Is Jon Snow Still Lord Commander? How Exactly Do Contracts Work For The Undead?
The event we have all been waiting for for a solid year finally happened folks. Lady Melisandre redeemed herself for her child-murdering ways (somewhat) by resurrecting Jon Snow from the dead after being stabbed, Julius Caesar style, by his Night's Watch brothers led by Ser Alliser Thorne. Side note, it's remarkable that of all the power-hungry jerks on this show, the traitorous Alliser Thorne cannot even be called one of the most hated, even after brutally orchestrating the assassination of one of the most beloved characters. Now that the Red Lady has brought the world's most popular bastard back to life, as we all knew she would, what's next for Jon Snow? Is he still Jon Snow? Does he still know nothing? Is he still Lord Commander of the Night's Watch?
It's strange to think that after all this nail biting, theorizing, and obsessive analyzing of actor Kit Harrington's haircut, travel destinations, and even the pattern of the blood splatter in a sweeping shot of the dead Lord Commander in the snow, Jon only stayed dead for a single episode. I'm extremely glad that the writers chose to resurrect Jon early in the season, if only because what with all the other drama happening in the series, I'm not sure my anxiety could take it.
Now, of course, what we really want to know is what will Jon be up to now? The Night's Watch oath begins, "Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death." Since he did actually die, presumably this means that his watch ended with his death, if we're going with a totally literal interpretation.
I can only imagine the sort of respect one engenders when one returns from the dead, which could prove to be a remarkably capable leadership tool. Perhaps, even if Jon Snow does consider his oath to be moot at this point, he may choose to join the Brotherhood again, and serve a second time as their Lord Commander. Then again, being Lord Commander did not go so great for Jon the first time, and he may be considering a career change (I would). If Jon is released from his oath as a brother of the Night's Watch, this would free him to marry, father children, hold lands and... crowns.
A popular fan theory predicts that Jon Snow is actually Azor Ahai, the hero prophesied to be reborn amidst salt and smoke, who will protect the realm against the rising of The Others, bearing the sword, Lightbringer. Though he may not choose to remain part of the Night's Watch, Jon is one of a very few people who see the threat of The Others to humanity as the immediate danger that it is. It would make sense for him to lead the charge against them, and he was literally just reborn. Oh, and when Melisandre looks into the flames and tries to see Azor Ahai she laments that she sees "only snow."