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What exactly is the appeal of Jon Snow?


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#1 total1402

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:24 AM

I don't really care much for the character. The only time I liked the guy was when he got really pissed about what was happening to Arya and considered going South. Aside from that he came across as very bland to me and I found no real reason to like the man. His arcs only interesting because of his interactions with funny characters like Tormund n Ygritte, the backdrop of the Others and the wall; then Stannis arrival. But for the most part I felt like he was just a pair of eyes to relay info about whats going on at the wall to the reader. He just doesn't seem to have as much of a character or personality or be anywhere near as interesting as say Jamie, or Tyrion, or even Theon as a POV character. Also, I don't think he suffered any real setbacks or suffered to anywhere near the extent of the other characters; nor did he have to contend with massive failure. Other characters have a lot of weakness (Dany) or they suffer a lot (Arya). Jon does not, nor does it come across. He joins an order, he immediately ingratiates himself with the wildlings, he escapes, saves the wall and becomes Lord Commander. He then does an extremely good job of running the wall, but is stabbed by a handful of traitors which ends his lucky star quite randomly. Until that point very few (if any) other characters had had it as good as Jon Snow. Hes a character without flaws and in this series its his only defining trait and you get the feeling from Tyrions POV that we're supposed to feel that "this guy should be a King". In other words, we're meant to be impressed by this guy and thats why we're supposed to like him. I don't know, just didn't care for the guy and the character.

So, whats his appeal meant to be exactly?

Edited by total1402, 20 August 2012 - 07:29 AM.


#2 SerStinger

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:31 AM

  • He's honorable
  • He has a sense of humor unlike what is said
  • He's human, not a superhero
  • His emotions are human too, what is called "emo" by people who evidently lack feelings
  • His story is amazing with a lot of twists and conflicts
  • He has been through a lot
  • Future holds many promises for him as a character
But unlike what you say, he does have flaws, he's a bit stubborn, and he sometimes can act a bit too harshly.

#3 plurabel

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:38 AM

I don't think a person (or character, for that matter) needs to be extremely flawed and/or have suffered a lot to be likable/liked.
plus:

  • He's honorable
  • He has a sense of humor unlike what is said
  • He's human, not a superhero
  • His emotions are human too, what is called "emo" by people who evidently lack feelings
  • His story is amazing with a lot of twists and conflicts
  • He has been through a lot
  • Future holds many promises for him as a character
But unlike what you say, he does have flaws, he's a bit stubborn, and he sometimes can act a bit too harshly.



#4 Cat of the Canal Girl

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:41 AM

He points out that there are 5 dire wolf pups and 5 Stark children, purposely excluding himself.
He sees the value in the words of Tyrion and Donal Noye, learning how to become a friend and mentor to his fellow recruits who at first disliked him.
He finds a way to make Sam fit in at the NW.

Despite his nice ways, he has an edge to him that's hidden just underneath the surface, waiting to come out.

#5 total1402

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:45 AM

1-Not at all, he acts like an ordinary person but in the context of the series we call this honourable.
2-No hes not. There are funny characters in his story. He is not funny himself.
3-But hes had it easy for a human.
4-Hes a block of ice the man has a few lines with Arya and thats it.
5-Not really. Up until ADWD he always stays with the NW and doesn't join the Wildlings. Thats stock fantasy. He doesn't become a Theon for instance and betray the wall.
6-Others have been through and suffered more whilst gaining far less; ie Arya and Sansa.
7-Which is annoying. Martins given the character a free pass. Even if he has the weaknesses you state he has kept him in a context where he has not really been able to suffer for them like Ned did. Him dying at the end of ADWD was random. It would have been like somebody had taken a pistol to Napoleon in the midst of his army. Nothing to do with success or weakness just a random event by a handful of people.

Edited by total1402, 20 August 2012 - 07:47 AM.


#6 The Snowman

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:46 AM

I've always liked Jon's POV.

He's likely going to be the hero of the series and possibly the character which has the bittersweet ending that sets the scene for the end.

But I suppose you want actual reasons why Jon is likeable.

- His Clash of Kings chapters were some of my favourites of the entire series. It was engaging as we got to see Jon in an unknown environment surrounded by real threats. He didn't kill Ygritte and that probably wasn't the best move at the time but when they were tracked down it came in handy. This was likely helped along by the fact that Ygritte had a thing for Jon already.

He is helped of course with plot armour and gifts but sometimes those are needed to move the story forward. But the very same thing occurs overly heavily with Tyrion (plot armour) and Dany (plot gifts).

His POV in dance was quite fun to read as you stated in the question. until being stabbed that is.

I could go on but im tired and need sleep.

#7 Lady Aislinn

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:46 AM

I don't really care much for the character. The only time I liked the guy was when he got really pissed about what was happening to Arya and considered going South. Aside from that he came across as very bland to me and I found no real reason to like the man. His arcs only interesting because of his interactions with funny characters like Tormund n Ygritte, the backdrop of the Others and the wall; then Stannis arrival. But for the most part I felt like he was just a pair of eyes to relay info about whats going on at the wall to the reader. He just doesn't seem to have as much of a character or personality or be anywhere near as interesting as say Jamie, or Tyrion, or even Theon as a POV character. Also, I don't think he suffered any real setbacks or suffered to anywhere near the extent of the other characters; nor did he have to contend with massive failure. Other characters have a lot of weakness (Dany) or they suffer a lot (Arya). Jon does not, nor does it come across. He joins an order, he immediately ingratiates himself with the wildlings, he escapes, saves the wall and becomes Lord Commander. He then does an extremely good job of running the wall, but is stabbed by a handful of traitors which ends his lucky star quite randomly. Until that point very few (if any) other characters had had it as good as Jon Snow. Hes a character without flaws and in this series its his only defining trait and you get the feeling from Tyrions POV that we're supposed to feel that "this guy should be a King". In other words, we're meant to be impressed by this guy and thats why we're supposed to like him. I don't know, just didn't care for the guy and the character.

So, whats his appeal meant to be exactly?


Bold face mine.

Yeah, he's not interesting. I mean, compared to Jamie, he doesn't fvck his sister, doesn't go whoring like Tyrion, and yeah, he didn't exactly sell his soul just to become Lord of Winterfell. So yeah, you're right he's bland and no personality whatsoever. /ohwell.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':ohwell:' />

#8 Alisa

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:51 AM

  • He's honorable
  • He has a sense of humor unlike what is said
  • He's human, not a superhero
  • His emotions are human too, what is called "emo" by people who evidently lack feelings
  • His story is amazing with a lot of twists and conflicts
  • He has been through a lot
  • Future holds many promises for him as a character
But unlike what you say, he does have flaws, he's a bit stubborn, and he sometimes can act a bit too harshly.

He points out that there are 5 dire wolf pups and 5 Stark children, purposely excluding himself.
He sees the value in the words of Tyrion and Donal Noye, learning how to become a friend and mentor to his fellow recruits who at first disliked him.
He finds a way to make Sam fit in at the NW.

Despite his nice ways, he has an edge to him that's hidden just underneath the surface, waiting to come out.



This.

And he holds a certain mystery pertaining to his parentage.

#9 total1402

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:52 AM

Bold face mine.

Yeah, he's not interesting. I mean, compared to Jamie, he doesn't fvck his sister, doesn't go whoring like Tyrion, and yeah, he didn't exactly sell his soul just to become Lord of Winterfell. So yeah, you're right he's bland and no personality whatsoever. /ohwell.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':ohwell:' />


I'am not going to be impressed by an ordinary person and think thats hes Kingly material for having standard decency and because he takes advice.

#10 booknerd2

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:53 AM

Jon is so much like Ned it isn't even funny.

Stubborn, honorable, selfless, tries to do the right thing. And he really made the best of the Night's Watch, even after he realized he jumped in and didn't really know what is was all about and the sacrifices he made, and well before he was made Lord Commander and his role in the NW picked up.

He turns down Winterfell and Val...

He was willing to leave and face the consequences to help Robb and his family, which really, that was brave because if it did happen, Cat was with Robb, and I am not sure what the hell she would have done but I think she would have been pissed and considering her feelings for Jon, I wouldn't be surprised if she told on him and a NW member showed up to take him back. But maybe not because Robb wouldn't allow her if he knew Jon got there first.

He is a good egg.

#11 mormont

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:57 AM

No real setbacks?

Well, apart from never knowing who his mother was, the loss of his father, brothers, sisters and uncle, being forced into a double betrayal, the death of his first real love as a result of the second of those betrayals, having to deliberately cut himself off from his friends, and a few more I could throw in but won't, maybe.

Jon is to some extent less colourful and vividly drawn than, say, Jaime or Tyrion. But that doesn't make him less interesting. He shows real growth as a character, has real strength of character, he struggles and makes mistakes but retains a desire to do the right thing, even while having to find out what that is more ore less by himself. I enjoy his chapters immensely.

#12 total1402

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:57 AM

I've always liked Jon's POV.

He's likely going to be the hero of the series and possibly the character which has the bittersweet ending that sets the scene for the end.

But I suppose you want actual reasons why Jon is likeable.

- His Clash of Kings chapters were some of my favourites of the entire series. It was engaging as we got to see Jon in an unknown environment surrounded by real threats. He didn't kill Ygritte and that probably wasn't the best move at the time but when they were tracked down it came in handy. This was likely helped along by the fact that Ygritte had a thing for Jon already.

He is helped of course with plot armour and gifts but sometimes those are needed to move the story forward. But the very same thing occurs overly heavily with Tyrion (plot armour) and Dany (plot gifts).


Danys plot gifts have only made things worse for her though. Her Dragons were too young to be useful, added far more enemies (Euron, Warlocks, FM, Braavosi, Maesters) and in Mereen became a liability to the point of killing Quentyn. Getting the Unsullied and freeing the slaves made her a hero. But it also caused a whole continent to fight her and besiege her in Mereen; it also made her have the eternal hatred of the Ghiscari in freeing the slaves. Neither of these gifts propelled her arc towards Westeros and it could be argued did more to keep her in Essos than if she didn't have them. Going to the free cities after the Dothraki she might have eventually been picked up by Quentyn and wisked back to Dorne.

Tyrion suffers so he gets away with it.

Edited by total1402, 20 August 2012 - 07:59 AM.


#13 lojzelote

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:58 AM

I'am not going to be impressed by an ordinary person and think thats hes Kingly material for having standard decency and because he takes advice.


Tyrion said that? I don't remember.

#14 NomadicDirewolf

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:58 AM

I'am not going to be impressed by an ordinary person and think thats hes Kingly material for having standard decency and because he takes advice.

standard decency maybe in our world yes, but in westeros it makes him one of the best people in the whole book. If ned was a character in LoTR, for example, we wouldnt be particularly impressed by him and he wouldnt be a particularly greatly loved character because a lot of people in that book try to be good and honourable like him. But dump him in aSoIaF, and he becomes one of the best loved characters in the whole series. The same thing is similar to Jon. Also, I find the fact that he's a bastard to be interesting to his story too

#15 Dany4eva

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 07:59 AM

I guess he is bland and can be boring but I like his brooding nature, moral nature, damaged persona and most of all, the idea of what he will become. The allure of a greater destiny is what draws me the most to a character.

#16 SerStinger

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:00 AM

1-Not at all, he acts like an ordinary person but in the context of the series we call this honourable.
2-No hes not. There are funny characters in his story. He is not funny himself.
3-But hes had it easy for a human.
4-Hes a block of ice the man has a few lines with Arya and thats it.
5-Not really. Up until ADWD he always stays with the NW and doesn't join the Wildlings. Thats stock fantasy. He doesn't become a Theon for instance and betray the wall.
6-Others have been through and suffered more whilst gaining far less; ie Arya and Sansa.
7-Which is annoying. Martins given the character a free pass. Even if he has the weaknesses you state he has kept him in a context where he has not really been able to suffer for them like Ned did. Him dying at the end of ADWD was random. It would have been like somebody had taken a pistol to Napoleon in the midst of his army. Nothing to do with success or weakness just a random event by a handful of people.

  • How many "ordinary" people would refuse a seat with immense power just to keep their oaths?
  • Read his parts and thoughts again. He's very witty and comes up with great comebacks.
  • What? He has achieved more than any other character,
  • What about his relationship with Sam? Or Old Bear? Or how he feels about his comrades? Ygritte?
  • Why should all characters betray someone? We need good guys too.
  • Maybe, but he has still suffered a lot.
  • He doesn't have to. Not all characters need to be like Ned.
You're just nitpicking.

#17 Alisa

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:01 AM

I don't find him remotely boring, but then I enjoy Davos POVs too

#18 PatrickStormborn

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:02 AM

I find Jon to be the weakest character (excluding the likes of Areo Hotah) in a series full of complex characters with interesting, contrasting motives. In addition I really dislike how being a "bastard" is expected to make me feel sympathetic towards him, when the majority of other POV characters face far worse discrimination, both now and in the Middle Ages. And unluckily for them, they're not the secret hidden heir. /rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':rolleyes:' />

I just can't connect to Jon for these reasons. And I find him pretty insufferable because he feels pretty sorry for himself a lot of the time. It's just a matter of personal preference, I guess. If he gets reborn as a hero with a genuine flaming sword in the next book, however... I don't think I'll finish the series. I've read that story before, and it's the reason I don't normally like to read fantasy. I don't want to read it again.

#19 butterbumps!

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:02 AM

Part of the appeal of Jon Snow to me is that, like Davos, he offers us a character that we can truly get behind and feel good about liking.

I know that his "boringness" is commonly cited as a negative. I respect that opinion, though I actually find his evolution from aGoT to DwD quite fascinating. He began this journey as a spoiled and somewhat narrowminded boy with a slight sense of entitlement; this was stripped from him, and he undergoes what I find to be an incredibly compelling transformation toward reframing the prejudices of his society and legitimately trying to do the right thing (not based on affiliation, race, House loyalty, but as men). To this end, he's got a perspective I find myself believing in-- it's not about the title but the man (some wit and wisdom courtesy of the Mance).

I get the sense that part of his "blandness" results from the fact that none of his decisions are truly that challenging to us, as modern readers. His decisions don't make us squirm, because they are largely in line with what we believe is right (in a moral sense), as well as the fact that we know him to be right in story about the threat from the North, because we're privy to things other characters are not.

I don't know that we can say "Jon had it better than everyone," or talk about plot gifts, because all of our POVs, save a small handful, come from the same social class and had similar opportunities; all receive ample plot gifts.

I find Jon's story appealing because I see it as one in which his success comes largely through merit and good sense (though his being a "son" of Ned Stark does help bring dissenters to his side on more than a few occasions, so I don't want to pretend that it is all merit). But I love the fact that he's reasonable, that he sees all men as men, that he appeals to the sanctity of the individual in assessing merit and worth (his favorite wildlings), and that he's breaking conventions that have proven useless and defunct.

I like the fact that he's not taking the easy route, being seduced by Mel's promises of easy victory through magic (he knows that she is not a woman to whom be wants to be in debt). I like the fact that he's not swayed by aristocratic trappings (he sees Axell for what he is, and doesn't rise to the petty torments of the other Southron fools). He accepts Wun Wun as deserving of guest rite, and is gracious about allowing any wildlings to take the black. He recognizes that Satin - "the painted catamite"- has value, and makes him his steward despite the protests of the homophobes in the Watch. I like the fact that he is rightly critical of Stannis' policy to break the wildlings, and I like the fact that he believes in religious tolerance. I love the fact that he's willing to count advice no matter who it comes from so long as he deems it worthy (Mance's philosophies on power and leadership frequent his thoughts). I love the fact that he can see past artificial trappings and traditions to get to the meat of the matter.

One last thing- the fact that he was "assassinated" by 4 of his men is way overplayed as some kind of "proof" of his ineptitude. All it takes is for 1 rogue jerk to rise up and kill someone (look at MLK, Ghandi, Lincoln). I do not take assassinations or assassination attempts to somehow justify critique of a character (and to play this card, we should include Dany's poisoned locusts as well). I just don't think that these 4 jerks should be taken as gospel that Jon is a terrible leader or anything like that.

Edited by butterbumps!, 20 August 2012 - 08:06 AM.


#20 Lady Aislinn

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:04 AM

I'am not going to be impressed by an ordinary person and think thats hes Kingly material for having standard decency and because he takes advice.

Hmm, not all of those who like Jon thinks he's kingly material, and I've heard his detractors say he is ordinary. Exactly, what do you mean by ordinary? You mentioned Jaime in comparison, does engaging in incest and killing a king you're sworn to protect makes one extraordinary? More interesting?