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Why The Jon Snow Reveal Won't Be What We Imagined

For the night is dark and full of spoilers (there's our warning), Melisandre was finally able to do what we all predicted was going to happen the second Jon Snow died at the end of season five of Game of Thrones. It didn't particularly help that Melisandre retreated to Castle Black just minutes before the Night's Watch mutineers pin-cushioned the Lord Commander to death. Nevertheless, we were at the edge of our seats watching the late Stannis Baratheon's Lord of Light priestess try to resurrect Jon Snow and seemingly fail...until Ned Stark's (or Lyanna Stark's) son was brutally brought back to the world of the living. There are going to be major ramifications as to the Lord Commander's return, so let's breakdown why Jon Snow's big comeback might not be what we imagined.

Jon Snow might not be himself anymore

It's safe to say that being brought back to life through the powers of the Lord of Light, a religion that gets frowned upon throughout most of Westeros, isn't going to do Jon Snow any favors (other than breathing again of course). The odds are still tremendously stacked against him, and we're not even sure if there are any adverse effects to being brought back like this. Don't forget, usually the powers of the Lord of Light require some sort of cost or sacrifice—we still haven't forgotten Stannis Baratheon burning Shireen alive just for the sake of removing the snowstorm between his army and Winterfell. In being resurrected, Jon Snow's sacrifice may be that he is a changed person. Beric Dondarrion, who Thoros of Myr was able to resurrect six times, lost a lot of his memories and was starting to become more and more zombie-like. What if Jon Snow has become cruel, forgotten about his siblings, or become a lefty?

He's lost the Night's Watch, and possibly more

Regardless of Jon coming back, he's lost the Night's Watch. We're unsure if First Ranger and chief mutineer Alliser Thorne simply appointed himself as the new Lord Commander or if the boys in black had a new voting session to appoint Jon's successor. If Snow attempts to return to the Night's Watch, they'll probably claim he's a White Walker or a wraith and try to gut him again. Jon may have had his own number of supporters at Castle Black, but dying kind of takes the wind out of their sails. We're not even sure if the Free Folk are going to side with Jon, knowing that some kind of magic brought him back from death, and that the undead are why they're fleeing south in the first place.

Stonehearted problems

Jon Snow's "Uncle Benjen is here?" and "hey guys I'm back" has other unforeseen problems beyond his relationships with the Night's Watch and the Wildlings. In terms of overall narrative, this may throw a wrench into the storyline plans for those hoping to see Lady Stoneheart. If we finally find out what happened to the Brotherhood Without Banners (remember them? They did kind of do the whole dead-resurrection thing first), we should be introduced to Lady Stoneheart, according to the books. Lady Stoneheart is none other than the reanimated corpse of Catelyn Stark, who was resurrected by Beric Dondarrion and given command of the Brotherhood so she could seek out vengeance against the betrayers of Robb and the rest of the Starks. Unfortunately, Jon's big return might derail one of the biggest comebacks of the series.

There's probably a price to pay with Melisandre

Besides the being-partially-a-zombie-who-is-losing-your-memories thing, there are other possible detriments to Jon Snow's resurrection. While there's probably some sort of sacrifice/cost that was needed for Jon's return to life, there's probably also a personal debt he's going to have to pay with Melisandre. The last time she saw Jon Snow, she tried taking advantage of the guy. She's got a sweet spot for would-be kings, we guess. Melisandre isn't telling us all that she knows, especially since she's apparently centuries old and still trying to deceive people of significance in the Seven Kingdoms. We're not sure to what end Melisandre is playing at, other than addressing the incoming war against the White Walkers, but there's likely a lot more that she's not telling everyone. Jon Snow might have to become Melisandre's pawn in paying back his debt to her.

Siding with the Lord of Light

Melisandre likely thought that Stannis Baratheon was Azor Ahai, R'hllor's champion who would wield a flaming sword against the Lord of Light's opposing deity, the Great Other. The Great Other is said to be the source of the White Walkers' dark powers. The redheaded priestess has been vocal about the seas freezing, the dead rising in the north, and someone leading humanity with a flaming sword. Obviously, she was wrong about Stannis being Azor Ahai, but was she picturing Jon Snow brandishing Azor Ahai's Lightbringer blade? Snow's blade, Longclaw, could fit that description, as it previously slayed a White Walker. Nevertheless, Jon's big comeback brings him closer to becoming the legendary hero of Melisandre's creepy religion.

At odds with the Night's King

Remember that whole R'hllor/Great Other conflict we mentioned? It gets even deeper than that once you factor in the Night's King—the White Walker leader who did the "come at me bro" pose towards Jon Snow at the Hardhome invasion. Jon's position kind of puts him on opposing ends with the Night's King. According to the books, the Night's King was one of the earliest Lord Commanders of the Night's Watch (serving thousands of years ago as its 13th leader). Seduced by a female White Walker (surprisingly called "the Night's Queen"), the Night's King started having all kinds of gross White Walker babies. He took over an old Night's Watch castle, and started hosting human sacrifices for the other White Walkers. It took a united army between the King Brandon "the Breaker" Stark and the King-beyond-the-Wall Joramun to march onto the Nightfort and defeat the Night's King. Plot twist: the Night's King was rumored to have been King Brandon's brother, also making him a Stark.

Now, we have two former Lord Commanders of the Night's Watch who have both risen from the dead opposing one another. The Night's King is raising an army once again. We have a Stark leader (Jon Snow) uniting forces with a Wildling leader (Tormund in this case), but things are a little bit more complicated this time around.