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Did Jon "steal" Val?


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#1 Ragnorak

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:31 PM

In the chapter where Jon sends Val out to find Tormund she gets a little flirtatious with him.

Val kissed him lightly on the cheek. “You have my thanks, Lord Snow. For the half-blind horse, the salt cod, the free air. For hope.”
Their breath mingled, a white mist in the air. Jon Snow drew back and said, “The only thanks I want is—”
“This is farewell, then,” she said, almost playfully.


In the prior chapter on his way back from the godswood swearing in the new recruits he thinks:

Jon glimpsed the red wanderer above, watching them through the leafless branches of great trees as they made their way beneath. The Thief, the free folk called it. The best time to steal a woman was when the Thief was in the Moonmaid, Ygritte had always claimed.


Here is the description of Val as she's getting ready to set out for Tormund:

The light of the half-moon turned Val’s honey-blond hair a pale silver and left her cheeks as white as snow. She
took a deep breath. “The air tastes sweet.”


and Mormont's raven refers to Jon as "Thief"

“Thief,” Jon said, as the bird flapped up to the lintel above the door to devour its prize.
Thief,” the raven agreed.


So you have Val looking like a Moonmaid and Jon being called a Thief.

Here is where Ygritte tells Jon that he "stole her":

“I feared you’d do the same once. Fly back to the Wall. You never knew what t’ do after you stole me.”
Jon sat up. “Ygritte, I never stole you.”
“Aye, you did. You jumped down the mountain and killed Orell, and afore I could get my axe you had a knife at my throat.


Jarl, Val's plaything, was killed after he sets out with Jon and the Wildlings to scale the Wall. During the battle where Stannis attacks, Jon draws his sword to guard the tent and this is viewed at least by Stannis as capturing Val.

I have not forgotten that it was you who brought us this magic horn, and captured Mance Rayder’s wife and son.”
“Dalla died.” Jon was saddened by that still. “Val is her sister. She and the babe did not require much capturing, Your Grace.


Val asks Jon while flirting with him:

"Before I go, one question. Did you kill Jarl, my lord?"
"The Wall killed Jarl."
"So I'd heard. But I had to be sure."
"You have my word. I did not kill him." Though I might have if things had gone otherwise.
"This is farewell, then," she said, almost playfully.


I'm not sure if The Wall killing Jarl counts or if Val even cares since she flirts with him before and after the question. The circumstances are still fairly parallel.

It is also curious that Val, the woman who coined the term Ser Kneeler, (which still cracks me up) has taken to calling Jon "Lord."

is mine, Lord Snow
“You have my word, Lord Snow. I will return, with Tormund or without him.” Val glanced at the sky. The moon was but half-full. “Look for me on the first day of the full moon.”
“You have my thanks, Lord Snow. For the half-blind horse, the salt cod, the free air. For hope.”
“Before I go, one question. Did you kill Jarl, my lord?”


Mance says that he met Dalla on the road but never says he stole her. Not sure if that matters. Jon has taken over for Mance as the person trying to help the Wildlings hide behind the Wall. Would Val be inclined to view Jon the same way her sister viewed Mance?

ETA: ARYa_Nym had a good catch with an exchange between Jon and Val when she comes back with Tormund.

“Have you been trying to steal my wolf?” he asked her. “Why not? If every woman had a direwolf, men would be much sweeter. Even crows.”
“Har!” laughed Tormund Giantsbane. “Don’t bandy words with this one, Lord Snow, she’s too clever for the likes o’ you and me. Best steal her quick, before Toregg wakes up and takes her first.”
But that bridge had been burned a long time ago, and Jon himself had thrown the torch. “Toregg is welcome to her,” he announced. “I took a vow.”
“She won’t mind. Will you, girl?”
Val patted the long bone knife on her hip. “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.”


Looks like there's a couple different ways to read this. Jon is joking with her about stealing his wolf so it could all be banter. It could be read as prompted by Tormund's comment about Val not minding Jon "keeping his vows." She does resort to calling him Lord Crow instead of Lord Snow possibly meaning Lord Snow is welcome but Lord Crow is not (this one's my guess.) Not sure if we should make anything out of Tormund's response of telling his son not to try and steal Val. She may also be upset about returning to her cell and angry at Jon about it.

Val fell in beside him. “So ... I brought you Tormund, as I said I would. What now? Am I to be returned to my old cell?”

“I would choose freedom over comfort every time.”

I still read it as good natured.
Then there's this:

“Freedom of the castle you shall have, but I regret to say you must remain a captive. I can promise that you will not be troubled by unwanted visitors, however. My own men guard Hardin’s Tower, not the queen’s. And Wun Wun sleeps in the entry hall.”
“A giant as protector? Even Dalla could not boast of that.”

Jon is giving Val a protector and she compares it the protection her sister Dalla got while married to Mance.

The final exchange is:

“May I laugh when I kneel?”
“You may not. This is no game. A river of blood runs between our peoples, old and deep and red. Stannis Baratheon is one of the few who favors admitting wildlings to the realm. I need his queen’s support for what I’ve done.”
Val’s playful smile died. “You have my word, Lord Snow. I will be a proper wildling princess for your queen.”


Val was being playful but it isn't stated how for back in the dialogue that playfulness goes. She is also back to calling him Lord Snow.

Edited by Ragnorak, 29 July 2012 - 02:23 PM.


#2 Lady Sansa Stark

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:39 PM

Maybe Val feels as if Jon stole her, the same way Ygritte felt he did, but clearly, Jon thinks otherwise.

I could picture the two of them together, but then he has to forsake his vows, something which he won't do. Assuming he's alive and will be the same Jon after the attack of course.. The vows of the Night's Watch would have to be altered or the Night's Watch would have to vanish. I don't see that happen in the near future.

Edited by Lady Sansa Stark, 29 July 2012 - 12:53 PM.


#3 Brony Stark

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:48 PM

Yes, she believes he stole her, and Jon is somewhat accepting of Val (his description of her 'the most beautiful thing he'd seen in months' for example) but he still has his vows

#4 Eyron-san、最初の

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:50 PM

I was just going to say what Lady Sansa said above. Also, that Val in this case has surrendered to his capture of her, by not slitting his throat and by returning to him after getting Tormund, and the free folk who followed him, back to the Wall. She let herself be captured again.

I would add that it is probably not only Val who sees it this way though.
Tormund and the other free folk may see the same thing and if so, Val is Jon's wife in their eyes. Might prove important eventually, and possibly already have played a part in how the free folk see Jon and treat him.

#5 ARYa_Nym

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:52 PM

I suppose but she threatened to geld him once if he stole her so IDK. She might flirt with him because it's safe. He has his vows so he won't do anything about it. Sure he slept with Ygritte but it's not the same because he was doing it for the NW.

I think she might have liked him and wanted confirmation that he didn't kill her lover, Jarl because that would make it weird or maybe would feel like a betrayal.

He also said that he might have had her so he sees the opportunity as past tense.

EDIT: I did think that they were about to kiss in that scene and Jon pulled back to restrain himself.

Edited by ARYa_Nym, 29 July 2012 - 12:55 PM.


#6 Lady Sansa Stark

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:59 PM

I was just going to say what Lady Sansa said above. Also, that Val in this case has surrendered to his capture of her, by not slitting his throat and by returning to him after getting Tormund, and the free folk who followed him, back to the Wall. She let herself be captured again.

I would add that it is probably not only Val who sees it this way though.
Tormund and the other free folk may see the same thing and if so, Val is Jon's wife in their eyes. Might prove important eventually, and possibly already have played a part in how the free folk see Jon and treat him.

Haha, I'd really like that. Jon deserves that, and I think he needs it too. Everyone needs love. (:
Plus, Westeros needs the free folk and vice versa. Jon can bring the two of them together to stand against the Others. It's their common enemy.

#7 Ragnorak

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:01 PM

I suppose but she threatened to geld him once if he stole her so IDK. She might flirt with him because it's safe. He has his vows so he won't do anything about it. Sure he slept with Ygritte but it's not the same because he was doing it for the NW.

I think she might have liked him and wanted confirmation that he didn't kill her lover, Jarl because that would make it weird or maybe would feel like a betrayal.

He also said that he might have had her so he sees the opportunity as past tense.

EDIT: I did think that they were about to kiss in that scene and Jon pulled back to restrain himself.


I remember Val threatening to geld every knight who looked at her, but can't remember her ever saying that to Jon. Remember where? I'll dig up the quote and add it just need a clue as to where to look.

#8 ARYa_Nym

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:04 PM

I remember Val threatening to geld every knight who looked at her, but can't remember her ever saying that to Jon. Remember where? I'll dig up the quote and add it just need a clue as to where to look.

It's a little bit after he asks her if she's trying to steal his wolf.

"Toregg is welcome to her," he announced. "I took a vow." "She won't mind. Will you, girl?" Val patted the long bone knife on her hip. "Lord Crow is welcome to steal into my bed any night he dares. Once he'd been gelded, keeping those vows will come much easier for him."



#9 Fire Eater

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:19 PM

Jon's scars from Orell's eagle might help, as Taena Merryweather stated: "Scars make a man look dangerous, and danger is exciting." Jarl, Val's lover, was described as dark, so Val may have thing for dark guys. Jon is described as dark as well. Jon told Val he was sorry that Jarl fell, and to Val that shows that Jon is sensitive.

That would something, if Jon and Val ended up together as Dalla was married to the King-Beyond-the-Wall and Val later marries the King-below-the Wall.

ETA:

Good job Ragnorak

Edited by Fire Eater, 28 April 2013 - 11:18 AM.


#10 ARYa_Nym

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:22 PM

The thing about marriage though is that Val says:

"And I am no southron lady but a woman of the free folk..."


She would have to give up her pride and all that she is to marry a kneeler. Does she want to do this? She may have to for survival reasons but then again she is handy with a knife.

#11 Tagganaro

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:26 PM

Good point Arya-Nym (like usual /bowdown.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bowdown:' /> ). I happen to think that particular witticism was done for Tormund's sake. As Eira just said above, it seems pretty clear that there's a general idea that Jon and Val are together (Tormund seems to think it, I remember Axell Florent accuses him of it too).

The quote from Jon on Ghost and Val was something like ("They looked like they belonged together)or something (which is interesting when you think about Jon=Ghost and how he identifies with Ghost).

I don't think it's much of stretch now (assuming the NW ceases to exist which seems more and more like a possibility based on the end of ADWD). I love this idea Ragnorak. I always say it haha, but it's great. It makes a lot of sense that we would be given all these explanations of what "stealing" a wildling woman is and then we have these interactions. Jon was the one who guarded Val at sword point and got her captured (not much different than Ygritte). I'm sure that has not been lost on Val.

#12 Eyron-san、最初の

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:44 PM

The thing about marriage though is that Val says:

"And I am no southron lady but a woman of the free folk..."


She would have to give up her pride and all that she is to marry a kneeler. Does she want to do this? She may have to for survival reasons but then again she is handy with a knife.

It's interesting how a sentence can be interpreted differently /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

That quote looks to me like she will not be married off like a southron lady, she will be marry the way the free folk do. And it could be a reminder to what has already happened since she is already "stolen" - she is married, according to the free folk custom.
But you are right, I wonder what would happen if Jon tried to consumate the marriage /uhoh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':uhoh:' />

#13 ARYa_Nym

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:49 PM

It's interesting how a sentence can be interpreted differently /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

That quote looks to me like she will not be married off like a southron lady, she will be marry the way the free folk do. And it could be a reminder to what has already happened since she is already "stolen" - she is married, according to the free folk custom.
But you are right, I wonder what would happen if Jon tried to consumate the marriage /uhoh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':uhoh:' />

My thing is that if Jon had married her he would have effectively turned her into a kneeler. She was going to be the Lady of Winterfell.

#14 Tagganaro

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

It's interesting: Val seems willing to be a "kneeler" for Jon though. Remember when she offers (unasked by Jon actually) to help out with Queen Selyse. She's perfectly willing to kneel to her (and make fun of her mustache afterwards).

I have to think it's not just atmospherics that the Jon/Val relationship has been included for. Something has to be coming out of it. I suppose she could just be there to drive home how miserable Jon is over his decision to not take Stannis's offer and become Jon Stark, but it seems like there's still more to come on that front.

And as Ragnorak has pointed out, her calling Jon "Lord Snow" is very interesting. It seems to be a major sign of respect coming from wildlings (Leathers does this as well but only after Jon impresses him with his compassion for Wun Wun).

#15 Naathi Prince

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:02 PM

I have to say, I agree with this line of thinking. After all, every day Jon becomes more of a wildling.

#16 ARYa_Nym

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:03 PM

It's interesting: Val seems willing to be a "kneeler" for Jon though. Remember when she offers (unasked by Jon actually) to help out with Queen Selyse. She's perfectly willing to kneel to her (and make fun of her mustache afterwards).

I have to think it's not just atmospherics that the Jon/Val relationship has been included for. Something has to be coming out of it. I suppose she could just be there to drive home how miserable Jon is over his decision to not take Stannis's offer and become Jon Stark, but it seems like there's still more to come on that front.

And as Ragnorak has pointed out, her calling Jon "Lord Snow" is very interesting. It seems to be a major sign of respect coming from wildlings (Leathers does this as well but only after Jon impresses him with his compassion for Wun Wun).

She's a hostage though so she doesn't have much say. She wasn't going to behave with Selyse but Jon told her that it was serious. She can't play around in her position.

I think Val is very well-spoken for a wildling. Mance did say that he found her and Dalla on the way back from WF.

#17 Ragnorak

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:24 PM

It's a little bit after he asks her if she's trying to steal his wolf.


Thanks! Added it.

#18 Nausicaš

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:28 PM

I love this theory! Also, to add to that a little, I personally think that even though the Seasons of Our Love is Tyrion's song, it may be a reference to Jon's love interests as well. It goes:

I loved a maid as red as autumn with sunset in her hair


Which would be Ygritte, who was kissed by fire and died before the winter came.

I loved a maid as white as winter, with moonglow in her hair


Val fits this verse like no one else:

The light of the half-moon turned Val’s honey-blond hair a pale silver and left her cheeks as white as snow. She took a deep breath. “The air tastes sweet.”

Then Ghost emerged from between two trees, with Val beside him.They look as though they belong together. Val was clad all in white; white woolen breeches tucked into high boots of bleached white leather, white bearskin cloak pinned at the shoulder with a carved weirwood face, white tunic with bone fastenings. Her breath was white as well … but her eyes were blue, her long braid the color of dark honey, her cheeks flushed red from the cold. It had been a long while since Jon Snow had seen a sight so lovely.


The spring verse of the song is not revealed yet, but we'll see.

It's interesting: Val seems willing to be a "kneeler" for Jon though. Remember when she offers (unasked by Jon actually) to help out with Queen Selyse. She's perfectly willing to kneel to her (and make fun of her mustache afterwards).

I have to think it's not just atmospherics that the Jon/Val relationship has been included for. Something has to be coming out of it. I suppose she could just be there to drive home how miserable Jon is over his decision to not take Stannis's offer and become Jon Stark, but it seems like there's still more to come on that front.

I agree. Jon passed on the opportunity to take her for a wife, but that doesn't mean he can't do it on his own terms in the upcoming books.

Edited by Wentwarth, 29 July 2012 - 02:29 PM.


#19 Rheagar Prime

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:41 PM

god if he doesn't die i hope he does end up with her kid deserves a woman and some love after what he's been though and will go through.

#20 ARYa_Nym

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:45 PM

That reminds me that someone said that when Jon vehemently said that he would never have a bastard perhaps he will. Val would need to beat Mel to the punch. Mel may get Jon in her service/use magic on him if she helps him.