Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Game of Thrones Jon Snow Part II

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

I have dreamed of your Wall, Jon Snow. Great was the lore that raised it, and great are the spells locked beneath its ice. We walk beneath one of the hinges of the world

Melisandre to Jon Snow

This is the second part of my in- depth look at Jon Snow, focusing on the book primarily but also the show. In the first part we looked at Jon's early relationships and how they have molded him into the man he is now. For this post I'd like to take a look at his relationship with the wildlings, and also take a look at where his story may go in The Winds of Winter and beyond. There will be spoilers for both books and show. 

Jon has a very interesting relationship with the wildlings. Mance Rayder didn't trust him but liked him, and they had an interesting dynamic as Mance was King-Beyond-The-Wall and Jon is a bastard son of Ned Stark, the Warden of the North. There's a very interesting thing going on with Jon, Mance and Melisandre. In the books Mance has been ensorcelled by Melisandre and sent to retrieve Arya, who they think is at Winterfell. His actions there lead to Theon and Jeyne Poole (the fake Arya) escaping- so Jon's relationship with Mance Rayder is perhaps not over yet. 

More interesting to me though is Jon's relationship with Tormund Giantsbane. 

"See, lad, that's why he's king and I'm not. I can outdrink, outfight, and outsing him, and my members thrice the size o' his, but Mance has cunning."

Tormund took an instant liking to Jon, and it's fair to say at this point that he is a truer friend to Jon at this moment than almost anyone in the Night's Watch. Indeed, with the Watch having turned against Jon, it might be Tormund (with Melisandre's help) who saves his life. Consider that when Jon is killed there are a ton of wildlings at Castle Black, as well as Melisandre and her men. It's very possible it's going to come to blows between the Night's Watch men who killed Jon and the forces aligned with Tormund and Melisandre. I'll put my money on Tormund in that one. 

Here is Jon and Stannis discussing Tormund. 

"And this other man, this Tormund of the many names who eluded us after the battle? Answer me truly. 
Tormund Giantsbane seemed to me the sort of man who would make a good friend and a bad enemy, Your Grace."

The last wildling I want to talk about is Val. The wildling princess, some call her, she is at Castle Black as well. In fact the whole conflict that ends with Jon being stabbed starts with one of Stannis' knights trying to get to her, and his way being blocked by the giant Wun Wun, who Jon has set to guard her. In the chaos Jon is killed. Stannis had notions of marrying her to one of his men, perhaps even Jon, but Jon declined when he stuck to his vows instead of taking Stannis' offer to be Warden of the northlands. Val and Jon have a relationship of mutual respect and I look forward to seeing where her story goes in the books. 

"Lord Crow is welcome to steal into my bed any night he dares. Once he's been gelded, keeping those vows will come much easier for him."

No relationship survey would be complete without talking about Arya. She and Jon were close growing up, and I think it's interesting given the fact that Jon is very likely the son of Lyanna Stark, and Arya is often mentioned as being wild like Lyanna was. Arya of course has Needle thanks to Jon, and they think of each other often throughout the books. 

"She would have given anything if Jon had been here to call her "little sister" and muss her hair."

Jon loves Arya so much he arguably forsakes his vow to the Night's Watch by sending Mance Rayder after her when they think she's at Winterfel. 

"Bring her home, Mance. I saved your son from Melisandre, and now I am about to save four thousand of your free folk. You owe me this one little girl."

So... where do I see Jon's story going? Well first of all he's been killed, not raised yet like on the show, and as I mentioned above I think the Night's Watch and the wildlings will fight it out over his body. The wild card here is Melisandre and Queen Selyse. The queen doesn't like Jon but Melisandre does, and Selyse does what Melisandre tells her. If she commands Selyse or the knights under Selyse to intervene, I think they will. That would not bode well for the Night's Watch. And it may be why Martin sent Pyp and Grenn and anyone else close to Jon away in A Dance With Dragons- so that they don't get caught up in this bloodbath. Just speculation on my part of course. 

Jon's obviously coming back (I mean probably?) and consensus seems to be that he (and likely Dany) will lead the resistance against the Others. But in the meantime is the Night's Watch effectively gutted? What happens with Stannis at Winterfell? Unlike the show I think Stannis has a large role to play yet, perhaps even fighting alongside Jon in the end? I think the Wall is coming down and Winterfell will be the focus of the resistance, and it will probably be Stannis who freed Winterfel for Jon. Jon will be free to lead the fight, not just as a Lord Commander of the Night's Watch but as the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and the roles of Tormund, Melisandre, and perhaps even Stannis will be crucial to getting him there. 

26 comments:

  1. It's back soon, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek

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  2. I haven't got this far in the books yet but I look forward to it as a few characters I like are still alive! I'm looking forward to join discovering his true heritage in both the books and the series. A girl does not want to wait much longer...Winter is Here!

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    1. A man said that you're going to like ASoS. Although Jon STILL does not know his heritage in the books.

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  3. Game of Thrones...!!! This is My Favo-favo-favorite One... !!!

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  4. Sorry Greg, but I will come back to read your post more thoroughly, as I'm still behind on the show (by two seasons) and I haven't read the books yet either, I know an epic failure on my account. I definitely need to catch up with the show before it starts up again next week!

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    1. Are you going to try and binge them before S7 premieres? If so, happy watching! :)

      Thanks for commenting. :)

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  5. Now, I'm mad because I just want the next book and I still don't have it! These are awesome discussion posts by the way.
    Deanna Reads Books

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    1. Thank you! I SO need the next book...

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  6. I'm so behind on both the books (#3) and the show (don't know what season) that I don't know if I'll ever catch up

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  7. I'm hoping, crossing my fingers [I have never read the books so I have no idea] that Jon will be the king at the end. It's a great underdog story, raising from his humble origins, he is good, honorable etc and he is the only one that tried to bring the wildlings in, so he is the hope to unify all seven kingdoms plus the world beyond the world, I mean all "humans" against the "inhuman" threat that is coming. Great post as usual :)

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    1. There's a good chance he will? And thanks!

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  8. You make him sound way more interesting than I find him on the show lol

    For What It's Worth

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    1. To be honest he does little for me on the show. Book Jon though is awesome!

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  9. Hm... I may have to start reading these. You have me curious, more so than the show. Plus, I'm bummed they haven't had a free preview with it going back to back like they had in the past. Only way I catch up. :)

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    1. I know the show is a hit but honestly I think the books are way better. So much more character nuance.

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  10. Great post! I just followed your blog! Mind checking out my latest review on "The Book Thief"? It can be found here: https://armchairbythefire.blogspot.com/ 😃 Thanks!

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    1. Thanks! I'll definitely be by to check out your blog. :)

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  11. We love this post, Greg! We are such fans of tv Jon, but you've convinced us that we'll be even bigger fans of book Jon (isn't that always the case?) Our favorite aspect you mention here is the relationship between Jon and Arya -- the show hasn't really done that justice, and we look forward to reading this amazing series. We've collected all the books... but we just can't start until we have the last one. Hurry up, GRRM! Thanks so much for sharing this :)

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    1. Thank you! And I think you'll LOVE book Jon- nothing against show Jon but the book version is more nuanced, deeper- more likable frankly if I can. And I love his relationship with Arya- I've said before many times that if the two of them survive and come together at the end to hug each other- that would be my perfect ending.

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  12. Jon in the books is so much more interesting than Jon on the TV show. There's just so much more depth to his character. Great analysis and this has gotten me eve more hyped than I already was for the new season!

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  13. I only read the first two books and started the third but haven't finished it. I think once the show is over I'll go back and read the rest of the books and maybe by then GRRM will have finished The Winds of Winter. It is interesting how much is different from the show. Your discussion makes me want to read A Dance With Dragons. My friends who have read all the books so far thought that the last two were not as good which also kind of discouraged me from finishing the series.

    Excited to see where the show is going to go this season though I have this bad feeling that Jon will end up dead again. Maybe this time Thoros of Myr will resurrect him...

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  14. I think it's interesting that Stannis and Mance are still alive in the books, and I totally agree with you- I feel that Stannis still has an important part to play. I was kind of surprised when he got killed off on the show, but then the show is closing in on the endgame, whereas GRRM- who knows? LOL. I'm extremely interested to see how Jon is resurrected in the books; surely, he must be? I was so, so, so, so, so upset at the end of A Dance with Dragons; I actually went straight to the Internet afterwards to read fan theories about how he could/would be brought back to life and then I felt a lot better, LOLOL! Awesome post, Greg!

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  15. I'm desperately avoiding spoilers for this season's GOT at the moment. I still want ot rewatch the past 2 seasons before I start in on this one and I kind of want to do a binge watch so I don't have to do that waiting in between weeks so much...

    I think, as you say, the books have a bigger story to tell than the TV does and I think Stannis may be more important. Also Selmy although that's not the point in this post ;)

    I'd like to see more of Jon's history coming up in the books and soon... If we ever get another book that is! *sigh*

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