HBO's New 'Game of Thrones' Poster, and Its Possible Implications Moving Forward

Winter is coming, in more ways than one. HBO has just released the first promotional poster for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones and it reaffirms what countless fans already knew: Jon Snow is definitely not gone for good. Even though Kit Harrington, the show's producers and HBO executives have all insisted the character is truly dead, most people have been expecting Jon's return from the moment the first knife was plunged into his chest. Even if we ignore the photos of Harrington on set in Belfast, this latest marketing ploy is all the confirmation we need that Jon Snow will be back. 

For five years now, book readers have been able to hold spoilers over the heads of show watchers, but for the first time since the series began, everyone will be going into the new season without knowledge of what will happen. With that being said, here are a few fan theories that this Jon Snow teaser poster all but confirms. 

1. He Is Risen

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We're not saying HBO's graphic designers were necessarily inspired by Martin Scorsese's poster for The Last Temptation of Christ, but it's impossible to deny the similarities between these two images. Both Jon Snow and Jesus Christ appear downtrodden, with blood splattered across their face. Christians believe Jesus was crucified and rose on the third day, after being betrayed by one of his beloved disciples. The last episode of season five of Game of Thrones ends with Jon literally being stabbed in the back by members of the Night's Watch. If the similarities between these two posters are not just visual, but also metaphorical, then Jon Snow should be making his triumphant return sometime in season six. 

2. R + L = J

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Lady. Ned. Robb. Oberyn. Ygritte. Shireen. These are just some of the heartbreaking deaths Game of Thrones fans have had to cope with. No one has come back to life, except Beric Dondarrion, a secondary character that most viewers barely remember. Even characters that were resurrected in the books have been completely ignored by the show. Why then would HBO decide to give the bastard child of a fallen lord a second chance? Because he's not a bastard, but actually the son of Lady Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. This is arguably the most popular and widely-accepted fan theory, and since it looks like the show is bringing back Jon Snow, it's probably true. 

3. Targaryen Lineage

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Take a look at the Targaryen family tree. The "Mad King" Aerys married Rhaella and she gave birth to Rhaegar, Viserys and Daenerys. Rhaegar then married Elia Martell and she gave birth to two children who were brutally murdered by "The Mountain." Aerys was killed by Jaime Lannister, Rhaegar was killed by Robert Baratheon and Viserys was killed by a crown of molten gold. That means Daenerys is the last living member of the Targaryen dynasty, unless you believe Jon Snow is Rhaegar's son. This would place Jon, Daenerys' nephew, next in line for the Iron Throne. What better way for Jon to solidify his claim than by marrying "The Mother of Dragons?" Sure, Daenerys is his aunt, but Targaryens have been known to keep marriages in the family. 

4. You're a Warg, Jon

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Although the show has not touched on this, Bran is not the only Stark child with warging capabilities. Sansa obviously lost her wolf, and we have no idea what Rickon is up to, but Arya's new-found blindness is more than likely to awaken her latent abilities. Remember, Bran only realized he was a warg after his crippling accident. Jon's recent encounter with over a dozen sharp knives may push him in the same direction, especially considering his last word in the book was, "Ghost." 

5. And Now His Watch Is Ended

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"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death." If Jon Snow dies and comes back to life, he is technically free of his Night's Watch vows. Even though Jon is a man of honor, we doubt he's going to want to stick around Castle Black for much longer.  

6. The Prince That Was Promised

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When Daenerys visits the House of the Undying in the books, one of the visions she has is her brother Rhaegar, holding a new-born baby as he says, "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." The baby is supposed to be Aegon, but seeing as he's no longer in the picture, it makes sense to assume that Jon Snow is this promised prince. Let's just say Jon's showdown with the White Walker army won't be his last. 

7. A Whole New Jon

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George R.R. Martin once said, "Much as I admire Tolkien, I always felt like Gandalf should have stayed dead... My characters who come back from death are worse for wear. In some ways, they're not even the same characters anymore." Just because Jon Snow is coming back to life, that doesn't mean he's going to be the Jon we all know and love. Be prepared for a darker, less forgiving Jon. 

8. Stark Family Reunion

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Don't get your hopes up, but Jon Snow leaving Castle Black may lead him to reunite with his sisters. Sansa just escaped Winterfell and Arya is going to have to make her way back to Westeros sooner than later. There is a potential Stark family reunion in the works, but then again, "If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."