TL;DR: The Season 6 “Game of Thrones” teaser trailer hints at the possibility that Jon Snow is alive because of his and/or Bran’s ability to warg.
HBO released a teaser trailer for Season 6 of “Game of Thrones” this week, and while it involves no new footage, it lends itself to some theorycrafting nonetheless.
Of course, when about half of the trailer features Jon Snow — a character presumed dead and a favorite among fan theorists — it’s bound to lead to some new theories.
The subtle importance of warging in the trailer
We learned in A Dance With Dragons that Bran has almost no trouble warging into humans. He would routinely warg into Hodor, and, impressively, nobody ever knew what was happening.
“No one ever knew when he was wearing Hodor’s skin.”
–A Dance With Dragons, Bran III
At the end of the Season 6 “Game of Thrones” trailer, we see Jon Snow bleeding in the snow, presumably dead, after being stabbed by his brothers of the Night’s Watch:
We then immediately see a short clip of Bran’s eyes rolling into the back of his head. This is how the show depicts him warging:
That’s when the footage ends.
Theory: Bran wargs into Jon Snow right before he dies
The theory posits that Bran wargs into Jon Snow’s body before Jon Snow dies. While it’s unclear whether or not this would save Jon Snow from dead (being possessed by Bran doesn’t change the fact he was repeatedly stabbed), it does open up new possibilities. We don’t know what happens when someone on the verge of death gets warged.
But we do know what happens when someone on the verge of death wargs into someone — or something — else. Which opens up the door to a far more believable theory.
Theory: Could Jon Snow warg into Ghost before dying?
In the prologue of A Dance With Dragons — the same book in which Jon Snow supposedly dies — George R. R. Martin establishes the fact that humans can warg into animals prior to death, thus preserving their spirit. It stands to reason that they would then be able to warg back into a human body at a later date, although that’s just speculation.
Stick with us: If going from your body, to an animal body, to a different human body via warging is possible, however, it would have to be done sooner rather than later. That’s because rumor has it that the human’s control over the warged creature dissipates over time.
“They say you forget,” Haggon had told him, a few weeks before his own death. “When the man’s flesh dies, his spirit lives on inside the beast, but every day his memory fades, and the beast becomes a little less a warg, a little more a wolf, until nothing of the man is left and only the beast remains.”
Varamyr knew the truth of that. When he claimed the eagle that had been Orell’s, he could feel the other skinchanger raging at his presence. Orell had been slain by the turncloak crow Jon Snow, and his hate for his killer had been so strong that Varamyr found himself hating the beastling boy as well. He had known what Snow was the moment he saw that great white direwolf stalking silent at his side. One skinchanger can always sense another. Mance should have let me take the direwolf. There would be a second life worthy of a king. He could have done it, he did not doubt. The gift was strong in Snow, but the youth was untaught, still fighting his nature when he should have gloried in it.
–A Dance With Dragons, Prologue
Sometimes Jon is able to warg into Ghost’s body (his trustworthy dire wolf).
“He is a warg,” said the Lord of Bones, “and a crow. I like him not.”
“A warg he may be,” Ygritte said, “but that has never frightened us.”
–A Clash of Kings, Jon VIII (Ygritte and the Lord of Bones speaking about Jon Snow)
The two quotes above outline the fact that Jon Snow is capable of warging, and while he may not be an expert at it like Bran, “the gift” is supposedly strong with him. It’s also no coincidence that GRRM made clear the possibility of wargs possessing animals prior to the death of their human bodies — and while establishing that fact, he brought up Jon Snow.
Jon Snow’s final word: “Ghost”
The last word Jon Snow speaks before dying, or passing out, or warging, or being warged into — or whatever — was simply: “Ghost.”
Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger’s hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the wound was smoking. “Ghost,” he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold …
–A Dance With Dragons, Jon XIII
It’s possible that with Jon’s dying breath, he spoke Ghost’s name in a last-ditch attempt to warg into the direwolf. And the rest of the sentence suggests he may have succeeded.
He felt the third dagger, but he “never felt the fourth knife.” Is is possible he didn’t feel it because he had already left his body and transferred into Ghost?
”They have no idea what’s going to happen,” says Bran Stark at the end of the Season 6 teaser trailer. That may be true, but it sure as heck isn’t going to stop us from trying!
See the full Season 6 trailer for HBO’s Game of Thrones below.