So yeah, Jon Snow is back. While everyone under the sun saw the “twist” in the most recent Game of Thrones episode coming a mile away, the predictability may end with the resurrected Jon Snow opening his eyes. The real test of showunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who are now navigating new territory beyond George R.R. Martin’s source material, will be how Jon Snow’s resurrection reverberates throughout the show, right down to Snow himself.
And how does death change arguably the most vital Game of Thrones character? Significantly. Speaking with EW, Kit Harington teased a line from an upcoming episode that holds the key to how severely Jon Snow has been changed by death:
“At first, I was worried that he’ll wake up and he’s the same, back to normal — then there’s no point in that death. He needs to change. There’s a brilliant line when Melisandre asks: ‘What did you see?’ And he says: ‘Nothing, there was nothing at all.’ That cuts right to our deepest fear, that there’s nothing after death.”
Indeed, that nothingness will have long-lasting effects not just on Jon Snow’s psyche, but how he conducts himself in the story going forward:
“That’s the most important line in the whole season for me. Jon’s never been afraid of death, and that’s made him a strong and honorable person. He realizes something about his life now: He has to live it, because that’s all there is. He’s been over the line and there’s nothing there. And that changes him. It literally puts the fear of god into him. He’s seen oblivion and that’s got to change somebody in the most fundamental way there is. He doesn’t want to die ever again. But if he does, he doesn’t want to be brought back.”
Despite the fact that we didn’t even know for sure if he’d be in this season, this will be the most Jon Snow-intensive season of Game of Thrones yet:
“It’s a massive season for him, it’s the biggest season for him so far, he features very prominently this season. I was told that when I was told I was coming back – that the season I was coming back for would be my biggest, and that’s quite a lot to take as well.”
And with Sansa and Brienne en route to The Wall, it’ll be interesting to see how the changed Jon Snow interacts with characters he hasn’t seen in a very long time. Resurrection, it seems, is only the beginning.