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OldGod

Jon Snow's Future - Theories old and new

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I've been browsing this site on and off since I finished reading A Dance With Dragons about a year ago and I consider myself up to date with the current theories. Up till now I haven't felt the need to make an account, but i've made this one now specifically to post this theory on Jon Snow's fate which incorporates several of the existing theories as well as some of my own ideas. I have become convinced that this amalgamation of theories is the best explanation of the evidence at hand.

Having finished typing it out, I think that if you just ignore my stuff at the end this post will serve quite well as a summary of the Jon Snow theories.

The first question is of course, did Jon Snow actually die?

Evidence for:

  • He was stabbed three times and then "He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold...". So obviously unless someone large and hairy charged over to stop them, I don't see how Marsh and Co could possibly fail to finish him off.
  • His wolf's name is Ghost. There is a theory on this site that all the wolf names are meaningful and say something about the Stark child bonded to the wolf. The meaning attributed to Ghost is that, apart from looking ghostly, it might actually carry Jon's ghost, at least for a time. This would make a lot of sense as it would give purpose to the prologue chapter in which the warg Varamyr dies and his consciousness to one of his wolves. Unfortunately for Jon, this would require him to die.
  • Jon is a very popular candidate for Azor Ahai/The Prince That Was Promised. For this to be true, Jon would have to have been born amongst smoke and salt. He didn't manage that the first time round (as far as I'm aware) so he would have to be born again, i.e. resurrected. Unfortunately for Jon, this would require him to die first.
  • Aemon advised him to "kill the boy and let the man be born". Being stabbed to death might be a little more literal than Aemon intended but still.
  • It has been suggested that if Jon were to die and be resurrected he would be freed from his vows to the night's watch as he would have served until his death.

Evidence against:

  • He was stabbed three times and then "He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold...". Breaking it down though: the first knife was just a scratch, the second was a gut wound (painful but certainly not a quick death) and the third was between the shoulder blades which again isn't a fatal place to be stabbed in, though again, not pleasant.
  • Something large and hairy. There is an angry giant very close by who may not have understood what Jon was yelling but would still react negatively toward anyone who meant him ill. Wun Wun could easily have been the reason Jon didn't feel the fourth knife, he could have smashed ser Patrek's corpse against its holder and scared the rest away.
  • Combining these two points, we're left with Jon unconscious and bleeding but potentially not yet beyond the medical help of those who remain loyal to him.
  • George RR Martin said in an interview: "So you think he's dead, do you?"

To me the evidence indicating that Jon is dead is more compelling. Wun Wun probably wouldn't have been able to react quickly enough in his distressed state to save Jon from further stab wounds. Also, since Sam and Maester Aemon left there hasn't been a lot in the way of medical knowledge at the wall and that gut wound is going to need more than a bandaid. As for Martin's statement, it could easily mean "So you think he's (permanently) dead, do you?". So the most likely situation seems to be that Jon is dead and his consciousness has moved to Ghost, who is currently in the armoury.

What happens next? This of course is much harder to predict, but I think most people agree that Jon isn't going to be stuck in Ghost for the rest of the series but will be brought back to life. This leads to the second major question: how will Jon be brought back to life?

Most theories on this site involve Melisandre doing for Jon what Thoros did for Beric Dondarrion, and later Catelyn. But each time Beric came back he was diminished, I don't think this is fitting for Jon. Jon is special, Jon is ice as Dany is fire. This has to be something new and spectacular like the birth of the dragons. But then what could it be?

Only death may pay for life.

I believe that it's been far too long since Bran has done something that effected the events in Westeros. By the end of his last chapter in A Dance With Dragons though, he has become a greenseer and the last thing he sees is a blood sacrifice from long ago and he could "taste the blood". Blood sacrifice to the old gods through the heart trees is mentioned a couple other times during the series so we know it's a thing. What we also know, is that there is a very good chance that Theon is going to have his head chopped off by Stannis in front of a heart tree as soon as he's done with the Boltons. (We know this from the teaser chapter from The Winds of Winter). So Bran may use the power from Theon's blood (remember this would be king's blood) to restore Jon to his body.

To support this, we have the fact that Bran was attempting to communicate with Theon in the godswood and then later through the crows (teaser chapter again). This is evidence of some important event in the near future involving the two of them e.g. Theon's death in front of a Heart tree. To me this seems an appropriate, meaningful end for Theon. He's done a lot of wrong by the Starks and this would be his redemption arc coming to completion.

You might be thinking that all this is well and good, but none of this blood sacrifice to heart trees or communication between Bran and Theon has anything to do with Jon. And you'd be right, but what is the next logical thing to happen at the Wall now that Jon is no longer in command? The Night's Watch is back on top now and they want the wildlings as far north of the wall as possible. If they actually manage to force the wildings to go, Jon's body and Ghost might just be taken along and if they were to pass by the grove of nine weir woods where he first took his vows for a quick prayer... well that would be awfully significant.

If your still reading and you have something that I've missed that adds to this theory or something that supports a variation on it then please post below.

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Nice work. M's vision in aDwD of Jon as a man, then a wolf, then a man again would support your theory. I like the blood sacrifice bit too, though it doesn't have to be Theon. It could be Jojen. Maybe that's how he dies?

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Firstly Welcome to the Forum :cheers:

The theory I mostly like out of this is the blood sacrifice one as I agree that for Jon to turn out like Beric or Cat isn't right for him. While I like the theory I don't know how Bran and Bloodraven will use Theon's blood sacrifice to resurrect Jon. I don't think that the NW will get the Wildlings off The Wall as there are far too many. So I think that the Wildlings, maybe led by Tormund will attack Bowan Marsh and company. I also think that they'll store Jon's body in one of the ice cells to preserve his body.

On the Wierwoods, I think that if Jon has to be at the grove of the nine Wierwoods maybe Bloodraven will try to communicate with someone at The Wall or send them a sign that will lead them to take Jon's body to the Wierwoods.

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It could be Jojen. Maybe that's how he dies?

So you think he's still alive, do you? :P

(Sorry, couldn't resist the Jojenpaste reference)

Seriously, nice work and intruiging thoughts, OldGod! Welcome to the forum! :grouphug:

A remote resurrection controlled by Bran is an interesting alternative to the Red-Kiss-of-Live resurrection or the simple survival theory, and should Jon be brought to a weirwood grove I do think it's within the realm of possibility. Leathers sounds like a good candidate to do the carrying, with him respecting both the Old Gods and Jon. As he's a sworn ranger, he has chances to survive the aftermath (and be given leave to bury Jon's body) even if the wildlings are not the victorious faction.

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I like the Bran/Old Gods/blood sacrifice way of bringing Jon back a lot better than Melisandre being the one to revive him.

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OldGod, welcome to the forums...

The idea you have presented isn`t new, but has some relatively overlooked details. All in all, I don`t believe Jon`s dead, basically because every time we would leave someone between life and death, he would reappear very much alive - Sandor, Gregor...

And now argumentation for each of your evidence

1. After Jon`s stabing, I believe the hell would break loose. Jon might be in coma, or suffer some great pain. I would incline that after stabbing him, the confrontation between NW and wildings escalates into full battle. So, there`s a possibility that he was stabbed four times, that he is gravely injured but not fatally.

2. Ghost`s name, as the names of all direwolves, has signifance. But, my idea was always that Ghost was named by GRRM as foreshadowing Jon`s parentage. As someone who doesn`t exist, who isn`t supposed to be alive.

3. Born admist smoke and salt. Although we know where Dany was born, Jon is also likely candidate. Further more, in one of his previous chapters he has visited room where they keep meat. So, basically people thik he will be brought there to tend his wounds, and therefore he`ll be reborn in midst of smoke and salt. Ham analogy is oftenly used :)

4. As for Aemon`s words, yes they can be interpreted literally. Further more, Jon`s favorite knight was Young Dragon who died at the age of 18, and considering that Jon was born somewhere in 283, and we are most likely in 301, he might be 18 years old. He might have died as Young Dragon, but he could also be resurrected.

5. GRRM has stated so, and I tend to believe him on this one. The problem with resurrection by Melisandre is that we have seen it so many times, and this time it would be repetative and boring. And fire breathe isn`t solution whenever someone dies.

6. But, the idea of blood sacrifice is somewhat tantalising for me. We know it exists, but it never played important role such as fire breathe. Again, we have to relate to Chekhov`s gun and probability it will have its use in the future. But, as for Theon being sacrificed, I would prefer Theon to linger in despair, sadness and humiliation. I know it`s cruel, but to give him free-card in form of death to resurrect Jon would be, at least for me, easy way to deal with Theon. And if I have learnt anything by reading ASOIAF that is GRRM doesn`t go easy way.

At the end, I`d like to congratulate you on a very decent theory, good researching and understanding of a topic. Well done, indeed, my friend :)

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OldGod, welcome to the forums...

5. GRRM has stated so, and I tend to believe him on this one. The problem with resurrection by Melisandre is that we have seen it so many times, and this time it would be repetative and boring. And fire breathe isn`t solution whenever someone dies.

I don't believe that Melisandre would raise him the same way that Berric or Cat was brought back. She has been asking for King's blood to raise a dragon.....I believe that she will sacrifice someone with Kings blood (Theon?) to raise Jon (who is a dragon....R+L=J ). AA reborn

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I don't believe that Melisandre would raise him the same way that Berric or Cat was brought back. She has been asking for King's blood to raise a dragon.....I believe that she will sacrifice someone with Kings blood (Theon?) to raise Jon (who is a dragon....R+L=J ). AA reborn

People were discussing the possibility Melisandre resurrecting Jon, like Thoros did to Berric. That`s what I was talkinga about. And OP mentioned it. Also, Melisandre doesn`t know anything about Jon`s parentage, so she wouldn`t be killing Theon to resurrect Jon.

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I think because of Jon's "death" something dramatic will happen and although perhaps a bit cliched for GRRM, I think he's going to do it and go in that direction.

I think The Wildlings/NW relationship all though WOW is deteriorating with minor skirmishes here and there, finally ending in an all out battle by the end. But while engaged in this battle whatever resurrects Jon, does so, and he reappears either at the top of the wall, or causes the wall to fall. Something.

Then the battle immediately stops and everyone with shocked looks stops dead in their tracks bow to him. Much like everyone immediately realized Dany was something special when they saw her and the dragons at the end of book 1, and stopped dead in their tracks and bowed to her. And that's it. Maybe even the cliffhanger that sets up the 7th book.

That's pretty cliched, but I just have had a feeling for a while something like that, perhaps not exactly like that, but something close is going to happen.

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I'm not necessarily a fan of Theon being sacrificed to a Weirwood to save Jon. Firstly, I'm not sure how it would work logistically. I mean, we see through Bran somebody being sacrificed to "activate" a weir wood tree in the network, we don't actually see that sacrifice doing anything else. Additionally, while I suppose Theon's sacrificial blood force could be transferred through the Weirwood network (and this is a big assumption granted), Jon at the moment is nowhere near another Weirwood. I imagine Jon would need to be brought to a Weirwood (maybe the grove where he took his vows) or somewhere else (Winterfell maybe?).

Secondly, I see Theon having a much bigger role left to play in the series rather than being a sacrificial lamb for Jon. While there has been a certain antagonism developed between them from the beginning of AGOT (one of Jon's first lines in the series is "Theon's an ass"), Theon has since become a relatively major POV character with a seemingly huge role to play in the future of the Iron Islands. I see Theon eventually returning there at some point, possibly as a means for his sister Asha to invalidate Euron's Kingsmoot.

So yeah, I'm not sure I really see this whole sacrifice happening, as heavily hinted at as it may be.

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I'm sure Jon will be alive, sure of it.

As for his future I can't say, it's very likely he swears to stannis and fights under his banner.

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Jon doesn't die, but is nursed to health by Val. Whilst he is in Ghost, he will do something at Winterfell (maybe leads Stannis and his men into Winterfell via secret passage into the crypts). Whilst that is going on, the Wall falls. When he gets back into his body, Jon leads a mixed force of loyalist/surviving NW, wildlings, Wun Wun further north than we have gone so far.

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Are you sure? Do you know what she see's in the flames? She's definitely taken an interest in him....

That's because she's seen him in the flames and has seen knives around him, but that's all, she hasn't seen anything on R+L=J

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Are you sure? Do you know what she see's in the flames? She's definitely taken an interest in him....

Are you? If she has seen Jon having royal blood, he would have burned already.

That's because she's seen him in the flames and has seen knives around him, but that's all, she hasn't seen anything on R+L=J

I think so. I doubt she has seen more than that.

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Rebuilding the Night's Watch after the Wall falls. That's what I think his ultimate destiny is.

However for his more immidiate future. I think he warged into Ghost. So the question is, how does he become human again. It will probably happen, Melisandre saw him first as a man, then a wolf, then a man again.

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Maybe even the cliffhanger that sets up the 7th book.

I like this idea. I'd love it for GRRM to leave Jon out of Book 6 for nearly the entire thing. Perhaps have two "new" POVs, Mel on the Wall and then whoever takes Jon's body (Bran warging Tormund? This way it wouldn't go against GRRM's stated no new POVs).

It'd be a good mystery to tide the books over, with Mel (Last chapter of the book) realising that Jon is AAR and the Wildlings, Queens Men and NW finally uniting under Jon (Post battles and deaths).

ps - Welcome to the forums!

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I agree with the theory that if Jon is to be saved from death or beyond, someone else must die in his place. Otherwise he'll come back "wrong" like Beric and Catelyn (and possibly the reanimated Gregor.)

The question is, who? And under the belief of which god? And, more importantly, HOW?

Blood sacrifice? Burnt-offering sacrifice? Execution? Murder? Or will someone actually give their own life freely? (As Beric did for Catelyn, but he had very little left to give.)

I think the whole Azor Ahai / Nissa Nissa legend is not a portrait of heroism doing "what must be done", but of heroism gone WRONG. The hero prepared to betray, murder and destroy what he most loves in order to "save" it, out of a misplaced sense of duty that leads him to a wrong conclusion. And thus, the legend of the hero itself is corrupted by murder and betrayal. In the Others' defeat is written the very means of their return.

And I think Mellisandre, as a religious fanatic, is about to have a serious crisis of faith - I can think of no better reason for GRRM giving *her* rather than Jon Snow the viewpoint for her chapter in ADWD, except to introduce us to the idea that what may be going through her head is not the same as the rest of us see, and is likely to be of interest to the future of the story - and I wonder what she's going to do about it. Because she HAS done evil things - and may be on the point of realising how bad, because her intentions are not as evil as her actions. But what can she do for redemption?

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Wouldn't it make more sense that Jons body gets healed by Melissandre using some sort of Fire Magic similar to MMD magic on Drogo. Afterwards, Jon is a plant, but because of the fact that his mind still lingers in Ghost, Bran is able to guide Jons spirit from Ghost into Jons body again. There could even be a place for Theon here, since he seems to be the character most open to Weirwood communication. Bran might communicate with Theon, who then could redeem himself a little but further by eloping with Jons body and Ghost towards the Weirwoodgrove where Jon than gets fully revived.

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My position on this issue has always been that there is a lot of logistical evidence to support the idea that Melisandre will be at least witness to, if not intimately involved with Jon being resurrected.

  1. She is a POV for a reason.

  2. She specifically asks Jon about the location of Ghost before the assassination, so she knows where Ghost is.

  3. She knows that Jon has a special connection with the direwolf, if not more than that.

  4. She might have a way of actually manipulating Ghost or something to that effect.

  5. She has been getting visions specifically associated with Jon's assassination, his transformation into Ghost and, for all we know, possibly his resurrection.

  6. She is at the location of the body.

  7. She leads one of the three factions at Castle Black.

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