What does Jon Snow's fate mean for the rest of Game of Thrones season 6?

Warning: This feature contains spoilers for all of Game of Thrones if you’re not up-to-date, and for future episodes if it turns out I’m right.

Jon Snow is back and while everyone pretty much saw it coming, I didn’t quite let myself believe it until the Stark bastard gasped his first new breath on Sunday night. Once I finally got my answer (and finished cursing Kit Harington for all the lies he’s been telling), my first thought was; ok, Jon Snow’s back, now what’s he going to do? This would be the point where I’d usually turn to the books, but oh, guess what? We’ve run out. For the first time ever, as a Thrones fan, I’m in a position where I literally don’t know what’s coming next. I have to wait a whole week to find out what Jon Snow’s first words will be, what he’s going to do with his would-be murderers, not to mention whether he’s going to be some sort of creepy zombie Jon Snow. It’s torture (I blame Netflix for ridding me of my ability to watch shows week-to-week), so I did what any sane addict would do: I speculated, guessed, and theorised my way to the end of season 6

Jon Snow is FINALLY going to enter the Game of Thrones

You might be wondering what the hell I’m talking about, given that Jon Snow has been in all six seasons of Game of Thrones so far, but he’s actually one of the few characters who hasn’t directly been part of the quest for the Iron Throne. Instead, he’s been at The Wall making sure all the would-be Kings in the South aren’t killed in their sleep by White Walkers. His father was beheaded, his sisters captured, and his brothers killed (well, some of them), and he couldn’t do anything about it. He couldn’t even avenge them because of the vow he’d taken. Jon Snow has had nothing to do with the main storyline of Game of Thrones, but I reckon that’s about to change. 

All the fan theories about Jon Snow really being a Targaryen - and therefore a serious contender for the Iron Throne - can’t really go anyway while he remains at The Wall. Jon’s already had the chance to break his promise and leave, and he choose not to: so what’s changed? If you remember the Night’s Watch vow every brother takes when he joins, you probably know where I’m going with this. “Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death.” BOOM! There you have it. He’s fulfilled his oath and can leave the Night’s Watch with his honour intact (sort of, I mean, he did still sleep with Ygritte). But will he? Currently, no-one knows Melisandre was successful (except for Ghost) so he could feasibly slip out of Castle Black and go and avenge/help his family without anyone the wiser. However, if he decides to say ‘hi’ to his brothers on the way out, things could get tricker. Will they insist he takes up his position of Lord Commander once again? The teaser for episode 3 definitely shows someone (probably Jon) walking out into Castle Black in front of some very shocked Wildings and brothers, but I’m still hoping he’ll leave. It’s well past time for Jon Snow to enter the Game of Thrones. 

He’s going to make up with his would-be murderers

I’ll be honest, one of the things I’m most looking forward to is finding out what Jon Snow is going to say to the men that tried, and, well… technically did, kill him. Seriously, what do you even say? ‘I know you stabbed me seven times, but I got some really good ointment from this shop down the road and I’m all better now’. Actually, this would be brilliant. 

It would be a real shame if Jon Snow left Castle Black without once facing the brothers who stabbed him, and my gut says he won’t. Maybe he could just quickly nip by the cells to freak them out before making his escape? The rest of the Night’s Watch wouldn’t believe them anyway. As much as I’d like him to punish them severely for their crimes (especially Ollie, goddamn you Ollie!), I can’t quite bring myself to believe he’ll do it. It’s not really in his nature, so I think it’s more likely Jon will forgive them on his way to King’s Landing. Plus, Owen Teale, who plays Alliser Thorne, told THR that the pair will reach some sort of peace: “It may be brief! But they will come to an understanding of each other in saying, 'Yes. I hear you. I hear you.’” On the other hand, maybe Jon and Alliser just shake hands right before Jon chops his head off. You can’t say he doesn’t have it coming. 

Jon and Ramsay will clash sooner rather than later

This one’s (pretty much) a given, especially if Jon Snow makes a play for the Iron Throne. The first step toward this, is becoming Warden/King of the North, a position currently held by dad-killer and all round bad guy Ramsay Bolton. Add to that, the fact that Ramsay’s already said he wants to kill the Stark bastard, and I think it’s pretty damn likely these two will be crossing (bloody) paths soon. But if Jon defeats the Boltons, surely that would just make Sansa Queen of the North? Well, technically yes, but even if she wanted that responsibility, if Jon was legitimised (see below) he’d overtake her as next in line.

Now that Jon’s alive and kicking again, Melisandre’s vision of him fighting at Winterfell could very well come true, and why not? That’s his home. With him no longer bound to the Night’s Watch, Winterfell will most likely be his very first stop, but if he’s going to take on the Boltons he needs an army. Enter those Northern families still loyal to the Starks…

Jon will become the legitimate heir to the North

One of the biggest issues standing in the way of Jon Snow becoming King of anything is that he’s a bastard. The citizens of Westeros would rather have a mad, sadistic psychopath on the throne than someone who was born on the wrong side of the sheets (crazy, I know!). We know that, despite his mother’s objections, Robb did think about legitimising Jon’s place within the Stark family when he was King of the North (and still alive), and there’s a pretty compelling fan theory that says he did just that in secret, but died before making it official.

So why has no one brought this up before? My guess is that the document making Jon Robb’s rightful successor was given to a trusted advisor who still has hold of it. Robb died and with him the Northern rebellion, and with Jon Snow still tied to the Night’s Watch at the time it didn’t make any difference. But if Jon’s entering the Game of Thrones, this document suddenly becomes relevant again. While the Northern families no doubt would love to see a Stark rather than a Bolton leading them, even they would struggle with Jon’s questionable parentage, but Robb legitimising him as his successor would clear all that up. Obviously, the Lannisters wouldn’t recognise him, but he’s going to war with them anyway so who cares?

He’s not going to be reunited with his family

I know it looks like Sansa is heading towards Castle Black and her brother Jon Snow, but I doubt they’ll be reunited. If Game of Thrones has taught us anything it’s that the Stark family are bloody terrible at organising a family reunion. What’s more likely to me, is that Jon will leave Castle Black just before Sansa and co. turn up. Like, literally seconds apart. So close in fact, that if they each took two steps to their left, they’d bump into each other. But they won’t because that’s not Game of Thrones. 

Also, let’s not forget that we know Brienne and Pod end up at Riverrun thanks to some stellar analysis of the trailer and there’s no way Brienne is leaving Sansa. Not when she’s finally (FINALLY!) found and managed to keep hold of a Stark girl. After Sansa realises her brother is no longer at Castle Black she’ll probably sulk for an episode and then decide to head to Riverrun where the rest of her extended family is. 

Jon won’t abandon the fight against the White Walkers

In my happy, imaginary world where Jon Snow is the winner of Game of Thrones. The former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch might be leaving Castle Black for pastures anew, but there’s no way he’s abandoning the fight against the White Walkers. If he’s proved anything, it’s that he understands the importance of stopping the undead army, even if the rest of Westeros barely believes in its existence. 

This is where Jon’s going to come up against some issues. He might fight at Winterfell, he might even win, he might become Warden/King of the North, but if the Walkers invade it doesn’t make much of a difference. This is why I’m betting his first act as King of the North will be to send men to The Wall, which will leave his rule vulnerable to attack from the Lannisters. There’s no way in hell the Lannisters are going to be ok with Ned Stark’s bastard ruling over the North, even if the Boltons did betray their alliance. You can’t fight a war on two fronts so even if Jon manages to defeat the Boltons and their supporters and win back the North, he’s going to have some serious problems fighting the White Walkers from the North and the Lannisters from the South. 

Jon will find out he’s really is a Targaryen

I think we all know this is coming, right? No one actually still thinks Ned Stark is really Jon’s Father, do they? It seems to go completely against Ned’s character for him to have fathered a child with another woman when he was already married to Catelyn, and although not impossible, I think the alternative theory is probably more likely. It goes; Ned’s sister Lyanna (who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon) was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen (the son of the mad King Aerys and Daenerys’s brother) who took a shining to her at a tournament. This is what started the civil war that saw Robert eventually become king, but while Ned and co. were fighting, Lyanna was still being held captive… for months.

When Ned eventually finds his sister, the story goes she was dying (although it’s not clear from what) and that she asked her brother for one last promise (although it’s not clear what). It seems unlikely that Rhaegar didn’t have his way with Lyanna given that he had no issue kidnapping the young woman, so what if she died from complications during labour and the promise she asked of Ned was that he keep her child safe? With the rest of the Northern army flowing through King’s Landing killing every Targaryen in sight, a bastard of both Stark and Targaryen descent (and probably the result of rape) wouldn’t stand much chance, so Ned did the only thing he could and claimed the boy as his own. In hindsight, he probably should have told his wife Catelyn, as she didn’t take the news very well, but what’s the point in making up this huge secret to save a child’s life and then blabbing?

I reckon Jon is going to find out about his true parentage this season, but (and this is the key thing) he’s not going to formally recognise it. Thanks to the episode 3 teaser we know Bran is going to have a flashback-vision about what happens at the Tower of Joy where Lyanna was being held captive, but there’s no way to actually prove that Jon is her son given that everyone who was there is dead. Plus, it won’t really help his claim on the North if everyone finds out he’s not Ned’s bastard, so I think he’ll find out, but keep it to himself.

Jon is going to marry his Aunt Daenerys

Admit it! You were all thinking this. Jon and Daenerys are two of the most popular characters in Game of Thrones (along with Tyrion) so what would be better than them getting married and ruling the Seven Kingdoms together? I may be jumping the gun a bit here as I doubt this is going to happen in season 6, but either way, I think this is where it’s all heading. 

Think about it. If my above predictions are correct Jon will hopefully become King of the North, meaning that when Dany eventually makes it to Westeros, the Lannisters will be fighting a battle on two sides. Once they’re defeated it just makes sense for the Jon and Daenerys to form an alliance. Ok, ok, if Jon is really a Targaryen he’s technically Daenerys’s nephew which is a bit… gross, but it’s not like the Targaryens ever had a problem with incest before, and remember, no one else will know Jon is a Targaryen. As far as everyone else is concerned, it would be a Stark marrying a Targaryen and bringing peace to Westeros.

Personally, I see Jon and Daenerys forming a marriage alliance based on friendship and mutual respect rather than some great, passionate love, but arranged marriages don’t always end badly, and these two really would make a great team. And that’s how Game of Throne is going to end, so you don’t need to watch it now! You’re welcome. 

Lauren O'Callaghan

Lauren O'Callaghan is the former Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar+. You'd typically find Lauren writing features and reviews about the latest and greatest in pop culture and entertainment, and assisting the teams at Total Film and SFX to bring their excellent content onto GamesRadar+. Lauren is now the digital marketing manager at the National Trust.