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Lumosaca

Jon Snow and Jesus Christ - Biblical allegory?

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Both characters are supposed to...

1. Be a messianic incarnation of a legendary figure (Elohim and Azor Ahai). 

2. "Walk on water" (Matthew 14:22-33 and A Storm of Swords - Chapter 41). 

3. "Part the sheep from the goats" (Matthew 25:31-32 A Dance with Dragons - Chapter 21).

4. Be ressurected (Let's see what Melisandre has to say about this one). 

5. Be the true heir of the royal family (Jesus is the heir of David and Jon is the heir of Rhaegar). 

6. Be killed because of a betrayal (Jesus is betrayed by his disciple and Jon is betrayed by his steward).

7. Be hidden from the King while they were babies (Jesus is hidden from Herod and Jon is hidden from Robert). 

8. Be associated with hated groups of society (Criminals. Prostitutes. Bastards. Wildlings. Tax collectors).  

9. Be persecuted by the government (Pilate orders the execution of Jesus and Cersei orders the assassination of Jon).  

Some of these assumptions came from theories, but I believe everyone here agrees that they stand a considerable chance of being true. 
And if they are true, Jon should become the most Jesus Christ character in fantasy. Even more than two characters that I'm not sure if I can mention here.

 

Edited by Lumosaca

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Interesting analysis! You could also add another thing to that list from the tv show, that both Jon and Jesus make themselves guilty of (though in Jesus' case that story - in the gospel of Thomas - was omitted from the finalized Bible!)   

 

The killing of children.



The Biblical version of Jesus is a fictive mishmash of many older mythological figures, though, so you could say that Jon follows an ancient mythological work to create this kind of character, a tradition of fiction writing that has also lived on in non-religious history for certain kings and such.     

Edited by Daniel von Gothenburg

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On 2/22/2019 at 1:43 PM, Lumosaca said:

5. Be the true heir of the royal family (Jesus is the heir of David and Jon is the heir of Rhaegar). 

Well, we're pretty sure that Jon Snow is the heir of Rhaegar Targaryen, but Jesus has (had?) ZERO lineage from King David. It was his adoptive father, Joseph, who was in the line of David. Unless this whole "son of god" schtick was never true?

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Certainly, some of these points are interesting and things I didn't consider before. However Christifying the character is something I hope the author never does. Saviors are a generic fantasy trope.

Didn't the author criticize the Gandalf resurrection for him coming back even more white, good, pure, and powerful? Didn't C.S. Lewis get criticized by Tolkien for writing Aslan as a direct allegory to Christ? Didn't GRRM take Tolkien's position on allegory?

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I think Jon will be more like Jesus Christ Superstar than the more traditional depiction of Christ after coming back. ;)

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11 hours ago, zandru said:

Jesus has (had?) ZERO lineage from King David. It was his adoptive father, Joseph, who was in the line of David

'Zero' is pushing it a bit, as Mary and Jospeh were said to be cousins

[/pointless interjection]

 

23 hours ago, Daniel von Gothenburg said:

The Biblical version of Jesus is a fictive mishmash of many older mythological figures, though, so you could say that Jon follows an ancient mythological work to create this kind of character, a tradition of fiction writing that has also lived on in non-religious history for certain kings and such. 

:agree: True, you may as well say Jon shows signs of Sol Invictus, Mithras, Osiris, or a thousand other mythic heroes. Jon is too well written to be pinned down as an allegory for any one particular example from that vast tradition.

I suspect GRRM would be face-palming now if he saw us go all 'Jon is Jesus' on him.... which doesn't discount what I suspect, which is that he may be using Jon as a mirror or lens to help us examine our own relationship to the Jesus/(insert favourite mythic hero) storyline.

GRRM's not just grabbing a trope off the wall to use as a template (which is what many 'theories' seem to assume is his writing style, somewhat insultingly...) but rather acknowledging there IS a trope (or Jungian archetype, if you prefer) and playing with a character in that general theme to examine what the trope might have to reveal to us.

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12 hours ago, zandru said:

Well, we're pretty sure that Jon Snow is the heir of Rhaegar Targaryen, but Jesus has (had?) ZERO lineage from King David. It was his adoptive father, Joseph, who was in the line of David. Unless this whole "son of god" schtick was never true?

According to one source (Luke) Joseph's father was Heli, while in a different source (Matt) his father was Jacob. There was a Jewesh law, according to which, if the husband dies childless, his widow is supposed to marry with the brother of her deceased husband, then legally their child will be the child of first husband (even though he died childless). So Joseph's and Marys' future mother first married with Heli, and when Heli died, she got married with Heli's brother Jacob. First child of that marriage was Joseph, but legally he was seen as Heli's son. Later that woman gave birth to Mary, and legally Mary was Jacob's child. So legally Joseph and Mary were first cousins, but biologically they were brother and sister, full siblings.

Seems, that GRRM's Targaryen incest is inspired by the Bible.

P.S. In a different source, not the Bible, Mary's father was Heli Joachim. He and his wife, Anne, were executed by Herod. Anne's father was Matthan, who was also Jacob's father. Jacob was Joseph's father. So in this source Mary and Joseph were first cousins.

Edited by Megorova

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2 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

'Zero' is pushing it a bit, as Mary and Jospeh were said to be cousins

 

1 hour ago, Megorova said:

Later that woman gave birth to Mary, and legally Mary was Jacob's child. So legally Joseph and Mary were first cousins, but biologically they were brother and sister, full siblings.

Thanks to you both for enlightening me! The full story is really kind of sordid. Basically, Joseph married the sister that he was raised with. We can only assume this was considered fine back in the day.

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On 2/23/2019 at 11:00 PM, Rose of Red Lake said:

Certainly, some of these points are interesting and things I didn't consider before. However Christifying the character is something I hope the author never does. Saviors are a generic fantasy trope.

Didn't the author criticize the Gandalf resurrection for him coming back even more white, good, pure, and powerful? Didn't C.S. Lewis get criticized by Tolkien for writing Aslan as a direct allegory to Christ? Didn't GRRM take Tolkien's position on allegory?

There is nothing to worry about. Martin has a great interest in subverting fantasy paradigms. The Prince That Was Promised will not be a superior entity with an invincible sense of morality. Jon will be a more obscure and traumatized person after he comes back from the dead (unlike Jesus and Gandalf). And Martin likes prophecies as well, so there will exist some kind of savior for sure.

On 2/24/2019 at 10:14 AM, Rufus Snow said:

:agree: True, you may as well say Jon shows signs of Sol Invictus, Mithras, Osiris, or a thousand other mythic heroes. Jon is too well written to be pinned down as an allegory for any one particular example from that vast tradition.

I suspect GRRM would be face-palming now if he saw us go all 'Jon is Jesus' on him.... which doesn't discount what I suspect, which is that he may be using Jon as a mirror or lens to help us examine our own relationship to the Jesus/(insert favourite mythic hero) storyline.

GRRM's not just grabbing a trope off the wall to use as a template (which is what many 'theories' seem to assume is his writing style, somewhat insultingly...) but rather acknowledging there IS a trope (or Jungian archetype, if you prefer) and playing with a character in that general theme to examine what the trope might have to reveal to us.

Pinned down may not be the right term. Jon's story is much more deep and complex than these nine parallels. He is not limited to being a Westerosi version of Jesus in any way. This is just one of many fuctions his chapters can have throught the plot.

I say Jesus specifically because he is the most famous character in human literature and has more influence than ancient religions. Martin himself was created in a catholic context after all. The "part the sheep from the goats" quote, for example, is a clear reference of the main pronouncement of Jesus about the End of Days. And it is used only one time in all the five books, by the boy who should become the Messiah during the End of Days. Was it just a coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. 

If you also found similarities between Jon, Mithras and Sol Invictus, just share. I'm far from being a mythologist, so I would love to know about them. 

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