‘Game of Thrones’ Update: This Was Not in Fact Jon Snow

As some may remember from the world-renowned investigative journalism exercise known simply as

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a brief flash of blurry yet undeniably-well-maintained hair from a Game of Thrones season 6 preview appeared to show a last-seen-dead Jon Snow riding a horse into battle, therefore making a liar out of Kit Harington. This was a long time ago, a darker, colder period of human existence, before Melisandre brought Jon back to life via sponge-bath and we had to hide in Belfast bathrooms for hours, sometimes days, to add to the great “is Jon alive or dead” debate of late 2015-early2016. This is said flash of said hair:

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Compelling stuff, at the time. But Jon is very alive again, if not more mopey, and last night we finally experience the “Battle of the Bastards,” a knock-down, drag-out fight between Ramsay Bolton’s army and Jon’s group of homeless people he met on the way to the battlefield. It was a muddy, bloody skirmish, massive in both scope and execution that ended with Jon’s troops being bailed out by a mustachioed pimp. Seriously though…brutal, amazing stuff. But after the dust settled, the dogs were fed, and Rickon Stark died the way he lived–as a mute pincushion–one question remains…was that him? Did HBO tip its hand by showing us Jon Snow three months before his resurrection?

Well…no. No, they didn’t. HBO runs a tighter operation than the majority of this world’s governments so we shouldn’t be surprised, but still. Nope. For a bunch of reasons, not the least of which are:

  1. Jon’s hair isn’t even that impressive anymore. Berric Dondarion–immortal woodland scamp, brother without banner–once told Arya that being resurrected by the Lord of Light changes you, every time. I don’t know what the scaling process is for that, but apparently the very first rebirth plants the idea in your head that looking like Jared Leto circa 2014 is cool.
  2. The still frame clearly shows whoever-that-is riding alongside companions, as you’d expect a seasoned commander and/or a person trying not to die would do:

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Anyone who caught “Battle of the Bastards” saw Jon decide instead to launch all willy-nilly into an entire army by himself after Ramsay turns Jon’s kid brother into a Rick-kebab. He’s a Stark, dammit, and no one dives headfirst into certain slaughter over an opponent not following the rules like a Stark. Either way, Jon spent little time on horseback, because even the finest of steeds can’t bear the weight of all that plot armor for so long.

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What to take away from all this? For one, it’s another example of how trying to get a grip on the ever-shifting, world-jumping, occasionally baffling in the bloodiest way possible story of HBO’s fantasy juggernaut is, ultimately, a futile exercise.

On the other, far more important hand…there’s a random stunt extra out there with hair pretty much identical to Kit Harington. Whose that guy? Can we get that guy on the phone? Has anyone told EW? Oh, man. Farewell Snow Watch 2016, HELLO:

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‘Game of Thrones’ Update: This Was Not in Fact Jon Snow