MinscS2

How good a swordsman is Jon actually?

65 posts in this topic

This is something I've been thinking about for some time, and there doesn't really seem to be a general consensus on the matter.
How good a swordsman is Jon supposed to be in season 7? 

His skill has improved over the course of the series, Jon of season 7 is a much better fighter than he was when he got his ass kicked by Karl Tanner in season 4.
He definitely has swordsmanship in his blood, both of his parents where good fighters in their own right.
He's fought and survived several battles (Hardhome, BotBastards, the Wight-raid), partly due to plot-armour but also due to his own skill.
He evidently has no problems defeating wights, regular soldiers, and even a White Walker poses little actual threat to him in a 1v1.
(With that said, we don't really know how good of a fighter a White Walker actually is, they seem to rely more on the fact that they're immune to mundane weaponry than actual martial prowess.)
Ramsay comments about Jons swordsmanship in S6E9: "I keep hearing stories about you bastard, the way the people in the north talk about you you're the greatest swordsman that ever walked. Maybe you are that good.", and Ramsay wasn't exactly a slouch in combat himself.

So how good is Jon compared to other renown westerosi swordsmen of history? How good is he if we only compare him to people who are currently alive?

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Ramsey's comment, if it wasn't just a lie, shows what a strong reputation Jon has in the North. But that's really all it is, a reputation. Most of his action scenes at that point took place beyond the Wall. He fought in an unknown realm of evil magic, and not many people necessarily saw what he did. 

There was the Battle of the Wall, of course, and word could've got back about what he accomplished there. I assume there were witnesses to him killing the Giant Toad-Man. People could've reported back on what he did at Craster's Keep and Hardhome, I guess. The single combat he lost was indoors, so maybe he didn't elaborate on how he got his sword through that guy's head. 

Point is, he's not doing these things in regular Westerosi armies among common North folk and other reliable sources. I'd take the word of his fellow Nights Watchers, if their gossip makes it South. But that's what it would be: gossip. You know how these things get built up. 

 

From what we've seen, it's hard to say where Jon ranks in the Universos. I imagine he's not as good as Brienne or (ugh) Arya, apparently. He's better than one-handed Jaime. But how would he match up with Zombie Mountain, the Hound, Jorah twenty years ago, Dario, Bronn, Urine, etc. is anyone's guess. 

 

He looks pretty swinging his sword, though. 

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On 16/09/2017 at 5:10 AM, MinscS2 said:

This is something I've been thinking about for some time, and there doesn't really seem to be a general consensus on the matter.
How good a swordsman is Jon supposed to be in season 7? 

His skill has improved over the course of the series, Jon of season 7 is a much better fighter than he was when he got his ass kicked by Karl Tanner in season 4.
He definitely has swordsmanship in his blood, both of his parents where good fighters in their own right.
He's fought and survived several battles (Hardhome, BotBastards, the Wight-raid), partly due to plot-armour but also due to his own skill.
He evidently has no problems defeating wights, regular soldiers, and even a White Walker poses little actual threat to him in a 1v1.
(With that said, we don't really know how good of a fighter a White Walker actually is, they seem to rely more on the fact that they're immune to mundane weaponry than actual martial prowess.)
Ramsay comments about Jons swordsmanship in S6E9: "I keep hearing stories about you bastard, the way the people in the north talk about you you're the greatest swordsman that ever walked. Maybe you are that good.", and Ramsay wasn't exactly a slouch in combat himself.

So how good is Jon compared to other renown westerosi swordsmen of history? How good is he if we only compare him to people who are currently alive?

As strong as the plot demands him to be. It doesn't matter in the context of the story, all you need to know is he'll never lose a sword fight again in the series. So for all intents and purposes he's the best, now.

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12 minutes ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

As strong as the plot demands him to be. It doesn't matter in the context of the story, all you need to know is he'll never lose a sword fight again in the series. So for all intents and purposes he's the best, now.

This. 

 

My opinion is he is slightly above average. But only because he was actually trained at a castle. He has never outright bested anyone in show or in books and often has help. 

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3 hours ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

As strong as the plot demands him to be. It doesn't matter in the context of the story, all you need to know is he'll never lose a sword fight again in the series. So for all intents and purposes he's the best, now.

I guess that's one way to look at it. That's hardly a satisfying answer though. :P 

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1 hour ago, MinscS2 said:

I guess that's one way to look at it. That's hardly a satisfying answer though. :P 

Haha. I think he is right although I will be more chartiable in my interpretation. 

I think every thing we have scene is supposed to make us think Jon really is the greatest swoardsman. Not only do we have an in universe character asserting it, but the show has also shown us due to who he has beaten - two white walkers, styr - and the crazy stuff he has managed to survive until he gets saved - Hardholme, BOB, BTW. 

Also, the plot does need Jon to be the greatest. I don't know if the Night King will die in a one on one duel, but that these two will fight on the battle field at some point seems obvious. Even for Jon to survive that encounter requires him to be level 99 swordsman. After they showed how strong the NK is, it really will require the best just to make it out alive let alone win.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a scene next year where he picks up a Valyrian Steel sword from some who dies - jaime or Brienne most likely - and fights NK with two of them visually linking him with Dayne and visually answering the question.

 

Edited by jcmontea

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6 minutes ago, jcmontea said:

Haha. I think he is right although I will be more chartiable in my interpretation. 

I think every thing we have scene is supposed to make us think Jon really is the greatest swoardsman. Not only do we have an in universe character asserting it, but the show has also shown us due to who he has beaten - two white walkers, styr - and the crazy stuff he has managed to survive until he gets saved - Hardholme, BOB, BTW. 

Also, the plot does need Jon to be the greatest. I don't know if the Night King will die in a one on one duel, but that these two will fight on the battle field at some point seems obvious. Even for Jon to survive that encounter requires him to be level 99 swordsman. After they showed how strong the NK is, it really will require the best just to make it out alive let alone win.

 

Lol at the level 99 swordsman thing. In RPG terms, he has:

Weapon: Valyrian Steel Sword
Shield: That guards the realms of men
Headgear: Nothing, Jon Snow
Bodygear: Plot Armour
Accessory: Anti-hypothermia Amulet

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31 minutes ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

Lol at the level 99 swordsman thing. In RPG terms, he has:

Weapon: Valyrian Steel Sword
Shield: That guards the realms of men
Headgear: Nothing, Jon Snow
Bodygear: Plot Armour
Accessory: Anti-hypothermia Amulet

Lol. Like Davos said: "he is Jon Snow" what more do you need?

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On 9/16/2017 at 0:10 AM, MinscS2 said:

This is something I've been thinking about for some time, and there doesn't really seem to be a general consensus on the matter.
How good a swordsman is Jon supposed to be in season 7? 

His skill has improved over the course of the series, Jon of season 7 is a much better fighter than he was when he got his ass kicked by Karl Tanner in season 4.
He definitely has swordsmanship in his blood, both of his parents where good fighters in their own right.
He's fought and survived several battles (Hardhome, BotBastards, the Wight-raid), partly due to plot-armour but also due to his own skill.
He evidently has no problems defeating wights, regular soldiers, and even a White Walker poses little actual threat to him in a 1v1.
(With that said, we don't really know how good of a fighter a White Walker actually is, they seem to rely more on the fact that they're immune to mundane weaponry than actual martial prowess.)
Ramsay comments about Jons swordsmanship in S6E9: "I keep hearing stories about you bastard, the way the people in the north talk about you you're the greatest swordsman that ever walked. Maybe you are that good.", and Ramsay wasn't exactly a slouch in combat himself.

So how good is Jon compared to other renown westerosi swordsmen of history? How good is he if we only compare him to people who are currently alive?

It's an open question in the books as well, one that people differ about it.  I think it's safe to say he's above average and that Ramsay's line wasn't really truth, just legend because of Jon's exploits beyond the Wall.

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2 hours ago, jcmontea said:

Haha. I think he is right although I will be more chartiable in my interpretation. 

I think every thing we have scene is supposed to make us think Jon really is the greatest swoardsman. Not only do we have an in universe character asserting it, but the show has also shown us due to who he has beaten - two white walkers, styr - and the crazy stuff he has managed to survive until he gets saved - Hardholme, BOB, BTW. 

Also, the plot does need Jon to be the greatest. I don't know if the Night King will die in a one on one duel, but that these two will fight on the battle field at some point seems obvious. Even for Jon to survive that encounter requires him to be level 99 swordsman. After they showed how strong the NK is, it really will require the best just to make it out alive let alone win.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a scene next year where he picks up a Valyrian Steel sword from some who dies - jaime or Brienne most likely - and fights NK with two of them visually linking him with Dayne and visually answering the question.

 

Moreover, in 7x06, the Fellowship of the wight included some decent fighters (Hound, Jorah, Berric, Thoros etc.). Who took on the White Walker? No one in the group even suggested that the Valyrian blade ought to be wielded by another in this desperate situation. Who actually stayed on the ground to make sure that the others would get on the dragon? Who seemed to be the best to be the last one on? It makes sense if he is supposed to be the best. 

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My take on this is that show Jon (and show Ned) is a much better fighter compared to his book counterpart. Book Jon is an average or perhaps somewhat above average swordsman, but he’s also getting better and better. Show Jon, on the other hand, I’d rank as among the best swordsmen in Westeros after season 6-7.

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1 hour ago, Hajk1984 said:

Moreover, in 7x06, the Fellowship of the wight included some decent fighters (Hound, Jorah, Berric, Thoros etc.). Who took on the White Walker? No one in the group even suggested that the Valyrian blade ought to be wielded by another in this desperate situation. Who actually stayed on the ground to make sure that the others would get on the dragon? Who seemed to be the best to be the last one on? It makes sense if he is supposed to be the best. 

That just shows Jon is selfless. And the group respects him enough not ask for his sword. Plus we really needed another Stark reunion so Jon had to stay on the ground. 

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4 minutes ago, King Jon Snow Stark said:

That just shows Jon is selfless. And the group respects him enough not ask for his sword. Plus we really needed another Stark reunion so Jon had to stay on the ground. 

A Stark reunion that lasted all of five seconds, stretched plausibility, and was only SATISFYING™ in the bare basic 'a Stark met another Stark' way.

Speaking of which, have you guys noticed how freaking hollow the Stark reunions have been? It's not helped by the fact nobody brings up Rickon's death. Like, at all. It makes the family dynamics feel as hollow as D & D's skulls.

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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5 minutes ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

A Stark reunion that lasted all of five seconds, stretched plausibility, and was only SATISFYING™ in the bare basic 'a Stark met another Stark' way.

Speaking of which, have you guys noticed how freaking hollow the Stark reunions have been? It's not helped by the fact nobody brings up Rickon's death. Like, at all. It makes the family dynamics feel as hollow as D & D's skulls.

It would have been nice if they meet Benjen on the way to get the wright. Jon loved Benjen but that's what we got. 

Maybe we will get a scene when they talk about Rickon, Robb, Ned, Cat and Benjen. Their family has been decimated and Bran is about to rock their world some more. 

Edited by King Jon Snow Stark

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11 minutes ago, King Jon Snow Stark said:

That just shows Jon is selfless. And the group respects him enough not ask for his sword. Plus we really needed another Stark reunion so Jon had to stay on the ground. 

I suspect some in the group (e.g. Tormund and the Hound) would care little for respect in the face of certain death if someone else wielding the sword them a better chance. And I doubt Jon would object.

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5 minutes ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

Speaking of which, have you guys noticed how freaking hollow the Stark reunions have been? It's not helped by the fact nobody brings up Rickon's death. Like, at all. It makes the family dynamics feel as hollow as D & D's skulls.

Nah, can't say I have.
Jon and Sansas reunion was very sweet and emotional, especially given that they didn't really get along when they were younger.
Aryas and Sansas reunion was probably as good as it could've been, given that the sisters more or less hated each other the last time they saw each other.
Bran's reunion with his sisters should be awkward due to his new persona, and it was.
The best reunion (Jon and Arya) is yet to come though.

I'm fine with them not bringing up Rickons death on-screen and making a big deal out of it:
Arya thought that all of her siblings where dead (except maybe Jon), so she was already accustomed to the notion that Rickon was dead.
Sansa and Jon were there when Rickon died, they have mourned him. They've both seen so much death that him dying won't prevent them from moving on.
Bran is Bran, I'm not even sure if he can cry at this stage.

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3 minutes ago, Hajk1984 said:

I suspect some in the group (e.g. Tormund and the Hound) would care little for respect in the face of certain death if someone else wielding the sword them a better chance. And I doubt Jon would object.

Its not like Jon is Sam. He's a competent fighter and their leader for the mission. Tormund respects Jon has risked his life for him a number times now. Yes the Hound is an ass and probably would take the sword if Jon wasn't competent 

Edited by King Jon Snow Stark

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10 minutes ago, King Jon Snow Stark said:

Its not like Jon is Sam. He's a competent fighter and their leader for the mission. Tormund respects Jon has risked his life for him a number times now. Yes the Hound is an ass and probably would take the sword if Jon wasn't competent 

Aye, Tormund is very loyal to Jon at this stage, I'd even say he's one of the few friends Jon has (the others being Dolorous Edd and Samwell), and one of the very few persons that can actually make Jon smile.

If Jon where to have a best man at his wedding, I'd say the chances of this being Tormund are high. :P  

Edited by MinscS2

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37 minutes ago, MinscS2 said:

Nah, can't say I have.
Jon and Sansas reunion was very sweet and emotional, especially given that they didn't really get along when they were younger.
Aryas and Sansas reunion was probably as good as it could've been, given that the sisters more or less hated each other the last time they saw each other.
Bran's reunion with his sisters should be awkward due to his new persona, and it was.
The best reunion (Jon and Arya) is yet to come though.

I'm fine with them not bringing up Rickons death on-screen and making a big deal out of it:
Arya thought that all of her siblings where dead (except maybe Jon), so she was already accustomed to the notion that Rickon was dead.
Sansa and Jon were there when Rickon died, they have mourned him. They've both seen so much death that him dying won't prevent them from moving on.
Bran is Bran, I'm not even sure if he can cry at this stage.

At least one mention of Rickon would be nice. I mean, after all, aren't the Stark reunions so desired because we were invested in them as characters? And wouldn't it be, you know, fucking human of them to ask, 'Hey, Bran's alive, what happened to our poor baby brother Rickon'? Or, you know, words to that effect.

Seriously, unless they're trying to imply the Starks are all sociopaths and that audiences just want people with the surname Stark to be shoved together in a 'there you are, you fucking got what you wanted, money pls' level of bored disinterest, then I don't understand why they're trying their damnedest to completely suck the humanity out of the Starks.

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27 minutes ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

At least one mention of Rickon would be nice. I mean, after all, aren't the Stark reunions so desired because we were invested in them as characters? And wouldn't it be, you know, fucking human of them to ask, 'Hey, Bran's alive, what happened to our poor baby brother Rickon'? Or, you know, words to that effect.

Seriously, unless they're trying to imply the Starks are all sociopaths and that audiences just want people with the surname Stark to be shoved together in a 'there you are, you fucking got what you wanted, money pls' level of bored disinterest, then I don't understand why they're trying their damnedest to completely suck the humanity out of the Starks.

I think the Starks are happy to see each other but they all have PTSD of some kind. Every single one of them but in the end they will stick together. 

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