The burning question
Game of Thrones star Carice van Houten weighs in on the likelihood of Jon Snow’s return. By DANIEL HATCH
WHEN young princess Shireen was burned alive in the last season of Game of
Thrones, Carice van Houten got death threats on Twitter.
Her character Lady Melisandre had engineered the sacrifice to appease the Lord of Light and help Shireen’s father, King Stannis, win an important battle against House Bolton.
“It was all ‘die, die, die, b----, die’ over the Shireen thing,” van Houten says. “Then when Jon Snow died I got messages saying, ‘We’ll forgive you if you bring Jon Snow back’. That’s your public for you.”
Whether fan favourite Snow is dead has been an all-consuming obsession for
Game of Thrones fans since he was seen bleeding out into the snow – having been stabbed by the brothers of the Night’s Watch – in the final moments of season five. The arrival of the red priestess Melisandre at the Wall, the site of Jon’s demise, has given rise to a popular theory she will use her powers to resurrect him.
Whether or not the theory is accurate, van Houten – who recently announced she is expecting a child with Aussie actor Guy Pearce – is not giving anything away.
“It amuses me and I like to play with it,” she says of the fans’ fascination with whether Kit Harington’s character is still alive.
“I like to tease things on the internet. I could post a picture of something burning – and it could be anywhere, it could be in my back yard – and they go crazy for it.
“The other day I posted something on Instagram.
“I was just having a walk with my dad in the middle of nowhere in Holland and I took a selfie. My dad was in the background, all blurry with a hood on. People were like, ‘That’s Jon Snow!’.”
What she is willing to say about the new series is that
we will get to see a different side of her character.
“Her world is completely shaken,” van Houten says.
“She has to find ground again because … the offering of Shireen didn’t work. What’s her faith all about now? Who is she going to
trust? Who is she going to be with? She’s completely confused at this point.
“For a character you’ve seen for five years being so in control, that’s the main focus – to get my head around what’s happened and try to grasp something to get back
my faith. I loved it as an actor because I’ve not been able to show a lot of different colours to her until now.”
Game of Thrones has won legions of fans, in part, for its unpredictability. Major characters can be killed off at any moment and just when you think the violence could not get any more shocking, something even more depraved plays out.
Liam Cunningham, who plays Stannis’ right-hand man Ser Davos, says season six is no different.
“This season is big and brash and bold and f----up – right from the very beginning,” he says.
“With a lot of productions, once they get to a certain level of success, they say, ‘Don’t mess with it’ … HBO have not done that.”
While neither the cast nor HBO is revealing what season six holds, fans are eagerly anticipating learning the fates of Daenerys (who is cornered by Dothraki warriors), Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy (who jumped from a castle wall to escape Ramsay Bolton), Arya Stark (who has gone blind), and King Stannis (who was almost certainly beheaded by Brienne of Tarth). They will also be hoping Jon Snow’s true parentage might finally be revealed.
GAME OF THRONES
SHOWCASE, MONDAY, 11AM AND 7.30PM