Being stabbed to death and then resurrected is pretty high on the list of "shit things that could happen to you" — if you're a glass half empty person at least (not many people get to come back from the dead, after all). So it's unsurprising that Jon Snow — having been murdered in cold blood by those he felt were loyal toward him — spent Season 6 of Game of Thrones feeling slightly pissed off.
From the outside, the revived King of the North appeared much the same. So much so, that actor Kit Harrington admitted in a recent interview he was "disappointed" when he returned unaltered, not knowing whether he'd come back as a villain or even a zombified, morally bankrupt version of the character.
But it was the comment that followed that really ignited my interest, a comment made by Harrington which although fairly innocuous on first glance, provides a crucial insight to Jon Snow. In the interview with the Wrap, he said:
"I got the scripts, and actually, he comes back as himself, as the Jon that everyone knows. Which at first I found disappointing. But it’s more subtle than that. He has an insight into what lies beyond that very few people in his world do, and that no one in our world does—he knows that there’s no afterlife. Which does quietly drive who he is and what he wants to do."
You've Changed, Jon Snow
Amid all the mayhem of Jon Snow's story arc of Season 6 — including mercilessly beating Ramsay Bolton to a pulp (finally!) and winning the support of Northerners to become King of the North — one of the overlooked aspects has been the intrinsic change in Jon. There aren't many in Game of Thrones who don't believe in some form of religion, but Jon's faith has been obliterated by his time spent in the darkness.
This is a man who is (understandably) shaken by what he's experienced. Shortly after he'd returned to the land of the living, Melisandre asks him the question all us viewers were thinking: "What did you see," to which he replies, struggling to hide his dismay: "Nothing. Nothing at all."
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Interestingly, not only does Harrington mention the experience that Jon Snow has gone through, he also acknowledges it drives his actions. Unlike those who don't fear death because of an abiding belief in the afterlife, or those who believe their actions will reap reward from God, Jon's focus is set upon the reality of his situation, and, in some ways, being freed from the shackles of religion may help him become more altruistic.
Considering his importance over the next two seasons, Jon's lack of belief could have a factor on the outcome of the show. It also could change his perspective on priorities; while everyone else is busy with ruling Westeros, the collective foot has been taken off the gas when it comes to defeated the White Walkers. Once Winter has arrived and the wights attack, everything else will become meaningless.
Could Jon Become Azor Ahai?
One of the popular theories related to Jon and his role over the next two seasons is that he could become the Prince That Was Promised, also known as Azor Ahai. He's a fabled warrior who saved the Known World from a cold, dark winter some 5,000 or so years ago, thus saving humanity in the process. It is expected Azor Ahai will return to once again save the day.
Jon Snow has already been on the shortlist for potential saviours, even before his resurrection. But after a helping hand from Red Priestess Melisandre and coming back from the dead, he's now the standout candidate. Whether intentional or not, Harrington's comments also tie in with this; Snow now has a higher purpose, driven by what he's witnessed when he was dead, which could lead to him becoming Azor Ahai.
If mystics and prophets were right when they foretold Azor Ahai's resurrection, what if we've been looking in the wrong place all this time? What if the resurrection wasn't a second coming of the legendary warrior, but instead the tale is more of a metaphor referring to Jon, a man born a bastard but set on the path to saving the Known World after being brought back to life?
Do you think Jon Snow's subtle post-resurrection change could lead to him becoming Azor Ahai?
(Source: The Wrap)