What does Jon Snow’s resurrection mean for Melisandre?

Quick Answer: The fate of Jon Snow was revealed on this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, and he is alive and well. Melisandre, the Red Woman herself, resurrected our Lord Commander on Sunday night. With new magic we’ve never before seen, we’re not yet sure if Melisandre was the only one who brought him back. Were Ghost and warging involved? Or is Jon Snow Azor Ahai reborn, destined to defend the realm? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: our Lord Commander is back, and from the looks of it, he’ll be fighting White Walkers and Boltons in no time.

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2: “Home”

This week’s episode of Game of Thrones (2011 - ) offered the kind of twists, turns, shock and awe for which the show became famous. From Tyrion talking to dragons to Ramsay Bolton murdering his entire family, “Home” was packed from start to finish with jaw-dropping moments. But the biggest moment was in the episode’s final scene. The cat’s out of the bag now, folks: Jon Snow is back.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington) Returns From the Dead

Technically, HBO didn’t lie about the fate of our favourite Game of Thrones hero. The question was, “Is Jon Snow dead?” Yes, he was! “Will Jon Snow be resurrected?” wasn’t asked nearly as much nor as fervently. Given the turn of events, Kit Harington has stepped forward and apologized profusely for blatanly lying to the fans. Not that anyone could blame him, of course. Harington was touched by the fans’ universal horror and grief, a reaction he compared to Season 3’s Red Wedding. Harington admitted that he was humbled to see the same reaction for the death of his character.

Despite that initial moment of shock and exhilaration when our Lord Commander opened his eyes and gasped for air, it wasn’t too much of a surprise. Jon was simply too important to remain dead. There was so much left unresolved, and there is so much left for him to carry out. From killing White Walkers to destroying Ramsay Bolton, our hero was far from done. But how exactly did it happen? Let’s review, shall we?

As many speculated in advance, we have none other than Melisandre, the Red Woman herself, to thank for Jon’s resurrection. Ser Davos goes to her chambers, asking her if there is any way to bring Jon back. Does her magic extend that far? Melisandre admits that while resurrection is possible, she doesn’t possess that kind of power. R’hllor never spoke to her, she claims. But Davos perseveres: he didn’t ask if the Red God had these powers; he asked if she did. Although Melisandre is in a very vulnerable state, Davos delivers one of his characteristic pep talks, imploring her to give it the old college try.

Melisandre (Carice van Houten) Prepares to Resurrect Jon Snow (Kit Harington)

She wipes down Jon’s body, cleaning the dried blood off of his chest. She begins cutting his hair, throwing the curls into the fire. Then she trims his beard, doing the same. She places her hands carefully on his chest and begins reciting an incantation. Nothing happens. She repeats it, but again the Lord Commander is unresponsive. Tormund, Edd and Ser Davos look on anxiously while she continues to repeat the spell. Finally, after many tries, she simply whispers, “Please” to seemingly no avail. One by one, all leave the room. Ser Davos takes one last look at Jon’s body, defeated, and closes the door. The empty room is palpably tense; it is silent but for the breathing of Ghost. All is lost.


Ghost quickly rises and looks up. Jon breathes life again. It looks like we can finally start to forgive Melisandre for Shireen.

But was it truly Melisandre’s doing?

Many fans speculate that the resurrection wasn’t Melisandre at all, or at the very least that she didn’t act alone. This isn’t impossible; there was ample time between Melisandre’s spell and Jon’s waking, enough time for another element to be at work. While the resurrection itself may not have been genuinely surprising, it is certainly a welcome moment, one that opens the door to myriad questions and narrative possibilities. Some think that Jon warged into Ghost before dying, an ability, fans of the books will know, that Jon possesses but doesn’t know how to use. Another theory is that Jon is in fact Azor Ahai reborn— the Prince that was Promised— said to wake dragons and defend the world from darkness. Although we remain unsure of the specifics of Jon’s revival, the show has plenty of time to spin out further details and theories.

Even if Melisandre wasn’t the only person or force behind the revival, her involvement is, at the moment, undeniable. Indeed, since the Season 5 finale, fans have been speculating that Melisandre would be involved in Snow’s resurrection. For one, she is a Red Priestess, and we have seen the power of a Red Priest before. In Season 3 we saw the show’s only other example of a character’s revival, when the Red Priest Thoros of Myr resurrected Beric Dondarrion. We also know that servants of the Red God have powers unlike any other.

Additionally, in the Season 6 premiere, “The Red Woman,” we learn that Melisandre is much older than her appearance suggests, perhaps hundreds of years old. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeremy Podeswa, director of “The Red Woman,” said, “The idea is there’s an indefinite indeterminate quality that she could be ancient.” Given this new information, it is possible that Melisandre is wiser and more powerful than we previously thought.

Melisandre Reveals Her True Age

But what does Jon Snow’s revival mean for Melisandre moving forward? As a character Melisandre was previously defined by her wickedness, so this pure, unselfish act could be a step on Melisandre’s road to redemption. While she’s never been a villain, she’s certainly never been the most loved character on the show. This episode has brought her into a new light. If she really was the one to resurrect Jon Snow, she’ll have quickly gone from one of the most hated to one of the most beloved characters — not to mention that her faith in herself, and perhaps even the Lord of Light, will be restored.

The looming question that now hangs over the show concerns the fate of Jon Snow. Will Jon be the same? And if he is changed, will it be for better or worse? Right now, all we can do is celebrate that our Lord Commander is back. It’s only a matter of time before the writers dole out more jaw-dropping, hair-pulling details about Jon Snow’s origins and parentage. Sunday simply can’t come soon enough.