Jon Snow, White Walker

Photo via Game of Thrones/HBO Remix by Jason Reed

Here’s why Jon Snow will be a White Walker

No one is safe.


Beth Elderkin

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 22, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 9:54 pm CDT

Jon Snow is dead. Like, super dead. HBO confirmed it, Maisie Williams did too. The bastard of Winterfell is so dead that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explained how they digitally changed actor Kit Harington’s pupils to make him look even deader.

Is Jon Snow a White Walker? 

Screengrab via Game of Thrones/HBO

Even though Snow is the deadest of the dead, there are plenty of fan theories as to why one of the most popular characters in Game of Thrones is still coming back. The Red Priestess could resurrect him through the powers of the Lord of Light, or Snow could’ve warged into his direwolf, Ghost. Well, Carice van Houten, who plays Melisandre, the Red Priestess, has denied the resurrection, and Samwell Tarly’s John Bradley rejected the wolf thing on TBS’s Conan.

So that leaves only one option: Jon Snow will be a White Walker.

Jon Snow knows nothing, because he’s a leader of the damned.

Don’t grab your Dragonglass and drive me out of town just yet. There are some fans who believe Jon Snow could come back as a leader of the White Walkers, part of the Night King’s council. Even Nerdist News tackled the theory in a recent episode. And sure, Harington denied it during a recent episode of Britain’s The Jonathan Ross Show, but since when have we ever let actor denials stop us from still believing?

Jon Snow knows nothing, because he’s a leader of the damned.

Given that the book series is called A Song of Ice and Fire, a lot of fans believe the final showdown will be between the Dragon Riders and the White Walkers. After all, a dragon’s fire is one of the only things that can kill a White Walker. Of course, that stems from the title of the book series, and I’m basing my theory on the TV show, but the parallels are obvious enough to point out.


Courtesy of HBO

It’s easy to assume that Daenerys is the fire. After all, she is a Targaryen, who are believed to have dragon’s blood flowing through their veins. Does this mean she’s the ultimate hero of the story, or the one who will sit on the Iron Throne? Not necessarily. In fact, there’s legitimate criticism about how poorly she governs and dispenses justice. But she’s still connected to the dragons, the “three heads” prophecy and the final battle between fire and ice. Only, who will be her nemesis? The cold, rigid opposer on the other side of the Wall? Jon Snow, guys. Jon Snow.

One of the biggest mysteries on the show is Jon Snow’s true lineage, with “R + L = J” being one of the most popular theories. But let’s take that one and throw it out the window with Bran Stark, cause there’s another lineage rumor that’s way more interesting. At least for this conversation.

One of the biggest mysteries on the show is Jon Snow’s true lineage.

It’s known in this series that the Night’s King was a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch who fell in love with an Other, the older term for White Walkers. However, some believe the Night’s King was a Stark and is linked to the Stark line through blood magic. According to the legend, that’s one of the reasons why the Starks must always rule the North.

In that regard, just as Dany has dragon’s blood flowing through her veins, the Starks have the icy blood of the Others in theirs. While we’ve only seen living babies turned into White Walkers, with corpses being risen as mindless wights, Snow’s bloodline could allow his body to successfully become a White Walker leader. Given that we still haven’t seen an in-show explanation for Melisandre’s smoke monster birth, anything is possible.

White Walker 

Screengrab via Game of Thrones/HBO

This could explain why the Night’s King was so fascinated with Jon Snow at the end of Hardhome. While some took the Night King’s arm raising of the corpses as a show of “come at me, bro,” it can just as easily be seen as an invitation. Like when Mufasa showed Simba the reaches of his kingdom in The Lion King. It’s a call to arms, showing Jon Snow the power that they could wield together.

And that’s not even going into the “R + L = J” theory, which could make Jon Snow’s lineage even more complicated. If Snow has the blood of ice and fire, he would be a powerful ally for the White Walkers.

Plus, the Night’s King has an open seat at his table. Much like the Night’s King was the 13th Lord Commander, images from Oathkeeper show the Night’s King’s council has 13 members. In Hardhome, Jon Snow murdered one of them with Longclaw, so someone’s going to need to take the space. And Jon Snow would fit right in: Not only because of his blood, but also because of his personality.

This is where I pull out the Dungeons & Dragons Alignment Test. There are tons of sites where fans have tried to place Game of Thrones characters on the chart based on their personalities and actions, and each one has their own opinions about who goes where. Although pretty much everyone agrees that Ramsay Bolton is Chaotic Evil, because what else would he be?


Courtesy of HBO

In my opinion, Jon Snow is Lawful Good. He volunteered for the Night’s Watch to serve a code of honor. Even if he slipped in his allegiances while with the Wildlings, once he took over as Lord Commander, he became completely bound by the code. So much so, he executed Janos to send a message about doing things right. As Ned Stark would say: “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” Much like Ned Stark, Snow’s actions ended up getting him killed in the end, because Lawful Good is often challenged due to its rigidity.

In that vein, the White Walkers are Lawful Evil. Sure, they’re spreading chaos across the land, but it’s part of a clear and concise plan. The White Walkers have a structured caste system and everyone plays a part, from the freshest wight to the Night’s King himself. Given Jon Snow’s penchant for doing what’s right by his code, he’s a perfect match for the White Walkers. Only this time, the code would be evil.

Is Jon Snow a White Walker? 

Courtesy of HBO

As far as the millions of fans who would be crushed to see the heroic Jon Snow as a leader of an evil army of corpses, I have one thing to say: No one is safe.

As we’ve seen demonstrated several times before, anything can happen to any character at any time. Some of it hasn’t even happened in the book series, like Shireen Baratheon’s tragic end or the added casualty to the Red Wedding. We cannot assume Martin or HBO would spare Jon Snow just because he is a main character. In fact, turning Westeros’ White Knight into a White Walker would add immeasurable weight to this show.

And yes, I’m fully aware that he could become a “good White Walker,” like that one guy from the books who’s not in the show, but evil sounds so much more fun. Plus, I really don’t want to see him running around as a wolf.

Beth Elderkin is a freelance journalist who’s been featured in TouchVision, Daily Dot, PopOptiq, The Gloss and several other publications. She also co-hosts and produces Shark Jumping, a TV review series for Channel Awesome. Follow her on Twitter @BethElderkin.

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*First Published: Apr 22, 2016, 3:23 pm CDT