Raise your hand if you were bawling by the end of the Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones. Now raise your hand if you’ve already come up with a theory for why (spoilers ahead!) Jon Snow isn’t actually dead. Odds are a large majority of you have both hands high in the air right about now, and for good reason. Nobody likes seeing their favorite character bite the dust, and Jon Snow is just that for many people. With his recent departure (along with that of a handful of others from last season), the tides could very well be changing in Westeros.
The White Walkers are slowly but surely advancing upon the Wall with their army of undead minions, the only man to kill of said White Walkers with a sword was left to bleed out in the snow, Arya is blind, Cersei just ended a spell in prison, and Sansa jumped off a castle wall. Overall, things are looking pretty bleak, and fans are clamoring for theories that could potentially turn things around for our characters. So how will things wrap up once Game of Thrones hits its endpoint approximately two seasons from now?
1. Jon Snow is alive, R+L=J lives on
For anyone unfamiliar, one of the more popular theories floating around out there posits that Jon Snow is in fact not Ned Stark’s bastard. Rather, he’s the result of a sordid affair between Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, something covered up by Ned to save his (alleged) nephew from the wrath of the then-newly-crowned Robert Baratheon (hence the initials R [Rhaegar] + L [Lyanna] = J [Jon Snow]). If this is true, that makes Jon Snow the heir to the Iron Throne.
Of course there’s a hiccup in the whole getting stabbed to death thing, so in order for it to be true, he’d need some sort of miracle to bring him back. With Melisandre hanging around as the most available worshipper of the Lord of Light, it’s not entirely out of the question that she resurrects Snow. Let’s not forget, we saw the same thing happen when a fellow Red Priest, Thoros of Myr, raising Beric Dondarrion from the dead following an ill-fated duel with Sandor Clegane. If this ends up happening, Jon Snow could very well be our only hope for saving the Seven Kingdoms, with many rumoring him to be the living reincarnation of Azor Ahai (the last man to defeat the White Walkers in battle).
2. Jon Snow is dead, everything is terrible, and the White Walkers are about to bring the end of days to Westeros
An alternate theory based in the cruelty of George R.R. Martin to mercilessly torture his characters is that our favorite character is indeed forever dead, opening the door wide open for the White Walkers to flood over the Seven Kingdoms. Such an outcome would officially spell the end of days for the once-proud civilization, bringing with it an eternal winter and a whole lot of zombies. Odds are it would spark an all-out revolt from fans everywhere, but never put anything past Martin or showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss as “too cruel” when it comes to the Game of Thrones universe. All hail the Night King, baby.
3. Daenerys Targaryen swoops in with her dragons in the 11th hour and burns all of our misery to a crisp
Yes, Daenerys Targaryen is currently stuck in the wilderness with not intention of making her way over to Westeros. But she also currently possess three dragons, the only creatures known to be the natural-born enemies of the White Walkers. How do we know this? Both the weapons capable of slaying a White Walker (dragonglass and Valyrian steel) are rooted in dragon lore. So naturally, it makes sense that she would finally make her way west astride her dragons (hopefully with Tyrion riding one of the others) to save the Wall from sure destruction at the hands of supernatural invaders.
Clearly the most serious of our theories: Hodor is the true heir to the Iron Throne and the one true savior of the Seven Kingdoms. Imagine our hero, barreling through the wall to single-handedly fight off an army of wights with Jon Snow’s sword, as the Night’s Watch and all the assembled soldiers of Westeros bemusedly look on. In a fit of misguided yet grateful decision-making, they immediately place Hodor atop the Iron Throne, left to rule over his kingdom with all the grace and wisdom available to his surprisingly keen mind. Hodor.
5. Bran? Yeah. Bran.
When last we saw Bran Stark, he had just escaped the clutches of herd of snow zombies thanks to a small child hurling snowball grenades. He then met an old man grown into a tree in a cave, so clearly a lot is making perfect sense in the world of Bran. All sense aside, the old man muttered something about Bran fulfilling his destiny, so maybe that has something to do with him heading back south with his fairly undefined superpowers to save the kingdom from certain destruction.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest