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House Rootbreaker

The Great Debate: Should Jon Have Lied?

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Jon should have told the truth, because that's who he is. That's why people who figure that out trust him when he talks about the White Walkers. If he loses that, he - as he said to Daenerys - will just be like everyone else.

But one of the ways this could have been solved (theoretically speaking) is with the age-old tradition of hostages. Someone like Arya would be sent to King's Landing for the duration of the war to guarantee that Jon does not engage in hostilities against the Crown.

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This is one area that I felt like they didn't ruin Jon's character this season.  The only time he lied in the show was to follow the orders of Halfhand.  And his and Ned's sense of honor are commendable:

Ned showed that the one place worth sacrificing honor for was children.  That's why he allowed for himself to be slandered and bringing home a "bastard" from war, why he gave Cersei the opportunity to flee with her children, and why he died saying he committed treason.

Jon appears to be willing to sacrifice his honor for his people.

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3 minutes ago, Anarres said:

Jon should have told the truth, because that's who he is. That's why people who figure that out trust him when he talks about the White Walkers. If he loses that, he - as he said to Daenerys - will just be like everyone else.

But one of the ways this could have been solved (theoretically speaking) is with the age-old tradition of hostages. Someone like Arya would be sent to King's Landing for the duration of the war to guarantee that Jon does not engage in hostilities against the Crown.

I don't think the North would ever send a hostage to KL again

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The big question is why is everyone so convinced that the Starks are incapable of telling a lie or why Jon himself considers this the highest priority.

Cersei was a first-hand witness to Ned lying to save Sansa. Before that, she knows he did not expose her to dying Robert. Maybe Jon feels as strongly about the ear against the WW as Ned did for his children? Especially since WW directly threaten his family?

Then Robb, a son of Ned Stark, famously broke his betrothal.

Jon himself is a known deserter from the Night's Watch. His very presence at the meeting as KitN makes him an oathbreaker. Yet Cersei is willing to take his word for it? And a man who abandoned his post to continue the war by other means and win back his family home suddenly thinks that lying to a woman who murdered his father and abused his sister and who is a representative of a family and regime that had his brother murdered in the breach of guest right would be beyond the pale? 

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It doesn't matter because it would have made no difference anyways. Cersei wasn't going to hold up her end of the bargain anyways. The Golden Comapny and the Euron deal was already sealed when she went to that summit. 

But yes, Jon should have promised he wouldn't raise arms against Cersei, whether that would end up being a lie or not. First of all, Daenerys could defeat Cersei anytime she decides to. She hops on Drogon and burns a large portion of Euron's fleet and Cersei's remaining land forces. If it wasn't for this moral bullshit of Tyrion's she would have won that goddamn war in a week. And yeah it's not nice to roast people, but is it nicer to kill them in one-to-one battles that waste time and resources and allows Cersei to prepare and strike? Her moves didn't make sense from the beginning. So it's entirely unnecessary for Jon to take up arms against the Lannisters AS IF his admittedly few fighting men made a difference in Daenerys and Cersei's war. 

But even if it came to the North raising arms against the Lannisters, Jon could have just reevaluated his alliances and sided with Daenerys anyways as a crap ton of people have already done so in the story. The whole Jon should have lied is a fake problem fabricated so that d&d can have Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey in another nonsensical scene. Because the story doesn't matter anymore, we just want nice looking cinematography and put our favorite actors in random scenes for the sake of their being together in a random scene.

That's the writing strategy. What shots will look good and which actors we want to put together. And once they have these bulletpoints on a board they come up with stuff to link them together in the limited time they have left and it's okay if it doesn't make sense, it doesn't have to, the point is putting actors together and having pretty shots and special effects. 

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Yes.  Jon is one the biggest fkups in the show.  His bff. Is Sam Tarley, another idiot.  Perfect pairing.  And to make it even better, he was blessed by the kiss of death, Meli and the lird of light.

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4 hours ago, Winter prince said:

I don't think the North would ever send a hostage to KL again

Agreed, and with the low number of characters remaining in the show, it probably wasn't something they wanted to bring up as an option anyway.

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8 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

You can't count on a true, honest man to always keep his word, and then expect him to lie at your convenience.

Jon was absolutely right to be honest, especially since we in hindsight know that Cersei planned on betraying them from the start, no matter if Jon promised to be neutral or not. This way, he's free to take part in the eventual war between Cersei and Daenerys. Otherwise he would've been honour bound to stay out of it.

Him sticking to the truth, when it's to their detriment, also cemented him as a 100% trustworthy man to Daenerys.
Her reaction to him pledging himself for her in front of everyone, may initially be to scold him slightly, but (and this has been confirmed by Emilia), her actual reaction is one of amazement and pride. He could've lied, perhaps he even should've lied, but he didn't - and she can't help but feeling extremely grateful for it. I don't want to derail the thread, but we do know what they ended up doing after this... ;)

 

 

 

Right on.  Jon had very little to gain from this lie.  He stays out the whole war and then what?  Cersei showers him with gratitude and makes him Warden of the North??  Even Jon is smart enough to see through that. She would only use it as a way to keep him idle so she can strike when she wants. His telling the truth proved his loyalty to Dany and like you said, that proved to be well worth it.

Dany's dragon didn't die for nothing, at least in the show, because this summit got Jamie to leave Cersei, and that will pay big dividends. Of course it doesn't go down like that in the books but we don't know how, or even if Dany loses a dragon in the books.

When I contrast Jon lying in this case to Ned lying about Jon they are totally different.  Ned lying to Robert about Jon being a bastard 100% guaranteed Jon would be safe in that regard.  Jon lying to Cersei guaranteed absolutely nothing.

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I think Jon made a good move not lying. At first I was thinking that he should've just lied too but his reasoning was great. He wants to bring everyone together. This is medieval times. Your word is important and when more and more people start lying then words won't mean anything anymore. Then who can you trust? And in a time like this especially they need to trust each other

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19 hours ago, Sielk said:

Apart from all the valid points you two made I don't think that it really mattered what Jon said in this moment. In my opinion Cersei never planned for a single minute to help Jon and Dany fighting the Others.

As soon as she recovered from the discovery that such a thing as wights really exists she probably began to develop the plan she later told to Jaime. It would be exactly like Cersei to underestimate a threat and instead try to let her enemies finish each other and I assumed even before the episode that this would be her reaction.

The only difference made by Jon's words was that she didn't pretend to work with them. Probably she decided to go back to her original plan when Tyrion gave her the chance but I just don't believe that Cersei would really consider working together with an enemy to fight another one. 

I thought it would have been helpful to explain to Cersei et al. that the 100s of thousands of wights are controlled by a magical race of human-like creatures that raise any dead creature, enthrall them, lead them in battle and can only be killed by Valyrian steel and/or Dragonglass as far as they know. I guess they figured just showing a frightening wight with no further information than "you can't negotiate with their generals and they're coming south" was enough.

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If Jon had lied Cersei would have known, the only better more accomplished liar and manipulator was about to get his throat slit at Winterfell.  Jon even looked over at Dany first, I mean come on, a lie after him looking right at her would have been completely stupid.  

Plus, Cersei was playing them all.  If Jon says he will not join the battle this gets out she forces Ned Stark's "son" to go back on his word.  Cersei needed Jon to make that vow.  That's why she walked off and said fuck it.  It would have been over at that point.  But Tyrion gave her another opportunity to play her game by coming to speak with her.  She freestyles, gives away she is pregnant on purpose by continuing to say us and our and we, not drinking the wine and rubbing her stomach to play on the fact that Tyrion knows she would do anything to protect her child; that as he has said in the past was Cersei's best quality, her love for her kids.  Cersei then could seize another opportunity to pull a double cross on her enemies like her father would, get them all in place (the North) and fortify her hold on everything else.  If the living defeat the dead she finishes off whatever living people are left, if the dead win, everyone is screwed anyway and she just flees the capitol and heads across the narrow sea somewhere else.  So I personally believe the outcome was completely by chance, but it was what Cersei had originally intended but with 1 minor setback, and that's Jon not agreeing to her terms. 

 

I thought it was interesting though that she addressed him as King in the North.  That should have told everyone right then and there that she was full of shit and trying to play Jon, so he absolutely did the right thing. She called a true blooded Targaryean a would be usurper with no claim, no claim?  And yet she addresses Jon as King in the North?  Everyone should have picked up on that tell especially Tyrion.  When, since this entire series has began has Cersei ever recognized anyone else's claim to anything, and she does it to Jon, a bastard for all she knows.  

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1 minute ago, Ser Hyle said:

I thought it would have been helpful to explain to Cersei et al. that the wights currently number in the 100s of thousands and are controlled by a magical race of human-like creatures that raise any dead creature, enthrall them, lead them in battle and can only be killed by Valyrian steel and/or Dragonglass as far as they know. I guess they figured just showing a frightening wight with no further information than "you can't negotiate with their generals and they're coming south" was enough.

I really don't think overloading Cersei with info about the White Walkers would be remotely helpful lol.  You just showed her a freaking zombie that tried to kill her.  Clearly she was freaked out by it and scared out of her mind.  Dumping a bunch of info on her that she can't see with her own eyes is not nearly as powerful as that visceral experience of seeing the wight up-close.  If that doesn't work, nothing will.

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No way should he have lied! They don't need Cersei. Both Jon and Dany were WAY to easy on her. She basically spoke down to them the entire time and they appeared almost timid and afraid. People like Cersei feed off of that.

Eurons there with his full strength. You tell her if she doesn't agree to the truce you're gonna torch his entire fleet at bay. She's useless without that fleet

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8 minutes ago, UnViserion said:

No way should he have lied! They don't need Cersei. Both Jon and Dany were WAY to easy on her. She basically spoke down to them the entire time and they appeared almost timid and afraid. People like Cersei feed off of that.

Eurons there with his full strength. You tell her if she doesn't agree to the truce you're gonna torch his entire fleet at bay. She's useless without that fleet

They need to come at her as peacefully as possible. If Jon and dany fight the white walkers with their own armies they're likely to lose a lot of men assuming they win. If they aren't on good terms with cersei then they will be vulnerable with their weakened army and cersei will attack them

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30 minutes ago, Ser Hyle said:

I thought it would have been helpful to explain to Cersei et al. that the wights currently number in the 100s of thousands and are controlled by a magical race of human-like creatures that raise any dead creature, enthrall them, lead them in battle and can only be killed by Valyrian steel and/or Dragonglass as far as they know. I guess they figured just showing a frightening wight with no further information than "you can't negotiate with their generals and they're coming south" was enough.

I get frustrated too with Jon and even Sam when he was in the Citadel when they tell people oblivious to the army dead about them.  They keep saying, "I've seen them" or "They won't stop till everyone is dead' over and over again.  For Jon wanting everyone to fight this battle so much he is the worst salesmen ever.  You're not talking about growing vegetables, you're talking about something nobody has ever seen or may even believe.  Go into some greater detail, pitch the idea with all that experience you have fighting them.

27 minutes ago, SerJeremiahLouistark said:

If Jon had lied Cersei would have known, the only better more accomplished liar and manipulator was about to get his throat slit at Winterfell.  Jon even looked over at Dany first, I mean come on, a lie after him looking right at her would have been completely stupid.  

Plus, Cersei was playing them all.  If Jon says he will not join the battle this gets out she forces Ned Stark's "son" to go back on his word.  Cersei needed Jon to make that vow.  That's why she walked off and said fuck it.  It would have been over at that point.  But Tyrion gave her another opportunity to play her game by coming to speak with her.  She freestyles, gives away she is pregnant on purpose by continuing to say us and our and we, not drinking the wine and rubbing her stomach to play on the fact that Tyrion knows she would do anything to protect her child; that as he has said in the past was Cersei's best quality, her love for her kids.  Cersei then could seize another opportunity to pull a double cross on her enemies like her father would, get them all in place (the North) and fortify her hold on everything else.  If the living defeat the dead she finishes off whatever living people are left, if the dead win, everyone is screwed anyway and she just flees the capitol and heads across the narrow sea somewhere else.  So I personally believe the outcome was completely by chance, but it was what Cersei had originally intended but with 1 minor setback, and that's Jon not agreeing to her terms. 

 

I thought it was interesting though that she addressed him as King in the North.  That should have told everyone right then and there that she was full of shit and trying to play Jon, so he absolutely did the right thing. She called a true blooded Targaryean a would be usurper with no claim, no claim?  And yet she addresses Jon as King in the North?  Everyone should have picked up on that tell especially Tyrion.  When, since this entire series has began has Cersei ever recognized anyone else's claim to anything, and she does it to Jon, a bastard for all she knows.  

Good observation, you are spot on about Cersei.

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1 hour ago, Tagganaro said:

I really don't think overloading Cersei with info about the White Walkers would be remotely helpful lol.  You just showed her a freaking zombie that tried to kill her.  Clearly she was freaked out by it and scared out of her mind.  Dumping a bunch of info on her that she can't see with her own eyes is not nearly as powerful as that visceral experience of seeing the wight up-close.  If that doesn't work, nothing will.

But you thought not sharing this incredibly important information was useful? lol Useful for Cersei in fooling them into thinking she was going to ally with them perhaps.

She was so "freaked out and scared out of her mind" as you put it, she used the zombie show as a pretext to double-cross her political enemies while ignoring the threat of the undead.

Showing someone a zombie and asking them to put aside all politics to fight 'the greater threat' is just a little bit meaningful when a little more context beyond 'look - zombies exist' is provided.

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9 hours ago, Maid So Fair said:

The big question is why is everyone so convinced that the Starks are incapable of telling a lie or why Jon himself considers this the highest priority.

Cersei was a first-hand witness to Ned lying to save Sansa. Before that, she knows he did not expose her to dying Robert. Maybe Jon feels as strongly about the ear against the WW as Ned did for his children? Especially since WW directly threaten his family?

Then Robb, a son of Ned Stark, famously broke his betrothal.

Jon himself is a known deserter from the Night's Watch. His very presence at the meeting as KitN makes him an oathbreaker. Yet Cersei is willing to take his word for it? And a man who abandoned his post to continue the war by other means and win back his family home suddenly thinks that lying to a woman who murdered his father and abused his sister and who is a representative of a family and regime that had his brother murdered in the breach of guest right would be beyond the pale? 

Yeah the show hasn't been very good with deeper details. In the books we have Robb deciding to disinherit Sansa and all other siblings and nominating Jon as his heir for King in the North in his will as "the only brother left to me" (he thinks Sansa would be used by Tywin to get the North instead). Robb even has a plan on how to get him out of the Night's Watch (and refers to Barristan Selmy's exit from the Kingsguard as a precedent). None of this shows up in the show. 

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1 hour ago, House Rootbreaker said:

I get frustrated too with Jon and even Sam when he was in the Citadel when they tell people oblivious to the army dead about them.  They keep saying, "I've seen them" or "They won't stop till everyone is dead' over and over again.  For Jon wanting everyone to fight this battle so much he is the worst salesmen ever.  You're not talking about growing vegetables, you're talking about something nobody has ever seen or may even believe.  Go into some greater detail, pitch the idea with all that experience you have fighting them.

At least on this the show is consistent. Neither Starks nor Targaryens have ever been great negotiators. Remember Jon is the same guy who went to Hardhome and responded to questions about Mance Rayder by saying that he had killed him. Tormund (seriously) had to come to his defense to tell the wildlings that it was not murder but an act of mercy to save him from a terrible death.

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I mean, Jon Snow has lied in the show before, several times. Even broke his vows and did somethings that were not "honorable"

I don't know why all of a sudden it has all changed. Everything for seven seasons was revolved around the WW apocalypse. Now it's all about some girl he met a few episodes ago and has been able to hang out with for a few weeks. Makes sense..

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