One can only imagine what kind of non-disclosure agreement a person has to sign in order to be on Game of Thrones. George R.R. Martin writes his scripts on the original air-gapped computer, aka a word processor, and has expressed his doubts about the trustworthiness of the US Postal Service; HBO has had to take measures to prevent spy drones flying over the set of the show; Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) suffered a fierce bout of internet hate from book-readers who thought she was deliberately spoiling parts of the show on Instagram — in short, secrecy is a priority.
We all hate spoilers, and we all love spoilers. But for the sake of money and the integrity of a narrative, it's important that people who work on the show don't share spoilers. I haven't read Kit Harington's contract, but I assume there's something in there about secrets, and how to keep them.
By the way, [SPOILERS FOR HBO'S GAME OF THRONES BELOW]
At the end of season five of Game of Thrones, as well as near the end of book five of A Song of Ice and Fire, Jon Snow was stabbed, ostensibly to death, by other members of the Night's Watch. They all yelled "For the Watch!" when they stabbed him, despite the fact that one of them was actually just a stupid brat who became really racist after his parents were eaten by Wildling cannibals.
Obviously there were reasons to believe that Jon Snow wasn't really dead or wasn't going to stay really dead — Melisandre (whose "Lord of Light" has brought characters back to life on the show before) had just ridden into town; it has been established that at least one other Stark kiddo has the ability to warg into animals, and most easily his direwolf (we didn't see Ghost in the shot, but that doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't nearby); and Daenerys and Jon Snow are demonstrably the most important characters based on airtime and arguably the key to the whole end-game of the series (a song of ice and fire, you guys).
But Kit Harington said, "I've been told I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm not coming back next season," and we tried to come to grips with the possibility that he wasn't a big fat liar.
Those were dark days, were they not?
Then this happened in June:
There is significance to this photo other than that hat being the worst Billy Bob Thornton costume and least effective disguise I can even think of. A Redditor posted the photo and explained that she had run into Kit Harington in Belfast (Westeros' North exists in Northern Ireland) and was expressly asked not to take a photo and especially not to leak it to the media. She then proceeded to take a photo and post it online because we are SPOILER ADDICTS, people.
Then this happened in July:
There is significance to this photo other than the observation that Kit looks fabulous. After Game of Thrones season five finished filming in January, fans were distraught to discover that Kit had sheared off his signature Jon Snow locks. His hair had special significance because Harington had previously told Kelly Ripa that his contract prohibited him from cutting it while he was on the show — she was tickled, but did not understand the implications. She asked why he couldn't just wear a weave. Oh, Kelly.
That's why his hair's so big. it's full of secrets
Anyway, he appeared at Wimbledon with his hair back in action and looking, I would say, professionally attended to, causing speculation that he was in fact growing it back out for the purposes of being Jon Snow once more. #HairWatch.
Then this happened, later in July:
These photos, of Harington boarding a flight from London to Belfast (again, locale of many Northern Westeros sets), were submitted to the fan site Watchers on the Wall. They were helpfully annotated: "For those of you deeply invested in #HairWatch, Harington was sporting a man-bun." As you can see, in these photos, Kit Harington is wearing a T-shirt that says "Contracts? What contracts? I show my face in whichever parts of Europe I damn well please."
Watchers on the Wall then reported last week (under a MAJOR SPOILERS heading) that Game of Thrones was filming a major battle, likely for episode nine, in Saintfield in Northern Ireland. Their sources reportedly told them that the battle will involve Northern armies — including the Umbers and the Boltons — as well as Wildlings. Both Kit Harington and Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton) were spotted in Belfast.
It may be too much to expect someone to keep secrets with their hair, or to keep their own existence in physical space a secret by becoming invisible, but it's probably not too much to expect (or to contract) someone not to say very important spoilers out loud with their own mouths during an interview.
Said interview was conducted at some unknown "recent" time, so bear that in mind, but here is the Reddit-posted translation of the interview from Belgian magazine Humo:
Kit: The important thing is that I now know exactly how long I am still under contract, and in the meantime —
Interviewer: How many more seasons would that be?
Kit: Nice try (laughs). I can't talk about that. Let's just say that Game of Thrones will remain a part of my life for a while, I'll probably be in my thirties when it's over. One thing's for sure: the day I'm no longer on Thrones is the day I'll bury myself in movie projects (laughs).
Obviously Jon Snow could be returning in a flashback (which the show has started dabbling in), as a dead body, or as a reanimated White Walker who is promptly burnt to a crisp in the interest of my emotional stability. While this last one seems the least plausible in terms of basic human decency on the part of George R.R. Martin, David Benioff, and Dan Weiss... oh, wait.
More importantly, Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) is on the "B-List" actor payroll, while Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) is on the "A-List." I'm starting to think our world is more fucked up than Westeros, you guys.