We’re only days away from the premiere of season six of Game of Thrones, which means, sometime in the next few weeks, we should finally get an answer to the question that has vexed fans for the better part of a year: Is Jon Snow really dead? It’s a pretty safe bet that no one’s happier about the show’s impending arrival than Kit Harington, who might as well have been carrying around a gigantic neon sign reading “Ask me about Jon Snow!” for the past nine months. How has he handled it? About as well as anyone else would — which is to say, with a mix of annoyance, exhaustion, and evasion. Below, let’s relive the glory that was Harington Watch 2k15.
June 14, 2015
Thrones’ fifth-season finale ends on a dramatic cliff-hanger as Jon Snow is stabbed to death by his subordinates in the Night’s Watch, just as he is in George R.R. Martin’s novels. Book fans have had four years to prepare their theories of how he might come back, but in an interview with Vulture published the same night, Harington is adamant that Jon is dead for good. “Trust me, I’m sad, too. But all I know is that he’s dead,” Harington says. “When you gotta go, you gotta go.”
June 29, 2015
But wait a second! With season six in pre-production in Northern Ireland, Harington is reportedly seen arriving at the Belfast airport. Hmm.
July 6, 2015
Harington, who has talked at length about how much he hates his Jon Snow haircut and can’t wait to cut it off, is spotted at Wimbledon with his locks unchanged. He says nothing, but he doesn’t have to: His hair has said enough.
July 15, 2015
Another Kit Harington sighting at the Belfast airport. He’s like Bigfoot, except handsome. (No offense to Bigfoot.)
July 21, 2015
As filming begins on season six, we get our first photographic evidence of Harington arriving in Belfast. He appears unhappy — even more so than normal — to be spotted. Harington will continue to be seen in Northern Ireland throughout the summer, which would seem to indicate a fairly large amount of screen time. Remember this for later.
September 16, 2015
With the cat basically out of the bag, Harington admits that he’s not yet done being Jon Snow. Speaking to Belgian magazine Humo, the actor says he’s been forced to say no to a lot of projects thanks to his GOT commitments, but, on the plus side, he knows “exactly how long [he’s] still under contract” on the show. (The translation was provided by a reader.) He declines to give the number, but adds, “Let’s just say that Game of Thrones will remain a part of my life for a while, I’ll probably be in my 30s when it’s over [Harington is 29]. One thing’s for sure: The day I’m no longer on Thrones is the day I’ll bury myself in movie projects.”
September 25, 2015
One paparazzi photo appears to conclusively answer the question of whether Jon Snow will return.
November 16, 2015
While doing press for MI:5, Harington tells Entertainment Tonight that he absolutely, positively can cut his hair whenever he wants. The fact that he hasn’t is just a coincidence.
November 23, 2015
The first posters for GOT season six put Jon Snow’s bloodied body front and center. He looks pretty alive!
January 26, 2016
Harington’s starring role in a West End production of Doctor Faustus necessitates a string of media appearances, all of which require an answer to the Jon Snow question. (If you’re curious, Faustus keeps Jon Snow’s hair.) In an interview with Digital Spy about Jon’s potential return, he gives a savvy answer: “People didn’t want me to die, but he’s dead. So there you go, everyone has to get used to it.”
January 27, 2016
Harington visits the morning show BBC Breakfast and dodges the Jon Snow question entirely. “I think anyone who wants to know what happens in season six has to wait until it comes out,” he says. “All I can tell you is Jon Snow is dead. He died at the end of last season.” Since this sounds like a real answer but doesn’t actually reveal anything — no one denies that Jon Snow died, they only question whether he’ll come back — it will become a favorite quote for any Thrones person pressed to talk about Jon Snow.
March 7, 2016
With season six less than two months away, Thrones media training goes into lockdown. Harington unveils his new spin in an interview with Time Out London: Yes, he is in the new season … but only because he’s playing a dead body! “I filmed some scenes of me being dead,” he says. “It’s some of my best work.” Given how often he was seen in Belfast, very few people believe him.
March 20, 2016
Harington repeats the corpse line in an interview with the Sunday Times. “You can’t just forget that [Jon has] actually died,” he dutifully states. “I had to be a dead body … so there was a certain amount of filming that had to be done.”
March 27, 2016
Speaking to the Guardian about Faustus, Harington gets even bolder: “I’m really dead. I’m not coming back.”
April 3, 2016
Harington pokes fun at the incessant questioning, stopping by The Jonathan Ross Show to take a lie-detector test (that punishes with electric shocks) about Jon Snow’s fate. In it, he swears he’s dead for good, and he’s not coming back as a White Walker or as Jeremy Kyle. Ross shocks him anyway. Finally, the emotional torture of Kit Harington has become literal torture.