Kit Harrington & His 'Game Of Thrones' Contract Are Great Big Liars, Because We All Know Jon Snow Isn’t Going Anywhere
Unlike Jon Snow, I know something. I've watched the show, read the books, listened to the interviews, studied the theories, weighed the evidence... and I KNOW that Jon Snow is not dead on Game of Thrones, no matter what might come out of Kit Harington's luscious, lying lips. More specifically, Jon Snow may be technically "dead" as of the end of the Game Of Thrones Season 5 finale, but he definitely won't stay that way for long. Know how I know you're lying, Kit, you beautiful bastard? Because you signed a contract for two more seasons of Thrones , that's how!
In October of last year, almost six whole months before Season 5 even started airing, all of Thrones ' main cast members renegotiated their contracts. At that time, they were all already signed on to the show through Season 6. (HBO renewed their hit show for both Seasons 5 and 6 simultaneously way back in April of 2014.) The "A" tier cast members, including Harington, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, received huge pay increases in exchange for adding a "Season 7 option" to their contracts. ("B" tier actors like Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, and Natalie Dormer received much smaller pay bumps.)
Admittedly, this contract by itself isn't a bulletproof case for why Jon Snow isn't dead. The lingo does specify that the actors have an "option" for Season 7 — which obviously doesn't guarantee they'll actually make it that far. And, we all know what happens when you put too much faith in the fact that the male lead of a highly popular show recently signed a new contract for two additional seasons. (RIP, McDreamy.)
So, why am I so sure that Kit Harington's contract means we'll be seeing Jon Snow again? For a number of reasons. One, while Game Of Thrones has the appearance of a show where anyone can die at any time, every major plot twist was determined well in advance — you know, when George R.R. Martin wrote the books years ago. Showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss have known since A Dance With Dragons was published in July of 2011 that Jon Snow would meet the business end of some daggers at the end of this season. If they knew that the character was truly going to die, then Harington was already on a contract that kept him around one season longer than necessary; why would HBO allow him to sign on for yet another season — TWO YEARS past Jon Snow's expiration date — and give him a massive pay raise to boot... unless they knew he was coming back?
Secondly, Benioff & Weiss leaned waayyy too heavily on all the R+L=J stuff this season for it to not have any payoff down the line. Yes, George R.R. Martin has set a precedent for shocking deaths, but they have always made some sort of narrative sense in retrospect. Ned's death in Season 1, as unexpected as it was at the time, both dramatically raised the stakes and impressed upon viewers that this wouldn't be a traditional fantasy narrative. Season 3's Red Wedding cemented the fact that this sprawling tale was no longer as simple a story as "the Starks get revenge," and also served as a confirmation that characters' actions do have consequences — even for the good guys. Jon Snow's death at this point in the story not only wouldn't benefit the story, but it would actively undermine the narrative that's been meticulously built over the course of the series.
Finally, Lady Melisandre literally arrived at The Wall moments before Jon was stabbed. THIS CAN'T BE A COINCIDENCE, PEOPLE.
So, say what you will Kit Harrington, but you know nothing.