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Tyrion1991

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

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The factions in the story are too preoccupied with the pursuit of their own agendas to look at the looming doom's day that is the White Walkers.  It's not only the fault of one side.  Jon Snow is also to be blamed for this.  The kingdom is too busy fighting over the throne.  Which is bad.  Jon is too busy with taking his sister away from Ramsay and saving Mance Rayderfrom the chopping block.  All of the people involved are too distracted.  

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Both Mormont and Jon Snow warned the realm and asked for help. We know they did even if we don't get the exact details (like precisely how many ravens were sent out and what happened to each of them and how many times the message was resent) - but there is no reason why the writer should write extra pages on (storywise) irrelevant details. We also find out the reaction of some of the addressed persons but not all of them. For all we know, there might have been answers from some places saying "thanks, we'll see what we can do" - it does not matter. What we can be sure of is that the writer shows us what is important with regard to sending out the messages and with regard to the reactions. We are told that messages were sent out regarding both the wildling attacks and the reappearance of the Others, and we know that the Night's Watch was pretty much left alone by the rest of the realm (except for the action Stannis eventually took). The reactions we are informed of are those of neglect, ridicule and hostility (let the North bleed). This is what the writer has shown us as relevant. Sure, there must have been ravens that never reached their destinations, but we are told pretty clearly that this wasn't the only or even the (storywise) main reason why the warning went mostly unanswered.

The writer also makes sure that this general non-action should not be surprising for a number of reasons. Yes, the realm is torn apart by war - whether you are still fighting or have already lost a huge part of your armed forces, you have good reason to regard the fight up in the far North as not your (immediate) problem (yes, you might be deluding yourself, but doesn't that happen?). Also, we are shown early on that the Night's Watch lost its importance in the realm a long time ago, and it is currently seen by most as a penal colony where inmates watch out for groups of wildlings raiding the frontier area (a rather local problem). As for the Others, not even Northmen believe in their existence, as Ned's words show us early on. If no one reacts to the wildling threat, then what are the chances that the same people will react when they receive the news of some bedside tale creatures turning up North of the Wall?  

For most lords south of the Wall, the problems of the Night's Watch are local, "far away" and (when it comes to the Others) ridiculous or non-existent problems, especially when compared to their own immediate and already very tangible concerns. What is more, anyone who regards the Northerners as a bunch of rebels or enemies will only be all too happy to hear that something unpleasant is going on in the far end of the North - your enemy's enemy is your friend. (They simply do not understand the threat against all humanity.) 

The above also partly explains why those near the far North did not react to the (for them real) wildling threat even. The Umbers and other lords were involved in Robb's war. As for the clans, they may have thought it was the NW's duty to defend the Wall, and perhaps they simply fortified their own homes (for which they needed men), hoping that their neighbours will send the necessary men to the NW anyway. Maybe that's their routine reaction to the news of wildling raids... unless perhaps it is the Lord of Winterfell who calls them into battle. They did march with Stannis - but only after the wildling threat had been removed and they had been personally invited by a king. 

Robb was clearly preoccupied with his war. Even if he received Mormont's letter, he (like others) may have decided that the War in the South was a more urgent problem. But the raven that went to Riverrun must have been addressed to Lord Tully, so the news may never have reached Robb. It may have reached Edmure, who obviously didn't want Robb to turn his attention (and army) away from the South because of some local problem in the far North. Any ravens that went to Winterfell were received by Maester Luwin. He should have sent the letters on to Robb or told about them to Bran. Given what Osha had told Bran, I think Bran would have reflected on this piece of news in his POV, so he probably didn't receive it. If Maester Luwin sent the news on to Robb, that was, of course, further delay, and further risk (for the ravens), and it might have been simply too late by the time Mormont's letter to Robb reached Riverrun (if it did). Besides, we know that Maester Luwin did not believe in magical creatures such as the CotF or the Others, so while he must have regarded the news on a wildling attack as rather important, he may not have paid the same attention to any warning about the reappearance of the Others.

Later, the Boltons were also rather busy in other ways, and whatever message they received from Lord Commander Jon Snow, it was a message from "the last living son" of Eddard Stark and the last living brother of Robb Stark, from someone who could potentially still tell the difference between Arya Stark and Jeyne Poole. Any mortal danger that Jon Snow had to face was good for them, so it is not surprising that they did not hurry to help the NW out. 

We are given plenty of explicit and implicit reasons why the issued warnings remained unheeded, while there is neither indication, nor plot necessity that the LC of the NW was not warning the realm diligently enough.  

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Who's power has left High Garden. The only armies now are the Freys lmao and the north and what will be left after the Bostons and Stannis. Stannis was the only one who came. Nah the flints and that other bloke know and also lady dustin. No care given tbh 

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Here's the situation. The north essentially seceded from the rest of the realm. When Pycelle tells the people on the small council about the letter he received from Bowen Marsh, Tywin gets pissy because it was address to the 5 kings. When Varys suggests that the gold cloaks who deserted their post should be sent to the NW instead of getting their legs broken, Tywin refuses. 

When Jon sends his letter to King's Landing, the response is to have him assassinated because of the perception that he is helping Stannis and Qyburn who dabbles in necromancy says the NW defends the realm against grumkins and snarks. 

The bottom line is that no one cares what happens in the north. The north broke apart from the rest of the realm, so this is their problem. The north is back in the realm, so this is Bolton's problem, but Bolton has much bigger problems, like his bannermen who wants to see him dead. 

The truth is, it was always up to the Starks and the NW to stop the wildlings. The Others have not been seen in 8,000 years, so that's not a problem at all. When Ned tells Catelyn in the opening chapters that he might need to call the banners and go deal with Mance Rayder himself, he is talking about the north dealing with the problem as they've always done, with no expectation of assistance from the king who doesn't even feel like going to the Wall or doesn't sound all that interested in what Benjen may have had to say.

I think the expectations is that the northmen will deal with the issue as they always have or be trampled by their enemies and no one cares because there's the Neck between the north and the rest.

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On 7/24/2019 at 11:40 PM, Lady Blizzardborn said:

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.

Jon didn't try hard enough.  He didn't even try hard enough to convince his own men.   He is not the man to unite people.  He couldn't stay out of Ramsay's business and it resulted in disaster at the Wall.

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On 7/28/2019 at 11:22 AM, Unit A2 said:

Jon Snow is also to be blamed for this. 

Course he is. /s  :rolleyes: 

After all, most threads that broach certain topics must invariably turn into a Jon/Stark hate thread. And that’s fine. Dull as watching paint dry, but to each their own. Have at it for now, we’ll talk again once TWoW is published. 

On 7/28/2019 at 11:22 AM, Unit A2 said:

The kingdom is too busy fighting over the throne.  Which is bad.  Jon is too busy with taking his sister away from Ramsay and saving Mance Rayderfrom the chopping block.  All of the people involved are too distracted.  

Only that’s not a very good argument. Yes, wanting to save (f)Arya from Ramsay definitely plays a part and is a motivator. But first, that’s just as it should be. Anyone who knows of a child - any child - that a sadistic nutjob psycho is raping and torturing repeatedly and does nothing is a world-class PoS. Let’s also remember that said sadistic nutjob psycho is the son of the man who basically killed all your loved ones. Second, Jon wants to take out Ramsay; saving Arya is the cherry on top. And the author made that very clear and easy for the reader to understand, because he gave us Jon’s words, Jon’s actions, and even more importantly, Jon’s thoughts on the matter. 

ADwD, Jon XIII

“I will send for ale,” Jon said, distracted. Melisandre was gone, he realized, and so were the queen’s knights. I should have gone to Selyse first. She has the right to know her lord is dead. “You must excuse me. I’ll leave you to get them drunk.”
“Har! A task I’m well suited for, crow. On your way!”
Horse and Rory fell in beside Jon as he left the Shieldhall. I should talk with Melisandre after I see the queen, he thought. If she could see a raven in a storm, she can find Ramsay Snow for me. Then he heard the shouting … and a roar so loud it seemed to shake the Wall. “That come from Hardin’s Tower, m’lord,” Horse reported. He might have said more, but the scream cut him off.”

If you want to try to argue that Jon was lying to himself... well, good luck with that. 

And finally, for the 124,789,965,453th time, Mance was Stannis’s prisoner. Yes, Jon tried to convince Stannis to spare Mance, but that’s because Jon is not an idiot. Mance is without a doubt someone I’d want on my side come the LN. And Stannis sees it too. 

ADwD, Jon I

“Just once you might try to give me an answer that would please me, Lord Snow,” the king grumbled.
“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.”

And then Mel does the switcheroo, with or without Stannis’s blessing. When Jon learns that Rattleshirt is in fact Mance, there’s not much he can do without alienating Stannis and co. And alienating Stannis, given the state of affairs at CB at that point, would be incredibly stupid. 

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On 7/28/2019 at 11:22 AM, Unit A2 said:

The factions in the story are too preoccupied with the pursuit of their own agendas to look at the looming doom's day that is the White Walkers.  It's not only the fault of one side.  Jon Snow is also to be blamed for this.  The kingdom is too busy fighting over the throne.  Which is bad.  Jon is too busy with taking his sister away from Ramsay and saving Mance Rayderfrom the chopping block.  All of the people involved are too distracted.  

Yup they are too occupied with avenging their families.  Jon couldn't see past the war of the five kings and the defeat of the Starks.  One need look no further than the execution of Janos Slynt.  That was revenge.  

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On 8/16/2019 at 8:10 PM, kissdbyfire said:

Only that’s not a very good argument. Yes, wanting to save (f)Arya from Ramsay definitely plays a part and is a motivator. But first, that’s just as it should be. Anyone who knows of a child - any child - that a sadistic nutjob psycho is raping and torturing repeatedly and does nothing is a world-class PoS. Let’s also remember that said sadistic nutjob psycho is the son of the man who basically killed all your loved ones. Second, Jon wants to take out Ramsay; saving Arya is the cherry on top. And the author made that very clear and easy for the reader to understand, because he gave us Jon’s words, Jon’s actions, and even more importantly, Jon’s thoughts on the matter. 

It's a great argument.  Nobody said leadership is easy.  The principles and rules of the watch have always said one must forget the past in order to begin a new life at the wall.  Recruits have to forget old allegiances and let go of their previous loyalties in order for the watch to do its job of defending everyone.  The defense would fail at its job if it only defended the families it liked.  It is reasonable to expect a recruit to train with another boy who came from a family who had fought his own.  Both boys will be expected to put their new family, the Nightswatch, above any little remaining feelings for their old family or else the watch can never become a team.  Jon was expected to forget his loyalties to the Stark and to do what is needed in order to defend Westeros.  Starting a war with Ramsay was the wrong move to make.  

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Snarks and Grumkins.  The Realm thinks that Jon is asking them to believe in Snarks and Grumkins.  The last time Westeros was threatened by supernatural foes was 10,000 years ago when Legends supposedly walked the earth.

 

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On 8/18/2019 at 7:05 PM, White Ravens said:

Snarks and Grumkins.  The Realm thinks that Jon is asking them to believe in Snarks and Grumkins.  The last time Westeros was threatened by supernatural foes was 10,000 years ago when Legends supposedly walked the earth.

I think it runs deeper than that. When the Shield Islands were attacked by Euron and the ironborn, Cersei washed her hands of the problem, saying that since the Shields were sworn to Highgarden, then it was for Highgarden to answer. 

Cersei hates the Tyrells, so she's motivated to let them twist in the wind. The north is not her problem either and the NW is led by the bastard son of a traitor.

At the end of the day, it's all about politics.

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Jon didn't do enough to sell the danger.  He was too obsessed with the cursed Starks to handle the communication in such a way as to be neutral.  He could have worked out a deal with the Boltons and promise to remain neutral as he should have been.  Promise not to challenge their claims to Winterfell.  

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On 7/22/2019 at 9:17 PM, Andrew Yang for President said:

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.  

 

Jon's head was in the wrong place.  His mind was in the south fighting for the Starks when he should have been defending the wall.  

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