WARNING: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for season five of Game of Thrones.
Another day, another Game of Thrones actor fanning the flames of the “Jon Snow’s Alive” theory.
After Jon Snow was seemingly killed off in the final moments of the show’s fifth season, avid fans began to contemplate ways Snow could still be alive. It took no time at all for the Game of Thrones stars to hop on the bandwagon.
Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner have all provided their input and opinions as to whether or not Snow will be returning to the story. Recently, Carice van Houten (Melisandre) joined that list. “Jon Snow can’t be dead,” she insisted.
But how much do the stars actually know? Many outlets have reported these opinions as “dropping hints” as to what’s coming in season six, but I’m not so convinced. Maybe Jon Snow’s alive. Maybe he isn’t. We don’t know with any certainty, and I think the actors working on the show are just as uncertain as we are. But there is one thing I can say with certainty: this is one of the most brilliant marketing strategies a show could ask for.
Think about this for a second. Game of Thrones is on the air for roughly ten weeks a year. During every one of those weeks, the show is a massive point of conversation for hundreds of news outlets. But what happens when the show is off the air? Not much. From about June to February, Game of Thrones remains out of news circulation. Sure, maybe some casting announcements start floating around, but aside from that, the show loses its major coverage until a new trailer is released.
But now, here comes one of the biggest things to happen in the show’s history, and it has fans buzzing. They’re on the edge of their seats until the next season rolls around. Not even the book readers know what’s going to happen now. If you’re one of the show’s stars, you too are probably clueless as to what’s coming next. One of the Game of Thrones actors didn’t even know he’d be killed off until he read the episode script! But in the eyes of the public, you’re an inside source. Anything you say can be taken as gospel. Weighing in on the controversy is in both the show’s best interest and in your best interest as an actor on said show. Why? Headlines.
If you say something that either confirms or seems to confirm a fan theory, you’re going to make waves. If a show can gain traction with news outlets in its off-season, it builds up anticipation and it reaches more people.
So let’s call the stars’ opinions as what they probably are: publicity stunts. Brilliant ones, but nonetheless, they’re apart of a calculated marketing strategy. Is Jon Snow really alive? I guess we won’t truly know until next year.