FINAL SPOILER ALERT KLAXON
So this is it - your final chance to turn back before your eyes rove to an offending paragraph below and ruin a plot point for you. Think very carefully before you read any further... and... it's too late. You're here. You're reading. Why are you still reading? OK, whatever, it's your choice, here goes nothing...
Jon Snow is properly dead. Or rather, "deader than dead", according to the director of the show's season five finale, David Nutter.
In a recent interview with Variety discussing the conclusion of the latest season, Nutter was asked if he could state if Kit Harrington's Jon Snow was dead.
"I can say emphatically that Jon Snow is definitely dead. I keep hearing that phrase in my head, 'Ding dong, the witch is dead.' After what you saw there, I think there’s no more clear picture whether he is dead or not."
On whether fan speculation was correct that Melisandre could bring Snow back from the beyond, Nutter said, "That’s not my concern. My concern was to take care of Jon Snow, and he’s now deader than dead."
Readers of A Dance of Dragons will have known of Snow's unfortunate demise since 2011 - though Martin's own text is purposefully vague as to his ultimate fate: Wick Wittlestick slashes at Snow's throat, but fails to land a killing blow. Here's how the text sees things play out:
“Ghost,” he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold…
Did Snow actually die? Or did he put his life force into the body of Ghost, such are abilities of a warg. Could he stalk the wall as the giant white direwolf, only to return to his body at a later point?
Apparently not. Actor Kit Harrington has since stated that he's been told he's out of the show, telling Entertainment Weekly, "Quite honestly, I have never been told the future of things in this show, but this is the one time I have. They sat me down and said, 'This is how it is.' If anything in the future is not like that, then I don’t know about it – it’s only in David and Dan [Weiss] and George’s heads. But I’ve been told I’m dead. I’m dead. I’m not coming back next season. So that’s all I can tell you, really."
So there you have it. Jon Snow is dead. If you think that it's all a smoke screen and Kit Harrington will actually be returning in some form in a later series, let us know with the poll below.