*Spoilers 'a plenty for Game of Thrones*
There's been a tremendous amount of coverage of Jon Snow's death and whether or not it was a real, actual thing. Is the man alive or dead? Who really knows? Besides author George R.R. Martin, co-writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and maybe a few other lucky executives, the answer is "nobody."
So let's dive into this...
If you somehow are a Game of Thrones fan who hasn't heard of the R+L=J theory, let me explain. R+L=J states that Jon Snow isn't in fact the bastard son of Eddard "Ned" Stark and some random drunken wench from the North. That's what they hint at... that Ned Stark had a one-off infidelity situation and that led to the bastard, Jon's birth.
However, the theory states that Jon Snow is actually the secret son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Robert's rebellion started when Rhaegar supposedly kidnapped Lyanna, who the theory suggest actually wasn't kidnapped at all - but instead, she fell in love with the handsome prince.
They eloped and had Jon Snow, who was supposed to be a Targaryen. Apparently, according to the theory, after Rhaegar was killed by Robert Baratheon during the Battle of the Trident, Lyana perished mysteriously... possibly from childbirth (with Jon).
On her deathbed, she allegedly made her brother (Ned) promise to raise Jon as his own son in order to protect him from Robert's vow to wipe all remaining traces of the Targaryen dynasty off the map. Ned, being the honorable man that he is, does as he is asked, even at the price of appearing to have had a bastard child. It's not a huge deal to have bastards in the GoT universe (clearly) but this was Ned's one and only bastard.
Okay, I get R+L=J... why does that mean Jon Snow isn't dead?
All right, so clearly Jon Snow is a very big part of this story if R+L=J turns out to be true. He's far from being an expendable character like so many others on the show/in the books. And R+L=J has all but been proven up to this point. How could they just leave Jon Snow dead and gone without any explanation of Ned Stark's oath to his sister? I guess the argument is that the show can deviate from the books, but there's a lot of evidence that Jon Snow is alive in forthcoming episodes.
Without getting into too much of that, let me just say the actor who plays Jon Snow, Kit Harington, is signed on with the show through Season 7, by the way. And my argument here is that, besides all the other evidence that he's not dead, he couldn't possibly be inexplicably done with the show if R+L=J holds true.
It would be pretty disappointing if the show doesn't tie off loose ends with Jon Snow. They are typically so good at answering all of our questions and completing story lines. As you can tell by the clamoring from diehard and casual GoT fans alike, people want to know more about Jon Snow's death.
And I think we're going to get those answers next season. Jon Snow isn't dead because R+L=J is true and that needs to be established at some point on-screen. That is the best evidence I have for him surviving the multiple brutal stabbings from his Night's Watch mates.