Jon Snow Is Alive, But Where Is He Going?

Jon Snow’s alive.

That much we know (after an offseason of lying). Otherwise, the former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch is a blank slate, with a swanky new haircut. His watch has ended; his best friend’s on his way to the Citadel; the only woman he’s loved is dead; as are his adopted father and mother (not that she cared for Jon). His older half-brother was slain in the Red Wedding; his younger half-brothers are, separately, having cryptic visions in a tree and being held captive in Winterfell; and his sisters are on the run and No One.

What’s a bastard to do? And where the heck is he going?

At the end of Sunday’s episode, Jon gives his coat to Dolorous Edd, and stoically storms off through what looks like the north gate tunnel (hopefully he picks up supplies, Ghost, Melisandre and another coat before leaving). All we really know about what Jon is thinking comes from Kit Harington’s interview with Entertainment Weekly, where he said, “He’s done with it. He’s seen the other side, seen what’s there, and comes back and realizes he needs to lead his life and get out of there. This place betrayed him, and everything he stood for has changed… At the heart of it, he knows by staying at the Wall he can’t help the kingdoms and he’s probably going to die very quickly if he stays.” (Jon’s able to leave without technically breaking his oath — his watch “shall not end until my death,” and he, as you may have heard, died.)

That doesn’t give us a lot of clues to go on, but it hasn’t stopped fans from trying to predict the rest of the season. BuddyTV notes that “the Jon who executed his killers was a lot colder and angrier than we’d ever seen him before. It’s also telling about how Jon kills the traitors. He doesn’t do it the ‘honorable’ way like Ned Stark taught him, by chopping off their heads in one clean swoop. The traitors are killed by hanging.” Meanwhile, Romper adds, “Jon’s decision to bring the wildlings past the wall has had deadly repercussions once already, and it turns out the other Northern Houses are as unhappy about it as the Night’s Watch was. Smalljon of House Umber sought Ramsay’s help in overcoming Jon and the wildlings, and Ramsay already has a vested interest in doing away with Jon to secure his seat at Winterfell.”

Jon is mad, confused, and wants revenge; his enemies, particularly the squatters in Winterfell, want him dead. Based on that, here’s my guess for what’s going to happen next: Jon will briefly head north of the Wall, to the grove of sacred Weirwoods in the Haunted Forest. (That’s where brothers of the Night’s Watch go when they want to pray to the old gods.) He’ll use one of the trees to communicate with Bran, who speaks with Jon in George R.R. Martin’s books. (Try to imagine that conversation: “Long time no see. How you been? So, funny story: I had a vision where I saw Ned, and heard what I think was your mom dying while giving birth to you, because I can’t be sure, because this raven with three eyes won’t back off.”)

From there, Jon will then head back to Castle Black, where he’ll run into Sansa, Brienne, and Podrick, who, based on the “on the next…” teaser, arrive there in this week’s episode. (There’s a strong chance that they’ll just miss each other before getting together an episode later, because that seems like a very Game of Thrones thing to do. Please don’t do this.) Sansa will tell her half-brother about all the horrible things Ramsay has done to her and Winterfell, and with the wildings in tow, who have pledged their loyalty to Jon, the two Stark siblings, as well as Brienne and Podrick, will face off against the Boltons in the show’s “biggest [action sequence yet].” It’s a battle for the north.

Right now, almost all of the Stark kids are refreshingly in control of their destiny. Sansa’s finally free of Ramsay; Arya has her sight back; Bran is learning how to use his visions; Jon’s quit the Night’s Watch; and Rickon, well, poor Rickon is the happiness holdout, but at least, if the above theory proves even somewhat true, the cavalry will be heading his way soon.

Again, this is all speculation, because for the first time, book readers know nothing. That’s what makes the rest of this season so thrilling. Well, that, and hopefully Wun Wun throwing Ramsay into the sun.