The great #GeorgeRRMartin is a complicated man. His #ASongOfIceAndFire book series has made him into one of the most-read authors of our time, and the HBO hit #GameOfThrones has made him one of the richest. So much more than simple fairytales, his stories feature elaborate plot lines, characters with rich backstories, and a liberal helping of magic and mystifying prophecy. Nothing in his world of Westeros and Essos is ever as it seems.
As we've been scouring Martin's story for fan theories that could reveal the futures of our favorite characters, have we missed a fairly obvious chunk of symbolism that's been staring us in the face the whole time? Is Jon Snow actually Jesus?
Having a character that closely resembles Jesus Christ is a common literary allegory, and Jon Snow fits the bill pretty closely. Andrew Rainaldi over at Pop Cultural Studies makes a pretty convincing argument. Here's some of the evidence he found, plus a few bits of our own.
1. Mysterious Birth
Right up until the finale of Season 6, the circumstances surrounding Jon Snow's birth were shrouded in mystery. With the exception of Ned Stark (and maybe a few others), everyone believed he was a bastard, Jesus's birth was also a mystery, with many people, including Joseph, initially believing him to be illigitimate.
2. Leadership Skillz
Jon Snow was a born leader, first becoming a leader among the boys he trained with in the Night's Watch, and ultimately becoming the Lord Commander. Jesus, too, was a leader, gathering first his 12 disciples and then countless more.
Like Jesus, Jon Snow preached unity and understanding, urging the Night's Watch to help and rescue the Wildlings, and focus their efforts on a greater enemy: the White Walkers. Rainaldi draws the parallel that the White Walkers, in particular the Night King, could represent Satan or the devil.
The mutiny at the end of Season 5 came as a total shock to most fans, but if you've read the Bible — or just know how the story goes — then you could have guessed that a major betrayal was imminent. The three brothers of the Night's Watch that betray Jon Snow are all hanged for their crimes, just like Judas hanged himself for betraying Jesus.
4. A Wooden Cross
Jon may not have been killed on a wooden cross, but he was murdered beneath one, which is close enough for this theory. Rainaldi even goes so far as to draw a connection between the sign reading "Traitor" and the sign reading "INRI" above the crucifix. "INRI" stands for "King of the Jews" and is meant to be mocking the dying Jesus. Both men are killed beneath signs that make a mockery of the deeds they tried to accomplish in their lives.
This one's pretty obvious. Anyone who comes back from the dead without turning into a zombie has definite Jesus vibes going on.
6. The Prince Who Was Promised
We all know the legend of Azor Ahai, or the Prince Who Was Promised (if you don't, check out the video above). Since Jon Snow has come back to life, he's a definite contender for being the legendary hero. The idea of The Prince Who Was Promised itself draws on biblical language as well. Here's a verse from the Book of Isaiah talking about the of Jesus — promising a Prince of Peace:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. — Isaiah 9:6