The burn­ing ques­tion

Game of Thrones star Carice van Houten weighs in on the like­li­hood of Jon Snow’s re­turn. By DANIEL HATCH

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

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.

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