This is about Season 6 Episode 2.

Lots of people die in the story. Most of the time, we don't expect them to come back. Characters themselves don't expect other characters to come back. We know...

Jon Snow

...is a great character and all but what makes him so special that he just has to escape death?

Davos has always been VERY loyal to Stannis and so has Melisandre but seeing as they haven't brought up the intention of trying to resurrect their rightful King, what motivated Davos to instead suggest such an action for somebody else?

I'm also assuming that the priest can only do this once. Why would she agree to perform the magic on someone she just met? (Is it because she doesn't care anymore? Because the gods lied to her plus she's already so old?)

I am not sure about Davos's intentions and sudden attachment to somebody new. The story doesn't explain this well. Davos must have seen potential in him but to go this far, is a little strange. And to top it with the resurrection request, how did he even know that something like that was even possible?

For Davos, the following people would be possible resurrection candidates:

  1. Davos's King (Stannis)
  2. Davos's only son
  3. Shireen

So my question is: What motivated Davos and Melisandre to resurrect Jon Snow?

  • 3
    This question is basically just opinion.
    – Adamant
    May 2, 2016 at 15:18
  • 1
    So there's really nothing from the plot that would support Jon Snow's revival? May 2, 2016 at 15:24
  • 2
    Maybe if you could edit this to ask about a single character's motivations in-universe, rather than the implied out-of-universe question that it is ("what makes him so special") it might be more on-topic? I'd probably reverse my VTC if you did that.
    – Adamant
    May 2, 2016 at 16:00
  • 4
    "Assuming that the priest can only do this once"? She's among the strongest followers of her religion and a self-exiled sort-of former priest can bring back Beric Dondarrion six times.
    – user40790
    May 2, 2016 at 16:05
  • 3
    I'm sure Melisandre says she saw Jon Snow in the fire, and he was to play a major role in the victory. Her disheartening of her faith is likely because she thought Stannis was the Azor Ahai, and was wrong, it's actually Jon Snow. Davos is likely interested in reviving him because he can see he was a strong leader, someone he can serve well and plays a pivotal role in diplomacy in the north. Basically, he's likeable, a strong leader and necessary for the coming defense against an attack from White Walkers. Davos isn't stupid, he knows whatever is coming must be big to oust the wildlings.
    – John Bell
    May 3, 2016 at 8:32

4 Answers 4


You will probably have to delve into fan theories for the most popular answer to this.

R+L=J is the theory. A quick Google search will give hundreds of well written articles in support of this. It essentially states that Jon is the child on Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. This would make Jon fulfil the title of the series A Song of Ice and Fire and enable him to save the realm from the Great Other. Given that this was a prophecy that Rhaegar had been given.

For further reading,

the Tower of Joy, explains Ned Stark's flashbacks and the "Promise me, Ned." dying request of Lyanna.

As for our valiant Ser Davos...

In the show he is just being used as our man at the wall. In the books he is in Skagos searching for Rickon Stark. There was some other magic involved with Melisandre and Mance Rayder for the setup with Jon.

We are not sure how many times Melisandre can perform this magic, however,

Thoros of Myr revived Beric Dondarrion six (6) times.

In conclusion, one must have been paying attention very closely to pick up on all of the clues so far.

From the previews for the next episode it seems we will be getting the back story to the popular fan theory!

Update for the edit to the question:

Davos would also be acting in his loyalty to Stannis. Stannis offered Jon legitimacy as a Stark (in the same was Ramsay was made a Bolton) if the Night's Watch would aid Stannis in his venture to take Winterfell.

As an aside,

In the books this is actually the reason Jon is betrayed, not just for letting the wildings south of the way. Jon was also going to march with Stannis and the mutinous brothers felt that was not something they should be involved in.

Back to the main point, Davos tried convince Jon to accept Stannis' offer, but as we know Jon ultimately refused. Davos would see the betrayal of Jon by his own men as the ultimate sin and would do anything to bring him back.

As for Melisandre, I believe she saw something in Jon (either through the flames or just a gut feeling by interacting with him). We see in one of the Season 5 episodes Melisandre also try to convince Jon to accept Stannis' offer. She does this by getting naked and trying to have sex with him.

This plays into the theory above,

The other time we see her interact with a character in this manner is Gendry who we all know has king's blood in him. My bit of speculation is that Melisandre could sense the king's blood in Jon and thus acted the way she did.

  • 1
    @GalardiaB'nargan Be sure to up-vote if like ther answer ;-)
    – Skooba
    May 2, 2016 at 15:56
  • Not sure if spoilers work in comments, so to try and mask a potential spoiler for the books: Didn't Thoros also bring back "Lady Stoneheart" ?
    – Jelsema
    May 3, 2016 at 22:27
  • @Jelsema, spoiler tags do not work in comments, but as "Lady Stoneheart" will not be in the show... Thoros did not in the books either.
    – Skooba
    May 3, 2016 at 23:59
  • 1
    Beric Dondarrion revived Lady Stoneheart by passing her the gift he got from Thoros and dying in the process.
    – Zikato
    May 5, 2016 at 12:57
  • Thoros couldn't bother to try with Beric after Lady Stoneheart came back, the filthy drunkard
    – m1gp0z
    Feb 15, 2019 at 20:58

You did forget about Season 5. Jon Snow is all that stood between the Others (White Walkers) and the 7 Kingdoms, so yes, he is rather important. Not to mention that there is a good chance that he is

the son of Reagar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

It is not true that Melisandre has just met Jon Snow. Quite some time has passed between Stannis' arrival at the wall, and his departure. And Melisandre has known from early on that Jon is important.

Also, in the books, another red priest, Thoros of Myr

resurrects Lord Beric Dondarrion repeatedly, although not without negative consequences.

  • Did Davos or Melisandre or anyone at the wall know about this fan theory (proven right in s06e10)? If not, this can't be used as a motive for Davos or Melisandre to resurrect Jon. Jul 4, 2016 at 13:39

I'm going to take a different tack on this question. The OP asks:

Lots of people die in the story. Most of the time, we don't expect them to come back. Characters themselves don't expect other characters to come back.

There is a big difference between the character of interest here, and other characters who have died. Mainly: In the books, this character is recently dead, there are many unknowns about him, and many theories about him (see answers by Skooba and Dima for one such, more can be found here).

With other characters - such as Ned Stark - it was known that these characters were going to die. And even after it became known that death was not as permanent as it once seemed, it seems clear that these characters were not coming back. With the character of interest here, these things are no longer givens. We know that:

  1. The death is recent enough that coming back is not out of the question.
  2. There is someone in the vicinity who can be reasonably supposed to be able to bring people back.
  3. There is speculation that this character is not all that meets the eye.
  4. The books have not progressed the story far enough to know the answer.

These four things, taken together, generate the elevated interest regarding this particular character's status compared to others.


I'm going to answer this based on the TV show. Everything bellow this line should be treated as spoiler for Season 6 Episode 2.

What motivated Davos and Melisandre to resurrect Jon Snow?

Actually Melisandre wasn't really interested in dealing with her "magic" anymore, for she believed the Lord of Light had forsaken her (she found out all the things she had foreseen weren't really true).

She was convinced in doing so by Sor Davos, who, along with Jon's still-loyal-brothers of the Night's Watch and Tormund Giantsbane (representing the wildlings), wanted him back alive because he was the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch (thus having the power to command the Watch), they believed in his actions (bringing the wildlings south of the wall to help fight a greater evil, aka the White Walkers), and they knew that with Jon being dead the Lord Commander would very likely be Alliser Thorne, who was the traitor behind Jon's death and didn't share their belief in Jon's actions.

So, to summarize, they both believed and respected Jon as the leader he was, and they knew that if he remained dead, the Night's Watch (aka the first line of defense against the White Walkers/wights) and all Jon did to help save the people of Westeros would be lost, and there would probably be a battle between the Night's Watch and the wildlings, making both armies weaker, thus making it easier for the Others to invade the Seven Kingdoms.

As to why he didn't try to resurrect the three other people you listed:

1) They didn't know yet Stannis was dead. Brienne told Davos a few episodes later. And even knowing this, Stannis' corpse would be far away and in the middle of a battlefield. There wouldn't be enough time to find it and still be able to resurrect him.

2) Davos' son died in the wildfire explosion in Blackwater Bay (reference), so there wasn't even a body to resurrect.

3) Shireen had been dead a long time when Davos heard of it, and she was burned anyway, thus no body to resurrect (reference).

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