Beware: "Two Swords" spoilers lie within. Well, that was tense. I'm not just talking about the entire first episode of Game of Thrones' fourth season, but specifically, the scene where Jon Snow got uncomfortably close to getting his head chopped off by a council made up of senior Night's Watch members. The guy who knows nothing managed to make it out alive, but for awhile there, shit got real.
To recap, Jon Snow spent season three violating basically all the rules of the Night's Watch, including killing a fellow Watch member, Qhorin, and sleeping with a Wildling woman, Ygritte. Now, he's up against a council who wants him to pay for his mistakes. Surprisingly (or maybe not — killing is kind of NBD on Thrones), it's the second transgression that the council takes hardest, with one member saying that "the law is law," and so Jon must die for his actions. Luckily for Jon (and for all of us who'd like to keep seeing Kit Harrington's face every week), another member argues that if they beheaded every member of the Watch who slept with a woman, "the war would be manned by headless men." He has a point.
The council begins to argue back and forth, but before they get too far, Jon boldly interrupts. "While we debate rules," he says, a group of 100,000 Wildlings are on their way to wage war. The council is skeptical, saying that the Wildlings could never get that many members to unite, but Jon swears that it's true. Calmly, he recounts his time with the group, informing the council of the Wildlings' attack signals and potential use of giants. "That's the truth, all the truth," he says, and by the end of the speech, it seems the council is inclined to believe him.
So Jon, confident with his potentially life-saving news, straight out asks the council if they intend to kill him or let him go. They assure him that they won't be beheading him today, but that he still may face punishment down the line. With that, Jon leaves, apparently a free man — for now.
As for what happens next, it's all up in the air. It's hard to imagine Snow getting killed off the show anytime soon, but then again, no non-book readers thought Catelyn and Robb were going to die at that nice little wedding, either. Jon may be safe from death right now, but seeing as he didn't exactly make nice with the Council, that freedom might only last a short while. And now that the Wildlings are preparing to attack Castle Black, Snow's safety, as well as everyone else's, is going to be threatened. We can't forget the wrath of Ygritte, either, who may not have been aiming to kill with those three arrows in Jon's back last season, but who certainly had it in her.
All we Game of Thrones fans can do is keep watching and hope that George R.R. Martin's plans for the season are light on the bloodshed, heavy on the Hodor. There are plenty of characters on GoT we wouldn't mind seeing dead (like a certain boy king who's drive us nuts), but Jon Snow certainly isn't one of them. The show needs his abs — I mean, his character — and seeing him get killed would be as heartbreaking as watching the Red Wedding on repeat. Thrones writers (and Mr. Martin), please keep Jon Snow alive, or else fans are going to have to resort to watching Pompeii on DVD to get our Kit Harrington fix, and no one wants it to come to that.