The former (FOR NOW) "Game of Thrones" actor traded in his Valyrian steel sword Longclaw for a professional tennis racquet in "7 Days in Hell," the 45-minute mockumentary about two tennis players (Andy Samberg's arrogant American Aaron Williams and Harington's doe-eyed and dim-witted Charles Poole) duking it out over the course of an unprecedented and absurd seven-day Wimbledon match.
The respective worlds of tennis and ice/fire are not easily linked, except through Harington's roles in both — and through those roles, we have some new clues to explore about the resurrection of the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch when "Game of Thrones" returns in 2016.
Does "7 Days in Hell" really suggest a Jon Snow comeback? Indubitably, and here's how:
Let's start with a warm-up.HBO
Recall the famous refrain of "Thrones" co-showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss: "Seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven seasons." Now consider the title of the Samberg/Harington comedy: "7 Days in Hell." It's not just a great name for a documentary, but also a brilliantly subtle bit of cross-promotion between two HBO properties. Mind blown? Give it time.
Moving forward, we must accept R+L=J…HBO
…which means Jon Snow is the son of a Stark and a Targaryen, making him the song of ice and fire. It's important because that's a huge part of the reason why Jon can't possibly be dead. Why make him such a critical part of Westeros history only to yank him off the table before he does anything about it?
So, with that in mind, we must look at both Harington's Charles Poole and Samberg's Aaron Williams for clues about Jon's return. Charles for obvious reasons, but Williams because (a) he's a hot-headed warrior with all the signature Targaryen fury, (b) his flowing blonde locks border on silver at times, true to Targaryen traits, and (c) this is much more fun if we look at Poole and Williams as two sides of the same Jon Snow coin, so roll with it, okay? Okay.
Did you catch Charles Poole's middle name?HBO
It's Lloyd. Charles LLOYD Poole. Lloyd being the last name of Harry, the man who played Viserys Targaryen. Coincidence… or fate? Search your heart for the answer; it'll hit you like a hot vat of molten gold before long.
"Nobody thought he was really retiring for good, because that's a crazy thing to say when you're retiring," tennis pro Serena Williams says of her adopted brother Aaron's final words at Wimbledon 1996. Likewise, there's no way Jon Snow is leaving "Game of Thrones" with his final word being "Olly." That's a crazy thing to say.
"Why do you smell like fire?"HBO
While perverted "Good Sport" host Caspian Wint's response to this question might not tell us much (although "because I rage like a furnace inside" is an awesomely disturbing answer), Poole's observation basically mirrors everything we ask ourselves when we look at Jon Snow. The answer, by the way, is Jon smells like fire because he's a secret Targaryen. It is known.
"That was the Queen. She wanted me to win."HBO
The Queen of England's investment in Charles Poole's success echoes the famous Cersei Lannister quote: "You win or you die — there is no middle ground." Interestingly, the Queen of England almost kills Charles when he doesn't bring home the Wimbledon win quick enough.
Is Charles scared of his mother?HBO
No, but she's always glued to his side — just as the specter of Jon Snow's mother is never too far away from his and our minds.
Aaron has been spending his whole life searching for his birth father…HBO
…just as Jon Snow would be doing if he knew Ned Stark wasn't actually his dad!
How did Charles become Aaron's worst enemy?HBO
He makes an offhanded comment on television "that should have gone unnoticed," but instead, "Charles awoke a sleeping dragon." Okay, I know this is all ridiculous, but a dragon reference in the middle of "7 Days in Hell" is a thing that actually happened. I couldn't make it up if I tried.
David Copperfield is the Red Priest of Wimbledon…HBO
…or, at least, has something big in common with Melisandre: Timing. He magically appears on Charles Poole's shoulders during the big match, just in time to mess everything up. Likewise, Melisandre has appeared back at the Wall right when Jon needs a R'hllor disciple the most. I say again: COINCIDENCE… OR FATE?
Listen closely to Sandy Pickard…HBO
The sports commentator played by Will Forte recaps the moment when Aaron has sex with two streakers on the tennis court: "What could we do… but Watch?" But WATCH, he says! FOR THE WATCH, EVERYONE!
Charles and Aaron kill each other…HBO
And it's an epic death, because it's two mortal nemeses taking each other out in one fell swoop. Jon Snow has earned a similarly epic death, going out in battle against the Night's King, or another one of the White Walkers. Stabbed in the gut by Olly? Not so much.
Charles and Aaron are buried together…HBO
The tennis equivalent of ice and fire merging together as they move onto that great quesadilla in the sky. Jon Snow cannot die forever until he reaches a similar level of closure, finally at rest with both his Stark and Targaryen destinies intertwined in one heroic package.