'Jon twisted from the knife, just enough so it barely grazed his skin. He cut me. When he put his hand to the side of his neck, blood welled between his fingers. "Why?" (ADWD2:440)
A knife barely grazes his skin but blood wells between his finger. How sharp was that blade considering it was only steel ('he saw the glint of steel')? Could the blade have something on it that makes it very effective or 'look' very effective?
"For the Watch." Wick slashed at him again. This time Jon caught his wrist and bent his arm back until he dropped the dagger. The gangling steward backed away, his hands upraised as if to say, Not me, it was not me.'
Jon reacted quickly to disarm Wick (who was admittedly not a fighter). Wick backs away because he doesn't want to fight and/or doesn't want to get hurt (even though he 'attacked' Jon in front of NW, wildings and an angry giant!)
'Men were screaming'
Not shouting (like hardened warriors), but screaming like they were hurt/injured/being attacked (possibly by Wun Wun but maybe something else was happening - Mel might be up to something).
'Jon reached for Longclaw but his fingers had grown stiff and clumsy. Somehow he could not get the sword free of its scabbard'
After 1 graze he was:
a. in shock already - though was a trained and experienced fighter
b. badly injured - from a graze?
c. confused and surprised - though he was a trained and experienced fighter
d. poisoned by the blade - fast acting and already slowing his reflexes
e. dosed with sedative from a treated blade - fast acting and already slowing his reflexes
'Then Bowen Marsh stood there, before him, tears running down his cheeks. "For the Watch." He punched Jon the belly. When he pulled his hand away, the dagger stayed where he had buried it.'
Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger's hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold knight air the wound was smoking. "Ghost," he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoudler blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold...'
Why was the wound smoking? Was it from Jon (Targ blood?) or the dagger (fire magic?). If he had been dosed with a sedative he would lose motor function and then collapse. Same thing would probably happen with a poison but who would want him dead. Obviously Bowen Marsh and co. ('for the Watch') but they've just let 1000s of wildlings through the Wall who are allied with Jon. It would be a death wish for them. How badly do they want to die?
What if (crackpot theory alert) the whole 'attack' was a mummery because they (Bowen Marsh and co. and Mel) didn't want Jon to leave the Wall. They only left the meeting after Jon said he was sending the NW to Hardhome while he was going to Winterfell. Mel could have sent Ser Patreck after Wun Wun and provided Marsh and Co. with equipment (she may have foreseen Jon's leaving and prepared beforehand). Obviously the NW faction wouldn't want any more NW sent away (especially to help wildlings) but if they had let Jon leave, after forsaking his vows, they would be rid of him and he'd be a deserter with a death sentence on his head. They could then recall the NW from the Hardhome expedition. Wouldn't that be the easiest/safest option for them?
So why 'attack' him? Unless Mel wanted Jon to stay at the Wall? She senses he has 'power' if he'll use it. A fake attack in which he appears to die might:-
a. enable her to sacrifice him. She could burn his (actually living but apparently dead) body (because they wouldn't want him to come back as a wight). If R+L=J, he would have the king's blood that she needs (even if he is just a Stark he would have king's blood from the Kings of the North). If he is Stark/Targ he would be a richer source of king's blood then Mance or baby Mance and have significantly more life force than Master Aemon, so provide a more powerful offering. The Starks 'are' the North - sacrificing a Stark might be even more powerful.
b. put him in a coma or deep sleep from which she can 'magically' save him - proving her power and concern for him;
c. put him in a coma or deep sleep during which he might access the power of the Wall/North.
d. burn him in the hopes of awakening his Targ side (if R+L=J).
'For the Watch'
The wildlings trust Jon, they don't trust the NW. The NW are outnumbered significantly by the wildings. If Jon leaves the Wall, the NW are surrounded by 1000s of wildings, most of whom hate them. If Marsh and co. want control of the NW they just have to let Jon leave. If they wanted to kill Jon they should have done something about him before they let 1000s more through the Wall. Now they need him and they need him at the Wall. They might have willingly helped Mel is she promised that Jon would 'stay at the Wall' (survived in his original state might not have been mentioned) or she might have controlled them somehow - I'm not sure. The stewards are the 'smart' part of the NW so, if they really wanted Jon out, they would have just let him go
Edited by romantic, 16 July 2012 - 09:17 PM.