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Richard Hoffman

“For the watch”

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I just finished my rewatch-reread of the entire series and something that stuck out to me in A Dance with Dragons,

“For the Watch.” Wick slashed at him again. This time Jon caught his wrist and bent his arm back until he dropped the dagger. The gangling steward backed away, his hands upraised as if to say, Not me, it was not me. Jon reached for longclaw, but his fingers had grown stiff and clumsy. Somehow he could not seem to get the sword free of its scabbard. 

 

This is is something I’ve never understood, sure these guys probably care a great deal for the watch but ultimately they sided against Jon because of their hatred for wildlings, who for the most part were now on the south side of the wall and outnumbered the nights watch greatly. Knowing this, why would these men murder Jon in front of dozens if not hundreds of people? Sure in the confusion he made himself open to the blades but these men could just have easily pushed him off the wall or stabbed him in the back.

 

They also knew that Jon had overwhelming support after just leaving the hall and hearing hundreds of men shout in support of the lord commander, yet knowing all of this and knowing without a doubt that their lives would be forfeit they still stab him in front of all the witnesses? 

 

My question to you fine folk here, is it possible that the attackers were being warged? Or if not warged some other magic? Why couldn’t Jon get his blade out? He hadn’t been stabbed yet, and he wasn’t new to fighting. This part could be chalked up to shock I guess, but the stabbing of Jon snow still makes 0 sense to me as it accomplished nothing. 

 

Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Richard Hoffman said:

Thoughts?

I've also wondered about Bowen Marsh:

Quote

Then Bowen Marsh stood there before him, tears running down his cheeks. "For the Watch." He punched Jon in the belly. When he pulled his hand away, the dagger stayed where he had buried it.

Salt tears and smoking blood:

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Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger's hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the wound was smoking. "Ghost," he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold …

Wick denies responsibility for his actions and Bowen Marsh is weeping as he stabs Jon.  My first thought is that they were warged in some way and Borroq is the most suspicious waiting in the lichyard by the ancient tombs.  Although I wonder if he has had some vision when he tells Jon "they are coming".  I'm not sure that he means the Others are coming but rather someone is coming for Jon.

Melisandre also claims to have some knowledge of Jon's enemies and I've wondered why she doesn't come out and tell him if his life is in danger.  He must come to her for some reason before she will divulge the information. It suits her purpose not to tell him.  Given her ability to control Mance and Rattleshirt and create a glamor with the power of word that affects not only Mance but Jon as well; I wonder if she is behind the stabbing, the pink letter and whatever it is Mance is doing at Winterfell. 

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A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

Melisandre touched the ruby at her neck and spoke a word.

The sound echoed queerly from the corners of the room and twisted like a worm inside their ears. The wildling heard one word, the crow another. Neither was the word that left her lips. The ruby on the wildling's wrist darkened, and the wisps of light and shadow around him writhed and faded.

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A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

While the boy was gone, Melisandre washed herself and changed her robes. Her sleeves were full of hidden pockets, and she checked them carefully as she did every morning to make certain all her powders were in place. Powders to turn fire green or blue or silver, powders to make a flame roar and hiss and leap up higher than a man is tall, powders to make smoke. A smoke for truth, a smoke for lust, a smoke for fear, and the thick black smoke that could kill a man outright. The red priestess armed herself with a pinch of each of them.

The carved chest that she had brought across the narrow sea was more than three-quarters empty now. And while Melisandre had the knowledge to make more powders, she lacked many rare ingredients. My spells should suffice. She was stronger at the Wall, stronger even than in Asshai. Her every word and gesture was more potent, and she could do things that she had never done before. Such shadows as I bring forth here will be terrible, and no creature of the dark will stand before them. With such sorceries at her command, she should soon have no more need of the feeble tricks of alchemists and pyromancers.

Melisandre knows there is power in Jon which he will not use:

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A Dance with Dragons - Jon VI

The direwolf looked at him as if he were a stranger.

Jon frowned in disbelief. "That's … queer."

"You think so?" She knelt and scratched Ghost behind his ear. "Your Wall is a queer place, but there is power here, if you will use it. Power in you, and in this beast. You resist it, and that is your mistake. Embrace it. Use it."

Although Melisandre breaks the glamor on Mance; I'm not convinced that she has no hold over him.  People suspect that Mance is the author of the Pink Letter because of it's wording; the use of bastard and black crow.  But Ramsey's insistance on the return of Reek is all Ramsey.  I suspect that Mance and Ramsey wrote the letter together.  This would imply that Mance has gone over to Ramsey with an offer of a wildling army and a replay of the Lord of Winterfell and the King beyond the Wall joining forces to overthrow the Watch.  The message in the letter is not only aimed at goading Jon but the wildling fighters as well.  

Mance may well take charge of the wildlings when they arrive at Winterfell and join forces with Stannis to crush Ramsey.  Then we will see the King in the North and the King beyond the Wall joining forces and I dare say this is Melisandre's plan.     

 

Edited by LynnS

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There is a lot more to it than hatred of the wildlings. I suspect it is more to go with Jon wishing to march south to relieve Mance and rescue who he thinks is Arya. Plus, they think Stannis is dead, meaning a huge support system has been lost -- they put a lot of effort into fixing up the abandoned castles and what not, so panic arose. You also get the idea that these men really, really didn't want to do it. Bowen Marsh was crying after all, which shows he took no real assurance that what he was doing was right - he hated doing it.

Plus, you know that the moment Jon fell to the ground, Wun Wun, the other wildlings and the men still loyal to Jon are not going to take any prisoners. I fully suspect Marsh and Company die very soon for their insubordination and treason; one does not simply assassinate a Lord Commander.

Maybe Cersei and Qyburn's plan to assassinate Jon will come back into play.

@LynnS - you raise some interesting points, though, and it goes make me wonder if all of this was part of the plan. Like some fans, I suspect Mance wrote the Pink Letter, not Ramsay. Together with the "tell the Red Whore" and the fact that Melisandre willingly saved Mance and sent him on the mission -- it does make me wonder if they factored in the possibility of Jon being killed.

EDIT: Melisandre seems to sense a power in Jon as well as the danger towards him -- maybe she thinks killing him will achieve something, or perhaps killing and resurrecting him, presuming she is the one to do it.

Edited by Faera

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2 hours ago, Richard Hoffman said:

Thoughts?

Hello.  This is an interesting topic and one that we have discussed many times.  Here are some interesting links to those discussions =>

Jon was terminated because his actions were:

  1. Treason - he sent the wildling outlaw Mance Rayder to steal Arya from the Boltons.  This is an act of war that Jon started.
  2. Unjust - he killed Janos Slynt for a minor offense.  He later let Mance Rayder walk from much, much more horrible crimes and sent him on an illegal mission.
  3. Destructive to the Watch and the Realm - picking a fight with the ruling house of the north is not what you do if you want to prepare for the white walkers.  Jon put Arya's safety ahead of the safety of the realm.  
  4. Jon was about to commit an atrocity.  Jon was getting ready to lead an army of wildlings against the ruling noble house of the north and their men.  

Bowen Marsh and his crew were very much justified in removing Jon from office.  There was no other way to stop Jon from riding and escalating his war with the Boltons.  Marsh had no other choice but to do what they did and Jon was deserving of it.

Firing Jon from his job was something that needed to be done and Marsh did it in the only way available to him.

Edited by Widowmaker 811

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11 minutes ago, Faera said:

@LynnS - you raise some interesting points, though, and it goes make me wonder if all of this was part of the plan. Like some fans, I suspect Mance wrote the Pink Letter, not Ramsey. Together with the "tell the Red Whore" and the fact that Melisandre willingly saved Mance and sent him on the mission -- it does make me wonder if they factored in the possibility of Jon being killed.

She doesn't seem overly concerned about his enemies and I suspect his stabbing serves some purpose of hers.  The question is how the wildlings will react to Jon's death and the threat to Mance.  Her main focus is still Stannis whom she believes to be AA reborn.  She wants Stannis to be triumphant. 

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6 minutes ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

Hello.  This is an interesting topic and one that we have discussed many times.  Here are some interesting links to those discussions =>

Jon was terminated because his actions were:

  1. Treason - he sent the wildling outlaw Mance Rayder to steal Arya from the Boltons.  This is an act of war that Jon started.
  2. Unjust - he killed Janos Slynt for a minor offense.  He later let Mance Rayder walk from much, much more horrible crimes and sent him on an illegal mission.
  3. Destructive to the Watch and the Realm - picking a fight with the ruling house of the north is not what you do if you want to prepare for the white walkers.  Jon put Arya's safety ahead of the safety of the realm.  
  4. Jon was about to commit an atrocity.  Jon was getting ready to lead an army of wildlings against the ruling noble house of the north and their men.  

Bowen Marsh and his crew were very much justified in removing Jon from office.  There was no other way to stop Jon from riding and escalating his war with the Boltons.  Marsh had no other choice but to do what they did and Jon was deserving of it.

Firing Jon from his job was something that needed to be done and Marsh did it in the only way available to him.

 

While those are valid points it still makes 0 sense. Jon had the support of the wildlings and still had loyal supporters in the watch and Marsh risks the complete and total destruction of the nights watch by his actions. Jon was the glue that held that peace together and I just can’t wrap my head around it. 

Still, the question isn’t the motives, the question is why pick the worst time and place to actually pull it off? 

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2 minutes ago, Richard Hoffman said:

 

While those are valid points it still makes 0 sense. Jon had the support of the wildlings and still had loyal supporters in the watch and Marsh risks the complete and total destruction of the nights watch by his actions. Jon was the glue that held that peace together and I just can’t wrap my head around it. 

Still, the question isn’t the motives, the question is why pick the worst time and place to actually pull it off? 

Jon was not the glue that was holding the watch after he sent the wildlings to take Arya from Ramsay.  That one act tore down the wall and the night's watch.  Jon dragged the night's watch into his war with Ramsay.  Bear in mind that Jon should not have any war with Ramsay for any reason whatsoever.  Jon became the one-man wrecking crew that destroyed the night's watch.  All Bowen Marsh and the other loyal men were trying to do is to prevent Jon from making the situation any worse than what he had already made it.  Killing Jon was necessary and it may allow the night's watch to prevent more conflict with the Boltons.  They can send Jon's head to Ramsay and say they cleaned house, got rid of their traitor commander, and will not push their nose into Bolton affairs any more.  

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

She doesn't seem overly concerned about his enemies and I suspect his stabbing serves some purpose of hers.  The question is how the wildlings will react to Jon's death and the threat to Mance.  Her main focus is still Stannis whom she believes to be AA reborn.  She wants Stannis to be triumphant. 

If I recall correctly she has seen the danger coming for Jon, that he will go from a man to wolf and back to a man, and she has seen his face whenever she has asked to see AA. So, she might well have got it into her head that Jon needs to die and come back in order to aid Stannis in a warped way.

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1 hour ago, Richard Hoffman said:

 

While those are valid points it still makes 0 sense. Jon had the support of the wildlings and still had loyal supporters in the watch and Marsh risks the complete and total destruction of the nights watch by his actions. Jon was the glue that held that peace together and I just can’t wrap my head around it. 

Still, the question isn’t the motives, the question is why pick the worst time and place to actually pull it off? 

They could have just decided it's now or never and it would turn into a suicide mission so it makes some sense in that way. What is more interesting is, as you pointed out, they do not seem to have free will while they are doing this. Wick able to only graze Jon's neck and when disarmed acting as if trying to say not me? Bowen Marsh attacking him with tears running down his cheeks and not able to pull his blade back from Jon's body? On Bowen's part I think he gained some control of his body and left the blade so as not to do any more damage.

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19 minutes ago, Faera said:

If I recall correctly she has seen the danger coming for Jon, that he will go from a man to wolf and back to a man, and she has seen his face whenever she has asked to see AA. So, she might well have got it into her head that Jon needs to die and come back in order to aid Stannis in a warped way.

She goes so far as to say that she can name names.  Specifically she asks to see R'hllor's instrument and king and is shown Jon Snow rather than Stannis.

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A Dance with Dragons - Melisandre I

Three tallow candles burned upon her windowsill to keep the terrors of the night at bay. Four more flickered beside her bed, two to either side. In the hearth a fire was kept burning day and night. The first lesson those who would serve her had to learn was that the fire must never, ever be allowed to go out.

The red priestess closed her eyes and said a prayer, then opened them once more to face the hearthfire. One more time. She had to be certain. Many a priest and priestess before her had been brought down by false visions, by seeing what they wished to see instead of what the Lord of Light had sent. Stannis was marching south into peril, the king who carried the fate of the world upon his shoulders, Azor Ahai reborn. Surely R'hllor would vouchsafe her a glimpse of what awaited him. Show me Stannis, Lord, she prayed. Show me your king, your instrument.

Dany is the one who seems to fit the requirements for AA as far as Mel can interpret them.  The prophecy also involves waking the great stone dragon and hatching dragon eggs.  Melisandre believe she can do this if she has the right blood sacrifice.

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A Storm of Swords - Davos V

"There are no gods save R'hllor and the Other, whose name must not be spoken." Melisandre's mouth made a hard red line. "And small men curse what they cannot understand."

"I am a small man," Davos admitted, "so tell me why you need this boy Edric Storm to wake your great stone dragon, my lady." He was determined to say the boy's name as often as he could.

"Only death can pay for life, my lord. A great gift requires a great sacrifice."

It may be that Jon is a stand-in for Edric Storm as far as Melisandre's plans for Stannis require Jon's death, a great sacrifice given that she knows that there is power in Jon.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Davos IV

He does not use the boy's name. That made Davos very uneasy. "I hope young Edric will recover soon."

Stannis waved a hand, dismissing his concern. "It is a chill, no more. He coughs, he shivers, he has a fever. Maester Pylos will soon set him right. By himself the boy is nought, you understand, but in his veins flows my brother's blood. There is power in a king's blood, she says."

 

Edited by LynnS

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4 hours ago, LynnS said:

My first thought is that they were warged in some way and Borroq is the most suspicious waiting in the lichyard by the ancient tombs. 

Borroq was still inside the Shieldhall when this goes down and plans on riding with Jon to Winterfell with Toregg and Soren among others. I don't think he has anything to do with it, but him taking up residence in the lichyard is certainly interesting. 

If they are warged, it might be coming from someone who will be more powerful than Borroq. I'd be surprised if they are though. 

2 hours ago, LynnS said:

She doesn't seem overly concerned about his enemies and I suspect his stabbing serves some purpose of hers. 

I disagree with this. She seems concerned about Jon and tells him that she sees daggers about him, that he needs to keep Ghost with him, she tells him she can give him the names of the people who threaten him. 

She wants Jon for something, she says she needs him, but I have very serious doubts that she wants him dead or harmed. 

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Her main focus is still Stannis whom she believes to be AA reborn.  She wants Stannis to be triumphant. 

I'm really curious to know what the visions surrounding Stannis were that she put all her eggs in that basket. 

Quote

The question is how the wildlings will react to Jon's death and the threat to Mance. 

I don't think they will react well. Can't forget the northmen that are present at the Wall either. I'm not sure any of them will be reacting all that well to this. 

What Bowen Marsh did and the timing is complete suicide. 

Edited by Widow's Watch

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

Dany is the one who seems to fit the requirements for AA as far as Mel can interpret them.  The prophecy also involves waking the great stone dragon and hatching dragon eggs.  Melisandre believe she can do this if she has the right blood sacrifice.

True but Mel is horrible at interpreting her visions, aha.

1 hour ago, LynnS said:

It may be that Jon is a stand-in for Edric Storm as far as Melisandre's plans for Stannis require Jon's death, a great sacrifice given that she knows that there is power in Jon.

It is an interesting thought though the biggest flaw in this idea is that Melisandre would have wanted to burn Jon's living flesh, not stab him to death if she wanted him to be a blood sacrifice to aid Stannis. Though I admit there is an odd appeal that by killing Jon as a way to help Stannis, Mel accidentally enables Jon to fulfil the requirements to become the "Prince that was Promised" himself.

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40 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

I don't think they will react well. Can't forget the northmen that are present at the Wall either. I'm not sure any of them will be reacting all that well to this. 

What Bowen Marsh did and the timing is complete suicide.

Lord Commander Jon Snow's murder will likely result in all-out war on the Wall between Jon's loyalists and the few conspirators, though I doubt it will last long. I also don't foresee Bowen Marsh and the others putting up much of a fight.

The confusion might also allow a small group of people to collect Jon's body and move it to somewhere safe -- probably Satin though there are plenty others who might try to protect the body. Not to mention Jon!Ghost himself.

54 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

I'm really curious to know what the visions surrounding Stannis were that she put all her eggs in that basket. 

Quote

This. Not least because "R'hllor" (I wonder what the true source of Mel's visions are) seems pretty adamant about showing her Snow when she asks for a glimpse of his "king".

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6 hours ago, Richard Hoffman said:

I just finished my rewatch-reread of the entire series and something that stuck out to me in A Dance with Dragons,

“For the Watch.” Wick slashed at him again. This time Jon caught his wrist and bent his arm back until he dropped the dagger. The gangling steward backed away, his hands upraised as if to say, Not me, it was not me. Jon reached for longclaw, but his fingers had grown stiff and clumsy. Somehow he could not seem to get the sword free of its scabbard. 

As others have pointed out, this has been a topic of much discussion ever since ADWD came out.  It really stands out as a reaction that can't be logically explained unless Wick was somehow forced to go after Jon.  I mean, I suppose it may be possible that Wick is just cowardly and once Jon deflected his attack Wick was freaking out and couldn't think of any other way to react.  Doubtful, but possible.

Also interesting is the ending sentence there where Jon can't get Longclaw out of its scabbard- was there some kind of magic or sabotage at play?  Or is there just a practical explanation- Jon is already wounded, it's cold out, he notes his fingers are stiff and clumsy.

Quote

 

This is is something I’ve never understood, sure these guys probably care a great deal for the watch but ultimately they sided against Jon because of their hatred for wildlings, who for the most part were now on the south side of the wall and outnumbered the nights watch greatly. Knowing this, why would these men murder Jon in front of dozens if not hundreds of people? Sure in the confusion he made himself open to the blades but these men could just have easily pushed him off the wall or stabbed him in the back.

 

They also knew that Jon had overwhelming support after just leaving the hall and hearing hundreds of men shout in support of the lord commander, yet knowing all of this and knowing without a doubt that their lives would be forfeit they still stab him in front of all the witnesses? 

 

As noted above by @Faera, this was not a reaction by Marsh and Yarwyck based on their hatred of wildlings, but of fear for Jon leading an attack against Ramsay.  Going back to ASOS, Marsh and Yarwyck were plotting with Alliser Thorne to make Janos Slynt the LC of the Night's Watch.  This was all based on a political calculation of not wanting to piss off the Lannisters.  Well, that's exactly what Jon was about to do.  If the conspirators had really wanted to kill Jon because of the wildlings, presumably they would have done it before Jon let Tormund and all the wildlings through the Wall.

 

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7 hours ago, Richard Hoffman said:

Why couldn’t Jon get his blade out? He hadn’t been stabbed yet, and he wasn’t new to fighting.

It’s mentioned 3 times that Wick was as skinny as a spear so the reader should take note. Wick’s wrist which Jon had no problem handling wasn’t much thicker than the sword hilt which Jon couldn’t handle the next moment. Blood “welling” is used different ways in the series, sometimes it’s minor bleeding, sometimes it’s profuse bleeding. Given Jon says the knife barely grazed his skin (I trust that he’s reporting his own injury accurately here) and he shows no alarm at the amount of blood coming from his neck, I think that the bleeding was only minor and that the cause of his impairment was that the knife was coated in sweetsleep to slow Jon down. Hence why he was fine one moment, yet very impaired the next.

Backup is in my thread below where I also compare the progression of Jon's attack with Bran's drinking sweetsleep after Maester Luwin had enough of Bran's acting out. Note that while sweetsleep inhibits dreams, it seems to enhance warging ability. Also of note, if Jon was indeed poisoned with sweetsleep, his adrenalin levels and blood pressure would have been low during the worst of the attack and along with the cold, this would have limited the amount he would have bled out. Adrenalin and high blood pressure are great in a fight, but if you’re injured significantly, it just kills you all the faster.

Uses of welling blood where bleeding is minor.

"Here, girl." Sandor Clegane knelt before her, between her and Joffrey. With a delicacy surprising in such a big man, he dabbed at the blood welling from her broken lip.

Jon twisted from the knife, just enough so it barely grazed his skin. He cut me. When he put his hand to the side of his neck, blood welled between his fingers.

Varys lifted the knife with exaggerated delicacy and ran a thumb along its edge. Blood welled, and he let out a squeal and dropped the dagger back on the table.

Uses of welling blood where bleeding is significant.

Syrio ducked under his blade and thrust upward. The guardsman fell screaming as blood welled from the wet red hole where his left eye had been.

Then Royce's parry came a beat too late. The pale sword bit through the ringmail beneath his arm. The young lord cried out in pain. Blood welled between the rings. It steamed in the cold, and the droplets seemed red as fire where they touched the snow. Ser Waymar's fingers brushed his side. His moleskin glove came away soaked with red.

This theory puts forward that Jon was systematically being poisoned with sweetsleep by Marsh, Clydas and co. On my first read I was rather shocked at the amount of Jon’s wine-drinking as it seemed to rival Cersei’s. Note that Jon’s berserker rage isn’t far off Robert Arryn’s rages.

https://cantuse.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/a-confederacy-of-stewards/

My theory below lays out that Cersei put a hit out on Jon and involved Osney Kettleblack who works for LF -- >  In the next Alayne chapter, LF talks about Cersei maybe needing to be taken from the game earlier than planned and other things which can be seen as confirmation that LF has heard of Cersei’s plans from Osney -- > LF reacts to remove Jon from Cersei’s grasp because he has plans for Jon, whatever those are, but the plans went off the rails.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/145299-jon-was-poisoned-with-sweetsleep/#comment-7880633

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41 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

 

This theory puts forward that Jon was systematically being poisoned with sweetsleep by Marsh, Clydas and co. On my first read I was rather shocked at the amount of Jon’s wine-drinking as it seemed to rival Cersei’s. Note that Jon’s berserker rage isn’t far off Robert Arryn’s rages.

 

Jon getting sweetsleeped is possible and good observation on his drinking habits but rages don't relate to that. We see his berserking side long before him becoming LC though. Below is a thread on Jon the Berserking Wolf.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/130451-jon-the-berserker/

 

 

In quote a demonstration of his rage before becoming a commander.

Quote
Slynt purpled. "Murder? You insolent pup. King Robert was not even cold when Lord Eddard moved against his son." He rose to his feet; a shorter man than Mormont, but thick about the chest and arms, with a gut to match. A small gold spear tipped with red enamel pinned his cloak at the shoulder. "Your father died by the sword, but he was highborn, a King's Hand. For you, a noose will serve. Ser Alliser, take this turncloak to an ice cell."
"My lord is wise." Ser Alliser seized Jon by the arm.
Jon yanked away and grabbed the knight by the throat with such ferocity that he lifted him off the floor. He would have throttled him if the Eastwatch men had not pulled him off. Thorne staggered back, rubbing the marks Jon's fingers had left on his neck. "You see for yourselves, brothers. The boy is a wildling."

Jon in the middle of his teens grabs a grown man certainly weighing more than himself and is weighed even more with layers of clothing and perhaps bits of armor by the throat and lifts him off the floor. It takes more than one men to save Alliser from his hands.

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1 hour ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Jon getting sweetsleeped is possible and good observation on his drinking habits but rages don't relate to that. We see his berserking side long before him becoming LC though. Below is a thread on Jon the Berserking Wolf.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/130451-jon-the-berserker/

 

 

In quote a demonstration of his rage before becoming a commander.

Jon in the middle of his teens grabs a grown man certainly weighing more than himself and is weighed even more with layers of clothing and perhaps bits of armor by the throat and lifts him off the floor. It takes more than one men to save Alliser from his hands.

Sorry, to clarify, I'm distinguishing between Jon's general anger issues which I think are his own from berserker behavior when he actually loses awareness and control like here:

ASOS Jon XII

He was almost ready to lower his blade and call a halt when Emmett feinted low and came in over his shield with a savage forehand slash that caught Jon on the temple. He staggered, his helm and head both ringing from the force of the blow. For half a heartbeat the world beyond his eyeslit was a blur.

And then the years were gone, and he was back at Winterfell once more, wearing a quilted leather coat in place of mail and plate. His sword was made of wood, and it was Robb who stood facing him, not Iron Emmett.

Every morning they had trained together, since they were big enough to walk; Snow and Stark, spinning and slashing about the wards of Winterfell, shouting and laughing, sometimes crying when there was no one else to see. They were not little boys when they fought, but knights and mighty heroes. "I'm Prince Aemon the Dragonknight," Jon would call out, and Robb would shout back, "Well, I'm Florian the Fool." Or Robb would say, "I'm the Young Dragon," and Jon would reply, "I'm Ser Ryam Redwyne."

That morning he called it first. "I'm Lord of Winterfell!" he cried, as he had a hundred times before. Only this time, this time, Robb had answered, "You can't be Lord of Winterfell, you're bastard-born. My lady mother says you can't ever be the Lord of Winterfell."

I thought I had forgotten that. Jon could taste blood in his mouth, from the blow he'd taken.

In the end Halder and Horse had to pull him away from Iron Emmett, one man on either arm. The ranger sat on the ground dazed, his shield half in splinters, the visor of his helm knocked askew, and his sword six yards away. "Jon, enough," Halder was shouting, "he's down, you disarmed him. Enough!"

No. Not enough. Never enough. Jon let his sword drop. "I'm sorry," he muttered. "Emmett, are you hurt?"

Iron Emmett pulled his battered helm off. "Was there some part of yield you could not comprehend, Lord Snow?" It was said amiably, though. Emmett was an amiable man, and he loved the song of swords. "Warrior defend me," he groaned, "now I know how Qhorin Halfhand must have felt."

That was too much. Jon wrenched free of his friends and retreated to the armory, alone. His ears were still ringing from the blow Emmett had dealt him. He sat on the bench and buried his head in his hands. Why am I so angry? he asked himself, but it was a stupid question. Lord of Winterfell. I could be the Lord of Winterfell. My father's heir.

I noticed the similarities between these two passages where Bran gets sweetsleep and Jon gets milk of the poppy when his leg is injured which is several chapters before the above black-out rage. Never noticed it before. Jon doesn't go to sleep here, but it raises the question as to whether he may have been getting dosed in small amounts before he became LC. Gregor was said to have taken milk of the poppy a lot but he never seemed cloudy-headed. I haven't included the whole passage here due to length, but the bottom part when Jon blacks out from the pain seems like it should be after at least some of the pain relief should have kicked in? :dunno:

 

ACOK Bran I

The door to his bedchamber opened. Maester Luwin was carrying a green jar, and this time Osha and Hayhead came with him. "I've made you a sleeping draught, Bran."

Bran drank. The potion was thick and chalky, but there was honey in it, so it went down easy.

ASOS Jon VI

A stab of pain reminded him of his own woes. The maester squeezed his hand. "Clydas is bringing milk of the poppy."

Jon tried to rise. "I don't need—"

"You do," Aemon said firmly. "This will hurt."

Donal Noye crossed the room and shoved Jon back onto his back. "Be still, or I'll tie you down." Even with only one arm, the smith handled him as if he were a child. Clydas returned with a green flask and a rounded stone cup. Maester Aemon poured it full. "Drink this."

Jon had bitten his lip in his struggles. He could taste blood mingled with the thick, chalky potion. It was all he could do not to retch it back up.

His tongue felt thick and clumsy. The milk of the poppy was clouding his wits.         

I will not scream, Jon told himself when he saw the blade glowing red hot. But he broke that vow as well. Donal Noye held him down, while Clydas helped guide the maester's hand. Jon did not move, except to pound his fist against the table, again and again and again. The pain was so huge he felt small and weak and helpless inside it, a child whimpering in the dark. Ygritte, he thought, when the stench of burning flesh was in his nose and his own shriek echoing in her ears. Ygritte, I had to. For half a heartbeat the agony started to ebb. But then the iron touched him once again, and he fainted.

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10 hours ago, Richard Hoffman said:

 

While those are valid points it still makes 0 sense. Jon had the support of the wildlings and still had loyal supporters in the watch and Marsh risks the complete and total destruction of the nights watch by his actions. Jon was the glue that held that peace together and I just can’t wrap my head around it. 

Still, the question isn’t the motives, the question is why pick the worst time and place to actually pull it off? 

Because the conspirators are a bunch of biased pricks who can't get over their petty prejudices. And Marsh, well, definitely not the sharpest tool in the box, not by a long stretch. 

There will be a bloodbath at CB, I can hardly wait to read it all. 

Also, I don't get the argument that anything related to Mance was the final straw that pushed them into this clumsy and dumb assassination attempt. Apart from Jon and Mel, no one at CB knows Mance is alive. 

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It seems several people believe Marsh and company were acting to avoid a war with Bolton which would make logical sense if there wasn’t a larger danger closer to home. When I put myself in their situation and think about it from every angle my biggest concern would be the aftermath with the wildlings. Sure they might prevent a war with Ramsay but the odds of any Nights Watch surviving the night that wasn’t 100% loyal to Jon is extremely slim. 

The time between Jon’s speech and the murder tells us that it was either pre-planned or something else (magical or otherwise) happened that forced their hands. They literally JUST found out about Ramsay, I doubt they walked outside and said F this I’m killing the bastard. There can be only 2 explanations, their hatred for wildlings caused them to act blindly and without thoughts of consequence or something bigger guided their hands.  

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On 11/3/2017 at 0:35 AM, Richard Hoffman said:

It seems several people believe Marsh and company were acting to avoid a war with Bolton which would make logical sense if there wasn’t a larger danger closer to home. When I put myself in their situation and think about it from every angle my biggest concern would be the aftermath with the wildlings. Sure they might prevent a war with Ramsay but the odds of any Nights Watch surviving the night that wasn’t 100% loyal to Jon is extremely slim. 

The time between Jon’s speech and the murder tells us that it was either pre-planned or something else (magical or otherwise) happened that forced their hands. They literally JUST found out about Ramsay, I doubt they walked outside and said F this I’m killing the bastard. There can be only 2 explanations, their hatred for wildlings caused them to act blindly and without thoughts of consequence or something bigger guided their hands.  

It was most definitely pre-planned from way back in ASOS when Jon, who was not even the elected LC yet, overhears Yarwyck, Marsh, Slynt, and Thorne plotting against the elections in favor of what the crown tells them to do (Tywin in actuality) because it is those four who are actually the guilty parties and meddle in the affairs of the south. Also, this is the third time they try to kill Jon, so really this mutiny at this time was a (haphazard) excuse to carry out a plot that had been brewing since before the wildings crossed.

It is also no surprise that the only one of the four left at this time to carry out the plan is the one called the "pomegranate", which is reader clue to betrayal. Jon sent Yarwyck to restore Nightfort, Slynt was beheaded for his insubordination, Marsh will be outnumbered and dealt with right quick, and Thorne is... tricky. Thorns and roses kinda go together. Of the four conspirators, I think Thorne might be the one to turn around and support Jon when Jon heals and Thorne returns to Castle Black in TWOW. Maybe:

  • Ned Stark reached out his hand to grasp the flowery crown, but beneath the pale blue petals the thorns lay hidden. He felt them clawing at his skin, sharp and cruel, saw the slow trickle of blood run down his fingers, and woke, trembling, in the dark.
  • Benjen Stark frowned. "A boy you are, and a boy you'll remain until Ser Alliser says you are fit to be a man of the Night's Watch
  • "Our Lord Commander has given the training of recruits into the hands of Ser Alliser Thorne," the maester said gently. "Only he may say when a boy is ready to swear his vow, as you surely know. Why then come to me?"
  • Kill the boy, Jon thought. The boy in you, and the one in him. Kill the both of them, you bloody bastard.
  • Ser Alliser only said, "You would like me to refuse. Then you could hack off my head, same as you did for Slynt. I'll not give you that pleasure, bastard. You'd best pray that it's a wildling blade that kills me, though. The ones the Others kill don't stay dead … and they remember. I'm coming back, Lord Snow."
    "I pray you do." Jon would never count Ser Alliser Thorne amongst his friends, but he was still a brother. No one ever said you had to like your brothers.

And on a different but similar note, I am rather convinced that Mel was the fourth knife (magic used in some form- shadow babies, Orell's eagle, stronger at the wall, Mel is the sword without a hilt that Val and Dalla warn Jon of, etc.) and when Jon says he only feels the cold, that is because the Night's Watch did not stand strong and as we readers are told, that is what would make the wall fall and brings the Others who bring the cold.

Edited by The Fattest Leech
Found the correct quote! :)

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