Richard Hoffman

“For the watch”

401 posts in this topic

5 minutes ago, The Drunkard said:

A third is that they sincerely believe in the cause of the Night's Watch and believe that Jon was about to lead it into ruin, and they were willing to stop that regardless of what it cost them.

Lead them into ruin?  The Watch is already in a state of ruin. The Watch has gone begging for recruits for decades.  What the Watch needs is Stannis AND the Wildlings to defend the Wall.  The plotters will have lost the support of the wildlings and the defence of the Wall through their bigotry and ignorance.  They will be lucky if they are not all massacred and Wall abandoned.  

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4 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

This comes from AGOT Tyrion III

 

While not exactly relevant to the current discussion, why is Alliser Thorne, who was sent to watch by Tywin Lannister is so cruel on "Ned's Bastard" and so keen on helping Janos Slynt?

 

Perhaps he sees both Ned and Tywin on the same side of the war, opposite from his for sure.

Or maybe he is only a dick who hates bastards. 

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I'm loving all these points that have been brought up here regarding Jon's execution and the possibility that it does as far back as their attempt to send him on the suicide mission to kill with Mance. Even though I always had Tywin's insinuation towards getting Janos Slynt elected as Lord Commander, I had never stopped to consider how this implicated Marsh and the others as breaking neutrality, even though they obviously are, nor that they are hypocrites for presumably wanting Jon dead for planning to break their neutrality -- when he had been issued a threat from Ramsay Bolton that demanded some sort of reaction.

4 hours ago, LynnS said:

The questions is whether Bowen Marsh and Wick Wittlestick are washing their hands of the conflict and siding with the powerful to maintain the status quo, when in reality, there can be no neutrality.   

Another good point. It goes back to whether the attack on Jon was pre-planned, spur of the moment or a crime of opportunity (in that, they had always planned to kill him when the right moment came up).

Quote

Lead them into ruin?  The Watch is already in a state of ruin. The Watch has gone begging for recruits for decades.  What the Watch needs is Stannis AND the Wildlings to defend the Wall.  The plotters will have lost the support of the wildlings and the defence of the Wall through their bigotry and ignorance.  They will be lucky if they are not all massacred and Wall abandoned.  

1

Indeed. There is no denying that there are more people who will be angered by Jon's murder than willing to shield those few assassins. Whether we even have a chance to hear their reasonings depends on whether they are captured and thrown in ice cells... or whether Wun Wun just smashes their heads in.
 

4 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

While not exactly relevant to the current discussion, why is Alliser Thorne, who was sent to watch by Tywin Lannister is so cruel on "Ned's Bastard" and so keen on helping Janos Slynt?

 

I wonder that as well. It is pretty difficult for me to get a grasp on Thorne because he is such a bitter and mean-spirited character one would expect him to hate Janos Slynt on principle; he was the man Tywin/The Crown "wanted" as Lord Commander.

Edited by Faera

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28 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Lead them into ruin?  The Watch is already in a state of ruin. The Watch has gone begging for recruits for decades.  What the Watch needs is Stannis AND the Wildlings to defend the Wall.  The plotters will have lost the support of the wildlings and the defence of the Wall through their bigotry and ignorance.  They will be lucky if they are not all massacred and Wall abandoned.  

Bowen and co. can't undo decades of poverty and low recruitment, but what they can do is stop Jon from stripping most of the defenders away on ostensibly suicidal missions to Hardhome and Winterfell. As far as they are aware Stannis is dead, so the Watch is now reliant on Bolton/Lannister aid if it is to do its job, and Jon planned on fighting a war against them. 

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17 minutes ago, The Drunkard said:

Bowen and co. can't undo decades of poverty and low recruitment, but what they can do is stop Jon from stripping most of the defenders away on ostensibly suicidal missions to Hardhome and Winterfell. As far as they are aware Stannis is dead, so the Watch is now reliant on Bolton/Lannister aid if it is to do its job, and Jon planned on fighting a war against them. 

Indeed, a horrible mistake on their part.  Winterfell is hardly a suicidal mission if Mance is playing Ramsey with an offer of a wildling army to use against Stannis.  The pink letter sounds like a joint effort on the part of Ramsey and Mance by it's wording.  Mance may not be captured after all but infiltrating the enemy not unlike Jon Snow.  It's more to Mance's benefit to join Stannis when the wildlings show up and crush Ramsey.  Stannis' purpose is Melisandre's purpose... which is to defend the Wall.

Hardhome - why are there dead things in the water?  If the WW and their army of the dead are meant to bypass the Wall, they will need ships.

Jon's assassination isn't so much an attempt to maintain the security of the Wall but to destroy the Watch and I daresay that suits someone's purpose.

Edited by LynnS

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7 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Indeed, a horrible mistake on their part.  Winterfell is hardly a suicidal mission if Mance is playing Ramsey with an offer of a wildling army to use against Stannis.  The pink letter sounds like a joint effort on the part of Ramsey and Mance by it's wording.  Mance may not be captured after all but infiltrating the enemy not unlike Jon Snow.  It's more to Mance's benefit to join Stannis when the wildlings show up and crush Ramsey.  Stannis' purpose is Melisandre's purpose... which is to defend the Wall.

Hardhome - why are there dead things in the water?  If the WW and their army of the dead are meant to bypass the Wall, they will need ships.

Jon's assassination isn't so much an attempt to maintain the security of the Wall but to destroy the Watch and I daresay that suits someone's purpose.

Your not the first person in this thread to bring up the concept of Mance offering a wildling army, so I will simply remind everyone posting this that Mance went south before Tormund and his wildlings came south.  Mance doesn't know there are more than a few dozen wildlings at Moles Town.

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9 minutes ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

Your not the first person in this thread to bring up the concept of Mance offering a wildling army, so I will simply remind everyone posting this that Mance went south before Tormund and his wildlings came south.  Mance doesn't know there are more than a few dozen wildlings at Moles Town.

But he is certainly aware that he can draw the wildlings to Winterfell from the Wall.  That's the point of the letter.

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40 minutes ago, The Drunkard said:

Bowen and co. can't undo decades of poverty and low recruitment, but what they can do is stop Jon from stripping most of the defenders away on ostensibly suicidal missions to Hardhome and Winterfell. As far as they are aware Stannis is dead, so the Watch is now reliant on Bolton/Lannister aid if it is to do its job, and Jon planned on fighting a war against them. 

Bolton aid??? Lannister aid???

You mean the same family who Cersei wanted to send men to kill Jon and Tywin who says that if they don’t vote the way HE wants, then the wall will be left to melt???

Ramsay just threatened to attack the watch and to cut the Lord Commanders heart out.  

Jon is at least trying to prevent hoards more people from becoming wights. 

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46 minutes ago, The Drunkard said:

Bowen and co. can't undo decades of poverty and low recruitment, but what they can do is stop Jon from stripping most of the defenders away on ostensibly suicidal missions to Hardhome and Winterfell. As far as they are aware Stannis is dead, so the Watch is now reliant on Bolton/Lannister aid if it is to do its job, and Jon planned on fighting a war against them. 

Jon was wrong for fighting with Ramsay.  He should give up on Arya and don't let that keep him from building peace with someone who can help him fight the white walkers' army.  The mission to take Arya out of Ramsay's hands was a bad idea to begin with and did nothing for the good of the wall.  I can understand and support what Bowen Marsh and his men did because Jon was no longer of any use to the watch.  Jon had become destructive and was causing more harm than good. 

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11 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Bolton aid??? Lannister aid???

You mean the same family who Cersei wanted to send men to kill Jon and Tywin who says that if they don’t vote the way HE wants, then the wall will be left to melt???

Ramsay just threatened to attack the watch and to cut the Lord Commanders heart out.  

Jon is at least trying to prevent hoards more people from becoming wights. 

Cersei couldn't give a rat's ass about the Watch or the Wall.  She'll have her own problems soon enough with the appearance of Euron and Aegon..

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6 minutes ago, Superzapper Recharge said:

Jon was wrong for fighting with Ramsay.  He should give up on Arya and don't let that keep him from building peace with someone who can help him fight the white walkers' army.  The mission to take Arya out of Ramsay's hands was a bad idea to begin with and did nothing for the good of the wall.  I can understand and support what Bowen Marsh and his men did because Jon was no longer of any use to the watch.  Jon had become destructive and was causing more harm than good. 

I think the point that Martin is making is that following orders without any judgement is morally wrong. We see that when the KG fail to act to protect the weak from Aerys' madness and predation. Gerold Hightower tells Jaime that he is not supposed to act, his only purpose is to shield the king regardless of the monstrosities he commits.  Martin is also saying that failing to act in the face of monstrosity is also morally wrong.  So following orders and failing to act... for the wrong reasons.  Regardless of the strength of the Watch or risks involved; a moral man must act in the face of atrocity.  This is the test of a worthy man.

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15 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Cersei couldn't give a rat's ass about the Watch or the Wall.  She'll have her own problems soon enough with the appearance of Euron and Aegon..

I agree, which is part of the problem of how nobody but Jon and a few select at the wall know about the real threat, and why she wouldn’t consider sending anyone to help up there, Euron or not. 

We readers know Euron and Aegon are her next threat, but she doesn’t. She knows Jon is at the wall and her first thought was to send people to have him killed, not aid. 

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27 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Bolton aid??? Lannister aid???

You mean the same family who Cersei wanted to send men to kill Jon and Tywin who says that if they don’t vote the way HE wants, then the wall will be left to melt???

Ramsay just threatened to attack the watch and to cut the Lord Commanders heart out.  

Jon is at least trying to prevent hoards more people from becoming wights. 

Bowen and co. don't know what Tywin and Cersei have talked about with each other so that's not going to factor into their thinking. Ramsay only threatened to kill Jon after discovering that Jon supposedly conspired with Stannis and Melisandre to secretly spare a NW deserter and send him on a private mission to steal Arya away.

With Stannis apparently dead, the Boltons are the only game in the north and any plan to defend the Wall is going to require their aid. Stripping the Wall of its defenders in order to fight them doesn't help the cause. 

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13 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I think the point that Martin is making is that following orders without any judgement is morally wrong. We see that when the KG fail to act to protect the weak from Aerys' madness and predation. Gerold Hightower tells Jaime that he is not supposed to act, his only purpose is to shield the king regardless of the monstrosities he commits.  Martin is also saying that failing to act in the face of monstrosity is also morally wrong.  So following orders and failing to act... for the wrong reasons.  Regardless of the strength of the Watch or risks involved; a moral man must act in the face of atrocity.  This is the test of a worthy man.

This is very true. And actually @40 Thousand Skeletons Has a great little war story that also supports this in the most crazy way. 

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10 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I agree, which is part of the problem of how nobody but Jon and a few select at the wall know about the real threat, and why she wouldn’t consider sending anyone to help up there, Euron or not. 

We readers know Euron and Aegon are her next threat, but she doesn’t. She knows Jon is at the wall and her first thought was to send people to have him killed, not aid. 

Indeed, she sees Jon's bastardy as a threat and complains that she now has to finish the job for Catelyn.
 

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Cersei IV

"Snow, the boy is called," Pycelle said unhelpfully.

"I glimpsed him once at Winterfell," the queen said, "though the Starks did their best to hide him. He looks very like his father." Her husband's by-blows had his look as well, though at least Robert had the grace to keep them out of sight. Once, after that sorry business with the cat, he had made some noises about bringing some baseborn daughter of his to court. "Do as you please," she'd told him, "but you may find that the city is not a healthy place for a growing girl." The bruise those words had won her had been hard to hide from Jaime, but they heard no more about the bastard girl. Catelyn Tully was a mouse, or she would have smothered this Jon Snow in his cradle. Instead, she's left the filthy task to me. "Snow shares Lord Eddard's taste for treason too," she said. "The father would have handed the realm to Stannis. The son has given him lands and castles."

"The Night's Watch is sworn to take no part in the wars of the Seven Kingdoms," Pycelle reminded them. "For thousands of years the black brothers have upheld that tradition."

A Feast for Crows - Cersei IV

"This," Qyburn said. "For years now, the Night's Watch has begged for men. Lord Stannis has answered their plea. Can King Tommen do less? His Grace should send the Wall a hundred men. To take the black, ostensibly, but in truth . . ."

". . . to remove Jon Snow from the command," Cersei finished, delighted. I knew I was right to want him on my council. "That is just what we shall do." She laughed. If this bastard boy is truly his father's son, he will not suspect a thing. Perhaps he will even thank me, before the blade slides between his ribs. "It will need to be done carefully, to be sure. Leave the rest to me, my lords." This was how an enemy should be dealt with: with a dagger, not a declaration. "We have done good work today, my lords. I thank you. Is there aught else?"

"One last thing, Your Grace," said Aurane Waters, in an apologetic tone. "I hesitate to take up the council's time with trifles, but there has been some queer talk heard along the docks of late. Sailors from the east. They speak of dragons . . ."

 

Edited by LynnS

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8 minutes ago, The Drunkard said:

Bowen and co. don't know what Tywin and Cersei have talked about with each other so that's not going to factor into their thinking. Ramsay only threatened to kill Jon after discovering that Jon supposedly conspired with Stannis and Melisandre to secretly spare a NW deserter and send him on a private mission to steal Arya away.

With Stannis apparently dead, the Boltons are the only game in the north and any plan to defend the Wall is going to require their aid. Stripping the Wall of its defenders in order to fight them doesn't help the cause. 

Actually no, Tywin and Slynt are in cahoots, as shown in the ASOS quotes a page or two back. This is shown to the reader when all four conspirators are discussing Tywin together. 

Cersei is a separate issue. 

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21 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I think the point that Martin is making is that following orders without any judgement is morally wrong.

:agree:

Martin even has Jaime spelling it out plain as day when he tells Blount (or was it Trant?) to use his head instead of blindly following any orders Tommen gives him. 

21 minutes ago, LynnS said:

We see that when the KG fail to act to protect the weak from Aerys' madness and predation. Gerold Hightower tells Jaime that he is not supposed to act, his only purpose is to shield the king regardless of the monstrosities he commits.  Martin is also saying that failing to act in the face of monstrosity is also morally wrong.  So following orders and failing to act... for the wrong reasons.  Regardless of the strength of the Watch or risks involved; a moral man must act in the face of atrocity.  This is the test of a worthy man.

Spot on, couldn't agree more. It's duty V (true) honour. Sometimes doing the right thing is doing the "wrong" thing like breaking a vow. 

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2 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

This is very true. And actually @40 Thousand Skeletons Has a great little war story that also supports this in the most crazy way. 

LOL yes :D

To summarize the story, it's from the journal of a Soviet officer in WW2. The punishment for disobeying orders was so severe that men would carry out orders basically no matter what, and also there was a lot of drinking going on at every level of command. The specific anecdote I referenced was when the orders come down to move the front line at a certain spot 5 miles forward. There is a strong river right in front of the current position that they need to cross. None of the soldiers can swim or have even seen a river before, and there is nothing to float on. The officer points his pistol at the first man and orders him to cross. Every man drowns one at a time, and the officer delivers his report to the commander, who relays the story to the colonel. The colonel is angry and says they have been dragging around pontoon boats. The battalion could have had as many as they wanted.

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4 hours ago, The Drunkard said:

As far as they are aware Stannis is dead, so the Watch is now reliant on Bolton/Lannister aid if it is to do its job, and Jon planned on fighting a war against them. 

The only problem with that is that the Wall has been begging for help for years. They had recently sent out ravens begging everyone and his brother for help against the wildling attack and it fell on deaf ears; only Stannis came to aid them. That is why Jon begins ADwD trying to negotiate with Stannis without potentially angering the other Northern lords or compromising the neutrality of the Night's Watch.

Bottom line was that the Lannisters, in particular, had been trying to politic with the Wall for a while now yet have provided nothing in the way of aid. In fact, when the Small Council plan to send "aid" to them it is merely a cover to go up there and murder Jon. I would say that what others have said here are right (and I have never thought about it much until it was laid out here) and that the Bastard Letter itself threatens to compromise the Wall's neutrality.

3 hours ago, LynnS said:
3 hours ago, Superzapper Recharge said:

Jon had become destructive and was causing more harm than good. 

I think the point that Martin is making is that following orders without any judgement is morally wrong. We see that when the KG fail to act to protect the weak from Aerys' madness and predation. Gerold Hightower tells Jaime that he is not supposed to act, his only purpose is to shield the king regardless of the monstrosities he commits.  Martin is also saying that failing to act in the face of monstrosity is also morally wrong.  So following orders and failing to act... for the wrong reasons.  Regardless of the strength of the Watch or risks involved; a moral man must act in the face of atrocity.  This is the test of a worthy man.

I pretty much agree with all you have said here @LynnS 

Slightly OT but it actually reminds me of one of Jon and Aemon's first proper discussions all the way back in AGoT, where he says:

"Tell me, Jon, if the day should ever come when your lord father must needs choose between honor on the one hand and those he loves on the other, what would he do?"
Jon hesitated. He wanted to say that Lord Eddard would never 
dishonor himself, not even for love, yet inside a small sly voice whispered, He fathered a bastard, where was the honor in that? And your mother, what of his duty to her, he will not even say her name. "He would do whatever was right," he said … ringingly, to make up for his hesitation. "No matter what."

So, what is the right thing? Eddard Stark ultimately did choose his daughter over his honour (and if we presume RLJ is true, then he spent his whole life "dishonouring" himself by lying for Jon's sake). Now, Jon decides he (finally) needs to stop Ramsay and he was willing to go alone. He gave people the choice as to whether to come with him.

(I would also question how Jon could be seen as the destructive one when it is Bowen Marsh and his co-conspirators who assassinated their elected Lord Commander in an act of treason that will almost certainly lead them and many others being killed... and probably marching on Winterfell, anyway.)

Edited by Faera

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

But he is certainly aware that he can draw the wildlings to Winterfell from the Wall.  That's the point of the letter.

What wildlings?  the 50 he thinks are there?  The whole point of my post was to point out that he doesn't think there is a wildling army to bring.  Look for yourself.  Mance leaves before Tormund and his wildlings come across, and when he left the wildlings at moles town hated Jon and the watch.

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