Jon Snow has returned! He has risen from the dead, and the Game of Thrones fandom cannot stop celebrating.
But, amidst the revelry, the fans do tend to forget that Jon has gone through something profoundly traumatic. After all, as has been seen with others who have been brought back to life in the series, characters do not really come back the same as they were before.
Khal Drogo became invalid, Ser Gregor Clegane transformed into a giant zombie-like creature, while Beric Dondarrion, who was also brought back by a Red Priest, admitted that he loses a piece of himself every time Thoros of Myr would pull him from death.
So it stands to reason that Jon Snow will be an altogether different man after his sojourn.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Kit Harington has revealed what his character may be dealing with, and he has also referred to a conversation that Jon and Melisandre would have in a future episode to hone the point.
“At first, I was worried that he’ll wake up and he’s the same, back to normal — then there’s no point in that death,” Harington said. “He needs to change. There’s a brilliant line when Melisandre asks: ‘What did you see?’ And he says: ‘Nothing, there was nothing at all.’ That cuts right to our deepest fear, that there’s nothing after death. And that’s the most important line in the whole season for me. Jon’s never been afraid of death, and that’s made him a strong and honorable person. He realizes something about his life now: He has to live it, because that’s all there is. He’s been over the line and there’s nothing there. And that changes him. It literally puts the fear of God into him. He’s seen oblivion and that’s got to change somebody in the most fundamental way there is. He doesn’t want to die ever again. But if he does, he doesn’t want to be brought back.”
That is quite a lot to take in, particularly since, in a world of magic, there seems to be a lack of an afterlife (as far as we can tell from Harington's interview). It would be interesting to see how Melisandre reacts to this -- after all, her faith was already shaken. Then again, she was able to bring someone back to life, so maybe it won't affect her that much. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!