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Richard Hoffman

“For the watch”

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19 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. 

 

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?

Jon was  drugged .

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   Indeed there are a few mysteries there. I do admit it. People spoke about many important facts, like Marsh crying, Jon not being able to pull his sword after being stabbed only twice (once for real for the other was a cut) and so on. People have not talk about the letter already being opened though. They had already read it. Jon notes some kind os stain on the seal. So they already knew what had happened and then he told them what was in the letter and they had a small discussion about it. 

   The fact that Ghost was already weary about them showed the direwolf felt they wanted to kill Jon. They had already planned it before Jon read the letter because they read it before him or the one who read it told them. They guest he would do something wrong from the Watch point of view, which he did when he asked people to join him against Ramsey Bolton. 

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4 hours ago, HallowedMarcus said:

They had already planned it before Jon read the letter because they read it before him or the one who read it told them.

So you're suggesting it could have been the Bowen Marsh conspiracy who wrote the letter, not Ramsey Snow, Mance Rayder, Blackfish Tully, or Stannis Baratheon? Interesting.

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15 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

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:

While I think what Jon overhears in ASOS helps explain Yarwyck and Marsh's actions, I don't think it speaks to any of this being pre-planned.  If it was pre-planned, they would have killed him a lot earlier and/or in a safer environment for them to do so.  They've had multiple chances where they are alone with Jon, and again, presumably had they planned on killing him they would have done it before Jon allowed all the wildlings loyal to Jon through the Wall.

Even in the last chapter, Marsh and Yarwyck are alone with Jon in his quarters.  Ghost is there as well, which would obviously dissuade them from attacking then, but it's interesting to note that Ghost does not attack them here, despite attacking both Mully and Jon beforehand.  Jon notes that Ghost "sniffs" after them as they are leaving with his tail upraised, but there is no ferocity or violence whereas beforehand, Ghost literally tries to bite both Mully and Jon's hands off.  

In his meeting with them, Jon discusses Hardhome and they "advise" him to not send any Night's Watch brothers and instead send all the wildlings, so they hopefully (in their minds at least), have fewer mouths to feed at the Wall.  Afterwards, they are relatively cordial to Jon and accepting of his orders when he talks about dealing with the corpses and Cregan Karstark in the cells.

I don't see any of this going down that way had it been pre-planned.  Marsh and Yarwyck are blind-sided by Jon's reaction to the Pink Letter- not only is he confirming their worst fears of taking the wildlings south to attack Bolton and piss off Lannister forces (going back to their conspiring in ASOS), but it's a two-fer when Jon radically changes the plans to send whatever men Tormund asks for along with him to Hardhome.  Yarwyck, Marsh, and Whittlestick are all present for Jon's reading of the Pink Letter in the Shieldhall- once he reads it and relays his plans they storm out.  I think this was the exact moment they decided to kill him, figuring that they were screwed either way- in their minds, they had to dispose of Jon before the Night's Watch was depleted being sent to Hardhome AND at the same time before he could take the Wildlings South to attack Winterfell.

11 hours ago, HallowedMarcus said:

The fact that Ghost was already weary about them showed the direwolf felt they wanted to kill Jon. They had already planned it before Jon read the letter because they read it before him or the one who read it told them. They guest he would do something wrong from the Watch point of view, which he did when he asked people to join him against Ramsey Bolton. 

Jon thinks Ghost's behavior is related to Borroq and his boars- obviously I think you are right and we are all right to think that is mistaken...Ghost knows what is about to go down or at least senses danger.  

Also interesting to note that Mormont's raven (who many speculate is being warged by Bloodraven) is described as extremely agitated by Jon.  So I think both Ghost and the raven can at the very least sense Jon is in danger.  

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11 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

While I think what Jon overhears in ASOS helps explain Yarwyck and Marsh's actions, I don't think it speaks to any of this being pre-planned.  If it was pre-planned, they would have killed him a lot earlier and/or in a safer environment for them to do so.  They've had multiple chances where they are alone with Jon, and again, presumably had they planned on killing him they would have done it before Jon allowed all the wildlings loyal to Jon through the Wall.

I don't know that they were planning to knock Jon off. They seems to have crossed that line at the same time Jon crossed his when he decided that he was going to ride south. I take Bowen Marsh's tears as a clue to that. I don't think killing Jon is something he wants to do, and it's not something he takes pleasure in doing. 

As far as Ghost goes, I tend to look at what happened when everyone arrived at the Twins and Grey Wind came face to face with the Freys. The ones that came to greet the Stark host actively planned and participated in the Red Wedding. When Robb arrives at the Twins, his life is in immediate danger. He is very agitated and the only reason he doesn't physically attack the Freys is because Catelyn puts herself between everyone. 

The way Ghost is behaving, his level of aggression is nowhere near what we see with Grey Wind, so maybe Jon was not in immediate danger. What's too bad is that we don't know what his behavior is like in the armory when Jon steps outside the Shieldhall after that meeting. 

 

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19 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

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. 

Jon was getting ready to commit an act of extreme treason in attacking the Boltons.  Marsh and the men of the watch had no choice except to stop him.  They had a moral responsibility and a legal responsibility to stop their crazy as a loon commander in any way they can.  Someone had to stop Jon from doing something sooo stupid and sooo very illegal.  It's not only because Jon had already committed a treason so serious that he already deserved to die but he was about to do something more awful.  A responsible commander of the watch does not start a war with the most powerful military force in the north when the goal is to stop the white walkers.  You make peace with the Boltons even it it meant sacrificing Arya's safety and happiness.  You make peace with the Boltons even if it meant making an acknowledgement that they are now the wardens of the north and the lead house in the north.  Jon was killed because he has gone off the deep end and the only way to keep him from making even bigger mess of things is to kill him.  Jon was acting like a rabid dog.

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15 minutes ago, Widow's Watch said:

I don't know that they were planning to knock Jon off. They seems to have crossed that line at the same time Jon crossed his when he decided that he was going to ride south. I take Bowen Marsh's tears as a clue to that. I don't think killing Jon is something he wants to do, and it's not something he takes pleasure in doing. 

As far as Ghost goes, I tend to look at what happened when everyone arrived at the Twins and Grey Wind came face to face with the Freys. The ones that came to greet the Stark host actively planned and participated in the Red Wedding. When Robb arrives at the Twins, his life is in immediate danger. He is very agitated and the only reason he doesn't physically attack the Freys is because Catelyn puts herself between everyone. 

The way Ghost is behaving, his level of aggression is nowhere near what we see with Grey Wind, so maybe Jon was not in immediate danger. What's too bad is that we don't know what his behavior is like in the armory when Jon steps outside the Shieldhall after that meeting. 

 

Bowen is not a mystery.  His action is a desperate reaction to the revelation that Jon had started a war with House Bolton, which is highly illegal and in-appropriate for a night watch man to do.  And a desperate measure to stop Jon from leading a raiding party of wildlings to attack Roose and Ramsay Bolton.  Jon put Bowen between a rock and a hard place.  I put all of the blame on Jon for what happened.

Edited by Only 89 selfies today

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49 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

While I think what Jon overhears in ASOS helps explain Yarwyck and Marsh's actions, I don't think it speaks to any of this being pre-planned.

You must be kidding? They were going to dispose of any new LC that was not one of them, and they have tried a few times to kill Jon, while trying to pull a Baelish and making it appear as though their hands are clean. Like I said before, they had a plan to kill Jon, and the mutiny after the letter was rushed and opportunistic of the circumstances. It did not matter what was happening with the wildlings, Ramsay, Mance going to Long Lake, etc, because they just wanted him dead because they were meddling in the affairs of the southron kingdoms.

A Storm of Swords - Jon X

"We're not sending you to talk with Mance Rayder," Ser Alliser said. "We're sending you to kill him."
The wind whistled through the bars, and Jon Snow shivered. His leg was throbbing, and his head. He was not fit to kill a kitten, yet here he was. The trap had teeth. With Maester Aemon insisting on Jon's innocence, Lord Janos had not dared to leave him in the ice to die. This was better. "Our honor means no more than our lives, so long as the realm is safe," Qhorin Halfhand had said in the Frostfangs. He must remember that. Whether he slew Mance or only tried and failed, the free folk would kill him. Even desertion was impossible, if he'd been so inclined; to Mance he was a proven liar and betrayer.
 

 

The four conspirators (four horsemen of the apocalypse) have been plotting against Jon for a long time. Jon identifies them as "enemies" throughout the books. Thorne has a chip on his shoulder for having been sent to the wall because of Ned, Janos is a lickspittle that totally screwed his own kingsguard brothers out of money when he was in KL (so, a known traitor), Yarwyck is one who sorta backs off during the LC election process, and we have Bowen Marsh with the in-your-face betrayal of "pomegranate" as the one who hastily carries out the plan.

  • A Storm of Swords - Samwell IV

Three-Finger Hobb had promised the brothers roast haunch of mammoth that night, maybe in hopes of cadging a few more votes. If that was his notion, he should have found a younger mammoth, Sam thought, as he pulled a string of gristle out from between his teeth. Sighing, he pushed the food away.
There would be another vote shortly, and the tensions in the air were thicker than the smoke. Cotter Pyke sat by the fire, surrounded by rangers from Eastwatch. Ser Denys Mallister was near the door with a smaller group of Shadow Tower men. Janos Slynt has the best place, Sam realized, halfway between the flames and the drafts. He was alarmed to see Bowen Marsh beside him, wan-faced and haggard, his head still wrapped in linen, but listening to all that Lord Janos had to say. When he pointed that out to his friends, Pyp said, "And look down there, that's Ser Alliser whispering with Othell Yarwyck."
  • A Storm of Swords - Tyrion IV

[Tywin] "There is no need. The Night's Watch is a pack of thieves, killers, and baseborn churls, but it occurs to me that they could prove otherwise, given proper discipline. If Mormont is indeed dead, the black brothers must choose a new Lord Commander."
Pycelle gave Tyrion a sly glance. "An excellent thought, my lord. I know the very man. Janos Slynt."
Tyrion liked that notion not at all. "The black brothers choose their own commander," he reminded them. "Lord Slynt is new to the Wall. I know, I sent him there. Why should they pick him over a dozen more senior men?"
"Because," his father said, in a tone that suggested Tyrion was quite the simpleton, "if they do not vote as they are told, their Wall will melt before it sees another man."
...
"In closing, ask Marsh to pass along His Grace's fondest regards to his faithful friend and servant, Lord Janos Slynt."
  • A Storm of Swords - Jon XII

"When has Stannis Baratheon ever had much good to say of anyone?" Ser Alliser's flinty voice was unmistakable. "If we let Stannis choose our Lord Commander, we become his bannermen in all but name. Tywin Lannister is not like to forget that, and you know it will be Lord Tywin who wins in the end. He's already beaten Stannis once, on the Blackwater."
"Lord Tywin favors Slynt," said Bowen Marsh, in a fretful, anxious voice. "I can show you his letter, Othell. 'Our faithful friend and servant,' he called him."
 
...and then a few lines later after conversation...
"What are you doing here, bastard?" Thorne asked.
"Bathing. But don't let me spoil your plotting." Jon climbed from the water, dried, dressed, and left them to conspire.
 
49 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

Even in the last chapter, Marsh and Yarwyck are alone with Jon in his quarters.  Ghost is there as well, which would obviously dissuade them from attacking then, but it's interesting to note that Ghost does not attack them here, despite attacking both Mully and Jon beforehand.  Jon notes that Ghost "sniffs" after them as they are leaving with his tail upraised, but there is no ferocity or violence whereas beforehand, Ghost literally tries to bite both Mully and Jon's hands off. 

An upraised tail in a wolf means dominance and warning. Unfortunately, Jon does not heed this warning at the time, and shortly thereafter when he has Ghost locked up. But oh well, the story has to be told and certain things have to happen.

But no worries, someone is going to release Ghost very shortly ;).

49 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

In his meeting with them, Jon discusses Hardhome and they "advise" him to not send any Night's Watch brothers and instead send all the wildlings, so they hopefully (in their minds at least), have fewer mouths to feed at the Wall.  Afterwards, they are relatively cordial to Jon and accepting of his orders when he talks about dealing with the corpses and Cregan Karstark in the cells.

None of this means they were not plotting, as the text quotes above show.

Also, Melisandre is said to be on her own mission (by the author) and her presence then absence in the Shieldhall during the reading should be addressed. Fire is a fickle thing and you never know which way the flames will go, but it appears we have just seen just where it lands. Remember, she keeps seeing Snow in her flames.

  • ASOS/SAM V: I have no place here, Sam thought anxiously, when her red eyes fell upon him. Someone had to help Maester Aemon up the steps. Don't look at me, I'm just the maester's steward. The others were contenders for the Old Bear's command, all but Bowen Marsh, who had withdrawn from the contest but remained castellan and Lord Steward. Sam did not understand why Melisandre should seem so interested in him.
49 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

Also interesting to note that Mormont's raven (who many speculate is being warged by Bloodraven) is described as extremely agitated by Jon.  So I think both Ghost and the raven can at the very least sense Jon is in danger.  

I agree. Jon is still the "boy" at this stage, and it will take this attempt on his life that takes him into the dark to awaken his third eye is when we see the man be "born". This is Jon's "pyre" moment.

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23 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

"if they do not vote as they are told, their Wall will melt before it sees another man."

 

24 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

"I can show you his letter, Othell. 'Our faithful friend and servant,' he called him."

Strong points that often are forgotten when this topic is brought up.

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21 minutes ago, Only 89 selfies today said:

Jon was getting ready to commit an act of extreme treason in attacking the Boltons.  Marsh and the men of the watch had no choice except to stop him.  They had a moral responsibility and a legal responsibility to stop their crazy as a loon commander in any way they can.  Someone had to stop Jon from doing something sooo stupid and sooo very illegal.  It's not only because Jon had already committed a treason so serious that he already deserved to die but he was about to do something more awful.  A responsible commander of the watch does not start a war with the most powerful military force in the north when the goal is to stop the white walkers.  You make peace with the Boltons even it it meant sacrificing Arya's safety and happiness.  You make peace with the Boltons even if it meant making an acknowledgement that they are now the wardens of the north and the lead house in the north.  Jon was killed because he has gone off the deep end and the only way to keep him from making even bigger mess of things is to kill him.  Jon was acting like a rabid dog.

That's your opinion. In mine, Jon did what he had to do. Ramsay Bolton threatened to attack the Watch and its LC. Furthermore, he made demands that Jon couldn't possibly meet even if he wanted to, since he doesn't have (f)Arya and doesn't have a clue who the fuck Reek is. CB, like all castles at the Wall, is indefensible from the south. Do you think he should have just sat on his arse and waited for Ramsay to come for him, Selyse, Shireen, Mel, and people he doesn't have and doesn't even "know"? The idea is preposterous.

Even more preposterous is to say the right thing would have been to let the free folk die north of the Wall and sacrifice Arya to a monster like Ramsay Bolton. Yes, yes, that's what the vows say according to an interpretation I don't really subscribe to. "Words are wind!", how many times must it be repeated until the coin drops? What you say, whatever vow you make, is only worth anything if matched by your actions. Hiding behind words is how cowards justify their cowardice: "I was only following orders!". 

Spoiler alert: you're not gonna enjoy TWoW much imo. 

 

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On 11/2/2017 at 10:05 AM, 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. 

The men who stabbed him did it because they had to.  It wasn't a political act to advance themselves it was a responsibility they had to carry out to end Jon's mad plan to raid the seven kingdoms by attacking a noble family.  It is understandable that Wick wouldn't be happy about this but do it anyway because it's his job now to stop Jon. 

Maybe the sword had a mind of its own and it refused to cooperate with a proven traitor.  Brynden Rivers is not going to approve of Jon ruining any chance of an alliance with the Boltons just so he can get his sister away from Lord Ramsay.  If what the pink letter says is true and Stannis is defeated then peace is finally achieved.  Alliances can be made to get everyone ready for the Others.  The matter is settled and there is finally a chance to bring the Boltons up to speed on what's been going on in the north.  Jon ruined all of that when he sent his man to take his sister away from the Boltons.  It is not out of the question that Brynden Rivers somehow messed with Jon to throw off his coordination and make his removal by the crow brothers easier.

 

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.

No, they went along with Jon's decisions to bring the Wildlings across the wall even if they had doubts about it.  They didn't kill him because of prejudice.  They killed him because he was about to bring more disaster down on their heads if he got the Wildlings to attack Ramsay Bolton.  Attacking the people you have sworn to defend is just plain wrong and harmful to the whole of Westeros.

 

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? 

The stabbers were all good and loyal men of the Watch who were all willing to give up their lives to stop Jon Snow from more blunder.  He already provoked a potential war with the wardens of the north.  Attacking Ramsay would only destroy the Watch and weaken whatever chance they have to defend against the Others. 

Jon got overwhelming support from the Wildlings, not the men of the Watch nor from any other group present.  You can say those men were heroic for standing up against a mad commander who wants to take his quarrel with Lord Ramsay to the level of warfare.

 

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. 

I don't think the attackers were warged.  What they did is the responsible course of action under the circumstances.  It was a rational thing to do and a logical consequence of Jon's actions.  If anyone was being interfered with, it was Jon, and by Brynden Rivers in order to help Bowen Marsh stop him from going to war.

 

Thoughts?

See what I wrote above.

 

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On 11/2/2017 at 10:05 AM, Richard Hoffman said:

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.

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?

I really don't think the men were being warged.  They were stopping Jon from leading a wildling attack against the people he swore to protect.  The men have good reason for doing what they did and it doesn't take someone to warg them to make them stop a crazy lord commander Snow from leaving the wall to fight a family war with the House of Bolton.  Jon was no longer acting in the best interest of the realm and he already put the Night's Watch in danger.  Jon first became a troublesome liability and became dangerous to the NW and everybody around him.  Stabbing him was the only way to get rid of Jon. 

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On 11/2/2017 at 7:05 AM, Richard Hoffman said:

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.

It was not very well planned. An opportunity presented itself and they went for it 

On 11/2/2017 at 7:05 AM, Richard Hoffman said:

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? 

I would assume they felt that if they didn't act then, they would never be able to 

On 11/2/2017 at 7:05 AM, Richard Hoffman said:

My question to you fine folk here, is it possible that the attackers were being warged?

Not at all. the  adult we see warged is a mentally challenged simpleton. The one time we saw someone try to warg an aware adult went very poorly for everyone 

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Here's what we know.  It was cold.  Cold can make your fingers stiff and frost on the blade can make it stick.  Jon spent considerable time indoors with Tormund and then the Shieldhall when he admitted to his crimes and announced his intentions to attack Winterfell.  The humidity may be enough to bring enough moisture to the steel blade.  That moisture becomes sticky in very cold temperatures.  He goes from a humid area, back to a very cold outdoor air, and then back into the humidity of the giant's sleeping quarters.  It is possible for frost to form on the blade and the sheath.

It's obvious from the text that Bowen was and is a very dutiful man of the NW.  His reasons are clear:  He had to stop his fool of a commander.  We don't need to bring unnecessary complexity to try and make B Marsh and the NW look like bad guys.  They were good men who did their duties to the NW. 

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2 hours ago, Noble Lothar Frey said:

Here's what we know.  It was cold.  Cold can make your fingers stiff and frost on the blade can make it stick. [...]

A reasonable explanation. Also, we can assume Jon's first wound was probably much worse than he thought. Remember, he felt Bowen Marsh "punch him in the belly". In fact, Marsh drove a knife in deep. Jon's initial injuries would have hampered his response, making him "inexplicably" unable to draw his sword. Jon was basically in shock, experiencing the momentary numbness after a major injury that's particularly common in traumatic situations like battle or other fights.

I also agree that Marsh et al thought they were doing the right thing. My evidence? Each one says "For the Watch" as he administers his blow. Sounds like the send-off Julius Caesar got, no?

We're back to "RR's Razor": don't presume a supernatural explanation when simpler, natural ones are at least as good. Martin is not a "sword & sorcery" writer.

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On 11/2/2017 at 10:05 AM, Richard Hoffman said:

Thoughts?

Dear Mr. Hoffman,

It is very kind of you to show interests in these matters.  It will be my pleasure to talk about what happened on that day when we had to execute Jon Snow.  After all, I am the only member of this forum who was present when it happened.  I was there at the meeting and heard Snow's revelations and intentions.  I was there when the execution took place.  Know that these words are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

It was never my intentions to punish Jon for his treason though he deserved an execution for those crimes.  The assassination was a desperate act.  My brothers and myself had no choice.  It was our responsibility to prevent our mad commander from committing an act so unspeakably vile.  He put together an army of wildlings for the purpose of attacking Lord Ramsay Bolton, the heir to the warden of the North.  This is an unprecedented act of aggression.  At no point in our long history has a sitting lord commander ever did anything so illegal as to attack the citizens that we are supposed to be protecting.  This is a clear violation of our oaths and vows.   Even the ancient Night's King drew the line at attacking the people of the north.

What Jon has been doing to get his sister away from Lord Ramsay was already an act of war.  Wildlings acting under Jon's orders went to Winterfell under the guise of friendship and murdered the servants of Lord Roose.  A violation of guest rights by even liberal standards.  He deserved to be removed from his office for this act alone and given an appointment with the chopping block.

Jon planned to further aggravate an already tense situation by making a direct assault on Lord Ramsay and his men.  It was our duty to prevent this atrocity from happening.  Jon was beyond reason by this time and his behavior in the past is an indication that he never valued our counsel nor took our concerns to heart.  Execution was the only way to stop him.

Neither I nor the brave men who followed me were warged nor under the influence of another.  What we did we did of our own free will and out of love and loyalty to the kingdom of Westeros and the watch.  It was a hard decision and one that we did not take pleasure in.  Jon just put us in a difficult situation.  Any blame should rest on his shoulders.  This is all his fault. 

I am proud of the men who helped me take down Jon Snow.  They are all men of honor who risked their lives to prevent war between our former lord commander and the Boltons.  We should make common cause and build an alliance with the warden of the north instead of trying to steal away the bride of his son.  Killing people we are supposed to protect is conduct that is not acceptable for a lord commander of the night's watch.  Our lives are fair trade to stop someone like that and take him down.

I do not have an explanation for Jon's inability to pull his sword out from its scabbard.  Perhaps we took him by surprise and maybe the ice had something to do with it.  Water on the blade will freeze and turn to ice causing a bind between metal and leather.  Perhaps the Gods are punishing him for the unjust execution of our sworn brother, Janos Slynt, and they caused the blade to bind. 

 

For the Watch - Bowen Marsh

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"The Watch has no shortage of stableboys," Lord Mormont grumbled. "That seems to be all they send us these days. Stableboys and sneak thieves and rapers. Ser Alliser is an anointed knight, one of the few to take the black since I have been Lord Commander. He fought bravely at King's Landing."
"On the wrong side," Ser Jaremy Rykker commented dryly. "I ought to know, I was there on the battlements beside him. Tywin Lannister gave us a splendid choice. Take the black, or see our heads on spikes before evenfall. No offense intended, Tyrion."
"None taken, Ser Jaremy. My father is very fond of spiked heads, especially those of people who have annoyed him in some fashion. And a face as noble as yours, well, no doubt he saw you decorating the city wall above the King's Gate. I think you would have looked very striking up there

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?

 

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On 11/3/2017 at 7:30 PM, kissdbyfire said:

That's your opinion. In mine, Jon did what he had to do. Ramsay Bolton threatened to attack the Watch and its LC. Furthermore, he made demands that Jon couldn't possibly meet even if he wanted to, since he doesn't have (f)Arya and doesn't have a clue who the fuck Reek is. CB, like all castles at the Wall, is indefensible from the south. Do you think he should have just sat on his arse and waited for Ramsay to come for him, Selyse, Shireen, Mel, and people he doesn't have and doesn't even "know"? The idea is preposterous.

Even more preposterous is to say the right thing would have been to let the free folk die north of the Wall and sacrifice Arya to a monster like Ramsay Bolton. Yes, yes, that's what the vows say according to an interpretation I don't really subscribe to. "Words are wind!", how many times must it be repeated until the coin drops? What you say, whatever vow you make, is only worth anything if matched by your actions. Hiding behind words is how cowards justify their cowardice: "I was only following orders!". 

Spoiler alert: you're not gonna enjoy TWoW much imo. 

 

Well said!  It is a question of morality.  Barristan Selmy wishes he had been a better knight; Jaimie breaks his vows rather than stand by while a a monster burns an entire city; Brienne lives by the code of a true knight and Sandor says there are no true knights.  A monster like Ramsey can't be allowed to prevail or threaten the Night's Watch.  Jon is a true knight. 

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.   

Edited by LynnS

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1 hour 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.

That may be it. Roose was put in charge of the north by the Lannisters. His son was legitimized by the Lannisters. The pink letter says that Stannis is dead and there are only the Boltons left. Stannis lost, that's where things begin and end, I think. There's no one standing between Bolton and the Watch. If Bowen Marsh and the Night's Watch didn't know the kind of man Ramsay is, they know now. He makes cloaks out of women's skin. And he wants Selyse, Shireen, Mel, Val next as well as the baby. Bowen Marsh's next course of action may have been to turn all these people over to Ramsay if he wasn't so pathetically outnumbered. Three women, a nine year old girl and a baby.

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On 03/11/2017 at 0:35 PM, 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.  

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.

I support Stannis and the assistance Jon gave him, but by the end he had completely disregarded any semblance of neutrality and, to someone not in his head, for what appears to be completely personal reasons. He gave Stannis the Nightfort, food and weapons for his men, strategic advice on how to win over the northmen, he gave the Iron Bank guides to reach Stannis, he warned him of the Karstark plans and, according to the Pink Letter, he conspired with Stannis to spare an oathbreaking deserter in order to steal back his sister from the crown-appointed Warden of the North. And now, he plans on leading an army of wildlings against said Warden of the North. 

To Bowen and co., I imagine this was too much to stomach. 

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