ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is Jon Snow Dead? (Game of Thrones Spoiler Alert!)

Updated on May 12, 2016
Jon Snow in HBO's Game of Thrones
Jon Snow in HBO's Game of Thrones

Spoiler Warning

Chances are that you wouldn’t have searched for something so specific as “Is Jon Snow dead?” if you haven’t already reached the end of A Dance With Dragons.

Nevertheless, if you haven’t reached the end of the most recent book in George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, you should not read this article, as it discusses Jon Snow’s death and several theories at length and may well spoil the enjoyment you would otherwise glean from this fine series.

Is Jon Snow Dead?

Among the many fans of this series are a very vocal segment of readers/viewers who are keen to speculate on any number of its vital plot points, asking questions like, Who is Jon Snow's mother? Is Tyrion Lannister a good guy? Who is Coldhands? And what happens to Jaqen H'Ghar? At the end of the fifth novel in the series is a cliffhanger that is epic, even by GRRM’s standards, and has set the Internet ablaze with speculation about one of Ice and Fire’s favourite characters.

For many, Jon Snow is the hero of the piece, one of only a few characters who is consistently morally good (Arya and Tyrion join him here— I welcome suggestions of others). He wins the readers' sympathy by heroic deed and consistently owning the moral high ground rather than drifting in and out of our sympathies. So when we are shown what appears to be his death scene at the close of A Dance with Dragons, the reader is shocked and alarmed— and dismayed, no doubt. Can it be true? Will we really have to wait to find out?

There are a great many theories out there. GRRM is nothing if not mischievous. We’ve seen characters disappear before, only to reappear a book or two later.

  • Catelyn Stark is one example; is she dead? Yes she’s “dead,” but since she’s still walking around, exhibiting her own independent agency, she’s not dead in the traditional sense.
  • We’ve seen Brienne left hanging (if you’ll pardon the pun), and Cersei and Jaime have also both been the figurative Schrödinger's cat in GRRM’s closed box, stranded between life and death for several hundred pages.
  • Crucially, Rickon and Brandon Stark have also been portrayed as dead only to reappear a few hundred pages later.

It’s easy to believe that Jon Snow’s death is simply another ruse by this master of the plot twist. GRRM may make us think that he is dead only to dust him off and have him pop up smiling in the middle of the next book. Think about it: Did we see a body? Yes, he was stabbed four times, but were we actually told he was dead? There are any number of ways in which GRRM could be pulling the wool here, using his famed misdirection to force us to wonder, and as ever, the fan community is abuzz as a result.

Jon Snow's Death Scene

The death scene is a nasty shock to the viewer/reader. We are aware that his policies with regards the wildlings beyond the wall have been extremely unpopular with his brothers from the Night’s Watch, and we know too that the Lannisters have planted an element among the Watch to discredit or harm him on account of his Stark roots. But the idea that such a central and well-liked character could be killed off still comes as a massive shock.

But is he dead? Is his death scene exactly what it appears to be? Or are we merely told that he is stabbed and loses consciousness?

In this scene, we’re told that he never even felt the fourth knife, only the cold. This could mean anything from death to just being quite cold, by way of slipping into consciousness, and it's this deliberate vagueness that has given rise to yet more Jon Snow theories.

The Direwolf, Ghost
The Direwolf, Ghost

Possible Scenarios

Does he die? If so, will he perhaps come back from the dead? Is he going to be in the Winds of Winter?

  • It’s possible that his death scene merely describes him being attacked and knocked unconscious, and he’ll return in The Winds of Winter alive, if not well. Perhaps he’ll come to in shackles in a cell beneath the wall and some of the plot of The Winds of Winter will see him recovering and trying to escape his brother-captors before the trickle of wights becomes a flood.
  • Or perhaps he is actually dead. This wouldn't be the first time that GRRM has killed off a main, much-loved character. But can wargs really die? With his last breath, perhaps he inhabits another person nearby, or perhaps he lives on The Winds of Winter in the guise of his Direwolf, Ghost.
  • But is this theory up to scratch? Would Jon Snow living as a direwolf really satisfy the reader? Surely even the most ardent fan would rather see him die heroically than live on as a direwolf?
  • If he is dead, whose narrative focus will allow us to see the events at the wall?

Comments, please!

What do you think? Is he dead? If he is, will he come back from the dead? Are we even supposed to think he is dead, or merely that he's injured?

What's your Jon Snow theory? Let me know below.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)