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Tyrion1991

Why does nobody believe the Nights Watch? Did Jon do enough to warn the realm?

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Posted (edited)

My memory is a little hazy on this. I recall that Jeor sends the hands of the wights down to KL but they rot. Tywin also got reports of Mance but I don’t know if that included the Fist battle. I think Cersei mentioned she knew Jon had been elected. 

I mean, I am assuming Jon and Jeor were constantly sending out ravens telling people the Sky was falling. At a certain point people have to ask why that’s happening. Especially when the LC and most of the rangers have been killed. You have wildling and NW eye witnesses. They should have enough first hand testimony to make people think something must be happening beyond the wall.

Considering the Northerners are meant to be superstitious and of the old ways of winter they sure seem ignorant of the only part of their history that matters.

I mean surely deserters and other wildlings fleeing south like Osha would be carrying stories of what’s really going on? People should be talking about this in taverns across the land with wilder tales than the last.

For example, couldn’t Jon ask Janos or some of the Westerland people in the NW to countersign as proof that “Yes, dead people. Here. Send help.” Eventually people have to start asking “Why have two successive Lord commanders insisted that the dead are marching on the Kingdom?”

I get that Stannis presence (yes, the one guy that did listen) massively complicated things for Jon. Never mind being Robs bastard brother, he can fairly be accused of aiding the hated Baratheon rebel. Had Stannis not been there and another man been LC the Watch might be more easily listened to in KL. 

I mean the NW purpose is to watch for the Long Night. They’ve known that since the first book. At that point all of their effort should be going into screaming that the sky is falling. Saving the wildlings is all well and good but warning people about the Long Night should be the priority.

BTW is it ever mentioned why Rob Stark didn’t take the NW warning seriously? Wouldn’t Jon put his signature on Aemons letter saying “Yes brother I saw them myself”. Unless Rob believes Jon’s a liar I am not sure what reason he would have. It’s far more important than his stupid rebellion. Or does George avoid pinning blame on him?

 

Edited by Tyrion1991

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This is due to plot convenience, and one of the matters poorly covered.

To think that Jon Snow doesn't care to send a single raven to Robb Stark that the Others exist is unbelieveable. Even if Jon, as Ned Stark's supposed bastard, sent a raven to other important people besides his half brother, would have had some merit. At least someone could went there and see it himself.

Like this, only Stannis arrived to help, but with his own ambitions also. 

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You need to realise that the Night's Watch is extremely ancient. The realm uses it mostly to ban criminals and enemies of the state (and defend the North from wildling raids). Considering that, the whole White Walkers/dead coming to life story seems like a fairytale. It's like someone today tries to convince us that Ragnarok is coming. We wouldn't care as well.

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12 minutes ago, Dreadscythe95 said:

You need to realise that the Night's Watch is extremely ancient. The realm uses it mostly to ban criminals and enemies of the state (and defend the North from wildling raids). Considering that, the whole White Walkers/dead coming to life story seems like a fairytale. It's like someone today tries to convince us that Ragnarok is coming. We wouldn't care as well.

If a prison official said that aliens were invading you would question his sanity. But then you would send an agent to remove him. Then he would have evidence, eyewitnesses and your man would come back with the truth.

 

38 minutes ago, The Sunland Lord said:

This is due to plot convenience, and one of the matters poorly covered.

To think that Jon Snow doesn't care to send a single raven to Robb Stark that the Others exist is unbelieveable. Even if Jon, as Ned Stark's supposed bastard, sent a raven to other important people besides his half brother, would have had some merit. At least someone could went there and see it himself.

Like this, only Stannis arrived to help, but with his own ambitions also. 

 

Really? That does seem like a massive oversight. Since Stannis got one I assumed that Aemon sent a raven to every lord. So, surely Rob or Edmure should have got the memo. If your own kin is saying it then unless you believe he’s cracked then he has to be telling the truth.

Jeor had a clear way of convincing at least the Northern lords if not the Riverlands and Vale. “Look! Ned Starks bastard saw zombies!” Then send Jon on a little propaganda mission telling everyone how the sky is falling. 

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Jon's emotional attachment to the Starks biased him against the Lannisters and the Boltons.  He could and should have tried harder to convince the realm of the white walker threat.  But he disliked the Boltons and the Lannisters.  He gave a little effort but it was too little when you consider the importance of the need to convince the realm.  

Jon was too concerned with fighting the Stark's enemies.  He was not going to ask Robb to turn tail and come to the wall while the Starks are at war with the people who executed his dad.  Jon was not nearly as effective of a commander as his fans would like to sell.  

 

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1 hour ago, The Sunland Lord said:

This is due to plot convenience, and one of the matters poorly covered.

To think that Jon Snow doesn't care to send a single raven to Robb Stark that the Others exist is unbelieveable. Even if Jon, as Ned Stark's supposed bastard, sent a raven to other important people besides his half brother, would have had some merit. At least someone could went there and see it himself.

Like this, only Stannis arrived to help, but with his own ambitions also. 

It's not plot convenience.  It is a character flaw of Jon Snow.  He could not rise to the occasion and forget about Ned and the Starks for the benefit of defending against the white walkers.

Stannis had no way to go forward.  The Wall was his only real choice.  He was not going to survive too long on Dragonstone.  His family had always been allies with the Starks.  Holing up in the north is as good a plan as any.  He only has to fight the wildlings and the Boltons.  A lesser threat than the Lannister-Tyrell forces.  

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2 hours ago, The Sunland Lord said:

This is due to plot convenience, and one of the matters poorly covered.

To think that Jon Snow doesn't care to send a single raven to Robb Stark that the Others exist is unbelieveable. Even if Jon, as Ned Stark's supposed bastard, sent a raven to other important people besides his half brother, would have had some merit. At least someone could went there and see it himself.

Like this, only Stannis arrived to help, but with his own ambitions also. 

IIRC Jon isn't made LC until after Robb is dead. Jon Snow, low-level steward does not send raven messages out for the Watch. There's a hierarchy there and Mormont had already sent word.

After Jon is made LC, Cersei won't listen because she doesn't trust Ned Stark's bastard to be telling the truth. And no one believes in the Others anymore...they haven't been seen in 8,000 years. And they still have to deal with the Wildling issues. Once Stannis shows up, you'd think HE would be sending out info about the Others--not that any of his rivals will believe him, they'll all think it's a ploy to draw them north and ambush them.

The best thing to do would probably be to have informed Tyrion. Tyrion might have taken it seriously, but by the time Jon is in a position to make those decisions Tyrion has disappeared.

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7 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

If a prison official said that aliens were invading you would question his sanity. But then you would send an agent to remove him. Then he would have evidence, eyewitnesses and your man would come back with the truth.

 

 

Really? That does seem like a massive oversight. Since Stannis got one I assumed that Aemon sent a raven to every lord. So, surely Rob or Edmure should have got the memo. If your own kin is saying it then unless you believe he’s cracked then he has to be telling the truth.

Jeor had a clear way of convincing at least the Northern lords if not the Riverlands and Vale. “Look! Ned Starks bastard saw zombies!” Then send Jon on a little propaganda mission telling everyone how the sky is falling. 

Edmure is not really Jon's relative, but I get what you mean. 

They received their memo, but it would be different if Jon himself spoke to Robb, for example, because Jeor, since Ned's fall from grace, didn't really know anyone in house Stark. 

Literally one of the ways Tyrion could've found out is that Alliser was in King's Landing for that reason. But Tyrion is biased and takes everything personal, so just because he didn't like Thorne, was being a jerk to him and kept him waiting till the hand wasn't a proof. 

One can see it from many different angles, but in the end it's plot convenience.

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3 hours ago, The Sunland Lord said:

Edmure is not really Jon's relative, but I get what you mean. 

They received their memo, but it would be different if Jon himself spoke to Robb, for example, because Jeor, since Ned's fall from grace, didn't really know anyone in house Stark. 

Literally one of the ways Tyrion could've found out is that Alliser was in King's Landing for that reason. But Tyrion is biased and takes everything personal, so just because he didn't like Thorne, was being a jerk to him and kept him waiting till the hand wasn't a proof. 

One can see it from many different angles, but in the end it's plot convenience.

Yes but Jon can write on Jeors letters. Rob would recognise his brothers own hand.

I forgot about Tyrion keeping them waiting.

But couldn’t Allissar have showed the hand to common people and got Tyrion’s attention. Not to mention telling the tale to everyone in the way to KL. “These dead hands tried to kill the Lord Commander!”

Was the hand still moving? That should get people talking.

Realistically I don’t see how this news wouldn’t snowball. For example there’s a tavern which serves the NW. NW talk to the whores. Whores talk to new clients who move back and forth across Westeros. It’s a story that would spread. Aren’t the NW sending out agents across Westeros and have people from most noble houses? Wouldn’t their word count if say Cotter Pyke or Thorne told his relatives. Plus this would run into LF and Varys little birds. The NW isn’t that isolated and without connections. Never mind that your chief eye witness is Ned Starks son and brother to the King of Winter.

At least with Dany and her dragons there’s  distance of thousands of miles and her organisation isn’t imbedded with the Noble houses of westeros like the NW with access to the raven system.

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14 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

If a prison official said that aliens were invading you would question his sanity. But then you would send an agent to remove him. Then he would have evidence, eyewitnesses and your man would come back with the truth.

Yes but evidense aren't always enough. Look how many people calim that they have seen aliens and they also have "evidence".

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dreadscythe95 said:

Yes but evidense aren't always enough. Look how many people calim that they have seen aliens and they also have "evidence".

 

Thats because they can’t hold up a dead aliens hand.

Plus those peoples aren’t Lords and members of a military order with ties to the Kingdom.

Edited by Tyrion1991

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Robb was dead by the time Jon became LC.  So was most of his army - the part not loyal to the Boltons.

The Boltons, Stannis, and Manderly have each other to worry about.  They have nobody to spare for the Wall.  Everybody else has been pretty much wiped out by the wars in the South and the Red Wedding.

The South is busy with their own games.  In any event, Cersei might be willing to allow the North to be overrun - they're her enemies now, after all.

Even if someone visits the Wall, there isn't anything to see.  The Others are not there yet.  Hell, I think even some of the NW doubt that they actually exist.

It would be somewhat like being in 1800s America and getting reports from Indians and the Army that there were monsters way out there; and you are already fighting a war (or just finished).  Nobody is going to take it seriously, and even if they did, couldn't send much help in any event.

It is interesting to note, though, that Jon has a family member in the one place with a fresh, unbloodied army.  It could become Sansa's first test as a player.

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On 7/22/2019 at 8:25 PM, Tyrion1991 said:

If a prison official said that aliens were invading you would question his sanity. But then you would send an agent to remove him. Then he would have evidence, eyewitnesses and your man would come back with the truth.

 

 

Really? That does seem like a massive oversight. Since Stannis got one I assumed that Aemon sent a raven to every lord. So, surely Rob or Edmure should have got the memo. If your own kin is saying it then unless you believe he’s cracked then he has to be telling the truth.

Jeor had a clear way of convincing at least the Northern lords if not the Riverlands and Vale. “Look! Ned Starks bastard saw zombies!” Then send Jon on a little propaganda mission telling everyone how the sky is falling. 

Jon doesn't have the best communication skills in the world.  He couldn't even convince the other crows.  

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On 7/23/2019 at 8:42 PM, James Fenimore Cooper XXII said:

Jon doesn't have the best communication skills in the world.  He couldn't even convince the other crows.  

Some of them weren't going to be convinced no matter what. The best communication skills in the world won't help you against people who are determined not to listen just because it's you doing the talking.

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The wights' attack happens in Jon VII, AGoT 52, Robb marches south the following chapter. 

If a message was sent to Winterfell, then Maester Luwin never shared it with Bran. And Jon in his following chapter thinks that no one even bothered telling him that Robb had marched south to war and he found out through Sam because Maester Aemon received a letter about it.

We saw a sample of the letter that Maester Aemon sent in ASoS because Davos reads it. There was a ranging, ravens have been coming back without messages, the ranging party must have been attacked by the wildlings at the Fist. And he even goes as far as recalling the vision that Stannis had about the men dressed in black and the torches and what have you. And he remembers what Melisandre said about the fight that's coming and Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa, but he doesn't even go to Stannis with it right away because he is scared. Instead, he asks for another letter to read. 

A similar letter must have been received at Riverrun, for Robb. And Robb is making all these plans to name Jon his heir, so he probably had no idea about anything happening at the Wall. The raven could have been received while he was at Riverrun and the information was withheld from him because it wasn't deemed all that important or the reaction was that he had no men to spare, or it arrived after Robb left Riverrun.

But even if Robb wanted to go home and help, he would still run into the same problem. The ironborn are at Moat Cailin.

Jeor Mormont sent the wrong man to King's Landing. And the other one he planned on sending to Renly Baratheon, Ser Arnell (I think that was his name) whose mother was a Fossoway, dropped off the face of the earth. We don't know if he went, we don't know if he was laughed out of the room, we don't know anything at all. And he didn't send anyone to catch up with Robb. 

It's all about plot convenience.

I mean the Wall is under attack in ASoS and ravens were sent all over the north. Why didn't the Umbers show up at the Wall to answer the NW's plea and help defend it? And the mountain clans? There's something like 3,000 of them marching in Stannis's army to take Winterfell back, but they can't be bothered to come down from their mountains and help out? Never mind that it's those lands that are in immediate danger once the Wall is breached.

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Posted (edited)

Because unfortunately for the Night's Watch, they have almost no angle to this that works in their favor, regardless of how numerous the witnesses, how broad their outreach, or how loud their cries.

First off, there’s sheer odds to consider in terms of how many Lords/Houses have received the NW’s pleas, and how many haven’t. Some of the ravens they sent were unlikely to ever reach their targets, especially in wartime. When Stannis is about to let his ravens fly in CoK, he mentions that some will undoubtedly fall to “storm and hawk and arrow”. When pretty much the entire continent is at each others throats, ravens are going to be taken down left and right by any army/outriders trying to get  a leg up on their enemies. And once those birds are brought down, who knows what actually happens to the letter? I can’t remember if it was a Cat or Theon chapter, but one of them once made a mention that letters/ravens brought down in such a manner would be immediately discarded if not relevant to battle plans or the like; in the same chapter, it was similarly mentioned that desperate smallfolk might bring the birds down for meals, and just toss the letters because the vast majority can’t read and just plain don’t care. In short, not all of the letters are going to make it, so you’ve already greatly reduced the amount of Lords who actually get wind of the NW’s plea.

For those who do receive the letters intact…there’s still minimal chance they will be believed/taken seriously. At all. The NW is not what it once was, and the High Lords of the realm know it. The NW is a glorified penal colony, and mostly a joke at this point. The knights and once-lords currently on the Wall are not many enough to to give them the clout for an upright, benefit-of-the-doubt reputation. And among those few, there are fewer still with the personal connections to Houses that might make a difference; to my mind, I can only think of Jon, Mormont, and maybe Denys Mallister (Sam’s Tarly connects would be laughable to even consider).   Even if Jon or Mormont had sent off personal pleas to Robb or Maege pre-RW, it likely wouldn’t have made a difference. I think Robb would have believed him, and some of the Northern Lords might have been in a position to be convinced with the right evidence (especially some of the Houses who saw an increase in wildling movements near their lands), but it even if they did believe it would not have been enough. It would have been an as-yet-unverifiable enemy to the North, with unknown motives and still with the Wall between, vs a verifiable, true, known enemy to the South. They would never have risked splitting their forces in light of such uncertainty. It would have been seen as a major sign of weakness by the Lannisters, and put the Starks/North in even greater danger.

After the RW…yeah, I don’t really see any of the remaining Northern lords sending what men they have left off again. In CoK, Hother Umber petitions Bran for more longships to fight off the increase in wildlings: “It’s longships we need, aye, and strong men to sail them. The Greatjon took too many. Half our harvest is gone to seed for want of arms to swing the scythes.” The war had barely even gotten started and they were already bled dry of men. After the RW, whether they chose to put stock in the NW cries or not, they’re not going to be sending any men to the Wall. They will be keeping them close for purposes of defense, harvest, and general stocking up for the winter. They don’t have a surplus of men even if they did believe. Throw the GNC on top it, and the Northern lords will be keeping their fighting men on standby; they’re not in a position to waste a single man. Stannis’s position is already weak. He himself is seen as a joke by the vast majority of Westeros, and he knows it; so after he sees the threat for himself, he still wasn’t sending out letters that said “the dead have risen, the dead have risen”, no. He was echoing his already known cry for more men and more support and more fealty because he was the rightful king. Same thing he’d already been doing, but if he had said the truth, he would have become more than a joke. He was on thin ice before the Wall; the ice would have broken altogether if his reputation now included “half-mad who believes in grumpkins and snarks”; it would have been another reason for the Lannisters and Co. to mock him, irregardless of his ‘humorless’ nature.

And where the wildlings are concerned, I really don't see them spreading tales of wights or WW's around them when they go south--they're not that stupid. Wildlings who were lucky enough to make it south in one piece, having dodged the NW and Northern Houses aren't going to risk their lives or their families lives by announcing to those they meet that they come from Beyond the Wall and that there is an imminent ThreatTM that needs to HandledTM. If they were to run their mouths, they compromise their positions and risk arrest/execution. Even when Osha and Co. came across Starks (huge army, First Men blood, member of their House as First Ranger of the NW), they didn’t start raving about what they were fleeing or begging for help, even with their lives on the line.

Wildlings are hated by pretty much everyone south of the Wall—even if they were, so to speak, flooding the market with their tales, they’d have been written as superstitious oafs. Southerners already poke fun at the Northerners for their old gods and superstitious ways, etc, so asking them to reframe their worldviews to believe wildlings? Pretty much out of the question.

In peacetime, things probably would have been very different for the NW if they had reached out. Ned could have gone to the Wall himself at a summons from Benjen/Jeor and seen the threat for himself, and come back with the News. Other lords or lords-to-be might have gone to the Wall themselves to sate their curiosity, and also come back with the News. But during wartime? When every man is needed? When the NW are already considered small potatoes who have been pleading for more men for decades already? When there are more immediate concerns of harvest, preparing for winter, fighting enemies on their front doorstep? Nah.

Edited by CandleWisps

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

We saw a sample of the letter that Maester Aemon sent in ASoS because Davos reads it. There was a ranging, ravens have been coming back without messages, the ranging party must have been attacked by the wildlings at the Fist. And he even goes as far as recalling the vision that Stannis had about the men dressed in black and the torches and what have you. And he remembers what Melisandre said about the fight that's coming and Azor Ahai and Nissa Nissa, but he doesn't even go to Stannis with it right away because he is scared. Instead, he asks for another letter to read.

Yep. Even for the lords and houses who did receive and read the letters, how many were simply glanced at and discarded? Davos had the backing of a fire-vision and he still went "yeah, nope".

On 7/23/2019 at 11:04 AM, Trigger Warning said:

Because the entire realm is being torn apart by war and this prison colony that's literally always asking for men is now still asking for men but just coming at it from a new angle.

Also hits the nail on the head! And besides, out of all the armies to hitch oneself to (if one was considering joining), why join one where you're going to be freezing 100% of the time? Any smallfolk who've had livelihoods ruined and need a way to support themselves/family have much better prospects in any of the other armies really: at least they'll be warm. Yeah, the NW isn't technically an army, but they also mostly rely on the generosity of the lords of the realm who send them part of the harvest, etc. Any who did so before will now be keeping their resources close, so why go somewhere that unreliable?

Edited by CandleWisps

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Jon has done all he can to warn the realm.  No one would believe him because by the time he is Lord Commander Stannis is at the Wall and since the world is at war, no one would risk going there.

 

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On 7/26/2019 at 2:08 PM, Chris Mormont said:

Jon has done all he can to warn the realm.  No one would believe him because by the time he is Lord Commander Stannis is at the Wall and since the world is at war, no one would risk going there.

 

Jon only gave it a half-hearted effort.  He was still a Stark at heart and saw the Lannisters as the enemy.  

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