“Game of Thrones” Season 6 made the impossible possible countless of times—from traveling through time to resurrecting dead people. Clearly, there’s nothing that isn’t conceivable in the realm and one of which is the possibility of the return of a character long thought dead.
In the first season of the show Ned Stark, played by Sean Bean, was killed by the Lannisters and his head was placed on a spike for the whole of Westeros to see. In an ordinary world, the Stark patriarch would have been very dead. But this is “Game of Thrones”—and by all means doesn’t fall under the definition of ordinary—so fans are not ruling out the possibility of him still alive.
According to a user on Quora, there are several aspects that could support this theory. In the books, Ned’s death was not written in his point of view. Instead, it was written in Arya’s, who saw his beheading from a distance and “quite hazily.” Additionally, when Joffrey shows Sansa her father’s head on a spike, she hardly recognised the face because it was covered with tar.
It is also worthy to note which person Ned talked to last before he was supposedly killed. Ned’s last conversation was with Varys in the dungeons of King’s Landing. Varys is very knowledgeable about the multiple secret passages so it is likely that he could’ve arranged for Ned’s escape and for someone else to take his place.
This theory, however, also has its own skeptics. Even “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin seemed to confirm Ned’s death back in Season 1.
“I think a writer, even a fantasy writer, has an obligation to tell the truth and the truth is, as we say in ‘Game of Thrones,’ all men must die,” Martin told Galaxy’s Edge, as quoted by Time. “You can’t write about war and violence without having death. If you want to be honest it should affect your main characters.”
Regardless if Ned is alive or not in present time, his younger self is expected to make a return in the later part of “Game of Thrones” Season 6. Fans saw young Ned in Bran Stark’s vision in episode 3, and it is likely that Bran will return to this particular vision to finally see what went down in the Tower of Joy.
“Game of Thrones” season 6 airs on HBO every Sunday.