Folk are understandably concerned about who will make it through Game of Thrones’ next season. It’s the final series, for one thing; with six episodes to go and a White Walker invasion imminent, the action will come thick and fast. Equally, the actor who plays Jaime Lannister has suggested that a few main characters are bound to turn into blue-eyed zombies before we’re through.
However, I’m most worried about Jon.
Spoilers for Game of Thrones follow. Don’t look if you’re not caught up yet, you daftie!
Although that may seem odd considering the suit of story armour he’s been swaddled in for the last two seasons (even death couldn’t keep him down), I’m not sure we should assume his survival just yet. If anything, I’m worried that he’s got a bullseye stapled to his fur-clad back for precisely that reason. To begin with, his arc fits all too neatly into the ‘noble sacrifice’ mould. Jon was resurrected so he could complete some unknown purpose, and this is presumably battling the Night King. The pair have locked eyes on multiple occasions in a ‘we’re arch-nemeses now’ sort of way, so both going out in combat with one another would be a logical end for their arc. They’re too dangerous for either to survive a direct clash, especially if Jon is Azor Ahai (the prophesised saviour who’s destined to battle White Walkers) as many suspect.
Snow’s role as a reborn hero of myth would therefore suit the cliché well; dying in the process of saving the day is a classic trope. Countless genre-stories have mined this idea, and examples range from The Matrix to Mass Effect. Because of his Jon’s honourable, self-sacrificing personality, it’s hard not to see this happening to him as well. It’d be in keeping with Game of Thrones’ bittersweet air, too. The world is saved… but its greatest hero is gone.
I’d be happy if I was wrong, of course; it’d be nice to see someone we’re rooting for make it out alive. I just don’t see it being Jon.