Serie, on 28 November 2011 - 08:10 AM, said:
just a question, why do you think that the NW oath is crap? I mean, the explanation given, that a man with a family will be unwilling to support 100% the NW and die for it, seems quite satisfactory to me.
Yes, I know that this explanation is given, but for me it's not satisfactory. Sure, the NW man will not involve himself on behalf of that family if he hasn't got one. Though: as we know everybody at the Wall already has families! They have parents, siblings, they may even have a wife or a son. The NW then expects them to forsake these families who are far away from them and kind of pretend they don't exist. Which is quite unrealistic as we have seen in Jon's case. And Jon is a pretty honorable guy.
Now instead of having these families far away, let's imagine, they have them at the Wall. Why would they then be unwilling to support the NW? There would be whole families in support of the NW instead of just the men, enabling these men to enjoy true feelings of happiness. And they would have a much better reason to protect the Wall then just a vow (words are wind!), they'd protect their families. To most people their families are much more valuable then an oath.
tze, on 28 November 2011 - 05:47 PM, said:
But note which part of the oath the Black Gate requires; it doesn't ask Sam for the entire oath, it asks who Sam is:
Look at what Sam actually says to open the Black Gate:
For all we know, that was the original oath. The whole "hold no lands, father no children" part could have been added later, when the Watch encountered problems with men doing all those things
Thank you, Tze! You put my mind at ease.
Since I think there is a story-related reason for Sam to have sworn the oath in front of a weirwood other then just showing just how strong Jon's influence is on him, I want to propose how NW is defined in my view:
True NW must swear in front of a Hearttree. Only then will the magic be invoked that transforms these persons into the Watcher on the Walls. Being true NW enables them to cross the magical wards of the weirwood door. I suspect other magical protections as well, but we will see. They have to hold true however to the essence of the vow (to protect the realm of men). I'm not entirely sure though, how it could possibly be verified whether they acted against the very spirit, since it is very much a matter of the heart. Old Nan said, the Wall holds as long the NW will be true. If so, it is in dire peril.
Coming from that definition, Bowen Marsh & cronies are no NW at all, they only pretend to be NW. They hold to false principles and don't acknowledge the true spirit of the vow. Looking at the NW in its current state you'll maybe find a handful of true NW men, if so many. Yes, they are even weaker then I assumed heretofore.
And these guys formerly known as NW have just killed one of the few true NW guys around there.
Stark@heart, on 28 November 2011 - 08:20 PM, said:
I don't think they were meant to be monks, only that they would father no children. That's what whores are for.
So - sex with Ho or sex with consent that no child be born ( I think Ygritte was smart enough to be drinking Moon Tea, she knows better than Jon that Winter is Coming with all the wrights and Others about)
That's a rather cold, even cynical view, imho. Men need love just as much/ or even more then they need sex. You can't deny men emotional connections to other people. And more likely then not a man will form an inner bond with a woman. A relationship with a woman differs from a relationship to a man. (Well, probably, I wouldn't know, but I do know that for me as a woman a relationship to a man, whether he is a friend or a lover is different to a relationship with a woman. Men give another perspective, they are different which makes it interesting.) To reduce these kind of relationships to sex only is to cripple human beings emotionally, imho.
The ideal NW guy would of course only feel connected with his so-imagined "brothers". While there may be a certain camaraderie, a kind of professional relationship, they're still not family or even friends to each other.
They didn't chose these "brothers" of theirs and often they're very different personalities with a very different background thrown together. It's then expected that they forsake their family and form a kind of family bond with their "brothers". But that expectation can hardly hold up to reality. It didn't surprise me at all that Jon didn't find true friends in the NW. The closest he comes to a friend is Sam and even then the dynamic of their relationship is asymmetric.