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How good a swordsman is Jon actually?

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1 hour ago, Byfort of Corfe said:

Just my opinion but based on what I have seen (and realizing that Jon is as good as the writers need him to be) he definitely could not have won against pre-amputee Jaime.  He would have also lost to the Clegane Boys, Sylvio would have sliced and diced him.  I don't think that he would have stood a chance against Sir Arthur Dane and probably would have lost to Barristan Selmy in his prime.  He might not even have been as good as Eddard Stark. 

 

To take it outside of Westeros and ASOIAF I think that  you would have had to go deep into the Round Table before you found someone he could actually beat.  Of course any of Dumas' Four Musketeers would have easily taken Jon's Lunch Money, as would Rochfort.  (I include Dumas because that is essentially the fencing that Silvio is teaching Arya). A Japanese samurai would also probably have won.  

 

Frankly I was surprised at what Ramsay said about Jon's skill as nothing that I have seen so far in the series has shown Jon to be particularly outstanding.  He always seems to win by luck, he is always rescued at the last second.  

Well, I guess Ramsay means that when it comes to Jon's current competition. Arthur and Barristan are dead, Jaime is sans his sword hand, Syrio is (presumably) dead, The Mountain fights with his hands by ripping off heads Sub-Zero style, no one knows the Hound is alive and Loras hasn't shown any particular fighting ability with the sword.

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On 12/11/2017 at 9:26 PM, Angel Eyes said:

Well, I guess Ramsay means that when it comes to Jon's current competition. Arthur and Barristan are dead, Jaime is sans his sword hand, Syrio is (presumably) dead, The Mountain fights with his hands by ripping off heads Sub-Zero style, no one knows the Hound is alive and Loras hasn't shown any particular fighting ability with the sword.

Well, if the Jon that I have seen is the best than the quality of swordsmanship has pretty much hit rock bottom.  Jon had better hope that Daario doesn't show up to challenge him for Dany's hand.  How about Brienne or maybe even Arya?  Both are living in Westeros and both could probably slice and dice "the best swordsman who ever lived".

Edited by Byfort of Corfe

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On 12/17/2017 at 7:47 PM, Giomax said:

Who do you think would win in a sword fight: Jon or Jorah?

I think Jorah has the greater skill but Jon's speed and endurance would give him the win. I also believe Jon is better at adapting to different fight settings.

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What I find frustrating with Jon are the showmakers desire to have him go one step forward/one step backwards.

He was great at Hardhome (the ending of which is still my favourite scene/moment from the entire series) but he then had to be rescued in the Battle of the Bastards and was thoroughly out-manouvered without nothing to offer.

And then in the mission behind the wall, he didn't seem to lead or take charge of the fight on the lake until they were all ready to leave. So when the zombies are pouring across the lake, he's seemingly having a crisis of confidence contemplating the futility of their situation, yet when Dany arrives and they are ready to leave suddenly he can't get enough of killing the zombies, showing off to Dany and feeling that he needs to clear a 10 metre circle of walkers before they can leave.

I just wish they could show him as being more switched on in fights - having him recognise the Bolton trap before lamely getting comprised and having to be embarrassingly rescued, having him suggest breaking the ice on the lake before the second assault or him being the one to see Tormund in trouble and pull him from the hordes.

I just wish they would SHOW us him being cool in battle rather than TELLING us how cool he is.

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On 11/01/2018 at 11:46 AM, Payne by name said:

I just wish they would SHOW us him being cool in battle rather than TELLING us how cool he is

They go the Michael Bay approach and think there's no need to show real competence as long as there's action and explosions.

Jon's certainly not done much as a leader in S7 except for bone Dany for super-duper diplomat points.

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As a swordsman he is likely the equal to Ned. Competent in battle, not for show. Jon has seen as many battles as any man who is alive at this point so he has tons of experience and doesn't just fight like a knight, he fights ugly as well.

On ‎1‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 9:33 AM, Beardy the Wildling said:

They go the Michael Bay approach and think there's no need to show real competence as long as there's action and explosions.

Jon's certainly not done much as a leader in S7 except for bone Dany for super-duper diplomat points.

Not much. Just united the North again. Has all of the North preparing for battle, including women and children. Used diplomacy to get the dragon glass needed to kill the others and wights. Led an expedition that found out killing a wight also kills the walkers he controls. United with the ruler who has the largest and most powerful army in the known world. Yep, not much.

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On 14/02/2018 at 4:31 AM, dbunting said:

Not much. Just united the North again.

You're fucking kidding, right? He abandoned the North to mine dragonglass... with an entourage of five people who couldn't possibly mine a significant amount of dragonglass. And the literal moment he left, the Northern Lords were squabbling over whether to crown Sansa instead, who's fighting in what, and shrugging off the death of the Lord Protector of the Vale.

The Northern Lords are fickle weather vanes; Jon knows this, yet he still went south to get some hot aunt-on-nephew boatsex.

Also, his expedition was moronic, as literally everyone, even fans of the show, have pointed out. Him suggesting a truce with Cersei and somehow thinking the wight would convince her, even though there's nothing to gain from the already-beaten foe, is moronic. Heck, he even fucked up the negotiations willingly despite the fact his expedition cost them a dragon with his whole 'I won't swear loyalty to you, Cersei' bullshit.

The only things Jon did right this season were swinging his sword around, getting dragons killed, magically becoming immune to hypothermia, boning his aunt, and magically deducing that Gendry was Sonic the Hedgehog. In terms of other fortuitous circumstances, like him actually surviving and Dany not hating his guts for wasting his time being a hero in the snow and getting one of her dragons killed, well... that's the writers gifting Jon Snow for being the moneymaker for all the Game of Thrones posters. Having him face actual consequences would make him less of a handsome cardboard placeholder for every sad, unfulfilled man who wants to be him.

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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14 hours ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

You're fucking kidding, right? He abandoned the North to mine dragonglass... with an entourage of five people who couldn't possibly mine a significant amount of dragonglass. And the literal moment he left, the Northern Lords were squabbling over whether to crown Sansa instead, who's fighting in what, and shrugging off the death of the Lord Protector of the Vale.

The Northern Lords are fickle weather vanes; Jon knows this, yet he still went south to get some hot aunt-on-nephew boatsex.

Also, his expedition was moronic, as literally everyone, even fans of the show, have pointed out. Him suggesting a truce with Cersei and somehow thinking the wight would convince her, even though there's nothing to gain from the already-beaten foe, is moronic. Heck, he even fucked up the negotiations willingly despite the fact his expedition cost them a dragon with his whole 'I won't swear loyalty to you, Cersei' bullshit.

The only things Jon did right this season were swinging his sword around, getting dragons killed, magically becoming immune to hypothermia, boning his aunt, and magically deducing that Gendry was Sonic the Hedgehog. In terms of other fortuitous circumstances, like him actually surviving and Dany not hating his guts for wasting his time being a hero in the snow and getting one of her dragons killed, well... that's the writers gifting Jon Snow for being the moneymaker for all the Game of Thrones posters. Having him face actual consequences would make him less of a handsome cardboard placeholder for every sad, unfulfilled man who wants to be him.

He clearly abandoned his people just to run off and have hot Aunt boat sex. I mean, that was clearly his plan all along. Not to go to the place he knows has dragon glass and to try to form an alliance with the person who has the strongest army of all.

And him NOT being true to who he has been the entire series would make no sense. Him trying to do the honrable thing, like Ned, and not lying to Cersei about pledging to Dany. Everyone would have screamed bloody murder for Jon suddenly changing who he is. D&D would have been lambasted if they had Jon behave like a saavy political person  and you know it.

As to Jon not facing actual consequences, hello, he is the hero, of course he has plot armor! In the books he survives ranging past the wall, battling wildlings, wights, etc. So I assume book Jon receives as much scorn from you since he did all those things plus has Crows talking to him in code and he can warg? How many special gifts can one character get?

The frozen lake thing and reunion at the wall while Dany watched for him was weak as hell, no doubt about it, they could just as easily had BenJen ride in and save him and Jon get on a dragon while BenJen died, but they chose another cheesier way.

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6 hours ago, dbunting said:

He clearly abandoned his people just to run off and have hot Aunt boat sex. I mean, that was clearly his plan all along. Not to go to the place he knows has dragon glass and to try to form an alliance with the person who has the strongest army of all.

I know he obviously never intended for boatsex, but if he wanted to mine Dragonglass, he could have brought... well, way more than five people. 

6 hours ago, dbunting said:

So I assume book Jon receives as much scorn from you since he did all those things plus has Crows talking to him in code and he can warg? How many special gifts can one character get?

While he's survived ranging past the wall, so has: Dolorous Edd, Sam Tarly, Pipp, Grenn (the list goes on). While it's dangerous, it's not suicidal. Including S6's Battle of the Bastards, almost everything Jon Snow has done has been either physical or political suicide. Why not send an envoy? Literally everyone, even in-universe, was screaming at him.

6 hours ago, dbunting said:

D&D would have been lambasted if they had Jon behave like a saavy political person  and you know it.

I think the showrunners are going for 'dumb is good' with Jon Snow, ignoring the fact that one of the things Jon Snow was learning before contracting a deadly case of knife-in-gut was shrewd political negotiations... and chiefly, it was when Jon decided 'fuck it, I'm going to prioritise my emotions over my duty' that Bowen Marsh and the likes turned on him (instead of Alliser 'I really hate wildlings so I'll let them through the wall then stab Jon Snow' Thorne stabbing Jon because... Olly's village got sacked, or something).

Of course, Jon Snow has got a few free passes in the books, and at times they were... suspiciously fortuitous. However, it's never reached the levels of 'rewarding a character for abysmal stupidity' as Jon's been receiving as of late. There's irritating, but tolerable, and outright egregious.

As I put it in another thread: In the books, the writer doesn't cheat to make the good guys win.

In the show, the writers cheat to make the bad guys win, unless it's Jon Snow, in which case they cheat to make Jon win.

6 hours ago, dbunting said:

The frozen lake thing and reunion at the wall while Dany watched for him was weak as hell, no doubt about it, they could just as easily had BenJen ride in and save him and Jon get on a dragon while BenJen died, but they chose another cheesier way

I think this is a major gripe I have with the show. Okay, poor decisions in earlier seasons (like never establishing Jon Snow is improving at politics) will force the writers into a hole and thus they have to make him a blithering idiot, but there are some cases, like the big gay wight polar bear or Jon choosing to not climb on Drogon so deus-ex-Benjen can come in and save him, that I have to wonder.

Are D&D deliberately going with the worst possible option to troll viewers? To see how much stupid shit they can get away with before people cotton on? I mean, most people have only just started to cotton on after the wight hunt that maybe the writing in the show has slipped, despite people like me seeing a decline as early as Season 5.

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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13 minutes ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

As I put it in another thread: In the books, the writer doesn't cheat to make the good guys win.

In the show, the writers cheat to make the bad guys win, unless it's Jon Snow, in which case they cheat to make Jon win.

First off, congrats on actually responding with thought and not just ranting like most people do!

Secondly. so the books don't give the good guys cheat codes to win? Like Valayrian super steal, dragons, warg abilities, all seeing 3 eyed raven, Arya being recruited to the top assassin crew in the world as a 12-13 year old? Feels a lot like cheats to me.

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19 minutes ago, dbunting said:

Secondly. so the books don't give the good guys cheat codes to win? Like Valayrian super steal, dragons, warg abilities, all seeing 3 eyed raven, Arya being recruited to the top assassin crew in the world as a 12-13 year old? Feels a lot like cheats to me.

These are all fortuitous, admittedly, but semi-plausible within the rules of the universe established. Valyrian super steel is used by all factions, regardless of morality (one of its first uses in-story was by a catspaw trying to kill Bran), and Arya helped out a faceless man before and demonstrated quick wit and a tendency to disguise herself while in front of said faceless man. It makes sense she'd be considered as a candidate. I always got the feeling the Faceless Men started their initiations young, what with needing to brainwash the fuck out of them.

As for Bran and his warg powers... yes, I'll admit, this does smack of supar-dupar-chosen-one BS. And if Jon's resurrection in the books is as no-strings-attached as it was in the show, I'll put Winds of Winter the fuck down and admit it's jumped the shark. However, at least with the former, I think we're heading into deconstruction territory; Bran is so important, so magical, yet is also a young child who may as well just be a hyper-powerful pawn in some endgame the mysterious three-eyed-crow isn't saying. Certainly feels like Bran's purpose is headed towards a dark twist rather than the magical heroics route.

So while there are facets of tired tropes in the books, for the most part they work to subvert, deconstruct, or twist them in some fashion. But as I said, if Jon comes back and becomes a supar-dupar-undead hero, then fuck it. GRRM's just as terrible at writing as D&D, just a better worldbuilder.

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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17 hours ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

As for Bran and his warg powers... yes, I'll admit, this does smack of supar-dupar-chosen-one BS. And if Jon's resurrection in the books is as no-strings-attached as it was in the show, I'll put Winds of Winter the fuck down and admit it's jumped the shark. However, at least with the former, I think we're heading into deconstruction territory; Bran is so important, so magical, yet is also a young child who may as well just be a hyper-powerful pawn in some endgame the mysterious three-eyed-crow isn't saying. Certainly feels like Bran's purpose is headed towards a dark twist rather than the magical heroics route.

 

Don't forget in the books Jon also has warg ability, hasn't used it as much but it's there as well as seer(?) abilities, the tree scene north of the wall for example, unless it was Bran reacing out to him and I am confused. In the books Jon has more special gifts than he does in the show. So by that measure the show has actually shown restraint from giving Jon special abilities to survive compared to the books.

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On 28/02/2018 at 3:58 AM, dbunting said:

In the books Jon has more special gifts than he does in the show. So by that measure the show has actually shown restraint from giving Jon special abilities to survive compared to the books.

Aside from his warging, no, I'd say the show's been more favourable. Because implausible writing to favour the survival of a character isn't a DBZ/RPG-like list of powers, but instead how the universe reacts to a character's actions.

Jon gets stabbed to death by randomly xenophobic assholes? Melisandre brings him back from the grave, and unlike Beric, this has zero effect on his personality other than a few other characters saying 'he's kind of broody' (protip: If you're using random characters as mouthpieces to desperately indicate a character has trait X, you're doing a bad job of showing trait X).

Jon uses his authority as Lord Commander to execute his killers in blatant personal revenge, then conveniently remembers the Night's Watch loophole and claims his watch has ended, then has the gall to claim he's just going to 'get warm' to Edd? No-one bats an eye at this, nor at the fact there's a literal zombie walking around unchecked during a zombie apocalypse (the only one to note this is Edd, once, and it's dropped immediately).

Jon makes the moronic decision not to wait for the Cerwyns or accept Sansa's vale help? He 'fights with the army he has', but thankfully, Sansa helped him out anyway, making sure he never suffers consequences.

Jon Snow charges into Ramsay Bolton's immaculate trap? He survives due to fate favouring him as being one of the ones that held out until the Vale knights came, despite all the ways he could have got himself killed. Not only that, but despite being the one that nearly got them all killed, and Sansa being the one to save them all, the Northern Lords reward Jon's stupidity by crowning him King in the North.

Jon Snow leads an idiotic quest beyond the wall? A dragon dies, but not Jonny Boy (it should also be noted that all but Thoros in the wight hunt had egregious plot armour, given how wights were once hard to kill).

Daenerys tries to pick him up, and Jonny makes the idiotic decision to keep fighting, and thus ends up falling into freezing water? Jonny Boy is immune to hypothermia (despite there being no foreshadowing for this mysterious power, unlike, say, his warging in the books)

 A cold, somehow not hypothermic Jon is surrounded by previously-established-to-be-hard-to-kill zombies? The universe itself bends to his will and it just so happens Benjen-ex-Machina is there.

Jon fucks up diplomatic negotiations with a woman not above blowing up her political and religious enemies in a fire and having her undead slave rape a septa? He's somehow not killed on the spot by this ruthless villain (at least this is justified by Drogon being around).

So while Book!Jon may have more magical powers, there are plenty of characters in aSoIaF that have magical powers, good and evil (magic is just more common in the bookverse). Euron, an absolute monster, has magic in the books. Victarion, neutral at best, has been bestowed magic. Pyat Pree and his warlocks show that mages in aSoIaF aren't nearly as powerful as one would think, as they were both defeated by Daenerys and enslaved by Euron.

What makes the show 'cheat for Jon' isn't what the scouter says about his power level. It's about how many times the universe bails him out of his bad decisions; while Jon has been lucky from time to time in the books, he's never been this consistently rewarded for being a blithering idiot (which, incidentally, he isn't in the books).

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 5:49 AM, Beardy the Wildling said:

Aside from his warging, no, I'd say the show's been more favourable. Because implausible writing to favour the survival of a character isn't a DBZ/RPG-like list of characters, but instead how the universe reacts to a character's actions.

Jon gets stabbed to death by randomly xenophobic assholes? Melisandre brings him back from the grave, and unlike Beric, this has zero effect on his personality other than a few other characters saying 'he's kind of broody' (protip: If you're using random characters as mouthpieces to desperately indicate a character has trait X, you're doing a bad job of showing trait X).

Jon uses his authority as Lord Commander to execute his killers in blatant personal revenge, then conveniently remembers the Night's Watch loophole and claims his watch has ended, then has the gall to claim he's just going to 'get warm' to Edd? No-one bats an eye at this, nor at the fact there's a literal zombie walking around unchecked during a zombie apocalypse (the only one to note this is Edd, once, and it's dropped immediately).

Jon makes the moronic decision not to wait for the Cerwyns or accept Sansa's vale help? He 'fights with the army he has', but thankfully, Sansa helped him out anyway, making sure he never suffers consequences.

Jon Snow charges into Ramsay Bolton's immaculate trap? He survives due to fate favouring him as being one of the ones that held out until the Vale knights came, despite all the ways he could have got himself killed. Not only that, but despite being the one that nearly got them all killed, and Sansa being the one to save them all, the Northern Lords reward Jon's stupidity by crowning him King in the North.

Jon Snow leads an idiotic quest beyond the wall? A dragon dies, but not Jonny Boy (it should also be noted that all but Thoros in the wight hunt had egregious plot armour, given how wights were once hard to kill).

Daenerys tries to pick him up, and Jonny makes the idiotic decision to keep fighting, and thus ends up falling into freezing water? Jonny Boy is immune to hypothermia (despite there being no foreshadowing for this mysterious power, unlike, say, his warging in the books)

 A cold, somehow not hypothermic Jon is surrounded by previously-established-to-be-hard-to-kill zombies? The universe itself bends to his will and it just so happens Benjen-ex-Machina is there.

Jon fucks up diplomatic negotiations with a woman not above blowing up her political and religious enemies in a fire and having her undead slave rape a septa? He's somehow not killed on the spot by this ruthless villain (at least this is justified by Drogon being around).

So while Book!Jon may have more magical powers, there are plenty of characters in aSoIaF that have magical powers, good and evil (magic is just more common in the bookverse). Euron, an absolute monster, has magic in the books. Victarion, neutral at best, has been bestowed magic. Pyat Pree and his warlocks show that mages in aSoIaF aren't nearly as powerful as one would think, as they were both defeated by Daenerys and enslaved by Euron.

What makes the show 'cheat for Jon' isn't what the scouter says about his power level. It's about how many times the universe bails him out of his bad decisions; while Jon has been lucky from time to time in the books, he's never been this consistently rewarded for being a blithering idiot (which, incidentally, he isn't in the books).

Don't forget that book Jon is still dead. So to me you cannot then compare anything in the show that happened after he died because we don't know what book Jon will be doing. It could be called equally cheating if book Jon does jump to Ghost to "live" for a while, or Melisandre saves Jon and he doesn't truly change much. I mean, how much did Beric change after dying once? We don't know because we didn't see it, only saw it after he had died multiple times, and the source material clearly states he changes more after each time. So IMO, it's unfair to compare once dead Jon to multi death Beric. 

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On 03/03/2018 at 1:02 AM, dbunting said:

Don't forget that book Jon is still dead. So to me you cannot then compare anything in the show that happened after he died because we don't know what book Jon will be doing.

And as I said, if he comes back from the dead and the universe winds up bending 9001 different ways to serve Jon in the books, I'll happily put the books down, say it's jumped the shark, and give up on aSoIaF.

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