(Warning - the following contains potentially SPOILER-ish evidence that a certain someone will return for the sixth season of Game of Thrones. While none of it has yet been officially confirmed, if you're inclined to avoid absolutely any kind of plot teasing, tread carefully below...)
Now, when, a few days back, rumors began to surface about the imminent return of a certain Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 6 - despite his apparent death in the closing moments of season 5 - it seemed as though months of fan-speculation had finally been confirmed. After all, few fans of the show actually believed that Jon was truly gone, much as few readers of the novels quite believed it when the fifth book was left on a similarly cliffhanger-y note.
As it turns out, though, we didn't really need to wait for Kit Harington (who plays Snow) to seemingly be spotted filming on set - since it really kind of seems as though:
Kit Harington Has Been Telling Us Jon Snow's Still Alive For Months Now
Whether that's in the form of tantalizingly vague answers to questions about his death, the absence of a haircut, or in a whole bunch of appearances just down the road from where Game of Thrones is filming, Harington has arguably given the game away more times than a Monopoly collector's yard sale.
Here, then, are five of Harington's greatest almost reveals...
5. He Kept His Wording Close, and His Phrasing Closer
Now, a whole lot of key creatives from Game of Thrones have spent the past few months making it incredibly, very explicitly clear that Jon Snow is, definitively, dead, and that he won't be coming back to the show.
When Harington has talked about it, though? Things get a little more...carefully phrased. As in, he says a lot of things like:
"This is my understanding of it. I had a sit-down with Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff], we did the Tony Soprano walk [letting an actor know they’re being whacked]. And they said, 'Look, you’re gone, it’s done.'"
Before adding things like this:
"sat me down and said, 'This is how it is.' If anything in the future is not like that, then I don’t know about it – it’s only in David and Dan and George [R.R. Martin]’s heads. But I’ve been told I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season. So that’s all I can tell you, really."
Which, on the surface, sure makes it sound like Jon Snow is dead - but could also easily be backtracked upon at a later date, with the reveal that Weiss and Benioff just winked at Harington, said "you're dead", and then reminded him to try not to talk about the fact that he still had a couple of years left on his contract.
4. He Very Pointedly Didn't Get a Haircut
Remember how, back in July, Kit Harington turned up at Wimbledon with his trademark long locks and beard flowing, despite his having spent much of the past few years telling everyone how desperate he was to get a (contractually-prohibited) haircut?
It's almost as though he still had another series of Game of Thrones to film later in the summer, and decided to let us know that by appearing at one of the most highly televised sporting events in the world...
3. He Kept Turning Up in Belfast (Where Game of Thrones is Filming)
Over the course of several months.
To the extent that it kind of just seemed like he was filming an extensive role in the new season, and figured that the best way to let us know was to be visibly right next to the Game of Thrones set for an extended period of time.
2. He Was Spotted Actually Filming a Scene
Now, in fairness, there's no visual confirmation of this one just yet, but the reputable WatchersontheWall recently reported that:
"Sources report that today Game of Thrones is filming portions of a massive battle in Saintfield, Northern Ireland, that will likely be a part of episode nine. Preparations and the beginning of filming were seen in that area recently, but it was difficult to glean many details. We’ve learned that the battle will involve many northern armies fighting including the Umbers, the Boltons, wildlings and more!"
"Kit Harington a.k.a Jon Snow was also seen at the location, participating in shooting this week."
Which is...well, basically just an actual confirmation. Though not quite as much as that time where:
1. He Basically Confirmed He Would Be in a Whole Bunch More Series' of the Show
Speaking recently to Dutch magazine Humo, Harington had this to say:
"The important thing is that I now know exactly how long I am still under contract, and in the meantime...Let’s just say that Game of Thrones will remain a part of my life for a while, I’ll probably be in my thirties when it’s over. One thing’s for sure: the day I’m no longer on Thrones is the day I’ll bury myself in movie projects (laughs)."
Which is, if accurate (there are always risks involved with translated sources), pretty much an outright acknowledgement that Jon Snow will, in fact, return.
Which is nice.