Jon Snow accomplished a lot in Game of Thrones season 6, going from corpse to King in the North in 10 short episodes. But not everyone was satisfied by the conclusion to the epic “Is Jon Snow dead/will he stay that way?” storyline that dominated the off-season between seasons 5 and 6. Kit Harington was one of them, at least at first.
In the end, the surprise of his resurrection was in how rote it was: the red witch Melisandre brought Jon back with magic and he returned as the same honorable-to-a-fault bastard. Like the fans, Harington wondered during his “exile” what form Jon’s return would take.
“I did—but at the same time, you don’t get the scripts until about two weeks before you start shooting the new season. I knew I was coming back to life, but I didn’t know if I’d come back as a changed person, as a villain. So I couldn’t pre-plan anything, which was hard.
And then I got the scripts, and actually, he comes back as himself, as the Jon that everyone knows. Which at first I found disappointing. But it’s more subtle than that. He has an insight into what lies beyond that very few people in his world do, and that no one in our world does—he knows that there’s no afterlife. Which does quietly drive who he is and what he wants to do.”
As he said, the writers deliberately choose not to go flashy with Jon’s resurrection, either the before or after, and instead focus on the effect on the characters involved, like Davos, Melisandre and Jon himself. It’s an internal exploration played more in the background or on the actors’ faces than in the story itself.
For more about Harington’s season 6 experience, like how terrifying it is to doze off on set and wake up “in the middle of Game of Thrones world” and his thoughts on the reveal of Jon’s parentage (R+L=J) check out the full interview linked below. Game of Thrones penultimate, seven-episode Season 7 is written, with filming set to begin shortly and a premiere date of next summer (likely June).