(Warning: There are spoilers throughout article.)
When HBO released its first poster for the upcoming sixth season of "Game of Thrones," there was a sigh of relief amongst all Jon Snow fans.
Featured up close and personal is the blood-spattered profile of our beloved 998th Commander of the Night’s Watch.
For many, the new season, set to air next spring, was seemingly bleak, with the death of our favorite Northern bastard Jon Snow perishing at the hands of his own men.
Some of us, however, just knew he was meant to carry on into the next season of this suspenseful drama.
How did we know this with such certainty, though?
Here are eight reasons why Jon Snow must return in season six:
1. Arya still needs to show him the water dancing skills she’s learned with Needle, Jon’s gift to her in season one.
In one of the first few episodes of the series, Jon gives his little sister Arya a sword she names Needle when they are made to part ways — Jon to the Wall and Arya to King’s Landing with her father and sister.
From the moment she arrived there, she began training with a master sword fighter, the Braavos Syrio Forel.
Throughout the seasons, she has not only engaged in practice combat, but has also done her fair share of killing with Needle, too.
It’s only fair Jon is able to see the progress his little sister has made, thanks to his gift.
2. Someone needs to kill that assh*le Ser Alliser Thorne, and no one is more deserving of this honor than Jon Snow himself.
From the moment Jon Snow arrived at the Wall in season one, Ser Alliser Thorne has had it out for him.
Could it be because he is jealous of the nephew of Benjen Stark, First Ranger of the Night’s Watch?
Or maybe, is it because he’s a bitter man eclipsed by the swordsmanship of this handsome newcomer?
Or perhaps, Alliser is just a dick, dead set on making everyone’s life miserable and, consequently, having thousands of viewers to despise him.
Because of this — along with the fact he was the first to stab Jon in that heinous set-up in the finale of season five — we need to see justice be served when our favorite Stark is resurrected and can seek his revenge.
3. Not only is he one of the only people willing to protect Sam, but he’s also his best friend.
Where would Samwell Tarly be without his best friend, Jon?
That’s like splitting up Barney and Fred ("The Flintstones"), Leonard and Sheldon ("The Big Bang Theory"), Blair and Serena ("Gossip Girl") or any of the main characters on "Friends."
Did we ever see our favorite TV show BFFs get separated by death in any of these situations?
No, we did not. So we can’t in this case, either.
4. As the 998th commander of the Night’s Watch, he has to lead humans in the fight against the White Walkers.
We all know Stark's motto, "Winter is coming," is becoming increasingly prominent in "Game of Thrones."
The threat of the White Walkers approaching Westeros is quite obvious by the end of season five, which means we can expect a lot of them in the coming season this spring.
As men of the Night’s Watch and those closest to the land beyond the Wall, it is their duty to protect any dangers coming North.
It’s clear that before his own men betrayed him, Jon Snow had a plan to protect everyone north of the Wall.
The first to attempt amalgamating the forces of both the Night’s Watch and the Free People, Jon had a plan that was better than any other put on the table.
This is just another reason why we need him back to save Westeros.
5. We still do not know the identity of Jon's mother.
Even though Eddard Stark is dead (and Robert Baratheon, another character who knew Jon’s mother at least at some point in his younger years), there must be someone else who knows the second half of Jon’s parentage.
Whether his mother is still alive or not, this is something I feel George R. R. Martin wouldn’t leave unanswered.
In fact, I believe it will be something that will be explained in season six, once Jon returns to us.
6. If he is dead, Melisandre can bring him back.
Melisandre so conveniently arrived at the Wall at the end of season five, shortly before Jon Snow was attacked.
As mentioned throughout the show, she’s been known to bring more than one person back from the dead, so why not our beloved Jon?
Besides, she needs him to take back the North and (potentially now, after Stannis’ presumed death at the hands of Brienne of Tarth) lead its army to victory.
7. He has his direwolf, Ghost.
Jon can possibly become a warg via his direwolf, Ghost.
You know, he could enter and control the minds of other mammals, like Jon’s half-brother Bran Stark so often does with his direwolf Summer and Hodor.
Though Jon’s ability to do this hasn’t yet been demonstrated in the show, we’ve seen he’s able to do this in the book series.
Therefore, there has to be a chance this is an option for his continuity as a character.
Despite this not being the most preferable option (I mean, we’d all rather see Kit Harington’s face than Ghost’s, am I right?), it’s better than having him completely written off the show.
Which brings me to my final reason…
8. He’s too hot to kill off… I mean, come on!
Yes, I know Robb Stark (played by Richard Madden) and Khal Drogo (played by Jason Momoa) were also “too hot to kill off."
But this is Jon Snow, people!
You can’t keep that boyish charm, lilting British accent, rugged appearance and beautiful head of hair on screen for five entire seasons, only to have us watch him be brutally and tragically murdered before our very eyes.
It’s too cruel, even for the likes of GRRM.
Whether it be legitimate reasons or superficial ones, it's clear Jon Snow can't truly dead not just in our hearts, but in the world of Westeros, as well.
Now that HBO has released the first poster for season six, we know that it’s only a matter of time before our favorite curly-haired commander returns to our screens.
The only thing we have to worry about now is getting through the next four or so months, waiting for the season premiere.