Jon Snow is ‘Dead-er than Dead’ – Or at Least That’s What ‘Game of Thrones’ Told Obama

Kit Harington - Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan/HBO
GAME OF THRONES 49 (season 5, episode 9): John Bradley, Kit Harington. photo:

When Game of Thrones director David Nutter met President Obama last week, Obama asked him, “You didn’t kill Jon Snow, did you?”

Unfortunately for Obama (and all Game of Thrones fans), Nutter’s reply was “Mr. President, Jon Snow is dead-er than dead.”

Nutter told the tale at Friday’s Comic-Con panel. Surprisingly, however, the topic of Snow’s death didn’t hang over the session. But maybe that’s because so many other characters have already died or undergone significant trauma on the show. (See: pretty much everyone.)

Carolyn Strauss, one of the show’s producers, acknowledged that it’s not fun for the audience to witness those traumatic events. “The more you know your characters, the more painful it is when something bad happens to them.” she says, but adds: “Just because it’s painful doesn’t mean it’s not a good point for the story.”

One of the most controversial scenes this season was the rape of Sansa Stark by Ramsay Bolton. Sophie Turner explained her character’s mindset, saying, “She’s still is just as strong as before. What she’s been doing this whole time, this whole series, is she’s been just getting by without doing anything totally radical, because that could totally change her situation, she could die. And with the Boltons, [doing something radical is] a big risk to take. And she knows that, she’s not stupid. She didn’t just think, ‘Alright, then.’ She thought it through in her head; she could have fought back if she wanted to, but she didn’t. She’s one of those characters that does her scheming in her mind, rather than outwardly.”

Despite those heavier discussions, the panel felt breezy and fun, with actor Conleth Hill (who plays Varys) cracking jokes and bantering with panel moderator Seth Meyers throughout. The cast joked about everything from Samwell Tarly’s sex life to blaming author George R.R. Martin for character deaths and being glad Kit Harington (who played Jon Snow) won’t be on set anymore. And an audition reel released during the panel gave fans a glimpse of how the actors got their parts:

The cast and crew mostly stayed mum on the subject of what’s in store for the characters next season. “I’m as in the dark [about what happens next] as you all are, and it’s pretty dark, I admit. And full of terrors,” said Carice van Houten, who plays Melisandre.

Meyers tried to dissuade the audience from asking about Season 6 during the open Q&A portion of the panel, saying, “Our cast is going to have a hard time answering questions about what’s going to happen moving forward. Because I tried backstage and they wouldn’t tell me, and I’m kind of famous.”