Season 6 of Game of Thrones is here: Has Snow really fallen?

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20 April 2016

HBO, Sunday, April 24, 9:00 PM ET

By Lori Acken

If you’re an avid Game of Thrones fan, odds are good that you set aside months of angst over Jon Snow’s fate just long enough to be solidly creeped out by those ads displaying certifiably notdead characters’ noggins in the House of Black and White’s creepy Hall of Faces. Or maybe they just serve as a fine reminder that few are exactly who they seem — or masters of their own fate — in HBO’s Emmy-winning megahit, which returns Sunday.

So then … does Snow live or what?

Folks in charge of the show aren’t talking and Kit Harington, who plays the fallen, fan-loved warrior, flat-out says no. But the blogosphere favors the notion that Snow is restored by calculating, kid-killing priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten), who conveniently showed up at Castle Black in the wake of Stannis Baratheon’s death — and just as Snow met his own shocking fate. And with speculation that the Bastard of Winterfell is actually the legit offspring of ill-fated Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen — thus blending two families in the quest for the Westeros throne — his presence in the game seems very, very necessary.

Last fall, Ray Donovan’s Ian McShane confirmed that he’ll make a single-episode appearance as someone responsible for the return of a character fans thought they’d never see again. Who you think the returnee might be likely depends on whether you read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, troll the web and invest in the mythology, or if you’re just enjoying an epic show. Film legend Max von Sydow also signs on, assuming the role of returning clairvoyant Bran Stark’s (Isaac Hempstead Wright) mentor, the Three-Eyed Raven.

Season 6 teasers also confirm that Bran’s big sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) and her unlikeliest of saviors, Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), survived a literal leap for their lives — which surely won’t sit well with Sansa’s jilted whack job of a husband Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) and his equally power-mad dad Roose (Michael McElhatton). As for the captive Daenerys Targaryen, looks like she’s back in Vaes Dothrak, where she once served as beloved khaleesi — but neither her former pal Jorah (Iain Glen) or her new ally Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) are likely to let her fend for herself for long.

And after last season’s mortifying walk of shame, Tyrion’s sister Cersei (Lena Headey) surely won’t handle the news of her daughter’s murder well, nor her brother/lover Jaime’s (Nikolaj CosterWaldau) inability to prevent it. But she’s still the mother of King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) — a far more obedient boy than the ill-fated Joffrey.

At least for now.
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