wight who can speak and control his own actions. That would certainly be better than no Jon. But still, not exactly ideal.

Azor Ahai

Here's the biggest but most mysterious theory on how Jon might not be truly gone for the show. It's pretty vague, but among all the different cultures present in the Game of Thrones universe, there's a prevailing legend about The Lord's Chosen or The Prince Who Was Promised or Azor Ahai. Who is this dude?

Game of Thrones, Kit Harington, John Bradley

Helen Sloan/HBO

Apparently he's the guy who's going to be the true hero of the series, supposedly destined to save everyone from the impending White Walker/wight invasion. He actually stopped the first invasion of the White Walkers with the help of "a magical blade" and he's supposed to rise again. But here's the catch: Azor Ahai has to fit a bunch of really detailed descriptions. He must be the blood of the dragon, born when there's a bleeding star in the sky among smoke and salt.

What does that even mean? Fans have a bunch of theories about people who could qualify, but now it's looking more and more like Jon is the number one choice. In the books, Jon's murder is caused by the death of a knight with a star sigil (aka the bleeding star), Olly is crying when he stabs Jon (aka the salt), and his stab wounds steam in the cold air (aka the smoke). And the whole "blood of the dragon" thing takes us right back to the R+L=J theory that Jon is actually a Targaryen. 

Since we have no idea what's coming up next, both on the show and in the books now that the show has caught up to Martin's final novel, any of these theories could come true. Or, Jon could really and truly be dead, but let's not even entertain that thought right now. Agreed?

Do you think Jon is truly dead? Do you have a favorite theory? Or do you have another one that we didn't include above? Head on down to the comments and let us know!

CLICK: Holy mother of dragons! All the epic moments from Game of Thrones season 5 so far

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