"PS - Trust no one."
When asked point-blank if Snow is firmly gone - as in, is actor Kit Harington released from his Thrones contract? - showrunner Dan Weiss told EW, "Dead is dead."
Is John Snow dead? That's pretty certain.
The intention specifically being placed on Kit Harington is probably something of a red herring, though, as having an actor not return (as a regular cast member) isn't the same thing as being dead. It's only mostly dead.
Even then, though, we have plenty of cause to think the show runners and even the actor might be lying to us, as well-intentioned as that might be.
Case in point - Benjen Stark.
If you've seen the show (and if you haven't - you were warned), you know what happens to poor Jon Snow; he's tricked into thinking his Uncle Benjen had been seen by one of the Wildlings and, full of hope, rushed into his very own Ides of Winter.
Of course, Benjen wasn't in the show; the mention was a ruse to trick the Lord Commander. Yet, for some reason, Joseph Mawle - the actor who portrayed Benjen in Season 1 - was listed as appearing in the episode.
Was there a scene filmed that landed on the editing room floor? It hardly seems likely - he's not in the story. His name is, as a trick, which is exactly what I think the actor listing was.
For fans of the show and the book, there was cause to believe the end of Season 5 might bring with it the death of Snow, which had already happened in the books. That means plenty of audience members could have predicted the same fate would meet Snow during the finale.
That hardly suits the purposes of the story tellers; they want us to feel the emotional impact of each moment, to be constantly surprised. They have even gone out of their way to trick us into investing more into characters like Robb Stark (and his family) than the books do before killing them in brutal fashion.
No, D&D wanted everyone to feel a sense of shock when Jon meets his end. By timing the mention of Benjen right at the end of the episode (when there was no time left for multiple plot points) and even listing and leaking Mawle's appearance, they got us yet again - even when some of us knew Snow's fall had to be coming (winter having arrived, after all).
And now we're being told Snow is gone, baby, gone. Especially as portrayed by Kit - don't expect to see him in Westeros again!
Once beheaded, twice shy as they say in Westeros, though. We know not to take what we're told to expect at face value, do we? It's the Stark truth, as it were.