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Damsel in Distress

The execution of Janos Slynt was personal and it was not justice.

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23 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Why read it then?

Because I want to read it? Shocking, I know. 

23 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Why make so many comments in a topic you have clearly hate and have no actual interest in discussing? 

How do you reckon I "clearly hate the topic"? Because I actually think it's a topic that has grea potential. If only we were going to engage in an interesting and honest debate, it could have been a great topic. Alas, we are once again tangled up in a(nother) Jon hate thread. *Yawn*. 

23 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Is just to be confrontational and stop others from sharing their opinions?  

No, not.really. but after seeing the exaxt same threads, over and over and over again... I don't know. It gets very old... and since hard evidence doesn't seem to cut it, I resort to snide comments, sarcasm, snark, etc. One's patience wears thin. 

23 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Why are you trying to cause hostility on the board? 

Oh. So. Sanctimonious. Fuck off.

23 minutes ago, Bernie Mac said:

Stannis is a 100% certain he is morally right, that his viewpoint is correct, he is righteous in that respect. but ethically he's all over the place. I doubt either GRRM or the people of Westeros would regard all his actions as ethical. 

No. According to Martin, Stannis is "one of few truly righteous characters" (paraphrasing) because he comes to umderstand what's really important. 

 

11 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

That was roughly one paragraph that the sword was out, not exactly forever. Janos kept Jon waiting forever ;):D

The other issue with Slynt (and Thorne) is that Slynt arrived at CB already wanting to kill Jon, and Slynt arrived and buddied up with Thorne over how much they hate Starks, etc. To use the wording from upthread, Slynt arrived with a chip on his shoulder and he antagonized the situation repeatedly, way before this beheading chapter. It’s a long, playful tease of information that the author has given. 

 

:agree:

And I will bring another thing up. Agree, disagree, no matter. Martin wrote Slynt's demise as a fist-pumping moment for Stark/Jon's fans. 

Just like Dany going all "dracarys" on that arsehole who wanted Drogon was a fist-pumping moment. 

So, as has been stated ad nauseam, Jon's decision to execute Slynt was the correct one, it was fitting and made perfect sense in-universe. But the cherry on top is the fact that Slynt is a PoS who has had it coming for a long time, and he finally gets it. It's a beauty. 

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2 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

As  far as I know GRRM considers Stannis an incredibly righteous individual, which is true, there are few characters who are so sure of themselves but I don't recall him ever praising Stannis' ethics. Do you happen to have that quote? 

I think you are confusing righteous with self-righteous. Righteousness is a virtue. A righteous man is a morally upright man, a just man. As @Ran said, GRRM mentions this trait of Stannis in the context of him being the only leader in Westeros who recognizes the real threat and is willing to do something about it. A righteous person does not always perceive themselves as morally superior/right, that would be a self-righteous person. Self-righteousness has a negative connotation — a self-righteous person has an unfounded belief in his/her moral superiority. 

And I believe, righteous and ethical are comparable virtues. I suppose the word righteous has a divine association, which makes it unfashionable. 

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13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Perhaps the difference is that the Greatjon's "punishment" was immediate, whereas Slynt's wasn't. Post-punishment, it seems both men would've followed orders, only Slynt's punishment was death.

Well I wrote a long response to this and then somehow deleted it :tantrum: so I'm going to go through it all again and then for the sake of my sanity throw away my keyboard.

Jon's conclusion - and I concur - is that Slynt would intrigue against him again if reprieved.  I don't know why you consider Slynt will have a damascene conversion and become reliable after this and I think it's really just wishful thinking.  The difference between the circumstances of and reasons for the Greatjon refusing Robb's order for all of 30 seconds and Slynt refusing Jon's authority in it's entirety are many and substantial but I don't really follow your point about immediacy of punishment since Slynt had his head chopped off so I'll leave it.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Yet she is demanding it, and I'm sure she expects them to obey her. Of course I see the difference, but it's the closest possible situations she's been in (except, perhaps, with Jorah's exile, in which he's quite insubordinate and mouthy, but to which she chooses to send him away (though that's out of emotion, of course, so it hardly applies to thoughts of impartiality)), and she doesn't react at all in the way you are suggesting. That's my point.

What is the relevance of this?  A comparison has to have some basis to be useful.  Dany has no right to ask this of them and no legitimate basis for enforcing any kind of punishment if they quite lawfully refuse as they do.  Their oaths are to their Khal, not to his khaleesi and she is asking them to break those oaths.  It's a false argument to try and take this and say that I am suggesting she execute them for this: I'm not, you know I'm not and your example has no comparison at all to Slynt disobeying his Lord Commander's orders and authority over him.  It's plain weird that you persist in pushing this.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

When did I say only an idiot would do so? In fact, I think I made it quite clear that I think it's entirely possible that someone who is not an idiot would make such a decision. I'm going to quote myself here:

So I obviously don't think that only an idiot would take such action.

I listed a number of rulers or commanders who wold have executed Slynt, you denied any of them would  "apart from Vic, but he's an idiot".  You can play with semantics here but it seems to accurately sum up your argument which was no one would have done the same except Victarion and only because he's an idiot.

Are we good now?

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Also, to call Slynt's actions "repeated" defiance is a bit of a stretch. This is the first offence. Both refusals - the one the night before and the one on the day of his death - were the same offense, refusing the same order. 

It's not though.  Ran outlined the sequence a little earlier so I won't repeat that but he's working away in the background to undermine Jon and when he is given a suitable command at Greyguard he is given a number of opportunities and a deal of time to wrestle with himself and obey the order.  He doesn't.

How long should he continue to refuse Jon's order and how many times can he refuse it - a day, a week, a  year, once, twice, a hundred times - before you consider it more than the first offence?  Each act of disobedience creates an impression and a problem and each refusal is more heated, more contemptuous and more problematic for Jon.  It's an escalation that ends in front of almost all of Castle Black and Stannis's men.  Your calculation that it's a first offence is far too generous to Slynt.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

He hasn't shown that he can never be trusted or made to be of use, just that he'll need some punishment.

But Jon's whole experience of him as a brother is that he cannot be trusted, an impression that Slynt spectacularly fails to correct and only affirms and emphasizes by his refusal to accept orders and his open statement in front of everyone that he is beyond Jon's authority.  If he can be trusted and made use of now was the time and Greyguard was the opportunity but he simply wasn't going to.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Firstly, it's not necessarily a capital offense. Other options of punishment are available. Secondly, there's no reason to assume he can't be made to not do so again. Jon hasn't tried to punish him even once, to see how he'd react in future. It's all supposition, with no backing. He showed that he wouldn't obey this one order without punishment, but that doesn't mean that he could never be made to fall in line.

It is a capital offense.  Mitigating circumstances or belief in the contrition of the offender might earn a reprieve.  But there are none and he isn't, in fact he mocks the sentence until he is actually presented with the block.  Future events are by necessity supposition with no backing, that doesn't prevent people from making reasoned decisions based on experience and a clear pattern of behaviour.  You may think he would fall in line but this is based not on any pattern of behaviour but the very supposition with no backing that you are keen to argue should count in his favour.  I think it counts against him as he has given no inkling that he will fall in line as you contend.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

How so? Because you agree with it? You seem to be suggesting that because Jon made this reasoning, that it must be sound reasoning. Is it not possible he could be wrong? I'd say so. In fact, I say it's trivially easy to push holes in some of his reasoning, especially the idea that Slynty (accidentally made that typo there, but I kind of like it, so I'm keeping Slynty in, here) would continue plotting with Thorne immediately on release from prison; this is despite the fact that part of the reason for sending Slynt to Greyguard is to part the two of them. That's a direct contradiction. Not at all solid reasoning.

How not?  Because you say it isn't?  The point is that Jon believes he will find a way to intrigue against him and the two scenarios the author briefly has play through his mind are intended to illustrate this.  You want to pick holes in them?  Well, Slynt is known to have connections in KL and there will be brothers in the NW who will be prepared to work with him - some of the dozen or so corrupt Goldcloaks who came with him for a start - so merely physically separating Thorne and Slynt would not prevent intriguing;  and as castellan at Greyguard he would have ravens and the ability to communicate.  As I said before I don't think it's necessary for GRRM to provide more than a basis for Jon's reasoning to illustrate the point he is making, the point made is clear and it seems silly to dismiss it because you don't find it comprehensive or detailed enough.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Jump through hoops? It's not jumping through hoops to not choose a last resort first.

I said "Your argument seems to rest on the idea that Slynt can be useful so should be reformed and rehabilitated in some way, hence the hoops you jump through to find some alternative punishment for Slynt and some "useful tasks" for him to perform afterwards."

So, it's not a first resort, it's after the third chance to accept that sentence is passed, sentence is passed and other "useful tasks" discounted after Jon concludes that he cannot be rehabilitated and allowing him to live will lead to further problems.  Had Slynt behaved differently Jon would never have ended up with this last resort.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Never said he didn't try, just that he abandoned that attempt almost immediately, at the first opportunity. It's disingenuous to pretend I've said otherwise.

He didn't though, did he?  He met with Slynt and when Slynt refused he didn't call for the guards he gave him to the morning to reconsider.  He told him again to go and Slynt refused.  He then gave him one last chance and told him so and, guess what?  Slynt attempted to defy and humiliate him in front of all his men.  He didn't abandon the attempt, Slynt repeatedly refused and repeatedly escalated the matter and went past the point of return.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Slynt thought he was in a superior position. He was wrong, obviously. If he was shown this, there's no reason to assume he wouldn't become sufficiently obedient. There is, in fact, reason to believe that he would become obedient, as his final words clearly show. That was when he came to the conclusion that his position was weaker than he thought, and he espouses obedience. Of course, Jon couldn't know this before choosing to kill him, so that's hardly marks against him, but it's still worth noting.

There's no reason to assume he would and, based on a pattern of behaviour, every reason to believe he wouldn't.  His final words are an attempt to save his life and I do not believe can be taken as any semblance of proof in his new found loyalty.  I'm pretty sure he would say anything with a sword at his neck but once the threat is gone he will try to undermine Jon.  Such is Jon's conclusion.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Sure, but is that the whole reason? Perhaps not.

< snip >

I'm certainly saying it's possible.

Well if you agree in substance I'm not sure what are we arguing about.  Whatever is bubbling along in Jon's subconscious it does not impinge on his coolly rational and logical approach in deciding how to punish Slynt.  The thoughts that he weighs in his mind are not coloured by a desire for vengeance and are practical rather than emotional in nature.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Now, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Stannis was even present when Slynt openly defied Jon. If he was out in the yard, drawn by the commotion, as I think he was, he'd only have seen Slynt mouthing off about not being intimidated by Jon and such. I'm sure a lot of people go to their death mouthing off about their executioner.

So, for reasons that Stannis nodded, there are plenty. One, as I mentioned earlier, is that Stannis often seems to be a bit petty, and he obviously wants Slynt dead. Another is that he might be approving of the fact that Jon didn't allow Slynt's "connections and friends" to overpower him, and that he made a decision of his own, regardless of how it might be taken in King's Landing, or by Slynt's friends. Do what you think is right, regardless of the potential backlash. Sounds like Stannis.

There are other reasons. He could have just been reassuring Jon that he wouldn't involve himself, regardless of how he feels. Jon's men are his to deal with. Hell, it could've just been a greeting. People often nod at each other as a greeting (this seems unlikely, but not impossible). Perhaps he was agreeing that Jon was right. But does that make it right? Stannis is known to be just, though quite harsh.

"My father always said you were a just man." Just but harsh had been Lord Eddard's exact words, but Jon did not think it would be wise to share that.

Say Stannis wasn't present.  You don't think one of his men could have gone and told him what was happening?  Whatever he missed I don't see how the essence of what Slynt said and did could possibly be misunderstood or miscommunicated.  So unless you want to argue that he simply nods in approval whenever he sees a man executed without being any the wiser as to what for I think it's remarkably uncomplicated: he understands what is happening and approves Jon's actions.

Does it make it right?  Stannis is notorious for his sense of justice.  His approval is independent confirmation that he would have done the same and that all the rest of the excuses - Slynt didn't know it was a capital offence, it was only a first time offence and he should have been treated more leniently, Jon was emotional not rational, it was murder not justice - are refuted.  Unless, of course, you then claim that Stannis wanted Slynt dead too and is incapable of being impartial too!  That's far too much of a fudge for me to take seriously.

13 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

The Greatjon's reaction shows how reasonable he thought Robb was being. It enraged him. At the point Robb would be warring against the Greatjon, he'd have just previously warred against the Crown, which is, of course, illegal. Robb is obviously willing to go outside the law, so who knows if it'd actually be lawful. You'll notice that Hoster Tully didn't have Walder Frey killed for arriving at the Trident too late (thereby disobeying his Liege, surely). It's not so cut and dried as all that.

We do as it happens.  Oathbreaking is punishable by death and the Greatjon is a feudal vassal of the Starks.  He is bound to obey or he will face sanctions up to and including death.

Hoster did not have Frey hanged because, and you'll notice this, Frey turned up with all his host at the Trident.  It's just that his strategy was to go slow and make a show of obeying so although he deliberately missed the battle he could not be accused of oathbreaking.  It's straight up plausible denial.

Since the Greatjon states his intention to disobey and return home with all his levies he doesn't have plausible denial.  How would plausible denial work for Janos "Stick it up your bastard arse" Slynt?

It is cut and dried.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

And I'm sure that you can't be the one who holds the position that water is dry. No, you are right, and I am wrong, is that how it is? The situation is murkier than you're making it out to be.

You are taking up positions that seem dangerously close to arguing water isn't dry.  You did just that by coming close to arguing that oathbreaking is not a capital crime right above.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Yeah, I'm completely wrong here. I've always thought that cajole had a threatening connotation. I am, evidently, wrong. I used the word to mean a somewhat lighter form of threatening or intimidating. It... simply doesn't mean that. I feel like quite the ass. I guess replace "cajole" with "intimidate", and I'm saying what I actually mean. Damn.

Sh*t happens.  I did find the idea of Stannis or Tywin coaxing or wheedling their men to get them to obey orders or go into battle quite funny.  Hopefully you do too.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

No? It obviously shocked Slynt. Ser Alliser and Bowen Marsh obviously don't approve. The decision almost caused a small war when it was made. 

Janos Slynt's face went as white as milk. The spoon slipped from his fingers. Edd and Emmett crossed the room, their footsteps ringing on the stone floor. Bowen Marsh's mouth opened and closed though no words came out. Ser Alliser Thorne reached for his sword hilt.

Half the men in the hall were on their feet. Southron knights and men-at-arms, loyal to King Stannis or the red woman or both, and Sworn Brothers of the Night's Watch. Some had chosen Jon to be their lord commander. Others had cast their stones for Bowen Marsh, Ser Denys Mallister, Cotter Pyke … and some for Janos Slynt. Hundreds of them, as I recall. Jon wondered how many of those men were in the cellar right now. For a moment the world balanced on a sword's edge.

Then Ser Alliser stepped aside, everything calmed down. But it certainly looks to me that the decision caused a lot of tension.

Of course it caused tension, a death sentence should never be given or taken lightly.  But no one protests.  There are quite possibly a 100 of the NW there including Thorne and Marsh, the latter a senior officer and Jon is a newly elected Lord Commander so if he is overstepping his authority now would be the time to say something.  While Slynt still had his head.  No one did.  Which to me suggests that they all know Jon is within his authority to do this and that Slynt talked his way onto that block.  No one makes any plea for mercy or for commutation to some other punishment.  Because Slynt went way too far and paid the price.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I find your inability to see it to be just as puzzling. The vast majority of the brother's of the Watch, loyal and useful, one and all, are scum the likes of which you'd not choose to associate, should you be able to avoid it. Rapists, thieves, killers, traitors, jaywalkers, you name it, the Wall has it. The filthy animal who raped all of those septas, and branded himself for each one so he wouldn't forget any of them, for instance. There's some filth on the Wall that make Slynt look like a saint. Yet they can obey. They can be trusted (enough). We have no idea what they'd have been like at the beginning, but I don't imagine they'd have been quite so servile as they are now.

Why do you assume the bolded?  This is a society that is very hierarchical, criminals or scum though they may be they are not going to challenge their Lord Commander the way Slynt did.  He did this because he thought he was better than Jon and he thought he was untouchable, no rapist or poacher or murderer is going to think that and deny his Lord Commander's authority.  They are the bottom of the pile and know it.  The underlined is key: Slynt would not obey and the manner of the disobedience cannot be minimised.  I doubt you would find anything remotely similar from any of the scum among the Watch; Slynt's challenge is exceptional and probably unique.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Slynt could be just as loyal, or more, given time to properly adjust to his new situation. With a more lenient Lord Commander, like those others had. Eventually, just like petulant children who didn't like that their parents didn't let them do whatever they pleased can grow to appreciate their parents, Slynt might even come to be thankful for Jon. We'll never know.

Well I understand this is your position but it's pure conjecture and he does not have any track record that would indicate this.

And what more lenient commander?  Who were the others that had this lenient Lord Commander who forgave their mutinous behaviour and challenge to the basis of his authority. You are taking a conjecture and building a version of how the NW operates and how it's been run that has absolutely no basis at all.

Petulant children not being allowed to do as they please?  This is the NW and you are saying Slynt should be treated like an infant and will come to see Jon as a father figure?  What?  I don't see how this has a shred of realism to it.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Not any man. Some will go to their deaths spitting their defiance. Karstark, for instance.

Right. Most men then.  Men like Slynt.  He didn't spit his defiance.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

To turn back at that point would have been the height of foolishness, I'll say that. He'd forever have been seen as too weak to follow through. Regardless of whether or not it made Slynt fall in line, it'd show that doing what Slynt did will be scarcely punished. Bit of fear, repentance, acceptance. That'd never do. That said, there are ways of putting the fear of death in someone without actually being moments from killing them. That's what Jon should've done, and we can see it would've worked. 

Would it have worked?  He might have put the fear of death into Slynt but what use is that if his considered conclusion is that once Slynt has recovered from the shock he would return to intriguing against him.  You are still assuming that Slynt is a changed and perhaps a broken man.  It is worth pointing out that being sent to the NW by Tyrion didn't change or break him in the slightest and I see no reason to believe that once he had recovered he would not start weighing up his court connections, his friends in KL and in the NW and how he might proceed with more caution.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Surely he wasn't completely loyal before his outburst, or he'd have just followed orders. As you are saying Slynt should have.

I've no idea why you think there is a point there to make.  The Greatjon has no history of causing problems for either Ned or Robb prior to his outburst.  His outburst is the one example of him briefly not obeying orders so Robb has no reason to consider him a prior or a constant problem.  Slynt is the opposite.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Crimes he shouldn't be judged for, on the Wall.

He's not being judged for them.  It's my response to your peon of praise for Slynt who you declared as loyal and said he would have made a fine brother .  It's your unrealistic assessment of his character I was disagreeing with.  You probably realized that so shifted the argument.

14 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Of course he should have. Just as Jon should've reacted more submissively when he found out he was to be a Steward. Jon grew out of that quickly enough. I'm sure there were ways to whip Slynt's attitude out of him. I'd recommend doing so "literally".

Jon never refused to be a steward, he expressed his disappointment because he wanted to be a ranger.  Did he repeatedly refuse to be a steward, deny anyone's authority over him and tell anyone to "stick it up your arse?"  No.  Repeating the assertion that Slynt would have made a good brother like it's an article of faith doesn't make it true: his past behaviour argues against this.

You know, for someone who claimed to believe in the death penalty you sure seem to make a strong indictment of capital punishment.  If you believe with the right incentives or treatment anyone can be reformed and their behaviour changed to make them both loyal and useful why do you believe in capital punishment?  You can ignore that if it's too personal but everything you argue seems to support the idea that capital punishment is wrong.

15 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

You declare that I'm not being objective, and then have the audacity to put words in my mouth to skew my viewpoint towards ridiculousness. Nice.

I paraphrased but you did argue that Slynt had shown he would become loyal to Jon and might even be thankful to him in time, you argued that he was loyal in KL (rather than corrupt and available for purchase) and that he would have been a fine brother given the chance; you also argued that Slynt did not deserve capital punishment, that Jon abandoned his attempt to use Slynt at the first opportunity and moved quickly to apply the ultimate sanction for a first offence and that Jon was motivated not by logic but by emotion, and that his subconscious desire to kill Slynt was at work when he passed the sentence.

I'm sorry if you find me presenting your arguments back to you to skew things towards ridiculousness but yes, you are whitewashing Slynt and I don't find it objective.

15 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Not once have I claimed that Slynt was the Watch's "finest brother", or that he was in any way a good person. That I haven't completely dismissed his usefulness does not mean that I am trying to alter his character.

No, you said fine brother, I exaggerated and said finest.  I admit the charge.  But your peon of praise and assumption that he could be loyal and would be loyal in future asks for a huge change of heart in this venal, corrupt and ambitious man, and absent any evidence to support this (and there is none), I do think it's whitewashing.

15 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

"The vicious Jon Snow"? You speak as if I've painted Jon as some distasteful monster, that I've accused him of something so horrendous and out of the ordinary, that no man should ever act like he does. How absurd. His actions are perfectly understandable, they are just wasteful, stupid, and emotionally charged. But you know what? I'd probably do the exact same thing as he did. If someone killed a person I love, and I held their life in my hands, they'd almost certainly die. That hardly makes it the right thing to do.

Vicious =/= monster.  I don't want to play your arguments back to you again but I outlined them two points above (some of them anyway, it's late here) but you discount Janos's crime and the rational thoughts that Jon has on the punishment to once again say they are stupid and emotionally charged.  Didn't you get offended when I said you argued only an idiot would execute Slynt (poor Vic) and that you thought Jon was emotionally charged and not a fool?  Well, here you are saying Jon was stupid.  It's hard to see what you were arguing over.

And the bolded simply asks us to ignore everything Slynt does and Jon reasons and reduce Jon's motivations, actions and reasoning down to revenge. Bravo, you have just reiterated your conviction that it's about revenge.  I'm not sure why we needed all this dialogue if that is your position, a couple of lines would have sufficed.

15 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

If Jon was actually supposed to be judging Slynt for those actions, I'd have no issue. But they were supposed to be washed away by taking the Black. Jon couldn't see past Slynt's crimes, and as much as that is perfectly understandable, it's not just. It would take a rare person to be able to truly be impartial, and Jon is not that person. That's all.

Jon judges Slynt for his actions in trying to undermine his position as Lord Commander and oathbreaking in front of the entire garrison.  His crimes on taking the black were washed away.  Jon saw past not only those crimes but Slynt's attempts to have him killed while he was a brother and granted him an important command at Greyguard, . Slynt declares his mutiny in front of the entire garrison, that is what he is punished for and of course the punishment is just: that's why no one protests and Stannis nods his approval.  If it was Mormont he would have had Slynt's head off in a flash.  Any commander would.  How is executing someone for a capital crime not just?  Because you don't like the guy doesn't lessen his crime or make him immune from the ultimate penalty.  

15 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

There's scarcely a good climate for Slynt's actions. I've never defended his actions, though. Never would.

That's not the point.  You argued that it was the wrong climate to execute Slynt in as if that gave him some immunity.  It's precisely the climate in which he should avoid publicly denying his Lord Commander's authority because it makes it all the more likely that he will be dealt with severely.  In other words don't blame Jon for a problem Slynt moronic behaviour caused.

15 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

That is a logical conclusion, and one that not only I make, but Mormont made too. There's a point where desertion actually becomes desertion. Digging for buried treasure at Mole's Town is fine, midnight rides out from the Wall are fine, should friends return you, but actually leaving is not fine. Of course, a time comes when being lenient isn't possible, but it seems clear that Mormont always made the attempt.

What? I am going to be charitable and assume you misunderstood.  By the return of deserters I mean the men like Gared or the two men with Osha Robb fights in the Wolfswood.  If every man is essential, capital punishment would be abolished in the NW and deserters, rather than being executed, would be returned to the NW.

Mormont did not give a sh*t if men rode to Mole's Town in the night because he assumed they meant to return and did not consider this desertion.  It's common practice and not a big deal for any of the Officers.  Mormont would not have tolerated Slynt's behaviour.

15 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

What Slynt did is not at all comparable to murdering another brother or "true" desertion. I do suppose that it could be comparable to Jon's attempted desertion. Borderline capital. Jon could've taken the position of his friends and "brought Slynt back", but he chose not to.

This is tripe.  Slynt in publicly challenging the Lord Commander and setting an example to all brothers that orders can be disobeyed and the person of the Lord Commadner treated with contempt.  This is absolutely as serious as it gets and threatens not just discipline but the entire basis of the NW.  By contrast one member's individual misconduct whether it was a capital crime such as murder or desertion is simply one man's personal transgression that will be dealt with.  Unless there is a mass desertion or series of murders (as Chett and colleagues planned on Mormont's raging) the impact of these individual crimes on the NW is slight though personally they are extremely serious and will result in fatal punishments. 

As to Jon's attempted desertion, Mormont applies the exact same terms he does to the men who visit Mole's Town or who have a wobble at some point, if they are back at their post by morning there is no desertion.  Equating a midnight excursion that led to absolutely nothing with an open challenge to the Lord Commander that threatens the entire basis of the NW is flabbergasting.  If someone denies the king's authority they get their head chopped off, not necessarily because it's the worst individual crime there is (it's hardly close) but it threatens the whole basis of the system.  You need only look at Mormont's murder at Craster's to see why discipline is kept so strict and why a challenge in the manner of Slynt's resulted in an execution: the consequences of a breakdown are terrible.

16 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I've never changed Slynt's character, nor have I made him out to be some model citizen. I've maintained that he could be made to obey, and that he'd be good enough to serve on the Wall. Not some paragon of dutifulness, just decent enough.

Sure, you did.  You made him out to be loyal, not venal and corrupt.  You've consistently argued that he will fall in line, cease intriguing and become a reliable member of the NW and that like the other NW who have become grateful to their officers the way children become grateful to their parents he may even come to be thankful towards Jon.  This is not the character on page, he's a middle aged man not a pliant youth and what he wants is Jon out of the way so he can become the next LC as Tywin planned.  You've forgotten all about that but I sincerely doubt he has.

16 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I'd love to hear how. At Greyguard, away from Ser Alliser, there's little he could do. Perhaps he'd send ravens to Castle Black, addressed to Thorne? Well, Jon could read any mail (not just that which is addressed to Thorne, just in case) coming from the other castles first (which I'm sure he does, anyway, though it'd mostly be addressed to him). Problem solved. Slynt could bluster on about Jon to the men he's assigned. Well, give him men that can be trusted. Problem solved. There's nothing he could do. Please tell me how he could continue plotting. I'd love to hear it.

Scroll up.  There is a huge failure of imagination on your part here.  You're acting like it's some cast iron argument but he's not in solitary confinement and there are men who would be willing to listen and aid him.  The Wall is a road so the castles are not in isolation and rangings cross the wall all the time.  And the Iron Throne wanted him as Lord Commander so it's not just about Thorne.  Is that what this going to become: an argument over potential and entirely hypothetical plans?  The author's intent is clear, however mind numbing your arguments to the contrary: that Jon considers Slynt will find ways to scheme.  Maybe you think you are smart enough to foil all those potential schemes but I'm not convinced.

16 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Yes. They can work, though. Jaime's oaths to Catelyn, for example. He intends to keep them.

Let's not forget that Jaime had no intention whatsoever of keeping those oaths.  As soon as he was out of Riverrun his POV shows us he did not give a sh*t.  But then he loses his hand and Brienne's example of how a knight should behave effect a profound change on him.  There is a reason I keep saying that unlike Jaime, Slynt had no damascene conversion but you were acting as if he had.  The oath extracted at sword point has no effect on Jaime and the obedience extracted from Slynt would last no longer then he felt in mortal danger.   Where was Slynt's damascene conversion and where has the author set up elements that he will use to play with the notion of redemption.  They are not there.  Slynt is not changed by joining the NW (his humbling and loss of identity) the way Jaime is, it's business as usual albeit in reduced circumstances.

16 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Oaths secured at sword point are indeed fickle, no doubt, but oaths enforced by sword point are much more secure. If Slynt stepped out of line after being sent off to do whatever Jon would have him do, post-punishment, he'd know that one more misstep would be his demise. He obviously did not want to die. It stands to reason that he wouldn't provoke what he now knows is a dangerous bear, even if he thought to provoke it when he falsely thought it was a little squirrel.

A threat of death is a powerful thing.

Not an unreasonable argument but difficult to enforce and a huge restriction on manpower utilization over a presumably protracted period of time.  You are effectively arguing for keeping Slynt as a quarantined prisoner and still making effective use of him which are probably mutually exclusive but even assuming Slynt can be useful in quarantine at Greyguard there is no guarantee that he will not find or others will not find ways to scheme with him.  For the umpteenth time, the author gives us a few lines of thought from Jon and deems that adequate for the reader to understand that Slynt will be recalcitrant and that he will continue to scheme.

16 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

No, he was Tully's bannerman, sworn to serve Lord Hoster and Riverrun. Robb was on his way to break the siege at Riverrun. Lord Walder "should have" jumped at the chance to do assist Robb in this. Instead, he forced a little extra from the situation.

No.  He is not bound by oath to Robb so need do nothing that Robb requests or proposes.  This is indisputable fact. 

Slowpoke Frey's excuse is again that he called his banners but that by the time he was ready to march Edmure had already lost and Riverrun was besieged so he is adopting a defensive position.  He's a weasel and this stinks of Trident v2.0 but only Hoster or Edmure (in Hoster's place) can give him orders and presumably no ravens come from Riverrun ordering him to march. 

It reeks of self-interest and cynicism to negotiate for marriages in return for joining Robb but it's an alliance between Frey and Stark and he is a free agent without any obligations to Robb. 

16 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Your dismissal of this critique entirely misunderstands the difference between the ideal of the system and it's realities. Ideally, all men should just obey their leader, without question, as they ought to do. In reality, it doesn't quite work that way.

The only difference between what Lord Walder did and what Slynt did is that Walder was actually in a superior position, whereas Slynt mistakenly believed he was. If Robb could've shown Lord Frey that he wasn't in a position to make demands, Walder would quickly have kowtowed to Robb's commands without needing further incentive. All Jon needed to do was show Slynt he was mistaken. I don't approve of what either one of these men did, by the way, that's just the reality of the system.

On the contrary it is you who misunderstand the system.  Walder Frey is not Robb's bannerman and there can be no comparison between him entering into a negotiation with Robb, two Lords with no obligations towards each other, and with Slynt a sworn member of the Night's Watch refusing to obey the orders of the Lord Commadner he is bound by oath to follow,  You can talk in circles about the need to incentivise anyone in any walk of life to do what you want or what they should but this in no way should confuse you about who is bound to obey whom in the system.

Are good lords usually generous to their bannermen in order to secure goodwill?  Absolutely.  Does this mean any subordinate can refuse a command and expect to extort a better offer as an incentive to obey?  Absolutely not.  In any case the NW have no lands or titles or riches to grant but Greyguard was a suitable incentive; however Slynt wanted to be in the mix at Castle Black to supplant Jon at the first opportunity.

17 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I was referring to Longclaw, here. Jon only did what he should have done, when he protected his Lord Commander. Service is it's own reward, so why is good service rewarded? Incentive.

Wait a minute.  Are you saying that if someone else had saved Mormont's life at any point in his long life, both before he took the Black and after, he would have given them Longclaw as an incentive to continue good service?  Presumably he saw battle during the Robellion and the Greyjoy Rebellion and with wildling raiders.  I think you are far too quick to try and fit particular circumstances to your point.  I wonder how many Valyrian swords he has got through in his time, quite a few I imagine.

It seems like he is an old man who is rewarding someone who saved his life.  He doesn't expect to use the blade again so he grants it to Jon.  It's amazingly generous and is often complained of as a plot gift but it's a unique circumstance not to be repeated.  It's not how he has spent his lifetime ordering men and expecting them to obey him.

I'm not sure where you are going with this.  Should Jon have given Slynt Longclaw to incentivise him?

17 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I know that, ideally, Slynt should just obey, but that's not the reality. It simply isn't. If someone can get something more for doing their duty, they're going to want to.

Persuasion, incentive, or punishment in order to have your subordinates obey. That's not unreasonable. Take Tywin's dealings with the Reyne's and Tarbecks, for instance. Lord Tytos should have smacked them back down, but didn't. By the time Tywin involved himself, they were so sure of themselves that they wouldn't kneel. Despite this, Ser Tywin tried repeatedly to smack them down, to allow them to surrender. Tywin warred against them, and time and again he tried to make them surrender. By the time he killed them all, he'd given them multiple chances and reasons (they were losing the war, for instance) to back down. Contrast this with Jon, who merely told Slynt to obey, and killed him when he wouldn't.

Just because someone gets out of line, that doesn't mean that they need to die. Just smacked back down.

I understand that people don't always do what they should, that's why they get sacked, locked up, or depending on where in the world you are, executed.  But consider what would have happened to the Reynes or Tarbecks if they had not had castles to shelter in.  They would have died on the spot without the need for any war or more to the point they would have been smart enough to realise how exposed they were and not rebel.  Slynt doesn't have a castle to shelter in but he's still dumb enough to break his oaths.  And you should consider why the Reynes and Tarbecks refused to kneel and why Tywin had to destroy them militarily: they had successfully challenged the authority of their Lord and were bannermen in name but no in fact.  That's the problem Slynt's challenge presents to Jon.

17 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Right. But you cannot be sacked from the Wall. If being sacked is the same as being executed, where are the other steps? Having you scourged, having you imprisoned, having your tongue out. Do you really think that your boss wouldn't, say, have you whipped (should she be allowed to do so) and then have you put back to work, instead of getting rid of you and needing to find and train another person? That your boss wouldn't think that your offense necessitated more punishment than being suspended or having your pay docked, but that something harsher, but not quite to being sacked, would be reasonable? There is no harsher response but to fire you, so that becomes the only choice. That is not so, for Jon.

The point of the analogy was although companies have various punishments including warnings and suspension there are still breaches of contract that are severe enough to merit instant dismissal without going through the range of punishments and finally reaching dismissal.  You sound like you are thinking of a unionised industry where dismissals are notoriously hard to achieve despite flagrant breaches of contract but the example simply transferred Slynt's behaviour into a typical office or professional environment where you would be escorted off the premises for that.

Even thinking of the office environments I am familiar with over 20+ years I am laughing at the idea that there would be a path to return to work in this scenario but at least you are consistent in arguing that no first offence, however great, shouldn't be forgiven and a path back offered.  Even our world doesn't work this way when the breach is severe enough and Weteros certainly doesn't, particularly not at the business end of the NW.  That's just the way it is.

17 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Yeah, fair enough. If a one-to-one analogy or metaphor would work, you wouldn't need to bother with the analogy or metaphor at all, considering agreeing with one would automatically have you agree with the other. Unless you're dealing with a hypocrite, I suppose.

I have no idea what you are saying.  The analogy is fairly simple, do you have some particular point?

17 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Yeah, as a last resort, not the first.

He was given three chances.  Three strikes and you are out.

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3 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I think that says it all. He wouldn't have killed other men for the same offense. He could've been harsh with Slynt, without killing him. The same as he would've been with others. The difference isn't that Slynt is an officer, it's that he murdered Jon's father.

This is a rather large assumption...what other men are stupid enough to so openly disobey their own commanding officer?  And when would these other men do something like that?  The difference is not that Slynt murdered Jon's father, it's that he's a complete idiot who dug his own grave.

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There's a lot to show that Jon was avenging his father, here, including the way he killed Slynt. Not having someone kill him, but swinging the sword himself. Not only is it a direct parallel to the way Slynt killed Lord Eddard, but it's something that Ned taught Jon to do, himself. Jon's father is on his mind. It seems to me that Jon is acting more as Jon Snow, son of Eddard Stark than he is Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.

It's not a direct parallel, it's actually the opposite.  Did Slynt kill Ned himself?  Did he swing the sword?

Yes, Jon's father is on his mind because Jon looks up to him.  Just like Robb.  When Robb killed Karstark was he fantasizing about  revenge for Ned?  Or was he just passing the sentence on as he was taught to by Ned, like the rest of the Stark children.  It seems to me that Jon is acting exactly as a Lord Commander of the Night's Watch should act when one of his officers flat-out disobeys an order and forces Jon to "kill the boy."

2 hours ago, Bernie Mac said:

If he didn't want to kill him he would not have killed him.  That is pretty simple.  He could have had him whipped, he could have had him thrown in a cell, he could have even told him what refusing his offer would mean. He was not forced into killing him, he made a decision, even when Slynt was pleading to be able to go to Greyguard.

Wait, so @Ran gives you a quote from Jon's own thoughts saying that he hoped Slynt came to his senses and this is what you're arguing?  No responsibility for Slynt forcing Jon's hand?  This is exactly how the book describes it.  Jon has given Slynt every reasonable opportunity here to fulfill his orders.  The Night's Watch is not some tea party bro hangout, it's a military order where recruits lives are forfeit in service of a cause.  

Even in today's modern world an officer disobeying a commanding lawful order is subject to dishonorable discharge and confinement for multiple years.  In the Night's Watch, there is no "discharge" and there is no prolonged confinment that we know of.  

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So why, in the middle of sentencing him, does he think of the other two punishments? 

Because Jon likes to think everything through?  Because Jon has already thought to himself that he doesn't want to do this and is looking for a way out, but realizes there is no alternative?

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All we can judge is written in the books, and from what I have read it looks like Jon over punished a man he was fantasizing about killing before the insubordination occured. 

Wow, seems like we are just reading different books.  :cheers:

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sure, but his thought process during it does not suggest that death was his forced option. 

That's actually exactly what his thought process suggests to me and it appears several others.  I don't quite understand why in your view Slynt has no accountability for his actions at all, and why Jon is supposed to coddle him in a world where that is uncommon to say the least.  Jon  thinks to himself "geez, I hope Slynt obeys and I think of him as a brother despite our personal history, he must have some ability to lead people hence why i'm putting him in charge of a fortress which is super important to me and the Night's Watch and something I usually reserve for friends."  Then Jon goes out and gives Slynt multiple opportunities to obey this simple and reasonable order, thinking all the while "I hope he obeys me" and you're reading Jon fantasizing about and enjoying and planning on Slynt's murder?

Again, to each his own I guess but I don't see that at all when I read that.  

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Perfect Justice? No.

 

But winter is coming  and it was deeeeeefinitely the right move. This isn't a story about perfect justice or perfect characters.

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7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Well I wrote a long response to this and then somehow deleted it :tantrum: so I'm going to go through it all again and then for the sake of my sanity throw away my keyboard.

Oof, I know that feeling. 

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

but I don't really follow your point about immediacy of punishment since Slynt had his head chopped off so I'll leave it.

Ah, I didn't actually fully explain (I was going to come back to it, I think), so that makes sense. My point was that, of course, the Greatjon went from zero to treason in six seconds, so it was all so immediate. Everything that happened was met with punishment, everyone moved on. Slynt, on the other hand, had his crime building for a while, which wasn't punished until the end, with his execution. My point was that Slynt should've been punished earlier, when his crime was less severe (as in, before he overstepped his bounds in so publicly). At his first refusal, he could've just had him whipped and sent on his way to Greyguard. Jon, rather foolishly, allowed Slynt to continue his behaviour, allowed him to consider himself above Jon, allowing it to build to the climax it did. I don't think he was being malicious, though. 

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

What is the relevance of this?  A comparison has to have some basis to be useful.  Dany has no right to ask this of them and no legitimate basis for enforcing any kind of punishment if they quite lawfully refuse as they do. 

Daenerys obviously believes she has the authority, else she wouldn't be demanding they obey her. If she believes she has the authority here, there's no reason she wouldn't behave in the same way as she would when she believes she has authority, and actually does. Yet she doesn't behave as you suggest she would.

The only difference between the situations is that, with Daenerys, the disobedient ones are in the right. But that's irrelevant, as Daenerys believes she is in the right.

Do you disagree that she believes she has authority? If she doesn't think she has authority, why is she ordering them around? People only behave as if they have authority if they believe they have authority. If I were King of the World, but didn't know it, I wouldn't be going around telling people what to do, as I don't believe I have any authority to do so. Of course, the reverse is true, also. If I thought I was King of the World, but was not, I'd behave as if I was.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

It's a false argument to try and take this and say that I am suggesting she execute them for this: I'm not, you know I'm not

Of course I know you aren't suggesting that she execute them. But you are suggesting that she thinks she should execute them (because she believes she has authority over them).

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I listed a number of rulers or commanders who wold have executed Slynt, you denied any of them would  "apart from Vic, but he's an idiot".  You can play with semantics here but it seems to accurately sum up your argument which was no one would have done the same except Victarion and only because he's an idiot.

Are we good now?

I wouldn't say we're good, about this. Victarion is an idiot, and I'm certain he would behave the way you say.

"No man calls Victarion Greyjoy a fool and lives to boast of it."

Yeah, pretty sure he act as you suggest. That doesn't mean I'm saying only an idiot would do so. Yes, I think it's a stupid thing to do, I don't think I've ever denied that. Non-stupid people can do stupid things.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Ran outlined the sequence a little earlier so I won't repeat that but he's working away in the background to undermine Jon and when he is given a suitable command at Greyguard he is given a number of opportunities and a deal of time to wrestle with himself and obey the order.  He doesn't.

I'm pretty sure that this was Slynt's first bit of trouble since Jon became Lord Commander. He can't be judged for trying to kill Jon before he was LC, because there was no crime. Jon was a suspected turncloak who claims to have killed Qhorin on his own order (we know it's true, but it certainly does sound unlikely), and by his own admission took a wildling into his bed, caring for her more than as just a cover. Hardly instills trust, but it was no crime. Other than that, once Jon was Lord Commander, it seems that nothing happened until this situation, with Greyguard.

It's also quite obvious that Slynt wasn't going to obey without being forced to. But Jon absolutely could've forced him to, but he didn't.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

How long should he continue to refuse Jon's order and how many times can he refuse it - a day, a week, a  year, once, twice, a hundred times - before you consider it more than the first offence?

Until he gets punished. As you said yourself, "How long should he continue". There's no stopping and starting, it's one continuous offense, which is Jon's fault, as he's in a perfectly fine position to punish the man. Now, of course you can disobey the same order multiple times, but this is the same act of disobedience. He's still disobedient, he's not disobedient again. One offence.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Each act of disobedience creates an impression and a problem and each refusal is more heated, more contemptuous and more problematic for Jon.

Yes, and it was a crime the first time. Why should that go unpunished, yet "multiple offences" are punishable by death? That makes no sense. And if it should be punished (it should), why was it not punished? Even if we should consider it multiple offences (I don't think we should), we should give it the same punishment as the first offence, just more times. (For instance, if a first offence is punishable by 10 lashes, but a second offence is punishable by 20 lashes, and so on, for five offences, he should only be given 50 lashes, not 150, as he'd otherwise deserve. You can't delay someone's punishment just so you can punish them worse, later.) Even in that case, as I maintain that a first offence for this kind of behaviour shouldn't be met with death, he shouldn't have been executed.

I don't think that's unreasonable.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

It's an escalation that ends in front of almost all of Castle Black and Stannis's men.

It's entirely plausible that it wouldn't have escalated that far, if Jon didn't allow it to. Few people get whipped, and then immediately turns around and act the same way. 

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

But Jon's whole experience of him as a brother is that he cannot be trusted, an impression that Slynt spectacularly fails to correct and only affirms and emphasizes by his refusal to accept orders and his open statement in front of everyone that he is beyond Jon's authority.

But how does that show that he can never be trusted? He's not going to just change overnight because Jon asks him to. There was no punishment but death. Punishment exists to act as a deterrent, but it doesn't work unless you actually use it. There's no fear of punishment, as Jon didn't punish him, until he executed him. Slynt didn't believe that he could be touched, so of course he's not going to respond. Duty, at least this early on in his career in the Night's Watch, is not enough to put Slynt in line, as he's shown. Fear of punishment may do so, but Jon doesn't bother to check. The only reason that Slynt behaved the way he did is that he believed himself to be in a superior position, but any punishment would show him, implicitly and without question, that he is not in a superior position. From there, he can gain a healthy fear of his Lord Commander, without which he won't obey. Why not try?

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

It is a capital offense.  Mitigating circumstances or belief in the contrition of the offender might earn a reprieve.  But there are none and he isn't,

It's not a capital offence. It's a potentially capital offence, yes. But Jon goes through other options. He doesn't dismiss them because Slynt's crime warrants only execution, but for other (and yes, in my opinion, poorly thought out) reasons.

But there are mitigating circumstances. I've gone over them, but it being a first offence and the Watch needing every man are two examples.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Future events are by necessity supposition with no backing, that doesn't prevent people from making reasoned decisions based on experience and a clear pattern of behaviour.

Sure, but you can't execute people based on what they may do. That is most certainly unjust.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

You may think he would fall in line but this is based not on any pattern of behaviour but the very supposition with no backing that you are keen to argue should count in his favour.

First of all, I think it probable that he would fall in line, not absolutely certain. Few things are. But the only pattern Slynt showed is that, when he doesn't fear reprisal, he'll act out. Jon could've given him fear. We see, perfectly well, that when Slynt is afraid, he acquiesces to Jon's demands. Sure, you say that won't last once the sword is lowered, but the sword is never truly lowered. That's what punishment is supposed to entail. The sword, waiting to drop, always there when you consider disobedience.

If, of course, he showed that he'd do the same, despite the threat of punishment (as in, Jon has punished him, and he shows himself to be disobedient again), then perhaps your point would have merit. He hasn't, though.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I think it counts against him as he has given no inkling that he will fall in line as you contend.

There's no inkling that he wouldn't, either, as before his execution, we never see him with fear.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

How not?  Because you say it isn't?

No, because there's a direct contradiction in his reasoning. That shows poor reasoning, not solid reasoning.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Well, Slynt is known to have connections in KL and there will be brothers in the NW who will be prepared to work with him - some of the dozen or so corrupt Goldcloaks who came with him for a start - so merely physically separating Thorne and Slynt would not prevent intriguing;

I think five men showed up with Slynt. Slynt was sent to the Wall with the six men he offered to be his replacement, minus Allar Deem, who was thrown overboard. It'd be trivially easy to keep them separate. Keep those five men at Eastwatch, or with him at Castle Black. Problem solved.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

and as castellan at Greyguard he would have ravens and the ability to communicate.

Ravens don't deliver messages directly to people. They go to the rookery. Jon can read all mail, if he chooses. There's no issue there.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

As I said before I don't think it's necessary for GRRM to provide more than a basis for Jon's reasoning to illustrate the point he is making,

I agree. If GRRM wanted us to believe Jon's reasoning was sound, he'd have given a few examples of sound reasoning, as the basis, rather than what we got, which was contradictory. I don't think that's a mistake.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

and it seems silly to dismiss it because you don't find it comprehensive or detailed enough.

It's silly to dismiss reasoning because I don't find it comprehensive or detailed? I haven't dismissed it for not be comprehensive or detailed, I've dismissed it because the reasoning we are given is full of holes, and is directly contradictory. What other reason would I need to dismiss it? It's poor reasoning. Reasoning based on contradictions is poor reasoning.

It's silly to accept it as fact that it's good, sound reasoning just because Jon made was the one who reasoned it.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Had Slynt behaved differently Jon would never have ended up with this last resort.

This is such a non-argument. You could say that about anything. "If Jane had behaved differently, and didn't steal that loaf of bread, Frank wouldn't have ended up flaying her alive". No, I'm not suggesting that Slynt's crime is similar to stealing a loaf of bread, nor that his execution is quite as bad as flaying someone alive. It's hyperbole, to make a point. The point I'm making is that, just because punishment is warranted, that doesn't mean that the punishment given was warranted. In both cases, what happened with Slynt and what happened with Jane, each criminals actions lead them to their position. But Jane's punishment doesn't fit the crime, and I maintain that Slynt's doesn't, either (though it is, of course, less of a massive leap).

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

He didn't abandon the attempt, Slynt repeatedly refused and repeatedly escalated the matter and went past the point of return.

Of course he abandoned the attempt. If he truly wanted to attempt to make use of the man, his first punishment of the man wouldn't have been execution.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Well if you agree in substance I'm not sure what are we arguing about.

What we're arguing about it motivation. You are of the view that Jon punished Slynt solely because of his actions. I am of the view that Jon punished Slynt because of his actions, yes, but upped the punishment out of a desire for revenge (which is to say, vengeance was clouding his judgement, which prevented him from being impartial).

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Whatever is bubbling along in Jon's subconscious it does not impinge on his coolly rational and logical approach in deciding how to punish Slynt.

I think it does. Such thoughts colour everything that's happening. Whenever Jon is dealing with Slynt, he ruminates on how difficult it is to see him as his brother, or has thoughts about Slynt's treatment of Lord Eddard. If Jon were thinking clearly, if Slynt hadn't murdered Jon's father, I truly don't think that he'd have executed him. Punished, yes, without a doubt, but not execution. Jon's reasoning was poor. The reason his reasoning was poor is because he wasn't thinking clearly. The reason he wasn't thinking clearly is because Slynt killed his father.

All throughout Jon's dealings with Slynt, Jon is trying to be impartial, but however hard he was trying, I think he failed at the end.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Does it make it right?  Stannis is notorious for his sense of justice.  His approval is independent confirmation that he would have done the same and that all the rest of the excuses - Slynt didn't know it was a capital offence, it was only a first time offence and he should have been treated more leniently, Jon was emotional not rational, it was murder not justice - are refuted.

Those things are not refuted by Stannis's approval. Stannis is known to be just, but harsh. He's the kind of man who jumps to the harshest punishment. Now, that's still justice, because Stannis is impartial, when he does so. It's not based around who the offender is, nor what the crime was. Harsh punishments all around. Jon was unjust because he wasn't being impartial, and he wouldn't have made the same call if another man were in that position.

There is room for mercy in justice, but Stannis is notoriously without mercy.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

We do as it happens.  Oathbreaking is punishable by death and the Greatjon is a feudal vassal of the Starks.  He is bound to obey or he will face sanctions up to and including death.

Yes, oathbreaking can be punished by death. Not always. The Reynes and the Tarbecks, for instance, were willfully disobedient, and often. They would refuse to pay taxes, openly mocking their lord, etc. Yet Tywin was willing to let the live, so long as they would get back in line.

Now, you may say that Slynt had enough chances to get back in line, and that's not a terrible point, but he wasn't punished once for his offences, so why would he have done so? It was never "get back in line or I'll kill you", it was "get back in line". Considering he was never punished, there was never any reason for him to get back in line. If Jon telling him to get back in line was going to be enough, he wouldn't have gotten out of line in the first place.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

You are taking up positions that seem dangerously close to arguing water isn't dry.  You did just that by coming close to arguing that oathbreaking is not a capital crime right above.

Water is wet. Oathbreaking is not always a capital crime. I fail to see the connection.

(Also, the bolded is an amusing typo which completely changes your point. I know what you meant, though, but it's still amusing.)

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Sh*t happens.  I did find the idea of Stannis or Tywin coaxing or wheedling their men to get them to obey orders or go into battle quite funny.  Hopefully you do too.

"You're all such big, strong men. These Northmen could never stand up to you!" - Lord Tywin Lannister

Yeah, bit ridiculous. Heh.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

But no one protests.  There are quite possibly a 100 of the NW there including Thorne and Marsh, the latter a senior officer and Jon is a newly elected Lord Commander so if he is overstepping his authority now would be the time to say something.

I'm not saying that it's not within Jon's rights to execute the man, just that it's such an extreme thing to do. If it were to be expected that this behaviour is worthy of death, why is there such shock? It seems to me that this is the last thing anybody expected Jon would do. So sure, nobody protests, but you'll recall that Jon is ordering the execution of Slynt for protesting his orders. You'd have to be mad, or certain that you'd have people willing to back you against Jon. If someone tells Jon "you can't do that,", why would anyone expect any answer but "just like I can't order Slynt to go to Greyguard? Hang him, too."? I don't think that would be Jon's answer, but we have the luxury of being inside the man's head (and even still, there's evidently debate about his motivations). How do you suppose the men feel?

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

He did this because he thought he was better than Jon and he thought he was untouchable, no rapist or poacher or murderer is going to think that and deny his Lord Commander's authority.

Yes, I agree. But that's precisely my point. Slynt thought he was untouchable. Other scummy sorts on the Wall don't think they're untouchable, and they therefore obey, and are considered loyal enough to serve. The difference between these men and Slynt is that Slynt thinks he's untouchable, not that he's definitely beyond being put to use, no matter what is done.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I doubt you would find anything remotely similar from any of the scum among the Watch; Slynt's challenge is exceptional and probably unique.

Yes, I'm sure it's quite unique, but he behaved that way because he, erroneously, believed himself to be in a superior position. Jon can prove to him, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that he is mistaken, by punishing him in any way. After this, the exceptional difference between Slynt and the other scum is removed, and there's no reason to believe he wouldn't obey, just as they do.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

This is the NW and you are saying Slynt should be treated like an infant and will come to see Jon as a father figure?

I was more thinking teenagers, but I never said he'd could come to see Jon as a father figure (he's more than twice his senior, that's ridiculous). It was just an idle connection, but the point was that parents are a child's (and by child, I mean son or daughter, not a young human) superiors, and children often come to realise that their parents are actually smarter than they are (or were, at the time), and so come to appreciate what they've done. Slynt could come to see his superior, his Lord Commander, in a similar vein. Because Jon is in the right, just as most parents are in such situations.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Right. Most men then.  Men like Slynt.  He didn't spit his defiance.

Yes. Men who don't fear death will never be changed by the threat of death. Men who do fear death, men like Slynt, can be changed by the fear of death, or at least cowed by it.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

It is worth pointing out that being sent to the NW by Tyrion didn't change or break him in the slightest

Yes, because he still had his sense of superiority. That could absolutely be whipped out of him.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I've no idea why you think there is a point there to make.  The Greatjon has no history of causing problems for either Ned or Robb prior to his outburst.  His outburst is the one example of him briefly not obeying orders so Robb has no reason to consider him a prior or a constant problem.  Slynt is the opposite.

So he's being judged (to the point of execution) for crimes he committed before joining the Watch, and for the negative things he did to Jon (none of which were crimes) before Jon became the Lord Commander. Is that what you're saying?

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

It's my response to your peon of praise for Slynt who you declared as loyal and said he would have made a fine brother .  It's your unrealistic assessment of his character I was disagreeing with.  You probably realized that so shifted the argument.

I've never said Slynt was loyal. I've said that he could be made loyal. Or, with regards to his service in King's Landing, I said he was loyal enough. Not loyal. Which is true, as he was judged to be loyal enough to serve for approximately two decades. And by fine, I mean serviceable, good enough. Not fine as in fine wine.

But I hardly shifted the argument. You brought up his previous crimes in relation to why he cannot be trusted, and his previous crimes are not allowed to be used to judge him, on the Wall. It's a clean slate sort of deal. Anything that happened, anything you did, before taking the Black is wiped clean. Yet you say this is what directly lead to his death. So saying he shouldn't be judged on those crimes is hardly changing the subject.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Jon never refused to be a steward, he expressed his disappointment because he wanted to be a ranger.  Did he repeatedly refuse to be a steward, deny anyone's authority over him and tell anyone to "stick it up your arse?" 

Did I say that he should be punished? No. He was able to be talked out of his issues, that problem was solved. Slynt is unable to be talked out of his issues, but that doesn't mean he's a lost cause. Everyone has issues when first arriving at the Wall, that's natural. There are other ways to alleviate people of their issues. Like a severe whipping, for instance.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Repeating the assertion that Slynt would have made a good brother

I have never said that Slynt would have made a good brother. But I maintain that he could have made a good enough brother, given the chance.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

You know, for someone who claimed to believe in the death penalty you sure seem to make a strong indictment of capital punishment.  If you believe with the right incentives or treatment anyone can be reformed and their behaviour changed to make them both loyal and useful why do you believe in capital punishment?

I don't believe that anyone can be made to be loyal and useful. There's no reason not to try, though. If people are unwilling or unable to learn from their punishments, there's no reason to keep trying. For instance, say someone is imprisoned for assaulting another, and serves, say, five years on good behaviour. A lot of people will learn from that. Prison is awful, as I understand (never been, myself), and now it's not just a theoretical deterrent, but something they have knowledge of, and will try harder to avoid. If, however, that same person is imprisoned for such an offence again, why should we assume that, this time, after release, things will be different? No reason I can see, have them done with. (You may think that this is contradictory with my thoughts about Slynt, but it's not. His crimes before the Wall should be washed away. If he were executed before going to the Wall, I'd not have a problem. He'd never been punished for anything, on the Wall, until his death.)

This is a side issue, but I don't really approve of such blank slate sorts of deals, such as the Wall. I understand it's necessary in Westeros, and it's lawful and should be obeyed, but still.

Murderers are another story. Even if they can be changed, it's irrelevant. To allow a murderer to go free (no matter their time in prison), is to spit in the face of their victim(s) and their grieving loved ones. They should simply be killed. If the deterrent failed, like it did in the hypothetical with the other person, well, now at least one more person has been killed. Any known murderer being released from prison puts, quite literally, everyone in the world at risk (a murderer from the UK probably won't end up murdering too many people in some random town in the US, but still. It may be hyperbolic, but it's not untrue.). Theoretically, at 25 years to life, a murderer could go to prison and be released twice, on good behaviour, and be free to do so again. Absurd. And if someone is never going to be freed, what's the purpose in wasting the resources to allow them to live in prison? Nonsense.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, my issue with Jon is that he didn't even try to force Slynt to obey. He ordered him to do so, yes, and he gave him time to repent, but he should have punished him. If he disobeyed, despite his punishment, then he should be killed. Not before.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I paraphrased but you did argue that Slynt had shown he would become loyal

That he could become loyal.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

and might even be thankful to him in time,

Is that impossible? Another, pettier man might've had him mucking the stables for the rest of his life. Another, more vengeful man might've killed him. He could very well be thankful for being given command of Greyguard instead. He's not thankful for it at the point he died, no, but he could well have become thankful to him, in time. That doesn't sound too unreasonable.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

you argued that he was loyal in KL

That he was loyal enough. He served for two decades, that seems to support this. Yes, he was corrupt as shit, but he still served the greater purpose of his role, which was keeping order. There are other corrupt people on the Wall who serve just fine.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

and that he would have been a fine brother given the chance;

That he could have been a fine brother given the chance. These things aren't untrue.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I'm sorry if you find me presenting your arguments back to you to skew things towards ridiculousness

Those weren't my arguments. Once again, you're trying to make it sound like I'm saying Slynt is some kind of paragon of decency, but I'm simply not. I'm just saying, if given the chance all of the other scum got, he'd probably serve just as well. Yes, the others didn't need to have a sense of superiority whipped out of them, but that's not all that difficult. One tiny extra step, it's not that much to ask.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

you are whitewashing Slynt and I don't find it objective.

I think you're the one not being objective. I've never denied that Slynt is a real piece of garbage. All I'm arguing, and I firmly believe it, is that since coming to the Wall, Slynt hasn't done anything that necessitates execution, and that he could be made to serve, just as anyone else can.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

No, you said fine brother, I exaggerated and said finest.  I admit the charge.

Right, I think you've just misinterpreted what I meant by fine. It is a bit absurd that it can mean both exceptional and average. But I meant average.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Didn't you get offended when I said you argued only an idiot would execute Slynt (poor Vic) and that you thought Jon was emotionally charged and not a fool?  Well, here you are saying Jon was stupid.

I wasn't offended, it just wasn't what I said. Regardless, stupid people can do intelligent things, and intelligent people can do stupid things. I maintain it was a stupid thing.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

And the bolded simply asks us to ignore everything Slynt does and Jon reasons and reduce Jon's motivations, actions and reasoning down to revenge.

I've never ignored what Slynt did. I've always maintained that it's worthy of punishment. I've never denied that Jon was right to punish Slynt, just that he went too far. Yes, because he wanted revenge, and that clouded his judgement.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Bravo, you have just reiterated your conviction that it's about revenge.  I'm not sure why we needed all this dialogue if that is your position, a couple of lines would have sufficed.

You already know that's how I feel. What's the point of any of this? I'm responding to your points. Of course I could just have a blanket statement that it boils down to revenge, but I'm responding to you with the reasons why I think it boils down to revenge. Just as you are, about why you think it doesn't. I don't understand the issue.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

That's not the point.  You argued that it was the wrong climate to execute Slynt in as if that gave him some immunity.

Doesn't it? I'm not saying that it should be Jon's main reasoning, but it's certainly extra incentive not to kill the man. It's a side issue, though. I don't think the crime itself, considering it's a first offence, to be worth capital punishment.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

What? I am going to be charitable and assume you misunderstood.  By the return of deserters I mean the men like Gared or the two men with Osha Robb fights in the Wolfswood.

I didn't misunderstand, I was making a point. Both sorts of desertion are desertion, of course. Yet one goes completely unpunished, and another is punished by execution. The point I was making is that, even though it's still desertion, there is room for leniency. Slynt's crime is more akin to the Mole's Town excursions, or to Jon's trip, rather than it is to Gared's desertion.

This comes down to the punishment, too. I'm certain nobody would raise a massive protest if the Lord Commander decided to execute a deserter freshly back from Mole's Town. It traditionally goes unpunished, but that doesn't mean it's not desertion. You can be damned sure there'd be some shocked faces, though.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Equating a midnight excursion that led to absolutely nothing with an open challenge to the Lord Commander that threatens the entire basis of the NW is flabbergasting.

And why did it lead to nothing? Because Jon's friends brought him back. Jon could have "brought Slynt back" from his crimes (by having him punished, and making it perfectly clear that it won't be tolerated), but he chose not to, then decided to execute him.

Do you imagine that, if Mormont rode out with Jon's friends and prevented them from bringing Jon back, that he'd be perfectly justified in executing Jon, when he's inevitably caught? Well, perhaps, because he did desert, but that's incredibly underhanded and cruel. Jon could have tried. If Jon's friends were unable to bring him back, so be it. If Slynt proves he's unable to be cowed, after he's punished, so be it. But why not just try?

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

If someone denies the king's authority they get their head chopped off

I seem to recall that Ilyn Payne denied Aerys's authority. He had his tongue ripped out. Other punishments are available.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

You need only look at Mormont's murder at Craster's to see why discipline is kept so strict

Because the threat of being scourged, or of having your tongue ripped out, or of spending a week in the ice cells could never keep discipline? Only death? I think not.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

This is not the character on page, he's a middle aged man not a pliant youth

You don't have to be young to develop a bit of wisdom. Take Jaime, for example.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

There is a huge failure of imagination on your part here.  You're acting like it's some cast iron argument but he's not in solitary confinement and there are men who would be willing to listen and aid him.  The Wall is a road so the castles are not in isolation and rangings cross the wall all the time.

Perhaps my imagination is failing, because I truly cannot see any true threat, here. Not only would it be incredibly difficult to plot, he'd now know that this kind of insubordination won't be tolerated. When he knows his life is on the line, is he really going to risk it? If it was easy, maybe, but I don't see how he could. 

Yes, the Wall is a road, but it's quite a long one. You don't just duck in to the neighbouring castle for a bit, it's a big deal to travel that distance. And if he, or men under his thumb are caught doing so, the consequences would be severe.

He only ever plotted when he thought he was invincible. Once he knows that's not true, it stands to reason he'll stop.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Maybe you think you are smart enough to foil all those potential schemes but I'm not convinced.

I suppose I do think that. Or, at least, I think Jon is smart enough to do so. I honestly cannot see any way that he could continue to conspire that is not incredibly risky.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

and where has the author set up elements that he will use to play with the notion of redemption.

Well, that's awfully meta, isn't it? Considering GRRM knew he was going to have him executed, there's no point beginning some redemption path. I think it clear enough, however, that Slynt is no worse than some of the disgusting wretches on the Wall, and could be made to serve as well.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

For the umpteenth time, the author gives us a few lines of thought from Jon and deems that adequate for the reader to understand that Slynt will be recalcitrant

But how do you know the author hasn't given us a few lines of thought, and deemed that adequate for us to understand that Jon hasn't really thought this through? You're making an assumption here.

I'm of the impression, by the way, that GRRM gave us these lines, and left us to come to our own conclusions, one way or the other.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Does this mean any subordinate can refuse a command and expect to extort a better offer as an incentive to obey?  Absolutely not.

I agree. You have them whipped for their impudence, then have them dragged back in line. Carrot and Stick. This is a time for the stick.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Are you saying that if someone else had saved Mormont's life at any point in his long life, both before he took the Black and after, he would have given them Longclaw as an incentive to continue good service?

No, but he'd have rewarded them in some way, surely, which he doesn't need to do. Considering saving Mormont's life is what they should do.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Presumably he saw battle during the Robellion and the Greyjoy Rebellion and with wildling raiders.

I think he was already on the Wall before both of those wars. He was Lord Commander before the Greyjoy Rebellion, at least.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I'm not sure where you are going with this.  Should Jon have given Slynt Longclaw to incentivise him?

No, don't be absurd. What I'm suggesting is that Jon should've had Slynt whipped, or imprisoned in one of the ice cells, or perhaps had his tongue out. Carrot, Stick. Longclaw was an example of the carrot. But Jon should've used the stick. I was just pointing out that men don't always do as they should, and that incentives and punishments are used in order to have them do so.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

And you should consider why the Reynes and Tarbecks refused to kneel and why Tywin had to destroy them militarily: they had successfully challenged the authority of their Lord and were bannermen in name but no in fact.  That's the problem Slynt's challenge presents to Jon.

That's actually exactly my point. It's the same issue of contention, yet Tywin was willing to let the Reynes and the Tarbecks live, if they would back down.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Even thinking of the office environments I am familiar with over 20+ years I am laughing at the idea that there would be a path to return to work in this scenario but at least you are consistent in arguing that no first offence, however great, shouldn't be forgiven and a path back offered.

Of course I'm consistent, I'm not a hypocrite. If you said these kind of things to me, though, and I were your boss, I'd forgive you, and work with you again, so long as you were punished adequately. Mind you, there is no punishment I might consider adequate below firing, in our current age. But if there were, it'd be okay. There'd still be some tension, of course, but that'd change with time, so long as you had.

It's the kind of thing someone might punch you in the face for (not me, but a more... testosterone filled man, perhaps), but not hold against you for the rest of your life. I know it's different with Slynt, considering it's also dangerous to Jon's authority, which is why it requires somewhat more of a punishment than a punch in the mouth, but still not execution.

Still, as I said earlier, it's not as if there's no first offence worthy of death. Murder, for instance. Deserting the Wall, I'm fine with death being the penalty.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

I have no idea what you are saying.  The analogy is fairly simple, do you have some particular point?

I'm saying what I said, nothing more. Perfect analogies are worthless (ironically enough), because they don't offer a different perspective. They need hyperbole, or a new point, to make someone reconsider their point. If a perfect analogy would convince someone of anything, they wouldn't need convincing, as they'd already come to the same conclusion from whatever the analogy is analogous to.

So, no, I guess, I don't really have a point. Not one that applies to the topic at hand, I suppose. Just ruminations on analogies.

7 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

He was given three chances.  Three strikes and you are out.

Perhaps he should've been given one punishment, instead of three chances, before he was out.

6 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

This is a rather large assumption...what other men are stupid enough to so openly disobey their own commanding officer?

Who would do it is irrelevant. A hypothetical Janos Slynt who is exactly the same, but never murdered Jon's father (say, if Ned died from infection of his leg in the Black Cells). He'd have the same bluster. Would Jon kill him then? I, obviously, have my doubts.

6 hours ago, Tagganaro said:

Wow, seems like we are just reading different books.  :cheers:

It's almost as if we're all seeing something that is, evidently, open to interpretation, and we're interpreting it differently. Not much of a shock, I have to say.

6 hours ago, Leonardo said:

Perfect Justice? No.

That's basically the main point of contention for a lot of us. But with the caveat, I suppose, of wondering whether or not justice is really justice if it's imperfect.

Edited by cyberdirectorfreedom
Finally done.

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11 hours ago, Ran said:

Who said Jon has to be sad? I'd say he was more frustrated than anything:

He didn't want to kill him. End of story. But he felt he had to because of the severity of his insubordination and the threat of his undermining his authority by stirring mutiny.

As to time, I'm pretty sure that when Jon decided to offer Greyguard, he pondered what he would do if Slynt refused him, and considered different levels of refusal -- from politely declining to professing himself not up to the task to cursing him to making a big show of refusing to do as he was ordered in public. It seems obvious that Jon's hope was in part motivated by the fact that he had concluded that in all likelihood he would have to kill Slynt.

I don't think this is a split second of his considering alternates in any serious way. It's a split second of again going over possibilities he had already rejected because of the problems they each provided him. And why was he thinking of them again in that moment? Because, again, he didn't really want to kill him since he could have been useful to the Watch. But he could see no way of making him useful, and certainly no way to do that without undermining his own position of authority.

Ultimately the characters continue thinking and acting off-page. Just as Slynt had an evening to consider what to do, Jon had an evening to ponder how to respond to Slynt if he refused again to do as he was told.

 

ETA: FWIW, GRRM's remark on Stannis's righteousness is wholly from the perspective that he's the one claimant to the crown who wants to defend Westeros from the Others. I don't think George considers Stannis either incredibly righteous OR incredibly unethical.

Good Morning Ran.  The major problem with the way Jon handled the situation is not only the manner of the punishment.  It is the fact that he allowed another man who without any doubt is guilty of more offenses than the man that he killed.  The execution of Slynt is very harsh and not the appropriate choice in my opinion.  But where justice when off the tracks is when Jon let Mance Rayder off the blocks because of (1) how he felt about the man, he liked Mance Rayder; (2) remembering how Mance Rayder can get in and out of Winterfell, needed him to help get his sister away from Ramsay.  Jon committed a great injustice because of his different treatment of two men who committed an offense against the watch.  He let the most guilty of them all walk away from any kind of punishment for his own personal benefit.  That is very, very wrong.

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7 minutes ago, Allardyce said:

Good Morning Ran.  The major problem with the way Jon handled the situation is not only the manner of the punishment.  It is the fact that he allowed another man who without any doubt is guilty of more offenses than the man that he killed.  The execution of Slynt is very harsh and not the appropriate choice in my opinion.  But where justice when off the tracks is when Jon let Mance Rayder off the blocks because of (1) how he felt about the man, he liked Mance Rayder; (2) remembering how Mance Rayder can get in and out of Winterfell, needed him to help get his sister away from Ramsay.  Jon committed a great injustice because of his different treatment of two men who committed an offense against the watch.  He let the most guilty of them all walk away from any kind of punishment for his own personal benefit.  That is very, very wrong.

You are twisting facts so that they fit your narrative. Firstly, it's not Jon who spares Mance. That's Mel, w/ or w/o Stannis knowledge. It is true that Jon later learns that "Rattleshirt" is, in fact, Mance. And yes, he could have decided then and there to execute Mance for having deserted years earlier. He doesn't, though, for a number of reasons. Yes, he likes Mance. He spent time w/ him and knows Mance is someone who can be an important ally now that winter is actually coming. Stannis knows it as well.

ADwD, Jon I

“I would hope the truth would please you, Sire. Your men call Val a princess, but to the free folk she is only the sister of their king’s dead wife. If you force her to marry a man she does not want, she is like to slit his throat on their wedding night. Even if she accepts her husband, that does not mean the wildlings will follow him, or you. The only man who can bind them to your cause is Mance Rayder.”
“I know that,” Stannis said, unhappily. “I have spent hours speaking with the man. He knows much and more of our true enemy, and there is cunning in him, I’ll grant you. Even if he were to renounce his kingship, though, the man remains an oathbreaker. Suffer one deserter to live, and you encourage others to desert. No. Laws should be made of iron, not of pudding. Mance Rayder’s life is forfeit by every law of the Seven Kingdoms.”
“The law ends at the Wall, Your Grace. You could make good use of Mance.

Another wrong claim is that when "Jon spares Mance" he thinks he needs Mance to get fArya out of Winterfell. You are basically making stuff up to defend your position, but it's not working b/c the text doesn't support anything you're saying, and often directly contradicts your claims. 

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52 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

You are twisting facts so that they fit your narrative. Firstly, it's not Jon who spares Mance. That's Mel, w/ or w/o Stannis knowledge. It is true that Jon later learns that "Rattleshirt" is, in fact, Mance. And yes, he could have decided then and there to execute Mance for having deserted years earlier. He doesn't, though, for a number of reasons. Yes, he likes Mance. He spent time w/ him and knows Mance is someone who can be an important ally now that winter is actually coming. Stannis knows it as well.

It is clear that Stannis spares Mance, not Melisandre. She helps him doing it, but it is Stannis who makes Mance Jon's man, handing him over to Jon's command. And he would have never done that - or thought about doing that - if he had known this man was Rattleshirt. What would have been the point of that?

Mance was given to Jon because Stannis was leaving the Wall and Mance was supposed to help and tutor Jon, make him ready for the coming war. And in fact, had Mance stayed things would have taken a different turn. Mance is the first to realize that Marsh is plotting with other men, he also teaches Jon a major lesson in the practice yard, not to mention how useful he could have been when Jon decided to make deals with the wildlings.

Quote

Another wrong claim is that when "Jon spares Mance" he thinks he needs Mance to get fArya out of Winterfell. You are basically making stuff up to defend your position, but it's not working b/c the text doesn't support anything you're saying, and often directly contradicts your claims. 

The fact remains that Jon lets Stannis' charade of justice stand when he finds out that he and the entire North (and all the wildlings) have been fooled. Mance may know stuff, but he is also directly responsible for the deaths of many people, including his own, and he became one of the greatest enemies of the Watch since his original desertion. I mean, the Watch is, in huge part, in such a sorry state thanks to Mance's war. And if he had triumphed both the Watch and perhaps even the Wall (or at least the gates through the Wall) would have been destroyed, possibly opening the way for the Others.

All that more than warrants that this man is executed.

And it is pretty obvious that 'the Mance affair' has the potential to bite both Stannis and Jon in the ass. I mean, Stannis apparently gave Mors Umber Mance's skull as a drinking cup - that was fake. Just as Gregor's skull delivered to Doran Martell was fake. Do we believe the Prince of Dorne is going to react nicely when he sees through the deception?

And while Jon wasn't complicit in the original charade, he was the one sending Mance Rayder down south to save his sister. A deserter of the NW and a former King-beyond-the-Wall. Once the clansmen in Stannis' army and other Northmen learn of this, they are not necessarily going to cheer the people involved.

As to Stannis:

I think @Ran compared Stannis to Rorschach a couple of time, but Stannis is much more flexible than this guy. Stannis only sticks to 'the law' only when it is convenient to him. When it is not he has sorceresses murder people or burns people alive (Alester Florent) for minor crimes done in good faith and with the best intention (keep in mind that Stannis only allowed Mel to see him in his black melancholia after the Blackwater - but Alester was his Hand, and if the king doesn't talk to you the Hand can still speak with the King's Voice) while he spares the life of a man who wanted to murder his paramour/sorceress and successfully abducted his nephew.

Not to mention that he only comes out with 'the truth' (which he can't prove) about Cersei's children after King Robert is conveniently dead. Law and honor both would have demanded of him to go to Robert and tell him as soon as he though this was 'the truth'. And most definitely after he thought the King's Hand had been murdered because he had known about 'this truth'.

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23 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

It is clear that Stannis spares Mance, not Melisandre

Melisandre explicitly states that Stannis does not know. She has saved Mance without his knowledge. Are you arguing that Melisandre is lying to Jon about this?

 

ETA: Okay, explicitly states he does not know is strong. But she does explicitly state that Mance is a gift from the Lord of Light and her, not Stannis. We also know that Melisandre is perfectly capable of doing things without Stannis's cognizance, such as the fact that the Lightbringer she gave him is just a cheap glamour, a fact he didn't really recognize until he noticed it wasn't particularly useful on the Blackwater). 

Edited by Ran

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8 minutes ago, Ran said:

Melisandre explicitly states that Stannis does not know. She has saved Mance without his knowledge. Are you arguing that Melisandre is lying to Jon about this?

She explicitly says that? Where?

All I read in her talk is that Stannis couldn't possibly not execute Mance, and so they agreed to the charade. One can, perhaps, interpret Mel's thoughts about the pain she feels while Rattleshirt burns as a hint that Stannis does not know who the burning 'Mance' actually was, but it is also possible she just doesn't want Stannis know how painful/costly, etc. magic can be.

But the way Mel paints it is that she and Stannis both saw the virtue of Jon's argument that the law ends at the Wall. And so they could make an exception there.

And Stannis effectively adopting Rattleshirt and then forcing him on Jon only makes sense if the man knows who Rattleshirt is. If he didn't, he would have been completely fooled. He did know who and what the actual Rattleshirt was, no? And it is clear that Stannis men were, in part, involved in the glamor plot, ensuring that the man doesn't talk in front of the crowd.

If we believe that Mel arranged all that without the knowledge of her king and savior then Stannis is indeed nothing but a puppet of Melisandre and 'the queen's men'. And that's really not the impression one gets. I mean, it is he who gives 'Rattleshirt' to Jon. Did he just do that because Mel told him to do it?

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See my edit. She calls Mance a gift to Jon from the Lord of Light and her. Not the Lord of Light, Stannis, and her.

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10 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Because I want to read it? Shocking, I know. 

It actually is given how many times you have whined about the topic.  But clearly I was wrong and you are enjoying the topic, so have a blast.

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How do you reckon I "clearly hate the topic"?

Just by going by what you've actually posted in the topic, you have said a lot of negative about this thread and I, wrongly it appears, assumed that you didn't like the topic. 

 

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Because I actually think it's a topic that has grea potential. If only we were going to engage in an interesting and honest debate, it could have been a great topic. Alas, we are once again tangled up in a(nother) Jon hate thread. *Yawn*. 

But its not, the majority of the posts in this topic have not been about hating Jon. Sure, a few people posting don't like the character, which is not a crime, but most people have no problem with him. 

You are imagining a lot of the hate. 

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No, not.really. but after seeing the exaxt same threads, over and over and over again... I don't know. It gets very old...

No one is forcing you to read or reply. There are hundreds of threads that have no interest for me, I simply don't open and reply, but that's just me, you are free to do as you please

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and since hard evidence doesn't seem to cut it, I resort to snide comments, sarcasm, snark, etc. One's patience wears thin. 

sure, whatever you need to do to cope. In fairness it is better you take you anger issues out on anonymous strangers on the internet than people in real life.  

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Oh. So. Sanctimonious. Fuck off.

Well done, get it all out of your system. 

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No. According to Martin, Stannis is "one of few truly righteous characters" (paraphrasing) because he comes to umderstand what's really important. 

Which has little to do with him being an ethical person

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And I will bring another thing up. Agree, disagree, no matter. Martin wrote Slynt's demise as a fist-pumping moment for Stark/Jon's fans. 

For all fans of the  series, Janos was a crappy human being who did enough over his life to warrant his execution. but once he took the black those past crimes were supposed to be erased. 

Fans of the series were not fist-pumping over the idea of Jon sentencing a man to death for refusing an order, but for his involvement in his father's death. 

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So, as has been stated ad nauseam,

clearly not, as you are still here, commenting on every page. logically when you have grown tired of it you, like a sane person, will no longer reply

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Ran said:

ETA: Okay, explicitly states he does not know is strong. But she does explicitly state that Mance is a gift from the Lord of Light and her, not Stannis. We also know that Melisandre is perfectly capable of doing things without Stannis's cognizance, such as the fact that the Lightbringer she gave him is just a cheap glamour, a fact he didn't really recognize until he noticed it wasn't particularly useful on the Blackwater). 

Stannis is not there when she does that. And the point here is it to make Jon believe that she, Melisandre, and her god is of use to Jon Snow. She wants to seduce him the way she seduced Stannis. That's pretty obvious from her thoughts in her chapter.

And it is her, Melisandre's, decision to reveal who 'Rattleshirt' actually is.

We don't have to insist or to expect her to mention Stannis there, too. She could have, but if she was the one convincing Stannis to spare Mance's life she would have been the one behind that. And I'm pretty sure she made that call, regardless whether Stannis knew she did it or not (although I'm pretty confident that Stannis knew and allowed himself to be convinced by her).

As to the glamor: Stannis never bought the story about 'the magic sword'. When he drew it from the fire he left the first Lightbringer there for Davos to bring it back, no? And he would have realized that the second one was different from the first. The first one burned because of wildfire, the second one not all. It just shines. He bore it to make Mel and her goons happy. The man is a cynic at heart, as the whole 'red falcon' speech shows. If he thinks something is useful to his ends, he'll use it, never mind whether he actually believes in the fairy-tales attached to it or not.

It changes somewhat when he has his first genuine fire vision after the Blackwater and learns that Mel's world view may actually be reflected by real facts in the North. In ADwD it is clear he believes the true war is worth fighting for - but that still doesn't mean he *believes* he is Azor Ahai reborn. The Others have to be fought whether you are a religious savior or not.

But I'm curious - do you buy Stannis' claim that he 'didn't know' about Renly's murder, too? The whole reason they went to Storm's End was because of Mel's vision of 'Renly's ghost' defeating Stannis at the Blackwater. That means they had the plan to kill him from the start. Would Stannis have gone there simply because a sorceress claimed she had seen that Renly would die if they did so? He would have to be completely stupid to believe that. And when he sends Mel and Davos to SE to take care of the Penrose problem he knows what they are doing, too.

Stannis would have authorized Renly's magical assassination - what he may have not been aware of is the fact that it was indeed *he* who did the deed - life force/semen taken from him and spun into a shadow image of himself. That's why he dreams of doing it, after all. They may have used religious language to sign the assassination of - like Stannis asking Mel to ask her god to allow Renly to die, etc. but it would have been clear what was meant.

Edited by Lord Varys

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We have completely different views on Stannis, it seems, as I fully accept his claim that he did not know about Melisandre's plans with regards to Renly. He acted because he was convinced the only course for him was to trust in her visions, but as we know, her visions are half the time misinterpretations and the other half her reports are colored by more than a little deliberate manipulation.

You argue that Stannis gave him Jon, and then when I point out that Melisandre says otherwise, you say that that's just because Stannis isn't there. That makes no sense to me.

For that matter, Mance explicitly says that he either had to let Melisandre try to glamor him -- suggesting that this was her coming to him with the idea -- or let Stannis burn him. Is this really the only binary? Stannis couldn't have just said he was keeping Mance as a prisoner so long as he had valuable information? Why this elaborate hoax if Stannis accepts the idea that laws have come to an end at the Wall? It's not enough that with his authority he says he's not to be killed? 

This is Melisandre's doing, really. She's glamored Mance as much to keep him a secret from Stannis as to keep him a secret from everyone else.

Edited by Ran

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17 minutes ago, Ran said:

We have completely different views on Stannis, it seems, as I fully accept his claim that he did not know about Melisandre's plans with regards to Renly. He acted because he was convinced the only course for him was to trust in her visions, but as we know, her visions are half the time misinterpretations and the other half her reports are colored by more than a little deliberate manipulation.

But what would have been argument to get him to SE? And what the argument to convince him that his pitiful army could stand against Renly's vast host? Stannis isn't some pious fool. Just because Mel told him he would die, he wouldn't believe he would just have a heart attack.

In fact, the entire thing only makes sense if Stannis himself believed that Renly was the greater danger - he would have to not only buy Mel's 'Renly's ghost' vision but also that Renly would want to kill/destroy him, and if he believed that there is little reason to believe he would not also authorize his murder. All he denies is that he did the deed himself. Not that he approved of it. 

And the whole setup - the ultimatum, Stannis confidence that Renly would get what he deserved, etc. - implies that he was very certain of the outcome. How could that be if he didn't *know* what would happen?

Either he knew Renly's murder would be arranged or he believed some god he didn't believe in would allow him to die - and I really have trouble buying the second alternative.

17 minutes ago, Ran said:

You argue that Stannis gave him Jon, and then when I point out that Melisandre says otherwise, you say that that's just because Stannis isn't there. That makes no sense to me.

It is Stannis who gives Rattleshirt to Jon earlier in the book. Jon meets with them, Rattleshirt is there, and then Stannis tells Jon that Rattleshirt is his man now.

The unglamored Mance later is Mel's gift. But that's exactly the same thing.

17 minutes ago, Ran said:

For that matter, Mance explicitly says that he either had to let Melisandre try to glamor him -- suggesting that this was her coming to him with the idea -- or let Stannis burn him. Is this really the only binary? Stannis couldn't have just said he was keeping Mance as a prisoner so long as he had valuable information? Why this elaborate hoax if Stannis accepts the idea that laws have come to an end at the Wall? It's not enough that with his authority he says he's not to be killed? 

That is a pretty strong argument, I have to admit that, but, man, if that's correct then Stannis is really nothing but a puppet led around by the nose by Mel and her 'queen's men'. I mean, who was it who prevented 'Mance' from speaking? Horpe? Massey? Farring? I don't recall right now.

We also have to keep in mind that there were two glamors involved. Mel also had to make Rattleshirt into Mance. She would have needed the help of quite a few people to pull that off. If Stannis didn't know that, then other people must have known.

But Stannis is Mr. Binary, no? He may have felt that he cannot do anything else but execute Mance. So it could also be that they made it clear to Mance that they had to burn him, and they could either burn the real man or a fake. And if they burned a fake they had to disguise him, too. Not to mention that they may have needed stuff from him to create the Mance glamor for the real Rattleshirt.

The point of the Rattleshirt glamor is that Mance can hang out with them, listen, and investigate things for them. They could also have hidden the real Mance unglamored in some cell, perhaps, but that would have been much more dangerous whereas the other thing allows them to make good use of Mance.

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But what would have been argument to get him to SE?

That he needed Edric, that seizing back Storm's End would convince lords to follow him, and finally that he would defeat Renly if he met him there. 

 

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And what the argument to convince him that his pitiful army could stand against Renly's vast host?

 

The argument of necessity. He had to act if he meant to be king. He certainly could not take King's Landing. There was no other obvious option.

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But Stannis is Mr. Binary, no? 

You cannot argue both sides of this. Either he is strictly binary or he is not. I don't think he was -- I compare him to Rorschach as a broad generalization of the character, not that he's exactly as black-and-white as he (or Ditko's Mr. A) are (though Rorschach, in the end, is not so black-and-white either). But given that I do not believe he is strictly binary, I see no reason why he could not leave Mance alive if he felt having him around was vital, rather than taking the risk of Melisandre being unable to glamor him or the glamor failing at some inopportune point in time.

The most straightforward reason for the glamor is that Melisandre wanted to keep him alive as a useful tool, but knew that she could not get Stannis to agree, so she did what we know she has already done -- she lied to him, and Stannis believed her. If he wanted Mance to be able to move around, he could have said he was to be untouched, kept manacled, and given a guard. Or he could have left out the manacles. Or he could have told him to now go off and do sneaky stuff in the North. Or he could have told him to stick to a cell but advise Jon. Whatever.

Too complicated for me. It's much simpler for me if some of the behavior we've seen from Melisandre is that of a zealot absolutely convinced she is in the right and who manipulates her chosen savior to get him to do what she believes he ought to do. And if this means lying to him, or hiding things from him, she will do that.

 

ETA: We are of course straying off topic on this. If someone wants to discuss the particulars of what Stannis does and does not know vis-a-vis Melisandre and/or Mance, best to start a separate thread. I've said my piece, though.

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

Why this elaborate hoax if Stannis accepts the idea that laws have come to an end at the Wall? It's not enough that with his authority he says he's not to be killed?

38 minutes ago, Ran said:

If he wanted Mance to be able to move around, he could have said he was to be untouched, kept manacled, and given a guard.

I don't want to continue pushing this discussion off topic, but I have a thought on this, so since you asked, I thought I may as well answer. Whether or not Stannis believes that the law ends at the Wall, it's not really true. Starks have often fought wildlings, but regardless of that, if the law ends at the Wall, it still covers Mance. He's a brother of the Night's Watch who has deserted. As Ned showed when he executed Gared, execution of deserters is not the sole domain of the Watch, but the duty of all lords. Ned wouldn't execute a man unless he had to, right?

If Mance was just some wildling, I suppose Stannis could do as he pleased. But as Stannis purports to be the true King of Westeros and that there is a false King on the Iron Throne, surely Stannis must abide by the laws of the Seven Kingdoms. Therefore, it's his duty to execute Mance, when he has him, and Stannis is known for doing his duty (and expecting others to do theirs). Now, this leads me to two conclusions, each of which favour a different viewpoint regarding Stannis's knowledge:

I don't really favour either one over the other, I'm really not sure whether or not Stannis knows of Mance, arguments both ways have merit. Now, conclusion one is that Melisandre might've believed that Stannis would never be able to be convinced, and so made the elaborate hoax of executing Rattleshirt in Mance's place, to trick Stannis and the men of the Watch. Conclusion two is that Stannis is aware, but to save his reputation, and to avoid causing additional tension between himself and the men of the Watch, comes up with the elaborate hoax (Stannis wouldn't want to be seen to be avoiding his duty, especially since his desire to claim the throne is based on it being his duty). It's plausible that Stannis would believe it to be more difficult to do his duty at the Wall if the men of the Watch hate him or are actively pushing to have Mance executed.

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Just briefly, but it's worth noting that the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch was advocating for keeping Mance Rayder alive, and there's no strong evidence that the Watch was in turmoil at the fact that the Lord Commander was advocating this position. So this argument that Stannis had to carry out this hoax because of the Watch feels hollow to me.

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If execution of Janos Slynt was personal, and Jon killed him, even though that decision was unjust, then why didn't he also killed Alliser Thorne?

Jon had stronger grudge against Thorne, but he didn't killed him. Because, even though Jon didn't liked him, and had a reason to wish him harm, Alliser was abiding to rules of NW, and obeyed Jon, even though he hated him.

So the fact, that Jon didn't executed Thorne, is a prove, that Jon wasn't driven by his personal feelings, and did what was best for the Watch, when he decided to execute Slynt.

On 7/18/2018 at 5:40 PM, Widowmaker 811 said:

Jon was unworthy of leading the watch. 

And who decides that? -> other Watchers, and they decided, that Jon is worthy. Majority of them has chosen HIM. It doesn't matter, what me or you think about Jon's ability or disability to lead NW, what matters, is that NW's people has chosen him.

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